REPENTANCE, The Missing Note ‚ÄúAnd that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.‚ÄĚ Luke 24:47 You wonder why a commission as vital as repentance is so neglected. We can well expect it to be so among those who have missed the mark altogether, but among those who basically preach the true God and His Gospel it is very difficult to understand how an ingredient of the Gospel, and so imperative to it can be missed. We see the prominence that the preaching of repentance had from the Old Testament prophets to John the Baptist and from John as the forerunner of Christ to Christ Himself. As John came preaching repentance, so Christ continued the sound. The message of Peter as he preached on the day of Pentecost was the message of repentance. Paul in Athens laid the claims of Jehovah, the true God, upon the Greek philosophers and demanded that they repent. Preaching repentance is not something apart from the Gospel, the cry of repentance is in the gospel message. It is that cry in the Gospel that makes the Gospel become good news. The grace of repentance as it effectually works in the heart causes a man to take sides with God against himself and confess that he and his sin is an obnoxious thing to a thrice Holy God. He is made to see that in his nature and practice he is a heinous thing and must repent or perish, turn or burn. I am sincerely afraid that great multitudes of professing Christians are no more than that, ‚ÄúProfessing Christians‚ÄĚ. I am fearful that they have done no more than accepted someone‚Äôs proposition and merely agreed with a ‚Äúsimple plan of salvation,‚ÄĚ that at best can only produce a false hope. In such cases the heart hasn‚Äôt been smitten with conviction of sin, and neither has there been a development of ‚Äúgodly sorrow,‚ÄĚ creating remorse and confession of the heinousness of sin before a Holy God. The modern concept of ‚Äúsoul winning‚ÄĚ has produced an easy-believe type of religion that has only populated the churches with a mass number of poor misguided souls that are ‚Äútwofold more the child of Hell‚ÄĚ than before. The earnest prayer of this pastor is that God will be pleased to pour out upon this religious, but lost world the spirit of grace and supplication. And that those who parade themselves on the ‚ÄúBroadway to destruction,‚ÄĚ blindly convinced that they are in the straight and narrow may be brought into the dust of repentance. As an old minister of long ago said, ‚ÄúThere is no going to the fair haven of glory without sailing through the narrow strait of repentance.‚ÄĚ Woe to the ‚Äúpreacher‚ÄĚ who doesn‚Äôt know and preach repentance and woe to those who profess but have too much pride to repent of sin and wrongs and get things right.
How can one have true assurance of his salvation if he does not see himself justified by the blood of Christ? A proper understanding of justification inevitably leads to Biblical assurance of salvation. Biblical assurance unavoidably bestows peace and confident expectation concerning our glorification. He who has this expectation (hope) within his soul will walk in purity. According to this passage, ‚ÄúAnd everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure‚ÄĚ (I John 3:3), it is impossible for an individual who understands the doctrine of justification to live in wickedness. Who will deny that Christ is pure? In like manner, a Bible believer can not deny that the man that has ‚Äúthis hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He (Christ) is pure.‚ÄĚ In fact, John continues the argument in the verses that follow by showing that because God has implanted the divine seed in the soul at the new birth, that person cannot live in sin (I John 3:7-10). The work is of God. When God works, He is efficacious. The faith of justification overcomes the world (I John 4:4, 5:4-5). Therefore, the doctrine of justification (if correctly understood and believed) causes men to walk in holiness. He who denies this truth teaches contrary to the Scriptures and turns the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 4). Dear Reader, let us pause and honestly reflect upon what has been said. Let us sit before God and His word and survey our condition. We may fool each other, and ourselves but we cannot fool God. We cannot live as the world and claim to be born of God. We cannot believe that the blood of Christ justifies us and continue to live throughout our life without change. My intention is not to ‚Äúguilt‚ÄĚ anyone into serving the living God. This will never work. Only the truth of God abiding in the soul will cause any to live unto the Lord. However, I do desire to be honest with you and myself as well. We do not have a right to claim God and His kingdom without a life of holiness. Therefore, from a heart of love and kindness I ask you, ‚ÄúHow is it with your soul?‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúBLESSED IS THE MAN.‚ÄĚ We draw your attention to the phrase in Psalm 32:2‚Ä¶‚ÄĚin whose spirit there is no guile.‚ÄĚ The Psalmist described the blessedness of that individual who is justified before God. He also gives a description of the heart of the justified‚Ä¶‚ÄĚin whose spirit there is no guile.‚ÄĚ Here it is clearly taught that those who have received the imputed righteousness of Christ by faith, also have a pure spirit (Matthew 5:8). Those who are justified from their sins are sanctified from a life of sinfulness. It is one thing to be forgiven, pardoned or declared not guilty of a crime but it is something else to be clean in the heart, the two are inseparable.
