Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 092420

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him,
‘If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’
They answered Him, ‘We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, ‘Ye shall be made free?’
Jesus answered them,
‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill Me, because My word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with My Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.’
” John 8:31-38  (KJB)

He Laid Hands On Her

“And when Jesus saw her, He called, and said unto her, ‘Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity’. And He laid hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” Luke 13:12-13 (KJB)

As Jesus was in the synagogue on the Sabbath day is not an oddity. It is in fact a normal part of His life. He sees this woman bent with a physical, even a weakening ailment that has afflicted her for eighteen years (v. 11).

She does not cry out to Him for help or healing; rather He calls her to Himself, lays His hands on her, after He says to her “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity”.

Jesus later in His “discussion” with the hypocrites says this affliction was from Satan who has bound her for eighteen years (v. 16). So she is not only healed of a physical ailment which has kept her in pain, weak, and unable to do many things for herself; but she is now also free from the spiritual torment caused by Satan.

The Lord Jesus saw her, called her, He healed her, and loosed her from her bondage.  He has done that for all who will come to Him through His death on the cross, His burial, and resurrection. He went all the way to fulfill all the Scripture concerning Himself; and to redeem unto Himself, all who would come to Him. Freeing us from our infirmities and all that binds us.

Sin, The Law, and Grace

“What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Romans 6:15 (KJB)

There were some in Paul’s day who were accusing him of teaching that if one is saved by grace alone then one can live how ever they please; and the apostle is correcting this mistaken gross idea.

Sadly it is a notion of many of today’s professing “Christians” that “I can go ahead and do this thing, I can live with this girl or this guy without marriage to see if it works out or not; I can divorce my wife or husband, and marry this other one; and God will forgive me”.  Put what ever element of sin into the equation you choose, and it has probably been thought, and acted upon.

If a man or woman who professes Christ can do such a thing, then live with the enjoyment of their act, they will not enjoy God. There, in fact, cannot be forgiveness.

Verse 14 of this chapter of Romans says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you”.

The truly redeemed, born again child of God; the true Christian hates their sin, seeks every opportunity to put away sin, stay away from the sin that tempts them, does not seek it out. Neither can the Christian enjoy living in sin, letting sin have dominion over them.

If you call yourself a Christian, and can enjoy sinful acts, thoughts, and living, and you are not disciplined by the Lord, then, you are not His (Hebrews 12:7-8)

Let our prayer today be that of the Psalmist…

“Order my steps in Thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Psalm 119:133

Grace is not a license, and approval, from God or freedom from God to sin. It is, in fact, the freedom from sin, and the power to take authority over sin.

Free From Sin

“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:18 (KJB)

Our master was once sin.  We were enslaved to it, bound to do whatever the evil of our hearts desired. Sin kept us from doing the righteous thing; the thing that would bring honor and glory to God (Romans 3:23).

I am speaking of the redeemed, the regenerated believers, followers of Jesus Christ.  We were one “dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1), but have been made alive through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Righteousness in the Person of Jesus has become our new Master.  We are no longer bound in the dregs, darkness, despair, and drudgery of sin; but we have been set free to do what is good, right, holy, and just.  We can now walk with God, hear His voice, see Him work in our lives and in people and things around us.

Sin causes endless fear, doubt, despair, and hopelessness.  Faith in Christ Jesus takes that all away.  I do not intend to mean that you will not have moments of those things; but that in those moments you do fear, doubt, and feel hopeless you will fall on your knees before your God and Savior in continued faith knowing He will care for you and meet your need.

The Christian is not without sin.  We do know where to go when we sin.  We are not free to live in sin.  We are free to live in righteousness.

Will you turn your life over to the One who died that you might be free from sin’s bondage and become a servant to righteousness.  That One who died was Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son who forever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).

Allegiance, License, and Legalism

This is a shorter than usual outline for Sunday morning, but if you would like to read more you can go to Fire and Hammer, and read the whole article.

Allegiance, License, and Legalism

Matthew 5:17-20

I. We must put on a DEFINITE SPIRITUAL ALLEGIANCE to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus continues, then, by saying, “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (NKJV).

II. Is there a license [Freedom] to sin???? There is no such license.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV).

III. Do what they teach but do not follow their works – “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say and do not” Matthew 23:3.

IV. The only license we have from God is the freedom to live for Him, glorify His name and prove to all that there is power in the blood, and that fulfills the law.

“He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” Micah 6:8

-Tim A. Blankenship

Citizenship – Using What God has Given Us

Are you thankful for your earthly citizenship?  Whether it is to the United States of America or to the nation of Israel, or Russia, or the United Kingdom, etc.  Are you truly thankful for your citizenship?

In at least one point in time the apostle Paul was grateful for it.  Reading from Acts 25 today…

“But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? Unto Caesar shalt thou go.” Acts 25:9-12 (KJV)

Paul is on trial. Something to consider;  if Paul consents to go to Jerusalem he may be consenting to his death, before he reaches Jerusalem.  He has no assurances that he will reach that city.  However, with the protection of Roman guards, he is fairly certain he will reach Rome.

