Posts tagged ‘gospel’

God Required Holiness of Humanity – So God Provided Holiness to Humanity

God said,
“Be Holy because I am Holy.”

Man’s dilemma,
“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

So God came down to man as a man,Immanuel, God with us.

and the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

after the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life,

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting ?

 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,

that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 The Lord has shown his holy arm
    in the sight of all the nations,
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, 

the gospel of your salvation.

Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal,

 the promised Holy Spirit, 

who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance 

until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—

to the praise of his glory.

(Scripture references – 1 Peter 1:16,Romans 3:23,1 Corinthians 15:55, Matthew 1:23,2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 52,53, Ephesians 1:13-14)

Christ is the Gospel – He Must Be Our Constant Theme

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By C.H.Spurgeon

“Beloved, because Jesus is the sum of the gospel he must be our constant theme.

“God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

So spake men of old, and so say we. 

When we have done preaching Christ we had better have done preaching; when you have done teaching in your classes Jesus Christ himself, give up Sunday school work, for nothing else is worthy of your pains.

Put out the sun, and light is gone, life is gone, all is gone.

When Jesus is pushed into the background or left out of a minister’s teaching, the darkness is darkness that might be felt, and the people escape from it into gospel light as soon as they can.

A sermon without Jesus in it is savourless, and worthless to God’s tried saints, and they soon seek other food.

The more of Christ in our testimony the more of light and life and power to save.”

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

Susana Trimarco Hero

(Photo: Victor R. Caivano)

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

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

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

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

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

Her name is Susana Trimarco.

Her daughter was taken from her.

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

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

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

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

Sex trafficking is a worldwide problem.

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

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

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

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

–UPDATES AND RELATED STORIES —

SexTrafficking

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

 

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

1. Dallas,TX

2. San Antonio, TX

3. Fort Worth, TX

4. Salt Lake City, UT

5. Buffalo,NY

6. Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA

7. Independence,MO

8. Las Vegas, NV

9. Clearwater,FL

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

Bee-lieve

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Like a Bee to the sweet nectar of a flower, come to Jesus, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Cast off all your heavy burdens and believe in Jesus, for He bore our burdens on the cross.

He paid the price of the penalty of our sins.

Ask Jesus to save you and He will.

Only believe.

Mark 1:15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

John 3:15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

John 6:40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 11:26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Acts 10:43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

Acts 13:39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Romans 4:5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it  is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

I John 3:23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

I John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue  to believe in the name of the Son of God.

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!

Christianity and Islam – The Basic Fundamentals of Different Fundamentalisms

Map showing the relative proportion of Christi...

Map showing the relative proportion of Christianity (red) and Islam (green) in each country. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The essence of any religion is the fundamental truths it is founded upon.

That would comprise a religion’s Fundamentalism.

A “Fundamentalist”,is one who attempts to strictly adhere to a religion’s fundamentals.

The word fundamental can mean something  good or bad, depending on a religion’s core truths.

The Supreme Doctrines of Christianity and Islam are polar opposites.

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22:34-40)

“Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

God wants us to love Him, and has provided the ultimate reason to desire to love Him by loving and giving His one and only Son, Jesus Christ as a sacrifice, the just for the unjust, on the cross. God WINS our love and trust.

“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)

In contrast to that, Islam means,”Submit to Allah”, and force is the means Allah’s word, the Koran, imposes.

Free will is forcefully denied by this fundamental belief of Islam.

(Read the following quotes from the Koran)

Qur’an:8:39 “Fight them [who do not believe] until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”

Ishaq:324 “He said, ‘Fight them so that there is no more rebellion, and religion, all of it, is for Allah only. Allah must have no rivals.'”

Qur’an:8:65 “O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding.”

Qur’an:9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

Qur’an:9:29 “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.”

Qur’an:47:4 “When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in
battle (fighting Jihad in Allah’s Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them)captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.”

Free World listen!! It is clear! Democracy was born out of Christinity’s “Unalienable rights” and the belief that “all men are CREATED equal”. 

Allah demands we all SUBMIT to him. Or die.
Islam is fundamentally tyrannical.

God’s desire is for us is to LOVE Him, and He personally came down to us to die for our sins and defeat death for us.

What more could He do ?

“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 did this to set is free from sin and death. Christianity is fundamentally liberaiting.

“If the Son of Man sets you free you shall be Free indeed.”

Different core beliefs, different fundamentals, different fundamentalists.

