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GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Tue 21 Jun 2011, 5:44 pm

OUR WEAKNESS AND GOD'S POWER*
* by C. R. Stam*
* *
*

When our Lord was on earth He healed great numbers of sick and diseased
people. The believers at Pentecost also healed many in the name of
Jesus, offering to Israel His return from heaven upon condition of their
repentance (Acts 3:19-21).

All those who were healed, however, finally succumbed to physical
infirmity or disease again and died after all. This was because the Lord
Jesus was rejected as King, not only in His incarnation but also in His
resurrection. Rom.8:22,23 declares the result as we see it in our own day:

"...we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain
together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have
the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
waiting for the adoption, to wit [that is], the redemption of our body."

But Christians in "this present evil age" often need physical infirmity
to draw them closer to God in prayer and faith. Paul himself said:

"...there was given to me a thorn in the flesh... lest I should be
exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that
it might depart from me. And He said unto me: My grace is sufficient for
thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (II Cor. 12:7-9).

The Apostle's response to this shows how well he understood that
suffering and weakness are an important part of Christian discipline.

"Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the
power of Christ may rest upon me... I take pleasure in infirmities. ..for
when I am weak, then am I strong" (II Cor. 12:9,10).

"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet
the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is
but for a moment, worketh for us a for more exceeding and eternal weight
of glory" (II Cor. 4:16,17).

*
*
* THOUGHT FOR THIS WEEK*

**Even though suffering baffles our minds, we can trust God to be near
and to work out His purposes. ---Vernon Grounds*
*Phi 1:29 "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to
believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake"*
*The storms of our life prove the strength of our Anchor**
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Mon 20 Jun 2011, 10:54 pm

PROGRESSIVE REVELATION *
*By Pastor Joel Finck*
*
Scripture Reading: Romans 3:21

Two of the smallest words in the Bible actually carry the greatest
impact of how we understand Scripture. These two words are, "but now."
While the Bible is the Word of God from cover to cover, it was not all
given at once or to the same audience. What was spoken to one group of
people in an earlier time may not directly apply to another group of
people in later times. This is called the principle of "Progressive
Revelation," and we find many examples of this in Scripture.

In Romans 3:21, the apostle Paul writes, "But now the righteousness of
God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the
prophets." At one time, the law of Moses played an integral part in
righteousness. Not that the law itself could bring righteousness, it
could not. But before the dispensation of the grace of God was committed
to Paul (see Ephesians 3:1, 2), the law was God's prescribed method of
demonstrating the righteousness which comes by faith. In other words, if
a godly Jew under the law wanted to show that he believed God, there was
only one way to do it: be in obedience to the law. Therefore, while the
law did not bring righteousness, keeping the law went hand in hand with
living a righteous life.

But according to Romans 3:21, God's righteousness is no longer
associated with law-keeping. This is why Paul goes on to proclaim, "for
ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:14b). Those who do
not recognize the principle of progressive revelation continue to draw
people back under the law with its sabbaths and ordinances. But let us
rather move on in grace!

*
*"May God, Whose grace is irresistible and *
*all sufficient, be glorified!" *
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Sat 18 Jun 2011, 4:51 pm

Set Free by God’s Truth
by Anabel Gillham
How could I have been so stupid?
Why, oh why did I do that?
What a loser I am!
When am I going to learn?
How long is God going to put up with me?
I’m still stumbling around and causing all sorts of problems.
Time and time again I fail.
I’m sick of myself and the things that I do.
I’ll never change.
I’m just kidding myself to think that I could ever . . .
Stop! Where are all of those destructive thoughts coming from? Who’s
talking to me? Something’s going on here that doesn’t ring true. Sure. I
was wrong. I failed and I confess that readily. But this is carrying
things too far.
* * *
Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise [again];
Though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.
Micah 7:8
Okay, I blew it! I was wrong!
But don’t you try to convince me that God is through with me. He’s not
going to give up on Anabel. He’s the One who saved me in the first
place. Don’t you suppose He knew what He was getting into with me? He
knows everything about me—past, future, and present, and He still loves
me—unconditionally!
And I am NOT a loser! I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus. I just haven’t
learned how to walk like who I really am yet. But I will. One of these
days I’ll be running instead of stumbling and falling—and I’ll win!
You’ll see.
So you just go back to your lair and shut up, Satan! Even though I’ve
fallen (and will undoubtedly fall again) you don’t need to think I’m
down to stay. Don’t gloat over me, my enemy. It may look pretty bleak
right now, but I’ll make it . . . because of the Lord. He lives within
me and He loves me and nothing I can do will ever damage that love.
Furthermore, He has told me, "Anabel, you will stand. I Myself will
cause you to stand" (from Romans 14:4).
* * *
Sound theology is my only key to real hope.
Satan, the Deceiver, is a liar, and a very persuasive and convincing
liar (John 8:44). How many times I have listened to his insidious
accusations and allowed them to separate me from the One who loves me,
who can help me. . . .
Lord, I don’t want anything to come between us. The knowledge of You and
the awareness of Your presence is my most precious possession. How wise
of the Evil One to try to drive a wedge that would separate me from You.
Truth is my most powerful weapon. You have said, "You shall know the
truth, and the truth shall make you free. . . . If therefore the Son
shall make you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:32, 36).
I’m free to be lovely
to be hateful and ugly
I’m free to stand or to fall.
I’m free to be sinful
to be headstrong and willful
I’m free to not sin at all.
So who makes me free
who gives me strength
how do I accomplish this feat?
I give Christ my life
Regardless of cost
Then rest in His love—complete.
He takes me and loves me
molds me and shapes me
To His image—beauty divine.
And all that He did
And all that He promised
Through His life and His death becomes mine.
© Lifetime Guarantee

Him we preach, admonishing every one and instructing every one, with all
possible wisdom, so that we may bring every one into God's presence,
made perfect through Christ. To this end, like an earnest wrestler, I
exert all my strength in reliance upon the power of Him who is mightily
at work within me. (Colossians 1 :28, 29, Weymouth)
... Christ is all and in all! (Colossians 3: 11)
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Thu 16 Jun 2011, 1:35 pm

*Trusting Christ as Your Life*
*(part 4 of 4)*
*by Dr. Bill Gillham*

The Christian who fellowships with Christ as I've illustrated in these
anecdotes in the past few devotionals will soon become fast friends with
Jesus. Wouldn't it be highly unlikely that a person who lives like this
would snap at the kids or rag on his spouse? Of course. The developing,
intimate relationship with Christ would so delight and strengthen this
person that he would want to habitually practice letting Christ express
life through him to do God's will on earth. Isn't that great? You
wouldn't be controlled by a bunch of rules and regulations, but by the
inner life of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:2). The Holy Spirit of Jesus will
long to obey God, yearn to, wish to, desire to and He will do all of
this in you! That's right! This is what God means by saying that He has
written His laws on our hearts and minds (Hebrews 10:16). This beats the
daylights outta living under a bunch of rules or principles. It's the
power-package provision of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Most Believers
try to live their lives for Christ instead of doing it the biblical way?
trusting Christ to express His victorious life through us.

