Posts from the ‘God’s love’ Category

God’s Voice Resonates in All of Creation

If a Rose could audibly speak, what would it say to you?

God’s voice resonates in all of creation. From the water Lilley of the reflecting pond,

to the soaring eagle of mountain peaks.

If we choose to,  we can see and hear His message, 
“there is beauty in all I have created to express my love for you, whom I have created in my image.”

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;”

“Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
And the fish of the sea will explain to you.”

“Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,”
(Job 12: 7,8,9, The Bible)

Christian and World Renowned Oxford Professor of Mathematics Dr. John Lennox

“John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is also an adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and at the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics and is a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum. In addition, he teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme at the Executive Education Centre, Said Business School, Oxford University.”

The atheist, Richard Dawkins was quoted in the news as having said,”Religion is for people who are afraid of the dark.”

Dr. Lennox was asked if he would care to respond to Dawkin’s comment.

Dr. Lennox replied,”Atheism is for people who are afraid of the light.”

http://johnlennox.org/about/

Sometimes God intervenes in the events of life and delights the soul when we least expect it.

Dr. Lennox recounts one of his great personal stories to Harvard students during a question and answer time.

Discovering that God is Love While in a Nazi Concentration Camp – Viktor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning”

Deutsch: Viktor Frankl

Deutsch: Viktor Frankl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vitor Frankl was a psychologist who was trained in Vienna.  and was imprisoned in Auschwitz, and other Nazi Germany death camps, as well as his wife and family.

Even though the Nazi prison camp meant facing death, and surrounded by constant threat and hatred, Victor Frankl found the meaning of life there.

From  “Man’s Search for Meaning”- Experiences in a Concentration Camp”

“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words,

“The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.”

Viktor Frankl

1 John 4:10

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

2012 in Review for Christ Centered Teaching – Sharing Christ’s Good News With The World

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 16 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Share God’s Gift With Others – His Grace

ChristBetweenTwoThieves

Grace is its own reason for doing good to those deserving the opposite.

We did not and cannot earn favor with Holy God.

God’s very nature, which is love and righteousness, satisfied our sin natured disconnect with Him by personally bridging the gap between us.

The only reason for this given in the Bible is ,”God so loved the world.” (John 3:16)

The sacrifice of God’s Son on the cross 2,000 years ago for the sin debt of all mankind was purely motivated by a God whose nature is love.

God’s righteousness stood in stark contrast and condemnation to the imperfection of mankind.

The love of God satisfied what was lacking for each of us to know God by the gracious gift of Christ’s imputed righteous nature in all who believe in Christ as Savior.

This year, in a world that is growing increasingly dark, let God’s Gift of love through Christ shine in you and through you in the same way God’s love came to us,.. even though we were undeserving and in desperate need, He came to save us.

 “Freely you have received, freely give.” ~Jesus Christ~ (Matthew 10:8)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

(Ephesians 2:8,9)

God Bless, and Happy New Year

Christ Centered Teaching and God Came Down

The First Christmas Gift – God Came Down To Us

 

Immanuel

 

The First Christmas Gift – God Came Down To Us

Click on this link above to watch an amazing Christmas pageant by Kensington Church in Troy Michigan.

The humorous intro includes NFL ,(American), Pro Football Detroit Lions players Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.

Following that is ,”The Christmas Song”, an original Jazz/Rock piece by the Kensington praise musicians that about blew me away.

Most or all of this stage performance was recorded live, so the video includes a 1 minute intercession after the initial song.

What follows is an amazing  theatrical story that illustrates how when God came to be with us , He brought life and light into our dark and dead world.

The Bible says that we didn’t understand who Christ,why He came, or what He was doing.

When the story begins, everything is in shades of black, white , and gray.

Interestingly, the color red is used, the color of blood, to symbolize how Christ gave His life in order to give us life.

Then everything bursts into vibrant color to symbolize new life through Christ.

The video is 86 minutes long but can be started or stopped at any point.

If you wonder what Christmas is all about, or if you feel like you have lost the joy for Christmas, this video will help you find your joy.

The pageant is filled with amazing original music and a simple yet profound message.

I recommend watching this regardless of your condition in life.

Whether alone or with family,..

this message is meant for each one of us no matter where we are in life.

God came down to us!

The first Christmas gift was to us!

The Rescue – What A Heroine’s Quest Tells Us About Jesus Christ

Susana Trimarco Hero

(Photo: Victor R. Caivano)

http://news.yahoo.com/argentine-mom-rescues-hundreds-sex-slaves-221110530.html

The Gospel story begins with the fall of mankind into sin and death and being cast from God’s presence, and God personally coming down to us to rescue us.

The whole idea of God becoming a man in order ,”to seek and to save that which was lost,” has long been a main sticking point for many.

But the story of a parent of a child who was,”lost”, into the sex trade in Argentina gives validation to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The love this parent shows is not unlike the love that God our father has for all of us.

Her name is Susana Trimarco.

Her daughter was taken from her.

She so loved her daughter, Marita, that she would do anything to rescue her. She disguised herself as one of them and went where they are. She rescued many, sadly her daughter is not among the hundreds she has rescued. She has started a campaign that has changed the face of Argentina and sex trafficking in the world, an army of people rising up to set the captives free.

Today, thousands have been set free.Still her daughter is not among them.

In her quest to find her daughter I am reminded of a loving God who became one of us in order to save us.

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” —which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

Sex trafficking is a worldwide problem.

(It is likely that there is no country on Earth that has felt impact this crime.)

