Saturday, November 22, 2014

FIRST JOHN CHAPTER FIVE: WE KNOW

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat (God, the Father), loveth Him (God, the Son) also that is begotten of Him (see Jn. 3:16).  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments (when we love others, we are fulfilling God's will - Gal. 5:14).  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  This is He that came by water (He had a human birth) and blood (He had a human death), even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one (our God is a triune God, a Trinity).  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood (Jesus, eternal Spirit was born in the flesh, and He died physically - Jn. 1:1, 14): and these three agree in one.

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son.  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in Himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.  And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will (remember, His will and His commandments are the same), He heareth us:  And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.

If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.  All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.  We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not (habitually sins - born again believers still sin - Rom. 7:15-25); but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.  And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ.  This is the true God, and eternal life.  Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Friday, November 21, 2014

WHEN THE SICK KNOW THEY ARE SICK, THEY SEEK A PHYSICIAN!

Repentance is a change of mind, and is more than a mere intellectual change or a mere mental affirmation.  It is deeper than that.  This change is effected by the Spirit of God in the very heart of the person, in the very depths of his soul.  The person's whole being is affected by this new outlook.  It involves a different attitude about God, sin and self.  The sinner must see himself as God sees him.  Isaiah had a clear vision of God and His holiness, and thus had a clear vision of himself:  "Woe is me! For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips" (Isa. 6:5).
 
The change of thinking involved with repentance relates especially to sin.   Consider Luke 5:29-32: 
 
"And Levi made Him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against His disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.  I came not to call the righteous (self-righteous), but sinners to repentance."
 
All men are sick with sin (Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10-12; 3:23) but the Pharisees and scribes did not recognize their own sinfulness.  They were self-righteous.  They were not actually righteous, but they thought they were.  They saw themselves as righteous.  The Lord's point was simple:  No one will go to a physician unless he realizes how sick he is.  No one will go to the Savior unless he realizes how sinful he is.  The same point is made in Luke 15:1-7.  The implication in both Luke 5 and Luke 15 is that repentance involves a recognition of one's own sinfulness.  The person who considers himself as righteous has not repented and the Savior of sinners cannot help that person. 
 
Another example of repentance is found in the parable of the prodigal son.  The term "repent" is not used (though it is used in the first two parables of Luke 15) but the idea is certainly found in Luke 15:17.  The wayward son "came to himself."   He changed his mind.  He recognized the foolish and sinful way in which he had been living.  He went to his father. He did not change his life. He came in rags and in his filth. The father is the one who clothed him and fed him. He came to himself and said, "I am unworthy." He simply came to his father. He came in his poverty.  He came in his sin.  He came just as he was.  He did not even change his clothes or take a bath.  However, his inner attitude had totally changed.
 
Repentance also involves a change of mind concerning false objects of trust in which the sinner once put his confidence.  If a sinner is trusting in his own good works, or his religious, his law keeping ability, or anything else, then there needs to be a complete change of mind to realize that none of these things can save him. Instead all his confidence must be in Christ and Christ alone.  "It is asserted that repentance, which is a change of mind, enters of necessity into the very act of believing on Christ, since one cannot turn to Christ from other objects of confidence without that change of mind" (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. III, p. 378).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

THE ONE SIGN THAT CAN SAVE

YOU HAVE MY WORD (PS. 138:2; JN. 1:1, 14)!

I WILL SHOW YOU A SIGN (MT. 12:37-30; 28:1-10; MK. 16:1-11; LK. 24:1-12; JN. 20:1-18)!

I WILL GIVE YOU A MESSAGE, THE GOSPEL (ROM. 1:16; 1 COR. 15:3-4)!

I WILL SAVE ALL WHO ACCEPT MY SON, AND WHO BELIEVE I RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD (JN. 1:12; 3:14-18; ROM. 10:8-13)!

