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  1. Past hour
  2. Jim_Alaska

    Is "Luck" a biblical concept?

    Oh I dunno Danny, he may just be on to something there. After all Baptists are known for their fellowship over church dinners.
  3. Today
  4. The following is from Old Testament History and Geography , available from Way of Life Literature. 1 Samuel 17 This is one of the most famous Bible stories, and it has thrilled countless Sunday School children; but it is not a children’s fairy tale. It is the true story of a young man who was zealous for the living God and who, by faith, overcame a giant warrior with a slingshot. It is not just an interesting children’s story; it is a challenge for God’s people of every age to win victories over the devil by exercising faith. The place The valley of Elah is east of Gath and west of Bethlehem. The Israelis camped on the north hill and the Philistines camped on the south hill. Goliath walked out into the valley to challenge Israel. The brook where David got the five stones was near the north hill, so David picked up the stones as he was walking out into the valley to meet Goliath. For an illustrated study of this place and event, see Bible Times and Ancient Kingdoms ,... Read More View the full article
  5. (Omega)

    If You're New Here Please Read

    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  6. Our workplace is by far one of the most challenging places for a Christian to be at in my opinion. Everyday presents a "new challenge" for us; but it also grants us the opportunity to be an example of what and who a TRUE Christian ought to be. We will encounter struggles and obstacles from fellow co-workers and managers who will put us under extreme pressure at times. Why is God allowing this? And how are we to behave ourselves when confronted with these things? If we were unbelievers, the devil would have no reason to seek to trip us up (cf. Eph. 2:2; Job 2:1-6; Zech. 3:1-2; 2 Cor. 2:11; Rev. 12:10), no desire to bait us into behavior which might compromise or damage us, no interest in accusing us before the throne of God. Our workplace is indeed one of the key venues for the devil's attacks. Hence, we must always be on our guard in respect to our behavior there. The workplace is also where we generally have the greatest witness of life to the widest circle of people of every spiritual state and condition, and we can be sure they are scrutinizing us and our Christianity (cf. Matt. 5:13-16; 1 Cor. 15:33; Eph. 5:1-5; Phil. 3:17; 1 Tim. 4:12; Tit. 1:6-8; 2:7; Heb. 13:7; 1 Pet. 2:12). Therefore the key thing for any Christian in any job is to remember to always do the job "as unto Christ" (Eph.6:5). This is a standard we are to maintain, even when the treatment we are receiving is unfair by any objective standard. So much is this true that we should adopt the policy of exemplary service, even if were actually enslaved (as many of the first generation of Christians were): Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. (Ephesians 6:5-8) We, of course, are free men and not slaves (unless to the LORD), but the principles above apply to us whenever we are under authority of anyone else in the workplace: Jesus is the real issue, not us (Jn. 15:18-27). Just as in the rest of our life, at work we have to be very wary of overreacting to the tests that come our way: Jesus knows we are being tested, we could not be so tested if He did not allow it (Gen. 22:1-2; Deut. 8:2-20; Jer. 17:10; Job 23:10; Ps. 105:19; Matt. 4:4; Jn. 6:5-6; cf. Rom. 8:28; 1 Thess. 2:4; Heb. 4:15; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 1:6-9), and He is in all such cases truly working everything out for our own good (whether we appreciate that fact or not). Since Jesus is the real target of all the devil's machinations, in all of life's tests we must avoid taking the troubles that come our way personally. Because when we are clear in our thinking and not under pressure but are focused on the truth of scripture, we do understand these things (Josh. 1:8; Isa. 26:3; cf. Ps. 1:2; 119:15; Prov. 4:20-22; Phil. 4:8; 1 Tim. 4:13-15;). But of course, when we are under the gun, it takes an aggressive application of faith and truth to counteract the emotional "voices" that would have us act contrary to what we know is right (cf. James 1:22-25; Rom. 13:14; 1 Cor. 4:16; Eph. 5:8; Col. 3:16; Tit. 2:10; 2 Pet. 1:10; 3:18; 1 Jn. 1:7), to what we know is the truth. The self-discipline we must exercise in the Christian race is precisely the control of our bodies/emotions but in a mental/spiritual way (as opposed to a purely physical way). This is all easier to say than to do, of course, and also easier to encourage others to do than to do oneself. None of us find it easy, and the better we get at it, it seems the more challenging future testing becomes -- because God wants us to keep growing, *not* because He doesn't care. Indeed, it is precisely because our Lord Jesus *does* love us so much that such trials come our way, for that is the only way for us to continue to grow *and* to glorify Him. Job looked around and saw the other believers of his generation and also many unbelievers relaxed and at ease, and with no apparent worldly troubles. He controlled his emotions a long time and through pressures that would break all but the most exceptional Christian. Eventually, even he buckled (under the weight of the false encouragement of his friends!), and likewise started to ask the "Why me, God?" question; he eventually let his emotions out of the bag, and they got the better of him. With the benefit of hindsight provided by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:26; 16:13; 1 Jn. 2:20), we now know that all that happened to Job was in fact because the Lord was paying him one of the greatest compliments any believer has ever received: to be singled out among all those living on earth as an example of someone who truly loved and feared and obeyed the Lord, and who would continue to do so despite the most intense opposition and pressure imaginable -- and then to have the entire experience recorded *in the Bible* for all time. I can tell you with a great level of assurance that if God had told Job the situation before the testing began, Job never would have faltered. But that wouldn't have taken anywhere near the same amount of faith (and would not have resulted in the same wonderful and wonderfully useful set of lessons his experience now offers to all believers who take these things to heart. We have these lessons, but we don't all use them (or at least use them to the degree that we should). Paul did. He actually BOASTED about his sufferings (2 Cor. 11:30; 12:9-10), an attitude which requires a complete understanding of the source of the opposition (the devil, *not* God), the purpose of it (our growth, *not* our unhappiness), and the result if successfully negotiated (God's glory and our eternal reward, NOT our destruction). This is the stuff of spiritually maturity; this is the way to honor Jesus Christ; this is the route to great eternal reward. In my heart, I would not trade the slightest, most insignificant measure of reward (which will glorify my Lord and please me for all eternity) for all the blessing and prosperity, all the peace and quiet this present corrupt world has to offer. For this world is passing away, but the things to come will last forever. Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: Forwhere your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21) I cannot counsel anyone on the specifics of how to handle their current situation at their workplace. In most organizations there are proper protocols to observe, and as Christians we must do so; and there are procedures which may be employed in order to set things right. What I can do is to encourage those to proceed and to act in an honorable Christian way in all things, in a way, that is, which will bring honor and glory to our Lord. In fact, I have no doubt that we can indeed do so. Just remember to keep Jesus in our mind's eye, remembering that He is our refuge against the invisible foe, and that He is our deliverance in all things. Whatever happens, we know that for those who truly do love Him, is perfectly working every single detail of our lives out for the absolute divine good, whatever our earthly eyes may perceive (Rom. 8:28). God Bless!
  7. (Omega)

