Tag Archives: gospel

The Testimony Of God

The Church at Corinth was one of Paul’s biggest successes. As we studied before, Paul “reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” (Acts 18:4). Paul emphasized to the Jews that “Jesus was Christ”, but they rejected that message (Acts 18:5). At that point, the Apostle focused on the Gentiles. This brought it’s own challenges.

Corinth was a Roman Colony, populated largely by freed slaves . As the city existed because of the benevolence of Rome, the citizens would have participated in banquets honoring the Emperor. To show loyalty to the empire, the citizens were expected to honor the gods of Rome, and in particular the chief god, the Roman Emperor. One commentary notes:

“Corinth is probably the Church of the New Testament that is most like the modern Church.”

Though Corinth had many faults, it was by the Grace of God and the Power of His Spirit that the Church stood at all. As Paul writes Corinth, he reminds them that he relied on the Testimony of God – The Gospel – to found Corinth.

The Testimony Of God Is That We Are Broken,
And Only Christ Can Fix Us

1 Corinthians 2:1-2 And I, brethren, when… Continue reading

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Glory In The Lord

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Last Sunday night we began a journey through the book of 1 Corinthians. Though all of the “Church Letters” (writings like Romans, Colossians, Philippians, Thessalonians – to name just a few) are necessary for the local Church to learn, I believe 1 Corinthians is a particularly timely book for the day we live in. I came across an article submitted to the Gospel Coalition entitled “Self-Worship Is The World’s Fastest Growing Religion”. Author Thaddeus Williams noted:

“In their recent book Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons document that 84 percent of Americans believe that “enjoying yourself is the highest goal of life.” … Further, 86 percent believe that to enjoy yourself you must “pursue the things you desire most.” … And 91 percent affirm this statement: “To find yourself, look within yourself.””

You can see this everywhere you look. A commercial came on television the other day for H&M, a Swedish multinational clothing company. A stylish black man comes on screen, and as he walks toward the camera telling us “You do you. The most important thing is to love yourself. I know I do.”… Continue reading

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The Glory Of His Grace

When Paul wrote the Book of Ephesians (under the leading of God the Holy Spirit – 2 Peter 1:21), he was in his first Roman imprisonment. Paul was under house arrest, living in his home, but guarded by Roman soldiers. Acts 28:16 tells us that “Paul was {allowed} to dwell by himself with a soldier that {guarded} him.” He was not chained in a prison cell until his second imprisonment, and could still receive visitors. Acts 28:30-31 tells us that “Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” Paul’s imprisonment is a picture of the great Grace of our God. Though we may go into valleys, our Lord will be with us. If we are in a valley, our Lord will adjust the situation so that we can minister to others for Him. Though Paul’s home is invaded by the enemy, Paul is joyous. Why? We read:

Ephesians 1:2-6 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father… Continue reading

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God Makes Everything Beautiful In His Time

“… why did God make some people ugly and unattractive? How can I accept the fact that God, though capable of making me beautiful or at least average looking, chose to create in me an unattractive manner? As an unattractive person myself, I can say life is tough for us. Our opinions and ideas are most often sidelined. We have it tough in offices and schools and colleges. I can’t express in words how difficult it is to be confident.”

I can understand where this person is coming from. My earlier years were – in my young mind – a living hell. I nearly failed first grade until the teacher noticed me squinting at the blackboard. A trip to the eye doctor showed I was not unintelligent, but unseeing – I needed glasses. When the teacher wrote on the blackboard, I couldn’t clearly see what she wrote. Mama asked why I never said anything about it to anyone. The truth is, I was painfully shy, an introvert. A shy child doesn’t speak up!

When I was given eyeglasses, this didn’t solve my problems, but added to them. They were large, black rimmed things that stood out on my face. This gave the bullies a target to aim at. I was a “four eyed freak”. Children… Continue reading

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Have You The Right Faith?

What type of faith have you in Jesus? Do you have the faith of Nazareth, that Jesus is but a good man and a human leader of a religion? Do you have the faith of Galilee, believing Jesus can do miracles – but is not your Lord? Or do you have the nobleman’s faith? I pray that each and every one of you have the nobleman’s faith in Christ Jesus. Jesus is able. He is able to save. He is able to secure. He is able to bless. He is both Lord and Savior to His people. May God bring you to this knowledge through His Word and His Spirit…. Continue reading

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Jesus’ Meat

Our God is merciful and gracious. These are the first two words that He Himself uses to describe His character. God is merciful and gracious. God is slow to anger. Pastor Dane Ortlund notes in his book “Gentle and Lowly” (have you read it yet?):

“Slow to anger. The Hebrew phrase is literally “long of nostrils”. Picture an angry bull, pawing the ground, breathing loudly, nostrils flared. That would be, so to speak, “short nosed”. But the Lord is long nosed. He doesn’t have His finger on the trigger. It takes much accumulated provoking to draw out his ire. Unlike us, who are often emotional dams ready to break, God can put up with a lot. This is why the Old Testament speaks of God being “provoked to anger” by His people dozens of times (especially in Deuteronomy; 1-2 Kings, and Jeremiah). But not once are we told that God is “provoked to love” or “provoked to mercy”. His anger requires provocation; His mercy is pent up, ready to gush forth. We tend to think divine anger is pent up, spring loaded; divine mercy is slow to build. It’s just the opposite. Divine mercy is ready to burst forth at the slightest prick.” (page 148).

God is not like us. When something doesn’t work out for us, we trash it, throw it away. We boil over. We blow up. God is not that way…. Continue reading

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From River To Well To Holy Spirit

As we come to John chapter 4, the Bible focuses on WATER. Water is a very common thing, yet something we desperately need to live.

The average human is approximately 60% water.
Our brains and hearts are roughly 73% water,
and our lungs are around 83% water.
Water regulates our internal temperature,
and keeps blood flowing to our cells.

A typical human can go without food and live for 3-4 weeks, but if you have no water for 3-4 days you will die!

Water is life. I think this is why God uses water baptism as a profession of genuine faith in God.

When John the Baptist began to preach, he baptized believers in God in the Jordan River. Why were believer’s baptized? Their baptism was an outward testimony that they inwardly had repented, and were willing to follow Father God. When John baptized, he told the people:

Matthew 3:11-12 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Those baptized by John were professing their faith in the God… Continue reading

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Rest In The Heart Of Jesus

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. {30} For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


Though God has given us four Gospels – four points of view of Christ’s earthly ministry – rarely one Gospel will report something that the others do not mention. The words we read today are unique to the Gospels. Though you will find the Lord’s Prayer in both Matthew 6:9-13 & Luke 11:2-4, and the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 & Mark 16:14-18 (as well as Acts 1:8), these words of our Lord are only found in this text.

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Christ The Foundation Of All Salvation

Under the Old Covenant God was far away, but the Law was near, ever condemning, ever judging. Under the New Covenant God is near, ever aiding, ever loving and writing His Law in our hearts. His Law is near!

If you are under the New Covenant, saved by faith in Christ, then God says to you “I WILL PUT MY LAW IN YOUR INWARD PARTS, AND WRITE IT IN YOUR HEART; AND WILL BE YOUR GOD, and YOU shall be ONE OF my people”. Under the Old Covenant the Law of God was written on stone, and on scrolls. Under the New Covenant God’s Law is written in our hearts by the One Who saved us.

Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant. At the first Lord’s Table Jesus said:

Luke 22:20 (KJV) ….. This cup [is] the new testament (New Covenant) in my blood, which is shed for you.

How does one know that they are under the New Covenant? We know by the Presence of God in our daily lives. I am saved – not because some doctrine or denomination tells me so, but because I have the Divine Witness. Jesus is there. God is there. He is in my daily walk. I am not perfect by any means, but God is faithful. Jesus is with us. … Continue reading

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The Day Jesus Became Like A Brass Snake

Very few people like snakes. I like them dead. But Jesus now tells the story – a familiar story to a Bible Teacher like Nicodemus – of the day a snake saved Israel. Jesus told Nicodemus:

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

To understand this story you have to go to the Book of Numbers. God had led Israel out of Egypt by a mighty hand. Israel walked through the Red Sea as if on dry land (Exodus 14:29), and God, in love with His people, was going to given them the land of Canaan. As Israel got to the borders of Canaan, they decided to send spies into the land. The spies returned, and the majority brought back a faithless report to the people. “There we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers” (Numbers 13:33). … Continue reading

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