Are You Cruising for a Bruising?

December 31, 2012

Today’s posting is our meager attempt at a modern parable about the gospel. Don’t analyze it too much — the closer you look the more holes you’ll find. But maybe…just maybe…it might get someone thinking about much more weighty matters.——————————————————–

Thousands of people excitedly embarked on the cruise ship CAREFREE on a delightfully sunny day, one similar to many before and seemingly a prelude for many to come. On that first day at sea most of the passengers paid little attention to the mandatory evacuation training…they were too busy eating, drinking and being merry.

One afternoon an alarm was suddenly sounded. Crewmembers said the ship was sinking. Some passengers joined in with them and began proclaiming the news to everyone on board that the time was short.

Some travelers refused to believe these warnings. They looked about and everything seemed just fine. The ship wasn’t listing, there was no evidence of water leaking into the lower decks, no rogue icebergs were spotted…their instincts, experience and intelligence collectively told them all was well. They laughed at the poor fools wasting their time thinking they were in danger.

Some deliberately opposed the warning by shouting, “All is well!”

Some heard the warnings and casually went about putting on the lifejackets before quickly returning to their leisurely activities. Scant attention was given to the continued warnings. They reasoned since they had their lifejackets on, they were protected. If the warnings turned out to be true, which most of them doubted, then they would simply jump into the ocean and trust in their lifejackets.

Others listened to the warnings and, after donning their lifejackets, searched for a lifeboat. They saw some conveniently located by wide aisle ways that were especially appealing. When crewmen instructed them to move to other lifeboats due to the condition of the hulls, no one paid attention. “Why leave this one,” one figured. “The hull looks fine to me – freshly painted as a matter of fact. All lifeboats are pretty much the same anyway, so what difference could it possibly make which one is holding me? My friends are already here and I’m not going to leave them. I’m staying put!”

But there were a few who, after hearing and heeding the warnings, put on their lifejackets and searched for a lifeboat. Asking the crewmen which ones were seaworthy, they searched specifically for those lifeboats. Seeing the hulls on the others were rotting, they entreated the passengers in them to leave. Most dismissed this with, “Everyone has a right to their own opinions. We’re happy where we are. We’re all going to get to the same place when this over – it doesn’t matter how we get there.”

The warnings of impending disaster were true. The ship indeed sank.

When those who had purposefully ignored the warnings realized they were sinking, it was too late.  Every one of them perished.

When those wearing their lifejackets realized they were sinking, they blithely jumped into the ocean fully expecting their lifejackets to save them. They hadn’t counted on the water temperature being 40 degrees. All of them perished as well.

Those trusting in the comfortable, appealing lifeboats confidently set out to sea awaiting their sure rescue. How surprised they were to discover only too late that the rotting hulls made their lifeboats no more capable of saving them than the doomed ship they had just abandoned. Every individual in these lifeboats perished.

But those who had diligently listened to the evacuation orders, who had carefully put on their lifejackets, who had heeded the crewmen by making their way through the narrow aisles to board the outwardly unappealing lifeboats – every last one of them was saved. Not a single soul was lost.

With God’s help, may all of us trust completely and solely in what Jesus Christ has already accomplished for our salvation. Trusting in anything else – whether it’s family, infant baptism, church tradition – leads us to the same end: we will perish!

He who has ears to hear let him hear.

Will you join with us in sounding the clarion call to a world that is eating, drinking, and making merry oblivious to any thoughts of God’s impending judgment? Don’t delay. The time is short!

To God Be The Glory!


What Christmas Means To Me (by Alice Mills)

December 22, 2012

The following is courtesy of Alice Mills of Poolesville, Maryland:

Christmas means many things to me.  Family and friends are an important part of my holiday – being with my daughter and son-in-law, with my grandchildren and great grandchildren, and with my many dear friends.  During my life the Lord has blessed me to see my family grow – from my husband, daughter and me, then expanding to include 3 grandchildren and their families and now 6 great grandchildren.

