Saturday, October 20, 2007

“WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD”


“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”
Exodus 12:13

Free-will religion has made the difference between heaven and hell, salvation or damnation, to be dependent on, or conditioned on the sinner seeing the blood of Christ. Preachers make the sinner’s sight the key. How foreign this reasoning is to what the Scriptures teach. Notice the text, even with regard to Israel of old. God did not say, “When YOU see the blood, I will pass over you.” He declared, “When I SEE the blood…”

Some would argue that since God is eternal, seeing the end from the beginning, then salvation occurred in eternity, God having seen the blood then. While that may seem logical to some, yet, what God reveals to us in His Word is always as progressive revelation, or the unfolding of what He purposed and decreed from eternity, and accomplished accordingly, Ephesians 1:11. Therefore, the Scripture says of God, ‘When I see the blood, I WILL pass over you,’ and not ‘having (eternally) seen the blood, I have passed over you.’ His justice required a just satisfaction and accomplishment of what He purposed, Hebrews 9:16.

It is also important to point out that the blood of which God spoke of seeing here was NOT the blood of the typical Passover lamb. Yes, symbolically, it had to be shed, but the Scripture is clear that those sacrificial lambs looked forward to the One True Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. Earthly physical lambs could not take away sin, Hebrews 10:4. Those Old Testament lambs were but an atonement (covering), by which God was forbearing of the sin of His people, Romans 3:25, until Christ, THE LAMB OF GOD, did come and PUT AWAY their sin,
Hebrews 1:3.


God received the Old Testament saints, and accounted them forgiven and righteous based on the certainty and promise of the Lord Jesus coming, living, and dying to put away their sin once for all. Therefore, God declared even then, 'When I see the blood (the death of the Lord Jesus), I will pass over you' (Christ our Passover was slain, 1 Corinthians 5:7)

The sinner who by faith sees the blood of Christ (His death and what He accomplished) does so because the Spirit of God gives him eyes to see. Such a one will and does respond to the Spirit’s call and Christ’s command to ‘LOOK and LIVE.’ However, such a one will readily confess that salvation is not in our seeing, but in God having seen the blood. Our seeing is but the free gift of Him having seen the blood and being satisfied in the doing and dying of His blessed Son!


By Ken Wimer

SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF THE CRUCIFIED ONE!


THE sweet psalmist David wrote, “All my springs are in thee,” Psalm 87:7.

The Lord Jesus is to His people as a fountain of living water. The very cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (His sacrificial death) is made a fountain opened for all sin and all uncleanness, Zechariah 13:1.

That fountain opened for the sinner is his entire source for pardon and peace, acceptance and justification before God. Through the Spirit, Christ’s person and work are all our happiness and holiness, wisdom and strength.

Christ crucified is “to them who are saved, the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18.


Through the cross of the Lord Jesus alone (His obedience unto death), not only have Christ’s redeemed ones been made wise unto salvation, but they became righteous by a free justification, which the Spirit of God in time reveals to them by faith.

“This fountain so dear, He does freely impart;

Unlocked by the spear, it gushed from His heart,

With blood and with water He does thus redeem

And does by His grace; make guilty sinners clean.”


By Ken Wimer

GLORYING ONLY IN THE CROSS


“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world,” Galatians 6:14.

PAUL meant either the infirmities, reproaches, tribulations, and persecutions, which he endured for the sake of Christ, and the preaching of his gospel; or the gospel, the doctrine of the cross of Christ, and salvation by it: or rather a crucified Christ Himself, whom he preached; though counted foolishness by some, and was a stumbling to others: he gloried in Him, and determined to know, and make known, none but Him, in the business of salvation; he gloried in Him as crucified, and in His cross; not in the wood of the cross, but in the effects of His crucifixion; in the peace, pardon, righteousness, life, salvation, and eternal glory, which come through the death of the cross; he gloried in Christ as his wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

By John Gill

"FRUITS MEET FOR REPENTANCE"


"Fruits meet for repentance:" Matthew 3:8

The command of Scripture to sinners is to repent, Luke 13:3. The word means to have a change of heart, mind, will, and affection toward God, which in turn causes one to acknowledge their sinful unworthiness before Him and to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ alone as their only ground of forgiveness and justification before God. Repentance and faith are synonymous terms, one being used for the other. Where there is repentance toward God, there is faith toward the Lord Jesus, (Acts 20:21).

Fruits meet for repentance are not preconditions but rather effects (offspring) of a changed mind, which God graciously grants to sinners for whom Christ died. He did not come to call the ‘righteous’ (self-justifying ones), but helpless, hopeless, lost, needy sinners to repentance, Matthew 9:13. Where there is repentance, whole hearted conversion to Christ and His righteousness is the result.


Find me a needy sinner whom God has made so, and I will show you one who has turned from every idolatrous work, self-righteousness, rebellious will of his own, to serve the living and true God, and is waiting expectantly for the Lord Jesus, who loved and redeemed him from the wrath to come, 1 Thessalonians 1:9.


Any sinner who repents, it is because God has granted him His Spirit, resulting from the work that Christ accomplished for them in His obedience unto death, 2 Timothy 2:25.

