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  • 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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Sin!

The following is by Thomas Boston:

Learn the evil of sin. Sin is a stream that will carry down the sinner, until he is swallowed up in the ocean of wrath! The pleasures of sin are bought too dear, at the rate of everlasting burnings!

What did the rich man’s purple clothing and sumptuous food avail him, when in hell he was encircled by purple flames, and could not have a drop of water to cool his tongue?

Alas! that men should indulge themselves in sin which will bring such bitterness in the end! That they should drink so greedily of the poisonous cup, and hug that serpent in their bosom that will sting them to the heart!

OK to Bully Christians?

The White House anti-bullying spokesman is Dan Savage. Savage is the founder of a pro-LGTB anti-bullying campaign. On April 13th, he turned an anti-bullying speech at the National High School Journalism Conference into an all-out attack on Christians and Christianity. Almost 100 students walked out during Savage’s diatribe. Savage mocked the Bible and anyone who believes it. He also urged the students to ignore the “bull —-” taught by the Bible. He proceeded to then call the students who walked out during his speech “pansy-a—d.” Obviously, bullying Christians is acceptable to the White House.

Read more about this subject. . . .

Now, consider and contrast the above incident with the following quotation from Justice Joseph Story who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845.

[I]t is impossible for those, who believe in the truth of Christianity, as a divine revelation, to doubt, that it is the especial duty of government to foster, and encourage it among all the citizens and subjects. This is a point wholly distinct from that of the right of private judgment in matters of religion, and of the freedom of public worship according to the dictates of one’s conscience. (From Justice Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, January 6, 1833)

[A] malicious intention . . . to vilify the Christian religion and the Scriptures. . . . would prove a nursery of vice, a school of preparation to qualify young men for the gallows and young women for the brothel. . . . Religion and morality . . . are the foundations of all governments. Without these restraints no free government could long exist. (Updegraph v. Commonwealth, 1824)

I find it amazing to see how far from our noble beginnings our government and people of this United States have fallen. Then again; it is always the disposition of the natural man to suppress the truth when it suits his own desires.

Faith, Peace, and Joy

Faith can do what nothing else can; it gives us joy and peace. Faith is the key which opens the gates of heaven. How can there be an objection to this means of salvation which is established by the mercy and the wisdom of God? Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8 ESV)

Even in common things faith of a certain sort lies at the root of all. I wonder whether I shall be wrong if I say that we never do anything except through faith of some sort. If I walk across my study it is because I believe my legs will carry me. A man eats because he believes in the necessity of food; he goes to business because he believes in the value of money; he accepts a cheque because he believes that the bank will honor it. Columbus discovered America because he believed that there was another continent beyond the ocean; and the Pilgrim Fathers colonized it because they believed that God would be with them on those rocky shores. Most grand deeds have been born of faith; for good or for evil, faith works wonders by the man in whom it dwells. Faith in its natural form is an all-prevailing force, which enters into all manner of human actions. Possibly he who derides faith in God is the man who in an evil form has the most of faith; indeed, he usually falls into a credulity which would be ridiculous, if it were not disgraceful. God gives salvation to faith, because by creating faith in us He thus touches the real mainspring of our emotions and actions. He has, so to speak, taken possession of the battery and now He can send the sacred current to every part of our nature. When we believe in Christ, and the heart has come into the possession of God, then we are saved from sin, and are moved toward repentance, holiness, zeal, prayer, consecration, and every other gracious thing. “What oil is to the wheels, what weights are to a clock, what wings are to a bird, what sails are to a ship, that faith is to all holy duties and services.” Have faith, and all other graces will follow and continue to hold their course.

Faith, again, has the power of working by love; it influences the affections toward God, and draws the heart after the best things. He that believes in God will beyond all question love God. Faith is an act of the understanding; but it also proceeds from the heart. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness”; and hence God gives salvation to faith because it resides next door to the affections, and is near akin to love; and love is the parent and the nurse of every holy feeling and act. Love to God is obedience, love to God is holiness. To love God and to love man is to be conformed to the image of Christ; and this is salvation.

Moreover, faith creates peace and joy; he that hath it rests, and is tranquil, is glad and joyous, and this is a preparation for heaven. God gives all heavenly gifts to faith, for this reason among others, that faith worketh in us the life and spirit which are to be eternally manifested in the upper and better world. Faith furnishes us with armor for this life, and education for the life to come. It enables a man both to live and to die without fear; it prepares both for action and for suffering; and hence the Lord selects it as a most convenient medium for conveying grace to us, and thereby securing us for glory. (All of Grace)

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