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Ambassador4Christ
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« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2004, 05:25:21 PM »

WHY IT IS GRACE, PLUS NOTHING

Since sin entered the human race by the unbelief and disobedience of Adam, God has decreed that in order to be saved from the penalty of sin every sinner must be obedient in faith. Lost, believing Satan's lie and dis-obeying God's command, man must now believe  and  obey  God's  truth. This has always been God's method of saving man, by grace through faith.

Abel, according to Hebrews 11:4, could not have been saved had he not brought an offering. Yet, according to Hebrews 10:4, the offering in itself could not atone for sin. Essentially, he had to bring an offering in order to be accepted. God demanded an offering. Faith obeyed. (Even as money will purchase a railway ticket, but the ticket must be produced before the prospective passen-ger can ride.) Abel's faith purchased the ticket (the lamb), and upon presentation he was accepted of God.

Moses, (Exodus 19:5 and Deuteronomy 5:1), gave God's commandments. Those who had faith would endeavor to keep the law.  Know-ing that none could 'keep the law,' God provided grace within the law, and made it possible for all who believed to secure atone-ment by bringing an offering.

John the Baptist was used of God to call the nation (Israel) to repentance. Again, God demanded an ACT of faith (Matthew 3:1-12, Mark 1:4-5), and those who believed God, performed the act of obedience (Luke 7:29). But those who rebelled and rejected God, refused to obey (Luke 7:30).

Peter, at Pentecost, preached the same message as John the Baptist. Israel had sinned and in unbelief had crucified the Son of God. God demanded faith, and an ACT of obedience (Acts 2:38). All who desired for-giveness submitted to the command of God through Peter.

Then a wonderful thing happened, God saved Saul of Tarsus, who became 'Paul,' the apostle to the Gentiles (Colossians 1:24-29, Romans 15:16). And God revealed to Paul a secret which had been hid from all men through all ages (Ephesians 3), and God used Paul to be the great revealer and explainer of what Christ actually accomplished on the cross. Paul brought us to the grand new truth that our Lord on the cross was not a victim but a victor; that the cross was not a tragedy but a crowning triumph in the plan of God.

Christ became our sacrifice (Hebrews 10:12). Christ kept and met every requirement of the law for us (Romans 8:1-4, Galatians 3:13). Christ was baptized into death for us (Romans 6:3). Paul declares that if sinners today will only put their faith in Christ, the Son of God, trust Him, then God will give them credit for everything which Christ did (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He explains in Romans 3:21-31 that now God only requires believing on the Lord Jesus as the ACT of obedience. He says the law was in force only UNTIL Jesus Christ died and rose again (Gal. 3:19 and Hebrews 9:16).

So today- faith is still that which acts in obedience to God's commands. The only command God gives today is, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31). Faith purchases the ticket; com-ing to God in the name of the Lord Jesus secures for us eternal salvation. 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast' (Eph 2:8-9).
                                                                         
H. Grube, Pastor
=================================
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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.



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« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2004, 01:00:09 PM »

ALWAYS NOW





2 Cor 6:1 (KJV)  We ......... beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

The grace you had yesterday will not do for to-day. Grace is the overflowing favour of God; you can always reckon it is there to draw upon.  "In much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses"--that is where the test for patience comes. Are you failing the grace of God there? Are  you saying--Oh, well, I won't count this time? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you; it is taking the grace of God now. We make prayer the preparation for work, it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God.  Don't say --I will endure this until I can get away and pray. Pray now; draw on the grace of God in the moment of need. Prayer is the most practical thing, it is not the reflex action of devotion. Prayer is the last thing in which we learn to draw on God's grace.






"In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours"---in all these things manifest a drawing upon the grace of God that will make you a drawing upon the grace of God that will make you a marvel to yourself and to others. Draw now, not presently. The one word in the spiritual vocabulary is NOW. Let circumstances bring out where they will keep drawing on the grace of God in every conceivable condition you may be in. One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be humiliated  without manifesting the slightest trace of anything but His grace.






"Having nothing..."  Never reserve anything. Pour out the best you have, and always be poor.  Never be diplomatic and careful about the treasure God gives. This is poverty triumphant.    

Author unknown
=================================
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« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2004, 05:48:50 PM »

The Glory of Grace





If you find it difficult to live the Christian life you are not alone. Many Christians live second-rate lives with feelings of insecurity, discontent, anxiety and impotency. For them, the joy and victory that the gospel of grace promises seem little more than a theoretical illusion, a fleeting ghost in the face of disappointments that trap them in a syndrome of stress, self-pity and depression. Sadly missing are the confidence, assurance and consistency that come from the life of freedom that faith in Jesus Christ brings for every believer.
Grace is the answer. Legalism is the enemy. Victory in the Christian life is obtained in the same manner as salvation: by appropriating, receiving, believing - not by works.
Rom. 6:11-13 is a key passage every believer needs to master:


(Romans 6:11-13 KJV) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. {12} Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. {13} 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.

