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July 23, 2017, 08:42:52 AM

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Jesus Christ loves you.
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 1 
 on: Today at 07:44:20 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
With Christ

“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.” (Romans 8:17)
 
One of the greatest doctrines of the Christian faith is the identification of Christ with His people in all the key events of His great work of salvation. For example, we are considered by God as dying with Him since He died for us. As Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20).
 
Furthermore, when Christ was buried, we were in effect buried also. “We are buried with him by baptism into death” (Romans 6:4). Then we are also resurrected with Christ. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).
 
But that is only the beginning of our great salvation. Christ then ascended to heaven, sat down on the right hand of the Father, and we are there with Him! “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. . . . And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
 
Not even is this the end, for we are joint-heirs with Christ, as our text assures us. He has been “appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2), and we share His inheritance. “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:11-12).
 
Identified with Christ in His suffering, His death, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension, and then in His eternal reign! This is our position by faith. When He returns, it will become actuality, “and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). HMM

 2 
 on: July 22, 2017, 07:16:49 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
Come unto Me!
From Timeless Grace Gems
Francis Bourdillon, 1864




Matthew 11:25-30.
"At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent — and have revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father — for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things are delivered unto Me by My Father; and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son wills reveal Him. Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."


Jesus invites all who labor and are heavy laden, to come unto Him. Not sufferers of one kind only — but all sufferers. Not those alone who feel the weight of this particular burden or that — but all the heavy laden.

The poor and needy,
the weak and sickly,
the toiling father,
the anxious mother,
he who feels the weight of his sins,
he whose conscience testifies against him,
he who finds no comfort in this world and yet fears that he is not prepared for the next
— all are invited to come to Jesus!

Their cases are widely different — the burdens that press upon them are by no means alike — yet all are invited to one Helper and Comforter, "Come unto Me!" He does not bid one sufferer go for comfort to this source — and another to that. He invites all to Himself — as the one unfailing source of help and comfort!

"Come unto Me!" We do not deserve to be thus invited. Many are suffering the consequences of their own sins, and all of us are sinners. If we met with only what we deserve — He might justly say to us, "Go away from Me!" Instead of this, Jesus bids us come to Him. Whatever we may have been — however thoughtless, however ungrateful, however wicked — yet if we are now in need or trouble, that is enough. He bids us come to Him.

We are not to stop and think about our own unworthiness. He says nothing here about that. He only says, "Come unto Me." That is what He invites us to do — that is what we are to do, and we are to do it at once.

But how can we come to Him? Those who heard Him say the words could go to Him and speak to Him and tell Him all and follow Him about from place to place. But He is not here now — how then can we come to Him?

He is not far off. By the Spirit, He is with us still. We must go to Him by the Spirit — we must draw near to Him with our hearts. Even when He was on earth — the coming to Him with the heart was the coming that brought peace. In the same way, we may come — as well as those who saw and heard Him. Without stirring a step, without leaving the room in which we are sitting or the bed on which we are lying — we may come to Jesus with the sincere heart. This is what He bids us do: "Come unto Me. Come unto Me in your minds — come with your hearts — come by prayer. Come unto Me — and I will give you rest."

This is just what those who labor and are heavy laden want. The poor and afflicted, the heavy-laden, the anxious, the conscience-stricken, the sin-burdened — all want rest. They want their load to be lightened; they want relief and ease and quiet and peace. Jesus promises to give this rest to those who will come to Him. "Come unto Me — and I will give you rest."

But He means more than rest to the body. He says afterwards, "And you shall find rest unto your souls." Rest to the body would be little — if the mind were still troubled and burdened. The rest that Jesus gives is real rest, full rest, all that we need to make us peaceful and happy.

Yet He speaks of a yoke, as if there were to be labor still. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me." We are not to be mere idlers. We are to be servants and learners — but servants of so kind a Master and learners of so gracious a Teacher that His service and teaching are true rest to the soul.

"I am meek and lowly in heart," He says. He is no hard Master like sin or Satan or the world. He is kind, gentle, and loving. His service is perfect freedom. He makes His servants happy even in their serving. He bids us take His yoke upon us and learn of Him — yet at the very same time He says, "You shall find rest unto your souls." "For," He continues, "My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."

