Examination

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! [104] Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. [105] Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:103-105 KJVS)

In Jewish Scriptures, God’s Word is compared to a “lamp that gives light wherever we walk.”

This symbolic terminology refers to the knowledge of God, which can only be found in the Holy Scriptures.

This knowledge is “sweeter than honey.” We see this reference when looking at the prophets, as Ezekiel ate the scroll and he describes it as bitter sweet. Again, he is using the same poetic symbolism we see all though out the Bible, but Ezekiel is specifically describing the “sweet as honey” knowledge of the future events, but the “bitterness” of knowing God’s wrath.

How sweet it is when God reveals to one what no one else knows, but how bitter the knowledge is when it is certain doom for the rebellious.

We see the same description with John in Revelations, as he too ate a scroll given to him and it was bitter sweet. John’s bitter sweet message foretells of Christ’s reign over the World and the destruction of Jerusalem. Indeed, it was bitter sweet.

But that’s not the point I wanted to make with this thought. With this examination of “light” as it is used in Scripture, I want to look at what it is Jesus says about it.

And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? [22] For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. [23] If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. (Mark 4:21-23 KJVS)

Here, Jesus is making His case for God’s Kingdom. But in John, He says something that is very important:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [19] And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. [20] For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. [21] But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:17-21 KJVS)

He says, the condemnation is; that “light” which is knowledge, has come into the world, but men love darkness instead. Darkness being ignorance.

And here is the point I wish to make: Jesus says, men don’t come to the “light” because their deeds are evil and they fear being corrected or chasened.

More specifically, what is this “light” that Jesus describes?

The answer:

It’s knowledge, as I’ve already stated, but more specific, it is God’s word. After all, is this not where the knowledge of God is found?

So, if you want to know more about your relationship with Christ, whether you be of the condemned or whether you be of the redeemed; examine yourself and see if you be a man of light or a man of darkness. Do you look to the Word of God? Or, do you run from it due to the conviction it brings when compared to your life?

Don’t answer. Only consider…

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Just as it was in the Days of Noah