So it is with our relationship to God. We are all born lost. We are all in need of saving.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but everlasting life.” John 3:16

Madam, I pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ his Son, that your love is rewarded by the rescue of your daughter who you so love,…in Jesus name. Amen

–UPDATES AND RELATED STORIES —

SexTrafficking

http://humantraffickingawareness.com/faqs-mainmenu-34.html    “80% of the victims are women and 50% are children.”

 

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 12 2012 (IPS) – The courtroom broke out in angry shouts and cries when judges in Argentina unexpectedly acquitted 13 defendants accused of kidnapping a young woman and forcing her into prostitution in 2002.
The high-profile trial for the kidnapping of María de los Ángeles “Marita” Verón, who is still missing, ended late Tuesday after a four-hour delay by the three-judge panel in the courtroom in the northwest province of Tucumán.
The judges said there was no evidence that the seven men and six women kidnapped Verón.
Susana Trimarco, Verón’s mother, said she would try to get the three judges impeached, and accused them of receiving bribes. “We aren’t going to stop until these crooks are dismissed from their posts,” she said after the verdict was read out.
Trimarco later told a local TV station about a conversation she had after the trial with President Cristina Fernández, who gave her a human rights award on Sunday Nov. 9. “Cristina was shouting; she couldn’t believe it,” the activist said.
Also, here in the Land of the Free this week:
“Colorado’s attorney general said Tuesday that child sex trafficking has become a serious problem throughout the state.”
“WECT has learned that North Carolina is 8th in the country for sex trafficking, and Wilmington is also high on that list.”
“The scenario is all too common, Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Shea Rhodes told the City Council on Tuesday in describing how “modern-day slavery” ensnares women and children into forced labor and commercial sex.”
Forbes magazine:
“The sex-trafficking of U.S. children is America’s dirty, little secret.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is the second fastest growing criminal industry — just behind drug trafficking.Approximately half of all victims are children.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center estimates it’s a $32 billion industry, with about 50% of this revenue coming from industrialized countries. This surpasses the sale of illegal arms.”
Check out this report by Shared Hope International showing the worst U.S,Cities for Child Sex Trafficking,…You may be surprised.
Here is an excerpt:

1. Dallas,TX

2. San Antonio, TX

3. Fort Worth, TX

4. Salt Lake City, UT

5. Buffalo,NY

6. Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA

7. Independence,MO

8. Las Vegas, NV

9. Clearwater,FL

10. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (U.S. Territory)

Watch “WHO IS THIS MAN?” – Set To “The Passion of The Christ”

Closing the Theological Loop of the Faith and Works Debate.

The Death of Jesus

The Death of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cruising the blogosphere or Twitter can be very revealing.

It seems you can always find a comment or article by someone expressing concern for an apparent lack of focus on works and holiness on the part of Christians. They almost always quote James 2:17.

 “Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.”(James 2:17)

And then you have another group who only wants to quote about love.

  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”(1 Corinthians 13:3) 

Both are true. The Answer is in closing the theological loop of the Faith and Works Debate.

Faith without Works is dead.

Works without Love is Nothing.

The only question is; “How do we find this LOVE we need so our works will amount to something instead of nothing?”

This is how,…

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. He is God in flesh and He came here just to save us and make us His own.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and His cross. Jesus was born to die there. He took our sins on Himself. He was perfect and Holy. Christ alone was worthy to pay our debt.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and His resurrection from the dead. He conquered death so He alone could give life to all who come to Him in faith, believing Christ died for them and accepting Him as Lord and Savior.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

“We love because he first loved us.”(1 John  4:19)

Come to Jesus and Obtain the Fullness of Love and of Grace

image

“The best way to come to Christ is to come meaning to get everything, and to obtain all the plenitude of grace, which he has laid up in store, and promised freely to give. Some poor souls who come to Jesus Christ seem as if they wanted a little relief from fear, a hope that they may just get saved, and a fair chance of going to heaven when they die. Pray do not come in that way, my dear friend. Come intending to obtain the fullness of love, the uttermost of grace.” C.H.Spurgeon

Ephesians 1:13,14 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

“Counterfeit Gods”- Video Summary of Tim Keller’s Book By The Same Title – Jeff Bethke – 5 min.

Based on Tim Keller’s book ,”Counterfeit Gods”, this may be Jefferson Bethke’s best work yet.

They say ,”Counterfeit God’s”,may be Tim Keller’s best work yet.

And the two combined make for a powerful video with a strong Christian message.

We all worship something. We are hope based creatures, and all place our hope or happiness in something or someone.

But even the best of us will let you down.

But Jesus never will.

If we pin our hopes or happiness on it, that is a clue it is a counterfeit god.

If we can’t give it up, we don’t own it, it owns us, and is a counterfeit god.

Counterfeit Gods take many forms like jobs, money, possessions, duty,style,sex,drugs, pleasure,ease,companionship, power, accomplishment,even religion.

None of these things would die for us.
None of these things give ultimate hope.
But Jesus did die for us.

All other things, if you serve them, will take everything from you.

He is the only God who gave everything for you.
Why not give everything to the only true God who will never betray you?

“Give Me Jesus” – Fernando Ortega – Ruth Graham Tribute” Video – 4 min.

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” 

~Jesus ~ (Luke 9:25 NKJV)

“…you can have the whole world, give me Jesus….”

To say this tribute video to the life and faith of Ruth Graham, the wife of the famous Christian evangelist Billy Graham, is  moving is an understatement. 

This is one of my favorite Christian songs if not my absolute favorite .

Click the link below.the 

“Perhaps you could know Him today? ” ~Billy Graham ~

16″ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” 

(John 3:16-21 NKJV)         Jesus is waiting now.  Only believe and ask Him. He hears you. 

