Bible study

Just Read the Book!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh (Ecclesiastes 12:12 KJV).

How can today’s Scripture help us avoid a lifetime of “weariness?”

In concluding the Book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon made a very famous confession: “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

Recently, I dealt with a confused woman who I have been ministering to for some years. She has attended our Bible studies, asked questions, and even came to one of our grace conferences. Over the years, she has been tossed back and forth with various ideas. She also attends local denominational churches where perverted doctrine is taught. Her overall problem is not that she is lost. I believe she is a saved woman. No, her problem is that she reads too many best-selling “Christian” books rather than reading only the Book.

Reading non-biblical religious books is okay, provided that you first know how to rightly divide the Word of God. Friend, you CANNOT afford to expose yourself to hundreds upon hundreds of books written by people who do not even know how to use God’s Word, God’s way. You will disorient and exhaust yourself. Just think about the poor woman. Looking for the will of God in “books, books, books, books…” will tire and defeat you. Remember today’s Scripture!

There are billions of weary people today in religion. Why? They have spent so much time reading confessions, catechisms, and commentaries. Since their church authorities have not taught them how to use the Bible, they do not know how to use it. Thus, they rely on the church authorities to “interpret” it for them. Many of these precious souls are not even told the truth about the Bible anyway because the “authorities” do not know the truth either!

While this lady I reach still has a long way to go in Bible understanding, she was recently exposed to rightly divided Bible verses yet again. She needs to believe those verses, and push aside all of the books competing for her allegiance! Let us by faith do the same! 🙂

Bible Q&A #355: “Do some things happen by ‘chance?’

You may also see our archived Bible Q&A: “Should Christians observe Lent?

Redeem the Year!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

“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” (Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV).

What great advice for 2017!

Despite 2,000 years of Bible schools and seminaries, 2,000 years of a completed Bible canon, 2,000 years of Bible reading in churches, several decades of “Christian” television and radio, and just over a decade of widespread use of “Christian” websites, how sad that Bible ignorance is still quite extensive (it is as if God never gave His Word to start with!).

Frankly, the Church the Body of Christ needs to wake up! The verse previous to today’s Scripture says, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (verse 14). Paul, loosely quoting Isaiah 60:1, reminded us that the spiritual ignorance that gripped Israel in Isaiah’s day seized Christians in his day—and it still grips Christians 20 centuries later. Feel-good sermons, enjoyable “worship” services, and rites, rituals, and ceremonies will NOT solve this problem—they exacerbate it!

“[God] will have all men to be saved…” (1 Timothy 2:4a). Do you want this New Year to count for God’s glory? First, you need to get saved from sins and hell! You need to become a Christian by trusting in and relying on Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). That is only part of God’s will for you, for 1 Timothy 2:4b continues, “[God] will have all men… to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Now, God’s will for your Christian life is daily, personal Bible study to renew your mind, so your faith in those verses can cause God to work in your life—it will be His life, thus making you “perfect [spiritually mature], throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

Today’s Scripture urges us to buy back the time Satan has robbed from God (time created for God’s glory). By faith, we need to make that time glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by applying His Word, particularly Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, to our lives. Have a good year in Christ! 🙂

You can download our free “One-Year Bible Reading Schedule.”

See our archived Bible Q&A: “What Scriptural advice can you give me for the New Year?

By the way, I recently wrote and released a 45-page special Bible article, “The 2016 United States Presidential Election: A Bible-Believing, Grace Perspective.”

‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2016

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 KJV).

Let us not be so sidetracked by religion and commercialization that we miss the reason for the Christmas Season….

During the Christmas Season, we wonder how many people are visiting church for the second time this year (the other being Easter Sunday). How many will be going to church today—the Sunday before Christmas—just to feel “religious” or “holy?” How many really know Jesus Christ? For many, visiting a church building is just an obligation; they do not have faith in God’s Word and have no interest in God’s Word.

We do not go to church to “feel closer to God,” for if we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot be any closer to God than we already are in Christ! “[Before salvation, we were] without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [close to God] by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12,13).

Furthermore, we do not go to church in order to get God’s blessings, for God has already given us “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). We go to church, not because we are keeping Israel’s Sabbath day, since we are not obligated to observe Israel’s religious days (Colossians 2:16). We go to church to fellowship with like-minded believers and hear sound doctrine… more than twice a year, by the way.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy that whenever he would assemble with fellow Christians, certain behavior was acceptable and other types of behavior were not (described throughout the epistle of 1 Timothy). Recall that when the Bible refers to “the church,” it refers to the body of believers, not the physical building in which they meet.

As we get opportunities, let us make an effort to reach these dear souls misled by all the vain religious tradition and Christmas commercialization, and may we tell them of the wonderful Christ Jesus whose name is found in Christmas!

*Based on the poem “‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas.”

For What Saith the Scriptures?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3 KJV).

Today, our Bible Q&A website, “For What Saith the Scriptures?,” celebrates its third anniversary!

A question rarely asked in Christian circles, “What saith the scripture?” is found twice in the Bible—today’s Scripture, and Galatians 4:30, “Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”

God’s will for our lives is summed up in 1 Timothy 2:4, “[God our Saviour] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” There are two issues here—soul salvation from sins and everlasting hellfire, and soul salvation from false teaching unto sound Bible doctrine. Firstly, God wants everyone to become Christians by trusting in and relying exclusively on His Son Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork at Calvary as sufficient payment for their sins. Secondly, God wants Christians to trust in and rely on the grace doctrines found in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

Amazingly, both occurrences of “What saith the scripture?” have a special application to us—each instance correlates to one of the issues in 1 Timothy 2:4! The question “What saith the scripture?” in today’s Scripture uses the Bible to answer the question of soul salvation from sins and everlasting hellfire (faith instead of works, “all men to be saved;” 1 Timothy 2:4). The question “What saith the scripture?” in Galatians 4:30 uses the Bible to answer the question of soul salvation from false teaching unto sound Bible doctrine (grace instead of legalism, “come unto the knowledge of the truth;” 1 Timothy 2:4).

For these past three years, we desired you to have a clear understanding of how to have forgiveness of sins and justification unto eternal life, and for you to have a clear understanding of what God’s Word has to say about issues in your Christian life. We were honored to serve you in this additional capacity; thank you for the prayer and support this past year. As always, we welcome your Bible questions, and hope to serve you in that way for years to come! 🙂

Our 2nd-to-last Q&A for 2016: “Why did God want to kill Moses in Exodus 4:24?

P.S.—If FWSS has helped you in your personal Bible study these last three years, you may show your gratitude by donating to our PayPal account: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux. Or contact me at arcministries@gmail.com to learn how to give by “snail mail.” This past February, we were pleased to announce the launch of a print (booklet) version of FWSS. To purchase any of these 60 booklets, visit https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. New booklets are forthcoming next year!

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing #5

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:14-17 KJV).

The final verse of the classic Christmas carol highlights today’s Scripture.

“Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!”

Religion has done an excellent job (wrongly) teaching us that God likes to rehabilitate humans—that He wants to make us quit doing certain things (“fleshly”) and make us start doing other things (“churchy”). What a very shallow, and actually a false, perception. God wants to do much more than what we could ever do by ourselves.

For good works to reign in our lives, God has to kill us! As sinners, in Adam, we are dead in our trespasses and sins, no life in ourselves (see today’s Scripture). Nothing we can do in our own strength will ever change our (sinful) nature in Adam. However, God offers us death to Adam and a new identity through Christ at Calvary. When we trust that Jesus Christ died for our sins, in God’s mind, we died to sin, too. Christ did not simply die for us but as us. Romans chapters 5 through 8 describe the victory is in Christ, not in Adam or in ourselves. Success is by the power of the Holy Ghost working with the grace doctrines we study and believe, not in our struggles to do right. And so, “Christ [is] formed in [us]” (Galatians 4:19).

Something about which the angels cannot sing, but we can, should, and do! 🙂

To Know Dispensational Bible Study

Saturday, November 26, 2016

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Friend, may you come to know the proper system of Bible study as God wants you to know it!

To refute the position of “Bible only” (and bolster “Bible and tradition”), Roman Catholics complain resorting to Scripture alone only leads to confusion and thousands of Protestant denominations. They argue “Sacred Tradition” must be employed to “correctly interpret” Sacred Scripture. (Of course, they ignore the profound ignorance, worse confusion, and innumerable splits within Romanism!) No, there is nothing wrong with “Bible only.” (“Bible and tradition” is faulty because these two competing authorities end up as “tradition only!”) If you use Scripture as it instructs you, recognizing and esteeming the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry, you will understand it.

Many years ago, two verses helped me grasp the Holy Scriptures. Acts 3:21 first: “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” There is something God has “spoken… since the world began” (since Adam was placed on Earth). The Apostle Peter’s ministry involved this prophetic program. Now, Romans 16:25: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,….” In stark contrast to Peter, the Apostle Paul declared his ministry involved the mystery program—truth God “kept secret since the world began,” but then revealed to Paul so he could teach us Gentiles (Romans 11:13). This eliminates the majority of Bible confusion!

Paul must never be harmonized with the rest of Scripture. Romans through Philemon, his epistles, are not to be conflated with Israel’s verses (the rest of the Bible). Christendom has experienced much trouble through the centuries because it mixed Israel and the Body of Christ, mixed law and grace, mixed heaven and earth, mixed prophecy and mystery, mixed Peter and Paul. They have not “rightly divided”—or properly separated—the dispensations (sets of instructions) God demands we differentiate. The problem is not with Scripture—it is with those misusing it!

For more information about dispensational Bible study, you may see: https://333wordsofgrace.wordpress.com/whats-dispensational-bible-study/.

333’s 2000th – Godly Edifying

Sunday, November 20, 2016

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:” (1 Timothy 1:3-5 KJV).

Saints, with great delight, we announce we have reached a major milestone—devotional #2000!

It is difficult to fathom we have been doing this for 5½ years. For 2000 days straight now, we have gathered here around God’s Word rightly divided. We have covered much material—thousands of verses—encompassing various and sundry themes. We have all learned so much. Indeed, for all of us, it has been a time of tremendous enlightenment and spiritual growth. Let us always be thankful for Father God’s faithfulness in giving us the grace to undertake “333 Words of Grace.”

The Holy Spirit, in today’s Scripture, instructed Timothy through the Apostle Paul to pay attention to doctrine. He was told to admonish other Christians not to embrace anything other than the grace of God. Grace, not Law, is the standard operating system for Christian living in this the Dispensation of Grace. If the saints are edified (built up) in a godly manner—as God intended—His Son’s life will be manifested for all to see! There will be no confusion, hypocrisy, or disappointment.

When I started this exactly 2000 days ago today, I had no idea what I was getting myself into! What was intended to be a small ministry project of grace-oriented daily Bible devotionals is now a gigantic online archive of such studies. It was not our goal to go this far, but now that we have reached this momentous milestone, we reckon it absurd to stop now. The Bible doctrine we have learned has transformed our Christians lives for the better. There is still more room for all of us to grow. As far as we know, this is the only set-up like this in all the world, and it is truly humbling to serve you all here! Thank you for praying for us, and onward we go in Christ! 🙂

Special-edition Bible Q&A #325: “Can you explain 1 Timothy 3:16?