*
Christ is our life (see Acts 17:28; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21;
Colossians 3:4). To become obsessed with anything other than Him is
idolatry, even if that other obsession is religious rules. Perhaps the
greatest danger in the American church is that we have lost our focus on
Jesus Christ and have been focusing more on "Christian values;' which is
merely morality by another name.


Dear Father
You know that I have sincerely tried to live as a victorious Christian.
I have done my personal best, but now I realize that has been my
problem-it has been "my best" that I've trusted, instead of Your life. I
repent of self-sufficiency and affirm that from this moment forward I
will trust You to live through me. I choose to rest in You, depending
upon You to cause the power of indwelling sin in me to stay in
remission. You are my Victory, oh Lord. For that fact, I thank You, Amen
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Wed 15 Jun 2011, 12:23 pm

Trusting Christ as Your Life
(part 3 of 4)
by Dr. Bill Gillham

Here's still another illustration of what it means to trust Christ to
express His life through you.

Forgive me for getting personal, but we all know that testosterone
produces a higher sexual appetite than estrogen. Sometimes the farthest
thing from a wife's mind is to respond to her husband's sexual
overtures. This can be a burden to both spouses, which Christ can deal
with. The husband can think: Lord, I'd like to fulfill my desire, but if
You want me to back off, that's OK. I leave this up to You, Jesus. You
are my life, and You won't make demands through me.

On the other hand, let's say that the wife is thinking: Lord, You know
that I am not the least bit interested in this, but Your Word says that
my body is not my own. I realize that my husband needs me to respond to
him. So I trust You as my life, even in this. And she begins to act
interested, believing that Christ is her life. Obviously, it may work
the other way around, with the Lord giving the husband the message that
he is to wait till a more appropriate time.

Hey, we don't hang Jesus on a hook in the hall when we enter the
marriage bedroom. Sex is God's invention, not Satan's. Look at it this
way: The electricity is the life of my electric sander. The electricity
doesn't sand the board. It is simply the enabler which allows the sander
to sand the board. I'm certainly not teaching a menage a trois, that
Christ is having sex with us! Christ is the Enabler here. Christ as life
through both husband and wife is God's solution to all relational
problems, including marital sex problems.

Be much with the solid teachings of God's word, and you will become
solid and substantial men and women: drink them in, and feed upon them,
and they shall produce in you a Christ-likeness, at which the world
shall stand astonished. C. H. Spurgeon

© Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. Content on Lifetime.org is written for
your encouragement and spiritual growth. Copying, printing, and
distributing to others are encouraged. .
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Tue 14 Jun 2011, 12:46 pm

Trusting Christ as Your Life,*
*(part 2 of 4)*
*by Dr. Bill Gillham*
*

Here's how trusting Christ to express His overcoming life through you
works. Let's say that you have to get a fan fastened to the small frame
on the ceiling by inserting three small bolts, using one hand to hold
the bolt and the fan, holding the screwdriver in your other hand, and
the two other bolts in your lips, while standing on a ladder wearing
high heels (guffaw! just kidding). As you trust Christ as life, the
first bolt lines up in the hole, but when you bring the screwdriver to
bear, it slips off the bolt head, and you drop everything as you grab
the fan with both hands. You think, Whew, Lord, we had tough luck on
that one, but thank You for catching the fan. OK, let's try again. And
the two of you go at it again. Perhaps it takes five or six tries to do
the job, but you are having a time of camaraderie with Jesus Christ as
the two of you work together to install a ceiling fan! That's pleasing
to Him. That's a spiritual exercise. He longs for this sort of
fellowship with you. He longs to build meaningful memories with you-just
the two of you. This is the way you build a relationship with Christ!
You and He can share some chuckles together over the battle that was won
over those tiny holes in that crazy fan as you drive to work together
the next day. Gang, this is the way you get to know Jesus Christ. This
is the way you bond with someone. You don't have to wear a sandwich
board proclaiming the end of the world in order to achieve this. This is
the "normal Christian life" as author Watchman Nee called it. This is
"lifting out" the metaphor of Jesus' being the vine and you being a
branch. You experienced Vine-life while hanging a fan, by faith.


*Phi 4:13 I have the strength to face all conditions *
*by the power that Christ gives me.*
*
*He who abandons himself to God will never be abandoned by God.*
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 11:16 am

*Trusting Christ as Your Life*
*(part 1 of 4)*
*by Dr. Bill Gillham*
*
Here's how trusting Christ to express His life through you works. It's
what one dear brother called "The Normal Christian Life."
The boss buzzed you on the intercom and told you to come to his office.
He said that the report you had submitted for the quarter was
unacceptable, and he gave you one week to rewrite it. That's the sort of
hell on earth that Christ has saved you from. As you're sitting there
with your heart in your throat, you're to think, Lord Jesus, I'm so glad
that I don't have to do this rewrite. You are my life and this is Your
baby. Thank You for saving me from this. You think that concept in a
micro second. Then you say, "Yes, sir, Mr. Mulligan. I'll do my best.
The problem will be fixed. You can count on it." Then you think, Whew,
Lord! You really do have a problem here. I'm so glad that I don't have
to do this rewrite. Yes! The burden is the Lord's!
Afterward, you burn the midnight oil, highly motivated as your hands
sometimes fly over, sometimes labor over the keyboard of your computer,
trusting that Christ is doing this report for you, through you on a
moment-by-moment basis. Yes! You don't go fishing and wait till you feel
the Spirit of Christ take over and carry you to the computer terminal.
You go sit at the keyboard. You save the document to a working file and
then begin the rewrite job. However, your faith is saying, "OK, Lord,
where do we begin? I don't have a clue." This, my friend, is trusting
Christ as life through you, by faith. Have you missed this piece in the
salvation equation? Christ as life comes right along with the package
that you acquired when you got saved. Many of us have trusted Jesus as
Savior; we've trusted Him as Lord, but may have never trusted Him as
life until we meet something which is absolutely beyond our ability.
Trusting Christ as life is "[casting] your burden upon the Lord" (Psalm
55:22)-a command, not an option. God commands you to shove the burden of
living on earth squarely onto the broad shoulders of your Savior and to
keep piling it on Him moment-by-moment. Gang, this may sound like a
cop-out to you, but it's normal. You were not saved to "carry your own
weight." That is the devil's idea. Not only is this not noble, it is sin
to carry your own weight! It's independence. God says, "Whatever [as in
breathing God's air] is not from faith is sin" (Romans 14:23b).

