Understanding Jesus Christ

Monday, May 16, 2022

“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).

Friend, would you like to understand the Lord Jesus Christ?

Approximately 3,500 years ago, Satan was permitted to torment Job. Suffering immeasurable pain, Job blamed God. He declared: “For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman [mediator, arbitrator] betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:32,33). Job longed for someone to serve as an umpire between himself and “distant” God. That mediator could take Job by the hand and take God by the hand, and join them in unbroken fellowship. Job assumed this was the only way God would be appeased and his afflictions would subside.

Today’s Scripture, penned some 15 centuries after Job’s ordeal, explains the “daysman” finally arrived. The second Member of the Godhead, God the Son Himself, took on human flesh. At the Incarnation, it was humanity added to Deity, the only combination that would form a Person who was able and willing to reunite sinful man with holy God. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;…” (1 Timothy 2:5). “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). “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of 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).

As sinners, we need more than just another philosopher or religious teacher to tell us “how to do right.” We need a Saviour who will make us right, a Mediator who will declare us righteous! Here is the ministry of the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is an exclusivist message, for here is the “one [!] mediator between God and men.” “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

The Little Gift and the Gift of Eternal Life

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

“For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8 KJV).

Dear friends in Christ, it is no secret our world abounds with evil. At every turn, in every institution, in every realm, Satan’s policy of evil is alive and well. Even in so-called “Christian” circles, the Scriptures are largely ignored (unless they can be quoted to support a favorite theological position!). Oftentimes, the average believer cannot help but suppose maintaining and teaching sound Bible doctrine is a lost cause. “What can I possibly do to advance the truths of God’s Word? I am no preacher or teacher! I am just one person! Bible-believers are outnumbered by the billions so what difference could I possibly make for the Lord’s glory?!”

Long ago, a lady was preparing a package to send to missionaries far away overseas. A child gave her a penny, so the woman used it to buy a Gospel tract to place into the box. That Gospel tract reached the chief of a people in that foreign land. He came to trust Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, and he shared his testimony with his friends (most of whom also believed unto eternal life). Also, a local church was eventually founded there, and over 1,500 other natives believed on Jesus Christ to pass from death to life. It all began with one child giving a single penny!

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “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). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Saints, share this devotional throughout social media platforms (only the Lord knows how far it will travel—or whom it will influence for His glory!).

Time’s A-Wastin’

Saturday, April 30, 2022

“…he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully…” (Jeremiah 23:28 KJV).

Many decades ago, a volunteer fire department arrived on the scene of a blazing house. The full-time fire company from a neighboring area also showed up to help. However, the first group’s chief protested that his team had the jurisdiction, so the second crew rolled up their hoses and left. Later, with the fire still raging out of control, the second company was called back. A third brigade was even recruited to aid. Alas, by the time the fire was extinguished, the house was a total loss and two adjacent buildings were damaged!

The above true story is an example of how denominationalism ruins the Church the Body of Christ and the entire world. We have spent 2,000 years (!) arguing about how this theological system is right, or that denomination is spot-on, or this sect is right, or that cult is truthful. Instead of believing the pure Word of God, and seeking to exalt it alone, we waste time arguing about petty and ridiculous issues that really do not matter. This world is ablaze with error, spiritually burning to the ground, while we in professing “Christian” circles debate in the energy of our flesh!!

Like the idiotic fire chief who should have seen his colleagues as friends instead of foes—his foolish pride leading to a catastrophe!—so we genuine believers in Jesus Christ need to unite around sound Bible doctrine to address the world’s dire situation. Over 100,000 people are dying and going to Hell every single day! Yet, the average “Christian” is unable to do anything about it, for he or she cannot identify the true Gospel of Grace (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—let alone share it with others! Millions of true believers in Christ are wallowing in such spiritual darkness, weakness, and helplessness.

Dear brethren, we have the answers in the Holy Bible rightly divided. The work of the ministry is cooperating with other likeminded saints in making those truths known to as many souls as we possibly can. Quarreling in foolish pride about trivialities is a waste of time. Remember, the house is ablaze, so let us be about watering instead of arguing!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are ‘fitches?’

Christ Liveth in Me

Sunday, April 17, 2022

“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).

“He is risen” is not a simple blasé cliché!

When Jesus’ disciples came to His tomb on that glorious Sunday morning nearly 2,000 years ago, they were startled to find it empty! Angels inform them that He has resurrected, but they are still in shock (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8). Jesus Christ Himself must later explain the Scriptures to them regarding what happened those last few days (Luke 24:44-46).

