Sunday, September 30, 2007

WHY DID CHRIST DIE?


According to some people, Christ died to give all a chance of being saved! I do not know that I hate anything more in my soul than to hear that. It makes Jesus Christ so little--that He should do so much, and after all only to get us a chance of being saved.

Why, if a man is set up in business, you see how often it happens that he fails in it; and if man cannot manage the paltry things of time and sense without being insolvent, what will he do with eternal realities?


And if you come a little closer, when God "made man upright" and he had no sinful nature, what did he do with his innocence?

He lost it all! And yet poor presumptuous man has the vanity to think you and I could manage the chance of being saved.

What an insult it is to the Lord Jesus Christ to fix the eternal honor of God upon chance, and that chance to be managed by a poor sinful creature who is tumbling into half a dozen holes every hour of his life! NO, NO. Thanks be to God for immortal realities and certainties.

WHAT IS SAID CONCERNING WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE?:

He has "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself;" He has "finished transgression and made an end of sin;" He has "redeemed us from all iniquity;" He has "redeemed us from the curse of the law," from destruction and from the power of the devil; He has "obtained eternal redemption for us;" He has "redeemed us to God." To the honor of the Eternal Trinity it is said, not that the redeemed shall have a chance, but that the redeemed shall "come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

The Lord Jesus Christ has done this "great" work; and He has gone to heaven shouting "Victory," for "God is gone up with a shout; the Lord with the sound of a trumpet." He rose from the grave as a demonstrative proof that sin was destroyed, law satisfied, God honored, His people eternally and everlastingly saved. And the immortal honors of God unite in their salvation; therefore, He ever lives at the right hand of the Father to make intercession.

By William Gadsby

A PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS REQUIRED AND IMPUTED


We must have a righteousness in which Jehovah Himself cannot find a flaw, a righteousness which Jehovah cannot mend, a righteousness which neither sin nor Satan can mar; and unless we have on a righteousness of this nature, we can never enter into the blessedness of the world to come.

Where, then, are we to find it?

Eternal praises to the matchless mercy of a covenant God, we have it in the blessed Person, glorious work, and spotless obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ!

And, therefore, as it was essential for Him to fulfill all righteousness for His people, He loved the Lord His God with all His heart, with all His mind, and with all His strength. He began at the beginning, and went through holily, righteously, and steadily every step of the law of God and all in justice and righteousness. He fulfilled every iota of it, and gave it immortal glory and honor. The law could only require the perfect obedience of a perfect man, but He gave it the perfect obedience of the God-Man, and stamped forever a holy dignity and majesty on it, in order to manifest that this glorious righteousness is suited to every sinner's case, to all their needs, and to honor and glorify all the perfections of God; and thus He has "forever perfected them that were sanctified," all those who were set apart for Himself. They are perfected forever in His own blessed obedience and spotless righteousness; and this righteousness which God gives shall endure forever.

As for you who have a righteousness of your own, you never can feel your need of Christ's righteousness. You do not know your need of it, and it is an insult to your pride to mention it. But, for the poor creature who feels himself to be a loathsome, vile, and ruined sinner, and is brought experimentally to feel what he is before a heart-searching God, and that every iota of the law is against him - for God to give this righteousness to him, to put it upon him and communicate the power of it to his soul, why it will raise and exalt him to such a blessed enjoyment of God's righteousness that his tongue will sing aloud and speak forth praise to the honor and glory of His blessed Name; and he will say, "My soul shall be joyful in my God; I will glory in the God of my salvation; for He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness; He hath adorned me with the garments of salvation." Isaiah 61:10.

By William Gadsby

IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS

The righteousness by which we are justified is not our own righteousness, but the righteousness of another, even the righteousness of Christ: That I may be found in Christ, says the apostle, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ. (Philippians 3:9) Now, the righteousness of another cannot be made ours, or we he justified by it, any other way than by an imputation of it.

The same way that Adam’s sin becomes ours, or we are made sinners by it, the same way Christ’s righteousness becomes ours, or we are made righteous by it. Now, Adam’s sin becomes ours by imputation, and so does Christ’s righteousness, according to the apostle: As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so, by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous.

The same way that our sins became Christ’s, his righteousness becomes ours. Now our sins became Christ’s by imputation only; the Father laid them on him by imputation, and he took them to himself voluntarily; they were placed to his account, and he looked upon himself as answerable to justice for them. Now, in the same way his righteousness becomes ours: For he, who knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,
2 Corinthians 5:21.

By John Gill

INIQUITY LAID ON HIM


"...and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" Isaiah 53:6 - that is, God the Father, against whom we have sinned, from whom we have turned, and whose justice must be satisfied; he has laid on Christ, his own Son, the sins of all his elect ones; which are as it were collected together, and made one bundle and burden of, and therefore expressed in the singular number, "iniquity", and laid on Christ, and were born by him, even all the sins of all God's elect; a heavy burden this! which none but the mighty God could bear; This was typified by laying of hands, and laying of sins upon the sacrifice, and putting the iniquities of Israel upon the head of the scapegoat, by whom they were born, and carried away.

The words may be rendered, "he made to meet upon him the iniquity of us all." The elect of God, as they live in every part of the world, their sins are represented as coming from all quarters, east, west, north, and south; and as meeting in Christ, as they did, when he suffered as their representative on the cross. Or "he made to rush, or fall upon him the iniquity of us all." Our sins, like a large and mighty army, beset him around, and fell upon him in a hostile manner, and were the cause of his death, by which means the law and justice of God had full satisfaction, and our recovery from ruin and destruction is procured, which must have been the consequence of turning to our own ways.

By John Gill

Saturday, September 22, 2007

“Eternal Life: Knowing the One TRUE God”


When it comes to this important life and death issue of justification and eternal life, most religious people rely upon experiences they’ve had and emotions they have felt to convince themselves they are alright. I can write on this issue with a great deal of experience because I know what I relied on as a lost person.

I made my first profession of faith at the age of 7 in response to my mother pointing at me and my friends as we laughed and acted up on the back row. I thought she pointed for me to go to the front, so I went. The preacher asked me:

"Are you a sinner?"
"Do you confess all your sins?"
"Will you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour?"

Obviously I wasn’t going to answer “no” to any of those questions. So after the appropriate answers, he turned me to the church and asked them to vote on whether or not to accept me into their fellowship based on my profession of religion. Immediately everyone, including me, became emotional. I was baptized a couple of weeks later and as a seven year I had absolutely no knowledge of how God could be “a just God and a Saviour”. But I had my profession and I remembered the emotions I felt and I was “saved”. Our Lord said: “Woe (judgment) unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15)

I made two additional professions of religion and was baptized again, BUT I DID NOT KNOW GOD!

