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nChrist
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« Reply #5220 on: April 11, 2019, 06:10:53 PM »

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Rescued!
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


I am sure we have all stood breathless as we have watched rescue efforts being undertaken by daring men. One of the more memorable rescues of late has been that of little Jessica McClure from a well shaft in Texas. Jessica had accidentally fallen into an abandoned well shaft and was trapped for two and one-half days without food or water. With her fragile life hanging in the balance, rescue workers labored tirelessly around the clock to free that precious little soul from danger. The heroic efforts of those men and women will be remembered for many years to come. After all, they saved a life.

Another rescue effort that is above all others and deserves our special attention is when God rescued us from the depths of iniquity. Ever since the Fall all of us have staggered under the terrible penalty of sin; sin, that would have sunk a world to the blackness of hell forever. But, while we were under the sentence of condemnation God undertook the greatest rescue effort this world has ever known.

THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

    "In whom we have redemption through His blood…" (Eph. 1:7).

It is important to notice Paul's emphasis here on the person of Christ as he uses phrases such as "In Whom" and "His blood." Why did God send His only begotten Son to redeem us? Why didn't He call on someone from the human race? You see, one from the human race could never save us because sin has condemned the entire race. The testimony of Scripture is true, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). I could not possibly die for your sins, because I have sins of my own that placed me under the sentence of death. I could not redeem you nor could you redeem me, because we are all in the same boat and it is sinking from the weight of our iniquity.

Understanding that the "wages of sin is death," we conclude that death had absolutely no claims on Christ. But who is this hanging on the Cross writhing in the agony of pain? Why, it is the form of one dying, whose visage is marred beyond recognition--dying for us! To our amazement, it is God's only begotten Son! But this cannot be. He knew no sin; death cannot claim this Holy One of God! True, except for the fact that He was not dying for His own sins, but rather, for our transgressions. Our sins were transferred to Christ and the wrath of God fell upon His Son who voluntarily died our death.

So then, we have redemption through Christ's shed blood. Spiritually speaking, His precious blood cleanses us from the disease of sin that plagues us. Christ was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

HOW TO BE SAVED

Have you submitted yourself to God's wonderful rescue operation? Dear sinner friend, won't you come to Calvary? It was there that God reconciled the world to Himself. In His infinite love He provided a plan of salvation based on the precious shed blood of His Son. Please bear in mind that, "you must come to Christ in God's way!" He will not accept your good works, church membership, baptism or confirmation. If these things could save us, then Christ died in vain. It was because these things were not acceptable in themselves that God sent His Son to earth to die for the sins of the world.

Lay hold of the Savior, for only He can rescue you from eternal condemnation and bring you safely to the shores of eternal life. Simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died for your sins, was buried and rose again the third day (I Cor. 15:1-4).

Do you have questions about your salvation? Contact us using our Ask A Question page and we would love to share with you more about what God’s Word has to say.
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« Reply #5221 on: April 11, 2019, 06:12:51 PM »

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An Apostle According to the Truth
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    "Paul...an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to...the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness" (Tit. 1:1).

There's a reason why Paul says he was made an apostle according to "the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness." It is because if you're after godliness in your life, that is, if godliness is your life's goal, you need to follow the truth that is after godliness.

Now, the truth that is after godliness used to be the Law of Moses. Under the Law, if you kept the sabbath, and kept Israel's seven feasts, and didn't eat unclean foods, and did all the other things the Law demanded of you, you were godly. But the Law is not the truth that makes men godly in the dispensation of grace, and Paul was made an apostle to get men to acknowledge that dispensational change.

The word acknowledge means to admit that something is true--usually something that you don't want to admit is true! For instance, no one likes to acknowledge it when they've sinned against God (cf. Hos. 5:15), and many people don't like to admit that the Law is no longer the truth that makes men godly either. Here at Berean Bible Society, we often hear from people who tell us that we are not godly because we don't insist that men keep the sabbath (cf. Col. 2:16), and because we don't call food that God has cleansed unclean (Acts 10:15). Those things used to constitute godliness under the Law, but they don't under grace!

