• 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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  • January 2012
    M T W T F S S
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The Duties Of The Gospel

Quoting Matthew Mead:

Now many embrace Christ as a Priest but they do not own Him as a King and Prophet. They like to share in His righteousness but not to partake of His holiness. They would be redeemed by Him but they would not submit to them. They would be saved by His blood but would not submit to His power. Many love the privileges of the gospel but not the duties of the gospel. (Mead, The Almost Christian, 130)

If You Exclude Religious Principle, Morality Will Fail!

In the words of George Washington:

Of all the dispositions and habits which least to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in the Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the opposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. (George Washington Farewell Address, September 19, 1796)

The Unchanging Christ

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 ESV)

The Bible describes the eternity of Jesus Christ in the same way that it does of God the Father. Jesus is called Alpha and Omega, “the First and the Last: which is, which was, and which is to come,” “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.”

Jesus is His proper name, Christ His title. Jesus is a name of His nature. Christ is the name of His office. He is a Reconciler, a Redeemer, and a Savior. He has been appointed and anointed of God a king, a priest, and a prophet.

This Jesus Christ is our Savior. He is the center of this text; and not only of this, but of the whole Scripture. The sum of divinity is the Scripture; the sum of the Scripture is the gospel; the sum of the gospel is Jesus Christ. There is nothing contained in the Word of God, but God the Word. Our mind is where our pleasure is, our heart is where our treasure is, our love is where our life is; but all these, our pleasure, treasure, and life can only be found in Jesus Christ. Let others take the pleasures of the world, but let our part be in Jesus Christ.

There is no mutability in Christ; “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17 ESV) In the “Father of lights” there is no changeableness. The sun has his shadow; but the “Sun of Righteousness” is without shadow. He loves us to the end and there is no end to His love. The covenant of God will not be broken. The Lord says, “And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.” (Hosea 2:19-20 ESV) This marriage-bond shall never be broken. We do not place our confidence in worldly things, because they are fleeting. “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.” (Psalm 125:1 ESV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

This persuades us to imitate Christ’s steadfastness. Let the certainty of his mercy to us work loyalty in our love for Him. The God of constancy would have His people to be constant. If God preordained a Savior for man, before He had either made man, or man marred himself, then surely He meant that nothing should separate us from His eternal love in that Savior.

God continually, by His Spirit, applies to our consciences the virtue of his death and passion. “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3 ESV) “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17 ESV)

We owe, then, ourselves to Christ for our creation; but how much more for our redemption? If I owe Him my whole self for making me, what have I left to pay Him for redeeming me?

God upholds all things by the Word of His power. The wicked may have outward blessings without inward, and that is Esau’s reward without his birthright; but the elect have inward blessings, though they lack outward, and that is Jacob’s inheritance without his pottage. His mercy is everlasting; His truth endures from generation to generation. The same gracious Savior that He was yesterday to our fathers is He today to us, if we are today faithful to Him. All reach for this comfort, but in vain without the hand of faith. There is no deficiency in Him; but is there none in you? Whatsoever Christ is, what are you? He forgave Mary Magdalene many grievous sins; so He will forgive you, if you can shed Mary Magdalene’s tears. He took the malefactor from the cross to Paradise; there He will receive you if you have the same faith. He was merciful to a denying apostle; you are challenged to like mercy, if you have like repentance. If we will be like these, Christ, assuredly, will be ever like Himself. When any man shall prove to be such a sinner, He will not fail to be such a Savior.

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