True repentance brings forth the fruits of faith, hope, love, and glad submission to Christ as God’s righteousness imputed to the account of His people in His death, Romans 3:24, 5:9, 10:3-4.

By Ken Wimer

JOINED TO THE LORD


The apostle Paul speaks of our being joined to the Lord, 1 Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians. 2:21.

Our union with Him can never be broken and therefore we are eternally secure.

The story is told of a shipwreck in the Georgian Bay of Canada. The mate of the ship leaped into a boat with six or seven strong men and a timid girl. One by one the strong men lost their hold as the boat was turned over and over by the raging billows. Every one perished except the girl, the reason being that the mate had taken the precaution to bind her with ropes to the prow of the boat. She drifted to the shore where she was rescued and she loved for many years to relate her way of deliverance. How thankful we should be if the Lord has so joined us to Him!

THE LIBERTY OF GRACE


“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another”
(Galatians 5:13)

The liberty of grace in Christ is not freedom to sin. It is freedom for obedience, love, and service to God and to one another. Christ set us free when He died on Calvary; when He redeemed us by His precious blood and justified us by His righteousness imputed. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and calls us to faith in Christ, He calls us into the liberty of God’s grace in Christ. This works within us a love for Christ and His people and a desire to follow Him.

Any who use the liberty of grace as an excuse to promote sin show a lack of grace within the heart. Just as faith works by love (Galatians 5:6), liberty works by love. When God the Holy Spirit gives spiritual life, knowledge, and grace to a sinner, that sinner, for the first time in his life, is free to obey, to love, and to serve God acceptably in Christ.

As the apostle Paul wrote, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6:22).

By Bill Parker

EMPTY ASSUMPTIONS OR GODLY ASSURANCE?


Many times we assume, for various reasons, that we ourselves and others are Christians and going to heaven when they die. It may be they profess to believe in Jesus Christ. It may be they go to church, got baptized, attend the church regularly. It may they are moral in our eyes and dedicated to the church they attend. It may be they are kind, pleasant, friendly, and helpful.

Whatever reason it is, how can we know whether or not it is an empty assumption or true Godly assurance?

What is the difference between "assumption" and "assurance"?

It can summed up very simply. Assumptions are made when men trust in themselves (their good deeds, their wealth, etc.) for salvation; assurance of eternal life is always based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Assumption looks for things within ourselves and others for our justification before God and to find peace and assurance of salvation. Assurance looks unto Christ as the author and perfecter of our faith who freely and fully justified us by His redemptive work on the cross. Assumption trusts in our righteousness, even if we claim to give credit to God. Godly assurance rests in Christ and His righteousness.

By Bill Parker

GOOD TIDINGS


The word ‘gospel,’ literally translated means ‘good tidings.’ As God’s ambassadors we have the privilege to tell sinners who are trying their best to gain or maintain salvation by their religious attempts that Christ did ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING NECESSARY to obtain the salvation of ALL of God’s elect. Christ fulfilled every legal requirement of God’s law and justice for His people, and He actually justified them at Calvary when He cried, “IT IS FINISHED!"

"Being (literally having been) justified freely (without any cause on our part) by his grace through the redemption (release obtained by payment of the ransom price) that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).

This is good news to a sinner!

Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Now, I have that “peace that passeth all understanding,” and now I know I am as sure of heaven as if I am already there, because of HIM who is ALL my salvation (1 John 5:12,13).

Richard Warmack, Grace Baptist Church, Ruston, LA

A GOSPEL MEMORIAL


"Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken on for a memorial of her." (Mark 14:9)

The words, "Verily I say unto you," are to get our attention and cause us to listen. A woman approaching Christ to anoint Him with precious ointment, moved by the Spirit of God, is here commended by our Lord because of the significance of what her actions symbolized.


The message that the pouring out of the precious ointment signifies is the sum of the Gospel of righteousness. It concerns not only the glory of the One anointed, but the importance of why He came and the doctrine of His death, burial, and resurrection.

As glorious as is the incarnation of Christ , and all the actions of His life, and whatever He did for the good of men, yet it is His dying for sin, and making full payment for it, satisfying law and justice, fulfilling the law, destroying death, putting away the sins of His people and rising again because of their justification having been complete, that is the memorial before God.

This is the very message of the Gospel and its glory, and nothing else, just as nothing else mattered than what the spikenard symbolized to Christ in His death. These words of Christ show that "this" Gospel should be preached an it is to this end that He gave the commission and gifts to His disciples. It continues to be the message of those that the Lord has raised up in our day to preach the Gospel. It is God's ordained means for the conversion of sinners, the edification of saints, and glorifying His name in the world. (Romans 1:16)

Our Lord said, "There shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her." It is not a memorial to her faith, love, and gratitude, as some might try to glorify. God-given faith never looks to itself as having any merit. Neither does any love and gratitude that we may show to Christ. If there is any, God graciously gave it to us in order to honor His Son. (1 Corinthians 4:7)


Rather, it is the memory of our Lord Jesus that she sought to honor, glorifying His death and burial, by which her God-given hope was that her sins would thereby be put away, and she declared righteous, having the merits of His righteous obedience imputed to her upon completion of Christ's death. It is in this same way that our Lord hold all of His justified ones in remembrance, and blesses them to continue to honor His name.

