December 21, 2010
But praise and thanks be to the God of Israel, to Yahweh, that He came to earth through the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ, more than 2,000 years ago, suffered for my sins, was killed and raised back to life again, so that by the power of His Spirit and the faith that is in Him, I have become a new man, a child of God, a citizen of another world, to which my body will be raised to inherit with Christ!
Was this something I did by my own choice, my own superior intellect, the strength of my own will?
The Bible says it was by the mercy and grace of God alone!
(See John 1:12-13; 3:3; Titus 3:5-6, 7-8; Ephesians 2:1, 4-5, 8-9; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; etc.)
December 16, 2010
This first lesson was very short and outlined the differences between what an argument is and what a quarrel is, as well as what a debate is.
Here are the links:
Lessons in Logic and Argumentation (can be found under the tag: "Godly Disciplines")
2) Types of Interactions
3) Types of Arguments
Jamin Hubner's Real Apologetics blog
September 25, 2010
August 6, 2010
1). First of all, my third evangelism trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was the most fruitful and rewarding of all, having been built upon each past evangelism trip there. It was blessed with closer relationships with the folks from the Biblical Church of the Lord Jesus (www.ibsj.org), and the wonderful opportunity of meeting and training so many fellow Christians in evangelism. I met people again who I had witnessed to in the past, and even have been keeping in touch with David, who I met in the park while preaching under a tree as it rained. David has blessed my heart with his zeal and eagerness to learn the gospel.
I am also truly amazed at how far a little blogging has taken me. Rita Martínez and I met through blogging two years ago, and now, not only have we been able to work together in the fields of evangelism together with our churches, but we are engaged to be joined together in holy matrimony as well. This is God's gracious gift to us and the answer to many prayers for a godly partner. If it is His will, we will live to marry and labor by His grace together in our Christian calling in life.
2). After two years of vigorous study, I have pretty well grasped the Spanish language... my first foreign tongue! I still make a lot of mistakes and still have to practice a lot to pick up and learn more, but by God's grace, my dream of speaking another language has come true.
3). As my interest in languages grows, I have also found the joy of learning to read the New Testament in the language it was originally written... there are some amazing resources on the internet for learning New Testament Greek for free (see links below). If anyone is interested in purchasing learning material for NT Greek, www.christianbook.com or wtsbooks.org has a lot of affordable resources, including Greek New Testaments.
Often I would make use of such resources as concordances, Bible dictionaries and online Bible study tools, in order to find out a little more about an original Greek word used in the New Testament when studying the Bible. But those tools, as good as they may be, do not remove the limitation of not understanding Greek as a language.
One must learn grammar, the structure and order of a language, before one can fully comprehend what is being said. Learning Greek grammar can literally look like a nightmare, since it is more complex than anything I have ever seen. But with the many free online resources, one can learn a lot, as long as ardent desire and dedicated determination continue to flow through one's veins into the brain... for if this inertia stops, all else may very well be hopeless!
1). http://greattreasures.org is a translation website that gives you a lot of essential information about the words of the New Testament. Just select a Koine Greek translation that contains word information or parts of speach, for example, use the Tischendorf (with parts of speech) Greek translation. You can then select parallel translations in any other language, including many good English ones.
2). http://ntgreek.net NT Greek is a free, easy-to-follow beginner's course in New Testament Greek, with lessons.
3). http://www.ibiblio.org Little Greek 101: Learning New Testament Greek is very easy to understand and helpful for anyone interested in NT Greek.
Well, there are many more resources out there, but these are good for anyone seriously interested in learning to read the New Testament in Greek.
~ Penn, a seriously guilty sinner, mercifully saved and justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
June 28, 2010
I have never been to the Dominican Republic in the summer time, but they say it is going to be HOT... so please keep us in prayer.
Some things to pray for:
- God's powerful grace working in our lives to preach the good news of the cross of Christ to all kinds of people there in Santo Domingo.
- God's powerful grace to keep us faithful and holy.