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Matthew 24:34-42)
There are so many people being lead into error with this portion of scripture as it concerns the doctrine of the rapture. And let me just say, that if you believe in the rapture, that doesn’t mean you are or are not a Christian. That is not the purpose of this document. The purpose of this document is to educate and inform the readers on the hermeneutics and eschatological interpretation of any text, but especially Matthew 24. 
First know this, that eschatology matters, how you see the end times truly matters as it will influence your overall understanding and knowledge of God. To read this portion of scripture and say, “this is the rapture of Christ’s church,” you will first have to add that context to what is being stated because otherwise it simply is not there. First and foremost, that generation Jesus is speaking to is all gone, it has passed. Jesus says, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” With that being said, these things must have been fulfilled before that generation passed or otherwise, the only other conclusion can be; that Jesus prophesied falsely. Since Jesus is not a false prophet, there must be some sort of evidence that can prove that in fact these events were fulfilled and believe it or not there actually is. 
The events of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple therein were destroyed just 40 years later around A.D. 70. Atop of chapter 24 in the book of Matthew, the text indicates to whom Jesus is speaking. Jesus is speaking to His contemporaries, His very own disciples. Not one time does He address a future audience, to say that He does, again, you will first have to say so based purely upon your own opinion and without any evidence presented within that text. 
Hermeneutics are essential to our study of scripture. Hermeneutics are; the science of interpretation, especially of the Scriptures. It is the branch of theology that deals with the principles of Biblical exegesis. Other synonyms for hermeneutics would be words such as; interpretation, investigation, literary criticism, exegetics, etc… Exegesis is anther word that may not be that familiar to most and it means; a critical explanation or interpretation of a text or portion of a text, especially of the Bible. These two terms are very similar and are both things we must take into very careful consideration when reading any Biblical text. 
With these things considered, look back at Matthew 24, verses 37 through 42. Jesus says something very critical to the interpretation of this prophecy. First, He mentions Noah and the days that were before the flood. Then He says in verse 39, ” And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” 
For some reason, most people understand this text to be indicating that Christ will come back and remove His church just He removed the wicked in Noah’s day. Now, for all who say this text is describing “the rapture of the church,” you’ve just ran into a conflicting statement made by Jesus Himself. He already named which generation would experience the great tribulation, now He is describing the coming of the Son of man. Immediately after stating the reference to the days of Noah, He says, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
If you are someone who states that this text is describing a rapture of the church, then you must answer the question: who was swept away in the days of Noah and who remained…? Jesus just stated that His coming would be just as it was in Noah’s day. He removes the wicked and gives the land to the righteous, doesn’t He…? If we use hermeneutics and analyze this text, we should come to the conclusion that God has no intention of removing His church, but instead, He is planting His church right here on earth will total dominion and complete authority. As I said already, how we view the end times is important. It’s important because if we as Christians disengage ourselves from being part of the future, what does that mean for our children or a future generation? How are we contributing to the spread of the Gospel if we simply disengage from society? Who will be the voice of Christ in the generations to come?
I grew up frequently attending Pentecostal, Baptist, and even Charismatic churches. Each one said the same thing, whether it was post millennial or pre millennial, they all preached a rapture for this generation. I heard it in the 80s, 90s, and I’m still hearing today. In fact they’re still preaching it right now. Best selling authors like Perry Stone, Tim Lahaye, Thomas Ice, Jonathon Cahn, and Hal Lindsey have all written books about the rapture of the church and the impending doom of the world, and just look at the impact their books are having on the church. These men are responsible for the disengagement of today’s youth within the church, because “Jesus is coming soon so why bother…?” At least that how I used to feel, when I believed it.
These men all based their support on Matthews context along with a misinterpretation of Mark and Luke, Revelations, the book of Daniel and the book of Joel. Thomas Ice even states that Peter, in Acts chapter 2 states, “this is “like” that which was spoken by the prophet Joel,” but that is not what Peter says. He does not say, “this is like that which was spoken.” He says, “this is that which was spoken.”
See for yourself in verse 16:
14. But Peter, standing with the eleven, lift up his voice, and spoke unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye which dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known unto you, and with your ears hear my words. 15. For these men are not drunk as ye suppose; for it is the third hour of the day. 16. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, (Acts 2:14-16)
If you’re thinking hermeneutics, you’re probably wondering, what exactly did Joel say?
Here it is:
1. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; 2. A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (Joel 2:1-2)
Joel foretold of the day the Lord would cometh. He goes on to describe the day of Pentecost and more about the great and terrible day of the Lord. He says these thing in one breath. They’re synonymous. And indeed Christ did come in judgement of the Jews and salvation of the those God had preordained to be His. Forty years after the resurrection, the Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem and the Christians fled, just as Jesus had warned them to do. But those Jews who had rejected the Messiah stayed behind and were swept away. Of that hour they did not know and had they known, they surely would had fled like the Christians. A Jewish historian of that day and time, Josephus records the event, stating that 1.1 million Jews were slain and the temple utterly destroyed. In fact, not one stone was left upon another. Looking back to Matthew 24, where Jesus says, “as it was in the days of Noah,” who do we see being swept away and who do we see being left behind? 
I was discussing this just the other day with a young lady and she said to me, in a sarcastic tone, “so how do you see the world ending!?”
And I responded, “I’m not concerned with how the world might end. The disciples were not concerned with the end of the world. They were concerned with the end of the age, the Messianic age, the Old Covenant. This was their concern; when Jesus, will Your Kingdom come?”
Well, it is here. He has built His temple in the hearts of men and it will never be destroyed. 
I can tell you, as a youth who was constantly being bombarded with this doom and gloom that was not written for me, I will tell you it creates an attitude of “why bother?” I mean, (sarcastically) since Jesus is coming back soon and this is the end times and there’s nothing we can do to stop it, because it’s prophecy so it must be fulfilled, why make any long term plans for the future? Right…? 
Why bother? And with this attitude, I feel that I have really missed out on some successful moments that could’ve be established back in my early youth. Perhaps I might have considered more carefully my decisions and their overall long term outcome had I truly believed that life would go on longer than the next three to five years. But like so many, I just accepted whatever the preacher said and did not care to work hard or study to understand it for myself, at least not until I hit my 30s and then I began to notice a terrible pattern. It seemed that every so many years there were these prophetic statements being made about the end of days and even I found myself stating these things, but there was one problem; whenever someone would question this rapture doctrine, I could not find any solid support within the Bible without first having to assume an awful lot. 
Perry Stone says, “we have all these signs,” for indicators of the return of Christ in this generation. He’s making millions on this garbage. Yet, it never happens and before you know it, if you buy into this stuff, there goes your twenties and your thirties, one day soon you’ll be in your fifties wondering what happened to your forties. Now ask yourself; what have you done for the further spread of the Gospel? Are you still here without a long term plan. Sure, you may have a retirement coming from your employer, but about as far as the Gospel is concerned? Are you okay with the fact that 54 million Christians didn’t even care enough to vote during our last presidential elections? I don’t care if you didn’t like any of the candidates. Influence someone to run that you do approve of. 
What a waste my 20s were. 
Is that really okay with you? Do you want your children being fearful of the future and living without long term goals? Or would you rather look more carefully at the text and see that God is all about His will being done on earth just as it is in Heaven? Look! He swept away the Jews who crucified Him and He saved those who were known as the early church. This all took place by A.D. 70. We’re living in 2015, soon to be 2016 and the biblically illiterates are still teaching what simply is not found within the text.
This must stop, before another generation is duped into wasting so much of their God-given time looking for an easy out fantasy. Instead, lets submit ourselves to the work that is before us and let us focus on some long term goals that will benefit the church for generations to come.
   

