A Saviour Who Will Save

Sunday, January 2, 2022

“…Jesus Christ of Nazareth… Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:10,12 KJV).

Today’s Scripture tells us who alone can save man from the everlasting hellfire he deserves!

A frequent objection made against Christianity is that every religion has “good” members, and to ignore them and limit heaven to a few Christians is unfair. This is a defected notion. How does one arrive at a definite conclusion when there is no one standard to gauge everyone’s “goodness?” They are “good” according to whom, according to what standard? Remember, relative morality actually does not help the sinner—he may be a “better” sinner than another, but he is also a “worse” sinner than yet another, and whether “better” or “worse,” he is still a sinner!

The God of the Bible has a simple method for determining righteousness. Today, He sees two types of people—saints and lost people. While both groups were born in sins (Ephesians 2:1-3), “shapen in iniquity [in the womb]” (Psalm 51:5), and “condemned already” (John 3:18), only the saints have come to realize their lost state. Job asked in Job 9:2, “How should a man be just [righteous, acceptable] with God?” Saints have come to the acknowledgement that they needed God’s righteousness, that they had a massive sin debt that they could never satisfy, that their “righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), that they could never possibly make themselves right before a holy God (He is the standard; Romans 3:23). The lost people, however, do not realize they are lost, for they believe their religious works “score points” with God and make up for their sinful deeds (2 Corinthians 4:3,4). They ignore the finished crosswork of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for their sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

Saints have come by faith to Jesus Christ, whose name literally means, “Anointed Saviour” (cf. Psalm 2:2; Matthew 1:21). As the writer of the book of Hebrews said, “[Jesus] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (7:25). Literally, no world religion has such a “Saviour” as Jesus Christ!

The Word Was Made Flesh

Saturday, December 25, 2021

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1,14 KJV).

On this Christmas Day, we reflect on the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

The candidate who could solve man’s sin problem had to meet two requirements. He had to be God, and He had to be man—a “God-Man.” It had to be God, because God’s righteousness had to be satisfied, but it also had to be man, for it was man who had sinned. God’s righteousness was offended, since “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But, it was also a man who had sinned, “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).

Consider Philippians 2:5-8: “Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” In short, heaven’s best—Jesus Christ—came to save earth’s worst—us! In summary, Jesus Christ was born to die for us.

Brethren, the salvation that we enjoy today in Christ could not be possible without the shed blood of Christ on Calvary’s cross, and the shed blood of Christ could not be possible without the incarnation of Christ! God is a Spirit (John 4:24), and in order for Him to shed sinless blood, He had to first have blood. Thus, it behooved Jesus Christ to take upon Himself the form of a man. It was at this time of year that God the Son entered the virgin Mary’s womb, possessing a body that was conceived by the Holy Ghost.

Remember, “The Word was made flesh” (today’s Scripture) so we could have an opportunity to be “made the righteousness of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Merry Christmas!

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

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing #5

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:14-17 KJV).

The final verse of the classic Christmas carol highlights today’s Scripture.

“Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!”

Religion has done an excellent job (wrongly) teaching us that God likes to rehabilitate humans—that He wants to make us quit doing certain things (“fleshly”) and make us start doing other things (“churchy”). What a very shallow, and actually a false, perception. God wants to do much more than what we could ever do by ourselves.

For good works to reign in our lives, God has to kill us! As sinners, in Adam, we are dead in our trespasses and sins, no life in ourselves (see today’s Scripture). Nothing we can do in our own strength will ever change our (sinful) nature in Adam. However, God offers us death to Adam and a new identity through Christ at Calvary. When we trust that Jesus Christ died for our sins, in God’s mind, we died to sin, too. Christ did not simply die for us but as us. Romans chapters 5 through 8 describe the victory is in Christ, not in Adam or in ourselves. Success is by the power of the Holy Ghost working with the grace doctrines we study and believe, not in our struggles to do right. And so, “Christ [is] formed in [us]” (Galatians 4:19).