- That the fellowship we have with each other and with other Christians would be Christ centered and edifying to all.
- That the Lord Jesus Christ, our God, who died and rose again in the flesh on our behalf, would glorify His Holy name through us, His feeble servants.
June 24, 2010
This is by far one of the best sermons I've ever listened to on relationships, and I think maybe it should be required listening for one to even exist! Ok, ok, whether you are in a marriage relationship or not, Voddie Baucham will point you to the source of our problem and to the solution in this message.
Voddie is a "grace man" through and through. He is Biblical and trusts in God's sovereignty over all things. America is blessed to have such a man of wisdom in one of its pulpits every Sunday.
June 22, 2010
[Note: at the end, the pastor speaks about praying for salvation, to which I would like to add this link and this link in order to present an additional and hopefully more Biblical description of receiving salvation. Also see the many other topics concerning salvation under the "categories" list on the sidebar.]
June 14, 2010
After a week, she went to New York city to be with her 15 year-old cousin, Laura, who is being treated for cancer. They are staying at the house of Dominican friends, who also happen to be Christians.
This weekend I drove there to visit Rita and Laura. It was a blessing. Just about everybody in that area speaks Spanish, I felt like I was in Santo Domingo, even though it was New York. They were all impressed with my Spanish, something that I have really struggled hard to learn. I had the opportunity to speak with Laura about the grace and love of God after the mac and cheese dinner that she made us at 10:30 p.m. (Dominican Suppertime is late), Saturday night. Rita and I also began our wedding plans. The next day we all went to church. All the Latin American people at that church treat each other like family, and I was honored to be received with the same love. However Rita and I both would like to encourage them more to be Biblical in everything, just as we are striving to do by God's mercy. (I am not a charismatic anymore, but their church is.)
After church we went to a sea food restaurant, where I seemed to have lost my appetite. Then we went back to the house where we talked until Rita and I left to exchange an engagement book we had bought at Barnes & Noble. On our way back, we stopped at Kmart to look for rings, since I had to take her diamond ring to get it resized to fit her finger, so she was ringless. And as lovers, we just can't have that! People need to know she is promised to someone (me!) already! So at Kmart, I bought her a $10 engagement ring with an enormous fake diamond on it. It wasn't even behind a glass case. Anyhow, that should do the trick until I can slip the real ring, fitted and sparkling, back on her preciously engaged finger again!
Now, getting back to my thoughts on the Word of God from church on Sunday, I find it so important that people would realize the sufficiency and the importance of understanding and believing the Bible above all other feelings, experiences and encouragements. Jesus Christ is our Savior sent from God, but it is the Bible that reveals Him to us through the illumination and regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Therefore the Bible is all the revelation we need to help us know and follow God's will for our lives. I tried to stress this to everyone at church on Sunday. Please pray for us about this. Thank you.
May Christ always be our greatest Treasure and Good in this life and in the one to come!
2 Timothy 3:14-17, ESV:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings [i.e., Scriptures], which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 4:1-5, ESV:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
May 17, 2010
Brian and pastor Mark traveled across the state of PA Thursday, and I left from York after quitting time on Friday. As I was driving to Harrisburg the wind was strong and it began to hail. Traffic slowed to a stop as large hail stones beat against my windshield. The rest of the drive was nice, even with a rainbow in the mountain clouds.
I arrived at Bob the evangelist and Linda's house Friday night during a prayer meeting. I can't describe all the details of that time, except for the feelings of grace and joy in seeing every face of the saints there.
Saturday morning I was thinking that certainly all of Pittsburgh would be converted or at least hear the gospel of grace preached that day, because there was an army of street evangelists heading out. We were, in all, 12 brothers and sisters in Christ meeting together early at Subway on Wood Street. Each of us shared about ourselves and a Bible verse, then prayed and hit the streets.
