Posts tagged ‘Faith and Religion’

The Revelation of Jesus Christ – A Call to Ultimate Hope

The Book of Revelation has a unique blessing for those who have willing “ ears to hear” the message Jesus has for all who eagerly await His return. It may surprise many that Revelation actually covers a period of 1,007 years or more.

This has been a demanding task to say the least but after more than 2 years of daily study I have decided it’s time to write.

Though this prophecy evokes great anxiety and fear in many, it was clearly written with great anticipation and hope for the signs of Christ’s return and the redemption of all who placed their faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for them.

My main struggle has been with an attempt to inspire hope instead of disparaging. Second to that I prayerfully wanted to convey what I consider to be the most probable unfolding of the events covering the end of this age , the Great Tribulation of 7 years followed by Christ’s 1,000 year reign on Earth when each day is better than the previous day for a millennium. Finally the Great White Throne of Judgment followed by an new Heaven and a new Earth.

The first few chapters are a message to “the 7 churches”. I believe these 7 churches are examples of the conditions of the churches in the time of Christ’s return for His own. The church should to prepare for Christ’s return for His own before judgement comes to all the inhabitants of the world.

Revelation reveals the events of the final days of the end of this age , the Four Horsemen , a great earthquake , the sealing of Gods Jewish servants , the Rapture and then the judgement of the Great Tribulation , hail and fire mixed with blood rain down of the earth, very likely a super volcanoe such as is under Antarctica, an Asteroid Strike , World War, The Fall of Babylon( America?) the Thousand Year Reign of Christ on Earth, The Battle of Armageddon, The Great Judgement Seat of Christ , the end of time and sorrow as Eternity in Heaven with God begins.

Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria Research Vindicated – Family & Society – WORLD

https://world.wng.org/content/rapid_onset_gender_dysphoria_research_vindicated

This Is Who Jesus Christ Is to Me – An Easter Reflection for All Year

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What is it like to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? 

I’m not talking about merely knowing a lot facts about Jesus.

The point of this article is WHO Jesus is to Me, not merely what.

The HOW of Jesus is the Gospel story, but the WHO is the untold reward.

Greater than the gift is the love that gave the gift, but the Giver is greater still.

You can know Jesus, and He abides IN the hearts of all who put their trust in Him.

I will fail to tell all that Jesus is.

But I will make an attempt to share ,as best I can, just who Jesus is to me.

———————-

Jesus Christ is my best thought, my most cherished possession, He is God and man, Savior and Creator, and to know Him more is my greatest ambition.

Oh the height, depth, and breadth of all that Jesus is!

He is the only way , the only truth, the meaning and purpose of life, and the only hope for eternity.

He is the author of the language of the information of life we call DNA, and the undesigned-Designer, eternal and ever-existing, who orchestrated the fine-tuned Big Bang so that our universe could sustain life.

He is the wonder in nature and science, each reflecting His infinite beauty, order, and intelligibility.

His courage to face a grievous death and torture was driven by a boundless love for everyone.
He endured rejection so we could be accepted.

He has borne our shame and by His stripes we are healed.

He died so we could live.

He defeated death for us and rose from the grave victorious.

He hears our most distant thoughts and our most earnest prayers.

He longs for us to know and love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength and all that is in us.

Christ’s love is stronger than sin and death, and mightier than any bonds known to ensnare the hearts and minds of mankind.

Only Christ’s Spirit and love can evoke love so strong in the hearts of sinners that it burns away all other passions.

Jesus is hope when all else is hopeless.  He is love when all around us is hate.  He is the reason to live when faith in all else is gone.

Nothing can drive Him away from any who truly trust Him.
He will never leave us or forsake us.

No desire, temptation, or affection can compare to knowing Christ; and anyone who truly knows Him would never choose to leave His presence – for nothing else compares to knowing Jesus Christ who is God and who is Love.

Though I walk through the Valley Of The Shadow Of Death I will fear no evil, for He is with me.

He so loved us that He came down from His glorious throne and became one of us.
He left majesty to live in humility.

 He humbly worked as one of us with the same hands that formed the universe,

all to save us, even before we knew Him.

He is all powerful, yet for the joy before Him, He endured death on a cross for those who loved Him and those who hated Him.

After three days He opened the tomb they laid Him in and rose from death.
Even now He opens His arms to beckon to all who labor and are heavy laden to give us life and rest.

My heart is bound and accountable to Christ’s heart who gave His blood to cleanse my soul of sin.

Duty as motivation is not worthy of comparison to the intimate resolve to love Christ.
Christ’s love, when realized, goes beyond motivation, discipline, and dedication.

Christ’s love is limitless and the one who knows such love is confident in trials and courageous in tribulation.

The human mind may seek in vain to grasp the full scope of God’s love, but we should continually endeavor to do so.

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, and everything in between.

His promises are sure and are anchored in His great love, which He publicly demonstrated on the cross for you and me.

And, believe me, when I say this; words can’t even begin to express to others this inexpressible love Christ is in the hearts of those who know Him.

Jesus is the Most Sacred Flame, the Light of the World, inextinguishable and inexhaustible, burning in the hearts of all who trust Him as Savior.

The totality of who Jesus is to all who know Him cannot be fully expressed because He transcends measure, time, and space.

He alone is worthy of our eternal praise.

 

Jesus Christ – His Divine Union of Contrasts – King of Kings – Yet He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men

The Crucifixion (1622) by Simon Vouet; Church of Jesus, Genoa

The Crucifixion (1622) by Simon Vouet; Church of Jesus, Genoa

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Look no further than the Gospels of Jesus Christ in the Bible for proof of His existence. Mankind could not have conceived the embodiment of such extremes in the leader of a man made religion.
Only Christianity has a founder who embodies the full spectrum of what it means to be human and does so in Holy perfection.