However, until Paul’s ministry, Christ’s finished crosswork is not preached as good news for salvation. Peter and Israel’s other apostles simply preach that Jesus Christ is now resurrected to “sit on [David’s] throne” (Acts 2:30)—that is bad news for much of Israel, for they still reject Him, weeks and months after His resurrection and ascension. Throughout early Acts, Israel’s apostles warn her that Jesus Christ is coming back to judge them.

When we come to the Apostle Paul’s ministry, we learn that we Gentiles can benefit from Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. Israel’s rejected Messiah is now our way to heaven! Yes, Israel hated Him, and demanded that He experience the most awful method of execution devised, but God allowed it in order to accomplish His will. Satan attempted to hinder God’s will by having Christ killed, but all that did was provide the method whereby God could save us pagan Gentiles. Calvary’s finished crosswork frees us from Satan’s evil system and gives us a chance to be God’s people (Acts 26:17,18)!

As people who have trusted Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for our sins, that crucifixion is our death to self and sin, and that resurrection is our raising to walk in newness of life—His life (today’s Scripture; cf. Romans 6:1-11)!

Indeed, Jesus Christ is alive, and He lives in and through those who walk by faith in God’s Word to them, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon! 🙂

HAPPY EASTER!

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

God’s Grace on Parade

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

“…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20 KJV).

Today, especially here in southern Louisiana, the Catholic festival of Mardi Gras takes advantage of God’s grace. God’s grace abounds even when drunkenness, lasciviousness, and gluttony are committed overtly on our streets for religion. Because we live in the Dispensation of the Grace of God, they can flaunt their sin without being consumed by fire from heaven!

“Mardi Gras,” French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a day when religious people—professing “Christians”—lose self-control (excess alcohol, food, and partying). The following day, Ash Wednesday, they promise to live “holy” for the next 40 days (Lent). A priest will then place ashes on their foreheads proving that God forgave them for that riotous living. Blasphemy!

Regardless of all its biblical allusions (illusions!), Mardi Gras is still evil and anti-God. It was never Christian, originating from pagan Roman festivals, Saturnalia and Lupercalia (interestingly known for riots, drunkenness, gluttony, and fornication, and subsequent repentance).

The Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostles Peter and Paul, was clearly against Mardi Gras reveling and drunkenness (Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Peter 4:3). So why do professing Christians engage in the very activities that God the Holy Spirit condemned?! As Christians, we should “deny” the activities of Mardi Gras (Romans 6:11-15; Titus 2:11-15).

If I appear offended, I am. Mardi Gras, despite its godly façade, is offensive to the great God and my Saviour Jesus Christ! God’s grace continues to tolerate such foolishness from mankind. Man parades his sin, and God parades His grace, holding back wrath.

Are you a Mardi Gras reveler? I declare unto you the wonderful Gospel of the Grace of God. God did for you at Calvary what you could never do: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood and died to put away all of your sins, Mardi Gras revelry included.

If you rest in Christ Jesus alone as your Saviour, God will save you forever, make a trophy of His grace, and then YOUR life will be God’s grace on parade!

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

You may also see our archived Bible study Q&A, “Should Christians celebrate Mardi Gras?

Bible Q&As #929 and #930: “Can you explain ‘inditing?’” and “What does ‘minish’ mean?

333’s 3900th – The Path to Maturation

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

“[God our Saviour] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4 KJV).

Dear saints and readers, only by God’s grace, “333 Words of Grace” celebrates its 3900th devotional today!

What is the Lord doing right now? Exactly what would He have us do at this moment? The average church member would likely give incorrect answers—or no answers at all. In fact, even most genuine Christians would find these questions challenging and intimidating. There are three reasons for Bible illiteracy.

Firstly, they really have no idea what the clear Gospel of Grace even is. “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Instead of this pure, straightforward message, they have heard various pseudo-gospels. “Make Jesus the Lord of your life, repent and turn to God, recite the ‘sinner’s prayer,’ confess your sins.” As long as they have an adulterated Gospel message, there is no adequate basis for faith or trust, so they remain dead in their trespasses and sins. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit, they lack spiritual discernment.

Secondly, they are not using the inspired, preserved words of God. In English, these are the words of the Authorized Version King James Bible. Unfortunately, they have believed the “scholars” and purchased some alleged “easier-to-read” contemporary English version—nothing but a perverted, natural-man, watered-down, ever-changing text that only the spiritually naïve value. The result is weak, confused, immature Bible students, aware of general “Divine thoughts” as opposed to trained in specific Divine words.

