Jesus Christ He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith!

The author of Hebrews writes to stir up faith. Without it we cannot please God. With it we can come boldly to the throne of grace.
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (Heb 10:39)

Some people hear the good news of God’s grace and shrink back.
They cannot believe it. “It’s too good to be true,” they say. “I’d better cover myself by doing works.”

Do you see the danger?
You cannot cover yourself. This is idol-worship. You are elevating yourself to co-savior with Christ.
You are insulting the Spirit of grace by trying to pay for what God has already given you.

This is why sermons that put the emphasis on you and your performance are dangerous.
Don’t buy into any message that purports to give you a list of keys or steps that will help you achieve/accomplish/appropriate what you already have. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and the sweat of men to take away sins and it is faithless to strive for what you already have (every good thing!).

According to Hebrews there are only two kinds of people; those who don’t enter because of their unbelief and those who believe and are saved.
Sin is not the variable; faith is. Where does faith come from? Jesus! He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2).

Fix your eyes on Him.

Paul Ellis

When Jesus said, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments,”
He was not making a threat but a promise!

He was saying, “If you love me you will do the works and greater works that I have done because I’m the one who’s going to do them through you. Trust me! Believe in me! Abide in me!”

Why does Jesus say we will do greater works?
Because 2000 years ago there was only one Christ, but now there are millions of Little Christs. Back then He was just a tender shoot (Is 53:2), but now He’s a mighty vine with branches reaching into every place. Back then God lived in just one man, but now He lives in millions of men, women and children all around the world and He wants out! What are the greater works? They are the works of Jesus done millions of times over, every day, all over the world by ordinary branches like you and me.

Aren’t you amazed that God operates this way – through people?
It’s like God is saying, “I believe in you. I have confidence that you will come to rest in my love and allow me to reveal myself to you and through you.” Carnal religion says it’s all about you and your faith so you’d better perform, but the gospel of grace declares it’s about Him and His faith so rest! Paul understood this which is why he said, “the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me” (Gal 2:20).

Branches can not bear fruit but vines can and do so naturally, without any effort. As a branch you carry the nature of the True Vine in you and He will bear His fruit through you. He promised!

Do you believe Him?

That all of them may be one!

“My prayer is…that all of them may be one” (John 17:20,21). In these few words of Christ we catch a glimpse of God’s ideal for church unity. Does the church share his view? “Is church unity possible?” Present appearances to the contrary.... the answer is still, “Yes!” The great High Priest has not changed his prayer; church unity is still God’s will. Is it yours? Psalm 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Unity is a good and pleasant thing, says God, because he promises to bless unity. Is not the thrust of this Psalm amply confirmed by our own experiences? Who could argue with this Psalm? Our spirit’s soar when we are surrounded by unity; such is its goodness. Of course, the opposite is true as well.

You will never be more...

You will never be more Holy, more righteous, more sanctified, more perfect, more redeemed than the moment you were quickened by the Spirit of God and made spiritually alive by a power other than your own, then sealed by the infilling of His Spirit! He chose us and is MADE unto us wisdom, righteousness, redemption and sanctification! In Gods eyes, we stand perfect, hidden in Christ, seated with Him in heavenly places, beloved as sons and daughters.

We start out perfect in Christ, otherwise we could have NO fellowship with the Father, as sin would separate us from Him. He DEMANDS PERFECTION, and will axccept nothing less, "be ye perfect as your Father which is in heaven is perfect".

How you ask? Only believe! Believe in the only one who can save! Look and live. Get your eyes on Jesus. Quite struggling and this lifeguard will bring you safely to shore! Enter into the Rest (Sabbath ) STOP believing you have anything to DO with God's plan of salvation!

If the gift has been offered, faith has been given, simply in great gratitude and humility accept it as the lowly, broken, totaly depraved creature, that you are, and in many or some ways will continue to be, until this corruption puts on incorruption, this mortal puts on imortality and we step out of this tent of flesh, never to sin again. Man at his BEST state is altogether vanity.

Untill that blessed time, fight the GOOD fight of faith, (some days you are the windshield, some days you are the bug), let no man judge you (who are we to judge another mans servant) there is NO commendation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit! Yes, if a brother or sister is overtaken with a fault... help him. Do not go around putting him down, thinking you are pulling up tares... could be wheat!

We are justified before God thru faith (that not of yourself). Justified before man by outward works (nothing to do with salvation). May Gods grace and peace be multipled to you thru Jesus Christ our Lord and may He give us understanding of His Great love wherein HE HAS loved us!

Alien Righteousness, Humanity’s Greatest Need

One of the most prominent figures in the New Testament is the apostle Paul, a dynamic Christian missionary and the author of thirteen epistles, who had once been a distinguished Jewish rabbi. When he became acquainted with the claim of Jesus to be the long-awaited Messiah, he initially reacted negatively and began persecuting people who believed in Jesus and accepted his claim to be the Christ (Messiah). Saul, as he was known then, strove earnestly to defend his ancestral religion against the teachings of Christ and his disciples, and he perceived correctly that the conflict between his own faith, and that of the Christians pertained to the pursuit of the righteousness that God requires for people to be acceptable to him. In his letter to the congregation at Philippi, Paul referred to his previous “zeal [for] persecuting the church,” and he identified his original religious affiliation as that of a devoted Pharisee, that is, one who sought to achieve personal righteousness through rigorous observance of rabbinical law. As a rabbi, Paul was satisfied that he had attained a “legalistic righteousness [that was] faultless” (3:4–6).

The Righteousness of God
When Saul sought righteousness, he was displaying a concern to be right with God, which is an appropriate and wholesome desire. God, in the Bible, has described himself as the perfectly righteous creator and ruler of heaven and earth, and he has often displayed severe displeasure toward people who failed to demonstrate righteousness in their own lives. When God threatened to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the wickedness of the populace, Abraham pleaded for him to spare righteous people. Abraham asked, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). He understood that God always does right because righteousness is an attribute of the divine character. God is righteousness, pure and entire, so he is the standard by which to distinguish right from wrong.

Scripture and common practice associate righteousness with judgment and courts of law, which must enact righteous (just) judgments. After his conversion to faith in Jesus Christ, Paul testified, “There is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me” (2 Timothy 4:8). Throughout the Bible believers expressed confidence in the righteousness of God and the justice of his judgments. He could never be wrong.

Abraham, Paul, and other biblical figures understood that the perfectly righteous God, who saved them from sin, demands righteousness from his human creatures. The Old Testament prophet Amos related that God insisted that the Hebrews “let justice roll on like a river, [and] righteousness like a never-failing stream” (Amos 5:24). God requires obedience to his law, which Paul affirmed is “holy, righteous and good” (Romans 7:12). In the words of Psalm 19,

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous (Psalm 19:7-9).

Failure to obey the laws, precepts, and ordinances of God is unrighteousness. Wrong belief and practice offend God and provoke his righteous anger and judgment, as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Unrighteousness of Humanity
Humanity’s failure to meet God’s demand is obvious. Even people who assent to the divine law do not fulfill its requirements. God’s law commands perfect adherence. As Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The precepts of divine law are not ideals toward which only the most pious people aspire. They are legally binding statutes that everyone must obey. They are not options but obligations.

Failure to comply with God’s requirements leads to the application of his justice, which means imposing the penalties the law stipulates. His righteous character will not tolerate less than perfection. No religious exercises will compensate for failure. Religion without righteousness is an insult to God. To the very religious people of ancient Israel, people who were careful to discharge all their ceremonial duties, God said,

I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like a never failing stream (Amos 5:21–24).

Scripture indicts the whole human race for failure to meet God’s requirements. The apostle Paul asserted, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). As surely as God punished Sodom and Gomorrah, he will inflict justice upon all sinners, for “the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18).

Even the best people have not and cannot satisfy God’s righteous demands. Paul, while still a rabbi, tried earnestly. He described his effort graphically: If anyone thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is through faith (Philippians 3:4b–9).

Very few people have made efforts to gain righteousness comparable to those of Paul, and all who have done so have failed. One who tried was Martin Luther (1483-1546), the pioneer of the Protestant Reformation, who was once a devoted monk. Luther adopted the monastic life in the hope of relieving himself of a burden of anxiety due to the knowledge of personal sin. He actually exceeded the rigors of self-denial his religious order required, but that did not bring him peace with God. On the contrary, realization of his own failures led him to despise God. Left to their own devices, sinners are always hopeless failures, especially when they attempt to achieve their own salvation.

The Alien Righteousness of Christ
One of the most pressing questions ever asked comes from one of the ancient books of the Bible. Job asked, “How can a mortal [man] be righteous before God?” (Job 9:2). The apostle Paul found the answer in the gospel of Christ. After describing his impressive achievements as a rabbi, he related how he obtained the righteousness he needed. To his friends in the church at Philippi he wrote:

I consider them [my attainments] rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith (Philippians 3:8-9).

In the gospel Paul discovered alien righteousness, which means the righteousness of another—in this case, the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, is perfectly righteous. Of him God the Father said “This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus pleased the Father because of his sinless perfection—his flawless righteousness. By active obedience to God, Jesus met all the divine requirements. He therefore could dare his critics by asking, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46). The sinless character of Christ made it appropriate for the apostle Peter to refer to him as a “lamb without spot or defect” (1 Peter 1:19).

The righteousness of Christ is his by nature. It becomes an alien righteousness when sinners admit their failure to meet God’s demands and trust in Christ alone for forgiveness and eternal salvation. At that point the righteous God imputes, or accounts, the righteousness of his Son to the credit of believing sinners. Like Paul, at that instant, those who trust in Christ obtain the righteousness “which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (Philippians 3:9).

To acquire the righteousness God demands, people must not look within themselves, for there is no salvation in self-esteem; nor may they depend upon their religious heritage or their personal religious performances. They need alien righteousness from Christ. Scripture affirms, “God made him [Jesus] . . . to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Imputation involves a two-fold transaction. Believing sinners obtain righteous standing before God when God imputes their sins to Christ and his righteousness to them.

The reception of Christ’s righteousness through faith is justification, which means legal acceptance with God based upon the active obedience of Christ in obeying the Father’s will and the Savior’s passive obedience in submitting to death upon the cross to pay the penalty for sin.

The same Paul who experienced this justification wrote about it extensively in his letter to the church at Rome, in which he contrasted the law, which demands perfect righteousness that sinners cannot achieve, and the gospel, which confers that righteousness as a gift to people whose most urgent need is to be right with God.

Paul explained:  . . . no one will be declared righteous . . . by observing the law, rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice . . . at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies [declares righteous] those who have faith in Jesus (Romans 3:20–26).

Jesus Christ, by his sinless life and sacrificial death, has satisfied all of God’s demands and has paid the full penalty for believers who have within themselves no means by which to meet those demands. Devoid of personal righteousness, through faith (confident trust) in the Son of God, they receive his perfect alien righteousness.

