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nChrist
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« Reply #4605 on: July 26, 2017, 04:03:32 PM »

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The Motives of Law and Grace
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm” (I Timothy 1:7).

Since “we are not under law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:15), what possible motive could someone have to teach the law? Well, in Paul’s day, the men most likely to desire to cling to the law were Jews (Acts 15:1). Speaking of them, Paul told Titus:

    “…there are many unruly and vain talkers…of the circumcision…who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1:10,11).

The thing that these circumcision Jews “ought not” to have been teaching was the law, which they taught for the same reason men teach the law today—because there is money in it. Satan always makes sure that undispensational truth is popular, and teaching what is popular is always a lucrative endeavor!

For instance, in time past, God’s message to Israel was that He was going to use Nebuchadnezzar to conquer the nation to chasten her for her iniquities (Jer. 25:9). But false prophets in Israel were assuring God’s people it would never happen, that they would continue to enjoy peace (Jer. 23:17). Which of those two messages do you think was more popular, and thus more lucrative?

Of course, when Israel was obedient to God’s law, His message to them was a message of peace, but when they rebelled against His law, that message became one dispensation too late. Well, today the law is one dispensation too late, but it is as popular and as profitable as undispensational teaching has always been. People are religious by nature, and the law appeals to their religious “flesh” (Gal. 3:3). And that which appeals to a man’s religious flesh is always going to be as popular and as lucrative a business as that which appeals to his carnal flesh (II Cor. 11:20).

When Paul added that those teachers of the law understood “neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm,” that was a polite way of saying they didn’t know what they were talking about! All because they were one dispensation too late in their teaching. What’s that say about all those “desiring to be teachers of the law” in our own day?

Maybe you are thinking, “If the goal of the law is to get us to love God and our neighbor (I Tim. 1:5), and we’re not under the law, does that mean God doesn’t want us to love God and our neighbor?” Of course He does! But now such loving charity is the goal of a new commandment. You see, when Paul said that “the end of the commandment is charity” (I Tim. 1:5), he wasn’t just referring to the goal of the ten commandments.

Remember, Paul opened this epistle by insisting that he was an apostle “by the commandment of God” (I Tim. 1:1), and in the dispensation of grace, the goal of that commandment is charity out of a pure heart. The goal of Paul’s God-ordained apostleship is to get people saved and loving God and their neighbor, just as it was under the law. The difference is, in this dispensation, “the love of Christ constraineth us” to serve Him (II Cor. 5:14), not the fear of what will happen to us if we disobey Him, as was the case under the law. That’s the motivation of love, not law! That’s the motivation of grace.
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« Reply #4606 on: July 28, 2017, 05:18:28 PM »

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No Time For God?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Those who have no time for God should consider what their circumstances would be if He had no time for them; no time to paint the sunsets, no time to send the warm sun’s rays or the refreshing showers, no time to make the crops and flowers grow. We doubt that any thinking person would actually want nothing to do with God.

Cain despised God’s authority and finally murdered his brother, but when he was driven from the presence of God he said: “My punishment is greater than I can bear” (Gen. 4:13).

One of the saddest sentences in the gospel records is our Lord’s prediction that He would have to say to some: “I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23).

Just what it will mean to be “cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15), we pray God none of our readers will ever find out, but the Scriptures do clearly indicate that those involved will be cast forever out of the presence of God.

Thank God, it is not He who desires this. He paid for our sins at Calvary to reconcile us to Himself (Eph. 2:16). St. Paul declares that God has called believers “unto the fellowship of His Son” (1 Cor. 1:9) and that at His coming for them they shall “ever be with the Lord,” adding: “wherefore, comfort one another with these words” (1 Thes. 4:17,18.).

    “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (II Cor. 5:20).

God has demonstrated His love for us in Christ. Why not respond by gratefully trusting Christ as your Savior?
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« Reply #4607 on: July 28, 2017, 05:19:48 PM »

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The Teachings of Jesus
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In the controversy over “Pauline truth,” not a few Fundamentalists have joined Modernists in attempting to exalt “the teachings of Jesus” (on earth) above the Word of God through Paul. “Which,” they ask, “should bear the greater weight with us, the words of Jesus, or the words of Paul?”

