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nChrist
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« Reply #4470 on: March 11, 2017, 03:45:28 PM »

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Grace And Peace
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


For many years this writer, along with the mass of religious people, supposed that the Bible phrase “grace and peace be unto you” was simply a beautiful, spiritual salutation. Thank God we have come to learn that it is much more than a salutation. It is an official proclamation.

Every single one of the epistles signed by St. Paul opens with the declaration: “Grace be unto you and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” This was the theme of the message which he, as a duly appointed ambassador, had been sent to proclaim.

To appreciate this fully we must remember that God had declared in prophecy that He would reply to the world’s rejection of Christ with judgment. Psa. 110:1 pictures the Father saying to the Son: “Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” Psa. 2:5 declares: “Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.”

After the crucifixion and ascension of Christ it seemed that all was ready for the judgment to fall. As the signs of Pentecost appeared Peter declared: “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16) and it did indeed look as if the rejected Lord was about to return to “judge and make war,” as Rev. 19:11 puts it. But now, instead of judgment and war, St. Paul proclaims grace and peace. Does this not indicate that in grace God interrupted the prophetic program to bring in the present dispensation under which God’s ambassadors proclaim with Paul:

    “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned… so might grace reign” (Rom. 5:20,21).

Indeed, Paul the former persecutor was himself the living demonstration of God’s grace to a Christ-rejecting world. In I Tim. 1:15,16 he declares:

    “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

“Howbeit, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.”
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« Reply #4471 on: March 12, 2017, 04:43:46 PM »

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A Guilty Conscience
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


Four of our grandchildren have a large high-spirited dog named Molly. Molly is like most dogs; she loves to eat and romp with the kids. But she also likes to roam the neighborhood, crashing through the neighbor’s flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. Needless to say, a dog her size could do a lot of damage in short order. To correct the problem, Kevin and Jessica purchased an electronic collar. They merely set the transmitter in the house to all the boundaries of the yard. When Molly approaches one of the borders, her collar begins to beep, and then the unit gives her a mild shock when she gets too close to the perimeter. It didn’t take Molly long to realize that, when she hears a beeping sound, she knows to stop before she gets zapped.

Along these same lines, God has put an invisible beeper, a conscience, inside every human being, which warns us when we’re about to do something wrong. At his second appearance before the Diet of Worms, Martin Luther stated about his stand, “To go against conscience is neither right nor safe.”

    “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses” (Rom. 5:13,14).

The term impute in this passage is an accounting term; it simply means “to put to one’s account.” While men sinned during the period between Adam and Moses, they were not held accountable for those sins because God had not yet given the commandments that prohibited them. This does not mean that they were any less guilty of sin or any less deserving of eternal judgment. It is important to remember that, during this period, men were living under the dispensation of conscience; therefore, they were without excuse. This is what Paul means in Romans 2:

    “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (Rom. 2:14,15).

Conscience means “to know” or “with knowledge.” Under that dispensation, conscience was to govern mankind. It required men to do all known good, and abstain from all known evil.

After Adam and Eve had sinned, “they knew that they were naked” and consequently, they sewed figs leaves together to cover themselves (Gen. 3:7). In other words, their consciences were activated to know the difference between good and evil, and right and wrong. They knew they had sinned against God and felt guilty as a result of it.

Cain knew that God required a blood sacrifice, but he did evil in the sight of the Lord and brought an offering from the fruit of the ground. He sinned and had to deal with the guilt of his decision (Gen. 4:5). God would not receive Cain’s offering because it came from the earth, which had been cursed. Abel, on the other hand, responded to God in faith and brought what God required of him.

God is teaching us that, even though there was no Law between Adam and Moses, we are to understand that conscience was their guide, for they were “a law unto themselves.” As a result, they were without excuse. You see, God is demonstrating that, no matter what dispensation He has placed man under—Conscience, Law, Grace—all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

With this in mind, Paul adds, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses.” Even though the Law of Moses hadn’t been implemented at that time, death still reigned supreme in that, eventually the people died. But that raises this question: if the sins of men were not charged to their account, why did death still have mastery over them? Simple: they had sinned in Adam, which is true of the entire human race. Since we are Adam’s posterity, we are all born in him. He is our federal head. What was true of him is true of us as well.

