Saved, Saved, Saved #2

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

“The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me” (Psalm 116:6 KJV).

The second verse of Jack P. Scholfield’s classic 1911 hymn, “Saved, Saved, Saved,” highlights today’s Scripture.

“He saves me from every sin and harm,
Secures my soul each day;
I’m leaning strong on His mighty arm;
I know He’ll guide me all the way.”

While Scripture certainly does not teach sinless perfection in this life (called “complete sanctification” in strict religious circles), it does teach victorious Christian living. For example, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Romans 6:11,12). As Christians, we can choose to let sin reign in us, or we can choose to deny sin’s access to our life. Our choice!

Christ Jesus died, and we died to sin with Him; He was raised again, and we were raised again to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:1-5). “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (verses 6,7).

Romans chapter 6 is packed full of wonderful verses about our identity in Jesus Christ. We can have complete and total victory over sin on a daily basis. But, do we access that identity by faith in these Bible verses? Or, do we coast along in the energy of our flesh (the Law) and let sin get dominion over us? That is what happened to Paul in chapter 7. Chapter 8, the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, rescues us from the despair and defeat of chapter 7.

Brethren, whether or not we act like Christians, we are still the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26-28). It is His faithfulness that keeps us saved, for it is His faithfulness that purchased our redemption in the first place! What a glorious, exciting reality—we will never find anything like it in religion! The salvation we have from the penalty of sin (hell) allows us to have salvation from the power of sin (daily sins).

Saved, Saved, Saved #1

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:24,25 KJV).

The first verse of Jack P. Scholfield’s classic 1911 hymn, “Saved, Saved, Saved,” highlights today’s Scripture.

“I’ve found a Friend, who is all to me,
His love is ever true;
I love to tell how He lifted me
And what His grace can do for you.”

In religious circles, “saved” is a very dirty word. When you utter it in a denominational setting, gasps can be heard. Parishioners may experience cardiac arrest! How dare you be so “arrogant” in declaring—let alone thinking!—there is reserved in heaven a place for you! Church members shudder as that word “saved” “defiles” their religious ears. They have no such assurance of “salvation.” Furthermore, they tremble to realize the precarious situation they have been in since birth—“If I am not ‘saved,’ I must be ‘lost!’”

According to Roman Catholic theology, the “mortal sin of presumption” is committed when one believes he or she will go to heaven without any time spent “suffering for sins” in “purgatory.” Of course, this is fiction and nonsense. Remember, as long as you do not know if you are saved, you will keep coming to church, keep giving, keep praying, keep keeping the sacraments, keep keeping the ordinances! To die in the “mortal sin” of “presumption” is to merit immediate hellfire, with no chance of ever entering purgatory… or heaven. Oh, but praise God, we know God’s truth in today’s Scripture! There is total redemption—complete deliverance and purging from sin—in and because of Jesus Christ!

There is a “Friend” of sinners and His name is Jesus Christ. His love spanned the gulf of sin between you and God, and it sent Him to Calvary’s cruel cross. “Grace” is not what you can do for God so He can offer you salvation; grace is what God can do for you through Calvary because you can do nothing for Him! ’Tis the only way to be “Saved, Saved, Saved!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Must I witness to be saved?

No “Sin?”

Monday, July 25, 2016

“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” (2 Timothy 4:3,4 KJV).

Is there really such a thing as “sin?” If there is, a good many preachers will literally not say it!

Not long ago, a feel-good pastor was featured on a news show to comment on a recent tragedy. When the news anchor asked him why there was all this craziness in society, the pastor just could not bring himself to say the word “sin.” The best he could do was repeat, “It is just our fallen nature, humanity’s fallen nature.”

Beloved, “sin” is such a negative word, and this man was used to pleasing people. He would not dare say “sin” on television. It might offend someone “too sophisticated” or “too positive” to think about something so unconstructive as “sin!” Overall, the pastor’s spiritual insight was that of a first-grade Sunday School student. He never gave any real comfort and no in-depth commentary from the Bible. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say he quoted as much Scripture as the news anchor! (None.)

People just cannot handle the truth, especially the truths of the Holy Bible. One of the ways we know the Bible is not of human origin is its negative portrait of mankind. It offends our flesh; it contradicts our sin nature that wants to perform. The Bible is always negative toward man and always positive toward God. But, today’s Scripture says people will more and more gravitate toward error. They do not want to be called “sinners.” Oh, no! They do not want to be called “lost,” either! Let us call them “diseased,” “debilitated,” and “un-churched!”

Friends, there is a negative reality called “sin.” This offends people, but so what! God gave us that bad news so He could then give us good news, the Gospel of Grace. “Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). We can have righteousness—His righteousness—when we trust Him and Him alone as sufficient payment for our sins!

Fewer Enemies Than God

Sunday, July 24, 2016

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Genesis 6:5-7 KJV).

You may have a lot of enemies, dear Christian friend, but you have a lot less enemies than God does!

Long ago, a much older Christian saw a young pastor who was greatly disheartened. He exhorted that young man by name, “You may have enemies, but not as many as God does!” “Amen,” we say, “Amen!” Just think on today’s Scripture. Many, many centuries ago, the world became so out of control, so rebellious, that God had to finally destroy it in the Great Flood. That wickedness was not confined to the Mesopotamian Valley. It was literally everywhere. God’s enemies had taken over His planet, and now He was going to wipe it clean!

The human population of Earth at the time of the Great Deluge is unknown. Maybe there were several hundred millions. Perhaps even a few billions. Add to that the seven billion people on Earth today. Plus, there may be one or two billion other people between the post-Flood world and modern-day record-keeping. In total, somewhere between 10 and 15 billion people have lived thus far. All of them sinners, God had to deal with every last one of them. How He was so patient! All of them were always doing things to upset Him, to offend Him, to disobey Him. Even today, God has more enemies present on Earth than He has ever had!

Christian friend, no matter how many people are against you, always remember God has more people against Him. If He can handle His enemies, He is also able to handle yours if you let Him!:)

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Did God create evil?

Revealed Unto Babes

Saturday, July 23, 2016

“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight” (Luke 10:21 KJV).

What unflattering words for Bible “scholars” everywhere!

Once, I attended a funeral where a religious leader—educated in seminary—read today’s Scripture before all the mourners. I was amazed! After the service, I politely repeated it to him (implying the verse fit him perfectly!).

Notice these phrases I extracted from a theology book: “Great Bible scholars who have spent their lives in the study of the Greek language tell us that this phrase should read….” “Again we look to the Greek scholars, men who have spent their lives in studying the language in which the New Testament was written. One of the greatest Greek scholars of all time declares that the context here demands… the phrase should read….”

The above author, educated in Bible College, was trained to quote the “scholars.” Unfortunately, Scripture means nothing to them unless the other “scholars” approve. If the King James Bible and its underlying Greek Textus Receptus does not fit their pro-Roman-Catholic agenda, they replace it with some inferior “Minority Reading” (very few New Testament Greek manuscripts in agreement). Furthermore, Greek literacy alone does not mean one is qualified for discerning Bible truths! One particular Greek “scholar” dominated New Testament thinking during the latter half of the 20th century—he never once claimed personal faith in Jesus Christ! His damnable “contributions” remain today in the modern Greek New Testaments and dozens upon dozens of modern English versions that shallow Christians tote everywhere!

When the Lord Jesus selected apostles, He did not visit the synagogues—worldly education (unbelief) was worshipped there. Rather, He went to the shores to find uneducated fishermen. “Education” later called those dear fishermen “unlearned and ignorant men” (Acts 4:13). Indeed, dear friends, God’s wisdom and man’s wisdom never agree. Today, read the first three chapters of First Corinthians. Man in his own wisdom will never understand God’s wisdom. However, those who submit to the Holy Spirit will see exciting truths unparalleled!:)

Conform or Be Transformed!

Friday, July 22, 2016

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1,2 KJV).

We have two choices—conform or be transformed.

To “conform” literally means “with [same] shape;” the word “transform” literally means “change shape thoroughly.” We can think of gelatin or bread conforming to a mold; we can imagine raw ingredients transformed into a mass of gelatin or a loaf of bread. If we carry these illustrations over into the spiritual realm, today’s exhortation becomes clear.

When Paul says “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,” he is referring to the first 11 chapters of Romans (previous chapters). The “mercies of God” (plural, not “mercy”) is everything that God has done in the prior 11 chapters. It especially refers to chapters 1-8—Christian justification and sanctification. Chapter 12 (today’s Scripture) heads the final section of Romans, which terminates with chapter 16.

Not long ago, I talked with a Christian man who, rather than being “transformed by the renewing of his mind,” has been and is still being “conformed to this world.” He has refused any offers to fellowship with our assembly. Without a local church, without daily renewing his mind with the King James Bible rightly divided, constantly tuned in to newscasts, he has become progressively weary and depressed. Stranded, Satan is having him get so caught up in what sinful man is doing that his focus has shifted from Jesus Christ his Saviour. Operating in the energy of the flesh, he is slowly being worn down. His mentality and behavior have been forced into the world’s mold!

Dear friends, let us stay in the King James Bible rightly divided each and every day. The Adversary is always out to pervert us and conform us to his policy of evil. God’s Word dispensationally-delivered is the way to renew our minds!:)

When the Land Vomited (Thrice)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants (Leviticus 18:24,25 KJV).

The land has vomited twice; it will again!

Leviticus chapter 18 is JEHOVAH God commanding Israel through Moses not to participate in the various graphic activities of the heathen in the Promised Land. He is bringing the Jews into the land that the Gentiles have defiled with child sacrifices, incest, homosexuality, bestiality (sex with animals), adultery, and so on. God is evicting the evil Canaanites so that His people inherit the land that belongs to Him. The Jews are to value and obey His Word, lest the land “vomit” them out as well!

Verses 26-30: “[26] Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: [27] (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) [28] That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. [29] For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. [30] Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.”

Unfortunately, Israel never heeded the warnings. She became increasingly idolatrous in the following centuries. With the deaths of Moses and Joshua, Israel sank spiritually and morally. As God promised, the Promised Land did eventually “vomit” out Israel. The Assyrian and Babylonian armies came and took the Jews into foreign lands as prisoners of war; the Gentiles took over the land of Palestine again. One day, however, the Promised Land will “vomit” out the Gentiles, and God will bring Israel back into it forever!

Bible Q&A #285: “Ephesians 3:15—Who are God’s family in heaven and on earth?