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« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2005, 01:42:47 AM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - TWO ASPECTS OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY


Jan 22

TWO ASPECTS OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY

By Cornelius R. Stam

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free... If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:32,36).

The true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ enjoys glorious liberty, and our Lord Himself said that there are no strings attached... "Ye shall be free indeed," free even from the most oppressive of all slave masters: sin. While the Law never saved one man from sin, the Lord Jesus, by His death on Calvary did, for we read that "Christ died for our sins." Therefore the Apostle wrote by divine inspiration: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Gal. 5:1). His letters thunder severe rebukes against believers who "desire to be under the law." To the Colossian Christians he wrote:

"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [substance] is of Christ" (Col. 2:16,17).

But true liberty is used for good, otherwise it only reverts to bondage again, for whatever overcomes a man becomes his master (II Pet. 2:19), and doing evil can only harm ourselves and others. Thus the Apostle says further:

"But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak" (I Cor. 8:9).

"For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another" (Gal. 5:13).

"...Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth" (Rom. 14:22).

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« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2005, 01:45:57 AM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESURRECTION


Jan 23

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESURRECTION

By Cornelius R. Stam

In his great Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul introduces himself immediately as "a bondslave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle," to proclaim Godís good news about Christ. Paulís "gospel of the grace of God" was essentially about the Lord Jesus Christ. He was always talking about Christ. His epistles are filled with Christ. Christ, in his message, was everything. This is in striking contrast to much of our modern preaching and evangelism, which is not Christ-centered, but man-centered.

The gospel Paul proclaimed was Godís good news about Christ and His power and glory in defeating Satan, overcoming death, paying for sin and nailing the Law to His cross.

This is why the Apostle calls his message "the good news of the glory of Christ" (II Cor. 4:4). To enter experientially into the truth of this good news is the greatest blessing one can possibly experience.

In Verse 4 of his introduction to the Roman Epistle, the Apostle declares that Christ was powerfully declared to be the Son of God "by the resurrection from the dead." The resurrection of Christ had been both prophesied and proclaimed as a historical fact before Paul, but to Paul was committed a special message of good news concerning the resurrection. In his God-given message, Christ was raised from the dead to demonstrate that as God the Son He had paid the full penalty for sins that would have sunk a world to hell. Thus the Apostle writes to Timothy, his son in the faith:

"Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

"Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David [this is how Christ had formerly been known] was raised from the dead according to my gospel, wherein I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even unto bonds" (II Tim. 2:7-9).

Read the Epistles of Paul and see how salvation by grace through faith always hinges upon the finished work of Christ for our redemption. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."

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« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2005, 12:15:41 AM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - BUY THE TRUTH AND SELL IT NOT


Jan 24

BUY THE TRUTH AND SELL IT NOT

By Cornelius R. Stam

Every true Christian should understand that the truth costs. If you donít think so, make it your own, value it, defend it, stand for it, and see if it doesnít cost. Before you are through it may cost you far more than you had thought -- hours of ease and pleasure, friends and money. Yes, the truth costs. Salvation is gloriously free but the truth costs  -- that is, if you want it for yourself. Many who know the truth wonít buy it. They wonít pay what it costs to say:

"This is what I believe. This is my conviction." The truth isnít worth that much to them.

But in Prov. 23:23 Godís Word urges us: "Buy the truth"! Not, "Buy it if you can get it at a bargain; if the price is not too great." No, "Buy the truth"! Buy it at any price. It is worth far more than anything you can give in exchange for it.

And when you have bought it: "sell it not." How many, alas, have bought the truth only to sell out again! For a while they valued and defended some God-given light from His Word, but presently they sold it again for something that seemed more valuable. Perhaps it was peace with others, or position, or popularity or some other temporal gain. They still gave mental assent to it but it formed no part of them. It was no longer a conviction.

Such should read again the Spiritís counsel: "Buy the truth, and sell it not." He does not say: "Donít sell it unless you can get a very good price for it." He says: "Sell it not."  Sell it not at any price. Buy it, no matter what it costs and when it is yours do not sell it for any price or under any
consideration.