Godliness today doesn't consist of resting on the sabbath, it consists of resting in the work that the Lord Jesus Christ did for us on the cross! The sabbath was just a type, a symbol, of such rest. Godliness today also no longer consists of viewing certain foods as unclean. The only reason it was godly under the Law to view certain foods as unclean was because under the Law certain people were unclean--the Gentiles (Lev. 20:24,25 cf. Acts 10:15,28). So godliness today consists of recognizing that we have the liberty to eat foods that were once unclean because we recognize that Gentiles are no longer unclean in God's sight.

In addition, while observing Israel's feasts made a man godly under the Law, godliness today understands that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law's seven feasts. "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (I Cor. 5:7), so there is no need for us to keep the feast of passover. And because Christ our passover is sacrificed for us, "we have now received the atonement" (Rom. 5:11), so we don't have to observe the Day of Atonement either.

In short, "the truth which is after godliness" has undergone a dispensational change from what it was under the Law to what it is today under grace. And Paul was made an apostle to get men to acknowledge that dispensational change. If you will acknowledge it, I guarantee it will revolutionize your Christian life, and make you eternally glad you did!
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« Reply #5222 on: April 12, 2019, 04:25:10 PM »

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True Blessedness
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


It has been said that the word “blessed,” in our English Bible, simply means happy. Thus the “blessed man” of Psalm 1 is a happy man and the “blessed God” of I Tim. 1:11 is a happy God. (We refer to the Hebrew and Greek words most often rendered blessed).

To say the least, this is a superficial understanding — or misunderstanding — of one of the most wonderful words of Scripture. A fool can be happy, a drunkard can be happy, a wicked man can be happy, but none of these are truly blessed, for one who is blessed has a deeply valid reason to rejoice.

Thus Psa. 1:1,2 says that the man who shuns “the counsel of the ungodly ,” “the way of sinners” and “the seat of the scornful” and meditates and delights in the law of God, is “blessed.” He is well off and has great reason to rejoice.

Few, of course, would dare to claim that they have fully lived up to this passage in the Psalms, but God’s Word has good news even for such. In Romans 4:6-8, St. Paul declares:

    “David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

This blessedness is not a mere feeling of happiness. It is rather the state of being well off; with a deep and abiding reason to rejoice.

Thus Psalm 40:4 says: “Blessed is that man who maketh the Lord his trust,” and when the Galatians stopped trusting completely in the Lord and began leaning on their own works, the Apostle asked them: “Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?” (Gal. 4:15).

Thus to be truly blessed is to be well off; with the greatest possible reason to rejoice. This is why the believer in Christ, saved and eternally safe in Him, is, like God Himself, “blessed for evermore.”
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« Reply #5223 on: April 13, 2019, 01:40:43 PM »

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The God Who Sings
by Pastor Kevin Sadler


    "Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart...the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee...The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing" (Zeph. 3:14-17).

The majority of the book of Zephaniah rumbles with judgment and doom, but it culminates with joy and deliverance. The prophecy builds to a crescendo at the end, as within the kingdom of heaven on the earth there will be cause for great joy. The reason for their joy is that "the King of Israel, even the Lord" is in Israel's midst. Christ's personal presence among Israel in the kingdom on earth, reigning over them as her King, will be the cause for their greatest joy. Because of this, Israel is told to sing, shout, be glad and rejoice with all her heart.

Paul tells the Church, the Body of Christ to "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice" (Phil. 4:4). The Lord is the reason for our joy and gladness. We too sing because of the Lord. Colossians 3:16 tells us to be "singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." We sing to the Lord out of our joy because of Him and all He has done for us.

Within the kingdom on earth, Israel is told also that the Lord will rejoice over them. "He will rest in His love," speaks of a still, silent joy by the Lord for Israel, but then He will break the silence with singing in His joy over His people!

The Lord loves us, the Body of Christ, just as much as He loves Israel. Out of His infinite love for you and me, He rejoices over us also with a joy so strong that it would cause Him to sing over us. It reminds us how the love of Christ "passeth knowledge" (Eph. 3:19). The Lord loves us so deeply that He willingly gave His life on the Cross for our sins. When we place our faith in Christ and that He died for us and rose again, we are saved, and we rejoice in the Lord always who fully purchased our salvation. But our Savior also rejoices over us that we belong to Him eternally. The voice of God that created all things, stilled the storm, and will raise the dead at the Rapture; that voice sings over His deep joy for His redeemed. One day in glory we will hear the God who sings.
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« Reply #5224 on: April 14, 2019, 02:29:37 PM »

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The Eyes Of The Lord
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him” (II Chron. 16:9).

