The Flesh Straineth, Christ’s Love Constraineth #7

Sunday, September 16, 2012

“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” (2 Corinthians 5:14,15 KJV).

We would do well to memorize, meditate on, and believe today’s Scripture, a wonderful encapsulation of the Christian life.

As people who have trusted Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection alone as sufficient payment for our sins, Christ’s righteousness—His perfect performance—has been applied to our account (imputation). We have a right standing before God (justification): “we [have been] made the righteousness of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We Christians need not strain to perform in religion, seeking God’s favor and acceptance. God already accepts us in Christ, because of what He did for us on Calvary’s cross! “God hath made us accepted in the beloved [Jesus Christ]” (Ephesians 1:6).

We are not under the Mosaic Law (Romans 6:14,15), but God still cares how we live. Once we understand and rest in God’s great love for us (His sacrifice of His Son on our behalf), it transforms our thinking (today’s Scripture). Since God loves us so much, we Christians should not selfishly live our lives, doing whatever we want. We should, by faith, offer our lives to Him so He can accomplish His will in and through us. As one Christian brother says, “Jesus Christ gave His life for us, so He could give His life to us when we trust Him alone, so He could live His life through us when we trust Him alone!”

Our Christian service is us studying and believing sound Pauline Bible doctrine, and then us letting the indwelling Holy Spirit use that doctrine to work in us (1 Thessalonians 2:13) to generate “the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, unto the praise and glory of God” (Philippians 1:11). These “fruits of righteousness” are Christ living His live in us, conforming our lifestyles to our position in Him.

“The flesh straineth, Christ’s love constraineth….”

We Troublemakers Are Grace Partakers #4

Saturday, July 28, 2012

“What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin” (Romans 3:9 KJV).

The Apostle Paul delivered such awful news in verses 10-20, in order to present the good news, the Gospel of the Grace of God.

Our very nature, let alone our deeds, condemns us. Furthermore, the Ten Commandments prove our sins offend God (who cannot even look upon sin without exacting punishment at some point). Yes, all of mankind is worthy of God’s wrath, a terrifying everlasting lake of fire and brimstone. What horrible news! “But,” verses 21 and 22 are the first glance of the ray of hope, God’s grace: 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:”

“The law and the prophets” “witnessed” that mankind could never measure up to God’s holy demands. The Law could never help mankind keep it; it could only demonstrate that he could not keep it. “But now,” in our Dispensation of Grace, God has provided us a way to obtain the righteousness the Mosaic Law demanded… without us having to keep the Law. We can be “made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of this dispensational change (Law to Grace), God is “manifesting” His righteousness (His standard of rightness) “without the law.”

By the “faith of (not ‘in’ as modern “bibles” suggest) Christ,” God is offering every single person (“unto all”) salvation from his or her sin and sins. But, this salvation is not imputed (applied) to that person until he or she trusts alone in Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary as the sufficient payment for their sins (“upon all them that believe”). Today, the horrible sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary demonstrates that we could never be fit for heaven through religious ceremonies or self-reformation.

It would take God Almighty to pay for our sins….

Vengeance Belongeth Unto the Lord #4

Thursday, May 24, 2012

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19 KJV).

Injustices abound. The wicked are applauded and often go unpunished while the righteous (God’s people) are despised and penalized. As the cliché goes, “God never sleeps.” All wrongs will be righted one day (today’s Scripture).

When the Lord Jesus Christ went to Calvary’s cross, He purchased our salvation. There, He suffered God’s eternal wrath against our sin: “He became sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21; cf. Isaiah 53:10; Matthew 26:46; Galatians 3:13). Once we trust Christ Jesus alone as our personal Saviour, Christ’s finished crosswork for our sins is applied (imputed) to us, and we will never suffer God’s wrath (Christ suffered that wrath for us).

However, those who physically die without having trusted Christ will remain forever dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23): physical and spiritual death. Thus, they must pay for those sins by suffering the eternal wrath of God against sin (the everlasting lake of fire; the “second [or spiritual] death” [Revelation 21:8]).

For the past 2,000 years, God has been offering the world His grace and peace. But, when this the Dispensation of Grace ends (at the rapture), God “shall speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure” (Psalm 2:5). During that seven-year Tribulation—“the day of the LORD’s vengeance (Isaiah 34:8), “the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:2), and “the days of vengeance (Luke 21:22)—our wicked world will finally experience God’s righteous wrath. According to 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, Christ’s Second Coming will conclude those seven years, and fire will further execute vengeance on God’s enemies (Christ-rejecters).

“God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked…” (Nahum 1:2,3).

Indeed, “vengeance belongeth unto the Lord….”

