We Are Not Our Own

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20 KJV).

We belong to God, not to ourselves!

Nearly one-dozen specific problems existed in the Christian assembly at Corinth. Troubles! Troubles! Troubles! If you look closely at today’s professing “Church,” every last one of them still plagues the Body of Christ—deep divisions, deceived by philosophy, puffed up with pride, engaging in fornication, lawsuits amongst brethren, living selfishly and tearing down Christian brethren in the process, rampant idolatry, abuse of the Lord’s Supper, misuse of spiritual gifts (especially tongues), and denying Christ’s bodily resurrection. While more technologically sophisticated today, we still have not learned the lessons from the Book of 1 Corinthians. In fact, the primary theme of the Book of 2 Corinthians is Paul defending his apostleship against Christians who were rejecting it. Friend, do you know any “Christians” today who hate Paul’s apostleship? (See, it is the “same old, same old!”)

Today’s Scripture sits in the context of fornication, or sexual relations involving the unmarried. Verse 18 says: “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” Today’s Scripture continues: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Notice how Paul began today’s Scripture with, “What?” You can sense his shock. He is appalled that these Corinthians, despite him being with them and teaching them for over a year, do not know the most basic truth of Christian living. The Holy Spirit lives in us Christians! Our physical bodies are His “temple,” His dwellingplace. Wherever we go physically, we take Him with us! Have we been taking Him where He would have us go? Are we taking Him where He would want to go?

Bible Q&A #315: “Why are there Christians who persistently live like lost people?

Created for God’s Glory

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:15 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

Scanning “Christian” television, I saw one preacher answering viewer-submitted questions. One inquiry concerned the origin of Satan’s great power. The warped preacher responded, “Satan worked his way up to the powerful role he has. God never gives anything free!” Of course, he never actually took his Bible and/or gave verse references—there are no such Bible verses! He was merely speculating and had no business talking about such matters.

Dear friends, Lucifer was created “perfect” from the moment of his creation (today’s Scripture). As the anointed cherub that covered, decorated, and protected God’s throne, he was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (verses 11-19). Lucifer did not have to “work his way up.” Rather than lead all of creation in worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, he wanted praise and worship all to himself. Lucifer loved himself: pride was his downfall (1 Timothy 3:6). Actually, Lucifer worked his way down and became Satan (meaning Adversary)! Lucifer was not content in functioning in the capacity God had given him, so he fell “as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Adam too was given a job, to rule Earth for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26,27). Yet, Adam abandoned that position and followed Satan’s policy of evil. Thus, mankind has no relationship with God today.

The preacher who said God gives nothing free, what a liar. He knows nothing about the riches of God’s grace to us in Christ, nothing of “being justified freely [without cost to us] by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). Just as Lucifer did not work his way into functioning for God’s glory, we cannot work our way into heaven. God offers us soul salvation unto eternal life (justification) apart from any works of any kind (water baptism, confession of sins, commandment keeping, church membership, et cetera). We need to come to Jesus Christ by simple faith in Him alone, relying entirely upon Him exclusively (and not upon Him and our religious works). We will be thus created for God’s glory! 🙂

Paul and Dispensationalism #11

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:3-5 KJV).

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

The goal of dispensational Bible study, particularly Pauline dispensationalism, is not simply to fill one’s head with Bible knowledge. There is no spirituality in drawing the Bible timeline. No spirituality is in merely talking about God’s grace and Paul’s special ministry. Spirituality is when you know where to go in the Bible to find your information and then using that information to benefit others (“charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned”). Grace doctrine is not meant to be kept secret, spoken only when you want to argue. Grace living is to be… lived!

Our goal in sharing dispensational truths should never be to pick fights, debate, et cetera. Religion has deceived many, many precious people. We should seek their highest good (“charity”). They need to learn God’s truth, and we who know God’s truth should share that truth in love and gentleness. We have the doctrine that can save them from their sins, renew their minds, mature them spiritually, et cetera. How marvelous! How exciting!

Unlike modern-day Ecumenists who minimize doctrine, bulldoze denominational barriers, and simply “fellowship with all ‘Christians’ around the love of ‘Jesus,’” today’s Scripture says Paul approved sound doctrine and exposed false doctrine. Paul commanded young Timothy to rebuke false teachers in Ephesus. They were not to teach any other doctrine than what the Lord Jesus Christ had taught them through the Apostle Paul. Actually, the Bible says their error was legalism (1 Timothy 1:6-11), forcing the Mosaic Law into Christian living. Paul had predicted this apostasy years earlier in Acts 20:28-35. Paul had encouraged them, verse 32, to embrace “the word of [God’s] grace.” This was the Bible rightly divided—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, the grace doctrines!

Filthy Feet with Hideous Hearts

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

“[Jesus] riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” (John 13:4-6 KJV).

How willing are you to grab someone’s stinky feet and wash them?

A pastor friend of mine frequently refers to how Jesus bothered to wash the disciples’ smelly feet (today’s Scripture). Imagine what those feet were like. They had been in sandals for many hours (it was now nighttime), sweating in that hot Middle Eastern sun all day, caked with sand. What gritty, filthy, stinky feet!!

