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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 Story of the Cross

Do you know a lot about Christ? Do you know who He was, and where He was born, and what He did? You say that you know about His miracles, His teachings, and prophecies and how He lived and died, but unless you know the cross of Christ by experience – unless you know the blood shed on the cross has washed away your sins – unless you confess that your salvation depends entirely on the work of Christ upon the cross, you will die in your sins. Bishop J. C. Ryle shares a warning:

“Far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

This is the subject he [Paul] loved to preach about. He was a man who went to and fro on the earth, proclaiming to sinners that the Son of God had shed His own heart’s blood to save their souls. He walked up and down the world telling people that Jesus Christ had loved them, and died for their sins upon the cross. Mark how he says to the Corinthians, “I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins.” (1 Cor. 15:3.) “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2.) He, a blaspheming, persecuting Pharisee, had been washed in Christ’s blood. He could not hold his peace about it. He was never weary of telling the story of the cross.

This is the subject he loved to dwell upon when he wrote to believers. It is wonderful to observe how full his epistles generally are of the sufferings and death of Christ—how they run over with “thoughts that breathe and words that burn,” about Christ’s dying love and power. His heart seems full of the subject. He enlarges on it constantly—he returns to it continually. It is the golden thread that runs through all his doctrinal teaching and practical exhortations. He seems to think that the most advanced Christian can never hear too much about the cross. . . .

This is what he lived upon all his life, from the time of his conversion. He tells the Galatians, “The life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galat. 2:20.) What made him so strong to labor? What made him so willing to work? What made him so unwearied in endeavoring to save some? What made him so persevering and patient? I will tell you the secret of it all. He was always feeding by faith on Christ’s body and Christ’s blood. Jesus crucified was the food and drink of his soul.

And we may rest assured that Paul was right. Depend upon it, the cross of Christ—the death of Christ on the cross to make atonement for sinners—is the center truth in the whole Bible. This is the truth we begin with when we open Genesis. The seed of the woman bruising the serpent’s head is nothing else but a prophecy of Christ crucified. This is the truth that shines out, though veiled, all through the Law of Moses, and the history of the Jews. The daily sacrifice, the Passover lamb, the continual shedding of blood in the tabernacle and temple, all these were emblems of Christ crucified. This is the truth that we see honored in the vision of heaven before we close the book of Revelation. “In the midst of the throne and of the four beasts,” we are told, “and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain.” (Rev. 5:6.) Even in the midst of heavenly glory we get a view of Christ crucified. . . .

Let every reader of this paper mark what I say. You may know a good deal about the Bible. You may know the outlines of the histories it contains, and the dates of the events described, just as a man knows the history of England. You may know the names of the men and women mentioned in it, just as a man knows Caesar, Alexander the Great, or Napoleon. You may know the several precepts of the Bible, and admire them, just as a man admires Plato, Aristotle, or Seneca. But if you have not yet found out that Christ crucified is the foundation of the whole volume, you have read your Bible hitherto to very little profit. Your religion is a heaven without a sun, an arch without a key-stone, a compass without a needle, a clock without spring or weights, and a lamp without oil. It will not comfort you. It will not deliver your soul from hell. (“The Cross of Christ”)

Summary Of The Gospel

Huldrych Zwingli

Quoting Huldrych  Zwingli:

The summary of the gospel is that our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, has revealed the will of His heavenly Father to us, and with His innocence has redeemed us from death, and has reconciled us with God. Therefore, Christ is the only way to salvation for all those who have been, are, and will be.

For My Portion Give Me Christ

Thomas Adams

From the pen of Thomas Adams:

‘Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.’ (Heb. 13:8)

By the name of Jehovah was God known to Israel, from the time of the first mission of Moses to them, and their manumission out of Egypt, and not before. For, saith God to Moses, ‘I appeared unto Abraham, and to Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty; but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them,’ Exodus. 6:3. This I AM is an eternal word, comprehending three times: ‘that was, that is, and is to come.’

