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nChrist
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« Reply #5070 on: November 09, 2018, 05:21:06 PM »

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I Wasn't Praying Right
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


We were having supper in a restaurant in Albany, Georgia, and had just given our waitress a gospel tract. This brought about an incident we shall probably never forget. The young lady was married and had one child, though still a teen-ager, but she was a sincere believer and had already learned one lesson which is bound to enrich the life of any Christian.

About ten months previous her little baby, only two months old, had become seriously ill. The little one was taken to the hospital but his condition worsened daily. “I was on my knees so much those days,” said the young mother, “begging the Lord day after day not to take my little child, and I guess I got a little bitter one night when the doctor warned me in a kind way not to expect too much.

“I went home again and began claiming promises from the Lord, when it dawned on me that I hadn’t been praying right. All of a sudden it came to me, and I said: ‘Lord, I’m your child and I know perfectly well that you wouldn’t do anything to harm me, so please help me just to trust you and to understand that whatever you do is for my good.’

“I felt better then,” she said, “and I guess the Lord just wanted me to learn that lesson, because what do you think! The very next morning when I went to the hospital one of the nurses came to me almost dancing. She said: ‘Honey, your baby’s going to live. The crisis is over. You should see how well he’s doing!’ And he was! You should have seen him! And you should see how fine and healthy he is now!

“I’m so thankful. And believe me, I’ve learned that lesson, and won’t go demanding things from the Lord again.”
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« Reply #5071 on: November 10, 2018, 03:33:30 PM »

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The Gambler
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


There are so many ways to gamble these days! Casinos that used to be found only in Las Vegas now seem to be everywhere. People gamble on sporting events, at racetracks, and in state lotteries. Others risk their hard-earned money in the stock market, which is always a gamble! But even if you have never placed a bet, if you are not saved, you are gambling with eternity.

You might be thinking, “I don’t use that word saved,” but I wonder if at some time in your life you’ve sung that most beloved of all Christian hymns, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” You may have sung the song, but are you saved? We call the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior; well, the purpose of a Savior is to save people! Has He saved you?

The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Now, if you are wondering what it is specifically that you have to believe about Christ to be saved, the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians,

    “I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you…by which also ye are saved…how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day” (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

Here the Bible clearly says that the way to be saved from your sins is to believe that Christ died to pay for your sins. So the only question now is, do you believe God when He says your sins are paid for? Do you trust Him when He says that? If you do, the Bible says that you are saved!

If you are not sure what I’m trying to say, suppose for a moment that you have a serious gambling problem, and that you have racked up a million dollars in gambling debts. One day some very bad men threaten to kill you unless you pay your debt. Naturally, you are very afraid, because you don’t have the money. But just then a friend emails you to say, “I heard about your problem, and I paid your debt.”

Now you have to ask yourself, “Do I really believe my friend when he says he paid my debt? Do I trust him when he says my debt is paid?”  If you don’t believe him, you’ll have to keep trying to pay your debt on your own. But if you do trust your friend when he says he paid your debt, you’ll thank him for it, and simply rest in what he did for you.

That’s all God asks of you to be saved from your sins. Believe that Christ paid for your sins, and rest in what He did for you. If you’ll do that, the Bible says you are saved. If you won’t, well, you’ll just have to go on trying to pay for your sins in your own way, by being good, by not being bad, or by being religious—something the Bible says you can never do:

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

    “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” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

    “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5).

If you are still not sure what I am trying to say, I have a little exercise for you. Later today, or perhaps tomorrow, you are going to do some good thing, or avoid doing some sinful thing. At that moment, you will be tempted to think, “I just helped pay my way to heaven.” When that happens, stop yourself, and say, “No, the Bible says that the only way I can get to heaven is by believing that Christ died for my sins.” Just keep that up, and eventually you’ll learn to trust what Christ did on the cross of Calvary to pay for your sins, and rest completely in what He did for you.