Additional verses and links

Qur’an Sura 4:34, “Men have authority over women because [Allah] has made the one superior to the other… Good women are obedient… As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them…”

http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php

 

The Road Map For Renewal For America – Gospel Shaped Ministry – By Tim Keller

“Gospel ministry is endlessly creative,it’s ever new,it means that you can preach the Gospel and you never have to be afraid of boring people.”

“The Gospel is what every theological category should be expounding when we do our theology.”

 “Every sermon ought to be about Jesus. It doesn’t matter what passage, or if it’s the Old Testament or the New Testament,it should be Jesus”

“Father, we want to be Gospel shaped people now.”

Tim Keller

This video is 54 minutes long.

If you can watch this video but only  have time for a few minutes of it, I suggest you watch the last 11 minutes, and come back for the rest later.

If you can watch the entire video you may conclude it is one of the best, and perhaps the best sermon I have posted by Tim Keller.

If you cannot watch the entire video, I will be posting more quotes from this video as I find the time. Please come back for more.

“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?

Stand You’re Gospel Ground – Don’t Be Moved

Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Take your stand on the Rock of Ages. Let death, let the judgment come: the victory is Christ’s and yours through Him.” ~DL Moody

So many subjects and issues seem to govern what Pastors preach.
But only one subject can have lasting impact in this life ,and in the next.

Pastor, if your three-point sermon isn’t about Jesus, you are missing The Point.

Case in point– One particularly hot topic is marriage. To be fair, the Bible covers marriage, and we need to listen to what God says about the Holy union he established between man and women. God made us to uniquely compliment each other physically, emotionally,and so on.

But the Bible has an overall theme of man’s redemption through Christ.

Both the old and most obviously the New Testament reveal Christ and His purpose,the Gospel, as central to all that is written in them.

Jesus heals marriages because He alone makes sinners into saints, and saved sinners make Christian couples.

If the issues that plague secular marriage are as prevalent in the Church it is because the church is filled with unchanged sinners.

If that is true, then you need to ask yourself if three or four Gospel messages per year are enough.
(Selah)

Pastor, you should consider making Jesus and the Great Commission the central theme of every message.

Christ can show you how all subjects begin and end with Him.

“Without Me you can do nothing.”, is an all-encompassing statement.
” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,”is another all-encompassing statement.

Both of theses Biblical truths point to the central truth of Christ’s supremacy.

It really is all about Jesus.

Isn’t it time you plugged your sermons into that power?
The ONLY power to change us forever is Jesus.

Augustine on “Hope has two beautiful daughters” Christian Anger and Courage

“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” Augustine

Augustine is of course talking about getting angry at the problem,…and people are not the problem!

The people have a problem,…they need Jesus.

But not everybody thinks they need to be saved.

“From what?”‘they might say.

And that is when we give them the ,”Bad News,” and say, “You need Jesus, without Him you will spend eternity in Hell. ”

How could the truth always be what we want to hear?
It can’t be.Life isn’t that way.

But still, anyone who speaks the truth when needed is showing more love than a dozen people who say nothing simply because they don’t want to ,”be negative.”

Is it love to not say what someone you love needs to hear?

If a bridge is out on a road, would you even think of taking down the big yellow warning sign that reads,”Bridge is Out”, because your opinion is that people don’t want to hear that negative stuff ?

That is just what living without Jesus is like.

Without Jesus, we are on a road that leads to certain and eternal death!

My HOPE is that we all heed this warning and tell others as well.

Christian, find your voice.

Be angry at the way things are!

State the ugly truth of the way things are, even if everyone else chooses to ignore it!

If they are blind and cannot see, that is God’s job to open their eyes.

All you must do is be faithful in telling others.

Then have the courage to tell others how it should be!
That Jesus came to seek and to save what was lost.
That Jesus loved them enough to die for their wrongdoing.
That Jesus rose in victory over death and now offers life to as many as receive Him a Lord and Savior.

Jesus is the bridge to life.
Make the turn.
Heed the warning.
And then…
Put up the Big Yellow Warning Sign.

You might save an eternal life from eternal death.

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

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).

How to fill your church! by C. H. Spurgeon

A post by “The Word In Focus”

Hogyan töltsd meg a gyülekezetedet (How to fill your church! by C. H. Spurgeon).

(Excerpt)

“The gospel has a secret charm about it which secures a hearing:
it casts its good spell over human ears, and they must hearken.
It is God’s own word to men; it is precisely what human
necessities require; it commends itself to man’s conscience, and,
sent home by the Holy Spirit, it wakes an echo in every heart.”

C.H.Spurgeon

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

wpid-imagejpeg_2_18.jpg

 

 

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

We are all enslaved to something.

Most of these things are a source of temporary fulfilment.

