12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself as having laid hold of it yet, but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, think this way; and if in anything you think differently, God will reveal that also to you. 16 However, let us keep walking in step with the same standard to which we have attained. Philippians 3:12-16 (LSB)
Self-righteousness is a most hurtful thing to come into a body of believers. Not only does it hurt weaker brothers and sisters, keeping them from finding their freedom in Christ, it also keeps those who are in bondage to it from humbling themselves before their Lord. No one in Christ has any business looking down their noses at anyone else, believer or unbeliever. Yes, those with discernment must rebuke and correct, but that is never a license to attack from a motivation of demoralizing or hurting someone else. The motivation must always be from a foundation of humility and love with motivation to cause people to see the truth so they can repent and become restored. Continue reading →
11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Revelation 3:11 (LSB)
1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:1-4 (LSB)
It is one thing to say, “Come soon Lord Jesus!” and quite another thing to live as if you mean it. There are even some today who are of the “progressive” mindset that teach we should live this life with our focus on the here and now rather than eternity. Why? This is to create a better world or make this world a better place. Continue reading →
7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! Rather, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law. For I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, worked out in me coveting of every kind. For apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 Now I was once alive apart from the Law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to lead to life, was found to lead to death for me. 11 For sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good… Romans 7:7-24 (LSB) Read verses 13-24 on the site.
If we are honest, each of us would have to confess that there are sins that have an incredible hold on us. It seems that no matter how devoted we become in our walk before our Lord, there will be some sins that trip us up, making us stumble and fall to our deep chagrin…. Continue reading →
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Matthew 16:18 (LSB)
My father-in-law went on to be with the Lord several years ago, but during World War II he was a U.S. Navy Pharmist Mate. In today’s Navy, they are called Corpsmen. These are the medics who hit the beach or land in the choppers with the Marines or Navy Seals when they go into real combat. My father-in-law hit the beach with the U.S. Marines in the Pacific on the Islands Peleliu and Okinawa…. Continue reading →
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may approve what the will of God is, that which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (LSB)
Despite the fact that the unregenerate refuse to accept what I am about to say as being true, it does not change the fact that it is the truth. The true Christian walk is one of faith that results in faithfulness while the counterfeit or false Christian walk is one of works righteousness that results in a pragmatic form of religious works meant to counter failures of the flesh…. Continue reading →
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?By keeping it according to Your word.10 With all my heart I have sought You;Do not let me stray from Your commandments.11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,That I may not sin against You.12 Blessed are You, O Yahweh;Teach me Your statutes.13 With my lips I have recountedAll the judgments of Your mouth.14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,As much as in all riches.15 I will muse upon Your preceptsAnd look upon Your ways.16 I shall delight in Your statutes;I shall not forget Your word. Psalms 119:9-16 (LSB)
The concept that God would somehow be satisfied with those who call themselves Christians, but who live their lives totally apart from Him, seems very strange to me. The idea that the Lord is only after converts who say a quick sinner’s prayer, but never really change must really insult Him. Look at the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us on the cross…. Continue reading →
41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (LSB)
38 Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38 (LSB)
45 And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, 46 and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:45-46 (LSB)
Temptation: Temptation is any thing, state, way or condition that, upon any account whatsoever, has a force or power to seduce, to draw the mind and heart of a man or woman from his or her obedience, which God requires of them, into any sin, in any degree of it whatsoever. Continue reading →
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the full knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the full knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 2 Peter 1:2-4 (LSB)
A couple of hours ago I was at a local grocery store picking up a few things. As I walked down the rows approaching the cashiers I kept hearing a strange sound. It sounded like hammering, but softer with a metallic vibration. As I was being checked out by the cashier I heard the noise getting closer and closer to me…. Continue reading →
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and does them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24 (LSB)
The liberalization of the Church is the result of men compromising God’s truth for the sake of a false peace. This “peace” is between them and the world. The impetus for these compromises is a desire to not be offensive to those whom they perceive it is desirable for their particular portion of the visible Church to be liked or thought well of by them. In other words, they sand off the edges and soften the hard lines of doctrine in order to open wide their doors to those who desire to be included in their “religion,” but who refuse to obey the words of our Lord….Continue reading →
1 Now at that same time there were some present who were reporting to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered these things? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. ”Luke 13:1-5 (LSB) Read verses 4 & 5 on the site.