God, in His infinite knowledge, sees what we are unable to see. When Adam reached for that forbidden fruit, we were in him; consequently, we are identified with his sin. Another example of this principle is found in Hebrews 7:9,10. So then, the trio of death— physical, spiritual and the possibility of eternal death—reigned because we have all sinned in Adam. This also explains how a newborn, who has never committed one sinful act, sometimes dies due to complications. They sinned in Adam! Personally, I believe God has made a very special provision for these little ones (II Sam. 12:22,23).

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound” (Rom. 5:20). The Law magnified sin! It shined a spotlight on it to show man how exceedingly sinful he really is. When the Law says, “Thou shalt not steal,” man’s natural response is to question the law rebelliously and disobey it. When you tell a toddler that he is not allowed to open the basement door and then move out of their range of sight, he will put his hand on the door knob and look to see if you’re watching. You see, it shows us that there is a natural tendency to do wrong. God magnified that a hundredfold when He gave the Law. Once again, it was to demonstrate that all are sinners in word, thought, and deed.

From the beginning, conscience has been woven through all the ages and dispensations. It is what’s known as a trans-dispensational truth. But we find it interesting that there is very little emphasis placed on conscience under the Mosaic system, which shouldn’t surprise us (Heb. 9:9). The commandments served as the conscience of the people of God in time past: “Thou shalt not…,” “This do and thou shalt live…,” “If you hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes….” There was a law or statute to govern every step of their lives.

When we turn to the Gentile epistles, Paul makes frequent references to the conscience under grace. Today we have liberty in Christ, but we are never to use that liberty for an occasion to the flesh, whether it’s to entertain impure thoughts or commit an immoral act. Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust. The Law demands; grace beseeches! As God implores us to walk worthy of our calling, He uses His Word, the Spirit, and our consciences as an early warning system, to assist us in living a life that is well pleasing to Him. Remember and remember well: it’s a dangerous thing to disobey your conscience.
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« Reply #4472 on: March 13, 2017, 06:26:35 PM »

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Paul's Letter to the Romans
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


One of the most enlightening books of the Bible, and indeed of all literature, is St. Paul’s great Epistle to the Romans.

Paul was by nature and training a logician, perhaps the greatest logician of all time, and in this case his words were Spirit-inspired, so that we have in his Epistle to the Romans a powerful logical argument about God and man, condemnation and justification. It is wonderful thus to have God’s plan of salvation explained for us. This is all too lacking in modern evangelism.

The doctrinal argument of Romans begins with a demonstration of the moral depravity of man. It says, even to the self-righteous:

    “Thou art inexcusable…” (2:1).

The Apostle then goes on to show that the Law was given, not to help men to be good, but “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought in guilty before God” (3:19). The conclusion:

    “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (3:20).

The Apostle presses his argument further by showing how the Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself as a satisfaction for sin that we might be “justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (3:24). His conclusion again:

    “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without [apart from] the deeds of the law” (3:28.).

    “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:1).

Next he shows how those who trust in Christ are “baptized into Christ” (6:3), made one with Him by faith. The final conclusion:

    “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (8:1).

And the Apostle closes the doctrinal part of this great epistle by exclaiming:

    “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? …Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (8:33,35).

Our advice to those who have questions about salvation: Study Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, thoughtfully and prayerfully.
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« Reply #4473 on: March 19, 2017, 05:54:41 PM »

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Things New and Old
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


When our Lord had finished His familiar discourse on “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,” He said:

    “THEREFORE, EVERY SCRIBE WHICH IS INSTRUCTED UNTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE A MAN THAT IS AN HOUSEHOLDER, WHO BRINGS FORTH OUT OF HIS TREASURE THINGS NEW AND OLD” (Matt. 13:52).

A new era had just dawned in the world’s history. A new message was being proclaimed. John the Baptist had begun to cry: “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” and the Lord Jesus and the twelve had taken up the same message.

Some listened eagerly, others turned away — among them many of the scribes, the Bible teachers of the day. They did not welcome any new teaching. Yet Christ’s message of the kingdom in no way conflicted with the Old Testament Scriptures. Indeed, it was based on the Old Testament and confirmed by it. This is why our Lord reminded His hearers that the right kind of scribe would bring forth out of the treasure-house of Scripture, things both new and old.

How this lesson is needed today! Some cast away precious treasures out of the Bible, contending that they are old and out of date. Others, while clinging tenaciously to old truths, reject new light. While mere professors of religion too often cast aside old truths with the complaint that they are outworn, true possessors often reject new light simply because it is new. They vie with each other to be orthodox instead of vying to find more light from the unfathomable Word of God.

