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God’s Prayer Warriors

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As I have grown closer to the Lord over the past several years, I have become more of a prayer warrior than ever. There are times when I am awakened at 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. with a driving need to lift up to God whomever He lays on my heart. The other night was one of those nights that I was wide awake at 4:00 a.m. and was so burdened by so many needs and petitions. One of which was one of my younger sisters who has battled breast cancer for more than 10 years, being told that they found a mass under her left arm with tendrils that go out in all directions. They said they would do an MRI to confirm and see how far and how deep the tendrils went. They were certain that she would need massive surgery to remove tissue under her left arm, her left breast and tissue beneath it, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments. These are all creditable cancer doctors in the Oklahoma Cancer Center who know their stuff. I remember how she had described the hell she went through, when she was first diagnosed years ago, with the chemo and how each treatment made her deathly, physically ill, and what it did to her body. She now deals with crohn’s disease and lost her gall bladder because of it.

I prayed for many who came to my mind like my Pastor’s wife who’s spine was injured during a car accident 2 years ago, and she is in a wheelchair and cannot stand or walk. She is now a paraplegic. Then there is another friend and sister in Christ who has degenerative arthritis who needs yet another surgery. Of course there are the prayers for loved ones, grown children and grandchildren, who by their fruits show that they have forgotten their first love in Jesus Christ our Saviour and gone the way of the world. I prayed for the state of our country and the rampant complacency and acceptance of sin, and on and on the requests went up to my Lord. I do not share this as boasting in any way. I am not more special or better than any other Child of God who is called as a prayer warrior. One thing about this calling is that we can become very overwhelmed and weary at times, if we allow ourselves to think in our own human capacity, “Your thoughts are not my thoughts.” and take our eyes off Jesus. Only God in Heaven knows all of our futures and He has plans for each of us for His splendid purpose. But at times, my human self feels overcome with sadness when I cannot see the answers that I think should be given.

I began pondering what Heaven is really like and how my mother, father, miscarried child, best friend, and many others are doing in Paradise. I asked the Lord if he would say hi to my momma for me and wondered if she ever goes to Him with petitions for me. Just pondering different thoughts and hoping and asking for God to send Jesus back for His church soon.

God responded with thoughts to my mind, “Remember that Heaven is Paradise, and there is no worry or sorrow there. Momma and the others are living a joy-filled life, that is beyond my comprehension as a human to understand. They are praising the Lord constantly as they do whatever they do in Heaven. It would not be a blissful, sinless place if they were able to look down on this earth and witness all the sinful abominations that take place here.” I decided that I would not want them to be able to witness what this world has become, and I began to feel the great hope and yearning that God has placed in all of His children for our home with Him in eternity. “This world is not my home, I am just a passin’ through!”

Then He said, “Read my Word.” I keep my Kindle Fire by my bed for reading before sleep at night, and many times when I awake I feel the need to read my Bible app on it. I had no idea where I had left off the last time that happened. This is the Scripture I believe God had saved for me at just this moment in time: 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

I was then led to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

There are no words to express the peace God blessed me with. I decided I would continue in prayer, asking for miracles in people’s lives, because Yahweh is the God of miracles. I leave the outcomes in His most wise and capable hands. I have prayed fervently since then that God would please be merciful and take this fearful, dreadful outcome that the cancer doctors were predicting, from my little sister because she has been through so very much already. I received word this morning that the team of surgeons and doctors met with her yesterday and were totally in awe and had never been able to give such good news to one in my sisters’ condition. The “mass with its tendrils” is now just a lump that they will remove next week. She will not have to undergo massive surgery nor chemotherapy, but she will have some radiation. Praise be to God Jehovah and to Him only!

I am deeply encouraged to stay fervent in my calling as Prayer Warrior, and I will strive to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to any and all who will hear! Time is indeed short, and God would that NONE should perish! I ask of all who God leads to this to MAKE YOUR CALLING SURE IN JESUS CHRIST! Do not be one left behind when Jesus calls God’s church home in the soon coming Rapture! We think the world is an evil place now, just wait until His prayer warriors are no longer here to bring petitions to Him for you.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in God's Love

 

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Living for God Until we Go to Heaven

Scripture refers to Heaven in three different ways: the vast expanse of space that surrounds the earth; the unequaled celestial universe; and the longed-for dwelling place of God. The reality that Christians will one day live forever in the presence of the Lord is a fundamental doctrine of the faith. The Bible only gives us a few glimpses of this Heavenly abode. It is a place prepared for Believers – John 14:1-3. It is a place without sorrow, darkness, or any kind of sin – Revelation 21:1-7. In Heaven, we will be like Christ; yet we will be able to recognize one another – 1 John 3:2. The most important thing about Heaven, however, is the presence of God. We will be forever with Him. Heaven is not meant to be an ethereal concept that we store in some mental safe-deposit box until we feel the need for it. We are to live now in the light of eternity. The values and perspective of eternity should guide our lives in the present – 2 Peter 3:10-12:

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

This is a subject that has been on my heart for some time now because I so wish for more of us to understand that just getting saved is not all there is to going to Heaven. Being saved by the precious blood of Jesus is all that is needed to be able to call Heaven our future home, but I do not believe the “rest of the story” is being taught in our churches today. I believe that there are very many who accept Jesus as Saviour, but that is the end of the journey for them; they have their ticket to Heaven. Salvation is just the beginning of a new life in Christ in which we all need to grow in and strive to be more like Christ each and every day while we are still present in this world. The purpose for that is to so shine our lights for others to want to come along with us. “God would that none should perish.”

I regret to say that not many “Christians” in this day even know what the Bema-Seat Judgment is, or they equate it with the Day of Judgment. The Bema-Seat Judgment is for the Saved in Christ, immediately upon our translation into Heaven. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10). This Judgment is not for Salvation, but rather our works – what are we doing with Christ since we received Him as our Saviour? When we are saved, we are led by the Holy Spirit to live for Christ, if we are growing in the Spirit and trying to become like Christ. When we let this world lead us astray, we turn from our quiet times with God in our prayer closets, we turn from searching His Word so that it may mold us to be more like Christ and reveal His will for our lives, we leave God’s church family and the support that can be found there to help us through life’s trials and give us a place to serve the Lord.

Do we not understand that living in and for this world, or sowing to the flesh only leads to a life of sin and corruption? Galatians 6:5-8 “For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” A life led sowing to the Spirit of God leads to a life of righteousness and holiness. Those who sow to their own flesh do not lose the Spirit, but they lose the fruit of the Spirit. What kind of a testimony do we have for a world of lost sinners if we are living in the flesh? (I struggle each day against my fleshly sin nature that we all have as humans. Some times I win and some times I lose. I usually lose when I try to fight the battle on my own instead of calling on the Lord and His Holy Spirit to help me die to my sinful flesh.) Those who sow to the Spirit experience a harvest of righteousness and peace, the abundant life that God wishes for His children to experience in this world.

“Oh, well,” we think, “it’s okay, I am still going to Heaven, and God will forgive me.” Yes, of course both of those thoughts are true, but too many have forgotten that each and every one of us will stand before Christ at this Judgment and give account of what we did for Christ after He saved us. I have spent times in my life in the world, though saved, and when I came back to a walk with Christ, I felt such great remorse for those wasted years that could have been spent shining for Him. While on my knees crying out to God for forgiveness for those wasted years, I could not help but think how each of us will be so terribly overwhelmed by the remorse of not having done more for the cause of Christ, when we go into His presence, that we will weep uncontrollable tears of sorrow. I believe that those are the tears that the Lord God will wipe away from our eyes.

Every Believer has the choice to build with the valuable and lasting relationship with Christ, or the worthless and fleeting corruptness of this world and its ruler, satan. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)

Not only is this Bema-Seat Judgment a time for our works to be held in account, but it is also a throne where Christ will give rewards to His faithful servants. Now, I know that we all love getting recognition for doing good or doing right, but I believe when we received these rewards from Jesus, we will with all our hearts and souls want to turn right around and lay these rewards at the feet of Jesus. We will fully realize that anything we may have earned would not be possible if not for Him-we will not even be in Heaven if not for Him, and it is He who truly deserves all rewards.

Scripture calls these rewards crowns, which comes from 2 Greek words: 1. diadema – a crown worn by a king and bestowed by birthright, 2. stephanos – refers to the crown bestowed an athlete in the athletic games or on the field of battle for personal victory.

Crown of Rejoicing – reward for winning souls to Christ – 1 Thessalonians 2:19 “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?”

Crown of Righteousness – given to those who have lived life as if Jesus may return at any moment (our great hope) – 2 Timothy 4:5-8 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Crown of Life – awarded to those who have suffered persecution or martyrdom for their faith – James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” And Revelation 2:10 “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

Crown of Mastery – for those who have disciplined their bodies and have been victorious over them – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Crown of Glory – this is the crown that will be given to those church leaders who have faithfully cared for the Lord’s sheep – 1 Peter 5:1-4 “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

Our Great loving and merciful God richly rewards those who have persevered and lived in obedience: Matthew 5:5,12; 19:27-30; 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27

Can we all just imagine what this world and our country would be like if God’s people would fully understand what comes after the Salvation of Jesus Christ in our hearts and lives? I dare say, it would not be as wicked and corrupt as it is today, and becoming more so every day. Yes, I know we are living in the end times, and satan knows that his time is short. Should we not also realize that our time is short as well, and live a life that makes those lost ones want what we have in Christ? Why do we let the evil ruler of this world be so successful in taking as many souls as he can to Hell with him? God did not create any of us for Hell, nor He did create Hell for mankind! He would that NONE should perish! 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

If we are not living for Christ, we are living for satan.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Salvation – Part 12

IX. Atonement

A. Atonement means “restoration” or “divine favor.”

B. A Laymen’s Definition of Atonement: “At-one-ment” or “At-one-with-God.”

We are made “at-one” with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:11 “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

Note: Leviticus is the bloodiest book in the Bible. Blood is mentioned 84 times. Seventy-one times it is referring to a sacrifice to be made for sins. But the word “atonement” also appears in Leviticus more than any other book in the Bible (49 times). Thus, there is a parallel between the blood of Christ and the doctrine of atonement.

“Atonement” is found almost exclusively in three books: Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It is only found once in the New Testament – Romans 5:11 above.

A further definition of atonement is “to appease, to ally resentment, to expiate, to placate, to cancel the obligation to punish the crime.”

Illustration: A just judge must condemn the guilty or let the innocent go free. He would not be just if he did not. God is just – Isaiah 45:21 “Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.”

Seeing it is against the nature of God to be unjust, He must punish all, for all have sinned (Romans 3:23). He is obligated to punish, thus there must be a place to punish the guilty.

Jesus was punished for us, and — through the shedding of His perfect blood — made atonement for us, thus canceling the Judge’s obligation to punish us for our crimes. That is atonement. God is no longer obligated to punish the believing sinner. Jesus satisfied that obligation for us. When lost sinners reject Jesus and His atonement, they deserve the just punishment.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Salvation – Part 2

While on the cross, Jesus shed His blood to:

1. Satisfy the wrath and judgment of God against us for our sins – Romans 3:25 “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” 1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Romans 5:9 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

2. Cleanse us from all of our sins, past, present, and future – Ephesians 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Acts 13:38 “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” 2 Corinthians 1:10 “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;”

3. Justify us before God – Romans 3:24-25 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

4. Make atonement for our souls – Romans 5:11 “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

5. Purge our conscience from dead works – Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Many people have their consciences dangerously salved by dead works. These works are called “dead” because they cannot give life. Many think the more they do, the better chance they will have to earn eternal life. This is a deception.

The problem with our efforts is the way God sees them. Isaiah the prophet said, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6) David said, “Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.” (Psalms 39:5)

Paul said in Romans 3:10-20: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them 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 sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Dead works could include: Baptism, Communion, Sacraments, mission work, charity, giving money or time, learning a catechism, saying prayers, attending church, being in a ministry, reading the Bible, lent, fasting, etc. If these dead works could save us, why did Jesus have to die on the Cross? Why did His blood have to be shed? The blood of Jesus Christ purges our consciences from dead works. It makes us realize how silly it is to trust in ourselves, and what we can do, rather than trusting in Christ and what He has done.