It is because the truth is so little valued in this indifferent age, that many of Godís people have become so spiritually powerless. They hold opinions instead of convictions, because they have given the infallible, unchangeable Word of God little place in their lives. God blesses and uses those who "buy the truth and sell it not."

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« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2005, 12:19:37 AM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - RELIGIOUS MIXTURES


Jan 25

RELIGIOUS MIXTURES

By Cornelius R. Stam

The largest segment of the professing Church offers her devotees neither peace for the present, nor assurance for the future. She does not tell them that believers in Christ are given a position in heaven at Godís right hand (Eph. 2:4-7). She even brings Christ down from His exalted position and offers Him to the world on a crucifix, requiring men to eat His flesh and drink His blood to be saved. And this when Paul, by the Spirit, so emphatically says:

"...yea, THOUGH WE HAVE KNOWN CHRIST AFTER THE FLESH, YET NOW, HENCEFORTH, KNOW WE HIM NO MORE" (II Cor. 5:16).

Manís religion, especially in "the Church," is built upon an appeal to the senses. Her devotees are occupied with beads and bells, statues and crucifixes, candlesticks and sacred objects, robes and incense; so far has she departed from the teachings of Paul and from his declaration that "we walk by faith, not by sight" (II Cor. 5:7).

Lingering still among the types and shadows of primitive ages and mingling these with meaningless pagan rituals, she keeps millions from trusting and rejoicing in an already accomplished redemption.

We beg those who read these lines to look in faith to the risen, exalted Christ and to trust in His finished work:

"Who... when He had by Himself purged our sins, SAT DOWN on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3).

"This Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, SAT DOWN on the right hand of God" (Heb. 10:12).

This is clear enough. Our Lord came to earth to accomplish our redemption and, having accomplished it, He returned to heaven and sat down with His Father. The work was finished. And now He invites us to rest in His finished work.

"THERE REMAINETH THEREFORE A REST TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD.

"FOR HE THAT HATH ENTERED INTO HIS REST, HE ALSO HATH CEASED FROM HIS OWN WORKS, AS GOD DID FROM HIS" (Heb. 4:9,10).

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« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2005, 12:33:35 AM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - GODS JUST JUDGMENTS


Jan 26

GODíS JUST JUDGMENTS

By Cornelius R. Stam

"We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth..."

The first 15 verses of Romans 2 always make me think of our Lordís dealings with the rich young ruler of Luke 18:

18,19. "Good Master," the ruler had said, "what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

The Lord answered in effect: "Why do you call Me good? There is none good but God, so if I am good I must be God. But do you want to know what to do to inherit eternal life? Simply obey the Law, the Ten Commandments."

Our Lord, of course, was trying to show the young man that it was impossible to earn salvation by doing good. To keep the Law was impossible for any child of fallen Adam, and breaking the Law could only bring condemnation. Now this absolute justice is the basis for the believerís confidence in God.

It is wonderful to know that God does not merely pity sinners and smuggle them into heaven if they are sorry. If He did, someone in heaven could point an accusing finger at this writer and say: "What, you here!" Thank God, He has rather taken us before the bar of justice, pronouncing us guilty, but has stepped down, as it were, to pay the penalty for our sins Himself, then justly declaring us righteous!

This is why salvation, in Scripture, is based upon Christís payment of our just debt. This is why Rom. 3:24 declares that believers are "justified freely, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

"That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 5:21).

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« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2005, 03:00:11 AM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - Paul's Two Roman Imprisonments


Jan 27

Paul's Two Roman Imprisonments

By Paul M. Sadler, President

Scripture Reading:

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing."    -- II Timothy 4:6-8

Approximately two years after being delivered into the hands of Roman authorities things had apparently gone well for the apostle, therefore he anticipated his soon release from prison.  Thus he writes to the church at Philippi: "For I KNOW that this [their prayer for his release] shall turn to my salvation [deliverance from prison]" (Phil. 1:9).