I am going to let a scholar from many years ago comment on these verses…

IV. Paul’s appeal to the emperor, and the occasion of it. This gave the cause a new turn. Whether he had before designed it, or whether it was a sudden resolve upon the present provocation, does not appear; but God puts it into his heart to do it, for the bringing about of that which he had said to him, that he must bear witnesss to Christ at Rome, for there the emperor’s court was, ch. 23:11. We have here,
1. The proposal which Festus made to Paul to go and take his trial at Jerusalem, v. 9. Festus was willing to do the Jews a pleasure, inclined to gratify the prosecutors rather than the prisoner, as far as he could go with safety against one that was a citizen of Rome, and therefore asked him whether he would be willing to go up to Jerusalem, and clear himself there, where he had been accused, and where he might have his witnesses ready to vouch for him and confirm what he said. He would not offer to turn him over to the high priest and the sanhedrim, as the Jews would have had him; but, Wilt thou go thither, and be judged of these things before me? The president, if he had pleased, might have ordered him thither, but he would not do it without his own consent, which, if he could have wheedled him to give it, would have taken off the odium of it. In suffering times, the prudence of the Lord’s people is tried as well as their patience; being sent forth therefore as sheep in the midst of wolves, they have need to be wise as serpents.
2. Paul’s refusal to consent to it, and his reasons for it. He knew, if he were removed to Jerusalem, notwithstanding the utmost vigilance of the president, the Jews would find some means or other to be the death of him; and therefore desires to be excused, and pleads, (1.) That, as a citizen of Rome, it was most proper for him to be tried, not only by the president, but in that which was properly his court, which sat at Caesarea: I stand at Caesar’s judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged, in the city which is the metropolis of the province. The court being held in Caesar’s name, and by his authority and commission, before one that was delegated by him, it might well be said to be his judgment seat, as, with us, all writs run in the name of the sovereign, in whose name all courts are held. Paul’s owning that he ought to be judged at Caesar’s judgment-seat plainly proves that Christ’s ministers are not exempted from the jurisdiction of the civil powers, but ought to be subject to them, as far as they can with a good conscience; and, if they be guilty of a real crime, to submit to their censure; if innocent, yet to submit to their enquiry, and to clear themselves before them. (2.) That, as a member of the Jewish nation, he had done nothing to make himself obnoxious to them: To the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. It very well becomes those that are innocent to plead their innocency, and to insist upon it; it is a debt we owe to our own good name, not only not to bear false witness against ourselves, but to maintain our own integrity against those who bear false witness against us. (3.) That he was willing to abide by the rules of the law, and to let that take its course, v. 11. If he be guilty of any capital crime that deserves death, he will not offer either to make resistance or to make his escape, will neither flee from justice nor fight with it: “I refuse not to die, but will accept of the punishment of my iniquity.’’ Not that all who have committed any thing worthy of death are obliged to accuse themselves, and offer themselves to justice; but, when they are accused and brought to justice, they ought to submit, and to say both God and the government are righteous; as it is necessary that some should be made examples. But, if he be innocent, as he protests he is, “If there be none of these things whereof these accuse me,—if the prosecution be malicious and they are resolved to have my blood right or wrong,—no man may deliver me unto them, no, not the governor himself, without palpable injustice; for it is his business as much to protect the innocent as to punish the guilty;’’ and he claims his protection.
3. His appealing to court. Since he is continually in danger of the Jews, and one attempt made after another to get him into their hands, whose tender mercies were cruel, he flies to the dernier resort-the last refuge of oppressed innocency, and takes sanctuary there, since he cannot have justice done him in any other way: “I appeal unto Caesar. Rather than be delivered to the Jews’’ (which Festus seems inclined to consent to) “let me be delivered to Nero.’’ When David had divers times narrowly escaped the rage of Saul, and concluded he was such a restless enemy that he should one day perish by his hands, he came to this resolution, being in a manner compelled to it, There is nothing better for me than to take shelter in the land of the Philistines, 1 Sa. 27:1. So Paul here. But it is a hard case that a son of Abraham must be forced to appeal to a Philistine, to a Nero, from those who call themselves the seed of Abraham, and shall be safer in Gath or Rome than in Jerusalem. How is the faithful city become a harlot!

MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY

Let us be thankful for the blessings of our freedom we have; and make use of them as God and this life provide.

I want you to remember that the best citizenship is the Heavenly citizenship available only through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Call on His name, and He will give you the New birth (John 3:3, 16).

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Five

What do I want for Christmas?

It really alarms me that those of us who live in the land of the free and the home of the brave are growing so limited in our freedoms; with firefighters in one city who have been ordered not to fly Old Glory on their fire trucks, because it looks like ISIS terrorism.  Really?

I want us to be free to fly the flag of of the United States of America when ever and where ever we choose to fly it in a proper fashion, always honoring the sacrifice of those who have fought for our freedoms.  I want God to bless the United States of America.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance. The LORD looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation He looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; He considereth all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.” Psalm 33:12-16 (KJV)

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Ten

What do I want for Christmas?