Is it possible that we have drained the Well of Scripture dry? Are there no more precious stones in that exhaustless Mine? Have any of us received all the light that shines from the Holy Bible?

Then, cost what it may, let us keep digging into the Scriptures, that as we minister to others we may bring forth out of the divine Treasure-house things both new and old.
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« Reply #4474 on: March 19, 2017, 05:57:41 PM »

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The Love Of The Truth
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In II Thes. 2:10 St. Paul declares that the apostates of the coming age will “perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they may be saved.” This is something worth considering very seriously.

God calls this present dispensation “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2). During this dispensation faithful Christians are proclaiming “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). This is the message of God’s grace and love in giving Christ to die for our sins so that we might be saved from its penalty and power.

All, however, do not believe this glorious message or accept God’s grace in Christ. These, the Apostle declares, will be left behind when our Lord comes, at the close of this dispensation, to receive His own to Himself. Because they rejected the truth, and the love it proclaimed, God will give them up “that they might believe a lie,” and put their faith in Antichrist, “that they all might be damned who believed not the truth” (II Thes. 2:8-12).

It was infinite love that brought Christ to Calvary to suffer shame and disgrace for our sins, and this love is being proclaimed in this dispensation of grace. But this dispensation may be brought to a close at any time and bring in the day of God’s wrath. How important then to accept God’s love, and trust His Son without delay!

    “Behold, now is the accepted time… Behold now is the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:2).

If you do not trust Christ as your Lord and Savior now and you are caught unawares and lost for all eternity, you will never be able to say, “It was because God did not choose to save me.” Whatever all the reasons involved in His electing grace, He does not accept the responsibility for your rejection of Christ. He says that the unsaved will perish “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Don’t gamble with the future. Receive God’s gift of salvation now through faith in Christ.
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« Reply #4475 on: March 19, 2017, 06:00:05 PM »

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To Hear Father Speak
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “The voice of Thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings
    lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook” (Psalm 77:18.).

Fortunately dad was a builder, for with a family of ten, and missionaries and Bible teachers so often entertained as guests, it took a large home to accommodate us all.

Not only did we have a large home; it was also the highest house in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, with its rear, second-floor porch affording a commanding view of the city and its surroundings.

This porch came into its most memorable use during thunderstorms.  Often when such storms gathered dad would say to mother and us children:

    “Let’s go out and hear Father speak.”

Never will we forget those impressive occasions! From our “grandstand” seats we watched many a dramatic electrical storm and were thrilled to “hear Father speak” in the rolling thunder as His clouds poured out their rain on the city below.

By taking us out to see such “shows” — God’s shows — dad accomplished two purposes. He helped to rid us of the excessive fear of electrical storms that unnerve so many people, and he gave us a small glimpse of the infinite greatness of our great God.
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« Reply #4476 on: March 19, 2017, 06:02:09 PM »

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If He Be Able
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “Either his uncle… or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him, or, if he be able, he may redeem himself” (Lev. 25:49).

Under Old Testament law one who had failed in business could sell himself, or be sold, into slavery, his master paying off his debts in lieu of salary. The slave could be redeemed, however, by his uncle or any near relative who could afford to pay off his debts, or, says our passage: “if he be able, he may redeem himself.”

“If he be able”! Significant qualification, for what bankrupt slave was ever able to redeem himself!

In this way God would teach us an important lesson about salvation from sin. All of us have failed in business, as it were. We have amassed a huge debt of sin against God and our fellowmen, and have become morally and spiritually bankrupt.

We have many who are “nigh of kin” to us, but they are unable to redeem us because they themselves are bankrupt sinners. There is One, however, who has an infinite store of righteousness with which to pay our debt and redeem us. Indeed, He did pay the penalty for all our sins when He, the Holy One, died in shame and disgrace as a sinner on Calvary’s cross.

He, the Lord Jesus Christ, is our blessed Kinsman Redeemer, for as Adam’s children “are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same” (Heb. 2:14) that He might redeem Jew and Gentile; “made [for] a little [while] lower than the angels for the suffering of death …that He by the grace of God, should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9).

There are many, alas, who will not face up to their condition. They somehow think that they can still redeem themselves. To them God says: “Do it, if you are able!” To the rich young ruler who asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life,” the Lord said “You know the law… this do, and you will live.”

