Liberated to Serve

Sunday, July 4, 2021

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 KJV).

Today, as we in the United States celebrate the 245th anniversary of our nation’s independence, we invite our Christian brethren worldwide to rejoice with us concerning our freedom in Jesus Christ.

When we proclaim Romans 6:14—“Ye are not under the law, but under grace”—people tend to assume “loose living.” Does “grace living” really mean we can now live any way we want? Lest anyone be misled in that regard, God the Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to write in the next verse, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid [May God never let that happen!]” (Romans 6:15). Grace living is not Law-keeping, but it certainly is not Law-breaking either.

God still cares how we live, albeit He is not operating the “weak and beggarly” system of “bondage” (Law) that He once did with Israel (Galatians 4:9). God proved to the entire world that since Israel could not keep His commandments perfectly, no other sons of Adam (the Gentiles) could either: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them [Israel] who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world [Gentiles] may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19).

We sinners cannot keep the Law. However, God in His grace provided us a way to escape that condemnation by sending Jesus Christ to offer Himself on Calvary’s cruel cross to pay for our sins. By simple faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the fully-satisfying payment for our sins, we can now be “made the righteousness of God in [Christ]” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We can be delivered from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire) and the power of sin (flesh-walking).

Why are we Christians free? To selfishly live any way we want? NO! Today’s Scripture says we are liberated to now serve others, especially our Christian brethren, just as Jesus Christ selflessly served His Father and selflessly died on our behalf. That is grace living!!!!

Please see our 2011 Fourth of July Bible study “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land,” which can be watched here or read here.

A Radical Change

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10 KJV).

Genuine faith in Christ should produce good works!

Not long ago, a new Christian—just a few years old in the Lord—told me how people who knew him as a lost man can certainly see a difference in his lifestyle now. He did not elaborate on his former sins, and it was none of my business anyway, but even he sees the simple truth of Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

The Thessalonians of today’s Scripture were once pagan idolaters; however, Paul visited them in Acts chapter 17, preached the Gospel of Grace to them, and they passed from death to life. Such new life in Christ was to produce fruit. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 1:3: “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;….” Interpreting this verse in light of today’s Scripture, we can recognize “work of faith” corresponds to “ye turned to God from idols,” “labour of love” is “serve the living and true God,” and “patience of hope” matches “wait for his Son from heaven.” Here are saints walking in their identity in Christ (Romans chapters 6-8), a rare occurrence in both the Bible and today.

Alas, then we encounter the Corinthians in the Bible record. Even a casual reading of Paul’s two epistles to Corinth leaves us with the impression these “Christians” are still unsaved and dead in trespasses and sins! No, as difficult as it seems, they are alive in Christ, possessors of eternal life: unfortunately, they have largely continued to live just like they were before they came to faith in Christ. Such an awful state of affairs besets the professing Body of Christ even now. We would do well to follow the “ensample” of the Thessalonians!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “If meat-eating occurred only after the Flood, who was eating the animal sacrifices prior?

333’s 10th Anniversary: Our Fellowship in the Gospel!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

“Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:4-6 KJV).

Only by God’s grace, “333 Words of Grace” celebrates its 10th anniversary today!

Dear saints and readers, as you can imagine, it is quite difficult to believe we started this journey exactly one decade ago. When we started back then, we never dreamed we would be where we are now. A lot has changed in our world and ministry since God enabled us to launch this project in 2011. Some of us are still on planet Earth, “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Yet, the rest of us have since gone on to Heaven. We are all awaiting the day when we will be reunited as one family in Christ!

I want to personally thank you all for your prayerful and financial support through these last 10 years, “your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now” (today’s Scripture). It has been a real honor to be your minister or servant here. Our goal when we began was to have “clear and concise daily studies from the King James Bible rightly divided.” We have strictly followed that objective, being mindful to avoid the endless rambling of—and worthless chatter in—so much supposed “Christian” literature. Our aim was to preach Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (Romans 16:25,26), that saints be thereby edified and strengthened in the inner man. Grace living, Romans through Philemon, is the answer to victorious Christian living! Also, we endeavored to proclaim a clear Gospel of Grace to the lost world, that they may be saved from the penalty of sin (2 Corinthians 4:3,4).

Over all these years, we have been ever so thankful to our Heavenly Father that we have steadily matured in the Word of God rightly divided. Howbeit, we still have much more growing to do, so we have much more studying to do. While we have come far, let us be willing to go further. Now, by God’s grace, to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, we open another 10 years of “333 Words of Grace!” 🙂

P.S.: If perchance you would like to take a look back over the last decade of grace-oriented devotionals, check out the master list by clicking here.

A Higher Education: It Is Up to You!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 KJV).

Fifteen years ago today, I graduated high school. Consequently, we dedicate this devotional to high school students who are nearing graduation.