In the sixteenth century the great theologian Martin Luther made the same discovery the apostle Paul had made centuries before. Luther, in fact, learned about justification through alien righteousness by making a methodical study of Paul’s writings. Like the apostle, Luther had striven to satisfy God by rigorous observance of religious rules. He became a monk in the hope of achieving the righteousness he sorely needed. In the letter to the church at Rome Luther found the truth of the gospel, the teaching of justification: “He who through faith is righteous shall live” (Romans 1:17, RSV). Luther likened this discovery to being born all over again and experiencing paradise on earth. Thereafter he cited this doctrine as the article by which the church would stand or fall. Justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone is the heart of the gospel, and it means that sinners, like Paul and Luther, must forsake all pretense to personal worthiness based upon their own works or merits and trust in the Son of God from whom alone they may obtain that alien righteousness, which is humanity’s greatest need.

Dear friend, perhaps through reading this essay, you, like millions of others, have realized your need of perfect righteousness in order to be right with God. If so, rejoice that the Spirit of God has made you aware of that need. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would minister after the Savior returned to heaven. When the Spirit comes, “He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). If the Spirit of God has convicted you, embrace the Christ of the gospel by faith and receive the alien righteousness, which is your greatest need.

Dr. James E. McGoldrick is the Professor of Church History at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

The New Covenant Promise

Every Christian I’ve met who believes they can lose their salvation has always given a reason that involves them.
What if I commit suicide?
What if I get a divorce?
What if I stop believing?
What if I…? You fill in the blank there, but it’s all the same.

Every hypothetical scenario puts ourselves at the center of the equation. But our faithfulness to God is an old-covenant problem that is solved by the new. ~God Without Religion, pp:30-31

The reason we are even having this discussion is because so many Christians don’t know what makes the new covenant new. They read the Bible through the old covenant mindset that says “Do to be.” If this is you, let me tell you about Jesus! That old covenant is obsolete. We no longer stand on our promises to him but on his promises to us.

Bet your life on his word, not yours. If I could show you just one promise from the Lord that guaranteed your eternal security, would you quit fretting? Would you stop listening to the lies of the confused and trust instead in the truth of God’s word? Would one promise from the Faithful One be good enough for you?

Well, here’s one:
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. (1 Cor 1:8-9)

Wow! This scripture is the atom bomb that obliterates the doubts of the insecure. If you struggle with doubt and anxiety, you should frame this verse. It will remind you that salvation is not about your faithfulness but his and God is faithful.

And don’t forget who Paul was writing to either. This scripture was addressed to Christians many today would write off as reprobates. The Corinthians weren’t what you call “good Christians.” Yet Paul looks at these clowns, sees God’s fingerprints all over them, and speaks confidently of their future. “Our hope for you is firm” (2 Cor 1:7).

Who called you into fellowship with Christ? God! Who will keep you strong to the end so that you will be blameless on that Day? God! Who is faithful? God! It’s not about you but him. Do you see it yet? If not, here’s another promise you can stand on: Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Cor 1:21-22)

The word “guarantee” means a down-payment or pledge, “i.e. part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest.” So either God has nothing but more good stuff planned for you – guaranteed! – or he is a liar.

Are you getting this yet?
 I said one promise from the Lord should be enough and I’ve given you two. Just to settle matters once and for all, here are seven more promises from your heavenly Father that speak directly to your eternal security. Write them on your heart and take them to the bank because they are gold! If you are a Christian, the chances of you losing your salvation are exactly the same as the likelihood God will violate his promises. Since God is utterly faithful, you can be utterly secure.

 Seven golden promises about your future:

For a Christian to lose their salvation and be expelled from the kingdom…
1. God would have to forsake us, when he said he wouldn’t (Heb 13:5)
2. God would have to cast us out, when he said he wouldn’t (John 6:37)
3. God would have to condemn us, when he said he wouldn’t (Rom 8:1,34)
4. God would have to withdraw his Spirit, when he said he wouldn’t (John 14:16-17)
5. God would have to remember our sins, when he said he wouldn’t (Jer 31:34, Heb 10:17)
6. God would have to forget that we are his children, when he said he wouldn’t (Is 49:15)
7. God would have to blot our names out of the book of life, when he said he wouldn’t (Rev 3:5)


On what basis does God accept a man?

This is the most fundamental of all questions concerning salvation.

Several answers have been given:
1. A life of complete obedience to the Law.
2. Faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
3. Some other way.

Most people choose Number 2 rather than Number 1 because they do not want to appear to be legalists. Most people choose faith in the Gospel of Christ because they think it is against legalism. But answer Number 2 is actually the legalistic answer.

Here is the glorious message of Romans 3:25, 26, which is not taught today: The Gospel is a declaration of God's justice and his mercy. God has saved us in a way that affirms that he is just. He has not skirted the Law. He has not been inconsistent. He has not repealed the Law. Before God could reject a man who trusts in Jesus Christ, he would first have to become unjust. "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). So our security is grounded firmly in God's justice.

God has never changed his mind. He has always required perfect obedience to his law. And when he looked out at an utterly desperate world, he came himself-God the Son in a donkey's feedbox; God the Son allowing the Palestinian dust to sift through his toes as he fulfilled his own Law on our behalf. Faith acknowledges the Law because Jesus acknowledged the Law. Faith always chooses the perfect, law-conforming life of Jesus as the only basis for acceptance with God.

I am the way, the truth, and the life.

 Last night I had an interesting conversation with friends around my dining room table. In John 14:6 Jesus gives the familiar quote, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” I suggested that the verse had lost some of its original life giving intent and had, instead, been reduced to the final arbiter in apologetics; the last argument to be used when debating people of other faiths.

As the discussion progressed there was a consensus that began to develop that in the church today the “way” of Jesus had taken a back seat to the “truth” of Jesus. Christians, by and large, feel more compelled to be “defenders of the Truth” rather than “people of the way”. Which is ironic as the early church was referred to as The Way. (Makes me wonder if Christians today would prefer to be referred to as, The Truth)

The 21st century church is going through a massive identity crisis and the reason for it is we have put a desire to be “true” before imitating Jesus and following his ways. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in the John 14:6 verse Jesus mentions “Way” before “Truth”. Nothing will lead to dead, “works based” religion faster than pursuing God’s truth at the expense of His ways.

If we are not following in Jesus “way” our Jesus “truth” becomes distorted and subsequently we are no longer bringing forth Jesus “life”.

The Woman Caught in Adultery

The Pharisees were a perfect example what happens when people attempt to implement God’s “truth” without doing so through the lens of his “way”.

In John 8, a group of religious leaders bring a woman caught in adultery and interrupt Jesus right in the middle of his teaching. They wanted to test him by asking what his verdict about her would be and whether it would conflict with what the scriptures (Bible) said should be done.

The Bible was very clear; she should be killed. Her life should be ended and every person in that crowd would have been quite familiar with that judgment…including the woman on whom the judgment would ultimately fall.

That was “the truth”!

And why were the religious leaders testing Jesus on this? Well, Jesus had been developing a bit of a reputation. Word was getting around of his bringing too much love, mercy, and forgiveness to people…and not just to pious folk, but to sinners. (Nothing makes religious people angrier than too much love and mercy)

The “Way” of Jesus was cutting across what the Pharisees believe to be God’s “Truth”

(Jesus was getting to be known in the region as being one of those crazy “grace” preachers!)

So they round up a “sinner” who the Bible says should receive death and they say,

“In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

The Bible says this Jesus…what do you say? What does your “Way” say?

Jesus, after stooping down and writing some undefined words on the ground, counters with, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Dejected, one by one the group leaves until Jesus is left alone with the woman.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you, “Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The religious “truth” said one thing… the Jesus “way” said another!

The religious “truth” said she should be killed, the Jesus “way” says she should be forgiven.

The religious “truth” treated her as a convict, the Jesus “way” treated her as a daughter.

Jesus refuses to condemn her, and as any loving father would do, encourages her to leave a life that is already bringing misery and death to her.

Jesus demonstrates to the religious leaders what real truth looks like.

And what is the result of the Jesus “truth” shaped by the Jesus “way”?

It’s Life! A living breathing woman who has been given a new lease on life after an encounter with the living God. She’s had her feet replanted on solid ground through “the way” of mercy and forgiveness.

The religious “truth” of the Pharisees would have just left a bloody, dead corpse!

In Christianity today we have left to many people battered, bruised, and bloody with stones of “religious truth”. It’s time to put away our stones and embrace “the Way” again!

Jesus does bring truth! He promises it! Follow in his footsteps and it will lead to life both for you and those you love. Steve Hackman

That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ

The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not tell us to be spiritual navel watchers; it does not tell us to seek emotional highs or to be guided by impressions or leadings. It does not tell us to boast, except in what Christ has done on Calvary.

The Apostle Paul tells us what the Gospel is in 1 Corinthians 15: Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that Word which I preached to you (unless you believed in vain) -- for I delivered to you first all that which I also received that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures. That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I must work on my sins and become more holy!

I know what you are thinking, what’s so wrong about that. That sounds like the definition of spiritual maturity. It’s not.

Think about it, how exactly do you plan to get more holy? I mean, holiness by definition is to be set-apart, unique and perfect. So how do you grow in that? By very definition holiness is an either/or position. You either are holy or you are not holy.

I mean if you are 40% holy just now and you are hoping to get to 75% by the end of the year… what will that make you? That’s right, you’ll still be unholy.

In fact by this way of looking at holy we can never be anything but unholy! Even in 20 billion years we will still be 99.9999999999999999% holy.

You see God is not defined as holy because of what He does. He is defined as holy because of who He is.

It is the same for you. You are not holy depending on how well you do today, you are Holy today because He has made you holy by nature. As you believe in this and renew your mind to it you will start to bear the fruit of it.

Phil Drysdale  -

FREELY given to us of God

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are FREELY given to us of God.

1Cr 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1Cr 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

1Cr 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of NO MAN.

That is one of the outstanding results on embracing Grace, "what do we have that was not FREELY given to us.
This takes away the ground for all boasting (hence, separating from one another as we judge someone not worthy of our fellowship). Only Jesus gets the glory!

Must guard against becoming proud of our revelation of Grace! Always giving others grace as we have received it so freely! "Freely you have received, freely give" Jesus!

Righteouness of God
The death of the one God-Man, Jesus Christ, so displayed and glorified the righteousness of God, that God is not unrighteous to declare righteous ungodly people who simply believe in Christ.

Romans 8 speak of our clearance from guilt and condemnation (Rom. 8:33-34). God is the judge before whose court we have been justified. Anyone who would bring a charge against God's chosen ones must face the Judge (God) who has justified them, that is, set them in right standing with Him. (Rom. 3:21-31).

