The Lord’s Mind Boggling Blend Of Grace And The Law

Our Daily Bread

 

Grace

Perfect Grace

 

“Neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. John 8:11

Jesus’s teaching about absolute ideals and absolute grace seem contradictory.

Jesus never lowered God’s perfect ideal. In His response to the rich young ruler, He said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). He told an expert in the law who inquired as to the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (22:37). No one has completely fulfilled those commands.

Yet the same Jesus tenderly offered absolute grace. He forgave an adulteress, a thief on the cross, a disciple who had denied ever knowing Him, and a man named Saul, who had made his mark persecuting Christians. Grace is absolute and all-encompassing, extending even to those who nailed Jesus to the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” were among the last words He spoke on earth (Luke 23:34).

For years I felt so unworthy when considering Jesus’s absolute ideals that I missed any notion of His grace. Once I understood this dual message, however, I went back and found that the message of grace gusts through Jesus’s life and teachings.

Grace is for the desperate, the needy, the broken, those who cannot make it on their own. Grace is for all of us.

Father, Your all-encompassing grace washes over us and astonishes us. May we live today as people who enjoy Your complete forgiveness and a restored relationship with You.

Jesus fulfilled the perfect requirements of the law so that we may enjoy the perfect peace of His grace.

 

INSIGHT: The life of the apostle Paul is another example of God’s grace. Because of Paul’s past, he considered himself the most undeserving recipient of God’s mercy and grace (1 Tim. 1:13–14). Although he was chosen to be an apostle to the Gentiles, Paul also gave another reason he was chosen: “God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life” (v. 16 nlt). God had you and me in mind when He saved Paul—an awesome thought. If Paul, the worst of sinners, could be saved, then there is hope for everyone else. No one is beyond the reach of God’s mercy and grace.

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Exposing False Prophets

Days of Praise

Naming Names

“Their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:17-18)

Many Christians decry the citing of actual names of those Christian leaders who teach heretical doctrines, saying that such an act is “unloving.” Paul, however, considered it an important evidence of true love to warn against those who would “overthrow the faith of some,” realizing that generalities would be useless.

Not only did Hymenaeus and Philetus make Paul’s list, but so did Demas (2 Timothy 4:10), Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14), the Cretians (Titus 1:12), another Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20), and even Peter (Galatians 2:11-14) when he began to teach legalism. Likewise, John warned against Diotrephes (3 John 1:9) and the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6).

On the other hand, Paul was much more generous with name recognition when he was giving out commendations (e.g., Romans 16:1-15; Colossians 4:7-17). We undoubtedly need to follow his example in appreciating by name those who are faithful in teaching and living the truth.

Likewise, we need to be ready and willing to name those individuals, churches, schools, and other organizations that are denying biblical inerrant authority, compromising the doctrine of special creation, requiring humanistic works for salvation, or bringing in other heretical doctrines. We obviously need to be sure of our facts when we do this and also to bring such charges only if motivated by genuine concern for those apt to be led astray if we don’t speak out. But then we must, indeed, “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). HMM

Him That Cometh to Me

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)

In this verse and the verses to follow, we find Christ using a marvelous teaching technique. Several times He makes a general, generic statement but quickly advances from the general and impersonal to the particular and personal.

More…

Humility

“He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. . . . and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.” (John 13:4-5)

More…

Praise of the Generations

“That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children.” (Psalm 78:6)

More…

God Is Able

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

More…

More Articles

List of previous Days of Praise Articles

The Second Baptism Of The Holy Spirit…

Is A False Doctrine That Is Found No Where In The Bible.

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Ephesians 4:3-6  King James Version (KJV)

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

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This false teaching was conjured up by those who once again, fail to understand the transformation into the church age, which is graphically and comprehensively described in the book of Acts.  We are commanded to be FILLED with the Holy Spirit.  There is no second baptism.  This is a daily need for all of those who have been born from above.  We are to be filled with the Spirit and crucify the flesh.  The question:  “Have you received the second baptism of the Holy Spirit?,” implies that you are not on the same spiritual plateau that I think I am.  It is meant to sound condescending.

