Saturday, January 31, 2015

Puzzle Or Picture - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Where "rightly dividing the Word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15) is concerned, our spiritual leaders are like a group of people, each one of whom holds a part or several parts of a jig-saw puzzle, but who fail to put them together and so never get to see the picture.

One sees clearly that the so-called "Great Commission" was a Kingdom commission and not ours. Another sees that the "one baptism" of Ephesians 4:5 MUST be the DIVINE baptism which makes believers one in Christ. Another sees that Paul’s apostleship was wholly distinct from that of the Twelve. Another sees that Romans 6:3,4 does not contain one drop of water. Another sees that the Christian’s position is spiritual and heavenly in character. Another sees that the Body of Christ, the Church of today, was never prophesied — even, that it did not begin at Pentecost with Peter and the eleven, but later, with Paul.

But while each sees some component part of "the Mystery", Satan has used tradition to blind him to the rest. The result is that confusion continues to prevail and they still have a puzzle instead of a picture.

If only they would put the pieces together! What a clear picture they would see of "the Dispensation of the Grace of God", and how eagerly they would join us in "THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY" (Romans 16:25)!

Grace Bible Church  (Click Here)

 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


Posted By Cecil  and Connie Spivey 

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Death Leaves a Heartache - ( SELECTED) By Cecil Spivey




Death leaves a

Heartache no one can

Heal, love leaves a

Memory no one can

Steal

-From a headstonde In Ireland




How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 







Now Is The Time - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


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

"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 salvatio

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 Corinthians 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 H

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 Corinthians 15:3). "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).



How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
ead Acts 16L31 Romans 1:16, and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 












Thursday, January 29, 2015

WHAT DEATH MEANS TO THE BELIEVER - By Evangelist S. Lee Homoki


Death is a fact of life. Having lived, given time, we all must die! The Apostle Paul said that "death worketh in us" and that "our outward man perisheth " (2 Cor. 4: 10-18). All men give a great deal of time and discussion to the subject of death and yet it remains veiled in mystery. We have all witnessed, or read about, some tragic death and pondered its mystery. For me, I have always questioned: "Did they know Christ as their Saviour?" "Why did this happen"?

          In this life, God gives to every person good gifts. God is the world's greatest giver (Jas. 1:17). He is an especially generous giver to all those who believe Him, giving salvation to all that "call upon the name of the Lord" (Rom. 10:12-13; 6:23; 2 Cor. 8:9; 9:15). God says to us through the death of a loved one: "In this life you gain many things and you lose many things. In this life you have loved ones and you lose loved ones. I gave you the loved ones and I have taken them away, but I am still here!" This is one of the reasons why Paul said to the believers who remain "that we sorrow not as those who have no hope, " and that we are to "comfort one another with these words." God is still here and will bring those who are dead in Christ with Him (I Thess. 4:13-18).

CONFIDENCE FOR THOSE WHO DIE

Paul must have solved some of this mystery that surrounds death because he was able to exhibit the same preparedness for dying as he did for living and serving (Rom. 1:15; I Cor. 9:16-18 cf. Acts 21:13; 2 Tim. 4:6-8). This is surely the reason why Paul could say that to "depart and be with Christ" was "far better" than living (Phil. 1:20-23).

          Paul was ready because he knew: (1) that life is fragile and fleeting (2 Tim. 1:14; Jas. 4:13-15; I Pet. 1:14). Like David, he could say, "there is but a step between me and death" (I Sam. 20:3). Our life hangs by a very thin thread (Eccl. 12:6). (2) That the issues of life and death are in God's hands. Job understood this when he lost seven sons and three daughters in one day. He said, "The Lord giveth and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job. 1:21 cf. Matt. 6:25-30). (3) That God's warnings must be heeded, or pay the consequences. The warning of the Prophet Amos to the sinful nation of Israel, "to prepare to meet thy God" (Amos 4:12), is a warning to all men of all dispensations that "God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption" (Gal. 6:7-8 cf. 2 Thess. 1:5-10). The message is clear that unless a man makes preparation to be properly adjusted to a holy God, this will surely be a fearful day of reckoning (Rom. 2:5-10; Heb. 10:27-31). (4) That he had made the only decision that could prepare him for death. That decision was to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 16:31).

          It only stands to reason that if a person is spiritually prepared to die, that when it comes time for death, they will face death differently than the person who has made no preparation. It is encouraging to note that when it was "time for his departure, " the Apostle Paul had no regrets, having "fought a good fight, finished his course and kept the faith," he exhibits great confidence that God will give him a "crown of righteousness" in the not-too-distant future (2 Tim. 4:6-8). In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul describes himself as a runner consumed with only one ambition and that is to win the prize for which God had called him heavenward. And in 2 Corinthians 15:55-57, Paul thanks God for victory over the sting of death. Death is not a defeat for the believer: it is the final victory. Those who die and go to Heaven can laugh and shout: "I Won! I Won! I won through Jesus Christ my Lord!"

