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31  Theology / Bible Study / The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace on: December 06, 2017, 04:32:03 PM
The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair


THE ‘ALL’ GRACE MESSAGE IN PAUL’S LAST EPISTLES

If you will read and study the thirteen chapters of II Corinthians and note the word ‘GRACE’ thirteen times in that Epistle, you will say that the members of the assembly in Corinth certainly needed abounding grace, and you will understand why Paul exhorted them in II Corinthians 6:1; “that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” In Ephesians, counting the verb form of the word ‘grace’ in Ephesians 1:7, the word ‘grace’ likewise is found thirteen times. Ephesians is very much a ‘GRACE’ Epistle. To be prepared for the ‘ALL’ ‘GRACE’ message in Ephesians and II Timothy, the saints of God should read the Epistles to the Romans and to the Galatians several hundred times and then diligently study the Epistles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, marking the word ‘grace’ found twenty-four times in Romans; “this ‘grace wherein we stand.’ (Romans 5:2). ‘Grace’ in Galatians seven times.

It is most interesting to note that in Paul’s oral ministry recorded in the Book of Acts, and in His Epistles, we find the word ‘GRACE’ one hundred and five times. Compare this with the absence of the word in the synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and with ‘grace’ in about twelve chapters in the thirty-nine Books from Genesis to Malachi. Most interesting is Moses’s conversation with the Lord concerning ‘GRACE’ in Exodus 33:12 to 23. Read this chapter.

TRAVEL WITH US WITH THIS GRACE

In II Corinthians 8:19 Paul mentions those who were chosen to travel with us with this grace. Have you ever traveled from Matthew 1:1 through the Four Gospels and from Pentecost to Paul’s final statement concerning grace in II Timothy 1:9? It is next to impossible to get religious church members to travel with grace and to sail with Paul.

It is true that Abel and Noah and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Moses and the children of Israel found grace in the sight of the Lord, before the law was given at Sinai, that Israel found great grace during the reign of law, including the several years of the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus. Surely that penitent thief on the cross found grace in the sight of the Lord. At the time the Son of God, by the grace of God, was tasting death for every man (Hebrews 2:9), He prayed for His murderers, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). That was grace. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” (II Corinthians 8:9).

When God was willing to forgive Israel’s great sin, the killing of the Prince of Life (Acts 3:12 to 17), that was indeed great grace. The “why” is explained in Acts 3:18 and Acts 5:29 to 32.

GRACE BEFORE AND AFTER ISRAEL’S FALL

Note God’s work and Israel’s work in Acts 2:38: “repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ, ‘for the remission of sins’, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” As there was grace for the fathers, and for Israel before and during the reign of law, there was grace for Israel in the gospel of the kingdom proclaimed before the apostle Paul was sent forth with the gospel of grace to Gentiles. But grace for sinners under the law and during the years that Peter was using the keys of the kingdom was not “the dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles.” (Ephesians 3:1 to 3).

THE FALL OF ISRAEL THE NEW DEAL FOR GENTILES

We should note with real interest and enthusiasm the statements in Romans 11:30, Romans 11:12 and Romans 11:15; the truth that the Gentiles obtained special Divine mercy because of Israel’s unbelief, the truth that because of the diminishing and fall of Israel God’s special riches were presented to Gentiles. When and because Israel was cast away, God sent the ministry and message of reconciliation to the Gentiles.

After the apostle Paul said, in Acts 13:46, “seeing that you (Israel) put the Word of God from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles,” after he said to Israel in Acts 18:5 and 6, “your blood be upon your own heads: I am clean: henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles,” after the terrible judgment of I Thessalonians 2:14 to 16 pronounced upon Israel, God ushered in a new dispensation, and gradually changed His spiritual program. This program is to be carried on until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, until the realization of the blessed hope of Titus 2:13. With this change the apostle Paul was directed to proclaim the truth of II Corinthians 5:16 to 21, and then to make known the Divine truth concerning God’s eternal ‘GRACE’ purpose concerning the ‘JOINT-BODY’ of Ephesians 3:6. Paul was then instructed to write God’s will concerning ‘the dispensation of the mystery’; “make all see what is the dispensation of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God.” (Ephesians 3:9).

Every minister of Christ is expected to be, and should be, a faithful steward of the mysteries of God. (I Corinthians 4:1 to 4). Such a faithful steward should see at a glance the great difference between Peter’s ‘Acts 10:34 to 38’ message to Gentiles, ‘BEFORE THE FALL OF ISRAEL’, and Paul’s ‘Romans 4:4 and 5 message to Gentiles ‘AFTER THE FALL’. such a minister of Christ should know why the apostle Paul never preached Peter’s ‘Acts 2:38’ message to Gentiles in the Lord’s ‘grace’ program. If you will compare Acts 2:38, preached to Israel on the day of Pentecost ‘BEFORE ISRAEL’S FALL’, with Titus 3:5 to 8, ‘AFTER THE FALL’, you should see that there is almost as much difference as there is between law and grace.

THE GRACE OF GOD TEACHES AND ENABLES CHRISTIANS

Surely we have learned by now why it has been truly said that the full meaning of Divine grace cannot be expressed in any one English word, and why we have no way of computing, measuring or estimating “the riches of God’s grace.”

However it is difficult to understand why unsaved and saved religious church-members are determined to ignore or to limit the grace of God. In their religious lives many of them have adopted the slogan and program of “do it yourself.” They care not to join with the ‘number-one’ Christian of all times in his testimony, “by the grace of God I am what I am.” (I Corinthians 15:10). Then there are some splendid saved religious church-members who seem to be afraid of the grace of God. Moreover the deplorable fact is, that more than ninety-five percent of even the saints of God do not understand the meaning of “the dispensation of the grace of God.” (Ephesians 3:1 to 3). Test yourself by writing your definition of “the gospel of grace.”

The grace of God enabled the apostle Paul to labour more abundantly than other saints (I Corinthians 15:10); to be the wise ‘masterbuilder’ or ‘head-carpenter’ (I Corinthians 3:10), and to preach to Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Ephesians 3:8.). This was the apostle of Christ, who used the word ‘grace’, one hundred and five times, who found that grace all-sufficient for every task, every test and every trial. Can you join with Paul, saying, “I do not frustrate the grace of God?” It was Paul who referred to God’s grace for saints and for sinners as the ‘much more’, ‘over-abounding’ grace. (Romans 5:20 . . . II Corinthians 9:8.).

Perhaps after reading Romans 5:21 one thousand times prayerfully, in the Spirit, we should begin to comprehend its meaning: “that as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Understanding Romans 5:17, first, helps us to understand 5:21. Note 5:17: “MUCH MORE they which receive ‘ABUNDANCE OF GRACE’, and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by ONE JESUS CHRIST.”

The God of all grace wants to bestow His ‘ABUNDANCE OF GRACE’, His ‘ALL SUFFICIENT’, ‘MUCH MORE’, ‘OVERABOUNDING’ grace upon every person on this earth. The great majority of Adam’s race do not have the willingness or desire to receive this marvelous, matchless, Divine grace. We wonder how many pastors, evangelists and Bible-teachers are responsible, at least in part, for the nationwide ignorance of the grace of God, which Peter defines as the “true grace of God wherein ye stand.” (I Peter 5:12). Thousands of preachers, in pulpits and over the radio, occasionally call the message which they are proclaiming ‘the gospel of grace’, when the truth is they are preaching a perverted gospel, which subverts the soul. (Acts 15:24).

How few Christians really experience and rejoice in the truth of Ephesians 4:7, “unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”

What a tragedy that thousands upon thousands of religious church-members fall from grace by adding their religious doings to the grace of God to keep from falling from grace! (Galatians 5:4).Think of the spiritual crime of bringing over front Leviticus and Exodus and Numbers into this present age and dispensation and program of grace some of the religious sacraments and ceremonies to make the grace of God and the perfect redemptive work of the Lord Jesus more efficacious and effective! When the omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, Divine, sinless Christ cried ‘Finished’ on the cross, and then entered heaven and by His own precious shed blood He obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12) , God blotted out the handwriting of ordinances, nailing them to the cross of Christ, the Christ Who then became the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Colossians 2:13 to 16 and Romans 10:4).
32  Theology / Bible Study / The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace on: December 06, 2017, 04:30:33 PM
The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair


DIVINE GRACE DID NOT BEGIN WITH PETER AND PAUL

In Psalm 84:11 we read, “the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” In Proverbs 3:34 we read that the Lord giveth grace unto the lowly. This is confirmed in James 4:6 and in I Peter 5:5.

