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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

In Christ Alone

 

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

We all have a hope in  Jesus; if fact Jesus is our only hope. For any who respond to God’s drawing and honestly seek Him, Jesus provides the only hope and the only way. There is no other hope, no other way. Jesus Himself told us I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus told Peter at one point that the rock upon which He would build His church, was in fact Himself as he told Peter the following: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Later as Peter and John were brought before the Council at Jerusalem, Peter preached this, Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

What are the heights of God’s love for us? Even though all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, He loved us while we were yet sinners. Even though our sins had separated us from a perfect and holy God, and we are sinners by birth and by choice, God loved us so much that He that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

Jesus Christ was 100 percent man and 100 percent God; Not part of each, but fully each. As the song says: the fullness of God in helpless babe. Why fully man? It was man who sinned, and man who had to pay. Of course, we could each pay our own debt for our own sin, as the wages of sin is death. But, that is the problem; we can only each pay for our own sin; I can’t pay for you and you can’t pay for me. We each are accountable and can only pay for our own transgressions. Who, then, could pay for us all? Well, God can of course! As God, Jesus could pay the infinite price presented by mankind’s infinite sin, and He did just that.

Yet, our Lord was scorned by the ones He came to save: That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 

Till on that cross as Jesus died,The wrath of God was satisfied;For ev’ry sin on Him was laid— Of all of the things Jesus said on the Cross of Calvary, none are more important than this: It is finished. Our debt, the debt of sin owed by every man, woman, and child was “paid in full, tetelestai.” As an accounting term, this simply means exactly what it says. Our debt was paid in full, and nothing more is owed. All accounts have been settled. Because Jesus paid the debt owed, we who were dead can be make alive again. as  you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. And we can be made alive, because as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; All of the “founders” of various “religions” have died, every single one of them. But our Lord’s death is far, far different than any of those. First, they all died normal, regular deaths; old age, sickness, being murdered; the list goes on and on. The death of Jesus, however, was God’s plan from eternity past for the redemption of mankind. We know from reading that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that the wages of sin is death. Jesus death was no unexpected event, to afterthought God came up with when our sin surprised HIm. God planned this event before the very foundation of the world to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Then bursting forth in glorious day,Up from the grave He rose again!And as He stands in victory,Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me; Remember those “founders” of those other “religions?” They are still dead. Not our Lord, however, as we know he rose from that tomb on the third day and again walked among us for 40 days. We know what happened when the women went to prepare Jesus’ body for burial, found the tomb empty, and were told by the angel He is not here: for he is risen, Why did Jesus rise? Without a bodily resurrection, our entire faith simply melts away. Without the Resurrection, Jesus was not God; he was just a martyred prophet. Without the Resurrection, every single prophecy about it is false; that renders the Bible false. Without the Resurrection, even Jesus’ own prophecies about His death and Resurrection were false, making Him not even a real prophet, but a false one. Without the Resurrection, we cannot be justified and cleared of our sin; If Jesus is still dead then we are still dead in our sin. Without the Resurrection, there is no hope. If Jesus died and stayed dead, then we also will die and stay dead. For that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand

No guilt in life, no fear in death— We have all sinned, and one of the results of sin is guilt. We need never feel guilty for the things our our past as they are forgiven, as God has told us the following, For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Our pasts? Gone, with the wind.  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. That is a pretty impressive list of the forgiven ones!

Sometimes Satan, accuser of our brethren still attacks, both our past and our now. The past is gone, but even our sins of today are forgiven and washed away by the blood of jesus Christ. Our guilt over our current sin my be in order, and may simply be telling us of our need for confession to our Father. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Once we belong to Jesus, we belong to Jesus. Just as we never need to feel guilty about our pasts, we never need to worry about the security of our future. Grace saved us, and grace keeps us. Nothing we have done worked us to heaven, and nothing we can do will ever take that away from us either: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. We were given to Jesus by the Father and nothing can ever take us away; Jesus assured us that My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.


Are you in Christ alone? Or are you still burdened by the guilt of your past? Has the Holy Spirit reached out and convicted you of your need for forgiveness? If he has, listen to what He is telling you. Repent and believe today.

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

Sung by Kristyn Townsend

Featured post

Yep

witness

Just a Thought

preach

No national leader is going to fix us

We can, through the power of The Holy Spirit

One heart, one person, one family, one neighborhood, one city, one state, one nation…then one world.