    Is "Luck" a biblical concept?

    I'm telling! Jim, are you going to do something about this? He's teaching heresy!
  8. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) The key to knowing God&rs... More...View the full article
  9. John Young

    Is "Luck" a biblical concept?

    Luck is truly biblical when it comes to Pot-Luck Dinners at church, I'm sure it and "casserole" are from transliterated Greek or Hebrew words for freewill meat offerings or something. Either way it is a tradition handed down to us by faithful men and women and it has been very beneficial to the body of Christ. So we are very lucky to have it.
  10. (Omega)

    A serpent's head

    And the God of peace [shall bruise Satan UNDER YOUR FEET] shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (Romans 16:20) The Greek verb syntribo means to bruise or to crush; and in the context of this verse it means to deal a "fatal" blow to the adversary. Survivalists are known for their expertise on how to deal with deadly creatures in the wilderness. When encountering a serpent, they would often decapitate the head and bury it under a pile of dirt or sand, because the serpent can still sink its fangs into them -- even without their bodies. I thought to myself . . . why not just CRUSH the head of the serpent instead? Wouldn't the One who created ALL life know better? God Bless!
  11. Yesterday
  12. (Omega)

    You're a Heretic!

    The English word "heretical" has picked up a lot of baggage; and especially how it's not used today as a key NT word. These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, [that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God], which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of [THE truth]. (1 Timothy 3:14-15) So Paul here is talking about local churches. There is no need for others to reintroduce the word, then have to redefine the concept. The RC church is also the main disputant that wants to take this passage the other way. God Bless!
  13. (Omega)