        God sees something about the death of the believer that is hidden to us, at least we do not see it clearly (Rom. 8:18; I Cor. 13:12; 2 Cor. 5:7). Whatever that something is, God says that it is "precious in His sight" (Ps. 116:15). The Lord Jesus Christ is said to have "Abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10). Furthermore, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the mighty conqueror, encourages our hearts by declaring: "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen; and have the keys of Hell and death" (Rev. 1:18).

        The believer, through the Word of God, accumulates more and more confidence about the true nature of death. His worst fears are found to be foundation less as he grows in grace and draws closer and closer to what the Bible calls his "long home" (Eccl. 12:5). The believer even discovers that his death is redefined as nothing more than a harmless "sleep" (Jn. 11:11-14; I Thess. 4:13-14).


 COMFORT FOR THOSE WHO REMAIN

          Death for the believer means (1) That there will never be any more condemnation for them (Rom. 8: 1). According to Hebrews 9:27, man is faced with two appointments: death and judgment. Romans 8:1 tells us that the appointment with judgment has been canceled.

It is true that believers will yet face a judgment for rewards (2 Cor. 5: 10), but never will our salvation again be in jeopardy because the Lord Jesus Christ was judged and condemned in our place (Rom. 4:23-25; Gal. 3:13; Col. 2:13-14). (2) That they will immediately be ushered into the presence of the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8; I Thess. 4:17). The key word to help us appreciate this is the word "home." Who is afraid to go home? Paul says he's at "home" in the body but would rather, willingly, be "at home with the Lord."  The believer is perfectly correct in referring to the death of a saint as a "home going." (3) That they will never again know any more pain, sorrow, tears or death because "the former things are passed away" (Rom. 8:18-23; Rev. 21:4).

How wonderfully comforting this promise must be for those who must daily suffer from emotional, mental and physical pain. (4) That we receive our eternal inheritance (Rom. 8:17; Col. 1:2; I Pet. 1:4). Death does not destroy our inheritance. Here on this earth all of our treasures are subject to corruption (Matt. 6:20). These things are "seen as temporal," but thank God, there are unseen treasures that are eternal (2 Cor. 4:18).

The death of Christ and our identification with Him is assurance of an eternal inheritance (Heb. 9:15). The Holy Spirit is our down payment on this inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14). (5) That they will have a new home. We have already pointed out that wherever the Lord is, according to Paul, that is home. We are convinced that while Revelation 21 and 22 describes the eternal glories of the New Heaven and the New Earth, I believe that the new, eternal home for the Body of Christ in the heavenlies is beyond description - not even described in the Bible! When that "man" of 2 Cor.12:1-5 was "caught up into paradise," he heard and saw things that could not be described. Paul said, "of such a one will I glory." Oh, how beautiful our heavenly home must be! Perfect! Prepared by God and can't be improved upon! (6) That they await a glorious resurrection.

Paul says that he will be glad to trade in his old earthly tabernacle "for a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Cor. 5: 1-3). It will be a glorified,  resurrected body "fashioned like unto His glorious body according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself" (Phil. 3:21). (7) That they will be a part of a family reunion. The great, wonderful Body of Christ Family will be "caught up together," a reunion in the air (I Thess. 4: 17)! The songwriter has correctly written:


"There's going to be meeting in the air,
In the sweet, sweet bye and bye.
I will meet you, meet you, meet you there,
In that home beyond the sky.
Such singing you will hear never heard by mortal ear,
Twill be glorious I do declare!
For God's own Son will be the leading One
At that meeting in the air."

Praise God!



 


 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

Posted By Cecil  and Connie Spivey 

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A Tale Of Three Cities - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In Thessalonica Paul reasoned out of the Scriptures for three sabbath days with men who were unwilling to be convinced (Acts 17:1-9). The bigotry of these Thessalonians not only kept them in spiritual darkness, but it moved them to bitter opposition to the truth, so that they persecuted Paul and Silas and even followed them to Berea, stirring people up against them.

Bigotry has the same effect today. Let us never close our minds so as to keep error out, for in doing so we will only shut new light out and close old errors in. Moreover, it is but a small step from shutting out new light from God’s Word to engaging in bitter opposition against it.

The Athenians went to the other extreme. They lost interest in what was old and clamored only to hear new things (Acts 17:21). Yet when Paul came to them with the good news of the gospel of grace, some “mocked” while others, more polite, said: “We will hear thee again of this matter,” and turned away (Verse 32).

