1-24-2017 Moses Not Christ

“I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:21 NKJV). Jesus, “by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9 NKJV). God’s grace is offered to the world through the cross of Jesus Christ. Noah had “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8 NKJV). The LORD told Moses, “you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name” (Exodus 33:17 NKJV).

However, “the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17 NKJV).  The Gospel of Christ teaches “that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16 NKJV).  Keeping the 10 commandments, Sabbath day, Seder, musical instruments, incense, or any of Moses’ Law, means “Christ died in vain.”

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#grace-of-god, #law-of-moses

Using scripture to justify sexual perversion is actually scriptural*

Let’s be up front – I make mistakes! In comparison to the standards of God, the “all” of Romans 3:23 includes me. Even if I were to solely go by my own standards in life, I would still fail at living perfectly. But God forbid that I, in any sort of right mind, would use the word of God to pervert the grace of God and justify the sin that I commit against myself, my neighbor or my creator (Romans 6:1).

I see my sins! And that means that I know I’m not perfect; but I believe there is a perfect law, and that law in no way excuses sin (James 1:21-25). God’s law, through the blood of Jesus the Christ, will justify sin that’s been repented of (Luke 13:3-5, Acts 2:38), but God’s law in no way excuses sin (Ephesians 5:1-7). And you would think the clarity of scriptures such as Romans 1:18-321 Corinthians 6:9-11; 18Galatians 5:16-21Ephesians 4:17-24; 5:1-7Colossians 3:1-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-52 Timothy 3:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:9-12 would be enough to convince someone who thinks otherwise to think otherwise (I could have kept going with several more plainly spoken scripture references but if these 67 verses don’t help you to see the truth of the matter, then sadly you’re probably not able to – John 9:25; 39-41). Fact of the matter is, if it weren’t for the scriptures of God that reveals the will of God (2 Timothy 3:16-171 John 1:7-10; 3:4-7Psalm 19:8, 119:172) I wouldn’t even know whether I have sinned against God! (Romans 7:7)

Despite the sound line of the afore-mentioned reasoning, there are some in the religious world who find great pleasure in using twisting the scriptures of God to excuse sin, and great offense at anyone who “dares” to suggest that one can know that another is committing or living in sin. For proof all you have to do is read this story about offended politicians and the comments that followed where homosexuality and the rest of the LGBTQ letters are defended with verses such as the “ole-reliable” Matthew 7:1-2 (judge not that you be not judged…), Matthew 7:12 (the “golden-rule”) and even Matthew 22:37-40 (the first and second commandment). Continue reading

#faux-justification, #grace-of-god, #homosexual-movement, #irony, #judgment-of-god, #justifying-wickedness, #sin, #twist-scriptures

Judgment follows grace

The judgment of God always follows the grace of God. And the moment is always meant to change the way we view sin and the way we look at judgment. Think about it:

  • Grace shown through the ark during the flood – judgment upon the world
  • Grace shown through the blood of the lamb during the passover – judgment upon Egypt
  • Grace shown through the life of Jesus – judgment upon Israel
  • Grace shown through the gospel – the ever closer judgment upon the world

There are other particular instances with prophets and kings in Israel and even with preachers and foreign nations where the theme of “grace followed by judgment” can be seen, but the pivotal moments referred to above reveal God’s willingness and great desire to handle our sin with his grace rather than through his wrath (2 Peter 3:9-10).

Don’t misunderstand grace – if grace isn’t saving us from something, then it isn’t grace. This is why God’s word clearly teaches that approaching judgment always follows a revealed grace.

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

#grace-of-god, #judgment-of-god

September 2015 Issue of Christian Worker (Gems from the Pen of a Faithful Servant)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • God’s Grace (Carl Garner)
  • We Are Family (Carl Garner)
  • Famous Last Words (Carl Garner)
  • Are You a Dissembler? (Carl Garner)
  • God’s Authority (Carl Garner)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2015 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#authority-in-religion, #christian-worker, #church-as-family, #grace-of-god, #hypocrisy, #the-power-of-influence, #what-grace-will-not-do

Grace removes the practice of sin, or it is not grace

grace-godlinessGod’s grace not only saves, but teaches. It will not save unless we are teachable. We cannot welcome saving grace without accepting teaching grace. Grace is not a blanket to cover sin that is present, but removes both its guilt and its practice.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works. Say these things and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no man despise you.