At Point Park, I met a young woman who was willing to talk to me about the gospel from the Bible. I was explaining to her how marriage is meant to be a picture of what Christ's love for the Church is like. At that point she brought up homosexuality, since that was something she admitted to either practicing or desiring. I patiently and gently explained that the reason homosexuality is sin, is because it violates God's design for marriage between a male and a female, and how it goes against the picture of God's relationship with His people that marriage is supposed to represent. I would love to talk to more homosexuals and point them to Christ as the true answer and only satisfaction. In addition, I feel the need to study the Scriptures more specifically to correct the lies that our culture spreads concerning the sin of homosexuality. I preached Christ and Him crucified for sinners, and graciously exhorted her to read her Bible and look to Him. She admitted that what I was telling her about salvation was really good news, and also accepted some of my gospel tracts as I departed.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in fellowship with "gentle" John. We talked about Christ in the Old Testament and the gospel of John. It was such an edifying time.
Later I met with Mark "Grace" and we went to the corner at Pitt, where we met an African-American Muslim walking and exercising. I argued with him about the Qu'ran a little bit, until he asked me something like, "What do you want me to do?" I replied loudly, arms waving, "I want you to come to the Bible, I want you to come to the light!" At that moment a foreign Muslim student overheard, turned around and came back to question me. I showed him where Jesus claimed to be God in John 8:58. After that he said it must be a corruption and left.
That night was our Bible study together. Bob, Jr., pastor Mark, Bob, and I shared from the Scriptures, with the others joining in. We were rejoicing in grace, exalting our Savior as our true hope and glory, confessing the worthlessness of our works apart from His cross, and speaking of the power of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, including much more. Bob spoke on how the self-righteous are seeking to justify themselves by their own crosses (i.e., their own self-sacrifices), while true Christians glory in the cross of Christ, where our life ends and His begins in us.
So much more I could mention, but let me leave with this verse of Scripture, where Paul comments on his calling as a preacher of the gospel:
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
How could we ever be ashamed of the gospel, when it is just too good not to share?
But the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolish to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
(1 Corinthians 2:14)
May 5, 2010
Having the right understanding of the gospel and the Bible is very important (Colossians 1:9), and so I want to try to encourage others to read the Bible with a passion for understanding it.
Prayer is where it all begins.
We all need to begin by praying for a heart that loves Christ more, and seeks His glory in reaching those for whom He gave His life (Matt. 9:38; Luke 11:2; Rom. 10:1; 2 Thes. 3:1).
Timidity is not a good thing (see 2 Tim. 1:7), and it is not loving, but rather selfish and insincere. I know this, because timidity has plagued me all my life. A good way to overcome this fear is to know the Bible inside and out. It is not enough to read books and hear sermons about the Bible. We have got to read Scripture for ourselves.
We need to become familiar with the abundance of wisdom and understanding that the Scriptures provide for those who love Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:3). And we must not forget that our love comes directly as a result of His unfathomable love for us (1 John 4:10).
We need to be familiar with the cross and with the power of His resurrection (1 Cor. 2:2; Phil. 3:10). We need to have died with Christ, that we may live together with Him (Rom. 6:8; 2 Tim. 2:11). We need to live by grace and not by our own efforts (1 Cor. 15:10). It must be Christ in us moving us to will and to work according to His good pleasure (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 2:13).
I really believe 2 Corinthians 13:5 applies directly to every Christian in our day, which exhorts us to "examine" and "test" ourselves to see if Christ is really in us. There is a wonderful sense of confidence that comes with having the proper assurance of Salvation. The letter of 1 John was written so that we may know that we have eternal life (1 John 5:13), so I think we should read that New Testament letter carefully for that end.
As established believers in the faith, we need to continually return to the source and fountain of living waters. That is where we get refreshed. We must always be going before the Throne of Grace and seeking our High Priest who is able to help us in our weaknesses. It is the power of Christ, and not us that will give us the victory so that we may overcome. Christians ought to pray together for the world, because that is when God will begin to work in sending us for missions and various ministries according to our gifts.
- In His grace, Penn T.