In referring to God’s chosen nation, Israel, their past and future, we read, in Jeremiah 31:2, “the people, which were left of the sword, ‘found grace in the wilderness’.” Surely Divine grace was needed, and will again be needed ‘in the wilderness’. What about the present day wilderness? With the very large majority of human beings today, God’s grace is not only unused, but it is unwanted. Thousands upon thousands of religious church-members prefer their religious doings to the ‘much more’, ‘overabounding’ grace of the God of all grace. Lost religious sinners and other lost sinners obviously are not counting the cost, the folly and tragedy of despising or rejecting God’s saving grace. Here is God’s word to these foolish, condemned children of Adam: “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God: for we know Him that hath said,” “Vengeance belongeth unto Me . . . I will recompense, saith the Lord.” (Hebrews 10:28 to 33).

HOW MUCH GRACE WAS NEEDED IN THE DAYS OF NOAH?

In Genesis 6:8, we read, “BUT Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” If you will read the verses immediately preceding Genesis 6:8, you will catch more of the significance of the word ‘BUT’. “The wickedness of man was great on the earth” . . . “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” “The Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created.” God gave those who lived in the days of Noah fair warning of the awful judgment that was awaiting them. His warning went unheeded. Saving grace was available. Noah found that grace. This present age and dispensation of grace will end very suddenly. Then, according to the declaration of the Lord Jesus Christ, “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man.” (Luke 17:26).

The human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful, as God has stated in His Book. (Jeremiah 17:9.) In this age of rationalism and materialism and satanic counterfeit religions the spirit of apathetic indifference, with respect to salvation from the wrath of God, seems to be in control of the great majority of the children of Adam. This age is rightly described, in Galatians 1:4, as “this present evil age.” Satan, the great deceiver, is truly ‘the god of this age’. Surely the great majority of the people in the so-called Christian lands, the lands of Bible and so-called Christian religion, are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, if indeed God is in their thoughts.

In the midst of the present-day disgraceful ‘sectarianism’, ‘ritual. ism’, ‘modernism’ and ‘fanaticism’, many religious church members, and millions of sinners not in the churches, willfully and intentionally reject God’s ‘grace’ salvation. Other sincere, zealous, religious people, in large numbers, seem to be either ignorant or afraid of the grace of God. Many of them are willing to receive a limited amount of Divine grace mixed in with their religious sacraments, carnal ordinances, water salvation, signs and visions; but they fear and tremble when asked to believe II Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 2:8 and 9 and Romans 3:24 to 28: “God Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling; not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” “By grace were ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” “Being justified ‘freely’ (without a cause) by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Again we ask the question:

HOW MUCH GRACE IS TOO MUCH GRACE?

The willful, intentional enemies of the grace of God, as well as the confused, ignorant, zealous, religious out people, who cherish a perverted gospel, charge the messenger of the Lord, who preach the unmixed gospel of grace, with preaching too much grace. Rather than go forward to the ‘all-grace’ message and program, which the risen glorified Christ gave to the human race through the apostle Paul, their slogan is “back to Pentecost” or “back to Jesus and the Synoptic Gospels.”

The Modernists much prefer the moral and law and religious teachings of Jesus of Nazareth in the Sermon on the Mount and the Golden Rule to the message of Act 13:39 and Romans 3:24 to 26 justification by God’s grace through faith in the crucified, resurrected and glorified, eternal, sinless, omnipotent Christ. They are more interested in a program of religion education to educate sinners into salvation than in teaching the virgin birth and eternal Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His vicarious suffering on the cross, His bodily resurrection, His ascension and His present work for saints as Advocate in the presence of our Heavenly Father. (Hebrews 7:25 – Hebrews 9:24)

The religious people, who want the Jesus they preach to be a Helper instead of a Saviour, want to feel that they really deserve and earn God’s favor by practicing the ethics of Jesus. They belong to the “DO IT YOURSELF” Society. They of course must think that Paul taught error when he taught “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according, to God’s mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration . . . being justified by God’s grace.” (Titus 3:5 to 8.). They prefer to earn forgiveness of sins, by their work of forgiving others, according to Matthew 6:14 and 15 and Matthew 18:34 and 35, rather than to believe and accept the truth of Colossians 2:13 and Ephesians 4:32, and know that by the gospel of grace the believer has all of His sins forgiven, for Christ’s sake.

The ritualists and ‘back to Pentecost’ religious church-members prefer the message of John the Baptist and the message of Peter to Israel on the day of Pentecost, “baptism unto repentance for the remission of sins,” to the grace gospel which we quoted from Titus 3:5 to 8. When Peter and the Eleven preached the kingdom gospel to Israel on the day of Pentecost the risen Lord had not yet revealed His grace gospel for Gentiles when and because of the FALL of Israel. (Romans 11:11). Peter’s Pentecost message was not ‘the gospel of the grace of God’ for Gentiles.

GRACE IN OTHER AGES AND DISPENSATIONS

In the thirty-nine Books from Genesis to Malachi God’s grace for the human race is mentioned in about twelve chapters; in most of them once only. God certainly manifested His grace toward Abel and Enoch and Noah and Shem. In several chapters of Genesis, beginning with Genesis 12:1 we learn that God’s grace did wonders for Abraham. God manifested His grace to Israel under the law, in His provision for their blessings received at the bloodsprinkled mercyseat. In a very limited sense in the Old Testament God’s grace was shown toward the Gentiles, who were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. According to the Divine Record, a few Gentiles, a very few, received blessings from the Lord Jesus while He was on earth, sent only unto Israel. (Matthew 15:21 to 28.). Certainly the Lord Jesus manifested His grace to Israel, both before and after His death and resurrection, especially in Acts 3:12 to 21 and Luke 23:34 and Acts 3:26. However it is of interest and significance to note that there are about 2900 verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke and the word ‘GRACE’ in the sinner’s salvation is not once mentioned.

GRACE CAME BY JESUS CHRIST

In the Gospel of John the word ‘grace’ is found four times. But when we read in John 1:17, that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, or in John 1:14, that Christ was full of grace and truth, or in John 1:16, “of His fulness have all we received, and grace upon grace,” we are not to understand that “the dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles,” mentioned in Ephesians 3:1 to 3, began with the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth in the land of the Jews. (Acts 2:22 . . . 10:36 to 39 . . . Matthew 15:24).

The Lord Jesus on earth was God’s Minister of Israel. (Acts 13:23 . . . Romans 15:8.). He was made under the law. (Galatians 4:4). But though the Son of God was born and lived and ministered under the LAW COVENANT, He proclaimed much truth pertaining to the New Covenant, and He certainly manifested the abounding grace of God in dealing with transgressors of the law.

As we have no one English word giving us the full meaning of the word ‘grace’, we cannot explain in one short sentence, or even in two long sentences, the full meaning of ‘the gospel of grace’. Blessed indeed is the person who knows that the gospel (good news) by which any kind of a believing sinner can be saved is the truth that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose the third day, and, knowing this wonderful truth, he has believed unto the saving of his soul. However, there is something more to ‘the mystery of the gospel’ of Ephesians 6:19 and 20 than the saving gospel recorded in I Corinthians 15:1 to 4.
33  Theology / Bible Study / The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace on: December 06, 2017, 04:28:50 PM
The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair


While the redeemed, justified sinner is being kept by the grace and power of God, he should be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8.), he should always abound in the work of the Lord, by the grace of God. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency, in all things, may abound to every good work.” (II Corinthians 9:8.).