The Athenian spirit too is still rife today. Many are constantly giving up the old and looking for something new, sure that the latest fashions, the latest statistics and the latest advice must be best. This is why the New Evangelicalism has gained so many followers in our day.

Significantly, the story of the noble Bereans falls between those of the Thessalonians and the Athenians in our Bibles. These Bereans possessed true spiritual greatness. They gave man’s word respectful consideration, whether old or new, but then subjected it to careful examination in the light of the Word of God. They received Paul’s word, we read, with open minds, and then “searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Verse 11). For this God called them “noble.” They were the spiritual aristocracy of their day.

May God help us to be neither “Thessalonians” nor “Athenians,” but true Bereans. If we follow men we drift on a sea of human speculation, for men disagree on the most vital issues. Only as we stand on the infallible, unchangeable Word of God can we be sure that we have the truth.


 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

Posted By Cecil  and Connie Spivey 

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Holy Spirit And The Pentecostal Believers - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The Holy Spirit And The Pentecostal Believers
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

 The prophesied work of the Holy Spirit in connection with His people Israel should be clearly understood if we would understand His work today in connection with the members of the Body of Christ. In Joel 2:28,29 God promised to supernaturally cause them to prophesy, etc., but in Ezek. 36:26,27, He also promised to supernaturally cause them to do His will:

    “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. AND I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, AND CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY STATUTES, AND YE SHALL KEEP MY JUDGMENTS, AND DO THEM.”

Thus God would show that the only way in which even His own people can perfectly obey Him is when He takes possession of them and causes them to do His will. Indeed, He is still demonstrating this. Though we today have all the advantages and blessings of the dispensation of grace, and though we desire most earnestly to obey and serve God as we ought, we still continually fall short.

This is because, contrary to popular opinion, none of us has been baptized with the Spirit (See Acts 1:5 and cf. I Cor. 12:13). We must be careful to notice the immediate change that took place in the behavior of the Pentecostal believers, now that the Holy Spirit had come to take possession of them. Not only did they speak with tongues and prophesy and work miracles, but they all began living for one another.

    “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32).

We have not observed this way of life among those who call themselves Pentecostalists today.


Grace Bible Church  (Click Here)




How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 

























Wherefore Then Serveth the Law? - By Ike T. Sidebottom


The law was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made" (Galatians 3:19). Verses 17 and 18 of this same chapter explain that the law was added to the Abrahamic Covenant "four hundred and thirty years" after the confirmation of God's promise to Abraham, and it continued to the coming of the "Seed," which was promised to him. It is also clear that the law, which was added, "cannot disannul" the promises of God to Abraham.

The added law covenant was to be in force "till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made." "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy Seed, which is Christ" (vs. 16). This explains why "Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God to confirm the promises made unto the fathers" (Romans 15:8). "All the promises of God in Him are Yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us" (2  Corinthians 1:20).

The "transgressions" which made the law necessary were taken away by the One who "was numbered with the transgressors" on the cross of Calvary. Thus He became "the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Romans 10:4).

The Limits of the Law


The law is limited to a specified period of time, which began exactly four hundred and thirty years after the covenant of promise with Abraham and which ended when Christ shed His "blood of the New Testament." Even though man has marked the Word of God indicating that the Old Testament closes with the last verse of Malachi and that the New Testament opens with the first verse of Matthew, God declares that such is not the case. "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth" (Hebrews 9:16-17). Therefore the New Testament could not come into force until the death of Christ, its Testator; and the Old Testament could not "vanish away" until the New came into force. We must conclude that the entire life and ministry of Christ, in His first advent, was under the law dispensation, and that His death ended the old covenant and opened the new.

The law is limited to a certain nation. That certain nation is "Israel" whom God bore "on eagle's wings" out of Egyptian bondage. He also delivered to her, through Moses, His proposition concerning the law and the conditions under which Israel could be made a "peculiar treasure," a "kingdom of priests" and "an holy nation." After the children of Israel had heard all the words of God concerning the giving of the law, they all "answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do" (Exodus 19:1-8). The law is limited to a certain ministration, or service. Its ministration is one of condemnation and death. Paul says, "I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, worketh death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might became exceeding sinful" (Romans 7:9-13). The law slew Paul because it demanded more than he could deliver. For this same reason "as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse" (Galatians 3:10).

The Accomplishments of the Law


With the giving of the law "every mouth" was stopped and all the world became "guilty before God." The mouths of the Gentiles were not stopped by the law but by the threefold testimony of Romans 1:24-28:

    "God also gave them up to uncleanness." (vs. 24)

"God gave them up unto vile affections." (vs. 26)


"God gave them over to a reprobate mind." (vs. 28)The mouths of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah were stopped by the law (Romans 3:19) because they were the only ones who were under the law. Therefore, after the law was given, both Jews and Gentiles were proved to be "under sin" and neither could open their mouths in their own defense before God.