But do they ask this because they truly desire to obey these “words of Jesus” and to see them obeyed? No, for they flagrantly disregard and disobey them, from the Sermon on the Mount to the Great Commission.

With regard to the Sermon on the Mount, they do not subject themselves to the law of Moses (Matt. 5:17-19); they do not bring gifts to altars of sacrifice (5:23,24); they do not give freely to all who ask of them (5:42; 10:8,9); they do not refrain from laying up treasures on earth (6:19,25,26); they do not sell what they have and give alms (Luke 6:30; 12:33).

And while professing obedience to the so-called “Great Commission” as “the Church’s marching orders,” they do not proclaim faith and baptism for salvation (Mark 16:16); they do not—they cannot—perform miraculous signs (Mark 16:17,18.); they do not give the Jew first place in their ministry (Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8.), and they certainly do not teach others to observe all things that Messiah on earth commanded (Matt. 28:20 cf. 23:1-3).

They set “the teachings of Jesus” (on earth) over against “the teachings of Paul,” not because they are determined to obey Jesus, but because they are determined to minimize that which God has “magnified”—the authority of Paul as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13).

They seek to exalt the teachings of the earthly Jesus above those of Paul because they have closed their ears to the oft-repeated and Spirit-inspired claims of Paul that the glorified Lord spoke again from heaven, to and through him, committing to him “the dispensation of the grace of God” and the program for the day in which we live (Acts 20:24; 22:6-10,17-21; 26:12-18; Rom. 11:13; 15:15,16; 16:25,26; I Cor. 3:10; 11:23; 15:3; II Cor. 5:16; Gal. 1:1,11,12; 2:7-9; Eph. 3:1-4,8,9; 6:18-20; Phil. 4:9; Col. 1:23-27; I Thes. 4:15; II Thes. 3:14; I Tim. 2:5-7; II Tim. 2:7-9; Titus 1:2,3, etc.).

They have forgotten the stern rebuke the Galatians received for failing to recognize Paul’s teachings as a message from the risen, exalted Christ (Gal. 1:6-12). They have taken lightly Paul’s words to the Corinthians:

    “…if I come again I will not spare: since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me…” (II Cor. 13:2,3).

They have distorted Paul’s inspired admonition as to his own writings:

    “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing…from such withdraw thyself” (I Tim. 6:3-5).
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« Reply #4608 on: July 29, 2017, 04:23:51 PM »

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Redeeming the Time
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


As a new day dawns we do well to reflect upon two important passages of Scripture. The first is found in II Corinthians 6:2 where Paul, by the Spirit says:

    “Behold, now is the accepted time;  behold, now is the day of salvation.”

We have no guarantee that the Lord Jesus will tarry another year, or even a month or a day. It is possible that within ten minutes after you have read this the dispensation of Grace will have been brought to a close, and the Lord will have come to catch away His own. Most of our readers, surely, will then be part of a blessed, happy throng. What about you? Will you be with us or will you be left behind? If you are not sure of your salvation, be wise and place your trust in Christ now.

    “Yesterday’s past You have only today.

    Tomorrow may be too late.”

But the fact of the imminence of Christ’s return places a great responsibility upon believers too. How wrong of us to fritter away the time, when He may come so soon! How wrong to live for self! Let us rather heed the words of Paul to us who are saved:

    “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

    “Redeeming [buying up] the time, because the days are evil.

    “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:15-17).

As one year dies and another is born,
A searching question’s due:
Have we lived up to the light we had?
Have we to Christ been true?

Or have we failed to do our part
To send His blessed Word
To those who stumble in the dark;
To those who have not heard?

Well, let us now forget the past,
Both failure and success,
And yield ourselves anew to God
To own and use and bless.
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« Reply #4609 on: August 01, 2017, 03:58:26 PM »

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Sharing Right Division
by Pastor John Fredericksen


Do you remember how dispensational truth was first shared with you? This writer cannot think about rightly dividing God’s Word without remembering the wonderfully gracious way these truths were patiently shared with him and his wife. No one acted like they were superior to us, that they were smarter than we, nor did they attempt to attack key doctrines where we might disagree. No one sought to win a scriptural argument. We were not embarrassed by public questioning. There were no threats, implied or otherwise, that fellowship might be withdrawn if our convictions remained unchanged, nor was there any hint of frustration with our understandings.