We believe that Paul did in fact enjoy a short period of freedom which enabled him to continue his apostolic journeys.  We know, for example, that according to the Acts record the apostle never visited Crete on any of his previous apostolic journeys.  Paul did sail around the island on his way to Rome as a prisoner, but it was not until his release from his first Roman imprisonment that he actually visited Crete.  The apostle's brief stay on the island was long enough to see that the churches there were in a state of chaos (Titus 1:10-16). Consequently, Paul leaves Titus behind, his companion in travel, "to set in order the things that were wanting" (Titus 1:5).

Probably from Crete Paul made his way to Corinth where he writes to Titus to inform him that he planned to winter in Nicopolis (Titus 3:12).  It could well be that the apostle was apprehended at Nicopolis and taken again to Rome for preaching Christ.  This time however, the sentence would go against him.  So without hesitation he writes to Timothy, since it was nearing winter, to bring his cloak and also the Parchments (II Tim. 4:13).

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« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2005, 03:03:15 AM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - GODS TWO POEMS


Jan 28

GODíS TWO POEMS

By Cornelius R. Stam

In Romans 1:18-20 the Apostle Paul declares that ungodly men are "without excuse" because they are surrounded by the evidences of the Creatorís "eternal power and Godhead."

Our Authorized Version calls the creation, in this passage, "the things that are made," but in the Greek it is called literally "the poyeema," from which we get our word poem. The Apostle refers, of course, to the harmony of Godís creation, and is it not indeed amazing how billions of heavenly bodies can continually revolve in the vastness of space and never collide! And are not the flowers, the seasons, the sunsets all part of a harmonious creation, which God alone could have conceived and set to music? But very interestingly, this word poyeema is used just once more in Scripture. We find it in Eph. 2:10, where it is translated "workmanship." Let us consider this passage in its context:

"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. For we are His workmanship [Gr., poyeema], created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10).

Romans speaks of the poem of creation, Ephesians of the poem of redemption, and the latter is the more wonderful. An old hymn says: "íTwas great to speak a world from naught; ítis greater to redeem."

In this poem of redemption which God has composed, we believers too often want to change some word or phrase. We would like this or that in our circumstances to be different. Ah, but this would destroy the meter and meaning of Godís new creation.

Thank God, when we believers go to be with Christ, we will see the beauty and glory of the poem of redemption. Then we will rejoice that He did indeed "work all things together for good" for us.

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« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2005, 06:01:22 PM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - Avoiding Strong Drink


Jan 29

Avoiding Strong Drink

By Paul M. Sadler, President

Scripture Reading:

"Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken."    -- Habakkuk 2:15

There are many passages in the Word of God, such as the above, that are timeless and transcend all the dispensations of God.  While the liquor industry goes to great lengths to get people to believe that drinking is a harmless way to have a good time, the facts are otherwise.  They are very careful never to advertise the drunk driver who kills innocent people or the homes that have been destroyed by strong drink.  But a voice in the crowd says that a few social drinks will never hurt anyone.  Most recovering alcoholics, however, tell a much different story of how their slide into a life of drunkenness all started with a social drink.  "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise" (Prov. 20:1).

A couple of years ago, I was driving through Apollo, Pennsylvania
where I saw a piece of twisted wreckage along side of the road.  Upon slowing down, I discovered that it was an automobile, or at least what was left of it.  Apparently someone survived the crash because there were beer cans strategically placed beside the car along with a sign at the rear bumper which read, "And they told us we were going to have fun."  Someone lied!

While the world refers to alcoholism as a disease, the Word of God calls drunkenness a sin.  It is not a disease, it is a matter of
choice.  Oh, the sorrow and heartache that has been caused by careless men and women who have given themselves over to the treachery of this sin.  The answer is not found in the bottom of a bottle -- the answer is Christ.  Only He can deliver the drunkard from his drunkenness. Therefore, a life yielded to God is the solution to the bondage of this terrible sin.  Throughout the year social gatherings often bring with them a strong temptation to join the crowd.  For those who struggle with this temptation, it is important to remember that the victory is already yours though Christ Jesus our Lord.  Simply claim it!  Then live one day at a time, by God's grace, for His grace is more than sufficient (II Cor. 12:9).  Amen!