The law also serves as "our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Galatians 3:24). This means that the law demands so much that we are forced to turn to a substitute. We look into God's perfect standard, the law, and we see ourselves far short of the glory of God. We test our flesh under the demands of the law and we find that, even though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.
"What the Law Could Not Do

in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit" (Romans 8:3-4).

Let it be clearly understood that the law which God added is absolutely necessary in the carrying out of His purpose and plan for the ages, yet it has no power, whatsoever, to save or to keep or to perfect the believer. Its usefulness ends when we meet the crucified and risen Christ.



Grace Bible Church  (Click Here)


How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
ead Acts 16L31 Romans 1:16, and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com



E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Comfort One Another - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Comfort One Another
Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

Increasing world tension and the present trend of events in the Middle East have always filled many with fear, and there are even sincere believers in Christ who fear that perhaps the “Great Tribulation” of prophecy, with all its horrors, is at hand.

It is true indeed that even Paul’s epistles warn this world of the judgment to come. “…The Day of the Lord”, he says, “so cometh as a thief in the night”.
“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (IThess.5:2,3).
But before this time comes, the Lord will recall His ambassadors, as the apostle tells us in the following passage:
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (IThess.4:16-18).
This is the event with which “the dispensation of the grace of God” will be brought to a close. Then will follow “the day of His wrath”, but even as Paul goes on to tell about this in the passage which follows, he reassures the members of Christ’s Body that they will not be included amongst those to whom the Lord will come as “a thief in the night”.
“But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light…God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us…Wherefore comfort yourselves together…” (IThess.5:4-11).


How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Acts 16L31 Romans 1:16, and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 














Monday, January 26, 2015

BABES IN CHRIST - By MARVIN DUNCAN



Scripture Reading: I Corinthians 3:1


There are a number of conditions that the Apostle Paul connects with our being "IN CHRIST." Our salvation is "IN CHRIST." Our standing is "IN CHRIST," and in I Corinthians 3:1, Paul speaks of a condition every believer experiences at his salvation, our being "BABES IN CHRIST."

To understand this condition we must recognize that salvation is spoken of as A NEW BIRTH. We are born physically into the family of Adam and upon receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we experienced a SPIRITUAL BIRTH. Paul speaks of our being "A NEW CREATION" in II Corinthians 5:17. Just as in our physical life, so it is with our spiritual life. We all start at birth as babies and develop through stages, to maturity; first a babe, then a child and on to maturity through feeding on spiritual food and exercising the spiritual man.

One of the mistakes many Christians make is to expect the newly saved individual to be able to handle life's trials and the old habits as if he were a mature spiritual individual, without ever having been taught the Word of God or experiencing the faithfulness of God to strengthen and convict him in his daily walk. None of the men in Scripture automatically changed overnight from their worldly attitudes to spiritual attitudes.

Abraham is a good example of spiritual growth over a number of years. Early in his spiritual life he made many errors and failed to trust God completely, yet in his later life, after seeing God's faithfulness in doing what He promised, Abraham was able to trust God even to the point of being willing to sacrifice his only son.

It is this progressive growth toward maturity that Paul is speaking of in our text verse. These Corinthians had been born into God's family some five years earlier, but they had not grown They were still "BABES."

Grace Bible Church  (Click Here)



How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 





Sunday, January 25, 2015

Calvary In Retrospect - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam



If the Bible makes anything clear, it is the fact that the secret of all God’s good news to man is centered at Calvary. It was because Christ was to die for sin that God could proclaim good news to sinners down through the ages.

It was not until some time after the crucifixion, however, that "the preaching of the cross" was widely proclaimed as a message by Paul in "the gospel [good news] of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24; I Corinthians 1:18).

The proclamation of "the gospel of the grace of God" was the natural accompaniment to the revelation of the cross as the secret of God’s good news to man. In this proclamation of His over-abounding grace to sinners, everything centers in the cross.

According to Paul’s epistles "we have redemption through His [Christ’s] blood" (Ephesians 1:7), we are "justified by His blood" (Romians 5:9), "reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Romians 5:10), "made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13) and "made the righteousness of God in Him" because God "hath made Him to be sin for us" (11 Corithians 5:21).

The "covenant" of the law was abolished by the cross (Colossians 2:14), the curse of the law was removed by the cross (Galatians 3:13), the "middle wall of partition" was broken down by the cross (Ephesians 2:14) and believers in Christ are reconciled to God in one body by the cross (Ephesians 2:16). Little wonder Paul calls his message "the preaching of the cross"!

To the believer it is thrilling to see the cross as God’s reply to Satan when, at first glance, it had appeared that Calvary had been Satan’s greatest triumph! Thus we can exclaim with Paul:

"God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!" (Galatians 6:14).