The Lord Jesus Christ, as well as the entire canon of Scripture, clearly teach that all those whom God the Father chose in Christ to save, that God the Son actually died for and redeemed at Calvary, will by God the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Gospel (Christ’s imputed righteousness as the ONLY HOPE of salvation) in time come to KNOW God - “And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” (Hebrews 8:11)


Christ said: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (John 10:14)

Concerning those moral, sincere, dedicated religionists of His day Christ said: “Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” (John 8:19)

In His High Priestly prayer in John 17, Christ tells us plainly what eternal life is: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)

Salvation isn’t a matter of emotionalism, mysticism, or experience. IT’S A MATTER OF FACT! And the only way the facts are revealed to God’s sheep is through the preaching of the Gospel, NOT ERROR! Read Romans 10:1-17.

You can’t trust in a God you don’t KNOW, and you can’t KNOW Him unless one teaches you. May God give us a teachable spirit that bows to Him alone as the “Lord our Righteousness”.

Richard Warmack is Pastor of Grace Baptist in Ruston

HAVE YOU BEEN MADE “FREE INDEED"?


As I contemplated this article, my heart was drawn to the blessed comfort every sinner the Lord Jesus Christ justified at Calvary by His obedience unto death is encouraged and commanded to enjoy - “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW (HAVE CONFIDENCE) that ye have eternal life, and that ye may (continue to) believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)

Paul wrote to Timothy - “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded (CONVINCED) that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

It’s not that John or Paul or any of God’s justified saints have confidence in themselves, i.e., their faith, their works, or their commitment - “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, AND HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH.” (Philippians 3:3)

Christ said: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)

Like Abraham, the father of the faithful, every elect sinner’s confidence is in the ONE who made the promise to save them by His obedience unto death, and His willingness to do everything necessary to obtain their eternal justification.


Every elect sinner will in God’s appointed time simply take God at His word - "He (Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded (CONVINCED) that, what He (God) had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it (NOT ABRAHAM’S BELIEF, BUT THE MERIT OF ALL THE WORK OF THE OBJECT OF HIS FAITH, CHRIST) was imputed (legally charged) to him for righteousness." (Romans 4:20-22)


“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed (they only gave MENTAL AGREEMENT TO WHAT HE SAID) on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know (understand, perceive, love) the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31, 32)

It’s interesting to note that the word “continue” used by our Lord in this passage is the same Greek word translated “abideth” in 2 John 9 - Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth (continues) not in the doctrine of Christ, HATH NOT GOD. He that abideth (continues) in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

But Christ didn’t stop with those words. He then told them and us - “If the Son therefore shall make you free (Christ accomplished this at Calvary), YE SHALL BE FREE INDEED. (John 8:36)

By Christ’s obedience unto death at Calvary and by virtue of the righteousness He established, all of God’s elect were freed from all the guilt and penalty of sin, freed from sin’s dominion, and one day we’ll be free from sin’s very presence. What a glorious Redeemer is our blessed Lord!

Richard Warmack is Pastor at Grace Baptist of Ruston


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

T.U.L.I.P

TULIP is here used as an acronym for the doctrines of grace commonly called "Five points of Calvinism": Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. Each of these five points is here expanded in the context of a foremost premise of Calvinism, "Salvation is of Jehovah" (Jonah 2:9).


I. TOTAL DEPRAVITY:
SALVATION IS NOT OF MAN (Romans 3:10-18-3). Mankind universally is totally depraved: devoid of any righteousness (v.10),ability to understand his plight or the gospel (v.11), ability or desire to seek God and salvation (v.11), or merit or virtue worthy of God's consideration (v.12). Mankind physically is totally depraved: from his head (vv.13) to his feet (v.15) and throughout (vv.16-18).


II. UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION:
SALVATION IS OF JEHOVAH THE FATHER (Ephesians 1:3-6). God the Father has predestined the salvation of certain sinners by electing them to be holy, the objects of His love, and His adopted children. Their election was unconditional: "according to the good pleasure of His will" (v.5); "to the praise of the glory of His grace" (v,6); "before the foundation of the world" (v.4) – before they even existed; and in no way because (as some suppose) God foresaw they would choose Him (John 15:16).


III. LIMITED ATONEMENT:
SALVATION IS OF JEHOVAH THE SON (Isaiah 53:4-6,8,11). Jesus Christ has made atonement for "many" – not all of mankind (v.11). God identifies the "many" as "My people" – those whom He has chosen to salvation (v.8). God's elect acknowledge Christ died as their Substitute, and that all for whom He is Substitute shall be healed (vv.4-6).


IV. IRRESISTIBLE GRACE:
SALVATION IS OF JEHOVAH THE SPIRIT (Ezekiel 36:22-28). God does not beg sinners to let Him save them, nor wring His hands if they are unwilling (as some suppose). When He finds His elect people unwilling to follow Him (vv.22-23), He hallows Himself in their eyes (v.23): gathering them out from the nations (v.24), cleansing them through the washing of regeneration (v.25; Titus 3:5), putting a new heart within them (v.26),and irresistibly causing them through His Holy Spirit to follow Him (vv.27).


V. PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS:
SALVATION IS OF JEHOVAH TO THE END (Romans 8:31-39). God's redeemed and regenerated elect people will persevere all the way to glory because He has promised to give them all His blessings (vv.31),justify them when they are accused (v.33), intercede for them when they are condemned (v.34), never permit them to be separated from Him (vv.35,38), and cause them to be victorious over all their adversities (vv.36).

By Daniel Parks

Monday, September 10, 2007

COMING TO CHRIST


Holy Scriptures contain many exhortations and invitations regarding coming to Christ for salvation (e.g. Isaiah 45:22; 55:1; Matthew 11:28; John 7:37; Revelation 22:17). Here is Christ's doctrine on this subject in John 6.

I. "NO ONE CAN COME TO ME UNLESS THE FATHER WHO SENT ME DRAWS HIM" (v.44).


Here is a denial of the heresy of man's free will. Man is unable to come to Christ because he is "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). He is prevented from coming to Christ by virtue of being in "the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (2 Timothy 2:26; Ephesians 2:2). He is unwilling to come to Christ because, as Christ said, "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do" (John 8:44). We are all therefore by nature "slaves of sin" (John 8:34; Romans 6:17,20), unable and unwilling to either seek God (Romans 3:11) or come to Christ (John 5:40).

II. "ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVES ME WILL COME TO ME" (v.37a).

Here is an affirmation of the doctrine of election to salvation: Those whom Christ calls "All the Father gives Me" are those whom the Father chose in Christ to salvation before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-5). Here is an affirmation of the doctrine of effectual call: Christ declares all His elect "will come to Me," acknowledging that they will be sanctified by the Spirit, believe the truth, be called by the gospel, and obtain His glory (2 Thessalonians 2:13; John 10:27). The elect will come to Christ!

III. "NO ONE CAN COME TO ME UNLESS IT HAS BEEN GRANTED TO HIM BY MY FATHER" (v.65).

Every aspect of coming to Christ has been freely performed by the one coming, but graciously granted by God. God's chosen people are unable and unwilling to come to God in their natural condition, but "Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power" (Psalm 110:3). God opens the heart so that it may voluntarily heed the gospel (Acts 16:14) God grants the faith with which the gospel is believed (Ephesians 2:8; Acts 18:27; Philippians 1:29), and the repentance with which the heart is turned from Satan to Himself (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25).