The meaning of this famous passage of Scripture is clear, and its truth has been demonstrated a thousand times over. God is constantly searching, as it were, for men whom He can bless and use in the fulfilling of His purposes, but for whom, and through whom, does He accomplish His ends?

He does not need the world’s influential giants, for He says in Zech. 4:6: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” He does not need the world’s great thinkers, for our Lord, while on earth, prayed: “Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight” (Matt. 11:25,26). Indeed, St. Paul declares, in I Cor. 3:19: “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”

No, it is not upon the world’s great ones that God bestows His blessing and power; it is rather upon the humblest believer whose heart is right with Him. Thus it is that by divine inspiration St. Paul wrote to those in ancient Corinth who had trusted Christ as their Savior:

    “Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory [boast] in His presence” (I Cor. 1:26-29).

To those of us who believe that God created the Universe from naught all this is perfectly consistent and it gives us confidence that He can bless and use even us.
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« Reply #5225 on: April 15, 2019, 11:28:15 PM »

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God, Who Cannot Lie, Promised
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “In hope of eternal life, which GOD, WHO CANNOT LIE, PROMISED…” (Titus 1:2).

In the Mediterranean Sea there lies an island which in Paul’s day had a very bad reputation. It’s name is Crete. To Titus, a pastor sent to evangelize the inhabitants, the Apostle Paul wrote: “One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said. The Cretians are always liars…” (Titus 1:12), and he added: “This witness is true” (Ver. 13). Paul knew this to be a fact, for he had labored among them. Indeed, even secular history bears witness to this trait of the Cretians, for we are told that in ancient times to call a man a Cretian was to call him a liar.

How wonderful that St. Paul had succeeded in establishing a few small Christian assemblies on this island and that Titus was now laboring there as his successor! And how reassuring that to Titus and these few believers, surrounded on every hand by people who could not be trusted, Paul could write about “eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised”!

    “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken and shall He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19).

Thank God, millions have trusted His Word, especially about salvation through the all-sufficient and finished work of redemption wrought by Christ at Calvary, and they have found it to be blessedly true.

In dozens of passages of Scripture God has promised eternal life to those who trust in Christ and His payment for sin. “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3). “[He] was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Take Him at His Word; His promise is good. “GOD, WHO CANNOT LIE, PROMISED.”
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« Reply #5226 on: April 16, 2019, 04:15:40 PM »

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Washed, Sanctified And Justified
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (I Cor. 6:11).

The preceding verses of I Cor. 6 contain a long list of vile sins and vices into which men have fallen, and the Apostle adds:

“And such were some of you.” God’s Church is not made up of “good people” who have never fallen into sin. It is rather made up of sinners, saved by grace, through the infinite payment made for sin by Christ on Calvary’s cross.

“And such were some of you.” Had the Apostle included the more “refined” sins, such as pride, self-righteousness, etc., he would have had to say: “And such were all of you.”

Note further, however, that the Apostle says: “And such were some of you.” Thank God, he goes on to say of those who had been thus stained with sin: “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

How beautiful these three phrases: “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified”! The word “but” appearing before each phrase indicates that each should be considered separately. Such vile creatures were some of you, “but ye are washed,” cleansed from the sins that contaminated you. “But ye are sanctified.” Having been cleansed you are now set apart as sacred for His glory. “But ye are justified.” When God justifies us, who can condemn?

    “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth?”

All this is done for the believing sinner, as our verse says, “in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
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« Reply #5227 on: April 17, 2019, 03:47:21 PM »

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The God of All Comfort
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


(An excerpt from Revelation Volume 3 by Paul M. Sadler)

    "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Cor. 1:3,4).

Whatever trials and sorrows you may encounter in life, God wants you to know that He is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. But exactly how does the Lord comfort us in our time of need? He does so in unique ways in this administration of Grace.