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« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2005, 04:07:15 PM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - WHICH APPEARING?


Jan 30

WHICH APPEARING?

By Russell S. Miller

"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Heb.9:28).

When our Lord first came to earth, He came "TO PUT AWAY SIN by the sacrifice of Himself". This one infinite sacrifice was the great anti-type of all the Old Testament sacrifices. They were offered "year by year continually" (10:1); indeed, "it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats" could ever "take away sins" (10:4). But Christ, by His one sacrifice, "the sacrifice of Himself", put away sin, settling the sin question forever for believers.

But what about the latter part of our text, concerning His appearing "the second time"? Does this refer to His Second Coming to earth? Hardly.

The second time our Lord comes to earth He will not come apart from the sin question. Rather He will come in wrath TO JUDGE SIN. "Because He [God] hath appointed a day in the which HE WILL JUDGE THE WORLD IN RIGHTEOUSNESS by that Man whom He hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).

It is concerning this return of Christ to earth that we read: "AND IN RIGHTEOUSNESS DOTH HE JUDGE AND MAKE WAR" (Rev.19:11). Clearly, our Lordís appearing "apart from sin" cannot refer to His return to earth to judge the world for sin. And notice carefully: If our Lord were to catch up His Church after the Great Tribulation on His way to judge the world, as some teach, this would still be His return to judge the world for sin. Moreover, Hebrews 9:28 refers to our Lordís appearing, not to those who reject Him, but to those who "look for Him".

To these--and we are among them!--He will appear, not in wrath to judge sin, but in love, "APART FROM SIN unto salvation".

In other words, we have here another reference to the rapture of "the Church, which is His Body". True, we will receive rewards or suffer loss for our service and conduct as believers, but our sins were fully paid for by that "one sacrifice" in which "Christ was offered to bear the sins of many". This appearing, "apart from sin", then, is the "appearing" to which Paul so often refers, and in Titus 2:13 he refer to it as a "blessed hope".

"LOOKING FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE AND THE GLORIOUS APPEARING OF THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST" (Tit.2:13).

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« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2005, 09:09:36 PM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - PAUL AND THE NEW BIRTH


Jan 31

PAUL AND THE NEW BIRTH

By Cornelius R. Stam

The Pauline revelation leads us into glorious truths respecting both our position and experience as believers. Indeed, the new birth itself, as it takes place in the believer today, is directly related to the divine baptism by which Christ and the believer are made one.

How was Christ made one with mankind? He was baptized into the human race. He did not merely come to dwell with men. He became man. How? By being born into the race. Was this by natural birth? No, by supernatural birth. He was begotten of the Holy Spirit. But His baptism into the human race did not end with His birth and life on earth. So fully did He become one with man, that He even died manís death on the accursed tree. He was baptized into death (Luke 12:50) and, as we now know, into our death. And it is there, at the Cross, that we become one with Him. The moment one looks in faith to Calvary, acknowledging: "He is no sinner; I am the sinner. Christ is dying my death"; that moment he becomes one with Christ; baptized into the crucified, risen Lord Himself (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:26,27) not only positionally, in the reckonings of God, but exponentially, by the Spirit. And thus a new life is begotten. By natural birth? No, by supernatural birth.

Some hold that the Epistles of Paul do not teach the new birth, but this is an error. His familiar word teknon, generally translated simply "child" in our English Bibles, means literally, "born one." And he uses this word with regard to our spiritual relationship to God.

Furthermore, the Apostle teaches the very truth of the new birth in Tit. 3:5, where he says:

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of REGENERATION, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost."

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« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2005, 04:53:21 PM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS


Feb 1

NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS

By Cornelius R. Stam

"And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And He was numbered with the transgressors" (Mark 15:28).

