Where is Thy Confidence?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

“Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is straightforward: having confidence in an unfaithful person is like depending on a broken tooth or an out-of-joint foot. None of them art reliable and trustworthy. Where is thy confidence regarding the following?

  • CONFIDENCE IN THE RIGHT GOD: Is thy confidence in the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, or art thou trusting in wooden and stone idols? Art thou confident in thy ability to perform, wrongly assuming that thou art thy “own god?” Idols of wood and stone canst do nothing for thou—they cannot hear, see, speak, or breathe (Psalm 135:15-18). Trust not in thyself either (2 Corinthians 1:9). The God of the Bible, He alone is the “living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9)—everyone and everything else shall fail thee. Is thy faith in Christ Jesus alone? I hope so. Trust in Jesus Christ alone—anything else is a broken tooth and an out-of-joint foot.
  • CONFIDENCE IN THE RIGHT BIBLE: Is thy confidence in the King James Bible, God’s perfectly preserved Word for us English-speaking people, a Book that thou canst trust completely? Or, doth thou use a modern English Bible, one that shall fail and disappoint thee because it hath contradictions, deletions, historical errors, and theological blunders? In 2 Thessalonians 2:2, these believers had faith in a false “bible,” one that troubled their minds and caused them great spiritual harm. The King James Bible alone is God’s Word in English—anything else is a broken tooth and an out-of-joint foot.
  • CONFIDENCE IN THE RIGHT GOSPEL: Hast thou complete confidence in Paul’s Gospel—how that Christ died for thy sins, He was buried, and He was raised again for thy justification (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)—as thy only way to salvation? False gospels, including other “gospels” in the Bible, cannot save thee from thy sins. Only the Gospel of the Grace of God can save thee in this the Dispensation of Grace—anything else is a broken tooth and an out-of-joint foot.

God’s Workmanship #2

Saturday, March 3, 2012

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 KJV).

When we Pauline dispensationalists proclaim God’s grace, are we really encouraging people to pursue careless, frivolous lifestyles, as our (legalistic) critics claim? God forbid!

Religion deceives billions through indoctrination: to wit, lies repeated long enough are accepted as truth. Works-religion (legalism) prevails in the professing church today: “Perform so God can save you!” Thus, the average church member, upon hearing the Biblical truth, “God will save you, regardless of your works,” they mistake this as careless living. They are programmed to accept error as truth; consequently, they reject contradictory information (God’s truth!).

When we Pauline dispensationalists declare, “Salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing,” we mean salvation is COMPLETELY independent of our performance (Romans 3:28; Romans 4:1-5; Galatians 2:21; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; et al.). Grace saves us solely because of the merits of Jesus Christ at Calvary; grace does not save us on the basis of our good works—grace is unmerited favor (Romans 11:6).

Grace is what God can do for us because we sinners can do nothing for God. The Greek word translated “workmanship” in today’s Scripture is poiema, meaning “creation,” from which we get “poem.” Interestingly, poiema is used one other time in Scripture: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

From salvation and the Christian life to the origin of the universe, the emphasis is not on the creation—(us, the heavens, and the earth), but on the Creator, Jesus Christ (see Romans 1:25). The focus is not on the poem (workmanship), but rather the POET (Creator)!

God the Holy Spirit is doing something amazing in us believers. He is transforming us from the inside out for His glory. “Our” good works are God’s sound doctrine working in us. It is God’s work (1 Corinthians 15:10; Galatians 5:16-26; Philippians 1:9-11). Indeed, we are God’s workmanship!

Hast Thou Life, or Not?

Monday, February 27, 2012

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12 KJV).

Look at today’s Scripture, and notice its simplicity. If you have God’s Son Jesus Christ, you have life. If you do not have God’s Son, you do not have life. The Bible could not be more straightforward!

While every breathing human being has physical life, how many have spiritual life? “Few.” The Lord Jesus explained: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait [small] is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13,14). According to the Lord Himself, many people will go to hell and few will go to heaven. Why?

Many people have gone (and will go) to hell because they have chosen to remain dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a)—the rewards of sin is physical death and spiritual death (hellfire). But, we can be saved from our sins and hell by trusting Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour. Jesus Christ paid our sin debt by dying for us and as us, and He was raised again for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). By faith, we accept His resurrection life, eternal life.

Whether in Israel’s program, or our Dispensation of Grace, salvation is only found in Jesus Christ. The Apostle John wrote to Israel: “he that hath the Son hath life (today’s Scripture; cf. John 3:36). Our Apostle Paul wrote in our dispensation: “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23b).

Hast thou life, or not? Salvation is not a “hope so.” You have either trusted in Christ Jesus alone (and you are going to heaven), or you have rejected Christ and have chosen to remain dead in your sins (and you are going to hell!). You can have eternal life through Jesus Christ if you trust in Him alone!

Shhhh, Grace Believers!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

“Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth” (Acts 19:26,27 KJV).

