Tag Archives: Salvation

Christmas : Separation, Purity, and Christmas

21 Dec

Christmas is a battleground for believers, with external and internal opposition to virtually every aspect of the season. Should we even celebrate such a contested holiday? And if so, how do we celebrate in a way that adorns the gospel?  http://ow.ly/W5Lap

Excerpt from Article:

“Christmas is a study in contrasts.

Snow is one of the prominent themes of the holiday, but most of the world doesn’t get snow in December, so people decorate with inflatable snowmen and twinkle lights meant to imitate icicles.

Christmas is hailed as a time of joy, love, and peace, but many feel profound sadness and strife due to lost loved ones and broken families. And in spite of it being a season of giving, the majority of advertisements and sales focus on fulfilling selfish, materialistic desires.

On TV, the contrasts are unmistakable. One channel broadcasts the nativity story while the next airs a debate over whether Jesus was anyone worth celebrating. And a parade of politicians and talking heads fight over where and when it is appropriate to celebrate Christmas, while others work overtime to celebrate every religion’s traditions.

But perhaps the most puzzling contrast is between believers—between those who celebrate the birth of Christ and those who argue that Christians should have no part in such a “pagan” holiday. In fact, some Christians oppose Christmas with as much (or more!) vigor as those who celebrate it.

The arguments are the same every year: Jesus wasn’t born on December 25; Jeremiah 10 condemns Christmas trees; Christmas is a Catholic mass created to syncretize with a Roman pagan feast; Christmas is a man-made feast while the biblical feasts are ignored. You’ve probably received some chain emails to that effect already this season.

In the face of such opposition, how should the rest of the church respond? Should we even bother to celebrate such a widely-contested holiday?

In a video blog last year, we asked John MacArthur that very question. As usual, his response cut right to the heart of the issue, pushing past the smaller matters that so often trip us up. He said:

In my view, any opportunity that we can have to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to grasp that opportunity. We would do well to celebrate His birth every single day. We would do well to proclaim His virgin birth, as God in human flesh, every day. But if the world wants to give us a day and a season in which the whole of humanity focuses on the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, we would be foolish not to capitalize on that.

We waste such an opportunity when we contend with a godless culture for the traditional trappings of the holiday. It’s pointless to debate over seasonal terminology or fight to keep nativity scenes in front of government buildings. And it’s profoundly vain to complain about whether or not a popular coffee shop’s cups are decorated with vague allusions to the season—especially when that coffee shop has a history of promoting and supporting immoral causes….”

“All the traditions of Christmas are just that—traditions. Inasmuch as they foster loving relationships, generosity, and worship of the Savior, they are commendable. But if they cause us to be self-focused and distracted from what really matters, they should be set aside.

We should be single-minded, focused solely on Christ and the tremendous blessings we enjoy through Him. And we ought to look for any opportunity to extend the blessed news of the salvation He made possible to the world around us. How do we accomplish that when we waste so much time complaining about coffee cups and trees?”….

Read the full article here: http://www.gty.org/Blog/B151221
Grace to You Blog

 

Christmas…the Real Story :  A child born to die

 

 

 

 

 

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The Promise

21 Dec

The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light;

Those who live in a dark land,  The light will shine on them.

Isaiah 9:2

The promise was love, and the promise was life to the world.
The name of the Promise was Jesus.

 

 

 

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil

26 Sep

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

Repent! Turn to God in His mercy while there is yet time! Be the man or woman God has called you to be in these dark times, to go forth boldly in the Holy Spirit, being salt and light for His praise and glory! Surrender to Jesus Christ, be conformed to His image and obedient to His leading, the lost world would come to know Him alone as the only Savior, the only God!

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10)

Slaves of Righteousness

24 Jun

Slaves of Righteousness. ( See the complete Article here)

Quote from the Article:

“Put simply, “Justification frees us from the guilt of sin, sanctification from the pollution of sin.” [5]

Dying to our sin is then the first step in the process of sanctification. It’s the process through which the Spirit refines us, killing off the remnants of our former selves—our sinful habits, tastes, and desires—and replacing them with godly affections and inclinations. It’s the active, ongoing transformation of your heart, mind, and entire self, beginning at the moment of salvation and continuing throughout the remainder of your life.
When we are born again [regeneration], God not only declares us righteous [justification], but He also begins to cultivate righteousness in our lives [sanctification]. Thus salvation is not only a forensic declaration; it is a miracle of conversion, of transformation. There is no such thing as a true convert to Christ who is justified but who is not being sanctified. . . . As the sinful, unregenerate person cannot help manifesting his or her true character, neither can the regenerate person. [6]

 

As slaves of righteousness, it is impossible to remain slaves of sin. Our new nature in Christ guarantees a transformed life. Paul emphasizes the change that ought to be manifest in every believer in Romans 6:3-5.”
As John explains,
In Christ we are not the same people we were before salvation. “Our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6). . . . Our new life as Christians is not an amended old life but a divinely bestowed new life that is of the same nature as Christ’s very own. . . .