This is the process: Reckon yourself dead unto sin, but alive unto God. How is it possible? Just before the above passage, Paul had explained:

(Romans 6:3 KJV) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

The moment we trust the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we die - with Him. Our baptism (identfication)  into Christ's death sets us free from sin, "For he that is dead is freed from sin" (vs. 7). But grace does not stop there; the wonderful thing is that we can die and yet still live.

(Romans 6:4 KJV) 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.

Is only after we die - with Christ - that we are able to ret ially start living - again, with Him. Thus Paul goes on to state:

(Romans 6:17-18 KJV) 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. {18} Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.



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

All of this is succinctly summed up in a verse every sincere believer should know by heart:

(Galatians 2:20 KJV) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

How can I be dead and alive at the same time? The explanation is clear: It is not I anymore but it is Christ who lives in me and it is His life - His power, energy and wisdom - that is to be on display in my action and attitudes. The wonderful truth is that Jesus Christ gave His life for me at Calvary, so that He might give His life to me when I trusted Him, so that He might live His life through me day by day.
This is the glory of grace: not simply that it saves us from eternal damnation in "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev. 21:Cool, there is more, "much more." The glory of God's grace to us in Christ is that His life is available to us right now.
Speaking about the saints, Col. 1:27 says:

(Colossians 1:27 KJV) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The "riches of the glory of this mystery" is defined as "Christ in you, the hope of glory." This wealth is what God wants His saints to appreciate and rejoice in. If all you understand about grace is that we are not Israel and they are not us, you are missing the real wealth, because the "riches of His grace" are found in God's saving godless sinners and then coming and living His life in them.
Being set free from sin and having the life that spoke the universe unto existence living in us is "the riches of the glory of this mystery," indeed!
It is this truth of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" that empowers the believer's walk. To be "dead in sin" provides needed freedom from sin's dominion; to be "alive unto God" provides the capacity to use this freedom to bring forth "the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God" (Phil. 1:11).
Gal. 4:1,2 demonstrates that a basic difference between a child and an adult is the issue of freedom. What a child is required and forced to do, an adult does voluntarily. What a child does in fear, an adult does in freedom.
Freedom is an awesome thing. Although it can be and too often is abused, when it is used for its intended purpose, our freedom in Christ is our most valuable spiritual asset. There are two aspects to freedom: freedom from and freedom for.
By God's grace we have been freed from sin - from both its con-demnation and its control. Free from guilt and shame. Free from the downward impulses and urges we couldn't stop when in bondage to sin. Free from the tyranny of other's expectations, opinions and demands. But this is not all - not by far.
God's grace has also made us free for service. We are free to obey, free to love, free to forgive others as well as ourselves, free to live beyond the limitations of human effort, free to serve and glorify Christ, free to live as adult members of the family of God.
When we come to appreciate the freedom of our Sonship, we recognize that we are free to voluntarily do that which formerly we did in fear. As adults we can voluntarily apply the wisdom of God to the details of our lives by making decisions based on the Word of God.
God is surely glorified when believers bear the fruits of their righteous standing in Christ. These "fruits of righteousness are by Jesus Christ" - that is, they are mediated through Christ in us. There is literally an outbreak of the righteous character of God on the stage of human history through the lives of believers who bear these fruits.
This is of course the result of "the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (I Thess. 2:13). We could never accomplish this by our own doings, no matter how intended. just as an apple tree bears apples because of the life that is in it, so the believer bears fruits of the righteousness because of the life of Christ living through us.
When Paul says, "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13), he is referring to the Spirit of God working in the believer's inner man through the Word of God. Our service is not born out of an outward constraint or necessity, but rather is the result of the life of Christ in us working itself out through the members of our body as we voluntarily apply God's wisdom to the details of our lives. Thus it is that "the life is also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body" (II Cor. 4:10,11).
The glory of God's grace to us in Christ goes far beyond simply what He has and is doing for us. It goes on into the manifestation of what He is doing for Himself through us, for we are simply "His workman-ship, created in Christ Jesus unto (Gk epi  - upon) good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10).

The law of God condemns the best of men; the grace of God saves the worst of men.


by Unknown
=================================
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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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« Reply #48 on: February 08, 2004, 10:35:05 AM »

THE GOSPEL OF GRACE OF GOD

"Grace be to you, and peace, from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph.1:2).

