• 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.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,396,214 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,269 other subscribers
  • January 2013
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

Many Would Rather Exclude God

Loraine Boettner in 1917 at the age of 16Loraine Boettner D.D.:

Although the sovereignty of God is universal and absolute, it is not the sovereignty of blind power. It is coupled with infinite wisdom, holiness and love. And this doctrine, when properly understood, is a most comforting and reassuring one. Who would not prefer to have his affairs in the hands of a God of infinite power, wisdom, holiness and love, rather than to have them left to fate, or chance, or irrevocable natural law, or to shortsighted and perverted self? Those who reject God’s sovereignty should consider what alternatives they have left.

The affairs of the universe, then, are controlled and guided, how? “According to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His will.” The present day tendency is to set aside the doctrines of Divine Sovereignty and Predestination in order to make room for the autocracy of the human will. The pride and presumption of man, on the one hand, and his ignorance and depravity on the other, lead him to exclude God and to exalt himself so far as he is able; and both of these tendencies combine to lead the great majority of mankind away from Calvinism. (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)

Not the One who Claimed Wisdom

ConfuciusNorman Geisler:

So I cast my lot with him – not the one who claimed wisdom, Confucius; or the one who claimed enlightenment, Buddha; or the one who claimed to be a prophet, Muhammad, but with the one who claimed to be God in human flesh. The one who declared, ‘Before Abraham was born, I am’ – and proved it.

The Purpose of the Law

Augustus M. TopladyAugustus Montague Toplady was an Anglican cleric, hymn writer, and Calvinist. He opposed John Wesley’s teaching of Arminianism. He is probably remembered most as the author of the hymn Rock of Ages. The substance of the following discourse was preached in the parish church of St. Ann, Blackfriars; on Sunday, April 29, 1770. Toplady provides us with a clear understanding of the purpose of the Law below:

Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:16 ESV)

[W]e neither are, nor can be, justified by the law; still the uses of the law are numerous and important: whence the apostle takes care to add, that the law is good, or answers several valuable purposes, if a man use it lawfully. Nothing can be more evident than that, by the law, in this place, is meant the moral law. The ceremonial could not possibly be intended; because it is not now to be adhered to, and is no longer in force: whereas the apostle speaks of a law which is, to this very day, unrepealed, and of standing use: the law is good, if a man use it lawfully. Of this law there is a two-fold use: or rather, an use and an abuse. The use of the law is, among other things, first to convince us of our other sinfulness; and then, secondly, to lead us to Christ, as the great and only fulfiller of all righteousness.

Now the law does not answer these important ends directly, and of itself; but in a subserviency to the Holy Spirit’s influence; when that adorable person is pleased Law and Graceto make the law instrumental to the conversion of a sinner. In which case, having shaken us out of our self-righteousness, and reduced us to a happy necessity of closing with the righteousness of Christ; the law has still another and a farther use, no less momentous: for, thirdly, it from that moment forward stands as the great rule of our practical walk and conversation: seeing a true believer is not without law, (…quotes in Greek…, a lawless person) towards God; but is (…again quotes in Greek…), within the bond of the law to Christ (1 Corinthians ix. 21.); not exempted from its control, as the standard of moral action; though delivered from its power and execration as a covenant of works.

These are the three grand lawful uses of the law. On the other hand, if any of us are so deplorably lost to all sense of Christian duty and gospel privilege, as to suppose that by our own partial conformity to the law, how sincere so-ever it be, we can work out and work up a righteousness for ourselves, wherein to stand before the tribunal of God, and for which to obtain any favor at his hand, we use the law unlawfully; we sadly mistake the very end for which the law was promulgated, which was, that, under the efficacy of grace, and the teachings of the blessed Spirit, it might bring us to a knowledge of our (Romans iii. 20) guilt, and a sense of our (Deuteronomy xxxiii. 2; Heb. xii. 18-21) danger; convince us of our (Psalm cxix. 96; Romans viii. 3) helplessness and, as a schoolmaster, bring us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith, and not by the works of the law; for, by the works of the law, as performed by us, shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians iii. 24; and ii.16) (“A Caveat against Unsound Doctrines”)

%d bloggers like this: