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Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

10921891_10205159928731708_719321206_n10634396_10203935501521793_1651967952_nThe Word Made Flesh

We confess the mystery and wonder of God made flesh and rejoice in our great salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.
With the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Son created all things, sustains all things, and makes all things new. Truly God, He became truly man, two natures in one person.
He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived among us. Crucified, dead, and buried, He rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment.
For us, He kept the Law, atoned for sin, and satisfied God’s wrath. He took our filthy rags and gave us His righteous robe.
He is our Prophet, Priest, and King, building His church, interceding for us, and reigning over all things.
Jesus Christ is Lord; we praise His holy Name forever.
Amen.

The Ligonier Statement on Christology10943295_10205159927291672_1698229327_n

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OBEDIENCE ALWAYS WINS!

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And it gets you stuck in life. Rebellion is called equal to witchcraft in the Bible. Israelites were in the desert for 40 years. It’s almost walking on a treadmill. You keep running and sweating but getting no where. It’s the same with rebellion. You will never win when you do it your way other than God’s way! There’s nothing more pleases and glorifies God than obedience. Today pray that God will give you an obedient heart! There’s humble attitude and selflessness in obedience. Why? Because when we’re obedient, we acknowledge God as the ultimate authority in our lives. We humble ourselves by obeying His requirements. And by following Him we tell him basically it’s not about us but it’s ALL about Him. Obedient life is a miraculous life. Because God will be always with you!

ISIK ABLA

https://vimeo.com/104311893

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 ABOUT of ISIK ABLA

Website: isikabla.com
Facebook: facebook.com/isikablatv
Twitter: twitter.com/Isikablam

Işık Abla was born in Turkey. She was raised—and physically abused—in a Muslim home, only to escape into even deadlier abuse by a Muslim man she married.

Işık entered college when she was only sixteen and earned a bachelor’s degree in literature, followed by an advanced business degree. She worked in high-ranking executive positions for some of the largest corporations in Turkey and traveled throughout Europe.

In 1996, she fled to America from her violent Muslim husband after he tried to kill her.

Other tragedies took place brought her into a state of despair. After years of struggling to start her career all over again in a foreign country and failing in many areas of her personal life, Işık fell into deep depression. She became suicidal.

On the day she was planning to end her life, she had a personal encounter with God. That day, she surrendered her life to Jesus and she received the supernatural healing and redemption of Jesus Christ.

From that moment on, her life remarkably changed for the better. More doors were opened, and she was given a position as CFO, then as CEO, of a European corporation.

In the meantime, Işık served in many capacities as a minister, an evangelist and public speaker. She also enrolled into college to study Computer Science. After a while, she realized that God was calling her into full time ministry. She left her 2nd college and went to Ambassador’s Commission School of Ministry. Soon after her graduation, she became an ordained minister. Isik is currently studying Masters in School of Divinity on Theological Studies.

In 2009, Işık began hosting a satellite TV program on Kanal Hayat – Turkish language Christian Satellite channel. There was an overwhelming amount of response through these programs.

Two years later, because of tremendous responses from the Muslims, she began a live call-in program: The Way, The Truth and The Life that is simulcast on Turkish and Farsi TV channels throughout the Middle East and Europe. The responses started multiplying as the lives of Muslims were being transformed.

Currently, Işık’s TV programs target approximately 500 million people in the Muslim world. In 2014, the ministry reached 250 million people only through Social Media. Facebook has received an overwhelming response of 1.7 million likes and 3.5 million daily hits from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Yemen, India and the U.S. Thousands of messages are received monthly.

Because of the high demand and God’s calling, Işık started Embracing New Life, TV programs in English and aired on INSP TV (Inspiration TV). These programs are targeting hundreds of millions of Muslims and are being dubbed into Urdu, Farsi and Arabic.

Indonesia: RecentlyIşık received an invitation for her programs to be dubbed into Indonesian language as her ministry started receiving a demand and a great interest from Indonesia.

America: In April 2015, Embracing New Life began airing in the United States on NRB Network

Through Işık’s programs, viewers from all over the US, Europe and Muslim nations receive Isik’s message of hope, love and freedom in Christ. Isık is also the founder and the president of Işık Abla Ministries.

Public Speaking: Işık has been receiving invitations from churches for conferences on the following topics: Freedom in Christ on addictions, emotional hurt, freedom from past, anger, abuse, insecurities, etc. She also receives invitations from the churches to preach on revival.

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Conviction to Godly Righteousness

Conviction of Sin and Repentance

Pastor: John W. Ritenbaugh

Source: TrueGospel.orggiven 09.29.2001

Sunday morning, during our most recent visit to St. Louis, Evelyn turned on the television set to get some news. While searching for the Headline News station, she came across a preacher giving a sermon on an aspect of conviction. Overall, for the while that we watched and listened to it, (it was a pretty good sermon), as far as we could tell he was not telling any lies. But at the same time, the sermon had a serious lack in it. Something very important to practical application was being left out. 

The sermon was full of generalities about the elements of conviction, even taking illustrations from the book of Daniel. However, at the same time, the message contained no details regarding what one should be convicted about, where or in what situation people were to be persuaded that they were right. It was just that they were to be convicted about the Christian God, Jesus Christ, and the Christian religion.

He never said once, during the time we were listening to his illustration, that the listener should be convicted about keeping even one of the Ten Commandments. He never once mentioned a single attitude that is either right or wrong. He never mentioned how certain we should be that Christ is our Savior. He never spent any time at all on slips of the tongue that cause hurt, poor judgments others have made, being offended for no good reason, or causing offense to anyone.

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There was absolutely no mention of how convicted we ought to be that human nature is absolutely wretched and incurably so! He made no mention of how convicted we should be of our needs during our pilgrimage to fighting human nature and overcoming it. In addition, there was no mention of how convicted we should be about resisting the evil of this world.
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There is a cliché that says that the devil is in the details. This cliché means that meaningful and, indeed, sometimes very serious parts of some situations are often hidden from the cursory view. This principle is often true in regards to faith and Christian living.

In the course of our life, we have learned that the details of a contract are in the fine print and they are often in a vocabulary style that even makes the lawyer squint and proceed slowly. In the same manner, the heart, a person’s mind, the seat of one’s conduct and motivation, is hidden from view and always in the fine print of one’s conduct. Outsiders cannot read it, and so often, even the person himself is deceived by his own heart. This is because the human heart is so frequently responding to its invisible master—Satan and his horde of principalities and powers, those influences that dominate the world.
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I want you to turn with me to Matthew 7, with Jesus speaking in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount. And He says to those people who were standing before Him:

Matthew 7:9-11 “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

Jesus’ supposition here is general, but it is also clear. It is that human nature, though generally evil, is capable of doing good things from time to time. This proclivity plays a role in deceiving us into minimizing the fact that it is, at its very core, dedicated, consecrated, and devoted to evil.

Did you notice Jesus said, “You, being evil?” The only qualification He gave is that it can do good things. But He is saying very clearly, at the bottom line, at the foundation of, human nature is evil.

Let us go back to Psalm 51, to David’s psalm of repentance, because he said a couple of things here that are interesting in this regard. When he saw his sin, he also saw his nature.

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

David asked God to create a clean heart in him.

Psalm 51:2, 7 “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin . . . .Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Note the four terms that he used to indicate the condition he was in. Purge, wash, create, and renew. It is obvious from David’s appeal that he thought the heart he already had needed to be replaced. This is an omission from a man greatly loved by God—that he did not have a perfectly clean heart even following conversion. David was a converted man, but a clean heart must be created.

In addition to that there is a somewhat misleading translation at the tail-end of verse 10 where it says, “right spirit.” It is better understood as steadfast spirit. The human heart vacillates between good and evil, confusing the person. It is only natural we are going to accept this as being the way God intended it. He did not intend this at all. David understood after his sin what he needed besides a clean heart was one that was also stable and was not vacillating between both good and evil. He wanted it to be good all the time.

In Jeremiah 17:9, Jeremiah says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and incurably wicked.” One of the things it means is the heart is capable of deceiving us into thinking we are essentially good, but occasionally do bad things. The fruit of this in practical application is that it loves to think well of itself, but in reality it is always looking out for its own best interests and other’s interests are not given the same serious consideration.

The second startling thing is that it cannot be changed, it can only be replaced—replaced with a better nature. So Jesus was correct, from David’s point of view as well. Jesus did not say we are essentially good, but occasionally do some bad things. Rather just the opposite. Part of His purpose is to show that the essential nature of the human nature, its basic motivation, is evil but we occasionally do good things. Sometimes that is hard for us to admit and it is very humbling to realize this, but we are coming along at the end of the day, as you might say, and it has been this way for a long, long time.

Genesis 6:5 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

With that thought in mind, let’s go to chapter 8, verse 21.

Genesis 8:21 “And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite anymore every thing living, as I have done.”

I want you to notice three things from these two verses. First, Genesis 6:5 was before the Flood andGenesis 8:21 is after the Flood. There is nothing in the second verse to indicate that a change in man’s heart, to something less evil than it was before the Flood, occurred during the Flood. It was still the same heart. So in other words, the heart of all eight on board the ark still had the same potential to commit evil when they left the ark as they did when they got in the ark. Genesis 9 gives you the impression that bad things began to occur shortly after they got off the ark when Noah got drunk and a sexual perversion took place.

The second thing I want us to notice is in Genesis 8:21 where it says, “For the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” That is kind of interesting because it gives me the impression that it does not start out evil, but becomes evil. It grows evil because it is influenced in that direction and, for the lack of a better word; it absorbs evil and then acts according to it.

 

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All of us are familiar with another cliché that goes like this: “Like taking candy from a baby.” This cliché indicates something that is very easily accomplished—something that someone may have expected that they were going to have a battle doing, but it turned out to be very easy. Why is a baby able to easily give up something very pleasurable, but a child just a few years older is already reluctant to share desirable things with others? It is because in the somewhat older child, the competitive, self-centered spirit of this world is being absorbed and already being acted upon. “This is mine,” as they draw the thing to themselves. It is because the world’s values and what the self holds as valuable and desirable is becoming stronger and self-serving motivations are coming to the fore to dominate the attitude and the child’s conduct.

Willing cooperation with a real young baby gives up the candy—very willing to cooperate, very willing to sacrifice what it has. But it is fading into the background now. However, it also indicates that the potential to be influenced the good way is also possessed by the newborn. It is not condemned to absorb the world at its worst.

Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

This verse gives hope that using the proper childrearing methods will work to protect a child from the worst of the world’s influence. It also shows that following God’s instructions regarding childrearing can even alter a child’s heart after it has begun absorbing the ways of this world. Hear that parents! A child does not have to turn out the way the overwhelming majority of children do turn out, and that is a childrearing problem.

I can remember hearing Herbert Armstrong say at least twice in my hearing, (he was saying it to the ministry), “You parents are the best defense your child has from Satan the Devil. You stand between your child and the ways of this world.” It is our responsibility to stand there and protect them from it. Proper child-rearing is one of those ways. The other way is our own example and attitudes in the way we deal with them within the family and the way husbands and wives deal with each other. Very often where the child gets his worst dose of worldliness is right in the family—the family that should be protecting him.

Even though that child has already begun to go much of the way of the world in attitude and conduct, this verse shows that God says that child can be turned around a great deal. “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction [standing for right child-rearing methods] shall drive it far from him.”

Let us go back to Genesis 8 again, because the third thing I want us to notice is the word ‘imagination’that appears in Genesis 6:5 and 8:21. It is the same word that is translated ‘formed’ in Genesis 2:7where it says, “The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground.”

With that understood, what it is saying there in Genesis 6:5 and 8:21, is that what man intends to do is formed, manufactured, generated in the heart. Understand it is not saying it has to be done. But, it is in the heart that the formation of attitude and actions begin, and this agrees exactly with what Jesus says, when He said, “Out of the heart proceeds . . .,” then He gave a list of about eight or ten evil kinds of conduct. It is in the heart where motivation begins. Human nature reveals itself in the details of our motivation for very much of what we do.

Altruism is a very nice word. It has a very nice meaning and it has nice effects in a person, but it is all too rare in a human and in human behavior because at the very depths of human nature lies evil. It is very difficult for altruism to be expressed. The evil is demonstrated in self-centeredness. Self-centeredness, including leaving even God out of the picture, thus dominates human conduct and attitudes. Satan’s spirit turns us in on ourselves. It is that simple. It causes us to think, (we do not actually think this all the time), that the world revolves around us.

I John 2:15-16 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

All that is going on in the world, all of the horrible things that are going on, is the product of human nature. All that is in the world—that is what the verse said. Even the good along with the bad, except for what God does and that which is actually motivated and done by His Spirit in us. I think that you will agree that in spite all of these horrible things, there are also some attractive and pleasurable things going on in it as well.

However, the world, like human nature in the overall sense, is evil. The record is clearly written in the history of mankind. It is evil because it works to destroy relationships and actually produces slavery of many sorts thus inhibiting mankind from reaching its full potential. This is what self-centeredness does. It actually puts people into slavery of many sorts. Sometimes it is literal, as Israel was in Egypt. Sometimes it is a psychological bondage that a person is in. Their mind is enslaved to thinking about themselves all the time and people become mentally ill because the self-centeredness is so pronounced. How many people are involved in marriages in which they are slaves to a controlling partner? It happens often, frequently.

