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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
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 1 
 on: Today at 09:05:03 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Vine

“What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?” (Isaiah 5:4)

In Scripture we find many references to vines and vineyards, but there are three major passages that together reveal three aspects concerning the character of God and His love for His people.

The first, Isaiah 5:1-7, includes our text. Here we find that God, the owner, planter, and caretaker of the vineyard, cannot contain His disappointment, for despite the loving care showered upon the vine, it has brought forth improper, worthless fruit. In this parable, “the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant” (v. 7), the chosen people who had seen more clearly than anyone else His abundant provision, but who had chosen to reject Him and not bear Him fruit. To them, and to those of us who reject His cultivating grace, He says: “I will lay it waste” (v. 6).

Psalm 80:8-19 gives us a picture of the abject desolation of the unfruitful vineyard once it is abandoned by the vinedresser. It is ravaged by enemies, wild animals, and fire, utterly helpless. The “vine” (Israel) may cry for help and restoration, but there are consequences to be paid. What a graphic picture this is, and what a reminder to believers today that we cannot for long ignore His will for our lives.

The last and most precious passage is found in John 15:1-16 and concerns fruitbearing. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (v. 5). Here are found the secrets of the believer’s growth and fertility in glorious union with Christ. “Herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (v. 8). JDM

 2 
 on: October 20, 2018, 04:25:57 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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The Resurrection Day
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In Psalm 2:7 we find the prophetic words: “I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son: THIS DAY have I begotten Thee.”

Should we ask: “What day?” or “When was Christ officially declared to be the Son of God?” We will find the answer in Acts 13:33:

    “God hath fulfilled the same [promises] unto us… in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.”

So it was at Christ’s resurrection that the “decree” was made and He was “declared” to be the Son of God — “begotten” in the larger sense of the word.

This agrees with what we find in the first chapter of Romans, where St. Paul speaks of God’s good news,

    “Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power… by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:3,4).

This is a wonderful truth. It was Christ’s resurrection from the dead in power that proved that He was indeed God the Son. And more wonderful still: it was our death He died at Calvary, so that He might impart to us this everlasting resurrection life. In Eph. 2:2,3, we are all declared to have been “the children of disobedience” and therefore “by nature the children of wrath,” but see how this passage continues:

    “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved), and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-6).

Thus, because of Christ’s finished work of salvation, those who place their trust in Him are given His resurrection life and “blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). This is their RESURRECTION DAY!

 3 
 on: October 20, 2018, 04:22:15 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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Where is Christ in your theological system?

(Charles Spurgeon)

"And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself." Luke 24:27

"These are the Scriptures that testify about Me!" John 5:39

Take this Book and distill it into one word--and that one word will be JESUS! The Bible itself, is but the body of Christ, and we may look upon all its pages as the swaddling bands of the infant Savior--for if we unroll the Scripture, we come upon Jesus Christ Himself.

Where is Christ in your theological system? He Himself is . . .
  the Doctor and Doctrine,
  the Revealer and Revelation,
  the Illuminator and the Light of men.

He is exalted in every word of truth, because He is its sum and substance.

He sits above the gospel, like a prince on His own throne.

Doctrine is most precious, when we see it distilling from His lips and embodied in His person.

Sermons are only valuable, in proportion as they speak of Him and point to Him!

 4 
 on: October 20, 2018, 08:24:06 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Father of Lights

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:1)

God, Himself, is both author and finisher of everything we have that is good. This, of course, is the testimony concerning His creation in the beginning, which was both “very good” and “finished” (Genesis 1:31; 2:1). The unique name “Father of lights” seems to suggest a remarkable scientific insight. Since light is the most basic form of energy, and yet is equivalent also to all other forms, and since literally everything in the physical universe is energy in some form, it is singularly appropriate to speak of the totality of all God’s good and perfect gifts in creation as “lights.” And, since all these energies are not now being created (only “conserved”), their original source can only be from the Father of lights!