The above verse is the theme of all the Epistles of St. Paul where we find how to obtain both "grace" and "peace". The words of this verse are found at the beginning of every one of his letters.

So, which would you rather have, the "grace" and "peace" of God, or would you prefer to see the Lord Jesus Christ on that "white horse" of the Book of the Revelation?

"AND I SAW HEAVEN OPENED, AND BEHOLD A WHITE HORSE; AND HE THAT SAT UPON HIM WAS CALLED FAITHFUL AND TRUE, AND IN RIGHTEOUSNESS HE DOTH JUDGE AND MAKE WAR" (Rev.19:11-16).

It is on account of the wickedness of men in seeking to run the world without Him that He judges the earth and makes war.

However, "...now is the Day of salvation" (IICor. 6:2). It is in this Day and Age of Grace that God is saving men and women, boys and girls, by grace through faith without works (Eph.2:8,9). We cannot earn heaven, of course, for our salvation is "the gift of God", purchased for us by Christ on Calvary's cross. Paul therefore declares in his Epistle to the Corinthians with regards to "the gospel of your salvation" (Eph.1:13):

"...How that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (ICor.15:3,4).

This redemption that is in Christ Jesus is ours by simple faith in Him.

"We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace" (Eph.1:7).

Nevertheless, we can, and should, draw nigh unto Him, through faith in His blessed Word, the Bible. Read especially the epistles of St. Paul, over and over again, until they become part and parcel of yourself, for therein is our only salvation:

"WHEREFORE HE IS ABLE TO SAVE THEM TO THE UTTERMOST THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM, SEEING HE EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM" (Heb.7:25).

There is no peace in this world, so worth having, as "peace with God".

BY RUSSELL S. MILLER

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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« Reply #49 on: February 09, 2004, 02:50:55 PM »

THE APOSTLE PAUL'S SPIRITUAL SECRET?



Have you learned Paul's secret of content-ment?  He could say, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation" (Philippians 4:11).  "Any and every situation"sometimes involved extreme hard- ships--"I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone with-out food; I have been cold and naked" (11 Corinthians 11:27).  

He could say this because Christ was HIS LIFE.  "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).

HUDSON TAYLOR LEARNED PAUL'S SECRET

How could Hudson Taylor continue in China after his wife died and his children were sent back to England?  Hudson's brother, Howard Taylor, writes, "If ever the reality of the power of Christ to meet the heart's deepest need was put to the test of experience it was in this life, swept clean of all that had been its earthly comfort---wife, children, home, health to a large extent-left amid the responsibilities of such a Mission and such a crisis, far away in China."

Hudson Taylor wrote to Miss Blatchley, who was caring for his children in England, "How little I believed the rest and peace I now enjoy possible down here.  It is heaven begun be-low, is it not?  May we ever enjoy it! Com- pared with this union with Christ, heaven or earth are unimportant accidents..."

Hudson Taylor corresponded with his sister, "Oh! It is joy to feel Jesus living in you.  To find your heart taken up by him; to be remind-ed of His love by His seeking communion with you at all times, not by your painful attempts to abide in Him.  He is our life, our strength, our salvation; He is our wisdom and righteousness, our sanctification and  re-demption; He is our power for service and fruit bearing, and His bosom is our resting place now and forever..."

Writing to Mr. Berger at the home office in England he said, "Oh!  My dear brother, what a wonderful expression is that, "In Christ Jesus."  And what a wonderful fact is our being in Christ Jesus and He is in us.  Day by day I am learning a little and a little more of it, and it is so sweet, so practical, so simple, so all-sufficient!  And yet no truth
makes one fear so utterly childlike.  It is like playing in the shallows of a boundless ocean...Oh, the unsearchable riches of His fullness!  And all is ours---for He is ours and we are His.

Hudson Taylor discovered the 'exchanged life' after toiling in China for several year.    Mr. Judd described the change,  "He was a joyous man now, a bright happy Christian.  He had been a toiling, burdened one before, with latterly not much rest of soul.  It was resting in Jesus now, and LETTING HIM DO THE WORK---WHICH MAKES THE DIFFER-ENCE!  Whenever he spoke in meetings after that, a new power seemed to flow from him, and in the practical things of life a new peace possessed him.  Troubles did not worry him as before.  He cast everything on God in a new way..."

Hudson Taylor told his sister of his experi-ence:  "As to work, more was never so plentiful, so responsible, or so difficult; but the weight and strain are all gone.  The last month or more has been perhaps, the happiest of my life; and I long to tell you a little of what the Lord has done for my soul.   I do not know how far I may be able to make myself intelligible about it, for there is noth-ing new or strange or wonderful---and yet, all is new! In a word, 'Whereas once I was blind, now I see'....