God also has blessed me with many dear friends and, although my purse tells a different story, oh how rich I am in the things that truly matter!  As the years pass and loved ones move away it gets harder bringing everyone together in one place at one time on Christmas.  Some years the gatherings are larger, some years they’re smaller, but we always make the effort to gather together as much of the family as possible during the holiday.

I’m also very much aware of family and friends no longer with us – particularly Doug, my husband of 42 years.  Although Christmas sometimes is bittersweet, the best cure for easing these feelings has remained the same over time: being with friends and family.

Christmas is a time for exchanging gifts with those we love and care about.  The greatest of these gifts is the one given to us by our Heavenly Father, the giver of every good and perfect gift.  Christmas is a season when all of us can focus our eyes on the marvelous fact that God took on a human nature and became a human being so that He could be the Savior of all who would believe on Him.  More than anything else, that’s what Christmas really means to me.

Note from Jeff: Alice Mills is my 95 year young grandmother.  Merry Christmas Nana — and to everyone else!


The Tragedy in Newtown CT

December 19, 2012

When I heard the news about what happened in CT to those defenseless children, it made me sick.  How could someone target a class of First Graders and massacre them?

The news anchors said that the children were waiting for Santa Claus and instead the Devil visited them.  People are also saying that Evil visited Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Call it what you will, but it’s a horrible reminder to us that SIN is very much a part of this world.  And personally I think it also shows us that sin is on the rise in this world.

Is the increase of terrible acts like the one we saw on December 14th evidence that we’re near the End?  The Mayan calendar ended on December 21st 2012 — and there were those who actually predicted that would be the end of the world.  But December 14th was the end of the world for the First Grade children in CT.

And when we die, it is the end of the world for us because the next thing we’ll be aware of is standing at the throne of Christ — being welcomed into His Kingdom…or being told to depart from Him because He never knew us.

So as we focus on Christ’s birth during this Christmas season, we should also take a moment to think about His return.  The End did not come on December 21st as the Mayans predicted, but none of the 25 children, staff or teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School thought it was going to be December 14th either.

So let’s redeem the time now — while it’s still day.


Did God Inspire the King James Bible?

June 15, 2012

Today’s posting may be considered by some to be controversial.  But we’re taking up this subject matter because one of the more persistent accusations made against those preferring the King James Bible (KJV) is that it’s inspired.  By “inspired” they mean the English words were inspired by God in the same manner as the original manuscripts.

We don’t believe the KJV is inspired like the original manuscripts.  A better (and more precise) way of viewing this is as a “Transferred Authority.”  Our thanks go to Dr. Ken Matto for his diligent efforts in compiling much of the information that follows.

When the holy men of old penned the original autographs under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, those words were indeed inspired by God.  However, once the last book of the Bible (Revelation) was completed, divine inspiration ceased and illumination began. 

If the KJV were to have been translated just 100 years earlier, we wouldn’t be able to understand it.  By the early 17th Century, the English language had undergone a major revision.  What we have in our possession today is the 4th edition of 1769.  There were no manuscript changes; just updates of English words because the language continued its evolution toward more simplicity.  

Here is one example using Mark 3:28:

Wycliffe Bible of 1382

(Mark 3:28) Treuli Y seie to you, that alle synnes and blasfemyes, bi whiche thei han blasfemed, schulen be foryouun to the sones of men.

 

1611 KJV

(Mark 3:28) Uerely I say vnto you, All sinnes shalbe forgiuen vnto the sonnes of men, and blasphemies, wherewith soeuer they shall blaspheme:

 

1769  Revised Language 4th Edition

(Mark 3:28 KJV) Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

 
Preservation of the Text
(Psa 12:6-7 KJV) The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. {7} Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

God has promised us that He is going to preserve His Words for all generations.  Notice, He didn’t say there would be another set of inspired writings.  On the contrary, He said He was going to preserve what already had been written down. 