But who of us has perfectly kept the law of God? Who of us is not a repeated law-breaker in the sight of God? Who is able to redeem himself? Why not then turn from self to Christ, our rich Kinsman Redeemer, “In whom we have redemption, through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).
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« Reply #4477 on: March 19, 2017, 06:04:56 PM »

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Paul's Phraseology
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The careful student of the Epistles of Paul soon observes that the Apostle makes many specific statements as to the distinctiveness of his ministry and message. Even apart from this, however, and considering his phraseology alone, we often wonder how anyone could possibly deny that his message was distinct from that which the twelve had proclaimed. Note the following examples:

    Rom. 2:16: “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to MY GOSPEL.”

    Rom. 16:25: “Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to MY GOSPEL, and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.”

    II Tim. 2:7,8; “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
    “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to MY GOSPEL.”

    Gal. 1:11: “But I certify you, brethren, that THE GOSPEL WHICH WAS PREACHED OF ME is not after man.”

    Gal. 2:2: “And I went up [to Jerusalem] by revelation, and communicated unto them THAT GOSPEL WHICH I PREACH AMONG THE GENTILES, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.”

    I Cor. 15:1: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you THE GOSPEL WHICH I PREACHED UNTO YOU, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand.”

Add to this the Apostle’s explicit claims as to the distinctive character of his ministry and message and you have irrefutable proof of the fact.
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« Reply #4478 on: March 19, 2017, 06:07:14 PM »

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It's No Contest!
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


During his recent visit to the United States, the pope stirred up quite a bit of controversy when he canonized an 18th-century friar named Junipero Serra. The pontiff sought to recognize the friar for his work in bringing Catholicism to California, but there are some who claim he treated Native Americans harshly. This explains why a statue of Serra was vandalized after his elevation to sainthood was announced. As you can see, when your sainthood depends on your conduct, there will always be someone who will stand up to contest it.

How different it is with the saints mentioned in Scripture! The Corinthians were known for their carnality (I Cor. 3:1), yet Paul calls them “saints” (I Cor. 1:2). If you are wondering how this could be, it is because Paul knew that the verb form of the noun “saint” is sanctify, and while the Corinthians were carnal in their conduct, they were “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (I Cor. 1:2). In the Bible, men are “sanctified by the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 15:16), not by any earthly church. They are “sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ” (Heb. 10:10), and not by their behavior. Rome awards sainthood to men who are known for good works, but the Lord says that men are “sanctified by faith that is in Me” (Acts 26:18.).

So it is that while the canonicity of all Rome’s saints can be contested by men, not even the devil himself can contest the sainthood of the believer in Christ. It’s no contest! Just remember, sainthood is a high calling, so make sure “that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Eph. 4:1).
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« Reply #4479 on: March 20, 2017, 07:38:14 PM »

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A Watchman For Israel And The Apostle Of Grace
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “…I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me” (Ezek. 33:7).

The Prophet Ezekiel was appointed by God as a “watchman” over the house of Israel. He was held responsible to warn the wicked from their way, for while God must deal justly with sin, He had declared: “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Verse 11).

If Ezekiel failed to warn the wicked they would die in their sins, but their blood would be required at his hand. If he faithfully warned them, however, and they refused to heed the warning, they would die in their sins, but he would be absolved of all responsibility (See Verses 8 and 9).

Would some Christian reader remind us that we are living under another dispensation and that our message is one of grace? True enough, but this does not diminish, it increases our responsibility toward the lost.

    “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (I Cor. 14:8.).

If we believers carelessly allow the lost to go to Christless graves, are we not morally responsible for their doom? Will we not be held accountable at the Judgment Seat of Christ? (See II Corinthians 5:10,11). This is why we find Paul reminding the Ephesian elders that he had not ceased to “warn” men “night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31).

As the apostle looked back over his ministry among the Ephesians he could say: “I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men” (Verse 26). And this had been so of his ministry in general. Indeed, it was now his desire that whatever the cost, he “might finish his course with joy, and the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Verse 24).

May Ezekiel, and the Apostle Paul, that great warrior for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, be memorials to us — of our great responsibility toward the lost!
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« Reply #4480 on: March 24, 2017, 04:27:01 PM »

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The Fruits Of The Resurrection
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The fruits of our Lord’s resurrection from the dead are many and important.

First, there were immediate results. It silenced those who had ridiculed His claims, and struck terror into their hearts. It explained how the prophecies would be fulfilled which predicted the death of Christ and the kingdom glory to follow. It heartened His followers, making cowards bold, turning their fear into faith, their sorrow into joy and their despair into glorious victory.

