• 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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Seek A Sure Object of Trust!

Thomas_MantonThomas Manton:

If a man would lead a happy life, let him but seek a sure object for his trust [or faith], and he shall be safe: “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” He hath laid up his confidence in God; therefore, his heart is kept in an equal poise.

A Bible-Reading People

Horace GreeleyHorace Greeley (Editor and Politician):

“It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.”

The Condition of our Souls

Archibald T. RobertsonThe working of God’s will has provided the whole plan of salvation. We labor in the sphere of God’s will. God presses His will upon ours. We feel the force of divine energy quickening our wills into activity. However, we are responsible for the condition of our souls. According to Archibald T. Robertson (1863-1934):

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise, you also should be glad and rejoice with me. (Philippians 2:12-18 ESV)

Paul is eminently practical as well as really profound. He is equally at home in the discussion of the great problems of theology and in the details of the Christian life. … There is in Paul no divorce between learning and life. Speculative theology as philosophy he knows and uses as a servant to convey his highest ideas, but he never forgets the ethics of the man in the street or at the desk. He has just written a marvelous passage on the Humiliation and Exaltation of Christ Jesus, scaling the heights of Christ’s equality with God and sounding the depths of the human experience of Jesus, from the throne of God to the death on the Cross and back again. But Paul has no idea of leaving this great doctrinal passage thus. “So then, my beloved,” he goes on with an exhortation based on the experience of Christ. He returns to the whole lump. There are men and women in our churches who remain true when pastors come and go and when others fall away.

In Paul’s absence, he desires that the Philippians shall press right on with the work of their own salvation in so far as the development is committed to their hands. The eye should rest upon the final goal and so Paul uses a verb that puts the emphasis on the final result. Salvation is used either of the entrance into the service of God, the whole process, or the consummation at the end. The Philippians are to carry into effect and carry on to the end the work of grace already begun. Peter (2 Pet. 1:10) likewise exhorted his readers to make their calling and election sure. They must not look to Paul to do their part in the work of their salvation. His absence cuts no figure in the matter of their personal responsibility. It is “your own’ salvation.” It is the aim of all to win this goal at last. If so, each must look to his own task and do his own work. The social aspect of religion is true beyond a doubt. We are our brother’s keeper and we do owe a debt of love and service to one another that we can never fully discharge (Rom. 13:8). But it is also true that each of us is his own keeper and stands or falls to God. Kipling has it thus: For the race is run by one and one and never by two and two.” (“Realizing God’s Plan in Life”)

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