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nChrist
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« Reply #5055 on: October 24, 2018, 04:26:00 PM »

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I Think Also That I Have the Spirit of God
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


“What is your take on 1 Corinthians 7:40, where Paul says, ‘I think also that I have the Spirit of God’?”

The vast majority of things Paul taught in his epistles were things he himself had been taught by direct revelation of the Lord. However, he occasionally wrote things that the Lord had not revealed to him, such as:

    “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment…” (1 Cor. 7:25).

The Corinthians had evidently asked Paul about something concerning which he had received no revelations, so he gave his own personal opinion. Of course, his opinion was molded by his understanding of all that God had revealed to him, so it would have been a very sound opinion. But when he then wrote it in an epistle that became part of God’s Word, that removed all doubt that his personal conviction expressed God’s will.

You see, it was the job of the prophets to identify which epistles were canonical (1 Cor. 14:37). Paul mentions some epistles that they did not include in the Scriptures (1 Cor. 5:9; Col. 4:16), but when they did include 1 Corinthians, that tells us Paul did have the Spirit when he wrote it, and that his own personal “judgment” was also the judgment of God.
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« Reply #5056 on: October 25, 2018, 04:51:29 PM »

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Looking For the Loophole
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


To many people, it just doesn’t seem right that God would punish someone in hell for all eternity, and so they look for loopholes in the Bible’s clear teaching about eternal damnation (Rev. 14:11, etc.). They mean well, but they remind us of what the Lord said about the rich man in hell, who pleaded that Lazarus be sent to warn his five brothers, “lest they also come into this place of torment” (Luke 16:28). It is often argued from this that this man had repented, and only a God who was a monster would refuse to release him. As we compare Scripture with Scripture, however, we believe otherwise, especially when we compare the torments of hell to the torments of the Tribulation.

There are many ways to show that the Tribulation will be a time of hell on earth, but perhaps the simplest is found when we read that “in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it” (Rev. 9:6). What a picture of hell! You would think that everyone on the receiving end of the unfathomable torments of that day would repent in the hope that God would relent and spare them further torment. Yet despite the fact that men will be “scorched with great heat” (Rev. 16:9), in John’s vision, they “blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not… of their deeds” (vv. 9,11).

In light of all this, we feel the rich man’s request to warn his five brothers was not an indication of any repentance on his part—far from it. Like many incarcerated men, he was looking for a loophole in the prosecution’s case against him. You see, if Lazarus was sent from the dead to warn his brothers, he could argue that he never benefited from such a supernatural warning, making his conviction unjust.

Add it all up, and a more accurate picture of hell appears. Hell is not filled with cries of repentance to which God turns an unfeeling deaf ear. Like the description of the Tribulation we just read, the air is rather filled with the sound of blasphemy, voiced by men who are eternally convinced that God is wrong and they do not belong there.

Fortunately, dear reader, you do not have to go there. Just admit that God is right, that you are sinner (Rom. 3:23) who deserves to die an eternal death for your sins (Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:14), but that Christ died for your sins so that you don’t have to (I Cor. 15:1-4). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
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« Reply #5057 on: October 26, 2018, 05:54:26 PM »

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The Conflict Between the Old and New Natures
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Concerning the conflict continually going on between the old and new natures in the believer, St. Paul says:

    “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17).

Regarding this conflict in his own personal experience, he writes:

    “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

    “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

    “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Rom. 7:19,22,23).

It has been taught by some that we need not experience this continual strife between the old nature and the new. They say: “Get out of the 7th of Romans into the 8th.”

We would remind such that the Apostle Paul wrote Romans 7 and Romans 8 at the same sitting; that in the original language the letter goes right on without interruption — without even a chapter division.

Thus the same apostle who exclaims: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1) refers in the same letter, only a few sentences before, and in the present tense, to “the law of sin which is in my members,” and freely acknowledges the present operation of that law in his members, as we have seen above.