This Paul says in Titus 2:11-15 (WEB). Grace comes with conditions. It is spiritual and moral. Holiness belongs to grace. If godliness is not present, neither is grace. Continue reading

#godliness, #grace-of-god, #sound-doctrine

Jericho: Grace, faith, works

Grace has been defined as unmerited favor. It is when someone gives something to someone else who has not earned the right to receive the gift. In Joshua 6:2 God told Joshua and the Israelites that He was giving Jericho to them. The city was a gift from God to Israel. It was given to them by the grace of God.

Yet, God laid down some obligations that they had to obey to get his gift. God’s instructions required that the 601,730 men of war were to march around the city once each day for six days. He also required that seven priests, each carrying a trumpet were to march around the city walking before the Ark of the Covenant. On the seventh day they were all required to walk around the city seven times. After the seventh lap the priests were to blow trumpets. Then the people, probably only the soldiers, were to shout.

The Israelites did not receive God’s gift immediately after he told them he was giving them Jericho. They did not receive his gift after God gave His instructions. They did not get the gift until they obeyed God. Did their obedience to God’s instructions mean that God did not give them Jericho? No, it was still a gift from God!

The walls of Jericho fell because of the Israelites’ faith. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days” (Heb. 11:30). Did the walls fall the moment they believed? No, they did not fall until they obeyed all of God’s requirements.

Did the Israelites earn Jericho because they marched around the city thirteen times, blew trumpets and shouted? No! It was a gift from God (Jos. 6:2). Did their acts nullify their faith? No! They conquered Jericho because of their faith (Heb. 11:30), and the city was given to them by grace.

Today our food is a gift from God. It is given to us by the grace of God. We demonstrate our recognition for his gifts every time we thank God for our food. Yet we are still told to ask him to provide it for us (Matt. 6:11) and we are still expected to work for it (II Thess. 3:10).

Our salvation is by God’s grace (Eph. 2:5). Just like Jericho, our obedience to God’s commands does not nullify God’s grace and our acts of obedience do not earn us salvation. If a person desires for God to save them by his grace, they had better find out what God requires of them to be saved! If a person has a desire to be saved and faith that God will save him, he will seek God’s salvation by opening the Bible, learning what conditions God has given to receive his salvation and then obeying Him.

God’s instructions did not end with the falling of the walls. There were things he required the Israelites to do after the walls fell. Just like Israel had responsibilities after the walls fell, we have responsibilities after God forgives us. After the walls fell, the Israelites had to enter Jericho and kill all the inhabitants. After we are saved, we have to thoroughly kill all the sins of which we have repented. The falling of the walls did not end the Israelites’ battle. God forgiving us of our sins does not end our battle.

The story of Jericho teaches us that Calvinism’s “saved by faith only” and “once saved always saved” are wrong. We have work to do to be saved and work to do after our salvation to remain saved.

Brock Hartwigsen, Carolina Messenger vol. 15, Feb. 2008, number 2

In Christ, Steve Preston

#faith, #grace-of-god, #obedience, #salvation

I’m Grateful for God’s Faithfulness

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

All I can say is that I’m grateful that the faithfulness of God can overcome the faithfulmess that we can create.

#1-john, #faithfulness, #grace-of-god

Nudge: A Question About Grace

God’s grace is truly dynamic!

I was thinking about the grace of God and wondered to myself (and now to you), “Does God’s grace cover sins because it converts souls, or does it convert souls because it covers sin?”

What do you think? It is one or the other, or is it both?

Think about it and chip in. I have my answer, but I’d love to hear yours!

#christianity, #conversion, #forgivness, #god, #grace-of-god, #nudge


Psalm 113

Vs. 1-3 call for man to give praise to God;

Vs. 4-6 because of God’s “glory;”

Vs. 7-9 remembering God’s grace toward men.

This is the third straight “Hallel” Psalm, so-called because each begins with “Hallelujah” (“Praise the LORD”). The Israelite “Passover” was an annual national holiday celebrating the death of the first-born in Egypt, when the angel of God would “Passover” the Israelite houses where doorways were stained with blood of a lamb (Exodus 12). This pictured Jesus’ sacrifice for those baptized into His death, so God would “Passover” a person’s sins (I Corinthians 5:7; Romans 6:3-7). The Israelites would sing Psalms 113-114 before observing Passover, and Psalms 115-118 afterwards.