James Stewart said it well.

“He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God.

 

He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at his coming, yet he was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with him, and the little ones nestled in his arms.

 

His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine.

 

No one was half so compassionate to sinners, yet no one ever spoke such red hot scorching words about sin.

 

A bruised reed he would not break, his whole life was love, yet on one occasion he demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell.

 

He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our stark realists soundly beaten.

 

He was a servant of all, washing the disciples feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and moneychangers fell over one another to get away from the mad rush and the fire they saw blazing in His eyes.

 

He saved others, yet at the last Himself He did not save. There is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the gospels. The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality.”

 

– James Stewart, Scottish theologian

 

They Gave Christ a Cross, Not Guessing that He Would Make it a Throne

ChristBetweenTwoThieves

“He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”

~James Stewart~

———————————

“It is a glorious phrase of the New Testament, that ‘he led captivity captive.’ 

The very triumphs of His foes, it means, he used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to sub-serve his end, not theirs.

They nailed him to the tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing the world to his feet.

They gave him a cross, not guessing that he would make it a throne.

They flung him outside the gates to die, not knowing that in that very moment they were lifting up all the gates of the universe, to let the King of Glory come in.

They thought to root out his doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy.

They thought they had defeated God with His back the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated: they did not know that it was God Himself who had tracked them down.

He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”

James Stewart (1896–1990) was a minister of the Church of Scotland

—————-

” And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh,

He has made alive together with Him,

having forgiven you all trespasses,

having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us,

which was contrary to us.

And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

 Having disarmed principalities and powers,

He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

(Colossians 2:13-15)

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

(John 3:16)

Life, Creation and Wisdom – We See So Little of All That Really Is

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Men look up into the sky at night and marvel in wonder at the sheer number of stars and the vastness of the universe.

Yet with our most sophisticated telescopes today we can see that far more is actually there  than the unaided eye can see.

The voids of blackness begin to fill in with the light of discoveries previously unknown.

You may then realize that in a similar way that you can never know it all.

But rest assured you CAN know the one who does know it all, and He calls each of the heavenly host by name.

He is God, and has also promised;

as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

(I Corinthians 2:9)

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;

blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

(John 20:29)

God’s Love is Unconditional but A Relationship with God is Conditional – All Close Relationships Come With Conditions

jesusandalostlamb

We are saved by Grace. We know this as God’s unconditional  and unmerited love.

Some very wise people question, “How can God’s love be unconditional if I will be sent to Hell for all eternity if I reject Christ as my Savior.”

The answer is found in the realization of understanding the difference between God’s unconditional love to us,

(God so loved the World)

Christ’s having satisfied those conditions for us,

(That He gave His only  Son)

and our having met the only condition for the restoration of a relationship with God.

(that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.)

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

God personally settled the condition for us to be restored to a relationship to Him.

He took responsibility for our debt on Himself.

All He asks is that we freely receive His offer.

He will also allow us to reject Him, 

But we must then accept responsibility for that decision

ourselves.

————————————-

The following link is to a half hour audio on this subject.

I gave it my own title because the audio actually covers a lot of theological ground , but covered this subject well here.

God’s Love is Unconditional but A Relationship with God is Conditional – All Close Relationships Come With Conditions.

“WHAT ANSWER FOR THE WICKED HUMAN HEART, PART 1 OF 2”

In this audio, the speaker reveals how he is often invited to speak with some of the world’s richest and most influential people.

On one occasion, the speaker was invited to go on a private yacht owned by a very wealthy man who had recently come to Christ through attending an event.

 Before the speaking event, this man told the speaker that he only came to fulfill a promise to his own wife that he would be there.

Ravi then told the man that having fulfilled his promise to be there, he could leave at any time while he is speaking if he chooses, and that would be okay.

Instead, the man accepted Christ as his Savior at the event.

This man then invited many of his own friends, and the speaker, to a private yacht cruise along the coast of Sicily.(perhaps in hope they would find new life in Christ as well).

This audio tells of a man on that cruise who also became a Christian when he finally understood true love and relationships all have conditions for them to exist.

Yacht

Yacht (Photo credit: WaterpoloSam)

The Deconstruction of Absolute Truth and Belief in the Bible – The Biggest Threat to Any People

A bible from 1859.

A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It is impossible to enslave, mentally or socially, a bible-reading people. The principles of the bible are the groundwork of human freedom.” 
― Horace Greeley

“Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”

(The Apostle Paul – Galatians 4:16)

The vast majority of modern Americans believe everything is relative and there are no absolutes.

Deconstructionism of truth, and the growing sceptisism regarding the authority ,accuracy and relevance of the Bible as the source of all truth, is creating a generation of people who feel lost and alone.

In this environment, anyone who has absolute faith and belief in a given truth, and states it as such, will likely be considered rude, pushy ,over bearing ,and judgemental.

The inevitable degradation of society will follow any people who abandon truth.

Without truth as a basis for what can be known, we cannot hope to solve the problems we face because we cannot build upon what is known since we deny that anything can be known!

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

(John 17:17)

The source of truth is the Bible. The living , breathing Word of God is Jesus Christ.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

(John 1:1-5)

 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

 (John 1:14,15)

May the light of truth of Jesus Christ the Savior, shine in our hearts and minds.

Related articles

The Deconstruction of Absolute Truth and Unity – The Reason Society Can No Longer Reason

 

Brumidi, Constantino - Apotheosis of Washingto...