Grace Bible Church  (Click Here) 
 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)

Posted By Cecil  and Connie Spivey 

    Share this Bible Message with your  friends


 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Friendship With the World - By Gregg Bing



 Abraham is called in Scripture "the friend of God." This special relationship developed because of Abraham's life of faith. Abraham believed God's promises and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Abraham also walked by faith, being careful to obey God's commands. Abraham's nephew, Lot, though a righteous man, chose to walk a different path and experienced the pain and sorrow that results from "friendship with the world."


  Lot lived with Abraham when he dwelt in Ur of the Chaldees in Mesopotamia, a land given over to idol worship and worldly pleasures. This is why, when God called Abraham, He told him to "Get out of your country from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you" (Genesis 12:1). While Abraham left behind the country of Mesopotamia, along with its idolatrous lifestyle, he did not immediately leave his family or his father's house. He journeyed with his father, Terah, and his nephew, Lot, to Haran and dwelt there until his father died. After Terah's death, Abraham resumed his journey and the Lord led him to the land of Canaan; however, Abraham still kept Lot with him.


  When Abraham arrived in Canaan, the Lord appeared to him and promised to give the land to his descendants as an inheritance. There in the promised land, Abraham faithfully kept himself separate from the people of Canaan, for they, too, were idolaters. He dwelt in tents and built altars, ensuring his walk and his worship were separate from the ungodly cities of Canaan. When a famine arose in the land, Abraham's faith faltered, and he fled south to the land of Egypt. As long as Abraham remained in Egypt he was out of fellowship with God. Abraham's sinful deception of the people of Egypt led the Pharaoh to order him to leave. However, both Abraham and Lot acquired great possessions in Egypt, specifically livestock, herds, and servants.


  Upon their return to the land of Canaan, strife broke out between the herdsmen of Abraham and those of Lot. The land was not able to contain all their possessions if they continued to dwell together. The time had come for Abraham to make a complete break from his family and his father's house. Abraham instructed Lot to separate from him, but he offered to let Lot choose the land he wished to dwell in.


  As we turn our attention to Lot, we find three stages in his life of "friendship with the world" and the lessons we learn from each.


  Lot's Choice

 Lot should have deferred to Abraham and let him make the choice. He knew that God had called Abraham and promised the land to Abraham's descendants; the choice should have been his. But, we read in Scripture that:


  "Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other." (Genesis 13:10-11)

 Lot "chose for himself." His was a selfish choice, a choice based on the desires of the flesh. Knowing that his flocks and herds would need water, he chose the plain of Jordan because it was "well watered everywhere." This seems to have been the only criteria for choosing this area. The Scriptures compare this plain to "the garden of the Lord," which Lot had never seen, but had likely heard of. The other comparison is that the plain of Jordan was "like the land of Egypt." This was true, not only in that it was well watered, but because it was a wicked and ungodly land. So we read that:


  "Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD." (Genesis 13:12-13)


  Abraham dwelt in the land that God promised his descendants for a possession. Though the Canaanites were idol worshippers, Abraham was careful to keep himself separate from their wicked ways. Lot chose a land that was outwardly beautiful, but was associated with two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, cities filled with men who were "exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord." Unfortunately, this didn't seem to be a factor in Lot's choice. No doubt he did what many of us do at times: he rationalized. Lot pitched his tent in the land, "even as far as Sodom," reasoning that just because he lived near this wicked city, didn't mean he had to become a part of it. This is a dangerous line of thinking, one based not on the wisdom of God but on the wisdom of men.



 Lot's Compromise

  Lot soon found himself subject to the dangers of being associated with Sodom and Gomorrah. When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah (and their allies) fought against a group of neighboring kings, Lot and his family were taken into captivity (Genesis 14:11-12). Abraham, out of concern for his nephew, raised an army of his servants and was used of God to rescue Lot and his family.

  The king of Sodom sought to reward Abraham for delivering them from their captivity. He offered Abraham the spoils of the victory to take for himself. But Abraham, while returning from the slaughter of these enemy kings, had been met by Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God. Melchizedek reminded Abraham that God, who was the possessor of both heaven and earth, had delivered Abraham's enemies into his hand, and this same God would provide for all his needs. Not wanting to be indebted to this wicked king, Abraham refused to take a single thing from his hand (Genesis 14:17-24). Abraham's refusal of the spoils of Sodom provided a wonderful illustration to Lot of the importance of keeping one's self separate from the wickedness of this world, but Lot failed to learn anything from this experience.