April 26, 2010
(Samuel Davies, "The Resurrection of Damnation")
"Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out; those who have done good--unto the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil--unto the resurrection of damnation!" John 5:28-29
Alas! Multitudes shall come forth from their graves, not to the resurrection of life--but to the resurrection of damnation! What terror is in the words!
See them bursting into life from their subterranean dungeons! Horror throbs through every vein--and glares wildly and furiously in their eyes. Every joint trembles and every countenance looks downcast and gloomy! Now they see that tremendous Day of which they were warned in vain--and shudder at those terrors of which they once made light. They now experientially know the grand business of the Day and the dreadful purpose for which they are roused from their slumbers in the grave:
to be tried,
to be convicted,
to be condemned, and
to be dragged away to execution!
"And they will go away into eternal punishment!" (Matthew 25:46) They must go away into the bottomless pit! There they are confined in chains of darkness, and cast into the burning lake of fire and brimstone forever and ever!
In that dreadful word "forever" lies the epitome of torment! This is the 'hell' of hell. If they might be but released from suffering, though it were by annihilation after they have wept away ten thousand millions of ages in extremity of pain--it would be some mitigation, some encouragement. But, alas! When as many millions of ages are passed as the stars of heaven, or the sands on the seashore, or the atoms of dust in this huge earthly globe--their punishment is as far from an end--as when the sentence was first pronounced upon them!
FOREVER! There is no exhausting of that word! When it is affixed to the highest degree of misery--the terror of the sound is utterly insupportable!
April 23, 2010
Christ Jesus came to prophetically bless those who are weary:
See the gracious way he executes his offices. As a prophet, he came with blessing in his mouth, `Blessed are the poor in spirit' (Matt. 5:3), and invited those to come to him whose hearts suggested most exceptions against themselves, `Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden' (Matt. 11:28).
Christ is a gracious Shepherd caring for all of His sheep:
How did his heart yearn when he saw the people `as sheep having no shepherd' (Matt. 9:36)! He never turned any back again that came to him, though some went away of themselves. He came to die as a priest for his enemies. In the days of his flesh he dictated a form of prayer unto his disciples, and put petitions unto God into their mouths, and his Spirit to intercede in their hearts. He shed tears for those that shed his blood, and now he makes intercession in heaven for weak Christians, standing between them and God's anger.
Christ is the humble King of the poor in spirit:
He is a meek king; he will admit mourners into his presence, a king of poor and afflicted persons. As he has beams of majesty, so he has a heart of mercy and compassion. He is the prince of peace (Isa. 9:6). Why was he tempted, but that he might `succor them that are tempted' (Heb. 2:18)? What mercy may we not expect from so gracious a Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) who took our nature upon him that he might be gracious?
Christ is a Doctor for the brokenhearted:
He is a physician good at all diseases, especially at the binding up of a broken heart. He died that he might heal our souls with a plaster of his own blood, and by that death save us, which we were the procurers of ourselves, by our own sins. And has he not the same heart in heaven? 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?' cried the Head in heaven, when the foot on earth was trodden on (Acts 9:4).
Christ is the Judge who is compassionate toward those who repent:
His advancement has not made him forget his own flesh. Though it has freed him from passion, yet not from compassion towards us. The lion of the tribe of Judah will only tear in pieces those that `will not have him rule over them' (Luke 19:14). He will not show his strength against those who prostrate themselves before him.
Christ will not fail to help us if we obey Him:
FOR OURSELVES: 1. What should we learn from this, but to `come boldly to the throne of grace' (Heb. 4:16) in all our grievances? Shall our sins discourage us, when he appears there only for sinners? Are you bruised? Be of good comfort, he calls you. Conceal not your wounds, open all before him and take not Satan's counsel. Go to Christ, although trembling, as the poor woman who said, `If I may but touch his garment' (Matt. 9:21). We shall be healed and have a gracious answer.
(Taken from Chapter 2 of The Bruised Reed)
April 21, 2010
Well, I'm sure we have all probably said, or thought, that they don't a few times before. However, last evening in York, I was walking down the street with Matt and we were handing out gospel tracts, and we talked to around 9 or 10 people, mostly young.