They say life is a gamble, and I suppose in many ways it is. But don’t gamble with eternal life. The stakes are much too high.

I promise you this: A thousand years from this moment, you will remember this moment. And whether you remember it with joy or eternal regret depends on the decision you must make right now to trust Christ as your Savior.
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« Reply #5072 on: November 11, 2018, 03:41:08 PM »

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Now Is The Time
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Today we think of St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians in II Cor. 6:1,2:

    “We then as workers together with [God], beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain…. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

This passage reminds us that it is not enough that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” collectively. We, each one individually, must do something about appropriating this salvation for ourselves.

After the classic passage in II Cor. 5:14-21 where the Apostle tells how Christ “died for all,” and how God deals with all men in grace since “He hath made Him to be sin for us” so that “we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” — after this great unfolding of what God, through Christ, has done for us, he urges individual acceptance of this great truth.

As “workers together with God,” the Apostle and his associates begged men not to “receive… the grace of God in vain,” but to trust Christ, each one as His own personal Savior, to apply His redemptive work to themselves.

And even at that early date in the history of the Church, the Apostle gave men to understand that there was no time to lose; the day of grace was not to last forever, but was to give place to the day of judgment and wrath.

If this was so then, how much more is it so now! God has been very longsuffering with the world. He has continued to deal with mankind in grace for nearly two thousand years but according to both Old Testament prophecy and Paul’s “mystery” He will judge this world for its rejection of Christ.

When will this happen? No one knows. It is the very essence of grace that no one knows when the dispensation of grace will end. It is grace, pure grace, on God’s part that causes Him to linger day after day in mercy toward a world that rejects Him.

Thus God’s messengers cannot offer even one more day of grace. We must say as St. Paul did: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
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« Reply #5073 on: November 12, 2018, 04:53:36 PM »

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Is the God of Islam the God of the Bible?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “Is the god of Islam the God of the Bible?”

There are countless ways to show that the god of Islam is not the God of the Bible, but since there are two faiths that have come from the Bible, Judaism and Christianity, let’s just consider two verses that show that the god of Islam differs from the God of both of these Bible faiths.

First, remember that the Lord told the Samaritan woman, “Ye worship ye know not what” (John 4:22). There was no creed on the planet at that time that was more similar to Judaism than the religion practiced by the Samaritans. There were countless similarities between the two faiths, and yet it was the Lord’s assertion that the Samaritans didn’t know what they were worshipping, any more than the pagans who worshipped “THE UNKNOWN GOD” at Athens (Acts 17:23). This indicated that, in His opinion, they did not worship the same God. So in view of the countless differences between Islam and Judaism, it is difficult to see how it can be said that Muslims worship the God of Judaism.

To this must be added the testimony of the Apostle Paul, who declared that “the things that the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice unto devils, and not to God” (I Cor. 10:20). From these words it seems clear that the gods of the different religions of the Gentiles were not the God of the Christian faith that God used him to establish here on earth (I Cor. 3:10). This is especially so when we consider that Paul was quoting Deuteronomy 32:16,17, where Moses called the gods of the heathen nations “strange gods…and devils…new gods that came newly up.”

In light of these two verses that show that the god of Islam is not the God of either of the two faiths of the Bible, it is certain that the god of Islam is not the God of the Bible. It is still true that “he that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father” (John 5:23), and “whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father” (I John 2:23). No faith that denies that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died to pay for the sins of all men can be said to worship the God of the Bible.
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« Reply #5074 on: November 13, 2018, 11:40:51 AM »

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Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


St. Paul wrote to Timothy, many centuries ago:

    “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3: 16).

The Apostle referred, of course, to the sacred Scriptures, also called The Bible and The Word of God. All of it, he says, is “God-breathed and profitable,” to “teach,” to “reprove,” to “correct” and to “instruct.”

But why, then, have so many heresies and false teachings sprung up through the years – all based upon the Bible? And why have so many thousands of sincere people been led astray by these false teachings?