The Many Facets of Jesus’ Love – The Gospel of Jesus in Verse – 80 Ways To Know Jesus Loves Us

 

Jesus loved us before we knew Him

Jesus loved us when He came down to us.

Jesus loved us by associating with the most humble.

Jesus loved us by doing without.

Jesus loved us by garnering lowly sinners to follow Him.

Jesus loved us by being bold for the truth.

Jesus loved us by fearlessly facing moralism.

Jesus loved us by enduring rejection.

Jesus loved us by standing up to oppression.

Jesus loved us by giving warnings.

Jesus loved us by showing the way.

Jesus loved us by speaking the truth.

Jesus loved us by fasting 40 days and nights.

Jesus loved us by allowing himself to be tempted by the devil.

Jesus loved us by not giving in to the temptation of the devil.

Jesus loved us by living the life we should have lived.

Jesus loved us by telling stories that make us think.

Jesus loved us by being one of us, only He lived a sinless life.

Jesus loved us by praying often.

Jesus loved us by praying for us.

Jesus loved us by being gentle with real seekers of truth.

Jesus loved us by being hard on leaders who thought they knew it all.

Jesus loved us by enduring unjust shame, accusations, and insults.

Jesus loved us by enduring being despised and rejected by men.

Jesus loved us by publicly railing against corruption of God’s house.

Jesus loved us by doing miracles.

Jesus loved us by challenging our lack of faith.

Jesus loved us loved us by becoming the Bread of life.

Jesus loved us by warning us about hell.

Jesus loved us by telling us about heaven.

Jesus loved us by accepting His reason for coming down to us.

Jesus loved us by enduring the rejection and unbelief of family.

Jesus loved us by going to Jerusalem even after being threatened.

Jesus loved us by riding a lowly donkey instead of a horse.

Jesus loved us by washing the disciples feet as a leadership example.

Jesus loved us by loving everyone even though Judas was there.

Jesus loved us by devoting himself to even more prayer.

Jesus loved us by waiting for His capture.
.
Jesus loved us by allowing Himself to be betrayed by Judas.

Jesus loved us by not calling His father to send Angels to his rescue.

Jesus loved us by suffering being forsaken by all His disciples.

Jesus loved us by His silence before His own people and captors.

Jesus loved us by withstanding beatings from His own people.

Jesus loved us by being disrobed and whipped.

Jesus loved us by enduring a crown of thorns.

Jesus loved us by suffering mockery.

Jesus loved us by allowing His beard to be plucked from His face.

Jesus loved us by not defending Himself against lies and false accusations.

Jesus loved us by enduring more whips and beatings from Pilate.

Jesus loved us by facing an angry,merciless crowd.

Jesus loved us by enduring rejection by His own.

Jesus loved us by submitting Himself to angry cries to crucify Him.

Jesus loved us by carrying the cross that He would die on.

Jesus loved us though the heavy load of the cross made Him stumble.

Jesus loved us by letting soldiers nail His hands and feet to the cross.

Jesus loved us as He was crucified between two thieves.

Jesus loved us as He watched them cast lots for His clothing.

Jesus loved us as He endured pain and physical suffering.

Jesus loved us as He continued ongoing mockery and accusation.

Jesus loved us as He watched His mother agonizing for Him.

Jesus loved us as His mouth was to dry to speak.

Jesus loved us as He refused Gal, a drink with a sedative in it.

Jesus loved us they gave Him vinegar instead of water.

Jesus loved us He carried the sins of all mankind.

Jesus loved us as the Father turned away from Him.

Jesus loved us as He agonized over why God had forsaken Him.

Jesus loved us as He cried out,”it is finished!”

Jesus loved us as He passed from life to death for us.

Jesus loved us as His side was pierced and blood and water flowed down.

Jesus loved us as His body was placed in a tomb and a stone was rolled over the doorway.

Jesus loved us as He died our death so He could give us life.

Jesus loved us as He conquered death and rose from the grave.

Jesus loves us as He went back to Heaven to prepare a place for us.

Jesus loves us as He freely gives life to all who believe in Him as Savior.

Jesus loves us as He comes into the believer and changes us.

Jesus loves us as He promises He will make all things new.

Jesus loves us as He promises to never leave or forsake us.

Jesus loves us as He gives us The Comforter, His Spirit in us.

Jesus loves us and He promised to come back for us.

All I really know in life is…

Jesus loves us…

Jesus! The Savior Of My Soul!

Jesus!

The Savior of my soul,
He is the promise of eternal tomorrows,
the fact that He resides in me,
and the thought that He will never leave me,

He lives in me as the promise of life unending,

A promise that God who cannot lie, has made!

He is the seal of an eternity of tomorrows!

His Spirit in me!
His Spirit teaches me,
His Spirit guides me,

His Spirit changes me,

His Spirit comforts me,
and gives me peace that passes understanding,…

theses are only a few reasons I worship my Jesus.

What does Christ Centered Mean?

What does it mean to be Christ Centered?
It means to give all the focus of all your faculties to Christ.
All your heart.
All your mind.
All your strength.
All because He so fully ,and completely loved us with all He is.
Even to suffer and die for us.

Fókuszban az Ige / The Word in Focus

– by Samuel at Gilgal

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones szavaival:

“Ha hisszük, hogy a názáreti Jézus valóban Isten egyszülött Fia, és hogy ebbe a világba jött, és meghalt a Golgotán a mi bűneinkért, és feltámadott, hogy megigazítson bennünket, s hogy új életet adjon, és hogy felkészítsen bennünket a mennyre – ha valóban hisszük ezeket, akkor mindezekből az a szükségszerű következtetés jön, hogy Jézusnak akkor igenis teljes joga van az egész életünkhöz, bármely korlátozások nélkül!”