I WILL SAVE ALL WHO CALL MY SON "LORD" (JN. 13:13; ROM. 10:8-13; 1 COR. 1:2)!

I WILL KNOW MINE BY THEIR OBEDIENCE TO JESUS (MT. 7:20; LK. 6:46; JN. 14:15)!

THE SIGN OF JONAH (MT. 12:38-40)!
 
According to 1 Corinthians 1:22, the Jews require a supernatural sign from God, in order to believe the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:3-4).  Paul wrote:  "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom."  In Matthew 12:9-37, Jesus had healed a man, and being accused of working the miracle in the power of Satan, He warned the Pharisees that they were committing "the unpardonable sin."  I believe that whenever the Holy Spirit convinces someone that the Gospel is true and the person rejects the truth, they are calling the Holy Spirit a liar; ironically, Satan is actually call the father of liars (Jn. 8:44)!
 
Apparently, they reconsidered their statement, and they decided to ask Jesus to perform another miracle (Mt. 12:38)!  Basically, Jesus responded by telling them miracles are "one per customer!"  He responded by saying: 
 
"But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Mt. 12:39-40). 
 
It is clear that Jesus was referring to the fulfillment of the first three of Israel's Seven Feasts of the Lord.  In its shortest span of time possible, it would take three complete and separate days to fulfill Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits.  Jesus did so in three days!  He is our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7); He was sinless (Heb. 4:15), and said He is "the Bread of life" (Jn. 6:35); and finally, Jesus is the First Fruits from the grave (1 Cor. 15:20)!
 
Christ's Resurrection is THE sign; to be saved, you must believe it (Rom. 10:9-10)!




GOD BECAME MAN FOR YOU AND ME!

Salvation is the result of a man believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the Gospel IS the power of God unto salvation, to everyone who believes it (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:3-4)!  Jesus has come, past tense, and He died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.  And, He came as the Son of God! 

Jesus is the only begotten Son of God

"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him" (Jn. 1:18).

"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.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.  He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (Jn. 3:16-18).

"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure" (Heb. 11:17-19).  [Abraham and Isaac are a figure of God and His Son]

"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 Jn. 4:9-10).

Salvation is based upon our faith that He came to die for us!
 
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (Jn. 1:1, 14).

"Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God" (1 Jn. 4:2).

"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (1 Jn. 4:3).

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.  This is a deceiver and an antichrist" (2 Jn. 1:7).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE BELIEVER

The following poem is much more than a poem; it is meant to be sung to the music of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.  I has appropriately been entitled:  The Battle Hymn of the Believer, words by James Delany, Pastor of the Salem Bible Church, Salem, New Hampshire.
 

Mine eyes have seen the splendor of the glory of the Lord,
We behold Him in the mirror of the Word, the Spirit’s sword,
Christ the God-Man now in glory, is forever more adored,
Christ is our victory!

 
As we dwell upon the Savior and the cross-work He's performed,
We from glory unto glory in His image are transformed,
To the world we died with Jesus; we refuse to be conformed, 
Christ is our victory!
 
Christ arose and now is seated at His Father’s own right hand,
With Him risen, we’re positioned in that fair and heavenly land,
Looking always unto Jesus, we from heaven take our stand,
Christ is our victory!
 
Causing hearts to love the world and hoarding treasures here below,
‘Tangling soldiers in the earthly, ‘tis the tactic of our foe,
Though the battle for our hearts and minds still rages yet we know,
Christ is our victory!
 
On the cross our foes defeated, hardship gladly we endure,
Marching in His strength and power, for my weakness He’s the cure,
Christ in us the hope of glory, we in Him, the conquest sure,
Christ is our victory!
 
CHORUS
 
Glory, glory, hallelujah, Glory, glory, hallelujah,
Glory, glory, hallelujah, Christ is our victory!

