333’s 100th: Be Ye Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind

Thursday, September 8, 2011

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1,2 KJV).

The Bible is “the mind of Christ” in printed form (1 Corinthians 2:16). God does not want you as a Christian to be conformed to the world’s profligate example. He wants to take His Word and renew your mind so that you will think like He does, and then your life will reflect the “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The key to the Christian life is not obeying a list of rules, but rather placing your faith in sound doctrine so that sound doctrine can transform you from the inside out for God’s glory!

Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me….” “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Christ lives His life in and through us: we do not live the Christian life because we cannot live the Christian life.

As we Christians study and believe the Holy Scriptures “rightly divided,” using dispensational Bible study, the indwelling Holy Ghost will utilize that sound doctrine to transform us. The more sound doctrine we store in our inner man, the more material the Holy Ghost will use inside of us to spiritually mature us. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Spiritual growth requires a daily study of God’s Word rightly divided, and our minds need to be cleansed daily by God’s Word, as taught in Ephesians 5:26, and daily devotionals fulfill both. The Scriptures we discuss daily will make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you if you will study them and, most importantly, if you believe them.

[*Beloved, we rejoice in the Lord that this is our 100th devotional. We trust that these devotionals, despite their brevity, have been a great help and blessing to your inner man, and that they have contributed to your spiritual growth and enlightenment, as they have to ours. It thrills our hearts to prepare these devotionals and hear of the wonderful work that God is accomplishing with them. It is our great hope and prayer to continue this project for many years to come, Lord willing. Thank you for your continued prayer regarding this ministry endeavor.  –in Christ, Shawn Brasseaux]

This Present Evil World

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

“[Jesus Christ] Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:4,5 KJV).

The world is overwhelmed with violence, corruption, and injustice. How did earth become “this present evil world?”

When God created Adam, He gave him dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). By eating the forbidden fruit, Adam disobeyed God and lost that dominion. Satan then assumed the dominion that Adam had. Now, Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).

In our Lord’s temptations, Satan shows Christ all the world’s kingdoms and their glory. Satan entices Jesus, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-10; Luke 4:5-8). Satan would give the world’s governments to Christ if Christ would worship him—Satan bragged that he had dominion over the earth instead of God!

God’s Word says, “…the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). Christ told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36).

Today’s Scripture gives us good news. Christ Jesus “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world.” He died to “deliver us from the power of darkness,” Satan’s evil world system; as Christians, we are now spiritually in “the kingdom of [God’s] dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). At the rapture, Christ will physically deliver us Christians from this evil world.

Furthermore, at His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will return to earth to demolish Satan’s evil world system: its governments, religious organizations, and educational systems. In that day, “the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).

Our planet will not always be “this present evil world.” Stay tuned…. 🙂

An Addiction Worth Keeping

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

“I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) that ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth” (1 Corinthians 16:15,16 KJV).

The Bible warns, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient [profitable, beneficial]: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12). “Brought under the power” is another way of saying “addiction.” While we are under grace, not law (Romans 6:14,15), there are some activities that are inconsistent with our identity in Christ because they will negatively dominate our lives. A “thou shalt not…” may not exist, but that does not necessarily mean that activity is acceptable to God.

God’s grace teaches us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, [that] we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11,12). Our priority should be the things of God, not the world’s worthless distractions. Addictions are often unhealthy and wasteful. Being controlled and influenced by something other than the indwelling Holy Spirit is very detrimental to your Christian life and even harmful to those around you. Here is one addiction worth keeping….

Notice today’s Scripture. Stephanas’ house was the “firstfruits of Achaia,” meaning they were the first people to be saved in southern Greece under Paul’s ministry. Furthermore, Stephanas’ house had “addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” Now, this is an addiction worth keeping!

The believers of Stephanas’ house literally “addicted” themselves to playing a role in the Christian ambassadorship. They were so willing to let God’s Word work effectually in them that they could not help but do the work of the ministry. God’s Word had transformed their minds so they now valued what God valued and were determined to spreading God’s Word.

We should desire to be just as addicted to the work of the ministry as Stephanas’ house. May we never break that habit! 😉

The Sin of Presumption?

Monday, September 5, 2011

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 KJV).

If one has the assurance of going to heaven because he or she is relying exclusively on Christ’s finished cross work—and not on his or her own performance—religion calls this “self-righteous arrogance.” According to church tradition, “the sin of presumption” is committed when an individual has the assurance of eternal salvation in Christ.

Church tradition demands that in order to avoid the sin of presumption, we must never rely on our good works, but we must never rely on God’s power alone either. In other words, religion teaches salvation comes by our “good” works and God’s power. That is a devil’s lie, beloved (Romans 4:1-5; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5)!