How then shall we get out of the 7th of Romans into the 8th? Paul experienced both at the same time, and so do we, for while we are free from the condemnation of sin, sin itself nevertheless continues to work within us, and we must constantly “mortify the deeds of the body” (Rom. 8:13).
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« Reply #5058 on: October 28, 2018, 04:08:59 PM »

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Was Paul Saved Under the Kingdom Program?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “Was Paul saved under the kingdom program?”

No, Paul was “a blasphemer” (I Tim. 1:13) who, as a strict, Law-abiding Pharisee (Acts 26:5), would never blaspheme the Father, but was among those who blasphemed the Spirit when they stoned Stephen (Acts 7:51-8:1). This rendered him ineligible for salvation under the kingdom program, for the Lord had warned, “him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven” (Luke 12:10).

How then could God save Saul? Well, remember that the Lord had warned, “whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matt. 12:32). The nation of Israel blasphemed the Spirit in the world that the Lord spoke of as “this world” when they rejected Stephen, a man filled with the Spirit (Acts 7:55). “The world to come” is defined in Hebrews 2:5 as the kingdom, the “world” which God will “put in subjection” under Christ, where people will fully know “the powers of the world to come” (Heb. 6:5) that they only tasted at Pentecost.

Since blasphemy against the Spirit was unforgivable in both those worlds, we know Saul was saved under the program of a whole new world, the dispensation of grace, “this world” in which we live (Eph. 1:21), “this present world” in which we are to walk and please God (Titus 2:12).
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« Reply #5059 on: October 29, 2018, 04:08:42 PM »

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To Hear Father Speak
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


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

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

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

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

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

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

By taking us out to see such “shows” — God’s shows — dad accomplished two purposes. He helped to rid us of the excessive fear of electrical storms that unnerve so many people, and he gave us a small glimpse of the infinite greatness of our great God.
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« Reply #5060 on: October 30, 2018, 04:54:25 PM »

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Our Great Commission
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Much is said of the “great commission” which our Lord gave to His apostles just before His ascension. We wonder whether our readers have ever examined the various records of this commission carefully.

This “great commission” does not say one word about “the preaching of the cross” or “the gospel of the grace of God”. The “gospel” which they were sent to preach was very evidently the same “gospel” they had been preaching — the Gospel of the Kingdom — only they could now declare, as Peter did at Pentecost, that the King had risen from the dead and would still some day occupy the throne of David.

The “great commission” demanded faith and baptism for the remission of sins (Mark 16:15,16); it included the power to heal the sick and work miracles (16:17,18), but it did not include the glad message that “Christ died for our sins” (ICor.15:1-3). At Pentecost, when Peter began to carry out this commission, he rather blamed his hearers for the death of Christ and when, convicted of their sins, they asked: “What shall we do?” he did notsay: “Believe on Christ who died for your sins.” He rather commanded them to “repent and be baptized every one…for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

But after Christ and His Kingdom were again rejected, God interrupted the prophetic program and sent Paul forth to proclaim “the preaching of the cross” and “the gospel of the grace of God”. In II Corinthians 5: 14-21 this apostle proclaims “the love of Christ” who “died for all” and instructs us as to our“great commission”:

    “And all things are of [provided by] God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, AND HATH GIVEN TO US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION;

    “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself… AND HATH COMMITTED UNTO US THE WORD OF RECONCILIATION” (II Cor.5:18,19).
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« Reply #5061 on: October 31, 2018, 04:07:01 PM »

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Christ Died for Our Sins and...
by Pastor Kevin Sadler


William Sangster was a stalwart, Bible-believing minister “who helped guide Londoners through the horrors of the bombings of London in World War II. Sangster developed a disease that progressively paralyzed his body, and eventually his vocal chords. On the Easter morning just before he died, he managed to scribble a short note to his daughter. The note read: “How terrible to wake up on Easter and have no voice to shout, ‘He is Risen!’ However, it is far worse to have a voice and not want to shout, ‘He is Risen!’” 3

We rejoice in Christ’s resurrection and the life we have in Him. However, it is troubling to find that there are teachings out there that say that all you need to believe to be saved is that Christ died for your sins. Some say that faith in Christ’s resurrection isn’t necessary to be saved because our salvation is based solely on Christ’s payment for our sins at the Cross, and they’ll intentionally leave out the Resurrection. However, this is not Pauline. The gospel of the grace of God includes the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul stresses in his letters the importance of believing that Christ is risen from the dead. Note the following verses:

    “And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness…But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Rom. 4:22,24).