THE FRIENDS OF FREE WILL ARE ENEMIES OF FREE GRACE
THE CONTROVERSY in the fallen and corrupt mind of mankind from the inception of sin, when planted there by the serpent some six thousand years ago, has never diminished. Namely who is sovereign, God or man? Who is in control of matters, the creature or the Creator? The lie is stated in verse five of Genesis three, ‚ÄúFor God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.‚ÄĚ The idea from the text is, ‚Äėand you shall become gods,‚Äô (Elohim is the same Hebrew word translated ‚ÄúGod‚ÄĚ in the beginning of the verse) ‚Äėdetermining for yourselves what is good and evil.‚Äô The first man Adam bought the lie, exercised his ‚Äúfree will‚ÄĚ and we as mankind have been in a mess ever since. The following is by the late English pastor, Charles Haddon Spurgeon for you to consider. ‚ÄúAccording to the free will scheme, the Lord intends good, but He must wait like a servant on His own creature to know what his intention is; God wills good and would do it but He cannot because He has an unwilling man who will not have God‚Äôs good thing carried into effect. ‚ÄúWhat do ye, sirs, but drag the Eternal from His throne and lift up into it that fallen creature, man; for man, according to that theory, nods and his nod is destiny. You must have a destiny somewhere; it must either be as God wills or as man wills. If it be as God will, then Jehovah sits as sovereign upon His throne of glory, and all hosts obey Him, and the world is safe. If not God, then you put man there to say, ‚ÄėI will,‚Äô or ‚ÄėI will not.‚Äô If I will it, I will enter heaven, if I will it, I will despise the grace of God; if I will it, I will conquer the Holy Spirit, for I am stronger than God and stronger than omnipotence. If I will it, I will make the blood of Christ of no effect, for I am mightier than the blood, mightier than the blood of the Son of God Himself. Though God make His purpose, yet will I laugh at His purpose; it shall be my purpose that shall make His purpose, stand or fall.‚Äô If this be not atheism, it is idolatry, it is putting man where God should be.‚ÄĚ A gospel that attributes salvation to the free will of man glorifies man and not God. A gospel that does not attribute salvation to the free grace of God is not salvation, but a fatal deception. A gospel that does not glorify God in its entirety is not a gospel that God will recognize. In biblical reality, in the words of the Apostle Paul, is another gospel and not the gospel at all.
JUSTIFICATION In this article I‚Äôd like to take a look at the word JUSTIFICATION and its meaning in Christian theology. It is God‚Äôs act of declaring or making a sinner (like myself) righteous before God. God pardons, accepts and declares a sinner to be ‚Äújust‚ÄĚ on the basis of Christ‚Äôs righteousness (Rom.3:24-26; 4:25; 5:15-21) which results in God‚Äôs peace (Rom.5:1), His Spirit (Rom.8:4) and salvation. Justification is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, apart from all works and merit of the sinner (Rom.1:3: 28). The doctrine of justification by grace through faith in the merits of Christ is not something new. Men who were honest with the scriptures have taught it throughout history. This truth can be traced back to our Church Fathers throughout the first period of church history, and through them to the Apostle Paul. Ask Clemet of Rome and he replies; ‚ÄúWe also, being called through his (God‚Äôs) will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves, neither through our own wisdom or understanding, or piety, or works which we have done in holiness of heart, but through faith‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ Let‚Äôs ask Polycarp (died AD155), ‚ÄúI know that through grace you are saved, not of works, but by the will of God, through Jesus Christ.‚ÄĚ In a letter (written about AD150) addressed to a person called Diognetus, who seemed to be inquiring about Christianity, these are the following sentences: ‚ÄúGod gave His own Son the ransom for us‚Ä¶for what, save His righteousness, could cover our sins? In whom was it possible that we, transgressors and ungodly as we were, could be justified, save in the Son of God alone?‚Ä¶O unexpected benefit, that the transgression of many should be hidden in one righteous Person and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors.‚ÄĚ Augustine said, ‚ÄúGrace is given to you, not wages paid to you‚Ä¶it is called grace because it is given gratuitously. By no precedent (previous) merits did you buy what you have received. The sinner therefore received this grace first, that his sins should be forgiven him‚Ä¶good works follow after a justified person; they do not go before in order that he may be justified‚Ä¶good works, following after justification, show what a man has received.‚ÄĚ Of Origen, a great Christian teacher, thinker and writer (died AD253) comes the following, ‚ÄúThrough faith, without the works of the law, the dying thief was justified; because‚Ä¶the Lord inquired not what he had previously wrought, nor yet waited for his performance of some work after he should have believed; but‚Ä¶he took him unto Himself for a companion, justified through his confession alone.‚ÄĚ Jerome, the great translator of the Bible into Latin (died AD420), has written, ‚ÄúWhen an ungodly man is converted, God justifies him through faith alone, not on account of good works which he possessed not.‚ÄĚ Reader if you desire pardon of your sin and forgiveness from guilt and punishment, an act of free grace which God will pardon you and accept you as righteous on account of the atonement of Christ Jesus His son. Study the scripture references I‚Äôve given you. If you have an honest, seeking heart He can make you ‚Äújust,‚ÄĚ just as if you had never sinned. The Scripture says, ‚ÄúHe heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.‚ÄĚ
REPENTANCE Someone said, ‚ÄúMany persons who appear to repent are like sailors who throw their goods overboard in a storm, and wish for them in a calm.‚ÄĚ I was sorry for my idols because my idols offended my God, but I have never been sorry that I offended my idols for the sake of my God. The motive of repentance is that men may not repent from the fear of hell, but they must repent of sin itself. Every thief is sorry when he has to go to prison, every murderer is sorry when the judge sentences him to death. The sinner must repent, not because of the punishment of sin, but because his sin is sin against a pardoning God, sin against a bleeding Savior, sin against a holy law, sin against a tender gospel. The true penitent repents of sin against God, and he would do so even if there were no punishment. When he is forgiven, he repents of sin more than ever, for he sees more clearly than ever the wickedness of offending so gracious a God. Old-fashioned repentance is described in a child‚Äôs verse, ‚ÄúRepentance is to leave The things we loved before, And show that we in earnest grieve By doing so no more.‚ÄĚ A man measures his repentance by the measure of his sin, and it is humanly impossible to measure your sin. We need to understand we will never have remission of sin while we are in love with sin, and that if we abide in sin we cannot obtain the pardon of sin. There must be a hatred of sin, a loathing of it, and a turning from it, or it is not blotted out. Though it will not be popular, true gospel preachers must come back to preaching repentance as a duty if we ever see God work again. ‚ÄúThe times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúRepent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúAll have sinned and come short of the glory of God,‚ÄĚ and he that has sinned is duty-bound to repent; it is the least that he can do. How can any one ask God for mercy while he abides in his sin? What a blessed thought, the full pardon of sin, that it is blotted out once for all; the free pardon of sin, that God forgives voluntarily of His own grace; free forgiveness for the very chief of sinners for all their sins, however black they may be; a final and irreversible remission, not a pardon which is given and taken back again, so that a man may have his sins forgiven and yet be punished for them. The pardon of God once given stands forever. If He has cast our sin into the depths of the sea it will never be washed up again. Repentance in the Gospel sense is the work of God. Like all the works of God, repentance is a perfect work, and its perfection will not be reached until we reach the end of the way. Thorough repentance is a present, continuing work. The sinner is ever turning from sin and the world of sin; and by God‚Äôs grace will continue to turn from it until all is left behind.