It is comforting to know that, because we have a personal relationship with Christ, we can speak with our heavenly Father about all the things that are on our hearts. Prayer is communication with God. It's the channel through which the finite has access to the infinite. Having been accepted in God's beloved Son, we have access to talk with God at any time. Moreover, when we meditate on the Scriptures, God often comforts us through His written Word.

Oftentimes, the Lord consoles us by bringing someone into our lives to encourage us. Many times it is a believer who has experienced the same adversity that we are facing. The world can be unmerciful in its attacks when we faithfully stand for the truth. This accounts for some of the sufferings we endure for the cause of Christ.

Then there are those occasions when we are comforted by the arrival of good news. Perhaps it takes the form of diagnostic tests that come back negative, or an answer to prayer.

It is also comforting to know that the Lord's people are keeping us before the throne of Grace in our hour of need. It's reassuring to realize that we do not need to bear our burdens alone.

When finally we are delivered from our affliction, whatever form it may take, we are given a very special ministry by God. We are now in the position to comfort those who are hurting. The Lord doesn't comfort us merely to be comfortable, but that we might also comfort others. Having passed through affliction ourselves, we are able to relate better to what someone else is facing.

I remember making a hospital visit when one of the brethren from our local assembly stopped by. During the course of the conversation, he shared how, years earlier, he had had the same surgery that the one we were visiting was going to have. Almost immediately he had the patient's undivided attention. Nothing I would've said could have ministered more effectively than the testimony of that dear brother in Christ.

Consider for a moment the greatness of God. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things in heaven and earth. When we peer into the night sky, we see His handiwork; the heavens are immense and reflect His glory (Psa. 19:1). The galaxies of stars that dot the heavens, He created and gave each of them a name. Such power and knowledge, as David said, is beyond our comprehension (Psa. 139:1-6; 147:5). But this same God, who is above all, has taken a personal interest in you and me (Psa. 8:4). That's grace!

Like the weaver who weaves a beautiful tapestry, God is methodically creating for the Church today an image of His divine purpose. Because we are currently on the wrong side of eternity, things can be difficult to understand. But soon all things will be made clear when we are caught up into the glory of His presence and see the finished tapestry of His grace.
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« Reply #5228 on: April 18, 2019, 02:11:05 PM »

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If Paul Wrote a Letter to Your Church
by Pastor Kevin Sadler


    "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thes. 1:1).

In 2 Thessalonians 1:1, it's interesting to note that unlike other letters of Paul, he adds nothing to his name. He doesn’t say, "Paul, called to be an apostle"; "Paul, an apostle...by the will of God"; "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ." Those familiar things by which he designates himself are omitted here.

By this he's showing that his apostleship, his call, role, title, leadership and office were not in question among the Thessalonian church, so he didn't need to make any reference to it. But Paul's apostleship is constantly in question today, despite his words in Romans 11:13:

    "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office."

Paul is the apostle of the nations, the Gentiles. Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, magnifies his office. We are to do the same. Paul was called by the will of God for this dispensation of grace. He was called to be an apostle for Christ to reveal to him the revelation of the mystery, the body of truth for this age, and for God to reveal His Son in him according to Christ's heavenly ministry today.

Paul is the one apostle of this dispensation. He is our apostle. Christ has revealed His will through Paul's thirteen letters for us to know what is Christ's mind, will, and heart for His Church, the Body of Christ, under grace. Is there confusion about Paul's role in your church? Perhaps your church knows Paul is our apostle, but makes no mention of it? If Paul wrote a letter to your church, how would he address it?
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« Reply #5229 on: April 20, 2019, 04:16:30 PM »

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Hands Up!
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting" (I Timothy 2:8).

I'm often asked if Paul meant we should literally lift our hands when we pray. Since this is how David prayed (Ps. 141:2), we know there's nothing wrong with doing so, as long as you understand what Paul meant when he stipulated that the hands you lift in prayer must be "holy."

I say that because some think that Paul is referencing the Law, where God vowed He wouldn't hear His people if the hands they lifted in prayer weren't holy:

    "...when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood" (Isa. 1:15 cf. Ps. 66:18).

But this cannot be what Paul had in mind here, for "we are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:15). Sin does not hinder your prayers in the dispensation of grace, but all who love the Lord will be careful not to presume upon God's grace by continuing in sin that grace may abound (Rom. 6:1,2).

