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nChrist
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« Reply #5250 on: May 12, 2019, 09:18:38 PM »

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Determining What is Acceptable to God
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


    "Living the Christian life can be challenging at times. How do we determine what is acceptable to God when there is no direct command of Christ?"

The Word of God is always relevant--it transcends the ages! If a particular matter isn't dealt with specifically in Paul's writings, we are to defer to a broader principle. For example, you may want to ask yourself the question, will my action or participation in something glorify God? If you have any reservations whatsoever, you are probably skating on thin ice. Paul says, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31).

Another principle to apply is to "prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil" (I Thes. 5:21,22). Proving has the sense of putting things to a test. If you are remodeling an old house and the steps going upstairs look unsafe, you naturally make sure that the steps will hold your weight before you attempt to ascend the stairs. We wouldn't think of placing ourselves in harm's way--the same should also be true of our spiritual life.

Test: Should we take possession of something that is not rightfully ours? To illustrate, what would you do if you came across a satchel of money sitting beside a park bench? Often, examining the conduct of a servant of God in such matters will help determine whether our actions will be acceptable to the Lord.

When the Apostle Paul won Onesimus to Christ at Rome he could have reasoned that since this runaway slave's slate was wiped clean from past offenses he would claim him as his own. After all, think how profitable Onesimus could have been to Paul in the work of the ministry. But Onesimus rightfully belonged to Philemon, so the aged apostle returned him, along with a letter, to allow his coworker in the faith to make that decision. In other words, he didn't simply assume his friend would understand, he did what was right. The Lord will handsomely reward Paul for his good deed at the Judgment Seat of Christ. What would you do if you found yourself in a similar set of circumstances?
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« Reply #5251 on: May 12, 2019, 09:20:12 PM »

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The Rest of the Story
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


During the Second World War, radio personality Paul Harvey began ending his daily newscast with a feature he called, "The Rest of the Story." These factual narratives always concluded with an interesting twist that made for a surprise ending. Listeners were often fascinated to learn that even when it came to stories with which they were familiar, there was always more to the story than what they had previously heard.

This is sometimes true of the greatest story ever told, the gospel of Jesus Christ. There may be more to the story than what you have heard in the past, and the part you may not have heard just might be the very thing that is keeping you from believing what the Bible says about how to be saved from your sins. Let's begin by reviewing the part you may have already heard, the part that maybe left you feeling skeptical about the Bible's plan of salvation.

The Bible clearly teaches that you cannot work your way to heaven by doing good works:

    "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).

Perhaps you've heard these verses before, and wondered, "Does that mean God does not want us to do good works?" Since this didn't seem to make any sense to you, maybe you chose not to believe what you considered to be such an unbelievable gospel.

If that's the case, it might comfort you to know that God knew in advance that people would wonder about this. That's why right after that verse we quoted that says salvation is "not of works," the next verse goes on to say that believers are "created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:9,10). If you are wondering what it means to be "created in Christ," remember that God created a creature named Adam in the beginning. Today, when someone believes the gospel, God makes him "a new creature" (II Corinthians 5:17). And just as God's first creature was created to do the good work of dressing and keeping the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15), believers in Christ are likewise "created in Christ Jesus unto good works." That is, while you cannot be saved from your sins by doing good works, once you are saved by grace, you'll want to do good works because you are saved (not in order to get saved) to express your gratitude to God for saving you.

We see the same thing in that other gospel verse we quoted, where right after saying that salvation is "not by works of righteousness which we have done" (Titus 3:5), Paul adds "that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works" (v. 8). Here again we see that after we are saved by grace through faith, God then reminds us to do the good works that we were created to do.

So you see, just because God does not ask you to do good works in order to be saved doesn't mean He doesn't want you to do good works! He just wants you to understand that good works come after salvation, not before. Most people get the cart before the horse, and you just can't get to heaven in a cart like that!

Does the gospel story seem a little more believable to you now? If so, you should know that while you can only be saved by believing, it is important to believe in the right thing! It is not enough just to believe in God, for "the devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2:19). It is not even enough to have faith in Christ; you must have "faith in His blood" (Romans 3:25). That is, you must believe that the blood He shed on the cross paid for all of your sins, and that you don't have to add a single good work to what He has already done on your behalf. Romans 4:5 says:

    "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

If you are still not sure how to be saved from the judgment of God on your sins, ask yourself this question. If you died today, and God asked, "Why should I let a sinner like you into My Heaven?" what would your answer be? If your answer is anything other than, "Christ died for my sins," or if you try to add your own good works to what Christ did for you on Calvary, then you are not fully trusting in His blood. Why not rather follow the advice of the Apostle Paul? When a man asked him, "What must I do to be saved?," Paul replied quite simply,

    "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:30,31).

And now you know the rest of the story!
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« Reply #5252 on: May 12, 2019, 09:21:52 PM »

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Are You Sure?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Would you like to have the knowledge, the assurance and the joy of sins forgiven? Would you like to be sure of heaven?

Well, the first step to heaven is to realize that you cannot get there by trying. You can’t walk there. You can’t climb there. You can’t fly there. Only God can take you there. Many try to earn heaven. They try to climb there on a ladder of good works. They talk about “adding another rung.” But look out for that good works ladder! It’s not anchored at the top and the higher you climb the farther you will fall.

God’s Word says that salvation is “the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9). He is not going to have boasters in heaven — there are enough of them on earth and nobody likes them.

All of us should realize that even the best of us are not good enough for heaven, for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), but in this same statement the Apostle Paul declares that believers in Christ, who died for our sins, are “justified freely by His [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).

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

So, friend, it is not by trying, or crying, or praying, or paying, or doing anything that you will reach heaven: it is only by believing. God says He loves sinners, and that Christ died for our sins. Will you believe this and trust Christ as your Savior? The terms are stated very plainly in John 3:35,36:

    “The Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into His hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
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« Reply #5253 on: May 14, 2019, 05:18:01 PM »

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Imitators
by Pastor John Fredericksen


A few weeks ago, when our grandson was about 27 months old, we noticed him doing something incredibly cute. He had put on his daddy's flip-flops (a size 12) and was proudly walking around the room with a big smile on his face. He has become a great, natural imitator of what he hears us say and sees us doing. This got me to thinking that even we adults usually imitate someone.

Once Israel was in their promised land, "the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations…" (I Sam. 8:19-20). This was an unwise decision on the part of Israel. God had been governing them through a series of judges who represented the Lord. These judges certainly were not perfect, but this had been God's design. Jehovah's response to their virtual demand to Samuel to give them a king was, "they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them" (I Sam. 8:7).

This pattern of imitating the world later worsened. "They rejected His [the Lord's] statutes, and His covenant…and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them" (II Kings 17:15). Throughout the Old Testament, God's people frequently became too close and familiar with the lost people around them. In the case of Lot, he first pitched his tent toward Sodom but before long he was living within the city and had completely lost his testimony. In other instances, Israel made treaties with the heathen nations, began to intermarry with them, and in short order began to worship their false gods. They were imitating the wrong things and the wrong people.

This same danger is still entrapping many believers in our day. Far too often, we are unduly influenced by the way the lost in our society talk, dress, think, and by what they embrace as acceptable, even when these things are clearly displeasing to the Lord. We believers are too often caught in the trap of being overly occupied with sports, recreation, leisure time, and hobbies to the neglect of spiritual things and the Lord's local work. The Lord has something far better in mind for us, and someone far better to imitate.

The Lord tells us in Romans 12:2: "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." As believers, our lives are to be so transformed that there is a marked difference between us and the unsaved. Our standard ought not to be what the world is doing, or what the latest fad dictates. Our standard should be what would please and honor the Lord. There is no virtue in being weird, strange, or odd. These things do not enhance our testimony or effectiveness as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nonetheless, we believers should be different from the world in many ways.

Believers do have someone they should be imitating. We should "mark them [godly believers] which walk so as ye have us for an ensample" (Phil. 3:17). Godly, knowledgeable Christians who followed
Paul as he followed Christ and are fervent in their walk with Christ are the ones we should imitate.
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« Reply #5254 on: May 14, 2019, 05:19:44 PM »

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The Bible Is For You
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


As we examine the Bible one fact stands out with particular emphasis and clarity: The Bible was written for the people, for the populace at large, not for some special class among them.

St. Paul addressed his epistles to both “laity” and “clergy”: “To all that be in Rome” (Rom. 12), “unto the church… at Corinth… with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” (I Cor. 1:2), “unto the churches of Galatia” (Gal. 1:2), “to all the saints… at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (Phil. 1:1), etc.

When Paul proclaimed the gospel at Berea his hearers did not take even this great apostle’s word for granted, but “searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so,” and for this God called them “noble” (Acts 17:11). They were the true spiritual aristocracy of their day. Our Lord, when on earth, encouraged — even challenged His audiences to “search the Scriptures” for themselves (John 5:39).

Indeed, since God has revealed Himself and His plan of salvation in the written Word, we are responsible, each one for himself, to study the Scriptures. When Dives begged Abraham to allow Lazarus to go and warn his five brothers about the horrors of Hades, Abraham replied: “They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them,” and when Dives urged that a word from Lazarus would be more effective, Abraham answered: “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:29-31).

Do not depend upon your clergyman to interpret the Scriptures for you but see for yourself what they say, for “every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12), and it will not be enough in that day to say: “But my minister or priest told me…” You are responsible to “search the Scriptures” for yourself to “see whether those things are so.”
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« Reply #5255 on: May 15, 2019, 01:06:49 PM »

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Keeping On An Even Keel
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Occasionally we receive letters on the importance of preaching a "well-rounded" message. One old friend wrote us recently to the effect that, unlike this writer, he sought to keep on "an even keel" in his ministry, not just preaching the mystery revealed to Paul, but the whole Bible, and opposing fluoridations, communism, modernism and all that he felt was opposed to the truth.

Now we too seek to proclaim a "well-rounded" message and to keep on "an even keel," but what does this involve? Is one who consistently proclaims the mystery lopsided or unbalanced in the message? Were the twelve apostles off balance when they proclaimed "the gospel of the kingdom"? Of course not, for this is what they were sent to proclaim (Luke 9:1-6).

And neither are we off balance or lopsided in our ministry when we consistently proclaim what Paul called "my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery" (Rom. 16:25), for this is our gospel too.

This does not mean that we are to preach only from the Pauline epistles. Far from it. But it does mean that we should make sure that our hearers are well-grounded in the Pauline epistles and that when we preach from other parts of the Bible we should relate it to the mystery, God's message for today.

When the twelve apostles preached from the Old Testament Scriptures, they preached Christ according to the revelation of prophecy. But Paul's "gospel" was "the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery." Hence when we preach from the Old Testament Scriptures, we should preach Christ "according to the revelation of the mystery," applying, relating, comparing, and contrasting God's programs for other dispensations with His program for the dispensation of grace. This is exactly what Paul himself does in Romans and Galatians, and this is "keeping on an even keel."

A failure to "preach the Word" and to preach it rightly divided is not keeping on an even keel or bringing a well-rounded message; it is simply getting away from the message God has commissioned us to proclaim.

Since the faithful proclamation of this glorious message rouses Satan's enmity more than anything else, we must pray for God-given boldness in making it known, like the Apostle Paul, who said:

    "[Pray] for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Eph. 6:19,20).
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« Reply #5256 on: May 16, 2019, 02:16:14 PM »

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Are There Apostles Today?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    "I realize there are no apostles today, but could you give me Scriptural back-up for this?"

"The church which is His Body" (Eph. 1:22,23) is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets" (Eph. 2:20), referring to grace apostles and prophets (I Cor. 12:28,29). This means that the work of an apostle was foundational in nature. If 2000 years later we are still laying the foundation of the Church, there is something seriously wrong!