He does not mean that it is an easy thing to be a Christian or that there is nothing to do in His service — but that His yoke is not a hard or galling yoke, and that He will lay no burden on His servants which He will not strengthen them to bear.

"Learn of Me." What does He teach those who go to Him? He not merely shows them what they ought to do — but He tells them of His precious promises and His glad tidings. He makes Himself known to them as their Savior, and teaches them that He came "to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

There is no rest to the soul, but in Christ. The only thing that can give peace to the troubled conscience and lift the heart above the pains and sorrows, the worries and anxieties of life — is to know Him as our Savior who has "washed us from our sins in His own blood" (Revelation 1:5), and thus to know God as our reconciled Father in Christ Jesus. The soul that has learned this knowledge finds rest.

Earthly troubles may still remain; sickness and poverty may still be the appointed lot — but there is peace within: "the peace of God which surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).

Happy we, to whom the glad tidings have come! Happy we, who have heard the Savior's words, "Come unto Me!"

Human wisdom could never have found out this knowledge. "The wise and prudent," unless taught from above, must always have remained in ignorance of Christ and of peace. God, in His mercy, has revealed these things unto babes — to the poor and humble, to the unlearned and uncared for.

"Even so, Father — for so it seemed good in Your sight." We thank You for the knowledge of a Savior. We thank You for Your Word. We thank You for Your Spirit. We thank You for the blessed call, "Come unto Me." Oh, teach us, help us, to come — and grant that we may find in Christ rest unto our souls!

 3 
 on: July 22, 2017, 07:15:00 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
A Psalm of Blessing!
From Timeless Grace Gems
Francis Bourdillon, 1864


        "He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities." No, blessed be God! When we look back on our past life and think of what we have done and of what we have left undone; when conscience is faithful and shows us to ourselves as we really are — then how plainly do we see and how thankfully do we acknowledge that "He has not dealt with us after our sins!"

        Where would our comforts and blessings be, where would we ourselves be, if He had dealt with us after our sins! When once we see what sin is, how evil and bitter a thing in itself, how hateful in the sight of God — then we are amazed at the way in which God has dealt with us. He has preserved us, when we might justly have expected to be cut off. He has supplied our needs — when we might have looked to be left destitute of all. He has blessed us — instead of punishing us. He has forgiven us — instead of condemning.

        But has He indeed forgiven us? We must all own that He has not dealt with us as we have deserved — but has He forgiven us? If not, it is only because we have not sought forgiveness in His appointed way. For He is willing to forgive us. The blood of Jesus has been shed on our behalf, and through that precious blood there is mercy and pardon for all who seek it. Free mercy and full pardon!

        "As the Heaven is high above the earth — so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us!" His is not a half-forgiveness. His mercy is boundless. He pardons fully and forever. The blood of Jesus cleanses the conscience from every stain of guilt — and he who believes with the heart, is justified freely from all his offences.

        Great is God's compassion. "Like as a father pities his children — so the Lord pities those who fear Him." Doubtless, even when far off from Him, like the prodigal in a far country — God looks with pity on the poor sinner; but when, through grace, he comes to himself and begins to seek God — then how graciously is he received, and how freely forgiven!

        "For He knows how weak we are — He remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone — as though we had never been here! But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear Him." Psalm 103:14-17

        The shortness and uncertainty of our lives — our weakness, frailty, and sinfulness — God knows them all. Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us! In His great mercy and compassion, He . . .
          bears with us;
          raises us when we fall;
          strengthens us when we are weak; and
          helps, guides, sustains and comforts us.

        He has . . .
          a perfect knowledge of our needs,
          an unspeakable compassion for them,
          and full power to supply them all.

        His mercy is everlasting. It will never wear out — and never come to an end.

        As for us, we are frail and short-lived. Let but a few years pass, and . . .
          the strongest will have fallen to the scythe of death,
          the longest-lived will have all passed away, and
          our own course here below will have come to a close.
        "Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone — as though we had never been here!"

        Not so is the mercy of the Lord, and the things which He has prepared for those who love Him. They are from everlasting to everlasting. His promises will never fail. Jesus is . . .
          an all-sufficient Savior,
          an unfailing Advocate,
          an everlasting portion!