The reason is that teachers and followers alike have failed to heed another important statement which Paul made in this same letter prior to his declaration that all Scripture is inspired of God and profitable. This statement is found in Chapter 2, Verse 15:

    “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”

The Bible can prove “profitable” to us only as we “rightly divide” it. We must rightly divide the Word of truth for the simple reason that if we do not do this we can pervert the truth and change it into error. Through the centuries God has periodically altered His dealings with mankind. Many religious rites which were commanded in Old Testament times are positively forbidden in this present dispensation of grace.

In Old Testament times, for example, animal sacrifices were required for acceptance with God, and from John the Baptist through Pentecost water baptism was required (Lev. 17:11; Mk. 1:4; Acts 2:38), but some years after the death of Christ Paul was sent forth with “the preaching of the cross,” and he declared that: “We have redemption through [Christ’s] blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7) “Being justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).
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« Reply #5075 on: November 14, 2018, 04:04:07 PM »

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In What Sense Did Christ Atone?
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


    “Paul states in Romans 5:11: ‘And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.’ In what sense did Christ atone for our sins?”

This passage is one of many in our English translation of the Scriptures where it is necessary to consult the original language to ensure we have the proper sense of what the apostle was seeking to convey. When we do so, we find that the Greek word katallage or “reconciliation” is used. It is understandable that the KJV translators used the term atonement because in their day the term meant “agreement, concord, or reconciliation after enmity or controversy.”

For the sake of clarification, in contemporary language the word atonement obscures the meaning of the passage. The emphasis of Paul’s special revelation here is on reconciliation, not atonement, as confirmed by the Greek text. The Hebrew word kaphar, translated “atonement” in the Old Testament meant “to cover.” Hence, the blood of bulls and goats merely covered the sins of those in Old Testament times; it didn’t have the efficacy to remove them.

    “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (Heb. 10:11).

Through the forbearance of God those sins that were atoned for in time past are now removed on the basis of the shed blood of Christ (Rom. 3:25). Today, Paul teaches us that we are freely justified and forgiven by the blood of Christ: “Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom. 5:9). In other words, the blood of Christ doesn’t atone for our sins, it actually cleanses them forevermore.

In the context of the above passage, the apostle was instructing the Romans that it is a source of joy to know that we are at peace with God (Rom. 5:1), seeing that we have accepted His gracious offer of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:18). The subject of Romans 5:11 is reconciliation, not atonement.
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« Reply #5076 on: November 15, 2018, 04:56:38 PM »

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The Holy Spirit At Pentecost
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The one hundred twenty disciples in the Upper Room had, of course, been much like any other group of believers in history. They had not all been equally spiritual or devoted, or faithful. Some had been more so than others, and where some had excelled in one virtue, others had excelled in another. Yet now they were all FILLED with the Spirit, from the least to the greatest of them.

The thoughtful student of Scripture will, of course, ask why all these believers were now filled with the Holy Spirit. Was it, perhaps, because they, as a group, had been more godly than those before them? The gospel records prove that this is not so. Peter boasted, Thomas doubted, James and John sought personal gain, and when our Lord was taken prisoner, “they all forsook Him and fled.”

Was it then because they had prayed long enough or earnestly enough for the Spirit to come upon them and take control? No; they had been instructed to go to Jerusalem, not to pray for the Holy Spirit to come, as some suppose, but to “wait for the [fulfillment of the] promise” regarding the Spirit (Acts 1: 4,5) — and right here is the answer to our question.

The believers at Pentecost were filled with the Holy Spirit, not because they had prayed long or earnestly enough for the Spirit to come, but because the time had arrived for the fulfillment of the divine promise. The Old Testament prophets and the Lord Jesus had promised that the Holy Spirit should some day come to take control of God’s people (Ezek. 36:26,27), and that day had come. They were filled with the Spirit because God, according to His promise, had baptized them with the Spirit (Acts 1:5).
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« Reply #5077 on: November 16, 2018, 04:46:19 PM »

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What About 'Heaven Is For Real'?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


Back in 2014, a popular film called Heaven Is For Real told the story of a 3-year-old boy who had a near-death experience.  Afterwards he told his parents stories about his trip to Heaven.  This story is often touted as “proof” that Heaven is real.

