Christ Loved Me—He Died for Me

Sunday, September 24, 2017

“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).

The Gospel is not personal until it is coupled with personal faith!

Years ago, a Bible teacher gave a presentation to college students. After the lecture, a skeptical pupil approached him to complain. The student objected to the teacher reading Romans 5:8—“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He grumbled that the Bible’s promise was “not personal enough.” Actually, he wanted it to say, “God commendeth his love toward you… Christ died for you” (as in, directed to him personally rather than a group).

Sin causes such people not to appreciate the truths of God’s Word. They have no insight into Scripture, even when a Christian explains it to them. Why? Willful ignorance. The Lord Jesus Christ said in John 7:17: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” The key to “knowing of the doctrine” is “will[ing to] do [Father God’s] will.” Some lost people want to know God’s will; hence, they listen to and believe the Gospel preached to them. Others are content where they are, and will use any excuse—even the pettiest—to dismiss Scripture.

Today’s Scripture is a Christian (the Apostle Paul) reckoning—considering true—the application of Calvary’s merits to his personal account. It is only when someone willing to have faith in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork does one see the individual aspect of Calvary’s merits. An unbeliever who wants to stay dead in sins, does not see the full impact of Christ’s finished crosswork. There is mental assent, an intellectual exercise, but no heart faith that leads to righteousness (Romans 10:10a). The believer sees God’s love as personal, Christ’s death as personal. However, as long as lost people view verses through unbelieving lenses, they will see the verses printed on the page, hear the words proclaimed, but not trust the truth in the heart!

Our latest Bible Q&A article: “Can you explain 2 Timothy 4:13?

Memory in Hell

Saturday, September 23, 2017

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented” (Luke 16:23-25 KJV).

Hell abounds with torments of all kinds—especially memory!

Several years ago, before “333 Words of Grace” was launched, you may recall our writing ministry in our local newspaper. First, dozens of letters to the editor were submitted for about three years. Then, I had a weekly column for some five months (before cancellation). A dear elderly lady, whom my family had known for decades, read those Bible studies. The last time I met her was about three years ago, at my grandmother’s funeral actually. She mentioned she had read our newspaper ministry when it was active. I was glad to share the Gospel of Grace with her again there at the funeral home. There was no indication she was saved there or any other time I dealt with her.

Recently, I heard that the dear lady went out into eternity earlier this week. I can only wonder where her soul went. After learning the Gospel of Grace from us so many times, did she ever trust Jesus Christ alone as her personal Saviour? Or, did she remain in her vain works-religion? Wherever she is—Heaven or Hell—she is alive right now. She certainly remembers those Bible studies.

Today’s Scripture is clear that people suffering in Hell indeed have memory of their earthly life. Every last one of those damned souls recalls at least one opportunity of a spurned (rejected) Gospel message. There is not a soul down there that had to go there, and that one haunting thought alone is torment enough. Dear friend, you do not have to go to Hell! “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Trust Christ, and Him alone… before it is eternally too late!

Relax in Grace

Friday, September 22, 2017

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7 KJV).

“Be careful for nothing”—pray the Pauline way and relax in grace!

Recently, a dear Christian friend underwent a “claustrophobic” medical procedure. She had asked others and me to pray for her because she was terrified of being inside that cramped imaging machine. When I phoned her after the procedure, however, she said that it was not as bad of an experience as she thought it would be. She felt awful that she had “let the Lord down” for not trusting Him. I told her that it the weakness of the flesh, something that she not worry about. Today’s Scripture says we should not worry about worrying.

Being a Christian does not mean that we have automatic peace about everything. The way we experience God’s peace is by praying the Pauline way. Notice today’s Scripture: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Satan seeks to use bad doctrine to injure us internally. Thus, God has designed prayer to lead to the “keeping” (or guarding) of our hearts and minds. Prayer is speaking to God in light of His Word to us. The Word of God spoken to us, then reinforced in us when we pray according to it, will dominate and correct the false doctrine Satan seeks to advance. Thus, anxiety is the result of not praying properly or not praying at all.

Let us remember 2 Corinthians 12:9,10 in all times of difficulty: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Bible Q&A articles #419 & #420: What does ‘implacable’ mean?” and Why does Ephesians conclude with such a ‘dark’ passage?

Where to Find Answers

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

“At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people. And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels [light, savory biscuits], and a cruse [pot/jar] of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child” (1 Kings 14:1-3 KJV).

King Jeroboam, despite appointing his own religious leaders, seeks the LORD’S word through the Prophet Ahijah!

Solomon’s death results in a divided monarchy—the 10 northern tribes (thereafter “the kingdom of Israel”) and the two southern tribes (thereafter “the kingdom of Judah”). Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, rules Judah; Jeroboam, Solomon’s servant, governs Israel. Jeroboam eventually establishes a false religious system in Israel (12:25-33). Up north, he counterfeits Judah’s religious services in Jerusalem down south. Nonetheless, he knows his religion is hollow and useless. Interestingly, when seeking answers concerning the future of his ill son, he recruits JEHOVAH’S prophet rather than his own religious leaders (today’s Scripture)!

