Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's All Yea

2 Corinthians 1:19 KJV
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.

The more a person discovers about the world of Academia the more a person sees that their whole system is built upon "yea and nay."

They have fed the public a line for years that everything that is has evolved. It is such a standard of Academia that a person is considered uneducated who does not accept it as fact. But they do not tell you that, even among evolutionary scientists there is no agreement as to how evolution happened; only that it must have happened.

Now I am reading that the common scholarship that says that man began in the Mesopotamian valley has been upset by research only done since after WWII and accessed by American scholars only after the fall of the Iron Curtain, indicating that there were larger groups of civilization in the area of Romania much earlier than along the Tigris and Euphrates. Of course this scholarship has intrigued some, been dismissed by others, but the one thing they all agree on is that the Bible is no authority in such matters.

Truly science is ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
  • I am glad the Apostle said God's Word is not "yea and nay" but "in Him, yea."
  • I am glad I possess a sure word of prophecy.
  • I am glad that when I open my Bible I have verity in my hands.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Whom I Love I Rebuke

1 Corinthians 16:7 KJV
For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.

Though the Apostle had corrected a number of errors in this letter, still his desire was to tarry a while with them. His tenor in this chapter is such that he is completely confident in his relationship with them, though in Second Corinthians he confesses to having had doubts about their reaction to this letter and relief when he learned that they had responded positively.
First, he is still willing to speak of offerings.
He did not view talking about giving as stressful in any manner.

Second he expected that they would place that offering into his authority.
Paul planned to either send one of the Corinthians to Jerusalem with the collection or accompany one of them with the collection. In both scenarios Paul was in authority.

He has no issue at all being vague about his own plans.
He might come, he might not. He might send the representative alone, he might go with him. He might send Timotheus, he might not. He was even willing to tell them that, while he wasn't sure he was going to see them he was sure he was going to Ephesus.

He seems completely comfortable with his relationship to the Corinthians. And he hoped to tarry with them a while. Perhaps to mend any hurts and correct any misunderstandings. Maybe to restore relationships that had been damaged. Probably to oversee and insure that the doctrines he had taught in this letter had taken root. But surely because he loved them and enjoyed being in the company of them. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Man in the Gap

Ezekiel 22:30 KJV
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

For years I have heard this preached pleading for Christians to stand in the gap. But a thought came to me today:
  • Isn't Jesus that man?
  • Doesn't Christ stand between God and the ruin of man?
  • Isn't it true that all, in any history of time, would have found grace through Christ if only they had believed?

And then there is the question, "What about the prophets?" In the text Ezekiel has been transported back in time to before the captivity. In those days there were prophets like Jeremiah and good men like Daniel. But Jeremiah had been commanded not to pray for them.

And here is, I think the key to the passage; not that there was no man at all, but that God's judgment was already determined upon them. It was too late for an intermediary. If they would repent of their own accord there could have been mercy, but it had to have been their of their own. They have, in a fashion, gotten down to Abraham's ten righteous in the city. Abraham had done what he could do. It was of their account to repent now. Like Jonah in Nineveh, the judgment was pronounced. God sent Jonah to preach one more time and in his case, they did repent. Not so Israel.

And so it is in our day. The prayers, the pleading and the preaching of the godly will only extend the grace of God so far. Judgment will come if there isn't personal repentance. Christ stands ready to forgive, but there must be the personal trusting upon him.

May God grant that men and women will be serious concerning sin and turn to Christ. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Childish in Malice

1 Corinthians 14:20 KJV
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

I have often joked about being an over grown kid. I like toys. Etc. And over the years I have known about good number, especially men, who also like to joke about the same.

"The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys."

In chapter thirteen the Apostle said when he became a man he put away childish things. He of course was speaking in the sense of the spiritual and we must not use this Scripture to insist men grow up. But here in the fourteenth chapter he encourages childishness in this one area; in malice be ye children.
  • In hatred
  • In anger
  • In bitterness
  • In jealousy and envy and
  • In the desire to get even
  • In cynicism
  • In skepticism
  • In negativism

In all of these it would be far better to be as a simple and innocent child. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What I Can Do

Ezekiel 18:31 KJV
Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

I know and am sure that it is impossible for a man to make for himself a new heart and a new spirit. To attempt to do so would only amount to surface reformation and not true regeneration. Still the Word of God, especially in the Old Testament, places much of the responsibility of regeneration upon the man.