Then there were also long range results, for our Lord’s resurrection is a warning to unbelievers:

    “Because [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. See also John 5:22,27; Acts 10:42).

As to believers, first, Christ’s resurrection from the dead assures us that our debt of sin has been fully paid:

    “[HE] WAS DELIVERED FOR OUR OFFENCES, AND WAS RAISED AGAIN FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION. THEREFORE BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST” (Rom. 4:25; 5:1).

Second, His resurrection gives us a living Savior to help us in our daily walk.

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

Third, His resurrection is the pledge of our own:

    “FOR IF WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN, EVEN SO THEM ALSO WHICH SLEEP IN JESUS WILL GOD BRING [FROM THE DEAD] WITH HIM” (I Thes. 4,14; cf. Heb. 13:20).

    “BLESSED BE THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO, ACCORDING TO HIS ABUNDANT MERCY, HATH BEGOTTEN US AGAIN UNTO A LIVING HOPE BY THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD” (I Pet. 1:3).
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« Reply #4481 on: March 24, 2017, 04:29:21 PM »

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The Father Of Believers
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3).

Has it ever occurred to you that the most loved, the most honored, the most respected person of all history is — not Christ, but Abraham. Christ ought to be most loved, honored and respected, but Abraham is. Besides the millions of professing Christians there are untold millions of Jews and Mohammedans who speak with reverance of “our father Abraham.”

Clearly this is why God used this man to show how to be saved and justified before a holy God. As Paul is God’s great example of grace, so Abraham is God’s great example of faith — saving faith.

“If Abraham were justified by works,” says Rom. 4:2, he has something to boast about — but not before God, who sees and knows all. But Abraham was justified. How? “What saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness” (Ver. 3).

God, of course, had planned salvation through the redemptive work of Christ and has always saved anyone who simply trusts Him and takes Him at His Word. Since Abraham, of course, more of God’s Word has been revealed and we know the details of Christ’s death for sinners. If we now take God at His Word and simply trust Christ as Savior we are completely justified, for salvation is not; cannot be, by works:

    “But to him that worketh not but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).

    “…through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38,39).
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« Reply #4482 on: March 24, 2017, 04:31:47 PM »

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Is the Word of God Consistent?
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


Inconsistencies are the way of man. Politicians are inconsistent; they often promise one thing and do another, depending on how the political winds are blowing. The testimony of a murderer is often inconsistent with the evidence that is presented. Even medical science is inconsistent with its own declarations. The conventional wisdom years ago was to stay in bed for two weeks after major surgery to heal properly. Today, most patients are required to be up and around the same day.

I recall the time I was speaking to a young dispensationalist who was convinced that the “two…in the field; the one…taken, and the other left” was clearly the Rapture. I graciously shared with him that he was anticipating revelation. That is, he was taking something he had learned from Paul’s writings and was superimposing it on the Lord’s teaching about His Second Coming. I pointed out to him that his view was inconsistent with the context of Matthew 24. When I inquired who was removed from the earth in the days of Noah, the believer or the unbeliever, he was speechless.

Unlike man, the Word of God is never inconsistent with itself, even though it may appear to be at times. God is omniscient; therefore, His Word is like a finely woven tapestry from beginning to end. A friend in Christ once wrote to me about an observation he had made from the gospel according to Matthew:

    Here’s one that will probably stump you—it has me! Matthew states that the “blood money” that was used to purchase the potter’s field after Judas hanged himself was in fulfillment of “…that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet” (Matt. 27:8-10). I’ve searched the Book of Jeremiah thoroughly and I am sorry to report, it’s not there.

He’s right! A few years ago he would have had me over a barrel on this one. But recently, I did some research on this portion and discovered the solution to the problem staring me in the face. Normally, the Gospel writers state, “As it is written…,” such as we have in the case of John the Baptist (Compare Luke 3:4,5 & Isa. 40:3,4). However, Matthew does not say that which was fulfilled was written. Instead, Jeremiah is said to have spoken these words, which the Spirit of God revealed to the apostle by a special revelation. This is another thread of inspiration that is carefully interwoven throughout the Scriptures (II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21). Indeed, the Book you hold in your hand is the Word of God!
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« Reply #4483 on: March 24, 2017, 04:35:13 PM »

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Faithfulness to Our Commission
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In Paul’s day, his “preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery” encountered opposition on every hand. For faithfully proclaiming the glorious message which had been committed to his trust, he was constantly made to bear affliction and reproach. In one of his earlier epistles we already find a long list of the perils and persecutions he had by then been called upon to endure (II Cor. 11:23-33) and this opposition, bitter and relentless, continued throughout his ministry. In his last letter, written from prison in Rome, he calls attention to the distinctive character of his message, and adds:

    “Wherein I suffer trouble as an evil doer, even unto bonds…” (II Tim. 2:7-9).

