Tag Archives: salvation

Choose You This Day

Turn with me in your Bibles to Joshua chapter 24.

Joshua is an old man now, ready to retire as the General of Israel’s Army. Joshua made a decision as a young man to follow God. He has led Israel through battle after battle, to victory after victory, because he followed the Lord. At the end of the road Joshua had many more blessings than he had cursings. Why? Because he chose to follow God. He chose to rest in God’s Grace.

Someone asked me the other day, “If God is all powerful, if God is everywhere, and if God is ultimately in control, then why is our country – our world – in such a mess.”

The problem is not God’s, but ours. God is gracious. God is faithful. And we consistently keep choosing to walk apart from God. You are the sum of all the choices you have made in life. And Beloved, you are responsible for the choices you make. … Continue reading

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My People Have …

Adam and Eve were given rule over all the earth. “They were both naked … and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25). They were stewards of all creation in God’s stead. What happened? The Serpent (a picture of Satan – see Revelation 12:9 & 20:2) came into Eden and, like Monty Hall, offered Adam something in place of what he already had. Adam took the bait. He switched a ten dollar bill for a figment of his imagination hundred dollar bill. Adam didn’t just lose Eden. Adam didn’t just lose the world. Adam lost his relationship with God. Adam traded his relationship with God for something worthless.

We repeat this pattern over and over.

In the Book of Jeremiah, the Prophet is speaking to a nation (Israel), warning them that destruction is coming. Last time we were in this Book, we were in chapter one. There God gave Jeremiah two visions. He had the vision of:

Jeremiah 1:11 … a rod of an almond tree… Continue reading

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Without …

God hates sin. Sin calls for death, separation from God. God despises sin because it causes His creation (us) to be far from His embrace. Sin separates us from God (Colossians 1:21). Evil is sin’s outworking.

BEFORE THE CROSS the ONLY place you could receive forgiveness for sins was at the Temple.

BEFORE THE CROSS the ONLY way you could receive forgiveness of sins was by sacrifice of animals via the priests of Israel.

What Animal Sacrifices Teach Us

Only by the shedding of blood is there remission of sin. Why was it shedding of animal blood? Because a sinner cannot pay for the sins of another sinner. Man is fallen. We are all broken, all sinners. Innocent animals were sacrificed to cover man’s sins, but this covering was temporary and insufficient.

A perfect Man was needed to make proper payment for our sins. There were no perfect Men, so God made one!

The broken cannot make a perfect Man – so God decided to do so. God Himself entered into His creation as Jesus Christ. The Book of Hebrews tells us that it is only Jesus that can make purification for sin (Hebrews 1:3). It is only Jesus Who – among all humans – entered this world without sin. It is Jesus that the Father said,

Hebrews 1:8 (ESV) “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom”

Jesus Christ is God the Son, Who came into this world to save us from our sins. The Scripture says:… Continue reading

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Who Is This Man? A Palm Sunday Message

As Jesus headed to the unnamed Ruler’s home, a woman in the crowd, “diseased with an issue of blood for twelve years” (Matthew 9:20) saw Jesus. Thinking to herself, she said:

Matthew 9:21 … If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole

Touching Jesus – just the hem of His garment – caused her to be healed immediately! Jesus told her,

Matthew 9:22 … Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith has made thee whole!

Who is this man who can heal without a thought? But He is more, more than just a Healer. When He reaches the Ruler’s home, the mourners are crying over this twelve year old girl who has died. This Man said:

Matthew 9:24-25 … Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25 {Jesus responded, and} He went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

Who is this Man Who not only heals, but raises the dead? The crowds around Jesus grow larger and larger every day. Then it comes time when the Jew must go to Jerusalem, to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. What a special time Passover is! It commemorates the time that God saved Israel from Egypt. The lamb without spot or blemish was to be taken into the home, … Continue reading

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Who Is In Jesus’ Family?

His earthly mother Mary is at the door of the house, but cannot get to Jesus. God used Mary to bring forth Christ. Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Savior of all who will believe on Him. Jesus is …

Revelation 1:5 … Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own Blood …

Jesus is Man. Jesus is Perfect Man. Jesus is Sinless Man. You ask, “How can there be a sinless Man?”, and my answer is, “Only if He is a Unique Creation and God”. Adam was sinless in the Garden of Eden, but when Adam sinned, “by one man – Adam – sin entered into the world, and DEATH BY SIN; and so death PASSED UPON ALL MEN, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12). All humans born naturally are born sinners. This is a problem because, though God loves us, God is holy, without sin (1 Peter 1:16; Isaiah 57:15).

God is holy – but we are not! How can the gap be bridged between God and Man?