William Tyndale (the English Reformer 1500-1536), in his burning zeal for the Holy Scriptures, reasoned with an ancient Roman Divine, ‚ÄúI defy the pope, and all his laws,‚ÄĚ adding, ‚ÄúIf God spare my life ere many years I will cause the boy that drove the plough to know more of the Scripture than thou dost.‚ÄĚ For the ‚Äėcrime‚Äô of translating the Scriptures and embracing the doctrines of the Reformation, he suffered a voluntary exile on the Continent. He was imprisoned after being betrayed by a ‚Äėfriend‚Äô and finally martyred at Vilvorde, Belgium in 1536, by strangulation prior to his being burned. Tyndale‚Äôs final words were in the form of a prayer, ‚ÄúOh Lord, open the king of England‚Äôs eyes.‚ÄĚ A very short prayer with an enormous return. Within two years of Tyndale‚Äôs death the king‚Äôs proclamation to place a Bible in the English language in every parish church and available to the common people was proclaimed. Hallelujah! For God who answers prayer. I am sure that each of you reading this article has at least one Bible in your home or you would not be reading this. But how important is the Word of God to you? Consider the cost to our forefathers to have it readily available to you. To the Psalmist David it was his life and he writes in Psalm 119:1-8: Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law (or Word) of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies (or Word), who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways (or His Word). You have commanded us to keep Your precepts (or Word) diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes (or Word)! Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all Your commandments (or Word). I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments (or Word). I will keep Your statutes (or Word); oh, do not forsake me utterly! These eight verses are taken up with a contemplation of the blessedness which comes through keeping the statutes (or Word) of the Lord. Heart-fellowship with God is enjoyed through a love of that Word which is God‚Äôs way of communing with the soul by His Holy Spirit. Prayer and praise and all sorts of devotional acts and feelings gleam through these verses like beams of sunlight through an open window. You are not only instructed, but also influenced to holy emotion, and helped to express the same. Lovers of God‚Äôs Holy Word are blessed, because they are preserved from defilement, because they are made practically holy, and are led to follow after God sincerely and intensely. Beginning a New Year with a time set aside each day for a study of God through His Word is the most valuable time you‚Äôll invest yourself in.
HOW MAY I KNOW THAT I HAVE A SAVING INTEREST IN CHRIST?
Many are the times I‚Äôve had this question asked me. I think we are off on the wrong foot if we try to assure ourselves by what or how much we know. Assurance of salvation cannot be known by how much we know about the Person and work of Christ, but how well we know Christ. There is a text in Romans eight that is vital to the question above, ‚ÄúThe Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.‚ÄĚ This Spirit is the Spirit of adoption, the very Spirit of God‚Äôs Son, called also the Spirit of Sonship. The Spirit of Sonship is joy and assurance in believing. There is a believing that does not bring with it the ‚Äėjoy‚Äô of believing. Some have a faith that is purely theoretical, a cold, intellectual, doctrinal faith. This faith can give nothing but a false assurance. The Holy Spirit is a teacher; He‚Äôs the great teacher of the Father‚Äôs children. The Father begets us by His own will through the word of truth; Jesus Christ takes us into union with Himself, so that we become in a second sense the children of God. Then God the Holy Spirit breathes into us the ‚Äúspirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.‚ÄĚ After giving us the spirit of adoption, he trains us as earthly parents would train one that they adopt. He becomes our educator and works on our ignorance revealing one truth after another to us, until at last we comprehend with all saints what are the heights and depths and lengths and breadths, and know the love of Christ which passes all knowledge. Then the Spirit introduces the educated ones to ‚Äėthe general assembly‚Äô and church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven. The knowledge of knowing that we have a saving interest in Christ becomes more apparent as the Holy Spirit teaches us to cry out to a loving Father. There are some things we can do naturally when we are children without any teaching. Who ever taught a child to cry? That is just natural. The first sign of its life is its shrill feeble cry of pain. You will not need to send it to school to teach it to cry the cry of its grief. But you and I as spiritual infants had to be taught to cry; for we could not even cry of ourselves till we had received ‚Äúthe spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father.‚ÄĚ The Spirit of Adoption brings into the soul of the sinner a very peculiar faith, distinct from theoretical faith. This faith lays hold to the glory of God revealed in that Spirit. In this glory Jesus shines unto us as Lord, King, and Master. The revelation that humbles the heart in repentance and commits it to Him and causes it to say with the converted Saul of Tarsas, ‚ÄúLord what wilt Thou have me to do?‚ÄĚ