        Well may every believer join with the Psalmist in rejoicing and praising God:
           "Praise the LORD, O my soul — all my inmost being, praise His holy name!
            Praise the LORD, O my soul — and do not forget all His benefits!" Psalm 103:1-2

        "The Lord has prepared His throne in the Heavens, and His kingdom rules over all." Safe under His protection, we need fear no evil. The powers of darkness cannot prevail against us — if He is on our side. Sin and the world can never work our ruin — if only we cleave to our God and Savior. Already "His kingdom rules over all" — already there is not a thing that can happen except by His permission.

        But hereafter He will reign yet more visibly and gloriously. All the powers of darkness will be subdued; sin and death will be no more; "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever!" (Revelation 11:15). All who love Him shall be with Him in His glory — every humble believer shall have his portion there. Happy portion! Happy kingdom! Happy prospect! "Bless the Lord, O my soul!" For all His benefits, for life and health, for food and clothing, for comfort in trouble, for pardoning mercy, for the gift of a Savior, for the promise of the Spirit, for all present blessings, and for so happy a prospect beyond, "Bless the Lord, O my soul!"

 4 
 on: July 22, 2017, 07:14:02 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
A Psalm of Blessing!
From Timeless Grace Gems
Francis Bourdillon, 1864



        PSALM 103.
        "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For He knows how weak we are — He remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone — as though we had never been here! But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear Him. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!"

        The Psalmist begins and ends with the same words: "Bless the Lord, O my soul." His heart is full. He pours out his gratitude in words of praise, and can hardly find words to express all that he feels. Oh for a warmth of gratitude like his! Oh for a spirit of praise! Oh for a deeper sense of what God has done for us, and a more lively thankfulness!

        It seems likely, from some of his words, that he had just been restored from sickness. "Who heals all your diseases." The first thing he does is to give thanks. Alas! Sometimes, though prayer has been made in sickness, no thanks are given when health is restored. It was not so with David. Doubtless he had prayed in his time of need, and now He calls on his soul to praise God, "Bless the Lord, O my soul!" Whatever means he had used, whatever medicines he had taken — it was God who had heard his prayer and healed his disease; and His should be the praise. He was now in health again.

        Often, all the serious thoughts of the sick-bed fly away with returning health. But David's did not. He had been brought face to face with death and had been deeply impressed with the shortness and frailty of life. His mind now went back to those sick-bed views and thoughts. "As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more."

        Now that he was strong and well again, he would not forget what he had felt in his weakness and sickness. His life still hung by a thread; he was still but dust, and his flourishing was but like that of the flowers and the grass. It is well when the lessons learned on the sick-bed do thus remain in the mind afterwards, and make us for the rest of life more deeply thoughtful and serious. Surely it is for this that God sends sickness — to teach us, not only then but always, so "to number our days — that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).

        David calls upon his soul not to forget God's benefits — as if there were a danger of forgetting them. Alas, so there is — and even from their being so many and so constant. We should often remind ourselves therefore of God's blessings to us.

        There is not a thing we enjoy — but comes from Him. He restores us from sickness; He continues our life; He feeds and clothes us.

        Every comfort in our daily lot,
        every deliverance from danger,
        every day that is added to our life,
        every moment's health and peace
        — is God's gracious gift to us.

        Yet how often are these things enjoyed with no thought of God! Let us say with David, "Bless the Lord, O my soul — and do not forget all His benefits."

        But there is another benefit, for which David calls upon his soul to bless God. He says more about it than about all the rest, as if it were the greatest and best. Grateful as he felt for all — he passes over in few words such blessings as life preserved and health restored. Not so with the blessing of sin forgiven. It is the first blessing he mentions, "The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us."

        Oh! What would all outward comforts be to us, if God were angry with us still? His mercy and favor sweeten all His gifts. The thought that He has forgiven us, makes all bright. This is a blessing that doubles every other blessing and blunts the edge of the sharpest affliction.

 5 
 on: July 22, 2017, 07:12:33 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Harder to tame than wild beasts!

(J.R. Miller)

"The tongue has the power of life and death!" Proverbs 18:21

"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by Hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man--but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison!" James 3:6-8

The tongue is a very troublesome member! It is a very important member, however--and with it we can do great good.

Our words, if they are true and loving--carry blessings wherever they are heard. But the tongue is hard to control. When we have really gotten our tongue under control--we are almost perfect. One who can govern his speech--can govern every other part of his life.