This doctrine of Jesus Christ so offended some of His disciples that they would no longer follow Him (vv.60-66).


Will you receive it?

Have you truly come to Christ?

By Daniel Parks

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

FATHER FORGIVE THEM


A Short Study Of Luke 23:34

The world of christendom would have us to understand that when the Lord said this while He hung on the cross, He intended it to apply to all men without any exceptions, whatever. But consider this.

Is there a prayer ever prayed by the Son of God that the Father did not absolutely answer?

If God the Father does not forgive all men everywhere of their sins, then the Son prayed an ineffectual prayer. This can never be! Some at this point would clarify the Lord’s words as, “Father forgive everybody who wants your forgiveness”. But this is clearly not what He said, nor was it in His mind.

How do we know?

Scripture makes it clear.

The very night before His death He openly prayed to the Father for the people He represented. These are those He identified no less than six times as those the Father gave Him (John 17:2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24). He knew who they were, the Father knew who they were. He repeatedly said this so that it would be abundantly clear to us. He wanted us to know this prayer was specifically for them. Note the amazing statement He made in v 9, “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me”.

He was not praying for the world, but strictly and solely for them.

Now, will anyone be so arrogant to say that the Son of God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, changed His mind the next day when He hung on the cross and said, “Father forgive them”?

Did the agony of the cross somehow cause Him to reconsider His view and to now begin praying for men He refused to pray for the day before?

If He changed His mind, He cannot be God (Malachi 3:6). Not so! He made it clear exactly who He would do this for. He plainly told the Pharisees He came for His sheep (John 10:11, 15). And He distinguished His sheep by contrast to those He said were not of His sheep (John 10:26). These Pharisees were not His, He did not die for them. He came to exact a forgiveness for them, meaning His own sheep, the ones the Father gave Him. That is all. And that is good.

Steve Baloga, A member of Providence Church, Powell, Tennessee

KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS

Is it possible to know whether Christ died for you and whether you are one of His redeemed, justified ones, as depicted in 1 John 2:1,2?

Absolutely! The apostle John states, ‘And hereby we DO KNOW that we know him, IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.” 1 John 2:3.

The question is, what does it mean to keep His commandments?

Those who know Christ, being taught by the Spirit of God, keep His commandment to repent from dead works and submit to Christ and His righteousness alone established in His obedience unto death, having no confidence in any works of righteousness of our own, nor taking any credit or glory in salvation - Hebrews 6:1 and Philippians 3:3.

Those taught of the Spirit, in evidence of having Christ as Advocate; keep His commandment to believe on Him as He is revealed in God’s Word, 1 John 3:23. Faith in Christ and His righteousness is never the cause or reason for our acceptance, but the evidence of being accepted in the Beloved, because of His work of propitiation, reconciliation, redemption, and satisfaction at the cross. Where there is faith in him; there is also Spirit given love to him, for faith works by love, Galatians 5:6.

Those who know Christ in truth, evidence they are the Lord’s in obeying the commandment to love the brethren, 1 John 4:21. Brethren are those who share the same faith of Christ, revealed in His Word, without condition or compromise, 2 Corinthians 6:15. The grace and mercy of God teaches us to show kindness to all, but just like those of our own family, there is a special love for those whom Christ has redeemed, and taught His grace, Galatians 6:10. While the religious world may consider us unloving not to fellowship with any who deny the Christ of Scripture, and the message of God’s unconditional election, grace, redemption, and full and complete justification by His death; nonetheless, it is that distinctive love for Christ that causes us to seek out fellowship and love His true people in this way. It is not a love that distinguishes between men based on race, color, or social standing, but rather a love of the truth, that affects our walk, will, and worship. That is not bigotry, but keeping His commandment! 1 John 2:15.

Pastor Ken Wimer, Shreveport Grace Church, Shreveport, Louisiana

GOD'S ONLY MEANS OF SALVATION


Most people in religion today are confused when it comes to God’s appointed means of salvation. According to them, their god uses a variety of means to encourage those who hear to “accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior”. Some claim they have seen visions that caused them to “seek the Lord.” Some think they have heard voices that called them to salvation. Some who have survived horrific events in their lives have been changed from ungodly individuals into religious, seemingly moral, dedicated church goers. Still others think God can save sinners with or without the use of any means, i.e., they think if God has purposed to save somebody, he will save them any way he pleases. My question to all of us is, "What do the Scriptures declare to be God’s ONLY MEANS of salvation?"

I’m not asking what your denomination says, or what some old preacher said, or what Mom and Dad taught you. I’m asking that we simply go to God’s Word without any preconceived notions and see what the Scriptures declare on this vital issue.

We must understand that the preaching and Spirit-given hearing of the Gospel is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for one of God’s elect to have the salvation Christ accomplished for them at Calvary revealed to their minds and understanding and bring them to Christ in repentance. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:1,2 - “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved.” Notice what verses 3 and 4 declare - “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES (He died as the substitute and surety for His people); And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES (He died, was buried, and rose again, not for Himself, but for all those He represents).”


So anything men declare to be the gospel, if it doesn’t declare this truth, it isn’t the gospel at all, but a product of man’s depraved understanding. One thing is certain: GOD NEVER CHANGES. The Old Testament saints were saved, i.e., they had Christ’s righteousness revealed in their minds and understanding the exact same way that New Testament saints have it revealed to their minds. It’s through the preaching of the Gospel that God is pleased to reveal to His people what they actually possess by virtue of their oneness with their Representative, the Lord Jesus Christ - “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

How does He give us this knowledge?

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) Even as there is only one means whereby God has put away sin and justified His people in the death of His Son, so He has determined that ONLY through the means of preaching the Gospel He will bring each of His elect to see His Christ and submit to and rest in His righteousness imputed in Christ alone as all of their salvation, Romans 10:3,4.

RICHARD WARMACK
Grace Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana

GOD'S GOSPEL: THE ONLY MEANS OF SALVATION

What would be your thoughts concerning the following statement?

“The best sermon you can preach is the one that you live.”

If you agree with this statement, let me assure you there is NO Biblical support for this deadly error. Think about what someone means when they make such a statement! They are saying sinners can live in such a way as to reveal through the “sermon they’re living, everything lost sinners need to be made righteous before God. This reveals that they think more of their own righteousness (personal holiness) than they do of the Righteousness produced by the Lord Jesus Christ’s obedience unto death at Calvary as the Representative and Substitute of all God’s elect. We shouldn’t be surprised when lost sinners think this way because Christ told us they would - “Many will say to me in that day(the last judgement), Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:22)

At the final judgement these lost, self-righteous religionists are still claiming that what they’ve done ought to be enough to make God obligated to save them. In spite of the fact the Lord said, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10), and Paul said, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20), lost sinners insist their lives can be the best sermon anyone could ever see. How tragic! Truly “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

The Apostle Paul never promoted holy living as a means to bring lost sinners to true justification and eternal life. He taught continually, as did all the Apostles, that God’s only means of saving sinners is through the preaching of the Gospel of salvation conditioned on Christ’s righteousness ALONE - “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)


Peter wrote: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:23) They all agreed - “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:21)

While it’s true every justified sinner should seek to be perfect in every area of their lives, they also will readily point men away from thinking their obedience has anything to do with saving them and they will point lost sinners to the Righteousness of God found only in Christ the Lord - “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Romans 10:4) Let us always point men to Christ, not to ourselves!