Neither man nor Satan, the Accuser of the brethren, is able to bring a charge against them (Rev. 12:10-11). Neither can anyone condemn God's elect because Christ has already condemned sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:3) and now stands as our Advocate, Representative in God's court, having fully satisfied God's just requirements for our sins and those of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2). All who would bring false accusations against God's chosen and justified ones will be turned away in defeat. Go ahead and get happy!

II Timothy 2:23-26
"But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
In meekness instructing THOSE THAT OPPOSE THEMSELVES; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." II Timothy 2:23-26

The Bible declares that, all who deny the gospel of Christ as proclaimed by Paul, are cursed of God. Gal. 1:8 "But though we, or an angel from heaven; preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

Again Paul declares (2 Cor. 11: 4): "For if he that cometh and preacheh another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him...(13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.(14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

Now Paul preached: (1) that man was created by God directly out of the dust of the earth (1 Cor. 15:47). (2) That Christ was very God (Titus 2:10, 13). (3) That Christ's teaching must be our highest and final authority because he was God's own wisdom personified (1 Cor. 1:24; Col. 2:3). (4) That Christ died for man's sins (Gal. 1: 4; 1 Cor. 15: 3). (5) That He arose with a physical body which did not see corruption (Acts 13:35-37). (6) That we cannot save ourselves by our own good works, only by accepting Christ through faith (Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2: 8). (7) That Christ must come again in vengeance, accompanied by all His saints, to subdue a wicked world to Himself (2 Thess. 1:7-10; 1 Thess. 3:13).

Now Paul declares in Gal. 1:8, 9 and in 2 Cor. 11:4, 13-15, that all who preach any other gospel than this are not only accursed of God, but are also (in God's sight) false apostles, deceitful workers. Jesus said Jn 5: 39 "Search the scripture, for in them you think you have eternal life, but they are that which testifies of me" Salvation is in Christ and Christ alone, by Grace and Grace alone, thru Faith and Faith alone, which results in God getting all the Glory and all the Glory alone!!! Thats the TRUTH....NO HE IS THE TRUTH! His command to us is "believe in Him whom the father has sent!"

To preach or believe anything less, or anything more than the Good News; that Christ was God in the flesh, reconciling the world unto himself by taking our sins and punishment upon Himself and thereby inputing to all who believe, His righteousness, as a free gift, fulfilling all prophecies of the Old Testiment , is to dishonor His shed blood and promote a false path to eternal life!

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men"; but "the Gospel of Christ, is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth for therein is the righteousness of God revealed" (Rom 1:16, 18).

And, in his own case, he renounces his own personal righteousness altogether as the ground of his acceptance and hope: "That I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Phi 3:8).

The two righteousnesses are not only distinct, but different; and not only different, but directly opposed and mutually exclusive considered as grounds of Justification, insomuch that he who is justified by the one cannot possibly be justified by the other.

If the righteousness of man be sufficient, the righteousness of God is superfluous. [5] If the righteousness of God be necessary, the righteousness of man can have no place. Nor can any conciliation [6] or compromise be effected between them, so as to admit of their being combined in one complex ground of acceptance.

For they represent two methods of Justification which are irreconcilably opposed, the one by grace, the other by works: "For to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt; but to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Rom 4:4). "And if by grace, then is it no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace: but if it be of works, then is it no more grace, otherwise work is no more work" (Rom 6:6)

The gospel of Christ is not about fixing or reforming one's life
The gospel of Christ is not about fixing or reforming one's life: it's about transforming peoples lives, by securing their eternal destination.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Which is that, "all men be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth." (Romans 12:2; 1 Timothy 2:4).

The first thing is to be saved, and the only thing that can save anybody today is the gospel of Christ, "for it is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believeth" (Romans 1:16).

The gospel doesn't say to "ask Jesus into your heart," or promise anyone a wonderful life if they do this.

The gospel says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" but, "Christ died for our sins, and was raised again for our justification, and If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved

Call upon the name of the Lord, and thou shalt be saved, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (1 Cor. 15: 3; Romans 3:23; 10:9,13: Acts 16:31).

The promise to those who do this (believe/have faith) is that God's righteousness will be imputed to their account, and with this they will receive the gift of eternal life (Romans 4:6,8; 6:23). If you have not done this, why not now?

Galatians 1:6-9
Galatians 1:6-9
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Jesus Christ is the subject of the gospel, but he isn't the gospel. The gospel is what he did, and what that produced. What he did was die for our sins, and then "God raised him from the dead, for our justification" (Romans 4:25: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 1:20).

This singular act of faith produced the grace by which anyone, under any circumstances, at any point in their lives can be saved by simply believing this truth (Romans 3:22; 10:9). This is what Paul referred to as "the preaching of the cross" i.e., "Jesus Christ, and him crucified," which he said was, "to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved the power of God" (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:2).

Righteousness without works
"Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." (Rom. 4:4-5) David describes the blessedness of the man unto whom God counts righteousness without works (Rom. 4:6) Not of works (Eph. 2:9)

D.L. Moody
The monument I want after I am dead is a monument with two legs going around the world, a saved sinner telling about the salvation of Jesus Christ."  - D.L. Moody

John 20:31
"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." John 20:31

Jesus came to save and set us free, but of course the enemy wants to put us right back in bondage to religion, Paul fought against this his whole life. (read Gal. again) Religion is very appealing to the flesh and many/most delight in beliving "I'm living it" and others aren't. They find their identity in THEIR performance rather than in the free gift and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

We cannot reason men into the kingdom of God
We cannot reason men into the kingdom of God, but by reasoning we can expose errors which prejudice them against it. - Sir Robert Anderson

Only the Spirit of God can open the human mind and give illumination, but He uses means, that being, the Word, delivered either thru thru spoken or written form, letters, books, studies, meetings, etc. We must be patience and open to being God's instrument of love to others.

A Christian is not justified by the law
A Christian is not justified by the law (Gal 2:16) but by the blood of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:9). A man that chooses to reject the blood of Christ for his justification and seeks to be justified by the law instead is "fallen from grace."

Before men we validate our faith by our outward works, but God sees the heart and we are justified before Him by Faith. Unsaved people can preform good works and have an outward appearance of being one of us! We must be VERY careful to put NO trust or confidence in the flesh or our own supposed righteousness. Trusting only in His work at Calvary! Nothing in my hand I bring... only to thy cross I cling!

J.C. Philpot
"All God's people, sooner or later, are brought to this point to see that God has a 'people,' 'a peculiar people,' a people separate from the world, a people whom He has 'formed for Himself, that they should show forth His praise. Election sooner or later, is riveted in the hearts of God's people. And a man, that lives and dies against this blessed doctrine, lives and dies in his sins; and if he dies in that enmity, he will be damned in that enmity." - J.C. Philpot

The Arminians, on the other hand, hold and teach conditional election on a ground of foreseen faith. This is contrary to the Truth. As long as men are unregenerate, they are in a state of unbelief, without hope in God and without faith in Christ. When saved by grace, they have faith, but that not of themselves. It is not of their own power or free-will, but the gift of God through the efficacious teaching of the Holy Spirit. Faith, therefore, cannot be the cause of election.

It is the effect of it and is insured by it. 'As many as were ordained to eternal life believed' (Acts 13:48). 'For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them' (Ephesians 2:8-10).

1 Peter 1:3-5
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Peter 1:3-5

In 1 Peter 1:3-5 the portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation is described as to its effect. Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus and his resurrection from the dead.

The believer's inheritance is described as incorruptible (imperishable or indestructible) and undefiled (morally untainted). That fadeth not away means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle, we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin and into the presence of God.

Justification - Loyd Jones
Our justification means not only that our sins are forgiven and that we have been declared to be righteous by God Himself, not merely that we were righteous at the moment when we believed, but permanently righteous. For justification means this also, that we are given by God the positive righteousness of His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. - Loyd Jones

What about OBEDIENCE?
What about OBEDIENCE?

We are call to "obedience to the faith". To obey the Gospel means to humble ourselves, turn from ALL self-effort of law keeping as a means of our salvation and simply "believe" in the all sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary whom abundantly PAID the debit for ALL our past, present, and future sins. It is finished!

We now live from a position of power, love, and a sound mind. ALL fear having been cast out! God saves us thru the amazing Gift of His own dear Son, whereby He adopts us as full born sons into the family of God. WHAT a GIFT! What GOOD NEWS!!

As sons we take on the family traits as He "wills and works" in and thru us. Only what He guides and directs will produce lasting fruit and have eternal benefit, everything else is "wood, hay, and stubble"!

The swedish word for obedience - lydnad. It means to bend your heart's ears, to listen attentively and receptively. It is the obedience that Jesus talks of when he says about Mary of Bethany's choice: ONE thing is necessary. The one thing that we have to do is listen to Jesus and receive what he has done.

JOHN 1:16-17
JOHN 1:16-17 (NKJV)
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

In many christians estimation, the law worths more than grace. Nobody dares to insult the law but everyone insults grace. We have received the fullness of cheap grace for cheap grace. I hope you are understanding my point. Something is wrong with this teaching of cheap grace! Verse 17, for the law was given through Moses, cheap grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In the greek, grace and truth are one meaning, without grace, there is not truth and without truth, there is no grace. A proud man with a religious spirit, will always despise GRACE! It cost heaven its very best to BUY OUR PARDON. Each drop of Blood bought me a million years, a soul was born each time He shed a tear, He loosed the chains that fettered you and me, He bought my soul, through death at CALVARY!

God cannot allow his grace to override his justice.
God cannot allow his grace to override his justice.

The rule of law must be upheld. God must have valid grounds to forgive sinners and to accept them as righteous. Those grounds are also completely outside of us: "being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).

Christ's living and dying are the sole grounds of God's being able to judge us and treat us as righteous. This is being "justified by Christ" (Galatians 2:1). The Gospel proclaims that sinners are saved by the objective, concrete acts of God in history. This is an action that is so far outside the sinner that it happened two thousand years ago. This is Christianity. It is the only truly historical religion. All other religions teach that salvation is found in some process within the worshiper, and consequently the worshiper's supreme preoccupation is with his internal experience. Christianity alone proclaims a salvation which is found in an event outside the believer.

This truth, of course, is a great offense to human pride.

Consider the children of Israel in the wilderness. Many were bitten by serpents and were facing certain death. Moses put a likeness of a deadly serpent on a pole and invited the dying to look and live. Whoever had heard of such a thing as this? The poison was inside, and how could something completely outside bring them any help? To us who are poisoned to death by that old serpent the devil, Jesus declares: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up" (John 3:14).

