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 31 
 on: December 10, 2018, 05:35:16 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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A Guide to Godliness
by Pastor Ricky Kurth

    “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

    “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17,18).

When you were unsaved, you were “the servants of sin,” incapable of “obedience unto righteousness.” But when you got saved you “became” the servant of righteousness. While you can now choose to serve sin or righteousness, you are a servant of righteousness, forever free from the tyranny of sin.

    “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” (Rom. 6:19).

To speak “after the manner of men” means to give an illustration from the world of men (Gal. 4:15), and the infirmity of our flesh that Paul mentions here is that we often need such illustrations to understand divine truth. Here Paul hesitates to compare the way we live for the Lord with the way we used to live for sin, and so qualifies the comparison with this disclaimer. However, the comparison is such a good one he dare not pass on it. The words “as” and “so” here indicate that we should now serve the Lord as we used to serve sin, i.e., with all our might! We should serve the Lord as enthusiastically as we used to serve ourselves and our own interests and desires.

    “For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness” (Rom. 6:20).

If we are to live for the Lord “as” we used to live for ourselves, Paul is setting before us a mighty challenge, for when we served sin we served it exclusively, being absolutely “free from right-eousness.” To serve the Lord in such a manner now would mean likewise serving Him exclusively, totally free from sin. Nothing less than this lofty goal should be the express desire of our hearts.

    “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death” (Rom. 6:21).

By the ordination of God, a fruit tree bears fruit “after his kind” (Gen. 1:11). “A corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit” (Matt. 7:17), and the end of this kind of fruit in the unsaved is sin and death.

    “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Rom. 6:22).

Now that you no longer belong to sin, but rather belong to God, “the fruits of righteousness” (Phil. 1:11) that you produce are no longer considered sinful self-righteousness, they are now considered “holiness” which ends in “everlasting life.”

But how can everlasting life be the “end” of the fruit of holiness when Paul clearly teaches that it is “by His grace” that we receive “eternal life” (Titus 3:7)? Ah, here the Apostle speaks of the everlasting life that we can enjoy in this life. This is similar to how Paul says that we who already possess eternal life can “lay hold on eternal life” by fighting the good fight of faith and by investing our finances in the Lord’s work and people (I Tim. 6:11,12,17-19). Believers who live only for themselves and spend their money selfishly are laying hold on this life.

    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

This is a verse that we often use when sharing the gospel with unbelievers, but Paul is not actually addressing the unsaved in this chapter, but is rather speaking to believers. This does not mean, however, that we should not use this verse when sharing Christ with others, for the principle that Paul is citing is true. The wages the unbeliever earns for his sin is physical, spiritual, and eternal death, and accepting eternal life as the gift of God is his only hope. Paul’s point, however, is to teach us that sin will continue to have a deadening effect in our lives even after we are saved. But thank God, His gift to us as believers is that we can now lay hold on the eternal life that is our only hope of enjoying the rich, fulfilling spiritual life that God longs for us to have as His children. May this be the longing of our hearts as well!

    “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?” (Rom. 7:1).

Bible commentaries love to debate whether Paul refers here to Roman law or the Law of Moses, but the apostle’s point is the same in either case. Death ends all earthly relationships, including the relationship between a man and the law! To illustrate this point, Paul cites this example:

    “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband” (Rom. 7:2).

Death ends all relationships, including the relationship between husband and wife. Paul is going to illustrate our relationship to the Law of Moses by comparing it to the relationship between a man and his wife.

    “So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

    “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom. 7:3,4).

Here we see the point of Paul’s illustration. When we were unbelievers, we were married to the Law, and we couldn’t be married to Christ as long as we were bound to the Law. But just as death ends the relationship between a wife and her husband, so death ended the relationship between believers and the Law of Moses! As we learned in Romans 6, when Christ died, He died to the Law, and we died with Him!

If it be wondered why we would want our relationship to God’s Law to end, let’s expand upon Paul’s illustration. Imagine a woman married to a man who is constantly pointing out her shortcomings. Nothing she does is good enough. She doesn’t keep house perfectly. She doesn’t discipline the children sufficiently. She’s a terrible cook! Under the law, she had no choice. Under this constant barrage of criticism, she just had to sit there and take it!

This is a perfect description of the Law! The Law is constantly pointing out our shortcomings. You’re too covetous! You don’t honor your parents! You are fudging the truth when you put it that way! As unbelievers under the Law, we had no choice. Under this constant barrage of criticism, we just had to sit there and take it! This demand for perfection (Jas. 2:10,11) is what finally drove us to trust in Christ.

But once we are saved, the Law does not let up. It continues to point out our shortcomings. But praise God, we no longer have to sit and take it! We have become “dead to the law by the body of Christ,” and death ends all relationships! As believers under grace, we are set free from the Law that continues to demand perfection of still imperfect beings, a tyranny that leads to a feeling of defeat and despair.

But how did we become dead to the Law? Paul says it was “by the body of Christ,” i.e., by His physical body. But here we must be careful. We did not become dead to the Law by the birth of our Lord’s physical body, for He was born under the Law (Gal. 4:4 cf. Luke 2:21-24). Nor did we become dead to the Law by the adult life of our Lord’s body, for as a man He obeyed the Law, and taught others to obey it as well (Matt. 8:4; 23:1-3). No, it is by the death of our Lord’s physical body that we are made free from the Law. When He died, He died to the Law, and we died with Him!

And the Law died to us, for Colossians 2:14 says that when Christ died He nailed the Law to His cross. We were then free to be married to another, “even to Him who is raised from the dead,” the Lord Jesus Christ! If it be wondered why we would want to be married to the Lord, it is “that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

One of the purposes of marriage is to be “fruitful” (Gen. 1:22). When we were married to the Law as unbelievers, we could not bring forth the fruit of good works unto God (Rom. 6:21). Our works of righteousness were considered works of self righteousness (Isa. 64:6), and God rejects the works of self-righteousness.