Will Be Continued
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2004, 03:17:16 PM »

THE APOSTLE PAUL'S SPIRITUAL SECRET?
Part two




The sweetest part, if one may speak on one part being sweeter than another, is the rest which full identification with Christ brings.  I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine....


Faith, I now see, is 'The substance of things hoped for,' and not mere shadow.  It is not less than sight but more.  Sight only shows the out-ward forms of things; faith gives the substance.  You can rest on substance, feed on substance.  Christ dwelling in the heart by faith (i.e. His Word of Promise credited) is power indeed, is life indeed.  And Christ and sin will not  dwell  together; how can we have His presence with love of the world, or  care-                                                                                                                                                              fulness about 'many things'?

How should we look upon this experience, these truths, as for the few, they are the birth-right of every child of God, and no one can dispense with them without dishonor of our Lord.  The only power for deliverance from sin or for true service is Christ."

An unknown Christian said, "The most extra-ordinary thing about the victorious life is that although it is so clearly taught in Scripture, yet it is so frequently unrecognized by Bible students.  Many who have a thorough know-ledge of their Bibles know nothing of this truth experimentally.   The writer himself had been a careful student  of the scriptures for many years before the glory of this life lighted up his soul.  Again and again clergy have confessed, 'we do not preach this
truth because we do not know it experi-mentally'."

Miles J. Stanford notes that many great saints labored for years before understanding and experiencing this truth.  We might consider some familiar names of believers whom God obviously brought to maturity and used for His glory---such as Pierson, Chapman,Tauler, Moody, Goforth, Mueller, Taylor, Watt,  Trun-bull, Meyer, Murray, Havergal, McConkey, Deck, Paxson, Stoney, Carmichael and Hopkins.  The average for these was 15 years after they entered their life's work before they began to know the Lord Jesus as their life and ceased trying to work for Him and began allowing Him to be their all and all and do His work through them.

FRANCES SCHAEFFER LEARNED PAUL'S SECRET

Francis Schaeffer, a man who probably influenced Christianity more than anybody during the 20th century, ministered for more than ten years before he understood the power of the resurrected Christ in his life.  He made it clear that he was not speaking about or claiming for himself a "second blessing" or a "second work of grace", neither was he saying that faith is grounded in experience.  Christian faith is grounded in the objective revelation of the God of the Bible, but experi-encing a relationship with God that continues  throughout life would follow a person's new birth.  He recognized that his own lack of reality of the presence of God in his life was related to his ignorance about the meaning of the finished work of Christ in his present life. A new door opened to him in the hayloft, a door that led him to acting more upon his knowledge of the Christian faith.  He came to realize the  necessity of being open to Christ in prayer, so that Jesus Christ could bear His fruit in his life.  He learned that if he was to become an agent of God, he must allow Christ to work in him.  He believed Christians must know the power of the resurrected Christ in their own lives in the present.  He began to insist that the Christian life involves a daily reliance upon the Holy Spirit within  us as a constant act of faith...By faith, there should be and ever increasing, moment by moment experiential, side of his faith, but it has been too often overlooked by his  reviewers and by his critics.

On furlough to America form L'Abri, a faith  ministry he began in 1955, Schaeffer wrote a series of talks he gave simply titled, Sanctification  I, II, III, IV, V."  They stirred controversy.  Objections came to such statements as: "There is no source of power for God's people---for preaching or teaching or anything else---except Christ himself.  Apart from Christ, anything which seems to be spiritual power is actually the power of the flesh."  His mission board cut his support by $100 a month and sent out letters warning of Schaeffers' influence.  However, today few realize that he understood and taught the "Christ life."

(The quotations were taken from Dr. Turner's new book, UNDERSTANDING GRACE)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Should this devotional be a blessing to you, maybe you have a friend or family member that would like to start receiving the daily word. You may forward this to them, by copy and paste method,  and they can use the below link to subscribe. We love to meet new people.

Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


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« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2004, 05:41:10 PM »

"THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY"





"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [hindereth]  will [hinder], until he be taken out of the way.
"And then shall that wicked [one] be reveal-ed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with  the brightness of His coming:
"Even him [anti-Christ], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (IIThes.2:7-9).

In this world-system "the mystery of iniquity" is connected with foreign intrigue, espion-age,  politics, and liberalism, but this short study shall focus upon the professing church with its modernism, ecumenicalism, and neo-evangelicalism. There is no principle, or cause, that these men will not sacrifice upon the altar of their global economy and one world religion. And this wickedness was already at work in Paulís day under the guise of different names, but nevertheless just as subtle:

"For if he that cometh preacheth ANOTHER Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him" (IICor.11:4; see also verses 13-15).

