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April 23, 2018, 11:31:25 AM

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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
278708 Posts in 26689 Topics by 3790 Members
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 1 
 on: Today at 08:46:33 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Hold Fast

“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:13)

There are several significant pieces to this important command. We must “hold firm” to the “pattern” of the “wholesome words” that have been given to us. And that firm hold must rest in the faith and love that we have in Christ Jesus.

This is not an option. We are to hold to the form of the sound words. Hupotuposis is the Greek term, only used one other time in the New Testament, where Paul insists that his life was to be “a pattern to them which should hereafter believe” (1 Timothy 1:16, emphasis added). We are to be “under” (hupo) the “outline” or “pattern” (tupos) of the wholesome words. The purpose of the two letters to Timothy was to encourage the young pastor to follow the example of his human teacher Paul, who had completely submitted himself to the authority of all Scripture.

To the Roman Christians, Paul was delighted that they “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered” to them (Romans 6:17, emphasis added). To the Corinthians, he reminded them that the events recorded in the life of Israel had “happened unto them for examples” (1 Corinthians 10:11, emphasis added). Paul also insisted that the people of the church at Philippi should “be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17, emphasis added).

Both biblical and church history provide us with patterns to follow. But the sound words of Scripture give what is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). HMM III

 2 
 on: April 22, 2018, 03:08:38 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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The Unknown Hymn
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out…” (Matt.26:30).

Often have we wondered what might have been the words of that sacred hymn, but God has seen fit to keep this from us for the present.

We have in our Bibles many great poetic expressions: the Song of Moses, the beautiful Magnificat, all the Psalms and many other poems, but the hymn that our Lord and His eleven apostles sang that night before leaving the Upper Room was evidently a well-known song, in which they could all join. We can almost imagine our Lord saying, “Before we leave, let’s sing…”.

We will not know the words of that hallowed hymn until we reach heaven, but we do know this: Our Lord and His apostles did not leave the Upper Room weeping and mourning. Though His soul had been deeply troubled as He approached the dreadful hour of His suffering and death, He could say: “What shall I say? Father save Me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour” (John 12:27). Though deeply saddened by Judas’ base betrayal, “having loved His own…He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1), and His words of comfort and cheer during these last hours are now crowned with the singing of a hymn–a hymn, a song of praise.

Though the words of that hymn are as yet unknown to us, the lesson of its singing should not be lost. If the Upper Room scene closed with the singing of a hymn, surely we may be given the grace to sing God’s praise in the midst of our lesser trials. And if our Lord, “for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2), surely our burdens may — and should — be lightened through the knowledge that by His grace, “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Cor. 4:17).

 3 
 on: April 22, 2018, 03:06:57 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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From Grace Gems:
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I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees

(George Whitefield)

My mind being now more open and enlarged, I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees, laying aside all other books and praying over, if possible, every line and Word. This proved food indeed and drink indeed to my soul. I daily received fresh life, light and power from above. I got more true knowledge from reading the Book of God in one month--than I could ever have acquired from all the writings of men!


"I went to my room and locked my door, and putting the Bible on a chair, I went down on my knees at the chair. There I remained for several hours in prayer and meditation over the Word of God; and I can tell you that I learned more in those three hours which I spent in this way, than I had learned for many months previously." George Muller

"Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long!" Psalm 119:97

 4 
 on: April 22, 2018, 07:21:26 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Christian's Lifestyle: Our Wisdom

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17)

The “wherefore” is preceded by the command “Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). This title, children of light, is used only three other times in the New Testament: once by the Lord Jesus to contrast worldly wisdom with the ineffectual use of godly wisdom in the least things (Luke 16:8); once again to direct us to believe in the light (John 12:36); and finally by Paul to encourage us to watch and be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6).

A light-like life, which is evidence of the fruit of the Spirit, is expressed in the character of goodness (Romans 15:14), righteousness (Romans 14:17-18), and truth (Ephesians 5:9; compare Galatians 5:22). In fact, the transformation of our character by our conscious choice to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” enables us to “prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2; see also Ephesians 5:10). An equation is clearly drawn between godly behavior and godly wisdom.

It therefore follows that children of light “should have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11), taking the responsibility to reprove them and recognizing the “shame even to speak of those things” (Ephesians 5:12).