Under the Law, if a man died childless, his brother could marry his wife and father the children that his barren brother could not (Deut. 25:5,6). In the same way, now that we are married to Christ we can bring forth the “fruit unto holiness” that our marriage to the Law could not produce in us (Rom. 6:22). Now when we do good works, they are considered good works by God, and we can be “fruitful in every good work” (Col. 1:10 cf. Eph. 2:10; Titus 2:14).

Of course, under the Law, if a man refused to marry his dead brother’s wife, she loosed his shoe and spat in his face (Deut. 25:7-10). When the Lord refused to allow Israel to make Him king before His death (John 6:15), it looked like He was refusing to marry her to raise up seed where the Law had failed. But how precious to know that when they stripped Him and spat in His face at Calvary, God was able to use this to raise up spiritual fruit in Israel, and in us.

 32 
 on: December 10, 2018, 05:34:03 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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A Guide to Godliness
by Pastor Ricky Kurth

When this writer was a teen, we attended a Christian youth meeting where this truth was vividly brought to life. A wooden plank was stretched across two inverted metal buckets, and a teen girl was blindfolded and asked to stand on the plank in the middle. Two strong young men were then instructed by a narrator to carefully lift the ends of the plank off the buckets an inch or two. The narrator then proceeded to “describe” how the girl was being lifted so close to the ceiling that she had better duck, even though the boys (who had previously received instructions of what to do) were still holding her mere inches from the ground. As the girl ducked to avoid the ceiling, she lost her balance and fell off the plank. All because she reckoned something to be true of her position in life that simply wasn’t so.

Similarly, if we reckon ourselves alive to sin and prone to fall, it is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if we reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God, this too is likely to come a self-fulfilling prophecy!

And so just as the president-elect immediately begins to reflect the position given him by the voters, we should likewise reflect the position God has already given us in Christ. What a slap in the face of the voters it would be for a man to live disgracefully once elected to high office! May we as believers never choose to disgrace the grace that saves us!

    “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Rom. 6:12).

Before you were saved, sin reigned in your life, and not in the token manner in which modern figurehead kings reign. Kings in Bible days were absolute despots, and it is in this sense that sin reigned in your life as an unbeliever. Sin held o’er your being absolute sway! At that time, you had no choice in the matter, since everything you did was sin. 7 But now, while even the best believer can fall into sin, you don’t have to let sin reign in your life!

We believe Paul mentions our “mortal” body here to remind us that while our spirit is saved from eternal death, our physical body is still subject to physical death, and sin hastens death! Constant drunkenness will destroy your health, for example. When sin advances to the criminal level, such felonious activity increases your chances of being shot by the law or executed by the court. And even if you are never caught and brought to justice, the constant fear of being apprehended causes stress, a well-known contributor to high blood pressure and heart disease. And this fear of getting caught is something that affects even liars and other lesser offenders. No wonder Paul elsewhere affirms that obeying the parents who warned us about sin will promote longevity (Eph. 6:1-3), and no wonder he mentions our mortality here, to give us extra encouragement to avoid these life-threatening assassins commonly known as sins.

    “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:13).

When you were unsaved, and had to sin because everything you did was sin, you were not yielding to sin, for yielding suggests you have a choice. You were rather obeying a supreme despot who held absolute sway o’er your being. But now you can do what you could not do back when you were one of the “none that doeth good” that Paul talks about in Romans 3:12. Now you can yield yourself to God.

In the old days when prisoners were forced to break rocks all day, a prisoner who did so was not yielding to the warden, he was obeying. But if after paying his debt to society an ex-con decided to drop in for a visit, and the warden requested he break some rocks to help him meet his quota, he would be yielding to such a request. Of course, such a man would have to have rocks in his head, so to speak! And the same is true of believers who yield to sin after Christ paid our debt, though sadly we usually remember it only after the fact.

We should rather yield ourselves unto God, “as those that are alive from the dead.” But where can we find a role model for this? There were eight individuals in Scripture who were raised from the dead, but the Bible tells us next to nothing of their lives after they were raised. Perhaps this was a purposeful omission on God’s part, leaving us only the example of our Lord’s post-resurrection life as our pattern. May each of us determine to fare better than Hezekiah, who was not raised from the dead, but who was given a new lease on life after a life-threatening illness (II Kings 20:1-6). How sad to read that he “rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him” (II Chron. 32:24,25). May these words not be spoken of us at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where it will be determined how well we served the Lord with the new life given to us in the light of all He did for us.

We do know this about life after death: according to folklore only a ghost hangs around his old “haunts,” trying to relive the old life he enjoyed before he died. A resurrected man heeds Paul’s admonitions to “seek those things which are above” and “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1,2). God help us to likewise be “forgetting those things which are behind” (Phil. 3:13).

    “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the Law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).

Paul here explains the reason sin no longer enjoys the absolute dominion it held over us when we were unsaved: “for ye are not under the Law, but under grace.” In the dispensation of grace, the only people under the law are unbelievers (Rom. 3:19; I Tim. 1:9,10). “The strength of sin is the law” (I Cor. 15:56), and without it sin has no capacity to dominate us, as we shall see when we get to Romans 7.

    “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid” (Rom. 6:15).

How many times have you heard, “You can’t tell someone they are under grace, they’ll live however they want to.” However, as has well been said, grace changes our “want-to”! That is, grace changes how we want to live. The Lord told Bartimaeus, “Go thy way,” but as we read on we see that “immediately he followed Jesus in the way” (Mark 10:52). Was he being disobedient? No! His way was now the Lord’s way! And so it should be the desire of every blood-bought child of God to follow the Lord Jesus in the way.