While I cannot create a new heart and a new spirit, there are things I can do and from them, God does the rest. Ezekiel lists three very similar responses to his preaching, all designed to bring about the new heart and new spirit:

  • Repent
  • Turn
  • Cast away from

When all is said and done we will see that we in fact had nothing to do with our salvation and that it was a work God did from start to finish. But today, and from the perspective of this darkened glass of earthly flesh, I see a response to the Word of God that I am responsible for. When I meet my responsibility, God takes up all the rest. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

An Eminent Place

Ezekiel 16:24 KJV
That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street.

The Hebrew word means an arched building of the sort that was used as a brothel. It is likely they had literal brothels in Jerusalem but the figure is of places of idolatry on every street.

That these places would be ornate and that they would be called eminent and high places reminded me of the tower of Babel. It is the nature of men to make buildings become the focal point of worship and not the Lord. And it is appropriate from the Scriptural sense to view these buildings of worship not only as places of idolatry but as places of prostitution. God often likens idolatry to adultery, fornication and whoredom. It is meant to give us the picture of how vile and wrong false worship is to the Lord.

I fear some have turned the church houses on every American corner into eminent places. God is often not the focus of the assembly but some other form of idolatry. It might be the care of the flock, it might be the maintenance of the building itself, but the point is, they no longer assemble to meet with the Lord.

Would to God we would view our churches as congregations of the redeemed and gather for His sake. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Necessity of Correction

1 Corinthians 11:17 KJV
Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

The Apostle begins this chapter with a word of praise; and it is not his first. I am glad that God finds reason to praise and bless and encourage even the most worldly of His children. But this chapter is far from all praise and the word of God is clear, though we may think we deserve praise, God will not withhold a word of chastening and warning when it is due.

Correction is much more necessary than is lavish praise. For one whose heart longs to be like Jesus, the word that
  • Corrects and
  • Instructs and
  • Tweaks
our life and thought is a blessing from the Lord.

No Christian should want to remain stagnated regardless how long he has been saved. To only hear the message we can affirm we have already heard and know is to never have the blessing of spiritual growth again. Thank God for a preacher who was willing to deal with a situation he could not praise them in. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Even Paul

1 Corinthians 10:33 KJV
Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

This is an absolute impossibility. Even Paul could not possibly have pleased all men all the time in all ways. He in fact did not as is evidenced by his capture imprisonment and eventual execution. So the sentence must not be understood in that manner.

The rest of the verse tells us what the Apostle meant; regardless of the race of a man, and regardless of the issue at hand, the Apostle's purpose was to seek the other's profit that (he changes from all to many) many of them would be saved.

It is not that all men were pleased with him at all times. Rather, he was more interested in their well being than his own so that he might win many of them to Christ. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This Mark To Bear

Ezekiel 9:4 KJV
And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

People may be known for any number of things.
1 Corinthians 8 says that if a man loves God the same is known of him. But here is a mark God purposely placed on people. He commissioned a search for those who sigh and cry concerning the abominations in Jerusalem.

In our day there seems to be very little sighing over sin. It is becoming increasingly popular to view certain sins as a badge of liberty, not only liberty from God, as in the case of the lost but of liberty in Christ, as in the case of many of the newer and more popular Christian teachers. They have found their niche. They have targeted those who grew up in church, claiming to believe in God but rebelling against the preacher who insists upon holiness. The new preacher makes people feel righteous by preaching good doctrine. But then gives people license by emphasizing grace to the point of extreme. They are, in fact, flaunting liberty personally so their followers may practice their own liberty guilt free.

And it looks like a parallel of Ezekiel's vision; religious people rejoicing when the discerning person should have been weeping.

There are always reasons to rejoice. We always have good cause to thank God for his grace in our lives. But every discerning believer must also recognize that these are days for sighing and crying over the sin in our churches, our country: indeed, our world.