There even seems to be a hint of both of the great laws of science, energy conservation as well as energy deterioration. The term “variableness,” used only here, means literally “transmutation.” Just as God is immutable, the total amount of His created “lights” is conserved—neither created nor destroyed. The Second Law states that, in all energy conversions (that is, in everything that happens), the entropy of the universe increases. “Entropy” means “in-turning,” coming from two Greek words, en and trope—the second of which is used in this verse. Entropy is a measure of disorganization, and its inexorable increase is a result of God’s curse on the creation following man’s rebellion. Thus, although the total energy of the universe is conserved (by the First Law), the available energy is decreasing (by the Second Law). Nevertheless, God Himself is not bound by this law that He has imposed, for a time, on His creation. With Him is not even a “shadow” of any “turning” (trope). God never changes, and His purposes can never be defeated! HMM

 5 
 on: October 19, 2018, 04:40:51 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
Christ Precious by James Smith
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


Christ is especially precious to believers — when the emptiness of the world is discovered. The soul having tried the world, has found it . . .
false and fickle,
an empty cistern,
a dry well,
a cloud without water,
only vanity and vexation of spirit!

The Christian has experienced that . . .
the world's pleasures — end in pain,
its honors — end in disgrace,
and its wealth — ends in absolute poverty.

Now turning from the world, to Jesus — it finds . . .
solid happiness,
substantial pleasure,
full supplies.

It obtains . . .
a deep and lasting peace which passes all understanding,
unsearchable riches in Christ, and
honors which will never pass away.

O how precious is Jesus, when this world appears to be a valley of tears! Almost everything earthly is at times calculated to . . .
cause sorrow,
fill us with sadness,
and draw forth tears.

Losses, crosses, disappointments, and bereavements — all conspire to make us sad. Earth is to us a Valley of Achor — the place of trouble and sorrow.

Now turning to Jesus, we find a friend who loves at all times, and a brother born for adversity.

He makes up for every loss,
He sanctifies every disappointment,
and He fills for us every relation.

His presence is . . .
like a flowing spring — in a dreary desert,
like a cheering fire — on a piercing winter's night,
and like a happy home — to the exhausted traveler.

O how precious is Jesus now!

Christ is especially precious at the throne of grace. What could we do without Jesus there? What could we plead? Realizing this, and perceiving the infinite worth and worthiness of Jesus, and his glorious sacrifice, and believing that he stands between us and his Father's justice, how precious Jesus is! We dare not go to the throne without him, nor expect the least blessing but through him, and for his sake; but with him, and through him, we may expect the greatest, the richest, the best blessings, which God can bestow!

Christ is especially precious in seasons of sickness. When shut out from the world, and obliged to be much alone. When exercised with strong pain, or extreme weakness. Then, to lie on the sick pillow and meditate on . . .
what he is,
what he has done,
what he is doing, and
what he has promised to do
 — is indeed sweet.

One promise dropped by him into the heart, will raise us above pain and fear, and fill us with patience, fortitude, and courage.

Christ is especially precious when Satan comes to harass us, and reflections on the sins and infirmities of our past lives, are calculated to deject and cast us down.

Christ is especially precious in the hour of death. However much we may need Christ in life — we shall need him more in death. He is the only antidote of death. He alone can give us victory over it. He alone can make us triumph in it.

How precious have multitudes found Jesus to be in the dying hour! They have been able to defy its power, smile at its pains, and court its final stroke! Through him they have cried, and cried in tones of triumph, "O death, where is your sting! O grave, where is your victory!" Yes, when earth appears to be receding, and eternity drawing very near to us. When every earthly prop gives way. When clear light shows us that our very best works are but splendid sins. O how precious is Jesus then!

His blood and obedience, his word and his grace, his faithfulness and sympathy, are unutterably precious!

Beloved, do you have this faith, which, renders Christ so precious? If so, admire the sovereign and distinguishing grace of God, which has conferred so great a blessing upon you — for not all are given saving faith.

