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nChrist
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« Reply #4830 on: March 08, 2018, 05:46:19 PM »

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The Dispensation of Grace
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Many people have a mistaken notion that a dispensation is a period of time. This is not so, however, for the word “dispense” means simply “to deal out”. The word “dispensation”, then, means “the act of dispensing or dealing out”, or “that which is dispensed or dealt out”.

There are medical dispensaries, for example, where medicines are dispensed to the poor. Sometimes these dispensations are conducted on a particular day of each week. Such a dispensation of medicine may take a full twelve hours each week, but it does not follow from this that a dispensation is a period of twelve hours! It is rather the act of dispensing or that which is dispensed.

The word “dispensation” is used many times in the Bible, although it is not always translated the same way. In Ephesians 3:2, Paul writes of “the dispensation of the grace of God, which is given me to you-ward”. God had committed to him wonderful message of grace to dispense to others. Thus we read in Acts 20:24 his stirring words, spoken in the face of persecution and death:

    “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, AND THE MINISTRY WHICH I HAVE RECEIVED OF THE LORD JESUS, TO TESTIFY THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD.”

The “gospel” or “good news” of the grace of God: This was the dispensation committed to Paul for us by the risen, ascended Lord. This is always Paul’s message.

    “Where sin abounded GRACE did much more abound…the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His GRACE… justified freely by His GRACE, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…by GRACE are ye saved, through faith” (Rom. 5:20; Eph.1 :7; Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:8,9).
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« Reply #4831 on: March 09, 2018, 05:28:32 PM »

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This Evil Age
by Pastor Kevin Sadler


    “Is our grace age, which Paul calls ‘this present evil world [age]’ (Gal. 1:4), worse than the time of Nimrod or what is seen in Romans 1:18-32?”

This age is evil. Every dispensation or age in man’s history has been evil. Every age has demonstrated that the heart of mankind “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9), that people are sinners in need of the Lord. I don’t think our age is worse than the time of Nimrod or what is seen in Romans 1:18-32, but rather very similar. Romans 1:18-32 sounds like a commentary on our times! Mankind doesn’t change. Mankind has been evil, is evil, and will be evil.

News of mankind’s wickedness shouldn’t completely shock the believer. Rather, it should immediately remind us of people’s need for Christ and His salvation, and our need to be “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16). Faith in Christ brings new life and can bring transformation to people’s lives, so that they might live “in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Eph. 5:9).

Paul calls it “this present evil world” to impress upon us the glory of our deliverance from it by Christ and His Cross. Galatians 1:4 shows us “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world.” Knowledge of this hope is to cause us to react with thanksgiving and praise to our Savior, “To Whom be glory for ever and ever” (Gal. 1:5), and “that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).
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« Reply #4832 on: March 10, 2018, 04:46:02 PM »

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More on Eating Blood
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “In a previous article you answered that it is okay to eat blood. What about Acts 15:20,29?”

When Paul began preaching that Gentiles didn’t need to be circumcised or keep the law of Moses to be saved, the leaders of the Hebrew kingdom church were concerned, and convened in Jerusalem to consider the matter (Acts 15:1-6). When Paul later wrote that he “went up…to Jerusalem” to attend this council “by revelation” (Gal. 2:1,2), that meant the Lord revealed to him that he should respectfully seek approval of his new ministry from the leaders of the Hebrew kingdom church. Thanks to Peter’s testimony about his experience with the Gentiles (Acts 15:7-11), James gave this approval, saying,

    “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God” (Acts 15:19).

But he added,

    “But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood” (v. 20).

James perceived the grace that was given to Paul (Gal. 2:9), and so recognized that the new Gentile converts were not under the law. But he wasn’t sure what not being under the law would involve! You see, the details of the revelation of the mystery weren’t given to him, they were given to Paul. And so, while James perceived that he could not withstand this new revelation from God to accept the Gentiles any more than Peter could (cf. Acts 11:17), he directed that while the Gentiles were not under the law, they should at least refrain from things that members of the Hebrew kingdom church would find offensive.

