Posts from the ‘grace’ Category

Free Will Explained Well

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“God does not choose us because we believe, but that we may believe.”

~Augustine~

“Until God saves us ,we are all like Lazarus. We are dead and unable to even call out to Christ.”

“Christ calls us out of our tomb of death into life.”

Pascal on Mankind and God

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“Man would desire to be great and sees that he is little; would desire to be happy and sees that he is miserable; would desire to be perfect and sees that he is full of imperfections; would desire to be the object of the love and esteem of men, and sees that his faults merit only aversion and contempt. The embarrassment wherein he finds himself produces in him the most unjust and criminal passions imaginable, for he conceives a mortal hatred against that truth which blames him and convinces him of his faults.” ~Blaise Pascal~ (Pensees)

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!

Why? – Jesus and Innocent Suffering

The question of suffering is one of life’s biggest questions.

Any loss, loss of livelihood, health, loved ones is shocking to us, as it should be.

 

suffering4U

 

The unspeakable tragedy of loss is compounded by the loss of innocent life and the suffering of innocent people.

Men, women and children needlessly suffer and die amidst violence, cruelty and neglect.

We are left to ask,”Why did God allow this to happen?”

When we experience loss,”Why!”,is the first thing that comes to mind.

There are no pat answers,… but we can find deeper reason and comfort in knowing we are not alone.

God chose to experience loss for our sakes.

God came down to us in the personage of Jesus Christ and suffered and died for us to spare us eternal suffering.

God the Father turned away from Christ on the Cross, prompting Jesus Christ to cry out,”My God, My God,WHY have you forsaken me?

God as the man Jesus Christ felt the agony of loss and asked WHY?

The Bible tells us God did this because He loves us.He became one of us, struggled like we do, tempted in every way as us yet without giving in to sin.

And He suffered to a degree that we have not, and can not, for He alone was perfect and worthy to carry all the sins of our entire human race.

Christ paid for the sins all mankind from Adam to the last of our kind who will be born.

Christ carried every sin ever committed, or that will be committed, by every victim and by every perpetrator, who ever lived or has yet live, upon Him on the cross.

And the punishment of us all was upon Him.

“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.”

(Isaiah 53:4-6)

Because of Christ we know that the reason suffering exists can NOT be that God is insensitive to our condition.

Perhaps part of the reason is to make us what C.S.Lewis called, “Free Lovers.” We love God not for what He gives , but simply for the sake of whom He is.

If , like the old testament figure from the Bible, Job, we can love God regardless of total tragedy and loss, then our love for God will be like the love God has for us! Unconditional.

“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)

God’s love is Unconditional love.

Tim Keller uses the illustration from the Book of Job in the Bible to show that Satan tried to make God question Job’s love for God. Satan accused Job of conditional love.“Take away everything you have blessed him with and he will curse you!”, he said to God.

And God permitted Satan to take all of Job’s children, possessions and wealth.

When Job still blessed God, then Satan insisted if God allowed physical suffering then Job would curse God.

Job did become very bitter, but did not curse God.

…”Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship  and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart. 
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; 
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”

(Job 1:20-22)

It really is all about Love.

Satan tried to convince Job that God did not unconditionally love him, just as Satan tried to convince God that Job didn’t unconditionally love God.

And perhaps then our suffering, like Job’s, has profound reason and eternal purpose.

To refine our love into the kind of love Christ has for us.

For He loved us before we knew Him.

Unconditionally.

“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)

Related Sermon by Dr. Tim Keller of Manhattan Presbyterian Church Manhattan N.Y.- 

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/suffering-if-god-good-why-there-so-much-evil-world

What Tone in Christian Discussion is Biblical ?

What Kind of Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion?

Christians are to be gentle ,kind, lovingly compassionate, meek and humble, like Christ. That much is obvious, though not always common.

But what about some of the examples of situations where Christ was angry, or when the Apostle Paul burned with indignation?

I think it depends on the situation. Christians are suffering from a stifling and un-Biblical monotonic response to the issues we face today.

 

We believe one tone should apply to everything, yet Indignation is also Biblical.

Keep in mind that silence was only used by Christ during the trial for crucifixion, when He willfully gave up His life for you and I. He said nothing in His own defense.

There are many shades of Christian communication, and all are Christ like. For instance,… are you trying to encourage? For the most part ,be gentle.

Are you exhorting and spurring others on? Be hopeful and thankful.