May we examine in detail where this false teaching comes from –

 Acts 19  King James Version (KJV)

19 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

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At this point in time, Apollos never heard of the Triune God (Trinity).  He never even heard of the Holy Spirit.  He was baptized ONLY for repentance by John the Baptist.  As far as being a Christian and a believer in Christ, he was not baptized at all!  He was baptized solely for repentance.  Repentance from sin was taught by all of the Old Testament prophets, by all of the apostles, it was the “one point sermon” that John the Baptist continually preached, and Jesus Christ picked up on repentance where John the Baptist left off:

Matthew 4:17  King James Version (KJV)

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

Luke 13:3-5  New King James Version (NKJV)

I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

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We baptize one time, and in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  One does NOT receive the Father and the Son, as a down payment on the Holy Spirit to be received later, but only if you are super spiritual.  How ludicrous.  As previously stated, the implication of this erroneous doctrine is that the so called second baptism sets its’ proponents on a higher spiritual footing than others.  They misunderstand that Apollos never yet comprehended the Gospel beyond seeing the need to repent.  Repentance is an Old Testament doctrine as well.  At this point, Apollos did not yet understand the process of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and becoming born again (John 3:3).  Prior to being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 19:5), he gave absolutely no clear  understanding of salvation, and never even heard of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Hence, some charismatics took the unique and specific circumstances of Apollos, and in their convoluted way, applied them to the entire church age!  In the book of Acts, the church is just starting and in a period of transition.  Apollos received the truth in increments as it became known in the early church.  We do not have that battle any more, and are blessed with the entire truth written in the twenty seven books of the New Testament.  So fellow believer, be ye filled with the Holy Spirit!

Pastor Steve  <><

Never Give Up!

Our Daily Bread

August 2, 2016

Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-15
Bible in a Year: Psalms 60-62; Romans 5

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. —2 Timothy 4:7

Joop Zoetemelk is known as the Netherlands’ most successful cyclist. But that’s because he never gave up. He started and finished the Tour de France 16 times—placing second five times before winning in 1980. That’s perseverance!

Many winners have reached success by climbing a special ladder called “never give up.” However, there are also many who have lost the opportunity to achieve success because they gave up too soon. This can happen in every area of life: family, education, friends, work, service. Perseverance is a key to victory.

The apostle Paul persevered despite persecution and affliction (2 Tim. 3:10-11). He viewed life with realism, recognizing that as followers of Christ we will suffer persecution (vv. 12-13), but he instructed Timothy to place his faith in God and the encouragement of the Scriptures (vv. 14-15). Doing so would help him face discouragement and endure with hope. At the end of his life, Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (4:7).

We too can allow the Scriptures to strengthen us to press on in the race marked out for us. For our God is both a promise-making and promise-keeping God and will reward those who faithfully finish the race (v. 8). —Jaime Fernández Garrido

Heavenly Father, give me strength of character and perseverance to serve you better. Help me not to get discouraged when things get tough but to rely on You to see me through.

Faith connects our weakness to God’s strength.

INSIGHT: Paul experienced great persecution in the cities of Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. In Antioch, he faced aggressive opposition from the religious leaders (Acts 13:45; 15:1-2). In Iconium, Gentile and Jewish leaders conspired to have him killed (14:4-5). And in Lystra, he was stoned and left for dead (v. 19). Yet in his final letter to Timothy, Paul uses these three cities as examples of perseverance. He recounts these terribly painful events not to garner pity but to remind Timothy of God’s faithfulness during times of hardship and pain. Dennis Moles

The Pastor’s Conference And Southern Baptist Convention ~ June 12-15, 2016 ~ Part 9

Monday Evening, June 13, 2016

Pastor’s Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis

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Johnny Hunt served at Woodstock, Georgia for thirty years.  

Johnny’s theme is enthusiastically finishing the journey for God.  2 Timothy 2:6-7  The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.  Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Johnny Hunt was touched by Adrian Rogers and Jerry Falwell.  Paul pressed towards Christlikeness.  Paul poured into Timothy.  May our lives inspire others to obey.  Martin Luther:  “There are two days on my calendar:  This day and that day.”

Johnny Hunt’s two life verses:

James 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Johnny Hunt was saved forty three years ago.  Paul never got over his Damascus Road experience.  Live not for ourselves but for others.  Johnny teaches Timothy Barnabas ministries.  God is the great promise keeper (not us).  Our giants make us grow.  Caleb –  “Give me this mountain.”  May God help us want what we wanted when we finished, as we wanted when we started.