But we know that James was in no position to determine God’s policy in the Body of Christ because Paul later reversed the Jerusalem council’s directive that the Gentiles “abstain from meats offered to idols” (Acts 15:29 cf. 1 Cor. 8:1-6; 10:23-27). And when Paul also taught that “every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused” when it came to abstaining from meats (1 Tim. 4:3,4), it is clear that the council’s instruction that the Gentiles abstain from eating “things strangled, and from blood” was similarly not binding on the Gentiles.

Just remember, while you are free to enjoy blood soup, or other such dishes, Paul makes it clear that you should not enjoy them in the presence of someone who is weak in the faith when it comes to their understanding of things like this (Rom. 14; 1 Cor. 8:7-13; 10:28-33).
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« Reply #4833 on: March 11, 2018, 04:45:27 PM »

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Will God Be Angry If We Eat Blood?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


Eating blood was forbidden under the Law of Moses (Lev. 7:26,27), but “we are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:15). It is true that men were told not to eat blood before the Law, but there was a reason for this. God told Noah,

    “…flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat” (Gen. 9:4).

When God expanded Adam’s vegetarian diet here (Gen. 1:29 cf. 9:3), He warned Noah not to eat the flesh of an animal with its blood, for the blood of an animal is “the life thereof,” and God had another purpose in mind for the life of animals:

    “…the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood…” (Lev. 17:11,12).

The word “therefore” here clearly shows that the reason they weren’t to eat blood under the Law was because “it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” We know that this was also true before the Law, for animal sacrifices were required to be “accepted” by God before the Law as well (Gen 4:7).

But this is not true under grace! Now that Christ shed His blood to reconcile us to Himself (Col. 1:20,21), anyone who says we shouldn’t eat blood because the life of the flesh is in the blood must believe that the blood of animals still atones for men’s souls, for this is the only reason eating blood was prohibited.

This is similar to God’s prohibition against eating unclean animals. The only reason God said some animals were unclean (Lev. 11) was to teach Israel that some people were unclean, i.e., the Gentiles (Lev. 20:24-26 cf. Acts 10:9-16,28.). That means anyone who says certain foods are unclean today must believe that the Gentiles are still unclean. And anyone saying we shouldn’t eat blood “for the life of the flesh is in the blood” must still believe that the blood of animals atones for men’s souls.
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« Reply #4834 on: March 12, 2018, 04:48:01 PM »

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Banners To Display
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


If there is one thing that God would have His people do amid the rising apostasy of our day it is to show their colors. As the enemy comes in like a flood, even Bible-believing Christians are apt to hide a banner which they should unfurl and boldly display. That banner is Christ. How many believers fear to speak up for Him because His name is increasingly despised!

But, as in any war of any size, many and varied flags are carried into battle, this is so in the Christian conflict too, for the Bible, godly living, faithful comrades, etc., are all banners by which we should take our stand, flags we should display.

One such banner is fundamentalism, a slogan, a battle cry, which many believers are putting aside and hiding away just when they should display and wave it boldly. Some, recognizing the spiritual decline among fundamentalists, prefer to be called simply believers or Christians. We can appreciate this point of view but do not feel it is valid in this time of spiritual crisis.

At a time when the fundamentals of the Christian faith are being threatened as never before, we can do much to show that we stand for these basic doctrines, identifying ourselves openly with them by calling ourselves fundamentalists. The rapid pace at which the apostasy is rising about us makes it the more urgent that we display this banner. We believe that there is strong Scriptural support for this view, e.g., in Acts 23:6, where we read that Paul called himself a Pharisee to show that he stood for basic Bible doctrine and against those who denied it.

Bible-believing Christian: show your colors!
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« Reply #4835 on: March 13, 2018, 03:12:35 PM »

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Earth's Greatest Day
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


The incomparable English preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once said, “Every circumstance connected with the life of Christ is deeply interesting to the Christian mind. Wherever we behold our Savior, He is well worthy of our notice….All His weary pilgrimage, from Bethlehem’s manger to Calvary’s cross, is, in our eyes, paved with glory. Each spot upon which He trod is, to our souls, consecrated at once, simply because there the foot of earth’s Savior and our own Redeemer once was placed.

