Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Must Believe That He Is

Hebrews 11:6

Heb. 11:6 . . . he that cometh to God must believe that HE IS!
Acts 9:20 . . . he is the Son of God.
Ac 10:36 . . . (he is Lord of all:)
Eph 2:14 For he is our peace . . .
Eph 5:23 . . . he is the saviour of the body.
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
2 Tim 1:12 . . . he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Heb. 2:18 . . . he is able to succour (help) them that are tempted.
Heb 7:25 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.
Heb 9:15 . . . he is the mediator of the new testament . . .
Heb. 10:23 . . . he is faithful that promised
Heb. 11:6 . . . he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
1 Pet 2:7 . . . he is precious
1 John 1:9 . . . he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:7 . . . he is righteous
1 John 3:3 . . . he is pure.
Rev 3:14 He is . . . the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 17:14 . . . he is Lord of lords, and King of kings
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; . . .
Re 2:23 . . . I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Neither Jew Nor Greek

Galatians 3:28-29

There are at least three areas in life where people make a difference in social standing or in religious priority. They are (1) Jew and Greek, (2) bond and free, and (3) male and female.

The first area of division is cultural. The Jews in biblical times had no dealings with the Gentile nations. In fact, God told them not to mimic the Gentile nations as to their way of life. They were not to marry them or to have business dealings with them. This, of course, was sanctioned by God only to show his selection of Israel as a nation and his sovereign choice as it stands in his attributes--God can choose what or whom he will choose. Then Jesus broke the barrier when he spoke to the Samaritan woman in John chapter four. Then he completely eliminated the difference when he gave the Great Commission to his churches, that they should go and preach the Gospel to all nations (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15, etc.). Paul tells us in Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. In the local church of the Lord Jesus Christ there is no difference between the members in God's sight. They are all sinners saved by grace and baptized into the membership of that church (1 Cor. 12:13) whether they be Jews or Gentiles.

The second area of division is societal. There were both bond and free men in Bible times. The bondage of a slave did not preclude his being saved by the grace of God without the deeds of the law. The free man had no more opportunity to be born again than the bondman did. Paul was a free Roman, and he used that to his advantage; but he was not any more prone to be born again than a man who was in bondage. In the local churches in Galatia, the members were all saved by grace and baptized into the membership of those churches (1 Cor. 12:13) whether they be bond or free.

The third area of division is gender. There is neither male nor female. Now, there certainly is a vast difference between a male and a female in this life, but there is no difference in God's sight in salvation, and there is no difference in the membership of a local church. Certainly, in the churches there are different positions for male and female; but as far as membership itself, there is no difference in male and female.

We have now only to consider the reason that the divisions are not different. It is because of what is mentioned in verse 29: "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." It is, of course, because in Christ we are all the children of Abraham (his seed) and heirs of Abraham. Rom. 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. We are joint-heirs with Christ: Rom. 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

So, there is no difference in any of these areas; therefore, we are all personally responsible to God no matter what nationality, social standing, or gender. Every man must give account of himself to God (Romans 14:12); and in the churches we are to love one another, for there is not one member that is any better than another member as far as our standing before God.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Day After Thanksgiving

By Pastor Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – November 25, 2011

Still, still my heart sings on, believing on His Precious Son.
One day is not enough to raise exhaustive song, extended praise.
So further still my heart sings on the praise of God’s eternal song.
Just saved by grace through faith divine, sublimest thought is ever mine.

And when tomorrow’s troubles come and strong desire to them succumb,
Again I turn my heart to thee, and pray thy word to set me free.
Then with thy words deep in my mind, I step on forward, life refined,
And put my trust alone in thee, still praising God his will to be.

Baptized Into Christ

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

So much confusion has been wrought by misapplying the meaning of "baptized" in this and other verses in scripture. A basic rule of interpretation instructs us to give priority to the most basic and obvious meaning of a word rather than to give it a spiritual application. This phrase "baptized into Christ" has been skewed by many religions. One interpretation is that we are baptized in water "into" Christ, meaning that we are saved through the operation of baptism. Another interpretation is that we are baptized "into" Christ in a spiritual way; that is, we are saved by our being baptized (dipped) with Christ, not in a literal way in water, but by being buried with Christ when he was buried and resurrected when he was resurrected. But this not only puts salvation in the wrong place in time, but it uses a Protestant-invented theory that has been used against immersion for baptism [see Graves-Ditzler Debate, et al].

To be "baptized into Christ" means to be baptized in water (which is the basic and obvious meaning of the word baptize) in relationship to Christ; that is, we are baptized in water because Christ died, was buried, and resurrected. Baptism is a wonderful picture, a type, a figure of the very act of the Gospel, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-4; 1 Peter 3:21).

This baptism in water is a prerequisite to being a member of a local church, and the churches of Galatia were all local assemblies -- 1 Cor. 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. We are baptized in water in relationship to one body, which is a local church.

Now in being baptized into Christ, we have put on Christ, which means that we have identified ourselves with Christ as our Savior and Lord publicly, as when putting on a uniform. He is the head of each local church, and he instructs us through his word by the work of the Holy Spirit. We should all, then, surrender to his leading and submit to his orders. We put on Christ by being a member of a Bible-centered local church and working through that church to bring honor to God and his Son, Jesus Christ.

So, before thee, Lord, empty hands we bring.
Fill them with your perfect will.
As members of your local church,
Our sullen hearts your Spirit fill.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Children of God By Faith

Galatians 3:26

The simplicity of this passage should allow no doubt in the mind of any reader that salvation is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). For those who desire to append baptism or the works of the law, this terse and forceful statement should suffice to quell the slightest belief to the contrary.

God has made the Gospel plain in his word, and the requirement of those who are born again is only that they believe. Now, for those who would say that this is too easy, the reminder remains that this faith is not a carnal or human faith but one that is given by the grace of God. The popular verses of Eph. 2:8-9 let us know that faith is a gift, and also Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith . . . . Also, the Bible teaches us in Heb. 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Yes, we are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, but we must understand that the carnal mind cannot attain to this divine adoption of the children of God. Rom. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

There is no salvation until there is a genuine giving of life to the sinner. This regeneration is the power of God using the Gospel to bring a lost sinner to His saving knowledge. What a true and blessed relationship this is between the sinner and God! The sinner's faith is genuine, and God's grace is genuine; but both must be intact and exercised before true salvation can be had.

Christ Jesus, then, is the object of this faith, for this faith is "in Christ Jesus." With our faith locked in to Jesus Christ, we can be assured that this object will not fail us and that we will be saved unto the uttermost (Heb. 7:25).

Soul's salvation, grand and sweet
Procured through faith at Jesus' feet
Drawn up from our Savior's love
Accomplished in His realm above.

Sovereign Savior, giver of life
Stand with God where grace is rife.
Settle His cause, accuse no more
Faith procured by Calvary's sore.