How can we even think of continuing in sin after Christ died for our sins? A Mafia hit man knows there is no way out of the syndicate other than dying. But what if such a man’s twin brother volunteered to die in order to fool the mob into thinking that the hit man was dead? Such a noble sacrifice would be greatly dishonored if the brother then continued to serve organized crime. Similarly, the noblest Sacrifice in history is equally dishonored when we continue in sin after the Lord died to save us from our sins.

    “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16).

In the early „60s there was a TV show called Queen for a Day, in which the woman with the most deserving story was crowned, draped in red velvet, and treated to a fully paid night on the town with her husband. She was actually queen of nothing and no one, but for one night was treated as though she were. Similarly, sin is no longer our master, but when we yield ourselves to it, we make it our king and we are its servants for that moment of our lives.

It is critical that we say something about the “death” mentioned here. Like many Bible words, the word “death” has many meanings. There is physical death, of course, spiritual death (Eph. 2:1), and “the second death” (Rev. 20:14). In each of these cases the word has the idea of separation, for in physical death the soul and spirit are separated from the body (Gen. 35:18), in spiritual death the soul and spirit are separated from God (Eph. 2:1; 4:18), and in eternal death the soul and spirit are separated from God for eternity (Rev. 20:15).

But here in Romans, there is something we like to call Christian death, a condition wherein all a believer’s spiritual vital signs are “flat-lined,” and there is no evidence of spiritual life whatsoever. It is sin that has this deadening effect on our spiritual lives. But when it occurs, we don’t need to be saved again, we only need to wake up. It is to believers that Paul says, “…Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead…” (Eph. 5:14). Believers who have died in sin must “awake to righteousness, and sin not” (I Cor. 15:34).

Something should also be said about the “righteousness” that is said to be the reward of “obedience” here. Every true believer knows that “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness” (Rom. 10:10), and this righteousness cannot be obtained by our works (Rom. 4:5). But this speaks of our positional righteousness before God, “the gift of righteousness” that we receive when we trust Christ (Rom. 5:17). When Paul speaks here of “obedience unto righteousness” he refers to the practical righteousness that comes from obeying God (I Tim. 6:11; II Tim. 2:22; 3:16).

 33 
 on: December 10, 2018, 05:32:38 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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A Guide to Godliness
by Pastor Ricky Kurth

But while you had to sin before you were saved (because everything you did was sin) you don’t have to sin any more! Now when you do good works, God sees them as good works! Your baptism into Christ has broken sin’s tyrannical power over you, and given you power over it! What a shame when we fail to use our new-found power!

It reminds us of how there was a time in this country when women and African-Americans could not vote. Now that they can, it is sad when they don’t. Similarly, now that we can say no to sin, what a shame if we don’t! Years ago, the National Library Service ran an effective reading campaign that said, “If you do not read, you are no better off than one who cannot read.” Similarly, if we do not avoid sin, we are no better off than the unsaved who cannot avoid sin.

The most important thing to remember about our baptism into Christ’s death is that death ends all relationships! The marriage relationship, the master/slave relationship that was still present in Paul’s day, all ended at death. And our baptism into Christ also effectively ends the master-slave relationship we had with sin. Here’s how it works.

When the Lord was made sin for us (II Cor. 5:21), sin became His master, as it was once ours, demanding His death, as it once demanded ours. But when He died, He died to sin, and sin no longer has any claim on Him (Rom. 6:4,5). And when we trust Christ, we are baptized into His death, ending our master/slave relationship to sin.

    “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).

The word “that” here indicates that God had a purpose in identifying us with Christ in His death and burial. It was so that He might also identify us with Christ in His resurrection! After His resurrection, the Lord began a new life, free from sin, and so should we!

The Lord rose from the dead on the eighth day and was given a new beginning, and the number “eight” in Scripture is frequently associated with new beginnings. God made six days, a day of rest, then determined that on the eighth day we would begin a new week. “Eight souls” (I Pet. 3:20) stepped off the ark after the flood to a new beginning. Eight individuals in the Bible were raised from the dead and given a new beginning. And just as our Lord’s resurrection on the eighth day gave Him a new beginning, we who are identified with Him in this resurrection are similarly given a new beginning, and encouraged to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Oh that the many unbelievers who long to “start all over” in life could know that such an aspiration is not just a fantasy, but can be a reality in Christ!

    “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5).

Our burial with Christ was actually a planting. Even a suburban-grown boy like this writer knows the difference between planting and burying. Bad guys bury the murder weapon, hoping it will never be found, and the person we used to be was “buried with Him” (v. 4), never to rise again.  But farmers plant seed, hoping it will rise again and bring forth fruit. And so we read here that our burial with Christ was actually a planting, for God hopes we will rise again and bring forth fruit unto Him.

We see an illustration of this when God planted Israel in Canaan (Isa. 5:1-7), and expelled the “stones” of the Canaanite nations, expecting spiritual fruit from all His efforts in Israel’s behalf (v. 2). When they brought forth only the wild fruit of sin, God was confounded, for He could not have done any more for them than what He did (v. 4). In the same way, God could not have done any more for us than what He has done. God forbid that we should bring forth the wild fruit of sin in response to all His efforts on our behalf.

Because we died and were buried with Christ, “we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,” and will rise from the dead physically with Him if the Lord tarries. But why does Paul bring that up here? Surely because God wants us to live the resurrection life now, in this life (Phil. 3:11). When we rise from physical death, we won’t sin any more, and God wants us to live that kind of life now!

In Acts 1:3 we learn how the Lord spent His earthly resurrection life when we read that He “shewed Himself alive by many infallible proofs.” Well, if we are to walk “in the likeness of His resurrection,” we should show ourselves to be spiritually alive by many infallible proofs of godliness in our lives, and follow Him in “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Of course we mean the kingdom proclaimed by Paul, not the kingdom of heaven on earth!

