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nChrist
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« Reply #4845 on: March 24, 2018, 02:31:58 AM »

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What's the Word?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “…if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

    “He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47,48.).

I’m sure that the unbelievers among the Lord’s hearers were relieved to hear Him say that He had not come to judge them. But some of them may have remembered hearing Him say that “the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22). Well, if the Father committed all judgment to the Son, how could the Son say that He had not come to judge people?

The answer to this question is found in “rightly dividing the Word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). You see, the Lord was making a dispensational statement. He had not come to judge the world in His first coming, but in His second coming, He will come to “judge and make war” (Rev. 19:11).

Then, after the fiery judgment of the Second Coming (II Thes. 1:7,8.), “God…hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained” (Acts 17:30,31). We know that Paul speaks here of the Lord Jesus Christ since he goes on to say of this man “that He hath raised from the dead.” In that day, the day that the Lord described as “the last day” (John 12:48.), the unsaved of all ages will stand before the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11), where they will be judged guilty and condemned to the lake of fire (vv. 12-15). It is concerning this judgment that the Lord said, “the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48.).

Did you ever wonder what word will judge men in the last day? Believe it or not, this question must also be answered dispensationally! The word by which the Lord will judge unbelievers among the Jews to whom He was sent under the kingdom program (Matt. 15:24) is different than the word by which unbelievers who lived in the dispensation of grace will be judged.

The word by which unbelievers in the kingdom program will be judged was, as the Lord said in our text, a word that He had “spoken” during His sojourn here on earth. He gives us a hint as to what word that might be when He went on to call this word “a commandment” that the Father had given Him (v. 49), adding: “And I know that His commandment is life everlasting” (v. 50). Thus we know that whatever word the Lord spoke that will judge unbelievers under the kingdom program, it is a word that gave everlasting life to those that did believe this word.

He was speaking, of course, of the word of the gospel. It is the gospel that saves men’s souls in any dispensation, and it is the gospel that will judge men guilty if they do not believe it. In the kingdom program, the gospel word that gave eternal life was Jesus is the Christ (John 6:67-69). This is the word that will someday judge unbelievers who lived under the kingdom program when they stand before the Great White Throne if they refused to believe the word of that gospel.

Of course today, in the dispensation of grace, it is not enough to have the kind of “faith in His name” (Acts 3:16) that constitutes believing that “Jesus is the Christ” (John 20:31; I John 5:1). Today you have to have “faith in His blood” (Rom. 3:25) to be saved; that is, you have to believe that “Christ died for our sins” and rose again (I Cor. 15:1-4). When unbelievers who lived in the dispensation of grace stand before the Lord’s Great White Throne, this is the word of the Lord by which they will be judged, the word He spoke through Paul.

How do we know that unbelievers from the dispensation of grace will be judged by the word of a different gospel? It is because our apostle Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13; 15:16), describes the last day as “the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Rom. 2:16), not according to the word that the Lord spoke when He ministered to the Jews. As you can see, even the very gospel of salvation has to be rightly divided!

We sometimes hear it said that rightly dividing the Word of truth is “an interesting doctrine, but not a very practical doctrine.” We couldn’t disagree more. What could possibly be more practical than knowing which words of Scripture have the power to give eternal life in the dispensation of grace, and which words will judge men guilty of their sins when they believe them not? Dispensationalism doesn’t just help us when it comes to figuring out things like why the Lord said He wasn’t sent to judge men after the Father committed all judgment to Him. Rightly dividing the Word ensures that we are able to make a clear presentation of the gospel that saves men’s souls to those who will suffer the flames of eternal torment without it.
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« Reply #4846 on: March 25, 2018, 03:53:41 PM »

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Paul's Three I Am's
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Three times in Romans 1:14-16, the Apostle Paul uses the phrase “I am”, and each one carries an important message for every true believer in Christ.

First, he says in verse 14: “I am debtor” — debtor to all men, to tell them about the saving work of Christ. But why was he indebted to people he had never even seen? For several reasons:

First, he had in his hand what they needed to be saved from the penalty and power of sin. If I see a drunkard lying across the railroad track and I do nothing about it, am I not a murderer if he is killed by the train? If I see a man drowning and I have a life buoy in my hand but do not throw it to him, am I not a murderer if he goes down for the last time? If I see millions of lost souls about me and, knowing the message of salvation, do not tell them, am I not guilty if they die without Christ?

