Saturday, April 28, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
In a world that demands life without any conviction, that does not see themselves as sinners, we see that it is the purpose of the Holy Spirit to convict the world in regard to sin, righteousness & judgment. The greatest sin is the state of unbelief in Jesus Christ because: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. We are responsible for belief in the gospel and faith in the Lord, which subtracts sin and adds righteousness; our sins upon Jesus and Christ’s righteousness upon us. Why should God let us into His heaven? The Holy Spirit convicts us that if Jesus Christ is not our Savior and Lord, then we reject Him and heaven by our unrepentant sin of unbelief. And without receiving His righteousness through His redeeming atonement by His blood, we would be just a pardoned criminal. Having righteousness credited to us restores our “right” standing before God in justification and restored relationship. Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to heaven was the proof of God’s acceptance of and seal of approval on Christ’s propitiation for the sins of the world.
Romans 4:20-25 “Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
We need to realize that, in this life, we are not on trial by God the Judge. We live in a judged and condemned guilty world already. “He who believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”- John 3:18 & Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” The defeat of Satan at the Cross was judgment, not just victory. God acts with justice because God is just in His essential character. Those who us who are not ashamed by their guilt revealed by the Holy Spirit in our conscious (God’s laws written upon our hearts) and the Holy Scriptures of the Bible (the inspired the Word of God) are lost sinners waiting on “death row”. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This conviction of the Holy Spirit is to drive us to the foot of the Cross for our justification and escape of judgment. We do not worship a book, but worship God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), revealed in truth and spirit, who loves us and desires to restore us to an upright position: forgiven in justification, heaven-bound with eternal life by belief in Jesus Christ. This is the sure hope in faith and the true joy of our Salvation.
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
In Christ, Brian
Sunday, April 8, 2012
1 John 2:12 “I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.”
What is so good about “Good Friday”? Many do not know and I used to be one of them. Growing up in a family that believed in God, but did not read the Bible or attended any church, I knew of the Lord, but didn’t know the Lord or the “Good News” gospel of forgiveness and salvation by Jesus dying to pay the price for my sins (transgressions, inequities, trespasses, breaking the laws of God). I knew that God created everything and learned His Ten Commandments (even understood some of them). Everyone knows in their heart that murder, stealing, swearing using God’s name and lying are wrong things to do. I remember wondering: who went to heaven and who went to hell … and what determined that? Where was the line? Secondly, how was I do deal with guilt for the times that I knowingly and willful hated, stole, lied and swore; moral “wrongs” against others and sinned against laws of God that I did know, understood and broke?
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Though I did not know or understand the full scope of my “wrong” doings, I did understand on a smaller existential scale that I was doing “wrongs”, and that justice required that something be paid for them. God has “written His laws upon our hearts” (Romans 2:15), in our conscience and thoughts. How was I to deal with the feelings of conviction of guilt and grief in my mind … pretend that it didn’t matter because nobody is perfect or everybody else does it, that it wasn’t really wrong because what’s wrong for one is not wrong for someone else, or that God grade on a scale of good verses bad and lets them slide? That is not justice. There was nothing “good” about it, just cheap attempts at justifying myself and putting the guilt out of my mind. Does anyone else do this? There was no amends or forgiveness there. If I knew that “the wages of sin was death” with God, then I worked for thousands of those wages and have no possible way to earn, pay for or deserve forgiveness. But God so loved you & me, that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay those wages and thereby give the justice, forgiveness and peace in restoration to an upright position with the Lord. Peace.
Hebrews 9:28 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
By understanding the seriousness of our countless many sins we've all committed and the price to pay for them, both today in our heart and tomorrow in eternity, we can thankfully accept God’s mercy and grace that flows out of His love and justice, by receiving Jesus as our Savior and Lord … taking our place on that Cross that “Good” Friday as our atoning ransom and then rising from the dead for our salvation, conquering sin & death on that “Resurrection” Easter Sunday for us. Oh, there is plenty things good about “Good Friday” and “Resurrection Sunday”, for our today, for our eternity, and every day in between. Praise be to our God in heaven, and our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ!
1 John 5:11-13 “And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life. I write this to you who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) the name of the Son of God [in the peculiar services and blessings conferred by Him on men], so that you may know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have life, yes, eternal life.”
Happy Easter to you and yours, Brian