“How long will You forget me, O LORD? For ever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:1-6 (KJB)
“I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” John 10:11 (KJB)
Today, on this topic of the Good Shepherd I will share with you the thoughts said by brighter minds than my own…
From F. B. Meyer on John 10:7-18:
“He who came in by the door which John the Baptist opened has become the door. It stands open to all comers-if any man. The salvation here mentioned refers to the entire process of soul-health: go in for fellowship; go out for service.
Wherever destruction is uppermost in speech or act, you may detect the presence of the great enemy of souls. Christ is ever constructive, saving, life-giving. Let us not be content until our life has become abundant life. Our life cost the Shepherd’s life. He did not hesitate to interpose Himself between the sheep and the wolf of hell. There is possible between our Lord and ourselves an intimacy of knowledge which can be compared to nothing less than that which subsists between the Father and Himself.
Note how our Lord looked beyond the hurdles of the Jewish fold and thought tenderly of the Gentile sheep that were far away. In the revelation committed to the Apostle Paul He gave vent to His love, and through the succeeding centuries He has ever sought them. There may be many folds, but there can be only one flock. Men die because they cannot help it; Christ was born that He might die; He died because He would.” THROUGH THE BIBLE DAY BY DAY
From John Gill on John 10:11:
“I am the good shepherd,…. A shepherd of his Father’s appointing, calling, and sending, to whom the care of all his sheep, or chosen ones, was committed; who was set up as a shepherd over them by him, and was entrusted with them; and who being called, undertook to feed them; and being promised, was sent unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel; and under the character of a shepherd, died for them, and rose again, and is accountable to his Father for everyone of them; the shepherd, the great and chief shepherd, the famous one, so often spoken and prophesied of, Gen_49:24. And discharging his office aright, he is the good shepherd; as appears in his providing good pasture, and a good fold for his sheep; in protecting them from their enemies; in healing all their diseases; in restoring their souls when strayed from him; in watching over them in the night seasons, lest any hurt them; in searching for them, when they have been driven, or scattered in the dark and cloudy day; in caring for them, so that he lose none of them; and in nothing more than in what follows,
the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep: not only exposes it to danger, as David did his, for the sake of his father’s flock, but gives it away freely and voluntarily, for the sake of the sheep; in their room and stead, as a ransom for them, that they may be delivered from death, and might have eternal life: the Ethiopic version renders it, “the good shepherd gives his life for the redemption of his sheep”; so Nonnus paraphrases it, the “ransom price of his own sheep”: this belongs to Christ’s priestly office, and with the Jews priests were sometimes shepherds hence we read (q) of רועים כהנים, “shepherds that were priests”. Philo the Jew speaks (r) of God as a shepherd and king; and of his setting his word, his firstborn Son, over the holy flock, to take care of it: and a good shepherd is thus described by the (s) Jews;
“as רועה טוב, “a good shepherd”, delivers the flock from the wolf, and from the lions, (see Joh_10:12) so he that leads Israel, if he is good, delivers them from the idolatrous nations, and from judgment below and above, and leads them to the life of the world to come, or eternal life; (see Joh_10:10).”
Which description agrees with Christ, the good shepherd; and so the Lord is said to be רועה טוב, “the good shepherd”, and merciful, and there is none like him (t).” John Gill’s EXPOSITION OF THE WHOLE BIBLE
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37 (KJB)
That is nothing that is inconsistent with His character, or Person. There is nothing too hard for God to accomplish.
The prophet Jeremiah stated that “…there is nothing too hard for Thee…” (Jeremiah 32:17) and the the LORD Himself asks the prophet; and not for information; “…is anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). It is just to make it clear for the reader’s observation that there is nothing too hard for the LORD. With God nothing shall be impossible.
When a priest named Zechariah entered the temple too old to have children and with a wife too old to have children and is told he will have son who will be the herald who will usher in the Messiah “Nothing shall be impossible with God”. When Zechariah does not believe and he is told he will be mute until his son is born “Nothing shall be impossible with God”.
When the virgin Mary is told she will have a son without a man, then “Nothing shall be impossible with God”.
When God sets out to save the Nation of Israel “Nothing shall be impossible with God”. When God sets out to save the Gentile world “Nothing shall be impossible with God”.
When God set out to save you, “Nothing shall be impossible with God”.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4 (KJB)
I will let another speak today. the commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown…
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning — “instruction”
through, etc. — “through the comfort and the patience of the Scriptures”
might have hope — that is, “Think not that because such portions of Scripture relate immediately to Christ, they are inapplicable to you; for though Christ’s sufferings, as a Savior, were exclusively His own, the motives that prompted them, the spirit in which they were endured, and the general principle involved in His whole work – self-sacrifice for the good of others – furnish our most perfect and beautiful model; and so all Scripture relating to these is for our instruction; and since the duty of forbearance, the strong with the weak, requires ‘patience,’ and this again needs ‘comfort,’ all those Scriptures which tell of patience and consolation, particularly of the patience of Christ, and of the consolation which sustained Him under it, are our appointed and appropriate nutriment, ministering to us ‘hope’ of that blessed day when these shall no more be needed.” See on Rom_4:25, Note 7. (For the same connection between “patience and hope” see on Rom_12:12, and see on 1Th_1:3).” From the JAMIESON, FAUSSET, AND BROWN COMMENTARY
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Romans 11:29 (KJB)
In chapters 9 – 11 of Romans the apostle Paul has spoken of his nation of people from which he was born, the Hebrews. They have been a people whose eyes have been blinded to the truth of who Jesus is. Even the great apostle was blinded to that truth until the Lord Jesus Himself put him face down on the ground on his way to Damascus to bring back Christians for trial and death (Acts 9).
Now, there are many who tell us that God is finished with the Jewish people. Reading this verse alone (11:29) should be ample evidence that God does not go back on His promises. If not read the whole of chapter 11. If that does not suit your appetite then read chapters nine through eleven thoroughly. If you are still not satisfied read the Old Testament through.
The Promises of God to Israel are irrevocable. They will not be recalled; because God does not recall His promises.
God will finish His work with Israel when He has taken the Church to her reward (“…the fulness of the Gentiles be come in”).
The Christian should be able to rejoice in the fact of this irrevocable promise of God. Knowing this gives us the assurance that what He has began in us He is able to complete as well (Philippians 1:6).
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is an irrevocable promise of God, that whosoever believes on Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life.
“Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:23-25 (KJB)
For our understanding of the word impute –
“IMPU’TED, pp. Charged to the account of; attributed; ascribed.” WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN ENGLISH (1828)
Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (or imputed) to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3). The salvation of Adam’s race has never been any different than it is today.
For the people of the Old Testament period of time imputation of righteousness was on credit waiting for the coming of the Messiah to die for the sins of the people, having all our sins imputed onto Him; while on those who will believe He imputes His righteousness.
For those who believe today it is a debt that has already been paid. All our sins and trespasses were laid on Him, He died for our sins, was buried, and as the Scripture above says, “…was raised again for our justification”.
Being declared “Just” and “Righteous” by God is His work of grace; and that comes only by way of the cross of Jesus Christ.
“Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7 (KJB)
Micah saw many who professed the name of the LORD who were not faithful to the LORD in His word. They were afflicted yet turned to other sources of help. Micah says,
“Therefore I will look unto the LORD…” The Lord GOD is my help. He is my Salvation. I will wait – I will trust in Him, even if no one else does. God will hear me.
“Therefore I will look unto the Lord — as if no one else were before mine eyes. We must not only “look unto the Lord,” but also “wait for Him.” Having no hope from man (Mic_7:5, Mic_7:6), Micah speaks in the name of Israel, who herein, taught by chastisement (Mic_7:4) to feel her sin (Mic_7:9), casts herself on the Lord as her only hope,” in patient waiting (Lam_3:26). She did so under the Babylonian captivity; she shall do so again hereafter when the spirit of grace shall be poured on her (Zec_12:10-13).” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary
“Things had come to an awful pass in the favored city. Oppression, bribery, and bloodshed, were everywhere in the ascendant. Men wrought evil with both hands. Husbands could not trust their wives. At such a time there is no refuge for God’s children save in God, Mic_7:7-13.” THROUGH THE BIBLE DAY BY DAY by F. B. Meyer on Micah 7:7-13
Your only hope and help for salvation is through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Call on His name today. He will hear you, save you and change your life for His glory.
“The LORD of Hosts hath sworn, saying, ‘Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: that I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. ‘
This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the LORD of Hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul, and His hand stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Isaiah 14:24-27 (KJB)
Many times my thoughts are not what they ought to be; neither are the things which I purpose to do. It is, I am fairly certain, that way with every living member of Adam’s race; and that is all of us living on planet earth.
We see dreams, and even plans for our day come and go without completion. We get discouraged, fearful, and doubtful. I will share with you that there is only one who gets accomplished everything He sets out to do.
That One is GOD, the LORD of Hosts of the text above. Though the words of Isaiah 14:24-27 are written with Babylon’s judgment in mind verses 24, and 27 are true and powerful in any day, age, or time; even 2019.
If God has thought it, it will come to pass. If He has purposed it, it shall stand – it will also come to pass just as He purposed it. Nothing He has thought or purposed or spoken shall be left undone.
For the Christian of today we find great blessing, peace, rest, and comfort in these words when we are faithfully walking with Him. If we have backsliden, and out of fellowship with Him we will find these words convicting, uncomfortable, and even miserable until we get alongside our Lord, and agree with Him.
For the unbelieving sinner these words should bring you to realize that God is true, the Almighty; that He does love you. The gift of His Son Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world is the only means of salvation (John 14:6). He said it. It is best to believe it and receive it, or you will perish in fire for eternity. GOD’S word is sure and fast it shall stand.
I will leave you today with a verse from the prophet Daniel…
“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, ‘What doest thou?’ ” Daniel 4:35
“…Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:13-18 (KJB)
“For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on the seed of Abraham.
Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:16-17 (KJB)
As I read these words this morning the word “behoved” asked the question, “What is the meaning of this word?” Behooved is the modern spelling. I found this…
“BEHOOVE, v.t. behoof’. To be necessary for; to be fit for; to be meet for, with respect to necessity, duty, or convenience.
And thus it behooved Christ to suffer. Luke 24.” 1828 Websters Dictionary
So we can learn from these verses above that Jesus our Savior saw it as necessary that He die for the sins of the world that He might redeem unto Himself a people. There was, and there is no other way of redemption.
When God says there is no other way; whether it involve the giving of His son, or the salvation of Adam kind; then there is no other way.
Jesus Christ died for our sins; He was buried carrying away all our sin, shame, guilt, and condemnation; then He rose victorious over the grave. Call on His name He is the only Savior of the world.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16 (KJB)
As if to say “Don’t forget the shield of faith” the Apostle gives instruction on using our faith in the spiritual battle we face. We cannot face the enemy without it.
“…The wicked” of the verse above is definitely speaking of the enemy of God (who is Satan), and ours; but we must not forget that wickedness, evil can be found in the people who live around us, and are pawns of the evil one. As Christians we are warned to guard our own hearts and minds; if we do not, then evil can come into our own lives.
Wickedness is all around us. Can you see it? There are people who call what is good “evil” and call what is evil “good”. As Christians we must stand for what the Bible, the Holy Bible, the Holy Scriptures say; the word of God stands sure. Without Scripture we can have no genuine faith.
Christians, Stand by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the Commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown…
“Above all — rather, “Over all”; so as to cover all that has been put on before. Three integuments are specified, the breastplate, girdle, and shoes; two defenses, the helmet and shield; and two offensive weapons, the sword and the spear (prayer). Alford translates, “Besides all,” as the Greek is translated, Luk_3:20. But if it meant this, it would have come last in the list (compare Col_3:14).
shield — the large oblong oval door-like shield of the Romans, four feet long by two and a half feet broad; not the small round buckler.
ye shall be able — not merely, “ye may.” The shield of faith will certainly intercept, and so “quench, all the fiery darts” (an image from the ancient fire-darts, formed of cane, with tow and combustibles ignited on the head of the shaft, so as to set fire to woodwork, tents, etc.).
of the wicked — rather “of the EVIL ONE.” Faith conquers him (1Pe_5:9), and his darts of temptation to wrath, lust, revenge, despair, etc. It overcomes the world (1Jn_5:4), and so the prince of the world (1Jn_5:18).”
Do not remain blind to the Truth of who Jesus Christ is. Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again. He will one day return and put away all evil; and it will be what He declares as evil; not what men say.
“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.’” John 8:31-32 (KJB)
“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear not, because ye are not of God.” John 8:47
Verses 31 and 32 were spoken to seems to have believed in Him, but they could not see themselves as being in bondage; even while they as a people were enslaved to the Roman empire.
The words of verse 47 seems to show that they were not hearing God’s word to the point that Jesus was teaching. To “Continue” in His word is to live, to abide in it; making it every bit a part of one’s life. Many of these leaders of religion could quote the whole law, but did not rest in neither trust their God and only Savior.
They were in fact still bound by the law which condemns them, and shows them their is only one hope. That hope is found by means of a single sacrifice for sin.
That single sacrifice for sin was given when Jesus went to the cross and died for the sins of the world.
Do you want to be free, truly free? Then, the only way is through the death, burial, and resurrection of the God-Man Christ Jesus. He forever lives. This is God’s grace. Grace is not free. It was paid for with the life of God’s own Son.
Now, what are you going to do with that information?
“Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. And He charged them, saying, ‘Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of Herod.’ And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And when Jesus knew it, He saith unto them, ‘Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not?, and having ears, hear ye not?, and do ye not remember?
When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?’ They say unto Him, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?’ And they said, ‘Seven.’ And He said unto them, ‘How is it that ye do not understand?’” Mark 8:14-21 (KJB)
Leaven is an ingredient which causes bread to rise giving the appearance of being more than what it is. It is puffed up. It is often used in Scripture as representative of evil and its influence in people, and doctrines of religion and men.
The leaven of the Pharisees, Sadducees, the Herodians which the Sadducees were part of and was more political than religious. The Pharisees were always twisting Scripture to fit their own understanding to keep the people in bondage to them, and their understanding of Scripture. They put burdens on others that they would not do themselves.
I realize there is more to understand in the above verses than of leaven, but it was the words of Jesus ‘Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of Herod.’ which aroused my attention this morning.
Using Scripture to control others as did the Pharisees, and they tried to control Jesus too but could not; is an evil beyond description. The preacher, the messenger of the word of God is to proclaim the truth of the word of God [Scripture] with clarity, understanding, and love letting the word and the Holy Spirit convict, comfort, encourage, and draw the lost, condemned soul to God.
Having a “Must do” list in order to be saved is leaven to the Scripture. Salvation, sanctification, and glorification is solely the work of God. Let us leave it there.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, praise unto our God: many shall see and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” Psalm 40:1-4 (KJB)
The LORD does indeed lift us, picks us up, out of the miry clay, the pit of sin, and sets our feet upon a rock; the Rock is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).
The way of sin is darkness, and cold. O, it may seem like the way to go at the time; it may seem like it is the comfortable thing; it may seem to be pleasurable, but it leads to shame, pain, misery, and death. Be an instrument of praise to the LORD God. Call on the name of the Lord and be delivered from that pit to which you are imprisoned.
Let me share with you the thoughts of Charles Spurgeon from the Treasury of David on verse four…
“Blessed.” This is an exclamation similar to that of thePsa_1:1-6, “Oh, the happiness of the man.” God’s blessings are emphatic, “I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed,” indeed and in very truth. “Is that man that maketh the Lord his trust.” Faith obtaineth promises. A simple, single-eyed confidence in God is the sure mark of blessedness. A man may be as poor as Lazarus, as hated as Mordecai, as sick as Hezekiah, as lonely as Elijah, but while his hand of faith can keep its hold on God, none of his outward afflictions can prevent his being numbered among the blessed but the wealthiest and most prosperous man who has no faith is accursed, be he who he may. “And respecteth not the proud.” The proud expect all men to bow down and do them reverence, as if the worship of the golden calves were again set up in Israel; but believing mean are too noble to honour mere money-bags, or cringe before bombastic dignity. The righteous pay their respect to humble goodness, rather than to inflated self-consequence. Our Lord Jesus was in this our bright example. No flattery of kings and great ones ever fell from his lips; he gave no honour to dishonourable men. The haughty were never his favourites. “Nor such as turn aside to lies.” Heresies and idolatries are lies, and so are avarice, worldliness, and pleasure-seeking. Woe to those who follow such deceptions. Our Lord was ever both the truth and the lover of truth, and the father of lies had no part in him. We must never pay deference to apostates, time-servers, and false teachers; they are an ill leaven, and the more we purge ourselves of them the better; they are blessed whom God preserves from all error in creed and practice. Judged by this verse, many apparently happy persons must be the reverse of blessed, for anything in the shape of a purse, a fine equipage, or a wealthy establishment, commands their reverence, whether the owner be a rake or a saint, an idiot or a philosopher. Verily, were the arch-fiend of hell to start a carriage and pair, and live like a lord, he would have thousands who would court his acquaintance. TREASURY OF DAVID, by Charles Spurgeon verse 4
“O LORD, rebuke me not in Thy wrath: neither chasten me in Thy hot displeasure. For Thine arrows stick fast in me, and Thy hand presseth me sore.
No soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger; neither rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink, are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
Lord, all my desire is before Thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off. They also that seek after my life lay snares, and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
For in Thee, O LORD, do I hope: Thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. For I said, ‘Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.’ For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow good.
Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.” Psalm 38:1-22 (KJB)
The following commentary is from F. B. Meyer’s Through the Bible Day by Day…
A long drawn-out sigh of pain. Some think it should be classed with Psa_32:1-11; Psa_51:1-19, as belonging to the time of David’s fall and repentance. It is filled with a sense of God’s judgments and the profound consciousness of sin. Perhaps David was suffering physically, or he may be describing his spiritual maladies in terms borrowed from that source. His friends stood apart and his enemies were near. But it was wise to refrain from man and to wait only on God. When we are buffeted and derided, the true attitude is our Lord’s. As the dumb sheep before her shearers, He opened not His mouth!
In Psa_38:15 the tone becomes calmer. The soul begins to recover its center of gravity in God. Notice the fourfold repetition of For, Psa_38:15-18. Faith marshals her arguments. Out of “stony griefs” she builds “Bethels.” Like Samson, she finds honey in the lion’s carcass. But God will not forsake. He never for a moment withdraws His close attention. The Refiner sits by the crucible, and will cool down the heat the moment it has done its work.
Jesus Christ is the only hope for all Adam kind. We have sinned. When we get to the place of despair over our sin, its pain and disease, its death, and destruction; its theft, and hatred; then we will call on the name of the Lord, and He will hear us.
Jesus came and died on the cross in our place; He was buried carrying away all our sin, death, condemnation, shame; and then He left those things in the grave, and arose to show His victories. He lives today. Call on Him and be saved. Be born again.
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, called: mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
I will therefore put you in remembrance, though you once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you.’ But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying,
‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.’
These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaking great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
But, beloved, you remember the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 1:1-25
REFERENCES: 2 Peter 2:4, 6, 10, 17; 3:2, 12; Revelation 12:7-9; 20;10; Psalm 34:7; 104:4; Deuteronomy 34:6; Numbers 31:16; Isaiah 57:20; Philippians 3:19; 1 Samuel 2:3; Romans 8:26; Ephesians 3:20; 6:18; Zechariah 3:4, 5; Colossians 3:22; Hebrews 13:8
Have a glorious Resurrection Day. Because He lives we live, and live eternally with Him.
“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard; God also bearing witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will?
For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying,
‘What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You visited him? You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of Your hands: You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’
For in that He put all in subjection under him, he left nothing not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying,
‘I will declare your name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto you.’
‘I will put my trust in Him.’
‘Behold I and the children which God has given Me.’
Since then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily He took not on angels; but He took on the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered being tempted, He is able to rescue them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:1-18
REFERENCES: Numbers 15:30; Matthew 4:17; 28:10, 18; Luke 1:2, 74; Mark 16:20; Psalm 22:22; John 1:14; 1 Corinthians 15:54
One Man Receives Grace
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” Genesis 6:8-22
Provoked To Jealousy
Many Israeli people who live in the land, most of them calling themselves Jewish, have no convictions concerning God, or promises of the land. More of those who profess to be orthodox Jews are growing toward that.
National Israel is in a state of unbelief. They adhere to the old forms of ritualism and laws, but are unable to practice them, and they do not know God, The ones who do know God have been chosen by Him, and through their faith in Jesus Christ; the true Messiah of Israel. The old forms were relying upon their rituals, Sabbaths, and holy days to achieve righteousness.
THEY HAD NOT OBTAINED THAT FOR WHICH THEY HAD SOUGHT (vv. 7-8)
“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for:”
They, the orthodox Jew, was seeking the righteousness of God by their rituals. When their means of salvation presented Himself to them they crucified Him.
2. “…But the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded” The one’s who were chosen and elected by God to faith in Jesus Christ were the one’s who truly obtained the righteousness of God. They met Jesus, believed Him, and followed Him; and through them established what we know as the Church.
3. “(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.” Romans 11:8 (KJV). The one’s who continued to reject did so because their eyes were blinded, but as we shall see later in this study of chapter 11 it was for the benefit of Gentiles blessing.