Further, Paul felt himself a debtor to others, because the Christ who had died for his sins had also died for the sins of others. As he says in II Corinthians 5:14,15: “Christ died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again.”

Finally, the Christ who had died for Paul’s sins, had commissioned him to tell others of His saving grace. Thus he says in I Corinthians 9:16,17:

    “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For…a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me” (I Cor. 9:16,17).

Paul could say further what every true believer should be able to say: Not “I am debtor, but“, but rather, “I am debtor…SO, as much as in me is, I AM READY…” (Rom. 1:15). He was ready to discharge his debt because he had that with which to discharge it — the wonderful “gospel of the grace of God”. And he did indeed make this the message known to others with all that was in him.

And now the third “I am”: “I am debtor…So I am ready… For I AM NOT ASHAMED of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…” (Ver. 16). Paul was always proud to own Christ as the mighty Saviour from sin. Do you know Christ as your Saviour? Do you tell others of His saving grace?
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« Reply #4847 on: March 25, 2018, 03:55:18 PM »

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To Rebuke Is Not To Nuke!
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him” (Leviticus 19:17).

Years ago, a television commercial reminded people that “friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” In that same spirit, our text reminds us that caring Christians don’t let their friends grieve the Spirit by continuing in sin (Eph. 4:30). If you truly love a brother in Christ who persists in a path of transgression, you need to rebuke him, “and not suffer sin upon him.”

The problem is, when we think of rebuking someone, we generally think of a drill sergeant chewing a soldier up one side and down the other! And it’s true that God once said, “I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes” (Ezekiel 25:17). But a quick check of the context of that verse will show that God was speaking of furiously rebuking His enemies. If all rebukes were supposed to be “furious” rebukes, God wouldn’t have had to specify that He planned to rebuke the Philistines “with furious rebukes.”

Yet how often well-meaning Christians seek to obey Leviticus 19:17 by unloading on a brother like a nuclear bomb when he sins! This despite the fact that the dictionary defines “rebuke” as to chide or scold someone. And this despite the fact that every time we’re told what men say when they rebuke someone in the Bible, they always use words like the ones Joseph’s father used to rebuke him:

    “…his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee…?” (Genesis 37:10).

Rather than going ballistic on his son, Jacob reasoned with him, asking about his dream, and explaining in a respectful manner why he thought Joseph was wrong to be saying such things. Later, when God Himself “rebuked” Balaam (II Pet. 2:15,16), He chose to do so through the humblest of animals, to teach us that rebukes should always be delivered in the spirit of humility. Consider the deferential words of the Father’s rebuke:

“What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times…Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?” (Numbers 22:28-30).

Speaking through the dumb animal, God gently rebuked His prophet, reasoning with him, trying to get him to think about what he was doing and consider the wrongfulness of his ways. Sort of like the Lord later “rebuked” the apostles when they wanted to call fire down from Heaven on Samaria, saying, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:55,56).

In closing, it’s still true that if you “rebuke a wise man” that “he will love thee” (Pr. 9:8.), and “he that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue” (Pr. 28:23). But these things are only true if you manage to rebuke your brother “with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Eph. 4:2).

So remember, when it comes to rebukes, no nukes!
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« Reply #4848 on: March 26, 2018, 04:45:39 PM »

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Dead Works
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Twice in Paul’s epistles he refers to “dead works”. In Hebrews 6:1 he writes about “repentance from dead works”, while in Hebrews 9:14 he declares that the blood of Christ avails to “purge the conscience from dead works to serve the living God”.

Mark well, these references are not to wicked works but to dead works. These “dead works” are the so-called “good works” (whether moral or ceremonial) which men did — and still do — to make themselves acceptable to God. They are “dead” because they are not the product of regeneration or spiritual life, but the mere attempt on the part of unregenerate sinners to justify themselves before God.

Paul himself, once zealously religious, but wholly unsaved, had to repudiate his “dead works” and count them “loss” to find salvation in Christ, through whom alone he could produce good works which God could accept. (See Philippians 3:4-9).

