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Showing posts from January, 2014

Read the New Testament in 67 Days!

There are many Christians who read the Scriptures sporadically in time and place. In other words, they read the Scriptures “now and then” and “here and there.” They gravitate to their favorite chapters. If asked the last time they had read the New Testament through, they would not be sure they had ever read it through. Consequently there is an appalling ignorance of the God’s Word in the body of Christ, and a consequent lack of obedience. Listening to the best Bible teachers in the world will not make up for the personal ignorance of the individual.

There are several reasons why there is an unwillingness to read through the New Testament or the Bible: 1) “It is difficult to understand the “thees and thous.” 2) “I ran into the “begats.” 3) “When I don’t understand a verse, I stay with it, trying to understand it; so then I don’t progress.” 4) “It’s dull reading.” 5) “It’s too long; it would take forever.”

Here are a few suggestions to overcome these complaints.

First, obtain a Bible. …

Crucifying the Flesh

Occasionally I come across a person who thinks he has to crucify the sin nature (flesh), or I hear of preachers who preach it. The problem with the teaching is that it cannot be done. It cannot be done because it has already been done.

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)

That is past tense.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

That is past tense.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24)

We cannot put to death something that is already dead.

Rejoice!

“But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'” (Luke 2:10)

This was not a decision of man. This was God's decision and provision.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

This was not a decision of man. This was God's decision and provision.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

“Be joyful always.” (I Thessalonians 5:16)

Joy is in the Lord. This is not optional for the Christian. It is an imperative for the Christian.

Here are some of the causes for joy:

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)


“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever…

Gifts

The following list, mostly, is self evident. People are born with certain natural gifts, talents, or shortcomings.

1. Athletic ability
2. Musical ability
3. Drawing ability
4. Physical characteristics – height, weight, beauty, racial, homely etc.
5. Perfectionism
6. Non perfectionism
7. Genius
8. Not so smart

None of these are virtues or sins. They just are. They are good because they were created by God. However, they are not spiritual gifts or fruit. They can be used to be virtuous or sinful. Here are very common sins among the naturally gifted. Pride and criticism are two. Assuming their gifts have a spiritual and moral quality, they can look at someone who sings off key or is not neat and think that the non neat one or the singer is in sin. The one who is critical is the one who is in sin. Criticalness is clearly sin. Singing flat and not being neat is not sin.

The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24) is given to every Christian. The gifts of the Spirit are given to Christians…

The Gift of God

What is the cause of faith? First, grace and faith have very different definitions. Grace is a characteristic of God. Faith, or lack of, is a characteristic of man. Saving faith is a response to the grace of God. The verb that goes with the noun faith is to believe, or the participle, believing.

A few weeks ago I was at the Big Haus for supper. Another guest said that a friend of his asked him what the “gift” was in Ephesians 2:8. He then asked Evan and me the same question.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The predicate nominative is “It is the gift of God.” The noun that immediately precedes “it” is “faith.” I answered “faith” and Evan answered “salvation.” There was no argument, just different answers.

In the middle of the night I found myself meditating on those two verses. If “faith” was the answer then “not of yourselves” and “not of works” are…

The Most Glorious Thing

In thinking about the Gospel there is one point that far exceeds the other truths in the Gospel. It is who Jesus is. Notice this emphasis in the following salvation texts.

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.” (John 3:18)

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.” (John 3:36)

“The woman said, 'I know that Messiah' (called Christ) 'is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.' Then Jesus declared, 'I who speak to you am he.'” (John 4:24-26)

“I tell you the truth, whoeve…

Correcting

Today I received a letter from a prisoner in Oregon. He had been into drugs, alcohol, selling drugs, and carrying a weapon. He had been unfaithful; his ex-wife had been unfaithful too.

His concern was not his sins against God but his concern was his wife cheating on him. This thinking seems to be normal. We are not concerned about our own or other sins against God but their sins against us. There is no solution for this thinking. It is sin in itself.

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

Theses are conditions in this statement:

1. We are to restore the brother to God
2. We are to do it only if we are spiritual and do it gently.
3. We are to be careful that we do not sin.

There have been times in my life where I knew of someone who needed correction. I realized that I was not qualified to do it because I was neither spiritual nor gentle.


In …

The Missing Part of the Gospel

A few posts ago I announced the Saturday subject for an Evangelism Class as “The Missing Part of the Gospel.” I was asked by one of you what that was. I replied, “The missing part was actually loving the person the gospel was being presented to.” That was true, but the most important thing is the “glory of Christ.”

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (II Corinthians 4:4)

We can present all of the truth in the Gospel message without anyone seeing the Glory of Christ. It is the Glory that the god of this age blinds the minds to so that they many not see.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

“All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” (Acts…

Scriptural Background on Grace

I got a response to my previous post on "Trying" with a basic question asking for more scriptural background on grace.

Most of the texts on grace are on salvation. Here are some of those besides the best known ones. First, there are words that modify grace, not the definition or quality of grace, but the quantity of grace.

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wis…

School of Practical Christianity Update

Instead of my writing on the School of Practical Christianity in the Day & Night group on Facebook, we will record each session. They will be available free. If you miss sessions, they will be recorded for you.

All subjects will be basic, but basics you may not have heard before. Last week's were

1. Where we are in Jesus Christ: Aspects of salvation you may not know.
2. Walking in the Light: How to maintain the joy which you had when you received Christ and have it daily for the rest of your life.

This coming Saturday's 2-hour session will cover

1. Obedience by Being
2. Obedience by Doing

Sessions are held at my house 114 South Howard St. Saturday 2-4 p.m. I look forward to seeing you there!

Fits of Rage

The second common sin is Anger.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)

If you already have fits of rage and anger, you must confess it. But this verse is not telling us to confess our sins after we are bitter, or after we have fits of rage and anger. We are to get rid of it. They are not to happen in the first place. If they do happen, confess them. This is telling us that they are not to happen.

“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8)


“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)


This is a work of the …

You're Trying

In the last few days I have been in touch with several missionaries. In addition I know several other Christians with the same problems.

First: All of these people are students of the Bible.
Second: They are unashamed of Jesus Christ
Third: They want to Obey God

The problem is that they are “tryers,” they “try.” When a person tries, whom does he trust? Himself! That’s a dumb person to trust. As long as he is trying to live the Christian life he is going to fall. It is not a question as to whether he is going to fall; it is only a question of when.

The Christian life is one of “trusting,” not “trying.” Remove the word “try” from your vocabulary. It is a dirty word.

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” (Colossians 2:6)

How did you receive Christ Jesus the LORD? By trying? No! It was by grace through faith. How do you walk? The same way you received. By grace through faith! Forgiveness is by grace. Obedience is by grace and faith.

These people have b…

The School of Practical Christianity Starts Up Again!

This is a preface to our short (six week) School of Practical Christianity. It is not like the previous ones which were 15 hours a week for a semester. This will be two hours a week for six weeks.

I hope to put something of each class on Day & Night on facebook for those who cannot make it to the class. I do not intend on interpreting any verse of Scripture. I intend to bring Scripture to your attention. If you catch me violating this, call me out.

If everything is self evident you may not need the class. If you do not understand anything I am saying you may love to take it twice, or get in touch with me with questions.

The class starts this Saturday, Jan 11th 2:00pm, at my place. I hope to see you there!

Jim Wilson
114 S. Howard St.
Jimwilson27@frontier.com