Those who first shared dispensational truths with us did so as it should be done, in a gracious and godly manner. As the saying goes, “You can attract more bees with honey than vinegar.” So, those who ministered to us did so in an extremely loving manner. They followed the instruction Paul gave to Timothy: “The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves” (II Tim. 2:24-25).

Nonetheless, there certainly was opposition on our part when these servants of the Lord began to shed new light on traditionally held doctrines. Yet, with tenderness, they put Colossians 4:6 into practice: “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” These discussions were frequent and sometimes lasted into the wee hours of the morning, but there was diligence on the part of these soldiers of Christ. Their method of ministry made the doctrines they believed in palatable to us. We thank God this was the approach that was taken with us, and it is probably the only one that would have worked. As we read this testimony, may each of us be encouraged to share dispensational truth with others and always be certain to do so in such a tender way that we “adorn the doctrine” we believe.
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« Reply #4610 on: August 01, 2017, 04:00:38 PM »

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Significance of the Loaves and Fishes
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “What’s the significance of the five loaves and two fishes the Lord used to feed the multitudes (Matt. 14:15-21)?”

The significance lies not in the actual number, but in the fact that loaves of bread were smaller in Bible days, with three loaves being about the right amount for one man’s meal (Luke 11:5,6). This means that the boy who shared the five loaves and two fishes (John 6:9) had packed just enough to feed himself, with a little left over to share with another. But it also means that he was willing to share his provisions even when it became evident that sharing them among so many would likely mean that he himself would go hungry.

This is a prophetic picture of the Tribulation saint who will be willing to help others who are hungry after the beast issues his mark and God’s people cannot buy food without it (Rev. 13:16-18.), but who may fear that in so doing there may not be enough for himself. Faithful Hebrews in that day will trust God when He said that “there is that scattereth, and yet increaseth” (Prov. 11:24,25), a proverb that perhaps motivated the boy in our text. When the lad gave all that he had to the Lord, and the apostles distributed the loaves and fishes (John 6:9-11) “unto every man according as he had need,” it typified what Tribulation saints will have to do to help one another (Acts 4:32-37), and it proved that you are never too young to serve the Lord and His people!
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« Reply #4611 on: August 01, 2017, 04:02:57 PM »

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When The Lord Asked Why
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


There are two occasions when the Lord asked “Why?” that stand out from all the rest.

Once it was to God He cried it and once to Saul of Tarsus. Once to the Holy One and once to the chief of sinners. Once He cried it from the shameful cross and once from His glory in heaven. In each case the name was repeated.

In Matt. 27:46 we find the first anguished “Why?” as He cried: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” The other is found in Acts 9:4, where He called from His exile in heaven: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?”

These two questions represent the greatest riddles of history and yet strangely, one of them is the simple solution to the other! Why did God forsake His Son? You will find the answer when you ask why mankind, represented by Saul, forsook and even persecuted God’s Son. God’s action, in giving Christ up to die, was the antidote to man’s. Christ’s death was the remedy — the only possible remedy — for man’s sin. It was because of the utter unreasonableness of man’s sin that God, to save him, had to be more than reasonable.

Saul had led his nation and the world in rebellion against Christ, but this is just why, in infinite love, God chose him to become the great apostle of grace, telling the world that “Christ died for our sins.”

Hear him tell how he had been “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious” but how “the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant” (1 Tim. 1:13,14). Hear him say:

    “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 long suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting” (Vers. 15, 16).

Since the “chief of sinners” is now in heaven, there is hope for us all if we but trust in the Christ who died for us.
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« Reply #4612 on: August 02, 2017, 05:25:46 PM »

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The Blessings Of Crisis
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The Apostle Paul, who had been through one desperate crisis after another, wrote as follows:

    “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”(Rom. 8:28.).

