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Showing posts from May, 2016

Love, the Best Way

1 Corinthians 13 [i] God is love.  (1 John 4:8) John 3:16 tells us God sent his Son into the world to save those who believe in him.  God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world.  Rather, he sent his Son into the world to save the world.  (John 3:17)  However, John 3 ends with these rather ominous words, "And anyone who believes in God's Son has eternal life.  Anyone who doesn't obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God's angry judgment."  (John 3:36) I hear statements all the time to the effect that if God is a God of love, if God is love, then surely he will save all of humanity.  This seems to make sense on the surface.  If God can save me, then surely he can save anybody.  John 3:36 and other similar Scriptures make it clear that God has not chosen to save everybody.  There are many reasons for this.  One of them is that love does not coerce or force itself to be reciprocated.  In other words, while God

Saved from the Power of Sin

Romans 8:9-17 [i] As believers in Jesus Christ, we have tremendous blessings that the world does not understand. Last week we looked at the account of a Philippian jailer, who came to saving faith in Jesus Christ.  When an earthquake caused all the doors of the jail to spring open, and all the chains fell off the prisoners, the jailer thought his life was over.  He fell trembling before Paul and Silas and asked, "What must I do to be saved?" What does it mean to be saved?  What are we talking about when we talk about salvation?  According to Google, the English word salvation means, "preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss." When we as Christians speak about salvation, this meaning of the word is certainly part of what we are talking about.  The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and according to Romans 6:23, the consequence of this sin is death.  Our deliverance from this ruin or loss

Beaten, Bruised and Singing

Acts 16:16-34 [i] Ephesians chapter 6, verse 12 tells us, "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." From this, we understand that we as believers are engaged in a spiritual battle.  This battle can take many different forms.  Depression, anger, and various emotional issues can have their source in spiritual struggles. One thing we know about the evil one is that he is a liar.  In John chapter 8 verse 44, Jesus tells us, "He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies."  When we first meet the devil in Genesis chapter 3, he tempts Eve to sin using a lie.  This is his primary weapon.  Ephesians 6 describes spiritual armor.  In this description, we have a helmet protecting our m

When God Leads

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Acts 16:6-15 [i] The book of Acts is a historical account of the beginning of the Church.  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell of the life of Jesus and all that He began to do with and in His apostles.  The author of Acts tells us that after Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to these apostles over a period of 40 days, speaking to them about the kingdom of God.  (Acts 1:3) These men witnessed the ministry and work of Jesus.  They saw the lame walk, the blind see and the dead raised to life.   They witnessed the resurrection.   Therefore, when Jesus met with them after the resurrection, they wanted to know what was next.  They asked, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  (Acts 1:6, ESV) [ii] This shows they wanted to know what His plans were.  They participated in three years of ministry, and now seemed the time for Jesus to complete what he had begun. To their question, Jesus replied: “It is not for you to know times or seasons that t