On social media it is always surprising to me how often I encounter discussions supposedly between Christians that reveal that one or more of those involved are clueless about the relationship of the Christian faith and repentance. For instance, on more than one occasion I have been involved in discussions in which the initiators were proclaiming that it is perfectly fine for Christians to use profanity and those who call them on it are being hypocritical and self-righteous…. Continue reading →
16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man will live by faith. Romans 1:16-17
These two verses are actually the theme of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. These two verses summarize the message of this wonderful Epistle to the Church. Also, and we must not lose sight of this, the Church must continue to value the Gospel, the “Good News” the same way Paul did…. Continue reading →
“Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope.”—Psalm 119:49.
WHATEVER your especial need may be, you may readily find some promise in the Bible suited to it. Are you faint and feeble because your way is rough and you are weary? Here is the promise—”He giveth power to the faint.”1 When you read such a promise, take it back to the great Promiser, and ask Him to fulfil His own word…. Continue reading →
14 What shall we say then? Is there any unrighteousness with God? May it never be! Romans 9:14 (LSB)
The natural mind, plagued with selective rationalization, demands that God be fair in His dealings with all humankind. Fairness speaks of justice. One of the tenets of our republican form government in the USA is a right to a fair and speedy trial before one’s peers. A person on trial for a crime may or may not truly want justice. They may be guilty, so their desire is not justice, but grace. If a judge in a criminal trial declares a defendant guilty, but then defers sentencing in lieu of probation or “time served” then he has extended grace to the guilty party. Continue reading →
19 Therefore, brothers, having confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-25 (translated from the NA28 Greek text) Read verses 23-25 on the site.
My brethren, carefully read my translation of Hebrews 10:19-25 (above). You may also want to read Hebrews 10-1-24 from your N.T. to keep things in context. I say this because of the “therefore at the beginning of v19…. Continue reading →
21 For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 translated from the NA28 Greek text
As we have been seeing over the past several months (or is it years?) as we have dug deeper and deeper into the persons of the Holy Trinity, the doctrines of the Church, which is the Body of Christ himself, hasn’t it also been true how in our drawing closer and closer to God that in this that the disingenuousness of the man-centered elements of the visible church becomes more and more exposed to those with eyes of genuine saving faith? On the other hand, those with their self-focused, self-edifying faith in their in their own self-made religiosity simply continue to go deeper and deeper into their self-made deceptions that are based on a world view as shallow and insipid as post-modernity. Those people actually are guilty of saying that Christianity and the Church as formed by Jesus Christ is wrong and they have a better idea. Continue reading →
33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (LSB)
The natural man in each of us wants to paint God as a combination of a spiritual Santa Claus and the Genie from Aladdin’s Lamp. We tie our good works into how well our lives go. If we do good things then God will surely see to it that we don’t lose our jobs or we get a great raise each year or our health is good. Equity or fairness is our cry. Just look at our society. Even though it isn’t a reality everyone seems to demand that no one be offended or that everyone be treated fairly. This has bled over into the Church in the 21st Century. Continue reading →
16 For thus God loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that everyone believing in Him may not perish, but have life eternal. John 3:16 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
There are many great truths in John 3:16 such as God’s love (ἀγαπάω (agapaō)) for His own, and the eternal life that comes by faith (πιστεύω (pisteuō)) in Christ, it is strikingly unique because the apostle John is the only Scripture writer who uses the term μονογενής (monogenēs) to describe the relationship of Jesus to the Father. Several modern translations (ESV, NRSV, NLT, CEV, and GWT) replace “only begotten” with “only” or “one and only” (NCV and NIV)…. Continue reading →
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5 (LSB)
In the late 1970’s I read of a physician in a large urban hospital finding a man admitted with many of his vital organs failing due to extreme alcohol and drug poisoning. He recognized him as one whom he had treated a few years earlier for the same problem. The man was destitute and had been given free medical care…. Continue reading →
24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat but swallow a camel! Matthew 23:24 (LSB)
A huge trap that Christians can fall into is conforming to self-righteousness. It is a form of idolatry and that always causes spiritual blindness (Romans 1:24-25). Self-righteousness puts all effort towards godliness in the wrong place. It creates a form of piety that is all about outward appearances while putting little or no priority on matters of the heart. It is all about appearances and what others think rather than being totally committed to abiding in Christ from within first. The self-righteous are consciously holy…. Continue reading →
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. 29 Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers; 30 and those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified; and those whom He justified, He also glorified.31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? Romans 8:28-39 (LSB) Read verses 32-39 on the site.
