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Salvation is through Faith in Christ Jesus

Salvation is through Faith in Christ Jesus

The word gift is an important one in the Bible, and it is good that we understand its definition and implications.

In the New Testament, there are several Greek words translated “gift.” Some of these words are used in contexts other than God’s gift of salvation, such as the reciprocal gift-giving of celebrants (Revelation 11:10), the things received from fathers (Matthew 7:11), offerings to a ministry (Philippians 4:17), and the gifts of the magi (Matthew 2:11).

However, when it comes to the matter of our salvation, the New Testament writers use different Greek words—words that emphasize the gracious and absolutely free quality of the gift. Here are the two words most commonly used for the gift of salvation:

1) Dorea, meaning “a free gift.” This word lays particular stress on the gratuitous nature of the gift—it is something given above and beyond what is expected or deserved. Every New Testament occurrence of this word is related to a spiritual gift from God. It is what Jesus offers to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:10). It is called the “free gift” in Romans 5:15. It is the “unspeakable [or indescribable] gift” in 2 Corinthians 9:15. This gracious gift is identified as the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38; 8:30; and 11:17.

The adverb form of this word is dorean, translated “freely” in Matthew 10:8; 2 Corinthians 11:7; Revelation 21:6; 22:17. In Romans 3:24, immediately following God’s pronouncement of our guilt, we have this use of dorean: “Being justified FREELY by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” The gift of salvation is free, and the motive for the gift is nothing more than the grace of the Giver.

2) Charisma, meaning “a gift of grace.” This word is used to define salvation in Romans 5:15-16. Also, in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT [charisma] of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This same word is used in conjunction with the gifts of the Spirit received after salvation (Romans 12:6; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6; 1 Peter 4:10).

Obviously, if something is a “gift of grace,” it cannot be earned. To work for something is to deserve it, and that would produce an obligation—a gift of debt, as it were. That is why works destroy grace (Romans 4:1-5; 11:5-6).

When presenting salvation, the New Testament writers carefully chose words that emphasize grace and freedom. As a result, the Bible could not be more clear—salvation is absolutely free, the true gift of God in Christ, and our only responsibility is to receive the gift by faith (John 1:12; 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus: The Key to Life"

Jesus: “The Key to Life”

Salvation is deliverance from danger or suffering. To save is to deliver or protect. The word carries the idea of victory, health, or preservation. Sometimes, the Bible uses the words saved or salvation to refer to temporal, physical deliverance, such as Paul’s deliverance from prison (Philippians 1:19).

More often, the word “salvation” concerns an eternal, spiritual deliverance. When Paul told the Philippian jailer what he must do to be saved, he was referring to the jailer’s eternal destiny (Acts 16:30-31). Jesus equated being saved with entering the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24-25).

What are we saved from? In the Christian doctrine of salvation, we are saved from “wrath,” that is, from God’s judgment of sin (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:9). Our sin has separated us from God, and the consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Biblical salvation refers to our deliverance from the consequence of sin and therefore involves the removal of sin.

Who does the saving? Only God can remove sin and deliver us from sin’s penalty (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5).

How does God save? In the Christian doctrine of salvation, God has rescued us through Christ (John 3:17). Specifically, it was Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection that achieved our salvation (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 1:7). Scripture is clear that salvation is the gracious, undeserved gift of God (Ephesians 2:5, 8) and is only available through faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

How do we receive salvation? We are saved by faith. First, we must hear the gospel—the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Ephesians 1:13). Then, we must believe—fully trust the Lord Jesus (Romans 1:16). This involves repentance, a changing of mind about sin and Christ (Acts 3:19), and calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:9-10, 13).

A definition of the Christian doctrine of salvation would be “The deliverance, by the grace of God, from eternal punishment for sin which is granted to those who accept by faith God’s conditions of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.” Salvation is available in Jesus alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) and is dependent on God alone for provision, assurance, and security.

altruistico:

I think this is well worthy of viewing. It speaks loudly of Christianity and Christianity’s playing with liberalism. It casts great influence upon how “we, as Christians, are sheltering Liberal World View.” VOTE the Bible come November 4th folks or finish the eradication of our rights.

