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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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The Intellectual Task for Christianity

Nancy Pearcey:

To be effective in equipping young people and professionals to face the challenges of a highly educated secular society, the church needs to redefine the mission of pastors and youth leaders to include training in apologetics and worldview … Pastors must once again provide intellectual leadership for their congregations, teaching apologetics from the pulpit. Every time a minister introduces a biblical teaching, he should also instruct the congregation in ways to defend it against the major objections they are likely to encounter. A religion that avoids the intellectual task and retreats to the therapeutic realm of personal relationships and feelings will not survive in today’s spiritual battlefield.

Apologetics

Alister McGrath:

Apologetics is not simply about reaching outside the church and helping people realize why Christianity makes so much sense. There are many people inside church congregations who are wrestling with apologetic questions; who come to faith but haven’t …had all of their questions answered. I think the pastor, the preacher, needs to realize if they want their people to be good and minister to the faith, apologists and evangelists, they’ve got to be equipped. They’ve got to be reassured about their faith. They’ve got to be helped to be able to explain it and defend it in the secular marketplace. Now maybe many pastors and preachers say, ‘You know, I couldn’t do this.’ In which case, you need to bring somebody in who can. But there’s a real need for the local church to see this kind of ministry as a priority in our present cultural situation.

The Power of Christ’s Blood

Charles H. Spurgeon:

Standing at the foot of the cross, we see his hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood.

It is precious because of its “redeeming and atoning efficacy”. By it the sins of Christ’s people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, and made one with Him.

Christ’s blood is also precious in its “cleansing power”. It “cleanses from all sin.” “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” Through Jesus’ blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no wrinkle nor any such thing remains!

O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God!

The blood of Christ is likewise precious in its “preserving power”. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God’s seeing the blood which is the true reason for our being spared.

Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God’s eye is still the same.

The blood of Christ is precious also in its “sanctifying influence”. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God.

There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams from the veins of Jesus!

And precious, unspeakably precious, is this blood, because “it has an overcoming power”. It is written, “They overcame through the blood of the Lamb.” How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat.

The blood of Jesus! Sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death, and heaven’s gates are opened!

The blood of Jesus! we shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!

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