Rest means to trust Jesus Christ as our Life-Source, depending on Him
to empower our actions with His strength and direction

*THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK*
*When irritated and upset do you*
*complain and gripe and fret?*
*Or is your life*
*controlled inside because*
*in Jesus you confide?*
*---Branon*
*Eph 5:18 "..... be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;*
* but be filled (controlled) with the Spirit" **
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Sun 12 Jun 2011, 7:17 pm

*RAGS TO RICHES *
*By Miles Stanford*
*
"But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my
mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my
members" (Rom. 7:23).
Self is the believer's indwelling enemy; its degrading bondage is his
deepest heartache. However, the reign of self is overthrown by its own
enmity, since it creates the needs that cause us to hunger for and
appropriate Christ's life and liberty.
"A sense of spiritual poverty is necessary to spiritual growth. This
awareness of failure becomes acute to the believer during those days
when he is attempting to attain holiness of heart through self-effort.
Knowing what he ought to be and do, he proceeds to try to reach those
goals. He purposes, resolves, promises, struggles, weeps, and fails
again. His testimony, with Paul, is, 'The things that I want to do, I do
not do, and the things that I do not want to do, I do' (Rom. 7:15).
"What a delightful day it is for him when he realizes that 'in him, that
is, in his flesh, dwelleth no good thing' (Rom. 7:18). Only then does
he, in his failure, cry out, 'Who shall deliver me from the body of this
death?' 'I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord' (Rom. 7:24, 25)
comes back the reply. He begins to recognize that God expects only
failure from the flesh, never success, but that 'in Christ' is his
sanctification, his growth. Thus it is that freedom comes through
bondage, life through death." - W.W.
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free
from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).

* Focus for the ..... day:
There is absolutely no limit to God's power to break through
into any situation, and no limit to His amazing grace.
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Sat 11 Jun 2011, 3:19 pm

*WHY STRUGGLE? *
*By Miles Stanford*
*

"But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of
the Lord" (ll Cor. 3:18).

Our Father allows the believer to struggle with self, not for victory,
but for defeat. Then the "wretched man" learns to rest in the Victor.

"Once you have begun the Christian walk, and know the blessedness of it,
you are not trying to correct yourself, for you know that all has been
removed from the eye of God; and you insist on the fact that self has
been to the Cross, and that Christ is your life. The old man was
crucified, and you cannot reform him; all attempts of amiable people to
reform him are only denying the fact that he has been dealt with in
judgment. The responsible (law) man is not before God now. It is now the
day of grace. Everyone who receives His grace is set free from the
domination of the old man. The appeal to the believer now is not to do,
but to look." - J. B.S.

"The believer is never told to 'overcome sin,' but to reckon, on the
ground of his death with Christ, that he has died to it. On the basis of
death, he is told not to 'let' sin reign in his life. It is to be dealt
with by an attitude of death not by 'overcoming. ' The believer therefore
is not to be spending his whole life in getting victory over sin, but
understanding his position as having died unto sin."

" [We] are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by
the Spirit of the Lord" (II Cor. 3:18).

*

DON'T TRY TO CHANGE -- EXCHANGE FOR A NEW FREEDOM IN CHRIST
As we mature more and more in the Lord, we often become convicted of
things that just are not right in our lives. This is normal; in fact
it's healthy and a good indicator that we are coming into a deeper
maturity. Thanks Doug
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Fri 10 Jun 2011, 11:57 am

WHY IS HEAVEN SILENT?*
*Part two of two*
*by John D. LaVier*

*

After the close of the Acts period we find a great man of God sitting in
the Roman prison, but no angel comes to liberate him. An age of silence
has begun. A silent God. A silent heaven. This silence has already
lasted two millenniums. The nations rage and we see war, sin suffering
and sorrow on every hand. The people of God oft suffer at the hands of
their enemies, and we see the ever-increasing and God-defying masses
sinning and sinning and sinning. And yet in the midst of it all, God
remains silent.

When God turned away from Israel, that nation through which His earthly
purposes are to be realized, He then and there with- drew from this
earthly scene. C.H.M. wrote "So long as there was any ground of hope in
connection with Israel, the heavenly mystery was held back; but when
earth had been abandoned and Israel set aside, the apostle of the
Gentiles, from his prison at Rome, writes to the Church, and opens out
all the glorious privileges connected with its place in the heavens."
God has for a season abandoned earth but we are here as His ambassadors
in enemy land and we are asked to walk by faith and not by sight. God is
allowing man's day to run its course and is permitting the full
development of the mystery of lawlessness. The mystery of iniquity is
working. Soon the whole will be leavened. Man's day will be replaced by
the Lord's Day. Then...

*
*THE SILENCE TO BE BROKEN*
*

This is promised everywhere in Scripture. The psalmist declared: "Our
God shall come, and shall not keep silence!" Just as the silence of the
400 years was broken by His first coming, so the present silence will be
broken by His second coming. But before He manifests Himself to the
world, He will manifest Himself to His own. This is the bright and
blessed hope of the Church, the rapture, and it will be the opening rift
in the silent heavens. After the Body of Christ has been removed from
the scene God will begin to deal again with Israel and the nations. The
silence will be broken and God will speak again, not then in grace, but
in wrath. The heavens will be opened, not to pour out blessing, but
disaster. The judgments of the Apocalypse will be visited upon the
world, when the seals will be broken, the judgment trumpets sounded, and
the vials of God's wrath poured out.

Finally, the heavens will be fully opened and the blessed Lord Jesus
Christ will return. The Apostle John saw Him as the rider on a white
horse, followed by the heavenly armies, and He wrote: "He hath on his
vestura and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF
LORDS." The silence will be broken. The King will return and have His
rightful place upon the throne, with all beneath His feet. Every eye
shall see Him and the earth will be filled with His glory. And never
again will their be silence for the lines of communication will always
be open between heaven and earth, both as to the millennial earth and on
into the new earth.
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 1:04 pm

WHY IS HEAVEN SILENT?*
*Part One of Two*
*by John D. LaVier*
*
After the tragic event of September 11th a few years ago, we often hear
the question "Where Was God?" or "Why did God allow this to happen?" The
believer knows that God is still on His
eternal throne, that He is sovereign, and nothing happens apart from His
direct or permissive will, but for a season He has with-drawn from this
earthly scene. He does indeed work on behalf
of His own, and otherwise as well, but He acts covertly and His action
seen only with the eye of faith. Bloody wars take place among the
nations, thousands perish from famine, flood, earth- quake and storm,
but no voice or action is heard from above. In one of Sir Robert
Anderson's books the opening words are: "A silent heaven is the greatest
mystery of our existence."
What is the answer to this mystery? For two thousand years the heavens
have been silent and this is strange when we compare it with Old
Testament times. God was then dealing with the Hebrew nation and they
saw marvelous displays of His person and power. He brought them out of
slavery, making a path through the sea, and for forty years He fed them
and led them and brought them into the land of promise with mighty
victories over all their foes. Isaiah saw the Lord; Daniel fell at His
feet; angels walked to and fro in the land; God fought for His people;
heaven was not silent.
When Israel is enjoying the favor of God the heavens are open, but when
Israel is in disfavor with God the heavens are silent. Between the two
testaments, when Israel was being judged for their sins, there was a
period of time which is often referred to as "the four hundred silent
years." God spoke His last word through Malachi and then 400 years of
silence. This silence was finally broken by the appearance of the angel
Gabriel to Zacharias announcing the birth of John the Baptist. Then
Gabriel spoke to Mary, telling her of that Holy One which should be born
of her, even the Son of God. Later the angel of the Lord appeared to the
shepherds announcing the birth of the Christ-child and from the opened
heavens they heard the heavenly host praising God.
Heaven was not silent during the earthly ministry of Christ when He was
presenting Himself to Israel as their Messiah nor was heaven silent
after His resurrection and on into the Acts period, when Israel was
given opportunity to repent. There were miracles, wonders, signs,
angelic visitation, jail deliverances, sudden judgments, etc. The
heavens were not silent. However, Acts 28:28 marks a great change.
Israel no longer stands as a nation before God. They are set aside for a
reason and a season. The reason was their rejection of Christ both in
His incarnation and in His resurrection. The season is this present
dispensation of the mystery.