Originally posted on partneringwitheagles:

Affleck and Maher Lock Devil Horns Over Islam

on October 18, 2014

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  Christians should definitely support the nation of Israel. We must remember that Israel, the nation, is very special to God. We read in Deuteronomy 7:6-8 these words: “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”

God’s eternal purpose is to bless the world through Israel. Already He has done so in measure, for “salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22), but the fullness of future blessing is indicated in the wondrous promise of Isaiah 27:6: “In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.”

The declaration that “salvation is from the Jews” suggests our immeasurable debt to Israel. All that we have worth having has come to us through the Jews. Our Bible is a Jewish Book, and our Savior is a Jewish Savior. Let us never forget to pray for God’s chosen people. It is true that Israel, today, is in the place of rejection. The nation is a secular, unbelieving (as to the claims of Scripture and their Messiah, Jesus Christ) nation; but “…at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace” (Romans 11:5). Some Jews are being saved and are becoming members of the body of Christ through faith in their Messiah.

Jews are, biblically speaking, the “chosen people of God” and dearly loved by Him. Another reason for Christians to support the nation of Israel is because of the Abrahamic Covenant. We read of God’s promise in Genesis 12:2-3, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (see also Genesis 27:29; Numbers 24:9).

One of the United States’ most worthwhile accomplishments has been its consistent regard for the plight of the Jewish nation. No nation in the history of the world has a better record of treating individual Jews with respect than does America. The same can be said for our befriending Israel as a nation. America has committed many sins for which we may well deserve judgment, but as a nation, we have been a consistent friend of the Jews and the nation of Israel, as well as a benefactor. In 1948, President Harry Truman helped persuade the United Nations to recognize Israel as a nation. Since then, the United States has contributed billions of dollars in aid to Israel.

From the biblical declarations of God’s love and care for His chosen people, the nation of Israel, and from the history of nations being destroyed because of their evil dealings with God’s chosen people, the Jews, Christian believers should give support to the chosen people of God. This is not to say that we support necessarily the methods they use in their relationships with the Arab nations. The Bible warned that conflict would always characterize the relations between the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael. Sadly, this conflict will continue until Jesus comes back to judge the nations and sets up His 1,000-year reign of peace on earth. We must look at the “big picture” with a biblical worldview. While we do not have to support everything Israel does as a nation, we most definitely should support Israel’s right to exist. God will fulfill His promises and covenants with Israel. God still has a plan for Israel. Woe to anyone who seeks to defeat that plan; “whoever curses you I will curse” (Genesis 12:3).

Should a Christian run for political office?

Whether or not Christians should run for political office is one of those “hot-button” issues that provoke strong responses on both sides of the question. There are no direct references in the Bible to Christians running for political office. But there are Christian principles we can bring to bear on the decision whether or not to seek political office. Anyone considering running for office would do well to consider these principles and prayerfully seek God’s will for his/her own life.

There is no doubt that countries where political officials are elected by the citizens are countries that promote freedom. Christians in many countries in this world are oppressed and persecuted, suffering under governments they are powerless to change and governments that hate their faith and silence their voices. These believers preach the gospel of Jesus Christ at risk of their own lives. In the U.S.A., Christians have been blessed with the right to speak about and choose their leaders without fearing for themselves or their families.

The leaders we elect have great influence on our freedoms. They can choose to protect our right to worship and spread the gospel, or they can restrict those rights. They can lead our nation toward righteousness or toward moral disaster. Clearly, the more committed Christians that are part of government—whether at the local, state, or federal level—the more our religious freedoms will be guarded. Christians in politics can effect desperately needed changes in the culture. A prime example is William Wilberforce, a 19th-century English politician who campaigned for decades to end the abominable slave trade that flourished at that time. His campaign was eventually successful, and he is lauded today for his courage and commitment to Christian principles.

