When Sin Creeps In #1

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:….” (Romans 5:12 KJV).

Behold, how sin creeps in!

Recently, a Christian brother expressed to me how he had been in a long-term online conversation with a female stranger. He eventually realized that he was spending more time with this lady than he was with his own wife! Once this problem came to his attention, he broke off contact with the online friend. It was quite a smart move on his part—lest he wind up in an affair and divorce court!

Dear friends, do we see how something innocent gradually becomes sin? It is so subtle that we are transgressing and not even notice it until long after we started that conduct (if ever we do notice it). Well-meaning people in religion constantly emphasize confession of sins as being necessary to be saved unto eternal life or to stay saved unto eternal life. Wrong! We are saved (and stay saved) by grace through faith in Christ, not works! Furthermore, they say our prayers will not be answered if we have “unconfessed” sin. If that were the case, no one would be saved or get prayers answered. Wrong! There are things in all our lives we do not yet realize are sin because we have not matured enough in sound Bible doctrine to discern our actions.

Without daily exposure to the Bible rightly divided, we will be vulnerable to all sorts of sins creeping into our lives without our knowledge. Thus, Ephesians 5:15-17 exhorts: “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.” In today’s Scripture, had Adam applied sound Bible doctrine by faith, he would not have let sin “creep in.”

Study Genesis chapter 3. Notice how Satan was pretty skillful in deceiving Eve. Adam could have stopped it, but he remained quiet. What started as nothing more than eating forbidden fruit… is now our world of endless wars, rampant starvation, unspeakable crime, heartbreaking poverty, great suffering, horrific sickness, and eventual death. Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, will correct our thinking (and change our behavior)….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who was the father of the Prophet Zechariah?

Beat Up With Corinthians!

Friday, August 31, 2018

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV).

A dear Christian brother still struggled with the extensive denominational brainwashing he had endured decades prior. The priest read the Bible at Mass, but it was never edifying. Scripture about sin was recited to “beat up” the congregation. First and Second Corinthians were used to make them feel guilty (“prepared” for their next confession).

He was never told, and neither were the rest of the poor church members, how to have victory over sin. They were simply condemned as wretched sinners, which caused him (and likewise them) to fear the Bible. What a terrible way to use the Holy Scriptures. Just because a minister reads the Bible, that does not mean that he is serving the God of the Bible, using the Bible properly, or speaking on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ. Beware!!

Today’s Scripture, written 20 centuries ago, says there were way back then (!) “false apostles, deceitful workers.” People who claimed to be “ministers of righteousness” and really “ministers of Satan!” This is strong language, friends. The Holy Spirit did not hesitate to say exactly what they were. Our churches are filled with them—self-righteous leaders who have no goal in life other than to support and defend their denominational system. So long as their church tradition is upheld, they do not care how much damage they inflict upon others, or how greatly they distort God’s words.

God did not simply give His Word to point out our sin; He supplied it so we could see how to be delivered from sin! “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

Household Rules #13

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

Another major “household rule” of this the Dispensation of Grace is the eternal destiny of believers. Friend, you will search the “Old Testament” in vain to find one word about a believer in the God of the Bible dying and going to heaven. Furthermore, no believer of Christ’s earthly ministry had the prospect of dying and going to heaven. Believers who live outside of the Dispensation of Grace—namely, pre-Apostle Paul and post-Rapture—die with the hope of being resurrected into the kingdom of heaven on earth. Believing Job said in Job 19:25, part of the Bible’s oldest book: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth….” For them, a heavenly kingdom will come down to earth (see Revelation 21:1-4; cf. Isaiah 60:1-3; Isaiah 2:1-4; Isaiah chapter 11; et cetera).

Contrariwise, for us the Church the Body of Christ, our realm of influence is the heavenly places. The life of God we now enjoy as members of the Body of Christ, we temporarily lead it on earth. However, that eternal life will carry on into the heavenly places, that we glorify Jesus Christ there forever. Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 2:6-7 affirms: “[6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 1:20-23 and Colossians 1:16-20 also show how we will share Jesus Christ’s authority in the heavenly places throughout eternity future.

The Rapture—when Jesus Christ comes to take us His Body back to heaven with Him—is designed to end our dispensation (and resume Israel’s program) as well as bring us into the heavenly places. Refer to Romans 11:25-29, 1 Corinthians 15:34-58, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Let us now summarize this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is the King James word ‘borrow’ a ‘mistranslation’ in Exodus 3:22?

Household Rules #12

Monday, January 16, 2017

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

To repeat, some people hate dispensational Bible study. Modern English Bible “scholars” eliminate “dispensation,” therefore hiding the system’s biblical foundation. If they omit the term from Scripture, then they quite easily argue dispensationalism is false. However, while refusing to admit it, even they understand some dispensational boundaries. They know a dispensational boundary exists between an animal-sacrificing Old Testament Jew and us today. They understand animal sacrifices were God’s directions to Israel under the Law, not directions to us under Grace. They know God’s directions to Noah to build an Ark are Scripture, but not to us. Yet, they claim and follow other verses not to or about us. How silly!

Certain “church people” loathe dispensational Bible study—especially Pauline dispensationalism—because it prevents them from ripping out of context verses from Jesus’ earthly ministry and early Acts. They enjoy claiming the gifts of healing and tongues; they like the Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount, and so-called “Lord’s Prayer;” they harp on Christ’s parables; they revel in water baptism, Sabbath-day keeping, and confession of sins. If they were to recognize dispensationalism as true, and apply it consistently in Scripture, then they would see only Paul’s doctrine as applicable to us (today’s Scripture; cf. Ephesians 3:2).

