The Living Savior

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Jesus in heart
There is a popular Christian song whose chorus ends with these words: “You ask me how I know He lives; He lives within my heart.” This may sound spiritual, but this is not how we know He lives! We are saved because of the objective fact that He died for our sins and then rose bodily from the tomb, triumphant over sin, death, the Curse, and Satan, alive in His glorified body for evermore. It is this which we must believe in our hearts and confess with our lips. For Him to rise bodily from the grave means that He is nothing less than God, the very Creator Himself. It is only because of who He is that He could do what He did, and this is what we must believe in our hearts.

There are people who believe that Buddha lives in their hearts, or the spirit of “the gods” indwells their hearts, or even that “the Christ” is in their hearts, but “the heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9). We can believe many things and feel many things that are not so. We know Jesus

Christ is a living Savior, not because we feel His presence in our hearts, but because He rose from the grave on the third day and “shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days” (Acts 1:3). The gospel of our salvation does not rest on our feelings, nor on someone’s teachings, but on the objective, proven, certain facts of history. Jesus Christ is alive, whether anyone feels Him living in their hearts or not, and He is at this moment bodily in heaven at the right hand of the Father (e.g., Romans 8:34).
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Read Original Article Here

Advertisements

Inspiration

2Timothy316

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Bible insists its writers were supernaturally influenced by God to such an extent that their words were given divine accuracy. The unique word translated “inspiration” in our text could be rendered “God blowing” or “God puffing.” Peter speaks of “holy men of God” who “spake” as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). David was conscious that his own “tongue” was speaking words that the Holy Spirit of the Lord gave him (2 Samuel 23:2). Jeremiah was given audible instruction and told to reproduce those words precisely (Jeremiah 30:1-2; 26:2), as was Isaiah (Isaiah 6:8-10), who clearly knew he was being controlled by God (Isaiah 59:21).

These are samplings of some 2,600 claims in the Old Testament for direct inspiration of the text of Scripture. God used several methods to make sure that His word was “puffed” out, and on one occasion even wrote them with His own finger on tables of stone—twice (Exodus 31:18; 34:1). Those words were not only inspired but inscribed!

The writings of the 27 books of the New Testament are also full of declarations of God’s personal inspiration of the words. Jesus claimed to speak only what God the Father instructed Him to say (John 12:46-50). Paul knew he was given revelation (Ephesians 3:3-4) and insisted on equivalent standing with God’s commands (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Peter demanded remembrance of the apostles’ teachings (2 Peter 3:1-4, 15-16), John insisted on the accuracy of what he shared (1 John 1:1-3), and Jude verified the words of the other apostles (Jude 1:3, 17).

It seems we are confronted with an all-or-nothing proposition. Either all Scripture is inspired or none of it is.

 

Read Original Article Here

The Living Word

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

This is the great verse of the Incarnation, declaring to us that the Creator of all things, the eternal Word of God (John 1:1-3) actually became a man, being “made flesh” (our text). Since this verse and the following verses unequivocally refer to “Jesus Christ” (v. 17), there is no legitimate escape (though many have tried) from the great truth that the man called Jesus of Nazareth was the great God and Creator, as well as perfect man and redeeming Savior. Furthermore, He has assumed human flesh forever, while still remaining fully God. He is Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

He is not part man and part God, or sometimes man and sometimes God, but is now the God-man, fully and eternally true God and perfect man—man as God created and intended man to be. See also Philippians 2:5-8 and 1 John 4:2-3.

When He first became man, He “dwelt among us” for a while. The word “dwelt,” however, is actually the Greek word for “tabernacled.” As in the tabernacle (or “tent”) prepared by Moses (Exodus 40:33) in the wilderness, the glory of God in Christ dwelled on Earth for a time in a “body” prepared by God (Hebrews 10:5). We also “beheld his glory,” says His beloved disciple, John. The Greek word for “tabernacle” (skene) is a cognate word to shakan (the Hebrew word for “dwell”), both being related to what has come to be known as the Shekinah glory cloud that filled the ancient tabernacle (Exodus 40:34).

Eventually, when the Holy City descends out of heaven to the new earth, then “the tabernacle of God” will forever be “with men,” and He will “dwell with them” and “be their God” eternally (Revelation 21:3). Thus, God’s “Living Word” is now and always our living Lord!

 

Read Original Article Here

The Good Part

“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)
The sisters Mary and Martha both loved the Lord Jesus and wanted to please Him. Jesus also loved them (John 11:5) and apparently was an occasional guest at their home in Bethany. Martha evidently felt that activity and service were pleasing to the Lord (and these, indeed, are good and important), whereas Mary simply “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word” (Luke 10:39). To Martha’s surprise and chagrin, Jesus said that Mary had chosen the “good part”—a part more important even than service and food.
Long, long before, the patriarch Job, whom God had said was “a perfect and an upright man” with “none like him in the earth” (Job 1:8), had also chosen that good part. “I have esteemed the words of his mouth,” Job said, “more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).
We today can sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His Word only by reading and meditating on the Scriptures. Important as our daily responsibilities may be to meet our material needs and those of our families, we should make priority time available for this “good part.” The same surely applies especially to Christian leaders. They may have many important tasks to perform in the service of God, but it is still more important for them to take time to “hear His word” in the Scriptures.
The unknown psalmist who wrote the grand 119th Psalm had learned this truth: “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. . . . How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding” (Psalm 119:97, 103-104).
We today have a higher privilege than Job, or the psalmist, or even Mary, for we have all the Scriptures! If we truly desire “that good part,” the Lord will surely provide the time, as He did for Mary. 
Read Original Article Here

Not This Man

Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.” (John 18:40)
Unfortunately, this is the attitude of every generation toward its Creator and Redeemer. Jesus Christ “was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:10-11).
“Not this man!” they cried, and still cry today. “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). Even in a nation founded as a Christian nation, the name of Jesus Christ is banished from the schools, ignored in the halls of government, and blasphemed on the streets.
And whom did they choose instead of “this man”? They preferred Barabbas, who was not only a robber, but also a revolutionary and murderer (Luke 23:19). Today, they idolize the atheist Darwin, or the robber Lenin, or the revolutionary Mao, or the murderer Hitler, or any one of a thousand antichrists; but they will not have Christ.
What, then, will they do with Christ? “Away with him, away with him, crucify him” (John 19:15) was the cry even of the religious leaders during His life here on Earth, and it is little different today. “Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you,” proclaimed Peter (Acts 3:14). “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ” (Acts 4:26).
The rejection of Christ today is often more subtle, but it is just as real. Rulers, industrialists, scientists, educators, and commentators all say in deed, if not in word, that “[they] will not have this man to reign over [them]” (Luke 19:14). “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).

Read Original Article Here

A Fresh Start

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
Everyone deserves a fresh start. As we start the New Year with resolutions and lofty ideals, it is good to remember that we can all renew our commitment. We can all purpose to gain even loftier heights in our spiritual journey toward Christ-likeness. No matter how far we have ascended, we can go farther; no matter how low we have fallen, we can begin again.
How can this be accomplished? As the context of our text teaches, we must go back to school—the school of Christ. “But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:20-21). “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
As our text verses explain, we must both “put off . . . the old man” and “put on the new man,” clearly speaking of our manner of life, just as if we were changing clothes. If we as believers are hanging on to a few old rags, let this New Year see us obey this passage as an act of faith through the living Spirit of God: “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14).
This act of submission and desire will result as we are “renewed in the spirit [or attitude] of [our minds]” (Ephesians 4:23). The old man will not be removed or changed into the new but will be brought under control. The new man is a new creation of God modeled after Him “in righteousness and true holiness.” “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10). 

Read Original Article Here

Origin of the Races

“These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.” (Genesis 10:32) 

This is the concluding verse of the tenth chapter of Genesis, known as “The Table of Nations.” It tells us that all the original nations of the world were formed from the descendants of Noah. The basis of this worldwide division was their dispersion at Babel (Genesis 11:9), “every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations” (Genesis 10:5; see also 10:20 and 10:31). Lest anyone think this list of original nations is simply folklore, he should remember that William F. Albright, probably the greatest archaeologist of the 20th century, called it “an astonishingly accurate document.” Many ethnologists still speak of Japhetic, Hamitic, and Semitic peoples and languages.