The progressive fulfillment of this passage from Isaiah 53 is the amazing story of our Lordís three baptisms.

First, this prophecy must be applied to our Lordís incarnation. Born a babe at Bethlehem, He was baptized into the human race, becoming, not merely one with us, but one of us, a true human being, though still also "very God." This is how He was first "numbered with the transgressors." Later the Lord was baptized again, this time with water, by John the Baptist. Johnís baptism was unto "repentance for the remission of sins" and those who responded came to his baptism "confessing their sins" (Mark 1:4,5). Little wonder that John at first refused to baptize this sinless One, saying: "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?" But the Lord insisted, saying:

"Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness" (Matt. 3:13-15). Thus our Lord joined repentant sinners in baptism and was, in this practical way, "numbered with the transgressors."

But after His baptism into the human race and His subsequent baptism with water, our Lord spoke of a third baptism, saying: "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened [Lit., "What a spot I am in"] till it be accomplished!" (Luke 12:50). This third baptism was, of course, His death at Calvary, where He was baptized into Godís judgment upon sin in order that He might save us from it.

Finally, then, Isaiah 53:12 was fulfilled, for it is in connection with His death at Calvary that Mark 15:27,28 says: "And with Him they crucify two thieves; the one on His right hand, and the other on His left. And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And He was numbered with the
transgressors."

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« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2005, 10:00:38 PM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - THAT BLESSED HOPE


Feb 2

THAT BLESSED HOPE

By Cornelius R. Stam

We wish all of our readers a blessed New Year. For believers in Christ it will be the most blessed of all if this year turns out to be the year of our Lordís coming for His own. How long the present dispensation of grace will be prolonged we do not, and cannot, know. Even St. Paul, who was commissioned to make known the glorious truth of the rapture of the Church, did not know. He never dreamed that God would linger in mercy for more than 1900 years, for in I Thes. 4:16-18 he says: "We who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall be caught up..." Thus instructed Bible-believers in every generation since his day have rightly been on the alert for their Lord to come for them, for they know that "the days are evil" and every hour is an hour of grace.

To the Philippians the Apostle wrote: "We look for the Savior," to the Thessalonians: "[Ye]... wait for His [Godís] Son from heaven," and to Titus he says that we should be "looking for that blessed hope, and the appearing in glory of ...our Savior, Jesus Christ" (Phil. 3:20; I Thes. 1:9,10; Tit.
2:11-13).

With the Lordís coming and the close of "the dispensation of the grace of God" so much nearer than it was in Paulís day, we say to the unsaved:

"Receive not the grace of God in vain.... Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold NOW is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6: 1,2). And to the saved we say: "Buy up the time," take advantage of every opportunity to win the lost to Christ, for "the days are evil" (Eph. 5:16) and the day of grace may soon be brought to a close.

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« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2005, 05:54:35 PM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - ENEMIES OF GOD AND WORSHIPPERS OF SATAN


Feb 3

ENEMIES OF GOD AND WORSHIPPERS OF SATAN

By Cornelius R. Stam

"...we were enemies..." (Rom. 5:10).
"...the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not..." (II Cor. 4:4).

Many religious but unsaved people will not accept the fact that they are enemies of God, and fail to understand why the Bible should insist that they are.

The trouble is that, not knowing God, they have conjured up in their minds a "god" of their own, a "god" who says:

"Be good and do good, and I will accept you." This "god," of course, they revere and may even worship. Certainly they are not at enmity against him.

But the God who says that they are sinners, worthy of everlasting judgment; that their only hope of salvation lies in the One who poured out His lifeís blood to pay the penalty for their sins -- this God, the God of the Bible, they cannot abide. Let one of His servants tell them what He says about them and they are insulted. When this God, the true God, refuses to accept their "good" works or their "righteous" conduct they react like Cain, of whom we read:

"And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell" (Gen. 4:5). They simply will not bow to this God, and their attitude betrays their enmity against Him.