Now, to testify the equality of the Son to the Father, the Scripture gives the same eternity to Jesus that it doth to Jehovah. He is called Alpha and Omega, ‘the First and the Last: which is, which was, and which is to come,’ Rev. 1 and here, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.’ Therefore he was, not only Christus Dei, the anointed of God, but Christus Deus,’ God himself anointed; seeing that eternity, which hath neither beginning nor ending, is only exclusive and proper to God.

The words may be distinguished into a centre, a circumference, and a mediate line, referring the one to the other. The immovable centre is Jesus Christ. The circumference, which runs round about him here, is eternity: ‘Yesterday, to-day, and for ever.’ The mediate line referring them is the same: ‘Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.’

The centre is Jesus Christ. Jesus was his proper name, Christ his appellative. Jesus a name of his nature, Christ of his office and dignity; as divines speak.

Jesus, a name of all sweetness, (Bernard: Honey in the mouth, music in the ear, joy in the heart.) a Reconciler, a Redeemer, a Savior. When the conscience wrestles with law, sin, and death, there is nothing but horror and despair without Jesus. He is ‘the way, the truth, and the life;’ without him, error, deception, and death. Saith Bernard: “If thou write to me, thy letter doth not please me, unless I read there Jesus. If thou converse, thy discourse is not sweet, without the name of Jesus. The blessed restorer of all, of more than all that Adam lost; for we have gotten more by his regenerating grace than we lost by Adam’s degenerating sin.

Christ is the name of his office; being appointed and anointed of God a king, a priest, a prophet.

This Jesus Christ is our Savior: of whose names I forbear further discourse, being unable, though I had the tongue of angels, to speak aught worthy. All that can be said is but a little; but I must say but a little in all. But of all names given to our Redeemer, still Jesus is the sweetest. Other, saith Bernard, are names of majesty; Jesus is a name of mercy. The Word of God, the Son of God, the Christ of God, are titles of glory; Jesus, a Savior, is a title of grace, mercy, and redemption. This Jesus Christ is the centre of this text; and not only of this, but of the whole Scripture. The sum of divinity is the Scripture; the sum of the Scripture is the gospel; the sum of the gospel is Jesus Christ. There is nothing contained in the word of God, but God the word.

Nor is he the centre only of his word, but of our rest and peace. ‘I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified,’ 1 Cor. 2:2. Thou hast made us for thee, O Christ; and our heart is unquiet till it rest in thee. It is natural to everything, to desire the centre. But ‘our life is hid with Christ in God,’ Col. 3:3. We must needs love, where we must live. Our mind is where our pleasure is, our heart is where our treasure is, our love is where our life is; but all these, our pleasure, treasure, life, are reposed in Jesus Christ. Thou art my portion, O Lord,’ saith David. Take the world that pleases, let our portion be in Christ.

Spurgeon On The Life Of Faith

Charles H. Spurgeon

From Spurgeon’s Morning Devotions:

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7 ESV)

The life of faith is represented as receiving- an act which implies the very opposite of anything like merit. It is simply the acceptance of a gift. As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night accepts light from the stars, so we, giving nothing, partake freely of the grace of God. The saints are not, by nature, wells, or streams, they are but cisterns into which the living water flows; they are empty vessels into which God pours His salvation. The idea of receiving implies a sense of realization, making the matter a reality. One cannot very well receive a shadow; we receive that which is substantial: so is it in the life of faith, Christ becomes real to us. While we are without faith, Jesus is a mere name to us-a person who lived a long while ago, so long ago that His life is only a history to us now! By an act of faith Jesus becomes a real person in the consciousness of our heart. But receiving also means grasping or getting possession of. The thing which I receive becomes my own: I appropriate to myself that which is given. When I receive Jesus, He becomes my Savior, so mine that neither life nor death shall be able to rob me of Him. All this is to receive Christ-to take Him as God’s free gift; to realize Him in my heart, and to appropriate Him as mine. Salvation may be described as the blind receiving sight, the deaf receiving hearing, the dead receiving life; but we have not only received these blessings, we have received CHRIST JESUS Himself. It is true that He gave us life from the dead. He gave us pardon of sin; He gave us imputed righteousness. These are all precious things, but we are not content with them; we have received Christ Himself. The Son of God has been poured into us, and we have received Him, and appropriated Him. What a heartful Jesus must be, for heaven itself cannot contain Him!

