Our Gospel Hid #3

Sunday, February 12, 2012

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

Satan’s modus operandi is to multiply the counterfeits so you never discover God’s will for you. Over 4,200 world religions keep lost people from finding Christ. Religious tradition of 38,000-plus “Christian” denominations hinders Christians from discovering sound doctrine and spiritual growth. Over 200 (perverted) modern English Bibles keep Christians and lost people from even finding God’s pure Word in the first place! People “handling the word of God deceitfully is how Satan “blinds the minds of them which believe not.

Recently, I spoke with a family member about salvation. I asked her, “What is the gospel of your salvation?” Her reply was, “I believe in Jesus and I do the best I can!” This is the false gospel that God condemned in Galatians 1:6-9. It sounds good, deceptively mentioning “Jesus,” but this is another Jesus,” what Satan’s men preach to send lost people to hell, and to confuse believers and ruin their Christian lives (2 Corinthians 11:3,4; Galatians 5:1-5)! This gospel mixes faith in Christ and man’s works, and God will NOT tolerate it—with lost people and with Christians (Romans 4:1-8; Galatians 2:16-21; Galatians 3:1-5; Ephesians 2:8,9; et al.).

Sinful men cooperate with Satan’s policy of evil by fabricating religious systems to mimic God’s work. But, they have also polluted Christianity (resulting in “Christendom,” the paganized version of Christianity). There are some people who have genuinely trusted in Christ alone. They are totally secure in the salvation in Christ Jesus, but they are “taken captive by [the devil] at his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).  They are told they need to work to make God happy, never being told that God has permanently accepted them in Christ (Ephesians 1:6)!

Paul’s Gospel—Christ crucified for our sins, buried, and raised again (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)—is the only way to heaven. NO WORKS FOR SALVATION! NONE!

Our Gospel Hid #1

Friday, February 10, 2012

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).

How does Satan, “the god of this world,” keep our gospel hidden from lost people? Does he use drugs, alcohol, fornication, and the occult? According to the context of today’s Scripture, he uses something far subtler, what you would least expect.

God’s Word exposes the heart of Satan’s policy of evil. Previously, the Apostle Paul stated that he has “renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully” (verse 2). Where was this “dishonesty” and “craftiness?” Paul explains, “nor handling the word of God deceitfully.” It was in religion! Before Paul’s salvation, he, as a Pharisee (Jewish religious leader) and participant in Satan’s religious system, had used God’s Word (of all things!) to send people to hell (Galatians 1:13,14; Philippians 3:3-7). Thankfully, Paul claimed, “Now that I am saved, I have given up that foolishness!” Sadly, today, preachers still use the Bible to guide over 100,000 people to hell every day! How?

Satan hides the Gospel of God’s Grace (what God has done for you at Calvary) by having you focus on religion (what you can do for God at church). These “ministers” (!) of Satan (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) tell you that Christ died for you, but that you need to work for salvation (Acts 15:1-5). How deceptive! They mention Christ (sounding godly), but they are totally anti-God because they exalt man’s efforts to please God (thereby ignoring the sufficiency of Christ’s finished crosswork). God warned against this “false gospel” in Galatians 1:6-9. God’s attitude toward one who preaches this heretical gospel: “Let him be accursed [removed from fellowship]!!!”

The Gospel of the Grace of God says you can do nothing, nothing, nothing to merit salvation.

Friends, either Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection are sufficient for our salvation, or He is dead for nothing (Galatians 2:16,21)!

I Will Be Their God

Sunday, February 5, 2012

“And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:8 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is part of the Abrahamic Covenant, the basis for God creating the nation Israel. The LORD promised Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 that he would have a son Isaac, who would give birth to the Jewish race. God would also give a geographic area to Abraham and his “seed:” this is the “Promised Land” or Palestine (“all the land of Canaan”).

God formed Israel in order to use her as the vessel to restore His authority in the earth. Israel was to be a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:5,6), but before Israel could bring God to the Gentiles, God first had to be her God. The LORD repeatedly says in the Old Testament: “Israel will be my people, and I will be their God” (Exodus 29:45; Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 31:33; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 11:20; Ezekiel 34:24; Ezekiel 37:23, 27; Zechariah 8:8).

But, Israel rejected and crucified her King Jesus, and refused to bring salvation to the Gentiles. Thus, Israel’s kingdom is currently and temporarily postponed. Salvation is coming to us Gentiles through Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of Grace of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, without Israel’s kingdom (Romans 11:11-13). Israel is not God’s people today (Hosea 1:9; Romans 10:1-3); who is? WE ARE, the Church the Body of Christ!

Paul quotes the Old Testament when God spoke to Israel, and writes about us members of the Body of Christ: “…For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people(2 Corinthians 6:16).

Today, Israel is spiritually blinded and lost (Romans 11:7,25), but at Christ’s Second Coming, Israel will finally be saved and forgiven (verses 26-29). In that day, God will establish the New Covenant, and our God will be Israel’s God too (note Hebrews 8:10 cf. Hosea 1:10).

Saints, never forget—God has not forgotten Israel.

Saved for a Purpose

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7 KJV).

Verse 3 explains that we once walked in foolishness and disobedience, fulfilling the sins of the flesh (cf. Ephesians 2:2,3). Today’s Scripture explains that now God’s love and kindness have been shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. If we have trusted alone in Christ Jesus, by God’s grace, we are “justified” (made right, declared right) in God’s eyes. Grace is everything that God can do for us through Christ Jesus’ dying for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection for our justification.