By Ken Wimer, Shreveport Grace Church

GODLY HUMILITY


A man once wrote, "Humility! The sweetest, loveliest flower that bloomed in Eden, and the first that died, has rarely blossomed since on mortal soil. It is so frail, so delicate a thing, 'tis gone if it but look upon itself; and he who ventures to esteem it proves by that single thought he has it not."

Godly humility can only be evidenced as a sinner who knows his sinfulness, depravity, and impotence, looks to Christ, rests in His power and glory, His finished work alone, for all salvation. False humility will always lead sinners elsewhere, somewhere other than Christ and Him crucified, for salvation, relief, rest, and peace.

Friday, October 19, 2007

CHRIST’S WORK AND THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK


There are some in our day who in their zeal to show the necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit within us, do so by diminishing and devaluing the blessed work of Christ for us on the cross. Let us never fall prey to such deception. We preach, emphasize, and recognize the absolute necessity of the Holy Spirit’s work within us in the new birth (John 3:3-7).

No sinner is saved who is not born again by the Holy Spirit. However, this in no way diminishes the completeness, efficacy, and power of Christ’s work on the cross to redeem and justify His people by His blood and righteousness imputed.

It is just the opposite – Christ’s redemptive work on the cross demands and insures the blessed work of the Holy Spirit in the new birth for each and every one of God’s elect in each successive generation. The way we are brought into fellowship with the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is through Christ, the Son of God incarnate on the cross and by the Holy Spirit who gives light and life from Him (Colossians 2:9-10; 2 Peter 1:1-4).

By Bill Parker

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

ENCOURAGEMENT IN LOVE


When I examine myself and take inventory of my thoughts, motives, desires, and actions, I am continually disappointed in the sinfulness and weakness of my best efforts to love God and my brethren in Christ.

As recorded in John 21, our Lord asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Peter’s only reply could be, “Lord, you know all things. You know I love you.” Peter knew his love was nothing to boast in, but he knew he loved the Lord. The Lord told Peter that the greatest expression of love to Him was love to the brethren – “Feed my lambs, my sheep.”

When I see how weak and pitiful I am in this matter of love, how can I be encouraged not to give up but to love more?

It is not by considering the sinfulness and weakness of my own love. It is by considering the greatness and perfection of God’s love to me -- “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:11).

Think of the free, undeserved, unconditional love of God towards us (SINNERS) in sending His only-begotten Son to die for our sins and give us the bounty of His grace -- “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).

The more we know of HIS love for us, the more we will be encouraged to love one another more.

By Bill Parker

CHRIST, CRUCIFIED – THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL


Christ and Him crucified is the heart of the Gospel.

Everything in a sinner’s salvation points back to the glorious Person and finished work of Christ on the cross. God’s electing grace before the foundation of the world pointed to Christ on the cross. God’s redeeming, justifying grace was accomplished in time by Christ on the cross. God’s regenerating grace in the new birth is the fruit of Christ on the cross and points sinners to rest in Christ on the cross.

It is by a saving revelation of Christ on the cross and by the motivation of grace in Him and His finished work that God the Holy Spirit inspires God’s children to persevere, obey, and worship and serve God in a spirit of love, gratitude and grace. Two of the most profound statements in Scripture that show us the reality of Christ, crucified as the heart of the Gospel were written by the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul –

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”
(1 Corinthians 2:2)

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
(Galatians 6:14)

By Bill Parker

WE WORSHIP GOD IN CHRIST


We as “Christians” worship God as He identifies Himself in His Word, as He reveals Himself in Christ, and as He draws us to Himself by His Spirit. We worship God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, the true and living God in the Trinity of His sacred Persons.

We worship ONE God who subsists in Three Persons. We cannot fully understand or explain this great truth, but we know it is true because this is how God reveals Himself in Christ by His Spirit to us. Our knowledge, connection, and acceptance with the Godhead is in the Person and finished work of Christ who redeemed and justified us by His obedience unto death on the cross –

“For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
(Colossians 1:19-20)

“For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power:”
(Colossians 2:9-10)

When we praise, honor, exalt, and worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we praise, honor, exalt, and worship the Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We can give no greater honor to the Father and to the Holy Spirit than when we trust, rest in, follow, and worship God the Son incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ.

By Bill Parker

THE PURITY OF CHRIST AS MEDIATOR AND SACRIFICE


Here is the Lord Jesus Christ I know, and am convinced Scripture testifies to.

He died a completely obedient man in Himself.

He was holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners and remained obedient all the way to His death, even the death of the cross [Philippians 2:8--not toward His death but all the way up to and including death. He was obedient all the way to His death, not a rebel in His death].

He never at any time began to hate His Father.

He suffered FOR sins, the Just One FOR the unjust, not AS sin but FOR sin. At no time was He ever tainted with our sin. But as our Great Mediator, perfect and innocent in Himself, He willingly accepted all our sins that were imputed to His account and offered His perfect self as an offering for our sins.

He CALLED those sins His own. He willingly owned them all, took full responsibility for them and bore them upon Himself and carried them away making and end of sin for all His people.

Only the God-man could accomplish this.