Brumidi, Constantino – Apotheosis of Washington, detail E Pluribus Unum – 1865 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them:

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

(Matthew 12:25)

 

E pluribus unum

E Pluribus Unum, (Out of  Many ,One), is part of the history that made us a great nation and that made the world a better place for many.

We need an anthem of basic truths that inspires us to live in unity again.

These basic truths once formed a general basis for consensus,unity, and resolve for improving our society.

Without a clear definition of right and wrong, truth and error, everything will be a blend of gray without clear meaning.

~Reasoning is based on what is known, such as truth and facts~

To solve problems, reach solutions, make a diagnosis,theory, hypothesis, create, and improve anything, we need known truths to build upon.

(Educated guesses if you will, things we can say we are confident we know).

And the more sure we are, the bolder we will be in our attempts to make solutions to problems.

And the more of us who agree on basic truths, the more frequent and soon we will come to consensus on issues that demand our solution.

But without basic fundamental truths to unite us, we will remain divided, and will fall.

Without a basic assumption that anything can be known, we cannot hope to begin to reason solutions to our problems

by building educated guesses upon known fact and truth

because we deny that truth even exists!

 (such as presuppositions, ideological underpinnings, hierarchical values, and frames of reference)

Truth activates belief, and belief attempts things that doubt ignores.

This is the heart of realizing new realities and achievement.

Related terms are postmodernism, existentialism, and deconstructionism, but what all of these terms have in common is the abandonment of surety in truth.

Without the ability to say with can be confident of anything, we will likely lack the confidence to do or achieve anything.

This is also true in our attempts to create art or theater, be it novel or feature-length movie.

Is it any wonder that good theater seems more miss than hit?

Is it any wonder that the great art, theater and literature is in the past, or is based upon older literature or re-made movies ?

Is it any wonder that the overall approval ratings of government and officials is at an all time low?

Is it any wonder that the greater portion of change our politicians bring is for the worse?

Is it any wonder that political parties almost always make decisions down party lines ?

Is it any wonder that scientific and political debate quickly degrades into personal attacks?

Is it any wonder that thoughtless and absurd political dealings threaten the fabric and integrity of our American government ?

(These men and women are supposed to represent our finest leaders and patriots).

Is it any wonder that ,”we the people”, are often called,” we the sheeple”?

(If we deny the ability to absolutely believe anything we will likely fall for anything).

Is it any wonder that the best days of American ingenuity seem to be behind us?

Yet,we can rediscover truth as a nation and a people.

We can build the basic absolute truths that serve as a basis for consensus.

“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.”

(John 14:6)

Jesus is the truth.

If we reject Jesus, we reject the truth, we lose the way, and we forfeit life as a people, and a nation.

If we know Him we know truth.

Jesus is the way. If we know Him we know the way.

Jesus is life. If we know Him we know life.

This is where you can start.

“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)

Jesus Falls Beneath the Cross

Jesus Falls Beneath the Cross (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Yes. It is that simple. Jesus did all the heavy lifting on the cross).

Just believe and receive Him and His love gift of life that He bought with His blood for you.

Pray ,and He will hear you.

Write me, and I will rejoice with you.

And I pray  that we all can one day soon, rejoice in unity as a nation.

Out of many, one.

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ – from “The Bible” Series on the History Channel – 4 Minute Video- An Easter Reflection

This video from the History channel series ,”The Bible”, depicts Christ’s sacrifice and death on the cross.

It is my hope and prayer that each of us can see God’s love through the suffering Christ endured for us.

He died so that we can live.

But death could not hold Him.

Sunday is coming.

 “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 , The Bible)

The Reformers Missed The Supreme Sola – The Sixth Sola – Sola Christus Emphainein – Emphasize Christ Alone – Christ Centered

English: John Calvin Deutsch: Maße: 41 x 29,5 ...

English: John Calvin Deutsch: Maße: 41 x 29,5 cm, Johannes Calvin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” ~Jesus Christ speaking to the Pharisees~ John 5:39

Christ is due the supreme preeminence in everything befitting His supreme nature over everything.

This is what it means to be Christ Centered. To emphasize Christ Alone. Jesus is the center of our spiritual universe.

It is up to today’s reformers to have the courage to influence a more Christ-like Church as the reformers of 500 years ago.

But we will only become more Christ-like if we hear and are told about Christ.

Who is Christ?

Christ is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19:16)

He is Immanuel, meaning ,God with us. (Matthew 1:23)

The Five Solus came from the early reformers in response to doctrinal errors that had crept into the Catholic faith.

That is not the best way to define your doctrinal distinctions because you are limited to the perceived errors you are responding to and will likely miss something.

The early church fathers and reformers missed the need to state with absolute certainty that,”in all things Christ might have the preeminence.”

Did the reformers assume that everyone would know Christ was supreme and it need not be said?

I think a close examination of the Five Solas support that theory because they come close to making that statement.

But as they say,”good enough never is.”

The fact is that mankind is prone to selfish pride that wars against our humble Savior’s rightful place in our hearts.

Christ is our religion, it’s all about Him, yet many, maybe most sermons I hear fall short of giving Christ supreme preeminence .

A popular radio preacher, Dr.D.J. can preach about Grace for 20 minutes on the radio without mentioning Christ more than once or twice.

Does D.J. take it for granted we all know Christ brought Grace to mankind?

Or a ministry who primarily focuses on family instead of  Christ will talk about relationship issues without mentioning Christ.

Do they imply Christ is not the answer to all that ails mankind?

Do they just assume we all know that only Jesus can fix all that is wrong with society?

