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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 Church

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Ron Adair

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Ron Adair

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

If you go back through the long history of the Church, you will find that it has often counted most, and has been most used by God, when there have been just a handful of people who were agreed in spirit and in doctrine. God took hold of them and used them and did mighty things through them. But when there was only one Church in the whole of western Europe, what did she lead to? The Dark Ages. And yet it seems to me that this great lesson of history is being entirely forgotten and ignored at this present time. I say these things not because I am animated by any controversial spirit, but because I have a zeal for the truth as I find it in the Scriptures, and regard it as tragic to note the way in which Scripture is being twisted and perverted in the interests of a unity which is not a unity. (Great Doctrines of the Bible – The Church)

Humility

John CalvinJohn Calvin:

“I was always exceedingly delighted with that saying of Chrysostom, “The foundation of our philosophy is humility”; and yet more pleased with that of Augustine: “As the orator, when asked, What is the first precept in eloquence? answered, Delivery: What is the second? Delivery: What is the third? Delivery: so if you ask me concerning the precepts of the Christian religion, I will answer, first, second, and third, Humility.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion)

Prophetic Doctrine

John Calvin:

“As far as sacred Scripture is concerned, however much froward men try to gnaw at it, nevertheless it clearly is crammed with thoughts that could not be humanly conceived. Let each of the prophets be looked into: none will be found who does not far exceed human measure. Consequently, those for whom prophetic doctrine is tasteless ought to be thought of as lacking taste buds.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion)

Contemplating Providence

John Calvin writes:

“We ought to contemplate providence not as curious and fickle persons are wont to do but as a ground of confidence and excitement to prayer. When he informs us that the hairs of our head are all numbered it is not to encourage trivial speculations but to instruct us to depend on the fatherly care of God which is exercised over these frail bodies.”

Moving Forward Daily

From the desk of John Calvin:

“No one can travel so far that he does not make some progress each day. So let us never give up. Then we shall move forward daily in the Lord’s way. And let us never despair because of our limited success. Even though it is so much less than we would like, our labor is not wasted when today is better than yesterday!” (Institutes of the Christian Religion)

According to God’s Perfect Measure

From the desk of John Calvin:

“In a way, the futile excuses many people use to cover their superstitions are demolished. They think it is enough to have some sort of religious fervor, however ridiculous, not realizing that true religion must be according to God’s will as the perfect measure; that He can never deny Himself and is no mere spirit form to be changed around according to individual preference.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion)

The Inner Recesses of the Heart

John Calvin writes:

“For there is no one so great or mighty that he can avoid the misery that will rise up against him when he resists and strives against God”

“The gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue, but of life. It cannot be grasped by reason and memory only, but it is fully understood when it possesses the whole soul and penetrates to the inner recesses of the heart.” (Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life)

Perfect Faith

From the thoughts of John Calvin:

“A perfect faith is nowhere to be found, so it follows that all of us are partly unbelievers.”

“Is it faith to understand nothing, and merely submit your convictions implicitly to the Church?”

Daily Triumph

George Whitefield writes:

The riches of His free grace cause me daily to triumph over all the temptations of the wicked one, who is very vigilant, and seeks all occasions to disturb me.

Calvin’s Thoughts

Quoting John Calvin:

“However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts.”

“Let us not cease to do the utmost that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord; and let us not despair of the smallness of our accomplishments.”

Prayer

According to John Calvin:

“Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden we must lay upon God, but also because we are so bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own. To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them. ”

The Conscience

According to John Calvin:

“The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul.”

“If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house, than in a field…it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.”

The Spirit of Wisdom

According to John Calvin:

“There is no worse screen to block out the Spirit than confidence in our own intelligence.”

“True wisdom consists in two things: Knowledge of God and Knowledge of Self.”

When Hope is Small

Quoting John Calvin:

“We should ask God to increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and raise it up when it is overthrown.”

To the Overwhelmed

John Calvin writes:

“Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness”

“It behooves us to accomplish what God requires of us, even when we are in the greatest despair respecting the results”

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