The almost constant suffering to which the apostle of grace was subjected naturally had its effect upon timid souls. Some, who saw the truth and the glory of his message, lacked the courage to stand with him in making it known. Others, who had started with him were tempted to — and some did — turn back. Of his first appearance before Nero, the Apostle had to say:

    “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: pray God that it may not be laid to their charge” (II Tim. 4:16).

In the light of all this it is not strange that Paul should write to Timothy:

    “FOR GOD HATH NOT GIVEN US THE SPIRIT OF FEAR; BUT OF POWER, AND OF LOVE, AND OF A SOUND MIND.

    “BE NOT THOU THEREFORE ASHAMED OF THE TESTIMONY OF OUR LORD, NOR OF ME HIS PRISONER; BUT BE THOU PARTAKER OF THE AFFLICTIONS OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE POWER OF GOD” (II Tim. 1:7,8.).

Nor is it strange that in II Timothy 2:1-3 the apostle should urge his son in the faith to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” and to “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ,” especially in the light of the fact that he himself needed constant help in this regard. The average Christian would find it hard to imagine Paul ever needing prayer for courage, yet he closes his Ephesian epistle with the request:

    “And [pray] for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

    “For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Eph. 6:19,20).

Oh, that all who have come to see the glory of the gospel of the grace of God would pray this prayer for boldness!

Some may suppose that it would require little boldness today to proclaim grace in all its purity. Who is ever persecuted now, at least in free, enlightened lands, for preaching God’s grace? Ah, but do not be deceived. Satan was no less active in his opposition to the truth when Constantine exalted the professing Church to prominence than when his predecessors persecuted the Church and sent its members to death by fire and sword. Indeed, the devil was doubtless more successful in Constantine’s day than he had been when persecution raged. And does any believer in the Word of God suppose that Satan has relented in his opposition to the truth today, just because men, at least in this land, are not burned at the stake or thrown to the lions? Do not be misled. Satan’s enmity against God and against His Word continues undiminished. His hatred of “the gospel of the grace of God,” is as bitter, and his opposition to it as determined, as it ever was. But well does he know that the constant discouragements connected with being in the minority often succeed in silencing those who would stand against physical persecution.

Let us, who know and love the truth, determine by God’s grace that nothing shall make us unfaithful to our glorious commission; that, whatever the cost, we shall faithfully and boldly proclaim to others the unadulterated gospel of the grace of God, “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery.”
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« Reply #4484 on: March 30, 2017, 05:08:13 PM »

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Help In Time Of Need
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Our Chicago papers, recently, carried two interesting front page items; one about Timothy Nolan, a Chicago policeman who pleaded in vain for help while he battled two toughs. Sixty people stood about, watching him fight for his life, but not one of them helped him or even bothered to call another policeman. They just stood and watched.

The other item was about a twelve-year-old girl, named Susan Benedict, who had come from Clinton, Wisconsin, to visit Chicago. As Susan sat in the Greyhound Bus Station at Clark and Randolph, a thief grabbed her purse and ran. Perhaps it was because she was a sweet, defenseless twelve-year-old, but in any case, about a dozen people who witnessed the incident, followed the thief until one got a policeman, who caught the thief and returned the purse to the little girl.

It is a very frightening thing not to be able to find help when it is desperately needed — and just as wonderful to have help when it is needed.

Thank God, He is always ready to help us in our deepest need — the salvation of our souls. Are you afraid that your many sins have placed you in a position beyond help — that you have sinned too greatly for God to forgive you? Then listen to Eph. 1:7, where the Apostle Paul says, by divine inspiration:

    “We have redemption through [Christ’s] blood, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE.”

Rom. 5:20,21 will give further encouragement along this line:

    “…WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND, THAT AS SIN HATH REIGNED UNTO DEATH, EVEN SO MIGHT GRACE REIGN, through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Paul knew this by experience, for he was the leader of the world’s rebellion against Christ, but he was saved in one moment by the grace of God. This is why he says:

    “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Tim. 1:15).

If God saved the “chief of sinners,” He is surely willing to save you, “for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
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