    “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Rom. 6:6).

Many Christians wonder why they still have trouble with their “old man” if Paul says he is crucified. But while Paul says we ourselves “were” baptized into Christ’s death (v. 3,4), past tense, he says our old man “is” crucified with Him, present tense. Roman crucifixion meant certain death, but it never meant immediate death. Since anyone freeing a crucified man risked execution himself, death was sure to follow crucifixion. But crucified men often lingered for hours and even days. And so it is with our “old man.” His demise is certain, for death or Rapture will rid us of him forever, but in the meantime he lingers.

But it should encourage the reader to remember that with his hands and feet nailed to a cross, a crucified man was powerless to make anyone do anything. Similarly, our old man has no power in our lives to make us sin. Crucified men can, however, speak, and this explains why we still have trouble with our old man. He is not shy about suggesting evil at every opportunity, but may God help us to treat him like the impotent influence that he is in our lives.

While the Lord taught that offending eyes should be plucked out and offending hands cut off, this would allow an eye and a hand to remain to continue in sin! What the Lord offers us here through Paul is far better, for our old man is crucified with Christ “that the body of sin might be destroyed.”

    “For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom. 6:7).

Death ends all earthly relationships. Because of this, it was the only hope of freedom for slaves in the early days of our country. Imagine Abraham Lincoln’s frustration, however, when after he freed the slaves many of them chose to remain with their masters! Then imagine God’s frustration when after Cyrus freed Israel from bondage, only about fifty thousand returned to Israel! (Ezra 2:64,65). Now imagine God’s frustration when “he that is dead is freed from sin,” but continues in sin!

    “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (Rom. 6:8).

Here Paul speaks of his assurance of our future life of living and reigning with Christ in heaven. Why bring that up? Well, if we really believe we will live and reign with Christ, we will live better now.

A president who is elected in November doesn’t say to himself, “I have two months until I take office, I’d better live it up now, for after that I’ll have to behave myself!” If he did, the press would be all over him! In the same way, we who are destined to replace the fallen principalities and powers and rule with Christ in the heavens are “principality-elects.” And while we have not yet taken office, we have been elected and should already be reflecting the dignity of our future office now, in this life.

    “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him.

    “For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.

    “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:9-11).

The Lord Jesus Christ has not yet taken office, as Satan is still “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4). And yet He has already reckoned Himself alive unto God, and is already reflecting the dignity of His future office. Paul here encourages us to reckon the same to be true of ourselves, who died to sin with Him. May we too live unto God!

Notice that God doesn’t ask us to die to sin, He simply asks us to reckon we are already dead, which is much easier! Just as it is much easier for contemporary Americans to reckon ourselves dead to England than it was for 1776 Americans who had to actually fight the battle. God does not want us to be like the Japanese soldiers who didn’t hear of the end of World War II, and who were frequently found years later hiding in the islands of the Pacific, still fighting a war that was over long ago. He rather wants us simply resting in the victory that He won over sin at Calvary!

But can reckoning the battle to be over, and ourselves dead to sin, really help us? God here says it can, and we see a parallel in instances when we hear someone say, “All I needed to succeed was to find someone who believed in me!” Well, God Himself believes we are dead to sin, and it should give similar strength to us to reckon it to be so.

 34 
 on: December 10, 2018, 05:31:00 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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A Guide to Godliness
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:1,2).

Our opening text provides us with all the motivation we need to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:12). If the Lord Jesus Christ died for us, it is only “reasonable” that we should live for Him! But how are we to do this? In the present series of articles, we hope to provide the reader with God’s own instructions as to how to live a godly life.

Bible students know that Romans 9-11 are parenthetical, and so our opening text in Romans 12:1,2 actually comes on the heels of the doctrine taught in Romans 6-8. And so while the motivation of a godly walk is found in Romans 12:1,2, we believe the mechanics of how to live a godly life are found in these previous chapters. And so we plan to examine this passage in detail, for we believe an understanding of Romans 6-8 provides a believer with God’s own guide to godliness.

After declaring man’s sinfulness and need of a Savior in Romans 1-3, the Apostle Paul clearly establishes how the Lord Jesus Christ paid for all of our sins on Calvary’s cross in Romans 3-5, and affirms that we can be saved from our sins by simple “faith in His blood” (Rom. 3:25). After concluding this discussion in Romans 5, Paul then asks,

    “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (Rom. 6:1).

“What shall we say then” to what? Why, to being saved from all our sins, past, present and future! Paul knew that the natural reaction to such grace is to think that we can now sin with impunity, and so anticipates this faulty reasoning and deals with it here. But before going into a detailed refutation of such a thought, Paul’s initial response is to burst out an exclamation:

    “God forbid! How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:2).

After Paul’s outburst fully expresses his revulsion at such a thought, he immediately settles in to responding to this question in a definitive manner. His words “How shall we” seem to argue, “After all God has done for us, in freeing us from sin, how can we even think of grieving Him by continuing in sin?”

This is called Grace motivation. God does not tell us, as He told Israel, “If you are good I will bless you.” That’s Law motivation, the “carrot and stick” approach, and it does not work in the present dispensation of grace! God rather tells us, “I have already blessed you (Eph. 1:3), now won’t you walk worthy of My blessing? (Eph. 4:1).”

We see an illustration of this kind of motivation in Genesis 39. When Joseph was tempted to sin with his master’s wife, he spoke of all that his master had done for him and then asked, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (v. 9). Joseph could have rationalized, “I’m far from home. Who’s going to know?” Or, “God seems to have forsaken me anyway, in allowing me to be enslaved. I don’t owe Him anything!” Despite his difficult life, he instead remained loyal to the master who had so blessed him, and we should do the same!

If we were to hear of a drunkard who continued to drink after receiving a new liver, we would be outraged. We should be similarly outraged at the thought of continuing in sin after God has given us a new heart.