RICHARD WARMACK
Grace Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana


DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW THE GOSPEL?

What exactly is meant by the question, “Do you really want to know the gospel?

Would you consider it a stupid question?

Would you be surprised to learn there is a hidden meaning to this question?

We live in a day where words have lost their meaning or at best are used incorrectly. Everywhere you look today people use this word “gospel” to describe anything that is religious in nature. We have gospel music, gospel book stores, gospel television networks, and even gospel ringtones. Consider this: Are any of these things what Paul meant when he wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it IS the POWER of God unto salvation”?

I’m sure you’ve been told at some point in time that the word “Gospel” means good news.


Do you know what the good news is?

Is it good news to tell sinners who are struggling with loving God and loving their neighbor and failing miserably that they better “get right or get left”?

Of course this isn’t good news and it’s not the gospel. You might think the Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. These are historical truths contained in the Gospel, but in and of themselves, THEY AREN’T THE GOSPEL.

A person can know Christ came, He lived, He died, and He rose again and still not know the Gospel.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 - “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES.” The key to knowing the Gospel is found in these four simple words, “ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES”. “According to the scriptures”, Christ didn’t simply make salvation possible for sinners if they fulfilled certain conditions. “According to the scriptures” the Gospel is declared in these terms: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, for HE SHALL SAVE his people from their sins.” It doesn’t say he tried to save his people or that he made a way for sinners to save themselves if they believe. It says HE SAVED THEM.

How did he accomplish this?

By HIS perfect life of strict obedience to God’s holy law as the representative and substitute of all those God the Father gave Him in the everlasting covenant of grace. Every step Christ took in His time on this earth wasn’t for His benefit, but for the eternal benefit of those He represented. Peter wrote: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

Here’s the good news of the Gospel: Christ actually justified all those whom he represented when he offered himself to God at Calvary and God was well pleased for His righteousness sake. When Christ cried “IT IS FINISHED”, salvation was actually accomplished for His people and those He died for will all in time come to see that Christ is indeed their all.

Do you see that Christ is your all?

If Christ is your all, you’ve experienced the gift of God’s grace.

RICHARD WARMACK
Grace Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana


BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD

The one characteristic that distinguishes the God of the Bible from the “god” which most people follow is this: The True and Living God requires PERFECT satisfaction to His infinite law and justice. The God of the Bible is so holy, and His justice is so strict that He CAN’T and WON’T overlook the least sin in the ‘best’ of men. Where He finds ONE transgression, He must meet the transgressor with infinite justice and eternal condemnation - “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4) “The wages of sin is DEATH (eternal condemnation).” (Romans 6:23a)

Even though the One True God is so strict and His justice is so swift, there stood a Representative Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Surety and Substitute of ALL God’s elect, who is lovingly called “the Lamb of God” by John the Baptist. This LAMB is seen in type and shadow at the very beginning of time when Adam, the representative of ALL MANKIND sinned against God and plunged every sinner he represented into a state of condemnation - “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21) What we see “through a glass dimly” in this verse is SUBSTITUTION. The Lord Himself killed an innocent animal and made a covering for Adam’s transgression. This great truth of the Lamb is prevalent all throughout God’s Word. In fact, the word “lamb” is used 100 times from Genesis to Revelation. God progressively gave more light from Genesis to Malachi concerning this Lamb’s origin and His accomplishment. We see Him in the ram caught in the thicket when Abraham went to offer up Isaac - Genesis 22:13. We see a vivid description of the Lamb in the Passover lamb - “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats.” (Exodus 12:5) This tells us the Lamb must be from among the sheep, i.e., He must be flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone, and He had to be “without blemish”, i.e., PERFECT. We see the effectiveness of the Lamb’s blood in all the ordinances of the Mosaic Law and the Aaronic priesthood. But all of this paled in comparison to the fulfillment of all the types when John the Baptist proclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” His was not merely a covering for sin; He actually took it away enabling God to justify sinners from every tribe, nation, and tongue, for whom God sent His Son into the world to lay down His life. They have been redeemed, justified, and forever forgiven by His shed blood. That is why He is called, ‘the Lamb OF GOD!’ He is God’s Lamb, God’s Savior, and God’s Substitute appointed for sinners that He chose from eternity.

RICHARD WARMACK
Grace Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana

THE GOSPEL: ARE YOU ASHAMED OF IT?

Like every sinner who has been justified (MADE LEGALLY RIGHTEOUS OR HOLY) based on Christ’s finished work of redemption at Calvary, I’m forced to admit there are many things I have done and am ashamed of, before and after my regeneration and conversion. I’m not just talking about those things all sinners agree to be sinful and evil before God, i.e., breaking any of God’s commandments. I know I have NEVER loved God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength and I also know I have NEVER loved my neighbor (WHICH INCLUDES MY WORST ENEMY) as myself.

Even though I know I’ve failed God miserably and I’m ashamed of those failures, I’m most ashamed of those moral and religious things I did before conversion which I thought made the difference between saved and lost - “But what things were gain to me (made others and myself think I was saved), those I counted loss for Christ.” (Philippians 3:7) No one in their right mind thinks ungodliness and immorality can save them. But multitudes think their righteousness, morality, sincerity, and dedication can and do save them, even though the Bible expressly tells them it doesn’t. (See Titus 3:5; Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16, Philippians 3)

In spite of the fact I am truly ashamed of all these things, like Paul I can honestly say: “For I am not ASHAMED of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

As believers, we should never be ashamed of this glorious message that God has committed to us to proclaim to lost sinners. The reason we shouldn’t be ashamed of it is because it is the ONLY MEANS God will use to call His elect children to rest in Christ as the “Lord their Righteousness”. Paul calls it the “power” (in the Greek the word is dunamis, from which we get the word dynamite) of God UNTO salvation. The reason it is so powerful is because of what it reveals - “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” (Vs.17) In the preaching of the Gospel, God’s servants declare the ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS God accepted to justify sinners. That Righteousness was worked out by the perfect life and obedient death at Calvary of God’s appointed servant, the Lord Jesus Christ - “He (Christ) shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11)


If we don’t preach out this Righteousness as the sinners ONLY HOPE of salvation every time we speak for God, we should be ashamed of it because we haven’t proclaimed the Gospel. God help us to proclaim the clear, simple message of Christ and Him crucified every time God gives us the opportunity.