Hair Today, Grace Tomorrow

What can I say to this great post besides stating that taking an everyday life situation and turning it into a powerful Bible lesson is a gift.

Blessings and enjoy!

The Recovering Legalist

Battles

You have probably heard it said before, but sometimes you have to pick your battles. At least that’s a common saying when it comes to parenting. Of course, there are sometimes when the battle chooses you, but for the most part, we can decide which battle should take priority. When it comes to my daughter getting her hair cut, well, I’ve decided that is a battle I am willing to invest few resources.

The other day my youngest, Haley, came to me and told me that she wanted to have her hair cut – and I mean CUT! I must admit, the idea of my beautiful little girl having her pretty hair scissored from her head made me sad. On the other hand, I was not as mournfully brokenhearted as Katie, Haley’s older sister. But, when she explained to me why she wanted it cut, and what she wanted it…

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Because He Lives

For the next few Saturdays, I am going to repost some things I did built around some songs I really like and enjoy. I had fun with these posts, and am thinking of resuming them in the future.

Because He Lives

Jesus Christ is alive!

Buddha-Dead     Joseph Smith- Dead     Mohammed-Dead

David Koresh-Dead     Krishna-Dead     Charles Taze Russell-Dead

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

All the founders and prophets of all the great “religions” of the world are dead. They all died and they all have stayed quite dead. None have risen, nor have any claimed to have risen. Only Jesus has ever made that claim.

God sent His son, They called Him Jesus. He came to love, heal and forgive. He lived and died, to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

God sent His Son. God sent Himself. 100% man because man had to pay for the sin of man. 100% God because only an infinite God could pay the infinite price of man’s sin. They called Him Jesus. Really, though, Jesus was just a name like any other in that day. The true meaning our our savior’s name is far deeper.

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

He came to love, heal and forgive. We have all sinned; all have failed to meet God’s standard of perfection and holiness. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one. The proscribed penalty for this failure is death, physical and spiritual. God cannot abide or look upon anything less than perfect holiness, because He Himself is perfect and Holy.  Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:. Of course we know the penalty for sin is death: The wages of sin is death. But God loves us, and He wants us to be forgiven and restored to Him.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

He lived and died, to buy my pardon. By His stripes we are healed. By the atoning work and death of Jesus Christ we can be forgiven of our sins, whether large or small. That would be mine, yours and anyone who repents and believes. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. That’s easy. He was put there, now He is not there. The naysayers can deny and resist, but the physical resurrection remains the single most important event in human history. It’s quite simple. He’s NOT there.

How sweet to hold a new born baby, and feel the pride and joy he gives. But greater still is that assurance the child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Yes, God has given us the things of this world to provide joy and enjoyment to us during our days in it. He proved that when He put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden with all of the wonders of His creation available to them(minus one of course.) The Lord even gave us children and families as a thing to be treasured. But this pales in comparison the the fact that, because Jesus overcame death, that we need not fear anything.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

And then one day, I’ll cross that river. I’ll fight life’s final war with pain. And then as death gives way to victory. I’ll see the light of glory and I’ll know that He lives.

Paul lived for that moment because he knew that greater things awaited him when he exited this life. Read what he said to his young protege Timothy.

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

 If Jesus was physically, bodily resurrected(and He was!) then will we be.

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know,  He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

 Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, tomorrow indeed holds no mystery of uncertainty. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? That sting, that victory, is non existent! Jesus assured there would be no sting, and He conquered death through His resurrection and victory over it. Because He lives, all fear is gone. No fear. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Because I know,  He holds the future. If readers have ever listened to this song, then they will know that the “know” here is carried out for several beats, rising in pitch and volume. Almost as if to present the knowing as more and more certain. That is because it IS more and more certain. And life is worth the living just because He lives. My life seems pretty good overall, but even in the midst of my many blessings I would wonder if it was all indeed worth it, if this life was the totality of it. The blessings are many, as Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. but the promise of what comes next is even more outstanding.  Even the thief on the cross next to our Lord heard this: And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. One of our promises of the resurrection is this: Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And finally, one of the passages which most assures me: In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. If Jesus were still in that grave, He could not be anywhere preparing a place for us; however, He is not there. He is in Heaven at the right hand of the Father, preparing an eternal home for us.

All of this, simply

Because He Lives!

