The Power Of The Gospel Of Grace

“…the gospel…is come unto you, as it is in all the world, and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth” (Col. 1:5,6).

How wonderful to see the gospel of the grace of God do its work! Paul had never even seen the Colossians. He had only sent missionaries to them from Ephesus with the good news of the grace of God, but this had produced amazing results.

Wherever the gospel of the grace of God is preached in its purity it produces results. No one hearing that message can go away the same. Either he will consider it utter foolishness and be hardened by it, or he will see its vital importance and be softened by it. Ultimately he will either be eternally condemned, or eternally saved and justified by his response to that message.

“The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18).

“Christ crucified…unto them which are called…the power of God and the wisdom of God”
(I Cor. 1:23,24).

“The power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Rom. 1:16).

Mark well: it is “the gospel of the grace of God,” the “preaching of the cross,” that produces such results. The law of Moses never did, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,” God sent His Son to accomplish for us (Rom. 8:3,4). This is why Paul proclaimed, at Antioch of Pisidia:

“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38,39).

God’s message to us is a message of love, proclaiming to even the vilest sinner that he may be “justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). source

Posted in Studies Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Things That Differ

With spiritual knowledge and spiritual insight, we are to try the things that differ. We are to try the things that differ in the Word in relation to the dispensational distinctions found in the Word, and regarding the two programs of God: prophecy and mystery.

In the Word of God, we find things that differ we find truths that are meant for another dispensation, another time, people, and program. We find promises meant for Israel, and we find promises meant for us, the Church, the Body of Christ. This is why we need to rightly divide the Word (2 Tim. 2:15).

James says, “by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (2:24). Paul says “to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).

Mark 16:16 says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Paul says in Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

In Matthew 28:19, Christ sends His eleven apostles out and says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” In 1 Corinthians 1:17, Paul says, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.”

Matthew 6:14,15 says, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Paul says in Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Revelation 5:10 says, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Paul says in Colossians 1:5, “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven.”

Matthew 21:22 says, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:8,9: “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee.”

Matthew 24:29,30 says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days…and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

These are all things that differ. So what is true? All of it is true. It’s all God’s Word. But as it’s been said, “Every promise in God’s Word is true, but not every promise is meant for you.” So with spiritual knowledge and discernment, we are to study and examine the Word…to find what is written directly to us, and to approve the principles and promises that are true for us, that we might live by the Word properly.

We discern the things that differ and rightly divide the Word, so we rightly apply it and live lives of spiritual excellence at the highest level of devotion and obedience.

By doing so, we can be strong in faith, full of fruit and good works, and abound in love more and more for Christ’s glory.

Posted in Studies Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Job Is God’s Will?

“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters…doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:5,6).

Surely what was true of servants and their masters applies equally to employees and their employers. Thus our text suggests that Christians involved in secular labor are “doing the will of God.” Of course, Paul says that we are to labor and work with our hands “the thing which is good” (Eph. 4:28). So unless you are an abortion doctor or some such thing, when you go to work, you are doing the will of God, and your work clothes are just as holy in the eyes of God as the vestments that Aaron wore when he entered the presence of the Lord, whether you wear a white collar or a blue collar.

Is it possible then that secular employment will earn rewards for Christians at the Judgment seat of Christ? The Apostle Paul says yes! If such labor is done “not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart,” and if it is done “as to the Lord, and not unto men,” then Paul unequivocally asserts “that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance” (Col. 3:22-24).

There is even evidence to suggest that those involved in secular labor who then faithfully support the ministry can look forward to rewards equal to those given to Christians directly engaged in the Lord’s work. God instructed Moses:

“And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to the battle, and between all the congregation” (Num. 31:27).

When “wicked men” tried to ignore this plain command of God (I Sam. 30:22), David insisted:

“…as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff; they shall part alike” (v. 23-25).

Secular labor constitutes half of the fourth commandment (Ex. 20:9,10), and is also a commandment of grace. When the Thessalonians got so excited about the Rapture that they quit their jobs in eager anticipation, Paul twice reminded them that he had “commanded” them not to do this (I Thes. 4:11; II Thes. 3:10). He then re-issued the command (II Thes. 3:12) and further commanded them to “withdraw” from any who wouldn’t obey these commands (II Thes. 3:6-10). Thus we see that working for a living is a commandment of God given to members of the Body of Christ through the Apostle Paul.