    All Things Work Together for Good

    Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. (2 Corinthians 11:23-30) So what do we have here? 1. Flagellation 2. Imprisonment 3. Threats of death 4. Beaten with 40 lashes 5. Beaten with rods 6. Stoned (who knows how large the rocks were) 7. Shipwrecked 3 times 8. Perils of water 9. Perils of robbers 10. Perils by own countrymen 11. Perils by heathens 12. Perils in the city 13. Perils in the wilderness 14. Perils among false brethren 15. Fatigue and pain 16. Hunger and thirst 17. Fastings 18. Cold weather and nakedness 19. Sleepless nights I may have missed a few, but for whatever reason we have to question the troubles which have fallen on our heads, they really don't come close to matching what Paul had to endure (and this is just the short list above as anyone who has read the book of Acts knows). Paul might well have asked why all this was happening to him. Wasn't he an apostle? Wasn't he trying to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ? Didn't all these troubles merely make his lot more difficult? Wouldn't it have been better for God to smooth his path for the sake of the building up of the Body of Christ? But instead of taking that approach in the verses above. Rather than questioning his lot, Paul embraces it, trusting the Lord that He really is "all things work together for good", even when it was not apparent -- and there must have been countless times when it was not readily apparent -- that such was the case. God Bless!
  14. Jim_Alaska

    You're a Heretic!

    No Danny, it's not you or your cognitive abilities. It was very early here when I wrote that and my comprehension is not best early. I did understand that you were pointing solely at Protestants, but I thought to just clarify for any future readers regarding my thoughts on the "difference" between what is perceived as heresy today with its actual application. It did occur to me to ask about your understanding of "the church", since so many use it today to include all churches, as in universal church context. I refrained from asking you about it because you've indicated in other posts that you do not believe universal church. Where you said, " I refer to the adherent's of biblical truths as the true Church", clarifies your stand perfectly. Thanks for your reply and agreement.
  15. OLD fashioned preacher

    Percieved Contradicitons Section?

    I agree with this. ⬆️
  16. (Omega)

    The Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus

    Why would anyone in their right mind choose heaven over hell? Or . . . why would anyone reject the free gift of Eternal life? I suppose human autonomy plays a huge role in all of this. They think that Hell is one big party where the devil is the DJ. The Gift of Christ is for all -- but all do not accept it. Everyone has been given the ability to accept the Gift: free will, the very image of God. But not all choose to use that ability to honor Him and to return a humble response to the One who sacrificed more than we will ever know that we might be saved. Some use that very free will to throw the Gift of Christ back in the Father's face. Praise be to God that life is short! Who would want to live in this miserable, temporary world forever? Answer: the devil and unbelievers who want the benefits of what God has done but without acknowledging Him as God, without bowing the knee to Jesus Christ. But in the end, every knee shall bow before Him. (Is. 45:23; Rom. 14:11; Phil. 2:10). God is merciful and perfectly so. God is love, and completely so. God is not at fault -- God forbid! But people are arrogant. They want the blessings of God while remaining gods unto themselves. Life may be short, but it is plenty long enough in each and every case for someone in question to demonstrate by their words, actions and thoughts what is really in their hearts. Those who return God's great love by responding with faith in Jesus Christ are saved. Those who never were willing to do so go to hell -- of their own free will choice. This will be made VERY clear at the last judgment where every thought and intent of every heart will be revealed (Matt. 10:26; Mk. 4:22; Lk. 2:35; Eccl. 12:14: Rom. 2:16; Cor. 4:5a; Rev. 20:11-15), and it will be shown that these arrogant people are without excuse and that their defenses were defenses of clay in the face of the light of the glory of God. God has mercy on those who are willing to receive it. Those who won't will be thrown in the Lake of Fire and brimstone where they will spend an Eternity separate from the One whom they rejected. God Bless!
  17. (Omega)

    The LORD was with Joseph

    Thanks Alan! The story of Joseph is a perfect example of not only humility, but strength being perfected in our weaknesses -- such as the apostle Paul in his frailties. Both were dependent upon the Lord and His sovereign decree. What Joseph's brothers meant for evil -- God meant for good. Joseph was debased . . . and in the Lord's perfect timing -- he was exalted (cf. Matt. 23:12). Who knows what could/would have happened if God had decided to remove Paul's "thorn in the flesh"... God Bless!
  18. (Omega)

    You're a Heretic!

    Jim, you are absoutely correct! I think you misconstrued what I wrote; or perhaps my brain function has deteriorated over the years. That being said . . .it is most often the case that it is the Protestants who are accusing other Protestants of heresy -- and that is the IRONY of it. Just take a look at some of the videos on Youtube and you will see what I mean. It's sad! When I mean "The church" . . . I am referring to "the" church in its locale (e.g., "the" Church at Corinth). I believe it is my usage of the word "church" hs confused a lot of readers. I refer to the adherent's of biblical truths as the true Church (i.e., Baptists and its offshoots) -- or local churches and their demographics. If you need more clarity in any of what I wrote above, then please feel free to write back. God Bless!
  19. Jim_Alaska

    You're a Heretic!