How many people have found life going along smoothly for years when, all of a sudden, they have found themselves in the middle of some serious crisis!

Perhaps the sudden death of a loved one changed life completely and presented serious problems wholly unanticipated. Perhaps it was the sudden loss of wealth, so that life had to be completely readjusted. There are hundreds of unexpected incidents that can suddenly bring one face to face with stark and stern realities completely unforeseen.

For believers in the Lord Jesus Christ such crises can prove great spiritual blessings. They tend to draw us closer to our heavenly Father, to cause us to pray more and to lean harder upon Him. They show us the insecurity of all that is temporal and give us a greater appreciation of our eternal security in Christ. They give deeper meaning to the Scriptures we study and even to the hymns we sing. They sanctify and enrich our fellowships.

To those — and only those — who truly love God and are “the called according to His purpose,” all things do indeed “work together for good” — caused by God, of course, to “work together for good.”

This is why God’s Word to the Christian is:

    “Be careful [care full] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6,7).
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« Reply #4613 on: August 03, 2017, 05:39:26 PM »

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The Apostle Of The Nations
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Not Matthew, Mark, or Luke; nor Peter, James, or John, but Paul alone wrote Romans 11:13 by divine inspiration:

    “FOR I SPEAK TO YOU GENTILES [or OF THE NATIONS] INASMUCH AS I AM THE APOSTLE OF THE GENTILES [NATIONS]: I MAGNIFY MINE OFFICE” (Rom. 11:13).

Note well that Paul did not magnify himself, but his office, to which he had been appointed by the glorified Lord Himself. In defending his apostleship before the Galatians he wrote:

    “But I certify you, brethren, THAT THE GOSPEL WHICH WAS PREACHED OF ME is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, BUT BY THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST” (Gal. 1:11,12).

In many other passages the apostle claims to speak as a direct representative of Christ (See I Corinthians 11:23; 15:3; Ephesians 3:2,3; I Thessalonians 4:15; etc.).

To Timothy, Paul wrote concerning his own writings: “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing…” (I Tim. 6:3,4). This could not indicate more emphatically Paul’s claim that his words were “the words of the Lord Jesus Christ”, received from Him by direct revelation.

To the Corinthians, who questioned this, the Apostle wrote:

    “…IF I COME AGAIN I WILL NOT SPARE, SINCE YE SEEK A PROOF OF CHRIST SPEAKING IN ME” (II Cor. 13:2,3).

The proof of this claim? This was overwhelming indeed, for Paul was used more than any other apostle to found churches and lead men into the knowledge and joy of salvation. To the believers at Corinth he wrote what he could have written to many thousands of others: “The seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord” (I Cor. 9:2).
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« Reply #4614 on: August 04, 2017, 01:40:05 PM »

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Creation
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


Scripture Reading:

    “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
    — Genesis 1:3-5

I am a creationist. I personally believe that God created all things in heaven and earth in six literal 24-hour days. A proper understanding of creation is essential, since it is the foundation upon which all the doctrines of God rest. Sadly, some in Christendom have sought to erect an elaborate system known as the day-age theory to accommodate the geologic timetable of billions of years. But does this position pass the Berean test?

Those who subscribe to the day-age theory believe that the Hebrew word “day” (yom) can refer to a 24-hour day or a long period of time. This is true! For example, the day of the Lord is an extended period of time which covers well over one thousand years. Consequently, the context must always be consulted to ascertain the duration of time under consideration. Of course, those who defend this position teach that the days of the Genesis record quite literally cover millions and millions of years, which conveniently accommodates evolution.

Interestingly, when the Hebrew word yom is used with a number, it always refers to a 24-hour day, without exception. In regard to the Passover God instructed Moses, “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel” (Ex. 12:15).

Would we conclude otherwise that the “first day” here is anything other than a normal day? Furthermore, when perimeters are set on the term yom, such as “the evening and the morning,” as found in Genesis 1:4, this limits the day to 24 hours.

But perhaps the most conclusive evidence that each day was 24 hours is found in Exodus 20:11: “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Here Moses uses the term yamin, the Hebrew plural for “days,” which exclusively speaks of 24-hour cycles.

