Like-Minded

Monday, January 16, 2023

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Ephesians 4:3-6 KJV).

Recently, I received through the regular mail a generous financial donation for our ministry. The man, quite far away, who contacted me had left his phone number, which I called so I could thank him personally.

Answering the phone, he was delighted to hear from me. As we conversed, he explained how he was a former works-religion cult member who had since heard and believed the Message of God’s Grace. Now, he was a Bible-believing dispensationalist who “just so happened” to find our ministry websites while browsing the internet, and was grateful for our innumerable Bible studies (articles and videos) available online. I also learned that he had had a heart attack only a few days prior to our phone call. Joking with him, I said, “God is not finished with you yet! He still wants you here on Earth, and His grace is sufficient!” He agreed, and we continued having wonderful fellowship around our Lord Jesus Christ, closing our chat with, “Either we will talk again here [Earth!], or, up there [Heaven!].”

Brethren, it is quite strange, but true. You can meet a “total stranger,” learn he or she is a member of the Church the Body of Christ, and, in a short amount of time they seem like you have known them your entire life. That is the harmony of the Spirit of God, taking people from all stations and nations and making them saints according to the Word of Truth. Re-read today’s Scripture: “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:3-6). We should all agree on these points, for they are, in fact, what unite us to everything that Father God is doing today!

A Saviour Who Will Save

Monday, January 2, 2023

“…Jesus Christ of Nazareth… Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:10,12 KJV).

Today’s Scripture tells us who alone can save man from the everlasting hellfire he deserves!

A frequent objection made against Christianity is that every religion has “good” members, and to ignore them and limit heaven to a few Christians is unfair. This is a defected notion. How does one arrive at a definite conclusion when there is no one standard to gauge everyone’s “goodness?” They are “good” according to whom, according to what standard? Remember, relative morality actually does not help the sinner—he may be a “better” sinner than another, but he is also a “worse” sinner than yet another, and whether “better” or “worse,” he is still a sinner!

The God of the Bible has a simple method for determining righteousness. Today, He sees two types of people—saints and lost people. While both groups were born in sins (Ephesians 2:1-3), “shapen in iniquity [in the womb]” (Psalm 51:5), and “condemned already” (John 3:18), only the saints have come to realize their lost state. Job asked in Job 9:2, “How should a man be just [righteous, acceptable] with God?” Saints have come to the acknowledgement that they needed God’s righteousness, that they had a massive sin debt that they could never satisfy, that their “righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), that they could never possibly make themselves right before a holy God (He is the standard; Romans 3:23). The lost people, however, do not realize they are lost, for they believe their religious works “score points” with God and make up for their sinful deeds (2 Corinthians 4:3,4). They ignore the finished crosswork of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for their sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

Saints have come by faith to Jesus Christ, whose name literally means, “Anointed Saviour” (cf. Psalm 2:2; Matthew 1:21). As the writer of the book of Hebrews said, “[Jesus] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (7:25). Literally, no world religion has such a “Saviour” as Jesus Christ!

The Misunderstood Messiah #5

Friday, December 30, 2022

“Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41 KJV).

Did you ever notice the magnitude of the insult put forth toward Jesus Christ in today’s Scripture?

Once Christ replied with sound doctrine (verses 42-47), Israel’s religious leaders simply resorted to name-calling again (verse 48): “Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” A Samaritan was half-Jew/half-Gentile, and “the Jews [had] no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). Notice Jesus was insulted twice more—they called Him a “Samaritan” and “devil possessed.” Throughout the rest of John chapter 8, Israel’s religious leaders continue arguing with Jesus and nearly stone Him to death (verse 59)!

Why did Jesus not simply “zap” these religionists and instantly throw them into hellfire? They belittled and blasphemed Him several times in this one account, and then attempted to murder Him, but rather than Jesus killing them with His spoken word (which would have been justified), He only conversed with them. Why?

Remember, when the Apostles James and John saw how the Samaritans refused to accommodate Jesus, they asked Him if He wanted them to call down fire from heaven and consume those sinners, He replied, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:55,56). This First Coming of Christ was His “meek and lowly” coming: He did not come to judge man’s sins, but to die for them!

Even today, God is still not pouring out His wrath on wicked mankind (2 Corinthians 5:19), creatures who still snicker at Jesus Christ, deceive others in His name, persecute His saints, ignore His Word, and “rub His nose” in their sins. Lost mankind is wasting God’s grace and mercy that He is offering so freely. When His grace is finally exhausted, the undiluted wrath that has accumulated will finally be poured out (His Second Coming). May we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour now so we have our sins forgiven now, lest we face that angry, righteous God in judgment (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)!

For more information, you may also see our archived Bible Q&A: “Did God ‘rape’ Mary?

