Saturday, February 17, 2018

Our Transgressions are Officially Removed

"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever...

If you are not of this opinion- then you are wrong...

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities...As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:8-12)

It amazes me how many Christians do not believe this teaching of the Scripture. Believe God, not men, and tell others the good news….

"God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:19)

Monday, February 12, 2018

All Miss the Target

“Yet now, apart from law, a righteousness of God is manifest (being attested by the law and the prophets), yet a righteousness of God through Jesus Christ’s faith, for all, and on all who are believing, for there is no distinction, for all sinned and are wanting of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:21-23 CLNT)

The Greek word for sin means to miss the target. The result of "Jesus Christ’s faith" is the salvation, justification and reconciliation of ALL who miss the mark. Our own faith plays no part in our salvation, reconciliation and justification.  Salvation is our target but shooting at it with our own faith will miss every time.

So what does it mean when he says Jesus Christ's faith is “for all, and on all who are believing”? Glad you asked.

The salvation, justification and reconciliation of all mankind is a done deal because of the love, grace and mercy of God, and "Jesus Christ’s faith". It is “for” all mankind. However, it is believing this truth which enables us to appreciate what God has done and have the peace and joy of our salvation - it is “on all who are believing” in the sense that you now have a realization of it. 

But as long as a person depends on their own faith to save them, they will never be certain. And as long as one believes that the judgment of God is annihilation or eternal conscious torment for those who do not have faith, they can never have true joy and peace.  They need to change their mind - repent!

“…do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance.” (Romans 2:5)

The man who comes to the knowledge that mankind’s salvation is the result of the grace of a loving God and Jesus Christ’s faith are to…

“…gently reprove those who oppose him, in the hope that God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:25-26)

The devil’s job is not to cause us to sin, but to cause us to deny what God says. Acknowledging that God is the savior of all mankind by His Grace and “Jesus Christ’s faith “ will lead one to meaningful “repentance”. The Greek word for repentance means to change one’s mind. In the context of our opinion of God, it means to change our mind about God being one who would condemn his creatures to annihilation or eternal torment for their unbelief, to the God who sent his Son “to seek and save the lost”.

When we accept and believe this, then we embrace its joy and peace, and...

“Today salvation has come to this home…for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:9-10)

God's Plan - Unity Of All Things

"Out of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things" (Romans 11:36)

" accordance with the riches of God’s GRACE he made known to us the mystery of his will... to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ…according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will." (Ephesians 1:7-11).

The Bible says that everything is out of God and is proceeding just as He wills and "according to the plan". Jesus is the Son of God and "…the firstborn of all creation" (Colossians 1:15). Through His Son, the living Word, God made everything.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being...And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-3,14)

Since all things are "out of Him", it was God who allowed Adam and Eve to bring sin and death to all mankind by their disobedience. This was done to demonstrate His "mercy".

"For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all." (Romans 11:32)

But “in accordance with the riches of God’s GRACE” God had a plan "to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ".

Since God is operating everything “according to the plan” we should trust and believe Him in all things (easier said than done I know). And we are told …

"...supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men…this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:1-6)

God knew from the beginning that mankind would become sinners and that He would send Jesus "as a ransom for all" in order to save them all. We know God planned it that way because “Out of Him…are all things”

He will succeed and that is why we are instructed to pray for "ALL men", not just the ones we think deserving. Everyone is a part of God's plan to "bring unity to all things" - and all will be saved by God, reconciled to God and pronounced righteous in Christ "in accordance with the riches of God's GRACE".

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Repentance that Matters

"...Christ Jesus... from whom we have received GRACE ...." (Romans 1:1-7)

" you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance" (Romans 2:4)

The repentance of religion comes from the fear of the doctrines of men who tell us to repent or be damned. However, that kind of repentance does not save anyone from the penalty for sin, which is death - and we all die. 

"For all have sinned...the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 3:23; 6:23)

The "repentance" referred to in Romans above comes AFTER we realize that God is far better to us than we deserve and is not the angry god worshipped by many Religions.  The real God, the one of the Bible, will save all sinners out of death by his grace.  He sent His Son to die "for the ungodly" 2000 years ago, and will send Jesus again to free us from sin's penalty - death. 