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9).

    “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3,4).

    “And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).

    “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him” (1 Thes. 4:14).

Unbelievers must trust that Christ is risen in order to be saved, so believers need to stress Christ’s death and resurrection when they share the gospel of grace. When Paul writes about our spiritual baptism with Christ, we are not only identified with His death, but also His burial and resurrection (Rom. 6:3,4). According to Colossians 2:10, we “are complete in Him,” because we have been identified with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Col. 2:11,12) the moment we believed in His death, burial, and resurrection.

Christ died for our sins and… He rose again the third day. Don’t leave out the resurrection! It’s crucial to our faith and salvation. We have God’s Word on it. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain [empty]; ye are yet in your sins.” But because “Christ is risen from the dead,” those “in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:20,22). That should cause us to want to shout for joy!

    “Jesus our Lord…was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:24,25).

Notes:

1    Paul Goodrich, “He Is Risen!” accessed February 25, 2017, http://www.fumcwf.org/he-is-risen/
2    Paul Goodrich, “He Is Risen!” accessed February 25, 2017, http://www.fumcwf.org/he-is-risen/
3    Paul Goodrich, “He Is Risen!” accessed February 25, 2017, http://www.fumcwf.org/he-is-risen/
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« Reply #5062 on: November 01, 2018, 04:52:39 PM »

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Will You Please Sit Still
by Pastor John Fredericksen
 

Presently, we have a four-year-old grandson. He has more life and energy than grandpa, grandma, mommy and daddy combined. Actually, all our grandchildren do. However, our oldest in particular is constantly on the go and talking loudly. He finds it difficult to sit still for very long. Nonetheless, we’ve been working on the process of him attending church services with us. Recently I told him he needed to be very quiet while we were in the services. When this clearly wasn’t working, we told him firmly: “Will you please sit still and be quiet?”

In the Scriptures, the Lord repeatedly seeks to impress on our souls the need to be still and quiet. In Psalm 46:10, David records God’s message: “Be still and know that I am God.” When he was in times of “trouble” (46:1), David learned it was a good time to reflect quietly on God’s greatness and help. When an issue about how to properly worship the Lord arose, Moses told the questioners: “Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you” (Num. 9:8). Rather than clamor in an emotional state, their need was to wait quietly, listen and learn. When God instructed the prophet Samuel to announce to Saul that he was the choice of Jehovah to be king, Samuel wanted a private time with him away from all distraction. Then he told him: “…stand thou still awhile, that I may shew thee the Word of God” (I Sam. 9:27).

As it was then, so it is now. The best condition to fully comprehend a message from God’s very words is in a state of quiet attentiveness without distraction. So important is this latter principle that we see Samuel practicing it again in the waning days of his ministry to Israel. He told them: “Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord of all the righteous acts of the Lord, which he did to you and your fathers” (I Sam. 12:7).

We live in a time of too much busyness and distraction, especially with things that will not count in eternity. It is more important than ever for every child of God to recognize the necessity of being quiet and still before the Lord. This is true when we go to church to worship, and it is true every day. It is vital that we purpose to make time for a quiet time with the Lord and His Word each day.
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« Reply #5063 on: November 02, 2018, 05:21:05 PM »

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Inexcusable
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The second chapter of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans is a dark, sad passage, but it opens the door to the richest blessing the human heart can contain: salvation by grace.

The opening words: “Therefore thou art inexcusable,” are blunt indeed, but God exposes our sinful condition only so as to save us from it.

