• 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

    • 1,396,120 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
  • December 2022
    M T W T F S S
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728293031  
  • Recommended Reading

A Purpose for All Believers

Trusting GodJerry Bridges:

God has an over-arching purpose for all believers: to conform us to the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:29). He also has a specific purpose for each of us that is His unique, tailor-made plan for our individual life (see Ephesians 2:10). And God will fulfill that purpose. As Psalm 138:8 says, “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me.” Because we know God is directing our lives to an ultimate end and because we know He is sovereignly able to orchestrate the events of our lives toward that end, we can trust Him. We can commit to Him not only the ultimate outcome of our lives, but also all the intermediate events and circumstances that will bring us to that outcome. (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)

A Contented Man

Arthur W. Pink writes:

Instead of complaining at his lot, a contented man is thankful that his condition and circumstances are no worse than they are. Instead of greedily desiring something more than the supply of his present need, he rejoices that God still cares for him. Such an one is “content” with such as he has (Heb. 13:5).

Sin!

The following is by Thomas Boston:

Learn the evil of sin. Sin is a stream that will carry down the sinner, until he is swallowed up in the ocean of wrath! The pleasures of sin are bought too dear, at the rate of everlasting burnings!

What did the rich man’s purple clothing and sumptuous food avail him, when in hell he was encircled by purple flames, and could not have a drop of water to cool his tongue?

Alas! that men should indulge themselves in sin which will bring such bitterness in the end! That they should drink so greedily of the poisonous cup, and hug that serpent in their bosom that will sting them to the heart!

How May Faith Be Illustrated?

Perhaps you have never looked at it this way, but faith is the root of our obedience. For instance, when I go to my medical doctor (I have an excellent physician.), I am careful to follow his prescriptions and directions. The faith which refuses to obey the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ is a mere pretense. It saves no one. If we trust Jesus to save us, He will show us the way to salvation. Charles H. Spurgeon explains more below:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8 ESV)

Though the Holy Spirit alone can make my reader see, it is my duty and my joy to furnish all the light I can, and to pray the divine Lord to open blind eyes. Oh that my reader would pray the same prayer for himself!

The faith which saves has its analogies in the human frame. It is the eye which looks. By the eye we bring into the mind that which is far away; we can bring the sun and the far-off stars into the mind by a glance of the eye. So by trust we bring the Lord Jesus near to us; and though He be far away in Heaven, He enters into our heart. . . .

Faith is the hand which grasps. When our hand takes hold of anything for itself, it does precisely what faith does when it appropriates Christ and the blessings of His redemption. Faith says, “Jesus is mine.” Faith hears of the pardoning blood, and cries, “I accept it to pardon me.” Faith calls the legacies of the dying Jesus her own; and they are her own, for faith is Christ’s heir; He has given Himself and all that He has to faith. Take, O friend, that which grace has provided for thee. You will not be a thief, for you have a divine permit: “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” He who may have a treasure simply by his grasping it will be foolish indeed if he remains poor. . . .

Paul says, in his Epistle to the Romans, in the tenth chapter, “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth.” Now then, all that is to be done is to swallow it, to suffer it to go down into the soul. Oh that men had an appetite! . . . Truly, a heart which hungers and thirsts after Christ has but to know that He is freely given, and at once it will receive Him. If my reader is in such a case, let him not hesitate to receive Jesus; for he may be sure that he will never be blamed for doing so: for unto “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” He never repulses one, but He authorizes all who come to remain sons for ever.

Faith exists in different persons in various degrees, according to the amount of their knowledge or growth in grace. . . . Thousands of God’s people have no more faith than this; they know enough to cling to Jesus with all their heart and soul, and this suffices for present peace and eternal safety. Jesus Christ is to them a Savior strong and mighty, a Rock immovable and immutable; they cling to him for dear life, and this clinging saves them. Reader, cannot you cling? Do so at once.