Christianity Is The Only Truth On The Planet, And A Cause Greater Than Our Lives

INSIGHT: After appointing twelve men as His disciples (Matt. 10:1-4), Jesus gave them their first assignment to go and preach the good news that “the kingdom of heaven has come near” (v. 7). Jesus warned that people in the world would not want to hear about Him: “You will be hated by everyone because of me” (v. 22). We, too, may be ignored, opposed, rejected, persecuted, and even killed (vv. 16-22). It may cost us to share the gospel with others, and we may experience hostility even from our own family (vv. 35-36). To overcome these challenges, Jesus calls for a commitment to Him that is greater than any other (vv. 37-39). Sim Kay Tee

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Many of the Old Testament prophets were slain.  John the Baptist was beheaded.  All of the original apostles, as well as Paul, were killed for their faith with the exception of John.  There have been more Christians martyred for their faith in the last century than in the rest of the church age combined!  Foxe’s Book of Martyrs includes many of the great saints throughout the church age who gave their lives for their faith.  The only one not martyred in the book was Martin Luther.

Why did they give their lives?  Because they loved their Lord like Patriot Nathan Hale loved his country:

Now, let us rephrase this quotation according to the committed Christian:

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my Lord.”

The cause of Christianity is MUCH greater than our lives.  Never forget that:  “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

 ~ Tertullian 197 A.D.

 

Paul Completes AG Pilot Program From Eagle Vistas, Arcadia, Florida 5/22/16

The graduate from this agricultural flight school is the son of the writer of this Christian blog site.  Paul “mortgaged the farm” in order to achieve this goal, as he spent his retirement savings in order to obtain his initial flying license, and took out a loan to enroll in this class and the AG Pilot program.  I am thankful for his tenacity and for winning over adversity.  Eagle Vistas has a strong Christian impetus and Paul was very blessed to be able to attend this school.   I covet your prayers for Paul’s safety.  That is him in the first picture, skimming the orange trees.  I am praying that he will be able to use this gift on the mission field as well.  In His Service, Pastor Steve  <><

 

Talk about flying under the radar…

 

Chris Schuh trim pass with smoke 6x 42016-06-10.jpg

Crop Duster

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 2

Day #1

We departed from Stafford Baptist Church (Stafford, Virginia) at 9:30 A.M. for New York.  We passed the Washington monument, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State building, and the World Trade Building on the way to John F. Kennedy International Airport.  At the airport I encountered a security official at Israel Airlines and he said no one could enter their waiting area due to “tight security.”  The security is mainly because of bomb threats, etc. from Arab, Third World countries.  No other airlines had such a policy and a security guard as did Israel.  The “Zionists” have many enemies.

We met Jo Anne and Steve Abbott at the airport.  They just flew in from Oregon, and were joined by their son Mark, in the Air Force, and on leave from the Philippines.  Their other son, Paul, is a missionary from Africa and will join us in Amman, Jordan.  What a place and what a time for a family reunion!

I was quickly exposed to the culture of the Middle East on the airplane.  The gentleman seated next to me was born and raised in Damascus, Syria; he moved to the United States and raised a family of five children.  He told me he was returning to Damascus, and then he gave me some history of the city.  He said it is the world’s oldest capital city, and the world’s oldest inhabited city.  He claimed the tomb of John the Baptist is there, and there is a castle left by the Crusaders from about 1100 A.D.  As a Christian, I know Damascus was once part of the Hasmonean Dynasty.  Even of more significance, the Bible (Acts, Chapter 9) reveals that it is the place where Paul went to persecute Christians.  However, due to his conversion along the way to the city, he ended up preaching the gospel message of Jesus Christ there.  Paul now ended up as the one being persecuted, and his friends had to lower Paul in a basket outside the walls of Damascus so he could escape with his life.  No one promised that it would be easy to follow Jesus.

We lost seven hours of time as we flew towards the sun.  We will gain the seven hours back when we are going home.