Today, we have this perpetual promise fulfilled in the KJV.  The two most preserved manuscripts are the 1524-5 Bomberg edition of the Hebrew Masoretic Text of the Old Testament (also known as the Ben Chayyim text) and the Greek Received Text (Textus Receptus) of the New Testament.  Both of these manuscripts have escaped the ungodly scissors of textual critics.

 

Preservation Vs. Inspiration

Much confusion arises when these words are used interchangeably.  They’re not synonyms for the same thing!  Inspiration was God authoring the Bible through holy men of old whereas preservation is the keeping of those manuscripts through the ages for posterity. 

Preservation applies to translations. The Textus Receptus has been translated into many different languages from the time of its birth in the inspired autographs.  Two of them are the Old Latin Vulgate (90-150 AD) [not to be confused with Jerome's 4th century Vulgate] and Martin Luther’s 1534 translation into the German language.  Both of these were translated from the pure line of manuscripts thanks to God’s promise to preserve in Psa 12:7.

Transferred Authority

One of the principle reasons for saying the KJV is inspired is due to its authority, sometimes known as “Derivative Inspiration.”   When God stated that he would preserve His Word through subsequent generations He also attached something else to preservation — the authority of the original writings. Since the KJV is based on the purest of manuscripts, this authority is imputed to the KJV.  We could cite the following as evidence: since the translation was completed in 1611, the KJV has built nations, caused revival, changed lives, and brought people out of religious darkness for nearly 400 years. 

If there were no transferred authority in the KJV, none of these could have taken place because it would just have been yet another in a long line of religious books without authority.  But this wasn’t the case.

With the KJV being built upon the most accurate manuscripts, the Holy Spirit illumines the passages being studied for proper understanding.  He opens the eyes of those appointed to salvation.  The modern versions engender confusion.  Don’t believe us?  If you’re in a Bible study and there are several different translations present, see how long it takes before you hear, “What does yours say?”

 

Final Thoughts

God’s Word is preserved for us in the KJV and, although not inspired as the original autographs, they nevertheless carry the authority of the original autographs.  The KJV is a guided translation of the manuscripts which had their birth in the original autographs which God authored with His full authority.

Please let us know what you think.  Do you think there’s a more accurate version than the KJV?  Tell us why.

To God Be The Glory!


The Gospel: What It Is NOT!

June 10, 2012
Today’s posting addresses what the gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT.  This is the most important of all questions because upon it hinges the eternal destiny of our souls. (see the related topic from 05 June 2012). 

If we do not OBEY that Gospel, we are damned for all eternity:“… the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” [2Thess 1:7-9] 

 

However, even if we know what the Gospel is, we cannot obey the Gospel perfectly in and of ourselves. Wonderfully, Jesus Christ obeyed the Gospel perfectly, on behalf of those He came to save. Those whom Christ saves are then supposed go out into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature – to all those whom God puts in their path as they journey through life. Therefore believers in Christ need to know what this Gospel is so that they can present it to others, as clearly and accurately as possible.Many people, who may be genuine Christians, often do not have a proper understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They do not fully understand what it is that saves a soul or how it is that God performs His work of salvation in a person. Just like Apollos, they need to be instructed in the way of God more perfectly:

“And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”
[Acts 18:24-26]

WHAT THE GOSPEL IS NOT

A helpful way to understand the Gospel is to point out some common misconceptions about salvation. The true Gospel of Jesus Christ is none of the following, no matter how many people may be saying these things:

  1. God has a wonderful plan for your life.
  2. God loves the sinner but hates the sin.
  3. You can be saved anytime you want just by accepting Christ.
  4. Say some “sinner’s prayer” and if you really mean it, you are saved.
  5. Anyone who believes in God (according to just about any religion) will get to heaven.
  6. Anyone who is a “good” person will get to heaven.
  7. Anyone who believes in Jesus and calls Jesus “Lord” is a Christian.

Let us look in more detail at these things that the Gospel is NOT:

Misconception #1: God has a wonderful plan for your life.

In truth, God might a plan for your life that you may not like in the least – if you are not among those whom Christ came to save. Even true believers are told throughout the Bible that all who live godly lives in Christ can expect to be persecuted, while the unsaved may live lives full of material blessings and other blessings. Ultimately, those who die lost can expect their lives in eternity to be most miserable…

Romans 9:22 – “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:”

Romans 2:5-6 – “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:”

Prov 29:1 - “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

What is God’s plan for your life? Do you know? Are you seeking the Lord while He may be found?

Misconception #2: God loves the sinner but hates the sin.

In truth, God hates the workers of iniquity AND their wicked works…

Psalm 5:5 – “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

Psalm 11:5 – “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

Prov 15:9 – “The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.”

Does God love you or are you still spiritually lost and living according to your own standards or your church’s standards instead of according to the Bible?

Misconception #3: You can be saved anytime you want just by accepting Christ.

In truth, salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9), not of man. God alone determines who He will save and when He will save them. God is the giver of all life, both physical life and spiritual life. No one is born into His kingdom unless He orchestrates everything necessary for that birth to occur…

1Cor 15:8 – “And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

John 1:13 – “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Eph 1:4-5 – “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”

We don’t accept Christ and His rule in our lives until He first accepts us and converts our rebellious hearts:

Ephesians 1:5 – “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

Has Christ accepted you yet? How do you know?

Misconception #4: Say some “sinner’s prayer” and if you really mean it, you are saved.

In truth, God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy. God doe not owe anyone salvation. Nor does a person’s prayer cause God to do something, otherwise that person would be more sovereign than God…

Romans 9:15,18 - “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”

Daniel 4:35 – “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

Your motives for saying some prayer may be entirely selfish. You may have no desire whatsoever to repent and come under the Lordship of Christ – you may only be trying to avoid judgment without having to turn from your sins. In fact, since the human heart is so corrupt and so easily deceived, you may not even know what you are really saying or doing, for as the Bible says:

Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Proverbs 28:9 – “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”

When you pray, do you know if God hears you? Your prayers are an abomination to God if you are still living in rebellion to Him.

Misconception #5: Anyone who believes in God (according to just about any religion) will get to heaven.

In truth, you must believe in Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, and Him alone. Believing in a man made Jesus such as the Jesus of Catholicism, Mormonism, or Jehovah’s Witnesses will save no one…

Acts 4:12 – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

John 14:6 – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 14:9 – “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

Acts 17:2-3 – “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.”

Acts 2:36 – “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Col 1:13-19 – “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;”

Gal 1:8 – “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

John 4:24 - “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

When, and only when God converts a sinner, do they have a proper relationship to God and do they accurately understand who Christ is, especially as their Lord, as eternal God, who became their sin-bearer, their substitute and all-sufficient Saviour from the eternal wrath of an infinitely holy God. So, only a converted sinner whom God has put His Spirit in, is capable of believing in God properly – in spirit and in truth.

Which God do you believe in? The God of the Bible or a god invented by you or your church.

Misconception #6: Anyone who is a “good” person will get to heaven.

In truth, no one is good in God’s eyes…

Romans 3:10&23 – “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: … For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Isaiah 64:6 - “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

Isaiah 59:1-2 – “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

God’s standards of righteousness and holiness are far higher than man’s standards. According to God’s standard, committing just ONE sin qualifies a person for hell for all eternity:

James 2:10 – “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

God expects perfection, something we are all incapable of:

Matt 5:48 – “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

This puts us in a hopeless situation, unless Christ grants us a complete pardon for all our sins but that pardon cannot be granted without someone paying for our sins. That someone is Christ who paid the complete penalty for all the sins of all of His people:

Matt 1:21 – “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

Are you one of His people? How do you know?

Misconception #7: Anyone who believes in Jesus and calls Jesus “Lord” is a Christian.

In truth, if God does not convert the person’s heart, they are none of His. They must have been born spiritually by the Spirit of God, so that they know the One whom they believe in and so that they will be able, willing and anxious to serve Him as their Lord. They must serve Christ according to what the Bible says, not necesssarily according to what their church may  teach…

Matt 7:21-23 – “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

James 2:19 – “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

Do you believe in the Jesus who saves people without the help of anyone else?

