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….

We Troublemakers Are Grace Partakers #3

Friday, July 27, 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 verdict is in: Mankind is—guilty, guilty, GUILTY!

On the surface, mankind appears amicable, but peel away the attractive veneer—the ideologies of formalism (the elaborate religious ceremonies that seem godly) and self-reformation (“turning over a new leaf”)—to discover that mankind is a monster. Even the nicest person is potentially capable of doing the vilest of acts, in a moment’s notice.

After describing wicked mankind (verses 10-18), the Holy Spirit, through the pen of the Apostle Paul, summarizes God’s case against mankind: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them [Israel] who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his [God’s] sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (verses 19,20).

Why did God give the Ten Commandments? To demonstrate our worthiness to enter heaven, as many assume? NO! “The law is the knowledge of sin”—the Law proves God is just in damning us sinners to hellfire (1 Timothy 1:8-10)! The Ten Commandments, first given to Israel, actually condemn us all, Jews and Gentiles, as sinners (spiritually, we have “minus righteousness”).

We need to be honest with ourselves (our flesh abhors that!). There is nothing good in any of us: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12). Our basic problem is not that we commit sins, but rather that we have a sin nature, “desperately wicked hearts” (Jeremiah 17:9), an inherent predisposition that causes us to gravitate toward those sinful acts. We naturally follow our father Adam, federal head of mankind: we deliberately ignore God’s Word and do whatever we want (1 Timothy 2:14). “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6ab).

But….

No More Sacrifice for Sins?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,…” (Hebrews 10:26 KJV).

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (verse 25) is often quoted as applicable today, but many stumble over the next verse (today’s Scripture). Exactly what does today’s Scripture mean?

We are eternally secure in Jesus Christ if we have trusted Him alone as our personal Saviour (Ephesians 4:30; 2 Timothy 1:12). Yet, critics of our “once saved, always saved” position usually quote today’s Scripture to contend that we can lose our salvation. Is this a “Bible contradiction?”

Failing to approach the Bible dispensationally only causes doctrinal chaos. This is especially true of the book of Hebrews. The title—Hebrews—indicates the nation Israel is the audience, not us Gentiles in the Dispensation of Grace. Also, Hebrews addresses the time period after our dispensation (that is, the seven-year Tribulation and Second Coming of Christ).

The verses following today’s Scripture explain: But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:27-29).

Previous verses (1-24) discuss how Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of Himself on Calvary’s cross has abolished Israel’s Old Testament animal sacrifices commanded in “Moses’ law.” If a Jew living in the seven-year Tribulation will “sin wilfully”—that is, will return to offering those animal sacrifices (which ceremonies the antichrist will re-establish and then abolish during that time [Daniel 9:27])—this Jew cannot be saved because he has blasphemously rejected Jesus Christ’s blood and he will literally be participating in Satan worship (the antichrist’s religion). Only God’s “judgment,” “fiery indignation” (fire at the Second Coming of Christ, and eternal hellfire), awaits those wicked Jews, God’s “adversaries” (Hebrews 10:27,30,31; cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

Today’s Scripture does not involve us.

333’s 400th: Liberty to Publish God’s Word

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 KJV).

Today we commemorate the United States’ 236th anniversary and our 400th devotional.

Just as we Americans celebrate our nation’s birthday and independence today on this Fourth of July, we Christians worldwide reflect on the “liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free [from sin, death, hell, and the condemnation of the Mosaic Law]” (Galatians 5:1).

Moreover, God our Father has entrusted us with the ministry of sharing with the lost world the spiritual freedom we have found exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our role in the Christian ambassadorship is to publish God’s pure (unadulterated) Word, the Holy Bible. Whether preaching and teaching it rightly divided, or translating and literally printing it, “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psalm 68:11).

God, through His Son’s finished crosswork on Calvary, has freed us from the bondage of the Law and sin. Christ’s blood has “redeemed” us, and it is our responsibility to tell others of that “redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). The lost and dying souls of the world need to hear the words of Jesus Christ, the words that “are spirit and… [that] are life” (John 6:63b). They need to hear about the eternal life found only in Jesus Christ. They need to hear it from us, God’s people!

God’s grace has saved us, not so we could live any way we want (we were doing that before God’s grace saved us!). We should use our liberty in Christ to “by love serve on another” (today’s Scripture). God’s love motivates us to teach Holy Spirit-indwelt (but denominational) Christians Pauline dispensational Bible study, and to preach to the lost world God’s saving grace in Christ (Paul’s Gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Saints, as we reach another milestone, we thank you for your continued prayer for this ministry. And, we thank our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us liberty to publish God’s Word….

Lord willing, on to #500. 🙂

You can also see our 2011 Fourth of July study “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land,” which can be watched here or read here.

The Steps of a Good Man

Sunday, June 24, 2012

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23 KJV).

For those who complain about the King James’ italicized words, you certainly want “good” in today’s Scripture if it is to make sense!