    I would agree that the word has lost a lot of its original meaning. This happens a lot across the whole sphere of social language today. But I would also contend in the defense of the word "heretical", that when true Baptists use the word in describing the teaching and doctrine of Protestants and the RCC it is an apt and true description. I would, as a proof text offer this Scripture as an example of why I believe this way: 1Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. My reasoning is thus: The Apostle here states in no uncertain terms that the "truth" resides exclusively in the New Testament institution of "the church". I do not consider anything that has its roots in Protestant institutions as "the church". Following this line of thought, institutions originating with man are devoid of "the truth" and therefore "heretical". I'm not trying to be contentious here, simply trying to show that there is much that is truly heretical in so called Christendom and Protestants in particular.. Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you. In reality every man made organization that calls itself a church is in direct contradiction of these three verses, and therefore heretical.
  20. (Omega)

    If You're New Here Please Read

    But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
  21. (Omega)

    You're a Heretic!

    Have you ever invited someone to your church only to have them whine about how everything the Pastor preaches on is heretical? "The Pastor baptizes in Jesus' name ONLY, and not in the Trinitarian formula -- so he's a heretic!" "If you take your Sabbath on a Sunday rather than on a Saturday . . . then you're a heretic!" So what exactly is considered heretical according to the Word of God? A man that is an [heretick] after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (Titus 3:10-11) Heresy, as it is often used today bears little relation to anything in the Bible. People use the word nowadays so often that it has little real meaning -- except as a kind of expletive (that really seems to be the function). It seems today in our contemporary English to be equivalent to saying that the person (heretic) is not a believer and that the teaching (heresy) is an evil false teaching completely antithetical to the truth (cf. Matt. 22:23; Acts 15:5; 1 Cor. 16:22; Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Tim. 1:18-20; Heb. 13:9; 1 Jn. 2:22-23; 4:2-3). Because of the connotations of the word today, it would certainly be advisable, in my opinion, to be very sparing in its use. And since in Protestantism, not to mention evangelicalism, there are a wide variety of antithetical teachings that do not share a common core of basic truth. The TRUTH is the TRUTH. The Church should be trying to find the truth. Those who are standing pat on things that are not the truth are, if not being actively divisive, standing in the way of others receiving the truth (the same way the Pharisees did: Matt. 23:13). I think this can be said about a lot of teachers out there today, but I also think that there is little profit in gratuitously attacking other believers by straining at gnats -- in fact it's wrong to do (e.g., women wearing pants is considered heresy; or if you believe that it's acceptable for a man to have long hair -- then you're a heretic). It isn't wrong to stand up for the truth, however, so it depends on the context as to whether or not finding fault with some teaching or teacher is appropriate. As to the word in relation to scripture, the Greek "hairesis" is usually translated as "sect" in most of the places it occurs (e.g., the Sadducees and Pharisees are "sects" of Judaism: Acts 5:17; 15:5; cf. Acts 24:5 where Paul is called "a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes"). But there are three occasions where the word is speaking of heresies ("divisions") in the Church which are not healthy: 1 Cor. 11:19, where it refers to the bad Corinthian practice of taking sides over water-baptism. There is also the corresponding adj. used at Tit. 3:10); Gal. 5:20, where Paul puts "heresies" in between "seditions" and "envyings" as manifestations of the sin nature versus the Spirit; and 2 Pet. 2:1 where "damnable heresies" does refer to teachings of false prophets so antithetical to the truth that those who follow them will end up in apostasy. So the gist of the problem is that in the New Testament hairesis is not the technical word that it later became in the RC church (note that in the passage in 2nd Peter, Peter has to use a qualifier to explain the effect of the "heresies", namely, ("bring upon themselves swift destruction"), and that potential confusion is magnified by the fact that when it is often used by Protestants about other Protestants it can mean almost anything negative a person wants it to mean. So it is a good way of slandering someone without being specific (by which I mean a very bad way) unless used correctly in a biblical context. God Bless!
  22. RSS Robot

    Boldness in Prayer

    “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” (Ephesians 3:12) There is a wonderful exhortation and promise in Hebr... More...View the full article
  23. Jim_Alaska

