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nChrist
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« Reply #4620 on: August 10, 2017, 05:25:19 PM »

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A Day of Small Things
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


When Zerubbabel laid the foundation of the second temple after the Babylonian Captivity, many of his countrymen viewed the effort with contempt, believing it would never amount to anything. The prophet Zechariah responded to these critics in the following manner: “For who hath despised the day of small things?” (Zech. 4:8-10). Zechariah reminded the people that even though the work seemed, in their eyes, to be insignificant, they were not to despise it because the hand of the Lord was with Zerubbabel.

When Gideon amassed a large army to do battle with the Midianites, who were said to be like grasshoppers upon the land, the Lord whittled the number of Gideon’s forces down to a mere three hundred. Throughout the Scriptures there is a recurring theme that God is far more interested in quality than He is in quantity. The smaller the number, the greater the glory and honor and adoration He receives, which is clearly demonstrated in the story of Gideon’s three hundred.

As we move down the corridor of time, although it may appear that the Grace Movement is small and insignificant in the eyes of our denominational critics, they should take great care not to despise the day of small things. It is true that we are small by comparison to the mega-churches of our day that often consider us second class citizens of heaven. However, just the opposite is true if we apply the above principle from time past. For those who never took the Grace Message seriously, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Lord may well acknowledge all those who willingly stood for Paul’s apostleship and message to the praise of His glory.

So we must never become disheartened that we are small in number, for God has honored us with an understanding of the Word, rightly divided. But this does not mean that we should think too highly of ourselves, seeing that we have a God-given responsibility to make all men see what is the fellowship of the Mystery. And it is essential that we carry out this charge by speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).

While we rejoice that Christ is preached in denominational circles, for the most part, they have turned aside from the truth of the Grace Message. With this in mind, may I call upon you to unite together with us in prayer that there might be one last great awakening of our denominational brethren to Paul’s gospel before we are called into glory? Remember, God is able “to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
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« Reply #4621 on: August 11, 2017, 04:23:55 PM »

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Christ's Death For Us
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Three times in Chapter 5 of Paul’s letter to the Romans we read that Christ died for us.

Ver. 6: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Ver. 8: “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Ver. 10: ” …when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son….”

Thus, in our helplessness, in our sinfulness, even in our willfulness, Christ loved us and gave His life to save us. But why does the Apostle say that Christ died for us “when we were yet without strength,” “while we were yet sinners” and “when we were enemies”? Did not Christ die for us before any of us were even born? Yes, but here the Apostle writes historically of the whole human race. The rest of the chapter bears this out.

In Verse 12 he refers to Adam, the “one man” by whom sin and death entered into the world. This rendered man truly helpless. In Verse 20 he refers to Moses, by whom “the law entered, that the offence might abound.” Thus by the law men were condemned as sinners. Finally, in Verses 20, 21, he refers to Christ, “[who] died for all” (II Cor. 5:14,15), that helpless sinners might be saved, yea that even God’s enemies might be reconciled to Him by grace, through faith. By Adam we have the entrance of sin, by Moses the condemnation of sin and by Christ the forgiveness of sins.

Only gradually was the importance of Christ’s death for mankind revealed, but now we know that the saints of all ages have been saved on the basis of our Lord’s vicarious death alone. No one else could have paid a debt so great. Thus, in our helplessness, in our sinfulness, yes, thank God, in our willfulness, the Lord Jesus Christ died to save us.

    “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
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« Reply #4622 on: August 12, 2017, 03:53:37 PM »

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Jangle Bells!
by Pastor Ricky Kurth

    “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.

    “From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling” (I Timothy 1:5,6).

In football, a player scores a goal when he reaches “the end zone.” God’s “end” or goal in giving the ten commandments was “charity.” That is, His purpose was to get men to love God and their neighbor by telling them how to behave toward God and their neighbor. But some in the Ephesian church that Timothy pastored had swerved from that goal and “turned aside.”

The apostle did not choose that phrase at random, for three times we are told that Israel “turned aside” when they “made them a molten calf” (Ex. 32:8; Deut. 9:12,16). God gave the Jews a Law that said they must make no graven images, and they turned aside from it! So I suspect when Timothy began to preach that “we are not under law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:15) that some in Ephesus claimed, “Timothy is turning aside from the Law.” This prompted Paul to counter by using that same phrase to tell Timothy, “They’re right, we are turning aside from the Law, we’re under grace! (Rom. 6:15). But they’re turning aside from the goal of the Law,” unto something he calls “vain jangling.” So what’s that?

