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 on: December 11, 2018, 04:36:55 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.

Troubles, Troubles, Troubles!

James Smith, 1842

"Call upon Me in the day of trouble! I will deliver you — and you shall glorify Me!" Psalm 50:15

Believer, in this portion of the divine word, you will discover:
   1. your present portion — trouble,
   2. your constant privilege — prayer,
   3. your future prospect — deliverance.

1. Your present portion is TROUBLE. You must expect trouble, and will certainly be deceived if you expect to escape it. Sin is the parent of trouble — and our sin-cursed earth its fruitful soil. Trouble springs up all around us, and appears in an almost infinite variety of forms.

Every connection we form,
every character we bear,
every office we fill, and
every relation we sustain —
is a fruitful source of trouble!

We shall have . . .
   trouble in mind,
   trouble in circumstances,
   trouble in body;
   trouble from almost every quarter!

This poor world is not our rest — for it is polluted!

This poor world is not our home — for we are poor pilgrims!

This poor world is not our country — for we are strangers and aliens!

Every day has its peculiar troubles. Often when we look for a certain comfort — we only find peculiar distress and vexation! Everything declares, "Happiness is not in me!" You may look on the right hand — but you will find no permanent peace; on the left — and disappointment awaits you. Only in Jesus is . . .
   solid peace,
   holy satisfaction, and
   permanent comfort to be found.

If we could rightly interpret the various voices around us, we would find them all saying, "Go to Jesus! Abide in Jesus! Derive all from Jesus — or be wretched, miserable, and disappointed!"

In youth, manhood, and old age — trouble and tribulation is the Christian's lot. Our God feeds us with the heritage of Jacob our father; but if we carefully read his history, we shall find some very bitter herbs grew on it:
   Joseph is lost,
   Rachel dies,
   Simeon is imprisoned,
   Benjamin must go,
   Simeon and Levi slay the Shechemites — 
   and all these things appear against him!

Just so with us, troubles and trials follow each other, at times, almost like Job's messengers, treading on each other's heels, and we are almost overwhelmed! But,

2. Your constant privilege is PRAYER — to visit the throne of grace, and wait upon our God. He says, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble!" Troubles . . .
   furnish us with messages to our Father's throne,
   quicken us in our supplications, and
   oblige us to entreat His favor!

His throne of grace is always accessible, and His ear is always open; but in times of trouble, He especially invites us to draw near. He says:
Call upon Me in trouble, call for whatever you need!
Are you perplexed — then call for wisdom;
are you weak — then call for strength;
are you guilty — then call for pardon;
are you miserable — then call for comfort;
are you in darkness — then call for light;
are you in bondage — then call for freedom and relief.

Call upon Me, for I am always on the throne of grace!

Call upon Me, for I am glad to see you!

Call upon Me, for I am ready to help you!

Call upon Me, for I wait to be gracious unto you!

Call upon Me — upon Me first, before you run to others!

Call upon Me — and you will have no occasion to go anywhere else, for I have all that you possibly can need.

Call upon Me freely — without reserve.

Call upon Me boldly — without fear.

Call upon Me importunately — without doubt!

The promise encourages us,
the invitation allures us — but
trouble impels us to call upon our God!

Our troubles are frequently the instruments the Holy Spirit employs to carry on His sacred work in our hearts. By troubles, He . . .
   empties us of self,
   weans us from the world, and
   endears Jesus and His salvation to us!

Oh, believer, make use of your privilege in every time of trouble — and fully expect what Your God has promised!

3. Your future prospect is DELIVERANCE. The prospect is opened up, "I will deliver you — and you shall glorify Me!" Here God comes under engagement to deliver His calling child. Can we, then, be too confident, or expect deliverance with too much assurance? Surely not! Only let us beware lest we dictate to God as to time, means, or manner of deliverance — and then we cannot be too certain. He will deliver, and in such a way as to . . .
   put honor on your faith,
   pour confusion on your unbelief, and
   secure the glory to His blessed self!

God's delivering mercies are all brought forth on jubilee days — for the deliverances which He affords, proclaim a jubilee in the soul.

"I WILL!" — this promise is . . .
   more durable than earth,
   more stable as the pillars of Heaven,
   and as changeless as the nature of Jehovah.

"I will DELIVER!" — this is at once . . .
   the food, warrant, and plea of faith;
   the lattice through which hope directs the eye, and
   the prime argument which the soul uses before God.

"I will deliver YOU!" This is the laying of God's hand on His needy child.

My poor brother — are you in trouble? Are you calling upon God? The Lord says, "I will deliver YOU!" You are the person God had in His eye and in His heart — when he caused this precious portion to be penned. Take up the language, and say, "He will deliver ME!" And you, being delivered, proving God to be faithful, realizing the power of prayer, and enjoying delivering mercy — shall, though Satan will try to hinder, and unbelief would gladly shut your mouth — you shall glorify Me!

How truly blessed, how pleasant, how satisfactory is this! Every believer must say: "It is just as I would have it! I get all the mercy — and God gets all the glory!"

Brethren in Jesus . . .
   expect your portion — troubles,
   prize your privilege — prayer, and
   look forward to your prospect — deliverance!

 on: December 11, 2018, 04:34:56 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
Two Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

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For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com

The Grapes of Wrath
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

    “And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs” (Rev. 14:20).