York streets are not very busy in the evenings, but there is usually a few people walking or sitting around who are willing to talk about God. We stopped a number of young people who were walking together, to ask them questions. About half of those we talked to listened intently to what I was telling them about repentance, sin, judgment and faith in Jesus Christ. Most of them said they would read their Bibles to learn more. Not all of them accepted what I was preaching, because one felt offended, since he professed to believe in paganism. Others said what I was telling them about repentance was new to them and they seemed to understand it.
Now, there was no cries of "What must I do to be saved!" But there was a genuine interest and maybe some real conviction in some of those we met last night.
May God bring salvation to many young people here in York Pennsylvania, as well as to the old.
"For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"
However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?"
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."
(Romans 10:11-17, NAS).
"For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.
For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard"
Hebrews 2:1-3, NAS).
April 10, 2010
Here is the audio recording
April 1, 2010
But the story doesn't end at the cross. The promise in the last half of Isaiah 53:10 was that "he would prolong his days", that is, Christ would come back to life. According to the Scriptures then, after three days in the tomb, Jesus came back from the dead.
He appeared first to the women at the tomb (Matt. 28:9; John 20:18), then to Peter, and then to the rest of the apostles (1 Cor. 15:5). He ate with them, spending time with them, proving that he was physically alive and not a ghost (Luke 24:36-43). Although some doubted, Thomas repented calling Jesus, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28). After that, it was stated by Paul that he also appeared to more than 500 believers at one time (1 Cor. 15:6).
This was to fulfill what was written in Psalm 16, "For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol (i.e., the place of the dead), or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life" (Psalm 16:10-11).
After Jesus ascended back to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit, as He promised, and filled the apostles with power from on high to preach and to baptize and to teach believers in the Way. Everyone who believed received the Holy Spirit and were baptized and continued in the apostle's teaching and fellowship.
The apostles all taught that it is not through works according to the Law that we can be justified, but only through the work of Jesus Christ when He lived, died and rose again for us who trust in Him.
Paul wrote in Romans 5, that while we were helplessly weak (to be righteous in ourselves), Christ died for the ungodly. He said God showed his love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He also said that being now justified by His blood, we shall much more be saved from the wrath of God through Him. And that having been enemies of God, we are now reconciled, much more shall we live through Christ. (Romans 5:8-10).
"More than that," Paul wrote, "we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation" (Romans 5:11).
This is the heart of the gospel, the good news of God. This is what makes it possible for a poor man in Peru to weep over the fact that God reconciled Him through Christ after he heard Scripture being read in his native language. This is what makes it possible for a wealthy American to give up pursuing his own glory and in turn seek the glory and joy of God in Christ. This is what makes it possible for us to be both bold and loving, strong and gentle, firm and gracious as we go and share it in a world that rejects the Son of God. We know through the cross that God is Sovereign over all people. We also know now that He kept His promises to send the Messiah, and He will keep His promise to send Him again at the end of the world to save all of those in His Kingdom, and to condemn all those who without it.
After the verse I read where John said Jesus came to His own, and His own did not receive Him, the next verse says, "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12). It follows by saying that this was God's decision to give them a new birth, "who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13).
As children of God, those who receive Christ and all that He is according to the Bible, also have eternal life. Jesus said that a son remains in the house forever (John 8:36), and that He came to give eternal life to those the Father has given Him (John 10:28).
The cross of Christ is the answer to so many of our problems.
Maybe you think God is mean to let all kinds of evil happen? But look how He graciously took the punishment of our evil upon Himself at the cross.
Maybe you think you are too sinful to be forgiven and justified by God? Then look How God completely satisfied His judgment on the cross for you, if you will believe.
Maybe you think you don't have enough faith to trust Him? Then look How it is God who works through the cross to make you acceptable by faith. He gave His Son, will He not also give you faith if you want it?