If the Holy Spirit had intended to convey that the days of creation were “eras,” He would have used the used the Hebrew olam, which is defined as “indefinite time.” We accept by faith that God is sovereign and all-powerful; therefore, it was a small matter for Him to speak all things into existence in six days (Psa. 33:6-9).
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« Reply #4615 on: August 05, 2017, 06:17:15 PM »

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Paul and "The Faith Which Once He Destroyed"
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “Someone is telling me that Galatians 1:23 proves that Paul didn’t get a new message.”

When we teach that Paul had a unique new message, people sometimes respond by pointing out that this cannot be, since it was said of Paul, right after he got saved, that he “preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.” They insist that this means that the message he preached existed before he preached it. However, you’ll notice that Galatians 1:23 says that they “heard” this. Have you ever heard something spoken that turned out later to be untrue? That could easily be the case here.

Remember, Paul’s gospel and the kingdom gospel were both centered in Christ, and so when Paul got saved and began preaching Christ, that could easily explain how “the churches of Judaea” (Gal. 1:22) “heard” that Paul preached their faith. They would have had to have heard this second hand, from easily confused unbelievers, since believers were afraid to go near Saul in those early days (cf. Acts 9:26).

If there was any truth to the rumor, then the phrase “the faith” was being used in the generic sense. When this phrase is used by Paul, it refers to the body of truth that was given to him (Acts 14:22; 16:5; Rom. 1:5; Gal. 3:23; Eph. 4:13; Col. 1:23; I Tim. 3:9; I Tim. 4:1; II Tim. 3:8; Titus 1:13). When this phrase is used by Bible writers other than Paul, however, it refers to the body of truth of the kingdom message (Acts 6:7; I Pet. 5:9; Jude 1:3).
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« Reply #4616 on: August 06, 2017, 03:33:57 PM »

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A Word Of Encouragement
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Grace be to you and peace
Though days be dark about us.
God’s working out His plan
All enemies regardless.

We know that Bethlehem’s Babe
Once crucified, is risen
And seated now above,
At God’s right hand in heaven.

And soon He’ll come again
His loved ones to deliver.
We’ll share His glory then
Forever and Forever.

So while we watch and wait
O, may His love constraining
Help us to live for Him
In all the hours remaining.

— C.R.S.
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« Reply #4617 on: August 07, 2017, 04:07:37 PM »

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What Is Saving Faith?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


“What saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3).

The Apostle Paul uses the above quotation from Genesis 15:6 to prove that “to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).

It is wonderful that God does not require — indeed, does not permit — human works for salvation, but only faith. But the question is: What is faith? What kind of believing saves?

There is no indication in Scripture that “the gospel of the grace of God” or “the preaching of the cross” was proclaimed to Abraham. We must go back to the passage which Paul quotes to see what Abraham believed. Genesis 15:5 says:

    “And [God] took [Abraham] forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell [count] the stars, if thou be able to number [count] them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be.”

It is this simple, wonderful promise about the multiplication of Abraham’s seed which is followed with the words: “And he believed in the Lord; and He counted [reckoned] it to him for righteousness” (Ver. 6). We do not mean to imply that this was the first expression of Abraham’s faith, for in Hebrews 11:8 we read:

    “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”

This took place considerably before the Genesis 15 incident and we are specifically told that through his faith he “obtained a good report” (Heb. 11:2).

From all this it is clear that Abraham believed what God told him and was counted righteous — as we now know, through a redemption still to be wrought by Christ. We, now, must believe what God tells us — and this is nothing less than the account of the all-sufficient finished work of Christ, wrought in our behalf, on Calvary’s cross.

    “[He] was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25).
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« Reply #4618 on: August 08, 2017, 04:29:54 PM »

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Christ The Son Of God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


St. Paul opens his Epistle to the Romans by stating that the Lord Jesus Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with power,” or “powerfully declared to be the Son of God… by the resurrection from the dead” (1:4).

In Psa. 2:7, we have Christ, in prophecy, saying:

    “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.”

Our Lord was, of course, eternally one with the Father, but the word “begotten” here comes from Israel’s laws, referring to the time when the child was officially declared to be the father’s full-grown son.