Did God save us because of something we did? NO! Today’s Scripture says that God saved us not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” The only works we did were those things that offended God (Romans 7:5; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 2:3; Colossians 3:5-10; et al.). God saved us simply “according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

“For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God” (Romans 4:2). We cannot brag because our salvation had nothing to do with our good works—the best of our “good” works was “dung!”  We “glory” (rejoice) in Christ’s righteousness, not in our “goodness” (Galatians 6:14).

So why did God save us? “[God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6,7). God wants to show us how good and great He is. He saved us so He can eventually install us in the government of heaven to rule for His glory forever.

Preach the Gospel of the Grace of God!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14 KJV).

Saints, God has entrusted us with the greatest message of all time, “the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24), so that we can preach the greatest Person of all time, Jesus Christ. “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord…” (2 Corinthians 4:5a). As today’s Scripture indicates, if the lost world is to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, they need us to first preach this wonderful message to them!

According to James 2:17-26, God had always demanded faith and works for salvation (Abraham was the one exception; Romans 4:1-5). But, when we come to Paul’s ministry in Scripture, God declares that Sabbath day keeping, water baptism, physical circumcision, tithing, and animal sacrifices are no longer required for salvation.

Today, in the Dispensation of Grace, God is not operating Israel’s works-religion. The good news of God’s grace is that we can be saved solely by God’s grace without us doing anything but trusting in Christ alone! “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). Until Paul, God had never revealed a message like our Gospel of Grace: the Gospel of the Grace of God declares what God did for you because you are unable to do anything for God. We can be saved without works today!

The Gospel of Grace is 1 Corinthians 15:3,4: …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.” Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood to pay for your sins, He was buried to put away your sins, and He was raised again for your justification (Romans 4:25). Place your faith in Christ  alone, and He will save you forever. Then, preach the Gospel of Grace for others to hear!

No Thanks, God! #3

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4 KJV).

The Lord has been extremely generous toward mankind, especially during the last 2,000 years (the Dispensation of Grace). Through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, God offers complete forgiveness and everlasting salvation to anyone who trusts exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her personal Saviour. For 2,000 years, God has offered everyone that “free gift” of salvation in Christ (Romans 3:21-28; Romans 5:15-17; Ephesians 2:8,9; et al.). Mankind was unworthy of that gift before it was offered; how much more are we undeserving now that that gift has been rejected for 20 centuries?

Today, individuals doubt the existence of a loving Creator, in spite of the Bible’s testimony that He exists. After everything that God did to commend His love toward us, sending His Son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for us, many still wonder if God loves them. Sad! What is more disturbing is that even after they discover God’s goodness and grace, many reject Him anyway (today’s Scripture).

Once the Apostle Paul spoke to Judaean governor Felix of “righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come,” “Felix trembled” (Acts 24:24,25). Lost Felix feared, especially that “judgment to come.” Nevertheless, Felix hardened his heart, and replied, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” “Go away, Paul; come back later!” Lost mankind is still equally arrogant.

“God is not mocked” (Galatians 6:7): whether in this life, or in the next, God will exact retribution to Christ-rejecters. Imagine the horror lost people experience after physical death. Conscience of their arrival in the flames of hell, they recall their refusal of the Gospel of the Grace of God. Salvation was so simple, but now, God has retracted that offer of salvation. Now only “the judgment” remains (Hebrews 9:27). The words, “No thanks, God!,” haunting them for eternity….

Do not toss away the gift of God’s grace and salvation through Jesus Christ. Accept that gift by faith and escape that wrath to come!

…But We Have Been Given God’s Grace

Sunday, December 25, 2011

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

In yesterday’s devotional, we learned how we, the sinful human race, are worthy of our holy Creator God’s wrath. God has created a special place, hell, for Satan and those who follow his sinful rebellion against God (Matthew 25:41). The simple truth is that, because of our sinful nature (and the resulting sinful actions), we all deserve to go to hell, and ultimately, separated from God forever in the lake of fire (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:14,15; Revelation 21:8; et al.).

“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20b). God, in His grace, dealt with our sin at Calvary’s cross, and took it out of the way. Through the finished crosswork of God incarnate, Jesus Christ, the riches of God’s grace are manifest. God left heaven’s glory to live in a human body, to “humble himself, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”(Philippians 2:5-8). Why?

  • To commend God’s love toward us (Romans 5:8).
  • To die, not simply for us, but as us (Romans 6:3-9; Colossians 2:11-15).
  • To undo the damage caused by sinful Adam (Romans 5:12-21; Colossians 1:20-21).
  • To “put away [our] sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26).
  • To deliver us from Satan’s policy of evil, and make us sinners saints (Colossians 1:12-14).
  • To give us everlasting life…His life (Galatians 2:20) and thus, do for us what we could not do for ourselves—accomplish our salvation from the second death (spiritual death) (Ephesians 2:1-9)!
  • To give us “peace with God” (Romans 5:1).

Today, God is not imputing the world’s sin unto it (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Everyone, regardless of religion, race, or social standing, can now receive forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ. All they have to do is place their faith in the Gospel of Grace as found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4—“that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again for our justification!”

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM arC MINISTRIES!

*This is excerpted from a larger Bible study titled “Emmanuel 2.” The Bible study can be read here and watched here.