The great winepress of God is the area around the holy city of God. It extends from north northwest to south southeast of Jerusalem, from Mt. Megiddo, known as Armageddon (Rev. 16:16), to Bozrah (Isa. 63:1-4). Tactically, the Scriptures seem to suggest that the Antichrist will launch an attack simultaneously from both the north and the south. The center of the battlefield will be the narrow Kidron Valley, called the Valley of Jehoshaphat, located just east of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to the Spirit of God, the area of the battlefield is said to be “a thousand and six hundred furlongs,” a distance of exactly two hundred miles.

Christ will crush the Antichrist’s forces of evil with merely a spoken word and the brightness of His coming. When He tramples His enemies in His almighty power, their blood will stain His garments (Isa. 63:2-4; Rev. 19:13). The blood from this innumerable host of godless unbelievers and their horses will run high to the horses’ bridles, according to the Apostle John, writing in the Spirit. Many commentators shrink from taking a literal interpretation here, saying it is utterly preposterous. We feel, however, more comfortable taking God at His Word. On average, an adult male has about five quarts of blood. Millions upon ten millions of men would bleed a deep river of blood. Interestingly, the Spirit emphasizes that the winepress is “trodden without [outside] the city” of Jerusalem in direct connection with the blood rising to the horses’ bridle. In all likelihood, the blood will probably run the deepest in the valley of Jehoshaphat (Kidron Valley), which is a rocky, mountainous ravine that’s about 20 miles in length.

Responsibility: Only the believer in Christ can fully understand the seriousness of the coming wrath of God. Many of the unsaved are clueless, and Satan would like nothing better than to keep it that way. We must therefore bear in mind that, if an unbeliever refuses to receive God’s gracious offer of reconciliation and foolishly rejects Christ as his personal Savior, he must be warned about the bloodbath that lies ahead.

 on: December 11, 2018, 04:32:10 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
FREE E-mail Subscription:

There would be a jubilee in Hell at the very thought of it!

(Charles Spurgeon)

In Hell, there is no hope.

They have not even the hope of dying, or the hope of being annihilated.

They are forever--forever--forever lost!

On every chain in Hell, there is written, "forever!"

In the fires, there blaze out the words, "forever!"

Up above their heads, they read, "forever!"

Their eyes are galled, and their hearts are pained with the thought that it is forever!

Oh! if I could tell you tonight that Hell would one day be burned out, and that those who were lost might be saved--there would be a jubilee in Hell at the very thought of it! But it cannot be, for "They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever!" Revelation 20:10

 on: December 11, 2018, 04:29:33 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
The Patriot Post Digest 12-11-2018
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

The Long Road to Energy Independence40

Lewis Morris

America’s energy outlook is changing significantly for the better, which is obviously welcome news … that you’re unlikely to hear from the mainstream media.

Last week, the United States officially became a net oil exporter41, a dramatic shift for the country’s energy sector. It’s been 75 years since we could say that we ship out more oil than we take in.

Increased oil production in Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania are responsible in part for this new state of affairs. And a recently discovered oil and natural gas reserve42 in Texas and New Mexico should keep the pumps going for years to come. The massive reservoir contains 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 46.3 billion barrels of oil. It’s the largest such resource ever assessed and is enough to fuel the United States alone for up to seven years.

President Donald Trump campaigned on American energy independence, and since taking office, Trump has initiated several steps to move toward that goal. Those include relaxed federal restrictions on oil and natural gas exploration and drilling, and lifting draconian Barack Obama-era restrictions designed to bring an end to coal production in the U.S.

True energy independence43 has been a stated goal of every president since Richard Nixon, but no one ever went about it correctly or whole-heartedly. Several Republican and Democrat presidents embraced a policy concoction of more regulation, a reliance on “alternative” energy sources, and austerity measures to manage America’s energy needs. Not surprisingly, all fell short of energy independence.

Meeting America’s energy needs means producing more energy (a.k.a. supply-side economics) — it’s as simple as that. Our last president, who laughably insists he is responsible for America’s current energy boom, was in favor of driving up energy costs for consumers to force less usage (a.k.a. demand-side economics.) The Obama administration was also in favor of betting the ranch on unproven clean-energy technologies that were prohibitively expensive and not all that efficient or clean.

The energy boom that we are currently experiencing makes us less reliant on foreign energy producers, which in turn improves our national security. It also means more jobs to produce energy here at home, and that means a strengthened economy. Good news all around. Well, except for the climate doomsayers.

At the recent climate conference44 in Poland, alarmists continued their tirade against CO2 emissions, claiming that the world has just 10 years to lower those emissions before we reach the point of no return on rising surface temperatures. They also literally mocked45 the Trump administration’s efforts to tout fossil fuels.

Many nations at the conference unquestioningly accepted the UN’s latest report, which calls for unspecified drastic changes to industrial emissions. The United States, joined by Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, challenged the report’s findings, with each nation saying they would only note the report rather than accept it.

The U.S. also refused to reaffirm the Paris climate deal at November’s G20 summit, much to the consternation of ecofascists. Yet by following its own policies, the U.S. has lowered emissions during seven out of the last 10 years — something that none of the nations supporting the Paris accords can say. That proves as much as anything that Paris emissions-control standards are about control, not emissions.

Climate change is a ruse46 to hide a leftist takeover of the economy. America’s rising energy production, and the vigorous economy that comes with it, stands in the way of that goal. So expect leftists to continue targeting Trump’s energy policy and to continue screaming hyperbolic claims that he is destroying the Earth.