This is why he later declared by divine inspiration: “For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast, for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works…” (Eph. 2:8-10).

“Dead works” are not only unacceptable to God, but an evil substitute for the faith He desires, “for without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6). But “he that believeth on the Son of God hath life” and this life is bound to bear fruit— the good works with which God is truly pleased.

The difference between the “good works” of the unregenerate man and the “good works” of a true believer, then, is that the former are “dead works” while the latter are the precious fruit of life possessed.

No man can please God while he denies the truth of His Word or rejects His Son, so graciously given to die on the cross as our Saviour. To try to win His favor by “good works” while rejecting Christ is like sending a gift to a man whose beloved son you spurn and despise.

“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hands. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. And he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:35,36).
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« Reply #4849 on: March 27, 2018, 04:40:46 PM »

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Alienation And Reconciliation
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


It is impossible, and unnecessary, to reconcile friends. Reconciliation postulates alienation. It is only after men become alienated that we may try to reconcile them. Thus the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles to God “in one body” could not begin until Israel, along with the Gentiles, had been alienated from God. This is why the Apostle Paul declares in Rom. 11:15 that “the casting away of them is,” or opens the way for, “the reconciling of the world.” Thus “God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all” (Rom. 11:32). Little wonder the Apostle goes on to exclaim:

    “O, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” (Ver. 33).

So now the wonderful message from God to a lost world is one of grace and peace, and it is with these words that the Apostle Paul opens all of his epistles signed by his name. In Ephesians 2, where he declares that we were all “the children of disobedience,” and therefore “by nature the children of wrath,” he goes on to tell of the riches of God’s mercy and love and grace, and says:

    “And [He] came and preached peace to you [Gentiles] which were afar off, and to them [Israelites] that were nigh” (Ver. 17).

What a blessing to enjoy peace with God, to be reconciled to Him! But this is possible only as we commit ourselves to Him who was “delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification.” Indeed, Paul follows these words in Romans 4:25 with the declaration:

    “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).
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« Reply #4850 on: March 28, 2018, 05:20:57 PM »

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Even If...
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


When the Babylonian multitudes prostrated themselves in worship before the golden god which Nebuchadnezzar had erected, three young Hebrews refused to bow and remained standing, erect and alone.

When called before Nebuchadnezzar to answer for their impudence and threatened with death in a fiery furnace, they answered:

    “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us…But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Dan. 3:17,18.).

This is the stand every believer should take for God and His truth.  He is able to deliver us from persecution if we stand true, but even if He doesn’t see fit to do this, we should still stand alone if necessary, for the light He has given us on His Word.

Many have suffered temporary loss of standing for their convictions.  Hebrews 11 lists among the heroes of faith some who were “tortured, not accepting deliverance,” and others who suffered “trial of cruel mockings and scourgings…bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented” (Heb. 11:35-37).

But we read that these all “obtained a good report” before God and looked forward to “a better resurrection” (vv. 35,39).

As the apostasy rises all about us and those who stand for God’s truth are often ridiculed and despised, may God give us the grace to stand true regardless of the cost, remembering that any sufferings for Christ are only temporal while the rewards will be eternal.
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« Reply #4851 on: March 29, 2018, 04:39:05 PM »

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That Blessed Hope
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

    “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Tit.2: 13,14).

A rich harvest of blessing was reaped for the Church in those years before and after the turn of the century when the great truth of the Lord’s coming to catch away His own was recovered by men of God and the expectancy of His appearing became once more “that blessed hope” to multitudes of believers.

Now some are pointing to such passages as Matthew 24:6-9 and 29, 30 to prove that the Church will go through the tribulation. Others have adopted a “mid-tribulation” view, holding that the Church will go through only the first half of the tribulation period, and will be caught away before the fearful outpouring of God’s wrath in the “great tribulation.” Still others hold the so-called “partial rapture” view on the basis of our Lord’s exhortation to His disciples in Luke 21:36. According to this view only those “counted worthy” will be caught up at the rapture.

And thus the glorious prospect that Paul, by inspiration, holds out to the members of Christ’s body as “that blessed hope,” is again being lost to growing numbers of sincere believers, simply because they fail to recognized it as a distinctly Pauline revelation.