    Grace: It’s Meaning and Source

    Thank you for your added comments and scripture verses Danny. They add to the sermon wonderfully.
  24. (Omega)

    Grace: It’s Meaning and Source

    Absolutely, Jim! Those who believe that Salvation can be lost accuse Eternal Security proponents of using Grace as a "license for immorality". That is NOT what we believe. The Word of God teaches just the opposite: that the Grace of God results in "godliness" and a pursuit of holiness and separation from the world. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. [Teaching us] that, [denying ungodliness and worldly lusts], we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and [the glorious appearing] of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:11-13) Those who are truly saved by the Grace of God look for the glorious appearing of our Lord; and that is accompanied with us being purified through Christ dwelling in us. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, [when he shall appear], we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And [every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself], even as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3) God Bless!
  25. Grace: It’s Meaning and Source By Jim Foley Country Baptist Church Text: Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: If you are a Christian there are words that you have been familiar with all of your Christian life. Many of them are more or less taken for granted; we just don’t dwell on their meaning. As Baptists this word, “grace” is a fundamental of the faith and often used in sermons and lessons. You seldom go to church without hearing this word mentioned, but how many of us really know what it means? There is probably no other word in Scripture that is so poorly understood. There are a great many people who have received the grace of God into their hearts, but who, if they were asked what the word means, might be troubled and confused and unable to define it. The plain meaning of the word “grace” is unmerited mercy. Though this is the plain meaning there is so much more that goes into not only the meaning in its positive nature, but also in its negative nature. Let’s examine this term unmerited mercy. The word, mercy, speaks volumes about its nature. For mercy to even exist there must be an entity higher than the recipient of this mercy. In our case this entity is the Almighty God that spoke all things into existence. He is all powerful and able to accomplish any thing he desires. Ro 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. The source of Grace: John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. The highest manifestation of this grace was when God gave his son to save this lost world. The very fact that God chose to save an undeserving world speaks volumes. He certainly didn’t have to do it and there is no force that could make him do it. He did it out of love. He did it because he is a benevolent, righteous and loving God. In this respect his benevolence, righteousness and love can only result in grace. An illustration could be made in this way; H2O is water, it consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. H2O always produces water; it is chemically impossible for it to produce anything else. Grace is this way, it is impossible for the actions of God to result in anything but grace; it is an integral part of His nature. The positive nature of grace is that it is a gift. The last clause in Eph.2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: as such Scripture declares plainly that grace is a gift. A gift is freely given, it cannot be earned, nor can it be given as a reward for good deeds. Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. God deals with man in grace, he has from the very beginning. Adam is a case in point; there was no sign that Adam recognized his lost condition, no cry for mercy and pardon, and certainly no confession of sin. Yet God sought him out specifically that he might bestow his grace upon him. He met Adam, as he does all mankind, in his lost and ruined condition. He bestowed upon Adam the promise of a coming redeemer, Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Notice that he did this without Adam asking for it, or even recognizing that he needed it. This is grace. Grace then is unconditional; God bestowed his grace on Adam in his ruined condition. For six thousand years God has been trying to show mankind this great and glorious truth; that he wants to deal with man in love and grace. He expects no payment in kind, he requires no attempt to clean up our life, as a matter of fact to even make an attempt to clean up our life in an attempt to merit God’s favor is an insult. God said his grace is a free gift. To even think that there is anything we can do, or can take the place of what God accomplished in Christ is the same as saying to God that His sacrifice was not sufficient. By grace God devised a scheme of redemption for fallen man, justice never would and reason never could. No sinner would ever have sought out God; just like Adam, he sees no need simply because he doesn’t even recognize his lost condition. It is always God that seeks out fallen man, never the other way around. Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. Nowhere do we read that he came to save those that were looking for truth and pardon. This is what the Scripture means when it says that we are blind. There is a special aspect of grace that is both sobering and enlightening. First, God has provided his grace to all mankind, even to those who do not know of it and even those who will never accept it. This special aspect of grace is faith. It is only by faith that we can apprehend grace for ourselves. This faith is unique in itself, for it is not our faith. The scripture affirms that the faith to believe is the faith that Christ bestows on every believer. It is his faith, not our own, for in the first place we have no faith other than that which a holy, just and righteous God has provided. Notice the grammar in the last clause of our text in Eph. 2:8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Grace is the object, but faith is the vehicle that allows us to arrive at the object. The scripture affirms that this vehicle, faith, is the gift of God. We think of the Apostle Paul in respect to unmerited mercy. Paul had never done anything that could rise to the place where he could merit God’s mercy. He had kept the law as best he could as a Pharisee. He had done everything he possibly could against Christ and the church. But when Jesus met him on the road to Damascus, he met him in pure grace. This concept is brought home all the more clearly in Jesus’ question to Paul where he asked, “why persecutest thou me”? Paul was in active opposition to God and his grace when he set out to kill or imprison all who professed faith in Jesus. God’s grace shines through even more clearly when we understand that God dealt with Paul in the condition he found him in. He was, at this point in his life, a God hater, even though he thought that what he did, he did in the name of God. God was using the witness and lives of the Christians that Paul persecuted as a preparation against Paul’s day of mercy and pardon. This is what God meant when he said to Paul: “it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” This is a reference to the practice of ox drovers who would use a long pole with a sharp end to “goad” the ox in the direction the drover wanted it to go. God had been “goading” Paul in the direction he wanted him to go. The witness of those that Paul persecuted was what God used as a goad. Though Paul had done nothing to merit God’s grace, still God provided it and brought Paul to the realization of the truth of his word. What can we say about works before justification, or works for justification? Simply this; what we would call good works before justification are not pleasant to God. This is because they do not spring from faith in Jesus Christ; neither do they make men able to receive grace. Think with me, good works conducted to merit the favor of God have not been done according to the way God has designed his grace to be given; therefore they have the nature of sin, because “whatsoever is not of faith is sin”. The thought of the God of all heaven and earth freely providing grace to those who do not deserve it is almost beyond our comprehension, it runs counter to everything we are conditioned by our fallen nature to believe. How sad it is to come to the understanding that there are multitudes that will never avail themselves of the grace that God has willingly and loving provided for every person who has ever lived on this earth. This is what is meant by God when he says in his word that “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” The free gift has already been provided; the only requirement to laying hold of eternal life is simply to take the grace that God has already provided.
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  27. (Omega)