Faith is seen when one man relies upon another from a knowledge of the superiority of the other. This is a higher faith; the faith which knows the reason for its dependence, and acts upon it. . . . A blind man trusts himself with his guide because he knows that his friend can see, and, trusting, he walks where his guide conducts him. . . . “We walk by faith, not by sight.” “Blessed are they which have not seen, and yet have believed.” This is as good an image of faith as well can be; we know that Jesus has about Him merit, and power, and blessing, which we do not possess, and therefore we gladly trust ourselves to Him to be to us what we cannot be to ourselves. We trust Him as the blind man trusts his guide. He never betrays our confidence; but He “is made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” . . . Almost all that you and I know has come to us by faith. A scientific discovery has been made, and we are sure of it. On what grounds do we believe it? On the authority of certain well-known men of learning, whose reputations are established. We have never made or seen their experiments, but we believe their witness. You must do the like with regard to Jesus: because He teaches you certain truths you are to be His disciple, and believe His words; because He has performed certain acts you are to be His client, and trust yourself with Him. He is infinitely superior to you, and presents himself to your confidence as your Master and Lord. If you will receive Him and His words you shall be saved. (All of Grace)

He Can Do The Same For You

I have often thought “that if God can save me, He can save anyone.” Let us trust in God for the results as Charles H. Spurgeon tells us below:

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. . . . (Romans 4:5)

I have seen with my own eyes such marvellous changes of moral and spiritual character that I despair of none. I could, if it were fitting, point out those who were once unchaste women who are now pure as the driven snow, and blaspheming men who now delight all around them by their intense devotion. Thieves are made honest, drunkards sober, liars truthful, and scoffers zealous. Wherever the grace of God has appeared to a man it has trained him to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world: and, dear reader, it will do the same for you.

“I cannot make this change,” says one. Who said you could? The Scripture which we have quoted speaks not of what man will do, but of what God will do. It is God’s promise, and it is for Him to fulfil His own engagements. Trust in Him to fulfil His Word to you, and it will be done.

“But how is it to be done?” What business is that of yours? Must the Lord explain His methods before you will believe him? The Lord’s working in this matter is a great mystery: the Holy Ghost performs it. He who made the promise has the responsibility of keeping the promise, and He is equal to the occasion. God, who promises this marvellous change, will assuredly carry it out in all who receive Jesus, for to all such He gives power to become the Sons of God. Oh that you would believe it! Oh that you would do the gracious Lord the justice to believe that He can and will do this for you, great miracle though it will be! Oh that you would believe that God cannot lie! Oh that you would trust Him for a new heart, and a right spirit, for He can give them to you! May the Lord give you faith in His promise, faith in His Son, faith in the Holy Spirit, and faith in Him and to Him shall be praise and honour and glory forever and ever! Amen.

The Gift Of God

Quoting Claude Duval Cole:

Salvation is by grace, which means that it is undeserved, and also that there is no divine obligation to save any sinner. Salvation by grace means that it is not of debt or reward, but is the free gift of God. God might have left every one of us to his fate, to perish in his sins. It was love in God and not loveableness in the sinner that accounts for salvation. “God commended his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Salvation is, therefore, the gracious and sovereign work of God. All our graces are children of His grace and the fruit of His Spirit “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22,23). From foreknowledge in eternity past to glorification in eternity future, salvation is all of grace, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). God thinks so much of His only begotten Son that He has determined to make all His sons just like Him. And there is no human merit or human strength at any stage or in any aspect of salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

John Calvin On The Christian Diet

Are all foods useful to Christians or are we to continue abstaining from some as found in the Old Testament? We do not subject ourselves to the Law when it is clearly expressed in the New Testament that all meats are clean to us: that is, we may use them freely without wavering. How can this be? John Calvin informs us:

Unto the pure all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him: being abominable and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. (Titus 1:15-16)

To be short, St. Paul informs us in this place that in these days we have liberty to eat of all kinds of meat without exception. As for the health of the body, that is not here spoken of; but the matter here set forth is that men shall not set themselves up as masters, to make laws for us contrary to the Word of God. Seeing it is so, that God putteth no difference between meats, let us so use them; and never inquire what men like, or what they think good. Notwithstanding, we must use the benefits that God hath granted us, soberly and moderately. We must remember that God hath made meats for us, not that we should fill ourselves like swine, but that we should use them for the sustenance of life: therefore, let us content ourselves with this measure, which God hath shown us by His Word.