Finally, if they do they have the indwelling Holy Spirit, and do use the proper Bible text, they are not “study[ing]… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Since they have failed to recognize the dispensational distinctions God has placed in His Word, they have no clue concerning where they are in His purpose and program. They have not been told—or they refuse to see—the Apostle Paul is God’s spokesman to them (Romans 11:13), Romans through Philemon God’s words to and about them!

Brethren, over the course of these last 3900 days, we have striven here to correct all three deficiencies. Though we have come far, we still have a long way remaining. Onward to devotional #4000! 🙂

One More Night with the Frogs! #3

Monday, January 31, 2022

And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God (Exodus 8:10 KJV).

Who has replied with, “To morrow,” and why has he answered thusly?

Before we dismiss today’s Scripture and its context as mere “fairytales told around ancient Jewish campfires,” we would do well to see the modern parallel. Whenever an unsaved person responds to the Gospel of Grace with, “Let me have fun in the world first, and then I will become a Christian,” he or she is following in Pharaoh’s footsteps. “I just want to live in sin one more day, before I submit to my Creator’s will.” Whenever a believer in Christ responds to the Gospel of Grace with, “Let me have fun in the world first, and then I will behave like a Christian,” he or she is also following in Pharaoh’s footsteps.

Overall, Pharaoh was both deceived and deceptive. When he noticed the plague of frogs ending, he saw no reason to keep his word. He still refused to free Israel! “[12] And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. [13] And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. [14] And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. [15] But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.” After another eight devastating plagues, Pharaoh desperately forced Israel out of his land—only to ultimately fight them with his army and drown with all his troops in the Red Sea!

Friends, may we not be foolish or proud. If we are suffering “frogs” today—the ill effects of our sin—may we not be willing to spend one more night with them. Rather, let us trust Paul’s Gospel: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised again for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Herein is deliverance from the penalty of sin (Hell and the Lake of Fire) and the power of sin (worldly living).

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “How can there be ‘eleven’ Apostles if both Judas Iscariot and Thomas are absent?” and “Was Apollos at fault in 1 Corinthians 16:12?

Idols in the Heart #3

Thursday, January 27, 2022

“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?” (Ezekiel 14:2,3 KJV).

Look at their heart problem!

Reread the main thought of today’s Scripture and its context: “…these men have set up their idols in their heart, Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart,… every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart…” (verses 3,4,7).

Before sin becomes a physical action, it is a heart attitude. Jeremiah 17:9 explains: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Our soul is naturally wicked, spiritually darkened and inclined to believe and do everything contrary to our Creator’s will. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21). “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19). After a pattern of poor thinking, poor conduct follows.

The conversion of a soul dead in trespasses and sins, to new life in Christ, is far more than forcing people to give up physical trinkets and other religious paraphernalia. It involves a humble heart willing to finally give up on self and admit all that “performance” in religion is not worth bragging about. In light of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins, all else is “but dung” (Philippians 3:8). Once we in our heart come to trust in that Gospel message—and that alone—our idols in our heart will be removed and now we remove our idols from our shelf! 🙂

A Life That Will Please

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

“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).

Today’s Scripture tells us who alone can live a life pleasing in God’s sight!

Everyone does “good” deeds. Yet, doing “good” is not necessarily good. For instance, people often do “good” just to receive praise/reward, make up for their wrongs, feel good, et cetera. Furthermore, despite our “good” deeds, we have plenty more bad ones! Pride, lying, evil thoughts, being a false witness, and being contentious are some of the things the LORD hates (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Mankind cannot even keep 10 simple rules from God. However, religion continues to urge us to keep seven sacraments, utter various prayers, give assorted offerings and “tithes,” attend numerous feasts and festivals, and perform sundry other tasks to “hopefully” please God and avoid hellfire. Whether we attempt to keep a church’s laws, our laws, or God’s laws, our flesh is far too weak to ever measure up. Just look at what God’s religion did to Israel—how much worse some man-made religion does to us!

As Saul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul was a Pharisee, a religious leader of Israel. He was a nitpicker concerning Law-keeping, and yet, after his soul salvation, he admitted that all of his religion was “but dung” compared to Jesus Christ’s righteousness (Philippians 3:3-11). Even for the Christian, to live a perfect life is impossible (read of Paul’s miserable existence in Romans chapter 7). Paul had to forsake his vain religion and learn today’s Scripture: the Christian life is NOT the performance of the Christian, but the Lord Jesus Christ living and working in the Christian, as the Christian walks in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to him or her!

If we trust a Saviour who will save—the Lord Jesus Christ—and trust a Book that will teach—the King James Bible—we can redeem the year for the great God and our Saviour, “who loved [us], and gave himself for [us]!” 🙂

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!