A Perfect Man, a Messiah, a Savior, cannot come through human effort. Humans are fallen. God must make a way. God must enter the creation as Man. This is what happened in Jesus. Jesus Christ is ETERNAL GOD THE SON. He declared Himself …

Revelation 1:8 … Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

“Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the Ending” is a title given only to God, “The Almighty”. Our Lord Jesus existed with God the Father and God the Spirit from eternity past. God left eternity, and came to this earth through a virgin named Mary. Yet though Jesus has a beginning as a human,… Continue reading

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Who Is God?

Turn with me in your Bibles to Jeremiah chapter 1. Jeremiah comes right after Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Solomon, Isaiah, JEREMIAH. Jeremiah was known as the “Weeping Prophet”. Why? Because God had been good to Israel, but Israel turned away from God. God’s people were chasing sin. God’s people had become indistinguishable from the lost peoples around them. So God sent Jeremiah to a hard hearted people with an uncomfortable message.

Jeremiah preached to Israel more than 40 years. The Book of Jeremiah, is the longest book in the Bible by Hebrew word count. It has 22,285 Hebrew words.

Jeremiah Teaches Us The Goodness
& Faithfulness Of God

We see God’s goodness in Jeremiah’s appointment: We are told in Jeremiah 1:1 that these are “the words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin” (1:1). Jeremiah is the “son of Hilkiah”. Jeremiah’s father “Hilkiah” is the Hebrew חִלְקִיָּה Chilqîyâh, {pronounced khil-kee-yaw’}, which means “The LORD {YHWH} Is My Portion”. The Priestly Tribe of Israel, the Levites, were given no land when they entered Canaan. As priests, God was their Portion (Deuteronomy 10:9; 18:1-8). As the son of a Priest,… Continue reading

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Jesus’ Prayer From Calvary

Turn with me in your Bibles to Psalm 22.

The disciples watched everything Jesus did. Watching Him pray:

Luke 11:1 … as {Jesus} was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

One of His disciples came to Jesus one day and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples”. That was when Jesus taught them what we call the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer we know best in is Matthew 6:9-13, but the Lord’s Prayer is also recorded in:

Luke 11:2-4 And {Jesus} said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

This, I’m sure, is a different “Lord’s Prayer” than the one most of you have memorized; but Luke’s account has all the same elements as does Matthew 6:9-13. Continue reading

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Be Strong – Grow In Grace

We are not saved by:
religious ritual, by bead counting, by praying to a saint or to Mary.
We are not saved by animal sacrifices, nor by holy water, nor by
ceremonial baptism (which is but a like figure of salvation – 1 Peter 3:21). We are not saved by genuflection, by a human priest’s blessing,
by last rites, by institutions, by human efforts.

We are saved by Grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast”. It is the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross that saves me. When I received Jesus as Lord and Savior, believing Him to be the one and only Messiah, the Savior, and believed He died for my salvation, and rose from the grave for my justification – then God the Holy Spirit saves me. It is the Spirit of God that causes the Christian to be “born again”. Not as we were, but as children of God.

It is GRACE that brings us to the new birth. It is GRACE that makes the new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Rituals do nothing. The Apostle said:

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature…. Continue reading

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Reject Not The Counsel Of God

Saving faith comes to Jesus, and bows down at His feet. Saving faith clings to Jesus, adoring
Jesus as the Savior and Lord.

Simon had been greatly blessed by God. One commentary suggested that Simon might have been a leper that Jesus Himself healed, and so he now invited Christ to his home to “even up the score”. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I do know this.

You cannot be saved and NOT love Jesus. “We love Him, for He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Though Jesus was a Guest in Simon’s home, he made no effort to provide even the smallest amenity – like a wash basin and a cloth – to the Lord. He fed Jesus, but begrudgingly. The woman, on the other hand, ministered to Jesus. She ministered to God! Jesus said, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little… Continue reading

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Jonah’s Prayer

I often have people tell me, “God doesn’t make us do anything. He has given us free will!”. If you agree with this, you need to read your Bible. Our God, He is Lord. He is in control of all things, and decides what will be. This is what we call sovereignty. Our God “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). If God is NOT sovereign, then how can the Scripture promise:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

There is no “working together for good” if God is not in control. “By Christ Jesus all things consist or are held together” (Colossians 1:17). God said in

Isaiah 45:5-7 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create {calamity}: I the Lord do all these things.

And the Psalmist said in 115:3 (ESV), “Our God is in Heaven; He does whatever pleases Him”. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 19:21 (ESV), “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. The stepbrother of Jesus, James said in 4:14-15 (ESV), “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that”.

Our God is in control. Yes, He has given us free will, but HIS WILL will triumph. God does not bow to us, but we bow to HIM. He is God. He is the Potter, and we are the clay. He is the Shepherd, and we the sheep.

Are you at Jonah? Let’s start at verse 1:

Jonah 1:1-2 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me…. Continue reading

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