DAVID EVEN HAS SOMETHING TO SAY CONCERNING UNBELIEVING ISRAEL (v. 9- 10; Psalm 69:21-23).
“And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.” Romans 11:9-10 (KJV).
1. The very things in which these trusted would become a snare unto them. The table usually thought to be a place of safety, because of their rejection of Messiah would become a snare, a trap, and a stumbling block. The very things they believed in were the source of their blinding.
2. In the source of Paul’s quotation even David says this of those who would give our Savior gall to drink.
3. Can we as Christians become so knowledgeable or stringent on ordinances or law that we miss our Lord and Savior?
IF THROUGH THE FALL OF THE JEW WE HAVE BEEN SAVED, HOW MUCH MORE RICHNESS SHALL THERE BE WHEN THEY REACH FULFILLMENT IN CHRIST (vv. 11-12)?
“ I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?” Romans 11:11-12 (KJV)
1. It seems implied that the question is “Have they fallen to never rise again?” And, Paul’s answer to that is “God forbid!” or “NO!”. Salvation came to the Gentiles through their fall, and to make them jealous. We have received what they have long sought for, the righteousness of God.
2. The kingdom of Christ will be full with the household of Israel coming into the kingdom fold. This will be a blessing to the whole Church.
PAUL’S CONTINUED DESIRE TO SEE HIS BRETHREN IN THE FLESH COME TO CHRIST (vv. 13-14)
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.” Romans 11:13-14 (KJV)
1. Though Paul, as a Jew, is an apostle to the Gentiles; he has not given up on the Hebrew people. When we have been called to faith in Jesus there are people that we will no longer have close associations with. That should not mean that we forget them, and never share the faith of Jesus Christ with them.
2. To have desire that others would be saved, and do what we can to see them saved, is more than admirable it is our commission.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Salvation, Preaching, and Unbelief
The leaders of Israel had been so blinded by their religion that they missed the very one for whom their Scriptures had foretold. It seems they had been searching, searching, looking in the stars, over the seas, over lands, and in their own righteousness, but to no avail. Paul tell them and us that it is near, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;“ v. 8 ; Deut. 30:12-13 (KJV). Jesus even told them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:39-40 (KJV). They had the truth of Jesus before their faces and missed it.
SO WHAT IS NEEDED FOR SALVATION?
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-11 (KJV).
Confession – this includes an admission of one’s sins; it also includes confession of God,
“…a deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is that person’s own master or sovereign. This phrase includes the repenting from sin, trusting in Jesus for salvation, and submitting to Him as Lord.” The MACARTHUR Study Bible pg. 1712 study notes.
Believe the resurrection as the validation of the ministry of Jesus Christ; it proves beyond doubt that Jesus is all and everything He claimed to be.
For those who will confess and believe there is no shame.
All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
THE NEED FOR PREACHING.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:14-17 (KJV)
If we are going to preach we must be sure of the message we proclaim.
Those who know the truth of the Gospel have a responsibility to proclaim it.
God has called every saved individual to live as a witness, and proclaim the Gospel to the people they know and come in contact with.
Those who hear the Word and believe have received faith by grace through hearing the Word of God.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” v. 17.
THE PERIL OF UNBELIEF
“But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” Romans 10:18-21 (KJV)
Israel was a Nation who had been born under the message of their Messiah, yet when He came they would not believe Him. They had Moses telling them (Deut.32:21), and the prophets; Isaiah which is mentioned by Paul here (Isaiah 65:1).
God’s patience with Israel is not without notice.
Because of their blindness their hearts have been hardened
Unbelief is a peril that leads to darkness.
Page after page of the Old Testament is filled with His patient call to return. His promise of sustenance for them. His promises of returning them to their land. Yet, they harden their hearts. God has always had a remnant.
No Christian can or will abide in unbelief.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Just as with the Old Testament I do not like; there are elements of the New Testament I do not like as well. It tells us of the Sacrifice we needed to have. The very fact of Jesus dying for me repulses the humanity in me. It offends the flesh, the human pride, the helplessness of man for his salvation.
Yes, there are things about the Old and New Testaments that I do not like. However, just because I do not like them does not negate the evidence and fact of their being truth without any error, perfect, infallible, and inerrant. It does not take away from the basis of the word of God being “given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.”
I read the Scriptures, not because I like it, but because I need it.
This too is from 2013 while studying the New Testament; Loving the Scriptures is a grace God has given to me.
God’s Will Of Mercy
Is God unrighteous because He chooses some and not others? NO! NO! NO! NEVER! He is God. He is the Creator of all things. He is not limited in any way. If He cannot choose whom He will, then, He is not sovereign and is not God.
God told Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (v. 15; Exodus 33:19). Pharoah was even chosen by God to be an instrument of God’s glory by his hardened heart (v. 17; Exodus 9:16).
Anyone rejecting God’s way will be an instrument of His glory and a vessel of His wrath. Pharoah had rejected the word of God through His servant Moses, therefore He was used in His rebellion to fulfill God’s will and glory.
God is the potter, we are the clay. If God chooses to save some, then, we ought to rejoice rather than question His character. Honest questions due to lack of understanding and knowledge are acceptable, but bringing charges by frivolous questioning; against our Maker; of unrighteous conduct is blasphemous.
God is patient and waits for “Vessels of wrath” to repent. He does this to show the “Riches of His glory”. From every tribe, tongue, and Nation He does this.
v. 14 — There is no unrighteousness in God because He chooses one rather than another. His grace and His mercy is far beyond our understanding. The only thing we should say is, “Thank You Father”;
v. 15 — Paul here quotes Moses from Exodus 33:19 establishing the Old Testament link of God’s mercy and compassion on whom He chooses;
v. 16 — Paul is reasserting the fact of God’s grace fully given in salvation. No one wills on their own to be saved. No one can pick the day they choose for salvation; that is of God alone – If you aren’t saved the day He calls, then, you could be condemned forever;
v. 17 — God chose Pharoah for His own glory to be a vessel of wrath; God had given Pharoah ample opportunity to do the right thing and let the people go, but he would not;
v. 18 — Mercy had been extended to Pharoah in God’s offer, through the word spoken by Moses, “Let My people go, that they may serve me”. God did not have to go to Pharoah in this manner, but he did in order to show mercy; after Pharoah hardened his heart to God and His Word, God hardens his heart;
v. 19 — If God does this, why are we charged with sin? If this be so does that, then, mean that God is the author of sin? NO!!! It means that sin has no authority over God; it can also mean that our own sin will be our judge (SEE Jeremiah 2:19); We are all guilty of sin. We all stand accountable to God;
vv. 20-21 — Making charges of such foolishness against God is unrighteous in itself; If you built a house and that house could question you and ask you, “Why did you make me a quarter inch off square?” It would not have a right to do so. Maybe a better question would be, “Why did you spend so much time in building me, and then, decided to live elsewhere?” God is as our potter, and we are the clay; He has power to appoint us as He wills and chooses. One can be chosen for honor, and another to dishonor;
vv. 22-24 — Within Paul’s question is much to think on. It is a lengthy question. The answer is within the question, and the previous remarks. By His mercy, He has extended the opportunity to others to come to faith in Jesus Christ. God has extended long periods of patience in mercy toward the evil ones, and given them ample opportunity to repent and believe, but they have not.