We are going to go back to Galatians with the understanding that this world, in the overall sense, is evil. And Paul agrees with John when he writes here at the very beginning, speaking of Christ:

Galatians 1:4 “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”

However, despite all these things, it is attractive to human nature because our collective human nature produced it and feels comfortable as an accepted part of it, at least participating in some of it. This is where the real danger for us lies because there is a great deal more detail within this world than meets the eye—bad things.

At various times to this point in the sermon, I have inferred three levels of human conduct. One, there is what one sees and does on the outside. This is conduct which is readily in view.

Two, moving within, there is the person’s heart. This is hidden from view. What a person’s thoughts are can be so well hidden that even the person himself does not even understand that his own motivations are essentially evil and self-centered as God sees them.

In Ephesians 2 is the very familiar third level that I want us to get into our minds at this time.

Ephesians 2:1-3 “And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversations [or our conduct] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature [the essential part of our attitudes and conduct] the children of wrath [subject to death], even as others.”

So we find, in other places, that the heart is automatically tuned into Satan’s wavelength. Thus his influence is always a possibility at anytime after birth. I think it is good to understand that unlike God, Satan—though very powerful, far more powerful than any human being—is not omniscient. His direct influence is only where he is located.

However, he also has a horde of demons generating the same basic evil influence wherever they happen to be located. They have had such a long time to influence mankind into their distinctive, destructive attitudes and thinking patterns that their influence is thus everywhere that one goes.

It is in Satan. It is in his demons. It is in our fellow human beings – mankind – everywhere. So it cannot be totally and completely avoided. Everywhere we go, under every situation there is the possibility of being subjected to influence that is coming from the world, or may come directly from Satan, or may come directly from another demon, or may come from a human who is perpetuating the same type of attitude and obedience as the demon would if they were there in their place.

It is a pretty scary proposition for anybody who really, truly wants to overcome and knows that they need an awful lot of help to deflect the influence of this foul spirit. The combination of demons and deceived humanity sharing essentially the same foul spiritual influence, works to predispose all born to grow into forms of some kind of evil.

There, brethren, are the details of the motivation of man’s conduct. Satan, the demons, the world, including all of the people who are around us—and two of them are hidden from view. We can see human behavior and human attitudes to some degree, but we cannot see the demons. We cannot see Satan.

Without God’s revelation, we would not know what we know. We would not know that what I have just said is true and we would be virtually helpless before the onslaught. Because mankind is automatically attuned to Satan’s spirit—his manner of thinking—he is a very receptive conductor of Satan’s self-centered, destructive characteristics. It kind of makes it a scary world.

I am going to give you some specific details of what Satan and his spirit will show in attitude and conduct, what it will motivate. His spirit will motivate one to show passionate and quick anger rather than a meek and quiet temperament. One will show cynicism, scoffing, doubt and skepticism rather than belief. He will show melancholy and a sense of victimization rather than joy.

His spirit will motivate one to show an impatient, disdainful, and even contentious self-righteous intolerance of other’s weaknesses, ignorance, culture, or beliefs rather than a compassionate understanding and thankfulness that oneself is not so burdened.

Because the heart is almost bursting with rivalry, antagonism, conflict, and competition, to best others in some way will be a constant companion rather than cooperation and collaboration. A person will have a tendency to be suspicious, doubtful, cramped, and narrow in thinking, bigoted rather than open and sensitive like a child.

There will be a tendency to be proud, cavalier, haughty, even pompous and dismissive of others rather than modest, unpresuming, and unassuming. A person will be driven to live with fear and anxiety-ridden timidity and foreboding rather than a calm and open friendliness.

Some strongly under the influence of Satan will abuse others in an effort to control situations in order to protect themselves from some perceived loss. There will be a tendency to be easily irritated and provoked, cross, cranky, touchy, and quarrelsome rather than accepting, amiable, gracious, and content with one’s lot.

Human nature is given to instability, imbalance, inconsistency, unreliability, and extremism rather than firmly balanced, constant, durable, steadfast, and sound in thinking. Some will exhibit slyness and craftiness rather than dealing with open honesty, honor, integrity, and grace.

 

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Some will hide talents, abilities, and accomplishments because their self-centeredness will not permit them to sacrifice any of their time for other’s well being. There will be a tendency for mankind to be hard, cold, stubborn, perverse, hard-hearted, and bull headed rather than kind, compassionate, responsive, sympathetic, merciful, tender, sensitive, and warm.

There will be a tendency to judge others critically and harshly while easily forgiving or neglectfully overlooking one’s own weaknesses. Those who are being influenced by Satan and his demons are those who always have a put down or a cutting remark to make and it is always “in jest” that it is done, not realizing that what they are doing is elevating themselves in an effort to burst somebody else’s balloon.

We could go on and on with these contrasts, but I wanted to make the point that it is in the details that human nature is evil.

You might wonder where I got this list of characteristics. I got them right out of the Bible with the aid of a thesaurus. All I did was open the Bible to I Corinthians 13, which is the love chapter; Matthew 5-7, which is the Sermon on the Mount; and Galatians 5, which contains the list of the fruit of the Spirit and the works of the flesh and did a bit of thinking while thumbing through a thesaurus. All I had to do was compare God’s characteristics with the works of the flesh, or by looking at the characteristics of love, find their opposites, and put this together. Anybody with a thesaurus can do it.

Are there any of these characteristics that I mentioned that you are convicted must be removed from your character? Are there any of these that you are actively, resolutely already working on? To be convicted means that one is fully persuaded, that one has a strong fixed belief that this or that characteristic or habit must go or be strengthened, depending upon whether it is evil or good.

Does anybody here, because of your conviction, know – and know that you know – that you must follow through to do a certain thing? A certain thing that might glorify God in the doing of it and make God pleased with what you are doing?

Let us go back to Daniel 3. This is the episode between Nebuchadnezzar and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Nebuchadnezzar is speaking when he says:

Daniel 3:15-16 “Now if you be ready that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if you worship not, you shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer you in this matter.”

They meant that, “We don’t have to think this through because we already know what we’re going to do.” They showed that there are alternatives.

Daniel 3:17-18 “If it be so, [that is, if it is God’s will] our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king [that is, if it is His will to do so]. But if not [if He lets us die], be it known unto you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.”

Their course was unequivocally set. They knew already exactly what they were going to do. Whether they died, they died. If they lived, hallelujah! But regardless, they were not going to kneel down.

Conviction involves belief in God and the rightness of His way so there is assurance, determination to carry through, and devotion, which is the ardent dedication to what is right to God.

We are going to go back to Jesus’ teaching, in John the 16th chapter.