Apostles and prophets could speak for God by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaking verbally with the same inspired authority that Paul experienced when he wrote his epistles. Paul could not be everywhere at once, and so God needed prophets who could speak with the same authority he enjoyed as he wrote his epistles. Once the Bible was complete, however, "that which is perfect" was come, and the gift of prophecy ceased (I Cor. 13:8-10). Once the gift of prophecy ceased, of course, there were no more apostles and prophets. Within the pages of His Word, God has said all that He needed to say. This is why He closed the Book by pronouncing a curse on any who would add to what was written therein (Rev. 22:18).

With this in mind, it is not just wrong to call a man an apostle today, it is dangerous. Today no man can demonstrate "the signs of an apostle" (II Cor. 12:12), and no man can speak with the authority of the written Word of God.
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« Reply #5257 on: May 17, 2019, 01:09:21 PM »

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The Rightness Of God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


St. Paul’s great Epistle to the Romans has much to say about “the righteousness of God”; in fact, this is the theme of the Book of Romans. Sad to say, however, the Bible is so little read and studied of late that many people do not even know what the word “righteousness” means.

Actually, every man, woman and child should know about the righteousness of God — or, to simplify the word — the rightness of God. It is most important to understand that God does always and only that which is right. He can do nothing and will do nothing that is not right.

Thus God cannot and does not merely forgive sinners and smuggle them into heaven, for this would not be right. As Job 8:20 says, “Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will He help evil doers,” for neither would be right.

It was Bildad who said this to Job, and Job replied, almost exasperated: “I know it is so of a truth, but how shall a man be just with God?” (Job 9:2). In other words, how can a holy God look upon a sinner and pronounce him righteous? With this background let us consider Paul’s great declaration in Romans 1:16,17:

    “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…. for therein is the righteousness [i.e., the rightness] of God revealed….”

True, the love of God is also revealed in the gospel, but what made Paul so proud to proclaim the gospel is the fact that it tells how God dealt “righteously,” or rightly, with sin, paying its just penalty Himself at Calvary so that He might offer salvation to all by free grace.

Thus the Apostle declares in Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death [this is its just penalty] but the [free] gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
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« Reply #5258 on: May 18, 2019, 12:31:06 PM »

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Sickness And Sin
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


One thing that really concerns this writer about modern life, is how sin is constantly called sickness. A man commits some moral outrage and they say he is sick — they even tell him that.

I went to see a man some time ago who had fallen into unspeakable immorality and it had caught up with him. For years his sanctimonious life had been a sham; now the mask was torn off and he was in trouble — deep trouble.

I had been telling him that now his best course was to make a clean confession — to the courts and to God. But someone else had gotten to him first. While he stood by, listening, this man had told his wife: “You must get Jim to see that he’s sick and needs help. I’m not condoning what he has done, but I’m hopeful that if he gets the proper help he can be cured.”

What a way to evade the sin question! Of course the man was sick — I imagine you and I would be sick too if we lived as he had been living! But let’s get this straight: His sickness came from his sin, not his sin from some sickness. He would have been far better off to sob out his heart in contrition before God for his sin than to excuse his conduct on the grounds of illness. Rom. 5:12 says: “By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin,” and Rom. 6:23 says: “The wages of sin is death.”

The sobering fact is that while there may be differences in the kinds of sins we commit, or in the degrees of our sin, Rom. 3:23 declares that there is no difference in this, that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

This is why we are so pleased and proud to proclaim “the gospel of the grace of God,” how Christ paid the penalty for our sins that we might have a perfect standing before a holy God, “being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!” (II Cor. 9:15).
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« Reply #5259 on: May 19, 2019, 02:01:59 PM »

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Words Well Chosen
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


We have all had the unfortunate experience in life of having to speak with someone who is demeaning and offensive in how they approach a matter. They seem to relish putting people on the spot. Somehow they think that taking a hard-hitting approach will drive home their point more effectively. Usually the opposite is true, because their manner of speech is speaking more loudly than what is being said. Rather than relationships being strengthened, they are destroyed by abrasive words.