Every Christian today, who wants a name with God, ought to bear this mark too: the mark of sighing.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Answer Is Charity

1 Corinthians 8:1 KJV
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

This chapter balances two principles
• That of Christian liberty
• That of standards of separation
on the fulcrum of Christian charity.

This word, which I understand is not found in any classical Greek literature prior to Paul's use right here, is love focused on seeing Christ's body built up.

On the one hand, Christians possess a huge degree of liberty.
Christ has paid for our sins. We have a guarantee of eternal life; nothing can take that from us. So much of what the world judges as either spiritual or unspiritual is mistaken that many have taken to practicing what everyone says is not spiritual just to demonstrate that it has no bearing on one's true relationship with God. We have absolute liberty.

On the other hand there is a real Satan.
Sin is a reality and lost souls do go eternally to hell. Lost souls, though completely misunderstanding our actions, could misunderstand them all the way to hell. Immature Christians could misunderstand them to the degree that, rather than living in dependence upon God, they return to a life of sin.

The answer to the two ends of the spectrum is charity.
• Charity gives place to liberty and judges nothing before the time.
• Charity gives room for each believer to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience but
• Charity also sees the danger of full exercise of liberty and so places personal limits (call them standards) upon himself for the sake of others.

The key is the edification of the church of Jesus Christ. Nothing else really matters.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I just returned from a week of vacation and have posted my daily visits with the Lord this morning. What a joy it is to know that wherever I am, the Lord is with me. I may take a moment away from my duties, but I need never take a moment away from fellowship with the Lord

Little Time

1 Corinthians 7:29 KJV
But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

The overriding principle in the chapter is right here through verse thirty one.

The time is short.

Whatever happens in this life is only a moment in relationship with eternity and eternity is coming more quickly than we imagine. That fact should influence
• Every thought
• Every deed
• Every action

Whether we speak of home life, work life or civil life the spiritual life ought to be the lead consideration. Our faith should never be the addition to life, but needs to be the central theme upon which all other aspects of life revolve.

How the flesh rebels against this. Christ has not come. It feels likely that He will not come in our lifetime so it reasons that our lifetime is the premium. The opposite is the case. A long life here is merely more time to prepare for the life of eternity.

Faith demands we keep focused on the coming of the Saviour.

For the time is short.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why Not?

1 Corinthians 6:7 KJV
Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

This concept is a theme
• We should be willing to suffer wrong for Christ
• We should be willing considering the great gift of justification
• We should be willing because while some things are lawful not all things are expedient

Given the grace of God; given so great salvation, there is no sacrifice too great to give for the sake of Christ's body.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Judge Nothing Before the Time

1 Corinthians 4:5 KJV
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

Jamieson Fausset and Brown say our judgment is necessarily defective. A statement I cannot see how could be argued. Because our judgment is defective there is no real place for us to judge the stewardship of others.

We do have this one thing; to learn the word of God and to obey it according to the dictates of our conscience. What others do is their own business as they will also stand before God except that, insofar as we have searched the Scriptures, we are bound to show those who will see what we have seen.

We must not be angry at those who see differently than we do. But we must show them what we see.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


1 Corinthians 3:7 KJV
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

I come to note the Apostle's, for lack of a better term just now, self depreciation.
In the first chapter he has little regard for whether he has baptized any or not.
That isn't because baptism is unimportant. It certainly is. But whether he has been the one to officiate the ordinance: that is unimportant. In a day when men measure themselves by how many they have baptized, this is truly impressive.

In the second chapter he emphasizes that his preaching was markedly not with wisdom that man teaches.
He did not try to impress them with his rhetorical skills and I am impressed by that. In this day when we gauge preachers for the pulpit skills and have such terms as "pulpiteer" Paul's choice not to be counted among them is noteworthy.

