A Miserable “Law-Keeper!”

Thursday, May 31, 2018

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:24,25 KJV).

As Paul closes Romans chapter 7, he is miserable and despondent. How he wants to be delivered from daily failures (religious bondage, legalism)! Suddenly, he realizes that he needs to thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Chapter 8 is the key to being rescued from all his daily disappointments and faults. He is to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh! He is to mind the things of the Spirit and not the things of the flesh!

Romans 8:1-6 is the key to Paul’s dilemma at the conclusion of chapter 7: “[1] There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [5] For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. [6] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” We are to think the way the Holy Spirit thinks (grace), and that is how we guard against the predicament in chapter 7.

Today, read Romans chapters 6-8 in one sitting. Watch the truths in chapter 6 be ignored in chapter 7. Then, notice how they are reaffirmed and expanded in chapter 8. We are dead to sin (chapter 6), we are dead to the Law (chapter 7), and we are alive unto God by the indwelling Holy Spirit (chapter 8). “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18).

Dear friends, we now close seven full years of “333 Words of Grace!” Only by God’s grace, onward into Year 8! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How did the Law kill Paul?

Time Not Wasted

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Ephesians 5:15-18 KJV).

How nice it is to have spiritual understanding and light in a world where there is so much ignorance and darkness! What a privilege it is to share the Word of God with those who want to hear it! How unfortunate it is that so many could not be happier in that awful plight! We should make every attempt possible to reach them, but we must also remember that there are other people to reach as well.

We should walk “circumspectly,” literally “looking all around.” There is to be carefulness, not carelessness. There is to be thought, not thoughtlessness. There is to be wisdom, not foolishness. Why? Satan and his cohorts have wasted so much of their lives and time doing nothing to honor the Creator God. They should have worshipped and served Jesus Christ from their first day of existence. However, they have misused their time, energy, and resources. They have been silly and unproductive. Does it make sense for us—the children of God—to be like them? Of course not! “The days are evil indeed,” but we are not obligated to participate with those evildoers!

Dear brethren, it is not wise to spend all our time on a select few who absolutely refuse to learn anything. You look elsewhere and there will be so many more to converse with. They will have an ear to hear the Word of God, they will have an eye to see the Bible, and they will have a heart to believe the Word of God. They too are walking “circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” They also are “not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” They too know, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit….Let us use our time wisely, dear Christian friends, just as they!

A god to be Carried

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble (Isaiah 46:6,7 KJV).

Notice the following historical account of an ancient pagan people: “The leader of the …, called the …, lived in a big house on top of one of the mounds and was worshipped as a god. His feet were never allowed to touch the ground! When he wanted to go somewhere, servants carried him on a litter, a type of bed or chair carried on two poles.” (A god who must be carried!)

Isaiah chapters 40-48 are JEHOVAH God reminding Israel she is wasting her time worshipping and serving idols. Today’s Scripture demonstrates her ridiculous behavior. The Israelites not only craft an idol, but also pray to this god they must carry; he cannot move himself so he cannot help them in their troubles! Israel has adopted her heathen neighbors’ ways… habits she once shunned.

Psalm 115: “[1] Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. [2] Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? [3] But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. [4] Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. [5] They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: [6] They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: [7] They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. [8] They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.”

Satan had so fooled Israel she actually thought idols of (lifeless) wood and stone could talk, see, hear, smell, grab, and walk! And, just think, the one true God—who could do all those things—was ignored as a nobody!

The Greatest War Hero

Monday, May 28, 2018

“For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).

In the United States, today is Memorial Day, when we remember those who sacrificed their time and lives to provide our physical freedom. Likewise, as Christians, we have spiritual freedom, which was more costly. Someone had to die to give us the eternal life we now enjoy….

Scripture describes a spiritual warfare between good and evil, God’s truth program versus Satan’s lie program: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [schemes] of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11,12; see also verses 13-20).

Satan distracts mankind from God’s pure Word, the Bible, keeping unbelievers lost (dead in their sins), and preventing unbelievers and Christians from knowing God’s will. The devil draws them away (seduces them) from God’s Word by using religious tradition and human “wisdom” (1 Timothy 4:1-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Galatians 3:1-3).

God loves us, so at Calvary’s cross, Christ fought for us sinners, died in battle (today’s Scripture), shed His divine sinless blood, and eternally rescued us from Satan and sin: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14,15).

Hebrews 9:12 says Jesus Christ has “obtained eternal redemption for us.”