 

That does not mean our sinful tendencies are annihilated. The Greek word translated “done away with” literally means “to render inoperative, invalidate.” Sin has lost its dominating control over us. Obviously we all struggle with sinful propensities. Death to the sinful self does not mean death to the flesh and its corrupted inclinations. Because of the pleasures of sin and the weakness of our remaining flesh, we often yield to sin.

 

The tyranny and penalty of sin have been nullified, but sin’s potential for expression has not yet been fully removed. Our human weaknesses and instincts make us capable of succumbing to temptation. . . . We are, in short, new creations—holy and redeemed but wrapped in grave clothes of unredeemed flesh. We are like Lazarus, who came forth from the grave still wrapped from head to foot in his burial garments. [7]

 

As slaves of righteousness, our entire being has been rescued and reoriented under the authority of Christ. Through the work of the Spirit, we are being conformed into Christ’s character and refined for the work of His kingdom.
See the full article here: http://www.gty.org/blog/B15062

Christ Our Substitute

11 Nov

Christ Our Substitute

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The Lord Jesus Christ, in great love and compassion, has made a full and complete satisfaction for sin, by suffering death in our place upon the cross. There He offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, and allowed the wrath of God, which we deserved, to fall on His own head. For our sins, as our Substitute, He gave Himself, suffered, and died – the just for the unjust, the innocent for the guilty – that He might deliver us from the curse of a broken law, and provide a complete pardon for all who are willing to receive it.

~ J.C. Ryle

 

All have Sinned:

Isaiah 53:5-6 “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him, “

Romans 3:23-25 “ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;”

Romans 5:8-9 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we ere yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”

Romans 5:12-14 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned–for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to com.”

Children of Wrath – Made Alive in Christ

Ephesians 2:1-3 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”

Sin Entered the World Through Adam:

Genesis 3:1-19  “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;

But from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!

“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden,

Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

The LORD God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life;

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heal.”

To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you saying, “You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.

Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field;

By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

The Bible gives us instruction on how to be right before God, Confess your sins. 1 John 1:8-10 said; “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”

Because He Lives we have New Life

Sin and the Work of the Spirit

1 Jul

Sin and the Work of the Spirit.

From the Article: “There is colossal confusion about what it means to be a Christian. Through mass communication the culture receives conflicting messages about what defines authentic Christianity. Cults, charismatic speakers, and criminally convicted church leaders only muddle the confusion on a grand scale.

 

What’s perhaps worse than confusing the culture is giving false confidence to professing Christians and false doubts to true believers. False confidence comes from a gospel of cheap grace where one can believe without any cost to themselves (contrary to Jesus’ words in Mark 8:34-38). False doubts rise out of accusations of legalism and works-righteousness.”

 

These problems are not new…. Read More:

http://www.gty.org/blog/B140630

Do Not Fret Because of Evildoers

21 Jun

Psalms 37:1-22

Do not fret because of evildoers,

Be not envious toward wrongdoers.

For they will writher quickly like the grass

And fade like the green herb.

Trust in the LORD and do good;

Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the LORD

And He will give you the desire of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD,

Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light

And your judgment as the noonday.

Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him.

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

Cease from anger and forsake wrath;

Do not fret; it only leads to evildoing.

For evildoers will be cut off,

But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.

Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;

And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.

But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

 

The wicked plots against the righteous

And gnashes at him with his teeth.

The Lord laughs at him,

For He sees his day is coming

The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow

To cast down the afflicted and the needy.

To slay those who are upright in conduct.

Their sword will enter their own heart,

And their bows will be broken.

Better is the little of the righteous

Than the abundance of many wicked.

For the arms of the wicked will be broken,

But the LORD sustains the righteous,

The LORD knows the days of the blameless,

And their inheritance will be forever.

They will not be ashamed in the time of evil,

And in the days of famine they will have abundance.

But the wicked will perish;

And the enemies of the LORD will be

Like the glory of the pastures,

They vanish-like smoke they vanish away.

The wicked borrows and does not pay back,

But the righteous is gracious and gives.

For those blessed by Him will inherit the land,

But those cursed by Him will be cut off.

Psalms 37:1-22

From: New American Standard Bible

© 2014 Sherry DuBois

 

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