ENGLISH: 

In the words of David Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

“If we believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the only begotten Son of God and that He came into this world and went to the cross of Calvary and died for our sins and rose again in order to justify us and to give us life anew and prepare us for heaven – if you really believe that, there is only one inevitable deduction, namely that He is entitled…

View original post 24 more words

His Name Is JESUS – A Psalm By C.C.T.

We fell

and He came from the highest place

And He purposely took the fall for us

He saved us Himself!

God didn’t send another

He became one of us

to personally save us!

Why would He do that?

Life can be so hard

so miserable

so painful and hopeless

and worse!

Why would He do this?

Because He owns everything?

And everyone?

He made us

and all that is

It’s all His

and He is love!

and He loves what He made

because in the beginning it was good

very good!

But evil separated us

So He came from His throne

by a humble virgin

in a humble stable

with humble witnesses

shepherds of sheep

and grew in a humble family

learned a humble trade

and when His Hour was to come

He chose humble followers

fisherman

tax collectors

and He washed their feet!

and told them”the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”

“He who will be greatest must be a servant of all.”

He was so different from His contemporaries

they were proud self-seeking and greedy for gain!

and for that they hated Him

because the common people loved Him!

so evil men plotted to kill Him

but He knew it

that was why He came

it was the passover festival

when they recall God’s mercy and salvation

by sacrificing a lamb

a perfect lamb without spot or blemish

Jesus was that lamb!

the only man who never sinned

would pay for the sins of many

betrayed by a kiss

of a former follower

under the cloak of darkness

they came to take Him

but He was waiting for them

to freely give Himself!

A trial of lies

they mocked Him

and beat Him

and crushed a crown of thorns on His humble head

they lashed His humble back with hooked whips

and spit upon His humble face

and plucked His humble beard

yet He opened not His humble mouth

He waited humbly as the charade unfolded

though they said,”I find no fault in this man!”

the authorities gave in to political pressure

and washed their hands of responsibility

for this humble,innocent servant

who never beguiled or hurt anyone

yielded His humble body

to a humble cross

for all of us

He made the journey from the highest place

to the lowest place

humility never went so far

or loved so perfectly

to be so despised and rejected by men

“He came unto his own,

and his own received him not.”

“But as many as received him,

to them gave he power to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe on his name:”

His name is Jesus.

Prophecy of Christ’s Sacrifice and God’s Love to Be Revealed to Us – 700 Years Before Christ

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700 years before Christ’s Crucifixion took place

God spoke to the prophet Isaiah.

“Without money you will be redeemed”

 ” in that day they will know
that it is I who foretold it.
    Yes, it is I.”

“Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man
and his form marred beyond human likeness —
 so will he sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.”

(Isaiah 52:3,6,14,15)

(Can you hear God’s anticipation in fulfilling the prophecy?)

(Do you hear  how eager God is to rescue us ?)

(Do you hear His love?)

(The following Bible Scripture is a vivid description of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross as foretold by God’s prophet Isaiah.)

Isaiah 53

“Who has believed our message 
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 
 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, 
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
 He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. 
Like one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

(Can you see the love God has for us in the humility of the One who came to redeem us?)

(God is the One who assumed this humble form and posture for us.)

” Surely he took up our infirmities
    and carried our sorrows, 
yet we considered him stricken by God, 
    smitten by him, and afflicted. 
 But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
    and by his wounds we are healed. 
 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, 
    each of us has turned to his own way; 
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth; 
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, 
    and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living; 
    for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, 
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence, 
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, 
    and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, 
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
 After the suffering of his soul,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities. 
 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death, 
    and was numbered with the transgressors. 
For he bore the sin of many, 
    and made intercession for the transgressors.”

(Such love that would require nothing for self but give everything for us!)

How can we not give everything we are to Him?

He is worthy, Holy, and His love is immeasurable!

He came from the highest place, because of love.

He went to the lowest place for us ,so we won’t have to, because of love.

He rose the victor over death so He alone can offer life to whoever will receive it, because of love.

He is preparing a place for all who do accept His gift of life so we can be with Him forever, because of love!

What are you waiting for?

He is waiting to hear from you.

Even a simple prayer will work. God is eager to hear from you!

Lord thank you for paying for my sin.

Be my Lord and Savior.

Amen

This Is Love; Not That We Loved God, But That He Loved Us. John 4:10

A great Christ Centered post from Bummyla, a Christian Brother in Nigeria!

Enjoy!

 

This Is Love; Not That We Loved God, But That He Loved Us. John 4:10.

Christ Centered Sermon – Octavius Winslow – 1808-1878

My Prayer

May God grant this generation men who know and portray Jesus so well that our hearts burn within us. May we be consumed by the realization of who Christ is and how infinitely God has loved us. May any and all things that compete for His love in our hearts and minds be consumed in the blazing inferno of God’s love for us in and through Christ Jesus.

Amen

“They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

(Luke 24:32)

THE INK SLINGER

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree!” 1 Peter 2:24

The most significant and appalling demonstration of God’s holiness that the universe ever beheld, infinitely distancing and transcending every other – is the sufferings and death of His only and beloved Son! The cross of Calvary exhibits God’s hatred and punishment of sin in a way and to an extent which the annihilation of millions of worlds, swept from the face of the universe by the broom of His wrath, could never have done!

Behold the most solemn display of God’s hatred of sin! Finding the sins of the Church upon Christ as its Surety, Substitute, and Savior – the wrath of God was poured out upon Him without measure! Finding the sins of His people laid upon His Son – God emptied upon His holy soul, all the vials of His wrath due to their transgressions! Go…

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Love the Lord Thy God -The 7 Churches Of Revelation

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The only service God will accept is service born out of the first and supreme commandment,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6)

And God graciously gave us the most wonderful reason to love Him with everything by giving  everything for us, He gave Christ on the cross!

