No Good Deeds, No Good Things #10

Friday, July 27, 2018

Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you (Jeremiah 5:25 KJV).

Here is the result of being under any performance-based acceptance system!

When pure Grace is proclaimed, the objection will invariably arise: “Grace is a license to sin, and I can live any way I want!” Dear friend, if you say that, you really have no idea what Grace is. Moreover, others will complain, “But do I not have to do something to make God happy with me?” Dear reader, you have not paid attention to what these passages have been teaching. Your flesh can do nothing to please God!

The Law system, once it shows a lost person his or her sinful state, has no further place in that individual’s life. “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient…” (1 Timothy 1:8,9). God added the Law to Israel’s program “because of transgressions” (Galatians 3:19)—to point out Israel’s sin, her failure to get God’s blessings based on her works. “For by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). How senseless it is to then have the Christian live under the Law… continually beleaguered by the sinfulness he or she has already confronted the moment of coming to Christ by faith!

“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18). Read the entire Epistle to the Galatians: they had fallen prey to legalism. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3). Our religious performance will add NOTHING (!) to what the Spirit of God has already wrought, and is working, in our hearts. Father God gave us all blessings in Christ the instant we believed on His finished crosswork—everlasting life, limitless forgiveness, justification (imputed righteousness), free redemption, eternal sanctification, unconditional acceptance, and so on. Now, dear brethren, we go live in and enjoy those blessings! 🙂

“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; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13).

Sola Fide

Monday, October 30, 2017

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9 KJV).

On October 31, 2017, we Bible believers celebrate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation!

The third Reformation principle, “sola fide” (Latin, “faith alone”), protests the well-known Roman Catholic mishandling of James 2:24. “A man is justified by faith and works” is clearly written to Israel (chapter 1, verse 1). Following God’s instructions to others is surely destructive. Lost people wake up in eternal hellfire quoting Scripture (including James 2:24!).

In this the Dispensation of God’s Grace, salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing. Romans chapter 3: “[26] To declare, I say, at this time [God’s] righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Our Apostle Paul (Romans 11:13) continues in chapter 4: “[3] For what saith the scripture? [Sola Scriptura!] Abraham believed God [Sola Fide!], and it was counted unto him for righteousness. [4] Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace [Sola Gratia!], but of debt. [5] But to him that worketh not [Sola Fide!], but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly [Sola Fide!], his faith [Sola Fide!] is counted for righteousness.” Rather than having religious self-righteousness (Romans 10:1-3), remember that Heaven is gained by faith alone in Christ’s righteousness alone! “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

The Reformers, while lacking the more perfect Bible understanding we enjoy, nevertheless walked in the spiritual light they had. They understood justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Romans chapters 1-5). In the 500 years since, we have recovered the rest of the Book of Romans that religious tradition had stifled (chapters 6-16—victorious Christian identity and living, differences between Israel and the Body of Christ, and grace principles for various life situations). Brethren, let us walk in the light we have, further building on the Reformers’ efforts! 🙂

“Soli Deo Gloria!”
(Glory to God alone!)

How to Go to Heaven

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 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; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26 KJV).

How simple!

A friend recently informed me she wanted to read two books—one on politics and another on religion. The latter was about “how to go to heaven.” Having known her for a few years, she has been in her particular “Christian” denomination for decades. I have shared the Gospel with her many times, to no avail. She still wonders how to go to Heaven. Her works-religion church certainly has not given her any peace about it either. Incidentally, they published the book she wants to read! Sad. If the group whose religious services she has attended for decades has still not given her any assurance, what profit can she gain from reading a volume they have published?!

If we want to learn how to go to Heaven, the best book to read is not some manmade book, especially from an author whose denomination hides the plain and simple truths of Bible justification. No. We had better read the Holy Scripturesespecially the Book of Romans. The first two chapters deal with the issue of sinful man’s condemnation, Jew and Gentile alike. The next three chapters focus on the matter of imputed righteousness, God applying His righteousness to those who rely by faith exclusively on Jesus Christ dying for their sins, being buried, and being raised again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).

We go to Heaven not by striving to keep rules and regulations (which we break constantly anyway). Grace is everything that God can do for us through the finished crosswork of Christ. It is not what we do for God but rather what He already did for us. If we are still wondering about our eternal destiny, then we had better get back to Romans chapters 1-5, read them, and believe them… before it is too late to go to Heaven!!

Christ’s Calvary Crucifixion Covers Christians

Monday, June 29, 2015

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7 KJV).

Certainly, Christ’s Calvary crucifixion covers Christians!

In and of ourselves, there is nothing special about us Christians. Who we are in Jesus Christ, now there is something special!! We have the privilege of standing before Father God in the manner Adam did before the Fall! In Christ, we have the same standing before Father God as Jesus Christ Himself! A very exciting truth, one that precious, precious, precious few believers are ever taught (sadly).

Denominations always instruct them to strain and strive to have a right standing before God. They fail to realize that God places them in Christ at the very top of the ladder. Instead, they become busy in religion, desperately trying to reach the top rung Jesus Christ already gave to them! When you consider it, it makes your head spin how far off religious tradition brings one from the Holy Bible rightly divided.