Last edited by Admin on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 1:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : oops I omitted to copy to paste here the Title.)
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 12:56 pm

FROM MILK TO MEAT~*
*By M.Stanford*
*

"By people who live on milk I mean those who are imperfectly acquainted
with the teaching concerning righteousness. Such persons are mere babes"
(Heb. 5:13, Wey.).

Promises and blessings have mainly to do with the milk of the Word. In
order for a believer to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord
Jesus, he must fellowship with Him in the Word. There is general Bible
study, and there is feeding upon the Lord Jesus in the Word of life. The
former serves for foundation, the latter is needed for growth.

"People may receive 'blessings' and temporary 'deliverances' in answer
to prayer, for God is merciful to His children and His Spirit refreshes
and blesses us even apart from the real walk of faith. But it is of
greater benefit finally to us, and much greater glory to God, if we
simply accept His Word and learn to walk in the power of it by naked
faith; which asks no longer certain ecstasies, but being sure of God's
truth because it is His truth, maintains an attitude of faith therein;
attitude --- a fixed heart.

"Faith, when once we see the truth, consists of a believing attitude of
the will toward God. This involves a negative attitude toward all doubt
of His promises or anything that would raise a doubt; and it also
involves a continued refusal to rest upon appearances or feelings, even
though these may come in great abundance. It is God's written Word that
supplies strength to the heart of faith." - W.R.N.

"It is an easy thing to set sail and get fairly out into the ocean; but
when many days have passed and no land is in sight, one is apt to weary.
If the heart is not fully occupied with the Lord in the Word, something
is taken on board to fill up the void."

"Nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine" (1 Tim. 4:6).
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 12:53 pm

*Distressing Times *
*by Steve McVey *
*
I remember a few years ago standing on the border at the DMZ between
South and North Korea. At the time, it was said that the most tense
environment on the planet was that very spot. Signs warned us to stay in
our car because landmines were sprinkled all along the side of the road
driving toward the border. Soldiers stood there on the borderline at
rapt attention, staring each other down with hatred in their eyes.
In some ways, I feel like the whole globe senses that kind of tension
these days. The antagonism that exists between nations of the world and
the growing ability for global destruction through nuclear power looms
over us. The worldwide economic crisis has already impacted almost every
one of us. Chances are very likely that if you aren't losing your job or
your house, you know somebody who is. I don't remember a period in my
lifetime when the world seemed more volatile. If you are confident about
what the world will look like in five years, you're way out ahead of me
because I can't begin to imagine.
What is the answer during these distressing times? It all comes back
down to the foundational truth in the first four words of the Bible. "In
the beginning God" says Genesis 1:1. The word "God" in the verse is the
Hebrew name Elohiym. The word is plural and means, "rulers, judges,
divine ones." The word points to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
During these difficult days, remember that there is an Eternal Godhead
who has joined Himself to us to guide us through the challenging affairs
of this world. All of my life I've heard preachers tell how things would
get worse before the end and now that things are getting much worse,
many of these same Christians act horrified by world events, as if they
can't understand what is happening or why it is happening.
The answer is clear: It is happening because our Sovereign God is
working out all things to complete His unfolding plan for the ages.
There is a God who oversees every detail of this world. Things don't
randomly happen. The same God who was "in the beginning" is the
Ever-Present Ruler of all things even now. He is the Alpha (the
beginning) and the Omega (the end) and everything in between.
It's normal to feel pain and express grief in distressing times, but in
the midst of our feelings we can hold onto our God by faith. Not only
does He have global events under control, but He also has the details of
your life under control. Your job; your mortgage; your retirement
account; your health; your future is all in His control. So trust Him
even though you can't see what's ahead.
In the beginning, God. In the end, God. In the meantime, God. If our God
is loving as we have always professed Him to be (and He is) and if He is
all-powerful as we have always professed Him to be (and He is), then we
can cling to Him now, knowing that whatever might happen in our world,
our country, our family, or our individual life is okay. Not a sparrow
falls to the ground without His supervision. So you can be sure that you
have nothing to fear.
Feelings rise and fall, based on external stimuli. Faith remains
steadfast, based on the eternal goodness of power of the One who holds
us in His hand. So, when you're scared, look to Him. When you're
confused, look to Him. When life makes no sense and you don't know what
to do, look to Him. He will see us through.

*"KNOWN UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WAYS" *
*He knows from the beginning! *
*He moves forward to a purposed point and a glorious goal.*
* Man often fails to finish what he begins,*
* but God never begins what He does not finish.
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 11:59 am

DIRECTED PRAYER~*
*By M. Stanford*
*
"Be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Eph.
5:17).
Prayer to God must come from God. There can, be no prayer in the full
assurance of faith apart from the known will of God in the matter. "The
God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will"
(Acts 2 2:14).
"I do not think that a petition that misses the mind of God will ever be
answered (1 John 5:14). Personally, I feel the need of trusting Him to
lead me in prayer as well as in other matters. I find it well to preface
prayer not only by meditation but by the definite request that I may be
directed into the channels of prayer to which the Holy Spirit is
beckoning me (Rom. 8:26, 27)." - J.O.F.
"When we once have the deep, calm assurance of His will in the matter,
we put in our claim, just as a child before his father. A simple request
and nothing more. No crying, no beseeching, no wrestling. No second
asking, either." - J.O.F.
"The Lord may see it needful, for the trial (development) of faith, to
seem for a season not to regard out supplications; yet, if we patiently
and believingly continue to wait upon Him, it will be manifest in His
own time, and way, that we did not call upon Him in vain." - G.M.
"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him" (Ps.
62:5).
*THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK*
**What are you passing through at present?
*
*Are you been persecuted?
Call unto God!
He is ready to answer you.
He has done it in past,
and He can still do it again.
Rely on Him,
and He will give you rest from all your troubles.*
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Sun 05 Jun 2011, 1:14 pm

*
*GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY AND PRAYER *
*By Pastor Paul Hume*
*
Scripture Reading: Rom. 8:26~27; Phil. 4:6-7; I Jn. 5:14- 15

"Prayer changes things." You have heard this motto all your life
perhaps. Does it? You reply, "Why, of course, I've seen prayer change
things." Indeed, prayer does change things, but it doesn't always
-----even when asked according to the Word of God and in much earnest
sincerity. Why? Because God is sovereign, and He answers prayer
"according to His will"

"The possibilities and necessity of prayer, its power and results, are
manifested in arresting and changing the purposes of God and in
relieving the stroke of His power." This statement was made years ago in
a periodical called "The Christian Worker." Do you think that your
prayers and mine, or even all the prayers of all the true saints the
world over together can change the purposes of God? Nay! Nay! What God
has purposed, that He will perform! Yet God has purposed that His saints
pray not to change His purposes but to bring His purposes about! In
other words, God moves on His people to pray to the end that certain
things may take place: e.g., the out-break of genuine spiritual revival.
History records several such. Saints prayed and prayed. Finally God sent
the long-awaited "showers of blessing." Saints were refreshed and
sinners were added to Christ by the hundreds. How did it come about?
Through prayer. Yes, but behind that was the sovereign pleasure of God
to send such reviving at that time.