I want my family, friends, neighbors, and U. S. of A. citizens to remember those who died for the freedoms that we have today; and to drive carefully as you travel back to your homes.

Have a blessed and safe Memorial Day, and remember everyday the One who died to free you from sin, and death; Jesus Christ.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 (KJV)

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galations 5:1

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Eleven

What do I want for Christmas?

This is the weekend for remembering.  It is Memorial Day weekend, remembering the ones who died in service to our Nation defending, and fighting for our freedom.

I want  us to remember most of all today that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again giving all who will call on Him, freedom from sin, bondage and death.

And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:17-20 (KJV)

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Twelve

What do I want for Christmas?

Since this is Memorial Day weekend I want us to remember all those who gave their lives protecting this nation, and our freedom, beginning with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – the Ultimate Freedom giver who willingly went to the cross to pay our sin debt, who was buried carrying all of our sin, iniquities, transgressions, shame, guilt, condemnation away; then rising bodily, victorious over sin, death, hell and the grave.

For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:19-20 (KJV)

Christmas Day Two Hundred Forty and Eight

What do I want for Christmas?

Missourians, Listen up.  I want the State of Missouri to have Religious Freedom.  Is it religious freedom if pastors, store owners and all others cannot live by their convictions on moral issues.  I want you to stand, if you are a Christian, and even if you are not; because if you do not one day it will affect your decisions; to stand for Missouri SJR 39.

The following is a FB message from the Missouri Baptist Pathway editor Don Hinkle.

There are two Republicans who, at the moment, are opposing passage of SJR 39 in the Emerging Issues Committee. Both are leaving the House after this term and intend to run for State Senate seats in their areas.

I want to urge every freedom-loving Missourian to stop and call and/or email both of these and tell them to let Missourians vote on SJR 39 and to pass it out of committee without amendments.

The first is Rep. Caleb Rowden of Columbia. His phone number is 573-751-1169. His email is: Caleb.Rowden@house.mo.gov.

The second is Rep. Anne Zerr of St. Charles. Her phone is 573-751-3717. Her email is: Anne.Zerr@house.mo.gov.

I will be on Dick Bott’s radio program tomorrow to discuss both of these lawmakers. It can be heard on all 49 Bott stations that blanket Missouri.

Let’s do it.

Day Two Hundred Sixty and Four

What do I want for  Christmas?

I want the State and Federal governments get out of the business of telling people how to run their own homes, children, and businesses; and telling businesses who they can do business with; by taking away our freedom of speech and religion.

Part of what I refer to is Missouri SJR 39  The link is an article about it on Facebook, by Joe Ortworth.

 

Day Two Hundred Eighty and Six

What do I want for Christmas?

Since today is an Election day in Missouri and some other States I want all people to go to their respective polling places and vote for their candidate of choice.  We have that freedom let us use it while we may; remembering this…

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” Proverbs 21:1 (KJV)

“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: and He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.” Daniel 2:20-22

Day Three Hundred and Twelve

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to better understand Freedom; especially the liberty Christians have in Jesus Christ; and I want all to understand that Freedom/Liberty is not free from responsibility.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NKJV)

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

The Disciple of Jesus

“…If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill Me, because My word hath no place in you.”  ~Jesus  (John 8:31-37)

B F & M – Religious Liberty

The freedoms which the United States of America revere and cherish are due to the hearts and minds of godly forefathers who came to this land seeking freedom from government which had become unfriendly to religion.  The Constitution of the United States was written and signed by many men who believed in freedom of religion.  That is “Freedom of religion” not ‘freedom from religion’.

It is written, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.  The government of the USA is never to tell any church what they can do, and it is never to recognize any one denomination over another.  There is to be no State sanctioned religion.

This freedom which we have is endorsed and espoused by Baptists.  We love freedom.  Maybe because it comes from our Creator, and He is the One who gives the true freedom from sin, which is available through His Son Jesus Christ.

Our Statement of Faith on Religious Liberty:

“XVII. Religious Liberty

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.

Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.”

Baptist churches are dependent upon the Lord for our support.  We receive tithes and offerings from members of our congregation, and believe that is how the church and its ministries are to be funded.  We are not, nor will not be dependent upon the government for our support.

We believe each Christian is responsible to our government to pay taxes, for the support of law enforcement, and maintaining services available for the benefit of our Nations people.  We are to obey our government when the things required of us do not violate our conscience or God’s Word, which should coincide with one another.  One of our responsibilities as citizens of the United States of America is to go and vote at every opportunity.  In our vote we have a voice, and can change the course of a Nation which is drifting away from God.

We also believe that prayer is the greatest means of changing the way our government operates.  The change of heart in our leaders is the only thing that will turn our Nation back to God.

-T.A.