Satan, of course, is responsible for all the confusion, wickedness, and lawlessness that is in this world. It is Satan who "hates" our "Liberty" in the Lord Jesus Christ and seeks only to "steal" and to "kill" and to "destroy" (John 8:44; IICor. 3:17; John 10:10). But the "love" of God was manifested in the cross of Calvary where "CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS" (ICor.15:3,4).

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (IICor.4:3,4).

Nevertheless God has not given us "the spirit of fear" but rather He has commissioned us with "the mystery of godliness" today, and equipped us with the ability "to make all men see WHAT IS THE FELLOWSHIP OF THIS MYSTERY, which from the beginning of the world hath been HID IN GOD, who created all things by Jesus Christ" (Eph.3:9) until He takes us, His blood-bought Church, out of this sinful world.

Such preaching, in the power of the Holy Spirit, will suppress "the mystery of iniquity" (Rom.1:16-18; IITim. 3:5) and further the cause of Christ in this world.

The commission, which God has given members of the Body of Christ --Romans 16:25,26 -- has been ridiculed and slighted even by Christians for many long years now. It is about time they woke up to the stark and stern reality, that Paulís Gospel hinders the ministers of iniquity!

BY RUSSELL S. MILLER
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« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2004, 04:57:30 PM »

LIGHT AND DARKNESS, AND THE LOVE OF GOD



"Giving thanks unto the Father, Which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheri-tance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son..." (Col.1:12-14).

When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of "the tree of [the] knowledge of good and evil" (Gen.2:9) they fell into sin themselves, and plunged the whole human race into sin (Rom. 5:12). Having been warned, "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen.2:17) they were disobedient, and so, we are no longer perfect, but sinful, and in need of the Saviour. While it may take 70 or 80 years, from the moment we are born, we begin to die, and "dying thou shalt die". Consequently mankind, thatís all of us, was blinded by the devilís lie, and as such, walks in darkness.

"In whom the god of this world [Satan] HATH BLINDED THE MINDS OF THEM WHICH BELIEVE NOT, lest the LIGHT of the GLOR-IOUS gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should SHINE unto them" (IICor.4:4).

If a man is dying, and you have the means to help him, would you let him die? So God, Himself, places a "very high value" upon us all. We are of "eternal worth" to Him. He sent His "Eternal Son" to pay for our sins, Himself, at the extreme cost of His own lifeís blood (Rom.8:31-34; Eph.1:7) that we may now, by faith in Christ, walk in the Light of His Word. Why else would God have sent His "only begotten Son" into this sin cursed world to die on a cruel cross for our sins? Therefore God will not, and cannot, accept your "good" works in substitute of Christís "finished work of redemption" on Calvaryís cross.

Itís not "good works", then, but rather a matter of whether or not we believe Godís Word. It is what Christ did on the cross that God accepts (Rom.3:25), and as we accept Christ's redemptive work on our behalf (Eph. 2:8,9), God "accepts" us (Eph.1:6). Do we believe the truth of the Word of God or the devilís lie? God loves us, each and every one of us, with an everlasting, an eternal, love. How MUCH He loves us:

"BUT GOD COMMENDETH HIS LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US" (Rom.5:Cool.

"BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED..." (Acts 16:31).


BY RUSSELL S. MILLER
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« Reply #53 on: February 16, 2004, 10:07:45 AM »

THE UNCERTAINTIES OF LIFE

Are you prepared to meet the Lord? Have you trusted Christ as your Saviour? Or will you meet Him as your Judge?



September 11, 2001: The news reports that terrorists had attacked the World Trade Center, and demolished it, in New York City, and attacks on other government buildings in Washington, and elsewhere, shocked the nation and the world.

Such unbelievably horrifying news should certainly awaken America! It is our prayer that the entire world will be awakened spiritually to real faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (This could have happened to your city, your place of business, and your office!) Have you been troubled by the uncertainties of life? Death comes to all, whether in the city or quaint little towns. Death is but a breath away, a heartbeat, and we have all broken Godís Laws, ignored His righteous standards, and have gone our own way. In short, as we read in Paulís letter to the Romans:

"FOR ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD" (Rom.3:23).

And...,

"THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH; BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD" (Rom.6:23).

In the midst of all of lifeís uncertainties there is one constant, The Love of God.

"BUT GOD COMMENDETH HIS LOVE TO-WARD US, IN THAT, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US" (Rom.5:Cool.

Godís great love continues to delay His judg-ment upon the wickedness of manís sin (Acts 17:31). And for now, He extends, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom.1:2). Individ- ually, by faith in Christ, "WE HAVE REDEMP-TION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVE-NESS OF SINS, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE" (Eph.1:7). If you will simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, God will save you, and then, when this life ends, you will be forever in Heaven with the Christ of glory.