This is where most philosophies and the Bible clash head-on. Most philosophies close their eyes to the sinful nature of man. They argue, generally, that man is inherently good, while overwhelming evidence bears witness that he is inherently bad. Therefore human philosophy offers no salvation from sin and its just penalty. Only the Bible does this with its “gospel [good news] of the grace of God.”

In Paul’s day the Greek philosophers condemned the uncivilized pagans for their open immorality and wickedness. But while preaching virtue these moralizers themselves practiced vice, and God said:

    “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things” (Rom. 2:1).

It is the same today. Multitudes of self-righteous people are outwardly cultured and moral, but they forget that God looks upon the heart and sees hate as murder, jealousy as theft and the lustful look as adultery. He considers, not what we do, outwardly, but what we desire to do or wish we dared to do. He sees the desires and motives of the heart.

But thank God, “Christ died for sinners” — guilty sinners, and all who come to God by faith in Christ are “justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).

“Inexcusable,” or “justified freely by His grace,” through faith in the Christ who died for our sins? Which will it be?
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« Reply #5064 on: November 03, 2018, 04:11:13 PM »

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What Is a Church?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


It is strange but true that most people — even the great majority of religious people — do not know what a church is. Ask the average man what a church is, and he’s apt to reply: “Well, anybody knows that! A church is a building where people go to worship God.” But this is not correct. The word translated church, in our Bibles, simply means assembly. A church is not a building, but the assembly that meets in the building. Technically, a church is not even a religious gathering, for the same word is used in Acts 19:32 of a riotous mob which had assembled at Ephesus, and this verse says that this assembly was confused and that “the greater part knew not wherefore they were come together.” Perhaps this could apply to many a church today, but the point is that a church is not a building but an assembly of people.

The church of which the Bible has most to say is “the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28), and St. Paul calls the church of this present dispensation, “the Body of Christ,” or “the Church which is His Body” (I Cor. 12:27; Eph. 1:22,23).

Men cannot join this Church by water baptism or any other religious rite, but only by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. With regard to believers in Christ St. Paul declares: “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body” (I Cor. 12:13). And in Rom. 12:5 the Apostle says that “ye, being many, are one body in Christ.”

Many sincere people have had their names on local church rolls for many years before learning this great truth — that the true Church of God is not a building, but the assembly of those who trust in Christ as their Savior. Doubtless, people in and out of many of the religious organizations we call churches belong to this one great Bible Church, while others, with all their religious profession, do not. The question is: Have we sincerely trusted in Christ as the Savior who died for our sins?
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« Reply #5065 on: November 04, 2018, 03:16:38 PM »

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Sealed in the Pit
by Pastor Kevin Sadler


(An excerpt from Revelation Volume 4, available in late 2018.)

    “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Rev. 20:1-3).

Satan will be seized and bound with “a great chain” by an angel, and then he will be hurled into the center of the earth and shut up in the pit. We are to take a literal interpretation of the Bible unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. That’s how God intended His Word to be understood and interpreted. When the Bible is not taken literally, our understanding of the Word is left to the opinions and imaginations of fallible mankind….

After the Savior’s death on the cross, a seal was placed on the stone at the entrance of Christ’s tomb. Matthew 27:66 tells us, “So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.” On resurrection morning though, the seal was broken and the stone was rolled away, because Christ had conquered the grave. That seal could never have kept Him in that tomb. He is “the Resurrection, and the Life” (John 11:25). He is the “Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending…which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8).

A “seal” will be set upon the devil when he is shut in the bottomless pit. He is powerless to break that seal, demonstrating that he is a created being. If Satan could break this seal, he absolutely would. He will have 1000 years to try to break it, but he will fail.

This contrast shows that we who believe and are on the Lord’s side are on the side of power, victory, and hope. Those who are outside of Christ are on the side of weakness, defeat, and hopelessness. By faith in Christ alone, the unbelieving can be rescued and “delivered…from the power [authority] of darkness, and…translated…into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:13).