But this means there must be some other reason the apostle speaks of lifting up holy hands, and there is. You see, in the context, Paul has just finished instructing us to pray "for kings, and for all that are in authority" (I Tim. 2:1,2). So Paul is actually saying that the hands you lift in prayer to pray for our leaders in government must not be involved in any unholy subversive activities against the leaders in government for whom you are praying, leaders to whom God says we should be subject (Titus 3:1) without resisting (Rom. 13:1-7).

This is also why Paul says men should pray "without wrath and doubting" (I Tim. 2:8). Some would connect his words here to the kingdom program, where the Lord told the Jews to whom He ministered, (See Matthew 15:24 and Romans 15:8.) "when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any" (Mark 11:25). There was certainly no room for wrath in an instruction like that! They were also told,

    "Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart... he shall have whatsoever he saith... what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:23,24).

But every believer who has ever prayed without doubting, only to not receive whatsoever he prayed for, knows that we are not under God's kingdom program for Israel any more than we are under the Law that He gave them. So these references to wrath and doubting under the kingdom program cannot be what Paul had in mind when he said to pray "without wrath and doubting."

Rather, in the context, Paul is directing us to pray for our leaders in government without the wrath toward them that was probably so common among God's people in Paul's day that the apostle had to address it. Even today, believers are continuously angry with our leaders, and always doubting their ability to lead us. So Paul's instruction that we should pray for them "without wrath and doubting" is as needful today as it was the day those words left his pen. So instead of railing on our leaders, beloved, let's pray for them.
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« Reply #5230 on: April 20, 2019, 04:18:00 PM »

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The Christian Home
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).

There is no place in all this world so wholesome and refreshing as a Christian home, a home where Christ is truly loved and honored.

This writer was brought up in such a home. There were ten of us: dad, mother and eight children. There was lots going on all the time, but a truly happy home it was, for dad and mother never let us get so busy with temporal things that we brushed eternal values aside.

On the basis that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4), we read some small portion of the Bible before every meal, and had family devotions before retiring at night.

Result: all eight children have blessed the dear dad and mother who led them aright, morally and spiritually, and best of all, taught them the importance of trusting in the Savior who died for all our sins. More: five of the children and many of the grandchildren have given themselves for full time Christian service, and have become pastors, college deans, Christian writers and missionaries in various parts of the world.

This is not because we are one whit better than others, but because we have experienced the help and grace of God in our lives. And it all began as, one day, a young American, like Joshua of old, came to a decision and declared:

    “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
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« Reply #5231 on: April 22, 2019, 02:36:50 PM »

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The Mighty Power Of God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In 1866 Alfred Nobel invented an explosive made of nitroglycerin absorbed in a porous material. It was by far the most powerful explosive that had so far been invented.

When Nobel and his friends saw what his invention could do, and had to decide on a name, they sought for the strongest possible word for power — in any language. The word they finally chose was the Greek word dunamis, from which our word dynamite is derived.

This word, in Greek also the strongest word for power, is used again and again in the New Testament and is generally translated simply “power”.

When our Lord wrought miracles, for example, St. Luke testifies that “the POWER [dunamis] of the Lord was present to heal” (Luke 5:17). In promising His apostles that they too would work miracles, He said: “Ye [shall] be endued with POWER [dunamis] from on high”(Luke 24:49).

When the Sadducees questioned the resurrection, Jesus answered: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the POWER [dunamis] of God” (Matt.22:29), and St. Paul declares that Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with POWER [dunamis]…by the resurrection from the dead”(Rom.1:4).

Using this same word, Paul, by inspiration, declares that “the gospel of Christ…is THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION, to every one that believeth…” (Rom. 1:16). This is because, according to this gospel, or good news, “CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS”, and “THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS”, he says, is to believers “THE POWER OF GOD”(ICor.1:18).

But not only are believers saved by the power of God; they are “KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD” (IPet. 1:5). Indeed, the adjective of this same word “dunamis” is used in Hebrews 7:25, where we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is “ABLE…TO SAVE…TO THE UTTERMOST [THOSE] THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM”. Thus the Bible uses the very strongest word for power to show how secure is the salvation of those who trust in Christ.
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« Reply #5232 on: April 22, 2019, 02:38:16 PM »

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He That Is Spiritual
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “He that is spiritual judgeth [discerneth] all things, yet he himself is judged [discerned] of no man” (I Cor. 2:15).