“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:10)

The Ephesian church in the book of Revelation had become a busy church who no longer served God because they loved with their all.

The tragedy is seen in American society,as well as other countries, as the Christian sphere of growth is shrinking.

Our message is this; Don’t lose heart,but be relentless in giving and calling for the supremacy of Christ in all that we do and with all that is in us!

Nothing is too hard for God!

Jesus, our first,last,and only love!

A Simple Rule to Avoid a Christ-less Christianity

There are three things that are absolutely essential to every Christian message.

Jesus, Jesus,and Jesus!

And I’m completely serious!

Discipleship is first and foremost a relationship between man and his Maker Jesus Christ.

Ultimately,we don’t just teach rules and morals to make disciples.

Rather, we introduce people to Jesus Christ who alone is able to make disciples by His indwelling Spirit.

Only Christ can renew and transform from the inside.

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.”

(John 6:63)

We will not be successful in making disciples of Jesus Christ if we ignore Christ!

And that is why I recommend all Christians adopt this one simple rule.

We should use this rule to evaluate all Christian writings, teachings, and sermons.

As we read or listen, we should ask ourselves any of these questions;

Is Christ given the preeminence due Him? 

Is Christ the central theme of every message?

Is Christ revealed as the answer to every problem?

How long does the communicator go without giving honor to Christ who is the creator of everything and also the answer to everything?

 Any one of the above questions will work.

And a few words of caution:

A very intellectually stimulating sermon without Christ is worthless.

A very passionate sermon without Christ is worthless.

A very amusing, logical,and even truthful sermon without Christ is worthless.

So don’t be fooled. Christ-less Christianity is becoming  the norm in America.

But we can turn this around!

So please pray this prayer with me.

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

( Matthew 18:19)

Dear God.

Thank you for Jesus Christ who loved me and died for me.

Thank you that He rose from death to defeat it.

Thank you for the new life you freely gave me after believing and accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior.

Help me love Jesus more and more every day until I love Him more than I love

anything else in this world. I want to love Jesus with all that is in me!

Then help me never settle for anything less than all of Jesus!

In Jesus name,…Amen

True Christianity – Like No Other Religion of the World

 

No other religion of the World has a founder who loved so unconditionally as Jesus Christ of Christianity.

Exclusivity: How can there be just one true religion? By Dr. Tim Keller

A 30 Minute sermon. Click for audio on the link below.

://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/exclusivity-how-can-there-be-just-one-true-religion

Excerpt- “The fruit of the Spirit featured in Galatians 5 are not behaviors; they are attitudes of a heart transformed by the Holy Spirit. Fruit is not a work.”

Let’s start with an excerpt from Tullian T’s blog. Then I will add some comments.

_____________________________________

I am saddened when the very pack of people that God has unconditionally saved and continues to sustain by his free grace are the very ones who push back most violently against it. Some professing Christians sound like ungrateful children who can’t stop biting the very hand that feeds them. It amazes me that you will hear great concern from inside the church about “too much grace” but rarely will you ever hear great concern from inside the church about “too many rules.” Why? Because we are by nature glory-hoarding, self-centered control freaks. That’s why.

 It’s high time for the church to honor God by embracing sola gratia anew–the “high-octane grace that takes our conscience by the scruff of the neck and breathes new life into us with a pardon so scandalous that…

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Real Lasting Hope From The Bible

This is a re-posted blog – by Pastor Mike Says

A great sequel to my previous post ,”How to Run the Race.

Very informative and encouraging.

Pastor Mike Says

Are you needing to be uplifted and comforted today? These Bible verses about Hope will do just that for you. Take a deep breath and read through them slowly. We all too  often rush through things in life ( I am  guilty of this myself) and miss what God is telling us. God led you to these versestoday for a reason, don’t let them go unread!

Hope of A Future Bible Verses

Proverbs 24:20 for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

Proverbs 24:14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Hope of Eternal Life

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O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Written by S.Trevor Francis 1875

What a Loving God We Serve!

 

 

“Under no conceivable circumstances shall the covenant fail; the Lord who made it cannot change, Jesus who sealed it cannot die, the love which dictated it cannot cease, the power which executes it cannot decay, and the truth which guarantees it cannot be questioned. In the eternal provisions of that covenant of peace, which is sure to all the seed, we may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. My brethren, do you believe this? If you do you ought to be as happy as the angels are. Our lot is supremely blessed. What a loving God we serve, and what great things has he spoken concerning us.” (From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13,14)

God is a Father to the Fatherless

 

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. “( Psalm 68:5)

To anyone and everyone who ever had a father and for whatever reason he is no longer present,

To all who never knew what it was like to have a father there for them when they needed him,

To all who did have a father there but he only made them wish he was not there because he was not a good father,…

God is a father to the fatherless.

No matter if you are young or old, God will be the father to you that you need.

He is love,

He is ever-present,

He is all-knowing,

He is all-powerful,

Nothing is too hard for Him,

He has provided our greatest need,

He will never forsake you.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6,7)

Even the Wind and the Waves Obey Him

“Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”

Christians.

We are the Church.

The Church is a building but not one made by human hands, but by the Spirit of God.

When we meet for the purpose of knowing Jesus Christ or serving Him, He tells us He is present with us.

 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

To further that point, it is also true that Christ is present in all who believe and receive Christ as Lord and Savior.

Jesus is IN the individual believer and IN and WITH those who are gathered in His name.

This is also true for our online community.