Rich Lowry: “When in the past countries in Europe have voted the ‘wrong’ way on fundamental EU questions, as Ireland, France and the Netherlands did over the years, they were ignored or made to vote again until they got the right answer. Britain may yet suffer the same pitiful fate. The European Court of Justice just helpfully ruled that Britain can withdraw its Article 50 notification — in other words, forget this whole unpleasant Brexit vote happened. That’s been the hope of many Remainers in Britain all along, but the case for the EU hasn’t gotten any stronger over the past two years. What does it say about the European project that exit is almost impossible? And if Britain is a political shambles, it’s not as though the most committed advocates of the EU are doing any better. Given the ‘yellow vest’ protests ignited by his idiotic (since delayed) fuel tax, French President Emmanuel Macron can’t even control the streets of Paris on weekends.”


Upright: “Brexit is to Britain like the Wall is to America. The people want it but they keep electing people who don’t want it. Governments not representing the will of the people. Why? They know what’s best for you, you don’t.” —Chuck Woolery

Doh! “I have noticed that [Donald Trump] Junior here has a habit of posting nonsense about me whenever the Mueller investigation heats up. Please, keep it coming Jr — it’s definitely a ‘very, very large brain’ idea to troll a member of a body that will have subpoena power in a month. Have fun!” —Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez breaching House ethics rules47

Can’t we all just get along? “So basically when you think about how we’re going to succeed and actually kick their a—, it’s going to be based on justice — environmental justice, economic justice, and coloration. … And so when we look at what’s going to happen in 2020, we are going to have to crush these people. … The time for politeness is over.” —billionaire socialist Tom Steyer, as if leftists who personally attack their opponents have ever been polite

The BIG Lie: “Most folks can find [ObamaCare] coverage for $50 to $100 per month. That’s probably less than your cell phone bill.” —Barack Obama

Political hack: “All of us should use every breath we have to make sure the lying stops on Jan. 20, 2021. I understand the Democrats have important debates now over who their candidate should be, but they have to win. They have to win.” —former FBI Director James Comey

And last… “I was just minding my own business, looking for people to crucify on my witch hunt (instead of dealing with my own pain) and I discovered something terrible: The classic Christmas song, ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside,’ is about date rape! It’s either I’m wrong or the song’s always been about date rape, and it’s just taken 74 years for someone as intelligent as me to finally come along and discover it. And it’s not that I’m wrong.” —comedian JP Sears mocking the controversy


Join our editors and staff 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

 on: December 11, 2018, 04:28:26 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
The Patriot Post Digest 12-11-2018
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 11, 2018 · https://patriotpost.us/digests/59974-mid-day-digest


“The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)



Another chance to hit Planned Parenthood funding fails.1
The Rainbow Mafia’s search and destroy mission for thought crimes.2
Daily Features: On the Web3, Columnists4, Headlines5, Memes6, Cartoons7, Opinion in Brief8, and Short Cuts9.
Featured Analysis: The long road to energy independence.10

SCOTUS Stumbles in Refusal to Review Abortion Funding11

Thomas Gallatin

The Supreme Court declined Monday to review a lower court’s ruling that prevented two states from ending public Medicaid funding for abortion providers, with the obvious target of those states being the nation’s leading baby killer: Planned Parenthood. The refusal to hear the case came as a surprise to many, as only three of the five conservative justices voted in favor of reviewing the case; Chief Justice John Roberts and newly confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the Court’s left wing.

The Court’s decision prompted an unusual chastisement from Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote, “What explains the court’s refusal to do its job here? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood.’”

Thomas further argued12, “It is true that these particular cases arose after several States alleged that Planned Parenthood affiliates had, among other things, engaged in ‘the illegal sale of fetal organs’ and ‘fraudulent billing practices,’ and thus removed Planned Parenthood as a state Medicaid provider. But these cases are not about abortion rights. They are about private rights of action under the Medicaid Act. Resolving the question presented here would not even affect Planned Parenthood’s ability to challenge the States’ decisions.”

The root question: Do Medicaid recipients have the right to challenge a state’s determination for who qualifies as a medical provider? Kansas and Louisiana determined that Medicaid recipients were not free to challenge the qualification for acceptable medical providers, specifically that Planned Parenthood failed to meet their qualifications. Thomas’s argument for accepting the case was sound, as he noted the appeals court split: “Five Circuits have held that Medicaid recipients have such a right and one Circuit has held that they do not.”

The Washington Post speculated13 that the reason SCOTUS refused review was that “a majority of the court may be steering clear of controversial issues — at least for now.” But does this dodge by Kavanaugh give a foreboding glimpse into the future with respect to any case impacting abortion? Time will tell, but it’s hard to see this as anything other than a big miss by SCOTUS.

A point of observation. Imagine the tone of the media coverage if the issue before the Court was half a billion in annual government funding of the National Rifle Association, an organization that, unlike Planned Parenthood, exists solely to defend an actual constitutional right.

On a final note, Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency for the past two years and could have tackled this issue by passing legislation to prevent government funding of Planned Parenthood. They failed to do so.


Thought Police Target ‘Homophobic’ Athletes14

Nate Jackson

Celebrities and athletes are enlightened philosophers who can pontificate from on high to impart their profound wisdom upon the unwashed masses. Unless they deviate from leftist groupthink, that is. A recent spate of rhetorical assaults upon rogue celebrities and athletes by the Rainbow Mafia reminds us again that some Americans seem to think freedom of speech and individual liberty are things to be mercilessly crushed under the jackboots of the thought police.