But as the Lord said, “no man hath ascended up to heaven” (John 3:13). We know that later, when Paul was stoned to death (Acts 14:19), he was “caught up to the third heaven” (II Cor. 12:2), but this was so he could continue to “come to visions and revelations of the Lord” (v. 1). Now that the Bible is complete, there is no need of any further revelations from God, and so there is no need for anyone to be caught up to heaven and return.

The only reliable information about heaven is found in God’s Word. After describing the vision of the kingdom of heaven that the Lord gave him, Peter added that the Word of God was “more sure” than what he had seen with his own eyes (II Pet. 1:16-19).

It’s tempting to think that this boy’s experience will persuade people to believe, but Abraham was right: “if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31).
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« Reply #5078 on: November 17, 2018, 05:09:25 PM »

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The Holy Spirit Today
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The believers at Pentecost “were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4), but the Apostle Paul never anywhere says that all the members of the Body of Christ are filled with the Holy Spirit. It is surely clear from the record that the Corinthians and the Galatians, for example, were not filled with the Spirit, for Paul’s letters to these churches contain much of rebuke and correction. And it is also evident that believers today are not — even the best of them — wholly filled with the Spirit. The filling with the Spirit is now a goal, an attainment, which the Apostle, by inspiration, sets before us. We are not all filled with the Spirit as a matter of fact, as were the Pentecostal believers. While the Spirit does indeed dwell within us by God’s grace, we must daily appropriate His help by faith.

Hence the Apostle now exhorts believers: “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18) just as he exhorts them and prays for them, that they may be “filled with the fruits of righteousness” (Phil. 1:11); “filled with the knowledge of His will” (Col. 1:9); “filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:19), yet none of us have been filled with any of these.

The reason why we are not automatically filled with the Spirit is another matter, but let the reader not fail to first recognize the fact that while the believers gathered in the upper room at Pentecost were all filled with the Spirit, the believers under Paul, and since that time, have not all been filled with the Spirit. Moreover, while it is distinctly stated, again and again, that the Pentecostal believers were, or were to be, baptized with the Spirit, not once does Paul in his epistles teach that members of the Body of Christ are baptized with or in the Spirit. Instead he exhorts them to appropriate God’s grace by faith so that they may be filled with the Spirit.
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« Reply #5079 on: November 18, 2018, 03:52:07 PM »

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Enemies Reconciled To God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “When we were enemies” (Rom.5:10).

Think of it! God has good news for us even in our willfulness, our enmity against Him! “When we were enemies”, says Paul, “We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son”.

Here we can almost hear some reader object: “Of all things, don’t charge me with being an enemy of God. I’m a religious person, I go to church regularly, I even give to the church”. Ah, but God does not say that the unsaved are not religious. Perhaps 999 out of 1,000 are religious. The point is that by your ungodly, sinful life, and certainly by rejecting God’s gift of salvation, you have made yourself an enemy of God. You may not be an enemy against the “God” you have conjured up in your own mind, but you are certainly an enemy against God, the God of the Bible.

But despite all this God still sends His ambassadors out to offer reconciliation to all His enemies everywhere — “by the death of His Son”. Think of it! We who believe are reconciled to God, not by some effort or payment offered by us to placate God, but “by the death of HIS Son”. He bore the enmity as His own creatures mocked Him, spat in His face and nailed Him to a tree. This is grace indeed! And this is not all, for the whole passage reads:

    “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

    “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement [Lit., reconciliation]” (Rom.5: 10,11).