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing #5

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:14-17 KJV).

The final verse of the classic Christmas carol highlights today’s Scripture.

“Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!”

Religion has done an excellent job (wrongly) teaching us that God likes to rehabilitate humans—that He wants to make us quit doing certain things (“fleshly”) and make us start doing other things (“churchy”). What a very shallow, and actually a false, perception. God wants to do much more than what we could ever do by ourselves.

For good works to reign in our lives, God has to kill us! As sinners, in Adam, we are dead in our trespasses and sins, no life in ourselves (see today’s Scripture). Nothing we can do in our own strength will ever change our (sinful) nature in Adam. However, God offers us death to Adam and a new identity through Christ at Calvary. When we trust that Jesus Christ died for our sins, in God’s mind, we died to sin, too. Christ did not simply die for us but as us. Romans chapters 5 through 8 describe the victory is in Christ, not in Adam or in ourselves. Success is by the power of the Holy Ghost working with the grace doctrines we study and believe, not in our struggles to do right. And so, “Christ [is] formed in [us]” (Galatians 4:19).

Something about which the angels cannot sing, but we can, should, and do! 🙂

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing #4

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:8-11 KJV).

The fourth verse of the classic Christmas carol highlights today’s Scripture.

“Come, Desire of nations come
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Oh, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart!
Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

Angels can sing about God’s operations, but, unlike us humans, they cannot sing about salvation in Jesus Christ. When we read today’s Scripture, there should be leaping for joy! The God of creation, the God of the Holy Bible, the God of Christianity, has attempted to mend the broken relationship between Him and us. He has done everything to save us from our sinful selves and our utter foolishness. He can do no more than Calvary. Those merits of Christ’s finished crosswork cannot benefit us individually unless we individually appropriate them by faith. There is no merit in our faith, but there is immeasurable merit in what Jesus Christ did. We either agree with God by faith that Calvary’s finished crosswork is enough, or we ignore it and continue on our way to eternal hellfire. Simple indeed!

Reading from 2 Corinthians chapter 5: “[19] 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. [20] 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. [21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Do we agree with God by faith?

Saints, please remember this work of the ministry requires monthly financial support to operate (Galatians 6:6; Philippians 4:16-17; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7). Those who prefer electronic giving can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux. Anyone who wishes to donate by regular mail can visit https://333wordsofgrace.org/contact-us-mailing-address-for-donations/ for details. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! Unfortunately, since our ministry audience is so large and our ministry staff is so small, I can no longer personally respond to everyone. Thanks so much for understanding in this regard. 🙂

Eight Billion!

Friday, November 18, 2022

“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” (Genesis 6:11,12 KJV).

Friend, Earth’s human population has just surpassed eight billion!

While the Holy Bible never supplies any figures as to how many people were on Earth in the days of Noah and the Great Flood, we know their lifespan was literally hundreds of years because of unique atmospheric conditions, a purer genetic makeup, and a lack of world wars (read Genesis chapter 5, which means exactly what it says!). There may have been hundreds of millions to perhaps a few billion people alive when Noah and his family boarded the Ark! Whatever the total number of inhabitants, we can only speculate, but here is what we do know: just eight survived the global Flood of Genesis chapters 6–8 (1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5).

Concerning modern history, we have the following data. World human population was one billion in 1804, two billion in 1927, three billion in 1960, four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987, six billion in 1999, and seven billion in 2011. Thinking of it another way, whereas it took 200 years to add five billion (1800–2000), it has taken us only the last 20 years to add the final two billion. Yet, it is speculated it will take us about 60 years to reach 10 billion, because the global population growth rate has fallen since 1950. In the mid-20th century, it was five children per woman, but that has been reduced to 2.4. Global life expectancy has increased from 64 years in 1990 to 73 years now, largely because of advances in healthcare and medicine, so people are living longer and that plays a substantial role in maintaining an enormous global population.

What is Earth’s “carrying capacity?” That is, how many humans can its resources sustain? No one really knows because the value depends on several factors, including how greedy we are now and will be in the future. Today’s Scripture, though thousands of years old, is an up-to-date description of our modern world, as God in His marvelous grace now tolerates eight billion sinners!

String Too Short to Use!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14 KJV).

If we are to move forward in the Christian life, we must not look backward to the old life….

Once, a man needed to sort through his deceased family member’s possessions. The lady was a hoarder, saving and categorizing everything. As he handled the items, he was dumbfounded to sight a container labeled, “Dress snaps that do not match.” Just when he thought it was worst kind of penny-pinching he had ever seen, he noticed an even weirder spectacle. There was a box with the following words: “String too short to use!”