They dislike Paul since he was not sent to water baptize (1 Corinthians 1:17); did not have the gifts of healing and tongues his entire ministry (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; 1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:20); did not quote the “Lord’s Prayer,” Sermon on the Mount, or Beatitudes; did not emphasize confession of sins; directly opposed forced giving/tithing (2 Corinthians 9:6,7); and outright condemned Sabbath-day keeping (Galatians 4:9-11; Colossians 2:16). Paul emphasized grace rather than works. Thus, some groups have removed Paul’s “nuisance” epistles entirely from their Bible!

Dispensational Bible study—specifically, Pauline dispensationalism—threatens church traditions (works-religion). They must ignore dispensational boundaries in order to keep people working and striving in church programs and denominations. In doing so, they underscore Law, thus refuting the Gospel of Grace and hindering victorious Christian living….

When We Deceive Ourselves

Friday, May 6, 2016

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10 KJV).

Do you claim to be sinless?

Years ago, I spoke with a religious family member about the Gospel of the Grace of God. Nearly 90 years old, she had been instructed in her denomination for many decades. When I asked her about her sins, she said, “I have never done anything wrong in all my life!” Just think, friends, about how many times we have sinned in our decades alive. Consider how many times we have sinned today. Now, think about a woman living 90 years, and then saying most seriously, “I have been sinless all my life!” Talk about delusional. But, the people spoken of in today’s Scripture were equally mistaken.

Instead of realizing “For by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20), most Israelites from Christ’s earthly ministry thought they were “pretty good” before God. Note how John the Baptist corrected such erroneous thinking in Matthew 3:9. Paraphrased, “Just because Abraham is your ancestor does not automatically make you sinless!” This was directed to the Pharisees and Sadducees, Israel’s religious leaders who thought they were sinless. As the Pharisee in Luke 18:11 prayed, “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican [tax collector]!”

Today’s Scripture, while often misunderstood as something for believers to practice today, was actually written to correct this unbelieving, so-called “sinless crowd,” in Israel. In order to be saved into God’s family, they had to confess their national sin of breaking God’s Law Covenant. They had to quit trying to establish their own righteousness and come to understand God’s righteousness manifested in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:1-13). Many today need to learn this lesson. They too hide behind their religion. God is not fooled. Until they realize they are lost and going to hell, they have no chance of being saved and going to heaven!

Paul and Dispensationalism #10

Monday, August 17, 2015

“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Just what is the test for true spirituality? How many hymns we sang? How many large tithes we gave? How many “unknown tongues” we uttered? How many long prayers we recited? How many theology books we read? How many miracles we performed? How well we know Hebrew, Greek, and Latin? How many confessions we made? How many times we attended church? How high we jumped and how well we danced during “worship?” While in religion these are seen as “marks” of true Holy-Spirit-led Christian service, the Holy Spirit Himself has quite a different opinion (today’s Scripture).

In Corinth, carnality and Biblical ignorance abounded among Christians. It broke Paul’s heart to see that assembly in spiritual shambles… the very same saints he had taught personally for 18 months (Acts 18:11)! Pagan philosophy had enticed and deceived them, they were suing each other, they behaved as drunken gluttons at the Lord’s Supper, they abused spiritual gifts for personal gratification, et cetera. The Corinthians thought they were so spiritual and so wise, while in reality they were so fleshly and so silly! (Like today’s professing “church!”)

Today’s Scripture declares that a Spirit-led Christian, one speaking on behalf of God, acknowledged Paul’s apostolic authority over us Gentiles. The Corinthians were not spiritual—they rejected Paul’s apostleship in chapters 10 through 13 of 2 Corinthians. Paul knew, however, some Christians would continue deliberately ignoring his apostleship. His advice? Let them stay “ignorant!”

First Corinthians 2:6-8 says God’s “hidden wisdom” is manifested for all to see in the writings of Paul the Apostle, Romans through Philemon. Sadly, like the Corinthians, most true Christians today are too deceived, too weak, and too immature to appreciate “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.” They cannot handle the deeper things of God. May we be as patient with them as possible, but when they persistently resist God’s truth, do not waste time. Friend, move on to others!

If Thou Be #10

Saturday, June 13, 2015

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6,7 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is the key to finding your identity in Christ!

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Once we realize the spiritual wealth we have in Christ, we can rejoice. We can be so thankful that we have the riches of God’s grace!!! Ephesians 1:7 says: “In whom [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Friends, we need to quit living and thinking like spiritual beggars, behaving like we are poor, ever asking God for things when He has given us all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). We lack nothing in Christ (Colossians 2:10). Now we need to believe these Bible truths and ignore what religion says to the contrary!

There can be no thanksgiving in a worrisome life—Did I do enough to please God?, Confess enough?, Give enough?, Keep holydays enough?, Get water baptized enough?, Love God enough?, Love my neighbor enough?, Attend church enough?, Pray enough?, Stop sin enough? There is no peace in a troublesome life—Am I God’s child?, Will I make into heaven?, Does God really love me?, What is His will for me?, Has He really forgiven me? Rather than being “tossed to and fro” by the wiles (schemes) of the Devil in religion (Ephesians 4:14), wondering about contingencies and conundrums, we can be “rooted, built up, and stablished” (stabilized) in Christ, in our identity in Him (today’s Scripture). The doubt, frustration, and perplexity thus cease.

Beloved, the Body of Christ is ever so weak today because it has largely forgotten its identity in Christ! May we take an intelligent understanding of Romans through Philemon, God’s Word to us, and rest our faith in that. We can then cease from our works, and let Father God start doing His by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Where was Jesus during the three days between His death and resurrection?