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Keller

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

(John 6:35)

Listen to the free audio sermon – click the link below

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

Related articles

Not My Righteousness, But Christ’s In Me

 

“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

(NKJV) Matthew 5:20 

That would be bad news for us were it not for the fact that Christ died in our place paid the sin debt of all who believe.

“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 3:9

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”

1 Corinthians 1:30

“Jesus answered,

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 

That is why ,”Gospel”, is translated,” Good News”!

Do you believe?

 

Greater Love Has No Man Than This

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

“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

To all who live with the burden of the horrors of wartime, and to those who grieve the loss of loved ones to battle, thank you for your sacrifice.
May you find a measure of comfort in knowing that because of His great love for you,God also knows the pain of sacrifice. Amen

What the Church in America Needs – By D. A. Carson

click on the video link below

What the Church in America Needs – D. A. Carson

Jesus Saves

Jesus Saves.

The Gospel is so different we need to create another category for it in our hearts and minds.

The title link above takes you to a great couple of quotes from Dr.Tim Keller posted by Kent.

Enjoy!

Better Than Miracles – An Audio Sermon By Dr.Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church – Manhattan, NY.

“The Essence of God is not His power but His love.”

Tim Keller

Redeemer Church Synopsis – 1 Corinthians 13 seems sweet, but in the context of the entire book of 1 Corinthians, it is a sober warning against straying from the Gospel. If a person is gifted—as many of the Corinthians were—then it is frighteningly easy for that person to mistake their spiritual gifts for spiritual fruit. When we serve others in the church, are we serving Jesus or are we serving ourselves? Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Acts 18:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Matthew 7:21-23.”This sermon is remarkable in that the Pastor identifies the main target audience as his own church staff. That in itself is not so remarkable, but the subject makes it so; that of their own salvation. Keller wants Christians, and those who are trying to understand Christianity, to know who easy it is to place our faith in our own giftedness and the successes we often realize because of them. The real mark of a Christian and Christian character is love. (John 1:17)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

This sermon embodies so much of what I desire for Christians and non Christians to know.

 Quotes from this sermon;

“Not giftedness but grace, not our accomplishments but Christ’s on our behalf.”

“If you are godly and loving everyone will follow you.”

“Love is the miracle above all miracles.”

“Love, Christian love , is more miraculous than miracles.”

“Don’t get your identity from your ministry instead of Jesus.”

“Love is the essence of faith.”

“The grace in your heart has unlimited potential.”

“What you really need is to give your heart to the Gospel.”

“Love drove Jesus down to us.”

“The more you see the love He showed , the more love will grow in your heart.”

This is another sermon that is worth listening to several times over.

Free to stream online and also downloadable to listen at your leisure.

Click the link below.

Enjoy!

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/better-miracles

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

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

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

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

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

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

We call them Legalism and License.

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

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

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

The following are excerpts from the full outline.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The two “thieves” of the gospel.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Related articles

How The Gospel Changes Us – An Audio Sermon By Dr.Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Manhattan, NY

Christ's Resurection from Death

“How the Gospel Changes Us“, could also be called, “How to Be Sure You Interpret the Gospel as God Intended it to Be in Order to Be Truly Saved”.

This sermon is a rare and ernest call to the most basic reformation truth; That mankind is compelled to corrupt the true gospel, and how to recognize the difference.

Dr. Keller reveals that even as Christ was crucified between two thieves, the gospel is also theologically between two thieves.

Quoting the first century church father, Tertullian, Dr. Keller points out that one thief represents legalism, the belief that our deeds merit favor with God, and the other thief represents  license, the belief that since Christ paid for our sins we can live anyway we want.

He says that both views  skew the truth of the gospel to the right or the left, and both rob power from the gospel that is only released with Christ Centeredness.

Both sides appeal to self.

On the moralistic side , self wells up with pride at the belief that works merit favor with God.

The cross of Christ is seen as insufficient as the sole means of salvation, and is therefore supplemented with good works.

On the license side, self is driven by the pursuit of pleasure.

The cross of Christ is then taken for granted and used as an excuse to pursue selfish pleasure.

But the cross of Christ is not simply a balance between the two views , it is ,”something else”, and we are told that we do not have a natural category for the gospel.

We also learn that,”Truth without grace is not truth, and grace without truth is not grace.”

But Christ was full of grace and truth.  

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

(John 1:14)

It is my hope that this message will open your heart and mind to the need for the ,”Gospelization”, of all our Christian theology.

Free online.

Click on the link below.

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/how-gospel-changes-us

Enjoy.

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)

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