If we have not such a store of nourishment as we would wish, let us bear our poverty patiently, and practice the doctrine of St. Paul; and know as well how to bear poverty as riches. If our Lord gives us more than we could have wished for, yet must we bridle our appetites. On the other side, if it pleases Him to cut off our morsel, and feed us but poorly, we must be content with it, and pray Him to give us patience when we have not what our appetites crave. To be short, we must have recourse to what is said in Romans 13: “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Let us content ourselves to have what we need, and that which God knoweth to be proper for us; thus shall all things be clean to us, if we be thus cleansed.

Yet it is true that although we were ever so unclean, the meats which God hath made are good; but the matter we have to consider is the use of them. When St. Paul saith all things are clean., he meaneth not that they are so of themselves, but as relateth to those that receive them; as we have noticed before, where he saith to Timothy, all things are sanctified to us by faith and giving of thanks. God hath filled the world with such abundance that we may marvel to see what a fatherly care He hath over us: for to what end or purpose are all the riches here on earth, only to show how liberal He is toward man!

If we know not that He is our Father, and acteth the part of a nurse toward us, if we receive not at His hand that which He giveth us, insomuch that when we eat, we are convinced that it is God that nourishes us, He cannot be glorified as He deserves; neither can we eat one morsel of bread without committing sacrilege; for which we must give an account. That we may lawfully enjoy these benefits, which have been bestowed upon us, we must be resolved upon this point (as I said before), that it is God that nourishes and feedeth us.

This is the cleanness spoken of here by the apostle; when he saith, all things are clean, especially when we have such an uprightness in us that we despise not the benefits bestowed upon another, but crave our daily bread at the hand of God, being persuaded that we have no right to it, only to receive it as the mercy of God. (“The Word our Only Rule”)

Charles Spurgeon: God Justifies The Ungodly

Charles H. Spurgeon by Ron Adair

The salvation of God is for those who do not deserve it. Are you surprised? Think about it. No person needs justifying but he who has no justification of his own. If we had made ourselves righteous by our own will, we would not need justification from God. Charles H. Spurgeon explains:

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. . . . (Romans 4:5)

Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. It is a very surprising thing—a thing to be marvelled at most of all by those who enjoy it. I know that it is to me even to this day the greatest wonder that I ever heard of, that God should ever justify me. I feel myself to be a lump of unworthiness, a mass of corruption, and a heap of sin, apart from His almighty love. I know by a full assurance that I am justified by faith which is in Christ Jesus, and treated as if I had been perfectly just, and made an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ; and yet by nature I must take my place among the most sinful. I, who am altogether undeserving, am treated as if I had been deserving. I am loved with as much love as if I had always been godly, whereas a foretime I was ungodly. Who can help being astonished at this? Gratitude for such favour stands dressed in robes of wonder.

Now, while this is very surprising, I want you to notice how available it makes the gospel to you and to me. If God justifieth the ungodly, then, dear friend, He can justify you. Is not that the very kind of person that you are? If you are unconverted at this moment, it is a very proper description of you; you have lived without God, you have been the reverse of godly; in one word, you have been and are ungodly. Perhaps you have not even attended a place of worship on Sunday, but have lived in disregard of God’s day, and house, and Word—this proves you to have been ungodly. Sadder still, it may be you have even tried to doubt God’s existence, and have gone the length of saying that you did so. You have lived on this fair earth, which is full of the tokens of God’s presence, and all the while you have shut your eyes to the clear evidences of His power and Godhead. You have lived as if there were no God. Indeed, you would have been very pleased if you could have demonstrated to yourself to a certainty that there was no God whatever. Possibly you have lived a great many years in this way, so that you are now pretty well settled in your ways, and yet God is not in any of them. If you were labelled UNGODLY it would as well describe you as if the sea were to be labelled salt water. Would it not?

