• OVER 5,000 ARTICLES AND QUOTES PUBLISHED!
  • 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

    • 1,396,006 Visits
  • Recent Posts

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

    Join 1,268 other followers
  • October 2022
    M T W T F S S
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  
  • Recommended Reading

First Law of Thermodynamics

Science and the Bible:

The 1st Law of Thermodynamics states that matter can be neither created nor destroyed, and that the amount of matter in the universe remains constant. If the First Law is correct, which every scientific measurement ever made has confirmed, then the universe could not have created itself, it must have been created in the past, no further creating must be going on, and no loss of creation is occurring. The Bible is the only religious book that correctly portrays the First Law by 1) its description in Genesis of a Creator who is no longer creating, and 2) a Creator who is “upholding all things by the word of his power (Heb 1:3)” .

Lord of All

From the writings of R.C. Sproul:

“If God is the Creator of the entire universe, then it must follow that He is the Lord of the whole universe. No part of the world is outside of His lordship. That means that no part of my life must be outside of His lordship.”

Marvin L. Lubenow On Evolution And God

From the desk of Marvin L. Lubenow:

The real issue in the creation/evolution debate is not the existence of God. The real issue is the nature of God. To think of evolution as basically atheistic is to misunderstand the uniqueness of evolution. Evolution was not designed as a general attack against theism. It was designed as a specific attack against the God of the Bible, and the God of the Bible is clearly revealed through the doctrine of creation. Obviously, if a person is an atheist, it would be normal for him to also be an evolutionist. But evolution is as comfortable with theism as it is with atheism. An evolutionist is perfectly free to choose any god he wishes, as long as it is not the God of the Bible. The gods allowed by evolution are private, subjective, and artificial. They bother no one and make no absolute ethical demands. However, the God of the Bible is the Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Judge. All are responsible to Him. He has an agenda that conflicts with that of the sinful humans. For man to be created in the image of God is very awesome. For God to be created in the image of man is very comfortable.

Creating God In The Image Of Man

Quoting Marvin L Lubenow:

The real issue in the creation/evolution debate is not the existence of God. The real issue is the nature of God. To think of evolution as basically atheistic is to misunderstand the uniqueness of evolution. Evolution was not designed as a general attack against theism. It was designed as a specific attack against the God of the Bible, and the God of the Bible is clearly revealed through the doctrine of creation. Obviously, if a person is an atheist, it would be normal for him to also be an evolutionist. But evolution is as comfortable with theism as it is with atheism. An evolutionist is perfectly free to choose any god he wishes, as long as it is not the God of the Bible. The gods allowed by evolution are private, subjective, and artificial. They bother no one and make no absolute ethical demands. However, the God of the Bible is the Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Judge. All are responsible to Him. He has an agenda that conflicts with that of the sinful humans. For man to be created in the image of God is very awesome. For God to be created in the image of man is very comfortable.

How May We See Our Real And Proper Likeness?

 

George Whitefield Preaching

George Whitefield was probably the most famous religious figure of the eighteenth century. Whitefield was a preacher capable of commanding thousands on two continents through the sheer power of his oratory. In his lifetime, he preached at least 18,000 times to perhaps 10 million hearers. The spiritual revival he ignited, the Great Awakening, became one of the most formative events in American history. His last sermon on this tour was given at Boston Commons before 23,000 people, likely the largest gathering in American history to that point. In this excerpt from one of his sermons, Whitefield helps his audience to understand their true nature and their necessity for Christ in order to gain salvation:

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. (Jeremiah 18:1-6)

I am sensible, that many are offended, when mankind are compared to beasts and devils. And they might have some shadow of reason for being so, if we asserted in a physical sense, that they were really beasts and really devils. . . . But when we make use of such shocking comparisons . . . we would be understood only in a moral sense; and in so doing, we assert no more than some of the most holy men of God have said of themselves. . . . Our stupidity, proneness to fix our affections on the things of the earth, and our eagerness to make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof, evidence us to be earthly and brutes!; and our mental passions, anger, hatred, malice, envy, and such like, prove with equal strength, that we are also devilish. Both together conspire to evince, that in respect to his affections, as well as his understanding and will, man deservedly may be termed a piece of marred clay. . . .

But this is not all, we have yet more evidence to call; for do the blindness of our understandings, the perverseness of our will, the rebellion of our affections, the corruption our consciences, the depravity of our reason prove this charge; and does not present disordered frame and constitution of our bodies confirm the same also? Doubtless in this respect, man, in the most literal sense of the word, is a piece of marred clay. For God originally made him of the “dust of the earth.” So that notwithstanding our boasting of our high pedigrees, and different descent, we were all originally upon a level and a little red earth was the common substratum out of which we were all formed. Clay indeed it was, but clay wonderfully modified, even by the immediate hands of the Creator of heaven and earth. One therefore hath observed, that it is said “God built the man;” he did not form him rashly or hastily, but built and finished him according to the plan before laid down in his own eternal mind. . . .