RICHARD WARMACK
Grace Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana


CHRIST'S DEATH: AN ACCOMPLISHMENT

If there is one thing certain about life, it’s the reality of death - “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)

Most of us have already had to face death, or we will face death in the future. I can guarantee you, when we are forced to face it in the death of a friend or a relative, we would never think of their death as an accomplishment. Matter of fact, we almost always make some of the following statements: “They were taken in the prime of their life”; “They were taken too soon”; “They had so much yet to accomplish.”

Even though we don’t consider death to be an accomplishment, our Lord declared His death to be an accomplishment. On the Mount of Transfiguration, as Our Lord stood with Moses and Elias, they talked about His death - "And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease literally, departure from life) which he should accomplish literally, make full) at Jerusalem." (Luke 9:30,31).

Think about that! Our Lord Jesus Christ looking forward to His impending death under the wrath of God in order to legally satisfy God’s holy law and His infinite justice on the behalf of all His elect children that He represented, and He called it an ACCOMPLISHMENT.

How can that be?

Christ’s death is an accomplishment because His death ALONE, which includes His holy life of obedience to God’s law, His suffering unto death at Calvary, and His resurrection as His peoples’ representative, is the only thing that allows God’s law to pronounce sinners righteous and holy and give them the LEGAL BLESSINGS the law requires. The law of God can command obedience and can pronounce a blessing of life on PERFECT OBEDIENCE, but it cannot give a sinner the ability to keep the law or satisfy the demands of it. By His accomplished death, Christ satisfied both the penalty of sin ETERNAL DEATH) and its precept PERFECT OBEDIENCE) - “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) The Lord Jesus Christ so perfectly satisfied God’s law and justice on behalf of all those He represented that the same law which could only pronounce a curse of eternal condemnation and death, can now only declare those whom He died for PERFECTLY HOLY and FULLY ENTITLED to enter into the holiest of all - “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” (Hebrews 10:17-19)


If you are enabled to rest on Christ ALONE as the “Lord your Righteousness”, it gives evidence Christ redeemed you at the Cross and His death actually accomplished all the Triune God intended - “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11)

Is this your Savior dear sinner?

I hope He is!

RICHARD WARMACK
Grace Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana


A RIGHTEOUSNESS ACCEPTABLE TO GOD

Have you ever asked yourself this heart-searching question: HOW DOES GOD VIEW ME?

I’m not talking about how other people view you , or even how you view yourself. The problem is by nature we have too high an opinion of ourselves. We all can find someone who we think is worse than us, therefore we can feel better about ourselves. We have a Biblical example of this in the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee recorded in Luke 18:9-14. If you’ll notice the text says our Lord spoke this parable “unto certain (Pharisees, i.e., ALL SELF-RIGHTEOUS SINNERS) that trusted in themselves that they were righteous.” Whoever our Lord was addressing thought they were righteous enough to deserve eternal life. In this parable we have two men, both of them performing acts of worship. But one of them was justified, and one of them was lost.

Here is the truth that every lost sinner misses when they read a passage like this: Christ wasn’t teaching His hearers that the scribes and Pharisees righteousness (holiness) was enough to get them into heaven! He was teaching them their righteousness WASN’T ENOUGH. Since He clearly told us the RIGHTEOUSNESS required to enter into heaven MUST EXCEED THEIRS, those religious, moral, sincere, dedicated men our Lord addressed were lost. There is no doubt they appeared righteous (HOLY) unto those who saw them in their daily walk - “Even so ye (scribes and Pharisees) also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:28)


But God doesn’t take notice of those things men value as evidence of salvation- “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God”. (Luke 16:15)

Here’s a good question: What is highly regarded by men as an evidence of salvation?

(Prayer, church attendance, reading the scriptures, morality, giving to the church). There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these activities and we aren’t saying you shouldn’t seek to do these things. Believers should and do pray, give, go to church, read the scriptures, and they are moral. But justified sinners don’t do these things to save themselves. THEY DO THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE SAVED. God cannot be satisfied or take pleasure in man’s attempts at obedience-“In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.” (Hebrews 10:6)

The ONLY THING God can take pleasure and be truly satisfied by is the sacrifice He provided, i.e., His Only-Begotten Son - “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God....By the which will we are sanctified (MADE HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS IN GOD’S SIGHT) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once.” (Hebrews 10:7,10) Christ’s righteousness alone is the only acceptable righteousness to God and this Righteousness ALONE is well-pleasing to God - Read Isaiah 45 prayerfully.

RICHARD WARMACK
Grace Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana


A FAITHFUL SAYING FOR LABOURING SINNERS


When God converted Saul of Tarsus, He showed us a vivid picture of the fact that NO SINNER, no matter how guilty or defiled they might be, are beyond His Sovereign ability to save. When most people think about the Apostles, Paul and Peter in particular, they only think of them as great men of God, greatly used in establishing the Church. But when Paul and Peter spoke to other sinners, they knew nothing of any spiritual superiority to any man. Just like every justified sinner, they knew where they were when God found them and saved them. Paul wrote concerning himself: “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." (1 Timothy 1:13)

When he wrote that “I did it ignorantly in unbelief”, he meant He did all these things while he was a lost man. Saul of Tarsus was a very moral man as a lost sinner - “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the (required by the law) law, blameless.” (Philippians 3:5,6)

Everyone who looked at Saul’s life considered him to be a man of God, and no doubt Saul considered himself to be a man of God - “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15)

A wise preacher told me one time: “Everyone thinks they’re saved, before they’re saved, UNTIL THEY ARE SAVED.”

Satan had Saul right where he wants every sinner: blind to his need of a righteousness (holiness) he can never produce by his own efforts to keep the law of God, a Righteousness required by God to bring a sinner into a state of perfect justification. It was in this depraved, lost, hopeless condition that God’s grace descended to this elect sinner, Saul of Tarsus, and revealed to Saul’s mind and understanding what his Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ had actually accomplished on his behalf by His obedience unto death at Calvary. Paul knew by experience what he was talking about when he wrote: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE (REDEEM AND JUSTIFY) sinners; OF WHOM I AM CHIEF.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

The good news of Saul’s conversion is if God saved the “chief" literally, first in rank) of sinners, no matter how sinful you might consider yourself, God’s grace is sufficient to satisfy God’s law and justice on your behalf.

Didn’t Paul write “Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE sinners”?

Are you a sinner?

Would you trust Christ’s Righteousness ALONE for all your salvation?

If you believe it is evidence CHRIST SAVED YOU A SINNER. (Read John 5:23-24).

By Richard Warmack

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

DO YOU ACTUALLY HEAR THE LAW?


Modern religion teaches God’s law in such a way that it conveys to natural men’s minds the false idea they can be saved by keeping the commandments. Religious men and women are convinced in their minds that if they can make mankind understand the significance of the “Ten Commandments”, their lives will be transformed.