The basis of salvation is not a subjective process. If the way of salvation were simply a matter of inviting Christ into the heart or being born again by the Spirit, then Christ need not have come here to suffer and die. But no amount of sanctification or inward holiness can bridge the gulf that sin has made and put us into right relationship with God. Fellowship with God cannot rest on an internal process of being made holy. Perfection is not something that God requires at the end of the process. He demands perfection and absolute holiness before any right relationship can begin and which is only found in his son, Jesus Christ. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one the believeth" Romans 10:4

Justification and Santification - John Bunyan
Salvation and right standing with God rest on what God has already done outside of us in the person of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24).

Two thousand years ago there was an objective historical event. God himself broke into human history in the person of his Son. He became our representative Man. He bore our nature and became so identified with us that all that he did was not only for his people, but also was legally as if we had done it. He strove with sin, the devil, and death. He utterly defeated them and destroyed their power. His victory was for us. It was really and legally our victory.

When he lived that holy life, which satisfied the claims of God's law, it was for us. It was as if we had lived it. When he bore the punishment for sin, justice saw us punished in him. "If one died for all, then are all dead" (2 Corinthians 5:14). When he arose and was accepted with joy into the presence of God, honored and exalted to God's right hand, all that was for us. It was his people that God embraced in the person of his Son. As certainly as God came to this Earth in the person of Christ, just so certainly have we gone to Heaven in the person of Christ. The Gospel does not proclaim the good things that God will do in his people, but it proclaims the good things that he has done for his people.

By his glorious acts outside of us, he has actually accomplished our salvation. He has forgiven, justified, and restored us to glory and honor in the person of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3-7; 2:4-6; Romans 4:25; 5:8-10, 18, 19; Colossians 2:10).

Justification is not only by grace alone and by Christ alone; it must also be by belief alone.

That which God has done outside of us in his Son must be believed. Faith comes by hearing this message of Christ (Romans 10:17). Faith does not bring salvation into existence. It does not produce the righteousness by which God justifies us. Faith does not make; it takes. It is assenting to an arrangement already made by God.

The object of faith is completely objective. It is not faith in what the Holy Spirit has done within us. It is not faith in our sanctification or in some past experience of being born again. It is not faith in our faith. It is not faith in the church. It is not faith in baptism. Faith is focused on what is in Heaven, on what we have in Christ at God's right hand (Colossians 3:1-4). Therefore, we must decisively say that sanctification, being on Earth, being in the believer, is no part of the righteousness that is by faith alone.

The righteousness that is of faith alone is the righteousness of the living and dying of Christ. It is that life of perfect holiness that Christ now presents at the bar of justice on our behalf. The only righteousness we have before God is the righteousness that is now actually before God. Our righteousness, therefore, is where we need it most-in God's presence, before God's law, at the Father's right hand. For our righteousness is Christ himself (Jeremiah 23:6).

As John Bunyan declared, the sublime secret of the Bible is "that a righteousness that resides with a person in Heaven should justify me, a sinner on Earth." This is righteousness by faith. It is a righteousness which the Reformers declared to be "an alien righteousness" - a righteousness completely outside of man and so foreign to sinful reasoning that it can be known only by the Gospel.

We have seen that God justifies by grace, on the grounds of Christ's work, and applies the blessing to the sinner who receives it in faith. The grace that justifies is outside of the believing sinner. The righteousness that justifies is outside of the believing sinner. The faith that accepts the blessing is affixed to that which is outside of the believing sinner. God's act of justifying the believing sinner is also outside the believer.

If you would like to read the whole treatise.... here is the link, really worth the effort to read:

Let us be careful not to mixing up Justification and Sanctification!
As John Bunyan declared, the sublime secret of the Bible is "that a righteousness that resides with a person in Heaven should justify me, a sinner on Earth." This is righteousness by faith. It is a righteousness which the Reformers declared to be "an alien righteousness" - a righteousness completely outside of man and so foreign to sinful reasoning that it can be known only by the Gospel.

Of course we, are responsibility to "live for Christ, our best life, but that at its best (by any man) falls far short of the mark of PERFECTION that God demands. ONLY one MAN ever fulfilled that demand of God's... the MAN JESUS Christ! Let us be careful not to mixing up Justification and Sanctification!

Sanctification is what God does in the believer; it is not the good works of the believer. Important as they are, neither sanctification nor good works is the basis of salvation or the foundation of the Christian's hope. Sanctification, of course, is a work of God's grace, but it is the result of a more fundamental act of grace. Unless sanctification is rooted in justification, and justification in election, sanctification cannot escape the poisons of subjectivism, moralism, or Pharisaism.

Sinful reasoning might tell us that what God does in changing the heart of the sinner is the most important thing God could possibly do in the salvation process. This contention is the heart of Roman Catholic teaching, and it must be admitted that the overwhelming preoccupation of neo-evangelicalism today is its message of being saved by "letting Christ come into your heart," by being born again, etc. It is neo-evangelical Romanism. The great truth of justification by faith alone, however, does not deal with the acts of God within the believer, but with the saving acts of God outside the believer.

First, the reason for a man's acceptance with God unto life eternal is sheer grace: "being justified freely by his grace" (Romans 3:24). The Greek word here translated freely is elsewhere translated without cause. God's grace is not conditioned on any quality in the human heart or life. So far is it from relating to a quality within man that the apostle declares that this "grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Timothy 1:9). Grace is a quality in God's heart, his disposition to be kind and merciful to those who are lost and undeserving. Grace means God's attribute of accepting those who are unacceptable - including those whom he has sanctified.

Gods wisdom in a mystery!
The "fellowship of the mystery", while it is important to the mystery, is not the mystery itself. To say otherwise is to corrupt the English language. A thing cannot be "of" a thing, and also be that thing. Nor is it the church, the body of Christ. The body of Christ is a spiritual, invisible organism into which believers of the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16) are "saved", through a spiritual baptism (1 Cor. 12:13). It is not a "fellowship." A fellowship is something that is visible and demonstrable. The fellowship of the mystery is the visible, demonstrable association of members of the body of Christ, created by the abolishing of the religious practices pertaining to Israel, which were adhered to by the church during Paul's (transitional) Acts ministry. These practices not only included those things listed by Paul in 1 Cor. 11 (which would include the "Lord's supper"), but also include all the other practices associated with Israel, e.g., water baptism, physical circumcision, etc.

Drawing a distinction between "the mystery" and "the fellowship of the mystery" does not, create two "bodies." Both Acts believers and post-Acts believers were saved into the body of Christ by the gospel of Christ. But they could not enter into fellowship with each other because the former, the "we", were practicing "the ordinances", and the latter, the "ye" weren't. The declaration by Paul of the abolition of the ordinances in Eph. 2 and Col. 2, did not create any new spiritual entity, but rather made way for these two groups to become one... physical fellowship (association, community) in Christ, hence., "the fellowship of the mystery."

While Paul was going to "the Jew first" (Rom. 1:16) and attempting to woo his "kinsman according to the flesh" (Rom. 9:3), the ordinances and practices particular to Israel were being practiced in the church. But when he ceased his ministry to them (I hence forth turn to the Gentiles) with the declaration in Acts 28:25-28, and the corresponding declaration of the abolition of their ordained practices in the church in Ephesians and Colossians, the new word was that the churches were to cease practicing them.

Now for the reason for this post... I believe the primary reason there exists so many divisions in present Christendom is the failure (or refusal?) of Protestantism (and all their derivations) to recognize the truths of Ephesians 2 and 3 and Colossians 1 and 2, concerning the ordinances and "what is the fellowship of the mystery." Despite the fact that Paul commanded, around AD 60, that his gospel (i.e., his 13 epistles, rightly divided) was to now be the doctrinal blueprint for church practice, and that he clearly ordered the church to cease and desist from the practice of all those ordinances that were in order during the Acts transition period, Christendom has, by and large, ignored this commandment, and as a result is now fragmented into thousands of divisions. Considering Paul's commandment in 1 Corinthians 1:10, "that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you", how can anyone believe that this fragmentation of the body of Christ is in the divine will of God? Think about it!

Love Is The Principal Thing!

The work of redemption which the gospel makes known, above all things, affords motives to love. For that work was the most glorious and wonderful exhibition of love that ever was seen or heard of.

Love is the principal thing that the gospel dwells on when speaking of God and of Christ. It brings to light the love eternally existing between the Father and the Son, and declares how that same love has been manifested in many things. The gospel manifests how Christ is God's well-beloved Son, in whom He is ever well pleased and how He so loved Him, that He has raised Him to the throne of the mediatorial kingdom, and appointed Him to be the judge of the world, and ordained that all mankind should stand before Him in judgment. In the gospel, too, is revealed the love that Christ has to the Father, and the wonderful fruits of that love, particularly in His doing such great things, and suffering such great things in obedience to the Father's will, and for the honour of His justice, and law, and authority, as the great moral governor.

In the gospel there is revealed how the Father and Son are one in love, that we might be induced, in the like spirit, to be one with them, and with one another, agreeably to Christ's prayer (John 17:21-23).

The gospel also declares to us that the love of God was from everlasting, and reminds us that He loved those that are redeemed by Christ, before the foundation of the world and that He gave them to the Son and that the Son loved them as His own.

The gospel reveals, too, the wonderful love of both the Father and the Son to the saints now in glory, that Christ not only loved them while in the world, but that He loved them to the end.

And all this love is spoken of as bestowed on us while we were wanderers, outcasts, worthless, guilty, and even enemies. This is love, such as was never elsewhere known or conceived. - Jonathan Edwards

J.I. Packer
Doctrinal preaching certainly bores the hypocrites; but it is only doctrinal preaching that will save Christ's sheep. The preacher's job is to proclaim the faith, not to provide entertainment for unbelievers - in other words, to feed the sheep rather than amuse the goats. - J.I. Packer

Does God's Grace Lack Everlasting Power?
If, as some Christians maintain, salvation can be forfeited, it then would be obvious that God's grace lacks everlasting power, that the life He bestows on believers is not eternal. A believer's hope could only be temporary. He would be in continual danger of losing salvation, because it would be dependent on his own faithfulness and power to avoid sin that would cast him back into lostness. If that were true, one's own power to sin would be greater than God's power to save, and any testimony given to unbelievers to bring them to salvation would be undermined.

Martin Luther
This doctrine [justification by faith alone] is the head and the cornerstone. It alone begets, nourishes, builds, preserves, and defends the church of God; and without it the church of God cannot exist for one hour. For no one who does not hold this article or, to use Paul's expression, this 'sound doctrine' (Titus 2:1) is able to teach aright in the church or successfully to resist any adversary... this is the heel of the Seed that opposes the old serpent and crushes its head. That is why Satan, in turn, cannot but persecute it.