    If You're New Here Please Read

    But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (1 Timothy 4:5)
  28. (Omega)

    Types of "bodies"

    A few thoughts came into my mind as I read an article here on OB regarding "types" of bodies mentioned in Scripture. I often heard in bible discussions regarding what could have happened if Adam made the correct choice and did NOT eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Some might say . . . "would Adam be able to procreate with Eve had sin not entered the human race resulting in death? If so, then I see some conflicts. People are born into this world as babies and need to grow in order to reach adulthood through aging". I do not believe that sin was necessary for procreation. As the article states: God gave Adam and Eve the mandate to "be fruitful and multiply" *before* the fall (Gen.1:28). In reality, there is no problem, not, at least, for those who appreciate the power and wisdom of God. God is certainly capable of granting fertility even to those who are beyond hope in worldly terms (the birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah, the birth of Jacob and Esau to Rebekah, the birth of John to Zechariah and Elizabeth), and "also", as these three cases show (Gen. 21:1-22; 25:19-34; Lk. 1:5-25). God is certainly capable of delaying conception in grace until just the right and proper time. Certainly, God could have dealt perfectly with an Eden that way, so He arranged things in the way He arranged them no doubt in part for simplicity's sake -- for our benefit, that is, that these things might be much easier to understand and appreciate. So there most definitely could have been a huge and perfect human population in the garden -- that was exactly what Satan was probably fearing, reckoning that once the number of the fallen angels was reached by this new creation, mankind, he and his followers would find themselves entirely replaced (and I posit that this replacement was perhaps what the devil had convinced his potential followers before the fact was an impossibility, thus giving a false credence to his claims that rebellion against God was actually "safe" Adam and Eve were in perfect communion with God before the fall). I assume that Adam was immortal before the fall since death had not entered in the human race yet. We look forward to the future where we will have a glorified body which will be able to walk through walls, eat food, fly, and are indestructible and immortal (cf. Lk. 24:39, 40-43; Jn. 20:19; Acts 1:9-12; 1 Cor. 15:53; cf. 2 Cor. 5:1-5). We will be able to "walk" in the city to enjoy its majesty and splendor, and we will be able to fly as well so that we may be able to access parts of the city and beyond that would normally be too far of a distance for anyone without that ability. And the nations [Grk. 'ethnos', i.e.,"Gentiles, peoples"] of them which are saved shall [walk in the light] of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Revelation 21:24-27) God Bless!
  29. DaveW

    Cute Story About Life

    Sometimes it is worth not saying anything...……..
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