John 16:7-8 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is expedient [or advantageous] for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”

In most modern translations, the word reprove is translated convict. “When it is come it will reprove, that is convict, the world of sin.” That word came to the English language out of the Latin. In Latin it means ’cause to see.’ “And when it is come, it will cause us to see sin, righteousness and judgment.” What we need to understand here is that this is not a demonstration of an intellectual belief or truth, but rather this word has in it the sense of ‘to bring under guilt.’ In other words, the word carries with it a psychological impact. It has an emotional wall with it as well. It is not merely, “Oh, yeah, I see that. Well isn’t that nice. I think I’ll make that a part of my makeup.”

No, it is something that in terms of sin says, “Oh no!” It hits the person right in the gut! “I AM A SINNER. I CAUSED JESUS CHRIST TO DIE WITH MY SINS – not everybody else’s – mine!” It carries with it a psychological impact. This has a much greater effect on a person than merely knowing something.

I do not know how many people in this world can tell you sin is the transgression of the law. I am glad they know at least that much. But has it affected them? Has it made a change in their life?

So in this context, that word has the sense of bringing one to a full understanding, with the emphasis on the word full – not just merely that it is “truth,” or something that I believe. It has the sense of bringing one to a full understanding along with deep feelings of self-reproach, regret, sorrow, and self-condemnation of having done wrong. In some cases it is not having done something wrong but rather the certainty, based on God’s Word, of the rightness of God and His truth and His way.

I do not know whether you recognize this, but this was the heart and the core of Jesus’ ministry. What He was saying was that He was going to go back to the Father in heaven and then by His Spirit, He was going to effect those that God called in the same way that Jesus did whenever He was right in front of them, explaining things, teaching them, convicting them in person of what they needed to do and be.

Now turn with me to Mark 1:14. When I say that this was the heart and the core and the center of Jesus’ teaching, He was carrying on a tradition that began with all of the prophets and came right up to Him, who was THE Prophet.

Mark 1:14-15 “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.”

This is how Jesus began His ministry – preaching the repentance of sin. He did not miss a beat from John the Baptist who preached the same thing. Malachi preached it. Zechariah preached it and Zephaniah preached it. All the way back to Moses, and maybe Abel himself, they all preached repentance – turning from sin – hoping of course, that God would bring conviction to people and actually cause and motivate them to make the right choices and to change. Jesus never stopped preaching repentance.

Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill [or fill to the full].”

If you do away with law, you do away with sin. It is stupid for these people to say that Jesus did away with the law. If you do away with law, you do away with sin, and there is nothing to repent of! Jesus was saying, “Don’t think that I’m coming here to do away with the standard of human conduct.”

Matthew 5:18-19 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Without ever saying the word repentance, that is what He is preaching – repentance – because He said this is the standard we have to live up to. Of course then, Jesus went on through His whole ministry to expound and expand upon the Ten Commandments more fully.

 

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Now until God, by means of His Spirit – which Psalm 104:30 says He sends forth – we have only a vague concept of sin and the blinding influence it has on humanity. Apart from conviction by God’s Spirit, we will never fully see sin’s personal inwardness, nor its universality, nor its awfulness.

I am here to tell you that virtually every failure to grow and to overcome is based upon a poor conviction of sin. I am here to tell you that every heresy has its roots in this same thing. If you feel that the Bible exaggerates its assessment of how sinful man is, you are going to feel different about Jesus Christ and His works, and in our relationship with God, we are going to be casual and unappreciative.

I believe that one of the major roots of America’s problem in light of the World Trade Center bombings lies right here, and it is the reason there will be no repentance. America has some sense of crime and its effect, but virtually no sense of sin and its relationship to God, to themselves individually and the bombing. They cannot make the connection.

We have to be able to see that when I stop sinning the bombing stops! Until Americans get to that place where they apply it individually, nothing is going to change! We can only get worse and of course, the penalty, and the pain, and the damage, and the disaster will also be worse.

These truths need to be revealed. They have been revealed to us and that is why I said that what has happened in New York City and Washington is a wake up call for us – those to whom the truth has been revealed. We can repent! We can change our minds. Until it is revealed, we may care that there is much suffering going on in the world and perhaps even in one’s life, but we do not trace that suffering to sin and especially we do not trace it to sins we personally are committing.

The world has a wrong conception of the gospel. It is mostly thought of in terms of love and grace. That is right as far as it goes, because love and grace are part of the gospel even as love and grace have been part of God’s dealings with mankind and His purpose from the very beginning because God changes not. But, so also is the reality of sin and punishment. God must punish for sin or God would not be God. Without punishment for sin righteousness loses its meaning! Please understand that, because God must also be just if having Him as God is going to have any meaning at all to us.

What is wrong with the love and grace emphasis is they are limiting, standing by themselves, because nothing changes in the world or in the person until the person is finally, deeply convicted of sin as being the cause of all these massive problems – whether in the world, in the church, or in the self. I might add here, his own sins.

Nothing changes until we do. That has to be our approach – that it is my change that is going to make or affect the difference. We cannot wait for somebody else to do it. We have to do it. Unless a person is truly convicted of the seriousness of his sinfulness, his perspective of Jesus Christ is skewed, because his lack [of conviction of sin] will make one think differently of Him, less of Him, than what He truly is.

Christianity is not merely a better morality, a higher revelation of God, or a system of beautiful ethics. Jesus Christ is not merely a better teacher, a wiser man, an example, and a prophet. He is THE sacrifice for the sins of the world and our – my – personal Redeemer, Savior, and High Priest by whose life we are saved. His redemption and life as our High Priest is our only hope.

You are not going to make it no matter how righteous you are, because no matter how righteous you are, you are going to sin again, and again, and again. It is a reality that we have to face up to and it is only His death that can pay for those sins that we have not even yet committed. He is our only hope. If we think little of sin, it means we are going to think little of our only hope as well.

So give yourself a break. Do you want to be in the Kingdom of God? Begin asking God for an appreciation of sin and what it is doing. If sin means little or nothing to us, our understanding of our obligation to Him is seriously lacking. Do you understand that because He died He owns us and we are obligated to do whatever He says? Everything that He says! He wants no equivocation at all.

Of course He is merciful, but I am setting the standard way up here so we have something to shoot at. We are obliged to him for every breath of air that we breathe. We show our obligation to Him in our attitude toward sin. But if we think little of sin, our appreciation of Him and our devotion to Him is going to suffer greatly, and the tendency toward pride and self-righteousness is going to be increased.

Now the second thing the Spirit of God is going to convict us of is righteousness. This is referring back to John 16:7-8. First, convict of sin. Second, convict of righteousness. There are two things here in this term and we are going to turn first to Philippians 3, where Paul makes mention of righteousness.