It is a significant fact that in the very first epistle from Paul’s pen he already refers to a prior hope for the members of the Body of Christ, the hope of a coming of Christ which precedes His return to earth to reign. In I Thessalonians 1:9,10 he recalls:

    “…how ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God,

    “AND TO WAIT FOR HIS SON FROM HEAVEN….”

And in I Thessalonians 4:16-18 he explains:

    “…We which are alive and remain…shall be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS, TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

To those who remain blind to this important fact such passages as Matthew 24 must qualify, if not contradict, I Thessalonians 4, and any attempt to harmonize the Gospel records as to Christ’s return with Paul’s special revelation as to His coming for His own, must end in the most bewildering confusion.

But we who do recognize the distinctive character of Paul’s apostleship and revelation have no such problem to vex us. To us “that blessed hope” glows — surely should glow — brighter as the days grow darker.
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« Reply #4852 on: March 31, 2018, 05:27:18 PM »

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A Worry-Free Life
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


    “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life?…For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:13-15).

The desire of James’s heart was that his readers would humble themselves before the Lord and not be presumptuous when they planned for the future, nor to worry about it. We might call it worry-free planning! We all probably know someone who gets worried when they don’t have something to worry about! Believers also struggle with this problem, but the Scriptures state, “Be careful [anxious] for nothing” (Phil. 4:6). In our contemporary language we would say, “Don’t worry about anything.” The Greek root word behind the term “careful” here is merimna, which means to pull in different directions or a distraction. This is exactly what worry will do to you: it will tear you apart, both emotionally
and physically. Worry always dwells on the future in regard to what may or may not happen. It mulls over every worst-case scenario imaginable until you are tied in knots. We might say it this way: the past belongs to the ages, the present belongs to us, but the future belongs to God.

Worry is a sin! It focuses on the future, which is divine ground. The only suitable way to deal with it is to find a biblical solution to the problem. Thankfully, the Scriptures provide for us the key to living a worry-free life. This age-old problem that can be traced back to the Fall has a simple solution. In fact, the antidote to this venomous attack is the same in every age. We find it noteworthy that the Lord Himself dealt with this matter as He prepared the disciples to carry out the Great Commission.

    “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life,  what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them” (Matt. 6:25,26).

We are creatures of habit! We like the security of having a roof over our heads and knowing where we’re going to have dinner tonight. The same was true of the disciples, with this exception: the Lord had uprooted them from their comfort zone and transplanted them in His field of service. When He called them, they left their families and livelihoods to follow Him. At first it seemed the right thing to do, but the more they thought about their decision, it left them with a feeling of insecurity. In short, they were worried sick! What will we wear when the weather turns inclement? Who’s going to provide our meals today, and tomorrow, and next week? Goodness gracious, we completely forgot about our families! Who’s going to supply that need? Worry always has a way of producing more questions than answers.

Sensing their apprehension, the Lord said, “Take no thought for your life.” “Take no thought” is another way of saying, “Don’t worry about what may or may not happen!” Life is more than food and drink and clothing; they were to be more concerned about the spiritual things of God. If God can provide for the birds that fly above, which neither plant nor harvest, surely He is able to supply the needs of His laborers. We must bear in mind that, if God foreordained the Cross in His determinate counsel (Acts 2:23), and the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world (I Pet. 1:19,20) in accordance with His foreknowledge, surely He knows every need of the disciples, not to mention ours, in advance (Matt. 6:32).

    “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6:34).

This passage is the Lord’s solution to the problem of worry. They were not to concern themselves with tomorrow’s circumstances, simply because those were beyond their control. It is natural to be concerned, but they weren’t to allow their concern to deteriorate into worry that consumed them because it would only serve to disrupt their service for Christ. Our Lord speaks of two days: tomorrow, a reference to the future, which belongs to God, and today. While it is impossible simply to turn off unwarranted concern, they were to redirect it. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” In other words, there were enough troubles to deal with in any given day without concerning themselves with tomorrow. The answer to the sin of worry is to trust in God and focus on resolving the problems that are facing you today (Phil. 4:19).
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« Reply #4853 on: April 02, 2018, 04:23:24 PM »

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And Hearing By the Word of God
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “I can understand why Romans 10:17 might say, ‘faith cometh by hearing the Word of God.’ Why does it rather say, ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God’?”