Whoever departs from the article of justification does not know God and is an idolater... For when this article has been taken away, nothing remains but error, hypocrisy, godlessness, and idolatry, although it may seem to be the height of truth, worship of God, holiness, etc. If the article of justification is lost, all Christian doctrine is lost at the same time. - Martin Luther

Quote for the day
A man should never be ashamed to own up he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. -  Alexander Pope

LORD, when we are wrong, make us willing to change; and when we are right, make us easy to live with. - Peter Marshall

Col 1:9-11

I pray that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Col 1:9-11

A.W. Pink

Glorying in Christ is the antithesis of glorying in the flesh. Pharisees boast before God of what they have done for him. The Christian is one who has empty hands every day and can only thank God for His mercy. He thus relies solely on the righteousness of Christ.

It is the new Covenant in Christ's blood which "reminds God" not to treat us as our sins justly deserve. True Christians, flee to Christ as their only hope. A mark of maturity is that we no longer are constantly worrying about our own spirituality but rather our focus is on Christ and His accomplishments.

Those who are glorying the flesh will exhaust themselves because they are contstantly looking to their own resources. The cross alone is where we find sanctification. Christians flee to Christ as their only hope casting aside all self-confidence and autonomy. Remember, Paul calls everything other than Christ "rubbish". Are we trusting in rubbish or in Christ? - A.W. Pink

Our Mighty God

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me? Jeremiah 32:27

The God who stood on the edge of nothing and spoke everything into existence is your help. The Word who continually sustains all that exists to keep atomic particles from rushing into every direction lives inside you. The Spirit who hovered over the face of the deep before the first molecule was formed guides you.

There is no problem you face that towers over your Triune God’s ability to overcome it. Nothing is too difficult for Him. In your moments of weakness resist the urge to rely upon your own strength and ingenuity. Yield yourself to Him, acknowledge your total dependence upon His loving grace and then patiently wait for Him to intervene on your behalf.

His authority can change the hearts of those who oppose you, rearrange the circumstances you face or cause supernatural evil to flee. Nothing is so great that Divine Love has not already defeated it for your sake. Don’t fret over the outcome of your difficulties. The ultimate end of all things in your life will be good because Goodness is the divine path upon which you travel and the ultimate destination you will reach.

Steve McVey -

Working From Righteousness.

Do not confuse working for righteousness with working from righteousness.

There are many works for a believer to do, but none of them involve earning righteousness. They all involve revealing righteousness.

Repentance Unto Salvation - Charles Spurgeon

"Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." — Acts 11:18

I have never known a man who has thought upon, and taken a view of the cross, who has not found that it begat "repentance," and begat faith.
We look at Jesus Christ if we would be saved, and we then say. "Amazing sacrifice! that Jesus thus died to save sinners."

If you want faith, remember he gives it, if you want repentance, he gives it! If you want everlasting life, he gives it liberally.

He can force you to feel your great sin, and cause you to repent by the sight of Calvary's cross, and the sound of the greatest, deepest death shriek,
"Eloi! Eloi! lama sabachthani?" "My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" That will beget "repentance;" it will make you weep and say, "Alas! and did my Saviour bleed; and did my Sovereign die for me?"

Then beloved, if you would have "repentance," this is my best advice to you — look to Jesus. And may the blessed Giver of all "repentance unto salvation" guard you from the false repentances which I have described, and give you that "repentance," which existeth unto life.

Charles Spurgeon

God reveals Himself and quickens whom He will.

John 1:12-13 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, but of God."

We receive Christ because we have already been born again by God and all this is not connected to, because of, or dependent on our own will.

Romans 9:16 "So then it IS NOT OF HIM THAT WILLETH, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." God first gives us a new heart and works in us to make us willing to come to Christ.

Philippians 2:13 "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

God reveals Himself and quickens whom He will. "OF HIS OWN WILL begat he us with the word of truth", "neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son WILL reveal him", "even so the Son quickeneth whom HE WILL", "therefore hath he mercy on whom HE WILL have mercy, and whome HE WILL he hardeneth." (James 1:18, Matthew 11:27, John 5:21 and Romans 9:18.)

Self-Righteousness Presents The Greatest Threat!

Many people are worried about the effect of unrighteousness in the church. But the fact is that it isn't unrighteousness, but self-righteousness that presents the greatest threat.

Legalistic religionists can’t stand grace for at least one reason. It takes them completely out of the limelight and gives all the glory to God.

Tell the church leaders in Martin Luther’s day that people’s good works didn’t move them one inch toward salvation and, like Luther, you would have been considered a heretic.

Steve McVey -

I Have To VS I Want To

Acceptance Grace is the way we relate to God, namely through the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ on our behalf.

This component of grace is the foundation of the gospel. Grace came in the form of a person, namely Jesus Christ. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17 NKJV, emphasis added) The law was given from a distance (impersonally), but grace came personally and dwelled among us.

The apostle Paul took great care to build his gospel on the foundation of grace (who is Christ) in all the early churches: According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 3:10-11 NKJV)

We ALWAYS need to relate to God in this way, because this is the only way that He relates to us. Empowerment Grace is that supernatural enabling which allows us to do things that would normally be beyond our natural ability or effort.

As we are swallowed up by God’s amazing grace and we begin to get rid of the “I have to” mentality, we find a breathtaking “I want to” attitude that begins to rise up inside us, which is of course the Holy Spirit communicating His desire to live through us, endowing us with all of heaven’s infinite resources and aspirations.

We are the vessels through which God wants to show Himself strong; we are the channels through which He wants His power to flow; we are His conductors through which heaven invades the earth, allowing the Father’s will to be done in this broken world. This is the essence of Empowerment Grace.

Ander Merwe

Does faith equal obedience?

There are Christians who attempt to redefine the Gospel by making faith the equivalent of obedience.
In so doing, the whole point of the Gospel is lost. The Gospel is swallowed up by Law. Paul makes a critical distinction
between those who observe the law and those who “believe what you heard” (Gal. 3:2) So should we.

There is a difference between obedience to God’s Word and faith in God’s Word. Obedience should follow faith (Heb. 5:9; 1 John 2:5; 5:3).
Faith and obedience are never separated in the Christian life (Rom. 16:26; 1 Pet. 1:22). Yet, they are never treated as synonymous (Rom. 4:1-5).

God predestines, and that man is responsible!

I see in one place, God presiding over all in providence; and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions to his own will, in a great measure.

Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act, that there was no presidence of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to Atheism; and if, on the other hand, I declare that God so overrules all things, as that man is not free enough to be responsible, I am driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism.

That God predestines, and that man is responsible, are two things that few can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is just the fault of our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other.

If, then, I find taught in one place that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find in another place that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other.

These two truths, I do not believe, can ever be welded into one upon any human anvil, but one they shall be in eternity: they are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the mind that shall pursue them farthest, will never discover that they converge; but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.

Charles Spurgeon

Christ's perfect righteousness as our own

We will never be justified or accepted as holy and righteous before God, unless we stand before Him with Christ's perfect righteousness as our own. After all, that is the only righteousness God will ever recognize. So, how can we receive Christ's perfect righteousness?

It becomes ours by imputation. The heavenly Father imputes it to us through our faith. "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works..." (Romans 4:6).

Paul quotes David as saying, "The richest, most blessed, most peaceful man on earth is the one who understands he has a perfect righteousness imputed to him -- without works!"

"(Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God...And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed..." (verses 22-24).

This righteousness has to be imputed to us. It is not ours by infusion. In other words, God doesn't just pour it into us. No -- it is never our righteousness; it has nothing to do with what we have done or accomplished. It is always His righteousness, imputed to us -- credited to our account.

The word impute means "to regard or esteem, to consider, to attribute to a person something he does not have, to reckon or credit to one's account." When Jesus imputes His righteousness to us, God looks upon it as our very own. No, we did not earn it. Christ did it all -- and He credits it to our account!

This imputation comes by faith alone. We can't work for it or merit it in any way. Rather, because of our faith in Jesus and His redeeming work, the Lord credits the righteousness of Christ to us -- and we are reckoned as perfect in Him. That's right -- you and I are credited with the same righteousness that Jesus obtained here on this earth. By confessing our sins and having faith in Him, we stand before God with an imputed righteousness. And it is a perfect righteousness that is of faith and not of works:

* "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace..." (Romans 4:16).

* "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness..." (10:10).

* "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no (distinction)" (3:22).

* "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (verse 26).

I ask you: Is there anything good in you that would cause God to send His Son to die for you? No -- it was an act of complete mercy and grace! God initiated it Himself. We were sinners, aliens, against Him. Yet, even then, God sent His only begotten Son to take on all our sins. It was all by grace!

"But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead" (verse 24). Oh, what a wonderful thing the power of faith is!

First, God's Word tells us that Christ paid for the sin of humankind at the Cross, with His own blood; that He fulfilled the law and removed the curse; that He ransomed us from the claims of hell and the devil; that He lived a sinless life, keeping the law at every point; and that He will present us before the Father with a perfect righteousness.

Then the Word tells us we can have Christ's perfect righteousness attributed to us -- that God will consider us as perfectly righteous in Jesus -- if only we will believe what He has accomplished for us! Please understand -- I am speaking of those who have repented of their sins.

Oh, how my flesh recoils at the simplicity and ease of it all! The flesh cries, "No way! It can't be that easy. I have to help -- I have to pay something. After all, I still have problems in my life. I still struggle with sin. I haven't yet come to a place where I believe God is pleased with me. I can't expect Him to consider me righteous I still have so many things needing improvement. I need to clean up my act first."

Certainly there may be tears on our part. We have to be humbled and broken. But a river of tears alone will not save anyone. A lifetime of struggles will not save anyone. God says, "It must be by grace through faith. No flesh shall glory in My presence!"

* "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17).

* "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith" (Galatians 5:5).

* "...righteousness...which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Philippians 3:9).

My faith has to rise above all my fears -- above all satanic lies, all feelings, all circumstances -- and rest in what God's Word declares. And His Word says that by repentance and faith in Christ, He looks upon me as having the perfect righteousness of Jesus. He accepts me "in the beloved" as holy and righteous!

David Wilkerson

Only one person is holy - Jesus Christ.

I believe in high standards for Christians, including decent dress codes, holy living and separation from the world. But God help us if we even hint to people that any such observance holds merit with the Lord. None of these things can ever make us acceptable in his eyes.

Many believers remain under constant bondage to some doctrine of works because they think it makes them holy. They simply don't want to believe that all their sacrifices through the years are for naught. And so, when they hear the message of the cross - that no human striving or works can save us, and that only the grace of Christ assures our salvation - they become offended. They cry out, as the first-century Jewish converts did, "You're teaching permissiveness. You don't believe in holiness anymore."

Nothing could be further from the truth. Only one person is holy - Jesus Christ. And all our holiness must come through faith in him."

D Wilkerson

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness!