Mercy has been extended to all the world. Many seem to believe that God is not merciful, but if you could see through the eyes of mercy you could see that mercy is everywhere. When you have experienced mercy, there is mercy for others from you. God has called and chosen not only from the Jews, but also from the Gentiles.
God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and upon whom He wills He will have compassion. Mercy = God’s not giving to us what we truly deserve; and that is His wrath.
-Tim A. Blankenship
A Great Heaviness
In chapters 9 – 11 Paul adds a parenthetical statement concerning the Nation of Israel – the chosen Nation of God. Chapter nine shows us God’s past work with Israel, chapter ten, shows us God’s work with Israel during what is called the Church Age – our day included; and chapter eleven deals with God restoring Israel – His future work in fulfilling all those yet to be fulfilled promises.
In this “Parenthesis” there is promise for all who are trusting Jesus now. It assures us that since God is going to fulfill His promises to Israel, even though, they were a rebellious, and stubborn people; so too God will carry out those promises He has made concerning our salvation.
In chapter nine we will see that Jesus is an offense to the Jew, and that this is not outside the will of God. It is for the purpose that many more could be saved – particularly the Gentiles. In chapter nine we will also see God’s will concerning matters concerning Israel:
*God’s will for a rebellious people who have received many blessings (vv. 1-5);
*God’s will in His compassion and mercy toward this people (vv. 6-13);
*God will have mercy on those whom He chooses (vv. 14-24);
*God’s will in redemption becomes a stumbling block to the self-righteous (vv. 25-33a);
*Jesus is that Rock of Offense – But those who believe will not be ashamed (v. 33b).
It is not God’s will that any should perish. He has provided a way for all mankind to be saved, if they would only hear the message of the Gospel of Jesus, believe and be saved. It is not God’s fault that any are lost. It is not His fault that all were condemned. Even if God had chosen to do nothing for our salvation He would have been perfectly just, holy, and righteous in doing nothing. However, God had done something really big in sending His Son Jesus to die in our place.
Paul has A HEAVINESS OF HEART for his people; 1) he mentions this heaviness in vv. 1-2; 2) he even goes so far as to say that if it would redeem them, he himself would be willing to be accursed for them in v. 3. Let’s see some things which Paul mentions of how they [Israel] have been blessed:
1. They are adopted (v. 4);
2. They have received glory (v. 4);
3. They received the covenants (v. 4);
4. They received the law (v. 4);
5. They received the service of God (v. 4);
6. They were recipients of the promises (v. 4);
7. They are the Nation from which Christ came (v. 5);
8. They are blessed of God forever (v. 5).
SEE also Deut.7:6-10; 10:12-15;
-Tim A. Blankenship
RECOGNIZING YOUR MASTER
I. LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH; LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION (vv. 1 – 10).
II. TAKING AUTHORITY OVER SIN IN OUR LIVES (vv. 11 – 13).
III. SERVING THE ONE WHOM WE OBEY (vv. 14 – 22).
IV. WAGES OF SIN; AND THE GIFT OF GOD (v. 23)
Does grace give a license to sin? That was the basic question Paul had to answer from his critics – the critics of the true gospel of grace. Does a dead person sin? Not any longer. They are free from sin, but not necessarily from sins wages.
If grace abounds ‘much more’ because of sins intensity, brought about by the law, then, does it not seem that to willfully and deliberately sin would be good? However, for one to be made alive in Christ there must be death and resurrection. This death is the putting away of sin (Col. 3:5). The resurrection is the ‘newness of life’ that only happens through faith in Jesus.
Paul has revealed to us that all people are sinners; “There is none righteous…”, “There is none who seeketh after God…”. He then tells us that the only way for us to please God is by grace through faith. By grace, God declares righteous [right with Himself], those who believe in His Son Jesus. Now, in chapter six Paul turns to the continuing work of God’s grace in those who believe. The Word is sanctification. To be sanctified is a process, a daily process, by which God works in the believer’s life to make us in ‘the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29).
If a person is still controlled by sin that individual has not yet died, nor been resurrected to life by power of Jesus’s resurrection. Before resurrection there must be death. The question we must ask is, “WHO IS YOUR MASTER”?
Is there anything which you desire/crave more than anything else which is not a necessity for living and life? Are you addicted to it? If it is something that causes you to become irritable, rude, obnoxious and angry to be without, then, it is probably something that controls you. “WHO IS YOUR MASTER?”
IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH, AND THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION (vv. 1 – 10).
“Where do my good deeds fit into the scale for salvation?” Do they fit into salvation at all? Here is what Paul has previously said, “If it is of works, it is no more by grace; God becomes indebted to us” (Paraphrased from Rom. 4:4).
By faith the believer trusts God for their salvation, and not their own works. Good works, for the glory of God are a by-product of our faith. God produces fruits in us as we root ourselves in Him.
Trusting Him completely; means that we die to ourselves, and our own believed abilities to
earn God’s favor. There must be a death to self rule in order for God to rule in peace and harmony.
“Baptized into Jesus” is speaking of becoming immersed in Him. By faith we are baptized into Jesus. The word ‘Baptized’ means to immerse – to put under. We have all probably heard the expression, “He is immersed in his work”, meaning, of course, that he is totally given to his job or enterprise. When we are ‘Baptized/Immersed into Jesus’ it means we are totally given to Him.
There is death that has taken place. A separation of the spirit and soul from the body of sin. Notice I say, “From the body of sin”, not from the body of flesh. The ‘Body of sin’ is really the old Adamic nature. It, by faith, has been crucified with Jesus Christ in His death on the cross.
The ordinance of water baptism every obedient Christian practices is a public confession, and testimony by symbol of the actual event that has already taken place in the believer’s life.
This baptism into Jesus is “Reckoning” of ourselves dead in His crucifixion, and raised with Him by His resurrection. To be “Crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20) is to put to death everything that is an abomination to God and take away its power to condemn (John 3:18); Rom. 8:1). By His resurrection we are “Raised up” to “Walk in newness of life”. It is a “New life”, not the old life warmed over. In God’s work of “Sanctification” He makes us holy. There are no left-over’s.
If we have died with Jesus we will also live with Him. If death has no more dominion over Him, it does not have dominion over those who believe. Death is an enemy, but is not to be feared by saints of God. It is inevitable that we will die, but death has no holding power. Being dead to sin we are no longer the servants/slaves of sin.
TAKING AUTHORITY OVER SIN IN OUR LIVES (vv. 11 – 13).
There is a continual struggle with sin, and we have been given the means of having victory over it. Within these three verses we have the answer to the question of why we struggle with sin, even after we have, by faith received God’s gracious gift of salvation. Within these same verses we have the answer of how we can have victory over sin.
Even before Jesus physically died on the cross He knew that His very purpose in being the incarnate Son of God was to become sin for us, receive judgment for our sin, to pour out His life’s blood for our redemption and do it to fulfill the demands of the holy law of God, and for His glory. He, while living for the glory of His Father, had already “Reckoned” Himself dead. Do you know what happened when He “Reckoned” Himself dead for the cause of His Father? He was able to fulfill all His Father’s will in His life.
The very reason people get out of the will of God is because we do not “Reckon” ourselves dead in Christ, and we are alive for ourselves.