It is sometimes taught that an unsaved sinner is so spiritually “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) that he cannot even hear the Word of God in the gospel, let alone respond to it in faith. It is argued that if you go to a funeral and tell the deceased to rise up out of the coffin, he cannot even hear the words of your command, let alone respond to it. It is then argued from this that the Spirit must first regenerate a lost sinner so that he can hear the gospel and believe it.

While that sounds logical, the Lord Jesus gave a different explanation for how a sinner who is “dead in sins” is “quickened” (Eph. 2:5) when He said,

    “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

The Lord here asserts that His words “are spirit.” That is, His words have the spiritual power to raise a dead sinner from spiritual death. The Lord also taught that His words “are life.” Thus, if a sinner must be given life in order to be able to hear the gospel, then the Lord’s words are able to give a dead sinner all the life he needs to hear and respond to the gospel in faith.

This is why Romans 10:17 is worded in that manner. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, to be sure, but even the hearing comes by the Word.
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« Reply #4854 on: April 02, 2018, 04:24:52 PM »

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Buy the Truth and Sell It Not
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Every true Christian should understand that the truth costs. If you don’t think so, make it your own, value it, defend it, stand for it, and see if it doesn’t cost. Before you are through it may cost you far more than you had thought — hours of ease and pleasure, friends and money. Yes, the truth costs. Salvation is gloriously free but the truth costs — that is, if you want it for yourself. Many who know the truth won’t buy it. They won’t pay what it costs to say: “This is what I believe. This is my conviction.” The truth isn’t worth that much to them.

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

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

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

It is because the truth is so little valued in this indifferent age, that many of God’s people have become so spiritually powerless. They hold opinions instead of convictions, because they have given the infallible, unchangeable Word of God little place in their lives. God blesses and uses those who “buy the truth and sell it not.”
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« Reply #4855 on: April 04, 2018, 05:12:46 PM »

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Don't Give Up
by Pastor John Fredericksen


Being in the pastorate can be discouraging. After all, you are an obvious target for criticism. The messages are always too long or too short, you use too many illustrations or not enough, the content is too deep or too shallow, you stand too strongly on biblical truth or not strongly enough, and so it goes. On one occasion, I had a Christian leader harshly dress me down in public for 45 minutes and accused me of a variety of things I simply had not done. He only thought I had done them. I left that meeting so discouraged; I just wanted to give up the ministry, and maybe even give up walking with the Lord. Thankfully, He sent me encouragement when I needed it most.

Being discouraged spiritually isn’t exclusive to pastors either. All believers encounter this at one time or another. You can almost feel the sorrow of heart when you read the testimonies of God’s men of the past. David wrote: “I had fainted…” (Psa. 27:13), Jeremiah said: “When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me” (Jer. 8:18.), and Jonah said: “…my soul fainted within me” (Jonah 2:7). They were so discouraged and spiritually weakened that they simply felt like giving up. Thankfully, these servants of God did not give up, and there is much to learn from what carried them through.

Jonah relates to us how he found the strength to carry on: “I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto Thee, into Thine holy temple” (Jonah 2:7). Coupled with obedience to God’s will, his discouragement turned when he stayed his mind on the Lord in prayer. Similarly, Isaiah proclaims: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength…they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). As you can see, Isaiah also found it helpful to focus his thoughts on the Lord through prayer.

The Apostle Paul had opposition from without and from within the company of believers, and had much to be discouraged about, but he didn’t quit. His testimony was: “seeing we have this ministry…we faint not” (II Cor. 4:1). He kept his heart focused on serving the Savior, with Galatians 6:9 in mind: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Simply put, heaven and reward from the Savior strengthened the resolve of this servant. It can for us too.

Are you discouraged spiritually? Don’t quit! Pray, focus on the importance of serving Christ, and rejoice in future reward!
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« Reply #4856 on: April 04, 2018, 05:14:04 PM »

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The Nature Of Grace
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


To a young Christian who kept bemoaning his failures and lack of spiritual growth, and wondering how God could love him, a more mature believer responded substantially as follows:

“When I leave here and return to my home I will pick up my little baby girl and put her on my knee. Tired as I am, I will dandle her on my knee and, somehow, looking into that darling face and those pretty blue eyes, I will soon feel rested and refreshed.