God has made the plan of salvation very simple. When the jailor at Philippi asked Paul and Silas, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30), the Apostle Paul replied:

"BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED..." (Acts 16:31).

BY RUSSELL S. MILLER
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« Reply #54 on: February 17, 2004, 01:26:06 PM »

GODLINESS IN AN UNGODLY WORLD





Of the first two children born into this world, Cain bludgeoned his brother, Abel, to death (Gen.4:4-8). And before two more chapters in
the history of the human race, as recorded in the Book of Genesis, are  passed, we read these words:

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagi-nation of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually:
"And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart" (Gen.6:5,6).

The seeds of wickedness and sin, millennia ago and through the years, continue to pro-duce such ungodliness in our world today. But how are we to live "godly" in such an ungodly world? The answers to this, and
many other questions, are found in Paulís epistles.

"FOR I SPEAK TO YOU GENTILES, INAS- MUCH AS I AM THE APOSTLE OF THE
GENTILES, I MAGNIFY MINE OFFICE" (Rom.11:13).

And the Apostle Paul, Godís man for today, continues in Romans to declare:

"Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peace-ably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will re-pay, saith the Lord" (Rom.12:17-19).

In I Thessalonians 4:1-12, Paul instructs believers how they ought to walk and to please God, and furthermore, in Galatians,  he declares:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Gal.5:16).

In the midst of all this ungodliness, believers are to manifest God in their lives:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
"Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
"And they that are Christís have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
"If we live in the Spirit, LET US ALSO WALK IN THE SPIRIT"  (Gal.5:22-25).

Weíre speaking about "godliness".Remember "the Judgement Seat of Christ", is much closer today than it has ever been before! Are you ready to meet the Lord (IICor.5:10)?
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« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2004, 08:14:38 AM »

LED  by the  SPIRIT



       But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law, Galatians 5:18
       ...for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14

With this simple statement the Apostle Paul taught one of the most important principles for living the new life in Christ.  Transformation, a changed life, begins here with the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life.  We are changed by
a person who has come to live in us permanently.

Receiving the Holy Spirit

Since the Holy Spirit is a "spirit," he cannot be felt, seen, touched.  He is spiritual  and not able to be sensed by physical senses.

       The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.  So is everyone who is born of the Spirit John 3:8.

We can see and hear the effects of the wind, but we cannot see the wind itself.  So with the Holy Spirit, we can see His effects, but we are not capable of directly  sensing Him.  For this reason there are many unscriptural ideas about the Holy Spirit.  We must walk by faith here and believe what the scriptures teach about the Holy Spirit, rather than trying to actually see or feel his presence.

Paul writes to the Galatians that all believers are led by the Spirit.  He came to         live in us at the moment that we put our faith in the Lord Jesus as our Savior:

       This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  Galatians 3:2.

       And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "ABBA, Father!"  Galatians  4:6

We received this Spirit by the "hearing of faith" -- -- -- that is, when we believed the gospel, we received the Holy Spirit into our lives.  When we became sons of God, he sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts.  In the dispensation of  grace that we read about in Paul's epistles, there is no believer who does not have the Holy Spirit.  And we don't have to wait to Him, He comes into our hearts as soon as we believe the gospel.

The Spirit's leading

When the Holy Spirit entered in,  He came to  "lead"  us.  We often hear people saying things like, "The Spirit led me to do something," or "God led me to go somewhere."  But this is not the idea of the Paul is writing about in Galatians 5:18 because these experiences are just occasional, sporadic events in the believer's life, but the leading of the Holy Spirit is a constant experience.  The Holy Spirit doesn't lead us only in rare occasions but at all times.

It is helpful to put two verses side by side to see the point that Paul is making here:

       But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law: Galatians 5:18
       ......for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14

Both verses state that we are "not under law."  One says, in contrast to being under law, that we are the "led by the Spirit."  The other that, in contrast too being under law, that we are "under grace."  To be under grace is to be led by the Spirit, and to be led by the Spirit is to be under grace.  Not passing, occasional experi-ences, but comprehensive descriptions of the Christian life today in the dispen-sation of grace.

We are not under law -- -- -- not under a system in which blessings or earned by obedience and curses received for disobedience (this was God's plan for the nation  of Israel, see Deuteronomy 28 for a full  exposition of "law")  We do not earn our blessings a little at a time by obeying  God because under grace we were blessed totally,  with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, when we believed the gospel (Ephesians 1:3). And as for curses, the Lord Jesus became a curse for us on the cross (Galatians 3:13) there is no curse for us today.