Sin could not be infused with His divine nature, else He ceased to be God on the cross. In the light of all other Scripture, the only possible view of 2 Corinthians 5:21 is strictly judicial transfer of sin to Christ. This is what Paul meant when he said, "He was made sin FOR us, who KNEW NO SIN." Would to God that men would interpret Scripture with Scripture.

By David Simpson

A BLESSED REALITY


The blessed truth that Christ died a judicial, legal death based on the sins of God's elect imputed to Him in no way diminishes the reality of what He Himself suffered unto death nor what we as the ones for whom He died receive as the result of His death.

His death based on sin imputed was REAL, and sin did not have to be imparted or infused to Him in order to make His suffering unto death real. Our sins could never have contaminated Christ's divine nature, and had our sins contaminated His human nature, He would have been disqualified to be our Substitute and Redeemer.

The doctrine of sin imputed to Christ and righteousness imputed to His sheep at the cross is no legal fiction or non-reality. It is the real justification of God's elect in Christ.

Whenever God declares something to be so, it is no fantasy, pretense, or illusion--IT IS BLESSED REALITY!

Those who see imputed sin and imputed righteousness as merely a legal fiction reveal a serious misunderstanding of the ground of salvation and of the Gospel of God's grace in Christ Jesus.

The doctrine of sin imputed to Christ and righteousness imputed to us at the cross in no way diminishes or denies the necessity and the greatness of the Holy Spirit's work in the new birth. Our Lord said that we must be born again. (John 3:3, John 3:6)

Without the new birth, there is no salvation, but the work of the Holy Spirit IN us is the fruit of the work of Christ FOR us. Also, the work of the Holy Spirit in us is to reveal the glory of Christ and His finished work for us.. When we see the preeminence of Christ in our salvation and rest in Him and His finished work alone, we honor the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Colossians 2:9)

This is a blessed reality.

By Bill Parker

FAITH, FAITH AND FAITH


The title of this article may sound ridiculous, but if we consider the meaning of "faith" in the Scriptures, it makes perfect sense.

First, "faith" refers to the faithfulness OF CHRIST to fulfill all conditions of the covenant of redemption by His obedience unto death on the cross. This is the ground of our salvation as Christ, by Himself but for God's elect, redeemed and justified us when He put away our sins at Calvary.
(Romans 3:1, Romans 3:19; Galatians 2:16-20; Galatians 3:22; and Philippians 3:7-9).

Next, "faith" can also describe the Gospel, the body of truth and doctrine that communicates the message of Christ and Him crucified in the preaching of the Word.
(Romans 10:17; Ephesians 4:4-5, Ephesians 11-13, Acts 6:7, Acts 14:22; Acts 16:5 and Romans 1:1-5).

Finally, "faith" refers to the gift of faith given by God to His elect by the Holy Spirit in the new birth by which we come to believe in Christ, repent of dead works and trust in Him for our whole salvation.
(Mark 16:15-16; Acts 16:31 and 1 John 3:23).

All three of these are necessary in the salvation of a sinner, but not for the same reason.

The faith OF Christ is the ground of our salvation.

The faith of the Gospel is revelation of salvation.

Faith IN Christ is the fruit of salvation and the means by which we lay hold of Christ.

All these meanings of faith were described by our Lord.

He said,
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
(John 8:32)

He also said,
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by ME."
(John 14:6)

It is written in Romans 6:17-18,
"...but ye have obey from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."

By Bill Parker

FREELY


"Freely ye have received, freely give,"
Matthew 10:8

What have we freely received from the Lord, who are His elect and redeemed ones?


We have ALL things of God in Christ by His pure, sovereign, grace alone.

Have we repented of dead works and any notion of having any contribution to our salvation?

It is only by His grace.

Do we have faith in, hope on, and love to Christ and Him crucified?

“But of Him are ye in Christ who was made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption”
(1 Corinthians 1:30).

As we are made to rest in and enjoy the blessing of justification from condemnation, pardon from guilt, and sanctification from our ungodliness by the imputed righteousness of God in Christ’s death, we freely give (declare) this glorious message of grace to others, with the sure hope that those for whom Christ died will be brought into the same faith of Him who died for them, He having worked out their righteousness for them.

Have you so freely received?

Freely give, testifying the message of grace without conditions or requirements bestowed on sinners forgiven and justified by Christ’s death alone.

By Ken Wimer

WHAT DID CHRIST ACCOMPLISH BY HIS DEATH?


He has "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself," Hebrews 9:26.

He has "finished transgression and made an end of sin,” Daniel 9:24.

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," Hebrews 9:15.

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," Isaiah 35:10.

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, the 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

WHAT ARE YOU WORTH?


Men speak of what they are worth, and they immediately think of their earthly pedigree or possessions of money, land, stocks, bonds, gold, silver, etc. This is such a low estimate of life and reflects only the depravity of our hearts. The worth and value of your life cannot be measured by what you possess but only by what possesses you. If you own yourself, your life measures up to selfishness. If the world owns you, your life measures up to worldliness.

If other people own you, your life measures up to slavery. However, if Christ owns you – your life, your heart, your mind, soul, and body, your possessions which are really not your own – then your life measures up to a life lived for the glory of God in Christ. Those who belong to Christ were bought with a price.