Remember the woman who came into the house of Simon the Pharisee, where a banquet was being held in honor of Jesus (Luke 7:36 ‚Äď 50)? Remember how she wept and washed His feet with the tears that fell from her eyes, and how she kissed them and dried them with her hair? How she also took an expensive box of ointment and anointed His precious feet? That my dear friend was a manifestation of a sinner‚Äôs appreciation of grace. The forgiveness of sins, ‚Äúwhich were many‚ÄĚ said our Savior, caused her to ‚Äúlove much‚ÄĚ and show great appreciation. Legal forms and law restraint cannot produce that. As we observe in the Pharisee, law could only produce self-righteous complaint and criticism: ‚ÄúIf He were a prophet, He would have known what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him, for she is a sinner.‚ÄĚ Jesus did know that she was a sinner; the blessed thing is He caused her to know that she was a sinner and grace brought her and the Savior together. The sad thing is that Simon knew not that he was sinner, and law-works kept him from the Savior. The law of God has one purpose and one only in the work of salvation and that is to work an overwhelming guilt in the heart. The law (‚ÄúTen Commandments‚ÄĚ) and keeping it never ever saved the first sinner. If it is properly preached and applied, I believe that it will convict of sin and drive one to the Savior. The apostle Paul testifies to this in the letter to the Church at Rome in chapter seven of his epistle. ‚ÄúWhat then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said; ‚ÄėYou shall not covet.‚Äô But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. ‚Ä¶ For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.‚ÄĚ The question is, do you know that you are a sinner sold under sin and that you have hope alone in Christ? My encouragement to you if you find yourself in such a case cast yourself at the feet of Sovereign Mercy and plea for the blood He shed on Calvary‚Äôs cross to wash your sins away.
Why should I, as a gospel preacher, contend so earnestly for the historical faith of the Christian Church? ‚ÄúYou should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.‚ÄĚ The contention that Jude exhorts us to is an eminent and extraordinary one. The word contend means to strive, to fight, to labor fervently; it is a contention which requires all our strength and utmost force, we are to be as those who fought for their lives, nay, that which was dearer than life itself, even the life of their souls.
Hear the words of William Jenkyn, Jude 3--‚ÄúThis imports a serious and weighty cause and ground for contention. It is for the Gospel that we must contend vigorously, fervently and with all our might. A lazy, slender, slight contention will not serve the turn. Luke warmness neither pleases our Captain nor prevails over our adversary. Holy fervor is never so fitting as in contending for a holy faith. Indifference better becomes our worldly contentions between man and man, than spiritual contentions between men and devils. We must contend for the faith of the Gospel against error universally and impartially.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúModeration is not always commendable.
Moderation that hinders a real earnest contending for the faith is no better than loathsome lukewarmness. I fear there is much neutrality, sinful halting and indifference gilded over with the name moderation. He who is not for Christ is against Him. There may be a sinful, damnable moderation. Following Christ far off in this world is no sign that we shall be near Him in the next. No man will be afraid of being too professed a Christian at the day of judgment, or will think he has lost too much for Christ when he is to presently lose all things by death.‚ÄĚ The Apostle said that the mouths of deceivers are to be stopped, and gainsayers must be convinced. I know not how it comes to pass, but among many the opposing of seducers is either accounted bitter or needless; and it is still the policy of Satan not to permit a sword in Israel, [hence, do not unsheathe the sword of the Spirit, which is the pure Gospel of the grace of God]. Jenkyn, a mighty puritan divine, died in a London prison on January 19, 1685. We are told that when the news reached the court a nobleman in waiting had the courage to tell James II, ‚ÄúMay it please your majesty, Jenkyn has got his liberty.‚ÄĚ Upon which he asked with surprise, ‚ÄúAye, who gave it him?‚ÄĚ The nobleman replied, ‚ÄúA greater than your majesty, the King of Kings.‚ÄĚ