The best life that we could live is lived through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Even after a person has received Jesus as Lord and Savior there is still sin in the world. Its temptations are strong; and often much stronger than we are – physically speaking. “Do not let sin…reign in your mortal body…” is speaking of the physical body. By the Spirit of Jesus in us we are to take control of physical appetites that cause us to sin. Some of these appetites are natural – we were created with them – but if left uncontrolled they become perverted and sinful.
One example is our strong desire to eat food, especially when we are hungry, but unless we control our appetite we will become “Gluttons”, make ourselves sick, and become overweight. We must eat to survive, but we must control the eating, and not let the eating control us. Someone has said, “Eat to live, not live to eat”. Everything must come under the reign of our own will as it has been changed by the “Newness of life” in Christ Jesus.
Notice these commands – “Reckon…yourselves…dead”, “Do not let sin reign your mortal body”. These are two directives given to aid us in living in victory over sin. There is a third one, “…Yield yourselves unto God…”. If we continue to desire to do our own thing we have not yet yielded to God’s will. We are still in rebellion against Him.
The very reason sin continues to reign in many professing Christians is because of this very thing. Jesus is not Lord. He is merely a “Life insurance policy”, or “Fire insurance policy”, only to call on in a time of great need and emergency. Like a spare tire. GOD IN A BOX.
Once again we can ask the question, “Who is your master?”
SERVING THE ONE WHOM WE OBEY (vv. 14 – 22).
The law condemns us. It offers us nothing in the way of escaping the wrath of God. It clearly shows us we are sinners unable to please God. As long as anyone is dependent upon the works of the law for the favor of God, they are under the dominion of the law, and are condemned.
Since, by faith, the believer is under grace and not the law we are no longer under the laws condemnation. Under grace we no longer desire to rebel against God. We desire to grow closer to Him, and become more like Jesus in our commitments, and living. As was previously stated, we are dead to sin (v. 11). Why would anyone who has experienced God’s grace, and newness of life in Jesus, desire to continue in sin?
You will, however, give yourself to whomever is your master. If your master is sin, then, you are a slave to sin and death is the continuing and end result. When Jesus is your Master, and in His righteousness, there is continuing growth in Him, and at the end of your physical life eternal life continues with Him.
At one time everyone who is a Christian – born again – was a servant/slave to sin. When the Spirit of God called we heard and obeyed, “That form of doctrine”, which is the doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, being made free from sin we are the servants of righteousness. We can only be servants of righteousness as we yield to the One who is the embodiment of Righteousness, and that is Jesus.
The fruit of being a slave of sin is death and shame. “Being made free from sin”, the fruit is holiness. God will do whatever it takes to make us holy. Holiness is accomplished by the work of God, through sanctification. I believe that every event, every test, every trial, and every temptation of every day is a work of sanctification, and we are being made holy for God and His glory. Just as salvation is a work of God’s grace, so too is the work of sanctification a daily grace of God. “Who Is Your Master?”
WAGES OF SIN; AND THE GIFT OF GOD (v. 23).
This verse has long been one within the passages of Scriptures which are used in what has been called “THE ROMAN ROAD” for leading others to faith in Jesus.
We hear of “Wages” in every day living. If one has a job, vocation, avocation, or occupation, they know what ‘wages’ are. Wages are given for what has been earned and deserved. Humanity without God is a dying race. There is no life for we humans apart from God. Even physical life, as short as it is, is given by Him. He gives life and He takes it away.
Every one of the members of the human race is born in a condemned state – apart from God and is dying. God offers us a personal relationship with Him in order that we might glorify Him, and live. If we reject God’s free gift of grace we only get what we were born deserving – death; eternal separation from God, and Hell.
There are two absolutes given in this verse. 1) If you continue in your sin, and rebellion against God; death awaits you; 2) If you receive, by faith, Jesus Christ, believing He died and rose again for the glory of the Father, and has declared you justified and righteous by God, you have eternal life.
WHO IS YOUR MASTER?
-Tim A. Blankenship
This began our study of Romans chapter four. We covered the first four verses.
Unique – Saving Faith
The Outline is for Romans 4:1-25
I. AN EXAMPLE OF A UNIQUE SAVING FAITH (vv. 1-4).
II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF A CREDITED ACCOUNT (vv. 5-8).
III. THE CREDITED ACCOUNT IS NOT DUE TO WHAT WE HAVE INVESTED OR PUT TO THE ACCOUNT (vv. 9-12).
IV. THIS RECKONING OF JUSTIFICATION IS GOOD FOR ALL THROUGH FAITH ALONE (vv. 13-17).
V. IT IS THE RECKONING OF GOD HIMSELF; NO HUMAN WORKS ARE CALLED FOR (vv. 18-25).
It was, and probably still is, a popular belief among Jews of Paul’s day and Jews and non-Jews of our day to believe that Abraham was declared righteous by God due to his obedience. Paul puts the record straight.
How were people of the Old Testament saved? Was it by complete obedience to God’s law? Was it by the sacrifice of bulls, goats, lambs, etc.? What do the Scriptures say?
“By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight” (Romans 3:20).
“Abraham believed God…” (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6-9).
No one has ever been saved by keeping the law, no one will ever be saved by keeping the law. To see that it is by faith in God alone that saves, God gives us ample Scriptures to prove it. For example Psalm 32:1-2; and Hebrews 11.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Esther, David, Solomon, etc. are all evidences of justification by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. They believing what would be; we believing what has been and shall be.
There are three words in this study which stand out as a theme. The first word is ‘Reckoned’ found in verses 4, 9, and 10. The second word is ‘Impute’, is used six times, in verses 6, 8, 11, 22, 23, and 24. The third word is ‘counted’, it is used only twice. They all come from the same Greek word logizomai – log-id’-zom-ahee – of these words are terms for accounting. God’s declaring us righteous, and justified.
AN EXAMPLE OF THE UNIQUE SAVING FAITH (vv. 1-4).
Salvation by grace through faith is unique – one of a kind. There is nothing like it in religion. Grace is not possible by work. If it is not by faith it is not grace.
Since many of the Jews believed that Abraham was justified by works Paul realized that this fallacy needed correction. If Abraham was justified (declared righteous by God) by his works he would then have a reason to boast. His boasting, of course, would have to be before men. He would not glory before God. God’s glory is a glory of its own. Man’s glory cannot match the glory of God.
God delights in those who believe in Him. Those who realize they are weak and helpless to save themselves. Those who have no one else in which to turn, but Him. Those whose hearts are broken and shattered because they realize there is no other hope by Him. Those who have reached the bottom of the bottom, the lowest low. These realize then, God is my hope, my strength, song, salvation, my very source of peace, life and joy.
“A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:17).
When God called Abraham to leave his native land he obeyed, and left. Now understand, Abraham was at that time what the Jews would call a Gentile – there were no Jews. In his culture they worshiped idols, and were despicable in their behavior. Somehow in the midst of all this darkness God shined brightly His light into the life of Abraham, he saw, he heard, and he left this land of despicable sin and shame – the Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 11:31). He even came out with his father Terah, his nephew Lot, and his wife Sarah as well as others who are unnamed.