Finally, if you are considering entering the Lord’s work, you should know that throughout Scripture, God called to His service men who were already demonstrating their faithfulness and dependability in secular employment. God called Moses when he was tending his father-in-law’s sheep, Gideon as he was threshing wheat, David as he was shepherding his father’s flock and several of the apostles as they were fishing or mending their nets. source

Posted in Studies Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rest

In Hebrews 1:3 we read how the Lord Jesus Christ, “when He had by Himself purged our sins, SAT DOWN on the right hand of the Majesty on High”. The tenth chapter of the same book tells us why He sat down:

“Every priest standeth, daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man [Christ] after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, SAT DOWN on the right hand of God …FOR BY ONE OFFERING HE HATH PERFECTED FOREVER THEM THAT ARE SANCTIFIED” (Heb. 10:11-14).

There were several articles of furniture in the Old Testament tabernacle, but no chair. The priest could not sit down, for the work of redemption was not yet finished. His daily sacrifices only emphasized the fact that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb. 10:4).

“But this Man [Christ Jesus] sat down”, because by His death on Calvary — by that one offering — He paid for all our sins and “obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 10:12; 9:12).

This is why Paul, by divine inspiration, now insists that salvation is “by grace”, that “it is the gift of God”, received “by faith” and “not of works, lest any man should boast”.

God has much for His people to do, but before we can do anything for Him we must learn to trust Him for our salvation, to rest in the finished work of Christ. God is satisfied with Christ’s payment for sin and together the Father and the Son are depicted as seated in heaven because the work is done. And now God would have us simply trust Him, entering into His rest:

“There remaineth therefore a REST unto the people of God, FOR HE THAT HAS ENTERED INTO HIS [God’s] REST, HE ALSO HATH CEASED FROM HIS OWN WORKS, AS GOD DID FROM HIS” (Heb. 4:9,10).

“Unto him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).

source

Posted in Studies Tagged with: , , , , , ,

A Worry-Free Life

“Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life?…For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:13-15).

The desire of James’s heart was that his readers would humble themselves before the Lord and not be presumptuous when they planned for the future, nor to worry about it. We might call it worry-free planning! We all probably know someone who gets worried when they don’t have something to worry about! Believers also struggle with this problem, but the Scriptures state, “Be careful [anxious] for nothing” (Phil. 4:6). In our contemporary language we would say, “Don’t worry about anything.” The Greek root word behind the term “careful” here is merimna, which means to pull in different directions or a distraction. This is exactly what worry will do to you: it will tear you apart, both emotionally and physically. Worry always dwells on the future in regard to what may or may not happen. It mulls over every worst-case scenario imaginable until you are tied in knots. We might say it this way: the past belongs to the ages, the present belongs to us, but the future belongs to God.

Worry is a sin! It focuses on the future, which is divine ground. The only suitable way to deal with it is to find a biblical solution to the problem. Thankfully, the Scriptures provide for us the key to living a worry-free life. This age-old problem that can be traced back to the Fall has a simple solution. In fact, the antidote to this venomous attack is the same in every age. We find it noteworthy that the Lord Himself dealt with this matter as He prepared the disciples to carry out the Great Commission.

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them” (Matt. 6:25,26).

We are creatures of habit! We like the security of having a roof over our heads and knowing where we’re going to have dinner tonight. The same was true of the disciples, with this exception: the Lord had uprooted them from their comfort zone and transplanted them in His field of service. When He called them, they left their families and livelihoods to follow Him. At first it seemed the right thing to do, but the more they thought about their decision, it left them with a feeling of insecurity. In short, they were worried sick! What will we wear when the weather turns inclement? Who’s going to provide our meals today, and tomorrow, and next week? Goodness gracious, we completely forgot about our families! Who’s going to supply that need? Worry always has a way of producing more questions than answers.

Sensing their apprehension, the Lord said, “Take no thought for your life.” “Take no thought” is another way of saying, “Don’t worry about what may or may not happen!” Life is more than food and drink and clothing; they were to be more concerned about the spiritual things of God. If God can provide for the birds that fly above, which neither plant nor harvest, surely He is able to supply the needs of His laborers. We must bear in mind that, if God foreordained the Cross in His determinate counsel (Acts 2:23), and the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world (I Pet. 1:19,20) in accordance with His foreknowledge, surely He knows every need of the disciples, not to mention ours, in advance (Matt. 6:32).

