• 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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  • July 2013
    M T W T F S S
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A Man of Sorrows

J. C. RyleJ.C. Ryle (Commenting on Mt. 2:13-23):

Observe how the Lord Jesus was “a man of sorrows” even from His infancy. Trouble awaits Him as soon as He enters into the world. His life is in danger from Herod’s hatred. His mother and Joseph are obliged to take Him away by night, and “flee into Egypt.” It was only a type and figure of all His experience upon earth. The waves of humiliation began to beat over Him, even when He was a nursing child.

The Lord Jesus is just the Savior that the suffering and sorrowful need. He knows well what we mean, when we tell Him in prayer of our troubles. He can sympathize with us, when we cry to Him under cruel persecution. Let us keep nothing back from Him. Let us make Him our bosom friend. Let us pour out our hearts before Him. He has had great experience of affliction. (Expository Thoughts on Matthew)

How is Your Hearing?

HearingJ.I. Packer:

“We complain today that ministers do not know how to preach; but is it not equally true that our congregations do not know how to hear?”


Charles H. SpurgeonGod treated Jesus Christ as if He had been a great sinner and as if He had been all the sinners in the world in one. Jesus Christ, however, was never a sinner. He, entirely out of love for us, stood in the sinner’s place and was treated as a sinner for us. Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

The whole pith and marrow of the religion of Christianity lies in the doctrine of “substitution,” and I do not hesitate to affirm my conviction that a very large proportion of “Christians” are not Christians at all, for they do not understand the fundamental doctrine of the Christian creed; and, alas, there are preachers who do not preach, or even believe this cardinal truth. They speak of the blood of Jesus in an indistinct kind of way, and talk about the death of Christ in a hazy style of poetry, but they do not strike this nail on the head, and lay it down that the way of salvation is by Christ’s becoming a Substitute for guilty man. This shall make me the more plain and definite. Sin is an accursed thing. God, from the necessity of his holiness, must curse it; he must punish men for committing it; but the Lord’s Christ, the glorious Son of the everlasting Father, became a man and suffered in his own proper person the curse which was due to the sons of men, so that, by a vicarious offering God, having been just in punishing sin, could extend his bounteous mercy towards those who believe in the Substitute.

But, you inquire, how was Jesus Christ a curse? The answer is, “He was made a curse.” Christ was no curse in himself. In his person, he was spotlessly innocent, and nothing of sin could belong personally to him. In him was no sin. God “made him who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2 Cor 5:21). There must never be supposed to be any degree of blame-worthiness or censure in the person or character of Christ as he stands as an individual. He is in that respect without spot or wrinkle, the immaculate Lamb of God’s Passover. Nor was Christ made a curse out of necessity. There was no necessity for him ever to suffer the curse; no necessity except that which his own loving pledge created. His own intrinsic holiness kept him from sin, and that same holiness kept him from the curse. He was made sin for us, not on his own account, not with any view to himself, but wholly because he loved us and chose to put himself in the place which we ought to have occupied. He was made a curse for us, not out of any personal desert or out of any personal necessity, but because he had voluntarily undertaken to be the covenant head of his people, and to be their representative, and as their representative, to bear the curse which was due to them. (Advice for Seekers)

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