Possibly you are a person of another sort; you have regularly attended to all the outward forms of religion, and yet you have had no heart in them at all, but have been really ungodly. Though meeting with the people of God, you have never met with God for yourself; you have been in the choir, and yet have not praised the Lord with your heart. You have lived without any love to God in your heart, or regard to his commands in your life. Well, you are just the kind of man to whom this gospel is sent—this gospel which says that God justifieth the ungodly. It is very wonderful, but it is happily available for you. It just suits you. Does it not? How I wish that you would accept it! If you are a sensible man, you will see the remarkable grace of God in providing for such as you are, and you will say to yourself, “Justify the ungodly! Why then, should not I be justified, and justified at once?” (All of Grace)

Do Not Abide A Sinful Fear Of Men

Richard Baxter

All men are dependent upon God and have no power except that which He gives. Men can do nothing without God’s permission. If evil men come against you with God’s permission, then trust His promise that it shall work for your good. (Romans 8:28) Yet, this is a hard saying of the Scriptures. Richard Baxter helps us to understand:

Set God against man, and his wisdom against their deceit, and his love and mercy against their malice and cruelty, and his power against their impotency, and his truth, and omniscience, and righteousness against their slanders and lies, and his promises against their threatenings; and then if yet thou art inordinately afraid of man, thou must confess that in that measure thou believest not in God. If God be not wise enough, and good enough, and just enough, and powerful enough to save thee, so far as it is best for thee to he saved, then he is not God: away with atheism, and then fear not man.

Remember what man is that thou art afraid of. He is a bubble raised by Providence, to toss about the world, and for God to honor himself by or upon. He is the mere product of his Maker’s will: his breath is in his nostrils! He is hastening to his dust and in that day his worldly hopes and thoughts do perish with him. He is a worm that God can in one moment tread into the earth and hell. He is a dream, a shadow, a dry leaf or a little chaff, that is blown awhile about the world.(Job 13:25; Psalm. 1.5, 6; 68:2; 73:20; Job 20:8) He is just ready, in the height of his pride and fury, to drop into the grave; and that same man, or all those men, whom now thou fear, shall one of these days most certainly lie rotting in the dust, and he hid in darkness, lest their ugly sight and stink be an annoyance to the living. Where now are all the proud ones that made such a bustle in the world but awhile ago? In one age they look big, and boast of their power, and rebel, and usurp authority, and are mad to be great and rulers in the world, or persecute the ministers and people of the Lord; and in the next (or in the same) they are viler than the dirt; their carcasses are buried, or their bones scattered abroad, and made the horror and wonder of beholders. And is this a creature to he feared above God, or against God? See Isa. 51:7, “Hearken to me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.” Isa. 2:22 “Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils, for wherein is he to be accounted of?” Psalm 146:3, 4, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help: his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” When Herod was magnified as a god, he could not save himself from being devoured alive by worms. When Pharaoh was in his pride and glory, he could not save his people from frogs, and flies, and lice. Saith God to Sennacherib, “The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn,—and hath shaken her head at thee: whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed, and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice and lifted thine eyes on high?” Oh what a worm is man that you are so afraid of! (“Directions Against Sinful Fear”)

Grace Is Made For Sinners

Charles H. Spurgeon

Just as medicine is for the diseased; as pardon is to the guilty; as liberty is to the captive; so our Savior was crucified upon the cross because men are sinners and worthy of condemnation. Charles H. Spurgeon explains why this must be:

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. . . . (Romans 4:5)

You righteous men, whose righteousness is all of your own working, are either deceivers or deceived; for the Scripture cannot lie, and it saith plainly, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” In any case I have no gospel to preach to the self-righteous, no, not a word of it. Jesus Christ himself came not to call the righteous, and I am not going to do what He did not do. If I called you, you would not come, and, therefore, I will not call you, under that character. No, I bid you rather look at that righteousness of yours till you see what a delusion it is. It is not half so substantial as a cobweb. Have done with it! Flee from it! Oh believe that the only persons that can need justification are those who are not in themselves just! They need that something should be done for them to make them just before the judgement seat of God. Depend upon it, the Lord only does that which is needful. . . .