No Blood Indicates No Faith #3

Friday, January 20, 2012

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4 KJV).

According to God, Abel brought “of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof” whereas his brother Cain offered “fruit of the ground” (Genesis 4:3,4). Cain’s offering appeared innocent, but God considered it “evil” (1 John 3:12). Why?

“Without faith, it is impossible to please him [God]” (Hebrews 11:6). Cain did not please God. He did not believe anything God said, so he ignored God’s command to bring a blood sacrifice. No blood sacrifice indicated no faith. Essentially, Cain was ignoring what that blood sacrifice represented: the blood of the coming Redeemer Jesus Christ!

Sadly, today, mankind generally shares Cain’s attitude in refusing to believe God’s Word, especially regarding salvation. God has told them they are guilty sinners who cannot work for salvation, but they refuse to listen. God wants them to trust in His Son alone, but they want to trust in their works and His Son. God will not have it. Jesus Christ is “well pleasing” to God the Father, we are not (Matthew 3:17; Matthew 12:18; Matthew 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22).

Please be not one of the billions of precious souls attempting to appease God and merit salvation and heaven with their “good” works. Like Cain’s offering, this “innocent-looking” activity is evil! (Remember, even Jesus claimed some “good” works were “iniquity” in Matthew 7:22,23). These “good-works” people are attempting to substitute Christ’s perfect blood sacrifice on Calvary with their “dung” and “filthy rags” (their “good” works). God will not have it.

God wants our faith exclusively in what His Son Jesus Christ did for us. Has Jesus Christ’s blood been imputed to your account? If it has, that blood applied to you indicates your faith! If Jesus’ blood has not been imputed to you, you need to trust exclusively in the Lord’s finished crosswork on Calvary. For salvation, God will accept nothing else but your faith resting in Christ Jesus alone.

Three Basic Grace Doctrines

Monday, January 2, 2012

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:3,4 KJV).

Today’s Scripture identifies three basic grace doctrines:

  1. WE ARE DEAD WITH CHRIST: Romans 6:6 explains: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [Christ], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Our old Adamic sin nature is “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). Thus, according to today’s Scripture, we Christians are “dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God.” We are “new creatures in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have a new identity and we are a “new man” (Ephesians 2:15).
  2. WE ARE ALIVE WITH CHRIST: Nothing dead can serve God, so after God killed us, severing us from our identity in sinful Adam, God gave us life… His Son’s life! Thus, today’s Scripture says: Christ, who is our life.” Galatians 2:20 continues: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me….” Philippians 1:21 affirms: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Our Christian life is not our life at all. Actually, it is Christ living His life in and through us! God left us, the Church the Body of Christ, on earth, so He could live His life in us… for the lost world to see. We are the body of Christ, who Himself is God incarnate; thus, since God is living His life through our mortal bodies, we Christians are also “God manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:15,16). The lost world only sees the invisible God by watching us, His visible servants. Wow!
  3. WE WILL APPEAR WITH CHRIST IN GLORY: Finally, today’s Scripture references “our appearing with Christ in glory,” or “our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). When our earthly ministry ends, and the Body of Christ is complete, the rapture will transition us to heaven’s glory, beginning our eternal ministry there!

Is Everyone God’s Child?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19 KJV).

We often hear the expressions, “Everyone is God’s child” and “the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.” (HA!) Is everyone eventually bound to go to heaven? (This heresy is called universalism, by the way.) Today’s Scripture is one of many verses that explain everyone is NOT God’s child. “The Lord knoweth them that are his is a restrictive clause: it indicates that some people do not belong to the Lord.

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26). We are God’s children only if the Holy Spirit has placed us into Jesus Christ (Romans 6:1-6; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:13). Yes, mankind has a common Creator, but most people are bound for hell (Matthew 7:13,14). If everyone is “God’s child,” then why does God cast some people into hellfire in Matthew 25:41-46, Mark 9:41-50, and Revelation 20:14,15? Jesus told Israel’s religious leaders “ye are of your father, the devil(John 8:44). God was certainly not their Father!

“…The living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe (1 Timothy 4:10). Potentially, everyone can receive salvation through Christ Jesus. The salvation found in Christ Jesus is available to everyone, extended freely through God’s grace. However, the salvation in Christ Jesus must be imputed to each individual by faith. When that person trusts in Christ Jesus as his or her personal Saviour, then and only then does God the Father apply (impute) salvation to his or her account and make the person His child. A person only becomes a child of God when he or she is reconciled with God through Jesus Christ via imputation (salvation).

Are you a child of God? Have been saved by trusting in the finished crosswork of Christ on Calvary? Jesus Christ “tasted death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9), so He died to save even you! Will you trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?