The word “vain” means empty, and “jangling” is an overly loud form of jingling. Jingle bells sound very festive; jangle bells, not so much! Whatever these Ephesians had turned aside to, it was empty, and evidently very jarring. And we don’t have to guess as to what it was, for Paul goes on to say,

    “Desiring to be teachers of the law…” (I Timothy 1:7).

Some in Ephesus were turning aside from the goal of the law to focus on the law itself! They were swerving and turning aside from loving charity and focusing on the law that was supposed to produce loving charity. And when the law is taught to members of the Body of Christ who are not under the law, it always leads to the very opposite of loving charity. When some legalists put the Galatians under the law, it caused them to “bite and devour one another” (Gal. 5:15). Interestingly enough, another definition of the word “jangling” is quarreling or bickering. As you know, when men quarrel and bicker it sounds more like jangle bells than jingle bells!

Paul had to write to Titus about the same problem:

    “…there are many vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision…” (Titus 1:10).

What do you think those vain talkers of the circumcision were talking about? I’ll give you a hint. The Greek word for “vain talkers” is a form of the same word translated “vain jangling” in our text. Yes, that’s right, the vain talkers in Crete, where Titus was stationed, were talking about the same thing as the vain janglers in Ephesus, the law. The law was once pleasant jingling, but when it is levied on people who are not under the law it becomes vain jangling.

What do you say we all focus on the goal of the law rather than on the law itself? Jangle bells never sound good, but the pleasant jingle bells of love and grace are always in season!
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« Reply #4623 on: August 13, 2017, 05:07:21 PM »

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Thanksgiving
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


God’s verdict upon the pagan world is that “they are without excuse, because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful…” (Rom. 1:20,21).

The Psalmist, on the other hand, declares:

    “IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES UNTO THY NAME, O MOST HIGH:

    “TO SHOW FORTH THY LOVINGKINDNESS IN THE MORNING. AND THY FAITHFULNESS EVERY NIGHT” (Psa. 92:1,2).

Believers today have even more to be thankful for than did the Psalmist, for we can rejoice in what God has done for us through Christ and His redeeming work. Thus Paul, by divine inspiration, speaks of…

    “GIVING THANKS UNTO THE FATHER, WHO HATH MADE US MEET [FIT] TO BE PARTAKERS OF THE INHERITANCE OF THE SAINTS IN LIGHT:

    “WHO HATH DELIVERED US FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS, AND HATH TRANSLATED US INTO THE KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON” (Col. 1:12,13).

It is because of this “deliverance” that the humblest believer can cry with Paul: “Thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ!” (II Cor. 2:14) and “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (I Cor. 15:57). How appropriate, then, are the following exhortations:

    “In everything give thanks” (I Thes. 5:18.) and “By [Christ], therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise… giving thanks to His name” (Heb. 13:15).

    “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God” (II Cor. 4:15).

Most of all, “THANKS BE UNTO GOD FOR HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT,” our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! (II Cor. 9:15).
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« Reply #4624 on: August 14, 2017, 05:23:14 PM »

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How the Spirit Helps
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “The Spirit… helpeth our infirmities” (Rom. 8.26).

A chain is no stronger than its weakest link. If one link in a chain will hold one hundred pounds, another fifty, and another ten, the chain as a whole will hold ten pounds, no more. This is why James 2:10 says:

    “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Many people suppose that we will be saved or lost according to how good or bad we have been. This is not so. It is not a question of how good or bad we have been, but of whether or not we have sinned. A man need commit only one robbery to be a robber, burn only one house to be an arsonist, kill only one human being to be a murderer — and commit only one sin to be a sinner. This is why the Word of God says that all are sinners.

How wonderful to know that in grace “Christ died for our sins” and that by simple faith in Him we may be saved and fully justified before God! (Rom. 5:6,8,10).

But born-again Christians find that the above principle is just as true of them as of the unbeliever. None of us is any stronger than his weakest point. Frightening, isn’t it, especially when we consider that Satan constantly attacks us at our weakest point to wreck our testimony if he can.

But here is where the believer can rejoice that “the Spirit… helpeth our infirmities” (Rom. 8:26). He dwells within to help in time of need, so that we need not fail (Rom. 8:11,12). This does not mean, however, that He takes control of us without being called upon, as He did “when the day of Pentecost was fully come.” Unlike the Pentecostal believers, we live under “the dispensation of the grace of God.”