The man getting the most attention is University of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who won the Heisman Trophy Saturday night only to be dragged through the mud by USA Today’s Scott Gleeson over “homophobic” tweets Murray made … when he was 15. Murray went from what should have been one of the greatest moments of his life to a perfunctory apology for his “poor choice of word that doesn’t reflect who I am or what I believe.” And it was all thanks to a vindictive Leftmedia eager to punish “wrongthink” about any favored group such as homosexuals.

Murray, who was drafted to play baseball for the Oakland A’s, is hardly alone, however. Gleeson wrote (as if he were merely an innocent observer), “Murray, 21 now, joins several other famous athletes to find themselves thrust in a negative spotlight as a result of their old tweets resurfacing in the midst of big accomplishments. The Milwaukee Brewers’ Josh Hader had racist, homophobic and misogynistic tweets resurface from when he was 17 years old this past summer. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen saw racist tweets resurface from his teenage years ahead of the NFL draft. And Villanova Final Four Most Outstanding Player Donte DiVincenzo had a profane tweet with racist rap lyrics surface on the Internet right after he helped the Wildcats win a national title.”

Gleeson is part of the problem, waiting for a moment of accomplishment to destroy a target. Baltimore Ravens lineman Patrick Ricard, Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, and Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb are also recent victims of media-generated outrage over using the “wrong” words. And then there’s comedian Kevin Hart, who will no longer host the Oscars after “homophobic” comments just happened to surface after the Academy Awards organizers asked him to host. The list could — and unfortunately will — go on.

To be clear, we’re not defending some of the words in question, which are indeed crass and offensive and aren’t part of what should be a better response to gender dysphoria15. But humans have always had a knack for saying awful things about one another. In this case, it’s the rabid heterophobic gender deniers16 who ought to apologize for aiming to destroy accomplished people over offhand teenage snark.



Muddling Along in Afghanistan17 — After 17 years, a look at our strategy and how to achieve national-security objectives.
How Mia Love Is Both Right and Wrong About Trump18 — The defeated congresswoman is in some ways representative of the current GOP split.
Video: The Problem With ‘Medicare for All’19 — The Heritage Foundation breaks down many of the problems with the Dems’ vision.


59949 59950 59952 59947 59951

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion20.


Trump, Democrats start border wall negotiations (The Hill21)
Asylum claims at the border soar 67% (The Washington Times22)
Judge rules Trump administration justified in ending Obama-era immigration program (Associated Press23)
2020 Democrat primary: California and Texas look to become the new Iowa and New Hampshire (NBC News24)
Small-business optimism dips over fears of an economic slowdown (CNBC25)
Stocks are on track for the worst year in a decade (CNBC26)
Steel industry booming after Trump tariffs (Washington Examiner27)
Trump EPA prepares to roll back Obama-era clean water rules (USA Today28)
Budget deficit soars in first two months of fiscal year (The Hill29)
Humor: Heisman winner proves if you work hard and believe in yourself, you too can have journalists try to ruin your life by combing through your old tweets (The Babylon Bee30)
Policy: On gender, the science is deafening (The Daily Signal31)
Policy: When college degrees impede opportunity (Inside Higher Ed32)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report33.


Man Tries to Rescue Guy Hanging From Roof … Who Turns Out to Be ‘Clark Griswold’ Dummy34

A good Samaritan attempted last week to save what he thought was a man hanging from a roof but turned out to be a recreation of a classic Christmas movie scene. The would-be helper jumped out of his car upon spotting a dummy hanging from the roof of an Austin, Texas, resident who had recreated a famous scene from 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” in which Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, dangles from the gutters of his house after a misbegotten attempt at hanging Christmas lights for his family.

Read more at Pluralist35.


 on: December 11, 2018, 09:58:10 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Sons of God

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” (1 John 3:1)

When John says “behold,” he uses the Greek word eido, which might well be here rendered “focus your mind because this fact is important!” We are called “sons of God.” The world can’t know this because the world does not know God.

We are chosen (Ephesians 1:4), selected out of many who will not be so favored (Matthew 22:14), and adopted (Galatians 4:5) into the family of the omnipotent Creator “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). Not only that, but since we have been created “after God in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24), then as God’s “sons” we are “then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).

This unique and priceless gift of sonship has the responsibilities of “sons” as well as the privileges. Yes, we are made righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21), but we are also called “unto holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7) and expected to “work out” our salvation (Philippians 2:12) with fear and trembling. Although we are granted rights to “sit together” with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), we are commanded to “put on the whole armour of God” here on Earth so that we can “withstand in the evil day” (Ephesians 6:11, 13).

Sonship also demands the “chastisement” of the Father (Hebrews 12:8) and the careful additions to our faith of the character disciplines of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (2 Peter 1:5‑7). Earthly sonship must “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). HMM III

 on: December 10, 2018, 05:42:26 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
More Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

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For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com

A Guide to Godliness
by Pastor Ricky Kurth

    “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:13).

Here we see the importance of recognizing that “death” in this passage is the “Christian death” of the believer’s Christian experience, and not the eternal death of his soul. If the latter were the case, Paul here would be saying that living a sinful life will cause a believer to lose his salvation. But since the former is the case, we understand that it is the believer’s spiritual health and vitality that is vulnerable to death.

When Paul says to “mortify the deeds of the body,” one definition of the word “mortify” is “to kill,” and another is “to bring into subjection by abstinence.” And so we would suggest that the way to execute the sinful deeds of the body is to starve them to death, not allowing our mind to feed on the sinful influences of the world about us. This is part of what Paul had in mind when he counsels us to “make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14). Of course, this must be done “through the Spirit” and not through the Law, as Paul has been saying in this passage, and hastens to repeat here in Verse 13.