Practical advice should be part of the answer, but in Christianity, it should never be the preeminent answer.

Jesus saves, Jesus transforms and Jesus makes all things new.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Here is a short summary of the Five Solus:

Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone
Sola Christus – Christ Alone
Sola Gratia – Grace Alone
Sola Fide – Faith Alone
Sola Deo Gloria – The Glory of God Alone

Each of the Five existing Solas depend on Christ.
Jesus is the Lliving Word of God, the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Living Scriptura.
Christ is the one mediator between God and man, the Sola Christos.
Christ’s death and resurrection made God’s Grace available to mankind. Jesus is the Sola Gratia.
Christ said, “believe in Him whom God has sent.” Christ is the Sole Fide, in whom we place our Faith Alone.
Jesus is our bridge to Sola Deo Gloria, Christ is also our one mediator between God and man as we approach the Father in worship, thanksgiving, and praise. Without Christ, we could not know the Father.

“Unwarranted confidence in human ability is a product of fallen human nature … God’s grace in Christ is not merely necessary but is the sole efficient cause of salvation. We confess that human beings are born spiritually dead and are incapable even of cooperating with regenerating grace. We reaffirm that in salvation we are rescued from God’s wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life. We deny that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.” – Cambridge Declaration

(Source , http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Five-Solas/)

Christ must take the place of preeminence in all that is Christian.

Our doctrine must relate to Christ and be founded in Christ who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. 

“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”(Hebrews 12:2)
Our problems must find their solutions in Christ, and in knowing Him, and becoming like Him as we grow.
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)
To give preeminence is to place supreme emphasis upon.

The Five Solus deal primarily with redemption and the Biblical basis and authority concerning redemption.

The reformers came very close to making a complete distinction of Christ in this regard, but we cannot afford to assume people know the critical importance of giving Christ preeminence in all things.

We must emphasize Christ as completely as we are called to love Him completely.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
“We love Him because He first loved us.”

That is why we need The Supreme Sola – The Sixth Sola – Sola Christus Emphainein – Emphasize Christ Alone.

 “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)

(As always, I welcome any and all insights regarding this subject.)

Breakthrough Discovery of DNA – We Are Far More Intelligently Designed Than We Knew Before

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“It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”

~Antony Flew ~ 

Anthony Flew was the most vociferous atheist of the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s. and then he discovered the similarities of the Biblical account of word based creation in the Bible and word based DNA in all living things and people.

Scientists continue to discover that we are far more intelligently designed than we previously knew.

“After all, says Gerstein,(one of the Gnome Project leaders), it took more than half a century to get from the realization that DNA is the hereditary material of life to the sequence of the human genome. “You could almost imagine that the scientific programme for the next century is really understanding that sequence.” (Mark Gerstein, a computational biologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, who helped to design the data architecture for ENCODE project involving over 500 scientists)

Scientists have discovered that at least 80 % of our DNA is active in all our biological processes.
Prior to these results scientists believed only 2 percent of our DNA to be active and the rest was ,”junk DNA”.
This new clinical study proves that DNA is far more intricate and complex than previously believed.

The new results are a blow to the Evolutionary Theorists of Darwinism.

The fact that the Genesis account of creation in the Bible shows that ,”God Spoke, and it was,”has long been the Intelligent Design community’s greatest scientific evidence for proving God created everything.

Life ,and all living things have DNA.

DNA is a language. The words often used in reference to DNA and its function are, gnome, code, all meaning information in sophisticated sequence and sophisticated purposes.

Given the fact that there are only 4 letters to the DNA alphabet, and this scientific team thinks science will be about deciphering its meaning for the next 100 years ?, its safe to say we are not here by accident.

Our DNA reflects the Genesis record of creation in the Bible where everything came to be through the spoken word and language of Almighty God.

DNA is a detailed record and result of what God said at the creation of all living things.

But Christians have always been in the place where science will eventually arrive.

Psalm 139:14
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

The link below is to one of the many articles released.

http://www.nature.com/news/encode-the-human-encyclopaedia-1.11312

God has a promise and eternal hope for you and me. This time it involves becoming a new creation. This is God’s promise.

2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

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

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!

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

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

Tim Keller, D.A.Carson and John Piper Talk About Christianity Part 5 of 6 (10 Min.) Video

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

Tim Keller, D.A.Carson and John Piper Talk About Christianity Part 2 of 6 (10 Min.) Video

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)

Jesus never sought to amuse them! by Archibald Brown

 

 

Archibald Brown was C.H. Spurgeon’s successor.

Jézus soha nem akarta szórakoztatni őket! (He never sought to amuse them! by Archibald Brown).

” I believe it is without exaggeration to say that the cross, and the passion of God that is bound up with it, are more immense and profound than anything we have ever imagined them to be.” David Bolton

Christ-Centered Christianity

[Listen to post here.]

~ ~ ~

Have you ever woken up from a vivid nightmare in a cold sweat, your heart beating out of your chest, and your mind and emotions reeling from the intensity of the ordeal you just “lived” through?  I have, and it is one of the worst experiences in life.

For some people who have lived through real traumatic life experiences, this can happen somewhat regularly.  The nightmares they tend to have, however, relate not to some subconscious fantasy but to what they have actually lived and suffered through.  This is especially traumatic as they emotionally and mentally “relive” actual events they had previously endured.  How powerful dreams can be in creating and recreating experiences, and to bring us into genuine emotional and mental engagement with them as though they were real.

Memories also work this way, though often they are not quite so…

View original post 1,848 more words

That thing we call trust

“Only in Christ are we able to say that we are both more sinful and weak than we would like to admit, and yet more loved that we could ever dare to dream.” David Bibee

That thing we call trust.