Something about which the angels cannot sing, but we can, should, and do! 🙂

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing #4

Monday, December 6, 2021

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:8-11 KJV).

The fourth verse of the classic Christmas carol highlights today’s Scripture.

“Come, Desire of nations come
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Oh, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart!
Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

Angels can sing about God’s operations, but, unlike us humans, they cannot sing about salvation in Jesus Christ. When we read today’s Scripture, there should be leaping for joy! The God of creation, the God of the Holy Bible, the God of Christianity, has attempted to mend the broken relationship between Him and us. He has done everything to save us from our sinful selves and our utter foolishness. He can do no more than Calvary. Those merits of Christ’s finished crosswork cannot benefit us individually unless we individually appropriate them by faith. There is no merit in our faith, but there is immeasurable merit in what Jesus Christ did. We either agree with God by faith that Calvary’s finished crosswork is enough, or we ignore it and continue on our way to eternal hellfire. Simple indeed!

Reading from 2 Corinthians chapter 5: “[19] To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [20] Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. [21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Do we agree with God by faith?

What Child Is This? #4

Thursday, December 2, 2021

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms” (Psalm 95:1,2 KJV).

The final verse of the classic Christmas carol highlights today’s Scripture.

“This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.”

As the shepherds and angels gathered around Baby Jesus’ manger, we can only wonder what immense joy filled their hearts. In that world of old—plagued by the same basic problems of our modern world—He was a Beacon in the dark and a Solace in the misery. They undoubtedly sang right in the midst of all those farm animals! They were so thrilled to see God working in their presence. They were now standing before His baby crib!

Sinners today are greatly encouraged—yea, urged—to come by faith to God’s Son, Jesus Christ, right this moment. They are not to come by faith to His crib, for He is no longer a Baby. Rather, they are to come by faith to His cross, where He gave up that life for us! “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). What we need to do is rely exclusively on Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, His shed sinless blood and His resurrection, as sufficient payment for our sins.

As with Jesus’ birth, for those who do not want to see anything, they do not see anything. Those who see are people who want to see. It has nothing to do with God hiding anything from anyone. What did Jesus tell the Jews? “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).

Although Jesus Christ is not physically here today, we can still haste to bring Him laud. We can praise Him highly in a public context. First, we can believe on Him and His finished crosswork. Then, we can tell others how they too can be saved through Calvary!

In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 25, 2021

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

*Excerpted from our Thanksgiving 2012 Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see, “What are our spiritual blessings in Christ?

Many Days

Friday, October 22, 2021

“Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days” (Deuteronomy 2:1 KJV).

Exactly how many days were these “many days?”

Friend, have you noticed how complicated life is? If only things were much simpler and more enjoyable. Unfortunately, there is no perfect school, workplace, marriage, or church. Financial difficulties mount. Poor decisions lead to illness. Arguments and disagreements strain friendships. Disobedient children cause endless fretting about their wellbeing. Problems! Problems! Problems! We can be absolutely certain that wherever people can be found, trouble can be found there too. Wherever we find sin, we find complications. Hardships are part of this fallen creation.

Preparing for his departure via physical death, aged Moses is reciting the nation Israel’s history in today’s Scripture. The Jews had left Egypt and were bound for the Promised Land: “(There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)” (Deuteronomy 1:2). Leaving Horeb/Sinai, and approaching God’s land from the south, they arrived in Kadeshbarnea and wished to send in 12 spies to scout the land for 40 days (verses 19-25). “It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us” (verse 25b). “Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God” (verse 26). Oh, what a terrible sin! “Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God, Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day” (verses 32,33).

We have reached today’s Scripture: “Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days.” Those “many days” were 40 years (Numbers 14:34)!!! In short, because of a failure to believe God’s words, a two-week journey stretched into four decades… and, by that time, the unbelievers had all perished—having never seen the LORD’S land. May we apply sound Bible doctrine by faith to life now, that we not have “many days” of destructive wandering either!

Living By the Faith of Others #4

Friday, September 10, 2021

“For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29 KJV).