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6:34).

This passage is the Lord’s solution to the problem of worry. They were not to concern themselves with tomorrow’s circumstances, simply because those were beyond their control. It is natural to be concerned, but they weren’t to allow their concern to deteriorate into worry that consumed them because it would only serve to disrupt their service for Christ. Our Lord speaks of two days: tomorrow, a reference to the future, which belongs to God, and today. While it is impossible simply to turn off unwarranted concern, they were to redirect it. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” In other words, there were enough troubles to deal with in any given day without concerning themselves with tomorrow. The answer to the sin of worry is to trust in God and focus on resolving the problems that are facing you today (Phil. 4:19). source

Posted in Studies Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s Behind Our Moral Decline?

One does not have to be a prude to conclude that our country is suffering a serious moral decline. Our rulers and law enforcement agencies seem powerless to cope with it. Campaigns to check it seem vain. J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI warned us again and again that the alarming rate of this downward trend would spell ruin for America if not checked soon. But what most people fail to realize is that behind this moral decline there is a spiritual decline. America has departed from God and His Word.

Paul’s letter to the Romans tells us how the heathen got that way. Rom. 1:21,22 says: “When they knew God they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools,” and the verses that follow tell how God finally had to “give them up” to “uncleanness” and “vile affections”–all because “they did not like [wish] to retain God in their knowledge” (Ver. 28).

St. Paul further describes them in Eph. 4:17-19, as walking “in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling [conscience] have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” This, sad to say, is an accurate description of increasing numbers in America today. They are throwing off restraint and going after uncleanness “with greediness.”

But this is not liberty, it is enslavement. It is not a sign of strength, but of weakness. It does not indicate superior intelligence, but grossest ignorance, and is the result of alienation from God.

How much better off are those who have come to know God through Christ! Of these the Apostle says:

“And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled, in the body of His flesh, through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight” (Col. 1:21,22).

source

Posted in Studies Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Fear Of Death — Is It Necessary?

Most people live in almost constant fear of death. They do not like to think that man’s days are as grass and all his glory as the glory of a fading flower (Psa. 103:15,16). They do not wish to face up to the fact that “it is appointed unto men once to die” (Heb. 9:27).

This is natural, for God’s Word declares that death is “the wages of sin” (Rom. 6:23) and “after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27) and the “second death” (Rev. 20:14). This is why I Cor. 15:56 says that “The sting of death is sin.”

Yet the Psalmist David was not afraid of death. He said: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” — but note the reason: “for Thou art with me” (Psa. 23:4). David had come to know God and had been graciously delivered from the fear of death. But we, today, have an even greater reason to be free from the fear of death, for 1,000 years after David, Saul of Tarsus, the chief of sinners, was saved by grace and was sent forth to proclaim the “gospel [good news] of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

He went forth to tell men how “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor. 15:3) and robbed Satan of all his claims against us:

“That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2: 14, 15).

When the Apostle himself neared death, he said: “To die is gain” (Phil. 1:21), “to depart, and to be with Christ… is far better” (Ver. 23), and “the time of my departure is at hand… henceforth there is laid up for me a crown…” (II Tim. 4:6-8). source

Posted in Studies Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Full Assurance

It is wonderful to have the full assurance of salvation, and it is God’s will that every one of us enjoy this assurance. Toward the close of his life the Apostle John wrote by divine inspiration:

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” (I John 5:13).

There are three bases upon which believers in Christ may enjoy the full assurance of salvation: First, God urges every true believer: “Let us draw near, with a sincere heart, in full assurance of faith…” (Heb. 10:22). This is the full assurance that results from simply believing God; much as a child implicitly believes what his father has said and is absolutely sure that it is true. God says: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36). We may simply — and with good reason — believe His Word and enjoy the full assurance of faith.

Second, we may enjoy what Heb. 6:11 calls “the full assurance of hope.” The hope of the Bible, however, must not be confused with wishing. The Christian’s “hope” is “an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast” (Ver. 19). It comes from having proved God. Thus the full assurance of hope is the confidence that results from having accepted God’s Word.