Interestingly, the word mortification is defined as “the death of one part of an animal body while the rest is alive.” Hence if we mortify the sinful deeds of the body, this will leave only the good deeds of the Spirit to live on, allowing us to “live,” really live the Christian life. While many Christians struggle to barely eke out a Christian existence, God is eager that we thrive, not just survive, as His children.

And so it is the closing prayer of this writer that these thoughts on Romans 6-8, the Apostle Paul’s own guide to godliness, will enable the sincere believer in Christ to not only live victorious over sin, but to live it up in the Lord as never before, in the triumphant and jubilant manner in which God longs for us to live. Amen!


1    See our comments on Romans 6:3.
2    See our comments on Romans 6:16.
3    Charles Wesley’s words in the hymn O for a Thousand Tongues.
4    See our comments on Romans 6:3.
5    See our comments on Romans 6:16.
6    Charles Wesley’s words in the hymn O for a Thousand Tongues.
7    See our comments on Romans 6:3.
8    See our comments on Romans 6:16.
9    Charles Wesley’s words in the hymn O for a Thousand Tongues.

 on: December 10, 2018, 05:41:24 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
More Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

Free Email Subscription

For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com

A Guide to Godliness
by Pastor Ricky Kurth

It may sound strange, but the Law of Moses causes a believer to mind the things of the flesh, i.e., to keep them in mind, and unwittingly allow them to influence his behavior. Due to our fallen nature, if we are told, “Don’t think about pink elephants,” this commandment has suddenly introduced the thought of pink elephants to the forefront of our mind, whereas before that time they were perhaps the furthest thing from our thoughts. If we then go through the day thinking, “I’m not going to think about pink elephants!”, focusing on this prohibition actually keeps the forbidden colorful hulks on the center stage of our mind. If we rather simply turn our attention to other things, all thoughts of pink pachyderms soon escape our thoughts.

In the same way, going through the day thinking “I’m not going to steal” just keeps thievery uppermost in our thoughts, whereas turning our focus to spiritual things soon eclipses these thoughts from our attention. This is part of what is called grace motivation, and it is the reason it succeeds where the Law fails, when it comes to helping the believer deal with sin. The Law says “thou shalt not steal,” without telling you how to keep from stealing. Grace supplies the victory with the commandment when it says, “let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor” (Eph. 4:28). If you go through the day thinking about how to earn money, you won’t be thinking about how to steal it, and so the thoughts of your mind will not influence your behavior and cause you to engage in this illegal and sinful activity. 22

    “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6).

An unbeliever with a carnal mind is spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1), but to be “carnally minded” is death for the believer as well. Minding the things of the flesh will lead to sin and the death of your Christian experience, i.e., your spiritual health and vitality. But “to be spiritually minded “is life,” i.e., spiritual life, health and vitality. Being spiritually minded allows the Spirit to influence your behavior, and so “to be spiritually minded is life.” As Paul put it elsewhere, “he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:8). Here Paul speaks of reaping the benefits of everlasting life now, in this life, by godly thinking which leads to a godly life.

Another blessing of being spiritually minded is “peace,” which in the context here in Romans 8 must refer to an absence of the struggle under the Law that Paul described in the previous chapter. As a believer under grace, you don’t have to live on the losing end of the Romans 7 conflict, as Paul did when he was using the Law to help him with sin.

    “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7).

The word “enmity” means to be an enemy of, and most unbelievers would be surprised to learn that they are God’s enemies (Rom. 5:10), right down to their “carnal mind” (v. 7 cf. Col. 1:21). The unbeliever’s carnal mind cannot be subject to the law of God, for it is the servant of sin (Rom. 6:17,20), and “no man can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24).

    “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8).

Here again Paul is talking about unbelievers. While it is possible for believers to walk “after the flesh” (Rom. 8:1,4) and “live after the flesh” (Rom. 8:12,13), only unbelievers are actually “in the flesh” (cf. Rom. 7:5), and having no faith “cannot please God” (v. 8 cf. Heb. 11:6).

    “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Rom. 8:9).

It is a precious truth that the humblest believer in Christ is “in the Spirit,” and the Spirit is in him. This writer’s father was a tool and die maker who taught us how to heat treat steel to make it harder and more durable. First the industrial furnace is heated to temperatures up to and even exceeding two thousand degrees, and then the steel is placed in the fiery furnace. A couple of hours later, the steel is still in the fire, but now the fire is also in the steel, for it glows a bright red even after it is removed from the furnace. In the same way, every blood-bought child of God is in the Spirit, and the Spirit of Christ dwells in him.

    “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:10).

While the believer’s soul is saved and redeemed, his body is “dead,” and in need of the life-giving salvation and redemption that the Rapture will bring it (Rom. 8:23; 13:11; Eph. 1:14; 4:30). But there is a Spirit within the believer that has already given life to our soul “because of righteousness.” It is still true that “in the way of righteousness is life” (Prov. 12:28), and in Christ we are “made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21 cf. Rom. 3:22), and so possess His eternal life.

But while this is our position in Christ, what has this got to do with our walk? Let’s listen as Paul explains:

    “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:11).

We know that the resurrection of our dead bodies at the Rapture is not the subject here, for Paul speaks of the quickening of our “mortal bodies.” Mortal bodies are by definition susceptible to death, but are very much alive. Likewise believers are very much spiritually alive, but are susceptible to the death of their Christian experience if they live after the flesh. And believers who have lived in sin for great lengths of time are often tempted to give up hope of ever being raised from the depths into which they have fallen.