Philippians 3:7-9 “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

Paul is not saying here that we need not be concerned about striving to keep the commandments of God, because that would fly in the face of the very things our Savior taught— – “If you would enter into life keep the commandments” – and things that the apostle Paul said. He said, “Does this do away with the law? God forbid. Does faith do away with the law? God forbid.” Jesus said if we love Him we will keep His commandments. That is the response He is looking for, because it is evidence of our love for Him.

Righteousness comes in two parts. The first aspect of righteousness is a judicial one God makes upon the repentance of the sinner who comes under the blood of Jesus Christ. By divine edict, God wipes out, wipes the slate clean, and then accounts, imputes, the righteousness of Christ to the person, where in actual, physical reality it should not be, but spiritually, because of God’s grace, He counts us as though we were Christ.

Romans 4:5-7 “But to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness [that same righteousness he was talking about in Philippians 3]. Even as David also describes the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputes righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”

We sing this very frequently, usually around Passover time. It is number 32 in the hymnal. We sing that song.

Romans 4:8-10 “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Comes this blessedness [that is being accounted sinless] then upon the circumcision [that is Jews or Israelites] only, or upon the uncircumcision [Gentile] also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision?”

In order to prove this you have to go back to the events in Genesis 12, 13, 14, 15, and so forth, where this was actually acted out. Abraham believed God; he had faith in God before he was circumcised. Paul is saying then circumcision is nothing in this case. What matters is not the circumcision. What matters is the FAITH, the faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:11-12 “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.”

This righteousness of which he is speaking is an imputed righteousness that results from a complete clearing of a person’s accumulated debt incurred because of law breaking – sinning. It is a righteousness that exists in fact, not because one has kept the righteousness of the law, but because of the combination of God’s grace and the forgiven one’s faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior.

This accounts the person righteous and justifies him so that he is then able to draw near to God and go on to perfection. During the course of going on to perfection through the mediation of Jesus Christ and his striving to maintain righteousness by keeping the law, the righteousness becomes real, in fact, through the experience of obedience. That is the second stage of righteousness.

In order to do this, one must be convicted of God’s way of living; one must be convicted of the vision of where he is going with his life and why he is doing this. This is why we are commanded to believe the gospel. It – the gospel – provides the outlet for one’s release from the guilt of sins from the past. The gospel tells us where to go with our righteousness. We have to be convicted that the Kingdom of God lies before us and that we are going to be in the image of God. That is why we are obligated to Jesus Christ. That is why we are required to do these things. That is why we must sacrifice.

So, we are seeing two sides of a triangle here. In order to be a complete person, one has to be convicted of sin and one has to be convicted of righteousness – the righteousness of God’s way and where it is leading.

Now a triangle has three sides and so, there in John 16:7-8, a third side was mentioned. We are to be convicted regarding judgment. Sin, righteousness, and judgment – all three of them have to have not only a mental understanding and agreement with them, there has to be impact in us where the agreement has a psychological motivation to it.

Those convicted will also carry with them then a clearer understanding and belief of judgment, and judgment too has two aspects to it. We have sin, righteousness, and judgment.

I Peter 4:17 “For the time is come that the judgment must begin at the house of God [meaning the church]: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”

We are under judgment. The Bible says, “All must stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Not everybody stands before the judgment seat of Christ in the same way that we do. We are being judged in a way different from the rest of the world. God is really scrutinizing us.

What we are looking at here is judgment in an active sense—the sense of evaluation. We are being judged as we live our lives. He is actively scrutinizing us and evaluating us, and sometimes this makes us feel, “Oh man, I don’t want to have God looking at me.” Oh yes you do! You want to have God look. This is good. This is in no way evil at all. It is a good thing. It is a very good thing that He pays so much attention to us.

God has separated us away from this world for this very purpose. It is God’s intention to create a maturity in us and to save us. It is His intention to use each day to separate us further and further from our sins and from this world.

At the same time we know this is going on, there is also always the element of judgment in terms of retribution – a sentence being handed down, a judgment, as we must call it. A retribution that takes place beyond the grave for all of those who reject the creation, that is the spiritual creation, of God in them. They will face a final judgment in the Lake of Fire. It is our hope to face our final judgment in the resurrection of the firstfruits at the coming of Jesus Christ and to be found worthy to be in the Kingdom of God.

So conviction has three sides to it and every one of them must be in place for there to be overcoming to any extent. Conviction – where does it come from? We have already seen it is the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Conviction is the fruit of a close relationship with God in prayer, study, meditation, and application to the very best of our ability.

It is the result of striving to relate the things we read, things that we hear in sermons about God, about His character, His creation, and His way, and comparing them with ourselves and this world and its ways. It is the fruit of being open-minded and humbled before His Word, meditating on ways to find that we have done wrong or, meditating on how to do the right always along with a sense of loving evaluation taking place.

Too often our thinking and study time is in short supply because we are so busy doing whatever. God will not be put off as a secondary responsibility. If we take it casually, we will not come to know Him as He really is and we will never become truly convicted.

 

reading_the_Word_of_God

 

God is the most fabulous Personality in all the universe. He loves us with a burning desire that we be like Him and thus enabling us to spend eternity with Him. To know Him is to love Him. To love Him is to be convicted to please Him. We cannot love Him unless we spend quality time with Him.

So brethren, the Feast of Tabernacles lies before us. It is as good a place as exists at any time, at any place in all of the year to renew your relationship with God. Spend time with Him during this Feast of Tabernacles and make this a starting point for spending time with Him, quality time, getting to know Him better and better everyday of your life. So let us do it!

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Dr. David Jeremiah on “Death: The Fear of Dying”

Dr. David Jeremiah on “Fear of Failure”.

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Spurgeon at age 23.
Spurgeon at age 23. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

C. H. Spurgeon, "The Prince of Preachers&...

C. H. Spurgeon, “The Prince of Preachers” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Charles Spurgeon Sermon – Special Thanksgiving to the Father (audio video and transcript)

spurgeonCharles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 January 31, 1892) was a British

Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among

Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as

the “Prince of Preachers.” In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around

10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His

sermons have been translated into many languages. Spurgeon was the

pastor of the New Park Street Chapel in London for 38 years. In 1857, he

started a charity organization called Spurgeon’s which now works globally. He also founded Spurgeon’s College, which was named after him after his death.

Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, a commentary, books on prayer,

a devotional, a magazine, and more. Many sermons were transcribed as he

spoke and were translated into many languages during his lifetime.

Arguably, no other author, Christian or otherwise, has more material in

print than C.H. Spurgeon.