Day #2

While still on the airplane, we saw some very scenic, desolate, hilly and craggy terrain about one hour and one quarter prior to our arrival in Jordan.  We guessed that it was probably Turkey that we saw.  I saw another sign of the tension in the Middle East while still on the airplane.  While glancing at a map of the various flight routes which Royal Jordanian makes, I noticed that Israel was not even listed on the map in the airplane!  On the plane I tried to speak with a Jordanian to ask him about this, but he could only speak Arabic.  We ate several meals on the airplane, and I had trouble figuring out if it was day or night- jet lag.  After thirteen hours of flying time we finally set down in Jordan, and after a very scrutinizing passport/visa/luggage check and frisk, we were carried away to our hotel.

I did not care for the Jordanian food at the hotel.  I also noticed that Arabs engage in close body contact, and do not observe the “space” that Americans are use to having.  They elbow, poke and push.  Arabs commonly have body odor.  I was glad that we were going to spend only one night in Jordan.  I already found that some things in other countries make me appreciate the United States of America all the more.  How many things we just take for granted.

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***   Dear Folks,  I am embarrassed to read the last paragraph of my own journal above.  It reveals my immaturity in regards to other people around the world.  Since then, I have learned to appreciate the food given to me, whatever it is.  A Christian should adapt to the customs and environment of the lands we visit, just as long as it does not compromise our faith.  I included it because it is my journal.  On the bright side, it reveals spiritual growth.   ***

Blessings, Pastor Steve 

Purge Out The Leaven Before It Destroys Your Church…

…this is scriptural.  I Corinthians 5 gives a complete synopsis of this teaching.  Be advised, the scenario in this situation was incest, however it refers to ALL fornication, i.e. sexual unions outside of holy matrimony:

I Corinthians, Chapter 5

The incestuous person among them

1 It is actually reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even among the Gentiles, that one of you hath his father’s wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and did not rather mourn, that he that had done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, being absent in body but present in spirit, have already as though I were present judged him that hath so wrought this thing, 4 in the name of our Lord Jesus, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

The Christian church must be purged of the contamination of sinners, and separated from pagan influences

7 Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened. For our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ: 8 wherefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote unto you in my epistle to have no company with fornicators; 10 not at all meaning with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world: 11 but as it is, I wrote unto you not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no, not to eat. 12 For what have I to do with judging them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.

1 Cor 5:1-13 (ASV)

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Note the very last scripture, I Corinthians 5:13  “But them that are without God judgeth.  Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.”  Today, brazen fornicators are NOT purged.  They live their ungodly lifestyles while attending church.  Preachers, teachers and church leaders today often do not even confront or challenge their sin.  They look the other way instead of being faithful to God.  The problem is that these situations never resolve themselves.   This is a church one would want to leave if they do not require repentance from the one(s) involved.

It would behoove the church and professing Christians to read the following passage from Ephesians 5 very carefully:

to flee fornication

3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints; 4 nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know of a surety, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no man deceive you with empty words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them; 8 For ye were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord: walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 proving what is well-pleasing unto the Lord; 11 and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them; 12 for the things which are done by them in secret it is a shame even to speak of. 13 But all things when they are reproved are made manifest by the light: for everything that is made manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee. 15 Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; 19 speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
21 subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; 26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: 29 for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; 30 because we are members of his body. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church. 33 Nevertheless do ye also severally love each one his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she fear her husband.

Eph 5:3-33 (ASV)

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…here is another scripture passage that is usually totally ignored by the church of today, thus rendering the church powerless-

“Them that sin reprove in the sight of all, that the rest also may be in fear.”

1 Tim 5:20 (ASV)

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Here is a question to think about:  Who is worse in the sight of the Lord?  Those who engage in sexual sin without repentance and remorse, or the church that is aware of it and prefers to not address it?

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When we ignore sin in our lives and refuse to repent, whether a church or an individual, we will suffer separation from the Lord God and punishment.

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Psalm 66:18   King James Version (KJV)  

 

What Does The Apostle Paul Have In Common With Ebenezer Scrooge?

Even Steven

Our Daily Bread

Daily Devotionals

 December 19, 2014

 
   
           
             
             
             
       

The Heart Of Christmas

Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol was released on December 19, 1843, and has never been out of print. It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy, sour, stingy man who says, “Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas,’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding!” Yet, one Christmas Eve, Scrooge is radically changed into a generous and happy man. With great humor and insight…

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