“This is strange, in a way, for she does not love me. She doesn’t even know what love is.

“She doesn’t appreciate my problems and has no sympathy for me. My heart can be burdened with grief or filled with anxiety, and my mind vexed with difficult problems, but she doesn’t even know or care. She just keeps gurgling and giggling at the attention I lavish upon her.

“She doesn’t contribute one cent toward the needs of our family; indeed, she costs me a great deal of money and will for years to come. Yet I love that child more than I can say. There is no sacrifice I would not make for her; no good thing I would not gladly give her.”

Such is the grace of God toward us, His children. It does not depend upon our faithfulness to Him or our appreciation of His love to us. He loves us with an unspeakable love and keeps lavishing upon us “the riches of His grace” simply because we are His children in Christ, the Beloved One. And strangely, is it not precisely this fact that proves to be our greatest incentive to give ourselves to Him in loving service and sacrifice as we grow in grace?
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« Reply #4857 on: April 06, 2018, 04:43:20 PM »

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What's Behind Our Moral Decline?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


One does not have to be a prude to conclude that our country is suffering a serious moral decline. Our rulers and law enforcement agencies seem powerless to cope with it. Campaigns to check it seem vain. J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI warned us again and again that the alarming rate of this downward trend would spell ruin for America if not checked soon. But what most people fail to realize is that behind this moral decline there is a spiritual decline. America has departed from God and His Word.

Paul’s letter to the Romans tells us how the heathen got that way. Rom. 1:21,22 says: “When they knew God they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools,” and the verses that follow tell how God finally had to “give them up” to “uncleanness” and “vile affections”–all because “they did not like [wish] to retain God in their knowledge” (Ver. 28.).

St. Paul further describes them in Eph. 4:17-19, as walking “in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling [conscience] have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” This, sad to say, is an accurate description of increasing numbers in America today. They are throwing off restraint and going after uncleanness “with greediness.”

But this is not liberty, it is enslavement. It is not a sign of strength, but of weakness. It does not indicate superior intelligence, but grossest ignorance, and is the result of alienation from God.

How much better off are those who have come to know God through Christ! Of these the Apostle says:

    “And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled, in the body of His flesh, through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight” (Col. 1:21,22).
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« Reply #4858 on: April 06, 2018, 04:45:53 PM »

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The Logic of the Plan of Salvation
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In I Cor. 1:22 we are told that “the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.”  This is doubtless why God chose Paul, with his profound intellectual background and acumen, to proclaim “Christ crucified,” the “wisdom of God” as well as the “power of God” (I Cor. 1:23,24).

Paul was a gifted logician as well as a theologian, and nowhere is this more evident than in his epistle to the Romans, where, by divine inspiration, he presents the logic of God’s plan of salvation. Again and again, throughout the epistle, he uses that word so prominent in mathematics and in logic: “therefore.”

    “Therefore thou art inexcusable…” (Rom. 2:1).

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

    “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested….  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law” (3:21,28.).

    “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access…” (5:1,2).

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

    “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors…” (8:12).

    “I beseech you therefore… that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (Rom. 12:1).

It is an inexorable, unchangeable law that sin results in death. But the Lord Jesus Christ, “who did no sin,” took our place and “died for our sins.” Thus it is also an unchangeable law that “He that hath the Son hath life.” “The law of the Spirit” is “life in Christ.” The moment one trusts Christ as Savior the Spirit gives him life, the life of Christ, which is everlasting — indeed, eternal life (Rom. 8:2; I John 5:12).
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« Reply #4859 on: April 07, 2018, 04:16:10 PM »

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Because He Loved Us
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Why did the Lord of glory
Leave His heav’nly home,
To come to earth and suffer here
For wrongs He had not done?

Why did He go to Calv’ry
To bear the shame and loss,
And give His life for sinners vile
Upon th’ accursed cross?

Why?…Because He loved us,
And longed that we might be
His very own — not only now,
But through eternity.
— C.R.S.
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