In chapter three Paul says that he has planted and the one who plants is nothing.
He diverts all glory and all honor to God. Many preachers have pointed out that "God's plan is a man." But it has never been God's plan to elevate that man to a position of status: Only to use him as an instrument in the hands of the Lord.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In Matters of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 5:3 KJV
For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

The Apostle, in chapter four, had admonished to judge nothing before its time. He was speaking specifically about spiritual matters. We are not capable of accurately judging another man's stand before the Lord. If a man worships God according to the dictates of his own conscience we are to allow that he will be judged on his own by the Lord.

The matter of chapters five and six is a different one entirely and in this matter the Apostle has already judged. This is the subject of behavior today, of life on this planet. Paul was no Libertarian, allowing that a man should have no rule of law. Rather he urged that even in the church there would be rule and order and discipline of offenses.

When it comes to matters of the Spirit, men have no right to judge another either morally or through government enforcement. But when it has to do with behavior and daily life in society, men not only have the right but the duty to impose and enforce civil law.

Valuable Help

1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Jamison Fausset and Brown have a piece of valuable help, not only for this passage but for a number of places in the New Testament. They suggest that this passage is (obviously) not a direct translation of Isaiah 64:4 but an inspired exposition of the passage.

That makes perfect sense. As one who preaches the Word of God I know I do that sort of thing regularly. I teach the passage. I do not merely read the passage but I give the sense of it. The commentary says, "the exceptive words, 'O God beside thee' are not quoted directly but are virtually expressed in the exposition of them."

Monday, August 15, 2011


1 Corinthians 1:8 KJV
Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The bulk of First Corinthians is a scolding of the error in this church. However, the apostle does not begin by scolding but with genuine praise toward them. These were people that he loved and, despite the error; even despite the challenges they had lodged against him, he loved them and he was thankful for them.

All of us may know people in whom we are disappointed. It may be that we need to take measures to correct certain things in them (provided we are in a position to do so) but it would always be best to begin even the correction with praise and thanksgiving. I mean more than mere words: our hearts must be filled with the praise or the words will mean nothing.

Also, though the Apostle does correct in this epistle, I note that he rests in the confidence that God will do His own work in them. Trusting God releases the stress of results. God knows what He is doing. We can be confident in Him.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Twofold Emphasis

Ezekiel 2:8 KJV
But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.

Ezekiel's ministry was really twofold:
First, he was to be a prophet among the people.
Whether they heard his message or not was really not Ezekiel's concern. His job was to be sure there was a prophet among the people.

Second, and most importantly, Ezekiel was not to rebel as they had done.
As much as any ministry he might have among the people he also had a ministry to himself. He was to eat God's Word that it might come to life within him.

A Christian today would do well to see himself in the light of the same two ministries.
• Speak God's Word to people around him and
• Devour God's Word for personal growth

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Turned For Real

Lamentations 5:21 KJV
Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.

Jeremiah drives at a truth so despised by the majority. He recognizes that no real turning to God happens until God turns us.
• It is the difference between reformation and regeneration
• It is the difference between religion and salvation
• It is the difference between works and faith

Christianity cannot be "I have decided to follow Jesus" or it is mere surface conversion. The work that lasts is the work that God does. When He turns us unto Himself, we are truly and finally turned.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Eye Makes My Affections

Lamentations 3:48-51 KJV
Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission,
Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven.
Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.

The prophet spoke of "mine eye" three times. The first two are references to tears so verse 51 should be understood in that context. He is witnessing such destruction among his people,
• The destruction of the city and nation
• The destruction of such long standing history in the Promised Land
• The destruction of the moral fabric of the people
• The destruction of any faith in the Living God
And as he witnessed this destruction it broke his heart.

But there may be a second application to the phrase in that our hearts are given to the affection of those things we look at. We develop loves for those things we see. I remember the story of a mother who spoke to her pastor broken hearted. She had prayed her son would be a preacher but he grew up instead to be a sailor. The pastor looked at a large painting of a sailing vessel displayed prominently in the living room and learned that it had hung there all her child's life and concluded that was the reason he had grown up to long for the sea. What he had looked at all his life had affected his heart.

I suspect that some would question whether the painting was the culprit or not. Some would say his mother had unfair expectations and that she is wrong to be heartbroken he was doing what he loved. I say his eye affected his heart.