Now, look. If there be anywhere in the world a physician who has discovered sure and precious remedies, to whom is that physician sent? To those who are perfectly healthy? I think not. Put him down in a district where there are no sick persons, and he feels that he is not in his place. There is nothing for him to do. “The whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick.” Is it not equally clear that the great remedies of grace and redemption are for the sick in soul? They cannot be for the whole, for they cannot be of use to such. If you, dear friend, feel that you are spiritually sick, the Physician has come into the world for you. If you are altogether undone by reason of your sin, you are the very person aimed at in the plan of salvation. I say that the Lord of love had just such as you are in His eye when He arranged the system of grace. . . .

Do you think that you must be lost because you are a sinner? This is the reason why you can be saved. Because you own yourself to be a sinner I would encourage you to believe that grace is ordained for such as you are. . . .

It is truly so, that Jesus seeks and saves that which is lost. He died and made a real atonement for real sinners. When men are not playing with words, or calling themselves “miserable sinners,” out of mere compliment, I feel overjoyed to meet with them. I would be glad to talk all night to bona fide sinners. The inn of mercy never closes its doors upon such, neither weekdays nor Sunday. Our Lord Jesus did not die for imaginary sins, but His heart’s blood was spilt to wash out deep crimson stains, which nothing else can remove. (All of Grace)

God Justifies The Ungodly

Charles H. Spurgeon

If God can justify me; if he can justify the ungodly; then there is no doubt that you too can be justified! Thank God that it is all of grace! Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. . . . (Romans 4:5)

I call your attention to those words, “Him that justifieth the ungodly.” They seem to me to be very wonderful words.

Are you not surprised that there should be such an expression as that in the Bible, “That justifieth the ungodly?” I have heard that men that hate the doctrines of the cross bring it as a charge against God, that He saves wicked men and receives to Himself the vilest of the vile. See how this Scripture accepts the charge, and plainly states it! By the mouth of His servant Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, He takes to Himself the title of “Him that justifieth the ungodly.” He makes those just who are unjust, forgives those who deserve to be punished, and favours those who deserve no favour. You thought, did you not, that salvation was for the good? That God’s grace was for the pure and holy, who are free from sin? It has fallen into your mind that, if you were excellent, then God would reward you; and you have thought that because you are not worthy, therefore there could be no way of your enjoying His favour. You must be somewhat surprised to read a text like this: “Him that justifieth the ungodly.” I do not wonder that you are surprised; for with all my familiarity with the great grace of God, I never cease to wonder at it. It does sound surprising, does it not, that it should be possible for a holy God to justify an unholy man? We, according to the natural legality of our hearts, are always talking about our own goodness and our own worthiness, and we stubbornly hold to it that there must be somewhat in us in order to win the notice of God. Now, God, who sees through all deceptions, knows that there is no goodness whatever in us. He says that “there is none righteous, no not one.” He knows that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,” and, therefore the Lord Jesus did not come into the world to look after goodness and righteousness with him, and to bestow them upon persons who have none of them. He comes, not because we are just, but to make us so: he justifieth the ungodly.