A small bit keeps a spirited horse in check--and a little rudder turns a great ship in its course. Just so the tongue, though so small a member, controls the whole life!

The tongue is harder to tame than wild beasts! There has been but one Man who never spoke foolishly, rashly, bitterly. Jesus never did--His words were always pure, sweet, helpful, and inspiring.

We ought to set ourselves the task of mastering our tongues--for then we can do untold good with them. Only Christ can help us to do it. He mastered everything--demons, diseases, winds, waves, death itself. He alone can help us to master the most unruly tongue!

 6 
 on: July 22, 2017, 07:11:16 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

The sanctifying power of the cross!

(John L. Dagg, "Manual of Theology")
http://www.gracegems.org/31/dagg_manual_of_theology.htm

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!" Galatians 6:14

It may be profitable to yet linger a little while at the cross--that we may again survey its glory, and feel its soul-subduing power.

In the cross of Christ--all the divine perfections are gloriously and harmoniously displayed. Infinite love, inviolable truth, and inflexible justice are all seen, in their brightest and most beautifully mingled colors. The heavens declare the glory of God--but the glory of the cross outshines the wonders of the skies! God's moral perfections are here displayed, which are the highest glory of His character.

The cross of Christ is our only hope of everlasting life. On Him who hangs there, our iniquities were laid--and from His wounds, flows the blood that cleanses from all sin. Our faith views the bleeding victim, and securely relies on the great atoning sacrifice. It views mercy and grace streaming from the cross--and to the cross it comes to obtain every needed blessing.

In the cross, the believer finds the strongest motive to holiness. As we stand before it, and view the exhibition of the Savior's love--we resolve to live unto Him who died for us.

The world ceases to charm. We become crucified to the world--and the world crucified to us.

Sin appears infinitely hateful. We regard it as the accursed thing which caused the death of our beloved Lord--and we grow strong in the purpose to wage an exterminating war against it. By all the Savior's agonies, we vow to have no peace with sin for ever.

The cross is the place for penitential tears. We look on Him whom we have pierced, and mourn. Contemplating Jesus' sin-atoning sacrifice, is the highest motive to holiness. Our hearts bleed at the sight of the bleeding sufferer, murdered by our sins--and we resolve that the murderers shall die!

The cross is a holy place, where we learn . . .
  to be like Christ,
  to hate sin as He hated it, and
  to delight in the law of God which was in His heart.

In the presence of the cross, we feel that omnipotent grace has taken hold of our heart--and we surrender to dying love.

The doctrine of the cross needs no other demonstration of its divine origin--than its power to sanctify the heart, and bring it into willing and joyful subjection to Christ.

 7 
 on: July 22, 2017, 07:10:00 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Nothing is more helpful and practical in Christian living!

(J.R. Miller)

"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8

The habit of treasuring up a text of Scripture in the morning, to be meditated upon while engaged in the business of the world through the day--is both profitable and delightful. It is as a refreshing spring to a weary traveler!

Nothing is more helpful and practical in Christian living, than the habit of getting a verse of Scripture into the mind and heart in the morning. Its influence stays through the day, weaving itself into all the day's thoughts and words and experiences.

Every verse in the Bible is meant to help us to live--and a good devotional book opens up the precious teachings which are folded up in its words.

A devotional book, which takes a Scripture text, and so opens it for us in the morning--that all day long it helps us to live, becoming a true lamp to our feet, and a staff to lean upon when the way is rough--is the very best devotional help we can possibly have. What we need in a devotional book which will bless our lives--is the application of the great teachings of Scripture--to common, daily, practical life!
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night!" Psalm 1:1-2

 8 
 on: July 22, 2017, 07:08:39 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

The one unfailing source of help and comfort!

(Francis Bourdillon, "Come unto Me!" 1864)

"Come unto Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!" Matthew 11:28

Jesus invites all who labor and are heavy laden, to come unto Him. Not sufferers of one kind only--but all sufferers. Not those alone who feel the weight of this particular burden or that--but all the heavy laden.

The poor and needy,
the weak and sickly,
the toiling father,
the anxious mother,
he who feels the weight of his sins,
he whose conscience testifies against him,
he who finds no comfort in this world, and yet fears that he is not prepared for the next
--all are invited to come to Jesus!