 

But what about the origin of races? One searches the Bible in vain for this information, for neither the word nor the concept of “race” appears in the Bible at all! There is no such thing as a race—except the human race! Skin color and other supposed racial characteristics are mere recombinations of innate genetic factors, originally created in Adam and Eve to permit development of different family characteristics as the human race was commanded to multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28; 9:1).

 

“Race” is strictly an evolutionary concept used by Darwin, Huxley, Haeckel, and the other 19th-century evolutionists to rationalize their white racism. But from the beginning it was not so! “God that made the world and all things therein; . . . hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:24, 26). “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?” (Malachi 2:10).

Read Original Article Here

The Urgency of Salvation

9955316_10695941-clkfkhk_pm

“For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).

Perhaps the most deadly sin of the unbeliever is that of procrastination. Satisfied with his current life, he neglects his spiritual need. Even if he understands the gospel and realizes his need of salvation, he still puts off a decision.

But it is always dangerous to count too strongly on tomorrow. “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). The sin of procrastination may easily become the sin of negligence, then of indifference, and finally, the unforgivable sin of irrevocable rejection and unbelief. “My spirit shall not always strive with man” (Genesis 6:3). This warning was true in the antediluvian world and it is certainly as true today, when we have far more knowledge and evidence of God’s truth and His will than people did in the days of Noah.

“To day if ye will hear His voice, Harden not your heart” (Psalm 95:7-8). This warning of the psalmist was considered so important that the writer of Hebrews quoted it three times (Hebrews 3:7-8,15; 4:7). Such an emphasis suggests there is indeed great danger in resisting God’s call to salvation. There may be another opportunity, but it is presumptuous and dangerous to impose too long on God’s patient mercy.

Today is the day of salvation. The accepted time is now! “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? . . . It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:29,31).

Read Original Article Here

A World of Books

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” (John 21:25).

It is difficult to understand how it could be literally true that a complete biography of Christ’s works would be an earth-filling library. However, we must realize that His works did not end with His return to heaven. The events of His 33 years on earth were only what “Jesus began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:1). When He prayed, it was not only for His twelve disciples, “but for them also which shall believe on me through their word” (John 17:20). When He sent the Holy Spirit, it was so that each believer could know that “Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20) and that by His Spirit, He could fulfill His promise: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). He also promised to “build my church” (Matthew 16:18) in which each believer becomes a member of “His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:23).

Thus, the life and work of every believing Christian is, in a very real sense, an extension of the life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and an endless series of thrilling biographies could be written about them. In fact, the apostle Paul referred to his Christian converts as living books: “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (II Corinthians 3:2-3).

Each of our own lives, therefore, becomes one of “the books that should be written” about the “things which Jesus did.” How important it is that the deeds and words we record in our books are worthy of our divine Biographer!

Read Original Article Here

Business Structure: Masters

“Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.” (Colossians 4:1)

Kurios is the very common Greek word for a person with authority. It is most often translated “lord” and is used frequently as part of the title and descriptions of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The most obvious focus of the term is the right to exercise that authority.

The short sections in Colossians and Ephesians about basic human relationships include the relationships between servants (employees) and masters (bosses). The employees are expected to work consistently and maintain loyalty as if they were working directly for the Lord Jesus Himself.

The bosses are expected to behave toward their employees with “just and equal” treatment (our text) and to forbear any “threatening” that might be the result of favoritism, since there is no “respect of persons” with the Lord Himself (Ephesians 6:9).

For those “masters” among the family of God, prompt payment of earned wages is required (Leviticus 19:13). Nor is the focus to be centered on becoming rich (Proverbs 23:4), particularly not if the focus is to get rich quick (Proverbs 28:20-22)! Rather, those to whom the Lord has granted wealth (through diligence—Proverbs 10:4) are to “do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate” (1 Timothy 6:18).

Finally, our Lord Jesus made it abuntantly clear that none of His leaders are to “exercise dominion” or seek to “exercise authority” over others. But in contrast, “it shall not be so among you: whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-27). HMM III

 

Read Original Article Here