Special Thanksgiving to the Father

This message was preached on February 15,

1860. The sermon is prefaced by a letter, which Mr. Spurgeon wrote in

June of that same year, as he was on the continent. This is the letter:

MY DEAR BRETHREN,

    I have journeyed happily to the borders of Switzerland, and already feel

that the removing of the yoke from the shoulder is one of the readiest

means of restoring the metal powers. Much of Popish superstition and

idolatry has passed under my observation, and if nothing else could make

me a Protestant, what I have seen would do so. One thing I have learned

anew, which I would have all my brethren learn, the power of a personal

Christ. We Protestants are too apt to make doctrine everything, and the

person of Christ is not held in sufficient remembrance; with the Roman

Catholic doctrine is nothing, but the person is ever kept in view. The

evil is, that the image of Christ before the eye of the Papist is carnal

and not spiritual; but could we always keep o’er Lord before our eyes,

his spiritual sense, we should be better men than any set of doctrines

can ever make us. The Lord give to us to abide in him and so to bring

forth much fruit.

Baden-Baden, June 15th, 1860                     C. H. Spurgeon

You can read the sermon, from Spurgeon.org below this video, or you can listen to the sermon being read here, on this VIDEO by Christian Praise and Worship in Songs, Sermons, and Audio Books

There is also a video playlist of Spurgeon sermons available here –

Charles Spurgeon Sermons Playlist 2: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…

A Sermon(No. 319)

Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 15th, 1860, by the

REV. C.H. SPURGEON

At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

Published on Nov 26, 2013

Charles Spurgeon Sermon – Special Thanksgiving to the Father

Charles Spurgeon Sermons Playlist 2: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…

Link to my “Christian Devotional Readings” Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christ…

http://www.sermonaudio.com/main.asp

Colossians 1:12

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers

of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from

the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his

dear Son

Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 January

31, 1892) was a British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly

influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he

is still known as the “Prince of Preachers.” In his lifetime, Spurgeon

preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at

different places. His sermons have been translated into many languages.

Spurgeon was the pastor of the New Park Street Chapel in London for 38

years. In 1857, he started a charity organization called Spurgeon’s

which now works globally. He also founded Spurgeon’s College, which was

named after him after his death.

Spurgeon was a prolific author

of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, a

commentary, books on prayer, a devotional, a magazine, and more. Many

sermons were transcribed as he spoke and were translated into many

languages during his lifetime. Arguably, no other author, Christian or

otherwise, has more material in print than C.H. Spurgeon.

https://www.youtube.com/user/stack45ny

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet

to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath

delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the

kingdom of his dear Son.”—Colossians 1:12, 13.

THIS PASSAGE IS A MINE of riches. I can anticipate the difficulty in

preaching and the regret in concluding we shall experience this evening

because we are not able to dig out all the gold which lies in this

precious vein. We lack the power to grasp and the time to expatiate upon

that volume of truths which is here condensed into a few short

sentences.

    We are exhorted to “give thanks unto the Father.” This counsel is at once

needful and salutary. I think, my brethren, we scarcely need to be told

to give thanks unto the Son. The remembrance of that bleeding body

hanging upon the cross is ever present to our faith. The nails and the

spear, his griefs, the anguish of his soul, and his sweat of agony, make

ouch tender touching appeals to our gratitude—these will prevent us

always from ceasing our songs, and sometimes fire our hearts with

rekindling rapture in praise of the man Christ Jesus. Yes we will bless thee, dearest Lord; our souls are all on fire. As we survey the, wondrous cross, we cannot but shout—

“O for this love let rocks and hills

Their lasting silence break,

And all harmonious human tongues

The Savior’s praises speak.”

It is in a degree very much the same with the Holy Spirit. I think we

are compelled to feel every day our dependence upon his constant

influence. He abides with us as a present and personal Comforter and

Counsellor. We, therefore, do praise the Spirit of Grace, who hath made

our heart his temple, and who works in us all that is gracious,

virtuous, and well-pleasing in the sight of God. If there be any one

Person in the Trinity whom we are more apt to forget than another in our

praises, it is God the Father. In fact there are some who even get a

wrong idea of Him, a slanderous idea of that God whose name is LOVE.

They imagine that love dwelt in Christ, rather than in the Father, and

that our salvation is rather due to the Son and the Holy Spirit, than to

our Father God. Let us not be of the number of the ignorant, but let us

receive this truth. We are as much indebted to the Father as to any

other Person of the Sacred Three. He as much and as truly loves us as

any of the adorable Three Persons. He is as truly worthy of our highest

praise as either the Son or the Holy Spirit.

    A

remarkable fact, which we should always bear in mind, is this:—in the

Holy Scriptures most of the operations which are set down as being the

works of the Spirit, are in other Scriptures ascribed to God the Father.

Do we say it is God the Spirit that quickens the sinner who is dead in

sin? it is true; but you will find in another passage it is said “The

Father quickeneth whom he will.” Do we say that the Spirit is the

sanctifier, and that the sanctification of the soul is wrought by the

Holy Ghost? You will find a passage in the opening of the Epistle of St.

Jude, in which it is said, “Sanctified by God the Father.” Now, how are

we to account for this? I think it may be explained thus. God the

Spirit cometh from God the Father, and therefore whatever acts are

performed by the Spirit are truly done by the Father, because he sendeth

forth the Spirit. And again, the Spirit is often the instrument—though I

say not this in any way to derogate from his glory—he is often the

instrument with which the Father works. It is the Father who says to the

dry bones, live; it is the Spirit who, going forth with the divine

word, makes them live. The quickening is due as much to the word as to

the influence that went with the word; and as the word came with all the

bounty of free grace and goodwill from the Father, the quickening is

due to him. It is true that the seal on our hearts is the Holy Spirit,

he is the seal, hut it is the Eternal Father’s hand that stamps the

seal; the Father communicates the Spirit to seal our adoption. The works

of the Spirit are, many of them, I repeat it again, attributed to the

Father, because he worketh in, through, and by the Spirit.

    The

works of the Son of God, I ought to observe are every one of them in

intimate connection with the Father. If the Son comes into the world, it

is because the Father sends him; if the Son calls his people, it is

because his Father gave this people into his hands. If the Son redeems

the chosen race, is not the Son himself the Father’s gift, and doth not

God send his Son into the world that we may live through him? So that

the Father, the great Ancient of Days, is ever to be extolled; and we

must never omit the full homage of our hearts to him when we sing that

sacred doxology,

“Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

    In order to excite your gratitude to God the Father to-night, I propose to

dilate a little upon this passage, as God the Holy Spirit shall enable

me. If you will look at the text, you will see two blessings in it. The

first has regard to the future; it is a meetness for the inheritance of

the saints in light. The second blessing, which must go with the first,

for indeed it is the cause of the first, the effective cause, has

relation to the past. Here we read of our deliverance from the

power of darkness. Let us meditate a little upon each of these

blessings, and then, in the third place, I will endeavor to show the relation which exists between the two.

    I.