“When He comes to Calvary, the interest thickens; then our best thoughts are centered on Him in the agonies of crucifixion, nor does our deep affection permit us to leave Him, even when, the struggle being over, He yields up the ghost. His body, when it is taken down from the tree, still is lovely in our eyes—we fondly linger around the motionless clay. By faith we discern Joseph of Arimathea, and the timid Nicodemus… drawing out the nails and taking down the mangled body; we behold them wrapping Him in clean, white linen, hastily girding him round with belts of spices; then putting Him in His tomb, and departing for the Sabbath rest.”

On the first day of the week, Christ broke the bands of death and rose again. In the words of the angel who was there that glorious morning, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matt. 28:6). It is in every sense of the word, earth’s greatest day.

WITNESS OF THE EMPTY TOMB

After the crucifixion of Christ, Joseph begged Pilate for the body of Jesus, that he might give it a proper burial. Once in his possession, Joseph and Nicodemus wrapped the body and placed it in the tomb — they placed the Rock of Ages in a hewn-out rock. Then they removed the object holding the “great stone” in place, allowing it to roll in front of the entrance of the tomb. This stone is estimated to have weighed more than a ton; in fact, it is said that it would have taken the strength of twenty men to move it. According to the Scriptures, there were four believers that day who witnessed the entombment of our Lord’s body: Joseph, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary (Matt. 27:57-61; John 19:38-42).

Shortly thereafter, the Chief Priest and the Pharisees requested that Pilate secure the tomb. This was accomplished by doing three things:

    “So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch” (Matt. 27:66).

To make the tomb sure meant that the stone would have been removed from the entrance so the religious leaders and the Roman soldiers could confirm the body of Jesus was actually there. Obviously it was present and accounted for, seeing that the soldiers sealed the tomb with the Roman signet. The motto in those days was, “Break a Roman seal, and lose your life.” Finally, they set a watch, which meant sixteen Roman soldiers were posted nearby, four of which were stationed at the door of the tomb. We know for certain that there were more than two soldiers on duty because Matthew clearly states that “some of the watch came into the city” after Christ’s resurrection (Matt. 28:11,12).

As dawn was breaking on resurrection morn, the air, in all probability, was cool and crisp. When Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome arrived at the burial plot, they were amazed to find that the massive stone had been removed and the tomb was empty (Mark 16:1-3). When Peter and John arrived on the scene, they too were puzzled, but eventually realized that the reason the body was gone was because Christ had risen from the dead, as He had promised (John 20:19,20). The secured tomb was empty, which bears witness to the fact that Christ did indeed rise from the dead. Even the unbelieving Roman watch confirmed that the tomb they had been guarding was empty (Matt. 28:11-15).

THE WITNESS OF ANGELS

    “And, behold… the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it” (Matt. 28:2).

It is interesting that, according to the four Gospels, there were two different appearances of the angels on the day Christ rose from the dead. As messengers of God, they announced the Savior’s birth, and now one of them announces His resurrection. But is it possible for one angel to move what Mark calls a “very great” stone (Mark 16:4), estimated to weigh well over a ton? The strength and ability of the angels of God go far beyond our comprehension; they are supernatural beings. For example, in the days of Hezekiah, one angel smote dead 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night (II Kings 19:35; Isa. 37:36).

The account given to us by Matthew makes it very clear that the Lord had already risen from the dead prior to the angel of the Lord rolling the stone away from the doorway. You see, the removal of the stone was for our benefit.  It was removed by the angel so we could see the tomb was empty. This is why the angel said to the women present that day, “Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen” (Matt. 28:5,6).

THE WITNESS OF THE LORD

Luke records for us that the Lord showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs —undeniable, irrefutable proofs (Acts 1:3). In addition to the aforementioned witnesses, the Lord was seen by over 500 brethren at once in Galilee (Matt. 28:10; I Cor. 15:6). This was followed by perhaps the most credible evidence of all: He appeared to James and Paul, both of whom rejected Him before His resurrection.

Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus, when He saw the resurrected Christ, was similar to that of Thomas, who couldn’t deny his senses and said, “My Lord and my God!” But there’s still another infallible proof for those who believe: He lives in our heart by faith. Amen!
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« Reply #4836 on: March 14, 2018, 11:58:37 AM »

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Satan And The Truth
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation…” (II Cor. 5:17).

    “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:10).

    “And ye are complete in Him…” (Col. 2:10).

“In Christ!” What a glorious truth! What a high and holy position! No religious ceremony, neither circumcision nor baptism, needed to make us spiritually complete. God only asks now: “Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Eph. 4:1).

Many Christians are satisfied with salvation through the blood of Christ, but God wants us to have much more than this. He wants us to have “the full assurance of understanding” (Col. 2:2), to know the security, the blessedness, the glory of a position in Christ. He wants us to know “the exceeding riches of His grace” (Eph. 2:7), and to enjoy “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).

But Satan does not!

For proclaiming these glorious truths the Apostle Paul was bitterly opposed on every hand, even by some saved religious leaders of his day.

And Satan has not changed!

Proclaim this message today and “your adversary the devil” will soon be roused to action. He hates this message of grace which the glorified Lord revealed through Paul (Eph. 3:1-3) and let us not be asleep to the fact that, as in Paul’s day, he will again seek to use even saved religious leaders, evangelical “big guns,” if he can, to oppose it, thus robbing Christ of His glory and believers of their blessings.
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« Reply #4837 on: March 15, 2018, 01:23:23 PM »

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What's In A Name?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


That’s the question Juliet asked upon learning that Romeo’s last name was Montague, the family name of her rival. When she went on to say, “that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet,” it is rumored that Shakespeare was poking fun at the Rose Theater, the rival of his own Globe Theater. The less-than-desirable sanitary conditions at the Rose were said to have created an atmosphere that was somewhat odoriferous!

The name “Paul” means small or little, but the apostle who bore that name was originally called “Saul” (Acts 13:9), a name that means desired. When the people of Israel desired a king (I Sam. 8:5), God told the prophet Samuel to choose a man named Saul (I Sam. 9:17). In relaying this to Saul, Samuel said, “On whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee?” (v. 20).

This prompts us to ask about the Apostle Paul, “Why would a man whose name means desired choose to go by a name that means small?” We believe the answer is that he no longer wanted to be desired of men. He now wished to appear small in the eyes of men, so that the Lord would loom large in their sight, and they would begin to desire Him instead. If you are looking for fulfillment in life, you might want to consider following his example, for that is the only path of joy for a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We see this clearly emphasized in the case of King Saul, who chose a path that was opposite of the path chosen by Paul. King Saul started out little in his own eyes and then got “too big for his britches,” as they say. We know Saul started out well, for when Samuel told him that God had chosen him to be Israel’s king, he responded,

    “Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?” (I Sam. 9:21).

As a member of the smallest family in the smallest tribe of Israel, Saul felt unqualified to lead God’s people. But God chose him because he considered himself to be less than the least of all the saints in Israel. We know this because when he rebelled against God, Samuel said to him,

    “When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel… Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD…” (I Sam. 15:17-19).

Samuel’s use of the past tense here indicates that Saul was no longer little in his own sight. Evidently he began to think, “I’m the king of Israel, I can do as I please!” If you’re thinking that you’re the king of your life, and can do as you please, you’ll soon find yourself like Saul, someone who is no longer “meet for the Master’s use” (II Tim. 2:21).

Beloved, it’s human nature to want to be desired of men, but it’s an evidence of divine nature to desire to look small in the sight of men so that the Lord might loom large in their eyes. Why not learn from King Saul’s poor example, and choose the path the Apostle Paul chose. He started out as one who was desired of men, but learned to look at himself as “less than the least of all saints” (Eph. 3:8.), one who longed that “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Phil. 1:20).

