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 1 
 on: Today at 09:52:10 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Called Before Birth

“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him.” (Galatians 1:15-16)
 
There is great mystery here. Paul was the human writer of much of the New Testament, yet he also claimed divine inspiration. “I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12).
 
It was only a short time before, however, that Paul had been bitterly opposing that gospel. “Beyond measure,” he said, “I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it” (Galatians 1:13). Eventually, he was converted and began to preach “the faith which once he destroyed” (Galatians 1:23). Yet, during all his years of fighting God’s truth, he had already been separated unto God and called by His grace even before he was born, as our text reveals. His teachers in the synagogue, his studies under Gamaliel, and even his anti-Christian crusades were all being orchestrated by God to develop Paul into the unique person he would be, the great Christian whom God could use to write much of His own written Word. Paul’s epistles were thus truly his epistles, derived from his own experience, research, study, reasoning, and concerns. At the same time, they came out as God’s Word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, free from error and perfectly conveyed from God to man, because God had Himself ordained and planned all Paul’s experiences and abilities and had implanted all these concerns in his heart.
 
And so it was with all the human writers of the Bible. God’s Word (like Christ Himself) is both human and divine, yet meeting all our needs. This is mysterious indeed, but well within the capabilities of our omnipotent and gracious Creator. HMM

 2 
 on: November 23, 2017, 05:04:21 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
Thanksgiving
From Timeless Grace Gems
William Nicholson, 1862


        Thank God for enlightening and quickening you. When you sat in the region and shadow of death — the dayspring from on high visited you. When you had no more thought for God than a dead man, then he "made you alive in Christ!" Ephesians 2:1.

        Thank God for pardoning and justifying you.

        Thank God for adopting love. "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty!" 2 Corinthians 6:18

        Thank God for sanctification; for "though you lay among the pots, you are like a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold."

        Thank him for growth in grace. "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree, and grow like the cedar in Lebanon."

        Thank him for the hope of perfection; knowing that "he who has begun the good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

        Thank him for supporting grace in the prospect of death, for the promise of his presence then to enable you to conquer — for the hope of a glorious resurrection, and admission to immortal bliss!


        II. The Manner of Offering Thanks to God.

        1. Thanksgiving may be mental — as when we indulge admiring, adoring, and affectionate thoughts of God, or meditate upon his graciousness with pleasure and delight.

        2. Thanksgiving may be vocal. "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth may be compelled to speak." In private — in the family — in the house of God.

        3. Thanksgiving must be with reverence. It is praise to the Great I Am — to God, who is a Spirit, pure, infinite, Nehemiah 9:5; Psalm 91:1, 2; 95:1-3.

        4. Thanksgiving must be with humility — as unworthy recipients, acknowledging the salvation of God. As prodigals, returned outcasts, miserable sinners — confessing salvation to be all of grace.

        5. Thanksgiving must be practical. This is called a "showing forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light." Tell others what he has done for you. Go, spread his truth — advance his cause. The people upon whom Christ wrought miracles did this. Paul, the persecutor, after his conversion, did this.

        6. Thanksgiving must be ardent. The greatness of the blessings, demands fervent thanks. Life from the dead — translation from Satan's kingdom into the kingdom of God's dear Son — deliverance from perdition to the hope of Heaven, etc. Psalm 71:8; 138:1, 2.


        III. Enforce the Duty of Thanks to God.

        1. Thanksgiving is the command of God. It was so under the Levitical economy, Leviticus 7:12; much more so under the Gospel dispensation; 1 Corinthians 9:11; Philippians 4:6:Colossians 2:7.

        2. Thanksgiving is a striking evidence of spiritual vitality. It indicates sensibility — experience — love to God.

        3. Thanksgiving is delightful. Psalm 33:1; 147:1. Delightful to feel — beautiful to behold.

        Sweet is the work, my God, my King,

        To praise Your name, give thanks and sing,

        To show your love by morning light,

        And talk of all your truth at night.

        4. Thanksgiving is acceptable to God, and honors him. Psalm 50:23; 2 Corinthians 4:15. God neither needs our services nor our songs — as he is all perfection, and an everlasting harmony to himself, without the feeble notes that we can raise. Yet through Christ, he is well pleased with our imperfect praises. Where he has given his grace, the grateful heart is an instrument of music to him; and he loves it to be kept in tune, and to sound forth his praises.

        5. Thanksgiving is the precursor of praise to be offered in the celestial temple! Thanksgiving is the practice-time, the rehearsal for the grand chorus of all the redeemed in Heaven! We are tuning our hearts here for perfect praise there!