Where There is Liberty

Where There is Liberty

2 Corinthians 3:17

References – Gal. 2:4; 5:1, 13;  John 8:32;  James 1:25;  Isaiah 61:2;

1.  The Spirit blinds eyes of rebellion (3:14-15).
2.  The Spirit is the veil that hides the fading glory of the Old covenant (3:13, 15)
3.  The Spirit is the means of the liberty of the soul (3:16).

I.  THERE IS LIBERTY, FREEDOM, IN CHRIST THROUGH THE SPIRIT.

II.  THERE IS LIBERTY FROM THE BONDAGE OF SIN AND DEATH.

III.  THERE IS LIBERTY FROM THE CONDEMNATION OF THE LAW (Gal. 2:4).

IV.   THERE IS LIBERTY WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS (Gal. 5:1).

V.  WHERE THERE IS LIBERTY THERE IS RESPONSIBILITY (Gal. 5:13).

Summary –
i.  True freedom comes only in yeilding one’s life to Jesus Christ as Master and Lord.
ii.  True freedom liberates from sin’s bondage and death.
iii.  There is liberty in the faith of Jesus Christ.
iv.  True freedom gives liberty to make clear, godly, righteous decisions.

-T.A.

Sunday morning sermon points preached at Carr Lane Baptist Church July 03, 2011.

Much, For Which To Be Thankful

We hear everyday how bad this nation is economically.  How many people are without jobs.  The numbers of people who are without health care.  The crimes in the nation.  These are bad, and some of it is down right evil.

Let us give some thought today for that in this country for which we ought to be grateful.

First of all let’s be grateful to our Creator who has allowed such a great nation even come to be.  He has not only allowed it to be but put it in the hearts of  the men and women who were inspired by His Spirit to be free from a tyrannical government.  Men and women who risked there lives at sea, and in coming to a new land.

Let’s thank God our Savior for inspiring Liberty, freedom, and caring for others without government aid.  Let’s be thankful for the men who have fought the enemy for these past 232 years to keep us free and at times helped give other nations freedom as well.  Freedom is the gift of our Creator, inspired through hearts of men who give their lives as our Savior has said,

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13 (KJV)

And we have had many a soldier lay down their lives to protect and to keep us from the harm of the enemy.  In the beginnings of this country soldiers were farmers, doctors, lawyers, blacksmiths, etc. who laid down their lives for their neighbors, families and friends.  Many soldiers today come from such families.  Thank you men and women of the United States of America who have risked life, limb, and economic status, for the freedom of the USA.

You may be one today who has found yourself without an income; had your home foreclosed on; and lost everything you had.  Be grateful that you still live in the land of the free, the home of the brave; and take a bold step forward, and thank the Lord above for the gift of freedom.  There is so much for which we can be grateful.

Family, friends, associates in the workplace, the air we breathe, the ground upon which we walk.  There is no place on earth like the United States of America.  Where else is there where people want to get, rather than get out of it.?  Thank God for the struggle of immigration.  Most of our families were immigrants who came here from Europe or some other place.

Health care is available to all.  It is not free, nor should it be.  Let’s be thankful for the doctors and nurses, and all medical personnel who work long days and nights just to provide health care to people who are in need.  Thank you.

You can finish it from here.  I pray that I have inspired you today to see some things for which to be thankful in this God blessed nation; even with all that is wrong within it.  There are still some things that are right.

May God continue to bless America.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Freedom’s Responsibility

It seems that there are many  people who believe that freedom means living your life as “I please”; and it matters not who gets hurt.  As long as “I can do what I want”, then freedom means, “I am answerable to no one else”, “I can drive however I choose”, “I can say anything I want to say”.

If that is the attitude of “freedom” you have, then you of all people are enslaved.  Real freedom is taking responsibility, for your own actions, for helping with others who have needs, and considering others before yourself.

Hear what the Word of God says:

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”  Galations 5:13 (KJV)

The Christian’s freedom is considerate of others. It does not wish its own way; but the way that will honor and glorify Jesus our Lord and Savior.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Grace Into Lewdness

“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 4 (NKJV).

Yes! This is the same verse as yesterday’s. However it seems prudent to deal a little more on that part of the verse which is in bold print.

It is sad that there seems to be a growing number of professing Bible teachers who call themselves or have been called “Free Gracers”. Grace is free from our loving God and Savior, however, the fact of its being free to us does not give us freedom to live without control. That is usually what is meant by those who believe in “Free Grace”. It is usually meant that when you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or they would just say Savior, then you have the “Liberty of conscience, or spirit” to live as you so please.

In affect, they turn the “grace of God into lewdness”, and the idea of Christian liberty is taken beyond what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is; there is liberty”. We are free in Christ.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:12-18 (KJV)

The freedom which we have in Jesus Christ is not freedom to live as we please, but freedom from the law of condemnation, and freedom to live for Christ and unbound by sin. Before salvation we were servants of sin. Having Jesus as our Lord and Savior unbinds us from sin, then, to serve our Lord Jesus, and to live in the way that will glorify His precious and holy name.