What Israel has to wait for at Jesus Christ’s Second Coming (Acts 3:19-21), we have now received the atonement (Romans 5:11). When we trust the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork, the Holy Spirit places us into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). We then share Jesus Christ’s identity (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are just as close to Father God as Jesus Christ is—unconditional acceptance (grace).

It is when we come to the Apostle Paul in the Bible that we learn that God’s salvation is available as a free gift to all men (1 Timothy 2:3-7; Titus 1:1-3). What was once reserved for Israel is now being offered to every person in every nation under heaven today. Rich or poor, black or white, male or female, Jesus Christ’s merits are available to all. Jesus Christ is “the Saviour of all men, specially those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10). While it is unto all, salvation is only upon all them who believe (Romans 3:21-28). Lost people can come to Calvary’s cross by faith, and Father God will welcome them with open arms, no matter what they have done. There is nothing that Jesus Christ’s blood cannot cover.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is there ‘healing in the Atonement?’

In Evil Long I Took Delight #6

Friday, February 13, 2015

“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26 KJV).

The final verse of John Newton’s classic 1779 hymn “In Evil Long I Took Delight” highlights today’s Scripture.

“Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.”

It is common today to see beautiful jewelry crosses hanging around people’s necks and arms. They give us a false impression of Calvary. It was not a pretty sight to see the Creator God hanging, suffering, and dying for people who hated Him with passion unspeakable. Calvary was a cruel hill where Father God’s wrath against our sin, was revealed. The same wrath that lost people are facing in hell right this moment, the wrath that they will experience throughout the endless ages to come, it was that wrath that was poured out on Jesus Christ at Calvary. There was no anesthetic or dilution. Yes, it was a dark, glum, terrible place, but in such circumstances of apparent weakness and defeat, there was the most amazing victory to ever “grace” the planet.

The glorious aspect of the doctrine of “vicarious atonement” is that Someone else made us “at-one-ment” with Almighty God. The God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, so graciously took our sin debt away because we had nothing with which to pay! Moreover, He did not merely get us out of spiritual debt (forgiveness), but His resurrection was the receipt that the debt was gone. There was not so much as one sin to hold Him in the grave. Hence, the Bible says He was “raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). It was with Jesus Christ resurrected that we were raised again and declared righteous. Never again will God “impute sin” to us who trust Christ alone (verse 8; cf. today’s Scripture). Our spiritual debt has been paid! We are now alive “to walk in newness of life.” Now, instead of delighting in evil, we can joy in our identity in Christ! What a concept! 🙂

At Calvary #5

Saturday, June 21, 2014

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24 KJV).

The chorus of William R. Newell’s classic 1895 hymn “At Calvary” highlights today’s Scripture.

“Mercy there was great, and grace was free,
Pardon there was multiplied to me,
There my burdened soul found liberty
At Calvary.”

“Mercy” means “pity, compassion,” God holding back what we deserve (His wrath). “Grace” is God’s unmerited favor—it is free to us (apart from our works) because Jesus Christ paid for it with His life (it is not “cheap grace!”). In Christ, we are liberated from sin’s dominion and works-religion bondage (Galatians 5:1)—the “redemption,” the purchasing of our freedom, through Jesus Christ’s shed blood. We received “redemption through [Christ’s] blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of [God’s] grace” (Ephesians 1:7; cf. Colossians 1:14). The riches of God’s grace—where our sin abounds, God’s grace abounds far, far, far, far more (Romans 5:20). God’s forgiveness, His abundant pardon, is offered to us at Calvary’s cross.

For our dear readers who are lost, who have never come to a point in their lives where they relied exclusively on Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for their sins, we urge them to do so today before it is eternally too late. No matter what you have done in your life, there is no sin so vile that Jesus Christ’s blood cannot cover it. At Calvary, the God of the Bible offers all the mercy, grace, love, and forgiveness you will ever need, but none of it can be applied to you until you trust Jesus Christ alone as your personal Saviour.

After soul salvation unto eternal life, we join our Apostle Paul in reflecting upon our former lives, and we conclude with him, “but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus(1 Timothy 1:13,14). Indeed, the mercy, grace, faith, and love of Jesus Christ are more than enough.

Saints, being mindful that our (self-) life ended at Calvary, and our (eternal) life began at Calvary, let us sing “At Calvary” with grateful hearts! 🙂

At Calvary #2

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20 KJV).

The second verse of William R. Newell’s classic 1895 hymn “At Calvary” highlights today’s Scripture.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
To Calvary.

It is by God’s Word—specifically, the Law (the Ten Commandments)—that we learn what sin is (today’s Scripture). “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression [or “overstepping”] of the law” (1 John 3:4). The Bible says in 1 Timothy 1:8-11: “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.”

Read today’s Scripture with the previous verse: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19,20).

Romans 3:21,22 gives us the solution to our sin problem: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood to pay for our sins, and by faith in that alone, God’s righteousness would be given us, and our guilt and shame of disobeying God’s Law would be imputed to Christ!