I Would Rather that you Prophesy

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him ; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. [3] But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. [4] He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. (1 Corinthians 14:2-4 KJVS)

(Calvin’s Commentary 1 Corinthians 14:2)
For he that speaketh in another 808 tongue, speaketh, etc. He now shows from the effect, why it was that he preferred prophecy to other gifts, and he compares it with the gift of tongues, in which it is probable the Corinthians exercised themselves the more, because it had more of show connected with it, for when persons hear a man speaking in a foreign tongue, their admiration is commonly excited. He accordingly shows, from principles already assumed, how perverse a thing this is, inasmuch as it does not at all contribute to the edifying of the Church. He says in the outset — He that speaketh in another tongue, speaketh not unto men, but unto God: that is, according to the proverb, “He sings to himself and to the Muses.” 809 In the use of the word tongue, there is not a pleonasm, 810 as in those expressions — “She spake thus with her mouth,” and “I caught the sound with these ears.” The term denotes a foreign language. The reason why he does not speak to men is — because no one heareth, that is, as an articulate voice. For all hear a sound, but they do not understand what is said.

He speaketh in the Spirit — that is, “by a spiritual gift, (for in this way I interpret it along with Chrysostom.) He speaketh mysteries and hidden things, and things, therefore, that are of no profit.” Chrysostom understands mysteries here in a good sense, as meaning — special revelations from God. I understand the term, however, in a bad sense, as meaning — dark sayings, that are obscure and involved, as if he had said, “He speaks what no one understands.”

(Calvin’s Commentary 1 Corinthians 14:3)

He that prophesieth, speaketh unto men “Prophecy,” says he, “is profitable to all, while a foreign language is a treasure hid in the earth. What great folly, then, it is to spend all one’s time in what is useless, and, on the other hand, to neglect what appears to be most useful!” To speak to edification, is to speak what contains doctrine fitted to edify. For I understand this term to mean doctrine, by which we are trained to piety, to faith, to the worship and fear of God, and the duties of holiness and righteousness. As, however, we have for the most part need of goads, while others are pressed down by afflictions, or labor under weakness, he adds to doctrine, exhortation and consolation It appears from this passage, and from what goes before, that prophecy does not mean the gift of foretelling future events: but as I have said this once before, I do not repeat it.