Honor the Holy Spirit, by whose operation this faith was produced in you.

Realize the importance of this faith, which renders Christ so precious.

It is the eye — which sees the beauty of Christ.

It is the foot — which travels to Christ.

It is the hand — which lays hold of Christ.

It is the mouth — which tastes the sweetness of Christ.

It is the inward principle — which clings and cleaves to Christ.

Avoid therefore whatever weakens faith, or interrupts its exercise; and prize whatever strengthens it, and makes it vigorous!

If you do not have this faith, or if you doubt whether you have or not — cry mightily to God, to send the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of faith to produce, or increase it, in you.

If you do not have high and honorable thoughts of Christ,
if you do not prize him as the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely,
if you do not depend entirely on his precious blood and finished work, for your salvation
 — whatever 'faith' you may have — is not that faith which distinguishes God's elect, which is of the operation of God, and to which the promise of salvation is made. Look well to it, therefore, that you have this faith, that you believe on the Son of God, that you believe that Jesus is the Christ, and trust in him, and love him accordingly, for, "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God."

Jesus is precious, says the Word,
What comfort does this truth afford!
And those who in his name believe,
With joy this precious truth receive.

To them he is more precious far,
Than life and all its comforts are;
More precious than their daily food,
More precious than their vital blood.

Not health, nor wealth, nor sounding fame,
Nor earth's deceitful empty name,
With all its pomp, and all its glare,
Can with a precious Christ compare!

He's precious, in his precious blood.
That pardoning and soul-cleansing flood!
He's precious, in his righteousness,
That everlasting heavenly dress!

In every office he sustains,
In every victory he gains,
In every council of his will,
He's precious to his people still.

As they draw near their journey's end,
How precious is their heavenly friend!
And, when in death they bow their head,
He's precious on a dying bed.

 6 
 on: October 19, 2018, 04:39:42 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
Christ Precious by James Smith
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


Christ Precious!

by James Smith, 1861

"Unto you therefore who believe — He is precious!" 1 Peter 2:7

FAITH in Christ is all important. It is both the gift of God's grace — and yet the exercise of man's heart. It is going to Christ, trusting in Christ, committing the soul to Christ, and relying alone on Christ. Wherever there is faith, there is also unbelief, and these two opposite principles will so contend in the believer's bosom, that he is at times unable to conclude whether he believes or not. At such times, we should repair to God's word, and seeking the teaching of the Holy Spirit, search out the proofs of faith therein contained. Many such proofs are scattered through the word, and they are simple and satisfactory; but I want to confine your attention to one, and a very sweet one, "Unto you therefore who believe — He is precious!"
 

Consider the FACT: Jesus is precious to all believers. He is prized by them, they set a very high value upon him. He is enjoyed by them, yes, there is nothing they enjoy so much. He is an honor to them, and believing on him is an honor to them.

Every believer VALUES Christ. Let others think of him as they may, all who are taught of God, think highly of him. They can never honor him as they wish, or enjoy him to their full satisfaction.

Every believer feels their NEED of him. No weary traveler ever felt his need of rest, no hungry laborer ever felt his need of food, no drowning mariner ever felt his need of a life-boat — as the believer has felt his need of Christ.

They need to be saved — and only Christ can save them.

They need to be happy — and only Jesus can make them happy.

They need his blood to cleanse them from sin, and procure their pardon.

They need his righteousness to clothe their souls, and justify them before God.

They need his Spirit to sanctify their nature, and make them fit for Heaven.

They need his intercession to secure them from evil, and procure for them good things.

They need his fullness of grace to supply all their needs from earth to Heaven.

Every believer discovers the exact SUITABILITY of Christ to them. He is just what they need — He has all that they need.

They are foolish — He has wisdom.

They are unrighteous — and He has righteousness.

They are unholy — and He has holiness.

They are weak — and He has strength.

