What is the Grace Life?

Friday, October 19, 2012

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Titus 2:11,12 KJV).

The only life acceptable to God in the Dispensation of Grace is the grace life!

When the Bible speaks of God’s grace to us in Christ (as in today’s Scripture), it refers to “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” The cost to enter heaven is far, far too great for us sons and daughters of Adam to ever pay. But, we have a wealthy relative who paid our sin debt in full. God became one of us: “God sending his own Son [Jesus Christ] in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3). Sin separated man from God, so God did for man what he could never do for himself—pay for his sins.

Unquestionably, the greatest life ever lived in a human body was that of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is always well pleasing to His heavenly Father (John 8:29). Even in death, as His body beaten beyond recognition hung limply on Calvary’s cruel cross, His sinless blood literally gushing from His veins and falling to the ground, Christ was well pleasing to Father God. The greatest human life ever lived then ceased…. He gave up His life, to take it up again (John 10:17,18)!

On Calvary’s cross, Jesus Christ gave His life for us, allowing us to die to sin with Him (Romans 6:3,4a). But then He was raised again, so He could give that resurrected life to us (Romans 6:4b,5). God accepts us in Christ (Ephesians 1:6). We appropriate (impute) Christ’s perfect sacrifice on Calvary by faith alone in the Gospel of Grace—“Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

The Gospel of the Grace of God is not only meant to impact our eternal destiny, but our life now (today’s Scripture!). The Christian life is not us keeping rules, but us walking by faith in God’s Word to us, letting Christ live His life and through us (Galatians 2:20). That, dear friends, is the grace life! 🙂

*These past seven devotionals are advanced versions of our “Original 7.” With our blog’s second foundation laid, we now press on to deeper Bible teaching!

Who is Your Apostle?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” (Romans 11:13 KJV).

Who is our apostle? While today’s Scripture plainly reveals the answer, today’s Christian is often totally ignorant of it.

Upon inquiring the average church member, “Who is your apostle?,” we will receive one of three answers: (1) the 12 apostles, (2) Jesus, or (3) “apostle” so-and-so who leads a local church or ministry. Unfortunately, none of these common replies are correct; yet church tradition perpetuates such ignorance.

“Apostle” (apostolos) simply means “one who is sent away.” We need to know whom God sent to us Gentiles. Who is God’s spokesman to us?

One might argue the twelve apostles were sent to the world, and this is true (Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15), but first they were to convert all of Israel (Matthew 10:5-7), which they never did (Matthew 10:23). Also, after the Apostle Paul’s ministry began, the twelve loosed themselves from their commission to go to Gentiles, for they understood God was now sending Paul to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7-9; cf. Acts 9:15,16).

Another, using Hebrews 3:1, might contend Jesus is our apostle, yet Jesus’ earthly ministry was Israel only (Matthew 15:24; Romans 15:8). Jesus was sent to Israel (Hebrews is written to Israel, therefore, Jesus is Israel’s Apostle).

Paul is God’s apostle (sent one) to us Gentiles (Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11). If we want to learn what God is doing and saying to us today, we go not to Israel’s apostles and prophets (whether Old or New Testaments), for they speak of what God did in time past and what He will do in the ages to come. Only Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, discuss what God is doing today in the Dispensation of Grace: only Paul mentions the Church the Body of Christ. We study all the Bible, Genesis through Revelation, but we bear in mind only Paul’s epistles deal with us.

Jesus Christ said if we are to accept Him, we must accept whom He sent to us (John 13:20). Frankly, we must accept the Apostle Paul, or we reject Christ (1 Corinthians 14:37).

What is Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Literally tens of thousands of groups claim and quote the Bible, but they all have starkly opposing views. How can they use the same text to promote these antithetical views? Whom are we to believe?! How do we solve these contradictions?