As the best works of the most moral, religious, conscientious, sincere ‘Christ-rejecting’ person are not acceptable to God, even so with most of these respectable unbelievers God’s Divine grace is not acceptable. Like Israel in Romans 10:1 to 4, they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, go about trying to establish their own righteousness, refusing to submit themselves unto the righteousness of God which is by faith in Christ Jesus.

As we again ask the question concerning the ‘all grace’ of II Corinthians 9:8, which God is able to make abound, so that believers saved by that all-sufficient grace, might abound in good works, “how much grace is all grace,” let us try earnestly to comprehend the full meaning of Ephesians 1:3, that believers are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. There is no lack of grace and no lack of spiritual blessings. The lack is on the believer’s part; lack of appropriating faith; lack of a real desire and willingness to claim the grace and blessings. Of course there might be a lack of spiritual ‘know-how’.

Then who can measure or calculate or even estimate the mighty power that God wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and placed Him far above all principality and power in the heavenlies? We are told in Ephesians 1:19 to 23 that this same mighty Divine power is available for all believers who have been ‘graced’ in Christ and have received redemption and forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’s grace. (Ephesians 1:6 and 7). Who can measure or calculate or estimate ‘the riches of God’s grace’? Read Ephesians 2:7 before you attempt to answer this question. While we are measuring and calculating and estimating, we might ask, “what about Ephesians 3:20?” . . “now unto Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us?”

Thus we have learned that almighty God has made available for those who are His children by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ His unlimited power and His unlimited grace, and that He has blessed them with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies.

Surely God, Who will have all men to be saved by faith in His Son Who gave Himself a ransom for all (I Timothy 2:4 to 6), will have all of His saved children to take full advantage of His unlimited grace, His unlimited power and His unlimited spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. Moreover He would not have them, for one moment, forget the requirement of Colossians 3:17, “whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by Him.”

THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE FOR GENTILES

As we think of Romans 5:20, studied with Ephesians 3:1 to 3, very special grace for Gentiles, let us prayerfully and carefully consider some other Scriptures describing the awful spiritual condition, the terrible, sinful state of the Gentiles from the time that Paul said, in Acts 13:46, “lo, we turn to the Gentiles,” until he wrote in his farewell message concerning God’s eternal ‘GRACE’ purpose, and then added, “whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” (II Timothy 1:9 to 11). In this study and consideration, we shall certainly learn why those ruined Gentiles needed the ‘all-sufficient’ grace, the ‘over-abounding’ grace, the ‘much more’, ‘over-abounding’ grace of the God of all grace. This is likewise the greatest need of every member of the human race in this year 1955 A.D.

Note again Romans 5:20: “where sin abounded grace did much more over-abound.” Now Ephesians 3:1 to 3. “I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles; if ye have heard of the ‘DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD’, which is given me to youward . . . by revelation.” Note in Galatians 1:11 and 12 that the ‘GRACE’ gospel was given to Paul by the revelation of Jesus Christ; not in the great commissions of Matthew 28:19 and 20 and Mark 16:14 to 16.

“FOR YOU GENTILES.” According to I Corinthians 12:2, “ye were Gentiles carried away unto dumb idols, even as ye were led.” According to I Thessalonians 1:10, “how ye turned to God from idols.” According to I Corinthians 6:9 to 11, “fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, covetous, drunkards, extortioners”: “such were some of you; but ye are washed, sanctified and justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus.” According to Ephesians 2:1 to 6, Ephesians 2:11 and 12 and Ephesians 4:18, the Gentiles had been “dead in sins; by nature the children of wrath; atheists, without hope, afar off, alienated from the life of God.” According to Colossians 1:21 and Colossians 2:13, “alienated and enemies by wicked works” . . . “now reconciled.” “Dead in your sins, hath He made alive.”

Surely we see that those first century Gentiles needed the ‘much more’ ‘overabounding’ grace of the God of all grace. How about you? I needed it as much as they did. My testimony is Ephesians 1:6 and 7 and Galatians 6:14.

THE MYSTERY DISPENSATION BY REVELATION

Perhaps every saved person really needs to receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, to have the eyes of his understanding so enlightened (Ephesians 1:15 to 17) that he can understand the meaning of “the dispensation of grace” of Ephesians 3:1 to 3, called “the dispensation of the mystery” in Ephesians 3:9.

The Greek word translated ‘dispensation’ is, in Luke 16:2, ‘stewardship’. The apostle Paul was the Lord’s steward. He was Christ’s faithful steward of the mysteries of God. (I Corinthians 4:1 to 4). Every minister of Christ should be. Paul testified, in I Corinthians 9:17, “a stewardship is committed unto me.” As we read Paul’s testimony in I Corinthians 3:10, we must surely believe that, so far as the grace gospel and dispensation for Gentiles is concerned, Paul was Christ’s ‘chief steward’. He magnified his office as the apostle to the Gentiles. (Romans 11:13 . . . I Timothy 2:7 . . . II Timothy 1:11). God called Paul, by His grace, to reveal His Son in Paul, that Paul might preach Him among the Gentiles. (Galatians 1:15 and 16). In II Timothy 1:12, the apostle Paul spoke of his ‘deposit’. Paul suffered as an evil-doer in jail, for Christ and the Gentiles. (Ephesians 3:1 6:19 and 20 . . . II Timothy 2:8 and 9 and Colossians 4:3 and 4).

Why was the ‘dispensation’ or ‘stewardship’ or ‘administration’ of the grace of God for Gentiles called “the dispensation of the mystery’ from the beginning of the world ‘hid in God’? (Ephesians 3:9). Why did the omniscient God wait so long before He revealed the two great mysteries of Romans 11:25 and Ephesians 3:1 and Colossians 1:24 to 26 . . . “a blindness in part to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles come in” . . “the dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles” . . . “the secret hid from ages and from generation.”

Note why, in II Corinthians 12:4 to 11, God permitted Paul to suffer with a thorn in the flesh . . . “lest I should be exalted above measure, through the abundance of revelations.” Little wonder that Paul testified that he was less than the least of all saints, so that he might by the grace given to him preach the unsearchable riches of Christ among the Gentiles. (Ephesians 3 :8.).

By the pen of Paul justified saints are instructed, in Romans 16:25, how to be established . . . “by Paul’s Gospel, the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery from the beginning of the world kept secret.”

THE GRACE OF GOD HATH APPEARED

In Titus 2:11 we read that the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. When did the grace of God appear to all men? Did not the grace of God appear to men years, even centuries, before the apostle Paul testified (some twenty-five years after the death of Christ), “that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify, ‘the gospel of the grace of God’?” (Acts 20:24). It was by a special revelation from the risen, glorified Christ that the apostle Paul received the ‘grace’ gospel and ‘the dispensation of the grace of God’. Galatians 1:11 and 12 and Ephesians 3:1 to 3.

In I Timothy 1:11 to 14 we have another testimony from the pen and heart of Paul, “according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust” “ Christ Jesus counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” . . . “and the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant.” Also in II Corinthians 4:4 the gospel, which Paul called ‘MY GOSPEL’ (Romans 2:16) , is called the gospel of glory. (Romans 16:25).

Thus we see that the risen, glorified Christ, by very special revelations, sent Paul forth with ‘the gospel of grace’, ‘the gospel of glory’.

As we compare the ministry of Peter and the Eleven in the Book of Acts with that of Paul, we find some real differences between the gospel which the Twelve preached and the gospel of grace which Paul preached to the Gentiles. However some years later it was the apostle Peter who called God, “THE GOD OF ALL GRACE.” (I Peter 5:10). It was the apostle Peter who wrote that Christ’s servants are stewards of the manifold grace of God, who wrote of the ‘TRUE GRACE’ wherein ye stand. (I Peter 4:10 and I Peter 5:12). “Heirs together of ‘the grace of life’.” (I Peter 3 :7).
34  Theology / Bible Study / The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace on: December 06, 2017, 04:24:37 PM
The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair


For about fifteen centuries God kept His religious nation under the LAW, shut up unto the faith that should afterward be revealed. (Galatians 3:23). At Sinai Israel received a yoke which no Israelite was able to bear. (Acts 15:10). They could not endure that which was spoken when God said, “Thou shalt, and thou shalt not.” (Hebrews 12:20).