It is not in the heart of a child of God to continue in disobedient, rebellious sin against our Lord. Jesus is Lord of the true believer, the true child of God. If the heart of the individual professing Jesus as Savior is not prone to glorify God by living for Him, then, that heart is not redeemed, and needs Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The heart of the truly saved individual desires to live in such a fashion that Jesus’s name will be glorified in their life. It is not given to the disobedience of sin.

The teacher who teaches such heresy is not a teacher of God, but is one of those who has come in “unnoticed” or “Unawares”. Take heed to what every teacher, who is teaching, teaches. Use the spiritual discernment which the Spirit of God gives you, along side the Word of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Legalism and Life

Legalism and Life

For the past four articles I have written on the matter of legalism, and that will be so of this article as well. This will be the final one on this matter.

Just what is legalism. It is the adding of requirements to grace for the matter of salvation. Grace becomes no more grace (Romans 11:6). When someone tells you that the way of salvation is by grace, but then, you must be baptised, keep the law, do sacraments, abstain from alcohol, homosexuality, etc. to be saved; that is legalism. Now before some of my readers hearing this fly off the handle, let me say this. When you have been saved by the grace of God you will desire to be baptised, keep the law, partake of the Lord’s Supper, abstain from every appearance of evil, and turn from all sexual sin. It is not a requirement of salvation. It is expected that a steward be found faithful.

Those who say, “But we have liberty in Christ Jesus”; just let me say this: When you were in your sins, ie., lost, condemned, and dying; you were enslaved to sin. Sin was your master. You believed you were at liberty to live as you pleased then, but you were really under the control of evil. Now you want to say “I am free, I have liberty in Jesus Christ. I can live as I please”. When you have been set at liberty in Jesus Christ you are free from sin, but you are not free to sin. The freedom/liberty you have in Christ is the power to live a righteous life that glorifies our Lord and Savior. You do not desire to live in sin and rebellion against the Lord.

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” 2 Corinthians 3:17. Now, can someone tell me how the Spirit of God would lead anyone into sin? He will not. When we sin; He convicts us, and points us back to the forgiving, loving arms of our Lord and Savior.

Our Lord Jesus hates legalism. He despises it. He also hates sin, and does not want any of His disciples/followers bound up in it. Listen to the words He speaks to the scribes, and Pharisees. He first tells those who are following Him, “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say and do not.” Matthew 23:2-3 (KJV).

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Matthew 23:13.

Eight different times Jesus says, “Woe unto you”, and He is speaking of the same ones. These are supposedly the spiritual leaders of the Nation. Rather than shepherding they are condemning others and exalting themselves. Jesus’s words in this first woe is eyeopening itself. For these leaders Jesus says, “For you are not going in yourselves”, ie., the “kingdom of heaven”. OUCH!!! They are not going into the kingdom and they seem to want to keep their people from going in.

Each “Woe” which Jesus speaks in Matthew twenty three has to do with a different offense which these “Spiritual” leaders practiced. In the first one it seems the practice was one of condemnation. The second practice, is one of robbing widows, and pretending to be holy while they do it. The third is one of getting others to believe as they believe, and binding them in their condemning lies. Fourth, making loopholes around their “Oaths”. Fifthly, boasting of their tithing, but not practicing the other -”What does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” Micah 6:8. Sixth, presuming a holiness they did not have; being clean on the outside, yet full of filth inside. Seventh, further clarification of the sixth – being full of “dead men’s bones; their lives and ministries are a stench in the nostrils of the Lord; and they certainly offer no hope or promise of the King of kings. The eighth, they make open portrayal of being in favor of the prophets of old, yet their hearts are more in line with their fathers, than with God or the prophets.

If they would have believed the prophets, they would have seen their King as He was teaching them. That is one of the saddest things about “Legalism”, and that is, that it blinds the eyes. The self-righteous are very legalistic, and are condemning of others whom they see in sin, and usually do not see their own. The legalist is dependent upon their own righteous conduct, and not the cross of Jesus. In Christ Jesus there is life. In legalism there is only death, tombs full of bones, and displeasure before our Heavenly Father. The only way of pleasure for the Father is through our faith in Jesus. Life in Jesus is a holy life.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Jesus and Politics

There is a whole lot of politics going on. You know the idea, and ask the question, “How do you know a politician is lying?” The answer is… I will let you know a little later. That almost sounds like a good answer. That is not it, however.

How should Christians who are ‘followers of Jesus Christ’ be involved in politics, or should they be? Jesus said, “Render to Caesar, the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”. It seems you could get a clear and distinct answer of being involved from that statement, “Render to Caesar…” When we are citizens of a Nation which has a democratic process of elections, then, we should participate in those elections and let our vote and voice be heard.