The Bible’s first verse notifies us of a division—heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1)—which is present even in the Bible’s closing book (Revelation 21:1). As expected, God has a program that concentrates on heaven (mystery; Romans 16:25), and another program that focuses on earth (prophecy; Acts 3:21). Also, He has one agency He will use in heaven (the Church the Body of Christ; Ephesians 2:6,7), and another He will use on earth (the nation Israel; Exodus 19:5,6). All of God’s dealings with mankind can be divided into three time periods—“time past” (past), “but now” (present), and “the ages to come” (future) (Ephesians 2:7,11-13).

As today’s Scripture indicates, we seek God’s approval, not a church or preacher’s approval. During Bible study, it is ALWAYS crucial to our spiritual wellbeing that we note the author and audience of that passage/book, lest we claim verses God never promised us. We should not steal Israel’s verses, and she should not take ours. This is “rightly dividing the word of truth!”

Every Bible verse fits into one of those two programs—prophecy or mystery—and we must never mix those programs and their unique doctrines. Part of the Bible is written to us Gentiles in the Dispensation of Grace (the mystery program)—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—and the rest of the Bible deals with Israel and her earthly prophetic (kingdom) program. If we mix these programs, contradictions (and denominations) will arise. Oh, the confusion!! Church tradition and careless theologians have done us such a great disservice, wrongly dividing God’s Word, trying to apply verses to us that God never gave us (instead He gave them to Israel).

Dispensational Bible study is the only way to understand God’s Word, for this is the way God Himself designed His Word to be studied.

What is the Right Bible?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

“For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17 KJV).

Today’s Scripture indicates that it does matter what Bible version you use, for many corrupt the word of God!”

Five centuries ago, Christians would rather burn at the stake than submit to a corrupt “bible.” Today, most Christians use alleged “easy-to-read” modern “bibles,” completely oblivious to the sad reversal—their source texts are those once-rejected (corrupt) Bible manuscripts! Why this sudden acceptance of counterfeit “bibles?” Textual criticism.

Bible “scholars”—weak, fallible men—utilize the crude “science” of textual criticism to “reconstruct” and “recover” the original Bible text that they claim GOD lost when so-called “errors” crept in as the Bible manuscripts were copied throughout the centuries. (Blasphemy!)

Essentially, textual critics collate (compare) all extant Bible manuscripts, and then select their preferred readings, usually falling prey to the slipshod rule, “Oldest manuscripts have the purest readings.” (Old manuscripts are not necessarily pure, for corrupt Bible manuscripts existed in the first century A.D., according to today’s Scripture.) That system of selecting preferred Bible readings then generates a new corrupt “modern” version. Thankfully, we can bypass all that confusing nonsense of 200-plus modern English “bibles” (which all read differently)!

For over 401 years, the King James Bible has been the standard English Bible. Its style, language, and textual source are unparalleled. Just as we hold to one body, one Spirit, one hope of [our] calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:4-6), we unapologetically hold to the doctrine of ONE Bible, the King James Bible! Dear friends, despite their godly pretense, modern “bibles” contain verses that prove their untrustworthiness. Remember, modern English means nothing when the text you are reading is worthless.

We are content to study and memorize our “old,” “hard-to-read” King James Bible. It is the perfectly preserved Word and words of God, as handed down by the saints through the ages. We rest on it, and we exalt it as highly as God has. We magnify it above all His name (Psalm 138:2b).

Who is Jesus Christ?

Monday, October 15, 2012

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6 KJV).

While many know about Jesus Christ, very few personally know Him and trust in what He did on their behalf.

Cemeteries confirm, “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a): death and sin are inseparable. Sin kills not only our outward man (physical body), but also our inward man (spiritual body, soul and spirit). Therefore, Romans 6:23a says there are “wages” (plural) of sin.

Sin separates us from God (spiritual death). We are born dead in trespasses and sins,” “children of disobedience,” and “children of [God’s] wrath” (Ephesians 2:1-3). God’s justice demands that we sinners receive the just penalty for those sins by enduring His wrath in everlasting hellfire (Romans 2:6-9). Thankfully, Jesus Christ suffered on Calvary’s cross and endured God’s wrath for us!