The argument of this passage is that if, as His enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more “being reconciled”, we may be assured that our living Savior will keep us safe. And not only are believers safe in Christ, but all the while we “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received”, not only help in our helplessness, or the forgiveness of our sins, but “the reconciliation”, by which we are brought nigh to God and experience His love toward us.
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« Reply #5080 on: November 19, 2018, 04:57:59 PM »

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The Teaching Of Self-esteem

by Pastor Paul M. Sadler
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Scripture Reading:

    “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince [refute] the gainsayers.” — Titus 1:9

Satan never rests in his insatiable desire to corrupt the Word of God. A case in point is the present-day teaching of self-love, self-esteem and self-worth. The influence of this unsound doctrine has nearly permeated every strata of Christendom, including the Grace Movement. Like the beat of a drum, this theme is heard almost constantly from the pulpits of America and frequently appears on the pages of Christian literature. Beware when you hear or read: “It is important to feel good about yourself,” “Learn to love yourself,” “Probe your innermost self to understand why you think and feel as you do,” “God sent His son to die for you because you are of great value.”

On the surface these phrases may seem commendable, but in reality they are diametrically opposed to the Scriptures. The above has been weighed in the balance and found to be wanting. For example: “The heart [innermost self]is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). Paul concurred when he said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh, [old nature or self]) dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18).

The old man (self) is at enmity against God. He hates God and the things of God and left to himself he will not seek God. The Scriptures, from beginning to end, speak with a unified voice that the old nature is rotten to the core (See Rom. 3:9-18).

Consequently, our old man (self) has been crucified with Christ. Paul made reference to this when he wrote to the Galatians, “I am crucified with Christ [i.e. his old man]: nevertheless I live [Paul’s new nature]; yet NOT I [self], but Christ liveth in me.” We are to put off the old nature and put on the new, which is created in holiness and righteousness (Eph. 4:22-24). It is futile to improve one’s self- image, especially since God abhors any attempt to do so. Rather, we are to conform ourselves to the image of His dear Son. Thus, those of the household of faith are to live accordingly:

    “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let us esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:3-5).

Self takes great pleasure in acclaim, indulgence, approval and praise. It glories in all these things. But are we not robbing God when self is esteemed more highly than His glory?

    “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, AND YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Cor. 6:19,20).

Shall we permit the “love of one’s self” doctrine to overshadow the love of God in Christ Jesus? God forbid! May God help us to stand against this insidious teaching that essentially robs God of the glory that is rightfully due Him.
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« Reply #5081 on: November 20, 2018, 04:19:22 PM »

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The Love Of The Truth
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In II Thes. 2:10 St. Paul declares that the apostates of the coming age will “perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they may be saved.” This is something worth considering very seriously.

God calls this present dispensation “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2). During this dispensation faithful Christians are proclaiming “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). This is the message of God’s grace and love in giving Christ to die for our sins so that we might be saved from its penalty and power.

All, however, do not believe this glorious message or accept God’s grace in Christ. These, the Apostle declares, will be left behind when our Lord comes, at the close of this dispensation, to receive His own to Himself. Because they rejected the truth, and the love it proclaimed, God will give them up “that they might believe a lie,” and put their faith in Antichrist, “that they all might be damned who believed not the truth” (II Thes. 2:8-12).

It was infinite love that brought Christ to Calvary to suffer shame and disgrace for our sins, and this love is being proclaimed in this dispensation of grace. But this dispensation may be brought to a close at any time and bring in the day of God’s wrath. How important then to accept God’s love, and trust His Son without delay!

    “Behold, now is the accepted time… Behold now is the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:2).

If you do not trust Christ as your Lord and Savior now and you are caught unawares and lost for all eternity, you will never be able to say, “It was because God did not choose to save me.” Whatever all the reasons involved in His electing grace, He does not accept the responsibility for your rejection of Christ. He says that the unsaved will perish “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Don’t gamble with the future. Receive God’s gift of salvation now through faith in Christ.
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« Reply #5082 on: November 21, 2018, 05:11:28 PM »

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God's Power Perfected In Weakness
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


To Paul was committed the greatest revelation of all time. He was divinely commissioned to proclaim the glorious all-sufficiency of Christ’s redemptive work. He made known God’s offer of salvation by free grace to all who trust in Christ, along with their heavenly position, blessings and prospect in Christ.