Maybe you think you are not good enough? Then look at the cross, where the righteousness of Jesus Christ was exchanged for your sinfulness, so that you could have His righteousness.
Maybe you think you cannot be holy? Then look at the cross, where Jesus Christ sealed the guarantee that will make you holy by His Spirit.
If you haven't received Him, then receive Him by simple trust right now. If you have received Him already, then keep on walking before Him in the same way that you received Him, by faith, trusting His love for you through the cross!
Don't be like the people who rejected Jesus at the cross, but rather, let us follow those who believed in Him when He rose from the dead.
Let His steadfast love and grace through the cross always be our motivation for faithful obedience to Jesus, our Lord and King.
But although He created the world, and He came to His own chosen people, Israel, through whom all the promises of Scripture were given, He was not known nor received by them (John 1:10-11).
This is how the Son of God was treated when God came as a man to earth:
• He was sought after to be killed by Herod and became a fugitive in Egypt as an infant.
• He was disbelieved by His own home town, and when His words offended them, they tried to throw Him over a cliff.
• He was disbelieved by His own brothers.
• He was hated by the religious leaders of His time, who repeatedly plotted to have Him arrested and put to death.
• He was accused of being demon possessed.
• While many believed in Him during the time He was healing and doing miracles, everyone forsook Him when He was arrested.
• A man who had followed Him, heard His teaching, saw Him heal thousands and perform countless miracles, betrayed Him for money and afterward, Judas committed suicide.
• Peter, who was one of Jesus' three closest followers, swore with curses that he did not know Him after the betrayal.
• Only false witnesses spoke at His trial, nobody defended Him.
• The high priest and all the Sanhedrin accused God's Son of blasphemy.
• He was punched, spit on, mocked and condemned.
• Pilate wanted to let Him go as innocent, but the Jews insisted that He die in place of a murderer.
• The Romans beat Him and mocked Him and crucified the Son of God.
• Jesus was rejected and hated all His life, from His birth to His death.
• When God came into the world, the world quickly got rid of Him.
The words of Jesus came true when He said, "And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their works were evil" (John 3:19). And Isaiah had written long before that, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not" (Isaiah 53:3).
Jesus taught that each one of us are in the same sinful condition apart from His saving grace. He said we are slaves to our sin if we do not continue in His Word, because only the truth will set us free (John 8:31-32, 34). Jesus also described our hearts as the source of all kinds of evil in Mark 7:21. No one is guiltless, because Jesus said in Mark 10:18 that "No one is good but God alone." Jesus clearly taught that all human beings, including you and me, are sinfully wicked by nature and need to be born again and cleansed from our sins. Therefore, we should not think that we are somehow morally better than those who rejected Christ, since we have the same sinful nature as they did.
Nevertheless, His rejection and murder, Jesus had said, happened to fulfill what was written in Scripture (Matthew 26:24,31; Luke 20:17; 22:37; 24:46; John 15:25). Isaiah 53:10 said, "Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand."
It was God who sent His Son to die. It was God who worked through the events of the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus, by crushing him under the wrath and judgment that our sins deserved.
But of course, the story doesn't end here at the cross...
Jesus is God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth.
We read in John 1:1-3, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into existence through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into existence that has come to exist."
Isaiah said the royal child who was to be born would be called, "Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
Micah wrote that the Judge of Israel from Bethlehem, who would be struck with a rod on the cheek, had His origin from of old, from the days of eternity (Micah 5:1-2).
The gospel of John presents Jesus from beginning to end as completely and 100% Divine, God revealed in human flesh.
So also Jesus is the "One like the son of man" spoken of in Daniel 7:13.
John 1:14 says, "And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
So while Jesus is God, He is also 100% human. A flesh and blood man who ate food, fasted, became hungry, worked, rested, felt physical and emotional pain, was tempted just like we are (but without sin), wept with sorrow, rejoiced and sang hymns. The Scripture was fulfilled which said, "the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14), which means "God with us" (Matthew 1:23).