God Sent Forth His Son

Quoting Billy Bryant:

But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, ‘To redeem them that were under the law.”(Galatians 4:4-5)

These words, written to the church of Galatia by the Apostle Paul, tell us that a promise of God had been fulfilled. Way back in the beginning of creation, when the fall of man had just taken place, God appeared on the scene and said that the seed of the woman would bruise the serpent s head (see Gen. 3:15). That was the promise that Jesus Christ would one day come into the world and would defeat the old serpent – -the devil – – and win victory over sin and Satan for the human family.

1. GOD SENT FORTH HIS SON

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The words “only begotten” mean the only one of His kind. Jesus Christ had no earthly father. He was always the Son of God and God the Son, and His coming into the world was only His incarnation, or His taking on a body.

2. MADE OF A WOMAN

It was the seed of the woman that was to bruise the serpent’s head (see Gen. 3:15). When the angel, Gabriel, came to the virgin Mary and announced to her that she would be with child, he told her that the power of God would overshadow her, that she would conceive and bear a son, and that He would be called the “Son of the Highest” (see Luke 1:32). With the birth of Christ, God became man in order that man might be brought back to God.

3. TO REDEEM

The purpose of God sending forth His Son, begotten by the Holy Ghost and born of the blessed virgin Mary, was to redeem the world. Jesus became our kinsman-redeemer by becoming man and remaining God. Praise God, in the fullness of time, He came and accomplished our redemption. “In whom we have redemption through His blood” (Col. 1:14). In the fullness of time, He will also come again to take His redeemed to heaven. Are you ready?

To read more by this author – click here. . . .

Our Scapegoat

Charles H. Spurgeon

As a sinner, my only hope for heaven lies in the full atonement made upon Calvary’s cross for the ungodly. I totally rely on this. There is no hope for me anywhere else. We are all in the same condition. We must all stand together at the foot of the cross, and trust our souls to the One who died for the guilty. Charles H. Spurgeon writes the following:

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 has borne the death penalty on our behalf. Behold the wonder! There He hangs upon the cross! This is the greatest sight you will ever see. Son of God and Son of Man, there He hangs, bearing pains unutterable, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. Oh, the glory of that sight! The innocent punished! The Holy One condemned! The Ever-blessed made a curse! The infinitely glorious put to a shameful death! The more I look at the sufferings of the Son of God, the more sure I am that they must meet my case. Why did He suffer, if not to turn aside the penalty from us? If, then, He turned it aside by His death, it is turned aside, and those who believe in Him need not fear it. It must be so, that since expiation is made, God is able to forgive without shaking the basis of His throne, or in the least degree blotting the statute book. Conscience gets a full answer to her tremendous question. The wrath of God against iniquity, whatever that may be, must be beyond all conception terrible. Well did Moses say, “Who knoweth the power of thine anger?” Yet when we hear the Lord of glory cry, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” and see Him yielding up the ghost, we feel that the justice of God has received abundant vindication by obedience so perfect and death so terrible, rendered by so divine a person. If God himself bows before His own law, what more can be done? There is more in the atonement by way of merit, than there is in all human sin by way of demerit.

The great gulf of Jesus’ loving self-sacrifice can swallow up the mountains of our sins, all of them. For the sake of the infinite good of this one representative man, the Lord may well look with favor upon other men, however unworthy they may be in and of themselves. It was a miracle of miracles that the Lord Jesus Christ should stand in our stead and

Bear that we might never bear                                                                His Father’s righteous ire.

But he has done so. “It is finished.” God will spare the sinner because He did not spare His Son. God can pass by your transgressions because He laid those transgressions upon His only begotten Son nearly two thousand years ago. If you believe in Jesus (that is the point), then your sins were carried away by Him who was the scapegoat for His people. (“All of Grace”)

Benjamin Rush On Teaching Children

Benjamin Rush

Quoting Benjamin Rush – Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution:

“I know there is an objection among many people to teaching children doctrines of any kind, because they are liable to be controverted. But let us not be wiser than our Maker.