We are having an impact. People from countries all over the world are receiving the Gospel as a result of the faithful witness of online writers who take the Great Commission to heart and see blogging as an additional resource to meet those needs.

Our ancient foe knows this as well.

Which is why I pray for all my followers and online friends in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I would encourage all who are like hearted to do the same because Satan makes attempts to get us off message in several ways.

If you are worth the devil’s time then you are having an impact!

Keep doing what you are doing and don’t stop.

Find several ways, but don’t stop telling others about Jesus.

(JESUS),”He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

 “He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

 “They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:39-40)

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

I have written much about the plight of pride upon mankind and Christ’s humility.

But the sum total of my thoughts are contained in this hymn more succinctly and with more clarity than I will ever achieve.

That is why I wish to share it with you.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

“When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

Isaac Watts (17 July 1674 – 25 November 1748)

Perfect Freedom – We Are All Slaves to Something – A Sermon by Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Manhattan N.Y.

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“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

We are all enslaved to something.

Most of these things are a source of temporary fulfilment.

The obvious ones are sex, alcohol, drugs, and we all know people who are enslaved to such.

But the less obvious things we also seek to find our ultimate identity and fulfillment in are status, achievement, career, relationships, children, spouses, and countless other things that are not at all bad in and of themselves.

We make these things bad for us when we seek our ultimate identity and fulfillment in them in an inordinate way.

Only Christ is worthy of being the source of fulfillment for our deepest desire for identity.

“Why not give yourself to the one who gave Himself  for you?”

Tim Keller

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

(John 6:35)

Listen to the free audio sermon – click the link below

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/perfect-freedom

Related articles

Final Events – The Signing of a Treaty With Israel Reveals The “Beast” and Day One of the Great Tribulation

 “because they did not receive the love of the truth”

 “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that  Day  will  not  come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

 “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

And then the lawless one will be revealed,

whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

The coming of the lawless  one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

(II Thessalonians 2:1-12)

Three Big Reasons Why We Know God Loves Us

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the  point  of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”   (Philippians 2:5-11 NKJV)

Humility is so hard for mankind that it is rare.

God made humility look so easy we can take it for granted.

He did it all because He loves us!

Who Authored Hebrews?- Why I Think it Was Barnabas

 

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The question of ,”who authored the Bible book of Hebrews”, has been a subject of debate for almost two thousand years.

If you are a student of the Word of God and doctrine this is an important issue for one primary reason.

The author of Hebrews gives an ALMOST contradictory set of statements regarding Salvation by Christ alone. One is one of the most assuring and the other is very disconcerting. It is known  as a paradox. They only APPEAR to cancel each other. There is another truth that the simple explanation of makes sense of both.

So it really matters that we know and understand all we can about this author.

Tertullian, the third century Christian theologian, believed that Barnabas wrote the book of Hebrews.

I was glad to hear that because I had already come to the same conclusion before reading about Tertullian.

Here’s my reasoning.

First clue.

1. Most researchers agree that the book of Hebrews reads similar to the books that we are sure Paul wrote.

But a closer look by literary experts seems to conclude that it is somewhat like Paul’s style but not enough that it really could be him, given certain differences that stand out.

I think that Paul is the one who has a similar style of the author of Hebrews.

Take a look at the early days of Paul to see what I mean.

Barnabas and Paul had a traveling ministry to the Gentiles for a while.

Both spoke to the crowds regularly, and would have influence each other’s speaking and therefore writing styles.

If I’m right,the correct way to state the similarities is to say that Paul and Barnabas influenced each other and have similar styles of delivering a message.

Second clue.

2. Theological non- negotiable differences between Paul and Barnabas ,namely that of Grace and its rightful emphasis.

Paul never would have put things as ambiguous as the author of Hebrews in regards to salvation and the  fullness of the meaning of grace.  Nor did he endure it well when he and Barnabas where missionaries.

Here is an example of where Paul stood in regards to his grasp of God’s Grace through Christ as compared to Barnabas’ grasp of God’s Grace through Christ.

 “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.” Galatians 2:12-13

It is also revealing to know that Galatians was written by Paul to Christians who wandered off the path in regards to the purity of salvation by faith in Christ alone and sanctification by Christ alone more than any other books of the New Testament.

That is true of Galatians in both clarity and content.

Paul’s appreciation for God’s grace ,and his understanding of it, served to save the purity of  the message of Grace Alone for salvation, earned by Christ Alone.

The good deeds a Christian does are then the result of Christ’s working in the heart and desires of the true believer.

And…

The scripture records that Paul and Barnabas split over a dispute regarding Barnabas’ nephew ,John Mark , who abandoned them while the two of them spread the Gospel to the gentiles.

I propose that John Mark was not enough reason for the parting of these two, and that this incident was only the straw that broke the proverbial camels back.”

I think Paul would have stayed with Barnabas if he thought the Gospel was going out in its fullness to the gentiles. He cared more about Christ and the Gospel than he cared about his own life.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Philippians 1:2  

And that was Paul’s last letter before execution.

Paul’s grasp of God’s grace was completely resting on Christ’s finished work on the cross.

On the cross, Jesus Christ paid for the sins of all people who ever did and ever would live.

Only Jesus was the only perfect human to ever live, so only Jesus was worthy to pay for our sins with His life.

He died for us.

On the cross, Jesus said, “it is finished”.

And if we believe, we can choose to respond as Paul did,

“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

An Unutterable Sigh In The Depths of The Soul

The Secret To Revival Found In Christ’s High Priestly Prayer-“that the love you have for Me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

~The Secret To Revival~

Salvation, Sanctification, Revival, and Renewal of The Church are Not Dependent on Eliminating Evil ,But rather on Embracing God Through Christ.