        "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.' All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" Revelation 7:9-12

        When the Church militant shall be joined to the Church triumphant — O what voices, what songs of melody, what rapturous joys, will then be heard in Heaven to all eternity, when Christ shall lead the worship, and the praises that have been growing for thousands of years, shall burst forth, and be diffused abroad, and all creation echo to the song, "Glory to God in the highest!" This is what the saints are waiting for; that which they ardently believe and hope they shall realize!

 3 
 on: November 23, 2017, 05:03:25 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
Thanksgiving
From Timeless Grace Gems
William Nicholson, 1862



        "Offer unto God thanksgiving!" Psalm 50:14

        In the beginning of the Psalm, the Divine majesty and glory are exhibited. So glorious a Being is worthy of the highest homage, and the most ardent praise. But he will not be mocked with mere formal services. Sacrifices the most costly and splendid; offerings the most munificent and pompous, presented to him without the heart — are an abomination in his sight. A charge of formality is brought against the Jews, "I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens — for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it!" Psalm 50:9-12

        In all praise, in all worship, the heart is demanded.


        I. The Mercies of God Demand Thanksgiving.

        Thanksgiving is a part of Divine worship, which consists of acknowledging him as the Source of all good, and rendering grateful homage to the power, wisdom, and goodness of God on that account.

        1. Offer unto God, thanksgiving for TEMPORAL blessings.

        (1.) Thank him for your existence. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! You are made for a noble purpose — for your own personal happiness and dignity here and in eternity, to the glory of God the Father.

        (2.) Thank him for your preservation. God has preserved you . . .
        in health,
        from sickness,
        from death,
        from evil courses,
        from damning crimes, degradation, and ruin.

        (3.) Thank him for the blessing of reason. What a calamity is the suspension of the soul's faculties! The man sinks below the level of the beasts — and becomes more helpless and miserable than those who are guided by the instincts of their nature!

        See that man, once the learned philosopher, or the honorable statesman, or the eloquent advocate, or the brave general, or the clever theologian! O see him bereft of his reason, his faculties spoiled of their beauty, and the intellectual machinery of the soul in ruins! Hear the clanking of his chains, the hysteric laugh, the frantic cry, or the heavy groan — and then offer to God thanks for the blessing of reason!

        (4.) Thank God for deliverances. You may have been sick and near unto death — but He has raised you up. You have been exposed to the deadly temptations and snares of the wicked one — yet God has delivered you. Had the temptation succeeded, what would you have been now? What would you have suffered? Then offer to God thanksgiving.

        (5.) Thank God for Civil and Religious privileges. What blessings are here. "He has not dealt so with every nation." Compare our civil government with the despotic governments of the earth, forbidding the liberty of the press, and, in some cases, even the liberty of speech! Here, in our sea-girt island, we can worship God according to the dictates of our consciences, safe in our own homes. Go, while your tongue is free, and offer unto God thanksgiving.

        (6.) Be thankful, too, for peace. Contemplate a field of battle and of bloody war. Listen to the noise of drums and trumpets, the clashing of swords, and the rattle of armor — listen to the groans of the wounded and the dying. See the garments rolled in blood! Mark those widows — those orphans — those desolated fields and homes! See the expenditure of so much treasure — vast national financial burdens — and learn from hence to value peace, and offer thanksgiving to the God of peace.

        2. Offer unto God, thanksgiving for the GOSPEL dispensation and all its privileges.

        (1.) Thank God for the mission of Christ to this world. The gospel is . . .
        the source of all true happiness,
        the grand remedy for man's woes,
        the life of the world,
        the salvation from perdition, and
        the mighty lever that exalts to Heaven.

        (2.) Thank God that you are born in a land of Gospel light. Millions in benighted lands are worshiping idols, sticks and stones, reptiles, and devils! Think of . . .
        their loathsome impurities,
        their dreadful sufferings and painful rites,
        their tragic destiny, perishing without vision.

        Offer to the God of light, thanksgiving.

        (3.) Offer praise to God for Gospel ordinances and privileges. The Sabbath-day is appointed for sublime and merciful purposes; it is a day on which the richest blessings are received — a day of delicious enjoyment — a day which is the epitome of Heaven.

        Then you have the preaching of the Gospel, and the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. By the first, God immediately addresses sinful men, graciously offering terms of reconciliation. In the second, he allows his people to have intimate fellowship with himself, and cheers their hearts by the whispers of his unchanging love.