It is to these dear, precious saints that Paul addresses these words. He argues that if the Spirit that was able to raise up even Christ from the dead dwells within each believer, then there is no believer who is so far gone in sin that he too cannot be raised up out of its awful grip. Here it must be remembered that as our Lord hung on Calvary’s cross, His Father laid on Him the sins of all mankind of all time, judged Him guilty of these sins, and condemned Him to death. But the Spirit was able to raise Him up and give Him life because of His righteousness, and the same Spirit dwells in the humblest believer.

When we share Christ with unbelievers, especially those who bear a heavy load of sin, we are eager to convince them from God’s Word that “His blood can make the foulest clean.” 9 Yet how many believers who have fallen deep into the abyss of sin have wondered if they can be raised from the mire into which they have sunk. It is to these dear ones that Paul’s words here are directed, so that they never give up hope.

Think for a moment of the power of even one sin. Adam’s sin was not a very big one in the eyes of men; he ate a piece of fruit. But that one sin condemned him to die physically and eternally, doomed all of his progeny to the same awful fate, contaminated all plant and animal life, and even the earth itself! Now consider that the Spirit was able to raise Christ up from under the weight of every sin that has ever been or ever will be committed, and that this Spirit dwells within you. Abundant proof that no matter who you are, no matter what you have done or ever will do as a believer, God can quicken your mortal body by His Spirit that dwelleth in you, raising you up to spiritual health.

But it must be pointed out here that the instrument of the Spirit’s quickening power is the Word of God (Psa. 119:25,107,154). If the Christian reader of this page feels lost in sin and degradation, the path back to the life and peace spoken of in this passage is through the intake of Bible doctrine, and the application of its principles to your soul.

    “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh” (Rom. 8:12).

A debtor is someone who owes a debt to a creditor, and the believer’s flesh has given him nothing that puts the believer in his debt. Although Paul leaves the words unspoken, his implication is that we rather owe the Spirit a debt we cannot pay for all that He has done for us. And if the way to discharge a debt to the flesh is to live after the flesh, then conversely the way to discharge our debt to the Spirit is to live after the Spirit. As Paul puts it, if we receive eternal life and live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).

This writer grew up near Chicago, where all the people who worked for the city were required to live in the city. The city felt that if her employees drew their livelihood from Chicago, they in turn should live, walk and spend their livelihood in the city’s stores and pay the city’s taxes. In this way the city would receive a benefit in return for the livelihood bestowed on her employees. In the same way, “if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). If we draw our life from the Spirit, it is only right that we live in such a way that He draws great benefit in return for that which He has bestowed upon us.

 on: December 10, 2018, 05:40:19 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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A Guide to Godliness
by Pastor Ricky Kurth

We are aware that new Bible versions omit the last ten words of the verse, citing their absence in what they call the better Greek texts. However, we do not believe these texts to be better, and we believe these last ten words should be included in our Bibles, if we are to understand the meaning of this verse in its context.

It is often overlooked that Romans 8:1 begins with a “therefore,” and good Bible students know that when you see a “therefore,” you should always look to see what it’s there for. Romans 8 follows Romans 7, where Paul has just finished describing the self-condemnation he experienced when he tried to use the Law of Moses to help him with sin (7:24).

Here it should be remembered that just as there is more than one kind of salvation in the Bible (Eph. 1:13; Rom. 13:11; Phil. 1:19, etc.), there is also more than one kind of condemnation. While the Bible does speak of eternal condemnation (John 5:24), it also refers to other varieties (Luke 23:40). And we would suggest that our text is saying that walking after the Spirit will eliminate the self-condemnation that is the subject of the context.

    “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).

“The law of sin and death” is the law that says, “You sin, you die.” It is the Law of Moses, for since all have sinned, we read of the Law that “the letter killeth” (II Cor. 3:6), and so it was well-named “the ministration of death” (II Cor. 3:7). We know that the Law of Moses is the subject here since the next verse goes on to say that the Law could not save us (Rom. 8:3), and who would think that any law but the Law of Moses could save us?

Now if the law of sin and death says, “You sin, you die,” then whatever “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ” is, it must be something that sets us free from the Law of Moses. This can only be the “law” that says there is “life in Christ,” i.e., the law that says if you believe on Christ, you can be saved from the condemnation of the Law (Gal. 3:13). This is certainly good news for the unbeliever, but in the context, Paul is talking about his experience as a believer.

It is true that the unbeliever who sins will die. But it is also true that the believer who sins will die. He won’t die the eternal death that awaits those who die without Christ (Rev. 20:14,15), but he will die the “Christian death” which is the subject of Romans 6-8, the death wherein all of a believer’s spiritual vital signs are flat-lined and he enters a comatose spiritual state.

What’s the solution to this problem? Well, the solution for the unbeliever who is condemned by the law of sin and death is to believe on Christ and receive eternal life. And we would submit that the solution is the same for the believer whose sin is causing his Christian experience to shrivel up and die. Not that he needs to get saved again. He needs only to realize that while there is death in sin, there is “life in Christ.” Paul explains what he means by this in the next verse:

    “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3).

The Law of Moses was strong enough to save us if we could keep it (Lev. 18:5; Luke 10:28; Rom. 2:7; 10:5; Gal. 3:12). The weakness of the Law was found in that we could not keep it. It was weak through the flesh. This is similar to how a metal serving fork is strong enough to lift a ten pound turkey, but if you insert the fork into the bird and try to lift it, the bird’s flesh will tear away, and you will not be able to lift it in this fashion. The fork is strong, but it is weak through the flesh.

