Articles by Marvin Stalnaker

for the Year 2003


Associated Scripture

1 Sam. 3: 9
Rev. 22:17
"…be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves"
Mt. 10:16
Isa. 41:10

1 Sam. 3:9

According to Eli, this was to be the answer of young Samuel if he heard the Lord call again in the night …"speak Lord; for thy servant heareth." This was Samuel's response and it is the response and longing of every regenerate heart made sensitive to God by His grace. Doesn't the believer truly desire and cherish the voice of his great Shepherd (John 10:4-5)? Doesn't the Holy Spirit's revelation of Christ, in all the scriptures, to the believer create a burning gratitude and appreciation to God for His marvelous grace and mercy (Luke 24:32)? Isn't there, to the believer, a continual desire that fellowship and communion with Him be unbroken (Psalm 28:1)? The realization that God, in the power of His Holy Spirit, through the blessed scriptures would graciously speak peace and comfort to an undeserving sinner for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ is a glowing ember of joy to the redeemed saint. Truly, He speaks and those that are of the truth hear His voice (John 18:37).



"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely" ( Rev. 22:17)

Those that love and preach the message of God's sovereign saving grace in Christ alone are often accused of not believing "whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely". I say, how can anyone whom God has taught by His Holy Spirit believe anything other than this? It is clearly taught in scripture! The unregenerate falsely say that because we accept the truth of God's electing grace, we preach a message that excludes some men from coming to Christ even if they want to. The problem is not the call to come, but man's willingness and ability to come. When the Lord Jesus cried in the last day, that great day of the feast (Jn. 7: 37), "if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink," why did men refuse to come to Him to drink of the water of life? I will tell you why: they did not want to come! Men by nature are just not willing to come to Christ as He is revealed in scripture! (Jn. 5: 39-40).

Now hear the sweet message of God's grace to an undeserving people: "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." (Ps. 110: 3) Those whom the Holy Ghost effectually calls willingly come to Him as spiritual beggars in need of a Savior! They come because they now see the hopelessness of salvation without Christ the Mediator between God and themselves. They have been given a new heart to come to Christ for mercy. They willingly come to Christ as their Surety, their Representative, and their Substitute before God.

I leave you with these questions. Do you want to come? If you do, believe me, it is not because you decided to exercise your free will, because your natural will is the slave of sin! Will you be saved by His grace alone? If you will, it is because you have seen your works of self-righteousness to be unacceptable before God because of sin. Do you know by faith that the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus can robe you for justification before God's law and is the only covering of eternal hope? Will you come to Christ as the One who was made a curse for you at Calvary? If you will, COME! If you have no desire to come to Christ like this and you perish in your sins, it is your own fault. But, if you willingly come, it is because you see by faith your need of Christ for life by His shed blood, because God has shown mercy by giving you a new heart to come, and has been pleased to not leave you to yourself.


"…be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves"
Mt. 10:16

This commandment of our Lord is truly one of which we realize our need of great grace. How to wisely know when to hold our tongue about Him and when to speak concerning Him must be taught us from above. Truly, who is sufficient for these things? We need to cry to our Lord constantly for wisdom that He would keep us from laziness, silence, and cowardice when we would foolishly avoid speaking to others concerning His honor, glory, and majesty. He too must keep us from self-righteous zeal, which is without knowledge when we do speak concerning Him. On one hand, we may throw away great opportunities for usefulness by being silent. On the other hand, we may create needless offence and commit great blunders, which might have been avoided by a little prudence and good judgment. There will be offence enough because of the message we preach and believe. Let us pray for wisdom not to increase that offence needlessly by our lack of common sense. Eph. 5:15 "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise".



Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
(Isa. 41:10)

How graciously and tenderly the Lord speaks to His people. Knowing that they shall encounter many fears in this life, He quiets those fears with these words of comfort.

I am with thee: Be not dismayed. Here is the solid foundation of our confidence …His presence. He does not leave us to ourselves to face the trials of this world, the temptations of Satan, and the weakness of our flesh. "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." (Lev. 26:12)

For I am thy God. The covenant God through Christ Jesus, whose word, love, and power can be depended upon.

I will strengthen thee. The psalmist writes, "For He knoweth our frame; and remembereth that we are dust." (Ps. 103:14). As weak and frail creatures, how needful that we be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man. (Eph. 3:16)

Yea, I will help thee. Knowing that His faithfulness is sure, we have confidence in His promise, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Heb. 13:5-6). In all our afflictions and temptations, we have His word that He shall support His elect.

Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. The believer is convinced that if God would leave him to his own ability and will, he would surely fall. How comforting to realize that we are those Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Pet. 1:5). The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deut. 33:27). What more do we need? We are upheld by Christ the Righteous, who is our Advocate with the Father and the Propitiation for our sins.