Every Pentecostal church I’ve ever been to, claims to be a “full gospel” church. And if you were to ask them what that means; they will tell you, “it means; We speak in tongues.” These tongues they speak of are not spoken in any known foriegn language either, these are tongues that are without known language. And for this reason, they consider themselves to be full gospel.

In fact, many will tell you, that anyone who does not speak in tongues, is without the Holy Spirit. Because like the Jews of Jesus’ day, these Pentecostal and many Charasmatic cults, also seek a sign.

(Calvin’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:3)

He that speaketh in another tongue, edifieth himself. In place of what he had said before — that he speaketh unto God, he now says — he speaketh to himself But whatever is done in the Church, ought to be for the common benefit. Away, then, with that misdirected ambition, which gives occasion for the advantage of the people generally being hindered! Besides, Paul speaks by way of concession: for when ambition makes use of such empty vauntings, 811 there is inwardly no desire of doing good; but Paul does, in effect, order away from the common society of believers those men of mere show, who look only to themselves.

Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. [39] But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: [40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. [41] The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. (Matthew 12:38-41 KJVS)

Calvin’s interpretation is consistent with the teachings of Christ.

I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. (1 Corinthians 14:5 KJVS)

(Calvin’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:5)

I would that ye all spake with tongues Again he declares that he does not give such a preference to prophecy, as not to leave some place for foreign tongues. This must be carefully observed. For God has conferred nothing upon his Church in vain, and languages were of some benefit. 812 Hence, although the Corinthians, by a misdirected eagerness for show, had rendered that gift partly useless and worthless, and partly even injurious, yet Paul, nevertheless, commends the use of tongues. So far is he from wishing them abolished or thrown away. At the present day, while a knowledge of languages is more than simply necessary, and while God has at this time, in his wonderful kindness, brought them forward from darkness into light, there are at present great theologians, who declaim against them with furious zeal. As it is certain, that the Holy Spirit has here honored the use of tongues with never-dying praise, we may very readily gather, what is the kind of spirit that actuates those reformers, 813 who level as many reproaches as they can against the pursuit of them. At the same time the cases are very different. For Paul takes in languages of any sort — such as served merely for the publication of the gospel among all nations. They, on the other hand, condemn those languages, from which, as fountains, the pure truth of scripture is to be drawn. An exception is added — that we must not be so taken up with the use of languages, as to treat with neglect prophecy, which ought to have the first place.

Unless he interpret. For if interpretation is added, there will then be prophecy. You must not, however, understand Paul to give liberty here to any one to take up the time of the Church to no profit by muttering words in a foreign tongue. For how ridiculous it were, to repeat the same thing in a variety of languages without any necessity! But it often happens, that the use of a foreign tongue is seasonable. In short, let us simply have an eye to this as our end — that edification may redound to the Church.

The use of the word “tongues” in 1 Corinthians 14, is the Greek word; “gloce’-sah” which means; the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations.

Of course speaking in tongues was a gift from God. How else could the apostles spread the Gospel with only one language…And here is the support for this statement:

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. [5] And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. [6] Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. [7] And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? [8] And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? [9] Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, [10] Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, [11] Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. (Acts 2:4-11 KJVS)

See for yourself, every man heard what was being said in his own language, and then the regions from which each man dwelt is listed right there in the text.

Note what is said in verse 7, “are not all these which speak Galilaeans?”