Or are you defending the most precious life-giving Gospel,the Blood of Jesus, and Grace of God from the self-righteousness of moralistic legalists who always demand our own works be tacked on to Christ’s work? (Legalism)

Now that’s a different story. Take the Apostle Paul for instance.

II Corinthians 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? (NKJV)

Christians today need to find their voices! Rightly dividing the word of God means 2 Corinthians 11:29 is in the mix.

Our insight as to when to speak up and which tone to use may make the difference as to whether we speak up at all.

Unlike the message we are all getting from our Post-modern world today, God never meant us to keep silent, He said ,”Go and Preach the Gospel.”

A lot of essential Biblical examples stand out in regard to what tone is right and when we should use them.

Too many issues demand our voices!

A great example is this video that went viral  and caused an uproar with some of the so-called,”pillars” in  modern Christendom.

In the video,Jefferson Bethke Kicks the proverbial Snot Out of Legalism!

But he has a much more subtle tone than Jesus does in Luke 11:44 !

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”

Or Jesus in Matthew 23:13

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

In fact, Bethke is well below the tone Jesus used to beat down the self-righteous Pharisees of His day!

And Bethke is also doing the Church a service just like the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians!

Only Bethke is milder than Paul too! Like in Gal.1:6

“If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”

In fact,Paul was far more direct as he beat down the legalists, and he even,”withstood Peter to his face.” This is the big ,long earful that Peter heard from Paul in front of Barnabas and many others. Galatians 2:11- 21

“When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 1Before 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. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Paul got in Peter’s face in front of everybody, to defend the blood of Jesus as the ONLY means to be saved!

So don’t let them make you back pedal Jefferson Bethke. Take heart!

You aren’t bashing the Church. On the contrary!

If a person loves Jesus and His Bride the Church, then he will defend the ONLY means to establish the Church.

The pure, true Gospel established by the washing and regeneration of the pure, perfect blood of Jesus Christ on the cross is the ONLY way the Church can ever exist.

Your statement  is right in line with guys who have made all the difference when it counted, like Paul, and Luther, and countless others.

Jesus vs. Religion? Jesus will always win!

Speak up! Be bold!

That is our part to this world. Give them Jesus!

Jesus is The Way – “Romans Road” To Eternal Life – Take The One Way Trip!

Striding on the Roman Road

Striding on the Roman Road (Photo credit: Bods)

“For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

                                                    – Romans 10:13

Romans 3:10 tells us, “as it is written, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;” (Romans 3:10 NASB) As the Scriptures say: “There is no one who always does what is right, not even one.” (Romans 3:10 NCV)

The requirement of God is a perfect life. A sinless selfless life. Who has not sinned?

And Romans 3:23 adds, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us,” (Romans 3:23 MSG)

Why does man sin and where did sin come from?

Romans 5:12 states that sin started with Adam, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned– “(Romans 5:12 NASB) Sin came into the world because of what one man did, and with sin came death. This is why everyone must die — because everyone sinned.

(Romans 5:12 NCV) What happens to those who sin?

Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NASB) When people sin, they earn what sin pays — death. But God gives us a free gift — life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Romans 6:23 NCV)

If all have sinned and the penalty for sin is death, what can a person do? How can anyone be saved?

Romans 5:8 tells us how we can be saved from our sin and its penalty, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NASB)

1But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8 NCV)

If Jesus did die for me and was raised from the dead, how does that save me from sin and its penalty?

Romans 10:9-10 is clear, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10 NASB)

If you use your mouth to say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved. We believe with our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we use our mouths to say that we believe, and so we are saved. (Romans 10:9-10 NCV)

Any one who realizes he can never live a perfect life can be saved.

Romans 10:13, for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” (Romans 10:13 NASB) For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. [Joel 2:32.] (Romans 10:13 AMP)

Salvation is a free gift.

You may be ruled by desires for things contrary to God now. Don’t worry about that, Let Jesus come into your heart and change you. He has the power to change your desires.

Your good works cannot save you. That is why Jesus died for us. Your good works are the result of genuine salvation, not a condition for you to be saved.

Ask Jesus to come into your heart, save you ,and make you His. He is waiting.

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

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

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“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.”

The Very Best Place To Live

 

 

heavens

heavens (Photo credit: Mystic Musings…)

 

“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

 

Heaven.

 

Think of it.
Living with God in God’s city!
Streets paved with pure gold.

 

Jobs- Don’t need them. Everything is God’s and all who received Christ are His royal family! We will have no want or need except to be with God.
Crime rate – eternally zero.
Climate – always perfect, never storms or cloudy, never too hot or too sunny, in fact, it is always day time because Christ is always there and His glory is it’s light!
Health- Our bodies are totally changed into perfect bodies when Christ returns to take us home. No more illnesses or death, weaknesses or bad health ever. Our new bodies will be incorruptible.