This misconception is the most common mistake we make in our efforts to change ourselves and  in seeking renewal in the Church.

The most troubling condition is present in many or most churches across America today.

I was troubled as I read a devotional by a man of God whom I greatly respect who wrote a critique using John 17:26 in an effort to identify and correct our disunity in the church.

As he listed the issues to correct he omitted Christ as the answer.

His focus was on the illness and he ignored the cure.

I find no error in his comments, only in who he did not embrace as the answer.

Our answer is a who not a what, personal not mere intellectual assent, the One who Rules the hearts of men, not simply rules themselves, involving both the risen Christ and His truth, not one or the other.

All our problems represent an absence of God’s love through Jesus Christ in us, a void within each of us who claim to comprise the Church in our age.

I have read a series of book reviews on the Gospel Coalition site about Renewal of The Church in America,

and so far each book talks all about the problems we face and almost never mentions the only real solution, who is Christ in us!

I assure you I’m nobody, but I know who my God and Father is

and I know He has loved me with an everlasting love

and I need to tell everyone I can how much He loves them and how much they need to know His love personally.

Omission of sin comes after Christ comes in.

He alone has the power to transform.

Embrace Christ to displace death, and be saved, for He alone can save.

Embrace Christ to displace sin, because He alone, by His indwelling Spirit, can empower you overcome.

Embrace Christ to displace self,and become Christ like, for He has loved us before we knew Him.

Embrace Christ to displace your desires, for He alone is the most beautiful entity in the universe to be desired and you will trade everything for more of Him.

Embrace Christ to displace all the things that entice the Church away from It’s first love, for Christ alone is worthy of all glory, power and praise!

Embrace Christ to change the world, for if any man is in Christ he is a new creation, old things are passes away, behold all have become new, and that is the only real social reform.

Christ’s High Priestly Prayer ends with the following summary of His desire for all who believe.

 “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

(John 17:26)

His love is the context for all our theology and that context must be given preeminence .

When the early Church Fathers made the Nicene Creed they  did not clearly set the context for all truth

which is God’s love in us through  Jesus Christ.

Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


If Christ is no longer supreme in my heart and daily living, then I have lost the Way, neglected the Truth, and turned away from Life.
A very simple theology in the context of God’s love, for he indwells the true believer and love grows and shows.

We must be one IN Christ, or we will become like the church in Ephesus.

 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen;

repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”

(Revelation 2:4,5)

Christ is our first love, and His arms are ever wide open to embrace us.

https://christcenteredteaching.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/the-simplicity-that-is-in-christ/

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/05/04/an-agenda-for-recovering-christianity-in-america/?comments#comments#comment-29950

9-27-2012 Update- Dr. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan New York has released a new book called,”Center Church”, a road map for renewal for the church in which the focus is The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Keller has also called for renewed emphasis on the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all our theology in a 54 minute video you can watch here. http://wp.me/p1Lr49-MG

Tim Keller is an awesome Christ Centered teacher. I highly recommend him.

Free Sermons

http://sermons2.redeemer.com

Tim Keller delivered this challenge to church leaders to be ,”Gospel Shaped”, in all our ministry.

“Every sermon should ultimately be about Jesus.” Tim Keller

“I WAS BARABBAS!” Parts 1 and 2 – Dr. Richard J. Alberta,(Former Atheist)- Cornerstone Evangelical Presbyterian Church,Brighton Mi.,March 21, 2010

ChristBetweenTwoThievesDr. Alberta studied law and no doubt his mind was trained in the laws of logic.

His sermons reflect a heart that genuinely knows Christ.

If a man is honest in his journey to FINDING TRUTH, even through a past of pain and injustice, truth can be known through the Cross of Christ.

No one has ever been less deserving to suffer injustice than Christ, yet for our sakes He willingly endured the cross to pay for our sins.

Yet for those who seek truth, here is a promise from God Himself;

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

My hope is that you will find encouragement and truth from a former atheist who is now preaching Christ!

Here is an excerpt.

“Well…just imagine a photograph or a mirror of our souls. The reality is that maybe most of us…maybe even all of us…in our natural souls… look more like Barabbas than Mr. Rodgers. Why? Because we are sinners by nature and our sinfulness is as foul to God as the appearance and behavior of Barabbas was to us.

Here’s a propositional statement. Think about this with me. Even the Psalmist declares this truth in Psalm 36:2–

Psalm 36:2 The wicked man flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.

Romans 3:23 (NIV) 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of

God…

Romans 6:23 (NIV) 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

How– if those things are true and they are true….how is it that if all human beings are sinners and that sin deserves death…then why are men and women so apparently indifferent about their sin problem? Why are they not all falling on their faces before God and pleading for a solution? Indeed, even when God took on flesh in Jesus Christ and came and sat and talked with men…most of them did not “get it!” Consider that one day Jesus patiently and thoughtfully tried to explain their problem this way:

John 8:23-24 (NASB) 23 “…You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

What does Jesus mean “die in your sins?” Die without your sins being erased! Die without your sins being removed! Die without your sins

Page |5being paid for! Die like a man with an enormous debt owed to the lender but he cannot pay it back in eternity and it will follow him forever! It seems to me…that when Jesus warned them about the danger of dying in their sins…they should have said “Oh no! What shall we do? We are terrified Jesus! We don’t want to die in our sins!” But they did not! Why not? Because just as we avoid looking at our imperfections in the photograph, we avoid looking at the ugly sins upon our souls! We will do anything to avoid confronting our sin and admitting our sin! We even noted in our series on creation that one of the attractions of Godless evolutionary thought is that man is not a sinner. He is just working out the ape in himself when he behaves badly. We lie to ourselves and say “That Barabbas guy was a real wicked man but I’m not.” But maybe I’m no better than Barabbas.”