The sad truth is, the Law ("the Ten Commandments") can only command perfect obedience from all who are under it, but it can’t provide any strength to a sinner in order to achieve it's requirements - "For as many as are of the works of the law (trying to attain justification and eternal life by their obedience to the Law) are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (Galatians 3:10)

This Scripture clearly reveals that any attempts by mankind to keep God’s law as a means of saving themselves, keeping themselves saved, or to even recommend themselves to God, instead of placing them in God’s favor, it places them "under the curse of the law".

What is the curse of the Law?

The curse of the law is spiritual, eternal death. “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth (literally, misses the mark of perfection), it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4)

Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death.

The clear Scriptural evidence is that any attempt by men to earn salvation by their obedience to God’s holy law actually reveals their lost condition. Yet, lost religion continues to admonish men to keep God’s law. What’s even more tragic is that those lost sinners who are admonished to keep the law by these lost religionists, actually think they can be successful.

If you find yourself caught on this religious hamster wheel, HEAR GOD’S WORD - “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law (i.e., to be under the Law as a covenant of works, or to seek justification and life by your obedience), DO YE NOT HEAR THE LAW? (Galatians 4:21)

To desire life by your obedience to God’s Holy Law is the height of madness and folly. No where in the Scriptures has God promised salvation to any sinner based on their personal obedience to His Holy law. As a matte
r of fact, the Scripture declares the opposite: "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from WHICH YE COULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW OF MOSES." (Acts 13:39) (See also Galatians 3:11 and Galatians 5:4)

What then is the purpose of God’s law?

The Law shows all of God’s elect the absolute impossibility of salvation being attained based on their obedience and strips them of all hope except the salvation obtained by Christ’s perfect substitutionary work of redemption at Calvary - Read Galatians 2:16. The Law says to sinners, “DO”, while the Gospel says to all God’s elect, “DONE”. One man put it like this: “Run, run, the Law commands, but gives me neither feet nor hands. Better news the Gospel brings: It bids me fly and gives me wings.” I urge you to flee to Christ and His righteousness alone.

By Richard Warmack

JUDGING RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS


When Christ said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” Matthew 7:1, was He forbidding us to judge anyone at all who is in error?

No!

He was giving us guidelines as to how we are to be discerning and not merely judgmental, particularly with regard to whether or not we or others are saved or lost. The standard that the Lord gave is “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:2)

He was telling us we must use a proper standard of judgment and not our own sinful standard, such as “I think”, or “Mom or Dad said”, or “the preacher said”. The ONLY standard of saved and lost is God’s revealed testimony in the Gospel. According to THE GOSPEL of God, only those are saved whom God the Father has chosen; and that God the Son has redeemed and the merits of His death imputed to them at the cross as their only righteousness; and whom the Spirit of God has made alive and converted to Christ in true repentance, 1 Peter 1:2.

You are no doubt judging what I have written at this very moment, or at least you should judge it based on God’s written testimony in the Scripture - “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test, examine, or judge) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world,” (1 John 4:1).

This is as much a commandment of our God as “thou shalt not kill or thou shalt not steal”. He commands us to judge lost and saved according to the standard of God’s Gospel and not according to outward appearance - “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment,” (John 7:24).

More than any other generation in history, our generation make their judgments of lost and saved based on outward character and conduct, i.e., based on morality, reformation, sincerity, or religious zeal. They are the first ones to tell you that “we shouldn’t judge whether someone is saved or lost because we can’t know their heart.”

What a PARADOX!

They rip Christ’s words out of their proper context, “Judge not, that you be not judged” and yet judge based on a standard of their own.

The Apostles all made judgment concerning their hearers’ state before God - (See Romans 16:17; Galatians 1:8-9; Philippians 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1-3; 2 John 1:1 - “The elect lady”.)



They made their judgments of saved and lost based on THE DOCTRINE of Christ - 2 Thessalonians 2:10 - “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” It’s not enough to say you believe the truth.

DO YOU LOVE IT?

We are bound by love to God and our love to all men to judge whether we or they are saved or lost based on God’s testimony, and to declare the Gospel of Christ and His imputed righteousness alone as the only ground of salvation, in hope that God will be pleased to open their hearts to the truth. God help us to willingly “Judge righteous judgments”.

By Richard Warmack

THE SCRIPTURAL DEFINITION OF JUSTIFICATION


If you ask the nominal professing Christian to give you a Scriptural definition of justification, many of them don’t even know what justification is; much less understand the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of believing this Biblical truth. The Apostle Paul said: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved.” (Romans 10:1)

These people that Paul declared to be lost, knew the absolute necessity of justification before God, but their ignorance of HOW God justified the ungodly based on the righteousness imputed of Christ alone, revealed the fact they were lost - “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:2)

The Scriptures conclude that to be ignorant (void of knowledge) of HOW God can be “a just God and a Savior”, is to be lost.

Anytime a sinner is ignorant of “God’s Righteousness”, i.e., that righteousness established solely by Christ’s work of redemption at Calvary for the justification of His elect, they will always be “going about to establish their own righteousness” by their obedience, morality, and as in our generation, by their faith.

In the Scripture, the term justification means “to declare or pronounce one to be righteous or holy before God.” (Strong’s Concordance)

We see this in Acts 13:38-39, where the Apostle Paul declared the Gospel to the Jews - “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man (Christ the Lord) is preached (declared) unto you the forgiveness of sins.”

In other words, Paul told them that the only way of salvation was through the WORK OF CHRIST ALONE. Notice Acts 13:39 - "And by Him (by His power) all that believe (literally, are persuaded) are justified (declared legally righteous according to God’s Law and Justice) from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

From the last part of this verse we see that justification cannot be obtained by personal obedience to the law. Therefore the ground or cause for justification (being declared legally righteous and holy before God) cannot be personal obedience, sincerity of religion (the Jews had a “zeal for God”), or even faith. The ONLY ground, hope, or cause of JUSTIFICATION is Christ’s finished work of redemption at Calvary - “Being justified (declared legally righteous) freely (as a gift) by His grace (unmerited favor) THROUGH THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS.” (Romans 3:24)

The ground of justification is the work of redemption performed solely by Christ alone though His substitutionary death at Calvary. This work of redemption JUSTIFIED all the elect, ONCE FOR ALL, at Calvary. To God be all the praise, glory and honor for His glorious grace.

By Richard Warmack

Sunday, September 02, 2007

JUSTIFIED FREELY THROUGH GOD'S GRACE

Romans 3:24
Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Apart from the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration and conversion in the heart of God’s elect, man’s natural depravity will always lead him to the conclusion that his justification (his being declared legally righteous) before God is conditioned on what he does or doesn’t do. They think if they can do their best to keep God’s “10 Commandments”, live by the “Golden Rule”, make a profession of religion, be baptized, and join a church, God is obligated to justify them - "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have (lit., that I may gain) eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16)

Instead of being ecstatic over this man’s desire to do some “good thing” to gain eternal life, like most in modern religion today, our Lord carefully pointed out to this man the utter impossibility of him being able to attain eternal life by anything he could do. Christ did this by bringing the weight of God’s Holy Law to bear on this man - "And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS." (Matthew 19:17)

Christ didn’t say to him, “attempt to keep the commandments”, He said KEEP THEM - “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

The requirement of God to justify one sinner or a multitude of sinners is perfect satisfaction to His Holy law and justice. In other words, for me or you to be justified (declared legally righteous and holy according to God’s strict law and justice), we would have to perfectly keep God’s law from the cradle to the grave (which we cannot do), and somehow we would have to make this righteousness have an infinite value or worth.