 

Ethnic diversity- People from every kingdom,nation, and tribe on Earth.

 

Things to do- Basking in the full and continually abundant love of almighty God. Worshiping God in His presence will be a natural response.

 

The ultimate best place to live is literally out of this world!
But we can have our citizenship to that city now.
The price of our residence in Heaven has been paid for already by a generous benefactor, God.

 

” 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.”(John 3:16)

 

In fact, if we decide we want to go there, God will personally seal the deal.

 

(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.”

 

If you want to be sure now of where you will live for eternity, ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior now,…He’s listening.

 

“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?

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 Kind of Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion?

 

What Kind of Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion?

I think it depends.

Are you trying to encourage?

Are you exhorting and spurring others on?

Or are you defending the most precious ,life-giving Gospel of the Blood of Jesus and Grace of God from the self-righteousness of moralistic legalists who always demand our own works be tacked on to Christ’s work? (Legalism)

Christians today need to find their voices!

Our insight as to when to speak up and which tone we can use may make the difference as to whether we speak up at all.

Unlike the message we are all getting from our Post-modern world today, God never meant us to keep silent, He said ,”Go and Preach the Gospel.”

A lot of essential Biblical examples stand out in regards to what tone is right and when to use it.

I really think we can learn a lot from this and hopefully develop the ability to speak up in a Godly manner.

God never wanted us to be timid and passive. Too many issues demand our voices!

How about this video that went,”viral”, as they say, and caused an uproar with some of the so-called,”pillars” in Christendom today?

In the video,Jefferson Bethke Kicks the Snot Out of Legalism!

He has a much more subtle tone than Jesus does in Luke 11:44 !

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”

Or Jesus in Matthew 23:13

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

Just sayin…He’s well below the tone Jesus used to beat down the self-righteous Pharisees of His day!

And Bethke is also doing the Church a service just like the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians!

Only Bethke is milder than Paul too! Like in Gal.1:6

“If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”

In fact,Paul was far more direct as he beat down the legalists, and he even,”withstood Peter to his face.” This is the big ,long earful that Peter heard from Paul in front of Barnabas and many others. Galatians 2:11- 21

“When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 1Before 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. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

POW!!

Wow! Here that?

Paul got in Peter’s face in front of everybody, to defend the blood of Jesus as the ONLY means to be saved!

So don’t let them make you back pedal Bethke. Take heart!

You aren’t bashing the Church. On the contrary!

If a person loves Jesus and His Bride the Church, then he will defend the ONLY means to establish the Church.

The pure, true Gospel established by the washing and regeneration of the pure, perfect blood of Jesus Christ on the cross is the ONLY way the Church can ever exist.

Your statement  is right in line with guys who have made all the difference when it counted, like Paul, and Luther, and countless others.

Jesus vs. Religion? Jesus always will win!

God bless!

 

Suffering: If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world? A Audio Sermon By Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Manhattan N.Y.

Suffering is one of the biggest questions facing the human race.

Why does God allow evil and suffering?

The why of suffering is also the biggest accusation for atheists who claim God is indifferent to the plight of mankind.

The cross of Christ proves that God cares and has intervened on our behalf through Jesus’s sacrificial death on the cross to pay for our sins and save us from an eternal state of suffering.

The book of Job is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible, yet it is about suffering and loss, and the struggle to maintain hope and belief that God really does loves us despite loss.

The biggest question we should ask is, “do I love God for what is in it for me?”

Or do I love God regardless of if I get anything out of  the situation?”  Isn’t that how God loved me?”

Unconditional?

Isn’t that Grace ?

So suffering is the worst kind of teacher, but also the best kind of teacher, because if we can say that even after suffering the bitterness of loss that we still love God, then our love is truly mature and free, and full of the deepest meaning.

We love Him because He first loved us.

Click on the link below for a 30 minute sermon on this subject by Dr, Tim Keller.

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/suffering-if-god-good-why-there-so-much-evil-world

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

Tim Keller,D.A. Carson and John Piper Talk About Christianity Part 4 of 6 (10 Min.) Video

Tim Keller, D.A.Carson and John Piper Talk About Christianity Part 3 of 6 (10 Min.) Video

The Righteousness that Comes from God and is by Faith

 “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)

“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” ( Philippians 3:4-9)

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)

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