And I say it would always be best to have our eyes on things that have to do with the Lord.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Love and Sorrow

Lamentations 2:11 KJV
Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.

I was impressed with Scofield's simple introduction of this book;
"The touching significance of this book lies in the fact that it is the disclosure of the love and sorrow of Jehovah for the very people who He is chastening--a sorrow wrought by the Spirit in the heart of Jeremiah (Jer_13:17; Mat_23:36; Mat_23:38; Rom_9:1-5). "

What great love is demanded of God to patiently work these thousands of years to bring about his plan for mankind! We are unique to anything else in creation. His design for us is fellowship with Him, which cannot be forced but must be true. Like Joseph's dealing with his brothers; a story that is really tough to understand, so God deals with us until we are finally ready to fellowship with Him in Spirit and in truth.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Romans 12:21 KJV
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

The thought occurs to me;
Evil can overcome us
It is the nature of evil that it overcomes its victims. Its goal, if we were to give it a personality is to overcome its victims.

Evil is persistent in its pursuit
It attacks from many angles and is unceasing in its bombardment.

Evil may be overcome with good
We have our defense and we have our weapon. But as in any battle, much of the victory comes through morale. We must believe we can overcome. We must have confidence in our weaponry.

The battle is in our favor so long as we see good as the powerful force it is against evil.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Never Cast Away

Romans 11:1-2 KJV
I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

As comforting and reassuring as anything I know in the Word of God is that God does not cast away His people.
• It is comforting because as His, I am keenly aware that I could be cast away if it were not for the character of the Lord.
• It is comforting because it is based upon the promise of the Lord and not the worthiness of man.
• It is comforting because it is a universal promise that relates to both the Jews and the Gentiles

God has not and will not cast away His people.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Sooner or Later it Comes Down to Faith

Romans 10:6-7 KJV
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

There is sufficient evidence to prove that Jesus Christ did in fact live and die on a Cross and rise again from the grave.

The evidence in fact is so overwhelming that it should be easier to accept that Christ rose again from the grave than any of the Roman history that is considered general fact. The fact is, most of what we accept as truth about Roman history is based upon a handful of documents that were copies of copies hundreds of years after the originals. There is no way to support their veracity. On the other hand the Bible is supported by thousands of ancient manuscripts which, when laid side by side, demonstrate the veracity of the copies so that we can be sure what they say is accurate.

But be that as it may, no one is ever saved through the evidence. I note that Romans chapter ten speaks of
• The mouth
• The heart
• The ear (though the word is not here but the hearing) and even
• The foot
But does not mention the mind.

Though there is sufficient evidence to satisfy the honest mind, salvation is a step of faith. At some point a person must stop asking questions and just believe.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Why Do We Always Go Back To Works?

Romans 9:32 KJV
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

The Jews sought righteousness but missed it and the Bible says they missed it because they sought it through works of the law and not by faith.

As much as we know that and claim it, we seem to always fight diving back into works.

Sometimes we justify ourselves and, in our desire to see people live godly lives, preach works. Preachers have advocated that the law was still right, just not for salvation. The book of James supports this. The trouble is that there is no righteousness except that righteousness that is Jesus Christ in us. The righteousness of the law is manifested in Christ living through us.

And most of us stumble at this stone. Either we find the Word to be too spiritual and not do-able so we quit or else in a sort of frustration we return to the law as the only fleshly way of working out some sort of righteousness.

I think the problem is we just don't want to believe God is in control. We want to be in charge. Even if we want the control because we believe it is God's will for us to take the control, it is still us in control, attempting to determine the outcome. I think the answer is that we are to surrender our lives and their outcome to the Lord and get up each day to do our work believing He has that charge of our lives.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Delivered and Lifted

Romans 8:14 KJV
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The Scofield Reference Bible gives these notes as chapter divisions in Romans eight:
The Full Result of the Gospel
Romans 8:14-39

1. The believer a son and an heir (Galatians 4:4)
Vs 14-17

2. The creation, delivered from suffering and death, kept for the sons of God (Gen 3:18-19)
Vs 18-25

3. The Spirit an indwelling intercessor (Hebrews 7:25)
Vs 26-27

4. The unfailing purpose of God
Vs 28-33

5. The security of the believer
Vs 35-39

There is perhaps no greater piece of Scripture than is Romans chapter eight. It is certainly the crowning point of the book of Romans. Chapter seven ends with a man who has come to the end of himself "Oh wretched man that I am…" But then he finds a deliverer in Jesus Christ and chapter eight can begin with those words "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus…"

That gospel that delivers us from our own wretchedness then elevates us to sonship, fellowship and absolute security.