Are you about to graduate high school? What would God have you do afterward? Go to college? Trade school? Something else? What career should you pursue? If you do plan on education after high school, where should you attend school? These are tough questions, and while God’s Word does not answer them, you can make decisions that conform to sound Bible doctrine—that is God’s will.

In today’s Scripture, Paul encourages downcast Timothy. Timothy was considerably younger than the Apostle Paul. Older people who are teaching false doctrine are intimidating young Timothy: “Tim, you are too young to teach God’s Word. Let us handle it.” Young Timothy conceded, became silent, and allowed the (“older and wiser”) false teachers to continue teaching their damnable heresies (cf. 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 1:5-8). Paul replied, “Timothy, Speak up! Let no man despise thy youth!”

Christian youth can be just as effectual in their station in life as Christian adults. The lost world is watching us Christians, and we need to be sure that our actions are in accordance with the sound Bible doctrine we claim to believe (lest we be guilty of confusing the already-puzzled unbelievers). Whether “young or old,” our speech, our lifestyle, our acts of love, our determination, our belief in sound Bible doctrine, and our separation from that which God hates, is the way we communicate to the lost world God’s Word and its preeminence in our lives and hearts (today’s Scripture).

Above all, dear graduates, whatever you do post-graduation, “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). After all, it really is not your life—it is Christ’s life in you (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4), so He alone deserves the glory! 🙂

*Based on a Bible study by the same name, which can be read here. Also, see the study “The Spirit-Filled Student.”

By the way, you may also be interested in reading this archived special-edition study about my own college experience.

Mother: A Virtuous Woman

Sunday, May 9, 2021

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10 KJV).

Today is Mother’s Day, so we dedicate this devotional to godly women (specifically mothers). I especially dedicate this to the virtuous woman who has been in my life for almost 33 years… my mom!

Today’s Scripture is the first verse of the Bible’s “Virtuous Woman” passage (Proverbs 31:10-31). King Solomon explained that the virtuous woman:

  • has a husband who safely trusts in her (verses 11,12).
  • is not lazy, but is strong because she works to feed and clothe her family and herself (verses 13-19,21,22,24,25,27).
  • pities the poor and needy (verse 20).
  • has a husband who is well-known because of her godly lifestyle (verse 23).
  • opens her mouth with wisdom, and speaks kindly and lovingly (verse 26).
  • has children and a husband who praise her (verse 28).
  • excels in what she does (verse 29).
  • has works that praise her (verse 31).

Verse 30 explains the virtuous woman is “a woman that feareth the LORD.”

The Apostle Paul wrote that godly women should: not slander/gossip, not be controlled by alcohol and emotions (sober minded), be teachers of good things, love their husbands and children, be cautious and modest, maintain the home, be “good,” and should obey (respect) their husbands… “that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5). A Christian woman, especially a mother, should be a virtuous woman in beliefs as well as in deed. She needs to set an example for her children (especially her daughters).

A Christian woman and/or Christian mother places her faith in this sound Bible doctrine, the indwelling Holy Spirit will then take that doctrine and transform her for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Her mind will be renewed by sound Bible doctrine, and that will transform her outward activity (Romans 12:1,2).

Are you a Christian woman or Christian mother who desires to be the woman God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest!

 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO OUR READERS WHO ARE MOTHERS!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

Archived: “What does the Bible say about motherhood?

Christ Liveth in Me

Sunday, April 4, 2021

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 KJV).

“He is risen” is not a simple blasé cliché!

When Jesus’ disciples came to His tomb on that glorious Sunday morning nearly 2,000 years ago, they were startled to find it empty! Angels inform them that He has resurrected, but they are still in shock (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8). Jesus Christ Himself must later explain the Scriptures to them regarding what happened those last few days (Luke 24:44-46).

However, until Paul’s ministry, Christ’s finished crosswork is not preached as good news for salvation. Peter and Israel’s other apostles simply preach that Jesus Christ is now resurrected to “sit on [David’s] throne” (Acts 2:30)—that is bad news for much of Israel, for they still reject Him, weeks and months after His resurrection and ascension. Throughout early Acts, Israel’s apostles warn her that Jesus Christ is coming back to judge them.

When we come to the Apostle Paul’s ministry, we learn that we Gentiles can benefit from Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. Israel’s rejected Messiah is now our way to heaven! Yes, Israel hated Him, and demanded that He experience the most awful method of execution devised, but God allowed it in order to accomplish His will. Satan attempted to hinder God’s will by having Christ killed, but all that did was provide the method whereby God could save us pagan Gentiles. Calvary’s finished crosswork frees us from Satan’s evil system and gives us a chance to be God’s people (Acts 26:17,18)!

As people who have trusted Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for our sins, that crucifixion is our death to self and sin, and that resurrection is our raising to walk in newness of life—His life (today’s Scripture; cf. Romans 6:1-11)!