The first blessing introduced to our notice is this—”God the Father has

made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in

light.” It is a PRESENT BLESSING. Not a mercy laid up for us in the

covenant, which we have not yet received, but it is a blessing which

every true believer already has in his hand. Those mercies in the

covenant of which we have the earnest now while we wait for the full

possession, are just as rich, and just as certain as those which have

been already with abundant lovingkindness bestowed on us, but still they

are not so precious in our enjoyment. The mercy we have in store, and

in hand is after all, the main source of our present comfort. And oh

what a blessing this! “Made meet for the inheritance of the saints in

light.” The true believer is fit for heaven; he is meet to be a partaker

of the inheritance—and that now, at this very moment. What does this

mean? Does it mean that the believer is perfect; that he is free from

sin? No, my brethren, where shall you ever find such perfection in this

world? If no man can be a believer but the perfect man, then what has

the perfect man to believe? Could he not walk by sight? When he is

perfect, he may cease to be a believer. No, brethren, it is not such

perfection that is meant although perfection is implied, and assuredly

will be given as the result. Far less does this mean that we have a

right to eternal life from any doings of our own. We have a fitness for

eternal life, a meetness for it, but we have no desert of it. We deserve

nothing of God even now, in ourselves. but his eternal wrath and his

infinite displeasure. What, then, does It mean? Why, it means just this:

we are so far meet that we are accepted in the Beloved, adopted into

the family, and fitted by divine approbation to dwell with the saints in

light There is a woman chosen to be a bride; she is fitted to be

married, fitted to enter into the honorable state and condition of

matrimony; but at present she has not on the bridal garment, she is not

like the bride adorned for her husband. You do not see her yet robed in

her elegant attire, with her ornaments upon her, but you know she is

fitted to be a bride, she is received and welcomed as such in the family

of her destination. So Christ has chosen his Church to be married to

him; she has not yet put on her bridal garment, beautiful array in which

she shall stand before the father’s throne, but notwithstanding, there

is such a fitness in her to be the bride of Christ, when she shall have

bathed herself for a little while, and lain for a little while in the

bed of spices—there is such a fitness in her character, such a grace

given adaptation in her to become the royal bride of her glorious Lord,

and to become a partaker of the enjoyments of bliss—that it may be said

of the church as a whole, and of every member of it, that they are “meet

for the inheritance of the saints in light.”

    The Greek word, moreover, bears some such meaning as this though I cannot

give the exact idiom, it is always difficult when a word is not used

often. This word is only used twice that I am aware of, in the New

Testament. The word may be employed for “suitable,” or, I think,

“sufficient” “He hath made us meet”—sufficient—”to be partakers of the

inheritance of the saints in light.” But I cannot give my idea without

borrowing another figure. When a child is born, it is at once endowed

with all the faculties of humanity. If those powers are awanting at

first, they will not come afterwards. It has eyes, it has hands, it has

feet, and all its physical organs. These of course are as it were in

embryo. The senses though perfect at first, must be gradually developed,

and the understanding gradually matured. It can see but little, it

cannot discern distances. it can hear, but it cannot hear distinctly

enough at first to know from what direction the sound comes; but you

never find a new leg, a new arm, a new eye, or a new ear growing on that

child. Each of these powers will expand and enlarge, but still there is

the whole man there at first, and the child is sufficient for a man. Let but God in his infinite providence cause it to feed, and give it strength and increase, it has sufficient

for manhood. It does not want either arm or leg, nose or ear. you

cannot make it grow a new member; nor does it require a near member

either; all are there. In like manner, the moment a man is regenerated,

there is every faculty in his new creation that there shall be, even

when he gets to heaven. It only needs to be developed and brought out:

he will not have a new power, he will not have a new grace, he will have

those which he had before, developed and brought out. Just as we are

told by the careful observer, that in the acorn there is in embryo every

root and every bough and every leaf of the future tree, which only

requires to be developed and brought out in their fullness. So, in the

true believer, there is a sufficiency or meetness for the inheritance of

the saints in light. All that he requires is, not that a new thing

should be implanted, but that that which God has put there in the moment

of regeneration, shall be cherished and nurtured, and made to grow and

increase, till it comes unto perfection and he enters into “the

inheritance of the saints in light.” This is, as near as I can give it

to you, the exact meaning and literal interpretation of the text, as I

understand it.

    But

you may say to me, “In what sense is this meetness or fitness for

eternal life the work of God the Father? Are we already made meet for

heaven? How is this the rather’s work?” Look at the text a moment, and I

will answer you in three ways.

    What is heaven? We read it is an inheritance. Who are fit for an inheritance? Sons. Who makes us sons? “Behold what manner of love the Father

hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” A son

is

fitted for an inheritance. The moment the son is born he is fitted

to be an heir. All that is wanted is that he shall grow up and be

capable of possession. But he is fit for an inheritance at first. If he

were not a son he could not inherit as an heir. Now as soon as ever we

become sons we are meet to inherit. There is in us an adaptation, a

power and possibility for us to have an inheritance. This is the

prerogative of the Father, to adopt us into his family, and to “beget us

again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the

dead.” And do you not see, that as adoption is really the meetness for

inheritance, it is the Father who hath made us meet to be partakers of

the inheritance of the saints in light?”

    Again, heaven is an inheritance; but whose inheritance is it? It is an inheritance of the saints.

It is not an inheritance of sinners, but of saints—that is, of the holy

ones—of those who have been made saints by being sanctified. Turn then,

to the Epistle of Jude, and you will see at once who it is that

sanctified. You will observe the moment you fix your eye upon the

passage that it is God the Father. In the first verse you read, “Jude,

the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are

sanctified by God the Father.” It is an inheritance for saints: and who

are saints? The moment a man believes in Christ, he may know himself to

have bean truly set apart in the covenant decree; and he finds

consecration, if I may so speak, verified in his own experience, for he

has now become “a new creature in Christ Jesus,” separated from the rest

of the world, and then it is manifest and made known that God has taken

him to be his son for ever. The meetness which I must have, in order to

enjoy the inheritance of the saints in light, is my becoming a son. God

hath made me and all believers sons, therefore we are meet for the

inheritance; so then that meetness has come from the Father. How meetly

therefore doth the Father claim our gratitude, our adoration and our

love!

    You will however observe, it is not merely said that heaven is the

inheritance of the saints, but that it is “the inheritance of the saints

in light.” So the saints dwell in light—the light of knowledge,

the light of purity, the light of joy, the light of love, pure ineffable

love, the light of everything that is glorious and ennobling. There

they dwell, and if I am to appear meet for that inheritance, what

evidence must I have? I must have light shining into my own soul. But

where can I get it? Do I not read that “every good gift and every

perfect gift is from above, and Cometh down”—yea verily, but from whom?