Moses is quite spiritually minded. Is Israel?

Brethren, let it be made abundantly clear that having a spiritual mentor is not a sin. Yet, we must always remember our Christian life needs to depend on our own understanding and our own faith in the Scriptures. Walking with someone in sound Bible doctrine is absolutely not to be confused with leaning on them as they walk! If our spirituality hangs on other people, what will happen once they grow apostate (turn from the truth) or grow old and die (leave this life via physical death)?

The way to victorious Christian living is to take our own stand on the principles of God’s grace. We do this by reading God’s inspired and preserved words in English, the Authorized Version King James Bible, and studying them ourselves. It goes beyond letting someone else—parents, grandparents, spouses, preachers, priests, theologians, professors, commentary writers, et cetera—tell us what to believe. We need to do our own investigations and come to our own conclusions. Furthermore, it is our job to pass on to future generations not only what we believe, but why we believe it. Again, we do this by taking God’s inspired and preserved words in English, the Authorized Version King James Bible, and letting younger people follow along reading their personal copy as we read our personal copy.

Again, it is not a sin to have a spiritual mentor. It is not a sin to be a spiritual mentor either. Yet, neither is a substitute for the indwelling Holy Spirit teaching the Christian via personal Bible study. When our mentors are long gone (apostate, dead, et cetera), our Christian lives can go on as normal; when we can no longer mentor to our students (we are apostate, dead, et cetera), their Christian lives can go on as normal. Why? These Christian lives were never actually depending on men anyway!

Living By the Faith of Others #3

Thursday, September 9, 2021

“For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29 KJV).

Moses is quite spiritually minded. Is Israel?

Read the dreadful account of once-spiritual King Joash/Jehoash. Second Chronicles chapter 24: “[15] But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died. [16] And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house. [17] Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them. [18] And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.

“[19] Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear. [20] And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you. [21] And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at [!] the [!] commandment [!] of [!] the [!] king [!] in the court of the house of the LORD. [22] Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but [!] slew [!] his [!] son [!]. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it.”

Unfortunately, without Priest Jehoiada’s spiritual counsel, and heeding the “advice” of worldly-minded consultants, Joash/Jehoash reinstated the apostasy of his grandmother Queen Athaliah—even encouraging the murder of God’s Prophet Zechariah, Jehoiada’s own son! At age 47, Jehoash/Joash was wounded in battle with the Syrians, and his servants assassinated him (2 Kings 12:19-21; 2 Chronicles 24:23-26). Moses, in today’s Scripture, was correct….

Living By the Faith of Others #2

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

“For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29 KJV).

Moses is quite spiritually minded. Is Israel?

Years ago, when training for ministry, I greatly benefited from some counseling video-sermons from a certain grace evangelist. The brother explained how he and his wife had trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, had left their denominational system, and were now growing in God’s grace. Years later, I asked a pastor friend (who had known them personally) whatever became of them. I learned the evangelist and his wife had remained grace-oriented for the remainder of the man’s earthly life, but once he moved to Heaven, his wife remarried. Her new husband was a member of her former denomination—and she returned to the group. My pastor friend had not heard from her or their family in several years, for she had broken off contact with all grace associates now that her grace evangelist husband was with the Lord. How tragic!

Over a century after King David’s death, one of his descendants is reigning in Jerusalem. Young Joash or Jehoash, crowned King of Judah at only seven years of age (!), had a wicked grandmother (Athaliah). Athaliah had slaughtered all her grandchildren but him. She usurped her son Ahaziah’s throne after his death in battle, and reigned as an idolatrous queen for seven years before her execution. Ahaziah’s son and rightful heir, Joash—in hiding all this time—now rules. Under his direction, Judah undergoes major religious reformation, including the renovations of Solomon’s Temple and purifications of all Athaliah’s heathen religion (2 Chronicles 24:1-14).

“And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him” (2 Kings 12:2). “And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest” (2 Chronicles 24:2). Let us see what happens to Jehoash/Joash after Jehoiada’s death….