 Many years later, we find two angels sent from God to visit Sodom and Gomorrah and confirm the terrible wickedness of these cities before destroying them. As the angels entered the city, they found Lot "sitting in the gate of Sodom." Lot rose to his feet, bowed himself to the ground before them, and invited them to "turn in to your servant's house and spend the night" (Genesis 19:1-2). Lot was no longer dwelling in a tent near Sodom; he now had a house in the city. Not only that, we find him seated at the city gate, the place where the city's legal business was carried out. Lot's rationalization that he could simply dwell near the city without becoming involved in its activities was wrong. He had not only moved inside the city, he had become a part of its leadership as well.


  Maybe Lot was continuing to rationalize, thinking that by getting more involved in the city's affairs, he could have a positive influence on the men of Sodom. The reality was that Lot had little, if any, effect on the spiritual condition of the people of Sodom. Abraham had asked God to spare the city if enough righteous people could be found there, but not even ten righteous were there. What happened that night proved that the wickedness in Sodom had only grown worse.

 The two angels, in the form of men, dined with Lot that night, but before they could lay down to sleep, "the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house" (Genesis 19:4). They demanded that Lot bring the two men out so they could "know them" sexually. When Lot pleaded with them not to do this wicked thing, they belittled him, "Stand back! This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them" (Genesis 19:9).


  The two angels pulled Lot back inside to safety and then struck the men outside with blindness to deter them. The angels told Lot that God was going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and instructed him to take his family and get out. But Lot's sons-in-law treated his warning as a joke. As the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry and take his wife and his two unmarried daughters with him. When Lot continued to linger in the city, the angels took him, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand and set them outside the city (Genesis 19:16).

 Why would Lot cling to such a wicked place, especially after hearing God was about to destroy it? The world has that type of pull on men, even righteous men when they are walking "after the flesh." The angels told Lot to take his family and flee into the mountains, but Lot had become so used to the pleasures of the city of Sodom that he pleaded, "Please, no, my lords! Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live" (Genesis 19:18-20). What a pitiful man Lot had become, still rationalizing: "This city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one!"


  After Lot and his family escaped to safety, God rained fire and brimstone on the wicked cities of the plain of Jordan. This area which had once been lush, green, and beautiful, became a wasteland and remains so, even today. The angels warned Lot that he and his family were to flee and not turn back, but Lot's wife looked back longingly (for she loved this world she had lived in all these years), and, when she did, she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:24-26). 1 John 2:15-17 warns about loving the things of this world.


  "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."


  Lot's life warns us of the dangers of compromise. Lot compromised his values. He was a righteous man (because he believed in God), but he chose to live in association with the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah. The result:


  "He was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)." (2 Peter 2:7-8)


  Not only did Lot suffer this torment, he compromised his family by exposing them to the same "filthy conduct." As a result, his sons and their families, along with his married daughters and their families (Gen. 19:12), perished in the destruction sent from God. His wife was turned to a pillar of salt because she simply could not let go of the life she had enjoyed there. Only his two unmarried daughters escaped, and, as we shall see, they too were corrupted by the evils of the world in which they were raised.


  Finally, Lot compromised his testimony. As we saw earlier, the people of the city had no respect for Lot. His attempts to sit in judgment upon them were viewed with contempt. Any spiritual influence he might have had upon them was lost because he chose to become a part of their world. The spiritual leadership he should have exercised toward his wife and children was empty because of the poor decisions he himself had made. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul instructed believers in how to maintain an effective testimony in the world.


  "Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain." (Philippians 2:12-16)


  If we are to "shine as lights in the world, holding fast (forth) the word of life," then we must live, in the midst of this "crooked and perverse generation," lives that are "blameless and harmless." If we profess to be "children of God" we must behave like children of God. While we cannot live sinless lives, we can maintain a lifestyle people cannot easily find fault with. Our walk should demonstrate that knowing Christ as Savior has made a difference in our lives. Lot's friendship with the world ruined any testimony he might have had among the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

         Lot's Conclusion


The only reason that Lot was saved was because "God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow" (Gen. 19:27-29). Being afraid to dwell in Zoar, Lot fled with his two unmarried daughters into the mountains to dwell there. What follows is the sad conclusion to the life of Lot, a man who knew the Lord but did not live for the Lord


  Though Lot's two unmarried daughters were the only ones to escape God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, they never did really escape "the world." These two young women reasoned with each other that it was up to them to "preserve the lineage" of their father. How did they propose to do so? They made Lot drink wine until he was so drunk he did not know what he was doing. The firstborn daughter went into him that night and lay with her father so that she could become pregnant with his child. The next night this shameful scene was repeated so that the younger daughter also became pregnant with his child (Genesis 19:30-36). How sad to view the depths to which Lot and his family had sunk both morally and spiritually.