In this fallen creation, good is oftentimes considered evil and evil is usually called good. Sinful man always totally turns God’s standards upside-down (see Isaiah 5:20).

A Jew living in the Old Testament economy was acceptable to God only if he, by faith, obeyed the Mosaic Law (as given in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy). Anyone who did not by faith follow God’s Word given through Moses, was completely out of God’s will and was under God’s wrath: this individual was not a “good man,” for his steps were not “ordered by the LORD,” and “he delighted [not] in [God’s] way.”

Just as God set forth Moses to be a pattern for any believing Jew in the Old Testament economy of Law, God has given us a pattern for us who live in the Dispensation of Grace.

If your Christian service is to be acceptable to God, the doctrine you believe and practice MUST be in accordance with Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon. Notice what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:17: “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.” (Link “walk” here with “the steps of a good man” of today’s Scripture.)

Paul pronounced the test for spirituality in this the Dispensation of Grace: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). When we follow the Apostle Paul by faith, we are following Jesus Christ in this the Dispensation of Grace. To follow anyone else but Paul—and that includes Moses and even Jesus in the Four Gospels—is to be outside of God’s will. Paul is God’s spokesman to us.

Do you want your steps to be “ordered by the LORD?” Study and believe the doctrine in Paul’s epistles!

Be Not Content to Be Spiritually Impotent

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

“But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?” (Luke 5:30 KJV).

The “goody-goody” scribes and Pharisees are at it again! How will our Lord respond to “put them in their place?”

In the context (verses 27-32; cf. Matthew 9:10-13; Mark 2:15-17), the Lord Jesus is eating in the house of Levi (later the Apostle Matthew; Matthew 9:9), a “publican” (as a tax collector, Levi was one of the most unpopular people at that time!). Many publicans and others are present with Jesus in Levi’s house.

The Pharisees and scribes notice the assembly, and like religious people today, piously exalt themselves. “We obey Moses—we fast, we pray, we circumcise, we keep the Sabbath…. But, look at those sinners ignoring Moses… the harlots, drunkards, and dishonest tax collectors… Oh, and Jesus and His disciples eat with them! Thank goodness we are not sinful!” These religionists proceed to ask Jesus’ disciples why they are eating and drinking with “publicans and sinners” (today’s Scripture).

“And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (verses 31,32).

Certainly, everyone in Levi’s house, except Jesus Christ, was a no-good sinner—even the (self-righteous) Pharisees and scribes (whom Jesus repeatedly called “hypocrites”). But, as Jesus explained, “Yes, they are sinners, but these are the very people I came to save! I am the doctor and I came to save the spiritually impotent!” (Ironically, these “godly” religious leaders of Israel—not the “sinful” people in Levi’s house—would later demand Christ’s crucifixion.)

There are millions upon millions who recognize their lost (hell-bound) state, but religious pride forces them to ignore it. Sadly, many will never trust Christ’s righteousness: like the Pharisees, they condemn “sinners,” but will never admit that their deeds are equally offensive to God. They will go out into a lost eternity, damned forever in hellfire, never to change their mind about salvation in Christ. Trust Christ today—be not content to be spiritually impotent….

When Truth is Error #2

Sunday, May 27, 2012

“But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2 Timothy 2:16 KJV).

Being scriptural is not enough. To follow God’s will you must also be dispensational. All of the Bible is for us, but not all of the Bible is to us or about us.

For example, Mosaic Law-keeping is biblical (Exodus 20:1-17). But, to whom are these Scriptures written and spoken? The nation Israel—not us. Additionally, millions of precious souls are basing their salvation on what Jesus said in Matthew 19:17 (cf. James 2:24): “…but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” This is scriptural, but not dispensational: it was true for Israel, but it is error for us.

Friend, if you are basing your salvation on your works, you are going to hell. Following salvation verses that God spoke to someone else is error: God never gave them to you. If you want salvation from your sins and hell, you MUST go to Paul for God’s current plan of salvation. Our doctrine is found only in Paul’s epistles (Romans through Philemon) (Romans 11:13).

We are not under Israel’s works-religion (legalistic) economy. God has replaced Israel’s works-religion acceptance system (our performance) with something better: the grace-based acceptance system, what Jesus Christ did for us at Calvary’s cross. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14b). In our dispensation, salvation is “to him that worketh not (Romans 4:5).

The Gospel that saves you today is not Acts 2:38 or 1 John 1:9, but 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day.”

James 5:14,15 is error for us to practice, but it is truth in Israel’s program. This includes Revelation 3:20, Hebrews 6:4-6, 1 John 2:27, Matthew 24:13, John 20:22,23, Acts 2:4, Matthew 6:9-13, and Mark 16:15-20—verses that Christendom steals from Israel’s program and (wrongly) practices today.

Dispensational Bible study is critical to your soul salvation, as well as to your Christian health. You MUST use God’s Word, God’s way (“rightly dividing the word of truth;” 2 Timothy 2:15), or you will make truth error (today’s Scripture)….