Why pray? We should do so regularly and constantly ("Pray without
ceasing" l Thes. 5:17) in order to be totally dependent upon the Lord
instead of upon ourselves and our maneuverings. We should pray so that
we might be brought to the position of worship (an almost unheard of
thing except for our so-called Sunday morning "Worship Services" which
are really preaching services) and honoring Him who is "God over all,
blessed forever." Again, we should pray because it has been ordained as
one of the means of our growth in God's grace. Prayer is also a means
for the exercising of our faith. Furthermore, prayer has been given so
that we may share with our Father in Heaven those things we have need of
as well as the needs of others. Therefore, pray, pray, and pray!

*

*Dear Lord, I thank You and praise You *
*for Your great grace toward me.*
* May I increasingly know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,*
* through a growing relationship with Him.*
* May I become an instrument of Your grace in the lives of others,*
* all for Your glory and honor, in the Lord Jesus name, Amen.*
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Jun 2011, 3:01 pm

REJOICING IN GOD'S WORD *
*By ROBERT E. HANNA, Pastor *
*
Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 15: 16
The true believer receives God's Word with joy and thanksgiving, knowing
full well that his faithful dedication to the ministry will bring pain
and suffering, ridicule and persecution, Separation from our tormentors
is part and parcel of our walk of faith as we rely upon God to avenge,
Recognition, reception and retention of God's Holy Word brings us
comfort, confidence and conformation, enabling us to constantly function
according to His declared will and purpose.
The Psalmist declared, "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might
not sin against Thee" (Psalm 119: II). Rejoicing in God's Word is an
experience that knows no dispensational boundaries. However, the
circumstances under which Jeremiah expressed his delight were unlike
those in which we find ourselves today. Our apostle enjoins us to "Let
the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in
one body; and be ye thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly
in all wisdom ... " (Colossians 3:15,16a). Our rejoicing is even more
full than that of Jeremiah for we have knowledge of greater truths from
God than had the prophets. Our spiritual blessings transcend those of
any prior saints. To us have been revealed secrets never before made known.
The Apostle Paul has revealed to us "even the mystery which hath been
hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His
saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of
this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of
glory" (Colossians 1:26,27). We have the knowledge of God's holy decrees
in our hearts, as well as "Christ in us"!
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Fri 03 Jun 2011, 6:31 pm

*REVEALED BY THE SPIRIT*
*By RALPH BALOG *
*
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:5
For nearly 2,000 years members of the Body of Christ have received
spiritual insight and blessings by reading the Word of God. The Word of
God was written by the Spirit of God (II Tim. 3:16). So it is the Holy
Spirit, since the time of the apostle Paul, Who reveals truths from His
Word for the Body of Christ. The key word in Eph. 3:5 is NOW.
Paul, however, was confronted "face to face" with the risen and ascended
Lord Jesus Christ in the heavenlies (II Cor. 12: 1-4). From Him, Paul
received the many revelations which became his "epistles" to the
churches of that day and also our direct instructions for today.
Question? If all members of the Body of Christ are indwelt by the same
Holy Spirit of Christ, how is it we have numerous denominations all
claiming to teach the truth? Answer! The Holy Spirit never reveals
anything apart from His holy Word, RIGHTLY DIVIDED, so all denominations
are wrong!
God in II Tim. 2:15 is telling us how we may be approved workmen,
through whom the Spirit can reveal truths to bless us and cause us to
walk worthy of our vocation as ambassadors for Christ.
Let no man deceive you with vain words. The Holy Spirit gives no special
revelations to mankind today. Nor does the Lord Jesus Christ "walk with
you and TALK with you." Sorry, but hymnology is not proper theology. God
speaks only through His Word as we read it and the Spirit applies it to
our heart.
We must read the Word and allow it to saturate our thinking. Then the
Spirit of God has something upon which to act to cause us to become more
and more into the likeness, spiritually, of our blessed Head, the Lord
Jesus Christ.
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 2:30 pm

ON TO PERFECTION OR BACK TO PENTECOST
Part 2 of 2
BY RUSSELL S. MILLER

God wants us to know His Son. And He has given us a great deal of
evidence, proving that His Son can perform that which He has said He
will do, if we would only trust Him:

"That I may know him, and the power of His resurrection, and the
fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death"
(Phil.3:10).

And, in Hebrews, as in all his epistles, his exhortation is rather "on
to perfection" (Heb.6:1), and not back to the Pentecostal "powers of the
world to come" (Heb.6:2) and the so-called great commission. This was
the problem at Corinth with those who were "speaking in an unknown
tongue" (ICor.14:2,4,
13,14,19,27) . Paul exhorts us to maturity in Christ through the
revelation given to him by the glorified Lord Jesus Christ! "And this
will we do, if God permit" (Heb.6:3). In Colossians he exhorts believers
to "mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth", and he
names them-the lusts of the flesh. And to "put off all these; anger,
wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication ... " and to "put on the
new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that
created him" (Col.3:5-14) . "Put off the old man with his deeds" and "put
on" the Lord Jesus Christ.

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are
called in one Body; and be ye thankful.

"Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom".
"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (Col. 3:15-17).

A failure to heed these exhortations only causes many not to see the
transitional element in the Acts of the Apostles. Tongues, signs and
visions have all passed away with their water baptisms, laying on of
hands, miraculous healings and resurrection campaigns. Even the offices
of apostles and prophets have ceased (ICor.13:8) leaving "some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

"For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the
edifying of the Body of Christ:

"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the
Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the
fullness of Christ" (Eph.4:11,12, 13) .

Should this Inspirational be a blessing and encouragement to you, why
not send to a friend, coworker or, to your loved one who maybe defending
the USA the Word of God is so needed in our troubled world. It is our
heart at GRACE AND THE TRUTH and mission to reach as many people as we
possibly can TO SHARE with them the Word of God and all that the Lord
Jesus Christ has done for members of the body of Christ.
*
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Wed 01 Jun 2011, 12:58 pm