WHAT A DILEMMA!

You might say: “Who then can be justified?”

Listen to the Apostle Paul: “Being (having been) justified (declared righteous) freely (without a cause) by His grace through the redemption (freedom obtained by the payment of the ransom price required) that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24)

God the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, tells us plainly here that the matter of justification (God legally declaring all His elect righteous) was worked out completely through the payment price Christ made at Calvary. Paul tells every sinner who is struggling to be justified by their works that there is absolutely no conditions for them to fulfill in order to be justified, not even the condition of faith.

Oh, God’s elect do believe!

But they believe all of their justification rested solely on Christ’s perfect satisfaction at Calvary to God’s law and justice as their Substitute and Surety. This dear sinner is the good news the Gospel of God so clearly declares - “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Christ alone can promise sinners “rest” because He fulfilled all the requirements of the Father by His obedience unto death. Think about the words of this hymn - “Jesus PAID IT ALL. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stained. HE washed it white as snow.” May you find in Christ that “peace that passeth all understanding.”

By Richard Warmack

NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH


Philippians 3:3
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

What would it mean to you as a sinner to KNOW you possess eternal life?

I know many people live under the false assumption salvation is dependant on a combination of Christ’s death plus their fulfillment of certain conditions. When asked if they know whether or not they are going to heaven their response is usually, “I HOPE SO”.

My question is: Do the Scriptures present salvation as a wish or desire for eternal life based on a sinner fulfilling certain conditions, or do the Scriptures declare a righteousness established for the sinner by Christ’s obedience unto death at Calvary?

The way you answer this question reveals your position before the True and Living God. Many might object and say, “It’s not that I doubt God’s willingness or ability to save, it’s that I doubt MYSELF.” Find one place in God’s Word where it teaches sinners to put any faith or confidence in their ability to do anything to save themselves. The Scriptures declare the opposite: “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” (Philippians 3:3)

If you read this chapter you’ll see the Apostle didn’t place ANY CONFIDENCE in anything he did before or after his conversion as a ground or hope of his eternal life. (See Philippians 3:4-14)

Now if the Apostle Paul didn’t place any confidence in his flesh, what about us?

Paul dealt with this same deadly error of adding anything to Christ’s finished work of redemption in the book of Galatians - “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if you be circumcised, CHRIST WILL PROFIT YOU NOTHING.” (Galatians 5:3) When it came to placing NO CONFIDENCE in the flesh, all God’s Apostles were in agreement (Read 1 Peter 1:18-24 and 2 John)

Since it is clearly displayed salvation isn’t conditioned on the sinner, how can we have confidence in this life we possess eternal life?

Back in Philippians 3:3 Paul gives the answer: “For we ARE (RIGHT NOW) the circumcision.” The evidence of our being in a state of justification is we place “NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH”. (See Romans 8:38-39 and 1 Timothy 1:15) The Apostle John tells us: “These THINGS have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may KNOW (literally, to perceive) that you have eternal life, and that you may (continue) to believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)

What where the things John had written?

“And this is the record, that God HATH (past tense) given us ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is in His Son. He that HATH the Son HATH (possesses) life; and he that hath not the Son, hath not life.” (1 John 5:11-12) Our eternal life is as secure and certain as the Lord Jesus Christ who obtained it for us by His obedience unto death. John put it like this: “As He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)

By Richard Warmack

NO POSSIBILITY OF CONDEMNATION

When religious people read a statement like the one I chose as the title of this article, they think those who believe and preach such doctrine are opening the door for men and women to live like hell. I’ve actually had people tell me: “If you preach that kind of message, people won’t give, people won’t attend, and people won’t have any desire to become holy outwardly.”

Most religious people think the only way you can get sinners to do anything by way of obedience is to keep them under the threat of punishment if they fail to obey and promise them rewards if they obey. I remember being told by a former pastor that if I didn’t give at least a tenth of my wages, I was a “god robber”. The same pastor told me if I didn’t put forth the sincerest effort to attend every worship service, I was either backslidden at best, or at worst I was lost. Under his preaching, I never would allow myself to think I could know in this life whether or not I was actually going to heaven. What is so sad as I look back on my lost condition while under this type of false preaching is that I was in total agreement with him. Christ said: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14)

The Scripture are quite clear when it comes to this issue of the freeness and completeness of the salvation Christ accomplished by His perfect life and His substitutionary death at Calvary - "There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them which are in Christ Jesus (one with Christ by SUBSTITUTION), who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:1)

Before encouraging these justified sinners to tithe, to attend worship, or to strive to be holy in their character, he assures them based on God’s testimony there is NO POSSIBILITY of anything bringing them back under the condemnation of God’s law and justice.

Imagine that!

Telling those who in Romans 7 are said to continually cry: “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death”, i.e., those who are continually aware of their failure even as justified saints to love God perfectly or to love their neighbor as themselves, that nothing can come between them and the God of their salvation - “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:17)

It’s not that God is forgetful. He won’t remember His children’s sin because Christ bore all the sins of all God’s elect in His body on the tree at Calvary - “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
(Hebrews 1:3)

God wrote through the pen of King David wrote:
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
(Psalm 103:12)

What more comfort could any sinner desire than to know in their heart that salvation was accomplished completely by Christ at Calvary?

By Richard Warmack

O! WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM!


There is a vast difference between the view the self-righteous lost sinner has of himself and the view the saved sinner has of himself. The problem lies in natural man’s depravity which renders him totally incapable of discerning good and evil. For this reason, they judge those people who are moral, sincere, and dedicated to religion to be “good people” in spite of the fact that the Scripture plainly declare:

Romans 3:10
As it is written, There is NONE righteous, no, not one:

Romans 3:11
There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God.

Romans 3:12
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is NONE THAT DOETH GOOD, no, not one.

Without question, every sincere, dedicated, moral religionist considers himself to be better than he was before.

How many times have you heard this saying?

“I’m not what I should be; I’ll never be what I ought to be; but thank God I’m not what I used to be.”

Is this how you judge your position before the true and living God?

We have an example of this wicked and evil practice displayed in the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee in Luke 18. The parable is prefaced with this important statement: “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves (i.e., they didn’t trust in Christ’s righteousness alone, but their own self-righteousness) that they were righteous, and despised others.” (Luke 18:9)

Notice the Pharisees’ view of himself - “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself (his prayer was to himself, NOT TO GOD), God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess,” (Luke 8:11-12).

Isn’t that amazing?