The seal placed upon Satan ensures that he will no longer deceive the nations during the 1000 years of Christ’s earthly kingdom. As we read in Revelation 20:3: “and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more.” Isaiah 14:12 says that he “weakens the nations,” and he does this by his deceptions. Satan will be sealed in his prison, giving blessed relief to the earth and its inhabitants by his absence. He is the one “which deceiveth the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). With Satan locked up, the whole world will be set free from his deceits and wiles.

After the 1000-year phase of Christ’s earthly kingdom is “fulfilled… he must be loosed a little season.” Satan will not be rehabilitated during his 1000-year sentence. God reveals to us that Satan’s nature will not change even after 10 centuries of confinement. He will remain proud, defiant, and at enmity against God. His hatred of God will only burn hotter after the 1000 years. By Satan being released, God also reveals that mankind doesn’t change either. After 1000 years, we see how susceptible mankind will still be to Satan’s deceptions and methods, as the number who are deceived and follow him will be “as the sand of the sea” (Rev. 20:8).

The loosing of Satan for a short time is part of God’s sovereign plan: “he must be loosed” (v. 3). Everything God does is good and righteous and has a purpose. Mankind has a free will and, at the close of the Millennium, just prior to the eternal state, God gives the inhabitants of Christ’s earthly kingdom one last opportunity to believe in Christ or reject Him. After 1000 years of peace and righteousness, with the world as it should be, will they “have this Man to reign over” them (Luke 19:14)? The answer from the unbelieving world will be a resounding “No!”

Many think that the world can be fixed through politics and human government. If we just get this political ruler or that political ruler in office, then everything will be all right. It’s a gross understatement to call that wishful thinking. Even when the perfect Ruler reigns over the world for 1000 years, the world will still choose evil. Even if the world were all that it could be, people would still reject Christ. It all stems from the heart of mankind and shows that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9).

Christ can change the heart. For us under grace, when we trust in Christ, believing that He died for our sins, was buried, and rose again (1 Cor. 15:3,4), God creates a new nature in us (2 Cor. 5:17). By this “inward man” being “renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16) through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, Christ can transform our hearts and lives (Rom. 12:1,2).
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« Reply #5066 on: November 05, 2018, 03:08:38 PM »

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Grieve Not The Spirit
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The first lesson each believer in Christ should learn is that immediately upon believing he is given everlasting life. Referring to this fact Ephesians 1:13,14 says:

    “In whom ye also trusted, having heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also having believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.”

Mark well, the believer is not sealed by the Holy Spirit, but “with” the Holy Spirit. The Spirit Himself is the seal. Every sincere believer in Christ, then, should rejoice in an accomplished redemption and rest in the fact that the Holy Spirit will keep him eternally safe.

But while we cannot lose the Holy Spirit we can, and often do, grieve the Holy Spirit, as we read in Eph. 4:30. This is why we are told in Rom. 8:26 that the Spirit “helpeth our infirmities” and makes intercession for us, that we might live lives which please and honor God.

The wonderful fact is, however, that “nothing,” not even an aggrieved Spirit shall “separate us from the love of God” (Rom. 8:38,39). Thus in the same breath with which the Apostle exhorts us not to grieve the Spirit he again reassures us that this same Spirit keeps us eternally safe:

    “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).

Does this encourage careless living? Those who think so have missed the whole point of Paul’s appeal. The Apostle does not warn the believer that if he grieves the Spirit he will be lost. Rather, in grace he exhorts:

    “Do not grieve the very Spirit who in mercy and love has sealed you as forever His own. Do not repay such love with such ingratitude.”
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« Reply #5067 on: November 06, 2018, 05:26:57 PM »

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The True Bible Church
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Many people have truly come to know Christ as Savior after having been sincere, religious “church members” for years. Though faithful supporters of some earthly church organization they had never experienced the truth of II Cor. 5:17: “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation.”  It is possible to be a member in good standing of some church organization, yet be outside of the one true Church of which the Bible speaks.