"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God...upon this rock I will build my ecclesia, and the gates of hades (death) shall not prevail against it...You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us..." (Matthew 16:16-18; Romans 5:6-8)

We can depend on what God, through Jesus, has DONE and will DO for sinners.  "At just the right time" God will once again send Jesus for all sinners and Jesus will "raise them up at the last day"

"And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day...Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive..." (John 6:39; 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Corinthians 15:22)

The result of true repentance is to humbly thank him for the salvation we did not earn, and to humbly wait for our certain death to be "swallowed up victory" at the return of Jesus!

"Behold I show you a mystery...the dead shall be raised...for the corruptible must put on incorruption, and the mortal must put on immortality...then shall be brought to pass the saying, death has been swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:51-54)

Comfort one another with these words.

Fuel for the Fire

"The soul who sins shall die...." (Ezekiel 18:4)

"The wages of sin is death..." (Romans 3:23)

"All have sinned..." (Romans 6:230

“So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God" (Romans 14:12)

Sin has consequences, both in this life and the next, which a wise person will seek to avoid by making good choices now. Excessive drinking, drug use, eating habits and stress result in serious health problems. Refusing to forgive others for wrongs committed results in hate, which is a miserable and depressing way to go through life. Violating the laws of the land have legal consequences.

And death eventually finds us all, f

"it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)

This "judgment" simply means a decision is made as to whether the things we have done in this life were "good or bad".

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10)

We will be rewarded for the good things done, and the bad things will be burned up. But even if all of our acts, motives, and beliefs were bad and thus no reward is received, we ourselves will "be saved" - as promised in Scripture.

“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

Both the Old and New Testaments teach the same thing with regard to the penalty for sin. It is death. Only mythology and manmade religion teach that the penalty for sin is everlasting separation from God and punishment in an underworld for all eternity. That is a shame, and those who insist on such will be ashamed, not rewarded - that teaching will be fuel for the fire in the day men give account to God. But in the end, because of our gracious God - all will receive the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

"...the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I Was Crucified – And So Were You!

The Cross of Jesus Christ. What should I do with it or because of it? What can I do to receive its benefits or be worthy of its glory?

Wrong questions. Jesus was not crucified to get people to Do anything. It happened for our sin, and because we are included in what happened, there is nothing left for sinners to DO, despite what you may hear otherwise.

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.” (Galatians 2:20)

You do not have to crucify yourself or keep the law – you were "crucified with Christ". And it was done for you whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not, or whether you accept it or not. Nothing you can do will change what has already happened. It is finished! And since sinners have been crucified with Christ, our past sin, and the sin we will do going forward, will no longer have “dominion” over us. We no longer need to fear death. We will die, but will not perish (stay dead).  We have, right now, apart from works, new life guaranteed.  The Crucifixion of and with Christ took care of our sin problem. We now live with the assurance from God that we will be resurrected with Christ.

“For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism (identification with Christ - h
as nothing to do with water). And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power over our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin…Sin no longer has dominion over you, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (Romans 6:4-7,14)

Come on Man, surely we have to do something…join the church, repent, confess – something?

Nope, we got crucified with Christ. But it is OK to pray “Thank You Father”, help me live worthy of what Jesus did for me.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sinners Made Righteous

"For by GRACE are you saved..." (Ephesians 2:8)

“So then, as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous." (Romans 5:18-19)

Is the sin of men greater than the grace of God?

Christianity seems to think so. They teach that the one sin of Adam put all men under "condemnation", yet deny that the "one act of righteousness" done by Jesus resulted in the "justification of life to all men". Doing so denies the very gospel Christianity is claiming to evangelize it seems to me.

Again, what does the Bible say above? It says that "all men" who received "condemnation" are the same "all men” who received "justification of life". When you read all of Romans Chapter 5 this truth becomes abundantly clear. I suppose the confusion occurs because of the word "many" in the above verses. But it clearly says that the same "many" who "were made sinners" are the same "many" who "will be made righteous".

"...but where sin increased, GRACE abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so GRACE would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:20-21)

That may not be good news for Christianity but it is the really good news for sinners.