If you heard God speak for the first time would you get up and leave your home, friends, ownership of your land, business, etc. to obey God? Many will not do that whose lives they say belong to Him. Abraham did. How did he do it? He believed God, then he put one foot in front of the other; over and over again. Faith is the end of any attempt to gain God’s favor on any personal merit. If you could gain God’s favor by personal merit it would be by works not grace, therefore, if the works ceased, so too would the favor of God.
When a man or woman takes on a job (work) he/she expects to be paid. The employer is indebted to the employee until the employee receives his/her wages. In like fashion if we worked for our salvation God would be indebted to us until the debt was paid. God is indebted to no one. He did not, nor does not even owe us the possibility of salvation. In His grace He paid our sin debt, and then, when we believe He declares us righteous. What wonderful grace.
“Wonderful grace of Jesus; greater than all my sin. How can my tongue describe it? Where shall my praise begin?”
-Tim A. Blankenship
Today we continue the study of the seven vials [bowls], and within these judgments, we find a blessing in verse 15. It is a word of hope for the Church, the believer, the follower of Jesus Christ throughout all ages. Let us continue…
And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give Him glory.
And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. Revelation 16:8-21 (KJV)
4. (VV. 8-9) With the fourth trumpet the sun was darkened (8:12-13), but here the heat of the sun is intensified and is destructive (see Isaiah 30:26);
5. (VV. 10-11) This vial is poured out upon the throne of the “Beast”; even with this great wrath these wicked men refuse to repent;
6. (VV. 12-16) With this vial two important events take place; 1) the drying of the Euphrates River, and 2) the gathering of the armies of the world.
Within this, note the Beatitude (v. 16). It is God’s reminder to us of His provision for those who prepare by receiving His grace.
“Behold I come as a thief”. The Church can be assured that Jesus will come as a thief for His bride and take her out of the world. Who will He take out of this world before the Tribulation? 1) Those who are watching and alert; 2) Those who are living lives that please the Lord. “Blessed” or “Happy” will be those who are with Jesus during this horrible time of God’s wrath.
Verse 16 clearly shows the very sovereignty of God. When the world peace is not working and the armies of the world gather for battle against one another – remember it is God who brought them to this battle. While they are battling with one another the King of kings will descend from Heaven, and the armies of the earth will join forces against Heaven’s army and do battle. All He must do is speak a word, and it is over. What a mighty God we serve.
The final wrath of God is poured out. Sin is totally put away and evil destroyed. “It is done”, the voice from the temple says. It almost sounds like Jesus as He hung on the cross and cried out, “It is finished”. The work Jesus came to do was finished on the cross. The work God began in mankind with Adam will be finished when He completely destroys sin. PRAISE THE LORD!!!
What happens with the final or seventh vial being poured out?
- Voices, thunderings, and lightnings;
- Great earthquake – unlike any known by man;
- The destruction of Babylon – the political, economical, and ecclesiastical rule of man will crumble, probably recognized through a city;
- Because of the earthquake the face of the earth is changed (v. 20);
- Hailstones about the weight of 100 pounds will fall;
- Rather than repenting men still living will blaspheme God.
It is great to know we are still in a day of salvation. If people harden their hearts to God, it is certain to be that God will harden their hearts toward Him, and if that happens – there is no hope.
Repent when God calls (2 Corinthians 6:2). When God calls do not harden your heart (Hebrews 3:7-8). You may not have another day (Proverbs 27:1). Do not wait to experience the glory of His wrath. Experience His glory in His grace through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For the child of God, the grace of God is the Son of God. God gave us, and shows us His grace through His Son Jesus Christ.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” Titus 2:11-15 (KJV)
The “grace of God” which has “appeared to all men” can be no other than the Lord Jesus. That appearance took place on Calvary where the best and holiest God had to give gave His life as our very sufficient sacrifice for our sin. Today I want us to hear what the Believer’s Bible Commentary says about these verses.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God … has appeared. Here the grace of God is virtually synonymous with the Son of God. God’s grace appeared when the Lord Jesus visited our planet and especially when He gave Himself for our sins. He appeared for the salvation of all men. His substitutionary work is sufficient for the redemption of all. A bona fide offer of pardon and forgiveness is made to all. But only those who truly receive Him as Lord and Savior are saved. There is no suggestion here or elsewhere in the Bible that everyone will be saved at last. Universal salvation is a lie of the devil.
2:12 The same grace that saves us also trains us in the school of holiness. There are “No-No’s” in that school which we must learn to renounce. The first is ungodliness, which means irreligion. The second is worldly lusts—not just sexual sins, but also the lust for wealth, power, pleasure, fame, or anything else that is essentially worldly.
On the positive side, grace teaches us to live soberly, righteously toward others, and godly in the pure light of His presence. These are the virtues that should characterize us in this world, where everything about us is going to be dissolved. It is the place of our pilgrimage and not our final home.
2:13 While living as aliens in the world, we are inspired by a magnificent hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. By this are we to understand the Rapture, when Christ appears in glory to the church and conveys it to heaven (1 Thess. 4:13–18)? Or does it refer to Christ’s coming to reign, when He appears in glory to the world, puts down His foes, and sets up His kingdom (Rev. 19:11–16)? Basically we believe Paul is speaking of the first—Christ’s coming for His bride, the church. But whether it is His coming as Bridegroom or as King, the believer should be prepared and looking for His glorious arrival.
2:14 As we await His Return we never forget the purpose of His First Coming and of His self-sacrifice. He gave Himself not only to save us from the guilt and penalty of sin but to redeem us from every lawless deed. It would have been a half-way salvation if the penalty of sin had been canceled but its dominion in our lives was left unconquered.
He also gave Himself to purify for Himself His own special people.
2:15 These are things that Titus was commissioned to teach—every thing discussed in the foregoing verses, and particularly the purposes of the Savior’s passion. He was to exhort or encourage the saints to lives of practical godliness and to rebuke any who contradicted the apostolic teachings either by word or by life. And he didn’t have to be apologetic in carrying on a forceful ministry; let him do it with all authority and boldness of the Holy Spirit. Let no one despise you. Titus need have no qualms about his youth, his Gentile background, or any natural disability. He was speaking the word of God, and this made all the difference. BELIEVER’S BIBLE COMMENTARY
Let us in the grace of God love the Lord Jesus Christ with all our hearts, all of our souls, all of our minds, and all of our strength. He loved you and me enough to die on the cross.
O how we need to get this straight. Salvation by grace continues to work in us following our regeneration or justification in Christ and God. How the churches today need regenerated people sitting in the pews, in our places of employment, our recreation, working out their salvation with fear and trembling.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world…” Philippians 2:12-15 (KJV)
It is God in us who does the work of grace. It is God in us by His grace that enables us to do the work that brings honor and glory to His name and it is His grace that brings us on to the final glory of Jesus Christ in us. It is the grace of God through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that causes us, enabling us to do those works, and gives us the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8).
Paul the apostle makes it clear in these verses that “…It is God which worketh in you to will and to do of His good pleasure.” That we are to do those works as blameless and harmless sons of God, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation – culture and world we live in – shining as lights in a dark world.
Let us remember it is God who works in us. Let us work it out with fear and trembling, that others see Him in us.
It does me good to read what was said in the past.