We are told in Psalm 14:2 and 3 that, during the reign of LAW, God looked down from heaven to see if there was on earth a just man who did not sin. (Ecclesiastes 7:20). He found not one. Some years later He looked down from heaven upon His holy, sinless, Son, saying, “this is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 17:5). This Beloved Son truly said, “I do always the things which please My Father.” (John 8:29). “Which one of you convinceth Me of sin?” (John 8:46).

This Son, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. (Hebrews 7:26).

On the cross of Calvary this sinless Son was made sin, that believing sinners might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (II Corinthians 5:21).

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST

What does an unrighteous sinner have to do to be ‘in Christ’ and receive the righteousness of God? Receive Christ and God’s righteousness and eternal life by faith.

Salvation, righteousness, and eternal life are all the gifts of God; “not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8 and 9 and Romans 6:23 and Romans 5:17 to 21). Only the ‘righteousness of God’ will admit a human being into heaven. Any and every human being may have the ‘righteousness of God’, by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect work of redemption.

Let us prayerfully and seriously consider Romans 4:4 and 5, and then Romans 3:24 to 28 and Ephesians 1:6 and 7:

    “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth in Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    “Being justified freely (with. out a cause) by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare God’s righteousness for the remission of sins that are past . . . that God might be just and the ‘JUSTIFIER’ of him which believeth in Jesus.” . . . “Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

    “To the praise of the glory of God’s grace, wherein He hath ‘GRACED’ us in the ‘BELOVED’, in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’s grace.”

As we consider and prayerfully analyze these wonderful statements, let us consider with them Romans 5:17:

    “For if by one man’s sin death reigned by one, ‘much more’ they which receive ‘abundance of grace’ and ‘the gift of righteousness’ shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ.”

In these ‘grace’ and ‘justification’ (‘righteousness’) Scriptures, which we have quoted, the Holy Spirit has presented the most wonderful truth that has ever been proclaimed to condemned, ruined, lost sinners, all of whom are absolutely helpless and hopeless without justification by grace through faith in God’s beloved Son and His perfect redemptive work.

GOD DESIRES, ACCEPTS, SANCTIONS AND REWARDS THE GOOD WORKS OF JUSTIFIED BELIEVERS

God kept His religious Nation (Israel) shut up under the law for about fifteen centuries to teach them and the rest of the human race that the Law was added that sin might abound (Romans 5:20); that the Law was Israel’s schoolmaster to bring Israel to Christ that they might be justified by faith in Christ (Galatians 3:24); that Christ died on the cross to deliver Israel from the curse of the Law. (Galatians 3:13 ).

It behooves every person, who really desires to please God, to reach the conclusion recorded in Romans 3:28: “therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” In Romans 4:4 we have learned that no person, however religious or conscientious and sincere, can work his way into God’s grace or attain unto righteousness by good works. We are told in Romans 10:10, “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” . . . “It is God that justifieth” . . . “It Christ that died, yea that is rise again.” (Romans 8:33 and 34) We read in Romans 4:6 of the blessedness (happiness) of the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness without works.

“To him that worketh not, but believeth in Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5). In Romans 5:6 and 9 we read that Christ died for the ungodly; that the ungodly, who believe, are justified by Christ’s blood.

In Ephesians 1:6 and 7 we learned that the ungodly, who believe are ‘graced’ in Christ, in Whom they have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’ grace. In Romans 3:24 to 28 we learned that believers are justifies freely by God’s grace through faith in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus, Who, on the cross, became the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2 ).

The justified believer is God’s; workmanship, created in Chris Jesus. (Ephesians 2:10). “Whom God called, them He also justified And whom He justified them He also glorified.” (Romans 8:30). The justified believer, who is justified by God’s grace and by faith it the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s workmanship, is created in Christ Jesus ‘UNTO GOOD WORKS’. (Ephesians 2:10).

We are told in I Corinthian 3:13 and 14, “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is, If any man’s work abide, which he hath built thereupon (Christ the foundation), he shall receive a reward.”

But keep in mind Galatians 2:21: “if righteousness come by the law, Christ has died in vain.”

We are told in Titus 2:11; “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” By the grace of God the Lord Jesus tasted death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9). When the Lord Jesus, on the cross, gave Himself a ransom for all (I Timothy 2:4 to 6), He was made sin that believing sinners might be made the righteousness of God in Christ. (II Corinthians 5:21). “The righteousness of God in Christ.”

The believer’s faith is counted for righteousness. The righteousness of God is imputed to the believing sinner who meets God at Calvary and by faith receives Christ as his Saviour and his righteousness. Christ is the believer’s righteousness. (I Corinthians 1:30). The sinner, who does not receive the righteousness of God before he leaves this world, will not be rewarded for his good deeds, but will be eternally lost because of his evil deeds and his unbelief. (Ezekiel 33:13, Revelation 20:13 to 15, John 3:36, John 3:16 to 19). (Romans 2:3 to 11). Read Revelation 21:8.

JUSTIFIED BELIEVERS ARE ALIVE FROM THE DEAD

In the fifth chapter of Romans, the alienated, unrighteous, dead children of Adam, are told that they can be reconciled and justified by God’s grace, and receive life: “they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by Jesus Christ.” Justified, reconciled believers are instructed, in Romans 6:13; “yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

    “Sin hath reigned unto death.” “Even so grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21).

God does not approve or reward the good works of any person who is not alive from the dead. The self-righteous, moral, conscientious religious, Christ-rejecting, unbeliever, abounding in good works, is just as dead in God’s sight as is the wicked unbeliever who abounds in evil works. There is a great difference between being moral and religious, and being righteous and spiritual. Apart from God’s grace and Christ’s work on the cross, “there is none righteous; not one” and no child of Adam is alive from the dead.

To believers, who are alive from the dead, reconciled by the death of Christ (Romans 5:9 to 11), justified freely by God’s grace (Romans 3:24), this is God’s instruction concerning good works: “Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always ‘ABOUNDING’ in the work of the Lord; for as much as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58.).

In this same fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians the apostle Paul testified; “the grace of God was not bestowed upon me in vain. I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (I Corinthians 15:10).

GOD’S ABOUNDING GRACE FOR ABOUNDING SIN AND FOR ABOUNDING WORKS

Surely every rational, thinking person knows that sin is abounding. To be ever conscious of this truth, God would have every member of the human race think of Romans 5:20, and measure the faults and failures of the children of Adam by the commands of God in the ten commandments, knowing that sin is the transgression of the law. The law was given at Sinai, that the sin that entered by Adam in Eden might abound. “By the law is the knowledge of sin” and all the world is guilty before God. (Romans 3:19 and 20).

But again hear the good news in the last part of Romans 5:20: “Where sin abounded, grace did ‘MUCH MORE’ ‘OVERABOUND’. The guiltiest, vilest sinner can find God’s saving, redeeming, abounding grace altogether sufficient to save him, to justify him and to keep him. The moral, upright, sincere, religious unsaved Church-member needs this same grace.
35  Theology / Bible Study / The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace on: December 06, 2017, 04:23:27 PM
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The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair


According to I Peter 5:10, the God of the Bible is called “THE GOD OF ALL GRACE.” According to II Corinthians 9:8, “God is able to make ‘ALL GRACE’ abound toward you (saints), that ye always having ‘ALL SUFFICIENCY’ in all things, may abound to every good work.” God’s saints are expected to do good works, to be steadfast, unmovable, ‘ALWAYS ABOUNDING’ in the work of the Lord. (I Corinthians 15:58.). The apostle Paul, who was directed by the Holy Spirit to say so much about the ‘all sufficient’, ‘abounding’ grace of the God of all grace, said something that no living saint will say at this time: “The ‘GRACE’ which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (I Corinthians 15:10).

