Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Humbling Standard

Romans 12:3 KJV
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Albert Barnes contends that this verse teaches us that we ought only measure ourselves by the standard of our faith. To puff ourselves up over such measures as:
·       Wealth
·       Talent
·       Education
·       Social rank
is to use standards that are fickle, subjective and subject to decay. The only measure by which a person ought to judge themselves is that of their faith, their walk with the Lord. It is by this standard and only this one that we will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The value of measuring ourselves by this standard is that it tends to the increase in humility. The Bible says, 1 Peter 5:5-6 KJV
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

The best way to think of ourselves as we ought to think, to think of ourselves in a sober manner and to think of ourselves with humility is to think of ourselves in relationship to our walk with Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:12-13 KJV
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, ….

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

No Urgency With God

Numbers 9:8 KJV
And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.

There was an urgency for these men to get an answer as to what they were to do since they would not be qualified to observe the Passover at its set time.
·       Moses did not presume to have an answer
·       They did not presume to observe the Passover while not qualified
Moses instructed them to stand still; do nothing until he had a message from God.

Some of our favorite preachers have made their mark in pulpit ministry by pressing the issue of urgency. They have done so at times to an extreme, pressing men into Christian service who were not called or trained, who had no message. They have, for the most part, only mimicked what others have said accepting their message as a message from God. We have bred into Christians impatience. We do not take the time to make sure our answer is from God and they would not stand still for us if we wanted to.

We must get back to simple dependence upon God. There is no urgency with Him.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Who Is the Elect?

Romans 11:4-6 KJV
But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

It is obvious to anyone who wishes to see it that the elect spoken of in Romans is a nation. The Jews as a national people are the elect.
·       They were chosen of old to be God's people
·       They were chosen to bear the law and the word of God
·       They were chosen as our examples of God's dealing with men
·       They were chosen to be that nation from which would come the Messiah
They are the elect.

But how can they be the elect if God has set them aside to focus today on His church? The answer is that even today a Jew
·       may be born again through grace
·       may unite with a local Baptist church[1] and
·       may carry on the Gospel message as a New Testament Christian
It is an election of grace and not works. It is not an election that continues in the Old Testament practice but one that advances into the New Testament pattern where there is neither Jew nor Gentile but the church of God.[2]

It may be a small remnant of Jews who will give up the Synagogue for a local church but that remnant is the New Testament elect.

[1] I make no apology – I do not believe there is any other Scriptural church.
[2] 1 Corinthians 10:32

Monday, April 27, 2015

No Excuses

Romans 10:18 KJV
But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

John Gill writes of this; "The Jews heard the Gospel in the times of Isaiah, and other prophets, though they disbelieved the report of it; they heard it from John the Baptist, and were pleased with his ministry for a while; yea, they heard Christ himself preach it, who spake as never man did, with power and authority, as the Scribes did not, and wondered at his gracious words; they heard the apostles of Christ, who for some time were limited in their ministry to them only, and after their commission was enlarged, were ordered to preach first to them; so that they could not say they had not heard it, and they were left entirely inexcusable. The Gentiles also had heard it; the apostles were bid to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature; and at a proper opportunity, they did as the Lord commanded them, and the Gentiles heard the Gospel with joy and pleasure; multitudes were converted everywhere, and churches raised through their ministry, according to the will of God…"

I would add that this leaves all who have gone before without excuse and that it offers no excuse for us to relax in preaching the same gospel to those coming after us.