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." Philippians 3:9

Here are the two righteousnesses clearly laid down, in one or other of which we must all stand before God—the righteousness which is of the law, and the righteousness which is of God by faith in Christ. But bear this in mind, that a righteousness to be available before God must be a perfect righteousness. This righteousness no man ever did or could produce by his own obedience to the law, for no man ever yet loved God "with all his heart and soul and mind and strength, and his neighbour as himself;" and if a man do not thus love God and thus love his neighbour, he is accursed and condemned already by that righteous law which curseth "every one who continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."

 Now the Apostle felt that as this righteousness could not be yielded by himself as a fallen sinner, he must necessarily fall under the condemnation and curse attached to that holy law. Trembling, therefore, in his conscience, as feeling that the wrath of God was revealed against him, and all unjustified sinners in a broken law, and knowing that he must sink for ever under the terrible indignation of the Almighty, if he had no covering for his needy, naked soul but his own righteousness, he fled out of it to find justification and acceptance, mercy and peace in the righteousness of Christ. Thenceforth he "was determined to know nothing, save Jesus Christ and him crucified," and Jesus became to him his "all in all."

 When once he had been favoured with a view of the righteousness of the Son of God, he wanted no other for time or eternity. He saw by faith the words and works of the God-man, and he beheld Deity stamped upon every thought, word, and action of that pure humanity with which it was in union, and thus investing them with a merit beyond all conception or expression of men or angels. He saw him by faith bearing his sins in his own body on the tree, and by his active and passive obedience working out a righteousness acceptable to God, and such as he and all the redeemed could stand in before the great white throne without spot or blemish.

 As a traveller overtaken by a violent thunderstorm gladly flies to a house by the wayside wherein he may find shelter from the lightning-stroke and the sweeping rain; or as a ship threatened with a hurricane bends every sail to reach in time the harbour of refuge, so does the soul terrified by the thunders and lightnings of God's righteous law, seek for shelter in the wounded side of Jesus, and hide itself beneath his justifying obedience. This righteousness is here called "the righteousness of God;" for God the Father contrived it, God the Son performed it, and God the Holy Ghost applies it; and it is said to be "by faith" and "through the faith of Christ" because faith views it, believes in it, receives it, and gives the soul a manifested interest in it.

 J.C. Philpot - 1802-1869

It is impossible for God to accept any righteousness other than Christ's

It is impossible for God to accept any righteousness other than Christ's. No other human could ever meet the requirements; no person could walk the same path or pay the same price He did. Only Jesus' righteousness will stand before God: "...all our righteousness are as filthy rags..." (Isaiah 64:6).

This matter of understanding how God justifies His people is not for babes. It it is a truth for full-grown believers! Yet so many Christians are still babes, drinking milk. All they understand is forgiveness of their sins. So few go on to the meat of the Word of righteousness!

"For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:13-14).

Milk is for babies -- and babies need constant attention! They feel good only when Mother is in the room. And when Mother leaves, they cry out with fear. They have to be able to see her, feel her, touch her to feel secure.

Likewise, the believer who remains on milk lives in constant dread of his salvation. He is never at ease with the heavenly Father. Instead, he's always uptight, thinking God is ready to send him to hell every time he fails. He does not know or understand his position in Christ -- and therefore he never knows the peace of God. He cannot believe that God is fully committed to save and keep him.

Paul is saying there is meat available to us -- food that will cause us to grow into maturity, to become men and women in Christ, to develop into full stature as believers. Beloved, this meat is the truth concerning Christ's perfect righteousness! Understanding it allows you to remain secure in your salvation. You don't have to fear that God will forsake you every time you slip and fall. No -- you will have victory!

But if you don't have this truth, the devil will play havoc with your feelings. He'll lie to you and push you around. Unless you have this truth as a foundation under everything you believe, nothing will be right in your doctrine, your theology, your life. You can't even obey God until you understand it!

You have to be convinced that nothing you can ever do will produce an acceptable righteousness before God. It has to come from another source! When I stand at the judgment seat, I have no other plea but the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

David Wilkerson

The Bible teaches that no one can obey enough to merit salvation.

The Bible teaches that no one can obey enough to merit salvation. This is the heart of the problem Jesus came to solve. We are not able to fully obey God’s Word (Romans 3:23). Only Jesus was able to perfectly obey God’s Word. [Was Jesus a Christian?[1]] While we fail to fully keep God’s Word, Jesus did not fail. He alone is the Son of God, in whom the Father is well pleased. He was spotless, sinless, and without guile. Christ is the righteousness of God. Here is the miracle of the Gospel and the grace of God: God, out of His grace allows us to receive Christ’s righteousness through believing the Word of the Gospel!

You empower what you believe.

Loving us unconditionally and agreeing with us unconditionally are not the same thing, so please don’t hear what I am not saying. The Father will love you even if He disagrees with what you are doing. And it’s really not rocket science because the same things he doesn’t agree with are the very things that are stealing your joy, peace and life.

There is only one obstacle to overcoming sin and that is you believing there is an obstacle to overcoming sin. You empower what you believe. You have been set free, believe it and live free.

Look for the Father’s heart in your own comings and goings and dealings with people and you will never mistreat, embarrass, manipulate, control or reject any person while you are representing the heart of your Father to them.


The First Adam & The Last Adam

The Law took the disobedience of first Adam and condemned us all. Grace took the obedience of Jesus, last Adam, and declared you and me to be perfectly righteous in our Father’s eyes.

Under the Law God says, “I will by no means forget your sins’. Under grace God says, ‘I will by no means ever remember your sins again.’”

The Law is a revelation of how much is wrong with you before God and in God’s sight.
Grace is a revelation of how perfectly right with God you are all the time.

Rob Rufus

The purpose of BEMA: The Judgement Seat

Romans 14:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:9 speak of the “judgment seat.” This is a translation of one Greek word, the word bema. While bema is used in the gospels and Acts of the raised platform where a Roman magistrate or ruler sat to make decisions and pass sentence (Matt. 27:19; John 19:13), its use in the epistles by Paul, because of his many allusions to the Greek athletic contests, is more in keeping with its original use among the Greeks.

This word was taken from Isthmian games where the contestants would compete for the prize under the careful scrutiny of judges who would make sure that every rule of the contest was obeyed (cf. 2 Tim. 2:5). The victor of a given event who participated according to the rules was led by the judge to the platform called the Bema. There the laurel wreath was placed on his head as a symbol of victory (cf. 1 Cor. 9:24-25).

In all of these passages, “Paul was picturing the believer as a competitor in a spiritual contest. As the victorious Grecian athlete appeared before the Bema to receive his perishable award, so the Christian will appear before Christ’s Bema to receive his imperishable award. The judge at the Bema bestowed rewards to the victors. He did not whip the losers.”2 We might add, neither did he sentence them to hard labor.

In other words, it is a reward seat and portrays a time of rewards or loss of rewards following examination, but it is not a time of punishment where believers are judged for their sins. Such would be inconsistent with the finished work of Christ on the Cross because He totally paid the penalty for our sins. Chafer and Walvoord have an excellent word on this view:

With reference to sin, Scripture teaches that the child of God under grace shall not come into judgment (John 3:18; 5:24; 6:37; Rom. 5:1; 8:1; 1 Cor. 11:32); in his standing before God, and on the ground that the penalty for all sin—past, present, and future (Col. 2:13)—has been borne by Christ as the perfect Substitute, the believer is not only placed beyond condemnation, but being in Christ is accepted in the perfection of Christ (1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:6; Col. 2:10; Heb. 10:14) and loved of God as Christ is loved (John 17:23).3

Again, Chafer writes concerning the Bema, “It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the judgment is unrelated to the problem of sin, that it is more for the bestowing of rewards than the rejection of failure.”


We are all publican's

Down in us all, if we will go deep enough, and take with us a light bright enough, we shall discover enough to make anything but humility ridiculous, if it were not wicked. And the only right place and attitude for a man who knows himself down to the roots of his being is the publican’s when ‘he stood afar off, and would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, and said, God be merciful to me a sinner.’ Ah, dear friends, it will put an end to any undue exaltation of ourselves if we know ourselves as we are.

Alexander Maclaren

Not called! did you say? Not heard the call, I think you should say.

Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face... whose mercy you have professed to obey... and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world”. 

William Booth, Grace does motivate!

How can God possibly use you to make a difference?

Sinners, the ungodly, the imperfect, the fearful! Why does God choose such losers to change the world?

I'm thinking it's because there’s a lot more of us to choose from!

God uses people to change the world. Abraham the liar. David the adulterer and murderer. Are you getting the picture? What they lacked in perfection, God made up for in love. How can God possibly use you to make a difference? Look at those He’s already used and take heart! Because you are imperfect, you can speak of making mistakes. Because you’re a sinner, you can give testimony to forgiveness. God restores the broken and the brittle, then parades them before the world as trophies of his love and strength! If God chose only righteous people, you could count them all on one finger - Jesus!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17 Max Lucado

Hebrews 10:12-18

But this Man, after He had offered ONE sacrifice for sins FOREVER, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by ONE OFFERING He has perfected FOREVER those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them, Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. (NKJV)

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ paid for all sins on the Cross.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24

Jesus taught that his blood remitted sin: "my blood . . . which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matt. 26:28). The writer of Hebrews states: “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Heb. 9:22). (The KJV says “remission” in the place of forgiveness.[1] That is because remission and forgiveness are the same thing.[2]) It was the specific blood of Jesus that forgives our sins. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of his grace.” (Eph. 1:7). Jesus is the final sacrifice for all sins: “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Heb. 10:18). We are forgiven when we believe in Jesus. Peter preached, “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name[3].” (Acts 10:43).
When and where is sin remitted? -- at the Cross. His death on the Cross is proof that sin is remitted. Paul says, “because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Rom 6:7). If the Bible states that Jesus’ death on the Cross is the sacrifice for our sins; if it says he died to our sins only once; and if it says he could not be held by death, but is raised to give us life and salvation, then, we can safely say that our sins imputed to Jesus on the Cross were cleansed, taken away or paid for there and his resurrection testifies it is so:
The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. (Romans 6:10) 
And by that will, WE (those who believe it) have been MADE HOLY through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Heb. 10:10) 
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. (Acts 24:24)

Are we saved by faith and sanctified by works?

Are we saved by faith and sanctified by works? When God deals with us at any time, it is completely on the grounds of grace. Christ’s righteousness is credited to us. It is on the grounds of the righteousness of Christ and we can expect an outpouring of the Holy Spirit because of Him. Is God more gracious to those who deserve it? In that case it would not be grace. Sanctification is in Christ, not by our effort. ‘Christ was made unto us sanctification’ (1Cor 1,30). We stand complete in Him. We blood-washed children of God could appear today before the presence of His glory, through the merits of Jesus. Amazing! Amazing grace! God bless you.

Wear the Robe of Righteousness!