Today’s Scripture says that we are “always confident,” fully persuaded that while we live in these physical bodies, we are not in heaven’s glory. As members of the Church the Body of Christ, we are equally confident that our souls will appear in heaven as soon as these physical bodies die. According to today’s Scripture, if we have no confidence in going to heaven, then we have no confidence in presently being here on earth and not in heaven.

The Bible says we need to be made right with God, and in Christ, we are forgiven and eternally saved! According to Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of Grace (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), we need to trust exclusively in Christ’s shed blood, His dying for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection if we are to receive eternal life.

The so-called “sin of presumption” is nothing more than a “cunningly devised fable” used to keep people fearful and bound in religious systems (2 Peter 1:16). I have assurance of going to heaven because Christ was “good enough.” I boast in Jesus Christ’s righteousness that has been applied to me, and I am saved in Christ.

Joseph, a Man of Faith

Sunday, September 4, 2011

“By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones” (Hebrews 11:22 KJV).

The book of Genesis closes with: “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt” (50:24-26).

Prior to Jacob’s death, he told his son Joseph: “God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, and said unto me, Behold I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession” (Genesis 48:3,4).

When Joseph died, Israel was in Egypt (recall that Joseph’s brothers sold him into Egyptian slavery, and Joseph’s family escaped famine in Canaan by joining him in Egypt; Genesis chapters 37-46). Joseph had faith in what God had promised his great-grandfather Abraham, his grandfather Isaac, and his father Jacob. Israel would eventually leave Egypt to forever return to Canaan, the Promised Land.

Some 140 years after Joseph died, Moses led the nation Israel out of Egypt. The Bible says, “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you” (Exodus 13:19).

Through the eyes of faith, Joseph foresaw the day—over a century into the future—when his remains would lie in Canaan’s soil. God had been faithful to Israel, delivering them from Egypt as He promised. Through the eyes of faith, we see ourselves already in heaven. God will be just as faithful in delivering us.

A Wise Man

Saturday, September 3, 2011

“A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool” (Proverbs 17:10 KJV).

Lawlessness abounds today. The lost world around us is quite foolish in that they hate God and vehemently refuse His Word. God’s Word contains instruction, and yet they blatantly reject it. Not surprisingly, they blame God when their lives are wrecked and destroyed.

Proverbs 1:5-7 says: “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Today’s Scripture declares that a wise man will hearken unto reproof (instruction, advice). The reproof will be more effectual in the life of the wise man than 100 whippings will be in correcting the fool. A fool can be instructed time and time again, and he can be harshly punished, but he will still be set in his rebellious ways. This is typical human nature: “I refuse to obey any authority, especially God!”

We can all be so stubborn at times that even God Almighty giving us a kick in the seat of the pants would probably not help. Throughout the Old Testament God would chastise wicked Israel by cursing her and her daily activities. Her crops would not grow, and sickness and death would vex her people. In the book of Judges, Israel would suddenly behave, enjoy a brief respite and God’s blessings, and then she would quickly return to her rebellious ways and suffer more punishment.

Do you want to be a wise man (or woman)? Take a King James Bible and study it God’s way, “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), using dispensational Bible study. Believe what that Bible says where it says it and to whom it says it, let that Word work effectually in you, and then you will be a wise man (or woman) indeed!

Same Old, Same Old (Ignorance and Unbelief)

Friday, September 2, 2011

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:3,4 KJV).

Continue reading the context of today’s Scripture (verses 5,6): “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:”

Geologist James Hutton proposed the principle of uniformitarianism, the belief that the same natural processes operating on earth today are generally those that sculpted earth in the past. Basically, “the present is the key to the past.”

A college geology textbook reads: “Two fathers of modern geology, James Hutton and Charles Lyell, led us to understand that the planet was not shaped by a series of catastrophic events over a mere few thousand years, as many people had believed. Rather, what we see today is the product of ordinary geologic processes operating over much longer time intervals” (Understanding Earth, Grotzinger et al., 2007, 184).

Notice how this textbook rejects the Great Flood of Noah’s day (“catastrophic events”) by claiming that “ordinary geologic processes” have always operated on earth. In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Peter mentioned Bible scoffers who are willingly ignorant of the Great Flood. This describes Hutton, Lyell, and the other scientists who accept the theory of uniformitarianism and reject the “catastrophic” Great Flood.

  • UNIFORMITARIANISM = slow processes operating during long periods of time, suggesting an old earth (~4.6 billion years old).
  • CATASTROPHISM = accelerated erosion, transportation, and deposition of sediments during the Great Flood, suggesting a young earth (thousands of years old).

Because the extreme conditions and accelerated rates of processes demanded by the global Flood disprove almost uniform, ordinary, and slow rates of geologic change, most scientists reject “catastrophism” (the Bible’s Flood) in favor of “uniformitarianism” (to keep their “old earth view!”).

As the uniformitarianists shout, “Same old, same old!,” we catastrophists exclaim, “Same old, same old ignorance and unbelief!