To download and read the entire 2 part sermon, free- click the links below

Enjoy!

http://www.cornerstoneforlife.com/clientimages/24970/sermons/iwasbarabbas_1_study.pdf

http://www.cornerstoneforlife.com/clientimages/24970/sermons/iwasbarabbas_2_study.pdf

Christ – The Power and Wisdom From God

1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1:19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 1:20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 1:22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 1:24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1:26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1:28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 1:29 so that no one may boast before him. 1:30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1:31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (NIV)

Joy That Remains – Christ’s Promise

The Lord is my Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(John 16:16 )Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 16:17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 16:18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” 16:19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 16:20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 16:21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 16:22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (NIV)

The Centrality of The Gospel – Bible Study Outline by Dr. Tim Keller – Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Manhattan New York

Three crosses mountain. Szydłowiec near Radom,...

Three crosses mountain. Szydłowiec near Radom, Poland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The truth of the Gospel does not fit in any category that preexisted in the human mind.

We think in general terms to varying degrees of God’s provision for our redemption or our own works to hopefully merit our own redemption or some kind of blend of each.

Malcolm Muggerage  said that if God be not God then mankind will worship either power or pleasure, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.

Tertullian said that even as Christ was crucified between two thieves, the Gospel is subject to two world-views that are each born out of mankind’s self-centered tendencies toward power or pleasure.

We call them Legalism and License.

Both are similar in that they are self-centered instead of Christ Centered.

(Tertullian was one of the earliest post Apostle Christian theologians, (160 – 225 A.D.)

This Bible study outline is from one of Keller’s sermons ,and is created by Keller for his church in New York.

The following are excerpts from the full outline.

(The entire outline is available free online at the link at the bottom of the page.)

“The gospel is not the first “step” in a “stairway” of truths, rather, it is more like the “hub” in a “wheel” of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s but the A to Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make all progress in the kingdom.” Tim Keller

“We are not justified by the gospel and then sanctified by obedience, but the gospel is the way we grow (Gal.3:1-3) and are renewed (Col.1:6). It is the solution to each problem, the key to each closed-door, the power through every barrier (Rom.1:16-17). It is very common in the church to think as follows. “The gospel is for non-Christians. One needs it to be saved. But once saved, you grow through hard work and obedience.” But Col.1:6 shows that this is a mistake. Both confession and “hard work” that is not arising from and “in line” with the gospel will not sanctify you–it will strangle you. All our problems come from a failure to apply the gospel. Thus when Paul left the Ephesians he committed them “to the word of his grace, which can build you up” (Acts 20:32)”

“The main problem, then, in the Christian life is that we have not thought out the deep implications of the gospel, we have not “used” the gospel in and on all parts of our life. Richard Lovelace says that most people’s problems are just a failure to be oriented to the gospel–a failure to grasp and believe it through and through. Luther says, “The truth of the Gospel is the principle article of all Christian doctrine….Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.” (on Gal.2:14f)

“The gospel is not easily comprehended. Paul says that the gospel only does its renewing work in us as we understand it in all its truth.

“All of us, to some degree live around the truth of the gospel but do not “get” it. So the key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the continual re-discovery of the gospel. A stage of renewal is always the discovery of a new implication or application of the gospel–seeing more of its truth. This is true for either an individual or a church.”

The two “thieves” of the gospel.

Since Paul uses a metaphor for being “in line” with the gospel, we can consider that gospel renewal occurs when we keep from walking “off-line” either to the right or to the left. The key for thinking out the implications of the gospel is to consider the gospel a “third” way between two mistaken opposites. However, before we start we must realize that the gospel is not a half-way compromise between the two poles–it does not produce “something in the middle”, but something different from both. The gospel critiques both religion and irreligion (Matt.21:31; 22:10).

“Tertullian said, “Just as Christ was crucified between two thieves, so this doctrine of justification is ever crucified between two opposite errors.” Tertullian meant that there were two basic false ways of thinking, each of which “steals” the power and the distinctiveness of the gospel from us by pulling us “off the gospel line” to one side or the other. These two errors are very powerful, because they represent the natural tendency of the human heart and mind. (The gospel is “revealed” by God (Rom.1:17)– the unaided human mind cannot conceive it.) These “thieves” can be called moralism or legalism on the one hand, and hedonism or relativism on the other hand. Another way to put it is: the gospel opposes both religion and irreligion. On the one hand, “moralism/religion” stresses truth without grace, for it says that we must obey the truth in order to be saved. On the other hand, “relativists/irreligion” stresses grace without truth, for they say that we are all accepted by God (if there is a God) and we have to decide what is true for us. But “truth” without grace is not really truth, and “grace” without truth is not really grace. Jesus was “full of grace and truth”. Any religion or philosophy of life that de-emphasizes or lose one or the other of these truths, falls into legalism or into license and either way, the joy and power and “release” of the gospel is stolen by one thief or the other.”

“They are both based on distorted views of the real God.

“The irreligious person loses sight of the law and holiness of God and the religious person loses sight of the love and grace of God, in the end they both lose the gospel entirely. For the gospel is that on the cross Jesus fulfilled the law of God out of love for us. Without a full understanding of the work of Christ, the reality of God’s holiness will make his grace unreal, or the reality of his love will make his holiness unreal. Only the gospel–that we are so sinful that we need to be saved utterly by grace–allows a person to see God as he really is. The gospel shows us a God far more holy than the legalist can bear (he had to die because we could not satisfy his holy demands) and yet far more merciful than a humanist can conceive (he had to die because he loved us)”

They both deny our sin–so lose the joy and power of grace.”

 

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