Under grace we are completely released from the system of earning blessings or fearing curses, we are "loved."  Instead of a system of law, we are given the Holy Spirit who leads us under grace. We do not always follow Him, but He is leading use every moment under grace.

Will be Continued...
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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2004, 08:18:24 AM »

Led by the Spirit
Second part
Pastor Dennis Kiszonas






Walking in the spirit

The Holy Spirit came to live in us when we believed, and He    came to lead us in our life for the Lord, not to drag us or force us -- -- Paul writes to the Galatians:

     Stand fast and therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled with a yoke of bondage.  Galatians 5:1

The leading of the Holy Spirit is not a leading that drags us on the end of a chain, it is freedom and not bondage.

On the other hand, His leading is not "carrying us" or "bearing us."  He leads us, but we need to follow him, or as Paul writes to "walk by the Spirit" since we are now "living by the Spirit." Though the Spirit is leading, He is not living the life in us all by himself.  As Paul wrote to the full the Philippians:                      
     Work out (note carefully: not work for) your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  Philippians 2:12-13


He is at work in us to will and to perform, but we are the one who must work out what He is working in.  How do we do that?  Paul wrote to the Galatians:

     This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you ow being made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:2-3

They received the Spirit by hearing the message of grace, the message of the Cross, with faith, that's how they "began in the Spirit."  Now Paul says, continue as you began.  We go on believing in the message of grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), We are motivated under grace not by offer of blessings -- -- we have already been totally blessed, and not by the fear of cursings -- -He became a curse for us, but we are motivated by gratitude, by thanksgiving for what the Lord did for us on the Cross.

The first ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives revealed to us in Paul's letters is found in Romans 5:5-6.

     ......the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  For when we were still  without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

The Holy Spirit comes into the believer's heart under grace with the primary ministry of pouring out the love of God in our hearts, that's his love for us demonstrated at the Cross where the Lord Jesus died for us.  And as we focus on that love, Paul  describes the proper response:

     For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 2 Cor.  5:14-15.  

Paul's heart had been gripped by the love of Christ for Him,  that 'He loved me and gave Himself for me!'  (Galatians 2:20).  This love compelled Paul, it gripped his heart and life so that from now on he would no longer live for himself but for the Lord who died and rose for him.

The life led by the Spirit is a life motivated not by fear or the desire to add more blessing, but by love and gratitude.  What more could the Lord have done for us?  If the Cross does not grip our hearts what will?

     And whatever you do in Word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Colossians 3:17

Whatever you do, Paul writes, let it all be done as a prayer of thanksgiving.  Everything in life done to say 'Thank you, Lord' for dying for me.

The Spirit and All - Sufficient Grace

In a number of places in his letters Paul writes of the amazing power of God at work in his life. He wrote to the Philippians:    

     I can do  all things through  Christ who strengthens me Philippians 4:13

And to the Corinthians, he wrote about the time he prayed for relief from a problem and received an unexpected answer:

     Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Cor. 12:8-9.

This grace that is sufficient for every situation in life is nothing less, no one less, than the Spirit Himself.  He points us constantly back to the Cross and to the resurrection of the Lord.

     I had been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20

Here is God provision for us to be "led by the Spirit" and living in the "newness of life."
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« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2004, 08:37:36 AM »

"JOINT-HEIRS, JOINT-BODY, JOINT-PARTAKERS"



"That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel" (Eph.3:6).

Bible prophecy has great things in store for those Gentiles of the future "kingdom of Heaven" on earth, but such a position as "joint-heirs, and of a joint-body, and joint-partakers" is foreign to the prophetic Word  of God. Nevertheless such is the rendering  of Darbyís New Translation; Bullingerís foot-notes; and Englishmanís Greek New Testament.

This is why Paul declares that "the Mystery" committed to his trust was "hid in God", "not made known", and "hid from ages and from generations" until it was first revealed to him by the glorified Lord Jesus Christ (Eph.3:1-9; Col.1:26; ICor. 9:17; Gal.1:11,12).

"Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (Eph.3:5).

In all that which the Lord Jesus Christ in-herits of His Father, we have been made "JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST" (Rom.8:17), and of His promise to Abraham we are "JOINT-PARTAKERS IN CHRIST" (Eph.3:6). But there is more, in that "one new man" of Ephesians 2:15, believing Jews and Gentiles are a "JOINT-BODY" in Christ today. And all this is a result of the gospel of the grace of God given to Paul.

Thus, the Apostle produces his credentials "WHEREOF I AM MADE A MINISTER, accord-ing to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; EVEN THE MYSTERY WHICH HATH BEEN HID FROM AGES AND FROM GENERATIONS, BUT NOW IS MADE MANIFEST TO HIS SAINTS" (Col.1:25,26).