*ON TO PERFECTION OR BACK TO PENTECOST *
*Part 1 of 2*
*BY RUSSELL S. MILLER *
*
Paul, in all his epistles, always exhorts the saints to "edification" . In
Romans, the Corinthian epistles especially, even in the Acts of the
Apostles "the churches [had] rest ... and were edified" (9:31); at
Thessalonica, in his prison epistles, and his letters to Timothy, he
affirms that believers should "exercise [themselves] rather unto
godliness" (ITim.4:7). His insistence that saints are to be built up in
the faith, edified, and established in sound doc-trine and practice is
profound.
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried
about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph.4:14).
He insists that his gospel, message, and ministry, is to be made known
far and wide, and was made known throughout the whole world:
"For I would not, brethren, THAT YE SHOULD BE IGNORANT OF THIS MYSTERY,
lest ye should be wise in your own conceits ... " (Rom.ll:25).
"... we speak wisdom among them that are perfect ... ", are the words of
his first epistle to the Corinthians, "yet not the wisdom of this world,
nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
"But we speak the wisdom of God in a Mystery, even the hidden wisdom,
which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the
princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have
crucified the Lord of glory" (ICor.2:6,7, 8) .
Here the exhortation is not merely doctrinal, but an exhortation to
practical
Christian living also, and to "perfection" or maturity in the most holy
faith. He
reminded the Corinthians that "the Lord of glory" was "crucified" on
their behalf, "that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the
Scriptures", even as "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (5:7).
This behooves me, it behooves us all, to walk worthy of Him "the Lord
from heaven", who loved us so.
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful
in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col.1:10).
"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet
the inward man is renewed day by day" (IICor.4:16) .
"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we
have known Christ after the flesh, YET NOW HENCEFORTH KNOW WE HIM NO
MORE" (IICor.5:16) .
This is why we follow the heavenly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ as
revealed in the epistles of Saint Paul. As the Apostle said so often,
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (ICor.4:16; 11:1;
Phil.3:17; IThes.1:6). There is much indeed that was "written aforetime
... for our learning" yet the Apostle of grace "beseeches" us to follow
the heavenly ministry of Christ as revealed through him. We are not
exhorted to follow the Commission of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, as
Great as it was, because God has something far greater today. Paul was "
... called by His grace, To reveal His Son in me ... " are the Apostle's
exact words in Galatians 1:15,16. As great and glorious as His
~Millennial Kingdom shall be, yet The Lord Jesus Christ, in the
"exceeding glory" of His grace (IICor. 3:10), is revealed in Paul's
epistles.
"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me
is not after man."
"For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the
revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal.1:11).
"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the Mystery, which
from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all
things by Jesus Christ" (Eph.3:9).
**
*GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET*
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Tue 31 May 2011, 1:38 pm

*Sufficiency of Christ*
*Part 3 of 3*
*By Gregg Bing*

There are many today who believe that while circumcision was necessary
for salvation back in Paul's time, that today this has been replaced by
the rite of water baptism. Paul refutes this idea in verse 12, as he
describes how we are "buried with Him (Christ) in baptism" and "raised
with Him through faith in the working of God." Just as the circumcision
of verse 11 was spiritual, so the baptism of verse 12 is spiritual as
well. It is not accomplished by men's hands, but by "the working of
God," specifically the baptism of the Holy Spirit that places us in
Christ when we believe in Him as Savior (1 Cor. 12:13).
Having been identified "with Christ" in His death, burial and
resurrection, we are "made alive together with Him," and forgiven of all
our sins and trespasses, something the law could not do (Rom. 8:2a).
This is why, when Christ came and paid the penalty for our sins, He
freed us "from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2b). He "wiped out the
handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to
us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross"
(Col. 2:14). The requirements of the Law were "wiped out" or obliterated
completely; they were "taken out of the way," permanently; they were
"nailed to the cross," in finality. Christ was triumphant, not only over
the Law, but over all principalities and powers, including those of
Satan (Heb. 2:14).
The conclusion of all this, as Paul says, is: "Let no one judge you in
food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths"
(Col. 2:16). All of these things are parts of the Mosaic Law, and while
they served a purpose when Israel was under the Law, they are not
imposed by God upon men today. The Law, with all its commandments,
judgments, and ordinances, was only "a shadow of things to come;" the
"substance," the "body", the "reality" of what the Law only pictured, is
provided in Christ. The writer to the Hebrews put it this way:
"For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the
very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which
they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect."
(Heb. 10:1)
Perfection and completeness of what the Law merely pictured is found in
Christ and His once for all offering for our sins (Heb. 10:14). Now that
Christ has come and completed the work of redemption, there is no longer
a need for the Law. Now that we have the substance, why would we
continue to cling to the shadow? But that is exactly what we still hear
being preached and taught today—that men must "do" something; that they
must adhere to some type of legal or religious system in order to please
God and be saved. Beware of such false teaching, teaching which is not
found in God's Word, but in the philosophies and traditions of men.
Let us, instead, rest and rejoice in the fact that salvation is by grace
through faith (Eph. 2:8-9); that Christ and His finished work of
redemption is sufficient to "save to the uttermost those who come to God
through Him" (Heb. 7:25).

*THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK*
*Affliction comes to the believer not to make him sad,*
*but sober; not to make him sorry, but wise. *
*Even as the plow enriches the field so *
*that the seed is multiplied a thousandfold, *
*so affliction should magnify our joy and *
*increase our spiritual harvest.*
*-- Henry Ward Beecher
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Mon 30 May 2011, 2:03 pm

*Sufficiency of Christ*
*Part 2 of 3*
*By Gregg Bing*
*
When the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world, the majority of the Jews
were offended at Him and His teaching. He exposed their sin (John
15:22), and in response, they rejected and crucified the One who came to
be their Savior; the One who came "to seek and to save that which was
lost" (Luke 19:10). Thus, Jesus Christ, God's only Son, shed His own
precious blood as a sacrifice and payment for the sins of the whole
world. Through the "offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,"
the sins of all men could not just be covered, but taken away completely
(Heb. 10:5-14). The Lord Jesus Christ, thus, became "the end of the law
for righteousness to everyone who believes" (Rom. 10:4).
Nevertheless, many today are just like the Jews of Paul's day, seeking
to become righteous and pleasing in God's sight through their own good
works. This is exactly what Satan wants men to think; it is "the lie"
that blinds men to the truth of the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4) and keeps them
from trusting in Christ as Savior.
Paul warns of this false teaching of legalism in Colossians, chapter 2.
He begins by warning of those whom Satan uses to deceive men using
"persuasive words" (Col. 2:4). There are many eloquent speakers who
present themselves as servants of God, but who are actually ministers of
Satan (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Though they have a "form of godliness," they
"deny the power thereof" (2 Tim. 3:5). Paul admonishes believers not to
be carried away with "philosophy and empty deceit," with the "tradition
of men," and with the "rudiments (basic principles) of the world;"
things which are not "according to (in accordance with) Christ" (Col.
2:8). The ideas, traditions, and teachings of men must always be tested
against the truth of Christ, truth which is found in God's Word. This
wonderful truth is summarized in these two central verses:
"For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are
complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." (Col.
2:9-10)
Because He is very God who was "made flesh and dwelt among us," Christ's
finished work on Calvary is sufficient to make us "complete in Him."
When we trust in Christ as Savior, believing He died for our sins and
rose again (1 Cor. 15:3-4), we have complete salvation, complete
forgiveness of our sins. The word "complete" literally means "filled
full" so that nothing needs to be added.
In Paul's letter to the Colossians, he responded to the false teachers
who contended there were things that must be added to Christ before a
person could be saved.
"In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without
hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the
circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also
were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him
from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the
uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him,
having forgiven you all trespasses." (Col. 2:11-13)
The Judaizers insisted that men must be physically circumcised to be
saved; Paul declares that in Christ we are circumcised with "the
circumcision made without hands." This spiritual circumcision is more
than just cutting off the flesh; it results in "putting of the body of
the sins of the flesh," freeing us from slavery to the flesh, our old
sin nature.
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Sun 29 May 2011, 1:33 pm

