Archive for the ‘Salvation’ category

God Makes Things Simple

January 31, 2016

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Yet God makes things simple.

The message of the Gospel is simple. It’s in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

3.For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4.And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:…

Many believe we must do good works to earn our salvation. Would you believe Jesus says that’s true? According to Jesus in John 6:29, all we have to do is believe in Him. How simple is that?

28.Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29.Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Here’s how simple God makes believing. According to Ephesians 2:8-9, He gives you and me the ability to believe.

8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9.Not of works, lest any man should boast.

It’s the grace of God that leads Him to give you and me the faith to believe on Him for salvation. That faith doesn’t come from something you or I stir up.

But it doesn’t stop there. That faith goes well beyond salvation. According to Romans 10:17, it grows as we grow in the knowledge of His word.

17. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The Christian walk is a forward walk, according to 2 Peter 1:5-8.

5.And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6.And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7.And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8.For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God makes things so simple that He gives us the Holy Spirit to enable us to walk in His ways, according to Romans 8:14-16, 26-27.

14.For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15.For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16.The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:…
26.Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27.And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Because He makes things simple, simply trust Him.

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Who is Jesus?

December 8, 2013

This may not be a question you need answered. But if you do–or if you know someone who you think should know–check out “Moments for You” for the fourth quarter of 2013. Several excellent short articles answer “Who is Jesus?” Find it here.

Grounded

February 24, 2013

The other day, after reading in the Scriptures, I began reading a magazine article on inventors and scientists. It was steeped in evolutionary thought. How disgusting, I thought. What a let down.

It’s to be expected, of course. But where’s their grounding in reality?

Turn on the radio and listen to the idiotic music and its shallow, self-centered subject matter. How grounded in reality is that?

What about TV? Video gaming? Or just listen to the everyday conversation around you. Is any of it grounded in reality?

When I read God’s Word, I know I’m going to be faced with what’s real. And I’m faced with Who is real.

Hebrews 4:12-13 says…

12. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

One on One

April 15, 2012

Do you believe Christ rose from the dead to save you from your sins? How many others to you know who believe on Him for salvation?

How many millions don’t believe?

Bibles are easily had in America. We’re awash in Christian radio and music. Ministries put forth their content all over the Internet, Twitter, etc. It’s there for anybody who wants it.

But what’s still the best way to reach others with the Gospel? One on one.

And, by the way, actions still speak louder than words. That should make you and me do our best to live righteously.

Don’t give up reaching out to neighbors, family, friends, etc.

Pulling Out the Props

February 19, 2012

Many people say they live by the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) or the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). They’re supposedly the props a decent person leans on. I’ve even heard it said that those passages are all the Bible you need.

But who can keep the Ten Commandments? And who really lives by the Sermon on the Mount?

Really? All of it?

It’s in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus takes two of those Ten Commandments–murder and adultery–and shows how seriously God takes both our thought life and the words we speak.

To keep the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount would require you and me to be perfectly sinless. Who of us is that way? Don’t kid yourself about it.

Both the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount show us where God puts the bar. The Commandments were given to Old Testament Israel. The Sermon on the Mount is the set of rules for the coming kingdom when Christ rules on the earth during the Millennium. These are standards no one can reach without His help.

Did you know that two elements for living the Christian life are missing from both of these key Scripture passages? Do you know what they are? The clue is in my statement above regarding our inability to live up to these high standards without God’s help.

I’m sure somebody will quote the tired old saying that God helps those who help themselves. The idea is that, if you set out to live righteously, He’ll help you.

If that’s the case, then why did Jesus tell Nicodemus in John 3 that he needed to be born again? It’s because that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit (John 3:6)>

To be born again, a person must believe the Gospel, which is described in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. You must believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as the only means of salvation.

Look at the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount in the passages cited above. Can you find the Gospel in either one?

What about the empowerment for living the Christian life? It’s found in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who alone enables us to live righteously.

Paul commands believers in Ephesians 5:18 to be filled with the Spirit, rather than wine or alcohol, which takes over a person’s mind and influences actions. The Holy Spirit is what should be guiding our mind and actions instead.

Now look again at the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. Where is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit mentioned?

The point is, neither the Gospel nor the Holy Spirit are mentioned in these passages–the same ones some say are all the Bible you need. It’s impossible to have even the remotest chance of meeting God’s standards without being born again and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

If you’re depending on getting through life and getting to heaven by keeping the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, the props have been pulled out from under you. They were never good props in the first place.

Does that mean believers in Christ shouldn’t live by these two key Scripture passages? The answer is simply this. We seek to follow what’s taught from those passages which is repeated in the letters by Paul and others to believers.

We’re in the Church Age now. Whatever was written to the churches early on should be our guide for today. In those Scriptures you’ll find both the Gospel and teachings about the life-giving empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Those are our real props.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

December 18, 2011

Allow me today to draw your attention to a post on the blog of The Last Robin. It’s entitled Mary Had a Little Lamb. Its poignant message may not be what you’d expect.

Deader Than Four O’Clock

December 11, 2011

Many times I recall hearing my late Granddad describe something or someone as being “deader ‘n four o’clock.” When I asked him what that meant, he pointed out that the deadest time of the day was four o’clock in the morning.

It’s before dawn. Midnight is long past and few people are up. If you’re up then in the summer, you might hear birds singing. But otherwise it’s truly the dead of the night.

Four o’clock in the afternoon is quiet, too, at least in nature. You wouldn’t notice if you’re stuck in rush hour traffic.

When it comes to a Christian’s state before receiving Christ, he or she was “deader ‘n four o’clock.” Scripture says each of us was dead in our sins.

Dead. Without life. No chance some divine spark of free will would cause us to choose Christ. Our salvation and spiritual life is all of the Lord Himself.

Why? Because it glorifies Him to do it that way. Mysterious, yes, but true.

Ephesians 2:1-7
1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

John 3:5-8
5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.