When it was found that men could not keep the Law well enough to be saved, God sent His own Son “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” When our Lord was born, He was “made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7), but when God sent Him to Calvary, it was there that He was made “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” as He was “numbered with the transgressors” (Isa. 53:12).

And every believer knows why God sent His Son to die on Calvary’s cross. It was, as our text says, “for sin.” This phrase is used to describe Levitical offerings that were made “for sin” (Lev. 6:26; 9:15, etc.). And so Isaiah predicted that when God sent His Son to Calvary, He would “make His soul an offering for sin” (Isa. 53:10).

It was also at Calvary that God “condemned sin in the flesh.” This is key to our understanding of this passage. Every believer needs something to condemn the sin that resides in his flesh (Rom. 7:17-20). The Law of Moses certainly looks like it would fill the bill, so to speak, for it certainly condemns sin! But while the Law looks like just the ticket to deal with sin, Paul has just finished teaching us in Romans 7 that when we use the Law to condemn sin in our lives, it leads to feelings of self-condemnation and despair.

It is here in Romans 8 that Paul tells us what to rather use to condemn sin in our flesh, i.e., the cross of Christ. It was at the cross that God tells us exactly what He thinks of sin, for it was at the cross that He showed His willingness to pour out His wrath on His own Son when He was made sin for us. If God was willing to punish even His own beloved Son for sin, sin must indeed be a heinous thing in His sight.

And this is all we need to keep in mind to condemn sin in our lives. This is why after Paul rebuked the Galatians earlier in his epistle to them for trying to use the Law to deal with sin, He reminded them that before their eyes “Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you” (Gal. 3:1). This is also why we observe the Lord’s Supper, “for as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come” (I Cor. 11:26). For it was the Cross that paid for our sins and condemns the sin in our flesh,

    “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4).

The word “that” refers to the purpose or object of something. Here, the purpose of Christ’s death for our sins was not to enable us to continue in sin, but rather to fulfill the righteousness of the Law. And the object of condemning sin at Calvary was to tell us what God thinks of sin, and provide us with all the motivation we need to “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Notice though that Paul does not say that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled “by” us, but rather “in” us. Just as there is a difference between surgery done by a doctor and in a doctor, the perfect righteousness of the law cannot be fulfilled by us even after we are saved. But it can be fulfilled in us, for just as “he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8), so when we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh, we also fulfill the righteousness of the Law.

This is why after reminding the Galatians that love fulfills the law, Paul likewise told them, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (5:14-16). After telling them earlier in Galatians that the Law won’t help them deal with sin, here he tells them what will! Just as in the military, the best defense is often a good offense, so the best way to not walk after the flesh is to walk after the Spirit.

Walking after the Spirit has nothing to do with the claims of Pentecostalism. About the only other way the Greek word for “walk” is translated in our King James Version is to be occupied with (Heb. 13:9). Hence to walk in the Spirit is to be occupied with the things of the Spirit. In other words, the way to say no to the sins of the flesh is to say yes to the things of the Spirit. The way to get the things of the world out of your life is by crowding them out with the things of the Spirit.

This is what Paul meant when he said, “neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27). Don’t give the devil any room in your life! If your life is filled with the things of the Lord, there will be no room in your life for sin, for not even the devil himself can add a single thing to a life that is already filled. You can completely submerge an inverted glass in water, and the water will not enter the glass, for the glass is filled with air. And so if we would only “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18), there will be no room in our lives for the lusts of the flesh.

Of course, the believer’s walk begins with his thoughts, and so Paul goes on to say:

    “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit” (Rom. 8:5).

When a child is told, “mind your manners,” he is being told to keep his manners in mind, and allow them to influence his behavior. Thus people who walk after the flesh do so because they “mind the things of the flesh,” i.e., they keep the things of the flesh in mind and allow them to influence their behavior, whether they be saved or unsaved. But believers who succeed in walking after the Spirit have learned the secret of minding the things of the Spirit instead.

 on: December 10, 2018, 05:38:42 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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A Guide to Godliness
by Pastor Ricky Kurth

It is imperative to the spiritual health of the reader that you understand the word “guilt” by definition is not a feeling, it is a judicial standing. And the judicial standing of the believer is that he has been pardoned, forgiven, justified and even “made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21). And so when we allow our hearts to feel the guilt that our heads know from Scripture has no place in our lives, we are inviting the kind of misery that Paul describes in this passage, a crushing load that God never intended for us to bear.

Dear reader, God Himself is fully satisfied with the payment that Christ made for all of your sins, past, present and future. When you as a believer feel guilty for your sins, you are saying in effect that you are not satisfied with His payment, making your standards higher than those of the Almighty. You should feel sorry when you sin, sorry that you have grieved the One who paid your debt (Eph. 4:30). But God no more wants you to bear the emotional consequence of your sin (guilt) than He wants you to bear the judicial consequence of your sin in the lake of fire. Thank God, He has saved us from both, and we need only convince our hearts of what our heads know to be true about this to enjoy the indescribable “blessedness” that God longs for us to experience as His forgiven children (Rom. 4:6-8).

    “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me” (Rom. 7:21).