This type of response from the unsaved shouldn't surprise us, but it should never be true of a believer in Christ. Sadly though, it is becoming increasingly true in the Christian community. One of the graces that nearly has been lost in the Church today is tact. Tact is a "keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or to avoid offense." Essentially, it is having perception and grace when dealing with others. The Apostle Paul was a seasoned veteran in the art of tact. While he could be firm when it came to confronting error, he always did so with grace, hoping to restore the offender. More often than not, however, he exercised tact to accomplish his purpose.

A good example is when Paul addressed his countrymen in Jerusalem who were determined to take his life. As he was being led away to the castle, he requested that the chief captain allow him to speak to the unruly mob. We're sure this probably seemed to be a strange request to the Roman captain, but he gave Paul permission to speak to his countrymen.

    "Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make now unto you. (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,) I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel…" (Acts 22:1-3).

Before Paul shared his conversion on the road to Damascus, he, tactfully addressed them with titles of respect, "men, brethren, and fathers." Then he perceptively spoke to them in the Hebrew language, the mother tongue of the chosen nation. Notice their response, "they kept the more silent." Once he had their undivided attention, Paul identified himself with them, revealing that he was a Jew, born in Tarsus, but lived most of his life in Jerusalem, where he sat at the feet of one of their revered doctors of the law, Gamaliel.

That's tact! May the Lord give us this type of discretion when we minister to others! And may it be to the praise of His glory.
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« Reply #5260 on: May 21, 2019, 02:57:52 PM »

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Justified Without A Cause
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


God tells us in His Word that believers are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). The word “freely,” here, does not mean “without cost,” but “without cause.” The same original word is so translated in John 15:25, where we find the words of Christ: “They hated Me without a cause.”

Thus sinners hated Christ “without a cause,” yet God justifies sinners “without a cause.”How can this be? Let’s see:

What had Christ done to earn the enmity of men? Nothing whatever. He had been kind and good, had helped those in distress, had healed their sick, had made the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the lame to leap for joy. Why, then, did they hate Him: The Bible says they hated Him “without a cause, i.e., without any cause in Him. The cause of their hatred lay in their own evil hearts.

But on the other hand, what have sinners done to merit justification before God? Again the answer is: Nothing whatever. They have broken His commandments every day, lying, stealing, and committing hundreds of other sins. Yet in love God gave His Son to die for them on Calvary “that He might be just and [at the same time] the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). He loves and justifies believers “without a cause”, i.e., without any cause in them. The cause is to be found in His own compassionate heart, for “GOD IS LOVE.”

Thus those who trust in Christ, who died for our sins, are justified without a cause, by God’s grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

    “God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

    “By this man is preached…the forgiveness of sins, and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which He could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38,39).
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« Reply #5261 on: May 21, 2019, 02:59:19 PM »

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How Do You Want To Be Remembered?
by Pastor John Fredericksen


On April 7th, 2012, newsman Mike Wallace, who anchored the program "60 Minutes," died at age 92. For several days, the media paid tribute to him, recounting his career. The recurring theme was that the most memorable thing about Mike Wallace was his aggressive, confrontational style of journalism, of asking hard or offensive questions. Once Mike was asked, "How do you want to be remembered?" He responded, "Tough, but fair."

Since all of us will one day face death, we should decide now how we want to be remembered. Perhaps the best way to be remembered was as Joshua was. When he died, he was called, "the servant of the Lord" (Judges 2:8). Such a legacy is a testimony of spiritual priority --- godly influence on others, and a life lived for something eternally important. How do you want to be remembered? Each of us basically decides by decisions we make now.
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« Reply #5262 on: May 22, 2019, 01:24:25 PM »

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Christ And Politics
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Astronaut John Glenn in politics — running for the U. S. Senate! It seems odd to think of him in a political role, but evidently he feels he can serve his country best in politics.

