• 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 2012
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God’s Plan

Loraine BoettnerLoraine Boettner D.D.:

It is unthinkable that a God of infinite wisdom and power would create a world without a definite plan for that world. And because God is thus infinite His plan must extend to every detail of the world’s existence. If we could see the world in all its relations, past, present, and future, we would see that it is following a predetermined course with exact precision. Among created things we may search where we will, as far as the microscope and the telescope will enable the eye to see, we find organization everywhere. Large forms resolve themselves into parts, and these parts in their turn are but organized of other parts down as far as we can see into infinity.

Even man, who is but the creature of a day and subject to all kinds of errors, develops a plan before he acts; and a man who acts without design or purpose is accounted foolish. . . .

If this is true of man, how much more is it true of God! “A universe without decrees,” says A. J. Gordon, “would be as irrational and appalling as would be an express train driving on in the darkness without headlight or engineer, and with no certainty that the next moment it might not plunge into the abyss.” (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)


JosephusHistory and the Bible:

Josephus was born to priestly family in 37 A.D. He commanded Jewish troops in Galilee during the rebellion against Rome. Later, Josephus surrendered and earned the favor of the Emperor Vespasian. Josephus wrote 20 books called The Antiquities of the Jews. In these books, he refers to John the Baptist (killed by Herod) and to James, the brother of Jesus who was condemned to death by stoning by the Sanhedrin. He also mentions Jesus in his Antiquities 18:63.

God’s Kindness

Grace - KindnessOr do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. (Romans 2:4-11 ESV)

Have you lived your life with little regard for the kindness of God? Most people probably do not give much thought to this aspect of God’s character. They take His blessings for granted. Yet, God’s kindness is shown to us in many ways throughout our lives.

The verses above speak of the riches of His kindness. What do these riches consist of? The Bible teaches us that God is rich in grace (Ephesians 1:7), in mercy (Ephesians 2:4), in supplying need (Philippians 4:19), in giving things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17), and rich in the strength He provides to the Christian (Ephesians 3:16 & 21).

These verses also teach us about God’s forbearance and patience in holding back His day of wrath so many may repent. God’s Salvationkindness is meant to lead us to repentance; to turn us from sin to God. Eternal life will be given to those who by God’s kindness are led to repent and do good. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 ESV)

However, many will despise God’s kindness and remain impenitent. For these there will be a day of wrath bringing tribulation and distress. Paul writes, “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might. . . . (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 ESV)

This is the outcome of those who do not properly respond to God’s kindness as manifested through the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no partiality with God. Those who do evil will be punished and those who do good will be blessed. “Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.” (Romans 11:22 ESV)

Allow the kindness of God to lead you to repentance by turning from selfishness, disobedience to the truth, and unrighteousness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 ESV) As you go about your life this day, remember the kindness of God which He has so graciously given in order that you may be in Christ and Christ in you.

Samuel at Gilgal

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