Do you long for the Lord to be magnified in you?
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« Reply #4838 on: March 16, 2018, 03:35:13 PM »

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A Ransom For All
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (I Tim. 2:5,6).

Man, in his present condition is not fit to stand in the presence of a holy God. If we are honest with ourselves we will feel the need of a mediator — a go-between — who can represent us in the presence of God. Job felt this when, realizing this need, he cried:

    “There is no daysman who can lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:33).

Thank God, a “daysman” or “mediator” has been provided for sinful men — a go-between, who can act as an intermediary between sinful men and a holy God. This Mediator is Christ, Son of God and Son of man.

What a blessing to know that the Son of God became the Son of man that the sons of men might become the sons of God! Though perfect and sinless, He died upon Calvary’s cross, disgraced as a malefactor, so that His payment for sin might be credited to our account and we might stand before God without one sin to our charge.

Though Christ’s death for sin was credited to all believers, even of past ages, it was not proclaimed until sometime after the cross, when God in grace saved Saul of Tarsus, the chief of sinners (I Tim. 1:15). This is why the Apostle declares that Christ “gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

It was when Saul, the chief of sinners, was saved on the road to Damascus, that God began to show to him that Christ had died as “a ransom for all,” and God sent him forth to proclaim this glorious message.

This is why Paul’s epistles are so filled with references to salvation through the cross, the death, the blood of Christ. And it is on this basis that the Apostle offers to all salvation by grace, through faith in the finished work of Christ, and proclaims to all the simple offer of salvation: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
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« Reply #4839 on: March 17, 2018, 03:50:12 PM »

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Is It Important Who You Spend Time With?
by Pastor John Fredericksen


Whether we realize it or not, we are all affected by the people with whom we spend time. Their attitudes, philosophies, language, and spirituality (good or bad) have a tendency to rub off on us, even if we don’t realize it. The Lord warns us about this in I Corinthians 15:33: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” This isn’t true only for young people. It is true for believers of all ages. We might not want to think this could happen to us, but the Lord encourages us not to be deceived about this important principle.

David realized how important it was to surround himself with the right kind of spiritually minded people. His testimony was, “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts” (Psa. 119:63). He intentionally chose to minimize the time he spent around the ungodly, or only somewhat spiritually minded, and to maximize his time around truly dedicated believers. Doing so gave him continual encouragement to walk after the Lord with a pure heart and not after the ways of the world.

The Apostle Paul must have embraced this principle for living too. As we look through his letters, it is easy to see the close relationship he maintained with many saints who were truly living for the Lord. Luke, Aquilla and Priscilla, Philemon, Titus, and Timothy are only a few he mentions with whom he had consistent fellowship. In contrast, neither Paul nor David spent a great deal of time with the lost, or ungodly, unless it was with ministry in mind.

We are not suggesting that believers cut themselves off from the unsaved or become hermits. We have instruction and examples to the contrary. We learn from II Corinthians 5:20 that “we are ambassadors for Christ” with the ministry of reconciliation or, in other words, the mission of sharing a clear gospel of grace with all that we can. Similarly, Ephesians 3:9 tells us Paul’s mission was also to “make (or help) all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery.” We too should share this goal of seeking to share with everyone the gospel of grace and the joyous news of God’s secret program of grace that is distinct from Israel and the Mosaic Law. So, we should have a ministry-minded outreach to others.

The proper balance to find should be in still maintaining an outward ministry, yet limiting our time with the lost, unspiritually minded, or even marginally spiritually minded. It is important for us to “be not deceived” about how others influence us and therefore to choose, like David and Paul before us, to make friends and companions of those who are so spiritually minded that we will be continually encouraged in the Lord. Is it important who we spend time with and how much time we spend with them? It certainly is! May God help each of us to cultivate the best kind of friendships: those with dedicated, spiritually minded believers of like precious faith.
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« Reply #4840 on: March 18, 2018, 04:10:59 PM »

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Are You A Pauline Epistle?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men” (II Cor. 3:2).