We might compare our situation to the foreign diplomats in Washington D.C., who have what is called “diplomatic immunity,” and cannot be prosecuted for breaking our laws. Because of this, we are outraged when occasionally we hear of one who has flagrantly broken our laws, simply because he is immune from prosecution. Believers saved by grace have similar immunity to the eternal condemning power of the Law of Moses, and it is outrageous for us to consider committing the sins for which God will punish unbelievers in Hell for all eternity. Speaking of the sins that he enumerates in Ephesians 5:3-5, Paul goes on to say,

    “…because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

    “Be not ye therefore partakers with them” (Eph. 5:6,7).

Grace is not a license to sin, although many Christians are deceived by “vain words” saying that it is (Eph. 5:6). This is similar to the “lying words” Jeremiah warned Israel about:

    “Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

    “Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely…

    “And come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations” (Jer. 7:8-10).

Liars were telling Israel that the sacrifices they brought to the house of God delivered them so they could continue in sin. God’s real purpose in giving Israel these things was to provide them with a safety net, in case they fell into sin. But in response to these lying words, they had begun to use their safety net as a hammock, lounging comfortable in the sins for which innocent animals had died.

It reminds us of how our welfare system is similarly designed as a safety net for our people, in case they fall upon hard times. There are many words that people use to describe those who use this safety net as a hammock, and none of those words are very flattering. God forbid that we who are saved by the blood of Christ should ever consider using that precious blood as a hammock to lounge comfortably in iniquity.

May we rather be found as a people who fervently serve the Lord even though we know we are eternally secure. Men also have words for the boss’s son who works fervidly even though he knows he cannot be fired, and all of these words are very becoming. May these be the words used to describe each of us as eternally-secure believers!

It is human nature to want to sin, for even beside our natural bent to transgress God’s laws, sin is the one thing we cannot have as believers, and men always seem to want most what they cannot have! Adam was king of the world, but wanted the fruit of the one tree he could not have. Ahab owned many lands as king of Israel, but wanted the one land that the Law wouldn’t allow him to have (I Kings 21:1-16). And as the king’s son, Amnon was Israel’s most eligible bachelor and could have had any woman in the kingdom, but wanted the one woman he couldn’t have (II Sam. 13:1-4). Well do these examples of human nature illustrate how as the King’s sons, God “giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (I Tim. 6:17), and yet we long for the one thing we cannot have, sin!

This is natural, but “the natural man” is not a good thing in Scripture (I Cor. 2:14)! When they were hungry, it was natural for Israel to remember the good things they had to eat in Egypt, and to forget how miserable their lives were as slaves to Pharaoh. Likewise it is natural for us to remember “the pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:25), and to forget that we were slaves or “servants of sin” (Rom. 6:17), and how miserable our lives were in those days!

Next, the Apostle goes on to explain exactly what he means when he says here in Verse 2 that we are “dead to sin”:

    “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:3).

We are “dead to sin” because we have been baptized into Christ’s death. Here the apostle speaks not of water baptism, for water baptism does not place us “into Jesus Christ.” The core meaning of baptism is identification.

In the Bible’s very first baptism (I Cor. 10:1,2), Israel wasn’t sure if the Red Sea waters might close as mysteriously as they had opened, but they knew for sure what would happen if they tarried for the armies of Pharaoh! In entering the Red Sea they loudly proclaimed, “We’re with Moses!” and thus identified themselves with him. Likewise the Lord’s baptism with water identified Him as Israel’s Messiah (John 1:31). His death was also called a baptism (Luke 12:50) for He was “numbered with” or identified with “the transgressors” (Isa. 53:12; Mark 15:27,28). And when James and John wanted to be identified with the Lord in the glory of His kingdom (Mark 10:35-37), He asked if they were willing to identify themselves with Him first in the suffering of death (v. 38).

And so the baptism of Romans 6:3 is the baptism by which we are identified with Christ the moment we believe the gospel. It is at that moment that we are “baptized into Jesus Christ” (cf. I Cor. 12:13). Paul says that as many as have experienced this baptism were also baptized into His death. And while water baptism gives us no power over sin (the subject of this passage) this baptism gives us plenty of power over sin! Allow us to explain:

Before you were saved you had to sin, because everything you did was sin in the eyes of God. Even an amoral thing like plowing a field is sin if done by an unbeliever (Prov. 21:4). Even righteous works done by unbelievers are considered self-righteous “iniquity” (Isa. 64:6; Matt. 7:22,23). No wonder Paul says of the unsaved, “there is none that doeth good, no not one” (Rom. 3:12)!

 35 
 on: December 10, 2018, 05:28:26 PM 
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Life-Savers
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “The world passeth away” (1 John 2:17).

    “The whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19).

Christians who spend their time and energy in social service, civic reform, programs for the uplift of the community, etc., forget that this world is like a sinking ship. They are wasting their time and energy trying to save the wreck instead of saving individuals from the wreck.

Paul lived in a day when politics were corrupt, when power trampled righteousness under foot, when society was degraded, when purety was laughed at, and immorality was exalted. He saw what was called “art and culture” dragging thousands down as it tempted them from statues that almost lived, and from writings and pictures so vile that they were only surpassed by the actual immorality from Nero’s court down.

Yet you never find him taking part in political campaigns, nor urging social reform. His great aim was to present the Lord Jesus Christ as the One to whom individuals must fly for salvation.

 36 
 on: December 10, 2018, 05:26:18 PM 
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A statue of a stone lamb!

(J.R. Miller)

"Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us!" 1 Corinthians 5:7

On a little church in Germany stands a statue of a stone lamb, which has an interesting history. When some workmen were engaged on the roof of the building, one of them fell to the ground. His companions hastened down, expecting to find him dead. They were amazed, however, to see him unhurt. A lamb had been grazing just where he struck the ground, and falling upon it, the little creature was crushed to death, while the man himself escaped injury. He was so grateful for this wonderful deliverance, that he had a statue of the lamb carved in stone, and placed on the building as a memorial. The lamb saved his life, by dying in his place.
 