Should Christians try to get moral legislation for that Nation? That may be a little stickier. As Christians we understand that morality, nor legislation is going to change a nation. A nation changes as the hearts of the people are changed. That works in the positive and the negative. If the life changing message of the Gospel of Jesus is received by the populace, then there will be a positive change of hearts. If, on the other hand, society begins to turn more and more away from God, His Word, equal justice for all, giving of their resources to others in need, and morality, then there is the negative change and evil will increase. The streets will be filled with crimes such as street shootings, school shootings, robberies – banks, convenience stores, jewelry stores, churches, etc. Husbands killing wives, wives killing husbands, parents killing children, children killing parents, co-habitations, and all kinds of immoral sexual behavior.

Christians must have a voice, and that voice is in their church buildings and in the voting booth, and in the public forum. Christian, you have the right to vote: Use it or lose it.

I was behind a car from New Hampshire on the afternoon of Friday October 27, 2006 in Cassville, Missouri. I noticed something about that plate and the motto on the plate. It read, “LIVE FREE, OR DIE”. I thought when I saw it, “Now who ever came up with that one had a bold thought”. As long as you and I have the freedom to vote we have a say in the way things are run in our country.

If we get to trusting in the political process to save our Nation we are doomed. In the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ it speaks of a woman riding a beast. That woman represents religion, and the beast is – I believe – democratic government. I must say, has not religion in recent years been riding the beast of democracy? What follows is not pretty.

The Gospel of Jesus will change hearts and lives. No political process can do that. Legislate as you will.

Now to answer the question at the beginning. Their mouth is moving. But, you probably already knew that.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Precious Truth

PRECIOUS TRUTH

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Ex 20:16 (KJV)

To some today truth is fairly well meaningless. I wonder though, if someone had been seen at the scene of a crime, but were not guilty of the crime, how important the truthfulness of the witness would be to them at that junction of their life? I dare say it would become very important, if that witness could speak the truth and acquit the accused.

How important is the truthfulness of a witness? In some and in many cases it is the difference between life or death; or life in prison, and/or a life of freedom. Is the truth important to you, even if it applies to others? It is my belief that we should be as concerned, if not more concerned for the truth to prevail for the good of others, as well as ourselves. Truth matters in being a witness. It matters for the accused but innocent individual. It matters for the family of the innocent accused, or even the guilty. It matters for the home, the church, the local government, State government, National government. It matters for the sake of justice.

When looking at these 10 Commandments, and as we look in particular at the final six and our human relationships we should ask ourselves, “Would I want someone to commit any of these prohibitions against me?” “Would I want my children to dishonor me?” “Would I want someone killing me, or someone I love?” “Would I want another man sleeping with my wife?” “Would I want someone stealing from me?”, and coming to the present one, “Would I want someone being a false witness against me?”, and the final one; “Would I want someone desiring my things so much that they would do anything to get them?”. I will be daring and say that their is not a sane person living who would want any of these things happen to them.

Now back to the subject at hand. The law of God says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” What exactly does this involve. Is it for the individual who is witnessing in court? Yes! Is it for the individual who is witnessing to a neighbor? Yes! You are witnessing as you share a word of gossip. You are witnessing as you defame the character of someone you do not care for. Is this a good witness? No! This is as true in politics. When one candidate charges the other with things they have heard, but are not proven. When one charges the other with something they know is not true.

In his book “Love, Liberation and the Law” J. Vernon McGee has a three point outline on this ninth commandment –

I. THE ORIGINATION OF THE LIE.

II. THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE LIE.

III. THE DESTINATION OF THE LIE.

JUST WHERE DOES THE LIE BEGIN? According to Jesus Himself, the devil is the father of lies, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44 (KJV). We see clearly from the One who is the author of all of creation where the lie originated.

Why would we want to be associated with the Lie? His end is destruction. His end is eternal flames. His end is eternal torment, and anyone who follows his path will go there with him.

JUST HOW WOULD YOU IDENTIFY THE LIE? McGee writes, “Did you know that there are more words for breaking this commandment than all the other commandments put together?….some of them – lying, mendacity, prevarication, slander, backbiting, defamation, detraction, belittling, censoriousness, gossip, depreciation, derogation, rumor, vilification, aspersion, forgery, mudslinging, falsehood, guile, hypocrisy, insinuation, innuendo, railing, whispering, talebearing, libel, fib, fable, equivocation, disparagement, fabrication, aberation, deceit, trump up, forswear.” (From LOVE, LIBERATION, & THE LAW by J. Vernon McGee pg. 150). That is a terribly long list of bad words, which are words in action to destroy another.

This law is just as viable and meaningful today as it was the day God gave it. It is good for the courtroom, the living room, the sunday school room, the board room, and over the backyard fence. Can this commandment be broken even when speaking the “Truth”? It was when Jesus was on trial. Words can be twisted making a truth into a lie. Doing this makes you a false witness against your neighbor.

JUST WHAT IS THE DESTINATION OF THE LIE? Just a few Scriptures will bear out for us the lies destination. “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.” Prov 19:5 (KJV).

“A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.” Prov 19:9 (KJV)

“Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.” Psalms 101:5 (KJV)

Now look in the New Testament, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” Rev 21:27 (KJV)

“For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Rev 22:15 (KJV)

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matt 12:36 (KJV)

People who are given to lying, bearing false witness will end up in the same pit of destruction as their father. There will be no joy, no peace, no God. There will be torment, maybe even by your own lying tongue. There will be no water there to quench the thirst for lying or dryness.