Friday, August 05, 2011

This Fight Cannot Be Won

Romans 7:16 KJV
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

Among those who are concerned with good, and I know that may be the smallest number of people, as many in the world may have no other concern than to enjoy the moment to the best of their ability. But among those who have an interest in doing good and improving the state of mankind, there is a struggle; can man be good without God?

I don't think the question is can a person do a good thing. Many people have done good, even heroic things without acknowledging God in it. The question is; can man be good without God? Of those who have done such heroic things, many of them have confessed to not being good and sometimes of not even having good motives for the good they have done.

Paul, as great a Christian as he was, said he did that which he would not. The conclusion of Romans seven is that in the struggle between man's flesh and his spirit, the flesh has the upper hand.

Victory over sin does not come until the victory is won by God. The battle cannot be won in the flesh. It must be surrendered to God for the victory.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Not Servants For Righteousness But To Righteousness

Romans 6:1 KJV
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Scofield's Notes gives the following three keys to the deliverance from the power of sin:
By union with Christ
Vs 1-10

By reckoning ourselves dead to sin and yielding the new life to God
Vs 11-13

By obedience to righteousness.
Vs 14-23

We are no longer servants of the law for righteousness but now being free from the law for salvation, deliverance from the power of sin in the body happens when we become servants, not to the law but to righteousness.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

It Was Their Humanity That Got Them

Jeremiah 38:15 KJV
Then Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare it unto thee, wilt thou not surely put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, wilt thou not hearken unto me?

Jeremiah is one of the more "human" of the prophets.
There was that time when he thought he would quit preaching.

Then, when Babylon moved away because of the Egyptian, Jeremiah saw an opportunity to separate from the midst of the city and was taken prisoner for treason instead. He pled his case, but wasn't heeded.

In prison and now at the beck and call if King Zedekiah, the humanity of the two of them rises close to the surface.
• Zedekiah is seeking the Word of the Lord and
• Jeremiah, though giving that word, is seeking his own release.

Things don't end well for either man and it is most likely that it is their humanity that got them both. So I am not condoning Jeremiah's obvious efforts to save himself. I am pointing out that the prophets were all, at best, men.

But God used them despite it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

That Doesn't Matter

Romans 4:19 KJV
And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:

Abraham considered not his body.
When determining whether he would obey the Lord or not
His body
• Its limitations and its strengths
• Its age or its youth
• Its experience
• Its education
• Its natural abilities
None of them were considered.

God had given a commandment and the only consideration was whether he had understood the command or not.

When choosing to believe God's promise or not
His body was not part of the consideration, and in Abraham's case, neither was the body of his wife who played into the promises God made to him.
• Medical science might have written it off as impossibility
• Human history would seen it as unprecedented
But these things did not matter; the only real consideration was whether this was the promise of God or not.

Abraham believed God and moved forward in faith because he was fully persuaded that what God had promised He was able also to perform.

And that, with no consideration of his body.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Alone Remedy

Romans 3:21 KJV
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Scofield's Bible Notes entitles this section of the Book of Romans; The Alone Remedy. I was very much struck by that title. His notes go on to comment about righteousness.

"The righteousness of God is neither an attribute of God, not the changed character of the believer, but Christ Himself, who fully met in our stead and behalf every demand of the law, and who is, but the act of God called imputation (Lev_25:50); (Jam_2:23); "made unto us . . righteousness" (1Co_1:30).
'The believer in Christ is now, by grace, shrouded under so complete and blessed a righteousness that the law from Mt. Sinai can find neither fault nor diminution therein. This is that which is called the righteousness of God by faith.' -- Bunyan."