Thatís right, Paul, that great architect of grace, is the minister of the Church, which is the Body of Christ. "AS A WISE MASTER-BUILDER", he says, "I HAVE LAID THE FOUNDATION, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon" (ICor. 3:10).

"...That in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, FOR A PATTERN TO THEM WHICH SHOULD HEREAFTER  BELIEVE ON HIM TO LIFE EVERLASTING" (ITim.1:16).

"And to make ALL MEN see what is THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY, which from THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD hath been HID IN GOD, who created all things by Jesus Christ" (Eph.3:9).
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« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2004, 04:54:18 PM »




"LOVE WITHOUT HYPOCRISY"





"Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good" (Rom.12:9).

The Pauline epistles have much to say about "Love Without Hypocrisy". The meaning of hypocrisy is simple enough -- playing a part rather than actually living the part. The tele-vision is clearly an instrument of hypocrisy. The world is full of actors, all pretending to be somebody theyíre not, whereas believers in Christ ought to be living a true life for our Saviour. The love with which Timothyís mother and grandmother cherished him, however, was most assuredly not produced by Hollywood. What a testimony his life and character was to the truth of Godís Word.  See II Timothy 1:5:

"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."

The word "unfeigned" is translated "without dissimulation" in Romans 12:9 and "without hypocrisy" in James 3:17. It is also found in 2 Corinthians 6:6; I Timothy 1:5; and I Peter l:22.

The word "love", of Romans 12:9, was not produced in Hollywood either. It is that "love of God" (Rom. 5:5,8; 8:35) that eternally secures believers in Christ with "all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies" (Eph.1:3). But our local assemblies would do well in  "deny-ing ungodliness and worldly lusts" (Tit.2:12). This would produce so much more for the cause of Christ through "His constraining love" (2 Cor.5:14). If believers of all walks of life would only "be filled with (controlled by)  the Spirit" (Eph.5:18) they would not "fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Gal.5:16). This is why Paul writes Timothy:

"Now the end of the commandment is charity [agape] out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned [without hypocrisy]" (ITim.1:5).

Peter wrote to the Jewish remnant, "scattered throughout" Asia Minor, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently" (IPet.1:22).

"A pure heart, a good conscience, and un-feigned faith" produces the kind of true love, that balance in the Christian life, that brings forth fruit, unto God.

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Gal.5:16).

BY RUSSELL S. MILLER
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Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

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2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2004, 09:09:28 AM »

THE WALK OF THE BELIEVER





How is it possible to live "under grace" and not be governed and controlled by rules and laws and regulations of a by-gone dispen- sation?

The "life in the Spirit," of Galatians 5:25, is obtained by faith in Christ. This is where we must begin. Calvary is ever the meeting place
between God and man.

And as we come to Christ at Calvary we are "created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Eph.2:10). No, weíre not perfect yet, and most of us have a long ways to go, but now we have someone with which we can go
the distance--"the Spirit". So the number one question is, "Are you saved?"

Then God wants us to know that the Holy Spirit "BAPTIZES" us into Christ and into the Body of Christ (Rom.6:3,4,). Entirely apart from the Law, we are made one with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, and one with one another also by "the operation of God" (Col.2:12).

Romans 6:11-13 states that we are now to "reckon" ourselves "alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord". When believers "walk in the Spirit" (Gal.5:16) their lives produce
that which the Law could never do: "...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, good-ness,  faith,  meekness,  temperance...";
against which the Apostle Paul says, "THERE IS NO LAW".

The Law cannot save you, nor can it keep you, and it certainly cannot bless you (Gal. 3:13; 2:20,21; 4:15).

"Knowing this, that the Law is NOT made for a righteous man..."  (I Tim.1:9).

However...GRACE does save us, GRACE does keep us, and GRACE continues to bless us (Rom.8:3,4; 5:10; 8:34) with "all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph.1:3) because GRACE has imputed the very "righteousness" of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, to our account (2 Cor.5:21).

"That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Eph.2:7).

As we "look" for our wonderful Saviour, Titus 2:11-13 teaches that GRACE is not a license to sin. Therefore do not repay such "love" with such ingratitude to Him who shed His blood to save you from an eternity in "Hell" and "the Lake of Fire" (Rev.20:11-15).

BY RUSSELL S. MILLER
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Should this devotional be a blessing to you, maybe you have a friend or family member that would like to start receiving the daily word. You may forward this to them, by copy and paste method,  and they can use the below link to subscribe. We love to meet new people.

Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Daily Inspirational

WEB SITE
Grace And The Truth
www.graceandthetruth.com

E-Mail GracentheTruth@aol.com

2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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