The light things make manifest (present, display) that which is reproved, enabling us to “walk circumspectly [accurately, carefully], not as fools but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15). That wisdom is not the foolish wisdom of this world (1 Corinthians 1:20) but the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 2:7) “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (1 Corinthians 2:12), understanding what the will of the Lord is. HMM III

 5 
 on: April 21, 2018, 03:44:45 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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The Truth Of Christ
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “As the truth of Christ is in me…” (II Cor. 11:10).

How often St. Paul, in his letters, speaks with an oath! “God is my witness” (Rom. 1:9), “As God is true” (II Cor. 1:18.), “Behold, before God, I lie not” (Gal. 1:20), “God is my record” (Phil. 1:8.), “I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not” (I Tim. 2:7), etc., etc.

As Dean Howson has said: “When Paul makes a solemn statement under the sense of God’s presence, he does not hesitate to express this.”

But had not others spoken under the sense of God’s presence? Of course they had, yet Paul calls God to witness far more often than any other Bible writer. Why is this? The answer is found in the distinctive character of Paul’s ministry as the apostle of “the mystery.” John the Baptist, the four evangelists and the twelve apostles did not need to speak with oaths since they proclaimed that which had already been prophesied. But with Paul it was different. Separate from the twelve, who were widely known as the apostles of Christ, Paul had been raised up to make known a wonderful secret which God had kept hidden from all who had gone before. While not a contradiction of prophecy, this secret had nevertheless not been prophesied; it was a new revelation. Hence it was appropriate that the Apostle should insist again and again that he wrote as in the presence of God.

As we consider Paul’s oaths, however, we must ask ourselves whether anyone ever used the oath with more solemn sincerity. Did anyone ever suffer so intensely for the truths he proclaimed, or pay so dearly to convince others of them? Could anyone say with such simplicity to those who knew him best:

    “Ye know… after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears and temptations [testings]… and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you…” (Acts 20:18-20).

 6 
 on: April 21, 2018, 03:43:01 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
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We find that they are empty bubbles!

(J.C. Ryle)

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world!" 1 John 2:15-16

The possession of the whole world and all that it contains, will never make a person happy. Its pleasures are false and deceptive! Its riches, rank, and honors, have no power to satisfy the heart! So long as we have not got them--they glitter, sparkle, and seem desirable. The moment we have them--we find that they are empty bubbles, and cannot make us feel content!

And, worst of all, when we possess this world's good things to the utmost bound of our desire--we cannot keep them! Death comes in and separates us from all our property forever! Naked we came upon earth, and naked we go forth--and of all our possessions, we can carry nothing with us.

Such is the world, which occupies the whole attention of thousands!

Such is the world, for the sake of which millions are every year destroying their souls!

"This world is fading away, along with everything that people crave!" 1 John 2:17

 7 
 on: April 21, 2018, 08:23:27 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Holy Brethren

“I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.” (1 Thessalonians 5:27)

There is probably no word more misused—even abused—than the word “holy.” In our day and age, it usually conjures up an image of sanctimoniousness, or even hypocrisy, and thus often becomes a term of snide ridicule.

Nevertheless, it is a biblical term of highest significance, most often used in connection with God Himself, the Holy Spirit. Since it is also used in connection with things (“the holy place,” as in Hebrews 9:12), it does not in itself necessarily have a moral connotation. Its basic meaning is evidently “set apart” and can refer either to people or objects that have been dedicated to God and His service.

Christians are all “holy brethren” in this sense, regardless of their individual behavior. They are all also called “saints” (same word as “holy” in the Greek—e.g., 1 Corinthians 1:2, even though many of the “saints” at Corinth were far from Christlike in their actions).

By all means, however, we who are called “holy brethren” ought to try, by God’s grace, to bring honor to such a name rather than ridicule. “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him” (Hebrews 3:1-2).

The term “saints,” or “holy brethren,” applies both to men and women, of course, and to believers of Old Testament times as well as New Testament. Peter, for example, mentions “the holy women” who honored and served the Lord “in the old time” (1 Peter 3:5), and also the “holy men of God” through whom God gave the Old Testament Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21). The eternal admonition of God to all believers of every age is, “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). HMM

 8 
 on: April 20, 2018, 03:45:38 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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For Jesus' Sake
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “Delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake” (II Cor. 4:11).