Their cases are widely different, the burdens that press upon them are by no means alike--yet all are invited to one Helper and Comforter, "Come unto Me!" He does not bid one sufferer go for comfort to this source--and another to that. He invites all to Himself--as the one unfailing source of help and comfort!

"Come unto Me!" We do not deserve to be thus invited. Many are suffering the consequences of their own sins--and all of us are sinners. If we met with only what we deserve--then He might justly say to us, "Go away from Me!" Instead of this, Jesus bids us come to Him. Whatever we may have been--however thoughtless, however ungrateful, however wicked--yet if we are now in need or trouble, that is enough. He bids us come to Him.

We are not to stop and think about our own unworthiness. He says nothing here about that. He only says, "Come unto Me." That is what He invites us to do--that is what we are to do, and we are to do it at once!

 9 
 on: July 22, 2017, 07:07:24 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!

(Francis Bourdillon, "A Psalm of Blessing!" 1864)

"For He knows how weak we are--He remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone--as though we had never been here! But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear Him." Psalm 103:14-17

The shortness and uncertainty of our lives--our weakness, frailty, and sinfulness--God knows them all. Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us! In His great mercy and compassion, He . . .
  bears with us;
  raises us when we fall;
  strengthens us when we are weak; and
  helps, guides, sustains and comforts us.

He has . . .
  a perfect knowledge of our needs,
  an unspeakable compassion for them,
  and full power to supply them all.

His mercy is everlasting. It will never wear out--and never come to an end.

As for us, we are frail and short-lived. Let but a few years pass, and . . .
  the strongest will have fallen to the sythe of death,
  the longest-lived will have all passed away, and
  our own course here below will have come to a close.
"Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone--as though we had never been here!"

Not so is the mercy of the Lord, and the things which He has prepared for those who love Him. They are from everlasting to everlasting. His promises will never fail. Jesus is . . .
  an all-sufficient Savior,
  an unfailing Advocate,
  an everlasting portion!

Well may every believer join with the Psalmist in rejoicing and praising God,
   "Praise the LORD, O my soul--all my inmost being, praise His holy name!
    Praise the LORD, O my soul--and do not forget all His benefits!" Psalm 103:1-2

 10 
 on: July 22, 2017, 07:05:21 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
_______________________________________________
Two Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

Free Email Subscription


For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com
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The Commandments of the Lord
by Pastor Kevin Sadler


    “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).

Many Christians have a fuzzy idea that when Christ ascended up from the Mount of Olives to heaven, He stopped speaking. But nothing could be further from the truth! Paul says that the things he wrote to the Corinthians, and to the Body of Christ as a whole, were the “commandments of the Lord”! Similarly, in his epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul says, “For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus” (1 Thes. 4:2).

After Christ ascended to heaven, Israel continued in her rebellion against God by rejecting the Holy Spirit’s ministry through the twelve. Thus, Israel was temporarily set aside by God (Acts 7). God then raised up a new apostle, and gave Him a message which had never before been revealed (Acts 9; Gal. 1:11,12). Christ spoke again!

From heaven the glorified Christ gave to the Apostle Paul a new revelation concerning His heavenly ministry to the Church, the Body of Christ. To Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13), was given the commandments of Christ for the Body of Christ today. In Paul’s epistles, we have the will of God for our Christian lives during the dispensation of the grace of God. In Paul’s letters, we find the doctrines of grace that the Church is built upon and is to live by and share with the world.

Notice that Paul’s words, as revealed to Him by Christ, are spoken of as “commandments.” This is not a take-it-or-leave-it word. When a commandment is given by God, He expects us to obey and conform our wills to His will. In past dispensations, other commands were given which were valid at the time given, but are not for today, and are not for our obedience.

Take food for example (a topic close to my heart). The Bible commands man to eat only vegetables and fruit, then it allows for eating meat with fruit and veggies, then it commands only certain foods to be eaten, then it commands that all food can be eaten. It is impossible to obey all of these different commands at the same time.

There are many other issues in Scripture like this, so it’s imperative to determine which commands God would have us obey today. The answer is that Paul’s letters are the commandments of the Lord which are valid for today under grace. And Paul says we can eat all things (1 Tim. 4:3-5). It’s great to live under grace!

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