He “thanked God”, i.e., he even gave God the credit for making him into this new and improved creature which he judged worthy of salvation. If you are a lost sinner, I know you consider yourself to be a “good person”, and this opinion of yourself reveals how little you value both the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Publican in this parable shows us how every truly saved sinner, whose heart the Spirit of God has opened, views themselves before God - "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful (literally, be my mercy seat, a propitiation) to me a (the) sinner." (Luke 8:13)

Every child of God begins this journey with this solitary confession: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24)

And when we come to the end of this journey, our plea will be the same: “O wretched man that I am! WHO SHALL deliver US from this body of death”

Who can deliver us?

Paul answered this question: “I THANK GOD through (because of) JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD” (Romans 7:25)

Christ justified and delivered every son of God He represented with His one time sacrifice at Calvary (2 Timothy 1:9)

Thank God for His marvelous grace and mercy!

By Richard Warmack

Saturday, September 01, 2007

SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE - A LIFE OR DEATH ISSUE


Lost unregenerate sinners left to their own natural reasoning will always come to the wrong conclusion concerning God’s way of salvation - “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)

What way seems right to sinful man?

The way of morality, sincerity, and religious effort is what “seemeth right” to sinful man. We are taught all our lives by well-intentioned, misguided individuals that “good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell”, and because of the deceitfulness and wickedness of our evil hearts we believe it to be true - See Jeremiah 17:6.

This error in judgement is evidence of the moral and spiritual depravity of EVERY CHILD OF ADAM. By moral and spiritual depravity, I am not implying men are incapable of being moral, sincere, or highly religious, even to the point of appearing righteous (holy) to other sinners - “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the (required by) law, blameless.” (Philippians 3:6)

“Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:28)

Matter of fact, men are quite capable and readily willing to do things to save themselves - “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing SHALL I DO, that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16)

The problem lies in the fact God has NEVER told any sinner to DO ANYTHING by way of obedience to save themselves, keep themselves saved, or to even recommend themselves to God. You can’t find this error anywhere in the Word of God. Man might say it, but God has never said, “I’ve done my part, now you do your part.”

THAT’S WORKS SALVATION!

Galatians 3:16
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

The Apostle Paul couldn’t have stated it any more clearly. He told us NO ONE can be justified (declared legally righteous) by keeping the ten commandments. He went on to tell us the only way any sinner can be declared legally righteous before God was by Christ’s faithfulness to fulfill all the conditions of salvation by establishing the ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS that demands the eternal salvation of all those for whom He established it at Calvary. The Lord Jesus Christ came here ON PURPOSE, not to save the righteous those who suppose themselves to be righteous), but to save SINNERS - “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

All of those Christ died for will in time come to see their exceeding sinfulness and they will rest upon Christ’s righteousness alone as their ONLY HOPE of salvation giving evidence that Christ redeemed them at Calvary.

By Richard Warmack

SEEKING GOD'S LOST SHEEP


One of the greatest privileges and responsibilities I enjoy as a justified sinner is to get to tell lost sinners of the full, free, eternal salvation worked out for EVERY ELECT SINNER (those sinners chosen before the foundation of the world by God the Father in the everlasting covenant of grace).

This salvation is through the perfect life and substitutionary death of the elect sinner’s Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary - “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation (satisfaction by way of fulfilling God’s law and justice) for our (elect Jews) sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (every chosen sinner from the Gentile nations). (1 John 2:1-2)

What better news could be proclaimed to guilty, struggling, lost sinners than those words from our blessed Lord’s lips on Calvary: “IT IS FINISHED (justification; satisfaction; reconciliation; SALVATION)” (John 19:30).

I get to tell lost sinners there is absolutely NOTHING left for them to do in order to save themselves, keep themselves saved, or even recommend themselves to God. Christ satisfied EVERY CONDITION required by God’s holy law and His infinite justice for EVERY SINNER He represented by bearing their (the elect’s) sins in His body - “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24).

Like most of you, all my life I was told “pick up your cross and carry it”. I was told I had to “walk the straight and narrow”, and if I held out to the end, I’d be saved. You don’t find salvation and justification ever described in those terms anywhere in God’s Word. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find REST unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Do you see any call to cross bearing, straightening up, or holding out in order to be saved?

I only see a Savior who knows our condition promising REST to those for whom He died. He didn’t say, “If you’ll do this, I’ll do that”. He didn’t even say anything about believing being a condition of salvation. Matter of fact, all He said was “COME UNTO ME.” Not come to the church; not come to the preacher; not come to a profession; not come to a new way of life.

Simply come to Him!

We call on sinners to rest in Christ’s imputed righteousness alone as their ONLY hope of salvation, and I can promise you based on God’s testimony, ANY SINNER, no matter what their condition, who rests on Him alone will never be ashamed - See Romans 10:11.

By Richard Warmack

THE BELIEVER AND GOD'S LAW


When it comes to the correct understanding of a believer’s responsibility to the law of God, we must first realize that God’s Holy Law (the Ten Commandments) cannot bring ONE LEGAL CHARGE against a justified sinner - “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” (Romans 8:33)

If you’ll notice, Paul clearly stated that God “justifieth”, i.e., God is the One who declared His elect legally righteous and holy based SOLELY on the perfect life and obedient death at Calvary of the elect sinner’s substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ - “Being justified freely (literally, as a free gift) by His grace through the redemption (freedom obtained by payment of the ransom price required) that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:24)

As far as God’s holy law and justice is concerned, every sinner Christ justified at Calvary is declared “holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight” (Colossians 1:22)

Now I know the legalist will shout, “If you tell a sinner he has no legal obligation to God’s law, you’ll remove any motive to obedience from sinners.” Listen to me well: I refuse to deny God’s children the bread of comfort Christ purchased for them at Calvary by His death in order to please those who ignorantly promote religious obedience in lost sinners by threat of punishment or promise of reward.

If you are trying to keep the law in order to attain salvation, or maintain salvation, you are lost and still under bondage to sin, no matter how moral, sincere, or dedicated you might appear to men. Paul wrote: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (The LAW). Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, CHRIST SHALL PROFIT YOU NOTHING.” (Galatians 5:1,2)

What then is a justified saint's responsibility to the law of God?

Every justified saint has a far greater responsibility to obey God’s law than we ever had under the legal, works religion we were all raised under. We don’t seek to keep the law as a means to attain or maintain our salvation, but out of grace and gratitude to Him who loved us and gave Himself for us, we do seek to obey Him in every area of our lives. We also are always aware that our salvation is in NO WAY conditioned on our obedience, or even our faith - “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Titus 3:5)

As a dear brother told me: “The justified sinner has for his starting place, what the self-righteous religionist has for his goal.” The lost sinner is seeking to establish a righteousness by his religious obedience and duty, while the justified sinner can serve God acceptably by virtue of the fact he has been “made (legally declared) the righteousness of God in Him (Christ). (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Nothing is more comforting than to know you are accepted of God in Christ Jesus.

By Richard Warmack