This is the account, which the sacred volume gives us of this interesting point. This, this is that blessed book, that book of books, from whence, together with an appeal to the experience of our own hearts, and the testimonies of all past ages, we have thought proper to fetch our proofs. For, after all, we must be obliged to divine revelation, to know what we were, what we are, and what we are to be. In these, as in a true glass, we may see our real and proper likeness. . . . Had we kept our original integrity, the law of God would have yet been written in our hearts, and thereby the want of a divine revelation, at least such as ours, would have been superseded; but being fallen, instead of rising in rebellion against God, we ought to be filled with unspeakable thankfulness to our all bountiful Creator, who by a few lines in his own books hath discovered more to us, than all the philosophers and most learned men in the world could, or would, have discovered, though they had studied to all eternity. (Sermon: “The Potter and the Clay”)

A Remarkable Prayer Of Two Words

Charles H. Spurgeon

When praying, you do not have to dress up your speech or use a lot of words to make sure you are understood; but you do need to know Who you are praying to. Charles H. Spurgeon gives us an example:

“Help Lord!” –Psalm 12:1

The prayer itself is remarkable, for it is short, but seasonable, pointed, and suggestive. David mourned the fewness of faithful men, and therefore lifted up his heart in supplication — when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator.

There is much of directness, clearness of perception, and distinctness of utterance in this petition of two words — much more, indeed, than in the long rambling outpourings of certain professors. The Psalmist runs straight forward to his God, with a well-considered prayer– he knows what he is seeking, and where to seek it.

Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner.

The occasions for the use of this prayer are frequent–In providential afflictions how suitable it is for tried believers who find all helpers failing them. Students, in doctrinal difficulties, may often obtain aid by lifting up this cry of “Help, Lord,” to the Holy Spirit, the great Teacher. Spiritual warriors in inward conflicts may send to the throne for reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request. Workers in heavenly labor may thus obtain grace in time of need.

Seeking sinners, in doubts and alarms, may offer up the same weighty supplication. In fact, in all these cases, times, and places, this will serve the turn of needy souls. “Help, Lord” will suit us living and dying, suffering or laboring, rejoicing or sorrowing. In Him our help is found, let us not be slack to cry to Him.

The answer to the prayer is certain, if it be sincerely offered through Jesus. The Lord’s character assures us that He will not leave His people; His relationship as Father and Husband guarantee us His aid; His gift of Jesus is a pledge of every good thing; and His sure promise stands–“Fear not, I will help you.”

Today, let us ask that the Scripture we have read, and our devotional exercises, may not be an empty formality, but a channel of grace to our souls.

The Christmas Child And God

False-color image of the Pistol Star and Pisto...

The Pistol Star

From the desk of Pastor Coty Pinckney:

Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all were proceeding to register for the census, everyone to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7 NASB)

Look at verse 7: “She gave birth.” Mary, a young girl, a virgin, a woman who had never had sexual relations with a man, gave birth. . . .

The point of all this? Jesus was a baby – a normal baby, born in the normal way. Jesus was really human. Jesus was a baby who soiled himself, spit up, cried when He was hungry; He was completely dependent upon his parents for meeting His every need. He could do nothing for himself. With His little hands, he grasped fingers held out to Him. He couldn’t communicate at first except by crying. He took months to learn to crawl, and more months to learn to walk, and to speak. Jesus was a normal, human baby.

Jesus was born to a poor family in especially difficult circumstances. While I am sure Mary and Joseph did their best to make their newborn comfortable, safe, and clean, no stable is a sanitary place. How far were they from water? How did they clean Him up after the birth? What did that manger look like – that manger that for years had been the repository of grass and hay falling out of the mouths of cows?

Jesus was born with the appearance of illegitimacy. Few believed Mary’s story of the angel Gabriel; surely most of those who saw her pregnant assumed she became that way through the normal process. Indeed, this stigma of illegitimacy followed Jesus all his life; the Pharisees allude to it in John chapter 8.

Such was the baby Jesus. Fully human. A humble baby from a poor family. In most eyes, illegitimate.

But the Bible tells us that Jesus was much more than a human baby. That normal human body contained the Creator of the world.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. (John 1)

John here purposefully echoes the first words in the Bible, in the book of Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” John 1:1 actually takes us back before Genesis 1:1, before creation – telling us that the Word already was, the Word was with God, the Word was God. But who is “the Word”? What does John mean by this expression?

John makes this perfectly clear in verse 14:

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word is Jesus. Jesus was God. Jesus was with God in the beginning. Now take a deep breath, and think about this as if you had never heard this concept before. That little baby, that child unable to take care of Himself, was God Himself. . . .

So Jesus is God incarnate. But there is more! John tells us that this same Jesus, this same one clothed with humanity, is the creator of everything! “Apart from Him, nothing came into being,” or as it reads in the NIV, “Without Him, nothing was made.”

Let me tell you about just one of the stars He made. The Pistol Star, near the center of our galaxy, emits in 6 seconds as much energy as our sun emits in a year. Its mass is more than 100 times that of our sun. Its diameter is about 200 million miles – in other words, if positioned at the center of our sun, the Pistol Star would more than fill our earth’s entire orbit.

Do you see? Do you comprehend? Oh! I want you to see the tremendous truth of the incarnation! We get so used to the words “Immanuel, God with us, God incarnate, God in the flesh” they role off our lips and we don’t begin to fathom what they mean. Think, now think! The One who made the Pistol Star became infinitesimal compared to it. The One who had all glory and power and purity and praise became despised, poor, needy, helpless; the One who was before the world began became – a tiny, seemingly insignificant speck in that world.

Jesus the Baby is also Jesus the Creator of all things. (“What Child is This?”)

%d bloggers like this: