Thursday, March 1, 2018

There Is A Was

-Ronnie Wolfe | 3-1-2018

I.  IS

Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

In this first verse of the Bible there is no mention of an IS or a WAS. We must simply assume that there IS a God.  Paul the Apostle, however, tells us that we must know that God IS – Acts 17:24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he IS  Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Not only should we read and notice that God IS, but we should believe that he IS. Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he IS, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Many in the world do not believe that God IS. They train their minds (or someone else trains their minds) to reject the being of God to their misery and destruction.


John 1:1-2  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2  The same was in the beginning with God.

The word translated WAS here is a timeless word. It is not simply the past tense of a verb; it is a word describing the WORD as a timeless being. “In the beginning was the Word” means that at the time of creation Jesus (the WORD) existed. He WAS because of his timeless existence.

“The Word WAS with God” indicates that he exists as a separate person but not as separated from the essence of God but is the same with God and as God. He WAS with God all the time of God’s existence. Verse two reiterates the fact that “the same” (the Word) was with God in the beginning (the beginning of universal creation).

In verse one again, we notice at the end of the verse “the Word WAS God.” This is a claim made by John that the Word (Jesus) was God. Not only was he with God; he WAS God. This word WAS, remember, is timeless. Just as God is timeless and exists above time and creation, so does Jesus exist and live above time and creation.

He “WAS God” does not mean that he “used to be God,” as in the past and now is no longer God but that he WAS in a timeless sense. He IS God; He WAS God; and he will continue to be God, for it is his essence by which he IS God.

John 8:58  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. The verb AM here also implies a timeless existence in Jesus. Then one more layer of this musing is this:  Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Image Of The Cross

By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – 2-23-2018

Listening to a message one Sunday morn,
My heart was sad, my mind forlorn.
As the message went on, I saw in my mind
A man who was merciful, tender, and kind.

I saw a crude cross on a lonely hill
And a man stretched out, solemn and still.
I stood in its shadow so far away,
But I knew in my heart that I could not stay.

So far from the cross that was meant for me
But given to a man to set me free,
I saw a man of infamous fame.
I could see his face and read his name.

It said he was a king of the wandering Jew.
I wondered if he could be my king, too.
As the preacher preached on, I came to the side
Of the man on the cross; I could not hide.

Then as He stared in my watery eyes,
I knelt in sorrow and stared at the skies.
And as if he were speaking an audible voice,
And as if for some reason I had no choice,

I knew his love, experienced his grace,
And I looked again at his glorious face.
Though stained with blood, as the preacher went on,
He looked so precious as God’s own Son.

As the preacher preached on, I saw him arise,
For only by this could his kingdom survive.
He lived, he died, he arose from the grave.
It was his love and his best that he gave

I turned from my sins to hate every one.
He melted my heart; I trusted God’s Son.
The sermon now ended, I surrendered my soul
To the man on the cross who just made me whole.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Jesus Put-Down

By Ronnie W. Wolfe – Sept. 19, 2014

I put down Jesus deep into my heart so he can comfort me.
I put down Jesus in my mind so that I can renew it.
I put down Jesus in my lap when I read his word.
I put down Jesus in my problems so he can deal with them.
I put down Jesus in church, that he might lead in his way.
I put down Jesus in the grave when I think of the Gospel

But I lift up Jesus in my song.
I lift up Jesus in my study.
I lift up Jesus in my preaching and teaching.
I lift up Jesus as I tell others about him.
I lift up Jesus when I believe him.
I lift up Jesus when I read of his resurrection.

I put him down in my heart and lift him up in my song.
I put him down in my mind and lift him up in my study.
I put him down in my lap as I read and lift him up in my peaching.
I put him down in my problems and lift him up by my witness.
I put him down in church to lead and lift him up in believing his way is best.
I put him down in the grave that I might lift him up at his resurrection.
He puts me down to lift me up!

What will you do with Jesus?

Abraham Our Father

Preaching Points From Romans #5
Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
Romans 4:16-18

I. OUR FATHER SYMBOLICALLY (4:16) “Father of us all”

Abraham was not our father naturally as though we were begotten through his linage. The Jews in the New Testament put their trust in their physical linage to Abraham, but Jesus rebuked them for that (See Matthew 3:9). They thought they had a priority position with God because they were Abraham’s children.

We are children of Abraham through faith in Jesus Christ. So says Galathans 3:7 "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham". Abraham, then, is our faithful father, a man of faith, and a father to all who believe in Christ.

Abraham believed God (Christ), and it was accounted to him for righteousness – Genesis 15:6 "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." See Galatians 3:6; James 2:23.

So, we are Abraham’s seed (children) and heirs of God – Galatians 3:29 "And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise."

II. OUR FATHER SPECIALLY (4:18) “Father of many nations”

Abraham could be noted as the head of the Hebrew nation (the Jews), although the nation was not brought together as a nation until years later. He stood seminally as their head through his son, Isaac. God gave promise to Abraham that his seed would be blessed through Isaac, whom God chose for Abraham’s blessed linage.

But the intimation is given here that Abraham as a father of faith would not be father only to the Jewish nation but to many nations. Even in Abraham’s day God already had in his mind to bring faith to Gentiles, which he did in Old Testament times but especially in New Testament times when Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, turned mainly to the Gentiles and away from the Jews due to their rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Abraham, then, is our father as well as to Jews. Abraham is the father of the faithful as written in Galatians 3:8-9 "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen [Gentiles] through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."

Abraham is father specially to all who believe in Jesus as Savior, but he is our father typically and metaphorically. God is our Father in reality. Thus, we pray “Our Father which art in Heaven . . .”

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Righteousness Without Works

Preaching Points From Romans #4
By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Romans 4:6 – “... God imputeth righteousness without works.”

I. The Source Of Righteousness

The first word in the clause above is “God.” We learn from this that God is the author of righteousness; he is the source. Only God has true righteousness. God knows that people on earth need righteousness, but the word of God teaches us that “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). It teaches us that “. . . they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8). In order to be righteous and to please God, we must obtain righteousness, but this righteousness must be perfect righteousness. Only God has this righteousness
Romans 1:17 “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

II. The Securing Of Righteousness

Our text verse now continues with “God imputeth . . . .” This means that the way that God gives us righteousness is by imputation. The word “imputation” means “to credit for.” One commentator says that the Greek word means “to take inventory.” When God takes inventory on a lost person, he sees no righteousness at all, because none of us has any righteousness. But God imputes righteousness to believers in Christ, thus giving full inventory of the righteousness required by God for salvation and for an eternal inheritance.

Notice especially . . .
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

III. The Style Of Righteousness

God imputes (credits to believers) righteousness “without works.” Any righteousness that we have is imputed by grace through faith, so we must understand that it is imputed without works. Our righteousness is not sufficient for our salvation, so God must “impute” righteousness to us.
Our works (our righteousness) is of no value to God, so God must impute it to us. This is done “without works.” God requires nothing in return for imputed righteousness–no works. Our works cannot be mixed with grace, says Romans 11, else grace is no more grace.

Notice: Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Glorying In Works

Preaching Points From Romans #3
Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – Romans 4:1-5


We all know that Abraham was a faithful man, a man of fearless fortitude to do what God called him to do. He followed God when called from Ur to go to an unknown place. He wandered through the land that God promised to him expecting God to produce a great blessing of a land for God’s people. He was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, his only son, to God. He also did many other wonderful and marvelous things.

In our modern day, this would be sufficient for anyone to prepare himself for Heaven and the blessing of God and eternal assurance of life with God. Abraham could have gloried in his flesh for all the things he did even as Paul hypothetically gloried in his flesh.

Philippians 3:4-6 "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless."

But Abraham and Paul could glory only in the flesh but not before God (verse 2). All of man’s righteousnesses are but dung to God, and we should consider them dung before God, as did Paul in Philippians 3:8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”


Romans 4:3 “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

He did what? He believed! All the fortitude, attitude, and gratitude were worthless to Abraham in the presence of God. This is true faith, not a head faith or a cultural faith but a true, surrendering, dependent faith upon God, his Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

This faith is given by grace according to 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,”

Galatians 3:9 “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Yes, Abraham was blessed of God, and all who believe in Jesus Christ by grace are blessed with him.

Remember: Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."


Abraham failed to measure up to God’s demands in his works, but God’s demands were met by God himself in grace through faith. What an awesome and wonderful God who will not only render all of our works as dung, but he will also bring his people to the Gospel to hear God’s word and believe.

Acts 20:32 “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

Abraham did not, however, fail to believe. Many think that “faith only” is too cheap, too easy, too mundane, etc., but nothing could be further from the truth. Faith is powerful enough to bring true and complete righteousness to every believer in Jesus Christ, turning from sin and self and turning to God in Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 9:30 "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith."

We have all failed to meet God’s standard of righteousness, for our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6); but faith is substance and evidence (Heb. 11:1). Grace is the divine jewel that makes this pearl of truth of great price (See Matthew 13:46).

"Have you failed in your plan of your storm-tossed life?
Please your hand in the nail-scarred hand;
Are you weary and worn from its toil and strife?
Please your hand in the nail-scarred hand;"

These lyrics direct our hearts to faith in Jesus Christ. Even so, may God’s grace be active today to bring you to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and may you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ that you might be saved.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Law, Grace, and Faith

Romans 3 -- Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

I.  Condemnation By The Law

Romans 3:20  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.

Romans 7:7  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Galatians 3:10  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

The Mosaic Law can only condemn; it cannot save (redeem). The law has no pretense toward salvation, but its whole duty is to condemn those who cannot keep the entirety of the law.

James 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

II.  Consequence Of Grace

Only God is truly gracious. Grace comes only from God without any ingenuity or effort from man. Man knows nothing about true grace. He must receive it from God before he can have any comprehension at all about it.

Grace is God’s extension of mercy to us by his act of atonement in Jesus Christ. Grace brings redemption, that is, the payment for our sins through the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus, on the cross suffering and dying for our sins.  We have been purchased with a price–Jesus’ precious blood. God did that by grace. He extended to us that of which we are not worthy.

Grace is extended to us only through faith.

Romans 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

III. Complement Of Faith

We are all condemned (Romans 3:23; John 3:18).

Jesus came to save his people from their sins by grace.

The only way in God’s plan that grace may and can be influential in our lives is through faith. Notice again:

Romans 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Romans 3:26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

We are not complete by grace until that grace has gone through the channel of faith. Faith is the channel through which God comes to a sinner and justifies him before God.

Condemnation is overcome by grace through faith. Redemption and justification have come to us to complement the work of God in us and make us to be accepted in the beloved. So, then, God is both just and justifier. He is just and justifier to those who believe in Jesus.

God is just in his sovereignty.
God is justifier in his mercy.

Romans 3:26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Let us all be sure in our theology that grace does no damage to faith and faith does no damage to grace, for they work together to justify those who believe by grace, and they are both from God.