“Not Just For Some, But For Everyone”

even-smaller-bug-light1

So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith. – Galatians 3:9 NLT

Abraham lived before the law was handed down. God told Abram to leave his family and his country. Abram did not question God about how or where, he just did what God asked him to do. Because Abram believed God, it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Abram was renamed Abraham. It was quite amazing that Abram would trust a God that he hardly knew. Today, even with the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, how many of us would leave everything and go to wherever God would lead? Abraham did this by faith in God. When God told Abraham that “all nations” would be blessed in Him, it was a foreshadowing of our being saved by grace through faith. Yes, God picked a certain lineage and nation to carry His Name forward and made a covenant with them to do so. That covenant and the law that followed was not meant to exclude other nations or set aside the promise God had made to Abraham. It was meant to show all nations that we need a Savior. And at just the right time, God sent His Son to be that Savior and Redeemer.
4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.—Gal. 4:4,5 (NASB)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

12-31-2017

Keep It Simple – Don’t Add Anything To It

even-smaller-bug-light1

I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. – Gal.3:5 NLT

There were religious leaders and teachers that were trying to convince the new converts that the Gospel was not true. They taught that you must still obey the law to please God. But the Good News is that we are now saved by grace through faith, not by works. Once we have accepted this truth, then the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us and lead us into all truth. The Holy Spirit could not be obtained by works or by obedience to the law. There is only one way to receive the Holy Spirit and that is by hearing the Word of grace and ,by faith, accepting Jesus as our Savior. Adding anything to God’s plan is nothing but vanity and man’s pride. We still have to answer the same question today. Are we saved by God who works miracles among us and provides us with His Holy Spirit? Yes, yes, we are! And once we accept Jesus, is there some great work we must do to be sure make it to heaven? The answer is no, works still cannot obtain our salvation. There are works that we should do, yes, but they do not add to our salvation. Our works are how we store up rewards in heaven.
26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.-Matt. ​-  16:26​,​27(NKJV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-30-2017

Born to Die For You and For Me

even-smaller-bug-light1

19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. – Gal. 2:19 NLT
Paul continues his case against the law. There were three items in the Ark of the Covenant:
4 having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat;–Hebrews 9:4,5 (NASB)
Each of these items represented the rebellion of man against God. The manna reminds us that men had rejected God’s provision, men wanted more. Aaron’s rod reminds us that man had rejected God’s authority and the Tablets of the Ten Commandments remind us that men had rejected God’s standard of living, His Law. All of these were hidden under the mercy seat of the Ark. That mercy seat was a shadow of the Cross where Jesus died and put all of our sins and rebellion under His mercy and grace. Paul is saying that if we resurrect the law then we become transgressors. Jesus died to fulfill the law and put us under grace. If the law had been sufficient to redeem us then Jesus did die needlessly. But men have constantly rebelled against the law and against God. Man is incapable of obeying every part of the law, therefore we need a Savior. And, at just the right time, God sent His Son who died that we might be reconciled to Him.
2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.–2 Cor. 6:2 (NLT)
Under the law, man was separated from God, with no hope. But under grace, mercy and forgiveness is available to each of us. No matter what you have done or thought about doing, no matter where you are or where you have been, Jesus is standing at the door of your heart knocking, open up and let Him come in.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with MeRev. 3:20 (NASB)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-29-2017

Paid In Full!

even-smaller-bug-light1

16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. – Galatians 2:16a NLT

Paul is explaining to the Jews present that they were never justified by the works they did under the law. They had spent their lives seeking to be justified but had come up short because the law cannot justify anyone. So, if the law was unable to justify anyone, was God actually causing everyone to sin when they were under the law? Paul says that would never happen. The law was not given to make men fail, but to teach them that they could not justify themselves by works.
19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are​ ​under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works​ ​of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. —Romans 3:19, 20 (NASB)

So, the law was given that all men might know that they needed a redeemer. That is why Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected. Because of that act of love by God the Father and Jesus the Son, we are all now under grace, not the law. Now, we are all saved by grace through faith. There is a time, place and need for works, but they are not a part of salvation. We are justified by the blood of Jesus, we are in the process of being sanctified, and one day, we will be glorified. Not because we earned it, but, because Jesus, with His blood, has paid the full price for all of us!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-28-2017

Like Us or Like Jesus?

even-smaller-bug-light1

13 As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. – Gal. 2:13 NLT
 
 
Paul continues his crusade to help people to understand the freedom they now have since Jesus fulfilled the law. New converts then and now are not compelled to travel to Jerusalem and make sacrifices each year nor are we expected to meet any requirements of the law. We are required to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, strength, mind and body. If we do this, we will see changes in our lifestyle. Not because of some written laws but because the love of God constrains us. We respond to the love of God. It is His love for us that keeps us.

2 ​ ​fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him​ endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:2 (NASB)
6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.—Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
Our focus is not to be on requiring others to take communion as often as we do or if they worship more reverently or loudly than we do (I could go on but you get the picture). We should be focused on making disciples that obey Jesus because they love Him, not in making clones that worship and/or serve like we do.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-27-2017

Born That We Might Be Free Forevermore!

even-smaller-bug-light1

And the leaders of the church had nothing to add to what I was preaching. – Galatians 2:6a NLT

Paul did not back down from his stand on circumcision. When Peter, James and John, the pillars of the church in Jerusalem, recognized that Paul was right they gave him the right hand of fellowship. (To those who don’t speak Churchese, that means that Paul now had their support and was welcomed into the congregation of Christians,) They all agreed that the new converts, both Jewish and Gentile should not eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and that they should support the poor. It is still a good idea to help the poor and refrain from acts that might cause our brothers to be offended.. Paul and Barnabas leave to go back to Antioch to give the news to the new converts. We, like the first century church, must be careful not to add requirements to God’s plan of salvation. We do not want to become like the legalistic leaders who weighed men down with their traditions. When the Spirit sets us free, we are indeed free from the bondage of sin that was of no benefit to us. The law could not free us, but God could and did by sending His Son, Jesus, as an offering for our sin.

Free Indeed!


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-26-2017

“Born That Man No More Shall Die”

even-smaller-bug-light1

6 For a child is born to us,  a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.   – Isaiah 9:6 NLT


This prophecy was fulfilled in Luke 2 when the virgin Mary gave birth to the baby Jesus. God would keep His covenant with David that a member of David’s household would always occupy the throne of Israel. Jesus would not establish His earthly kingdom at that time, but it will be completely fulfilled when the new Jerusalem is established. It will be an eternal kingdom with Jesus as the last king. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, and the everlasting Father. We can celebrate the birth of Jesus because it is another assurance that God never fails to keep His covenants and His promises. He is an awesome, amazing God who holds us in the palm of His hand and we can never be separated from Him. He inhabits the praises of His people, so praise Him continually and “forget not all His benefits”.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

12-25 -2017