• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • December 2011
    M T W T F S S
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Loraine Boettner On Regeneration And Sanctification

From the pen of Loraine Boettner:

“[M]any people confuse regeneration and sanctification. Regeneration is exclusively God’s work, and it is an act of His free grace in which He implants a new principle of spiritual life in the soul. It is performed by supernatural power and is complete in an instant. On the other hand, sanctification is a process through which the remains of sin in the outward life are gradually removed . . . It is a joint work of God and man” (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, 172)

Charles Spurgeon On The Minister As Father

Charles H. Spurgeon

Most of us would not dare to say to people, “Follow me in all things!” Yet, the tendency of the church congregation is to follow the pastor. Many babes in Christ are seriously injured, if not entirely broken down, by following the example of their ministers in matters wherein the ministers fall short by carelessness of duty. How grievous it is for any believer to fall short because of the minister’s conduct! May we not fear that many in our churches today are not the Christians they might have been had someone (especially the minister) properly guided them? Charles H. Spurgeon speaks to this matter by drawing a comparison between ministers and fathers:

We are already fathers in the sense of having around us converts who are our children in the Lord. We have already heard the penitential cries, and the believing prayers, of those born to God through our preaching. Many of us, beloved brethren, without boasting, can rejoice that the Lord has; not left us without witness. Ours has been an imperfect and feeble ministry; but the Lord has given life to many by our words.

The parental relation is one which requires much of us. A father should be a stable and established man. Something of solid worth and substantial judgment is looked for in a father. Many a preacher we could not call “father”; it would seem too ridiculous. The trifler, the brother of many ways of thinking, and the man who is of an angry spirit, are out of the list when we read over the roll of fathers. Something of weight, kindliness, dignity, steadiness, and venerableness, goes to make up our idea of the father. Great truths are very dear to him, for he has had experience of their power for many years. When some of the boys tell him that he is behind the times, he smiles at their superior wisdom. Now and then, he tries to show them that he is right, though it is hard to make them see it. The boys think the fathers fools; the fathers do not think that of them,—there is no need. True fathers are patient; they do not expect to find old heads on young shoulders. They have the knack of waiting till tomorrow, for time brings with it many instructions; and while it may demonstrate the true, it may also explode the false. Father is not blown about by every wind of doctrine; neither does he run after every new thing which is cried up by the skeptical or by the fanatical. A father knows what he does know, stands by what he has verified, and is rooted and grounded in the faith.

But, with all his maturity and firmness, the spiritual father is full of tenderness, and manifests an intense love for the souls of men. His doctrinal divinity does not dry up his humanity. He was born on purpose to care for other people, and his heart cannot rest until it is full of such care. Along our coast, in certain places, there are no harbors; but, in other spots, there are bays into which vessels run at once in the time of storm. Some men present an open natural harborage for people in distress: you love them instinctively, and trust them unreservedly; and they, on their part, welcome your confidence, and lay themselves out for your benefit. They were fashioned by nature with warm human sympathies, and these have been sanctified by grace, so that it is their vocation to instruct, to comfort, to succor, and in all ways to help spirits of a feebler order. These are the kingly men who become nursing fathers of the church. Paul says of Timothy, “I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state” He himself had this natural care; but he could not just then put his hand upon another of like mind to himself, except Timothy. . . . The man of God, who feels the force of holy fatherhood, would do anything and everything, possible and impossible, for the sake of his spiritual children; he gladly spend, and is spent for them. Though the more he loves the less he may be loved, yet by the force of inward prompting he is impelled to self-denying labor. . . .

We lay ourselves down for all men to go over us if thus they may come to Jesus. Our place is to be the servants of all. The father earns the daily bread, brings it home, and divides it. We blend father and mother in one, and lay ourselves out to fulfill all needful offices for those committed to our charge. If you desire to be a father in the church that you may have his special honor, you see the way to it: it comes of self-denial, patience, forbearance, love, zeal, and diligence. “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” (“What We Would Be”)

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