What God provides by grace we must appropriate by faith. Thus in any given case we may have victory. Indeed it is concerning the weak brother in Christ that Paul declares by inspiration:

    “God is able to make him stand” (Rom. 14:4).
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« Reply #4625 on: August 16, 2017, 04:26:00 PM »

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Good Friday
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


There has been much debate among theologians as to whether the Lord Jesus Christ was actually crucified on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Traditionally, of course, it is supposed to have taken place on Friday, but this writer has never been able to get very excited about such details. What matters is that Christ, the Creator, God in flesh, died in shame and disgrace and agony for sins He had never committed — for your sins and mine.

But have you ever considered that this in itself is not necessarily good news? Many an innocent person has died in the place of some guilty criminal who has gone free through some miscarriage of justice. We didn’t see anything good about this. When St. Peter addressed his kinsmen he blamed them for the crucifixion of Christ, saying: “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you… as ye yourselves also know… ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:22, 23), and later he faced the Supreme Court of his nation and charged them with His death (Acts 4:5-11).

What then, was “good” about the death of Christ? Well, we come to this when we reach the Epistles of Paul in our Bibles. There the chief of sinners, saved by grace (I Tim. 1:15), exclaims: “He gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). He says: “God hath made Him to be sin for us… that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21). He does not blame us for Christ’s death — though our sins helped to nail Him to that cross — but proclaims the glad news that, “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). And why did He do this for us? “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”(Eph. 2:7).

So, for us who have trusted Christ as our Savior, the death of Christ at Calvary is indeed good news. We rejoice in it, sing about it, preach about it and all it has accomplished for a lost humanity. Little wonder Paul declared:

“God forbid that I should boast,” except in one thing: “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14).
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« Reply #4626 on: August 16, 2017, 04:27:36 PM »

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Family Survival In A Nuclear Age
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


There has been a great deal of discussion of late as to whether property owners should build fall-out shelters for their own families. Some have advocated building such shelters and providing them with all the necessities for survival, including even weapons to keep others from intruding or overcrowding the quarters! Others object to this, however, as a savage viewpoint, and feel it would hardly be worth survival to have to turn a deaf ear to the cries of neighbors or friends who might need shelter too.

Soviet Russia, however, is not the only threat to family survival. There are other forces at work, just as deadly but generally ignored. When this writer was a boy, dad read the Bible and we prayed and gave thanks to God at every meal. One result of this has been that today not one member of our large family shares the fears of the world as to the atomic bomb.

America as a whole is not so well off. She is departing from God and the Bible. As a result, a constantly increasing number of its families are being broken up through juvenile delinquency, alcoholism, dope, divorce, etc., and with these a chilling fear of the future.

St. Paul said to the Philippian jailor: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). This, of course, does not mean that if a man trusts Christ as his Savior, the rest of the family will be automatically saved. The sense is rather: “Believe in Christ and you will be saved, and this goes for your household too — if they believe they will be saved” (Acts 16:31). As Rom. 14:12 says: “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” but it is a wonderful fact that nothing is so apt to keep a family together as mutual faith in Christ and a mutual love for the Bible. Let’s be more concerned about this type of family survival. Let’s make God our “fall-out shelter.”
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« Reply #4627 on: August 17, 2017, 03:20:37 PM »

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Does Daniel Describe Today's Increase in Knowledge?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “Does Daniel 12:4 describe the increase in knowledge that we see today?”

    “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

We are living in the time of the mystery (Eph. 3:1-9), not in the time of the fulfillment of prophecy, so nothing in the prophetic book of Daniel describes anything that is going on today.

Since the previous verses say that the saved in Israel will rise from the dead (v. 2) and “they that be wise” shall shine in the kingdom of heaven on earth and “turn many to righteousness” (v. 3), the “knowledge” of verse 4 must refer to knowledge of the Scriptures, the only knowledge that can turn people to righteousness. In that day, “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD” (Isa. 11:9) since knowledge of Him will be increased.

The subsequent context bears this out as well. When Daniel is told that “the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (v. 9), it is in the end times that “the wise shall understand” (v. 10), and it is then that knowledge of the Scriptures shall be increased, and God’s people will use that knowledge to turn many to righteousness (Dan. 11:33).
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« Reply #4628 on: August 18, 2017, 03:55:43 PM »

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Why No Replacement for James?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “If the apostles picked a replacement for Judas when he died, why didn’t they pick a replacement for James when he was killed?”

We know that the Lord told the Twelve that “in the regeneration” they would “sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 19:28.). So when Judas betrayed the Lord and took his life, it was necessary that he be replaced, as Peter explained in Acts 1:15-26.

But had the apostles replaced James when he was killed (Acts 12:1,2), there would be thirteen apostles in the resurrection and only twelve thrones on which for them to sit. Remember, James will rise in “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:5) to assume his throne with the rest of the Twelve, but Judas will not.