The truly spiritual man is so far above the wisest sages of this world, yes, so far above the mass of Christians with whom he comes into contact, that he can understand them, but they can never quite understand him.

We should all long to be truly spiritual, but what is true spirituality?

In the Pauline Epistles the human race is divided, by the Spirit, into four classes: the natural man, the babe in Christ, the carnal Christian, and the spiritual Christian.

All four of these are referred to in one passage of Scripture (I Cor. 2:14–3:4) and it should be noted that they are classified according to their ability to appreciate and assimilate “the things of God” as revealed in His Word.

Through diligent, prayerful study of the Word, and with a sincere desire to obey it, the spiritual man has come to know God and the Lord Jesus Christ more and more intimately. Babes in Christ and carnal believers about him cannot “discern” him, simply because they have not come to know God as he. But he, having grown to spiritual maturity, quite understands them. He is among those of whom it is written:

    “But strong meat [solid food] belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).
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« Reply #5233 on: April 23, 2019, 02:50:34 PM »

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Paul's Letter to the Romans
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


One of the most enlightening books of the Bible, and indeed of all literature, is St. Paul’s great Epistle to the Romans.

Paul was by nature and training a logician, perhaps the greatest logician of all time, and in this case his words were Spirit-inspired, so that we have in his Epistle to the Romans a powerful logical argument about God and man, condemnation and justification. It is wonderful thus to have God’s plan of salvation explained for us. This is all too lacking in modern evangelism.

The doctrinal argument of Romans begins with a demonstration of the moral depravity of man. It says, even to the self-righteous:

    “Thou art inexcusable…” (2:1).

The Apostle then goes on to show that the Law was given, not to help men to be good, but “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought in guilty before God” (3:19). The conclusion:

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

The Apostle presses his argument further by showing how the Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself as a satisfaction for sin that we might be “justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (3:24). His conclusion again:

    “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without [apart from] the deeds of the law” (3:28).

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

Next he shows how those who trust in Christ are “baptized into Christ” (6:3), made one with Him by faith. The final conclusion:

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

And the Apostle closes the doctrinal part of this great epistle by exclaiming:

    “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? …Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (8:33,35).

Our advice to those who have questions about salvation: Study Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, thoughtfully and prayerfully.
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« Reply #5234 on: April 24, 2019, 05:06:02 PM »

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Rebellion Against Pauline Authority
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


One of the chief reasons why so many sincere religious people are left in doubt and uncertainty as to salvation is because the organized Church has rebelled against a distinct and important revelation from God to us who live in this present age. This revelation is found in the inspired words of Paul, in Rom. 11:13:

    “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles. I magnify mine office.”

Many minimize that which the Word of God magnifies here. They insist upon following Peter rather than Paul, failing to see that Peter’s authority concerned the now-rejected kingdom of Christ on earth over Israel and the nations. Our Lord had said to His twelve apostles:

    “Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, YE ALSO SHALL SIT UPON TWELVE THRONES, JUDGING THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL” (Matt. 19:28).

Surely there are no twelve tribes in the Church today, nor was any provision, specific or implied, made by our Lord for “apostolic succession.” This dogma is built upon the unscriptural assumption that the Church today is the kingdom which Christ established when on earth, and that our ministry today is but a perpetuation of that which the twelve began.

The fact is that the ministry of the twelve was halted by the rejection of the King and His kingdom and that the apostles themselves finally agreed to turn their proposed Gentile ministry over to Paul, that other apostle, to whom had been committed “the gospel of the grace of God” (Read carefully, Gal. 2:2-9 and Acts 20:24).

If only the confused religious masses could see that when Israel joined the Gentiles in rebellion against God, when the world’s sin had risen to its height and all was ready for judgment, God revealed “the exceeding riches of His grace” by saving Saul, the chief of sinners, and sending him forth as both the herald and the living example of His grace! Thus he writes:

    “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound, BUT WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND: “THAT AS SIN HATH REIGNED UNTO DEATH, EVEN SO MIGHT GRACE REIGN, through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:20,21).
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