God is so good

This is a wonderful Song of Praise by fellow Christian Blogger David Bibee.

Powerful Praise indeed.

click on the highlighted link below.

God is so good.

The Trinity – Like the Beautiful Trillium

People often struggle with the idea of the trinity.

How can God be a man and a Spirit and God all at the same time?
The answer is easier when we remember He is God.
Nothing is too hard for God.
“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27
He fills all of the universe at the same time, knows all of our thoughts continually, sees perfectly in total darkness.
Still His power is not diminished.
When God had a son he did not create another God.
God inhabited flesh and bones.
Why?
Because He is Holy and Just.
A man would have to atone for the sins of mankind.
But no man was the perfect offering required for sacrifice.
God loved us so much that He personally came to endure the hardships of life and still be able to love His enemies.
He allowed them to kill Him on a Roman cross.
He bore our punishment and endured our shame because He loved us.
Then three days later He overcame the grave to prove He can do the same thing for all who believe in Him as Lord and Savior.
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:25,26

A Reason For Living – An Audio Sermon By Dr. Tim Keller – Redeemer Presbyterian Church- Manhattan, NY- Keller Answers The Big Question- “What Is The Reason,Meaning, And Purpose For Life?”

Christ's Resurection from Death

What is the reason for living?

All the big thinkers, atheist , agnostic, and believer, have written about the reason for our existence and the meaning of life.

In this sermon, Keller does what many big thinkers refuse to do, and that is to honestly and logically examine the premise, or basis on which to answer the big question.

If God does exist and we can know Him, then we have hope in this life because we know this is not the end, the best is yet to come.

This view also gives hope to all who suffer in this life because they too can say they have a ,”future hope”.

Keller exposes that the typical atheist view is built on the premise that if God does not exist then the individual experiences ,

“Freedom”, but that view is not enough reason for living.

The problem is that ,”freedom”, as the sole reward in life ,robs us of any hope for a future beyond this life,

and results in a lack reason, purpose and meaning, and results in a loss of hope.

But the answer to life’s big question is that God does exist, we do have a future hope, and we have a reason  for living.

His name is Jesus.

————————————————-

How I Post Sermons

I typically listen to a sermon 6 or more times before I recommend, comment and post them ?

This is especially true of Keller’s sermons.

I do this in part because I’m following Keller’s own example of how he studies the great early American revivalist, Jonathan Edwards.

Keller has mentioned that he reads, and re-reads Edward’s books and sermons over and over again.

Re- reading Edwards, Keller says, allows the benefit of learning how Edwards thought, and gives the benefit of applying that kind of thought to all of life,

as if to anticipate how Edwards would have answered any question himself.

Since I can’t listen to Edwards audio sermons,( since none exist), but Keller studies Edwards,

then I figure Keller’s audio sermons are the practicle choice for the student of deep theological issues.

This Sermon – In Summery

Keller answers the big question by dwelling on the basis for question, for most of sermon.

At one point in the sermon Keller receives applause for one of his comments, to which he replies,”that has never happened to me before, no wait,

I should say , that has never happened to me in a white church before.”

Another great sermon by Keller.

Free online. Click on the link below.

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/reason-living

Enjoy.

Infinite Love – Christ’s Sacrifice To Save Us Was The Ultimate Expression Of Love To An Infinite Degree

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. “ (Ephesians 3:14-19)

“to know this love that surpasses knowledge”.

That seems like an impossible  statement because it is.

The love of God is infinite and our minds are finite.

Faith becomes logical when we consider that God is limitless in all virtue and strength and that we, His creation ,are limited in our capacity to grasp ,”this love that surpasses knowledge”.

But we are curious by nature and intrigued by the unknown.

Yet our text says we can by God’s indwelling Spirit grasp this love that passes knowledge.

His love is infinite love.

Love for God – The All Consuming Fire the Burns Away All Other Passions

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 “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;

they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.

Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!

But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!

He is filled with fury,because he knows that his time is short.”(Rev12.11.NIV84 )

Courage.

Can there possibly be a more masculine word? (Ladies, I’m speaking primarily to the guys in our culture who seem to have a problem with the word love. Just to avoid any possible misunderstanding).

How about Love? Could love be more masculine than courage?

Consider what the Bible says about believers who are tested by fiery trials.

“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Rev. 12:11

The believers in this text obviously loved Christ more than their own lives.

They loved God with all their heart and all their soul, and all their mind.

This text reveals the root and heart of courage.

Courage is when we love someone or some higher purpose more than we love our own lives or circumstances.

Such was the courageous love of Christ sacrifice for us on the cross.

God’s love through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was not weakness.

When God came down to save us in the personage of Jesus Christ and gave himself as the only perfect and worthy sacrifice that could pay for our sins, He did not display weakness as it may appear.

The All Powerfull Creator and One God of All that is and all that live could have sent ,“ten legions of angels”, yet for His great love for us He suffered and died, the just for the unjust.

He suffered for our benefit and withheld retribution though it was justified because of His limitless divine love.

God showed more than courage, God is love!

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

God’s love is the flame that feeds the fire of courageous believers,…

because He first loved us.

I say this because Christianity is suffering from a serious disconnect in a loving delivery of our message.

I think men typically think of love as a liberal, mushy, soft,sentimental feeling without any rational basis or theological application.

God’s love is the strongest force there is.

God Loves Us More Than We Love Ourselves-An Anchor For Hope

A Sure Anchor for Hope

A Sure Anchor for Hope

We may give up on ourselves.