God’s Word has always been unpopular with sinful mankind, but this is especially true of the Gospel of the Grace of God. In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul is preaching the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven, angering the pagan idol makers. “Paul, quiet down, you are a threat to our ‘business’ (religion)!” Not surprisingly, we grace believers are told the same thing!

My local grace church has a television ministry. Once, viewers had great difficulty hearing the program. They would increase the volume of their televisions, but our pastor’s preaching was barely audible. When church members visited the office of the cable television provider which broadcasts the show, they learned that a technician was lowering the master transmit volume when our program would air. (The grace message was too offensive to either his religion or his sinfulness, so he was turning down the volume for all viewers!)

The Bible speaks of people who know the truth of God, but “who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:19,20)—they suppress God’s Word so that Satan’s error can flourish! In today’s Scripture, these pagans wanted to turn the crowds against the Apostle Paul. Paul would not be quiet regarding the message of God’s grace, so they were determined to kill him in a mob (see Acts 19:28–20:1)!

God’s grace, the message of Calvary’s cross, is offensive to people preoccupied with works-religion, for Calvary charges works-religion (man’s performance) as insufficient for heaven (see Galatians 5:11). Let us continue boldly sharing the Gospel of the Grace of God, and the rightly divided King James Bible, especially when they cry, “Shhhh, grace believers!” 🙂

The Jews, the Greeks, and Paul’s Gospel

Friday, February 24, 2012

“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:22-24 KJV).

Jews were fixated on “signs,” miraculous demonstrations that God had long used to teach them and their forefathers, whereas Greeks were obsessed with “wisdom” (philosophy, human viewpoint). These distracted them from focusing on what really mattered—salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ!

  • JEWS AND SIGNS: After Jesus performed miracles before Israel the Bible says “many believed in his name,… but Jesus did not commit himself unto them…” (John 2:23-25). Jesus understood they were just awed by the miracles; they overlooked the doctrine He was teaching through the miracles!! When Paul preached the Gospel of Grace to Jews, they too just wanted miracles, not the salvation that the miracles represented. Also, to Jews, “Christ crucified” was a “stumblingblock,” something offensive, for did they not crucify Christ (today’s Scripture; cf. Isaiah 8:13,14; Romans 9:32,33; 1 Peter 2:6-8)?
  • GREEKS AND WISDOM: In Acts chapter 17, when Paul encountered the Athenian philosophers near Mars’ Hill, they wanted to learn from him “new doctrine… for all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (verses 19-21). Notice again how these Greeks focused on learning/philosophy. Yet, once they learned God’s wisdom, Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of Grace, they considered that “foolishness” (today’s Scripture; cf. Acts 17:18,32; 1 Corinthians 1:18).

Thankfully, today’s Scripture teaches that for Jews who were “called” (members of the Church the Body of Christ), Christ was TRUE POWER, “the power of God”—for God demonstrated His miraculous power by raising Christ from the dead (cf. Romans 1:4; 2 Corinthians 13:4). For Greeks who were “called” (also members of the Body of Christ), Christ was TRUE WISDOM, “the wisdom of God”—for God demonstrated His unrivaled wisdom in saving us using “the foolishness of preaching” (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:21, 25-30; Colossians 2:2,3).

The Greeks Seek After Wisdom

Thursday, February 23, 2012

“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:” (1 Corinthians 1:22 KJV).

Having been in college for nearly six years now, I have learned firsthand that most educated people avoid God’s Word. The Bible, say they, is not a credible source because it cannot be proven using the “scientific method” (that is, tested in a lab). Because the Bible is not the “wisdom of this world,” these individuals have little to no respect for it. After all, “the Greeks seek after wisdom” (today’s Scripture).

In the ancient world, Athens was an intellectual hub. So, when the Apostle Paul visited it in Acts 17:15-34, who do you suppose he met? “Certain philosophers, of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection” (verse 18). To these pagan philosophers, Paul was a “babbler,” someone who preached hearsay (unreliable rumors).

“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them” (verses 32,33). What did some of these philosophers do upon hearing God’s Word? Mock it! Paul preaching the Gospel of the Grace of God was nonsense to them. (Do we not get the same response today?)

Today’s Scripture is an excerpt from Paul’s first epistle to Corinth, which, unfortunately for the Corinthian believers, was only about 45 miles (72 km) due west of Athens. The pagans in Athens obviously worshiped philosophy and science, and this idolatry trickled into nearby Corinth. Not surprisingly, one of the 10 major problems in Corinth was believers were rejecting God’s wisdom and embracing human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:17-31, 2:5, 3:18,19)!

The Greek philosophy spoken of in the above verses is still with us in the sciences, the arts, and politics. Like the aforesaid philosophers, many educated people today are still “too intelligent” to be bothered with learning true wisdom, God’s Word, so they mock and reject it.

God’s Grace on Parade

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

“…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.