Well might we ask, “how much grace is all grace?” God is the God of all grace; and all grace is available for each and every saint. Every person, who is a saint, is a saint by God’s grace. This means that every saved person on this earth is “saved by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves; the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8 and 9). No unsaved person is required by God to work for His grace or for eternal salvation during this present age and dispensation of grace. “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11).

Note when the eternal omniscient God of all grace purposed this universal grace (but not universal salvation), and just how it appeared: “God, Who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (II Timothy 1:9 and 10).

ABOUNDING SIN ABOUNDING GRACE

Concerning LAW and GRACE, we read in John 1:17 and Romans 5:20 and 21: “The LAW was given by Moses; GRACE and truth came by Jesus Christ”. “Moreover the LAW entered that sin might abound: But where sin abounded GRACE did ‘much more’ ‘overabound’; that as sin hath reigned unto death, so might ‘GRACE’ reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” With John 1:17 we should read also John 1:16: “Of His (Christ’s) fulness have all we received and ‘GRACE UPON GRACE’.” Grace upon grace is grace a plenty.

If you were given supernatural power for a short while to behold and perceive all of the wicked thoughts, words and deeds of the more than two billion people living now in so-called Christendom and in all the heathen countries, you would know more of the meaning of ‘abounding sin’. But where sin abounded grace did, and doth, ‘much more’ ‘over-abound’.

This means that the vilest of the vile, the most wicked person on is earth, and all other members of the human race, ranging from he most moral, benevolent, sincere, conscientious, zealous, religious person to the most wicked, can find God’s saving grace altogether sufficient to transform either the self-righteous, respectable sinner or the wicked unrighteous criminal into a saint, without any good works or religious doings on the part of any of them. Salvation is the gift of God. “The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). Righteousness is the gift of God’s grace.

GOD’S ANSWER TO JOB’S QUESTION

Inasmuch as the Infallible Word of the Infallible God plainly states that no unrighteous person can enter the kingdom of God or get into heaven (I Corinthians 6:9), and further states in no uncertain language, “there is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10) , every sane, rational person on this earth should join with Job in not only asking with him the question of Job 25:4, but he should never, never let a day or an hour go by without searching diligently until the question is answered. Then he should not lose one moment in deciding to receive the cleansing and the justification which concerned Job when he asked this question: “How then can man be justified with God?, or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?”

How can a child of Adam be cleansed of his sins? How can he become a righteous person? The religions of the world have offered thousands of substitute speculations and false hopes; have been led by Satan, the god of this age, to invent a multitude of futile religious schemes to atone for sin and make the sinner fit for some kind of existence after death.

It is ever and always true, as written in Proverbs 16:25 and in Luke 16:15 (the words of the Lord Jesus), “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death” . . . “that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Satan delights to corrupt the minds of even the church-members in so-called Christian lands from the simplicity that is in Christ. (II Corinthians 11:1 to 3). Satan, transformed into an angel of light, has thousands upon thousands of deluded religious men and women, to help him succeed in bringing in the damnable heresy, and removing religious church-members from the grace of God. He causes them to trust in another gospel. (II Corinthians 11:1 to 3 and II Corinthians 11:13 to 15 . . . II Peter 2:1 and 2 and Galatians 1:6 to 9). We are told in Acts 15:24 that the souls of the victims of the religious messengers, who pervert the gospel of grace and frustrate the grace of God, are subvert

JOB’S QUESTION ANSWERED IN GALATIANS

As we read Galatians 2:11 to 15 and see how Peter was caused by religious brethren to compromise, we should listen attentively to Paul’s words to Peter in Galatians 2:16, which is indeed the answer to a part of Job’s question, “How can a man be just with God?” Until we know the truth of Galatians 2:16, we cannot expect to understand the truth about ‘all’ grace in Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians.

Hear Galatians 2:16:

“Knowing that a man is not ‘justified’ by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Surely Peter had known this great truth. Had he forgotten it? Did religious brethren put so much pressure on him that he forgot the truth which once he knew? This is wonderful news, good news for the human race. Accept it at full face value. Believe it with all your heart. The foolish Galatians turned against Paul when he tried to keep them from falling from grace. (Galatians 5:1 to 4). If you proclaim God’s ‘all grace’ message today, you may get into trouble with religious church-members, but you will stand well with the Lord.

The Epistle to the Galatians should have been addressed, “To the FOOLISH GALATIANS.” (Galatians 3:1). ‘TROUBLERS’ had made them ‘foolish’. (Galatians 5:12 . . . Acts 15:24). They troubled them by perverting the grace message which Paul received by revelation from Christ. (Galatians 1:11 to 13). The God of all grace will judge every religious messenger who frustrates the grace of God and perverts the gospel of grace by bringing over Israel’s Old Testament sacraments and religious doings into this present age and dispensation of grace. Paul was directed to write: “I would that they were even cut off who trouble you.” (Galatians 5:12). Christians are not under the law, but under grace. (Galatians 3:25 . . . Romans 6:14).

The religious, self-righteous, law-keepers of Paul’s day hated him for preaching Acts 13:39: “by Jesus Christ all who believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” When he said, “Lo, we turn to the Gentiles” (Acts 13:46), and preached to them justification by grace through faith in the perfect redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the religious law-keepers stoned him until they thought he was dead. (Acts 14:19 to 21).

Several years later the Lord directed Paul to write concerning the ‘elect’ and the ‘rest’ of the religious self-righteous law-keepers. The ‘elect’ found the righteousness they sought; but the rest were blinded. Thus God divided Israel in Paul’s day into two groups.

“The Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, the righteousness which is of faith.” “Israel did not attain; because they sought it not by faith.” “They stumbled.” (Romans 9:29 to 33).

Then Paul added, about 60 A. D.:

    “There is a remnant according to the election of grace. If it is by grace, it is no more of works.” (Romans 11:5 and 6).

ACCEPTING GOD’S GRACE BY FAITH

The God of all grace will most gladly bestow His infinite, saving grace upon any child of Adam who is willing to receive that grace from God. It is abounding grace, allsufficient grace. But it is grace that no human being can earn by good works or religious deeds. The very best news that all of Adam’s race can hear is recorded in the first eight verses of the fourth chapter of Romans. One of these verses reads, “happy is the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness without works.”
36  Theology / Bible Study / Does Misery Love Company? on: December 06, 2017, 04:20:25 PM
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Does Misery Love Company?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


We have all heard the statement: “Misery loves company.” It is true that when one is sick or in trouble he does not feel quite so sorry for himself when he realizes that others are as unfortunate, and perhaps more so, than he.

However, some have used this phrase: “Misery loves company,” in speaking lightly of hell. Perhaps you have heard someone say: “Well, if I go to hell, at least I’ll have lots of company.” This is true, but the company the lost will have when cast out of God’s presence will hardly afford them comfort.

The Bible story of the rich man and Lazarus brings this fact out with great force. The rich man, you will remember, “fared sumptuously every day,” while Lazarus “was laid at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.”

In the process of time both died, and the rich man, having felt no need of salvation, suddenly was made to experience God’s wrath upon sin, for the sacred record says: “In hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments” (Luke 16:23). From his place of torment the rich man saw Lazarus with Abraham “afar off,” but this surely afforded little comfort, while we do read that “Lazarus was comforted.” The rich man, then, still with haughty superiority, asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to warn his five brothers, “lest they come into this place of torment.” He did not wish his brothers to join him in hell. “Misery” among those cast out of God’s presence, then, does not “love company.”

The story is brought to a close as Abraham refuses the rich man’s request, explaining that if his brothers would not hear the Word of God “neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

The way to avoid the lot of the rich man, then, is to believe the Word of God, particularly that part of the Word which tells how Christ died for our sins that we might be justified by grace through faith. Don’t be deceived by the old adage: “Misery loves company.” Receive Christ as your Savior today.

    “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
37  Theology / Bible Study / Legitimate Prayer on: December 06, 2017, 04:19:13 PM
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Legitimate Prayer
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Prayer, in Old Testament times, was based upon a covenant relationship with God, or it was an appeal to His revealed nature as merciful, gracious, etc. Today it is based upon the redemptive work of Christ, whose death opened the way for us into the Father’s presence. This is why acceptable prayer today is offered “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”. With our Lord’s departure from this world in view, He said to His disciples:

    “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me” (John 14:6).