Lest he should become puffed up by the glory of these great truths, God gave him what he called “a thorn in the flesh,” an aggravating physical infirmity of some sort. “For this thing,” he says, “I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me” (II Cor. 12:8). But the Lord knew better than Paul what was good for him:

    “And He said unto me. My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (Ver. 9).

How right God was! Every Christian knows that with brimming health and “good fortune” comes the tendency to forget our need of Him, while infirmity causes us to lean harder and to pray more, and this is where our spiritual power lies. Every believer should acknowledge this and say with Paul:

    “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities… for when I am weak, then am I strong” (Vers. 9,10).

Infirmities of the flesh are common even among God’s choicest saints. What satisfaction there is, then, in resting upon God’s Word: “My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
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« Reply #5083 on: November 23, 2018, 01:30:25 PM »

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Liberty -- How Precious!
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


We were interested to read, recently, about the man in California who ran short of grazing land for his herd of 13 buffalo. To solve this problem he put them on a barge and took them over to a large island in Lake Berryessa where there was lots of pasture. But what did the buffalo do? They jumped back into the lake, swam to shore and began charging fishermen and chasing automobiles — so enraged were they at being imprisoned on an island!

After all, neither man nor beast enjoys bondage, though many of us are in fact enslaved.

Our Lord said in John 8:32: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” To this the religious leaders replied: “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free?” But our Lord answered: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (Ver. 34). St. Paul says the same thing in Rom. 6:16:

    “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

Sad to say, many sincere religious people think that they can free themselves from sin by putting themselves in bondage to the Law, the Ten Commandments. This never works, for the Law can only condemn the sinner. Rom. 3:19,20 declares that the Law was given “that every mouth may be stopped and that all the world may be brought in guilty before God… for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Again we have to turn to Christ for salvation and true liberty. He “died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3) and has “redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Gal. 3:13).

Having believed this and trusted Christ as Savior, true Christians serve the Lord, not from fear, or to gain favor, but out of sheer love and gratitude. This is true liberty and this service is the only kind that God desires from us. Probably no man ever served the Lord more sincerely or tirelessly than the Apostle Paul. In II Cor. 5:14 he gives us the secret: “The love of Christ constraineth us…”
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« Reply #5084 on: November 23, 2018, 01:33:47 PM »

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Cremation
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


    “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” — Psalm 90:10

With the rising cost of funerals these days many families are faced with the decision as to whether or not cremation should be considered as a viable option to burial. Many have concluded that this is an acceptable alternative since the matter is not addressed in Paul’s epistles, and we are living under grace. While there does seem to be liberty here, perhaps it is the better part of wisdom to consult the whole counsel of God.

In Biblical times cremation of the body was primarily identified with the pagan nations of the world. According to the Old Testament there were a few isolated occurrences of this practice, although they always seem to be associated with judgment or cases of emergency rather than merely disposing of the body (Josh. 7:25,26; I Sam. 31:6-13).

Consequently, cremation was more the exception than the rule.

Throughout the Scriptures it is said that they buried their dead.

    “Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah…”

    “Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.”

    “And the young men arose, wound him [Ananias] up, and carried him out, and buried him.”

In keeping with the Word of God, we believe it is preferable to bury our loved ones even though we may have liberty to do otherwise. Of course, the additional financial burden can be eased by planning ahead for our inevitable departure. The services that normally accompany a funeral bring the unsaved face to face with their own mortality.

Thus, the occasion, heartbreaking as it may be, has often been used of the Lord to bring many sons to glory. Whatever your conviction may be on the matter, it is important to heed the words of the Apostle Paul:

    “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Rom. 14:5).
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