In the same way, every saved soul can point to the Lamb of God, and say, "I am saved--because Jesus died in my stead!"

What memorial have we set up to witness to our gratitude and love?

"The Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me!" Galatians 2:20

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain--to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!" Revelation 5:12

 37 
 on: December 10, 2018, 05:24:05 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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The Patriot Post Digest 12-10-2018
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FEATURED ANALYSIS
Double Take on the Fifth Amendment40

Robin Smith

A Supreme Court case is getting a great deal of attention in part because it would be contrary to 170 years of precedent and practice. But more attention-getting, it may have an impact upon Robert Mueller’s case involving Paul Manafort in the vastly overreaching special investigation to determine the extent of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Oral arguments were heard Thursday in Gamble v U.S. The case involves an Alabama man who was arrested in 2015 for crimes that involved the illegal possession of a handgun. Terrence Gamble, a felon who had already served time in prison for a separate crime, faced both state and federal charges for this second failure to observe laws. The State of Alabama sentenced Gamble to one year in prison while an additional federal charge yielded a 46-month sentence on top of that. Gamble appealed this second sentence to the Eleventh Circuit Court, citing the Fifth Amendment.

The relevant text states, “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” Known more often for “pleading the Fifth” to avoid self-incrimination, the amendment, ratified with the original 10 in 1791, provides protections for citizens to prevent multiple trials for the same charge or offense. Specifically, one accused cannot be retried following an acquittal, following a conviction (without reversal on appeal), or after certain mistrials.

Gamble’s legal team argues that federalism is permitting the duplication of the conviction and the punishment on the same charge. Yet because American courts have both a state and federal structure, such dual prosecutions are frequent occurrences.

Each legislated body of law — one federal, the other state — governs the structure of the separate courts, their operations, jurisdictions, codes, regulations, and sentencing, and each is treated as a separated sovereign. Hence, the separate sovereigns doctrine permits the offense, in the case of Gamble, to have been acts against two separate sovereigns. Citing legal precedents in the appeals, in pre-Civil War era rulings the Supreme Court held to the standard of two different offenses. The Court, again, ruled in 1922 in United States v. Lanza that “an act denounced as a crime by both national and state sovereignties is an offense against the peace and dignity of both and may be punished by each.”

The Wall Street Journal’s analysis41 of this case further includes Heath v Alabama (1985), which notes, “An offence, in its legal signification, means the transgression of a law. Consequently, when the same act transgresses the laws of two sovereigns, it cannot be truly averred that the offender has been twice punished for the same offence.”

SCOTUSblog reviewed oral arguments and concluded42 that the “majority appears ready to uphold [the] ‘separate sovereigns’ doctrine.” That analysis offered a bit of a play-by-play description of arguments and verbatims of the justices and the arguing attorneys. The conclusion here was pretty simple: It’s doubtful that the 170-year practice and precedent will be overturned. Yet Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Clarence Thomas spoke in favor of a review of the doctrine. Ginsberg has previously suggested a reconsideration of the sovereigns doctrine, while Thomas voiced support of a “fresh examination” of the almost two-centuries-old legal practice.

Interestingly, all nine of the justices come from Ivy League law schools, where the discussion of double jeopardy is not a new one. Writings43 such as the Note from The Yale Law Journal, November 2014 edition, strain to separate the question to argue the duplication of punishment: “When the interests of a sovereign state are partially vindicated, the sovereign should be able to impart only as much additional punishment as is necessary to fully vindicate its interests.”

It’s almost amusing to see the mainstream media and the political Left arguing against the cause of a minority stopped for a traffic violation that resulted in a felony gun charge. Why? Because if the Court holds the current observance of the separate sovereigns doctrine regarding the Alabama man’s case, Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump who is likely to face charges by Robert Mueller’s federal team for everything except collusion with the Russians, would still likely face state charges on tax evasion or corporate fraud, despite a possible pardon from Trump. The Left can’t abide that.

The Supreme Court ruling is expected sometime in 2019. Based on opinions and analysis, it appears highly unlikely that such longstanding precedent would be overturned. Yet it is causing a double take on the Fifth Amendment and yielding some unlikely allies in wishing for a new look at an old doctrine.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/59931-double-take-on-the-fifth-amendment



OPINION IN BRIEF

Kay Coles James: “Immediately upon taking office, President Trump’s Cabinet began dismantling Obama’s climate legacy. Economically and environmentally, we’re better off without it. As the French very well know, energy taxes hit families and businesses multiple times over. We all feel the pain of higher energy prices directly at the meter and the pump, and indirectly at the grocery store and through almost all the goods and services we pay for, because energy is such a critical input to nearly every product businesses make. Add it all up, and you get fewer employment opportunities and a weaker economy. And all for what? A change in the global temperature would be practically undetectable. All economic pain and no environmental gain. No wonder the French are dissatisfied and Macron’s climate policies are wildly unpopular. Without these expensive, ineffective policies, we’ll be wealthier and have more resources to tackle whatever challenges come our way. The acting EPA administrator has a Herculean task in correcting an agency that had run rogue for eight years under the Obama administration. But families and businesses across the country will feel the impact, and be thankful for it.”


SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

Upright: “Young Democrats who line up behind the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are in for everything and anything so long as it’s free. The only item they seem ready, even eager, to forego is freedom.” —Burt Prelutsky

Braying Jackass: “I’m so conflicted on this issue because on the one hand [devastating disasters are] good news in a sense that we can feel [climate change] in our lives now — that we’re beginning to see floods and wildfires and all sorts of things that are directly being produced by the forces at work here in our changing climate. And yet, at the same time, scientists have always said to us that by the time we actually tangibly feel it in our own lives, it’s kind of too late. And so, there’s a real sort of real mixed blessing here in the fact that we’re actually experiencing it day-to-day now.” —NBC’s Jacob Ward

Hyper-drooling: “There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him.” —Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)

Friendly fire I: “Part of being an elected official is not only taking strong political positions and executing them fairly, it’s also being able to manage the people you entrust with responsibility. In this case, [Sen. Kamala] Harris has fallen short. Harris owes the voters more than just a four word denial on the steps of the U.S. Senate. She should fully explain her relationship with [Larry] Wallace, and, by extension, her staff and why it insulated her from an issue upon which she has taken a leading national role.” —Sacramento Bee editorial board showing vexation with Harris’s supposed cluelessness regarding harassment by a now-fired aide

Friendly fire II: “[Sen. Elizabeth] Warren missed her moment in 2016, and there’s reason to be skeptical of her prospective candidacy in 2020. … While Warren is an effective and impactful senator with an important voice nationally, she has become a divisive figure. A unifying voice is what the country needs now after the polarizing politics of Donald Trump.” —Boston Globe editorial

And last… “People keep saying you shouldn’t be penalized for old opinions. You shouldn’t be penalized for your opinions now! You have a perfect right to disapprove of homosexuality or heterosexuality or anything else. Censorship won’t create a world of tolerance, just a world of lies.” —Andrew Klavan

https://patriotpost.us/articles/59942-monday-short-cuts

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

 38 
 on: December 10, 2018, 05:23:04 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 10, 2018 · https://patriotpost.us/digests/59944-mid-day-digest

THE FOUNDATION

“Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society.” —James Madison (1788)

https://patriotpost.us/fqd/59943-founders-quote-daily

IN TODAY’S EDITION

Tying together some big strings in the collusion narrative.1
Big personnel changes afoot in the White House.2
Daily Features: On the Web3, Columnists4, Headlines5, Memes6, Cartoons7, Opinion in Brief8, and Short Cuts9.
Featured Analysis: Double take on the Fifth Amendment.10

IN BRIEF
Mueller, Comey, and the Clinton Foundation11

Special Counsel Robert Mueller released court filings on Friday against three of President Donald Trump’s former associates — Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen. Once again there was no evidence of Trump colluding with Russia, the ever-popular narrative justifying the creation of the special counsel. The news prompted Trump to declare, “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” But it’s not all roses for Trump, as it now appears Mueller may be putting together a case against Trump for violating campaign-finance laws. That’s problematic for Trump, but it would be a tough issue for Democrats to use as a case for impeachment.

Meanwhile, the one who initiated the whole collusion investigation, former FBI Director James Comey, testified before the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees on Friday. Comey imitated Hillary Clinton in having serious issues with selective memory, and he again defended her, patently dismissing any suggestion that her illegal email practices merited prosecution.

“[Comey’s] memory was so bad I feared he might not remember how to get out of the room after the interview,” one lawmaker noted. “It was like he suddenly developed dementia or Alzheimer’s, after conveniently remembering enough facts to sell his book,” quipped another congressman. Interestingly, Comey was able to remember and admit that the infamous Christopher Steele dossier was never verified before or after it was used to get a FISA warrant to surveil Trump’s campaign.

Regarding Clinton, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) asked Comey, “Is there any need to further investigate Hillary Clinton’s emails based upon the decision that you made not to prosecute?” Comey replied, “Not that I can possibly see.” Jackson Lee further asked if Comey considered the case closed, to which he responded, “Yes. There’s no serious person who thinks there’s a prosecutable case there.”

Was Comey’s answer a jab aimed at U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth, who just the day before allowed for an additional investigation into whether Clinton’s use of a private email server was a deliberate attempt to bypass the Freedom of Information Act? It appears that Comey’s dismissive comment was intended to discredit the idea that his investigation into Clinton’s emails was anything but thorough, complete, and aboveboard.

And speaking of Clinton’s emails, the investigation into the real collusion may just be heating up. Three whistleblowers have come forward with hundreds of pages of evidence of wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation. Sources say there is evidence pointing to the Clinton Foundation’s misappropriating funds and engagement in pay-to-play promises with donors during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. As we’ve said all along, those shenanigans explain why Clinton was so keen on setting up her private email server in the first place.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Government Operations, announced that the committee would hold an investigative hearing into the issue this week. We hope more light will finally be shined on this long-brewing scandal.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/59940-mueller-comey-and-the-clinton-foundation


Big Personnel Changes Afoot in the White House12

Nate Jackson

Any administration faces turnover, especially after elections. President Donald Trump’s White House is no different in that regard. There were three notable changes in recent days: William Barr for attorney general, John Kelly’s pending departure as chief of staff, and Heather Nauert as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Though all the media attention is focused on John Kelly, Barr is arguably the most consequential. Barr was the attorney general for the late George H.W. Bush13, and he will bring much-needed stability to a position most recently held by Jeff Sessions.

The elephant in the room is Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Barr and Mueller go way back, as Mueller served as chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division during Barr’s first tenure as AG. Given Sessions’s recusal from all things Russia, Barr’s active participation — and Mueller once again reporting to him — will be consequential. Barr has questioned Mueller’s loading his team with Democrat donors. He defended Trump for firing Mueller’s pal James Comey and former Acting AG Sally Yates, and he noted that Hillary Clinton’s shady dealings regarding Uranium One could merit further investigation. All that already makes him a target for Democrat opposition. Yet Barr’s experience and history make him well-suited to restore order14 at the Justice Department.

Did we mention he plays the bagpipes15?

Speaking of restoring order, former Marine Gen. John Kelly did yeoman’s work on that front as Trump’s chief of staff. Finding a suitable and capable replacement isn’t going to be easy.