Here we have “the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47) coming to Earth and wanting to wash the dirty, foul-smelling feet of sinners! But, that is not all. The hearts of sinners are much more putrid-smelling to God’s nostrils. Yet, He still chose to come to Earth and wash those dirty hearts that were connected to those dirty feet.

John concluded the passage: “[12] So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? [13] Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. [14] If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. [15] For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. [16] Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. [17] If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

As the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ could have made sinners wash His feet. Instead, He followed the local custom and humbly chose to wash their feet instead. (Peter was shocked!) What lesson can we learn here? Simple. If the Almighty Creator was meek, we have no reason to be prideful!

Boasting Excluded

Saturday, March 28, 2015

“Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith” (Romans 3:27 KJV).

How plain—there is no room in Christ for boasting!

We all have pride (not to mention those “proud to be humble!”). Hence, God wisely planned there would be no such bragging when it comes to the Gospel of Grace. In His grand design of the plan of salvation for this the Dispensation of Grace, He only requires one thing: “[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: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

“Believing in Jesus,” or trusting in (relying on) Jesus, is the only requirement to have eternal life and go to heaven today. Today’s Scripture: “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.” In this Dispensation, there is no physical circumcision, water baptism, Law-keeping, Sabbath-day observance, repentance, or confession of sins, necessary for salvation. The principle today is “of faith,” not “of works.” “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (verse 28).

Thus, not one person can brag, “I out-gave you to get into heaven! I out-prayed you, I out-joined you, I out-attended you, I out-did you, blah, blah, blah.” Either we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, or we have not. Thus, those in Christ are equal (heaven-bound), and those outside of Christ are equal (hell-bound). Those who are in Christ have believed Him equally and are secure in Him equally—there are no “more-saved” or “less-saved” Christians.

Ultimately, not only is boasting excluded, but worry is, too. We did not get into Christ because of our works; thus, we cannot be put out of Christ because of our works. What a marvelous salvation! 🙂

Instant Christians #14

Monday, January 19, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

When “instant” Christians share dispensational Bible truths, they meet many stubborn, proud, and resistant people. Detractors, swearing they never heard or read those verses before, stiffen and angrily hurl accusations. Instead of believing the verses, they exclaim, “Paul worshipper, cult member, heretic, Bible worshipper, fanatic, church splitter, Bible chopper” (the “nicer” names!). Those verses are in their Bible as they are in ours—plain English—but they close their eyes to them. Once their willful ignorance is manifested, we move on: God will use what we told them, but our work with them is done. They do not realize that, by defending their preconceived Bible ideas and denominational views, they have refused the key to understanding and enjoying the Bible.

Dear “instant” Christian, daily study your King James Bible rightly divided. Perhaps read it through at least once a year to familiarize yourself with it. You are just one person, but remember all the common individuals God used to accomplish great things—Noah, Abraham, Moses, Deborah, Samuel, David, Esther, Peter, Paul (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). God’s Word will go to work in our lives when we believe it, and His power will be with us as we minister to others: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). God’s power that worked in them works in us. We need to store God’s Word inside us, believe it, and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. Dear brethren, seek people who do want to hear the truth and be ready to tell them!

Remember, it is God’s church and He will take care of it. We just need to be faithful in our neighborhood. If every grace Christian focuses on his or her own community, God’s work will literally be accomplished everywhere.

Let us conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Will we recognize our loved ones in heaven?

Preaching to Perfect

Monday, November 24, 2014

[Christ] Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily (Colossians 1:28,29 KJV).

And so, our grace Bible conference has concluded.

Our ministry goal as Pauline dispensationalists is to “have all men saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4)—to see that they hear the right Gospel (Paul’s Gospel, Christ’s finished crosswork [1 Corinthians 15:3,4]) so as to believe it, and to see that they hear the right Bible doctrine so as to receive it (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon). That is Father God’s will for them; if we delight in His will, it will become our will; and we will then do His will.

We are not here to prove ourselves right, or to force people to agree with us; we are here to declare that God is right and everyone else is wrong, and to be helpers of others’ joy. We know the heartaches and perplexities of religious tradition, we have found the key to recovering ourselves out of the snare of the devil, and now we hold forth “the word of life”not in arrogance, but in compassion, for we too were once foolish and deceived. We care about their souls, that they not be defiled with either sins of the flesh (“secular” human evil) or sins of the spirit (“pious” human good).

Rather than trying to take away something worthless that they have, we offer them God’s priceless wisdom that they need; if they embrace the latter, they will discard the former! If they prefer spiritual ignorance, that is their prerogative, and we should say no more; if they want spiritual maturity, that is our privilege of teaching them God’s Word rightly divided (today’s Scripture).

As our apostle Paul knew, it was really God’s Holy Spirit working in him mightily; it was not Paul struggling in himself to do the work of the ministry. When it is God working, there is no pride, failure, or misery; only charity, love in action, to see that lost souls are saved (justified) and those Christian souls are edified (strengthened). Yes, we “preach to perfect!” 🙂

NOTE: The 2014 Slidell Grace Bible Conference concluded yesterday. Videos of the messages to be uploaded to YouTube in due time, so stay tuned for updates. If you are interested in purchasing CDs or DVDs, please email me for more information at arcministries@gmail.com.