This is because the true Bible Church is not an organization but a living organism, a spiritual body, with a living Head and living members. Again and again St. Paul, by divine inspiration, calls the Church, the Body of Christ. He says: “We being many, are one Body in Christ…” (Rom. 12:5). “Ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular” (I Cor. 12:27). “We are members of His Body” (Eph. 5:30).

How do we become members of this true Bible Church, the Body of Christ? First, we must acknowledge ourselves to be sinners in God’s sight, for Ephesians 2 relates how Christ died for sinful men that He might “reconcile” them to God “in one Body” by the cross (Ver. 16). Thus, when believing sinners are reconciled to God by faith in Christ, they are regenerated, given a new life, by the Spirit, and by the Spirit are baptized into the Church, the Body of Christ.

    “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).

    “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body” (I Cor. 12:13).

Every one of us should ask himself: “Have I been baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ?” If not, trust Christ as your Savior and become a member of the one true Bible Church. Then associate yourself with some local assembly where Christ is honored and the Bible taught, “rightly divided.”
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« Reply #5068 on: November 07, 2018, 04:16:14 PM »

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There Is No Difference
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Twice in the Book of Romans, once in Romans 3:22,23, and once in Romans 10:12,13, God uses the phrase, “There is no difference.”

First it is used in connection with the guilt of man. Religious Jews, as well as godless Gentiles; cultured moralist, as well as degraded savages, are proved guilty before God.

In the first three chapters, their privileges and responsibilities are fully discussed, and their arguments are carefully considered. Then comes the awful verdict:

    “THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE: FOR ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.”

Must we not all bow our heads in shame and admit that the indictment is true? Must we not acknowledge that our condemnation is just? There may, indeed, be differences as to the nature or the degree of our sins, but in this there is no difference: that we all have sinned. And a just and holy God must condemn sin.

It is refreshing, however, to find the phrase used a second time in connection with salvation. Again religious Jews as well as godless Gentiles are included, but this time, how gracious the declaration!

    “FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE…FOR THE SAME LORD OVER ALL IS RICH UNTO ALL THAT CALL UPON HIM. FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED!”

In the matter of sin, God cannot be partial. He cannot be lenient with certain classes or groups whose advantages have been greater. All have sinned, and all must stand condemned.

But neither does He show partiality in the matter of salvation. The rich or cultured or religious are not preferred before others. The illiterate or immoral are not excluded. The Law condemns all, but Christ died to save all, that we might be “justified freely by His grace.”

Friend, are you saved? Are you right with God? You can never hope to be accepted if you approach Him in your own merits, but if you come in the merits of Him who bore your sins, you cannot be turned away. “FOR THE SAME LORD OVER ALL IS RICH UNTO ALL THAT CALL UPON HIM, FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.”
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« Reply #5069 on: November 08, 2018, 04:28:22 PM »

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Glorious Prospect
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


To the true Christian one of the most wonderful passages in the Bible is Eph. 2:7, where we read of God’s purpose, “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” This passage appears the more wonderful when viewed in the light of its context.

Verses 2-6 tell how we were all once the “children of disobedience,” and therefore “by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” But then we read those wonderful words of hope, “But God.” “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love wherewith He loved us…” And the next verses tell how He has taken believers in Christ from the lowest position of condemnation and wrath and given them the highest place of favor and blessing in Christ at His own right hand in the heavenlies.

The simplest, humblest believer in Christ has been given this position in the heavenlies, for God no longer sees him in himself, but in Christ, who died for his sins. This is why St. Paul so often writes about “those who are in Christ Jesus.”

It is for the believer now to occupy this exalted position, to appropriate by faith the “all spiritual blessings” which are his in Christ (See Eph. 1:3). Like Paul, he may be lifted by grace, through faith, above the troubles and sorrows of “this present evil age” and enjoy his position and blessings in the heavenlies in Christ. And even this is not all, for looking far ahead to the future the Apostle, by divine revelation, goes on to say (in Eph. 2:7) that God has done this all 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.”
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