God loves us more than we love ourselves because He never gives up on us.

Life can be tough and sometimes people give trying.

Hope is the basis for much of this life and also for our eternity.

When people lose hope they stop believing in themselves and those around them.

The outcomes of hopelessness can be devastating to families and relationships, and even end in tragedy.

But if hopelessness leads to disillusionment and disbelief, then hope leads to faith and belief and life.

God, who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all will not forsake us.

“if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” ( 2 Timothy 2:13)

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”(Romans 8:32)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”(Deuteronomy 31:6)

Place your faith in the anchor of your soul, and nothing in this life can touch your hope for eternity.

“while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,”(Titus 2:13)

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Believe in Christ as your Savior.He will come into your heart and will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

And if He will never leave you then you will never loose all hope.

No matter what happens in this life, even death will only hasten your reward of your eternal hope.

Jesus in you will become Jesus with you.You will be in His presence forever.

 

The Love of God – The Supreme Apologetic – The Context of The Gospel

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:18

What is the love of God and why is it important?

Where do the doctrines of God’s love and God’s Holiness rank in importance in Christian theology ?

The love of God is the heart of the gospel and represents the linkage between all of God’s attributes as they relate to mankind .

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

(John 3:16)

 The love of God is the supreme apologetic of all our theology.

So why is it that Christianity has always been in peril from legalism?

The book of Galatians is a wonderful rendition of God’s grace, but it was written to Christians who had wandered from the pure truth of the gospel.

Moral-ism, the idea that we earn favor with God by our good works, had taken hold of the Galatians church.

In a world that seems to be growing darker by the day, we need to shine as beacons of light like never before.

We need to embrace and then reflect God’s love to the world as revealed in Christ.

Our message must be the fullness of all the purity and brilliance found in Christ’s expression of love to us on the cross.

Our self centeredness desires moral-ism, pride, legalism and self-righteous exaltation.

The tendency toward Legalism among Christians is , as one brave pastor has put it, “not only prevalent, but it is the norm.” ( Dr. Tim Keller)

We need to revisit the gospel continually in order to be reminded of the cost, so we will remember what we owed, in order to love Him as He deserves, …

with our all.

Not because our salvation can be lost, but because we can loose sight of the fullness of what Christ did for us.

MAY GOD GRANT US A REVIVAL OF THE AWARENESS OF HIS GREAT LOVE.

MAY WE REFLECT GOD’S GREAT LOVE TO A WORLD THAT IS LITERALLY DIEING FOR LACK OF AWARENESS OF HIS LOVE.

We are told we need the GOSPELIZATION of all our theology.

That everything needs to point to Christ and His Supremacy.

Supremacy is a matter of emphasis, supreme emphasis in this case.

The following is an outline of  Christian theology as represented with Biblical Emphasis as the context.

Biblical Emphasis is what God has revealed in the Bible as a whole to be of greatest importance.

First and of foremost importance is the fact that God is love.

The second is like the first in that it is how God showed His love for us when He sent His one and only Son. (John 3:16)

Christian Theology in the Context of Biblical Emphasis – Gospelization

God Is Love.  – 1 John 4:8 , 1John 4:16

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

God Created Us To Have A Relationship With Him. – Genesis 1:27

“So God created man in his own image,
   in the image of God he created him;
   male and female he created them”


Sin Separated Us From Our Perfect And Holy Creator.  – Isaiah 53:5,6

“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.”

God Loved Us And Came To Save Us In The Personage Of Jesus Christ. – 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.”

Christ Died For Us And Then Conquered Death For Us Before We Knew Him. – Romans 5:8

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God Offers Salvation As A Gift To All Who Receive It By Faith In Christ As Lord And Savior. – Ephesians 2:8,9

“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.”

God’s Salvation For Us Takes Place In Our Hearts. – Romans 10:9,10

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

God Comes Into The Heart Of The Believer To Seal Us As His Own Forever. – Ephesians 1:13,14 – Ephesians 4:30 – II Corinthians 1:21,22 – 2 John 1:2

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

God’s Spirit In Us Is Love. – John 7:38

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

God’s Spirit Works In Our Hearts To Change Our Desires And The Result Is Growth In Love For Him.  – Philippians 2:13

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

We Love And Serve God Because He First Loved Us. – 1 John 4:19

“We love because he first loved us.”

Genuine Love For God Results In Motives That Please God.- 1 Corinthians 4:5 and 16:14

“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”

“Do everything in love.”

Motives That Please God Result In Works That Honor God. – 1 John 5:2-5

“This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,  for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Our Journey of Life – Sign Post 7 – Believer

Believers know Jesus.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-” John 10:14

Believers know Jesus paid it all.

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:21

Believers know God.

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, and Jesus Christ , whom you have sent.” John 17:3

Believers know that their own works do not factor into their salvation.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2: 8, 9

Believers know that they are now made alive in Christ.

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28

Believers know that God’s Spirit now lives in them forevermore.

“Because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:” 2 John 1:2

Believers know God’s love.

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14,15

Believers respond by the power of God’s Spirit of love that lives in them.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Believers follow Christ because they love Him.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” John 10:27

Believers want everyone to know Jesus Christ.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20,21

What Must We Do To Do The Works God Requires ?

Resurrection.

Resurrection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus’ followers once asked Him this question,

“What must we do to do the works God requires ?” John 6:28

“Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.” John 6:29

Someone in that crowd had the courage and honesty to admit they did not have the will and desire to do the works God requires of them.

Jesus’s answer is clear, that until we believe in Him, whom God sent to die for the sins of the world, we cannot even think about anything else.