At the same time, there is an old saying: “politics is a dirty business.” Politicians, even those with the best of motives, are in danger of being corrupted by a system that deals in power. Those in political office, especially at the federal level, are courted by those who hope to gain favor in an effort to advance their own agendas. Wherever money and power are concentrated, greed and covetousness are always nearby. There is great danger for Christians who are involved in worldly political systems, and great care must be taken to be in that world, but not of it. Perhaps nowhere in life is it more true that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33) than in the seats of political power.

Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). The kingdom of Christ is not connected with earthly political systems or national governments, all of which are in rebellion against God. The world Christians are to be concerned with is the spiritual realm, not the temporal. There is nothing wrong with Christians being involved in politics, as long as they remember that we are to be ambassadors for Christ on earth. That is our primary job description, and our goal is to appeal to others to be reconciled to God through Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:20).

So should a Christian run for political office? For some Christians, the answer is a definite no; for others, a definite yes. This is a personal decision that requires prayer and the wisdom only God can provide and which He promises to grant to those who truly seek it (James 1:5). Christian politicians must remember that their duty to the Lord must take precedence over the duties of their office. Paul tells us that whatever we do, we are to do it for the glory of the Lord, not our own (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). If a Christian does seek office, it should only be if he/she can faithfully execute the duties of that office to the glory of God and without compromising Christian principles.

Wine grapes, GrenacheBaptism for the dead is a non-biblical practice where a living person is baptized in lieu of a person that passed away, as a means of making a public profession of faith for a person that is already deceased. We can, essentially, think of it as the practice of baptizing a dead person.

The practice has as its basis the misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 15:29: “Otherwise, what will they do, those being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not at all raised, why indeed are they baptized on behalf of the dead?” This is a difficult passage to interpret, but we do know by comparing it with the rest of Scripture that it does not mean that a dead person can be saved by someone else being baptized on his or her behalf, because baptism is not a requirement for salvation in the first place (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 3:28; 4:3; 6:3-4). The entire passage (vv. 12-29) is about the surety of the resurrection, not about baptism for the dead.

What was being baptized for the dead? It is a mysterious passage, and there have been more than thirty different interpretations put forward. 1. The plain meaning of the Greek in verse 29 is that some people are being baptized on behalf of those who have died—and if there is no resurrection, why are they doing this? 2. Either Paul is referring to a pagan custom (notice he uses they, not “we”), or to a superstitious and unscriptural practice in the Corinthian church of vicarious baptism for believers who died before being baptized. 3. Either way, he certainly does not approve of the practice; he merely says that if there is no resurrection, why would the custom take place? The Mormon practice of baptism for the dead is neither scriptural nor sensible. Baptism for the dead is a practice that was common in the pagan religions of Greece and is still practiced today by some cults; but it doesn’t change a person’s eternal destiny, for that is determined while he lives (Luke 16:26).

JesusEphesians 3:14-21

One noteworthy trait of the apostle Paul was his determination to advance through adversity. There are many people who get stuck in life’s hard spots. They are either too scared or too bitter to move through the hardship.
Instead, these folks wait for the Lord to remove the trial, but He doesn’t always work that way.

How a person responds to hardship reveals his or her true character. Hard times are when God’s people most need to match actions to words. It’s easy to say, “I trust God” or “My Lord is faithful,” particularly when life is good. But unless we recognize that He is sovereign even in adversity, the same lips will complain and seek pity. Believers who trust in the Lord’s faithfulness and supremacy will steadfastly focus on Him and thereby keep their anxiety and doubt subdued.

In order to conquer adversity, we must begin moving through it. It is essential for a suffering believer to surrender to God’s will. We may not know what His purpose is. We certainly won’t like the pain, and we’ll definitely want the situation to change—fast. But giving the Lord free rein allows Him to mature our faith, conform us to the likeness of His Son, and fulfill His unique plan for our lives.

Surrendering does not seem like a way to advance anywhere. But in reality, we’re just handing over the controls to God and saying, “You guide me where You want me to go.” Doing so requires a lot of trust. We serve a Lord who is worthy of our faith and confidence.