  What kind of lineage of Lot was preserved? His firstborn daughter bore Lot a son "and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day" (Genesis 19:37). His youngest daughter also bore him a son "and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day" (Gennesis 19:38). The Moabites and Ammonites both became enemies of Abraham's family and the nation of Israel. They also were idol worshippers of the most abominable and detestable nature. The Moabites worshipped Chemosh, while the Ammonites worshipped Molech. Both peoples honored their "god" by making their children pass through sacrificial fires (1 Kings 11:7, 2 Kings 16:3, 23:10). What a legacy Lot left behind.


  In Lot, we find a stern warning of the dangers of living in "friendship with the world." Lot not only tormented his own soul, he sacrificed the lives of his own family members, and he destroyed any testimony he might have had for the Lord. The Apostle James wrote:


   "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4)


   Friendship with the world puts us at enmity with God, preventing us from experiencing the love, joy and peace of a daily walk with Him. Friendship with the world affords only a life of disappointment and sorrow. May the lesson of Lot's life and the consequences he experienced remind us how important it is to keep ourselves separate from the world.


Grace Bible Church  (Click Here)



How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Bible is the word of God - By Keith Blades




It is God's book. He is the author of it through direct inspiration, as declared in II Timothy 3:16a...“All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Given by “inspiration of God,” the Bible is not the product of human imagination or creativity. Holy men of God spake and wrote as they were “moved by the Holy Ghost.” (II Peter 1:20-21) The Bible, therefore, truly is the word of God. It is the “scripture,” i.e., the sacred or holy writings of God.

Being the word of God, the Bible is also “the word of truth.” (e.g. II Timothy 2:15) This means that it is telling the truth about what is really going on. It is not taking guesses at what is going on. It is not the work of men who were setting forth their own theories as to the meaning of life and existence. It is not the work of philosophers merely speculating on what they think everything means. Instead, it is the communication from the One who created all things, who knows the truth, is “only wise,” and is working out His own plan and purpose in His creation. The Bible is God's testimony to us regarding what is really going on in, and with, His creation. As such it is “the word of truth.”

The Bible, composed of its 66 books, is complete. There are no ‘lost books of the Bible,' nor do there exist any other writings which ought to be considered scripture or included in the Bible. The books of the Apocrypha are not the word of God.

The Bible, in light of what it is and in accordance with God's design for it, is also the recipient of God's providential care and preservation. Though constantly subjected to various and numerous attacks designed to corrupt it, obscure it, fragment it, suppress it, or destroy it, God has not allowed such attempts to completely succeed. The Bible has not only continued to exist and will continue to do so, but regarding attempts to corrupt it through attacks upon its contents God sees to the preservation of His inerrant, infallible word. This He has done, and continues to do, by means of a number of providential safeguards, such as multiplicity of copies and witnesses for settling matters of textual variation or questioning. Recognition and employment of these numerous safeguards has assured the accurate transmission of the inerrant, infallible word of God from original autographs on, and provides for the identification of attempts to corrupt the word of God by means of omitted, distorted, or added words or phrases, or any other means of textual tampering. In accordance with this, theories of textual criticism which deny Divine preservation (most notably the Westcott and Hort Theory and its present variations), along with the Hebrew and Greek texts constructed on the basis of them, are rejected. The preserved inerrant word of God is not what they are. Instead, they are corrupted renditions of the word of God: corrupted by omissions of words, phrases, sentences, and even extensive passages; by deletions; by substitutions; by additions to the text, and the like. The preserved inerrant word of God has always existed and still exists, and is identified today as the received text of the historic protestant reformation process.

The translation of the received text into the English language has produced the inerrant, infallible word of God in English. Though a multitude of English Bible translations exist at the present time, only the King James Version is translated from the received text. The King James Version is identified as the inerrant, infallible, preserved word of God in the English language.

        The Bible by nature also possesses absolute and final authority. It is not overruled by any person, organization, or ecclesiastical body. It is not subject to the authority or position of any person in order to fulfill its function in any capacity. It is the word of God which is “quick and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12), and therefore possesses on its own, by nature, the full capacity for Divine operations, all authority, and final authority. Accordingly, it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16-17) The all-important need of every Christian is to profit from the Bible by submitting to it as the inerrant, infallible, authoritative word of God.

 The Godhead eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are not three modes of existence for God, as if at one time He manifested Himself as the Father, at another as the Son, and at another as the Holy Spirit. Nor are these three separate Gods. Rather, God is a trinity: three identifiable persons with Godhood, eternally co-existing and functioning as one God. All the attributes of ‘Godness,' along with every aspect of Divine character and essence, are possessed by, and resident in, each of the three members of the Godhead. The Lord Jesus Christ is ‘God manifest in the flesh'; the “image of the invisible God”; the Word “made flesh.” (e.g. Genesis 1:1-26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 110; Isaiah 6; Isaiah 48:16; John 1:1-2, 14-18; Acts 5:3-4; II Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 1:15; 2:2; I Thessalonians 2:11-13; I Timothy 3:16; I John 5:7)

 God, who created all things by Jesus Christ, created an innumerable company of beings known collectively as angels. They are spiritual beings and were perfect in their creation. One of these creatures of the heavenly creation named Lucifer was the “anointed cherub” that covered the throne of God. Through pride Lucifer sinned and was removed from his position as the “anointed cherub.” In response he formulated a plan of evil opposition and antagonism against God. In so doing, he set himself up as the adversary of God and determined in his plan of evil to establish himself “like the most High.” In accordance with the formulation of his adversarial plan of evil, Lucifer received the designation “Satan,” which means ‘adversary.' He is also known as the “Devil,” “Belial,” and by a number of other names and designations descriptive of various activities and operations He engages in in the pursuit of his plan of evil. Satan is the author of sin in God's creation and the implementation of his plan of evil in both the heavenly and earthly realms brought sin and its corruption into both realms.

In the heavenly realm a great number of other angelic beings joined Satan in his plan of evil and became “his angels.” These included all those occupying the governmental positions of principalities, powers, mights, and the like, with but a few exceptions. There is an eternal judgment awaiting Satan and his angels. “Everlasting fire” is “prepared for the devil and his angels.” An innumerable number of the angels, however, did not join the plan of evil, but kept their position with God. (e.g. Ezekiel 28: 11-19; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 25:41; I Timothy 3:6; Revelation 12:3-4, 9)

Man was created in “the image and likeness” of God, but willingly sinned in cooperation with the implementation of Satan's plan of evil in the earthly realm. As the immediate result of sin, man became spiritually dead, alienated from God, and the possessor of a sinful nature which could only offend God's Holiness and Righteousness, and consequently provoke His wrath. This status of spiritual death and alienation from God, along with the nature of sin, has been transmitted to every member of the human race, so that each is born into this world a sinner by nature, alienated from God and at enmity with Him. As such, men are totally depraved, i.e. they possess a nature of sin of which they are completely impotent to rid themselves, nor are they able to change it, alter it, or improve it so as to cease offending God and merit His approval or acceptance. Being totally depraved, men are completely unable to deliver themselves from their sinful status and, hence, save themselves from the debt and penalty of their sins. Contrary to popular religious thought, no man is born with ‘the spark of Divine good' in him, nor are people innocent for a time and then become sinners. Instead, men are “by nature the children of wrath.”

Therefore, man does not need an improvement to his environment or society; man does not need another chance to be better than he is; man does not need an example to follow so that he can ‘raise himself out of the gutter.' Instead, man needs to be saved, for he cannot save himself or contribute to his salvation in any manner or form.

The destiny of men who are not saved is everlasting punishment in the lake of fire, eternally separated from God. (e.g. Genesis 1:26-3:24; Romans 1:18-3:26; Ephesians 2:1-10; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15)


Grace Bible Church  (Click Here)


 How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


Posted By Cecil  and Connie Spivey 

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It Is I - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam



It Is I
Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

"Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid" (Mark 6:50).

They thought they had seen a ghost!

Already bone-weary from "toiling and rowing" against a "contrary" wind, and still "in the midst of the sea" though the night was far gone, they saw something in the distance that frightened them even more than the storm itself.

It was a ghost — they thought — and a chilling fear gripped them as they were made to face something they had never experienced before. At first, doubtless, they were petrified, gripped with unspeakable terror. Then they "cried out" and in response came the reassuring voice of their own blessed Master and Lord: "Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid". The grim specter that had filled them with stark dread had turned out to be the Lord Himself, the One whom they loved more deeply than any other on earth. See their faces! Looks of terror have given way now to looks of relief and joy. Their faces now are wreathed in smiles.

What a lesson for God’s people in times of crisis! When caught in the grip of unspeakable fear, unable to face what seems to lie ahead, it is infinitely blessed to hear His voice, saying, "It is I"; not merely "I am here too", but "it is I". "I am in this trouble you fear to face. Indeed, it is I you will find in all your troubles if you will look at them more closely."

Those who are so careless as to confuse the believer’s standing with his condition and experience should take note that it is Paul, the one who writes of our position in the heavenlies, who says in his very last epistle and in its very last chapter: "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me… Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me…" (II Timothy 4:16,17).

It was a frightening experience to have to stand as a Christian before the wicked monster, Nero. And standing there alone, forsaken by all, served to add hopelessness to fear. Ah, but in his darkest hour "the Lord stood with him, and strengthened him". Yes, Paul knew something of this, and so might we when crises alarm us. So might we hear those encouraging, comforting words: "Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid".


How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Acts 16L31 Romans 1:16, and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


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