Christ has redeemed His people and bought them with His own precious blood. He has justified them by His blood and brought them into His family forever and ever. Those who belong to Christ are to spend their lives glorifying God – “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Those who belong to Christ serve God, not men -- “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men” (1 Corinthians 7:23).

The sinner saved by God’s grace is worth more than all that the world has to offer, not because of any worthiness in himself, but because of His worthiness in Christ – “WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN” (Revelation 5:12).

By Bill Parker

IT IS FINISHED


"It Is Finished" – John 19:30

What a treasure chest of truth is to be found in these few words of our blessed Savior on the cross!

What exactly did He finish in His suffering unto death?

(1) All prophecy in the Old Testament concerning Him was fulfilled – “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).

(2) The Old Covenant was abolished by way of fulfillment – “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second” (Hebrews 10:9).

(3) His suffering unto death was completed – “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12).

(4) The redemption of His church – “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).

(5) The justification of His people – “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). Christ made an end of sin and an end of the law for His people.

(6) The destruction of Satan – “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).

By Bill Parker

THOUGHTS ON THE BLESSED WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT


The main work of the Holy Spirit in our new birth is to show us Christ’s suitableness to our needs as sinners, point us to Him and His finished work on Calvary as our complete redemption and justification before God, and to keep us looking unto Him as the Author and Finisher of our faith. In all this the Holy Spirit gives us a true and sincere desire to follow Christ, fight the warfare of the Spirit against the flesh, and seek to be conformed to the image of Christ in our lives. Herein He sheds the love of God abroad within our hearts.

A RANSOM FOR MANY


“The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,”
Matthew 20:28

When the Lord Jesus laid down His life for the world, did He do it for every single person in the world?


This is an important question because if He died for everyone without exception, and yet many still end up under God’s eternal condemnation, then that puts in question not only Christ’s power to save, but God’s justice, having sacrificed His Son, and then punishing those for whom He died. No! When the Bible speaks of Christ being the Savior of the world, it means the Savior of men and women from every tribe, nation, and tongue. He died for everyone without distinction of race, as in all sorts of sinners in the world, Revelation 5:9.

He gave His life for many, the many that God the Father chose from eternity and gave to Him, John 6:37, but not all without exception. The Good News is that having laid down His life, God the Father is just in forgiving and justifying everyone for whom He died. All who believe on Christ for salvation do so because Christ died for them! His ransom paid it all!

By Ken Wimer

WHAT IS TRUTH?


When Christ was on trial before Pontius Pilate, He told Pilate, “… To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:37).

Pilate responded with the question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38).

Pilate’s question reflected the attitude of all natural, unbelieving men – that truth is not absolute but relative and changing. This is one of the greatest deceptions of Satan, the father of lies. Christ said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

He also said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

All truth must be viewed as it is in Christ, as it comes from Him, and as it relates to Him – His glorious Person and His finished work to redeem and justify His sheep on Calvary’s cross. If we want to know the truth of God, look to Christ. If we want to know the truth about ourselves, look to Christ. If we want to know the truth of salvation by grace, look to Christ.

By Bill Parker

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

THERE IS FORGIVENESS WITH GOD


The psalmist asked, “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Psalm 130:3).

The answer is – NO SINFUL HUMAN BEING.

One of Job’s friends asked, “How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?” (Job 25:4).

Our only hope of salvation is to find forgiveness. The psalmist went on to say, “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Psalm 130:4).

How can there be forgiveness in light of God’s holiness and justice?

The answer can only be found in the mercy of God found in redemption by His grace through Christ Jesus the Lord – “Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel [God’s elect] from all his iniquities” (Psalm 130:7-8).

Sinner, mark it well, there is no forgiveness with God apart from Christ and Him crucified, but IN CHRIST there is forgiveness with God.

By Bill Parker

BOTH MADE ONE


“For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us,”
Ephesians 2:14

The idea that national Israel still holds a favored son status in God’s purpose of salvation runs contrary to the clear testimony of Scripture. The very core message of God’s Word is that God has preserved Israel in His covenant mercies in order to bring His Son Jesus Christ from her midst to accomplish salvation for His True Israel (elect sinners from every nation) - Romans 9:4-8.


That being done, Christ has by His ONE SACRIFICE not only put away all the sin of His people forever (Jew and Gentile), having justified us by His shed blood and imputed righteousness, but also forever removed any distinction between us as regards race and privilege (Galatians 3:28).

By Ken Wimer

Sunday, October 14, 2007

THE BELIEVER'S PERFECTION


I am most exceedingly distressed by my sins, and feel the need of Jesus' precious blood every hour!

I need a supply from the Fountain!

On that day “a fountain will be opened” . . . a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and defilement (Zechariah 13:1). Feeling fully what I am in myself, and proving afresh that "in my flesh dwells no good thing," in this sad state I fly to Jesus as my only refuge! Oh that the depth of my sin and misery may be overcome by His rich grace, that with Mary I may weep at His dear feet, and love much, having much forgiven. While in the body we shall never be free from sin. I had been looking for something from and in my flesh which the Word of God does not warrant me to expect.

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh" -- and ever will be! The believer's perfection is in Christ. Oh that He may condescend to teach me, and lead me to look straight out of self to a glorious Christ! "And you are complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10).