This is similar to how Job lost “seven sons and three daughters” (Job 1:2 cf. 1:18,19) and lots of livestock (1:3 cf. 1:14-17). Later, when “the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (42:10), He doubled Job’s original number of animals (42:12) but only gave him an additional “seven sons and three daughters” (42:13). You see, he hadn’t lost his family eternally. They will rise with him in the resurrection, where he will have twice as much family as he had while here on earth. And the Twelve hadn’t lost James eternally either, so there was no need to replace him. With the kingdom program in abeyence, a twelfth apostle would not be needed before the resurrection.
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« Reply #4629 on: August 19, 2017, 03:45:14 PM »

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Desserts vs Grace
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


It is an interesting fact that in this day of godlessness and lawlessness so much is being said about what we all deserve! Ads in the newspapers and commercials on radio and TV ask:

“Don’t you deserve the very finest automobile?”

“Don’t your children deserve the best?”

“Doesn’t your baby deserve Pampers?”

And even, “Doesn’t your dog deserve Alpo?”

Well, do you really deserve the finest car? Please don’t answer that! Do your children deserve the best — always? If so you surely have model children — not at all like their parents! And does your baby deserve Pampers? That’s funny! And does your dog deserve Alpo? That’s ridiculous! Dogs do not “love” or obey you from any moral consideration, nor, for that matter, does your baby, lovable as the darling is. And as to you and your children — including the baby, the Bible has something to say on this subject.

The Bible says that “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for that ALL have sinned [i.e., in Adam]” (Rom. 5:12). You and I were “in Adam” when he sinned. When he sinned, we sinned. Deny this and you might as well agree with the murderer who argued: “My feet and legs didn’t do it; my ears and nose didn’t do it; only my one hand and one or two other parts of my body did it, so the rest should go free.”

We believers in Christ should thank God that our blessed Lord took upon Him our just desserts when He died for our sins at Calvary. This is why God’s Word says:

    “We declare, I say, at this time, His righteousness for the remission of sins… that [God] might be just, and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.

    “Where is boasting then? It is excluded” (Rom. 3:25-27).
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« Reply #4630 on: August 20, 2017, 05:09:32 PM »

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Faith In The Right Person
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Abraham’s faith in God was strong. When God called him to forsake his family, friends and country, he obeyed and “went forth, not knowing whither he went.” When God promised to multiply his seed as the stars of heaven, he believed it, though childless. When, in his old age, God promised that he would still have a son by ninety-year-old Sarah, he believed it even though he had waited so long, seemingly in vain. When God promised to give his seed the land in which he had sojourned, he believed it, though all reason argued against it. When God asked him to offer in sacrifice the son born so late in life, the son upon whom all the promises depended, he obeyed, concluding that it must be God’s plan to raise him from the dead!

Such was Abraham’s faith in God! Three times this is emphasized in Romans 4 alone: He was “not weak in faith” (Ver. 19); he “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief,” but was “strong in faith” (Ver. 20).

But it was not the strength of Abraham’s faith that saved him; it was the fact that the object of his faith was God (See again Gen. 15:6). He had placed his faith in the right Person. His faith became “strong” only because he had heard and believed God in the first place.

    “For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness,” and thus “to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3,5).

The simplest, humblest believer, who ever so feebly commits himself to God and His Word, is “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).
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« Reply #4631 on: August 21, 2017, 05:22:38 PM »

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Who Are the Dogs and Swine?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “Who are the dogs and swine in Matthew 7:6 please?”

    “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

A “pearl” is a living stone, a precious stone created by a living creature. Since Peter says that to come to the Lord under the kingdom program was to come to Him “as unto a living stone” (1 Pet. 2:4), the “pearl of great price” was Christ (Matt. 13:46), the most “precious” stone of all (1 Pet. 2:6,7). Hebrews who found Christ under the kingdom program “sold all” to obtain Him (Matt. 13:46 cf. Luke 18:22; Acts 2:45). When they associated themselves with the Lord in this way, they themselves became “lively stones” (1 Pet. 2:5), and these are the pearls the Lord was saying should not be cast to the swine. So who are the swine?