But did you ever think of Christ’s relation to politics? He came into this world, remember, as a King. The very opening words of the New Testament are: “Jesus Christ, the Son of David…” (Matt. 1:1). This emphasizes the fact that He came from the royal line. John the Baptist had gone forth as the King’s herald, to prepare His way, and the twelve apostles proclaimed His royal rights as they preached “the gospel of the kingdom.” This was all in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy:

    “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David…” (Isa. 9:6,7).

Instead of crowning Him King, however, they nailed Him to a cross and wrote over His head His “accusation”: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

Actually our Lord had come especially, this first time, to be rejected and crucified for the sins of men. Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 and other Old Testament passages had predicted that at His first coming He would be despised and rejected. Matt. 20:28 says of this coming: “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Our Lord did not die an untimely death; the cross was not a useless sacrifice. He knew that man’s greatest need is moral and spiritual — that his sins must be paid for if he is not to be condemned forever before the court of eternal Justice. So in love He came to be rejected and suffer and die “the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (I Pet. 3:18).

He will come again to judge and reign as all prophecy indicates, but for the present He deals with mankind in grace. Eph. 1:7 says that “in [Him] we have redemption, through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” and Rom. 3:24 declares that believers are “justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
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« Reply #5263 on: May 23, 2019, 01:49:18 PM »

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Peace With God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


When our Lord was born at Bethlehem, the angels proclaimed:

    “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).

Today we see anything but peace on earth, for He, “the Prince of Peace,” has been rejected, and this world will never know peace until He is in control. This is why the Father said to the Son: “Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool” (Matt. 22:41-45). It is possible, however, for each individual to enjoy peace with God and to know that all is well as far as his eternal destiny is concerned.

Job 22:21 rightly says: “Acquaint now thyself with Him and be at peace,” and Psa. 25:12,13: “What man is he that feareth the Lord? …His soul shall dwell at ease.” Even when the multitudes were about to crucify Christ, He said to His own:

    “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

Every one of Paul’s epistles opens with an important official declaration which God sent him to proclaim to all men: “Grace be to you and peace.” And he explains how we may have this peace.

By nature all of us have sinned against God, but in Paul’s epistles we are told that “He [Christ] is our peace” (Eph. 2:14), “having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20). In other words, we have sinned against God but Christ died for our sins so that we might be reconciled. And those who trust Christ and His finished work at Calvary are thus reconciled.

Surely this great truth could not have been more plainly stated than it is in Rom. 4:25; 5:1:

    “[Christ] was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification. THEREFORE, BEING JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.”
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« Reply #5264 on: June 26, 2019, 03:59:48 PM »

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Paul And The New Birth
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The Pauline revelation leads us into glorious truths respecting both our position and experience as believers. Indeed, the new birth itself, as it takes place in the believer today, is directly related to the divine baptism by which Christ and the believer are made one.

How was Christ made one with mankind? He was baptized into the human race. He did not merely come to dwell with men. He became man. How? By being born into the race. Was this by natural birth? No, by supernatural birth. He was begotten of the Holy Spirit. But His baptism into the human race did not end with His birth and life on earth. So fully did He become one with man, that He even died man’s death on the accursed tree. He was baptized into death (Luke 12:50) and, as we now know, into our death.

And it is there, at the Cross, that we become one with Him. The moment one looks in faith to Calvary, acknowledging: “He is no sinner; I am the sinner. Christ is dying my death”; that moment he becomes one with Christ; baptized into the crucified, risen Lord Himself (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:26,27) not only positionally, in the reckonings of God, but exponentially, by the Spirit. And thus a new life is begotten.

By natural birth? No, by supernatural birth. Some hold that the Epistles of Paul do not teach the new birth, but this is an error. His familiar word teknon, generally translated simply “child” in our English Bibles, means literally, “born one.” And he uses this word with regard to our spiritual relationship to God.

Furthermore, the Apostle teaches the very truth of the new birth in Titus 3:5, where he says:

    “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
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