        3. Offer unto God, thanksgiving for your personal interest in spiritual blessings.

        Thank God for your conversion. What were you more than others, that he should have chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth?

 4 
 on: November 23, 2017, 04:59:50 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
The Repentance of Judas
From Timeless Grace Gems
Francis Bourdillon, 1881



        "When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.
        "I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood."
        "What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."
        So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself." Matthew 27:3-5


        We read of two kinds of sorrow for sin: godly sorrow and the sorrow of the world. We are told that godly sorrow, "produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly sorrow produces death" (2 Corinthians 7:10). Now it is said here that Judas "repented" — but it is plain that his repentance was not repentance unto salvation (indeed the word in the original is quite different), but on the contrary — it was the sorrow of the world. It was sorrow, not so much for sin — as for the consequences of sin; for it was only when he saw that Jesus was condemned that he repented. And it worked death in his case. A bitter remorse took hold of him — an insupportable load of despair pressed upon his mind. Yet this did not lead him to God — but rather drove him to destruction. His heart was still unchanged. "He departed, and he went and hanged himself."

        An unchanged heart often feels remorse — but it never feels godly sorrow. A great crime weighing on the conscience has often clouded all the after life of the criminal, and has sometimes driven him to give himself up to justice. And many have passed a sad old age — by reason of youth wasted, the best years of life misspent, opportunities gone forever, and perhaps the consequences of sin still felt in ruined health and blighted prospects. All this may be — and yet no godly sorrow, no true repentance, no change of heart.

        True repentance is the gift of God, and comes only when the heart is changed by grace. Then is there a true sorrow for sin itself. Then the sinner comes to Christ. Then does he draw near to God. With trembling step perhaps and downcast look, like the publican in the temple — yet still he draws near. For godly sorrow leads to God — while the sorrow of the world only drives the heart from Him.

        If repentance is the gift of God, then we may pray for it. Jesus Christ is exalted "as Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:31) — true repentance, a change of heart. We may seek this precious gift therefore from Him. How earnestly should we seek it! Some say, "I cannot go to Jesus until I repent." Nay, rather, you cannot repent until you go to Jesus. If repentance is His to give — then how can we have it but by going to Him for it?

        Now observe how little help this miserable man got from his companions in sin. They proved but false friends in the hour of need. But a little while ago Judas and the chief priests and elders were plotting together with one object. Their motives, indeed, were different: his motive was mere gain; their motive was the destruction of Jesus. But they were joining together for one end; they were partners and associates. One might have thought them fast friends.

        A few hours only have passed, and see them now. In his deep remorse and despair, Judas comes to the chief priests and elders. "I have sinned," says he, "by betraying innocent blood!" How do his partners receive him? They have no word of pity for him in his misery — no help, no comfort, no sympathy. Though every tone and look must have spoken the anguish of his heart — Judas meets with nothing but hard-hearted indifference and mocking scorn. "What is that to us? You have done our work, and we have paid the price — the business is finished. Your sorrow and His innocence — what do they matter to us? What is that to us? See to it yourself."

        Ah, there is nothing sure in a friendship or companionship based on sinful, or even on mere worldly principles.

        How often in trials at law, do we read of companions in crime betraying one another! Sometimes in order to save themselves, but quite as often from the hope of reward.

        How often do old companions, friends as they called themselves — fail in the hour of need! They seemed firm friends indeed. They were blessing companions, perhaps. They laughed, they sang, they drank. Many a merry evening did they pass together.

        But let one of their number be brought into trouble — and how often do such friends as these forsake him entirely! Some fever seizes him perhaps, some contagious fever — and they flee from his house as from the plague! Or he comes to poverty and want; he can no longer feast them; he stands in need of the very necessities of life. Often in such a case, he seeks help in vain from these old friends.

        Did not the prodigal find it so? Though there was a mighty famine in the land — yet all were not brought to destitution, for we know that there was one citizen of that country who still kept his property, and if one, there were probably more. Yet "no one gave him anything." Of all those with whom he had wasted his substance with riotous living — there was not one to help him in his need.

        How different is true Christian friendship. It is based on the love of God. It is kind, generous, unselfish. It leads men to regard one another as brethren — brethren in the Lord. Even where this bond is lacking on one side, the Christian himself is kind and loving to all. Often, when one who has kept company with the worldly and ungodly and shunned, and even scoffed at the servants of God, is brought into some sore trouble — he finds at last who are his true friends. While old companions come not near him — he finds at his bedside some kind Christian person, whom once perhaps he disliked and despised, and hears from his lips the words of truth and of prayer and receives from his hand those comforts which the sick man needs.