Salvation must come first because our good works are the result of genuine salvation, not a condition for our salvation.

Only Jesus Christ works of sacrifice for you and I on the cross can save us because only He was perfect and Holy and without sin.

And as if Jesus’ sacrifice for us was not enough, God then does something wonderful, He comes into our hearts to live there forever.

Philippians 2:13 states, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

They asked “What must we do to do…?”

God answered, “Believe,…”

Then God , who is love ,and His Spirit that He places in you is love, will begin to win over our desires because nothing in the universe is more desirable, more beautiful, more majestic, more wonderful and beyond description than Him.

As we grow we will trade more and more of our selfish desires for more and more of Him because we realize those things come between our relationship to each other.

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5

If you know you need Christ’s salvation just come to Him in prayer now, without regard for the current state of your heart or the things you know are not right in your life.

Jesus will win over your desires.

He is the Hope that does not disappoint.

Simply pray to Him,
“Save me, come into my heart ! “, and He will abide with you forever.

“That if you confess with your mouth and believe with your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10: 9,10

Then tell someone, anyone, that you have trusted Jesus as your savior.

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him will I confess before My father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32

Until we believe in Christ Jesus as our savior, nothing else matters.

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia in an effort to correct a similar misconception.
“Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” Galatians 3:3

Both before and after salvation, our work is to believe, and then take action based on that hope alone, with faith in Christ Spirit in us alone.

” because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:” 1 John 1:2

Man’s Pride Infects The Gospel – The Doctrine of Repentance

 

 

Choosing to follow Jesus will result in men turning from their sin in exchange for Christ’s most precious love. But if a person is told they must first forsake their sin as a condition to follow Christ they will turn away if they are honest because they know they are slaves to sin. The world and Church both know the Church has enough hypocrites.

Salvation is a free gift bought and paid for with the blood of Christ, and if a person knows they need Jesus then they know they need a Savior. That means they know they are condemned without Him. That is Biblical repentance. The problem is that we have confused sanctification of desires with awareness of need for salvation.

We have put the sanctification cart before the Holy Spirit horse.

Some context for making this point-

A major role of Paul the Apostle was to defend and confirm the Gospel.

Philippians 1:7 “…in the defense and the confirmation of the gospel,”
Philippians 1:17 “knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel.”

Pride was as prevalent back in those days as it is now. In my previous blogs I tried to paint a clear picture of how pride is not only the main weakness of all of mankind, but also the main weakness of all created beings, even angels. Pride lead to Lucifer’s downfall. Then Lucifer was cast down to Earth and out of Heaven along with 1/3 of the angels who followed him in his unsuccessful attempt to over through God. Lucifer,(Satan), wanted to be,”like the Most High”.
There can only be One God.

Perhaps in an attempt to get even with God, Lucifer tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God with the prospect of being,”like God”, the same sin that lead to Lucifer’s downfall.

Self Centered Pride lead to the downfall of man. It is leading us to the ruin of all of mankind.

Man’s pride leads to the creation of cults that serve man’s lusts. National Geographic 2011 featured the disturbing reality of child brides that are given in the name of religion. Some as young as 6 years old, almost an infant bride. The dark depths of the heart of man seem almost bottomless at times when I hear of such things as this. Pride and the ultimate lust of mankind to rule his own destiny at the expense of all others seems to be pushing the boundaries of evil ever closer to the depths of Hell.

Pride is a given. It’s the root of all evil. Money is not. Men who are old and have more than they could ever spend are using money to leverage power. Only the sense of being powerful comes close enough to the God Complex that it takes to make leaders behave like they are insane. Men who behave in such a way seem willing to destroy both mankind and this world in their quest to gain power. They may or may not realize that they desire to be,”like the Most High.”

Even after we become Christians, and God puts His Spirit in our hearts, our desires are at war with our ,flesh.”
Our flesh is the part of us that remains pride oriented and is reclaimed gradually by God after our salvation. We call this Sanctification and Discipleship. In simplified terms, those two words mean growth and development by God’s Spirit working in the believer. We are assured that upon passing from this life to the next we will be changed from our corruptible flesh to sinless incorruptible bodies, not prone to lusts. God changes our desires here and now by loving us and living in us. His humility and love shown to all on the cross is the measure of how much He loves us.

Pride even infected the presentation of the gospel in the early church. Paul recorded the event and related ones as we read in the book of Galatians in the Bible. Certain people who claimed to be Christians added a requirement for salvation to God’s free gift, bought and paid for by the only one worthy to do so, Jesus Christ.

Paul’s tone in this letter can be summed up by counting the exclamation marks and question marks in the six chapters that make the book.

Paul used about 11 exclamations and 13 questions in six chapters. This is very telling of Paul’s frame of mind. In verse 6 of the first chapter Paul tells the Galatians his frame of mind.Depending on the translation, he is,”astonished,” “I marvel.” He is astonished ,“that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who troubled you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.”

The guys that upset Paul only wanted a small thing added to Christ’s finished work. Jewish circumcision was all they asked in addition to faith in Jesus as Savior. To many it obviously seemed insignificant, almost like a token of good faith.

To Paul it was huge. Either Jesus paid it all or nothing. Faith in Christ had to be faith in Christ alone plus nothing.
Paul even mentioned this to the Galatians in regard to growth and development,(sanctification).

Galatians 3:3“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”

So we see that neither they nor we can save ourselves, nor can we make the kind of ongoing changes that give us victorious living here and now to live selfless fulfilling lives modeled after Jesus Christ.

So here is the point of this post-

Why do we tell someone about Jesus’ sacrifice, compel them to accept His free gift of salvation bought and paid for with His blood, and then say, Only turn from your sin and accept Christ as Savior.”?