If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into all the world would have been unnecessary. The perfect morality of the gospel rests upon the doctrine which, though often controverted has never been refuted: I mean the vicarious life and death of the Son of God.” (Essays, Literary, Moral, and Philosophical, published in 1798)

Donald Whitney On The Hunger For Holiness

Quoting Donald Whitney:

Wherever the Holy Spirit dwells, His presence creates a hunger for holiness. His office is to magnify Christ, and it is He who gives the believer a desire to be like Christ. The natural man has no such passion. But in the Christian, the Spirit of God begins to carry out the will of God to make the child of God like the Son of God (Romans 8:29). And He who began this good work in the life of the believer “will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 1991, p. 237)

Pursuing The Heart Of Christianity

What should we consider to be the heart of Christianity? What does the Reformed faith teach us about this question? To be Christian is to be God-obsessed; that is, a delight in God-centeredness is a primary attribute of the Christian man or woman. There is that awareness in one’s life that God is satisfied with you because you find that all you need is most satisfied in Him. God is at the center of Christianity and the Christian life. He is the satisfaction that is missing from so many lives.

The Reformed Christian faith is a God-centered faith. Our beliefs are governed by this premise. For example: Our great salvation is seen in the light of the glory that it brings to God. Would you truly want to go to heaven if God was not there? Of course not! Heaven would not be heaven without the presence of God! Sin is sin because it is rebellion against the glory of God.

You probably have never wondered what the most used word in the book of Romans is. If you were asked to guess, what would you say? Would you guess that it was “Love”, “Predestination”, “Salvation”, or “Grace”? Most of us would probably answer wrongly, but according to Leon Morris the most used word is “God”!

If you truly understand the doctrines of Christianity, you will live in awareness of the glory of God and this awareness will be a great joy to you. This will result in a life directed toward holiness. You will not only want God’s glory, you will seek His fellowship and presence. The Spirit of God will also give you a burning desire to pursue the moral character of God in your own life.

Christians attend church with many issues of their own to work out. Some ask, “Is there a good single’s program?” Others want to know – “Will the music be modern and upbeat?” There are many such questions that may be asked. However, the most important questions to ask yourself about the church you choose to attend are: “Will I grow to know God better in this place?” and, “Do I see God glorified here?”

God, himself, must be our greatest concern. We carry out The Great Commission to obey God, glorify God, and to tell the story of the coming of God’s Kingdom. Evangelism, community outreach, Bible study, small groups, preaching, and music must all be God-centered to lead us to greater communion with God. Otherwise, we have no right to expect the blessing of the Holy Spirit upon our endeavors.

Therefore, God is the Heart of Christianity. In our modern world, we often believe that everything should be about me, for me, and make me look good. The great protestant reformers throughout history knew that Christianity does not abide this attitude. John the Baptist illustrates this when he speaks of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Paul explains it thus: “For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:19-20) To “live by faith in the Son of God” is God-centered theology. Such a happy state is truly the heart of Christianity.

The Blessing Of Adoption

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. . . . (Ephesians 1:3-5)

These verses tell us that “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons”. Now, most of us understand what “adoption” is, however, there is a spiritual truth here that is amazing. This great truth is that we have been purchased from the slave market of sin and adopted into the family of God. We are sons, daughters, and the children of God!

Ask yourself “Who is the natural Son of God?” Our Lord Jesus Christ was by nature the Son of the Father. We are the adopted sons and daughters. We are not like God. Our nature makes us unnatural to God. The miracle of grace, however, is that through the regeneration of the new birth we are made the natural sons of God! Praise God that we should be called the natural sons and daughters of God! The work of the Holy Spirit is entering the heart of a sinner and bringing a new kind of life (transformation) through rebirth; not of a natural man by a natural man. It is God that ordains that we become true brothers and sisters to Christ.

You and I are not just saved, but the Bible says that we’ve become fellow heirs with Christ. Read Romans 8: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14-17) We are in Christ – we are rooted and grounded, and cannot be moved. We are in the hands of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, neither the wiles of the devil nor the plans of men can separate us from the love of God and the blessings of our inheritance within the family of God.