CHRIST - GOD’S JUST DELIGHT


“A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.”
(Proverbs 11:1)

We are always disgusted with injustices done on earth in our legal system, when criminals go free because of loop-holes or technicalities in the law, when innocent people are falsely accused and punished. God has given every man a conscience from which we naturally detest such perversions of the laws of the land and society.

When it comes to God’s law and salvation, men not only look over and tolerate such injustice, they applaud and boast in it. This is the case whenever sinners approach a holy and just God and seek to be justified and accepted on the basis of their own works. If God were to accept such works from sinners, it would be the supreme injustice of the universe. He would have to judge us by a false balance, a balance less than perfect, righteous, and holy.

He would have to deny Himself because He is in His very nature holy and cannot accept less than perfection. This is why the only “just weight” upon which God can and will save and accept sinners is the perfect righteousness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, imputed to sinners.

This is God’s delight because Christ and His finished work on the cross is God’s delight – “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

By Bill Parker

GOD’S WORDS


“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6).

God’s words are our foundation of faith and obedience, and God’s words always exalt Christ and Him crucified as the sinner’s only ground and hope of salvation. God’s words always expose our sinfulness and impotence so as to show us no salvation but by His free, sovereign grace in Christ. Whenever preachers deny or diminish the glory and power either of the Person or the finished work of Christ on the cross to redeem and justify His people, they are not preaching God’s words, and their preaching is not by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.


Man’s words will exalt the flesh under a guise of grace. They will boldly proclaim what they have done or have been enabled to do by God’s grace, but their focus is on self and experience rather than on Christ and His blood and righteousness. When tested by the scriptures alone, their words are burned up and exposed as lies and deception. The words of God, however, as they lead sinners to Christ, have been tried in a “furnace of earth, purified seven times.”

God’s words never fail, because Christ, the incarnate Word of God, never fails.

By Bill Parker

THE BLESSED MAN


Psalm 1 describes the keys to the life and godliness of one who is blessed of God – “his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2).

For a sinner to delight in the law of the LORD is to have a right relationship with God. The only way a sinner can have a right relationship with God is through Christ. Sinners are justified by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Our standing before God, according to His strict law and inflexible justice, is based on our being accepted in Christ, based on His shed blood and imputed righteousness.

To meditate on God’s law day and night is to view life from God’s perspective in His word. In the new birth, God the Holy Spirit implants within our hearts the divine principles of spiritual life, knowledge, and truth as He shows us our sin and drives us to Christ for salvation. From this perspective we see how all things truly work together for the glory of God and our eternal good in Christ. This is being truly blessed of God.

BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING


There is a marked difference between being concerned and careful about the important matters of our life and being anxious over things to the point that it drives us to despair. It is said that an average person's anxiety is focused on -- 40% on things that will never happen, 30% on things about the past that can't be changed, 12% on things about criticism by others, mostly untrue, 10% on health, which gets worse with stress, 8% on real problems that will be faced.

What is the answer for anxiety?

God’s Word says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

We have every reason, as the old hymn states, to take our burdens to the Lord and leave them there. When we carry these burdens on our minds to the point of worry, it should be no burden at all to go to the Lord in prayer. When Christ bore the great burden of our sins and our sorrows upon Himself for our redemption, He went to the cross more eagerly than we go to God in prayer through Him. Consider that His love and care for us cannot diminish or be exhausted; His blood and righteousness will never lose their power to justify us from all things and entitle us (his elect people whom the Father set his love upon before the foundation of the world) to the whole inheritance of grace and glory. God is at peace with His children, and His children are at peace with Him in Christ.

By Bill Parker

Saturday, October 13, 2007

“THAT THY FAITH FAIL NOT”


“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren,” (Luke 22:32).

Some might say that Peter’s faith failed when he denied our Lord those three times on the eve of Christ’s death. Were that so, then we would have to question every other aspect of Christ’s intercession, for then would we have an example of Christ praying for one of His own, and yet that prayer not being heard, putting in question every aspect of His work as Mediator! God forbid!

We know that God the Father, always hears His Son, and therefore we can say with confidence that Peter’s faith did not fail, because faith here is not a reference to something in Peter, but rather to Christ, the object of His faith. Christ cannot fail those for whom He came and fulfilled all righteousness. His work of righteousness is that which God has imputed once for all to sinners for whom He died. Peter failed, but His faith (Christ) did not. It is by the faith of Christ that sinners are justified, and not by works of the law -
Galatians 2:16.


Pastor Ken Wimer, Shreveport, LA

THE LONGSUFFERING OF GOD


A proud atheist once stood with a group of people, shook his fist toward the sky and said, "If there is a God, may he prove himself by striking me dead right now." After a long pause in which nothing happened, the atheist smiled and said, "You see, I’ve proved there is no God." One man in the crowd responded, “All you have proved is that God is longsuffering to put up with such arrogance and unbelief in such puny creatures as we are.”

The apostle Paul wrote of God’s longsuffering towards the wicked -- “What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:” (Romans 9:22).

God may put up with the proud boastings of unbelieving men for awhile, but His wrath is certain to come upon all who continue in such arrogance unto death. Our only hope is God’s mercy in Christ.