Turn from sin? Before they have the indwelling Spirit promised to all who believe?
Are we so foolish? Men can understand their sin has ruined them and condemned them to Hell but sin may still rule their desires. They may not turn to Christ because they know sin still owns their desire and they don’t want to be hypocrites. I have met people like that.

I tell them to let Jesus deal with their desires!

Only God can change our desires through Christ!

” for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

This is making an additional condition for accepting salvation’s free gift. Turning from sin is something an unbeliever ,who has not been empowered by the Holy Spirit, does not have the ability to affectingly do! He can want to be set free by Christ! That is repentance.

We must not confuse the two as if we do not already know that sanctification takes place only by the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer after salvation. To say otherwise is putting the cart before the horse, or putting sanctification before salvation/conversion.

Demanding an unbeliever to turn from sin in order to accept God’s gift is foolishness in the highest degree!
Demanding an unbeliever to turn from sin before Christ comes in is the modern version of adding circumcision as a condition for salvation. It is adding the works of the law to grace!
It is perversion of the gospel, and it is another gospel!

This is the gospel, God so loved you that He came down and became one of us as Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a humble life even though everything belonged to Him. He was one of us! He lived a perfect sinless life, the life none of us ever could. Jesus said;

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus did ALL the heavy lifting, paid ALL the amount due,and continues to restore our broken lives until His return when He will suddenly make us complete and whole in an instant. Jesus does it ALL from beginning to end.

Add NOTHING to what Jesus has done. Repentance is God-given. God leads us to repent by revealing our need and how He can cancel our dept if we accept Christ by faith. In addition God makes us His children, sons and daughters.

 “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”Romans 2:4

If God affects a person’s heart to realize they need a Savior, then they obviously see their predicament!

Genuine repentance is an automatic response to God-given revelation of our own need for Christ.

When we see a clear picture of Christ we see our depravity.This is the goodness of God. GRACE! And to an infinite degree that leads us to true repentance.

We must never offer guilt in the absence of Grace.

Both repentance and acceptance take place or neither happens.

Give us Jesus and we have everything we need.
Not another gospel, just Jesus, and only Jesus!

Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Galatians 2:16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”


The Only Sin God Will Not Forgive

 

 

God came down in the personage of Jesus Christ the Man/God, to live a perfect life, and offer a perfect sacrifice for our sins. All our sins great and small were paid for by Jesus on the cross when He freely laid down His life for you and me.
Here are Christ’s own words as recorded in Matthew 12:31;

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.”

No one is beyond God’s forgiveness but those who attribute the miracles by the power of God’s Spirit to the Devil. That is blasphemy against the Spirit. That is the only sin that God will not forgive.
The sacrifice of God’s One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, is more powerful than the deepest darkest sin. God eagerly welcomes all who repent and seek Him by taking Jesus, the Savior, as their very own. He knows the thoughts of all who live. He will hear your prayer of belief in Him as Savior.

Don’t wait. Do it now.

 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)

Jesus Said He is the Great, “I AM”

John 8:58 “Very truly I tell you.” Jesus answered,” before Abraham was born, I AM “

This verse has twice as much truth that Jesus is God when taken with Exodus 3:14.
God also said He is,” I AM.”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites:”I AM has sent me to you.”

TIme is one of the most explored and least understood realities of science today. Yet thousands of years ago God spoke of Himself in only the present/ eternal state. God’s name ,”I AM” evokes an image of timelessness. “I AM”, means God is always in the now. Time has no hold on the one who created time. God is always in the now. He is eternal.

The Jews who heard Jesus make this statement about Himself knew what He was saying, and they tried to stone Him because Jesus said of Himself, “I AM.”, (Verse 59).

The One and Only Son

 “For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son, that whoever believes in him should not parish but have everlasting life.”John 3:16 

God did not create another God when he had a son.

Jesus is the one and only son , but not a son in the sense of created by God, for he is God and is therefore eternal as is God.

He is the one and only son because…

God came down as man.

God humbled himself to became one of us in order to defeat sin by living a sinless life and then offer himself as a sacrifice worthy to take our punishment , by the crucifixion, death, and then to show he can defeat death by raising from the dead.

Christ did for us what we cannot do for ourselves so that he could offer freely to all who believe the free gift of eternal life to all who believe.

Humble is our God, in that he became one of us in order to save us.

God so loved the world. He was the one that sin offended and he is the one who satisfied the requirements for justice for the offense.

God became one of us in the person of Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man.

He said , no man takes my life, but I freely lay it down.

Therefore, Christ’s death on the cross was the ultimate expression of humility, because it came from the highest place, the very throne of God himself.

Mankind is enslaved to pride, God is the master of humility.

Jesus living in our hearts is the answer.

God Came Down

 

Jesus stated that He came down from the Father.

In this chapter Jesus repeats seven times that He came down from Heaven , and that He came to give us life as our Bread of Life.              

(John 6:33,38,41,42,48,50,51,58,62) 

Jesus uses the illustration of eating to explain faith and also bread to explain that He is the one who gives life saving nourishment to our starving souls for all who believe in Him as Savior.

Jesus also again shows us that he lived in eternity before His time on Earth when He states that He came down from Heaven.

” For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” (John 6:38)

They Will Call Him, “Immanuel “, Meaning,”God With Us.”

 

 

This is a prophecy about Jesus was written about 700 years before His birth. Jesus would be called,”Immanuel”, meaning,”God with us.”

” Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”Isaiah 7:14 

This verse is repeated and explained in Matthew’s Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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

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