The pressures of the world are rushing ever near you. You feel like you should not have made that good move that you did. Things have changed, and right now it just does not seem like it was the right move to make. Hold on. Be strong. Be strong in the Lord; or as Moses said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD…”
“And Moses said unto the people, ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will show you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14 (KJV).
The LORD had done many mighty, and marvelous things to bring the children of Israel to the edge of the Red Sea. There had been a complete destruction of…
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“And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.” Acts 16:5 (KJV)
The early Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is reaching further and further into the then known world. People are coming to faith in Jesus in notable numbers. Lives are being changed wonderfully, powerfully, and God is being glorified.
They are being “Established in the faith”, they are also “Increasing in number daily”. If we stop to think about it the Church of 2017 is being established in the faith more and more, and increasing in number as well. We are just not so aware of it; maybe as we ought to be.
In chapter sixteen we have the witness of three individuals being delivered from the power of evil and sin;
- There is Lydia (vv. 14-15) who has been called “A Cultured Sinner”;
- Then, we have the sorceress (vv. 16-24) who has been called “A Captive Sinner”;
- Finally, there is the Philippian Jailer (vv. 25-34) who has been called “A Calloused Sinner”.
As the Christians of that day went about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ many people came to Jesus believing that He alone paid their sin debt.
The Philippian Jailer came asking, “What must I do to be saved?” (v.30). That is an appropriate answer for all to ask. You may need to ask that today; and the answer is… “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, and your house.” (v. 31). When the jailer believed, then his whole household believed too.
God is still saving souls through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God, God the Living Son.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, and your house”.
“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all:) that word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:34-43 (KJV)
This chapter begins by telling us of a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the “Italian band” (v. 1), a devout man who feared God, but did not know the Savior. God does marvelous things to get His Chosen to Himself.
The verses we look at today are the words of Peter which he spoke after leaving Simon the tanners house, going to the house of Cornelius in Caesarea, and now he shares the gospel of Jesus Christ with the household, from the Old Testament – it was the only Testament they had at the time. Something we must not forget.
Note Peter’s words given by the Spirit of God;
- He exalts the Father and the Christ above all things or anyone;
- Peter tells us of the work and ministry ob Jesus Christ;
- Peter declares the work of salvation which Jesus performed
- His work of the cross;
- His burial;
- and His resurrection.
It was the Spirit of God who caused all the Old Testament prophets to speak of the Christ, and it is the Spirit of God who leads us to Him for the remission [forgiveness] of sins.
Many of Cornelius’s household were born again that day. They also who believed were baptized in the name of the Lord.
As Christians we need not look too far to see the work of God. We need only look into our own lives, and see Him at work. We can look into our families, our community, our State, our Nation and the world to see the Spirit of God is moving, working. It is only the blind who cannot see.
What do I want for Christmas today?
Welcome to Christmas Eve.
I want all who have visited this site, to have a wonderful Eve before the day we remember our Savior’s birth; to love your family, friends, neighbors, and that would include those who you may not have been kind to yesterday; I want to be sure and tell everyone I meet… MERRY CHRISTMAS
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn Son: and he called His name JESUS.” Matthew 1:18-25 (KJV)
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want that person, man or woman, boy or girl that is on that slippery slope of sin and death and hell, to have their eyes of the heart, mind and soul opened to see their desperation, and doom; to know and understand there is no escape from that slippery slope except through the cross of Jesus Christ, and cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and deliverance from an eternity of torment and darkness.
“To Me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” Deuteronomy 32:35 (KJV)
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:12-13
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want to not be in want for anything but the good, well being, and salvation of my family, friends, neighbors and those I may not like too well, and those who might consider me their enemy.
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want to be blessed by God in telling someone about Jesus Christ, and His cross, death, burial and resurrection; and to see that person call on the name of the Lord for salvation, receiving eternal life.
Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”For behold, He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, who declares to man what his thought is, and makes the morning darkness, who treads the high places of the earth— The LORD God of hosts is His name.” Amos 4:12-13 (NKJV)
“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 Jesus (KJV)
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want to be sure and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with you:
God; holy and without sin; just, righteous, All Present, All Powerful, All Knowing and Immutable; created Adam in His image and likeness. God created Eve, the woman, the first wife, and told them to go and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:27-31). Adam and Eve sinned against God in the perfect environment He had placed them in (Genesis 3). God sacrificed and innocent animal to clothe the man and the woman and to cover their nakedness.
Because of Adam’s sin; we are all sinners (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23) condemned, dying, eternally separated from God our Creator, Savior, Sustainer and Judge.
God sent His Son Jesus who was with Him in the creation of all things (John 1:1-5, 14), because He loved the world (John 3:16), and offered Him as the sacrifice for all our sins.
Jesus the Son of God, and God the Son, was tried unjustly, cruelly, by the hands of wicked, and evil men; He had committed no sin – the only man who ever lived that can be said of – and He died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-6). He was buried, and in being buried He carried all our sins away, left them in the grave, and He came out of the grave alive.
All you must do is believe on Him. Remember what Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
And the apostle Paul quoting the Old Testament wrote, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13.
There is only one hope for the presence of God, and heaven, and that is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I want you to know that today; more importantly, GOD wants you to know that.
“Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.” Ezekiel 11:16 (KJV)
In their captivity God is giving His people who are known to have rebellious, hard hearts, a promise of His presence, peace, safety, and security in a foreign land.
What do I want for Christmas today?
There is an absence of the presence of God in many lives, because they do not know Him; I want all to be aware of the presence of God, and His love for you shown on the cross of His Son Jesus where He bled and died, was buried, and bodily arose from the grave, coming out alive conquering sin, death, hell and the grave, and gives peace with God, and everlasting life.
Over the many years people and so called prophets, and preachers have predicted and set dates in which our Lord Jesus would come again. We see that His people are still here and many of the “prophets” have went to eternity; wherever that may be.
The founder of the JW cult predicted that Jesus would return in 1914 or so, and we know that did not happen. In 1988 there was a booklet that came out called “Eighty Eight Reasons Jesus Will Return in 1988”; and again he has not come.
Jesus Himself said, “…I will come again, and receive you unto Myself…” (John 14:3), and we were warned about people saying “…Where is the promise of His coming?…” (2 Peter 3:4). Jesus Himself said,
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.” Matthew 25:13 (KJV)
There is our answer to the question. When will Jesus return? We do not know. Even Jesus; the Son of God and God the Son; while He walked on earth among his fellow man did not know the time of His return (Matthew 24:36).
The reason we do not know is that this way we live in preparation for His coming. We ought always be ready; bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22), and continually being filled by the Spirit of Christ; being His witnesses in a dark world, and ”…So much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25).
There are plenty of signs we can see that declares something is about to happen. The nation of Israel is daily attacked by her enemy, Christians are daily persecuted by beheading, and sale as slaves in some parts of the world. There is much fear.
Christian! Lift up your head. Your redemption draws near.
What do I want for Christmas?
And this is for everyday.
I want all those who profess to be Christian to realize, and to know that the faith of Jesus Christ is exclusive; meaning that He is the only way to God and Heaven; that there is no other way, but the death, the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; that those who do not believe in Him will perish (John 3:16), and there is no other hope, salvation, redemption, or eternal life, except Him.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.” John 14:6-7 (KJV)