Swine were associated with demons (Mark 5:11-13), and the only time swine and dogs are mentioned together (2 Pet. 2:22), they are associated with “false prophets” (v. 1) who, like Balaam, knew the way of God but had “forsaken the right way” (vv. 15,16), men who had “known the way of righteousness” (v. 21) but chose to “turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them” (v. 21), showing they were Hebrews who were never saved (1 John 2:19). In the Tribulation that the Lord was preparing His Hebrew hearers to go through, there will be a strong temptation to cast the lively stone pearls of believers into the clutches of these demonically-controlled false prophets. This temptation will be so strong that even family members might sell one another out (Micah 7:5,6) thinking they are serving God (John 16:2). If family members yield to this temptation, however, the Lord warns that the swine of these demonically-controlled false prophets will “turn again and rend” them.
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« Reply #4632 on: August 22, 2017, 03:13:57 PM »

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The Twelve Apostles And Paul
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In comparing the ministry of the twelve apostles with that of the Apostle Paul, we must observe carefully:

1. The twelve were chosen by Christ ON EARTH (Luke 6:13) while Paul was later chosen by Christ IN HEAVEN (Acts 9:3-5; 26:16).

2. Prior to Paul’s conversion the twelve had known Christ only ON EARTH (I John 1:1). Even at His ascension to heaven “a cloud received Him OUT OF THEIR SIGHT” (Acts 1:9). But Paul knew Christ only IN HEAVEN, having never seen Him on earth (Acts 26:16; I Cor. 15:8.).

3. The twelve represented their own nation. The number twelve has no connection with the “one Body” of Christ. As we know, Jacob of old “begat the twelve patriarchs” (Acts 7:8.). From these sprang the twelve tribes of Israel. These tribes had twelve princes over them (Numbers 1:16). Even when Israel was ruled by kings there were still to be twelve princes — one over each tribe (I Chronicles 27:22). Thus, as He went forth proclaiming “the gospel of the kingdom” our Lord chose twelve princes for the twelve thrones in the kingdom to come (Matt. 19:28.).

On the other hand, Paul, as one apostle, represents the “one Body,” the Church of today (Rom. 12:5; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:4). However, he was both a born Hebrew and a born Roman, so represented believing Jews and Gentiles “reconciled…unto God in one body by the cross…” (Eph. 2:16).

4. The twelve were sent to proclaim Christ’s kingdom “at hand” (Matt. 10:7), and later to offer its establishment on earth (Acts 3:19-26). But Paul was sent to proclaim “the gospel of the grace of God”(Acts 20:24), while the kingdom is held in abeyance.

5. The ministry of the twelve was based on covenant promises (Isaiah 60:1-3; Luke 1:70-79; Acts 3:22-26). Paul’s ministry was not based on covenant promises, but wholly on the grace of God through Christ (Rom. 3:21-28; 5: 20,21; Eph. 1:6,7; 2:7; etc.).
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« Reply #4633 on: August 23, 2017, 11:07:43 AM »

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You're Welcome!
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


Like many Americans, I used to spend Sunday evenings watching 60 Minutes. My favorite part came near the end of each week’s show, when Andy Rooney would voice his complaints and opinions about things. Since his complaints were often aimed at new things, I figured he was just a crotchety old man who didn’t like change. Now that I’m about the age that he was then, I’m finding that I’m not so crazy about change myself, and there is one societal change that I find particularly vexing.

When I was a boy, I was taught that if someone says “thank you,” the polite way to respond is to say, “You’re welcome.” In recent years I have noticed that “you’re welcome” has been replaced by “no problem,” or “not a problem.” I’m not sure why this vexes me, but in true Andy Rooney-like fashion, it does!

Maybe it is because, if we think it through, this response isn’t nearly as good. Saying “you’re welcome” after a kindness means that the person who did you the kindness feels that you are a good person who is welcome to such kind treatment. “No problem” just says, “Being kind to you didn’t inconvenience me;” it says nothing of your worthiness to be treated so well.

If God were speaking aloud these days, one wonders how He would respond when we thank Him for all the spiritual blessings we have in Christ (Eph. 1:3). I doubt He would say, “No problem, being kind to you didn’t inconvenience Me,” for the price He paid at Calvary to procure these blessings was too high. We feel He would rather respond to our thanks with, “You are welcome to such blessings.” Of course, we are not worthy of these blessings because we are good people in ourselves, but rather because of who He has made us in Christ. As difficult as it is for humble Christians to accept, now that we are children of God, we are welcome to the same treatment from God that He gives His own Son. As Paul put it, we are “joint-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17), and so “how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (v. 32).

Remember every day to thank God for all that He has done for you in Christ. Anyone can thank Him for “life, and breath, and all things” of that nature, for these “He giveth to all” (Acts 17:25). Only the child of God can thank Him for “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” If we don’t thank Him for these things, who will?
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« Reply #4634 on: August 24, 2017, 05:11:58 PM »

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The Old Nature In The Believer
by Pastor 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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