When a counsellor comes into court, if he is an honest man, he desires to plead the case of an innocent person and justify him before the court from the things which are falsely laid to his charge. It should be the lawyer’s object to justify the innocent person, and he should not attempt to screen the guilty party. It lies not in man’s right nor in man’s power truly to justify the guilty. This is a miracle reserved for the Lord alone. God, the infinitely just Sovereign, knows that there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not, and therefore, in the infinite sovereignty of His divine nature and in the splendour of His ineffable love, He undertakes the task, not so much of justifying the just as of justifying the ungodly. God has devised ways and means of making the ungodly man to stand justly accepted before Him: He has set up a system by which with perfect justice He can treat the guilty as if he had been all his life free from offence, yea, can treat him as if he were wholly free from sin. He justifieth the ungodly. (“All Of Grace”)

Sola Gratia

Quoting Dr. K. Riddlebarger:

Simply stated, if the Scriptures are clear that men and women are sinful by nature and cannot do anything to save themselves or even prepare themselves to be saved, the Scriptures are equally clear that it is God who saves by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ alone. This means that it is God who acts first, upon the sinner, while the sinner is dead in sin. For as we have seen, the sinner is enslaved to the sinful nature and its passions, and will not come to God, as Paul declares. But the good news is that while sinners do not seek God, God seeks sinners. And this is what we mean by the phrase, grace alone.

Is It Possible To Hear God’s Voice?

Many people, no matter their religious background, say they want to hear from God when they have difficult decisions to make. Whether they use god as a “rabbit’s foot” or “wishing well” they sometimes want to manipulate circumstances through their “buddy,” god. This is why they find the God of Christianity so unacceptable. The Christian God is omnipotent and will not be manipulated. There are “cultural” Christians, however, who call on God without really knowing Him. They have never truly tried to understand God by reading what He says about Himself in the Bible.

What do you think the voice of God would sound like if He were speaking to you today? I have never heard the audible voice of God, so I do sometimes wonder if God is leading me in this or that direction or if I’m missing His guidance altogether.

The Bible gives us many examples of the ways in which God has spoken to His people. God has spoken through a donkey. God spoke through His prophets. His angels have spoken to various persons for Him. He has spoken through His Holy Spirit. He speaks to all of us through His Word. Is God speaking to you?

There is no three step formula to hearing from God. We must, however, diligently read the Scriptures and pray. God’s written word is our most certain teacher.

If God were speaking to you today, would you be ready to obey His call? What would be your response? Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Is this relationship your greatest treasure? If so, God will give you the guidance you need. Be patient.

Know this above all, however: Jesus Christ was born into this world and lived a perfect life in order to die and pay the price for our sins. He has risen from the dead in order that He may be the first born of many who will share eternal life in the kingdom of God. This relationship is the “pearl of great price.”

Yet, there are still many who have heard God’s word, but are not ready or willing to fully obey. They, somehow, believe that life won’t be as much fun if they do what God asks. The source of this lie is Satan who hates and fears your obedience to God. To refuse to obey God is to obey Satan and fall into sin. Many have been deceived by following the voice of Satan instead of discerning the word and voice of God.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

The Christian Who Sins, Must Be Reproved

Martin Luther

4:1 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4)

From the desk of Martin Luther:

The Gentiles, who know not God, give themselves up to all manner of uncleanness, or disgraceful vices, as Paul records in Romans 1, 29-31. Not that all gentiles are guilty in that respect. Paul is not saying what all heathen do; he merely states that with the gentiles such conduct is apparent, and quite to be expected from people “who know not God.” Under such conditions, one allows the sin to pass unreproved, as does Paul himself. Notwithstanding he censures them who consent to sin of this character when knowing better, and who do not restrain the evil-doers. Rom 1, 32. But in the case of Christians, when any fall into such sin they are to be reproved and the sin resisted; the offense must not be allowed to pass as with the gentiles. In the case of the latter the lust of concupiscence holds sway; no restraints are exercised and the reins are given to lust, so that its nature and passion are given free expression, just as if this were a provision of nature, when the fact is it is a pest to be healed, a blemish to be removed. But there is none to heal and deliver, so the gentiles decay and go to ruin through evil lust. “Lust of concupiscence’ would be, with us, “evil lust.”

%d bloggers like this: