Tag Archives: gospel

The Best Foundation Is Jesus

Jesus loved to ask questions when He taught. By asking questions, He made His hearers THINK about their response before they answered. Jesus asked, according to the website Red Letter Challenge, 305 questions throughout the Gospels.

In this chapter alone Jesus asked 10 questions when being challenged and when teaching. This is His 10th Question.

People came to Jesus, crying out “Lord, Lord”. They wanted Jesus to do something for them. Jesus healed the lepers, the blind, the sick. But Jesus had something greater to give to those in need.
Jesus offered Himself as King of our lives.

Jesus IS Lord. When John the Baptist preached, his message was “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus preached, His message was “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15). The Gospel includes the “Kingdom of God”. Jesus is the King of the Kingdom. He “came to save HIS PEOPLE from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Jesus IS Lord. He cannot be anything less. Scripture is clear that “without holiness, no one shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Pastor Stephen J. Cole notes:

“Genuine saving faith always results in a life of progressive godliness. If a person claims to be saved, but has no hunger for God’s Word, no growing hatred of sin, and no growth in godly living, he needs to examine whether he is truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).”

The proof of salvation is that you want to please your Lord. John 3:16 – perhaps the most quoted text of Scripture in the Bible – says –

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It is true that salvation is a free gift of God. But once saved, you are brought into the Kingdom of God, and Christ is your King. Pastor John MacArthur wrote in his book… Continue reading

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The New Covenant Of The Heart

Look in verse 31. God is speaking to “the house of Israel, and … the house of Judah”. God saved these two “houses”, the Hebrew בַּיִת bayith, {pronounced bah’-yith}. This word is used to describe a “family”, as in “The Bayith of Buffaloe” (my family name). Israel is divided into two families at this writing. Now, this was not the way it was supposed to be. God said that He was going to make a NEW Covenant with the two houses of Jews – Israel and Judah – a covenant distinctly different from

Jeremiah 31:32 … the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;

First of all, who was Judah and Israel when God first met those families, those peoples? They were a people in Egypt. The Bible says that one King of Egypt died. Judah and Israel were not TWO in Egypt, but they were one House, one bayith. The Bible tells us:

Exodus 1:8, 11, 13 (ESV) Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. … 11 .. Therefore {the Egyptians} set taskmasters over {the Jews/ Israel} to afflict them with heavy burdens. .. 13 {the Egyptians} ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14 and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

Judah and Israel were only ONE Household in Egypt. They were a household of SLAVES. I think there is nothing worst than being a slave. To be taken against your will, to be made to do any labor, any debauched or evil thing, made to obey the voice of the Master. To be beaten, and tormented, and killed as no more than a beast of burden. To be sexually abused, at the whim of the Taskmasters. What a horror slavery is! … Continue reading

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Who Has Your Heart?

What is IN the spiritual heart is manifest in what you OUTWARDLY do. Religion cannot fix a heart problem.

Our Lord Jesus put it this way. Jesus chastised the religious Pharisees of his day – because they twisted the Word of God to make allowance for their sinful practices. Their are many in our world who do that today – you might be one of them! Jesus told the Pharisees:

Matthew 15:7-9 (ESV) You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

Preach: Jesus said of the Pharisees, “their heart is far from Me”. God gave us His Word, the Holy Bible, to show us His Standard and His Savior. We are to follow His Savior Jesus Christ with all our hearts. We are to love God with all our hearts. Jesus came to this earth not just to heal our physical bodies, but to fix our heart problem. He said:

Matthew 15:10-11, 17-20 (ESV) … “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” … 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

When we look around our America today, around our homes, in our schools, what do we see? Certainly there are good things out there. Certainly there are good people. But I’ll guarantee you, there were a lot of “good” people who stopped traffic to pick up and, yes, steal money that was not their own. They did not earn that money. They had a heart problem.

Jesus came, not to be a Hero, a conquering King,
but to be a Healer of our hearts…. Continue reading

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Live Like You Are Beloved

I have always resisted the easy believism preaching of “God loves you, and has a wonderful plan for your life”.

This type of preaching became popular in the later 20th century church, and often pops up in the current culture as well. I do believe that “God loves you”. But I’m not sure how “wonderful” the plan for your life is, as “wonderful” means “to inspire delight, pleasure or admiration”.

Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. But we live in a fallen world absolutely opposed to the Biblical Jesus. If you live for Jesus, expect – at best – discomfort!

That’s what 1 Peter chapter 4 focuses on: S-U-F-F-E-R-I-N-G! I have talked with other Pastors who tell me they’d rather focus on the love of God and future Heaven, than they would on the darkness of this world. But Beloved, we live in a dark world. Not too long ago Canadian Authorities chased two brothers Damien and Miles Sanderson who killed at least ten (10) people, and wounded eighteen (18) more with knives. Why did they do this? Because we live in a fallen world.

Every dark and evil thing in our world today can be traced to sin. It is sin that separates us from God. It is sin that drags people down…. Continue reading

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Let’s Lose The Wrong Mind!

As Christians (Christ followers), we are to be “of one mind”. As humans, we are always happy to be “of one mind” as long as it is our mind. But the “one mind” that we are called to have is “the mind of Christ”. This is what the Bible says:

1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Preach: We have the Word of God, the Bible (Proverbs 30:5). “Every Word of God is pure: He is a Shield unto them that put their trust in Him”. We have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling us. “Even the Spirit of Truth; Whom the world cannot receive” (John 14:17). The Christian – born again of the Spirit – is given access to the mind of Christ.

The devil will do all he can to get us to rely on OUR mind or on the mind of THE WORLD. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

We as believers are to “with one mind and one mouth glorify God” (Romans 15:6). The Church must share the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ cannot be achieved without this key: “It is written”. We must head toward the Scriptures. This is where Jesus went in His teachings.

Jesus did not come to this earth and develop a new doctrine,
but to establish a New Covenant. … Continue reading

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Christ Suffered & Left An Example

I thought this week to begin preaching through 1 Peter chapter 3. And yet, as I thought to do so, the Lord impressed on my heart that we need to more closely examine this passage – especially since today is Communion Sunday. Focus on these words for just a moment:

1 Peter 2:21 Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps

Christ Suffered For Us

The first part of this text I want to address is “Christ suffered for US”. Let’s define this. First of all, how did CHRIST SUFFER?

First of all, Jesus suffered DEMOTION for us

Jesus is the eternal Son of God, Heaven’s glorious King. When Jesus prayed before going to the Cross, He said:

John 17:5, 24 (ESV) … Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. … 24 … because you loved me before the foundation of the world…… Continue reading

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A Couple Of “F” Words You Need To Know

Salvation is a FREE GIFT from God. I agree with this statement. It is supported by the Scripture. The words “FREE GIFT” are only found together in these texts:

Romans 5:14-18 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offense 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.

Salvation is a FREE GIFT from God. It is purchased by Jesus, delivered by the Holy Spirit, and planned by God the Father. However, we need to be careful that we are defining the word “FREE” as GOD DEFINES “FREE”, and NOT as SATAN DEFINES “FREE”.

When Satan says something is “FREE”, he means,
“absolutely without consequence”

Illustrate: Yet Satan’s “FREE” is often a lie. The other day, I was leaving a discount market and heard that there was a large box of FREE items at the front door. I, like everyone else, loves FREE stuff. So I went out front and, accompanied by a mother and her daughter, went through that box. I found what I expected – junk! But I picked up a few things. I picked up a set of coasters with my “preferred pronouns” on it…. Continue reading

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The Joy Of The Lord Is Your Strength

When Ezra came from Babylon, King Artaxerxes allowed him to come with a large expedition. Why? Because “the hand of the Lord his God upon him”. Ezra sought God’s will in all that he did. As a result, God supplied Ezra with all the people and craftsmen needed to get the job done. The “Nethinims” were servants that assisted the “Levites” and “priests” in the services of the sanctuary. Why did God bless Ezra in his endeavor? Because

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

Ezra did not seek our his own will, nor did he allow his heart to harden. In America we have hardened our hearts against God. In our Churches they are “OUR” Churches and not God’s. We have allowed our hearts to harden against God’s direction. … Continue reading

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God’s Telephone Directory

Before Sherry and I got old and gray, we used to go hiking down various nature trails. One of the nicest areas we found was around Tennessee’s Reelfoot Lake. There are some beautiful hiking trails there. We’d take our walking sticks, and make a day of it.

Down one trail we followed, we found something I still can’t figure out – even years later. We were about a mile in – very far from the road – when we found a washing machine. There’s something freaky about finding a washing machine – one about 20 years old – down a narrow path that no vehicle could follow.

As I was reading and studying Nehemiah, I got to chapter 7 and said to myself, “Oh great. A washing machine!” The bulk of this chapter is nothing but names – many difficult to pronounce – and numbers. The summary of these figures is in

Nehemiah 7:66-67 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, 67 Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women…. Continue reading

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The Wall Is Repaired Through Unity

We have been studying the Book of Nehemiah, and how that wonderful Book relates to the Church today. God expects His Church not to languish, but to grow. As the Church we are called to promote the Kingdom of God in this present world. Jesus sent us with a specific commission to tell others about Him and His Gospel, and to be the light of God in this present darkness.

Israel was destroyed because they got away from the Word of God, and started to love themselves more than they loved God.

God sent a series of enemies into Israel – Babylon, Assyria, and Medo-Persia – to punish His people and awaken them from their sinful slumber. The Church in America today is in much the same place. We are a “Post Christian” nation because we as Christians have not stood at our post. Years ago the great Evangelist Dwight L. Moody said:

“A great many people have got a false idea about the church. They have got an idea that the church is a place to rest in … to get into a nicely cushioned pew, and contribute to the charities, listen to the minister, and do their share to keep the church out of bankruptcy is all they want. The idea of work for them—actual work in {and through} the church—never enters their minds.”

This is a poor concept of the Church. God calls His Church to work together for His glory. The reason that God gave us ministers:… Continue reading

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