There is much that we all do for our own sake, for the sake of our children, our loved ones or others, but the real test of the believer’s love for the Lord is what he does “for Jesus’ sake.”

Under the dispensation of Law our Lord told His disciples that to be forgiven they must forgive: “Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37), “but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:15).

But now, under the dispensation of grace, He exhorts us to forgive one another “even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32). The difference is striking. Before the cross: If you would be forgiven, forgive. Now, in the light of the cross: You have been graciously forgiven for Christ’s sake. In the light of this be tenderhearted and forgiving toward others.

And we are to go farther than this: Not only are we to forgive our brethren in Christ, but we are to be prepared to show this attitude toward the world as well. St. Paul said: “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all” (I Cor. 9:19), and referring to his persecutions by unbelievers, he said: “We… are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake” (II Cor. 4:11). How many unbelievers would be won to Christ; how many of our Christian friends would be strengthened and helped, if we adopted this attitude toward others!

As to suffering itself, the Apostle also gladly bore this “for Jesus’ sake.” In writing to the Corinthians, he said: “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Cor. 12:10). He had learned that in weakness he leaned the harder, prayed more, and was brought closer to His Lord, and herein lay his spiritual strength.

 9 
 on: April 20, 2018, 03:44:30 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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Grace From Calvary
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


If you want to enjoy a real spiritual feast, take a concordance to the Bible and look up the word “grace.” First notice how often this word is found in the four Gospels: only four times and only once in a doctrinal sense. Then notice how often it is used in Paul’s epistles (less than half the size of the four Gospels). Here it is found well over one hundred times and practically always in a doctrinal sense, about the love and mercy of God toward sinners and toward His own. Think of it: only once is grace referred to doctrinally in the four Gospels, yet in Paul’s epistles, less than half as large in volume, it is used more than one hundred times.

This is because St. Paul was God’s chosen apostle to make known His grace to sinners. In Acts 20:24 he speaks of “the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

But on what basis could God, through Paul, proclaim salvation by free grace to sinners? Ah, now take your Bible and begin looking up those passages which refer to the cross, the death and the blood of Christ, again noticing that while Paul does not actually relate the story of Christ’s death, he has more, far more, to say about that death, and what it accomplished, than any other Bible writer. It would thrill the heart of any sincere Christian to go through the Epistles of Paul and see how much good news Paul proclaims on the basis of the death of Christ. This is why his message is called “the preaching of the cross” — God’s good news about what Calvary has accomplished for us (1 Cor. 1:17-23).

In Paul’s epistles we learn that through Christ’s death for us at Calvary believers are “justified,” “accepted” by God, and pronounced “complete in Christ.” By His death they are reconciled to God in one body, given a position at God’s right hand in the highest heavens and assured “the exceeding riches of His grace” in “the ages to come” — this and more! Riches of grace flowing from Calvary; this is the very essence of the glorious message which Paul was raised up to proclaim. Read his epistles and see.

 10 
 on: April 20, 2018, 03:42:42 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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Sacrilege!

(Octavius Winslow)

Cultivate a profound reverence for God's Word. Nothing is more grievous to the Holy Spirit than a trifling with Revelation. The words of Scripture are divinely inspired, "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

Beware of referring to it with levity. To use the words of Scripture irreverently, or to employ its phraseology flippantly, is . . .
  to cast discredit upon inspiration,
  to press it into the service of the flesh, and
  to make the Word of God the jest book of the profane.
This is awful trifling with the thoughts and words of the Holy Spirit!

Stand in awe of this Holy Book!

God says, "I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at My Word." Isaiah 66:2

"Then all who trembled at the Words of the God of Israel..." Ezra 9:4

"My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of Your laws." Psalm 119:120

"My heart stands in awe of Your Word." Psalm 119:161


"God's name is taken more times in vain in churches than anywhere else.
The blasphemy in the sanctuary is worse than the blasphemy in the street!" MacArthur


(Editor's note: How very sad is it that many professing Christians use the holy Word of God to amuse others with 'bible jokes' and in other trifling and irreverent ways. Much of today's pseudo Christian music, movies and children's literature use the Word of God in a flippant manner, if not in a downright profane and sacrilegious way.)

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