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!

‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2011

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 KJV).

During the Christmas Season, we wonder how many people are visiting church for the second time this year (the other being Easter Sunday). Since Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, how many will be going to church just to feel “religious” or “holy?” How many really know Jesus Christ? For many, visiting a church building is just an obligation; they do not have faith in God’s Word and have no interest in God’s Word.

We do not go to church to “feel closer to God,” for if we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot be any closer to God than we already are in Christ! “[Before salvation, we were] without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [close to God] by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12,13).

Furthermore, we do not go to church in order to get God’s blessings, for God has already given us “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). We go to church, not because we are keeping Israel’s Sabbath day, since we are not obligated to observe Israel’s religious days (Colossians 2:16). We go to church to fellowship with like-minded believers and hear sound doctrine… more than twice a year, by the way.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy that whenever he would assemble with fellow Christians, certain behavior was acceptable and other types of behavior were not (described throughout the epistle of 1 Timothy). Recall that when the Bible refers to “the church,” it refers to the body of believers, not the physical building in which they meet.

As we get opportunities, let us make an effort to reach these dear souls misled by all the vain religious tradition and Christmas commercialization, and may we tell them about the wonderful Christ Jesus whose name is found in Christmas!

*Based on the poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Kosher Food Laws

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” (Colossians 2:16 KJV).

Some professing “Christian” groups prohibit their members from consuming pork products. Is this necessary? While God clearly forbade the nation Israel from eating pork in time past (Leviticus 11:7,8; Deuteronomy 14:8), we are not under legalistic demands (the Mosaic Law) in this the Dispensation of Grace. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14b). God does not want us to be in the bondage of Mosaic Law-keeping (Galatians 4:9-11; Galatians 5:1).

Today, God uses His grace, not the Mosaic Law, to educate us and guide our lifestyles and behavior: “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;” (Titus 2:11,12).

The Apostle Peter, according to Acts 10:9-16, was a kosher-food Jew. When he finally ate non-kosher foods with the Apostle Paul’s Gentile believers, the Jews were upset with Peter (Galatians 2:11,12). These Jews had no idea that God had opened a new dispensation, our dispensation, and the laws that God gave Israel in the Dispensation of Law did not apply to anyone in our Dispensation of Grace. Hence, today’s Scripture declares that we are not bound to observe Israel’s kosher food laws and religious days (including the Sabbath day!).

In 1 Timothy 4:1-5, we read God’s further instructions to us regarding kosher food laws: “…some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrine of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy… and commanding to abstain from meats [foods], which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

Provided that you give thanks to God for the bacon, catfish, and shrimp, God says you can eat them! 🙂

A Sabbath Day to Remember

Sunday, September 18, 2011

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8 KJV).

For 2,500 years (Adam to Moses), no one kept the Sabbath day in Scripture. But, according to today’s Scripture, in the Mosaic Law, God commands Israel to keep the Sabbath holy (Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15). Why Sabbath day keeping?

On the Saturday Sabbath, God commanded Israel to remember His purpose in creation, and His purpose in creating them. Every Sabbath, Jews memorized Scripture and meditated on God’s Word, recalling that God would use them to accomplish His will in the earth (Exodus 31:13-18). God would make Israel a “kingdom of priests” so the Jews could evangelize the world (Exodus 19:3-6; cf. Isaiah 61:6).

According to Matthew 25:34, God originally had that kingdom in mind during the creation week. The Sabbath is first mentioned immediately after the six days of creation (Genesis 2:1-3). God would have set up His kingdom in the earth back in Genesis, but Adam rebelled, sin entered, and God’s whole plan was interrupted. That kingdom (the millennial reign of Christ) is still postponed, 6,000 years later!

That Sabbath day was a day of rest: Jews were not to do any work on Saturday. In the Bible, Psalm 132:8,13,14, the LORD says He wants Zion (Jerusalem) for His rest,” His “habitation” (dwelling-place, house!). God wanted to dwell on earth. Remember “Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)—“God with us?” Jesus Christ “became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Christ came to Israel to be her King, to fulfill what the Sabbath day typified (shadowed, predicted). God demanded Israel keep the Sabbath holy to remind them weekly of that coming earthly kingdom.

By the way, as members of the Church the Body of Christ, we have no relation to Israel’s kingdom. Consequently, we have no Sabbath day to keep in this the Dispensation of Grace. Our Apostle Paul says that we are not bound to keep the Sabbath day (Colossians 2:16). Actually, Paul was “afraid of” the Galatian believers, who had abandoned God’s grace, preferring Mosaic Law-keeping and Sabbath day-keeping (Galatians 4:9-11).