    “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name…At that day ye shall ask in My name: and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me…” (John 16:24-27).

Thus today we pray directly to the Father in the name of the Son.

Our prayers, however, are often faltering and sometimes the way is so dark before us that we do not even know what to ask for. Thus Paul declared: “We know not what we should pray for as we ought”(Rom. 8:26). But he was quick to follow this with the declaration:

    “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28.).

This is why the Apostle Paul encourages God’s people:

    “Be careful [anxious] for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God:

    “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6,7).

    “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
38  Theology / Bible Study / The Mighty Power Of God on: December 06, 2017, 04:18:04 PM
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The Mighty Power Of God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In 1866 Alfred Nobel invented an explosive made of nitroglycerin absorbed in a porous material. It was by far the most powerful explosive that had so far been invented.

When Nobel and his friends saw what his invention could do, and had to decide on a name, they sought for the strongest possible word for power — in any language. The word they finally chose was the Greek word dunamis, from which our word dynamite is derived.

This word, in Greek also the strongest word for power, is used again and again in the New Testament and is generally translated simply “power”.

When our Lord wrought miracles, for example, St. Luke testifies that “the POWER [dunamis] of the Lord was present to heal” (Luke 5:17). In promising His apostles that they too would work miracles, He said: “Ye [shall] be endued with POWER [dunamis] from on high”(Luke 24:49).

When the Sadducees questioned the resurrection, Jesus answered: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the POWER [dunamis] of God” (Matt.22:29), and St. Paul declares that Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with POWER [dunamis]…by the resurrection from the dead”(Rom. 1:4).

Using this same word, Paul, by inspiration, declares that “the gospel of Christ…is THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION, to every one that believeth…” (Rom. 1:16). This is because, according to this gospel, or good news, “CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS”, and “THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS”, he says, is to believers “THE POWER OF GOD”(I Cor. 1:18.).

But not only are believers saved by the power of God; they are “KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD” (I Pet. 1:5). Indeed, the adjective of this same word “dunamis” is used in Hebrews 7:25, where we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is “ABLE…TO SAVE…TO THE UTTERMOST [THOSE] THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM”. Thus the Bible uses the very strongest word for power to show how secure is the salvation of those who trust in Christ.
39  Theology / Bible Study / The Other Sheep on: December 03, 2017, 12:41:26 PM
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The Other Sheep
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


Scripture Reading:

    “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” — John 10:16

A short time ago I made a passing reference to the “other sheep” which generated a lot of interest among our readers. Some were under the impression that this phrase had to do with the reunification of the divided kingdom. Others had been taught that the “other sheep” is the Church, the Body of Christ. Having been in the ministry for many years, it has been my experience that when someone has a question such as this, there are normally twenty standing in the wings wondering the same thing. So, with God’s help I shall do my best to shed additional light on the matter.

Those who are Acts 2 dispensationalists normally hold the position that the ones who “are not of this fold” are the members of the Body of Christ. This is an unfortunate dispensational oversight, but it is understandable since they do not consistently rightly divide the Word of truth. Once again, we must ask ourselves the question: To whom was our Lord speaking, and at what time? The discourse on the Good Shepherd was delivered by Christ when He was on the earth at least two years before the Apostle Paul was given his special revelation.

Inasmuch as Paul was the first to receive the truth of the One Body, the “other sheep” in the above context could in no way be the Body of Christ.

But there’s more. None of the Apostle Paul’s Gentile epistles contain a reference to the members of Christ’s Body being sheep, much less a sheepfold. However, these metaphors are found throughout the pages of prophecy, which serves as another distinguishing factor between the two programs of God.

THE HOUSES OF ISRAEL

    “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah” (Jer. 31:31).

Under the reign of Rehoboam the kingdom was divided in Israel. The division proved to be devastating as the ten northern tribes, which came to be called the house of Israel, appointed Jeroboam as their King. He, of course, destroyed the religious unity of the nation when he erected altars at Dan and Bethel and caused the children of Israel to offer sacrifices unto the gods of Egypt (I Kings 12:16-31).

On the other hand, the house of Judah (tribes of Judah and Benjamin) followed in the ways of the Lord and continued to offer their sacrifices in Jerusalem, thus obeying the Law and the prophets. They remained in the Lord’s favor in spite of the fact that He allowed them to be carried off into the Babylonian captivity for their lapse of faith. These two tribes were by far the more spiritual tribes in Israel, not to mention that it was in Bethlehem of Judaea where the Prince of Peace chose to be born.

Consequently, some believe that the “other sheep” are the ten northern tribes who will be brought back into the fold at the Second Coming of Christ. Hence, there will be one fold and one Shepherd. We surely concur that there will be a reunification of the tribes of Israel as represented by the binding of the two sticks in Ezekiel 37:15-28.

This, however, must not be confused with the sheepfold. Israel is the sheep of God, whether they were of the northern or southern tribes. The Lord would have never called His chosen people the “other sheep.” They are the sheep and therefore the primary fold.

If we say that the ten northern tribes are the “other sheep,” then what about the kingdom Gentiles — where do they fit into the picture?

It is often overlooked, but God had made a provision in prophecy for the Gentiles to be saved through Israel. Thus, they are also said to be joined to the Lord. And Isaiah goes on to add, “Even them [the Gentiles] will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer…” (Isa. 56:6,7). Insofar as the Gentiles are the last non-Jewish converts to be reached under the Great Commission, the classification “other sheep” fits them perfectly. But some are sure to inquire: “Are the Gentiles ever called sheep in prophecy?” Indeed they are, please read prayerfully Matthew 25:31-46.
40  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / Sentenced to Hell by this one Scripture! on: December 03, 2017, 12:39:17 PM
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Sentenced to Hell by this one Scripture!

(John Flavel)

"I will place My Spirit within you, and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances." Ezekiel 36:27

The design and end of God in the infusion of the Spirit of grace, is practical holiness and obedience. The indwelling Spirit of God . . .
  elevates their minds,
  sets their affections upon heavenly things,
  purges their hearts from earthly dross, and
  fits them for a life of holiness and obedience.

None are more forward to claim the privileges of religion--than those who reject the duties of it. Multitudes hope to be saved by Christ--who yet refuse to be governed by Him. But such hopes have no Scripture warrant to support them--yes, they have many Scripture testimonies against them!

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10

O how many thousand vain hopes are laid in the dust, and how many thousands of souls are sentenced to Hell by this one Scripture!
41  Theology / Bible Prescription Shop / The Blessing of the Word on: December 02, 2017, 04:41:39 PM
The Blessing of the Word
From Timeless Grace Gems
Francis Bourdillon, 1881



        "And when He returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And He was preaching the Word to them." Mark 2:1-2

        "He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying: We have never seen anything like this!" Mark 2:12

        Our Savior was almost always followed by a crowd. Wherever He went, a multitude of people generally went with Him — to see and to hear. It would probably be so in any case in which one went about doing wonderful things which no one else could do — especially if they were such things as miraculously healing the sick, and making the blind to see, and the lame to walk. If anyone could do such things now — he would have a crowd about him wherever he went. And all the more, if he were a poor and humble man.

        Anything new and strange is sure to draw people together. So there is nothing to be surprised at, in a great many people coming to the house where Jesus was, as soon as it was known that He had entered into Capernaum.

        But some of them came-not so much to see, as to hear. While many were bringing their sick to be made well, and many more were crowding to the place full of desire to see some wonderful work done — others came to listen to what He would say. "He was preaching the Word to them," and they loved to hear it. They were not used to such teaching as His. "No one ever spoke like this man!" There was a power and authority in His words, such as cannot be described. The kindness and love with which He spoke, melted the hearts of those who heard Him. The subjects too on which He spoke were new and interesting. The teaching of the scribes was chiefly about forms and ceremonies and traditions, with little or nothing either to interest the mind or to touch the heart. Not so with the teaching of Jesus.