If we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). Now, God can use us for His glory for all eternity.

Beloved, let us rejoice in our victory over sin, death, and hell that Jesus Christ secured for us by going to Calvary’s rugged cross! Jesus Christ is now alive forevermore—He is our Hero, the Greatest Hero!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study “The Greatest Hero,” which can be read here or watched here.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should women speak in church?

Love God’s Word

Sunday, May 27, 2018

“O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97 KJV).

The Psalmist loves God’s Word. Friend, do you?

Many today have much to say about “tolerance”—all the while usually being quite intolerant of the truth! We are advised to be accepting of anything and everything, no matter how foolish the thought or frivolous the behavior. Let us toss aside all standards and just let people make their own decisions as to what is right and what is wrong. (If we were to steal from them, would they be fair in protesting? After all, what is “wrong” to them may in fact be “right” to us!)

Contrary to the Psalmist who “loves” the Word of God, there are multitudes upon multitudes who are “haters of God” (Romans 1:30) and “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4). God and His Word get in the way of what sinful man wants to do. Man has an agenda, and he will see to fulfilling it! “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:25). May this not be true of us Christians.

Philippians chapter 1 admonishes: “[9] And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; [10] That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. [11] Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Our Apostle Paul would pray thus for us. We are to love according to “knowledge” and “all judgment”—valuing and esteeming things the way God Himself does. We know not what God values and esteems if His Word does not “dwell in [us] richly” (Colossians 3:16). His Word will not dwell in us richly if we do not study and meditate (think) upon it.

Not only should we love God and His Word, we should let it equip us with the capacity to love the way God Himself loves. Grab a King James Bible, study and believe it rightly divided, and you will be well on your way! 🙂

A Right Choice

Saturday, May 26, 2018

“I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me” (Psalm 119:30 KJV).

Friend, have you made the right choice?

True, we did not have a choice in being born—that was our parents’ decision. However, now alive, we have a choice. On one hand, there is the path associated with the truth; on the other, trails rife with error. If we have some comprehension of right and wrong, God has given us the responsibility of making appropriate decisions concerning these routes. Never can we blame-shift—“God made me do it,” “This person caused me to be thus,” “I could not help what I became….” No, dear friend, we must be accountable.

Friend, wherever you are right now in life, you made the choices to get there. Good or bad, you and you alone decided. Are you where you had planned to be? Better off? Worse off? Way off? We all make mistakes, so we should not pretend to be sinless. The quicker we admit our poor decisions, the sooner we can replace them with better ones. Ephesians 2:10 says: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Reading Ephesians chapter 4: “[17] This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, [18] Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: [19] Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. [20] But ye have not so learned Christ; [21] If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: [22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; [23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; [24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

What are some right choices? Try Ephesians 4:25-32, Romans 12:1-21, Colossians 3:1-25, and Galatians 5:13-26! 🙂

Hypocrites! #6

Friday, May 25, 2018

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward (Matthew 6:2 KJV).

What exactly is a “hypocrite?”

Our Lord Jesus Christ issued the grave admonition in Luke 12:1: “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” As “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9), Pharisaical hypocrisy throughly subverted Israel! (Its absurdity is described in Luke 13:11-17.)

Israel’s hypocrisy culminated at Christ’s barbaric crucifixion. Indeed, Calvary’s cross will forever be an emblem of God’s grace in spite of man’s sin. Yet, it will also always be a reminder of how opposed organized religion is to God’s grace. It was not thieves, drug abusers, drunkards, gangbangers, pimps, prostitutes, and atheistic evolutionary college professors who demanded God’s only begotten Son be crucified! No, it was the most “pious” people who ever lived! Religion was everything to them, and Heaven’s Best meant absolutely nothing to them! Mere hours after shedding His innocent blood, they, without one scintilla of remorse, held a religious feast—Passover!

James spoke of divine wisdom as being “without hypocrisy” (3:17). There is no deceitfulness with God; thus, the same should be true of His children. “Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17). If we have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ who is anything but a hypocrite, we should therefore behave like the people we are (Christians) and not the people we are not (unsaved)!

By the way, what became of organized religion? First Timothy 4:2 says, “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;….” Its proponents still masquerade as “truth-tellers.” They are non-dispensational—ignoring Pauline revelation (grace) and exalting everything else as “Christian” thought and behavior (see verses 1-16). Beware, dear friends, that ye be not hypocrites! Cast off the masks, makeup, and costumes! “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14)! 🙂