One reason for the crowd’s surprise was the prejudice with which Judeans typically viewed Galileans in those days (John 1:46; 7:15). Without real justification (see for example chapter 1 of [1]), Judeans saw Galileans as uneducated and provincial. Since Jesus was from Galilee (Matt. 21:11), as were many of his disciples, one way to insult the group would have been to dismissively lump them together as “Galileans.” This was a way of implying that they were a group of yokels. Because of the anti-Galilean prejudice, some were surprised to hear Jesus’ disciples proclaiming the mighty works of God with such authority.
(Commentary by Doug Ward)

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [16] But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. [17] And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; (2 Timothy 2:15-17 KJVS)

Hymenaeus and Philetus were heretics, Hymenaeus being one of the opponents of Paul, and Philetus being Hymenaeus’ disciple. These are those who made shipwreck their faith.

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; [13] Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. [14] And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. [15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. [16] Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. [17] Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. [18] This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; [19] Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: [20] Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:12-20 KJVS)

The light of God is the knowledge of God. And darkness is ignorance. Be about the bisuness of Light.

What’s the Difference

I got accused of being a Babtist today, not a Baptist, but a Babtist. The difference being; one is saved because they once said a prayer but never made a change, and the other is saved by grace accompanied with conversion.

I don’t mind being called a Baptist, so long as it refers to the latter, but a Babtist…..really.

I’ve been in Baptist, Pentecostal, and Charasmatic churches throughout my lifetime thus far, I even visited a Church of Christ once, and I loved it. You know what they all got in common???

All are imperfect. But so am I.

Church of Christ believe conversion happens only after baptism. Which is an inconvenience for the Holy Spirit by the way….

And Pentecostals say things like, “Pay your tithe if you want God to bless you.”

I guess if I pay my tithe, then God owes me, is that right? He is somehow in my debt if I worship Him….

That some how doesn’t fit His description at all. God the one who owes me…No, that won’t work. Next.

I’ve already picked on the Baptist with the “sinners prayer” but that’s not really fair because the other groups use it just the same, so I’ll repeat myself. The difference in the Pentecostal and the Charasmatic compared to the Baptist is; the Pentecostal and the Charasmatic both believe a saved person can lose thier salvation, whereas the Baptist just believes that as long as they’ve prayed that prayer, they’re good to go.

And this is where all may get it wrong.

If salvation is based upon my ability to pray the right words, then that isn’t grace. That’s me getting the words right. So glory to me for doing that. And if after having said all the right words, there’s still a chance that I could lose my salvation, then there’s not much power in whatever it was that saved me to begin with, so I (through my own ability) must continue doing something in order to keep my salvation active, otherwise the spell wears off…

Where does grace come into the picture if it’s all up to me saying and doing something? Is human will more powerful than God’s will?

See how grace and works are by definition, two different things…

This is what the Bible says about salvation; God, through His Holy Spirit, draws His elect (those He predestined) and He keeps them. They do nothing to earn it. God freely gives to whomever He chooses.

Does that mean that we do nothing?

No. The doctrine of justification states that he who is justified, is done so, not by their own merit or virtue, but by the merit and virtue of Jesus Christ.

Now, evidence of justification is conversion or regeneration. You must be born again. The one being justified developes new interest and new apatites. They become less interested in the world and more interested in God.

Wait a minute. Isn’t that what the Pentecostal and the Charasmatic are saying, won’t you lose your salvation if you stop being interested in God or the things of God???

Not according to scripture.

First of all, anyone who seemed interested at one time, but soon fell away, was never truly saved to begin with. That’s not conversion. That’s someone making a choice, but not having the power or ability to see it through. They are merely acting on their emotions or feelings. Or even worse, that’s someone trying to do good works hoping God will owe them forgiveness.

Either way, It’s a complete rejection of God’s grace. Grace is free. It’s a gift. Once a person is truly converted, they are purified through the blood of Jesus Christ. Conversion begins in the mind. Old things pass away, all things become new. You may slip up on occasion, but you are actually being held at bay with conviction by the Holy Spirit. Thats when you know you’re in the wrong and feel absolutely like a pile dung. You know you can’t justify the sin in your life, so you humbly repent. No excuses. You actually feel genuine sorrow for the wrongs you’ve committed. This is only possible because of God’s grace and His will for the individual and not their so called “free will” or ability to make good choices.