Indeed, Jesus Christ is alive, and He lives in and through those who walk by faith in God’s Word to them, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon! 🙂

HAPPY EASTER!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study by the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

Moderation as Preparation #3

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5 KJV).

Friend, are you ready for the Lord’s return? Today’s Scripture says you should be!

Christ’s coming is associated with our “moderation,” our avoidance of excess or extremes. That is, we are in control of our behavior; we are not acting wildly. Instead, we allow the Holy Spirit to govern us so we conform to sound Bible doctrine. “Moderation” in Greek is “epieikes.” Our King James translators rendered it elsewhere in the following ways.

The bishop must be “not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient [epieikes], not a brawler, not covetous” (1 Timothy 3:3). Christians are urged, “…speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle [epieikes], shewing all meekness unto all men” (Titus 3:2). “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle [epieikes], and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle [epieikes], but also to the froward” (1 Peter 2:18).

How often we believers cry out for His return, but are we prepared to meet Him? If He were to come back this very moment, would we be ashamed of our activities? Are we about the work of His ministry, or our ministry? Have we been walking/running in wisdom, or swaggering/staggering in foolishness (Ephesians 4:17–6:20)? Would He find us living in moderation,” or, like the Philippians, engaging in immoderation? Either way, lost people are watching us. Today’s Scripture therefore encourages us, Let your moderation be known unto all men.” In addition to the testimony of His truth that we display before the unsaved world, we remember the Lord Jesus at the Rapture could be just seconds from arrival! “The Lord is at hand.”

Christ said of believing Israel awaiting His Second Coming: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” (Matthew 24:44-46). Likewise, let us be faithful and wise! 🙂

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “Who was more responsible for Jesus’ death, the Jews or the Romans?” and “If they were fulfilling Bible prophecy, how are Christ’s murderers culpable of wrongdoing?

Moderation as Preparation #2

Monday, March 8, 2021

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5 KJV).

Friend, are you ready for the Lord’s return? Today’s Scripture says you should be!

We want to look at two specific passages from the Book of Philippians. Firstly, we go to chapter 1: “[27] Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; [28] And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

Secondly, read from chapter 4, with today’s Scripture in context: “[1] Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. [2] I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. [3] And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. [4] Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. [5] Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

The primary weakness of the church at Philippi was its trivial infighting or petty quarreling. Two particular sisters in Christ, Euodias and Syntyche, just did not get along with each other. The nature of their disagreement is never disclosed in Scripture. Whatever the case, the Lord’s ministry suffered greatly. Moreover, even with bishops and deacons (1:1), the Philippians had not addressed and corrected the matter. Christians at Philippi being distracted with this fleshly nonsense could not focus on sound Bible doctrine. Such improper thinking was so unfortunate and destructive that the Holy Spirit through Paul issued today’s Scripture: “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” We want to draw our attention to that term “moderation,” and how it will prepare us for the Lord’s return when He does in fact come for us….

Moderation as Preparation #1

Sunday, March 7, 2021

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5 KJV).

Friend, are you ready for the Lord’s return? Today’s Scripture says you should be!

I was just communing with a dear brother in Christ and coworker in the ministry. Now 84 years old, his health is failing—especially his eyesight and mobility. The sordid affairs of this present evil world have made him long for Heaven all the more! He voiced uneasiness about the pathetic condition of governments, the senseless behavior of society, and the doctrinal deterioration of the professing Body of Christ. Candidates corrupt! Culture corrupt! Churches corrupt! How he wants to go Home and leave all this stupidity behind!

Today’s Scripture again: “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Christ is coming back, as we see from other verses. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body…. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it (Romans 8:23,25). “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ(1 Corinthians 1:7). “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith (Galatians 5:5).

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:20,21). “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10). “And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ(2 Thessalonians 3:5). Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

Every Christian should live in constant expectation of meeting the Lord Jesus Christ at any time. After all, the Apostle Paul conducted himself with that fact in mind….

Found Out and Fractured in Twain #35

Friday, February 12, 2021

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 KJV).

Doubtless, we never want to sensationalize or exaggerate. However, the fact remains, some dark days are ahead for the United States and the rest of the world. What can we Bible-believing Christians do?

In the context of intense social difficulties, including religious deception, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul penned in chapter 3 of 2 Timothy: “[14] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; [15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (Read the whole chapter for the contrast.)

Proceed into chapter 4: “[1] I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; [2] Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. [3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Christians should “continue… in the things” they have “learned,” remembering these “things” are Pauline doctrine, the grace principles of Romans through Philemon. The very reason the professing church is in such shambles today is because it refused to heed this advice 2,000 years ago (cf. 2 Timothy 1:15). Believe and preach the Word rightly divided! If we believers in Christ save ourselves from the erroneous teachings of Satan’s evil world system, then we have a pure message to share with lost people, that they might also believe and pass from death to life, that their sin not find them out in eternity and perpetually fracture them in twain.

-FINIS!-