He is the fulfillment of God's Word in Genesis 3:15, where God promises a man who will defeat Satan, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you will bruise His heel."
The next post will be on the REJECTION that God experienced when He came in His Son to our world.
March 28, 2010
I was in Philly again witnessing for around an hour today, then went to pastor Mark's for prayer. He was at a 9marks weekender last weekend at Capitol Hill Baptist Church and had some exciting things to say about it.
The witnessing is going great as far as being able to speak to people in Spanish. I also met two Pakistani guys today and tried to persuade them to read the Bible. I gave a gospel of John to one of them and he handed it to his friend. May God Sovereignly move both of them to read it!
We are praying about taking another trip to Santo Domingo for evangelism, and certainly need prayers from brotherly/sisterly saints for that.
Grace Quote for today:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 ESV)
March 15, 2010
Adam's son, Abel, was a righteous man by faith, but was murdered by his brother Cain. Then Adam and Eve had Seth, who had a descendant called Noah. God showed grace to Noah and his family by sparing their lives in the ark, during the destruction of the world through the Flood. From Noah's three sons the earth was repopulated. Noah blessed his son, Shem, from whom came a man named Abram. God called Abram away from his homeland, and promised him another land, where He would make a great nation from his descendants. From that nation, God said He would bless every nation who would bless Abram, and those who cursed Abram would be cursed. God changed Abram's name to Abraham and showed him that his descendants would be slaves for 400 years in Egypt, but that God would deliver them. Abraham believed God, and so God counted him to be a righteous man by faith.
Abraham and his wife Sarah did have a son according to the promise, even though they were both very old. From that son, Isaac, came Jacob, and from Jacob, came the twelve tribes of Israel. They all moved to Egypt during a famine, and their descendants later became slaves in Egypt. After 400 years, God raised up Moses, by whom He miraculously delivered Israel out from slavery in Egypt and brought them through the desert wilderness to the land of Canaan. Because the people had rebelled and disbelieved the Word of God, every single one of them except 2 died in the desert, and their children went in to take the land under the leadership of Joshua, who's name means "God saves." God instituted sacrifices for the people under a high priest, in order to remind them of their sin and need for forgiveness. But they often turned away from God to idolatry.
From the nation of Israel, God raised up a king, named David, to rule His people. David trusted in the Lord God, so the Lord promised that one of his descendants would rule on the throne forever. From the family tree of David, God brought Jesus into the world, who's Hebrew name is Joshua, and means "God saves." The angel that appeared to Joseph and Mary told them to name him Jesus, because "He will save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). He was also called Immanuel, meaning "God with us."
Jesus fulfills all the promises, and showed himself to be the Son of God and Son of David by the miracles he performed. His rejection and death at the hands of his own people, proved that he was the Messiah, or Christ (Anointed One), which the Scriptures had predicted. When Christ rose from the dead, he showed himself to his disciples, who could not believe He was alive until after they saw him eat and drink with them. These men He filled with the Holy Spirit, and sent them to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins in His name, that all who believe would receive the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ when they repent. Everyone who believed was baptized, shared together the symbolic Lord's supper, and continued living under the teaching of the apostles as they put their hope in Christ. This salvation came as a work of God, and it extends not only to Jews, but to every person on earth who receives it as a free gift, and accepts God's testimony about His Son.
Reader, will you turn open the pages of the Holy Bible, and learn from them who Jesus Christ is, and how He came to save you from your sins if you trust Him? God promised that His final judgment is coming on this world, and everyone who is not born again by the Spirit of God will be condemned to eternal hell. But Jesus provides eternal salvation for all who come to Him by faith before His return. Praise God that He accepts every sinner who repents! Don't wait or ignore Him, because Jesus is the way and the truth and the life, and all who truly turn to Him have access to God the Father and are His beloved children!