Since the Corinthians were saved by Paul’s gospel (I Cor. 15:1-4), the apostle calls them his epistles. Webster said that an epistle is “a writing… communicating intelligence to a distant person.” Surely the “intelligence,” i.e., the information that the Corinthians communicated to the world was that even the most sinful of men could be justified by God’s grace (I Cor. 6:9-11).

But if Paul could say to the Corinthians, “ye are our epistle,” why does he go on to say that they were “manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ” (3:3)? Ah, a letter written by an apostle under the inspiration of the Spirit was a letter from Christ! And since everyone who is saved today is also saved as a result of having believed Paul’s gospel, you too are a Pauline epistle! And so the debate over whether Paul wrote 14 or just 13 epistles is over! The apostle penned millions of letters over the past many centuries.

It has often been said that you are the only Bible that some people will ever read, and this is sadly so. What a responsibility this places on us to live lives worthy of the Lord! Handwriting experts can tell who a letter is from by the way the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, etc. Can men tell who sent you, Christian friend? Are you dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s when it comes to godliness? Many Christians who wouldn’t dream of corrupting the written word of God found in Paul’s epistles (II Cor. 2:17) carelessly corrupt the living epistles of their lives by inconsistent godliness. Remember, letters don’t get time off! They read the same today as they did yesterday, and we too should be as consistent in our Christian testimony. If you are holy on Sunday and a holy terror the rest of the week, this is unacceptable to God (Rom. 12:1,2).

Since the epistle of our life is “known and read of all men” (II Cor. 3:2), we want to make sure we don’t give men a faulty “reading” of Christ. All men understand by the stars that God exists, as the stars too are known and read of all men (Psa. 19:1-3). But while all men understand by the stars that God exists, all men understand by us what kind of God He is. When we live “soberly, righteously, and godly” (Titus 2:12), we prove to others what is acceptable to the Lord (Eph. 5:8-10).
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« Reply #4841 on: March 20, 2018, 05:26:20 PM »

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Rest
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In Hebrews 1:3 we read how the Lord Jesus Christ, “when He had by Himself purged our sins, SAT DOWN on the right hand of the Majesty on High”. The tenth chapter of the same book tells us why He sat down:

    “Every priest standeth, daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man [Christ] after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, SAT DOWN on the right hand of God …FOR BY ONE OFFERING HE HATH PERFECTED FOREVER THEM THAT ARE SANCTIFIED” (Heb. 10:11-14).

There were several articles of furniture in the Old Testament tabernacle, but no chair. The priest could not sit down, for the work of redemption was not yet finished. His daily sacrifices only emphasized the fact that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb. 10:4).

“But this Man [Christ Jesus] sat down”, because by His death on Calvary — by that one offering — He paid for all our sins and “obtained eternal redemption for us”(Heb. 10:12; 9:12).

This is why Paul, by divine inspiration, now insists that salvation is “by grace”, that “it is the gift of God”, received “by faith” and “not of works, lest any man should boast”.

God has much for His people to do, but before we can do anything for Him we must learn to trust Him for our salvation, to rest in the finished work of Christ. God is satisfied with Christ’s payment for sin and together the Father and the Son are depicted as seated in heaven because the work is done. And now God would have us simply trust Him, entering into His rest:

    “There remaineth therefore a REST unto the people of God, FOR HE THAT HAS ENTERED INTO HIS [God’s] REST, HE ALSO HATH CEASED FROM HIS OWN WORKS, AS GOD DID FROM HIS” (Heb. 4:9,10).

    “Unto him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom.4:5).
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« Reply #4842 on: March 20, 2018, 05:27:30 PM »

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Grace And Debt
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

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

As we look back at all the Old Testament types: the physical types, the narratives, the sacrifices, we exclaim: “The cross was not an accident, nor an afterthought on God’s part: He had it in mind all the while.” Surely Paul was right when he said of believers that “[God] hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (II Tim. 1:9).

It is on the basis of the cross, typified all through the Old Testament, that God now saves us by grace through faith alone, and the types show that this was indeed His eternal purpose. Furthermore salvation should be by grace through faith.