Over the years, “aloof” people have sought me for spiritual guidance. They openly disagree with me teaching the King James Bible rightly divided. Yea, they cling to their denominational preachers and teachers. However, they ask menot those religious leaders—for advice touching Bible issues. For example, a Christian relative once cursed me out face-to-face after I shared sound Bible doctrine with him. Years later, he asked me to write notes for him to teach Sunday School at his church! (I did.) Or, consider the Christian couple that, after harshly criticizing my parents and I for our “wacky” dispensational beliefs, comes to us (rather than their denominational preachers) for Scriptural insight! Other grace-believing, King James Bible users I know have relatives who disparage them. Yet, those family members come to them seeking prayer and/or Bible wisdom. Interesting, huh, that their denominations ultimately do not satisfy them?

Dear grace brethren, while some of our close associates dislike us King James Bible, Pauline dispensationalists, they know we know where to find answers. Be encouraged. In due time, they will come. Remember today’s Scripture! 🙂

Indecisive Israel #12

Monday, September 18, 2017

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14,15 KJV).

Whom shall Israel follow? (It depends on their circumstances!)

Israel forsook the Law of Moses, God’s primary instructions to them. Therefore, awful religious, moral, and social conditions overwhelmed the nation. In keeping with the Law Covenant, beginning in the Book of Judges, God punished Israel with the first course of judgment or chastisement promised in Leviticus chapter 26. Foreigners would oppress them, exactly as verse 17 predicted: “And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.” This repeatedly occurred throughout Judges.

Similarly, the Church the Body of Christ has abandoned God’s apostle to us Gentiles, Paul (Romans 11:13). The last 2,000 years of the Body of Christ mimics Israel’s vacillation throughout the Book of Judges. There have been recurrent apostasies and isolated revivals, but an overall doctrinal deterioration. Ultimately, there is utter spiritual ruin—God’s people compromised and neutralized. Brethren, remember, the same evil world system—especially Satan’s religious system—that existed in Judges remains today over 3,000 years later. It will culminate in the Antichrist beyond our day.

Some “Christians” believe there is “no harm” in mixing with world religions, or intermarrying with non-Christians. Scripture disagrees. (Remember Israel’s pagan neighbors and spouses in Judges!) Some “grace believers” see “nothing wrong” with attending services at denominational churches. The Holy Spirit disagrees. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Brethren, let us not be indecisive like Israel. We should “be separate,” unapologetically and totally removed from the (pagan) religious system! 🙂

333’s 2300th – Growing in Grace

Saturday, September 16, 2017

“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13,14 KJV).

Only by God’s grace, brethren, we reach yet another major milestone!

Dear friends, over the last 2,300 days, we have strived to provide you with clear and concise daily studies from the King James Bible rightly divided. That was our goal from day 1, and it is our purpose even now. God’s Holy Word is a big Book, and we have all of eternity to learn it, but we should take time to study it now. We have been left here for a reason.

A wise Christian leader once said, “Your Christian life will not operate on the basis of ignorance.” We would do well to always remember that. God the Holy Spirit inspired and preserved His Word—the 66 Books of Genesis through the Revelation—for the express purpose of not leaving His people in spiritual darkness. He wanted us to know what He is doing at any given time, especially what He is doing in our present-day. Therefore, in His final words to Timothy, and to us, He said: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). The emphasis is on preaching “the Wordnot the church’s traditions, not the preacher’s opinions, not the theologian’s speculations, and not the teacher’s hunches!

The Holy Bible alone is God’s revelation to man. Romans through Philemon, the Apostle Paul’s 13 epistles, are the most recent divine revelation to mankind. The context of today’s Scripture, verses 11 and 12, scolds the nation Israel for not being skilled in the word of righteousness (God’s words to her). In Israel, there was major spiritual immaturity. Unfortunately, the Church the Body of Christ also consists of many spiritual “babes” today, ignorant of Paul’s writings (God’s words to us). Hopefully, our studies have made us “them that are of full age.” We are still growing, some slower than others, but growing nonetheless. Let us continue growing in grace!

Onward to devotional #2400! 🙂

The Thing Which is Good

Monday, September 4, 2017

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28 KJV).

On this Labor Day, we talk about work, “the thing which is good.”

In this day and age of increasing “government assistance,” people are becoming less and less aware of our hard work being the Lord Jesus’ preferred method of the source of our incomes. While the physically and mentally disabled are obvious exceptions, the God of the Bible expects all of us to contribute labor in order to provide for ourselves. For children and young adults, even being a student in school is work enough!

Observe the doctrine being communicated in today’s Scripture. The grace life does not merely teach us to quit doing bad things, but it also instructs us to start doing good things (Titus 2:11,12). Once a thief trusts the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork as sufficient payment for his sins, then God expects that thief to quit stealing and find a job so he can provide for his needs!

The God of creation calls work “the thing which is good” (today’s Scripture). Work is not something to be avoided; it is something to be embraced for the Lord’s glory!

When the Lord Jesus Christ put the first man, Adam, on earth, that man had a divine commission. Adam was not to simply loaf around and do nothing: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Adam was to protect that garden, to till its ground, to prepare it for Jesus Christ to come down and dwell in with he and Eve (because of sin, that earthly kingdom over which Jesus Christ will rule is still awaiting fulfillment!).

Saints, may we work to provide for our families (1 Timothy 5:8), and may we work to help those who truly are needy (today’s Scripture). In the words of God the Holy Spirit, that is “good!” 🙂