But what day was He referring to? On what day did the Father officially proclaim:

    “This day have I begotten Thee”?

The answer is found in Acts 13:33, where the Apostle states that God “raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.”

So our Lord was officially — and powerfully — declared to be the Son of God at His resurrection from the dead. But what did Paul mean in II Tim. 2:7,8, where he said:

    “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.”

The answer is that the twelve had proclaimed Christ as the Son of David, to sit on David’s throne. Theirs was “the gospel of the kingdom.” But when the King and His kingdom were rejected, God raised up another apostle, Paul, to proclaim “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

Christ was, indeed, raised from the dead to sit on David’s throne, and this will yet come to pass, but Paul has a message for us, here and now: that Christ was raised from the dead to certify our justification and to become the Head of “the Church which is His Body.”
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« Reply #4619 on: August 10, 2017, 05:24:05 PM »

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Never Even Missed It
by Pastor John Fredericksen


One Sunday, a Christian family of four decided to take two different cars to church. After the service was over, the young boy rode home with his mom while the eight-year-old girl rode with dad. The father and daughter decided to stop at a furniture store to look for a living room set. After a while the dad got in his car and drove home. After a few minutes in the house, the mother asked, “Where’s Emily?” Until that question, the father had not realized that he left the store without his daughter and drove all the way home without her. Despite the solitude in the car, he never missed her until after arriving home. All the way back to the store, the ten-year-old brother, who was very angry with his father, kept asking his dad, “How could you have forgotten my sister?”

It is a simple reality that many times the most important things in life are simply forgotten. During the years of Israel’s many kings, a pattern of turning away from the Lord to false gods persisted. But that changed with one king. Once King Josiah ascended the throne, “he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord” (II Kings 22:2). “And like unto him there was no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might” (II Kings 23:25). Josiah became a spiritual reformer, ridding the land of false worship, sinful practices, and leading the nation back to the proper, exclusive worship of Jehovah.

This spiritual revival began at the beginning of Josiah’s reign and was built on one primary incident. Josiah instructed trusted people to make needed repairs in Israel’s house of worship, the temple, which had been neglected for many years. In the process of making these repairs, Hilkiah the high priest made an important discovery. He reported back to King Josiah, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord” (II Kings 22:8.). Amazingly, God’s chosen and blessed people, Israel, had been without God’s Word for decades. It had been absent in their times of worship, in their homes, in their conversations, in their work place, and in their lives, AND NOBODY EVEN MISSED IT.

Over and over in the Old Testament, the Lord instructed Israel to build their lives around the Scriptures. They were to write portions of it on their door posts, read it daily, diligently teach it to their children, and make it a topic of conversation as they went about their day (Deut. 11:18-20). How could it be that God’s own people could be without God’s Word and not even miss it?  No doubt the answer is through a growing neglect of the Scriptures, disinterest in spiritual things, and preoccupation with temporal things, resulting in a cold callousness toward the Lord. It’s a dangerous pattern and a dangerous place to be.

Could we today, who know Christ as Savior, come to a place where we have little or none of God’s Word in our lives and never even miss it?  Absolutely,and it happens all the time.  The same pattern that plagued Israel persists today.  We are easily distracted and preoccupied with the temporal distractions of this world.  Neglecting time in the Scriptures, or not applying it to our daily lives and conversations, can lead to a growing disinterest in the things of the Lord.  It may be easier to see this in someone else’s life than in our own, but this danger is very real for all of us.

What should each of us do to avoid this from happening to us?  The first thing is to be awakened to our need to make God and His Word preeminent in our lives. Just as Israel was to read it daily, constantly discuss it, and make it the central part of their worship, so it should be for us. This principle is just as needed today as it was for Israel. The Apostle Paul tells us to “hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love” (II Tim. 1:13). God’s Word in our lives is our life line to good spiritual health so “don’t leave home without it” and make it a topic of conversation with family and Christian friends. Finally, don’t neglect the place of worship where God’s Word is rightly divided and where the primary doctrines of grace are recognized to be found in the letters of the Apostle Paul.
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