When Paul placed himself under the Law of Moses, he found another law, a fixed principle as sure as the law of gravity, that when he wanted to do good he found evil present with him. Due to the fallen nature we inherited from Adam, and made our own when we committed our first sin, we will always want to do evil when told not to. “The law worketh wrath” (Rom. 4:15), as our flesh angrily declares, “No one is going to tell me what to do!”

    “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Rom. 7:22).

The “inward man” is the man that God has made you in Christ, the “inner man” who can be “renewed day by day” if he is “strengthened with might by His Spirit” with God’s Word rightly divided (II Cor. 4:16; Eph. 3:16). This strength can only come from a realization of the Pauline truth that “we are not under the Law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14,15). Only the inner man who knows he is not condemned by the Law can delight in the Law. But when we lose sight of this, and place ourselves under the Law, we experience the problem Paul describes next.

    “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Rom. 7:23).

What is this other law Paul saw in his members? It is the same law that “did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death” when we were unsaved (Rom. 7:5b). It is the law, or fixed principle, that says that when our fallen flesh is told not to do something, it only gives motion to sin (Rom. 7:5a). Paul says that when he placed himself under the Law of Moses, this other law warred against the law of his mind.

The law of the believer’s mind is the law in the inner man that knows it is not condemned by the Law of Moses, and so delights in it (v. 22). It is “the law of the Spirit” Paul mentions later (8:2). The Spirit and this law both dwell in the inner man, which we believe can be found in the believer’s mind. When Paul says that “your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost” (I Cor. 6:19), we believe that the actual physical area of your body in which the Spirit resides is in your brain. Isn’t it interesting that the lateral region of your head, between your forehead and your ears, is referred to as your temple?

And so when we forget our uncondemned position in Christ, and place ourselves under the condemnation of the Law, we allow this conflict to take place between the law of our mind and the law of the flesh that is still in our members, giving motion to the sin that our mind longs to avoid. When this happens, Paul says that we are brought “into captivity to the law of sin” which is still in our members, even now that we are saved, and we find ourselves giving in to iniquity.

The word “captivity” is a very specific Bible word that is used frequently in the Word of God, especially in the Old Testament. There the word frequently refers to the seventy-year period the people of Israel were held captive by the Chaldeans in Babylon. We believe Paul purposely selected this word, and that there is an important comparison with our text that he would like us to draw.

When the people of Israel were in captivity, they did not cease to be the people of God! That is, they did not lose their identity as the children of God, they simply could no longer function as God’s children. They could not bring their sacrifices to the temple in Jerusalem, they could not attend the thrice-yearly feasts that were mandatory for every adult male Hebrew (Ex. 34:23,24), etc.

In the same way, when the believer is taken captive by the law of sin, he does not lose his identity in Christ. He is simply rendered unable to function as “a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (II Tim. 2:21). He needs to be recovered “out of the snare of the devil,” because he has been “taken captive by him at his will” (v. 26), and so finds himself in the kind of captivity of which Paul speaks in our text. Believers who then place themselves under the Law may think that they are helping themselves, but they actually “oppose themselves” (v. 25) in so doing.

It is true that believers who fall into this condition can “recover themselves” (v. 26), but sometimes they need a little help. Spiritual believers who long to help them “must not strive; but be gentle…in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves” (v. 24,25). And beloved, there is nothing meek or gentle about the Law! And so we know the Law is not the solution to the problem of sin in our lives!

Those who would be of help to brethren who have fallen into sin must be “patient” and “apt to teach” them about the grace of God, not about His Law. Too often when brethren fall into sin, well-meaning believers try to minister to these fallen ones with the sternness and severity of the Law, coming down on them like a ton of bricks, forgetting that in many cases it is the Law that sin has used to strengthen them in sin in the first place.

When this writer was a boy, we recall seeing a 1957 movie entitled The Amazing Colossal Man on TV. Exposed to atomic radiation, a man grows to sixty feet in size and goes insane. When conventional weaponry failed to stop this menace to society, one scientist proposed they resort to nuclear firepower. Fortunately, another pointed out that if nuclear radiation had caused the problem, a nuclear explosion would only exacerbate the predicament!

In the same way, if sin is a problem in a believer’s life, the Law of Moses that God says strengthens sin in the first place is no solution! It is the grace of God that teaches us that “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11,12). We’ll speak more about this when we consider Romans 8.

    “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).

The word “wretched” means “very miserable, deeply afflicted.” We refuse to believe that this condition was the norm in the life of the great apostle, but only his experience when he failed to remember he was not under the Law that condemned him, but under grace.

The presence of the pronoun “I” here prompts us to point out that the words “I” and “me” and “my” appear fifty times in Romans 7. What a reminder that when we take our focus off of Christ, and who we are in Him, and center our attention on ourselves, we are sure to experience every bit of the frustration and hopelessness Paul describes in this chapter.

It is important to point out that when Paul speaks about “this death,” he is speaking about the “Christian death” we mentioned earlier in our comments on Romans 6:16. Sin has a deadening effect in the life of the believer, an effect from which we should all long with Paul to be delivered.

Who shall deliver us from the body of this death? Thank God, there is an answer to this question:

    “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Rom. 7:25).

    “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).

This beloved verse has long been used as a proof text for the doctrine of eternal security. But while the eternal security of the believer is taught in many Scriptures, we would invite the reader to consider that security is not the subject of this verse. It would be a proof text for eternal security if the verse ended with the words “in Christ Jesus.” But since the verse rather ends with, “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” if this verse is about security, it is teaching conditional security, for it is then saying there is only “no condemnation” for those in Christ who walk after the Spirit.

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