Jesus Christ is everything that the triune Godhead is: “In him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). Christ is “the brightness of his [Father’s] glory, and the express [exact] image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus Christ is God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1,14), so He can mediate between Father God and us. In today’s Scripture, Jesus Christ explained that He is the one mediator between God and men” (cf. 1 Timothy 2:5). He later stated, “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also” (John 14:7a). The only way to know God the Father is to know Him through His Son Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:40b).

Jesus Christ’s perfect blood was shed to pay for our sins, to reconcile us back to God. Father God “made [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [Christ]” (2 Corinthians 5:21). “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23b). Will you trust Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection alone as sufficient payment for your sins, and be permanently reconciled to God?

Who is Jesus Christ? Your ONLY way to heaven!

Why Am I Here?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18 KJV).

Although philosophers and religious “scholars” still stumble over the age-old question, “Why am I here?,” God’s Word settled the matter long ago.

Creation is not the result of some random, mindless, cosmic explosion billions of years ago, as scientists often tout. Our universe exists with “divine design in mind”—this is particularly true of Earth. Today’s Scripture explains that, in addition to creating the heavens (outer space), God also created planet earth not in vain.” God had a special purpose for Earth. It is no accident that mankind lives here, as opposed to other celestial bodies.

We exist because the triune Godhead (God the Father, God the Son [Jesus Christ], and God the Holy Spirit) wanted to share with us the love and fellowship they shared with each other before creation (John 17:5,24). In the person of Jesus Christ, the triune Godhead would manifest itself to mankind, a unique race of creatures whom the Godhead appointed to rule over Earth (Genesis 1:26-28). But, why Earth?

When God placed the first man, Adam, on earth, God was preparing to establish His kingdom on earth (Matthew 25:34), where He Himself would live with mankind: “For the LORD hath chosen Zion [in Jerusalem]; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Psalm 132:13,14). Unfortunately, Adam sinned, postponing that earthly kingdom for 6,000 years now. God formed Earth, not to simply give us a home, but to one day make Himself a home (Christ’s Millennial Reign on earth). “He formed it to be inhabited”… by Himself! Amazing!

Friends, we are not accidents. We exist for God’s glory, not for our own glory. God wants us our faith, our trust, to rest in His Holy Word, the King James Bible, the record of how He paid for our sins, and thus restored His fallen creation unto Himself.

Where is God?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;” (Acts 17:24,25 KJV)

Are you searching for God? In today’s Scripture and its subsequent verses, the Apostle Paul identifies where the real God is.

In the context, Paul is in Athens (verse 16). While standing on Mars’ Hill, he speaks to all Athenians, but especially to its Greek philosophers (verses 18ff.). These Greeks are very religious, as evidenced by their altars and devotions, but they do not know the God of the Bible, the Creator of heaven and earth: Paul notes their altar that reads, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” (verse 23).

Paul corrects their thinking. Unlike inanimate idols, the real God “dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands” (today’s Scripture). Contrary to popular belief, a church building is not “God’s house.” The Bible says God does not dwell in manmade structures! We Christians, not buildings, are “an habitation [dwelling place] of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22). Furthermore, we worship God, but not by carving statues and not by bowing before altars, as pagans do.

Throughout the world are God’s written Word, the Holy Bible, and His people, Christians, who teach and preach the Holy Bible. Through these two means, God makes Himself known to the world’s lost people. If any person in the world wants to know JEHOVAH, the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9), he or she can know Him. God is not hiding from anyone. In fact, Paul, in the context of today’s Scripture, says “…all nations of men… that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:” (Acts 17:26,27).

As English-speaking people, we can come to know God through the King James Bible. First, we must be willing to listen to what He has to say in it!