Relativism has enslaved this post-modern 21st Century. The push to equalize everything continues unabated even though it has become apparent to continue down this path is bordering on insanity. There was a Nike commercial being shown a few Christmas Seasons ago featuring Lebron James, the NBA star…. Continue reading →
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 NASB)
Western Christians, especially American Christians, are, for the most part, double minded. Materialism, humanism, and liberalism have so contaminated them that they believe that they will never be persecuted for their faith. It is as if the idea that persecution for being a Christian is unthinkable. In many parts of the World persecution is actually becoming worse. It is estimated that over 16,000 Christians are martyred each year. However, in the USA Christians are more concerned about football or TV shows or money or possessions than contending for the faith. Continue reading →
9 Yahweh God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 And the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave to me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then Yahweh God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 And Yahweh God said to the serpent,“Because you have done this,Cursed are you more than any of the cattle,And more than every beast of the field;On your belly you will go,And dust you will eatAll the days of your life;15 And I will put enmityBetween you and the woman,And between your seed and her seed;He shall bruise you on the head,And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:9-15 (LSB emphasis mine)
Read Matthew 13:24-30 (LSB) and Matthew 13:36-43 (LSB) on the site.
Not too long ago, I had a preacher ask me what a tare was. He knew that I was from Oklahoma and he thought I would know. I am no country boy, but when I was a young man, I worked in a grain elevator. Actually, most wheat farmers I knew complained about a weed, which grew in their fields, they called “Cheat.”… Continue reading →
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. Matthew 16:13-20 (LSB)
Genuine Christians, God’s heirs, are those who have believed.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (LSB)
Carefully read this very familiar passage from John Chapter 3. Who is it that does not perish, but has eternal life? It is whoever believes in the Son. Not everyone who attempts to “follow” Jesus believes. Continue reading →
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered and said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation eagerly seeks for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. Matthew 12:38-41 (LSB)
Today is Good Friday. Passover was a feast instituted by God to be held on Nisan 14 every year. Also, the Jewish day always began at sunset. Therefore, Nisan 14 began at sunset on Thursday and ran until sunset on Friday. At sunset Nisan 15 would begin. The next festival or feast after Passover was Unleavened Bread. This feast was eaten in the afternoon following the Seder, which was the Passover meal. Notice that this feast was held prior to sunset on Nisan 15 so it would still be Nisan 14. Continue reading →
Zayin49 Remember the word to Your slave,In which You have made me wait.50 This is my comfort in my affliction,That Your word has revived me.51 The arrogant utterly scoff at me,Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.52 I have remembered Your judgments from of old, O Yahweh,And comfort myself.53 Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked,Who forsake Your law.54 Your statutes have become my songsIn the house of my sojourning.55 I remember in the night Your name, O Yahweh,So I keep Your law.56 This has become mine,That I observe Your precepts. Psalms 119:48-56 (LSB)
The doctrinal extremists out there really get under my skin sometimes. It seems they cannot handle the fact that our sovereign, holy, omnipotent, omnipresent, immutable and omniscient God wants to have a personal relationship with those He has saved by His grace. God is sovereign and yet He is gracious. He knows that left to our own abilities we could never come to salvation. He knows that, even if He declares us righteous, we need Him to extend His grace to us continually to sanctify our hearts and draw us to Him. He also reveals Himself to us, speaks to us, and sustains us through the sanctification process that matures us unto Christlikeness. Continue reading →