Paul went on to write -- “And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory,” (Romans 9:23).

Sinner, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).


Run to Christ and beg for mercy!

DIGGING DEEP


“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Luke 6:46-48)

Notice that our Lord likened the wise man (Matthew. 7:24) who built His house upon the rock (the Lord Jesus Christ Himself) to one who “digged deep.” But also note that the reason the house withstood the storm was not because of the digging, but rather because of the foundation that was unearthed – “for it was founded upon a rock.”


It’s not the digging deep that makes the difference, yet all whom God justified by the blood of Christ and who shall so stand at the judgment, will ultimately be drawn by God’s irresistible grace in their respective lifetimes to persist in seeking (or digging) until they find.

In the day of His power, God reveals to them that one foundation, “a tried stone” who produced the very righteousness necessary and satisfactory to the judgment of God, a “sure foundation” (Isaiah 28:16), the Lord Jesus Christ. Sinners are commanded to “strive to enter in the strait gate” (Luke 13:24), to dig deep so to speak in seeking “the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). And all for whom Christ lived and died shall do just that. All that the Father giveth Him shall come to Him (John 6:37) – to Christ, the solid rock!

Randy Wages, Eager Ave. Grace Church, Albany, Geogia.

CHRIST ALONE DID ALL THAT WAS NEEDED


Christ did all that was needful to be done to make us perfect, and present us holy.

For what can be more required to the justification of a sinner before God than to be free from all sin?

Is not he that is no sinner a righteous person?

Must not he that is free from all sin, of necessity, appear just to Him that knows he is so as God does?

It is all one to be free from sin and to be perfectly righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 1:7). There is no medium betwixt them: "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities" (Isaiah 53:11). His bearing their iniquity was that which did justify them; and by His knowledge He knew whose sins He bore, viz. whom He justified.

Samuel Richardson, 1647

TRUST IN THE LORD, AND DO GOOD


“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”
(Psalm 37:1-3)

While we as believers reside here on this earth, we will always be plagued by the enemies of Christ and His truth. It is a most difficult situation, but we need not worry, fear, or be envious of the fleeting prosperity of the workers of iniquity. The warfare is not ours to win by our power and goodness. It is the Lord’s, and He is able to defeat all His (and our) enemies. He is able to save us completely. When He spoke to His disciples of the great work He Himself would accomplish in saving them, He said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that IN ME ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

There is no peace in this world for children of God, but there is eternal peace in Christ.

He overcame our enemies when He died on the cross to justify us in the sight of God.

He overcame our enemies when He arose from the dead.

He overcame our enemies when He gave us spiritual life by His Spirit when we were born again.

He continually overcomes our enemies as He ever lives to make intercession for us and keep us by His power and grace.

He will ultimately overcome our enemies when He returns to this earth to gather His church unto Himself, glorify us, and judge this world. Let us keep our eyes upon Him. Let us trust Him, not ourselves, but Him alone. Let us seek to do good, not in our own strength and power, for we have none, but by faith in Him who saved us, sustains us, and gives us the victory now and forever, Jesus Christ and Him crucified, the risen Lord of glory.

By Bill Parker

HEART FAITH IN CHRIST


“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
(Romans 10:10)

Saving faith that God imparts to and implants in our hearts by His Spirit in the new birth is not a blind leap in the dark, nor is it wishful thinking, hope without substance, or positive determination.

First, it is saving faith, not because faith itself saves us, but because it looks to Christ on the cross as our whole salvation. Faith that comes from God by the Spirit has an object – CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED. It is founded upon the fact that our redemption and justification before God was completed by our sovereign Lord at Calvary. True heart faith which the Holy Spirit works in us is the fruit and result of the finished work of Christ for us. The act of believing, though necessary in salvation, is not the cause of salvation, nor is it any part of the righteousness by which God justifies sinners. That place belongs to Christ and Him alone.

Secondly, true heart faith is an act of the mind enlightened and taught by God in the Gospel of His grace in Christ, and it reaches to the affections and the will of those who possess it. It is a dynamic force of God’s grace that brings a sinner to bow to the God of sovereign grace, plead for mercy, repent of dead works, and brings the sinner to run to and rest in Christ for all of salvation, peace, comfort, and assurance. It works by love and obedience to God, not to attain or maintain salvation, but because salvation has already been attained and is being maintained by God’s power and grace in Christ. This is true heart faith in Christ.

By Bill Parker

THIS MINISTRY


“Therefore seeing we have THIS MINISTRY, as we have received mercy, we faint not.”
(2 Corinthians 4:1)

We who have been saved by the grace of God have the greatest responsibility. We have "this ministry", the ministry of the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.

This is a ministry of salvation as we tell sinners of God’s grace so as to show them the glory of Christ’s Person (God and man) and the value of His atoning blood and righteousness to secure the salvation of all who believe in Him.

It is the only ministry that will expose to lost sinners their sinfulness and depravity, even the sinfulness of their best deeds, so as to bring them to repentance.

It is the ministry of edification designed to establish the hearts of saved sinners with grace and encourage us in the service and worship of God and in the love and service to each other.

What a ministry this sir's not faint, give up, and let’s not take it for granted.