To God Be The Glory!


The Gospel: What It Is!

June 5, 2012
This Spreading God’s Word posting addresses the gospel of Jesus Christ…and what it is.  This is the most important of all questions because upon it hinges the eternal destiny of our souls. If we do not OBEY that Gospel, we are damned for all eternity: “… the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” [2Thess 1:7-9]  

However, even if we know what the Gospel is, we cannot obey the Gospel perfectly in and of ourselves. Wonderfully, Jesus Christ obeyed the Gospel perfectly, on behalf of those He came to save. Those whom Christ saves are then supposed go out into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature – to all those whom God puts in their path as they journey through life. Therefore believers in Christ need to know what this Gospel is so that they can present it to others, as clearly and accurately as possible.Many people who may be genuine Christians often do not have a proper understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They do not fully understand what it is that saves a soul or how it is that God performs His work of salvation in a person. Just like Apollos, they need to be instructed in the way of God more perfectly: “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” [Acts 18:24-26]

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

The Gospel or Good News of Jesus Christ is God’s plan of salvation and it can be summarized as follows:

  1. ALL are spiritually lost – all have sinned and are unfit for heaven. (Rom. 3:10-23)

  2. God is holy and NO SIN can be in His presence. So even one sin qualifies me for eternal separation from God (James 2:10)

  3. ETERNAL punishment in hell is the penalty for sin. (Luke 12:4-5, Rev. 14:11, Rev. 20:15)

  4. No works, no human effort of any kind can provide salvation, nor can anyone participate in their salvation (Eph. 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Isa. 59:1-12, Rom. 10:3)

  5. Only a Divine substitute who takes the punishment for ALL my sins can eliminate the need for me to go to hell (Isa. 43:11, Isa. 63:5)

  6. Jesus Christ – and ONLY Christ – is that Divine substitute – the “Lamb of God”. (Isa. 43:11, Luke 2:11, Acts 4:12, Isa. 53, John 1:29, Titus 2:13, 3:6)

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

God is the One who opens our blind eyes to the truth of who God is and who we are and He does this by regenerating our spiritually dead soul:

John 11:25-26 – “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

God does everything when it comes to a person becoming saved:

Ezekiel 36:25-27 – “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 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.” John 16:7-8 – “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment”

God has chosen to use believers to get this gospel (or “good news”) out, to sow it in men’s hearts:

Mark 4:15 – “And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”

Once we have preached the Gospel to someone it is up to God to do what He wills with our seed sowing. Nevertheless, we are obligated to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers to water the seed that we sow and to pray to God to have mercy on the souls of men just as Moses interceded for Israel. When it is God’s time to save someone, He will give them new life from above. He will put His Spirit in them.

What Gospel are YOU trusting in?

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” [Galatians 1:8-9]

To God Be The Glory!

 


“ALL” — What does it mean in the New Testament?

June 1, 2012

“ALL”

We are indebtted to Dr. Ken Matto for this word study.  The word “all” in the New Testament is the Greek word “pas” (pas) which depending upon the context carries with it the meaning of “all”; “every”; “each”; “everyone”; or “everything.”  This posting is intended to serve as a supplement for Unconditional Election (http://jeffandcindy.wordpress.com/2006/12/06/requested-topic-1-unconditional-election/) and Limited Atonement (http://jeffandcindy.wordpress.com/2006/12/07/requested-topic-2-limited-atonement/

WHEN “ALL” ISN’T ALL!

(Mat 2:3 KJV) When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Did every person in Jerusalem hear the Magi’s message and was everyone troubled?

(Mat 3:5 KJV) Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

(Mark 1:5 KJV) And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Did everyone in Judaea and all the surrounding region come out to see John the Baptist and then get baptized?

(Mat 10:22 KJV) And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Does this all include Christians?

(Mat 25:31 KJV) When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

(1 Tim 5:21 KJV) I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

Here we see that all the holy angels are the elect angels of God!

(Mark 1:37 KJV) And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.

(Rom 3:11 KJV) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Does everyone seek Jesus? Better Question does anyone seek Him?

(Rom 5:18 KJV) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Is The second “all” equal in meaning to the first “all”?

(Mark 9:23 KJV) Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

If I believe I can I fly, should I jump off a building?

(Mark 13:23 KJV) But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

Did Christ tell us exactly when He is returning?

(Luke 2:1 KJV) And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Did the Inca’s, the Chinese, the American Indians have to pay a tax too?

(Luke 2:10 KJV) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Does the unbeliever rejoice in Christ or do they celebrate Santa Claus?

When God uses the word “pas”, He qualifies the use of it.  

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When “All” is “All”!

(Luke 2:20 KJV) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

The Shepherds rejoiced over all the things they heard and saw.

(Luke 2:47 KJV) And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

Those who were present to hear the words of Christ in the temple.

(Luke 3:16 KJV) John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Here we see that John the Baptist spoke to all who heard him.

(1 Cor 10:1 KJV) Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

Did not all the Israelites pass through the Red Sea and were under the cloud as spoken of in Exodus? (Exo 40:36 KJV) And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:

(Rom 9:6 KJV) Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

Here God speaks of two Israels. He states that not all those of national or physical Israel are of the Israel of God, which is the redeemed body of Christ.

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We’ve taken a few verses and we have seen that God uses the word “all” in two ways: First, to show completeness of what’s in view (when all is all); secondly, to show a completeness within a particular subset (when all is not all).  Here’s an example of that:

The news comes on and reports that an airliner crashed in New York City and all were killed. Who was killed? Those in the airliner or all those in New York City?  Can you see the principle of completeness within the context of a particular subset? The inhabitants of the plane were killed but not everyone in New York City. The same careful methods of application must be applied to biblical interpretation; otherwise, we come to incorrect conclusions. The unfortunate reality is that many Christians neglect this method of interpretation.   

To God Be The Glory!


God’s Outreach Replenishment Plan

May 20, 2012

Everyone is familiar with the term erosion. Webster defines it as the process of diminishing or destroying by degrees something that was once a thing of beauty or a strong pillar.  We’ve all seen the effects of erosion, whether in the once beautiful face of the Sphinx or on the beach after a major storm. 

 

However, there is also a spiritual dimension to erosion and our Christian outreach is vulnerable to its effects.  The erosion isn’t one where we lose our salvation; after all, that is an impossibility.  Rather, it is one where our once strong desire to share the gospel with others gradually drifts as we become more ensnared into the world’s system. 

 

No believer wakes up one day and suddenly decides, “Gee, I think I’ll let my Christian outreach erode.”  Like all erosion, it’s a gradual process.   Thankfully, God has provided us with His “Outreach Replenishment Plan” to enable us to combat the threat of an eroding Christian witness to unbelievers.   Here are just a few of His guiding principles.

God commands all of us to preach His Word (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

People are perishing every minute without Christ (Joel 3:12-14)

Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness [is] great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD [is] near in the valley of decision.

God saves people through preaching of His Word (Romans 10:17)

So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

God calls us to be His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

We must redeem the time before Christ returns (Ephesians 5:15-21)

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is]. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

We are to warn the lost to flee God’s wrath lest their blood be on us (Ezekiel 33:7-9)

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked [man], thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

Witnessing is our reasonable service given what Christ did for us (Luke 17:7-10)

But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Christ commands us to bear fruit (Luke 13:6-9)

He spake also this parable; A certain [man] had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung [it]: And if it bear fruit, [well]: and if not, [then] after that thou shalt cut it down.

Christ commands us to witness (Matthew 28:19-20)

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

To God Be The Glory!


Misconceptions About Christianity

May 15, 2012

Today’s posting highlights some of the more pervasive misconceptions (read: lies) about our Christian faith.  Many, including well meaning yet misguided Christians, are preaching lots of things that sound good on the surface but at their root are false.

Some of these modern unscriptural ideas about Christianity are outlined below as a wake-up call to all born-again, Bible-believing disciples of Jesus Christ.  The next time someone confronts you with one of these lies, we hope you’ll recall these nuggets from God’s Word and use that opportunity as a springboard for sharing the truth about the gospel.

“I HAVE NO GREATER JOY THAN TO HEAR THAT MY CHILDREN WALK IN TRUTH” [3 John 1:4]

LIE #1: God wants his children to be rich.

Matt 6:19-20 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal

Luke 18:22 – Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Matt 8:20 – And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

2 Tim 3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

LIE #2: If you have enough faith God will give you whatever you ask for.

James 4:3 – Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

1 John 5:14 – And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us

LIE #3: Don’t speak out against sin or against error because you might offend someone.

Gal 4:16 – Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Jude 1:3 – Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Luke 17:3 – Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

1 Tim 5:20 – Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Matt 15:12-24 – Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Matt 24:10-11 – And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

LIE #4: Unity is more important than doctrine.

Psa 138:2 – … thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

2 Tim 4:3-4 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

LIE #5: Christians should work together with whoever is pro-family and pro-life.

2 Cor 6:14-17 – Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord

LIE #6: Christians can divorce or remarry provided the spouse committed adultery.

Luke 16:18 – Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Mark 10:11-12 – And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Matt 19:4-6 – And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Rom 7:2-3 – For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while : but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Remember: Christ says that merely thinking about lustful things means we’re guilty of adultery. Matthew 5:27-28

LIE #7: All babies and small children that die go to heaven because God would not condemn anyone who has not reached ‘the age of accountability’.

Psa 51:5 – Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psa 58:3 – The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. God sovereignly determines which infants, children and adults He will ordain to eternal life no matter how short their lives may be.

LIE #8: Signs and wonders are evidences of being a Christian – a true child of God.

1 Cor 12:30 – Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

1 Cor 14:11 – Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

Matt 12:39 – … An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas It is not tongues speaking or any other miraculous signs that confirm our conversion to Christ. True signs of salvation consist of a changed attitude about God and sin as evidenced by a love for holiness (John 14:21, Heb 12:14), for the brethren (1John 3:14), the lost (Matt 5:44) and biblical truth (John 18:37).

LIE #9: You can commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit if you question the source of someone’s tongues utterances, tongues interpretations, or messages from God.

1Thes 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

1 John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Rev 22:18 – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book

LIE #10: We should not question someone’s salvation.

1 John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Matt 7:15-16 – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

LIE #11: Saturday is still the Sabbath day.

Acts 20:7 – And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them

1 Cor 16:2 – Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Col 2:16-17 – Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath : Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

LIE #12: God doesn’t mind if we use religious statues, pictures or medallions as aids to worship.

Exo 20:4-5 – Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them

Deut 29:17 – And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them

Psa 135:15-18 -The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.

1Cor 10:14 – Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry

2 Cor 6:16 – And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?

1John 5:21 – Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Rev 9:20 – And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

LIE #13: You can get yourself saved anytime you want just by saying a prayer telling Jesus that you accept Him as your Saviour.

Acts 15:8 – And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;

Jonah 2:9 – Salvation is of the LORD.

Mat 7:21-23 – Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 18:3 – And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matt 15:8 – This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Luke 13:3 – I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

John 3:3 – Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

2 Cor 13:5 – Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

LIE #14: God doesn’t care what we expose ourselves to (music, radio & TV programs, movies, reading material, etc.) as long as it has a positive message.

James 4:4 – Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Psa 101:3 – I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes

LIE #15: You are legalistic if you speak against specific sins.

Rom 6:1,2 – What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

2 Pet 3:14 – Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

John 7:24 – Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

LIE #16: You can lose your salvation.

Rom 5:11 – And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

John 3:18 – He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

1 John 5:13 – These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. J

ohn 10:28 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Jude 1:24 – Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy

LIE #17: Evangelism is only an activity for Christians who have that gift.

2 Cor 5:20 – Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

James 5:20 – Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Mat 10:32-33 – Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

LIE #18: Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists and Roman Catholics are all members of legitimate Christian churches.

Rev 22:18 – If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.

The Mormon church has added the Book of Mormon, The Jehovah Witness Watchtower organization has created the corrupt New World Translation bible, The Adventist churches have added Ellen G. White’s writings, and the Catholic Church has added the Apocrypha and Catholic Catechism.  Aall of these additional books and writings are used to elevate the teachings of these organizations above the Holy Bible.

What do you think of these misconceptions?  Are there any you disagree with?  If so, let us know why…and please provide Scripture references to show us our error.  We want nothing but the truth on this blog.

To God Be The Glory!


Whose Faith Saves Us?

May 10, 2012

Today’s Spreading God’s Word posting will highlight how important every last little word is in Scripture.  When we change just one little word in the Bible, we can drastically change the meaning that God intended.  Sadly, that’s what has happened with the vast majority of the newer, more modern translations when it comes to understanding precisely whose faith it is that enables us to become saved.

Galatians 2:16 (KJV): “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

This wonderful declaration of the salvation God has provided for us may surprise those who’ve been brought up with the idea that God saves us only after we’ve demonstrated faith in Him.

First, let’s look at the term justified.  It means we’ve become just; we no longer stand as criminals before God the holy Judge.  How did we get this way?  As the first portion of this verse shows, it wasn’t by obeying the commandments or by doing any other kind of works.

Notice the second phrase. It reads, “but by the faith of Jesus Christ” – we are justified by, or out of, Christ’s faith. This truth is repeated in the next phrase: “even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ.” Later, in verse 20, Paul writes, “And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God”. Three times in this passage, God says that we are saved by – that is, out of – the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Whenever God repeates something this many times in such a short space, we had better pay close attention.

Unfortunately, the word “of” has been changed to “in” in most of the newer translations (or trashlations if you prefer).  These Bible versions say “by faith in Christ” rather than “by the faith of Christ”.  Does this little word mean that much?  

Time for a little Greek 101. In the original Greek text, the word Christ is in the genitive case, which denotes possession. Strictly translated, the phrase could read “Christ’s faith”.  The reality is that nowhere in this verse is there a preposition that can be translated “in”.  Unfortunately, rather than using the original Greek word most translations and commentaries have arbitrarily changed the word to “in”.   Where is their justification for doing so?  Why have they done this?  

One explanation might be that the word “of” doesn’t jive with their understanding of what Gal 2:16 should mean.  Sadly, for unsuspecting readers of these newer translations, this change in one little word changes the entire meaning of this verse.

Faith of Christ

What God is declaring in this verse is that we are justified neither by our works nor by our own faith, but by the faith of Christ. The same truth is repeated in Philippians 3:9…(that I may) be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

The focal point is on the faith of Christ – in His living a sinless life and paying the full price for all the sins of those He came to save.  Can you see that if we had manifested faith in Christ on our own – of our own volition – then it would be a work of ours?  Our own faith is a work that we do.  Consider I John 3:23:

And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is a command of God.  This command to believe is one of many contained in God’s law book (the Bible).  It’s part of the law.  Therefore, if we say we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ on our own in an effort to become saved, then what we’re really saying (whether we realize it or not) is that we’re keeping the law.

But keeping the law cannot save us!  So, where does this leave us?  It means that the faith that saves us is entirely the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.  God must give it to us in order for us to exercise true faith.  This is what Ephesians 2:8 emphasizes:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

Therefore, when we begin to trust the Lord Jesus Christ, it is the evidence that God has begun to save us. It is not something that we do in order to obtain salvation.

In the second half of this verse, Paul reminds Peter that they themselves have believed Christ in that they might be justified by the faith of Christ, not the observance of the law, because the act of obeying God’s command cannot save anyone.

Let us never think that we merit anything that would count toward our salvation. As the closing phrase of Galatians 2:16 states, “for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Whenever we try to do a work to merit our salvation, we’re only digging the hole deeper into hell. 

To God Be The Glory!


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