I want to call attention to at least two passages of scripture that emphasize the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Number one, ‚ÄúIn whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them‚ÄĚ (II Cor.4:4). And then, ‚ÄúAccording to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust‚ÄĚ (I Tim.1:11). I give you seven scriptural reasons why the Gospel is a glorious message. The first is Romans 1:1 where we read, ‚ÄúPaul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God.‚ÄĚ It is termed here ‚Äúthe gospel of God,‚ÄĚ denoting the origin. In its origin there are at least three things for consideration; since it‚Äôs God‚Äôs Gospel we would consider its unquestionable power, ‚ÄúFor I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also the Greek‚ÄĚ (Rom.1:16), next its undeniable purity and finally its unyielding preservation. The second passage that unfolds the glory of the Gospel is in Acts 20:24, where Paul said his ‚Äúcourse‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúministry‚ÄĚ was to ‚Äútestify the gospel of the Grace of God,‚ÄĚ here giving us the source of the Gospel. Sinners are saved by the Gospel of God‚Äôs grace and not apart from it. It is further affirmed that salvation is ‚Äúby grace‚ÄĚ and grace alone, ‚Äú‚Ä¶not of works lest any man should boast‚ÄĚ (Ephesians 2:8-9). The third scripture passage which amplifies the Gospel of the Blessed Redeemer is Romans 15:19. Here the apostle refers to the Gospel as the Gospel of Christ,‚ÄĚ unfolding the revelation of the Gospel, for the Gospel as revealed to a sinner is the unveiling of Jesus Christ, and His atoning work. The fourth passage is found in Romans 10:15, where the Gospel is termed ‚Äúthe Gospel of peace,‚ÄĚ teaching us that the Gospel brings comfort to guilty convicted sinners and establishes peace with an offended God. The fifth passage is Romans 16:25, ‚ÄúNow unto Him that is of power to stablish you according to My Gospel‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ Here Paul terms the Gospel, ‚ÄúMy Gospel.‚ÄĚ Showing the blessedness of the believer‚Äôs privilege of participation in the testimony of the Gospel. Sixthly, we find the Gospel termed ‚Äúthe Gospel of the Kingdom‚ÄĚ in Matthew 4:23. I believe this sixth term relates to us the benefits reaped by the believer. According to scripture the believer has been translated into a ‚Äúkingdom of light‚ÄĚ and is a subject of King Jesus, serving as kingly priest in His Kingdom. The final term which enlarges upon the glory of the Gospel is found in Revelation 14:6. The Gospel is termed ‚Äúthe everlasting gospel‚ÄĚ giving to believers its promised perpetuity; assuring them that ‚ÄúHe is able to save to the uttermost them that come to Him by Christ Jesus our Lord.‚ÄĚ
The heading of this article is taken from Romans 3:4, ‚ÄúLet God be true but every man a liar.‚ÄĚ The meaning is ‚Äúlet the Word of God stand, don‚Äôt tamper with it or wrest it.‚ÄĚ Let me give an example or two. In Jonah 2:9, the old prophet makes a proclamation, ‚ÄúSalvation is of the LORD.‚ÄĚ Jonah was in the belly of the whale, deep in the bottom of the sea, simply put, ‚ÄúIf I am to get out of this mess my only hope is divine deliverance.‚ÄĚ He did not proclaim, ‚Äúsalvation is partly of the LORD and the rest is up to me.‚ÄĚ The second example is from Eph. 2:8-9, ‚ÄúFor by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourself: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.‚ÄĚ The subject of salvation as to whom, and how it is effected can be made no clearer than what it is in this text. God says that salvation is by grace, not a mixture of His work and man‚Äôs work, but entirely His. Therefore, ‚ÄúLet God be true but every man a liar.‚ÄĚ Concerning the issue of salvation the Word of God contradicts a vast number of modern religious ideas. Many believe that Christ died equally for all men. Jesus Christ Himself said in John 10:15, ‚ÄúI lay down my life for My sheep.‚ÄĚ In Eph.5:25 we read that ‚ÄúChrist loved the Church and gave Himself for IT.‚ÄĚ In Matt.1:21 we are told that Jesus ‚Äúshall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins.‚ÄĚ Therefore, ‚ÄúLet God be true but every man a liar.