Keeping the law will not save you. It is, however your schoolmaster, showing you your need of Jesus as Savior.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

A Heart of Devotion

The following article is a continuation of the study began last week.  Whether we admit it or not we are not free to violate the Law of God as born again believers.  We do however have the freedom in Christ Jesus to do as He did, and that was fulfill it through Him.

A REQUIRED HEART OF DEVOTION

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Ex 20:1-3 (KJV)

How does the Ten Commandments, the New Testament and modern man fit together? Does modern man fit with the ten commandments at all? In some people’s minds we live in a civilized society that is better than any need for these “archaic” laws. Do these Commandments fit with the New Testament? Let’s see what Jesus said.

Jesus puts them into just two commandments; 1) Our relationship with God, and 2) Our relationship with our fellowman. “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.Mark 12:28-31 (KJV). The apostle Paul teaches that the law is a “School master” to bring us to Jesus, “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:21-26 (KJV)“.

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law according to Romans 10:4. Since Jesus Christ fulfilled the law is it ended? No man except Jesus obeyed the law, but in Christ all can be saved.

If we are “free from the law” does that mean we can break the Ten Commandments? Jesus answers that in the gospel of Matthew “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 5:17-20 (KJV)“.

These commandments show us that we are always coming short of the glory of God. Complete obedience to these laws is required if one is to get into fellowship with holy God. Where does modern man fit into this?

It is quite apparent that much of modern man cares nothing for the law of God, and since caring nothing for the law of God, cares even less for the laws of men. With church burnings, vandalisms, and thefts of church property that shows there is no fear of God in the heart. With the lack of honor toward parents, teachers, and authority of any kind, and an increase in murders, adultery, stealing, lying, and desiring others property so badly they would do “anything” to get it shows there is no respect for our fellowman, or the things of our fellowman.

Seeing the above things, let’s look at this first commandment.

I. GOD IS GOD WHO SPEAKS – HE EXPECTS US TO HEAR.

Because He is the promise keeping God He is worthy of our obedience and trust. He speaks words of life. We are to have no other gods in our life at all. In truth there really are no other gods. Only One.

He speaks words of prevention and protection. Preventative maintenance on an automobile, or any mechanical thing; when it is needed; can prevent unexpected breakdown. God’s laws are prevention from breakdown – sin – when obeyed.

The modern individual would do well to hear the law of God, realize it is hopeless for salvation, then turn to the Holy One – Jesus Christ – and trust Him and His finished work of the cross for salvation.

II. GOD IS GOD WHO LEADS – HE EXPECTS US TO FOLLOW.

Israel had to follow God’s leadership out of Egypt. God not lonly led them out, but He led them out with much bounty from the people of Egypt. They came to the Israelites begging them and paying them to leave.

When you follow God’s leadership you will prosper, though it may not always be with material possessions.

When we follow His leadership He does give all spiritual blessings in Christ (Read Ephesians 1).

III. GOD IS GOD WHO DELIVERS – HE EXPECTS US TO TRUST HIM.

To trust is to place the utmost confidence in something or someone. Trust can be established by words and actions being complimentary of the other. It is also established by a proven record of reliability. God certainly has a proven record of reliability.

God’s words and actions are one, and the same. What ever God says He will do He does. All that is was established by His Word.

You can trust Him concerning salvation. You can trust Him concerning your health. You can trust Him concerning your material needs. You can trust Him with all your worries and fears. He has it all well in hand.

IV. GOD IS GOD WHO DESERVES WORSHIP – WORSHIP HIM AND NO OTHER.

If you worship many gods you do not worship the one true God. To worship is to give complete devotion and allegiance to that one, and no other. There is no room around God’s throne for the worship of more than Him. A man cannot love his wife as “Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:23), if he has other women in his heart and life – he, in fact, is of a divided heart, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8. Someone “double-minded” is in fact committing an act of adultery, by having divided loyalties. The Lord likens a divided heart to Him as adultery. That is what the nation of Israel, in fact, was charged with by God through the prophet Hosea.

In Jesus’s temptation satan tempted Jesus to worship, but Jesus refused, saying, “Get thee hence satan: for it is written, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10). Satan was actually tempting Jesus to commit an act of adultery against God. Adultery is actually an act of betrayal; the giving of something you have, but do not own, to another. Worship belongs solely to God, and no other. Worship belongs to God. To give it to anyone other than the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is an act of spiritual adultery, and far more damaging than the physical act of adultery. No one who is truly worshipping God would commit the physical act of adultery.

To worship God is to be wholly devoted, and committed to Him alone.

V. GOD IS GOD OF GLORY – BE LIKE HIM.

Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:9-13.Moses spent time in the presence of God and his face radiated with the glory of God when he came out before the people (Exodus 34:29-35). He covered his face with a veil because it frightened the people. He also covered it so they could not see the glory fading; “And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:” 2 Cor. 2:13. The law was a frightening and condemning thing. It also would be fulfilled and lose its effect of condemnation and guilt by the precious blood of Jesus; whose blood, the blood sacrifices of the law represented.