Monday, November 17, 2014

HEAVEN: FOR THOSE WHO WERE LOST AND FOUND

This was written, by me, to the sweet young girl who delivered her third child shortly after losing her husband and son in an automobile accident.  She survived the crash, as did her daughter, and my great granddaughter.  Alex will eventually heal of her multiple broken bones, but the Lord only knows how she will handle seeing her daddy and being trapped in the car for what must have seemed like an eternity.  I hope it is an encouragement to all who have lost loved ones.

"I fully understand, from my own experience, as Corey Wilcoxen's grandfather, some of what you are experiencing over the loss of your husband and son. The only solace one has in cases such as ours, is the peace we have in knowing we will see our departed loved ones again. The Book of Job says, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (13:15), and again, the Apostle Paul wrote, "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8)!

There is a strange jealousy believers have, knowing their loved one is enjoying the splendor of heaven before we are able to join him or her.  1 John 3:1-2 says, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God...Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is!"

We who believe that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and was raised from the dead, according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), can stand in the face of such grief as ours.  And, knowing that the same God who raised Jesus from the grave, loves us as much as He loves His Son Jesus (John 17:23), gives us hope and peace!

God bless you and may He provide and protect you and your two sweet girls!  May you be strong for them, and tell them the reason you are able to keep going; that they are loved by you, and by Him! Amen!"

The greatest gift you can leave behind, is knowing we will see you again!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"GOSPEL" BEGINS WITH "GO!"

Are you a born again believer in Jesus Christ?  Do you believe He willingly died for your sins?  Do you believe He was buried for three days and three nights?  Do you believe God, your Father, raised Him from the dead?  If so, you are equipped with all you need to win souls!  The Gospel has the power of God to save all who will believe!  To you, God's Word says:
“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mk. 16:15).

Go ye therefore, and teach [make disciples of] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Mt. 28:19).

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (Jn. 20:21).

I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome also” (Rom. 1:14-15).
 
“For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of:  for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16).

“But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts” (1 Th. 2:4).

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:19-20).

“And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Eph. 6:19-20).

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

LETTING THE BIBLE ANSWER FOR ITSELF

Here is a personal Bible Study on how one acquires God's free gift of eternal life.  Print out a copy, and then look up the verses.  After you have completed your study, you will have a tool for sharing your faith with others.  All Bible Study must be according to the Word of God!  Enjoy!

1.  According to Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 6:23, eternal life (salvation) is the ______ of God.
2.  According to 1 Peter 1:18-19, His gift to us was bought and paid for by _______________ .
3.  According to John 1:11-12; 3:18, 36; do all men receive the gift of eternal life?  _____ .
4.  According to John 3:16, what happens to those who reject God's gift of eternal life?  ______________________ .
5.  According to Acts 4:12 and 1 John 5:11-12, is it possible to be saved (have eternal life) without accepting Jesus as one's Lord and Savior?  _____ .
6.  According to Galatians 2:16, 21; 3:10-11, can a person earn salvation by keeping the Law?  _____ .
7.  According to Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5, can our good works save us?  _____ .
8.  According to John 17:3, how does God define "eternal life?"  ________________________________________________________________ .
9.  According to John 17:3, is eternal life the result of doing something, or knowing Someone?  ______________________ .
10. According to John 17:3, is eternal life gained through our religion, or is it from having an intimate relationship with God by faith in His Son?  ________________________________________________________________ .
11. According to John 6:29 and 6:47, what must a person do to have eternal life?  ________________________________________________________________ .
12. According to Acts 16:31, what must a person do to be saved?  ________________________________________________________________ .
13. According to Ephesians 2:8, what actually saves us?  ________________________________________________________________ .
14. According to John 19:30, what was finished with Christ's death on the cross?  ________________________________________________________________ .
15. According to Romans 10:9-10, what does God guarantee He will do for all those who believe He raised Jesus from the grave, and believing, trust in Jesus as Lord?  ________________________________________________________________ .
16. According to John 1:1, together with 1:14, who is Jesus Christ (the Word)?  ________________________________________________________________ .