March 10, 2010
Listen here to a message answering objections and explaining this interesting text:
Thy Kingdom Come by Matt Waymeyer (from the Shepherd's fellowship)
February 18, 2010
Romans 3:10-26 (paraphrase):
As it says in Scripture,
No one is upright, not one;
No one has understanding,
No one looks for God;
Everyone has turned away, and have become all together worthless;
No one does good, not one.
Their throat is an open grave,
They keep deceiving with their their tongues,
Viper poison is behind their lips;
Their mouths are full of bitterness and cursing;
They are quick on their feet to shed blood,
There is destruction and misery in their paths,
And they don't know the way of peace.
There is no fear of God in their eyes.
Now we know that what the Law says it says to those under the Law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may be held guilty before God; because nobody will be justified in His sight by the works of the Law; since the Law brings the knowledge of sin.
But now, the righteousness of God has been shown apart from the Law, being attested to by the Law and the Prophets, that is, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe; since there is no difference; because all have sinned and fall short of God's glory, and are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; who God has publicly displayed as a propitiation (a sacrifice to appease God's wrath) in His blood through faith. In order to show His righteousness, because God, in His patience, passed over sins committed in the past; in order to show His righteousness at this time, so that He would be both Just and Him who justifies the one who has faith in Christ Jesus.
February 13, 2010
This is good news for bad people (see Romans 1:15; 3:12). For those of us who are humbled before God; knowing we are sinful, having a heart that goes astray, utterly worthless as far as doing any good, helpless, hopeless, spiritually lifeless; for such there is good news! "The righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law." This righteousness is God's righteousness. It is given to those who believe. I like the way the KJV says it, "unto all and upon all them that believe."
For those who are righteousness-less, there is a righteousness freely given unto and upon all who believe the gospel. It is a gift. The gift is a right standing before God, justification, forgiveness and peace with God. It is given "unto" those who believe, and it is given "upon" those who believe. We have received a righteousness from God by faith in Christ, and it is put upon us by Him.
It says this is all "by his grace as a gift." Justified by his grace. Not by our grace. Not by anything in us or done by us. It is a justification by His grace for all who believe. How is that possible? The answer is, "through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." God made it possible to count a sinful, hell-deserving, unholy, wretch like me perfectly righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. It is possible, because Jesus suffered and died as a propitiatory sacrifice for those who believe.
Jesus is precious to me! Is He precious to you? Are you justified by His grace?
"Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible."
February 8, 2010
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
January 31, 2010
"Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number of them who had been practicing magic brought their books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars!" Acts 19:18-19
(J. R. Miller, "Paul's Message for Today" 1904)
Taken from the Grace Gem: The burning of these old Ephesian books!
January 16, 2010
Ugly corners made beautiful
(J. R. Miller, "Christian Manliness" 1909)
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely . . ." Philippians 4:8
Beauty is another quality of true manliness. It is not enough for a man to be true, to live honorably, to be just, to be pure and clean--he must also have in his life, whatever is lovely.
All God's works are beautiful. He never made anything that was not beautiful. It is sin which spoils everything!
There are many lives that are not lovely in every feature. You see things in others which you cannot admire--things which are not beautiful.
Fretting is not beautiful.
Bad temper is unlovely.
Discontent, jealousy, irritability, unkindness, selfishness are unattractive.
It is the work of God's grace--to make lives beautiful. All that grace does in us--is toward the fashioning of beautiful Christian character in us.
On a florist's signboard are the words, "Ugly corners made beautiful". The florist had reference to what he could do to beautify an ugly spot or a piece of landscape. He would trim out the weeds, plant flowers and shrubs, and transform a wilderness into a garden.
That is what grace can do in our lives. Some men seem to think that the fine and graceful things are only for women, not for men. But Christ was a man--a perfect, complete man--and there was not a single unlovely thing in His life.
He was strong--but also gentle.
He was just--but kindly.
He was firm--but patient.
He was righteous, and his indignation burned like fire against all hypocrisy and injustice--but his tenderness never failed.
Fine manliness is beautiful, like Christ. "Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:16
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We have posted J. R. Miller's insightful article, "Christian Manliness".