Tag Archives: Jesus

Faith or Works

In Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia in Asia Minor, churches he previously had visited on his missionary journeys, Paul addressed those in their midst who were attempting to pervert the Gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:7). There were those who were coming into the churches and telling those who had put their complete faith in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for salvation as Paul had preached, that in addition they needed to be circumcised for complete salvation. In Galatians chapter five Paul adamantly disputes the notion anything needs to be added to Christ’s sacrifice for salvation.

Paul admonished the Galatian Christians to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (5:1). Paul wrote that if anything is added to God’s free gift of salvation, “Christ shall profit you nothing” (5:2). Paul declared those who agree to the need for circumcision in addition to faith in Christ for salvation place themselves back under the Law, and Christ becomes of no effect unto you,” (5:3-4). Earlier in Paul’s letter he had written to the Galatians, “By the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified,” (2:16). Jesus said during His Sermon on the Mount, “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). Christ fulfilled through His death, burial and resurrection all that is needed for man’s salvation.

There are those who promote, in addition to faith in Christ, the need to immediately be  baptized to wash away sin or the need to do good works in order to obtain forgiveness of sin and salvation in Christ. Just as with those in Paul’s day calling for circumcision to be added for salvation, Paul emphasized, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love,” GOD’s love: AGAPE love (Galatians 5:6). The attempt to obtain salvation by any other means but through faith in Christ Alone is a false salvation. Paul calls it “another gospel: which is not another,” and gives this proclamation, “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,” and to emphasize the importance of his point he immediately repeats, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed,” (Galatians 1:8-9).

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Making a Name

When those living near Babylon wanted to make a name for themselves by building a tower that would reach unto heaven, their language was changed and the people were scattered (Genesis 11:1-9). When wicked Haman wanted to make a name for himself by killing all the Jews throughout the Persian Empire, he was hanged on the gallows he had prepared for another (Esther 3-7). When Judas desired to make a name for himself by selling Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, he went out and hanged himself (Matthew 26; 27:1-10).

 When God makes a name of someone, an Ark is built to save mankind and the animal kingdom, as with a man named Noah (Genesis 6-8). When God makes a name of someone, a nation is built that numbers the stars of heaven, as with Abraham (Genesis 15:1-6). When God makes a name of someone, a man and young woman become the earthly father and mother of Jesus, as were Joseph and Mary (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38). When God makes a name of someone, a man intent on destroying God’s people becomes the greatest missionary to spread the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and the writer of the majority of the New Testament, as did the Apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-18). When God makes a name of someone it is life-changing for the entire world.

 

Darkness

“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”  Genesis 1:2

“That there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.”  Exodus 10:21-22

Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.”  Isaiah 60:2

“Give glory to the LORD your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.”  Jeremiah 13:16

“All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the LORD God.”  Ezekiel 32:8

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.”  Joel 2:31

“Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?”  Amos 5:20

“That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.”   Zephaniah 1:15

“Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Matthew 25:30

“They that were crucified with Him reviled Him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”  Mark 15:32-33

Be ready…

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…

JESUS will come.

Matthew 24:44;  1 Corinthians 15:52

A Seed Is Planted

IMG_4764The Parable of the Seed and the Sower Jesus taught the multitude gathered on the shore of the Sea of Galilee is familiar to many. Jesus spoke of seed that falls by the wayside where birds come and devour it. He spoke of seed falling on stony places that are unable to take root. He spoke of seed falling among thorns and being choked out. He concluded the Parable by speaking of seed that falls on good ground that is able to produce much fruit. Jesus later revealed to his disciples the seed in the Parable the sower sowed is The Word of God (Matthew 13:1-23).

When God’s Word sown into the heart of a man, woman, boy or girl takes root, a process begins to bring the Seed to full maturity. As one begins to read for themselves the Word of God, listens to the Scriptures being expounded upon by God’s appointed undershepherds, spends time in prayer with The Father, the Seed begins to break ground, grow and flourish. As one continues to draw closer to the Savior through His Word buds begin to form, announcing the Seed is maturing just as it should with daily cultivation. As the buds burst forth into blossoms the beauty of the Seed implanted in the heart is evident for all to see. The Seed continues on to maturity, bearing the anticipated fruit, “some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.”

The Psalmist David wrote of those who delight in the Law of the LORD and meditate upon His Word day and night are like a tree planted by the river that brings forth fruit in season, whose leaf withers not and whatsoever he does prospers (Psalm1:2-3). The Apostle Paul wrote of the Fruit of the Spirit showing forth love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in those where the Seed has taken root and matured (Galatians 5:22-23). The abundant Christian Life abounds and flourishes when the Seed is planted deep in the heart of man, nurtured, watered and cultivated to produce much fruit for the Glory of God.

HE AROSE

“I declare unto you the Gospel

How 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.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-4