Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Law of God is a Compass (Part 2): Safety

[This is part 2 of the Law of God is a Compass series. Find Part 1 HERE.]

The law of God is a compass that always points in the direction of safety.  There are myriads of ways we can sin, myriads of ways we can deviate from God's will. How do we know for certain if what we are doing is something the Lord wants us to do? How do we know for certain if what we are doing is pleasing to the Lord? How do we know for certain if something we are doing is sin or not? The law of God answers all of these questions for us.  

The law of God will always point us in the safe path, the path of God's will. When Paul defended the law in Romans 7 (yes - that is what he did there), he asks the question, What 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. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet." (Romans 7:7) 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

How can it be that we can come into the presence of the Lord?

How can it be that sinners such as we, can be in the presence of a thrice holy God?

1 Peter 2:5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Heb 10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Only by the very high price of Jesus on the cross. 

Isaiah 53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How to Have a Delightful Assembly

One of the greatest privileges and blessings we have in Christ is to spend the day (or a large part of it) together in the presence of Christ. A day in his courts is better than a thousand elsewhere! (Ps 84:10).

But how can it become what God intended it to be - a delight?  Do we want to have joy on the Lord's Day, especially when we assemble?  The Lord promises it to us! (Isaiah 58:13-14).

Here are some things we can do to bring joy to our Lord's Days assemblies.  Obviously, none of these work without the help of the Holy Spirit - hence the first one!

1. Pray for the Lord's Day - pray that the Lord would prepare the hearts of his people, that he would set our minds on Christ, that he would help us to come into his presence with joy, that we would deny ourselves in his presence, that we would delight in Christ and his works, that he would make the hearing of his word profitable, that he would help poor pastors who have the responsibility of preaching the word, that we would repent of sin, that we would call the Sabbath a delight, that we would set aside our love for the world and the things in it. (That's a good start!) 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

You are Holy in Christ Jesus

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 

The Apostle Paul, and the Holy Spirit (as the author of Scripture) makes a simple but profound declaration at the opening of the letter to the church in Ephesus. 

He greets those in Ephesus as "saints." What a simple but epic salutation!

We need to apply the biblical principle that while the apostolic letters addressed specific issues in doctrine and behavior to specific churches, the doctrines declared and the commandments issued apply to all churches and all Christians everywhere, for all time!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Law of God Gives Believers Direction

It's a blessing for believers to walk in the law of the Lord. Ps 119:1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! 2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! 

We are not saved by obeying the law, but by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Acts 16:30 Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."  

Go HERE for more on forgiveness by faith alone in Christ alone.

But once we're saved by faith alone in Christ alone, we are called to walk in the law of the Lord. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Biblical Characteristics of Disciple Training

Not only does the Lord command the church to train disciples to observe all that he commanded, he has also given us numerous principles (or characteristics) of how he wants individual disciples to be trained.

Put together like a mosaic, they paint a picture of biblical ministry in the life of believers, and it looks nothing like modern day program-oriented ministry we see everywhere in the church today.

Here are some of the biblical characteristics of disciple training, found in the word of God.  A link to the pdf document is found by going HERE.

                                        The Teacher/Disciple Model 

What commandments/principles/examples do we see in Scripture regarding teachers and how disciples are to be trained?

Note: Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, by hearing the Scriptures alone, to the glory of God alone. No one is saved by works, or by obedience to God’s commandments. (Romans 3, 5:1 etc…)  However, once a person is saved, is justified by faith alone, their calling is now to learn to observe all that Christ commanded according to the Great Commission. Christ commissioned the church not only to preach the gospel so that people can be saved by coming to faith in Christ, but also to then train those new disciples to walk in his ways according to his word.

The Great Commission:  This is found in Matthew 28:18-20 as follows:

Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Sunday, October 14, 2018

We Were Once Foolish - But Then God's Goodness Appeared

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy... 

We who are Christians are no different than anyone else. We were born into the world in sin, lived out our lives according to our own desires, and denied that Jesus was God. 

Paul talked about this in Ephesians 2:1-3. We were by nature children of wrath, just like everyone else. He echoes this in Titus 3:3 by saying that "we ourselves were once foolish..." 

Because of this, we should NOT look down upon others in the world, because they do not believe in Christ, or behave a certain way. This is in fact, hatred.

The Law of God is a Compass (Part 2): Safety

[This is part 2 of the Law of God is a Compass series. Find Part 1 HERE .] The law of God is a compass that always points in the direction...