The glory of God is His Son Jesus Christ. By faith in Him we rightly worship only one God. By that faith we are free from the fear, condemnation, and guilt of the law. By that faith we radiate the glory of God without a veil.

In conclusion, THE PEOPLE OF GOD MUST SET THE STANDARD AND LISTEN TO GOD WHEN HE SPEAKS. Secondly, WE MUST FOLLOW HIM WHEREVER HE MAY LEAD – it is better to be in a pit in the will of God, than in a mansion out of God’s will. Another thing, YOU CAN TRUST GOD TO DELIVER, but it may not always be like you think it should be. A fourth thing, WE MUST WORSHIP GOD ALONE – HE IS WORTHY, and there is no other. Finally, WE RADIATE HIS GLORY BY BEING LIKE HIM; He is holy, righteous, pure, and He tells us to be holy. “Be ye holy, for I am holy…”

In this way we show the HEART OF DEVOTION

Set the Captives Free

Captives Set Free

“And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.” Genesis 14:13-16 (KJV).

Paul the apostle of the New Testament wrote, “I have fought a good fight…” Faith requires fighting. It is not a fight against those who are of like mind and faith. It is faith’s fight agains all that is evil and wrong. Abraham had a warrior faith. We Christians use to sing a song quite often, “Onward Christian Soldiers”, but I do not hear it much anymore. According to some the soldier analogy is not a good one for the day. A good Greek word for that is “Baloney”. We are in a constant war. It is a war that will never cease until Jesus the Captain of our salvation is come. So sing on with the song, “Onward, Christian Soldiers” onward.

It does not appear to have taken Abraham long to prepare for battle. We too should always be prepared (Ephesians 6:10-20). All the preparations needed seem to have been just getting the men and weapons together and travelling approximately 120 miles to fight the battle.

Notice some great spiritual truths here in this historical event:

1. These servants were “born in his own house”; Abraham’s house was a house of faith. Every born again child of God is a soldier in Christ’s army. There are no exceptions from battle. Paul’s command inspired by the Holy Spirit in the book of Ephesians is not just to the church of Ephesus, but for all who are in Jesus Christ. Also see Romans 13:11-14. Those who are born of God overcome the world (1 John 5:4).

2. These servants were armed for battle; The Christian is also given weapons for our warfare. Our weapons are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:4), and equal to only two. Some will say one, but I believe their are two, and they are all we need, because Jesus is the source of them both. The first one is the Sword of the Spirit, “which is the word of God”, and the second one is prayer (Ephesians 6:17-18). The Sword is an offensive weapon and is of no benefit unless it is read, studied and activated in the Christian life. There is nothing magical about the leather and paper on which the Word of God is written. The Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God is for the purpose of fighting the deception of the devil and his lies, and overcoming all evil. Prayer is the place from which we are encouraged, empowered, and the place before the Captain’s station for receiving our orders.

The deception and lies of the devil includes the doubts, and fears we struggle with.

3. The servants were trained; “One of hte purposes of the local church is to train God’s people how to use the Bible effectively, how to pray, how to recognize the enemy, and how to follow orders as soldiers in the army of Christ.” Warren Wiersbe.

If we fail in the battle it is only the fault of the soldier, not of the Captain. And if we do fail it will be for our good and the glory of the Captain/King.

4. The servants believed in their leader; Our leader, like was Abraham’s is to be the Lord. When we follow the Lord’s direction there can only be victory. If we expect to defeat the enemy and win victories we must trust the Lord and obey His orders.

5. The servants were united; There are three kingdoms united for a common cause. They were one army, not three, and they had one commanding officer – Abraham.

The Church cannot serve Jesus Christ effectively unless there is unity. Far too many times in our local churches there are power grabbing mongrels who want things their own way and cannot be unified for anything. Battles cannot be won and captive souls set free when the Church is not in unity.

6. The servants were single minded; Their focus was on warfare, setting Lot and his family free; not on getting back home, or the material possessions they might gain from a victory. Rather, they were focused on the victory and setting the captives free.

When it comes to battles in the Church it is often with one another, rather than the enemy. There are brothers and sisters in Christ who are in bondage to worldly things. They were caught in the middle and carried away captive by their selfish desires. Not only do we need to focus on setting captive saints free, but also setting the imprisoned souls of the damned free.

Abraham had a right attitude. He had a prepared army. By the hand of God he conquered the enemy as his achievement.

The picture or image of the “Onward Christian Soldiers” is still a good one.  Maybe more so in our day than many would like to think.  Not soldiers for killing, maiming or destroying; but soldiers of the grace, mercy and love of God; fighting the attacks of the devil against our fellow man, and his attempts to destroy, kill or maim.  My brothers and  sisters in Christ let’s stand strong in the battle against the evil one, and set the captives free.