 

Heavenly viewWhen we read of the “world” in the New Testament, we are reading the Greek word cosmos. Cosmos most often refers to the inhabited earth and the people who live on the earth, which functions apart from God. Satan is the ruler of this “cosmos” (John 12:31; 16:11; 1 John 5:19). By the simple definition that the word world refers to a world system ruled by Satan, we can more readily appreciate Christ’s claims that believers are no longer of the world—we are no longer ruled by sin, nor are we bound by the principles of the world. In addition, we are being changed into the image of Christ, causing our interest in the things of the world to become less and less as we mature in Christ.

Believers in Jesus Christ are simply in the world—physically present—but not of it, not part of its values (John 17:14-15). As believers, we should be set apart from the world. This is the meaning of being holy and living a holy, righteous life—to be set apart. We are not to engage in the sinful activities the world promotes, nor are we to retain the insipid, corrupt mind that the world creates. Rather, we are to conform ourselves, and our minds, to that of Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1-2). This is a daily activity and commitment.

We must also understand that being in the world, but not of it, is necessary if we are to be a light to those who are in spiritual darkness. We are to live in such a way that those outside the faith see our good deeds and our manner and know that there is something “different” about us. Christians who make every effort to live, think and act like those who do not know Christ do Him a great disservice. Even the heathen knows that “by their fruits you shall know them,” and as Christians, we should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit within us.

Being “in” the world also means we can enjoy the things of the world, such as the beautiful creation God has given us, but we are not to immerse ourselves in what the world values, nor are we to chase after worldly pleasures. Pleasure is no longer our calling in life, as it once was, but rather the worship of God.

Inspirational John 16:33

The tumultuous times in which we live challenge our sense of security and well-being. In a world filled with violence, injustice, financial instability, and natural disasters, how can we live in undisturbed safety? Jesus’ words to His disciples seem contradictory—peace and tribulation just don’t go together.

This makes no sense unless we realize that Christ’s peace is not the same as the world’s (John 14:27). The average person thinks tranquility will come with an outward change in their circumstances: When I have a better job or more money, then I will be content. Or, If a particular person in my life changes, then I will feel at ease. But Christ offers a relationship with the Father that fills our hearts with satisfied contentment, no matter what the external conditions may be.

We need to understand that Christ’s offer of peace came, not when everything was going well, but just hours before His disciples’ world fell apart. All their hopes and dreams were dashed when the Messiah hung on the cross. Although they didn’t realize it, Jesus offered them exactly what they would need to cope with the trouble that lay ahead. In the same way, He gives us quiet confidence which anchors our souls in stressful times.

We can never arrange all circumstances so that we feel safe and secure. The way to overcome the world isn’t by removing difficulties from one’s life. Instead, victory comes from walking through troubles with quiet confidence in God’s sovereignty and divine purpose for everything He allows.

Keep your faithPsalm 9:7-10

How much do you trust God? Before answering, consider these scenarios. Do you really trust the Lord when everything seems out of control and He appears absent? . . . when He’s called you to move in a certain direction that seems illogical and risky? . . . when painful circumstances continue, making you wonder if the Lord really cares?

We all have times of doubt when our expectations of God are dashed by the reality of our situation. Many of us want to trust Him more but aren’t sure how to do so.

David reveals that the key lies in knowing the Lord (v. 10). Distance in our relationship with Him results in a lack of faith, but those who are intimately acquainted with Christ find it easier to trust Him wholeheartedly.

Whenever you are tempted to doubt, remember these three essential truths about the Lord:

• He is completely sovereign (Ps. 103:19). God has everything in His control even when we can’t perceive it.

• He is infinitely wise (Rom. 11:33-36). The Lord knows every side of the situation (inside and out) and every event (past, present, and future).

• He loves perfectly (Ex. 34:6). Without exception, He always chooses what is best for us, even if it’s not easy.

We grow in faith, not by trying harder to believe but, rather, by pursuing the Lord. This involves doing all we can to get to know Him—in particular, spending time in His Word and talking to Him in prayer. Then our trust in Him will grow as we learn that He never forsakes those who seek Him.