Verses 1-3: (Verse 1) Who should “praise the LORD?” “Servants of the LORD.” That means that those who haven’t obeyed, or refuse to obey, the LORD, cannot properly praise Him. Only those in the kingdom of Christ by “new birth” (John 3:3-5) “are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28). (Verse 1) What should be praised? “The name of the LORD.” It represents power over life, loving concern for our lives, and the longsuffering in time while we change our lives. (Verse 2) When should His name be praised? “From this time and forevermore.” Praise should last as long as time. (Verse 3) How often should His name be praised? “From the rising of the sun to its going down.” Any time of any day is appropriate. Praising God’s name is not to be limited to, nor fulfilled by, an hour or two on Sunday, but not also home, school, business, government! Doing some good deeds does not cancel the need for worship gatherings (Hebrews 13:15-16).

Verses 4-6: (Verse 4) God is above the nations and heavens, and therefore untouched by human hands! That’s why no astronaut or space probe can ever “see” Him. (Verse 5) There is no “god” or “myth” equal to Him. Christians “know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6). (Verse 6) There is no “god” or “myth” which intervenes in human matters, as Bible history shows.

Verses 7-9: (Verses 7-8) Years before, Hannah had praised God with these very words (1 Samuel 2:8), and was blessed with the son, Samuel; it was part of Mary’s appreciation for birthing Jesus (Luke 1:52); and happens when a sinner is raised from defilement (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). God has brought His people up from human dust and dunghill, and continues through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to call people from their miserable, sinful state (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38-41). (Verse 9) A “barren woman” who is granted the joys of having a child has feelings almost unmatched in human hearts. Just so, God blesses His people (then Israelites, now Christians) with “life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25), and “every good gift, and every perfect gift” (James 1:17), so that Christians now “do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #god, #grace-of-god, #jesus-christ, #passover, #praise-the-lord

The Wonderful Grace of God

“For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men.” We find these words in Titus 2:11. This is the opening passage to the thoughts in Titus 2:11-15. This passage might be titled “Christian Living in Expectation of the Return of Jesus.”

In this passage “grace” is both a person and an action. It is evident to the reader that this verse is talking about the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus. In the fulness of time, God sent forth His Son (Gal. 4:4-5) to redeem mankind. God had promised throughout the Old Testament to send forth the Redeemer prophicied in Genesis 3:15. Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10); He came to save all mankind (Romans 5:8).

This grace is also an action. The saving grace of Jesus illustrates His great love for mankind. God so loved the world (John 3:16). It is in this action that we have the Godhead showing forth this great love towards mankind.

The main crux of the verse is that both of these thoughts in Titus 2:11 bring salvation. There is no salvation outside of Jesus (John 14:6; and Acts 4:12). Let’s embrace Jesus as our Savior and Lord and never fail to praise Him and thank Him for His great mercy “in that while we were yet sinners.” He died for us.

#grace-of-god, #salvation

Do We Resent The Grace of God?

Steve Higginbotham, in an  audio sermon,   tells of preaching on the Grace of God at South Green. An individual in congregation had not been living for the Lord at all; was not a Christian. This man, in his 50’s I think received word that He had inoperable cancer and only a short time to live. He then decided to obey the Gospel. He  was very faithful but lived only 2 months and died.

Steve tells of being in a Bible class soon after and a lady was complaining about this man and saying that because of his past life he did not deserve to go to Heaven and wanted Steve’s thoughts on this. Steve said, yes, you are right he did not deserve to go to Heaven; but in fact neither do you or I do. It seems that this sister was resenting the grace of God.

Steve talked about the Parable of master hiring the workers at different times of the day and paying them the same wage. The ones hired earlier resented the master’s generosity. (grace)  Do we “resent “the grace of God?”

#grace-of-god, #salvation

The Protecting Grace of Jesus

In verse 4 of the song “I’ll Put Jesus First in My Life” we are reminded of the protecting grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament teaches us that we are saved by grace through faith, in baptism unto good works. As long as we abide in Jesus we will never fall, we will never lose our salvation.

Christians are never promised a “bed of roses.” We are not under a “name it and claim it” philosophy as many radio and TV preachers would have us believe.

We are not immune from the “cares of this world.” The “rain” falls on the “just and unjust,” the Bible tells us. “Tho’ earth’s tribulations continue each day,” reminds us that bad times do befall the believer, “His grace will protect me for ever and aye..” We can “take that to the bank.” We can be assured that although we live “in this world,” we are “not of this world.” (I John 2:15-17)

Remember the chorus, “In all that I say, in all that I do, throughout the world of toil and strife, by day and by night, through trust in His might, I’ll put Jesus first in my life.” We must give our all to the Lord. We must be consistent in our walk for Him. We must “let our light shine” for Jesus! Keep looking up! Jesus may come today!

#christian-living, #commitment, #grace-of-god, #salvation