Kelly helped maintain better order and discipline in the White House, plugging the frequent leaks that plagued his predecessor and solidly managing processes, meetings, and information. And while no one can completely stem Trump’s worst self-defeating impulses, Kelly made significant headway. That said, he lacked the political instincts Trump wanted in advance of 2020. Still, Mark Alexander says, “Trump best not berate Gen. Kelly’s honorable service to our nation and his administration with a petulant social media post16 like his disgraceful remark17 last Friday about former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.”

There is a quote attributed to the late President Ronald Reagan: “Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.” Indeed, Gen. Kelly doesn’t have that problem. After enlisting during Vietnam, serving the nation as a Marine for more than 40 years, losing a son who gave his life as a Marine in Afghanistan in 2011, and then serving the president for the last two years, the nation owes Kelly an enormous debt of gratitude.

Finally, Heather Nauert will soon take over for Nikki Haley as UN ambassador, itself a thankless job that involves regularly rebuking tinpot dictators and globalist “allies” at the United Nations while often standing alone for Liberty. Haley was a stalwart defender of American interests and she will be missed. Nauert, a former Fox News journalist, has worked at the State Department for the last two years and reportedly has a strong relationship with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Given that she’s an otherwise largely unknown quantity, we hope at least that unified front will be helpful in extending Haley’s record.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/59941-big-personnel-changes-afoot-in-the-white-house


ON THE WEB TODAY

Good Riddance, George Will18 — Will has progressively succumbed to the Beltway epidemic of Trump Derangement Syndrome..
The Harvard Crimson’s Crumbling PC Agenda19 — Harvard University is discovering that some of its students take freedom of association seriously.
NC Republican Caught in Voter Fraud?20 — Suddenly, Democrats are interested in voter fraud. Funny how selective they can be.
Video: What’s Mattis’s Plan to Get U.S. Out of Afghanistan?21 — The secretary of defense says 40 years of war in Afghanistan is enough.
Video: Lots of Democrats Are Thinking About 202022 — We just finished the 2018 midterm elections, which means it’s already time for 2020.
Video: Media Makes Bush Funeral About Trump23 — A compilation of Leftmedia talkers doing their best to make everything about this president.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

59918 59917 59925 59924 59938

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion24.


TOP HEADLINES

Ninth Circuit Court denies Trump bid to reinstate asylum ban (The Hill25)
Migrants in Tijuana trickling over and under wall (Associated Press26)
Huge New Jersey ICE raid nets Interpol suspects, MS-13 members (Hot Air27)
Trump backs $750 billion defense budget request to Congress (Reuters28)
Gen. Mark Milley slated to be next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (The Washington Times29)
Record 156,795,000 employed in U.S.; 13th record-breaker under Trump (CNSNews30)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez violated House ethics — and she hasn’t even been sworn in yet (Townhall31)
Theresa May delays parliamentary vote on Brexit (NBC News32)
Screen time changes structure of kids’ brains (Bloomberg33)
Humor: Oscars to be hosted by boom box playing inoffensive, calming ambient noise (The Babylon Bee34)
Policy: The myth of ObamaCare “sabotage” (Washington Examiner35)
Policy: How to defuse the “Fight for $15” (E2136)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report37.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/59939-monday-top-headlines

 39 
 on: December 10, 2018, 10:57:18 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Man of God

“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” (1 Timothy 6:11)

There are just two places in the New Testament where a person is called a “man of God” (both of which are in Paul’s letters to Timothy), and they reveal the attributes which warrant us to call someone a man (or woman) of God.

The first occurrence, found in our text, tells us that such a person should, first of all, not be one who loves money and the material things money can buy, for “the love of money is the root of all evil” (see previous verse, 1 Timothy 6:10). Instead, his pursuit should be after personal righteousness and godliness, as well as stronger faith, more genuine love for others, more patience, and true meekness.

Speaking of meekness (not weakness), Moses was called “the man of God” in the very first use of this phrase in the whole Bible, and we are told that “the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Yet, he was able to lead two million Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and then through 40 years in the Sinai desert.

The second New Testament reference to the “man of God” is in reference to his use of the Scriptures. He will recognize that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God. . . . That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Thus, the essential characteristics of a true man of God will be a great desire for personal righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and strong meekness, accompanied by the avoidance of any taint of greed or covetousness. In terms of his Christian beliefs, he will have an unshakable confidence in the verbal inerrant truth and authority of the Holy Scriptures. HMM

 40 
 on: December 09, 2018, 10:41:29 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
The Seventh Day

“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:11)

God’s word is omnipotent, and He could just as well have created an entire universe, fully populated and functioning, in an instant of time. Instead, He chose to do it in six days, with a seventh day to be set aside as a day of rest and remembrance of His completed, “very good” creation. Since that time, it has been the universal practice among monotheists—those who believe in one Creator God—to measure time in seven-day weeks, with one of those days observed as a day of rest and worship of the Creator.

This divine assertion was inscribed with “the finger of God” on a table of stone (Exodus 31:18), clearly settling, once and for all, the ancient question of the age of the cosmos, at least for those who really believe in the inerrant perspicuity and authority of the Holy Scriptures. Not only did the Lord precisely equate the six days of man’s workweek with the six days of His own workweek, He then pronounced it all “very good” and “sanctified” the seventh day (Genesis 1:31; 2:3). This would have been an unthinkable thing for Him to say if there were, at that time, a great mile-deep graveyard consisting of the fossil remains of dead animals from the so-called geological ages extending all around the globe. These fossils must all be dated as post-Eden, after human sin and God’s curse brought death into the world (Romans 5:12).

Today, those who believe in God and creation should certainly continue to remember Him by observing every seventh day as a day of rest and worship in honor of their Creator, who has now also become their Redeemer and who will soon come again to reign as eternal King. HMM

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