They are in bondage — and He has redemption.

They are lost — and He has salvation.

In a word, they are led to see that God has stored up everything in Jesus, and that possessing Him — they have all things!

Every Christian believes on Him to the saving of the soul. They trust Him to procure their pardon, peace with God, and everlasting life.

Their heart goes out to Him,
they repose confidence in Him,
they commit their souls to Him,
they build on Him — as God's foundation;
they hide in Him — as the sinner's refuge; and
they trust themselves with Him — as the almighty Savior.

This is faith, and to all who have this faith — Jesus is precious. But He is only precious to believers. Others do not feel their need of him, do not see his adaptation to them, and do not depend on him for pardon, peace with God, and everlasting life.

The apostle gives certain reasons WHY Christ is precious to believers; let us look at:
 

The REASONS why Christ is precious. God has laid him for a FOUNDATION. He is the one foundation of the church, on which the whole building rests, and from which it derives safety. He is the only foundation of a sinner's hope. On him we must build for eternity — and on him alone. He is the foundation of every believer's hope. Only by building on Jesus — will hope spring up in the soul, cheering and comforting the heart.

He is the CHOSEN of God. Chosen to be the Savior. Chosen to be the center of attraction, the source of supply, and the author of eternal salvation — unto all those who obey him. He was chosen to be the storehouse of blessings, out of which all who believe in his name shall be supplied. "For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fullness dwell."

He is the CORNERSTONE. That which unites all believers together as one living temple, and keeps them together to be a habitation of God through the Spirit. The union, the strength, and the beauty of God's church, arises from Christ being the cornerstone. He unites all the parts together, and the whole church to God. He preserves all who believe on him from apostasy, shame, and danger. "He who believes on him shall not be confounded." Every believer shall be bold in the judgment, confident in God, and safe — let whatever will come on the earth. Now, as God's foundation of our hope; as God's elect, or chosen one; as the glorious uniting cornerstone of the whole church; and as the Savior from confusion, shame, and danger — He is precious to every believer.
 

These are some SEASONS in which Christ is especially precious:

Christ is especially precious when the soul is first converted. When it emerges from darkness to light. When it sees Jesus as the only and all-sufficient Savior. When venturing on him — it enjoys peace, liberty, and joy in the Holy Spirit. It sees that all flows from Jesus, and deeply feels its obligation to Jesus. But for Jesus, all it could look for would be condemnation, death, and Hell! Through Jesus it enjoys justification, eternal life, and a good hope of Heaven. O how precious does this render the Savior!

 7 
 on: October 19, 2018, 04:38:09 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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Forgiven
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “We have… the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

The climax of Paul’s first recorded sermon is reached in Verses 38 and 39 of Acts 13, where he declares:

    “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

    “And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”

Thus God, through Christ, forgives and justifies those who believe. Nor is this all that was accomplished for us by the death of Christ at Calvary. There is also reconciliation, baptism by the Spirit into Christ and His Body, a position at God’s right hand in the heavenlies and all spiritual blessings there.

“The forgiveness of sins” must come first, however, and the above passage assures us that in Christ we have this — not barely, but “according to the riches of His grace.” Indeed, the next verse continues: “wherein He hath abounded toward us…”

Thus Eph. 2:2-7 declares that though we were once “the children of disobedience,” and therefore “by nature the children of wrath,” “God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us” has given us life and raised us from the dead, exalting us to “heavenly places in Christ…” His purpose in all this? “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Verse 7).

When God forgives us He no longer sees us in our poor selves, but in Christ, who took our place, dying for our sins on Calvary’s cross. There He hung in our place that we might now stand in His — “complete in Him” {Col. 2:10).

 8 
 on: October 19, 2018, 04:36:35 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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214 Is Going Down
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


I heard something over the radio a few weeks ago, the like of which I’ve never heard before — and certainly never want to hear again. I heard the last words of the pilot on No. 214, a big jet plane that crashed to earth with 81 persons aboard.