In our last issue we examined the superiority of the person of Jesus
Christ, looking at Paul's warning to the Colossians about false teachers
who denied the deity of Christ. These false teachers also denied the
sufficiency of Christ's finished work of redemption, insisting that
righteousness must be attained by keeping the Law, a teaching commonly
referred to as legalism.
*
*Sufficiency of Christ*
*Part 1 of 3*
*By Gregg Bing*
*
Legalism is not related specifically to the Mosaic Law; legalism is
simply man trying to deal with his sins and obtain the favor of God
through the works of his own hands, something that began, not with the
Mosaic Law, but in the Garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God,
"the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were
naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings"
(Gen. 3:7). They became conscious of their sin and were filled with
shame and guilt, so Adam and Eve, working with their own hands, sewed
fig leaves together to cover their nakedness and shame. However, when
they "heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool
of the day," their guilt remained, so they "hid themselves from the
presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden" (Gen. 3:8). God
Himself provided a proper covering for their nakedness and sin, using
tunics of skin to clothe them (Gen. 3:21), demonstrating that sins can
only be dealt with through the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22).
Later, Adam and Eve's children, Cain and Abel, brought offerings to the
Lord for their sins. Abel, a shepherd, brought of the firstborn of his
flock; Cain, a farmer, brought of the fruit of the ground. God respected
Abel's offering because he offered it by faith, hearing God's command to
offer a blood sacrifice and obeying. Cain heard the same command, but he
chose, instead, to offer the work of his own hands which he took from
the ground (both of which were cursed because of sin), an offering which
could never please God (Rom. 8:8).
God, who is holy and righteous, required that mankind's sins must be
paid for through the blood of an innocent, sinless sacrifice, a
sacrifice that God would supply through His own Son. God chose to bring
His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world through the nation of Israel. In
order to preserve His purpose through Israel, God placed them under the
Mosaic Law. The Law was to serve as a tutor, a strict schoolmaster to
discipline and correct Israel, to keep them holy until Christ was born
(Gal. 3:24-25).
The Law was not given to save Israel from their sins. It is evident that
"no one is justified by the law in the sight of God," for "the just
shall live by faith," and "the law is not of faith" but of works (Gal.
3:11-12). The Law was given "that every mouth may be stopped, and all
the world may become guilty before God," for "by the law is the
knowledge of sin" (Rom. 3:19-20). This is why God made provision in the
Law to atone for (cover) the people's sins through the tabernacle, the
priesthood, and the various sacrifices.
The Law declared the holy and righteous standard of God, a standard
which all fall short of (Rom. 3:23). The problem is not with the Law;
the Law is "holy and just and good" (Rom. 7:12). The Law could not make
anyone righteous because of the weakness of the flesh (Rom. 8:2), "for
as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is
written, Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which
are written in the book of the law, to do them" (Gal. 3:10). No one
could keep all the Law perfectly, thus, all were concluded to be "under
sin" (Gal. 3:21-22). Even the Law's provision for sin was insufficient.
The animal sacrifices, which were offered continually year after year,
could never "make those who approach perfect" (Heb. 10:1). It was simply
"not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins"
(Heb. 10:4). All these sacrifices could do was atone for, or cover, the
people's sins each year.
The Jews of that first century never understood the real purpose of the
Law. They assumed the Law was a means of making them righteous in God's
eyes. Paul described their futile efforts in Romans 10:1-4.
"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they
may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but
not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God's
righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have
not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the
law for righteousness to everyone who believes." (Rom. 10:1-4)
These verses give us a good definition of legalism: "Seeking to
establish their own righteousness, " or, literally, "Seeking to establish
a righteousness of themselves." The Pharisees believed they were
"blameless" concerning "the righteousness which is in the law" (Phil.
3:6), and this is what they taught the people. The majority of these
Jews were depending on their own religious works to save them, just like
Cain.
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Sat 28 May 2011, 4:16 pm

Superiority of Christ*
*By Gregg Bing*
*In Him All Things Created*
*
Jesus Christ is the One by (in) whom "all things were created that are
in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones
or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created
through Him and for Him" (Col. 1:16-17a). The word "all" means exactly
that. Because He is God, everything that was created was created by (in)
Christ. Who else but God has the wisdom and power to do so? John said of
Him, "All things were made through Him, and without (apart from) Him
nothing was made that was made" (John 1:3). These verses are devastating
to the blasphemous idea that Christ Himself was a created being. That is
why the Jehovah's Witnesses, in their perversion of the Scriptures, add
an extra word to Colossians 1:16 so that it reads: "For by him all
[other] things were created." The word "other" is not found in any Greek
text. Christ is "the Firstborn over all creation" because all things
were created in Him (sphere), through Him (agency) and for Him (purpose).
*
*He is Before All Things*
*
Jesus Christ is "before all things" (Col. 1:17b). Being the eternal
Word, Christ is before all things as to time. In the beginning, when the
universe came into being, Christ already existed (John 1:1-2). Being
Almighty God, the Creator of all things, and thus the "Firstborn,"
Christ is before all things as to position and authority.
*
*In Him All Things Consist*
*
Not only did Jesus Christ create all things, bringing them into
existence out of nothing, He is also the One by (in) whom "all things
consist (hold together)" (Col. 1:17c). Hebrews 1:3 says that Christ,
"being the brightness of God's glory and the express image of His
person" upholds "all things by the word of His power."
*
*Head of the Body, the Church*
*
Just as Jesus Christ is over all the created universe, He is over the
new creation as well, being "the Head of the Body, the Church (Col.
1:18a). After His death on Calvary, God raised Christ from the dead,
exalted Him to His own right hand, "far above" all authority and rule
and every name that is named, and gave Him to be "the Head over all
things to the Church" (Eph. 1:21-23).
*
*He is the Beginning*
*
Jesus Christ is Head over the Church, because "He is the beginning"
(Col. 1:18b). The word "beginning" is from the Greek word "arche" which
speaks of that which holds the highest position. For example, Michael is
called the archangel. "Beginning" carries the ideas of both originator
and ruler. Christ says of Himself: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the
Beginning and the End" (Rev. 1:8). He is the beginning of life, not just
physical life, but spiritual life as well, for "in Him was life" (John 1:4).
*
*Firstborn From the Dead*
*
Jesus Christ is not only the "firstborn over all creation," "He is the
firstborn from the dead" (Col. 1:18c). Jesus was not the first man to be
raised from the dead, but He is the first to be raised unto eternal
life, never to die again. Christ's resurrection ensures resurrection and
eternal life to all who will trust in Him as Savior. Paul assures us of
this truth from the negative standpoint in 1 Corinthians 15:17-18: "And
if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your
sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished;"
Then from a positive standpoint in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23: "But now
Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those
who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came
the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ
all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the
firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming." Christ is,
therefore, both "the Author and Finisher of our faith," having endured
the cross for our sins and being raised from the dead (Heb. 12:2). He is
our risen and glorious Savior and Head.
*
*That He May Be Preeminent*
*
Jesus Christ, simply because of who He is, is to "have the preeminence
(first place)" in all things (Col. 1:18d), for He truly is superior to
all things. He is the eternal God; He is the Creator and Sustainer of
all things; He is the Firstborn from the dead; He is the Alpha and
Omega; He is the Head over all things to the Church, His Body. "In Him
dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" and, because of this
fact, those who trust in Christ as Savior are "complete in Him" (Col.
2:9-10). How important it is to acknowledge the superiority of our Lord
and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to give Him the preeminence in our hearts
and lives.
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Fri 27 May 2011, 1:56 pm