‚ÄĚ Men say that all men can believe if they will, Jesus said, ‚ÄúBut they believe not, because they are not of My sheep‚ÄĚ (John 10:26). The inspired Word of God in Acts 13:48 says, ‚ÄúAs many as were ordained to eternal life believed.‚ÄĚ Modern religion says all men could come to Christ if they would. Jesus said, ‚ÄúNo man can come to Me except My Father draw him‚ÄĚ (John 6:44). They say that men either come to God or refuse to come to God of their own will; but the Word of God says, ‚ÄúGod‚Äôs people shall be willing in the day of His power‚ÄĚ (Ps.110:3). They say that men are rejected of God because they will not come to Christ, but Christ said, ‚ÄúAll that the Father giveth ME shall COME TO Me‚ÄĚ (John 6:37). Oh that men would ‚Äúlet God be true but every man a liar.‚ÄĚ Many have the idea that God ‚Äúmust give all a chance to be saved.‚ÄĚ Christ Jesus the LORD of ALL men said to His disciples, ‚ÄúTo you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom, but to them it is not given‚ÄĚ (Matt.13:11). He also said, ‚ÄúMany are called,but few are chosen.‚ÄĚ They say, many will die and go to hell for whom Christ died, but Jesus said, ‚ÄúOf all, which the Father hath given me, I should lose nothing‚ÄĚ (John 6:39). Many say that salvation depends on man‚Äôs willingness to believe on and receive Jesus as their Savior.‚ÄĚ The Bible says, ‚ÄúBut as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God‚ÄĚ (John 1:12-13). Some insist that Christ died for all men without exception, but Jesus insisted, ‚ÄúI am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep‚ÄĚ (John 10:11). There are those who insist that a person may lose their salvation. Jesus Christ said concerning His people, ‚ÄúI give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand‚ÄĚ (John 10:28). If you will observe the article with care you will note that throughout I have not said one word about what I believe or don‚Äôt believe. I have stated only what men say and established what the Bible declares in opposition to their misguided statements. Always remember, ‚ÄúLet God be true but every man a liar.‚ÄĚ
DON‚ÄôT LET GO OF THE ROPE! In titling this I could have titled it ‚ÄúFaith Illustrated‚ÄĚ just as well. In I Timothy 1:12-14 we read, ‚ÄúAnd I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
AARON Standing Between the Living and the Dead ‚ÄúAnd he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stayed.‚ÄĚ Numbers 16:48, a very interesting portion of scripture and well worth your reading the entire chapter. We find that the...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
MEMORIES OF AN OLD MAN Age has a way of stirring up thoughts and memories of the past; this week I‚Äôll celebrate my 83rd birthday (DV) and I find this happening quite often. In our family we‚Äôre often reaching back and talking of people and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
BLESSED FRIEND OF SINNERS! ‚ÄúFor I will be merciful to their unrighteousness And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.‚ÄĚ Hebrews 8:12 Blessed mercy! Covenant mercy! The Holy God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
THE DEATH OF MY BEST FRIEND (Copied & edited) There was a day when I came hard by a spot forever engraved upon my memory, for there I saw this Friend, my best, my only Friend, murdered. I saw that His hands had been pierced with rough iron...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
HOLY SPIRIT CONVERSION In the work of salvation there are two New Testament doctrines which appear clearly essential in their experiential effect if the work of salvation is completed: first the regeneration of the soul and secondly the...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
FAMILY TRADITIONS Tradition is the transmitting of customs or beliefs from generation to generation. The Worthan Family has many traditions which have been passed on, I guess the oldest in our family would be that of Family Vacation which has...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
THE LORD‚ÄôS DAY ‚ÄúAnd on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.‚ÄĚ (Acts 20:7). ‚ÄúUpon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him.‚ÄĚ (I...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
A SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS I have long since come to the conclusion that there was a drastic miscalculation in the days of the ‚ÄúMoral Majority‚ÄĚ. I think what we are witnessing today in poll after poll that continues to encourage an arrogant immoral...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
THE MODERN RELIGIOUS GAME Sports, Music, Comedy, and Pizza: a caption of an advertisement put out by a Baptist Church in our area; expecting a thousand teenagers to pack a hillside to enjoy a concert? It continues with, ‚ÄėThis is your chance to...[ abbreviated | read entire ]