Because of the weather conditions the planes were “stacked” rather high around the Philadelphia airport, so the airport tower had just asked him: “Do you want to go on or do you want to hold?” The pilot had barely replied that he wanted to “hold,” when he said something about his big Boeing 707 being on fire! Then came the awful words: “We’re going down. Two fourteen is going down in flames.” He said it calmly, and the Philadelphia tower answered back: “We have your message, two fourteen.”

Just imagine, hearing the actual last words which the pilot uttered while he and eighty others were being hurled more than 5,000 feet to their death amid the flaming parts of their stricken plane!

Yet, one does not have to be in a plane to meet death suddenly. He can stumble off a curb and be killed or die suddenly in a hundred different ways.

The important thing is to be ready. We do not wish to frighten people into accepting Christ as Savior, but it is a fact that we ought to think more than we do about the uncertainty of life. Prov. 22:3 says: “A wise man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself, but fools pass on and are punished.”

No wonder Paul wrote in II Cor. 6:1,2:

    “We then as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain…. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.”

We cannot offer salvation yesterday, for yesterday is passed. Nor can we promise it for tomorrow, for the opportunity may be withdrawn by then. The best we can do is to tell you that God loves you, and that Christ died for you, and urge you to act upon this now.

    “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

 9 
 on: October 19, 2018, 04:33:42 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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Look at it--there is blood still upon the handle!

(Charles Spurgeon)

A sight of Christ on the cross will cause us to hate our sins.

If you ever, by the eye of faith, see Jesus Christ dying for you--sin will never be sweet to you again.

What was it that slew our blessed Lord? It was our sin!

When we discover that our iniquities put our dearest and best Friend to death, we vow revenge against our iniquities, and henceforth hate them with a perfect hatred.

Let me illustrate this very simply:
Here is a knife with a richly carved ivory handle--a knife of excellent workmanship. Yonder woman, we will suppose, has had a dear child murdered by a cruel enemy. This knife is hers, she is pleased with it, and prizes it much. How can I make her throw that knife away? I can do it easily, for that is the knife with which her child was murdered! Look at it--there is blood still upon the handle! She drops it as though it were a scorpion--she cannot bear it. "Put it away," says she, "it killed my child! Oh, hateful thing!"

Now, sin is such a hateful thing. We play with it until we are told that it was sin which killed the Lord Jesus, who died out of love to us--pure, self-sacrificing love. Then we say, "Hateful thing--be gone! How can I endure you!"

See there the wounds of the Son of God;
behold the crimson stains on His blessed body;
mark the thorn-crown;
gaze upon those pierced hands;
weep over the nailed feet;
see the deep gash which the lance made in His side!

Sin did this cruel work--this bloody deed!

Down with our sins!
Drag them to the cross!
Slay them at Calvary!
Let not one of them escape, for they are the murderers of Christ!

"It was you, my sins, my cruel sins,
  His chief tormentors were;
  Each of my crimes became a nail,
  And unbelief the spear!"

 10 
 on: October 19, 2018, 04:32:28 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
FREE E-mail Subscription:
http://www.gracegems.org/
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Never did God appear more glorious!
 
(Thomas Charles, "Conformity to the Image of God" 1838)

"We considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.
 He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities.
 The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
 and by His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:4-5

God is as glorious in punishing sin--as He is in pardoning sin.

Never did God appear more glorious, than when He was pouring out His wrath on the Son of His love, for our sins. Justice and mercy, holiness and love--there shone with united and transcendent splendor.

The same glory of God which shines in punishing sin in Hell--appeared in His punishing it on the cross!

Does not God deserve to be loved for the one, as well as for the other? Does He not deserve to be loved wherever and in whatever manner He causes His glorious justice to appear?

That man never had true grace--who does not love God for punishing sin, as well as for pardoning it.

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." Galatians 3:13

"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree" 1 Peter 2:24

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