“For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants—not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”). He is our father in the presence of God whom he believed—the God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do.”
Under the new covenant, God now looks for spiritual descendants of Abraham, who have the same faith he had. He believed in God’s promise, contrary to all evidence.
What yet inexistent realities must Christians believe in as if they already existed?
#faith #promise #Romans #VOTD
Do you really mean it? “For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute” (Hebrews 6:16 NKJV). Swearing, or taking an oath, is bringing in a higher being to make one’s promise sound surer. Christians, however, are told: “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No,’ lest you fall into judgment” (James 5:12 NKJV). If a person has no intention of keeping his or her word, no “stack of Bibles a mile high” will make their oath mean anything! Whether it involves companies or individuals, athletes or workers, governments or citizens, husbands or wives, many do not keep their word! Society’s integrity needs Christ!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
Then all the sons of Israel did so; they did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that same day the Lord brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts. (Exodus 12:50-51)
What a beautiful, succinct portrait of the dynamic relationship between God and man! It’s like a Scripturized “gif.” God’s relationship with man has always involved three steps. 1) God issues a command with a promise, 2) man obeys, 3) God delivers. We see it in this passage; we see it at Jericho and so many of the military victories over cities of Canaan, we see it in the judges, we see it with the kings, we see it occasionally in the prophets, and most importantly, we see it in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
1) Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
2) So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41).
3) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
When I think of an action and a reaction, I immediately think of Galations 6:7-8 (NKJV), where Paul states:
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
If we engage [sow] in the immoral vices of this world, i.e., “the flesh” (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galations 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-5; 1 Timothy 1:9-10), we will not inherit the blessings of eternity (1 Corinthians 6:10; Galations 5:21; Ephesians 5:5). But, if we choose to follow [sow to ourselves] the teachings of the Bible that the Holy Spirit has provided for us, i.e., “the Spirit,” we will reap or inherit those eternal blessings that God has promised all of those who love Him (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Note the action of sowing and the reaction of reaping in this principle.
To go along with Galations 6:7-8, Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NKJV) regarding our giving:
“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
The same principle of sowing and reaping (action and reaction) holds true in our giving. If we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly. If we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully (cf. 2 Corinthians 8).
God’s principle of sowing and reaping (action and reaction) is simple. It’s putting the principle into practice that is difficult for many folks, including those in the Lord’s church.
In response to today’s nudge regarding the character of God, I am posting an article entitled, “The God Of Absolutes”: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2007/11/30/the-god-of-absolutes/.
Even though the thoughts and whims of man are constantly changing, God’s promises do not change (Hebrews 6:10-20). We can count on Him to be with us in every situation and trial that we face (Psalm 23:4; cf. Isaiah 43:1-2).
“Time is filled with swift transition; Naught of earth unmoved can stand; Build your hopes on things eternal, Hold to God’s unchanging hand”: http://www.paradisepbc.org/singing/Hold%20to%20Gods%20Unchanging%20Hand.mp3
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (Psalm 33:12a, NKJV). The sentiment belongs to Israel, but can you imagine the Lord looking upon this, our country and applying a mere portion of that which He prepared for Israel? Whether He would look down on our country and bless us as a nation is one promise in Scripture that does not apply to the United States of America. However, there is a promise that applies to all people everywhere. “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 33:18). Do you fear the Lord and do you rely on His mercy? Let that be our challenge for the day, and the coming days.
We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th American president (1809-1865)
Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, And looks to God alone; Laughs at impossibilities, And cries it shall be done.
In a world that seeks peace and justice, it is easy to overlook the importance of praising God for what He has done. Most understand why it is important to praise God in a general sort of way. However, have wee praised the Lord for His covenants? He made a covenant with Abraham, with Jacob, and with the Israelites; from the seed of David came the Christ. Learning our history is a good thing, but some times good things do not make an impact on us like it ought. David reflected on Israel’s history – going back to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and to the nation. We can reflect on the same, but we can also add to that Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:4; 3:24-27). The covenant to Abraham and to Israel had servants of God zeroing in on the land, but the spiritually minded of God zeroed in on something greater (cf. Hebrews 11:13-16). The land promise was great, but the promise of a Redeemer is greater. He gave Israel the land as an inheritance, but He gives life more abundantly to those who call on the name of the Lord (John 10:7-10).
Yesterday I spoke on hope in troubled times, focusing on passages that give me hope.
The words I long to hear more than any other: “Well done.” Christianity for the two-talent and the five-talent people was a blessing. Christianity is a livable religion with a bearable yoke. You can go to heaven. 2 Tim. 4:6-8 tells of an awards day. The Day of Judgment is not all negative; there are judgments of life too.
When things were at their worst, Jeremiah sang in his Lament the beautiful passage from 3:21-24… The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercy never comes to an end…