But third, and best of all, is what Col. 2:2 calls “riches of the full assurance of understanding.” This full assurance is God’s reward to Christians who study His Word and His purposes, beginning with His plan of salvation as revealed in “the gospel of the grace of God.” When one not only believes God’s Word, but begins to understand it he cannot but be gripped by its sublime reasonableness, its powerful logic, and its provision for his deepest needs, and thus he comes to enjoy “all [the] riches of the full assurance of understanding.” source

Posted in Studies

Dead Faith

Nothing in the Bible is stated more clearly or with greater emphasis than the blessed Pauline revelation of justification by grace, through faith, without works.

“To him that worketh not, but believeth…his faith is counted for righteousness”. Ephesians 2:8,9: “For by grace are ye saved, through faith…it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast”. Titus 3:5: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” Romans 4:5.

Yet James states, just as clearly that “faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone” (Jas.2:17). He challenges professing believers: “Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith BY my works” (Ver.18), and declares that “by works a man is justified and not by faith only” (Ver.24), since “faith without works is dead”.

Some have imagined a contradiction here, while actually there is none. There is a dispensational distinction, for to Paul had been committed “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph.3:1,2). His was “the preaching of the cross” (ICor.1:18), offering salvation by grace, through faith alone, to all who would trust Christ as Saviour.

James, on the other hand, was an apostle of the kingdom, proclaiming the kingdom rights of Christ and offering a changed way of life on earth which had already been experienced by the disciples in Judaea (Acts 2:44-47; 4:32-35).

Hence with James the emphasis is on works, not because good works can save or even help to save, but because true faith inevitably bears fruit and we can judge true faith only by the fruit it bears. Our Lord said: “By their fruits ye shall know them”. Hence James’ epistle abounds with such phraseology as, “ye see”, “show me”, “I will show you”, etc.

What we must be careful to remember is that according to both Paul and James, faith comes first, then good works. Faith is the root, good works the fruit. The absence of fruit indicates that the root is dead, that while there may be an intellectual assent, there is no true heart faith, and “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb.11:6).

The source of justification is grace; the basis, Calvary; the means, faith; and the evidence, works. Think this through; accept God’s grace and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord. He will cause you to produce good fruit. source

Posted in Studies

The Time Element In Scripture

How many Scriptural problems would be solved, how many seeming contradictions explained, if we were more careful to note the time element, emphasized so strongly in the Word of God.

In Romans 5:12 we learn that sin entered the human race by Adam. Then later “the law entered” (Ver. 20). But still later the Apostle Paul arose to say: “But now, the righteousness of God without the law is manifested” (Rom. 3:21).

Early in man’s history blood sacrifices were required for acceptance with God (See Gen. 4:4; Heb. 11:4), later circumcision and the Law (Gen. 17:14; Ex. 19:5), and still later, repentance and water baptism (Mark 1:4; Acts 2:38). But not until Paul do we learn of salvation by grace through faith alone, on the basis of Christ’s finished, all-sufficient work of redemption.

This is why the Apostle refers in Gal. 3:23 to “the faith which should afterward be revealed.” This is why he declares that our Lord “gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time”, and adds: “whereunto I am ordained a preacher and an apostle” (I Tim. 2:6,7).

It is only as we recognize the time element in Scripture that we see the difference between “the kingdom of heaven” and “the Body of Christ,” between “the gospel of the kingdom” and “the gospel of the grace of God,” between the “dispensation of law” and “the dispensation of the grace of God.”

A comparison of Romans 3:21 and 26 shows how this time element is emphasized in Scripture. After discussing the function of the Law in Verses 19 and 20, the Apostle Paul declares: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested…” Then, in Ver. 26 he states that it is God’s purpose: “To declare, I say, at this time His [Christ’s] righteousness; that He [God] might be just and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” source

Posted in Studies

Godstrong Women - A strong woman hopes she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of Godly strength has faith that it is in the journey where she will become strong. // Zechariah 10:12Godstrong Men is a Facebook Community to connect and strengthen Christian men from around the world.Revived Music Christian Music News, Christian Festivals, Christian Concerts, Praise and Worship info and more!

Verse for 9/29/2016

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. — John 3:20-21

Revived Life Categories

Revived Life Poll

Which fruit of the Spirit is most lacking in you?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Revived Life Tags

These 'Shining Light Ministries' rank highly because of their willingness to be transparent and accountable with their donations and finances.

Medical Teams International

Children's Hunger Fund

Mercy Multiplied