THE GOSPEL IN GENESIS... As Jacob received the blessing from his father Isaac by coming to him wearing the outer garments of his elder brother, so today, we come to God the Father wearing the Robe of Righteousness of our Elder Brother, the Lord Jesus Christ, and we receive the blessing of eternal salvation!

Christ is the "Firstborn from among the dead", and will bring many sons with Him to glory...Col. 1:18...In the Book of Hebrews the author appears to call Christians "firstborn ones" ( prototokon) in virtue of their relationship to Christ.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness. Isa. 61:10

What Lord needs the will of his subjects in order to act?

What Lord is subject to the will of his subjects? Certainly not Lord Jesus!

Is it not the Lord God who calls the end from the very beginning and who will have ALL His pleasure (Isa. 46:10)? Is the Lord Jesus not God himself? Does He not do all things well (Mk. 7:37)?

If He does, can He not surely woo His own bride well? Is it even possible He might fail in this? Does He not have the right to pick His own bride particularly?

Where have all the Evangelist gone?

Paul declares that the gospel "is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Rom. 1:16). But then he asks, "How can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?" (Rom. 10:14-15). As a minister of the gospel, I am sent, and I am preaching to you. Hear, believe in Christ and call on the name of the Lord. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:13).

Gospel of the Grace of God

Paul's Mission;...“that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24 NAS). Paul could have told them, “Keep preaching baptism in Jesus name.” or, “Don’t ever let go of speaking with tongues as the initial evidence.” But he never even hinted at those notions. He reminded them that the center of his ministry – the ministry by which God brought them into the Church – was the “gospel of the grace of God.”

To best understand how Paul truly understood the events of Acts 19 we need only to read his words in Ephesians 1:13 (NAS): “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,” The sequence of events as Paul states them is simple. The Ephesians heard the “gospel of your salvation” and then believed. When they believed they were “sealed in Him [Christ] with the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit opened their hearts to believe the Gospel, and then he sealed them into Christ. There were not sealed because they spoke with tongues. They were sealed with the Holy Spirit when they believed the Gospel.

The picture of what happened in Ephesus is very evident when you read all the Ephesians texts together in their proper historical order: First, Paul preached to them to “believe . . . in Jesus.” Next, Paul exhorted the Ephesians about the centrality of the “gospel of the grace of God.” Finally, Paul reminded them in an epistle that they had received the Holy Spirit at the time they believed the Gospel. There is no mention of a specific form of water baptism or of any necessary evidence such as speaking with tongue. There is not even a hint of these doctrines. But, the idea of believing the Gospel – faith alone in Christ alone – is central and conspicuous to Paul teaching about salvation.

Bernie Gillespie

An Oasis Of Hope In The Lord's Lovingkindness!

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Sometimes the circumstances of life seem to wear us out physically, emotionally and mentally. In those moments it becomes easy to develop a victim mentality. We begin to think that every day is a dead-end repeat of the day before and it seems like we’re on a treadmill where there is little hope for change.

The promise above from Lamentations is an oasis of hope on days like that. The Bible promises here that our Lord’s lovingkindnesses never cease. God never runs out of goodness when it comes to you! His compassion toward you will never be empty! Regardless of how you may feel, your God is never, never, never going to stop renewing you with His strength and goodness.

Every day of your life you will find your faithful God is there to uphold you and carry you through whatever you may face. In Jesus Christ, you are not a victim. You are a victor! Rise up and face the circumstances of your life in the assurance that God will work in them to accomplish something good. Trust in His faithfulness and bet your life on His goodness. You have a divine guarantee that you will not be disappointed in the end.

Steve McVey -

Free Grace is one-way love!

Free Grace doesn’t make demands. It just gives. And from our vantage point, it always gives to the wrong person.

We see this over and over again in the Gospels: Jesus is always giving to the wrong people - prostitutes, tax collectors, half-breeds.
The most extravagant sinners of Jesus’s day receive his most compassionate welcome.

Grace is a divine vulgarity that stands caution on its head. It refuses to play it safe and lay it up. Grace is recklessly generous, uncomfortably promiscuous. It doesn’t use sticks, carrots, or time cards. It doesn’t keep score.

As Robert Capon puts it, “Grace works without requiring anything on our part. It’s not expensive. It’s not even cheap. It’s FREE...” It refuses to be controlled by our innate sense of fairness, reciprocity, and evenhandedness. It defies logic. It has nothing to do with earning, merit, or deservedness.. It is opposed to what is owed. It doesn’t expect a return on investments. Grace is unconditional acceptance given to an undeserving person by an unobligated Giver.

By Charles L Klock

Our God personifies the best qualities of every human relationship.

Our God is the Protective Father, the Compassionate Mother, the Consummate Lover and the Intimate Friend.

In fact, He personifies the best qualities of every human relationship.

You are His child... and His children can never be beyond the reach of His love.
Jonah proved, you can’t outrun God’s love.
Lot bore witness that you can’t out sin His love.
Jacob laughs, “you can’t outsmart His love.”
Enoch finally left this world saying, “you can’t outlive His love.”
Jesus came to show, “You can’t outdo God’s love.”
His love whispers in the Laughter in a joke,
the Flavor in a gourmet meal,
the Calm on a pond’s surface at dawn.
His love is the Shelter in the storm, and the rainbow afterwards.

His love brings Him aggressively into the circumstances of our lives:
To the weary – He is Rest.
To the disheartened – He is Hope..
To the confused – He is Wisdom.
To the lost – He is the Way.
To the guilty – He is Forgiveness.
To the troubled – He is Peace.
To the scared – He is Courage.
To the spurned – He is the Great Lover.

His love for us can’t be diminished by your doubts, or stopped by your sins, or even repelled by your rejection.

When you know God is pleased with you regardless of your productivity.

When you know God is pleased with you regardless of your productivity, it will free you from the pressure to perform. When you’ve heard God say “Yes” to you, it will empower you to say “No” to the unhealthy demands of Pharaoh’s whip-cracking taskmasters.

If you have been burning the candle at both ends trying to get ahead, a revelation of God’s acceptance will bring you to a place of rest. It will get you off the merry-go-round and sit you down in pastures green.

But that doesn’t mean you will be idle. Those who wait upon the Lord renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). Paradoxically, those who have been freed from the need to produce are often the most productive people around. This happens because the loving acceptance of another brings out the best in us, particularly if the Other is someone special.

Perhaps you have had the pleasant experience of being accepted by the most beautiful girl in the room or the best man in the house. It is the thrill of being elevated to a higher level. “Really?! You choose me? But you’re way out of my league.” As nice as that is, it pales in comparison to the lift that comes from being accepted by the Maker of heaven and earth. To the glory of his grace you have been lifted out of the miry clay and seated with him in heavenly places. Talk about your upward mobility.

With God on our side like this, how can we lose? (Romans 8:31b, MSG).

Sons and daughters who are supercharged by their Father’s favor shine like stars (Philippians 2:15). Elevated by his love they mount up with wings like eagles. They race against horses and walk on the water, living testimonies of the energizing power of his divine acceptance.

Paul Ellis -

Our actions flow from our beliefs. Grace flows from Faith.

“that is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,” Romans 4:16

“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2

“For by grace you have been saved through faith.” Ephesians 2:8

 Paul talks about the importance of our minds later on again in Ephesians 4:20-24

“But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

He here stated that by renewing our minds we put off the old self and put on the new self… sounds something like Romans 12:2

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Phil Drysdale  -


If you would learn the gospel, then learn the meaning of these two words–SUBSTITUTION and SATISFACTION.

“He was wounded for our transgressions.” He was literally our SUBSTITUTE before the law and justice of God. In our place, in our stead, bearing our transgressions and all of our iniquities, He took upon Himself all that justice could inflict. He made full SATISFACTION, for “by His stripes we are healed.” God is reconciled, the debt is paid, justice is satisfied. He fully reconciled us to God by His obedience and His death (II Cor. 5:19-21). The heart of the sinner was not changed toward God in the sufferings of Christ (that is accomplished later by the Holy Spirit and the word), but the wrath of God was removed toward the sinner. Reconcilliation is the work of God in Christ toward Himself (Rom. 3:24-26).

 (Vs. 6) The prophet is careful not to say “they” or “them,” but “WE!” “All WE like sheep” and “the Iniquity of US all.” Read Verses 4-6 and put your name in every place you read “our” and “we.” Someone wrote: “My sins, my sins, my Savior, how sad on Thee they fall; when I see them in Thy death, I ten-fold own them all. My sins, my sins, my Savior, their guilt I never knew; till I saw them at the cross, the Lord of hosts they slew.”

Henry Mahan

Christians need to try and keep the law!

This is a big one, most Christians I have met are extremely confused by this. They seem unsure what to do with the law, it seems that the New Covenant renders the Old Covenant irrelevant for the believer but God gave the Old Covenant and we should still try do the laws, right? Right?

Of course not. But that’s too scary for many Christians to imagine… I mean if we don’t have a rule that says “thou shall not kill”, then all the Christians, righteous by nature and walking in the Spirit would go on killing sprees, right?

I think not.
You see the law isn’t what determines our conduct, lets face it we’ve had the law for thousands of years and it didn’t do much to stop us sinning!

Our decision to walk in the Spirit or not is the deciding factor in our walk being one of healthy choices.

1 Timothy 1:9-10 says that “the law is NOT for the righteous but for the unrighteous”

Phil Drysdale  -

The righteousness of Christ is imputed to believing souls!

When we say that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believing souls, we do not hold forth an exceptional theory, but we expound a grand truth, which is so consistent with the theory of the fall and the plan of pardon, that it must be maintained in order to make the gospel clear. I think it was this doctrine which Martin Luther called the article of the standing or falling of the Church.

I find a passage in his works which seems to me to refer to this doctrine rather than to justification by faith. He ought certainly to have said, "Justification by faith is the doctrine of standing or falling of the Church." But in Luther's mind, imputed righteousness was, so interwoven with justification by faith, that he could not see any distinction between the two. And I must confess, in trying to observe a difference, I do not see much. I must give up justification by faith if I give up imputed righteousness.

True justification by faith is the surface soil, but then imputed righteousness is the granite rock which lies underneath it; and if you dig down through the great truth of a sinners being justified by faith in Christ, you must, as I believe, inevitably come to the doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Christ as the basis and foundation on which that simple doctrine rests.

Charles Spurgeon

Justification by faith is essential to salvation.

Justification by faith is essential to salvation.

It is the center of one’s relationship with God. Failing to understand either the importance of justification or its nature is a serious problem. Ideas that cause us to misunderstand justification directly affect our faith and our saving relationship with God. In the Bible, when a person believed God, they were justified at that moment.

“Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.” (Rom. 4:3 ESV)

The context of Romans 4 Paul is discussing the nature of justification as illustrated in the faith of Abraham. In Galatians, Paul teaches that NT believers are children of Abraham by faith. (Galatians 3: 6-14) When was Abraham counted righteousness? When he believed God. justification is not a process, the equal of sanctification. It is a once-for-all-time work of God. Here is the fundamental reason it is not a process: the righteousness by which one is justified is Christ’s righteousness and not one’s own.

Justification is a whole, occurring at the moment of truth faith and is effective for the rest of one’s walk of faith. Justification as an event is not a process, neither is it a progressive work, as if we become increasing justified or need to renew or recharge our justification. Nonetheless, its effect is an ongoing reality in the life of the justified. There is a progressive effect of justification on our lives as we learn the power of living the justified life.

This is certainly a process as we live by faith. But this does not define the meaning of justification as a progressive process.

An inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.

An inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.

God has been pleased in his abundant mercy to prepare for his people an inheritance. He has made them sons, and if children, then heirs. He has given them a new life, and if a new life, then there must be possessions and a place suitable for that new life. A heavenly nature requires a heavenly inheritance, heaven-born children must have a heavenly portion.

Now I shall only ask you to notice that the inheritance which God has prepared for us has a fourfold description appended to it. First, as to its substance — it is “incorruptible.” The substance of everything earthly by degrees passes away. Even solid granite will rot and crumble. The substance of things seen, I may say in paradox, is devoid of substance. Empires have grown great, but the inward corruption within their constitution has at length dissolved them. Dynasties have been wrecked, and thrones have tottered by internal corruption, but the inheritance of the saints of God has nothing within it that can make it perish. For ever and for ever shall the blissful portion of the sanctified be theirs. Heaven, and the streets thereof, are all said to be of precious stones and pure gold, because they are imperishable.

Charles Spurgeon

It's about what the Lord has done for us!

It is NOT about what we have done for the Lord, it's about what the Lord has done for us!
The very people who are refused entrance, are the ones who point to their WORKS, as evidence they are worthy!

WHAT in heavens name will any of us have, in your words, to SHOW THAT WE ARE WORTHY! Answer, a bunch of filthy rags of our "supposed righteousness". What did the Lord say he will be looking for when He comes again? Answer: "will the Lord find FAITH"

Right believing (faith) produces right living (fruit), which comes naturally because of a LOVE relationship between a grateful/thankful, recipient (believer) of "THE FREE GIFT" (without works) of Salvation (righteousness), and the WONDERFUL, GRACIOUS GIVER of that FREE, FREE, FREE GIFT..JESUS! Any thing else is DEAD works, DEAD religion! Stop asking WHAT people are doing for the Lord, and rather ask people, what has the Lord done for them!

To point people in any other direction is to do them a great disservice and start then down a futile path of "works salvation" the religion of Cain. Works of faith have great recompense of "reward" put has NOTHING to do with us RECEIVING the FREE GIFT of salvation (faith) the Lord gives to those whom the Father has chosen!

To the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness

Paul made clear that the gospel of a crucified Christ was "to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness" (1Cor 1.23).

If your gospel does not cause the hackles of the self-righteous to rise and the lips of the worldly-wise to curl in a sneer then it is not the gospel of God, and will not prove the power of God to salvation.

If your gospel does not declare a freeness in God's grace that makes the self-righteous feel that you are giving wicked men a licence to sin then it is not the gospel of the Bible.

If your gospel does not call men to an obedience so complete and entire that you are despised as narrow and shrivelled (1 Peter 4.4) then it is not the gospel of the Bible.

If your gospel does not offer salvation to any wretched sinners who call upon the name of Jesus Christ, however great their sins, and however far and long they have wandered from the Lord, then it is not the gospel of the Bible.

If your gospel does not proclaim that those same sinners must rely entirely upon the saving and sanctifying grace of a sovereign Lord... then it is not the gospel of the Bible.

If your gospel does not entreat, demand, command, invite, and compel sinners to come in, then it is not the gospel of the Bible.

Do not pull back from preaching (fishing) for the souls of men, women and children today... for there is no greater enterprise!
Who knows what God can do with our feeble efforts!

Christians rise up to our calling as servants of a triumphant gospel.

Francis Schaeffer lamented a generation ago that American Christians care mainly for "personal peace and enough affluence to enjoy it." The truth of that statement is the cause of many of our woes.

We must now rally as Christians around the source of our true power, the throne of grace in heaven (Heb. 4:16). If the prayer meetings of Christian churches do not fill in the coming months and years, then James 4:2 will explain the loss of our country.

We must rise up with renewed zeal in taking the gospel message of Jesus Christ to our neighbors. If troubled, we must proclaim Christ. If persecuted we must proclaim Christ. If jailed, we must follow Paul's example by proclaiming Christ. Our pagan neighbor is not primarily our culture-war enemy but a sinner in bondage who needs the loving message of salvation through the grace of Christ.

The startling troubles before us are as much an opportunity as they are a threat, but only if we Christians rise up to our calling as servants of a triumphant gospel in the midst of a sin-broken world. Rick Phillips

God knew that man could not keep or fulfill His divine law

Now, all along God knew that man could not keep or fulfill His divine law. He had instituted the law to bring order to the human race, lest we destroy ourselves. The law was for our own protection; it was to make us realize that in our own strength and righteousness, we could not stand before a holy God. The law was a mirror God held up to us, saying, "Let me show you what I expect, what My justice requires. Here is My law -- and here is where you've failed -- where you're living in sin! You've failed at this point, this point, this point.... No one is righteous enough to fulfill My law!"

The Pharisees tried to fulfill the law. They observed more than 600 regulations, from the washing of hands and pots to refusing to touch a Gentile. They tried to keep all the law -- believing that one day they could stand before God and say, "I kept all Your laws. I did this, this and this. Now You are obligated to save me."

But no one can expect his good works to merit justification. God's Word answers, "If you've failed just one point of the law, you've failed the whole law!" If you expect God to accept you for your good behavior -- your good deeds, your self-denial, your sufferings -- forget it! You'll never be able to keep the whole law.

Because we couldn't meet justice's demands to fulfill God's law, Jesus came to earth -- and He perfectly fulfilled the law of God, to the very letter. He never failed one point of it -- and He did it all out of pure motives of love. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil" (Matthew 5:17).

When Jesus ascended to the Father, He presented to Him an absolutely perfect righteousness. His perfect obedience had fulfilled all the demands of the law. And His blood was presented in full payment for our sin. Here stood a Man in the presence of God whose righteousness was perfect -- and therefore acceptable to the Father.

So, Satan had no accusation against Jesus: "...the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me" (John 14:30). Jesus said, "The devil can't point at anything in Me. I fulfilled the law -- I paid the price of sin with My own blood -- and I now stand before the Father in perfect righteousness!"

And now, because of His sacrifice, none of the charges of the law can be held against us!

David Wilkerson

It is all about the mercy of God.

You are called to tell others that the mercy you have known in all of your struggles and failings can also be theirs!

This is the message of the Church of Jesus Christ. When we get to heaven, we are not going to present a list of accomplishments, (though some will try) for there is nothing we could have done that could get us to heaven.

It is all about the mercy of God. His mercy wakes us up, His mercy opens our minds to truth, His mercy sets us free from the snares and traps of the enemy. The mercy of God does not impute our sin when we make mistakes throughout the day—we are still covered in the blood of Jesus Christ... That is why the Scriptures tell us that we have the right to condemn every voice that rises against us in judgment - this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. When the devil comes against you and says, “Look at how you have failed! Look what you said; look what you did; look what you didn’t do!” you can point right back into his face and say, “Listen, I have something that you don’t have, I have mercy covering my life!

Devil, you stink of rebellion, but I smell of mercy!” What comfort there is in the thought that we do not have to be perfect; we just have to be sincere in our walk with God. That is all He requires of us. When the Lord called Abraham, He said, “Abraham, I am going to bless you and increase you. I am going to make you a blessing in the earth; a father of many nations” (see Genesis 17:4–7). We know that God was talking about the Church of Jesus Christ—the ultimate lineage of Abraham. Yet before He gave Abraham this incredible promise, the Lord told him, “...I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Genesis 17:1).

In the original Hebrew, the word perfect means “to be sincere.” That is all God asked of this man. The Scriptures show us that Abraham made incredible mistakes throughout his life. At one point, he even let his wife be taken into another man’s harem. Nevertheless, the promise of God remained, and now when we think about Abraham, we think of mercy!

Pastor Carter Conlon Times Square Church

Grace. It is the gift of God.

No doctrine is so calculated to preserve a man from sin as the doctrine of the grace of God. Those who have called it a licentious doctrine did not know anything at all about it. If they knew the grace of God in truth, they would soon see that there was no preservative from lying like knowledge that we are the elect of God from the foundation of the world. There is nothing like a belief in my eternal perseverance, and the immutability of my Father's affection, which can keep me near to Him from a motive of simple gratitude… Of all men, those have the most disinterested piety, the sublimest reverence, the most ardent devotion, who believe that they are saved by grace, without works, through faith, and that not of themselves, it is the gift of God.

Charles Spurgeon


The Doctrine of Election

1 Peter 1:1, 2. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia. Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

The first Christians were not so afraid of the doctrine of election as some are now-a-days. Peter was not ashamed to address the saints as the elect of God, for so, indeed, they are, if they be saints at all. It is he that chose them, not because they were sanctified, but that they might be sanctified — chose them to eternal life through sanctification. Oh! happy are they who by grace have made their calling and election sure, and now ascribe all the glory of their salvation to the sovereign choice of God. “Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied.”

1Peter 1:2. Through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

We not only need grace, but we need much grace, and also peace, and we need a greatly increased measure of both those blessings. Do not be satisfied, dear brethren and sisters in Christ, with the grace that you already have. Be thankful for it, but ask for the divine multiplication of it; regard the grace which you have already received as being like the boy’s loaves and fishes, and expect that Christ will continue to multiply it for you and for thousands of others round about you: “Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

Charles Spurgeon

Westminster Confession of Faith

Westminster Confession of Faith states:

I. They, whom God has accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which arises also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

III. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.

Stop trying to be free from sin!

It is the beautiful scandal of the gospel that the only way to be free from sin is to stop trying to be free from sin!

Paul himself said that “the strength of sin is the law” (1 Cor 15:56). If we insist on being conduct focused we will continue to be slaves to sin, if we change gears and focus on our beliefs we will inherit a greater reality, that we are righteous in Christ!

Lord, help me to not be conduct focused today but beliefs focused. If I sin today help me not to make big of the sin but rather make big of the Christ who has destroyed sin. Help me to root out the lies which I am believing that still cause sins in my life so that I might be transformed by the renewal of my mind and not by my changed actions!

Thank you that overcoming sin is not my job, it’s yours – my only job is to place my trust in you.

Phil Drysdale  -