        Seek such friends. Be such friends. We should all be helpers to one another — helping each other with kindness, with comfort, with sympathy, with gifts. We should be companions, not in sin, not in folly; at times, it may be, in tribulation; but always in godliness, fellow-travelers towards the heavenly city, cheering one another along the way.

 5 
 on: November 23, 2017, 04:56:00 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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Why Not a Wall?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries…” (Ezra 3:3).

At first glance, this verse doesn’t seem to make much sense.  Back in Ezra’s day, a city’s walls were its main line of defense.  The citizens of Jericho felt very secure within the confines of the massive wall that surrounded them.  So here, if fear had fallen upon the Jews because of the enemies that surrounded them, why would they build an altar, and not a wall?

Well, as you may know, at one time Jerusalem had a wall, but when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel, his armies “brake down the wall of Jerusalem” (II Chron. 36:19).  And the people of Israel knew why God had allowed this to happen.  He had warned them,

    “…if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God…a nation of fierce countenance…shall besiege thee…until thy high and fenced walls come down…” (Deut. 28:15,50,52).

So God’s people knew that, if they continued in sin, the strongest of walls could not protect them.  But they also knew that if they hearkened unto the voice of the Lord, He would protect them.  And now that God had allowed them to return to the land after their captivity in Babylon, hearkening to the voice of the Lord included building this altar so that they could keep the Law by observing the feast of tabernacles with a burnt offering (Ezra 3:4 cf. Lev. 23:34-36).

In the coming kingdom of heaven on earth, when God’s people will be filled with the Spirit and caused to hearken to His voice (Ezek. 36:27), God has promised them that He will be “a wall of fire round about” them (Zech. 2:5).  In that day, “salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks” (Isa. 26:1).  That’s part of what will make it heaven on earth!

But here we have a dispensational difference.  Your salvation is no defense against earthly enemies.  You are not in the kingdom of heaven on earth, and you are not under the Law that promised Israel that God would protect them if they were good.  As a responsible member of the Body of Christ, you need to take whatever precautions necessary to protect yourself from wicked men.

We once knew a teenage girl who would go out jogging at night, assuring her mother that “the Lord will protect me.”  She had obviously been listening to preachers who had applied the promises of the Law or the promises of the kingdom to us.  While what she said sounds very spiritual, please don’t follow her example!  This is one area where a failure to rightly divide the Word of truth could cost you your life.

 6 
 on: November 23, 2017, 04:53:40 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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From The Berean Bible Society

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Heaven Is Better Than This
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


A large percentage of the people of the world wake up every morning with some kind of ache or pain. If you are one of the many victims, with some infirmity of the flesh, perhaps you will agree with the little chorus which says: “Heaven is better than this.”

The Scriptures tell us that “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Rom. 8:22). Note the expression: “the whole creation.” This takes in the whole world; no one is excluded. Indeed, the very next verse goes on to say to Christian believers:

    “And not only they, but ourselves also… even we ourselves groan within ourselves… waiting for… the redemption of our body.”

No doubt many of us feel like crying out with the Psalmist David, “Look upon mine affliction and my pain” (Psa. 25:18.). In spite of all sorrow, trouble and pain which the child of God must endure, however, he can be assured with the Apostle Paul that: “our light affliction, which is but for a moment [comparatively], worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Cor. 4:17). When we go to be with the Lord we will no longer be living in “this earthly tabernacle,” but will have “a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Cor. 5:1). Paul even adds that as Christians we earnestly desire “to be clothed upon with our house [our new body] which is from heaven” (II Cor. 5:2).

Finally, St. Paul declared that “to depart, and to be with Christ… is far better” (Phil. 1:23); far better, not only than all earth’s sorrow and trouble and pain, but far better even than earth’s greatest joys and its dearest treasures. How wonderful it is to know that “Christ died for our sins,” to have a light beyond the grave, a hope beyond the tomb! Surely “heaven is better than this!”

 7 
 on: November 23, 2017, 04:51:25 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
___________________________________________

In everything give thanks!

(Thomas Watson, "All Things for Good")

"We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

See what cause the saints have to be frequent in the work of thanksgiving! In this, Christians are defective; though they are much in supplication--yet they are little in thanksgiving. The apostle says. "In everything give thanks!" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Why so? Because God makes everything work together for our good.