Illustration: If you committed 10,000 crimes, and you had to stand before a judge, would you tell him how good you are? So, if a person sins just 3 times a day (over 1000 times a year), and is 40 years old, that is over 40,000 sins (crimes against God’s law) – 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

No amount of “good” works can erase one sin. That is why what we call “good” works, God calls “dead” works and He expects us to repent of them. Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,” The foundation is the first thing built. The first thing to having a relationship with God, is to repent of the dead works you are trusting in.

This Salvation is entirely and wholly a work of God’s grace–without any works of man. Ephesians 2:8-9 “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.” God’s grace (undeserved and unmerited favor) draws us to Himself (John 6:44), gives us repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10), and faith to believe (Romans 10:8-17).

The agent by which this is done is the person of the Holy Ghost – John 16:7-11 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

No works, however good, can make Salvation more secure. Consider this truth in the following verses:

Romans 4:2-5 “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Romans 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,”

2 Timothy 1:9-10 “Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

It is a free gift, not a reward! Romans 5:15 “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”

Romans 5:16, 18 “And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification…Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 “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.”

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Salvation – Part 1

The Doctrine of Salvation is the last in this doctrinal study. Let me make a statement of faith by this study–I believe that Repentance towards God, and Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary, is the only ground for salvation from sin – “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21) I pray that this study will accomplish God’s perfect will wherever He sends it.

Introduction:

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that hear him;” (Hebrews 2:3)

Salvation is great! It is the most wonderful gift a person can ever receive from God. This doctrine is a study of that great salvation.

The believer is to put on the “helmet of salvation” as part of his armor against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:17). The helmet protects the head (mind) from doubts. Very few believers ever amount to anything until they understand so great salvation and the security that we have in it.

Salvation means “to deliver and salvage.” Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; (2 Corinthians 1:10).

The “finished work” means that Jesus Christ bore our sins in His body on the tree – 1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Jesus died for our sins, paying the penalty – Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He was buried and rose again, physically, from the grave 3 days and 3 nights later – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, 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 said, “It is finished” before dying on the cross (John 19:30). He was the final physical sacrifice that was ever needed to satisfy the wrath and anger of a Holy God against sinners. Jesus satisfied the just demands of a Holy God that sin be paid for by the death and the blood of a perfect sacrifice. God is satisfied forever – thus Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Never again does a sacrifice for sin need to be given, for God considers the believer in Jesus Christ to be “perfected forever” by the work of Christ, on Calvary’s cross, once for all. Hebrews 10:10-14 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Man – Part 5

V. The Being of Man – Part 1

Man was created as a Trichotomy (a dividing into three parts), or perhaps more correctly, a Triumvirate (association of three persons). As seen in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

As seen in the death of Christ:

He was a body – Luke 23:52-53, “This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.”

He was a spirit – Luke 23:46, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”

He was a soul – Acts 2:27, 31, “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption…He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”

 

A. Man is a Body

This is the most obvious part of our being. Man is made up of flesh, bones, muscles, organs, hair, eyes, feet, mouth, arms, legs, hands, fingers, etc. He is a walking miracle, so complex that only a Supreme Being of superior intelligence could have thought of or created such a body.

The body is sacred to God. It is called the “Temple of the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” The body is also the possession of God, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

We can sin against our own body, 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” The body can bear in itself the punishment for its sin, 1 Corinthians 11:30, “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” There are many illustrations in the Bible of diseases being inflicted on a person’s body for the sins of the body, especially sexual sins. Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Sexually transmitted diseases are rampant, and some are fatal. There are also many diseases in the body caused today by smoking, drinking, overeating, drugs, improper eating and other vices.

The body was made the way it was for God’s ultimate glory, even if not “perfect.” John 9:1-3, “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” Exodus 4:11, “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?”

The body is the only part of our trichotomy that is not eternal, yet this is what man pays the most, and sometimes all, of their attention to. The body will return to dust, Ecclesiastes 3:20, “All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” One day there will be a resurrection of the just and unjust, Acts 24:15, “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Both will be given new bodies, which will be able to endure extreme bliss in Heaven, or eternal torment in a Lake of Fire, Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The body should be cared for by the believer in Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” A good question to ask ourselves, as children of God is, “Will action glorify God?” But the body is not the main thing in life, 1 Timothy 4:8, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

The body is sometimes referred to as the flesh. When it is referred to as the “flesh” in a derogatory way, it is referring to the appetites (lusts) of the flesh. Appetites are okay, but when they become unrestrained or they control us, we are in the “flesh.” Some verses that use the word “flesh” this way would include:

Galatians 5:24, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

Romans 8:8-9, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

Romans 8:12-13, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”

Any time the members of our bodies are not yielded to the Holy Spirit, we are in the “flesh.” (Study Romans Chapter 6.)

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Posted by on February 10, 2014 in God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Jesus – Part 5

II. The Humanity of Jesus Christ

Jesus was always divine and always will be. He became human around the year 4 B.C. Thus He is the “God-Man.” This section of our study is about His humanity.

Jesus is called the “Son of Man” in 84 references in the New Testament. He is called the “Son of God” on 46 occasions. Thus, His humanity is emphasized often for our sakes. Why? So that we can relate to Him and He can relate to us. Consider:

Hebrews 2:9-10 “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

Hebrews 2:18 “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Let us look at the humanity of Christ.

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A. Jesus’ Incarnation – Incarnation means “to clothe with flesh.” This is declared plainly in the Scriptures:

Galatians 4:4 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,”

Philippians 2:8 “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

I Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

I Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

This was brought about by the birth of Jesus Christ through a virgin named Mary. This was prophesied and fulfilled. Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Luke 1:31 “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”

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This birth was announced to Joseph by an angel of the Lord – Matthew 1:18-25 – and to Mary by the angel Gabriel – Luke 1:26-35 – before she ever became with child. She was a virgin and she abstained from sexual relations with Joseph, her espoused husband, until after Christ was born – Matthew 1:25. After Jesus was born, Mary had at least 6 children who were fathered by Joseph – Matthew 13:55-56; Mark 6:3. Jesus’ birth was a miracle with no human father involved!

God became flesh:

John 1:1, 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…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.”

Romans 1:3-4 “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:”

Romans 8:3 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

Philippians 2:7 “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

I John 4:2-3 “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

2 John 1:7 “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

A person cannot be right with God and deny the deity or humanity of Christ:

John 8:24 “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

To be saved, a person must acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

B. Jesus called Himself a Man

John 8:40 “But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.”

Acts 2:22 “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:” As noted earlier, He is called the “Son of Man” 84 times.

C. Jesus had common experiences with humanity:

1. He was a baby – Luke 2:12, 16

2. He was a child who grew physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually – Luke 2:40; Luke 5:52

3. He was an adolescent who was subject to parents – Luke 2:42-51

4. He felt hunger – Luke 4:2

5. He needed sleep – Luke 8:23

6. He suffered sorrow – Matthew 26:37

7. He became weary – John 4:6

8. He suffered extreme infirmity and needed angels to minister to his weak body – Matthew 4:11; Mark 1:13 He had fasted for 40 days and He was in the wilderness with the wild beasts. He suffered horrendously before and on the cross – I Peter 3:18

9. He had emotions affected by the behavior of those around Him – John 11:33; Mark 3:5; John 12:27

10. He agonized – Luke 22:44

11. He ate – Luke 24:43

12. He thirsted – John 4:7, 19:28 There are many other examples in the New Testament of His partaking in humanity, including the fact that He died.

D. Jesus came through the lineage of David – Mary had to be married at the time of the birth, so Jesus would not be born of fornication. Her husband, Joseph’s, lineage was through David, and is recorded in Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38. He is called, “the Son of David” on 17 occasions in the New Testament.

E. Jesus Christ died on a cross for all mankind – His death is the fundamental theme of the gospels, and it is essential to our salvation. I Corinthians 15:1-4; John 3:14-16; I John 2:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

F. Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb – He remained in that tomb for 3 literal and complete days and nights. Matthew 12:40; Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 24:50-55; John 19:38-42

G. Jesus rose from the grave – He arose in a body of flesh and bones. See Luke 24:3; Luke 24:39-43; John 20:5-7; John 20:27; Romans 6:9-10. He is alive forevermore.

H. Jesus ascended into Heaven – He literally ascended into Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father as our mediator, High Priest, and advocate. Hebrews 9:24; Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:14-15; I John 2:1

 

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2013 in God's Truth

 

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