Superiority of Christ
By Gregg Bing
*
*Paul's letter to the Colossians was written to correct false teaching
which was prevalent in his day and which continues to lead people away
from the truth even today. The Colossians were being exposed to a
combination of ideas from gnosticism, legalism, and asceticism. These
false teachers denied basic truths about Jesus Christ which are critical
to our salvation. For instance, they denied the superiority of Jesus
Christ, refusing to acknowledge His deity and relegating Him to the
position of a created being. Paul addresses this issue in the opening
chapter of Colossians.
*
*Image of the Invisible God*
*
Jesus Christ is declared to be "the image of the invisible God" (Col.
1:15a). The word "image" is translated from the Greek word "eikon" from
which we get our English word "icon." It is used of an image, a figure,
or a likeness. Jesus Christ, however, is not just "like" God or
"similar" to God, He is an exact representation or manifestation of God.
John refers to Him as the eternal "Word" (Greek "logos") who, in the
beginning, existed "with God" and who existed "God" (John 1:1-2). This
Word then became flesh and dwelt among us, allowing us to behold the
glory of God (John 1:14). Jesus Christ, in His incarnation, "declared
God" to men enabling them to see the invisible God (John 1:18). This is
what Jesus meant when He said to His disciples, "He who has seen Me has
seen the Father" (John 14:9). The writer of the book of Hebrews
described Jesus as "the express image of His (God's) person" (Heb. 1:3),
an exact reproduction of the person, substance, essence, and being of God.
*
*Firstborn Over All Creation*
*
Jesus Christ is described as "the firstborn over all creation" (Col.
1:15b). Cults such as the Jehovah's Witnesses use this statement to try
and prove the inferiority of Jesus Christ to God the Father. They claim
this statement implies that Christ was the first creation of God. A
careful analysis of this passage, in its context, shows that these
assumptions are absolutely false.
The word "firstborn" is not the same as the idea of "first created."
What does "firstborn" mean? The underlying Greek word is "prototokos"
which literally means "first born," and is found eight times in the New
Testament. It is used three times for a firstborn son in a family: two
times of Jesus as the firstborn of Mary and once of the firstborn sons
killed in Egypt at the first Passover. The other five times "firstborn"
is used, they speak of Christ, but with a different emphasis.
In Hebrew culture, the firstborn son was in a position of prominence
over the children who were born after him and was given special
privileges as his birthright. These privileges included a double portion
of the inheritance, spiritual headship over the family, and the father's
blessing which officially recognized the firstborn's position and
authority over the rest of the children. However, firstborn privileges
were not always given to the physically firstborn son. Jacob was chosen
of God over his older brother, Esau, to have both the birthright and the
blessing of his father, Isaac. God would later say of Jacob (whose name
was changed to Israel), "Israel is My son, My firstborn" (Exo. 4:22).
Similarly, Ephraim was blessed above his brother, Manasseh. Though
Manasseh was Joseph's oldest son, God referred to Ephraim as "My
firstborn" (Jer. 31:9). In the 89th Psalm, God speaks of anointing "My
servant David" (verse 20) and making him "My firstborn, the highest of
the kings of the earth" (verse 27). Though David was the youngest of
Jesse's sons, God made David the firstborn giving him the authority and
privileges of this position. While this passage does refer to David, the
son of Jesse, it also seems to point beyond him to the greater Son of
David, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, as God's Firstborn, will one day
reign as King over all the earth (Psalm 89:27-29).
When Christ is called "the firstborn over all creation" it does not have
anything to do with Him being born of or created by God the Father. It
simply means that He holds the position of authority and blessing over
all created things. Why does He hold this prominence over all creation?
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Re: GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET~OUR ASSURANCES UNDER GRACE

Post  Admin on Thu 26 May 2011, 5:12 pm

*"And So Shall We Ever Be With The Lord"*
*CONCLUSION*
*By Keith Blades*
*

We are not only "absent from the Lord" location-wise, but we also sense
this issue of being "absent from" Him in our present relationship with
Him. Even though by the Holy Spirit we are "one body in Christ" and we
have been placed into living-union- relationship with Him as the head of
His body, we do not fully sense this right now. For our present "earthly
house of this tabernacle" does not allow for us to sense the Lord's full
pervading presence as the head of His body. It does not have that
capacity. Hence we do not sense that we are 'with the Lord' in our
present bodies. Rather our sensed situation, and our real situation, is
that "whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord."

But neither our sensed nor our real situation will be that of being
"absent from the Lord" when our bodies are redeemed and we are clothed
with our "building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens." In that day our redeemed bodies will provide for the Lord's
full pervading presence as the head of His body to be fully sensed and
enjoyed by us. No more, and never more, will we think of ourselves as
being "absent from the Lord." Instead we will fully and constantly know
that we are "with the Lord" regardless of location.

*
*The Ingenuity of The Body of Christ*
*

So then it is the combination of our new and special
living-union- relationship with the Lord as the head of His body,
together with our redeemed/changed bodies, that will provide us with the
capacity to "ever be with the Lord" from the time of the rapture on,
even though we will be residing "in the heavens." From the rapture on
the perfection and fullness of Christ's pervading presence will be fully
known by us, fully sensed by us, fully experienced by us, and fully
enjoyed by us in our glorified bodies. With the result that our location
in the heavenly places will not be an obstacle or an hindrance
whatsoever to the reality of us "ever being with the Lord." In fact we
will be "with the Lord" to the exact same degree, and with the exact
same sensing of His presence, as if we were residing on the earth with Him.

Wherefore God's genius in designing and creating "the body of Christ" is
indeed marvelous, to say the least. For it not only provides for Him to
have a "new creature" for the reconciliation of the heavenly places, but
it also provides for Him to have it so that the members of His "new
creature" possess a living-union- relationship with Him that is
equivalent to the very nature of the relationship that exists between
the members of the Godhead themselves. A relationship in which the
physical location of the members relative to one another, or their
distance one from another at any time, makes no difference whatsoever.
Instead by nature they are always 'with one another. '

Therefore with us possessing this same nature of relationship with the
Lord in "the body of Christ," and with us possessing its perfection and
fullness at the time of the rapture, Paul logically concludes our
edification on the details of the rapture by saying, "and so shall we
ever be with the Lord." For indeed this will be true of us, even though
we will be residing in the heavenly places. - K.R. Blades

*
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