Light Bulbs and Lenses #9

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

Most church members believe successful Christian living involves keeping the 10 Commandments, remembering the Beatitudes, following the “Golden Rule,” et cetera. Nonetheless, when the Holy Spirit through Paul spoke about Christian living, He said the teacher was God’s Grace, not God’s Law.

Titus chapter 2 again: “[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; [13] … the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; [14] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Alas, even many “grace believers” have a shallow understanding of grace. Their misconduct causes other Christians (and even lost people) to cling to strict rules and regulations even more. Grace does not save us according to how we live, but it should influence how we live.

Romans chapter 6 is what grace teaches: “[6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. [7] For he that is dead is freed from sin. [8] Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: [9] Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. [10] For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

“[11] Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. [12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. [13] Neither yield ye your members [body parts] as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. [14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

We conclude this devotionals arc….

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Light Bulbs and Lenses #8

Monday, October 2, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

During the past decade, dispensational Bible study has clarified many obscurities for me. Christian growth is like switching to eyeglasses of increasingly higher magnifications. The believer’s willingness determines: (1) the rate at which those eyeglasses are traded, and (2) the size of the gaps between successive magnifications. As focus improves when camera lenses are adjusted, the sincere Christian soul progresses in Bible understanding. The passage of time causes that which is vague to become sharper. However, without right division, God’s preferred method (2 Timothy 2:15), clarity is gone, the light is diffused or nonexistent, and Christian growth stops.

Consider Titus 2:11-14, the Christian life that precious, precious, precious few believers ever discern and enjoy: “[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; [13] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; [14] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Remember, “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” refers to the Apostle Paul’s “all nations,” or “Gentile,” apostleship (Romans 1:5; Romans 16:26; cf. Romans 11:13). Grace existed before Paul, yes, but it being offered freely to all nations when they deserved nothing but wrath, that was unheard of prior to Paul. “The Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2) involves more than God in His grace simply offering us redemption from the penalty of sin (Hell and the Lake of Fire). Titus chapter 2 says grace teaches us how to live daily and overcome the power of sin.

Why did Jesus Christ offer Himself “a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6), a “redemption-price for all?” To take those who would trust Him as personal Saviour, and give them an identity to overcome daily sinful living. Grace not only changes our eternal destiny in the future. It can change how we conduct our lives right now….

Light Bulbs and Lenses #7

Sunday, October 1, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

Apart from Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, we read in Scripture about Law-keeping as part of the believer’s life. Unless we “rightly divide the word of truth,” keeping Paul separate from the rest of Scripture, we will abandon God’s grace and return to the Law. The Gospel of Grace enlightens the soul. If we continue walking in the light of God’s grace, we will live by that light through faith, and the Law will be unnecessary. It is incongruous to begin in grace (salvation by God freely giving to us through Christ’s finished crosswork all that we need) and then revert to the Law (performance-based system found in the non-Pauline Bible Books).

People appeal to Paul’s epistles for the Gospel of Grace, but then conduct their Christian lives by grabbing the legalistic, non-Pauline Scriptures (works). That is silly—grace and law do not mix! We came to Paul’s “Gentile” ministry and epistles to learn about God’s “all-man” (worldwide) message of grace. Likewise, for Christian living, we must appeal to this heavenly ministry of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:5-7 says: “[5] For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. [6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: [7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” How did we “receive Christ Jesus the Lord?” Likewise, our conduct is based on “[our] faith in Christ.” From where did we Gentiles learn about Christ? From Paul, His Apostle to us Gentiles (Romans 11:13). We “walk” likewise.

Romans chapter 3 again: “[23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:….” We have been “redeemed”—purchased out of and freed—from the penalty of sin (Hell and the Lake of Fire). Hence, we no longer have to serve sin. God’s grace is our master, and by faith in Pauline revelation, we reign in the light of grace….

Special-edition Bible Q&A #425: “Were the 11 Apostles wrong in choosing Matthias instead of Paul?