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Archive for August 16th, 2012

REPENTANCE IS NOT ENOUGH

 The Apostle Paul, in describing his ministry, said he was always, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).  Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, had written something very similar in his Gospel:  “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Lk. 24:45-47).

When we, those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, sin, we have thought, spoken, or acted according to our will, as opposed to living according to God’s will.  Immediately, the Holy Spirit begins convicting us of our sin, and unless we repent and confess our sin, the Father disciplines us (Heb. 12:5-12; 1 Jn. 1:9). 

An example of the Lord’s discipline is found in 1 Corinthians 11:23-32.  Notice that there is a progression of severity in God’s disciplining of His errant child:  weakness, sickness, and finally, death (v. 30).  The writer of the Hebrews passage had subtly suggested that rebellion could result in the physical death of a believer.  He wrote, “. . . shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (v. 9).  However, for the child of God, death does not mean one loses his or her salvation, but that God, not wanting His Son’s name tarnished by the believer, removes His child (1 Cor. 5:4-5).

On the other hand, an unbeliever may repent of his sin, and even try to compensate for it by doing good works.  After Jesus had fed the 5000, He had to rebuke them for following Him for selfish reasons (Jn. 6:1-27).  They were repentant and “Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him (Jesus) whom He (the Father) hath sent” (Jn. 6:28-29).  He continued teaching, and in the end, all but the twelve ceased to follow Him (Jn. 6:30-71).  They had repented but failed to believe!

Salvation results from turning from one’s sin and trusting in the sinless One:  Jesus!

Posted by JESUS IS LORD at http://skipslighthouse.blogspot.com/2012/08/repentance-is-not-enough.html

repentance

repentance (Photo credit: liber(the poet);)

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WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED FROM MY SIN?

 1. BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

In Acts 16:30 the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas this crucial question: “What must I do to be saved?” The answer was simple and clear: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (verse 31). The one requirement was to believe on Christ. Faith and faith alone is what God requires of a sinner.

2. FAITH ALONE IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION

I would urge you to read carefully and prayerfully the following verses of Scripture:

John 1:12-13
John 3:15
John 3:16
John 3:18
John 3:36
John 5:24
John 6:35
John 6:40
John 6:47
John 7:38-39
John 11:25-26
John 20:31
Acts 2:21
Acts 10:43
Acts 11:17
Acts 13:38-39
Acts 15:11
Acts 16:31
Acts 20:21
Romans 1:16
Romans 3:22
Romans 3:26
Romans 3:28
Romans 3:30
Romans 5:1
Romans 10:9
Romans 10:11
Romans 10:13
1 Corinthians 15:1-2
Galatians 2:16
Galatians 3:2-9
Galatians 3:14
Galatians 3:24
Galatians 3:26
Ephesians 2:8-9
2 Thessalonians 2:10
2 Thessalonians 2:12
1 Timothy 4:10
2 Timothy 3:15
Titus 3:8
1 John 5:1
1 John 5:11-13

In all of these passages FAITH is mentioned as being essential for salvation. Believing in Christ is the sole condition for salvation and for receiving the gift of eternal life.

3. EPHESIANS 2:8-9 TELLS US HOW A PERSON IS SAVED!

“For by grace are ye saved THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Salvation is a gift. It is free (paid for by the blood of Christ). All the sinner needs to do is to receive that gift by faith.

 Trust in Jesus and be saved from your sins, now, while there is still time!

Posted by at  http://skipslighthouse.blogspot.com/

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“Unlike many modern preachers, Paul refused to edit out the difficult parts of the message. He insisted on preaching the whole gospel.”

It is increasingly common today to hear parts of the gospel proclaimed. The same was happening in the early church. In Acts 20, Paul says to the Ephesian church elders, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.  For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the WHOLE WILL OF GOD (Acts 20:26, 27).

Unlike many modern preachers, Paul refused to edit out the difficult parts of the message. He insisted on preaching the whole gospel.

In 604, Pope Gregory wrote about the “Seven Deadly Sins” which included pride, gluttony, envy, lust, anger, greed, and laziness. In the spirit of the Pope’s top seven, here’s my list of “Seven Deadly Sins of the Pulpit.” 

1. Preaching Christ Without the Cross.

No-cost Christianity. Paul was determined to know and preach nothing except Christ and Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). Today it seems we preach everything but Christ and the cross, causing many to live as enemies of the cross (Philippians 3:18).

2. Preaching Salvation Without Sanctification.

No-change Christianity. So many claim Christ today with no evidence or change in their lives, and the pulpit is at least partially to blame.

3. Preaching Decisions Without Discipleship.

No-commitment Christianity. I know we are getting crowds and decisions, but are we making disciples?

4. Preaching Love Without Lordship.

No-compliance Christianity. Jesus is Lord, and because He is Lord, He heals, delivers, provides, and saves.  

5. Preaching Prosperity Without Purpose.

No-cause Christianity. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing.

6. Preaching Blessing Without Birthright.

No-covenant Christianity. Esau threw away his birthright and still expected a blessing. It does not work that way. If we want the blessing, we must accept the covenantal responsibilities that go with the birthright. 

7. Preaching Revival Without Reformation.

No-transformation Christianity. We are called to be salt and light, to impact individuals and cultures, families and nations. The gospel is supposed to be transformational.

I have certainly been guilty of all of above at different times in my life as a preacher. As I have matured, hopefully, I’m being more and more faithful to preaching the WHOLE WILL OF GOD. How about you? 

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