But why will they not turn away from their self-righteousness and trust in Christ, who died for their sins? Simply because they worship Satan, "the god of this age," who "hath blinded the minds of those who believe not." Worship Satan? This too is hard for the unregenerate man to believe about himself. As he has his own conception of God, he also has his own conception of Satan -- a wrong one.

Unbelievers do not know that the real Satan, the Satan of the Bible, has a vast wardrobe and, in this dispensation of grace, doubtless appears most often as "an angel of light" with "ministers of righteousness" (II Cor. 11:14,15). This Satan they do indeed worship. They adore him, and try to live by his precepts, convinced that the way to salvation is to do and be good.

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« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2005, 10:08:38 PM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - THE OLD NATURE IN THE BELIEVER


Feb 4

THE OLD NATURE IN THE BELIEVER

By Cornelius R. Stam

The believer who would be truly spiritual must recognize the presence of the old nature within. It would be dangerous not to recognize a foe so near.

The old nature in the believer is that which is "begotten of the flesh." It is called, "the flesh," "the old man," "the natural man," "the carnal mind."

Just as "they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom. 8:8) so that which is of the flesh, in the believer, cannot please God. "The flesh," as we have already seen, is totally depraved. God calls it "sinful flesh" (Rom. 8:3), warns that it seeks "occasion" to do wrong (Gal. 5:13), and declares that "the works of the flesh" are all bad (Gal. 5:19-21). Nor is the old nature in the believer one which improves by its contact with the new. It is with respect to "the flesh" in the believer, even in himself that the Apostle declares that in it "dwelleth no good thing" (Rom. 7:18), that it is "carnal, sold under sin" (Rom. 7:14), that it is "corrupt according to the deceitful lusts" (Eph. 4:22), that it is at "enmity against God," and is "not subject to the law of God, NEITHER INDEED CAN BE" (Rom. 8:7).

"The flesh," even as it remains in the believer after salvation, is that which was generated by a fallen begetter. It is the old Adamic nature. It is sinful in itself.  It cannot be improved. It cannot be changed. "That which is born [begotten] of the flesh is flesh," said our Lord (John 3:6), and it is as impossible to improve the "old man" in the believer as it was to make him acceptable to God in the first place.

The "old man" was condemned and dealt with judicially at the Cross. Never once is the believer instructed to try to do anything with him or to make anything of him, but always to "reckon" him "dead indeed" (Rom. 6:11), and to "put him off" (Col. 3:8-10).

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« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2005, 02:34:52 AM »

Two Minutes With The Bible - PARDON vs. JUSTIFICATION


Feb 5

PARDON vs. JUSTIFICATION

By Cornelius R. Stam

PARDON vs. JUSTIFICATION

Did you read, recently, about the man, named Zimmerman, who spent nearly twenty-five years in prison for a murder which, it is now clear, he never committed! The mistake was discovered two years ago, and he was released, of course, but only after spending almost a quarter of a century in prison for a crime he did not commit!

This was a grim mistake, but even at that, it must be wonderful in such a case, to be free -- and to have people actually sympathize with you! Yet, after two years of liberty, Zimmerman says he still feels a bit numb. Waking up mornings he still imagines he hears the harsh sound of the prison bell, and looking about he still thinks he sees bars on the windows.

Things could be worse, though: Suppose he were guilty of the crime, merely pardoned and released. Then everyone would be saying: "There goes that murderer. They pardoned him. Donít get too friendly with him." The stigma would always remain - -as long as he lived.

Let us thank God that believers in Christ are not merely pardoned.  Rom. 3:24 declares that we are "justified freely by [Godís] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

Christ died for our sins and satisfied the just claims of the Law, and more: through the Holy Spirit He revolutionizes our lives and makes new creations out of us, for "If any man be in Christ," says II Cor. 5:17, "he is a new creation."

"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. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10).

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Two Minutes With The Bible

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If you would like to ask a question or make a comment regarding the content of this article, please email:
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https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/literature
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