As our text, above, declares: if man could earn his salvation it would be the payment of a debt, not the bestowal of a gift — and God will never be indebted to anyone. He will never be in a position where He owes us, sinners, a debt. Nor will He ever allow us to disgrace ourselves and annoy others by our boasting about how we earned eternal life. But He can, on the basis of the penalty paid at Calvary, bestow salvation as a free gift. This is why we read:

    “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

    “It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9).

God owed Abraham nothing, but seeing his faith He said, in effect: “This man believes Me; I will count his faith for righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). And this He still does for those who trust Him, only He has now revealed the basis for this action: Christ’s payment for sins at Calvary. This is why, in Romans 4:5, He forbids works for salvation and declares that the believer’s faith is “counted for righteousness.”
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« Reply #4843 on: March 21, 2018, 04:33:56 PM »

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Glorious Liberty Of The Children Of God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


We Americans have, for over two hundred years, celebrated our liberty as an independent nation on the Fourth of July.

It does not follow from this however, that all Americans are now free. Far from it! Think of the millions of alcoholics and drug addicts, bound with chains they only wish they could break. Think of the slaves to immoral passions, to violent tempers, to malicious backbiting, not to mention smoking and other habits they cannot control. No, the vast majority of Americans are slaves to–well, sum it all up in one word: sin.

If God is a righteous Judge — and He is — He must of course, punish sin. Romans 6:23 says: “the wages of sin is death”, but on the other hand, thank God, I Corinthians 15:3 says: “Christ died for our sins”.

The Lord Jesus Christ was no sinner; He had committed no crimes; there was no wrong He had to pay for; He had no death to die. It was our death He died at Calvary, and we are saved from the penalty as we look at Calvary and say: “This is not His death He is dying; it is mine. He is paying for my sin. I will accept this gift of God and trust Him as my Saviour”.

This is a wonderful truth: Death, the penalty of the Law, was inflicted on us — in Christ. Therefore the Law (i.e., the Ten Commandments) has no further claim on us. If it did, we would be condemned all over again. This is why Paul says in Galatians 2:19: “I through the Law am dead to the Law”. The Law may put a man to death, but after that what can it do? Nothing. The Law has put him to death (in Christ) and set him free from its own dominion.

Unsaved friend, God wants you to be free, really free. He Himself, paid sin’s penalty for you and wants you to rejoice in what Paul calls, “the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21), freedom from the condemnation of the Law!

Place your trust in the Christ who died your death and you will find how gloriously true it is that “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
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« Reply #4844 on: March 22, 2018, 05:45:41 PM »

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Teach No Other Doctrine
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In strong language the Apostle bids Timothy to “charge some that they teach no other doctrine”; no other doctrine, obviously, than that which he had taught them. In 1 Tim. 6:3-5 he closes his epistle by saying:

    “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ… from such withdraw thyself.”

In these passages the Apostle emphasizes the importance of fidelity to that heaven-sent message committed to him by revelation; that message which he says in Titus 1:2,3 was “promised before the ages began” but made known “in due time… through preaching which is committed unto me…”

Ever since Paul’s day religious leaders have substituted other messages for that committed by the glorified Lord to Paul. The law of Moses, the Sermon on the Mount, the “great commission,” and Pentecost have all been confused with God’s message and program for the dispensation of grace. This is what has bewildered and divided the Church and ripened it for the apostasy.

With all the confused thinking about the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount fifty years ago it was little wonder that modernism swept so many off their feet with its teachings about Jesus of Nazareth, the Man of Galilee, following his footsteps, social betterment, political reform, etc. Multitudes were so taken up with the social gospel, so eager to help make the world a better place to live in, that they did not even notice or believe that the modernists denied the very fundamentals of the Christian faith.

But the new evangelicalism of our day is still more dangerous. It is big. It is well financed. It is popular. It is subtle. Perhaps its greatest danger lies in the fact that while claiming to be “conservative,” it minimizes the importance of the fundamentals and the danger of apostatizing from them.

Thus the inspired words of the Apostle Paul: “Charge some that they teach no other doctrine,” are more urgently needed in our day than they were in his.
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