        We are not told what "the Word" was which He preached to them on this occasion, but perhaps we may gather it from what followed immediately afterwards. While He is yet speaking, four men come, bearing a sick man on his bed; and not being able to get at Him for the crowd, they uncover the roof and let down the sick man and his bed.

        What are the first words which Jesus says to him? Not, as we might have expected, "Son, your sickness is cured," but "Son, your sins are forgiven." Is it not likely that this was the very subject on which Jesus was speaking, when the sick man was brought? We know what things He spoke about at other times: the redemptive love of God, the way of salvation, rest for the weary, comfort, mercy, pardon, and peace. Probably He was preaching forgiveness of sins at that very time. However this may be — we know that He was preaching some words of truth and love.

        We are struck with the happiness of those who were His hearers. Think of the state of all the rest of the world at that time. The Jews, it is true, had some light — but they did not in general receive Christ. The rest of mankind were in pagan darkness — either sunk in ignorance, idolatry, and superstition, or with no better light than that of their own philosophy. In all the world we can find no spot of true spiritual light — except just there, in that town of Capernaum, where a crowd of eager listeners is gathered round that open door. How different are they from all mankind besides! There they stand, drinking in the words of life from the lips of the blessed Son of God Himself. Even those on the outskirts of the crowd, who can but catch a word now and then, are happy indeed; for every word is a word of life — good and true and gracious and saving.

        We are struck with their happiness — do we think enough of our own? What is the difference between those hearers and us, and between their blessing and ours? There is a difference certainly. But more in the circumstances, than in the blessing itself. The chief difference is that we see no miracles and that the Word is not spoken to us by the lips of Christ Himself. But that is all.

        The same word is preached to us, though not by His lips. The same word, and even more fully. He Himself said to His disciples, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth" (John 16:12-13). The Spirit of truth has come now, and the things which the disciples could not bear then — have been made known to us in the Bible and by the Holy Spirit.

        Besides, Jesus was not then crucified or risen again. He had not then finished His work or ascended again into Heaven. But all this has happened now, and we know it. A crucified and risen Savior is preached to us continually. We have the full word of God, the plain and clear gospel of salvation. Every Lord's Day the gospel is preached from thousands of pulpits in our land. Every day the scriptures are read aloud in many a Christian family, and in private by millions of readers. The gospel of salvation, the Word of life, unchanged and unchangeable — goes down from father to son; and never, in all the history of the world, were the scriptures so plentifully dispersed or so much read. The Book of books, is the cheapest of all books. No book of man's writing is so easy to get, as the Book of God. Every household, nay every person, may have it. It is within the reach of all. Are we not happy?

        I spoke of the dark state of the rest of the world, at the very time when the crowd thronged round the door at Capernaum to hear our Lord's words. That pagan darkness that was everywhere else seems to make us think all the more of the happiness of those who heard the Word of life. The case is the same with us. At this very time, while we can hear and read the Bible so freely — by far the greater part of mankind are still without it. There are millions to whom the gospel has never yet been preached. How great are our privileges — compared with theirs! How rich the blessings we enjoy! What manner of people ought we to be, in all holy conduct and godliness?

        Let us learn two things from the text:

        1. To prize the Word. This is the greatest blessing we have. Put in the one scale all temporal blessings — and in the other the Word of God; and it outweighs them all. In every age since the gospel was first preached, there have been some highly civilized nations, among whom art and science have flourished in various degrees. Greece and Rome of old were learned and polished nations. And the Chinese of our own time are not without learning and art. Yet ancient Greece and Rome, with all their learning, had not the gospel — and therefore were dark and miserable. And China, with its 360 millions, comprising nearly one-third of the human race — is dark and miserable too, because it is without the gospel. The wisest philosopher of Greece or Rome had less truth, than the simple reader of the Bible in our time. The richest mandarin or nobleman in heathen China — is poorer by far than any poor cottager of England who works hard and fares ill, but who knows the precious word of God. Prize the Bible. Thank God for His Word. Of all your blessings, count this the chief!

        2. Let us see to it that we turn this blessing to the best account. Use it diligently, both in hearing and in reading it. Be not content with hearing it or reading it — only when it is quite convenient. Take trouble about it. Be diligent and self-denying. Think what the Word of God is — and for what purpose it is given. Let not a trifle keep you from the house of God, and let nothing short of necessity be allowed to interfere with the daily reading of the Bible in private. "Long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow" (1 Peter 2:2). Let not an unread Bible, or preaching that you would not go to hear — condemn you hereafter.

        Yet do not be content with merely hearing and reading. These are not the end — but only the means. Be not hearers only — or readers only. Receive the Word into the heart. Drink in the spirit of it. The Word of God is not merely a sound to listen to — or so many sentences to read. It is a message from God. It is His will made known to man — the gospel of salvation. It tells us what we are in His sight — and how we may be saved. It warns us of danger — and points out the way of escape. It shows us whom to go to — and what to ask for. It tells us of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. It makes known to us Christ — and by Him pardon, life, salvation, Heaven. The very words which Jesus spoke, are written there. The very things which He did, are there related.

        The Word of God is meant to lead sinners to Christ the Savior. If it does not lead you to Him — then it does not do its proper work in you — and you receive it in vain. Oh, do not receive it in vain. Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you and to impress the Word on your heart. How sad it would be to have the Bible all your life — and yet to be found at last with no part in Christ and no share in His salvation.
42  Theology / Bible Study / When I Say Goodbye on: December 02, 2017, 04:37:40 PM
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When I Say Goodbye
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair


When to this world I say goodbye, Whether Christ shall come or I shall die;
I shall not fear my future state, Nor yet resign my soul to fate;
‘Tis neither boast no carnal pride, Nor natural worth I have inside;
My trust is not in human creeds, Nor in my good religious deeds.

If man, by works, could heaven gain, Then ‘tis true, Christ died in vain.
There was no power on earth could save, Nor offer hope beyond the grave.
Salvation is from heaven above; God’s book declares that God is love.
God loved the world and sent His Son To die for sinners, for every one.

Christ tasted death for every man: It was God’s own redemption plan.
On Calvary’s cross the debt was paid, For there on Christ our sins were laid.
In death the Saviour bowed His head, There His precious blood was shed.
God has for sin no other cure. By Christ’s shed blood the way is sure.

When Christ had put our sin away, In Joseph’s tomb His body lay.
But on the third day Christ arose To conquer thereby all His foes;
Then He ascended through the sky To take His Father’s throne on high.
Now in the Father’s presence there Unceasing is the Saviour’s prayer.

Still He prays, “All Thine are Mine,” Forever kept by power Divine.
Christ promised to prepare a place For all who will receive His grace.
Some day the age of grace will end; The Lord from heaven shall descend.
The dead in Christ will hear the shout, And from their graves they will come out.

The living saints shall with them rise, And meet the Saviour in the skies;
And we shall then His glory see, And like the Saviour we shall be.
When we reach our heavenly home, Throughout the ages yet to come,
God’s grace in Christ the saints shall know, For God has promised this to show.

Eternal life, God’s gift, is free ‘Tis all by grace for you and me.
So in God’s Word I rest my case, Trusting His unfailing grace.
God cannot lie, His Word is sure; And in His Son I am secure,
Because Christ’s work has satisfied, And by that work I’m justified.

God has pardoned every sin; My hope of glory, Christ within.
I am prepared my God to meet, For in His Son I am complete,
And sealed unto redemption day. So if by death, or I’m caught away.
I shall not fear my future state, But, loving Christ, I’ll serve and wait.
43  Theology / Bible Study / When I Say Goodbye on: December 02, 2017, 04:33:38 PM
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The Seventh From Adam
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


Scripture Reading:

    “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.”
    — Jude 14

About two weeks prior to teaching the Dispensation of Conscience in my Dispensational Survey class at the Berean Bible Institute, I raised the following question to the student body. What is the significance of Enoch being addressed as “the seventh from Adam”? The entire class drew a blank — they were stumped!! Although it may seem rather insignificant at first glance, the Holy Spirit has added this phrase for good reason. In fact, this phraseology is only used in reference to Enoch.