By Bill Parker

A LOOK AT MAN


Chapters One and Two of Genesis give an account of how God brought the world into being and created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-29, Ecclesiastes 7:29). God gave to Adam the law concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17). How long Adam remained obedient we do not know, but Chapter Three gives an account of his disobedience and fall.

(Verse 1) Little is known about the serpent whom Satan used to tempt Eve. Some say that he was more naked, as they were, having no hair as the other animals. Some say that he was more beautiful, wise, and cunning (Matthew 10:16; 2 Corinthians 11:3). Some ask the question, "Why would Eve stand and talk with an animal?" While there are many questions we cannot answer, several things are quite clear.

A. Satan (Lucifer, the devil) was a great angel with power, majesty, and glory before he fell (Isaiah 14:15; Luke 10:17-18): and it was Satan who appeared and talked to Eve in this particular form called the serpent. He was behind the entire temptation.

B. Eve was evidently alone: no mention is made of Adam at this time. In all probability she was near the tree or even looking at it.

C. Satan's question to Eve may have suggested the following: "You are superior creatures; the whole earth is supposed to be in subjection to you; yet you are not totally free nor fully blessed, for there is something God is withholding from you and will not allow you to have. Hath God said, ye shall NOT eat of every tree of the garden?"

(Verse 2-3) Eve replied, "We may eat of the trees in the garden, but not of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." She knew the commandment and repeated it to Satan; although she added, "Neitner shall ye touch it" (Genesis 1:29-30. Genesis 2:16-17).

(Verse 4) "Ye shall not surely die." This is a direct denial of the Word of God. This is today and always had been Satan's way—to deny the Word of God.

(Verse 5)

A. "This is merely a threat from God to keep you in subjection to Him. He will not carry it out."

B. "God knows all things; and He knows that if you eat of this tree, the eyes of your understanding will be opened, and you will know things that you do not now know."

C. "You will be LIKE GOD, or you will be gods yourselves and know good and evil. You will be greater and wiser, under no control from God." He may have eaten of the fruit himself to demonstrate to the woman that she would not die, for he did not die nor change upon eating it.

(Verse 6) Eve, being deceived by the serpent (1 Timothy 2:13-14), was convinced that the tree was good for the FLESH, pleasant to the EYES, and a fruit that would make one WISE (1 John 2:15-16). She ate it. Probably nothing happened; for it was upon ADAM'S eating the fruit that the fate of man depended, not the woman; for Adam was the federal head, the representative of all our race (Romans 5:12, Romans 5:17-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 1 Corinthians 15:45-48). She gave the fruit to Adam, and he ate of it willingly and knowingly.

(Verse 7)

A. "Their eyes were opened," not to advanced knowledge nor to things pleasant and profitable, but to things distressing—EVIL. They saw they had been deceived and had lost communion with God.

B. They knew they were naked, and they felt things they had never known before, such as shame, guilt, fear, and hate. The robe of purity and innocence had been stripped from their souls, and they were ashamed and afraid.

C. They began to try to COVER THEMSELVES with leaves. The death and damage were inward; outwardly they were unchanged as yet, but they were dead SPIRITUALLY (Matthew 15:17-20; Psalm 58:3, Jeremiah 17:9). They fell out of God and purity into themselves, from partakers of the Divine nature to a nature of evil and flesh only (John 3:5-6). Adam's apron of leaves could not cover his true shame and guilt nor restore him to God's favor. His fallen nature produced guilt (Verse 8), fear and shame (Verse 10), self-righteousness and hatred (Verse 12).

(Verse 15) Here is the first promise in the Scriptures of our redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ—THE SEED OF WOMAN! All born into this world are the seed of men except Christ, Who is born of the virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:28-35).

Christ, the woman's seed, the God-man, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, shall come into the world and by His life and death destroy Satan and all evil and death on behalf of His people. Satan shall bruise His HEEL; His human life shall suffer and die. But He shall bruise Satan's HEAD, which is his power, government, and reign (Hebrews 2:14-18).

(Verse.21) Another picture and type of Christ is given here. God slew an animal, shed its blood, and made coats of skin for the guilty sinners. The first blood ever shed on earth was shed in sacrifice to cover a man's sin. Christ, the Lamb of God, must shed His blood and die to put away our sins and provide a robe of righteousness for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Since God is infinitely and unchangeably holy, sin can never be passed over without full payment and satisfaction of the justice of God (Exodus 34:7; Joshua 24:19).

By Bill Parker

Friday, October 12, 2007

IS SALVATION BOTH BY GRACE AND BY WORKS?


“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:5-6)

A man was arguing with a Gospel preacher about this matter of faith and works. “I think that getting to heaven is like rowing a boat,” he said. “One oar is faith, and the other is works. If you use both, you get there. If you use only one, you go around in circles.”

‘’There is only one thing wrong with your illustration,” replied the preacher. “Going to heaven is not a matter of rowing a boat. Nobody is going to heaven in a rowboat! Going to heaven is by getting on the ark, and that ark is Christ.” The preacher continued, “Besides, “There is only one ‘good work’ that takes a sinner to heaven -- the finished work of Christ on the cross”
(John 17:1-4; 19:30; Hebrews 10:11-14).