Although the above true story is humorous, it is also tragic. The overaccumulation of material items can cause great stress, poor health, and even injury or death. People trapped under collapsed objects in their home is just one of the risks that hoarding poses. Hanging on to useless stuff in the spiritual realm can inflict even more damage. In today’s Scripture, Paul is providing his testimony (read verses 1-12), how he came by faith to Jesus Christ and left behind his old life as a lost man in works-religion Judaism. His focus was not on who he used to be in Adam (self-righteous sinner), but on who he now was in Christ (truly-righteous saint).

What the Holy Spirit is impressing on us in today’s Scripture is to “get rid of that string too short to use.” There is no benefit in retaining it. It will only weigh us down, distract us, and even destroy us. Dear Christian friend, by the power of God’s grace, let go of the old life—the darkness, confusion, sin, filth, disappointments, impotency, immaturity. “Reach forth unto those things which are before” and “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Let Christ Jesus live His life in and through you, as you walk by faith in an intelligent understanding of His words to you (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon)!

Is the God of the Bible “Anti-Intellectual?” #10

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16,17 KJV).

Is the God of Scripture “anti-intellectual?”

Bible-haters can methodically prove complex mathematical theorems, wisely dissect and repair human bodies, diligently translate ancient manuscripts, scrupulously draft elaborate blueprints for a megatall building, tirelessly endeavor to be a pioneer researcher in nuclear physics, boldly explore the mysteries of outer space, doggedly acquire a “brilliant” legal mind to obtain a political office, prudently develop budgets for entire nations, creatively sculpt incredible works of art, carefully investigate the ocean depths, and regularly compose technical articles for publication in “scholarly” journals.

As educated, admired, and outstanding as these souls are, until they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thereby receive the indwelling Holy Spirit, true wisdom will forever elude them. The knowledge of eternal worth is a foreign language to them. Certainly, they struggle to fathom even the simplest sentences in a sixth-grade English Bible. While the human brain is remarkable, it has a Creator or mind superior even to it (and never forget that!). There is the Divine mind, what Almighty God possesses, who gave us the ability to think and comprehend these very thoughts. Why does the natural world exist? Only when we read His Book do we understand and appreciate the real meaning and purpose to what we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. However, if we are content with just the “how,” we will go no further than natural explanations and natural reasoning, thus overlooking what matters most (1 Corinthians 2:9-16).

“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:19-21).

Is the God of the Bible “Anti-Intellectual?” #9

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16,17 KJV).

Is the God of Scripture “anti-intellectual?”

The Lord Jesus Christ through the Apostle Paul advised in 1 Timothy 6:19,20: “O Timothy, keep [guard] that which is committed to thy trust [sound Bible doctrine, grace-oriented teaching], avoiding profane [common, unholy] and vain [empty, worthless] babblings [drivel, silly talk], and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.” In Greek, “science” is “gnosis,” translated as “knowledge” 28 times in our King James Bible (for instance, see Luke 1:77, Romans 2:20, 1 Corinthians 8:1, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Ephesians 3:19, 2 Peter 1:6, and 2 Peter 3:18).

Observe how there are “oppositions of science falsely so called.” False teachers fight against sound Bible doctrine by promoting information that is wrongly titled “science” (as in knowledge). In other words, it looks like it profits its hearers and adherents—but it is as advantageous to the Christian (or even lost person) as fools’ gold is to the prospector! What appears to be substance is but shadow, what seems to be treasure is merely trinket, yet the undiscerning mind is none the wiser. Usually, what is advertised as “knowledge” turns out to be nothing more than pointlessness.

Re-read 1 Corinthians 2:9. If we desire to ascertain God’s words and will, we do not appeal to the “eye” (scientific method, empiricism), the “ear” (church tradition, secondhand data), or the “heart” (soul-searching, intuition). Moreover, if we do not have the indwelling Spirit of God to teach us, we have no hope of ever obtaining God’s wisdom. “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (verse 10). We can gain all the “knowledge” we want by attending every world “institution of higher learning,” yet this is but child’s play when we survey the wealth of Divine wisdom contained in the Holy Scriptures rightly divided….

Is the God of the Bible “Anti-Intellectual?” #8

Monday, November 14, 2022

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16,17 KJV).

Is the God of Scripture “anti-intellectual?”

Following the scientific method, we hypothesize (form temporary explanations) concerning the operation of natural events, we observe those phenomena through experimentation and we record our findings/data, thereby allowing us to refine or discard our prior description—ever striving to describe “how” it works. Nevertheless, if we do not look at God’s creation through the lens of the Holy Scriptures, the eyes of faith, we will never see “why” it works (and that is true ignorance)! Moreover, without the indwelling Holy Spirit to teach us, we have no prospect of ever attaining genuine knowledge.

First Corinthians 2:9-16: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.”

Again, Christianity is the opposite of ignorance….