Joint Heirs With Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. . . . (Ephesians 1:3-5)

It is totally amazing to me that there is this change that is brought about in us by the Holy Spirit that allows God to see us the same as Jesus Christ. In the verse above and the verse below, Paul first teaches and then illustrates what this means:

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:1-7)

Therefore, we are now held firmly in the hands of Christ the Son, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit from Whom no one is able to snatch us away. Now we are sons and daughters of God; we are adopted into the household of Christ. We are children of God! We are joint heirs with Christ! We are heirs of all that Christ has in God! If we are Christians, our position is secure! It’s sure! We are rooted and grounded in Christ.

Knowing this should in and of itself change the way we live. God is now our Father in the same way that Jesus spoke of Him as “Abba” Father. It is a word that is used as if a child were speaking to his earthly father. Our hearts go out to our own sons and daughters when they speak to us in this way. Yet, we too may now address God in this way. It should bring us great joy that God will hear us as His own dear children.

His Chastisements Are Precious!

Quoting John Fawcett:

Afflictions serve most effectually to convince us of the vanity of all that this world can afford, to remind us that this is not our rest and to stir up desires and hopes for our everlasting home. They produce in us a spirit of sympathy towards our companions in tribulation. They give occasion for the exercise of patience, meekness, submission, and resignation. Were it not for the wholesome and necessary discipline of affliction, these excellent virtues would lie dormant. Afflictions serve to convince us more deeply of our own weakness and insufficiency, and to endear the person, the grace, the promises, and the salvation of our Redeemer, more and more to our hearts. Thus we are taught to esteem His very chastisements as precious on account of the benefits we derive from them. (Christ Precious)

Westminster Confession of Faith: Chapter II – OF GOD, AND OF THE HOLY TRINITY

Westminster Assembly

In 1643, the English “Long Parliament” convened an Assembly of Divines at Westminster Abbey in London. Their task was to advise Parliament on how to bring the Church of England into greater conformity with the Church of Scotland and the Continental Reformed churches. The Westminster Assembly produced documents on doctrine, church government, and worship that have largely defined Presbyterianism down to this day. These documents included a Confession of Faith (1646), a Larger Catechism (1647), and a Shorter Catechism (1647), often collectively called “the Westminster standards”:

CHAPTER II

1. There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal, most just, and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.

2. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever himself pleaseth. In his sight all things are open and manifest, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent, or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands. To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience he is pleased to require of them.

3. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: the Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.

The Greatest Physician

Portrait of Dr Robert Hawker, the most famous ...

Robert Hawker

Robert Hawker reminds us to whom we need to turn for healing:

“The beloved physician.” (Col. 4:14)

My soul, catch a thought of what the apostle speaks here about the servants of the Master. And think of the Master! If Luke the physician was beloved, how much more so ought Jesus to be by you in this beautiful picture. The Son of God came, as the great physician of the soul, to heal all who were diseased, to bind up the broken hearted, to give sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are bruised, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

My soul, do you know Jesus in this tender and affectionate office? Has he examined you in your illness, and told you his diagnosis? And are you, through his mercy, restored to health? Because of your shame and fear, you would never have made known your case to him, if he had not first, of his own free accord, called upon you. Has he done so? Have you heard him ask the tender question, “Will you be made whole?” And have you rejoiced to come under his care? Do you know what it is to have his blood applied to heal the wounds of sin, his righteousness to cover them, his grace to refresh under them, and his Name as ointment poured forth, to purify you from all uncleanness?

Moreover, has Jesus dispensed to you freely his remedies, without payment, without money, and without price? And does he do all this, and a thousand affectionate offices beside, which belong to the physician, calling himself by that endearing name, Jehovah Rapha, I am the Lord who heals you? No longer let it be said, then, “Is there no balm in Gilead; no physician there?” But tell to every poor sin-sick soul, Jesus is the beloved physician, who visits the poor and the needy, and heals every kind of sickness, and all types of disease among the people, he has healed me. (From: “The Poor Man’s Portions” by Robert Hawker)

Was Jesus Just A Great Moral Teacher?

C. S. Lewis

Quoting British author C.S. Lewis (1898-1963):

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

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