I wanted to jot all of this down, just to be clear; I’m not a Babtist or any of those other groups. I’m not a Catholic or a Lutheran. I’m not a Muslim or a Jahovah’s witness.

I’ve been called a demon, Judas, and a sorcerer, but those sources truly have no credibility.

I’m just a sinner saved by grace. There’s no good in me, unless God put it there. That’s is all. I never want someone to think that my salvation is based on my own merit or virtue–because it’s not. I have none.

It’s one hundred percent based upon Christ alone. I hope this information is helpful to someone.

[Credit to the source material]

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, [5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) [6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:4-10 KJVS)

[11] (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

[16] So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. [17] For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. [18] Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy , and whom he will he hardeneth. (Romans 9:11, 16-18 KJVS)

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. [38] For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. [39] And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. [40] And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:37-40 KJVS)

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. [8] The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:5-8 KJVS)

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. [21] I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians 2:20-21 KJVS)

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6 KJVS)

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. [54] Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. [56] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. [57] As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. [58] This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (John 6:53-58 KJVS)

Keep in mind the next two verses refer to “darkness” and “light.” These words are used as metaphors. Darkness meaning; ignorance of God and Light meaning; knowledge of God.

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: [7] But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. [8] If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [10] If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:6-10 KJVS)

Overcomer

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. [30] And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: [32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:29-32 KJVS)

Controlling that which proceeds from the mouth is impossible without the grace of God. And forgiveness is just as difficult and impossible, without divine help. This revelation helps with the understanding of what kind of power Jesus bestowed upon His disciples after the resurrection.

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. [20] And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. [21] Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. [22] And when he had said this, he breathed on them , and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: [23] Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:19-23 KJVS)

The power recieved by the Holy Spirit, is the power to see and to know God. It is also the power to see and to know who we are as sinners. And it is that very same power by which we are able to bridle our tounge and offer forgiveness wherever it is needed. This is how we overcome.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. [4] For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. [5] Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:3-5 KJVS)

There are no Good Men

The doctrine of justification states; that a believer shall enter into Heaven, not based upon his or her own merit or virtue, but based upon the merit and virtue of another; Jesus Christ.

But evidence of justification is regeneration, one whose thoughts and concerns have been rearranged. They no long concern themselves with the cares of this world, they have become a new creature with new apatites. They are now concerned with the things pertaining to God.

For the one being justified, it’s no longer “my will be done,” instead it becomes “Thy Will be done.”

Understand, that there are no good men. If men seem to be morally good, it is only evidence of wicked men being constrianed under the grace of a good God.

All praise and glory belongs to Him.

Why the Law Matters

God’s law is made known to us so that sin is made known to us. The purpose for the law, is to display man’s depravity and to demonstrate his need of a Saviour.

Romans 3:20-26 KJVS
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [21] But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; [22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say , at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

There is no room for self justication in the realm of grace. Grace is not owed, it is freely given; for God is in debt to no one. Do not make the mistake of thinking, “If I do this” or “If I do that,” (this or that being fulfillments of the law) “that Jesus must save me.”

No one will be saved because they attended church. No one will be saved because they were generous. No one will be saved because they were good. No one will be saved because they were baptized. Without the grace of God, none are saved. It is not an out working of our own righteousness. It is the indwelling of the Spirit of God, which draws us toward Christ, giving us knowledge of Christ, and it kindles our desire to keep His teachings, and to humble ourselves in light of our awareness of sin.

That is what this grace is.

We love Him, because He first loved us. It is the knowledge of that love that draws us towards obedience. Our obedience does not save us. Again, we are not earning salvation. Salvation is based purely on the finished work of Christ.

Romans 10:3-10 KJVS
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. [4] For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. [5] For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. [6] But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above 🙂 [7] Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) [8] But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; [9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

“For with the heart man believeth,” the meaning of the word “heart” as used in this text, means; the center of all.

Is Christ everything? Is your confession based on Christ, or is it based on you and what you do to justify your own salvation?

These are the things we all should be concerned about…