We thank the physician, though he gives us a bitter medicine which makes us nauseated--because it is to make us well. We thank any man who does us a good turn; and shall we not be thankful to God--who makes everything work for good to us?

God loves a thankful Christian! Job thanked God when He took all away: "The Lord has taken away--blessed be the name of the Lord!" Job 1:21. Many will thank God when He gives; Job thanks Him when He takes away, because he knew that God would work good out of it.

We read of saints with harps in their hands--an emblem of praise. Revelation 14:2. Yet we meet many Christians who have tears in their eyes, and complaints in their mouths! But there are few with their harps in their hands--who praise God in affliction.

To be thankful in affliction--is a work peculiar to a saint.
Every bird can sing in spring--but few birds will sing in the dead of winter!
Everyone, almost, can be thankful in prosperity--but a true saint can be thankful in adversity!

Well may we, in the worst that befalls us, have a psalm of thankfulness--because God works all things together for our good. Oh, be much in giving thanks to God!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

    And did the Holy and the Just,
    The Sovereign of the skies,
    Stoop down to wretchedness and dust,
    That guilty worms might rise?

    Yes, the Redeemer left His throne,
    His radiant throne on high,
    (Surprising mercy! love unknown!)
    To suffer, bleed, and die!

    He took the dying traitor's place,
    And suffered in his stead;
    For man (O miracle of grace!)
    For man, the Savior bled!

    Dear Lord, what heavenly wonders dwell
    In Your atoning blood!
    By this are sinners snatched from Hell,
    And rebels brought to God!

    What glad return can I impart
    For favors so divine?
    O take my all, this worthless heart,
    And make it wholly Thine!
       Anne Steele, 1859

 8 
 on: November 23, 2017, 04:50:09 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
___________________________________________

I am sure they would not admit you to their fellowship!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25

If you wait until you find a perfect church--then you must wait until you get to Heaven.

Even if you could find a perfect assembly on earth, I am sure they would not admit you to their fellowship, for you are not perfect yourself.

Find out those people who are nearest to the Scriptures, who hold the truth in doctrine and in practice, and are most like the New Testament church--and then cast in your lot with them, and you will be blessed in the deed.

 9 
 on: November 23, 2017, 09:22:10 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Giving Thanks for Christian Friends

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2)
 
We all have much to be thankful for. It is certainly appropriate to give audible thanks for our daily bread, whether in private, at a family meal, or in public at a fine restaurant. In fact, Jesus set the example. When He miraculously fed the multitude beside the Sea of Galilee, He began with a prayer of thanksgiving: “He took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them. . . . And they did all eat, and were filled” (Matthew 15:36-37).
 
It is good to give thanks for our food and shelter and clothing, but the blessing of having Christian friends is even more thankworthy. The first letter to the Thessalonians was possibly Paul’s first Spirit-inspired letter to Christian friends, and Paul began with a testimony of thankfulness to God for them (see the text above).
 
When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he began similarly: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3), and to the Colossians, he started the same way: “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” (Colossians 1:3). The same when he wrote his epistle to the church at Corinth: “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:4).
 
Even when writing to the Christians at Rome, whom he had not yet met personally, he wrote: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Romans 1:8). He also thanked God for his personal friends Timothy (2 Timothy 1:3) and Philemon (v. 4).
 
Throughout our Christian life journey, we develop lasting Christian friends and can thank God for all of them. What a blessing to have such friends, and how fitting it is to give God special thanks for them at this time. HMM

 10 
 on: November 22, 2017, 09:26:20 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Our Hope

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.” (1 Timothy 1:1)
 
Paul, in his opening salutation to Timothy, makes it clear that the Christian’s hope is not just in Christ, but is Christ! In the New Testament, the term “hope” does not refer to some vague wish but to a confident expectation of something (or someone) sure to come. It focuses especially on the promised return of Christ to complete His great work of redemption.
 
It is specifically called the blessed hope: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). It is also a living hope, for God the Father “hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
 
Furthermore, since Christ is our hope, it is a saving hope. “For we are saved by hope” (Romans 8:24). It is a glorious and joyful hope. It recognizes the present truth of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27), so that we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2).
 
It is not a blind hope but a reasonable hope, one founded on solid evidence, and every believer must “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
 
Finally, this hope of the imminent coming of Christ, when at last “we shall be like him,” is a purifying hope, for “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). It also is a stabilizing hope, “which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast” (Hebrews 6:19). In every way, God “hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace” (2 Thessalonians 2:16). HMM

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