A number of the students gave some thought to the matter and even ventured a couple of explanations, which were true, but not the answer I was looking for. Finally, one student eventually got two or three hints out of me and came up with the answer. Upon arriving at the fourth and fifth chapters of the Book of Genesis, I explained to the class that there were two Enoch’s before the days of the great flood. Therefore, we must carefully distinguish between the Enoch who descended from Cain, and the Enoch who was the “seventh from Adam” (Gen. 4:16-18 cf. 5:22-24). The first Enoch walked in the way of Cain — his descendants were morally bankrupt.

God would have us follow the example of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, who walked in the way of faith. Thus “Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found [implying everyone searched for him], because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Heb. 11:5). In addition, the path of the coming Redeemer would pass through Enoch, the seventh from Adam, not Cain’s Enoch (Gen. 3:15). So then, a seemingly insignificant phrase suddenly helps us better appreciate that:

    “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16).
44  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / He sees the nails and spear in every iniquity! on: December 02, 2017, 04:31:49 PM
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He sees the nails and spear in every iniquity!

(Charles Spurgeon)

The heart of Christ became like a reservoir in the midst of the mountains. All the tributary streams of iniquity, and every drop of the sins of His people--ran down and gathered into one vast lake--as deep as Hell and as shoreless as eternity. All these met, as it were, in Christ's heart--and He endured them all!

Sin is horrible to a believer--because it crucified his Savior! He sees the nails and spear in every iniquity!

We cannot bear sin. When it is near us, we feel like a wretch chained to a rotting carcass--we groan to be free from the hateful thing.

A very little sin, as the world calls it--is a very great sin to a true Christian!
45  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 12-1-2017 on: December 02, 2017, 04:29:30 PM
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If it seems like the agency is more about exercising power than protecting consumers, this became even clearer when Cordray stepped down to run for governor of Ohio. He appointed Leandra English without checking with anyone, including the president. And he did it largely to boost his street cred with the #Resistance.

The problem was that the CFPB had a provision that seemingly took precedence over federal law by allowing the current director to appoint a replacement until the Senate chooses a new director. Cordray thus selected his own successor. And when President Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney to replace Cordray, English filed a lawsuit against the president and Mulvaney — a lawsuit that was correctly thrown out by a federal court.

Even the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — historically hostile to Republicans and the Constitution — sided25 with the president.

In Trump’s favor were a congressional act and the Constitution. The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 is very clear in stating26 that the president “can designate any Senate-confirmed official (which would include Mulvaney) to perform the duties of a vacant federal office in an acting capacity for a statutorily limited period of time.” And Article II of the Constitution clearly gives the president authority to make executive department appointments.

This was a significant victory for Liberty and the separation of powers. Indeed, until the CFPB was created, there had never been a federal agency that was headed by a single person who possessed such broad powers.

As The Washington Post states24, “The CFPB’s concentration of enormous executive power in a single, unaccountable, unchecked Director not only departs from settled historical practice, but also poses a far greater risk of arbitrary decisionmaking and abuse of power, and a far greater threat to individual liberty, than does a multi-member independent agency.” When The Washington Post is worried about government’s threat to individual liberty, you know we’ve got a problem.

Not surprisingly, the agency’s supporters are also donors for the Democrat Party. The Washington Examiner reported27 that 593 CFPB executives gave money to the likes of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren. Only one gave to a Republican. Clearly, Obama set up this agency to do more than protect consumers.

And what does Trump’s pick to head the CFPB think of the organization he leads?

In a press conference, Mulvaney said28, “It is an awful example of a bureaucracy that has gone wrong. It is almost entirely unaccountable to the people who are supposed to oversee it or pay for it. I still have the same fundamental principled misgivings about the way this bureau is structured. I think it is wrong to have a completely unaccountable federal bureaucracy. I think it’s completely wrong,” He added, “I’m just learning about the powers that I have as acting director. They would frighten most of you. They would probably worry you to think about how little oversight Congress has over me now as I’m the director, how little oversight the committees have over how CFPB functions.”

Too many of these agencies become self-serving, all-powerful entities of the Leviathan state, accountable to no one. Mulvaney’s comments about his new job should not be met with calls for reform, but should lead to the abolishment of the CFPB. Doing so would take us one step closer to draining the Swamp and protecting Americans from a further erosion of our Liberty.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

    Tax Cuts for the Children, Too31 — Increasing the child tax credit isn’t perfect, but it puts money back in the pockets of parents.
    Bye, Bye, Rex?32 — Rumors abound that Tillerson will be stepping down as secretary of state in the near future.
    Immigration Enforcement and Leniency Are a Futile Mix33 — Unified enforcement and prevention are the key to a healthy and strong immigration system.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

    David Harsanyi: Newspapers Shouldn’t Act Like Super PACs34
    David Limbaugh: Memo to GOP: Pass the Tax Bill35
    Michael Reagan: ATT-CNN Merger Doesn’t Worry Me Like Sinclair36
    L. Brent Bozell & Tim Graham: NPR and PBS, the Biggest Harassment Hypocrites37
    Tony Perkins: Planned Parenthood’s Ark. Rival38

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion39.

OPINION IN BRIEF

David Harsanyi: “This week, The New York Times editorial board took over the paper’s opinion section Twitter account, which has 650,000 followers, ‘to urge the Senate to reject a tax bill that hurts the middle class & the nation’s fiscal health.’ To facilitate this, it tweeted out the phone number of moderate Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins and implored its followers to call her and demand that she vote against the GOP’s bill. In others words, the board was indistinguishable from any of the well-funded partisan groups it whines about in editorials all the time. … When consumers see a media giant engaged in naked partisan campaigning, fair or not, it confirms all their well-worn suspicions about the entire paper. You can grouse all day long about readers’ inability to comprehend the internal divide. But how could a Republican trust The New York Times’ coverage of a tax bill after watching it not just editorialize against it but run what could fairly be characterized as an ad that could have been produced by any of the Democratic Party’s many proxies? … The Times has long argued in favor of empowering the government to regulate or shut down corporations — just like The Times itself — that engage in this brand of campaigning by overturning Citizens United and, therefore, violating the First Amendment. This is worth remembering as we watch one of the nation’s largest editorial boards transform into the equivalent of a super PAC.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “There is only one remedy for ignorance and thoughtlessness, and that is literacy. Millions and millions of children would today stand in no need of sex education or consumer education or anti-racism education or any of those fake educations, if they had had in the first place ‘an’ education.” —Richard Mitchell (1929-2002)

Upright: “Rarely has the idiom ‘virtue is its own reward’ looked better than it does in light of the sex scandals sweeping the nation. The so-called ‘prudishness’ of a previous generation and the respect most men were once taught to have for women — and which Hugh Hefner and his disciples of ‘free love’ mocked — are looking better with each passing day. Conservatives have been told they can’t impose their morality on others, so how is its opposite working out for individuals and the culture?” —Cal Thomas

Alpha Jackass: “Today is vindication for the rights of immigrants. Nothing about his ethnicity or immigration status was relevant in this case.” —Defense Attorney Francisco Ugarte on verdict for his client Zarate

For the record: “When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk. San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.” —Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Unvirtuous: “The liberal attitude toward guns is very strange. One day they’re ranting and raving about the legal use of a firearm, the next they’re defending a chronic felon who pulled the trigger and murdered Kate Steinle. There’s a lot of bloody hands in California this morning.” —Charlie Daniels

Too little too late: “At least liberals are finally telling the truth about Bill Clinton — and just 20 years after it mattered! Of course, considering it took the Democratic Party a century to discover that slavery was wrong, two decades is lightning speed for these moral paragons.” —Ann Coulter

Braying Jackass: “If I watch Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me. I would watch it and say who is that guy? This character Barack was portrayed in weird ways. It is all edited and shaped.” —Barack Obama

And last… “Politicians will do the right thing when all other options are exhausted.” —Frank Fleming

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher
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