God sent His son, They called Him Jesus. He came to love, heal and forgive. He lived and died, to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

How sweet to hold a new born baby, and feel the pride and joy he gives. But greater still is that assurance the child can face uncertain days because He lives.

And then one day, I’ll cross that river. I’ll fight life’s final war with pain. And then as death gives way to victory. I’ll see the light of glory and I’ll know that He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know,  He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Bill and Gloria Gaither

The Love of our Heavenly Father

How amazing, that we can be called the very children of He who breathed the universe into existence. No other Father could keep us that way.

Blessings and enjoy!

Elihu's Corner

This is part 2 of the series “God’s love is the Greatest Love.” For the previous post, click here.

img_2817

One of the greatest tragedies for a young child is to grow up without a good father. For one thing, fathers provide protection, establish balance, and are often essential to a child’s understanding of how men and women should behave toward one another.

Fathers are a vital part of the family unit.

In ages past, fathers often treated their children as though they ought to be seen and not heard, rarely showing affection and often remaining aloof. This explains why many of the old preachers and pastors framed God as wrathful and distant. In our current culture, many hear “God is our Father” and do not believe He actually exists or cares because their own fathers are likewise absent or uncaring.

How we view earthly fathers directly affects how we relate to our Heavenly Father.

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church

Just a Thought

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Teachers

When you teach God’s Word,

Are you teaching what you WANT it to say, or what it SAYS?

“Mamma Had Enough” Comedy By Mark Lowry

Some funny was just what The Great Physician ordered this morning.

Blessings and enjoy!

emotionalpeace

Laughter lifts your mood and is a great stress reducer.

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Zacchaeus-“Bad” Man-“Good” Man

luke-19-1-10

Luke 18:18-23

And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

Good man vs bad man. Clearly, as we discussed in an earlier post, Zacchaeus was a “bad” man. Zacc the Weasel! By any standard of then or now, Zacchaeus was the very dregs of humanity, and not deserving of mercy from God or man.

Now, we have the “Cream of the crop.” Just as clearly, the rich  young ruler was “good.” He was the best of the best. He was a ruler, likely a very important man in the local Jewish congregation. Like Saul of Tarsus, he was “a jew of the jews, ” most likely. A good, good man.

I have read and read on this passage and discovered an amazing thing; theologians really like to over complicate things. I have read writings and debates on works righteousness, Lordship salvation, and so many other things my head hurts. I plan to keep this simple, as I think it is actually….simple. What can we determine quickly and simply from this story?

The rich young ruler was a good person. He certainly thought so, at any rate. When Jesus told him what he had to do to enter Heaven, he was pretty quick to respond that he had those things nailed.

Clearly, those things were never going to be sufficient to save the rich young ruler. Some folks read this passage as a list of requirements that, if met, would earn one a place with God eternally. Jesus’ quick response to the man, laying out exactly what one had to do, negate that. It’s as if the young ruler said, “Look at what I did Jesus! Now let me in the Kingdom.” I don’t see Jesus’ response as continuing the salvation laundry list at all. In effect, Jesus told this man, “No, no…your list is not enough, and it will never be enough.”  See those words….”follow me?” Those words matter. What do we see elsewhere in God’s Word? We see…believe….believe on me…faith. Follow me.

The rich young ruler left lost. He was “sorrowful.” This matters. Despite the impressive list of credentials the fellow brought to the table, he left “sorrowful.” He remained just as lost and outside the Kingdom as when he arrived.

The rich young ruler rejected Jesus for the same reasons we reject him today.

He wanted salvation his way. Like so many, this man wanted to work his way to heaven on terms he found personally satisfactory to himself. He, like so many today, created a god of his own liking.

He refused to give up himself. Not only did he want his achievements to earn him a place in Heaven, buy he wanted to hold on to his “stuff.” He was sorrowful because he was very rich. This man was not sad because he was rich; he was sad because he knew he had to give up himself. He was sad because he could not have his cake and eat it too.

Luke 18:24-27

And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

Who can be saved? Can a rich man be saved? Of course. The rich young ruler was not denied salvation over his wealth. Read the last verse up above. “The things which are impossible with men.” That is very important. Salvation through men, or the efforts of men, is impossible. No person can secure their own salvation; no person can secure the salvation of another. Again, read the verse; “The things which are impossible with men…….. are possible with God.”

Now, let’s move back to Zaccheus, and see just what God can make possible even among the worst of us…that’s coming Monday.

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