From the Spirit? No—”from the Father of lights, with whom is no

variableness, neither shadow of turning.” The preparation to enter into

the inheritance in light is light. and light comes from the Father of

lights; therefore, my meetness, if I have light in myself, is the work

of the Father, and I must give him praise. Do you see then, that as

there are three words used here—”the inheritance of the saints in light,”

so we have a threefold meetness? We are adopted and made sons. God hath

sanctified us and set us apart. And then, again, he hath put light into

our hearts. All this, I say, is the work of the Father, and in this

sense, we are “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in

light.”

    A few general observations here. Brethren, I am persuaded that if an

angel from heaven were to come to-night and single out any one believer

from the crowd here assembled, there is not one believer that is unfit

to be taken to heaven. You may not be ready to be taken to heaven now;

that is to say, if I foresaw that you were going to live, I would tell

you you were unfit to die, in a certain sense. But were you to die now

in your pew, if you believe in Christ, you are fit for heaven. You have a

meetness even now which would take you there at once, without being

committed to purgatory for a season. You are even now fit to be

“partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” You have but to

gasp out your last breath and you shall be in heaven, and there shall

not be one spirit in heaven more fit for heaven than you, nor one soul

more adapted for the place than you are. You shall be just as fitted for

its element as those who are nearest to the eternal throne.

    Ah! this makes the heirs of glory think much of God the Father. When we

reflect, my brethren, upon our state by nature, and how fit we are to be

fire-brands in the flames of hell—yet to think that we are this night,

at this very moment if Jehovah willed it, fit to sweep the golden harps

with joyful fingers, that this head is fit this very night to wear the

everlasting crown, that these loins are fit to be girded with that fair

white robe throughout eternity, I say, this makes us think gratefully of

God the Father; this makes us clap our hands with joy, and say, “thanks

be unto God the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the

inheritance of the saints in light.” Do ye not remember the penitent

thief? It was but a few minutes before that he had been cursing Christ. I

doubt not that he had joined with the other, for it is said, “They that were crucified with him reviled him.” Not one, but both; they

did it. And then a gleam of supernatural glory lit up the face of

Christ, and the thief saw and believed. And Jesus said unto him, “Verily

I say unto thee, this day,” though the sun is setting, “this day

shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” No long preparation required, no

sweltering in purifying fires. And so shall it be with us. We may have

been in Christ Jesus to our own knowledge but three weeks, or we may

have been in him for ten years, or threescore years and ten—the date of

our conversion makes no difference in our meetness for heaven, in a

certain sense. True indeed the older we grow the more grace we have

tasted, the riper we are becoming, and the fitter to be housed in

heaven; but that is in another sense of the word,—the Spirit’s meetness

which he gives. But with regard to that meetness which the Father gives,

I repeat, the blade of corn, the blade of gracious wheat that has just

appeared above the surface of conviction, is as fit to be carried up to

heaven as the full-grown corn in the ear. The sanctification wherewith

we are sanctified by God the Father is not progressive, it Is complete

at once, we are now adapted for heaven, now fitted for it, and we shall

enter into the joy of our Lord.

    Into

this subject I might have entered more fully; but I have not time. I am

sure I have left some knots untied, and you must untie them if you can

yourselves; and let me recommend you to untie them on your knees—the

mysteries of the kingdom of God are studied much the best when you are

in prayer.

    II.

The second mercy is A MERCY THAT LOOKS BACK. We sometimes prefer the

mercies that look forward, because they unfold such a bright prospect.

“Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood.”

But here is a mercy that looks backward; turns its back, as it were,

on the heaven of our anticipation, and looks back on the gloomy past,

and the dangers from which we have escaped. Let us read the account of

it—”Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath

translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” This verse is an

explanation of the preceding, as we shall have to show in a few minutes.

But just now let us survey this mercy by itself. Ah! my brethren, what a

description have we here of what matter of men we used to be. We were

under “the power of darkness.” Since I have been musing on this text, I

have turned these words over and over in my mind—”the power of

darkness!” It seems to me one of the most awful expressions that man

ever attempted to expound. I think I could deliver a discourse from it,

if God the Spirit helped me, which might make every bone in your body

shake. “The power of darkness!” We all know that there is a moral

darkness which exercises its awful spell over the mind of the sinner.

Where God is unacknowledged the mind is void of judgment. Where God is

unworshipped the heart of man becomes a ruin. The chambers of that

dilapidated heart are haunted by ghostly fears and degraded

superstitions. The dark places of that reprobate mind are tenanted by

vile lusts and noxious passions, like vermin and reptiles, from which in

open daylight we turn with disgust. And even natural darkness is

tremendous. In the solitary confinement which is practiced in some of

our penitentiaries the very worst results would be produced if the

treatment were prolonged. If one of you were to be taken to-night and

led into some dark cavern, and left there, I can imagine that for a

moment, not knowing your fate, you might feel a child-like kind of

interest about it;—there might be, perhaps, a laugh as you found

yourselves in the dark; there might for the moment, from the novelty of

the position, be some kind of curiosity excited. There might, perhaps,

be a flush of silly joy. In a little time you might endeavor to compose

yourself to sleep; possibly you night sleep; but if you should awake,

and still find yourself down deep in the bowels of earth, where never a

ray of sun or candle light could reach you; do you know the next feeling

that would come over you? It would be a kind of idiotic

thoughtlessness. You would find it impossible to control your desperate

imagination. You heart would say, “O God I am alone, alone, alone, in

this dark place.” How would you cast your eyeballs all around, and never

catching a gleam of light, your mind would begin to fail. Your next

stage would be one of increasing terror. You would fancy that you saw

something, and then you would cry, “Ah! I would I could see something,

were it foe or fiend!” You would feel the dark sides of your dungeon.

You would begin to “scribble on the walls,” like David before king

Achish. Agitation would cease hold upon you, and it you were kept there

much longer, delirium and death would be the consequence. We have heard

of many who have been taken from the penitentiary to the lunatic asylum;

and the lunacy is produced partly by the solitary confinement, and

partly by the darkness in which they are placed. In a report lately

written by the Chaplain of Newgate, there are some striking reflections

upon the influence of darkness in a way of discipline. Its first

effect is to shut the culprit up to his own reflections, and make him

realize his true position in the iron grasp of the outraged law.

Methinks the man that has defied his keepers, and come in there cursing

and swearing, when he has found himself alone in darkness, where he

cannot even hear the rattling of carriages along the streets, and can

see no light whatever, is presently cowed; he gives in, he grows tame.

“The power of darkness” literally is something awful. If I had time, I

would enlarge upon this subject. We cannot properly describe what “the

power of darkness” is, even in this world. The sinner is plunged into

the darkness of his sins, and he sees nothing, he knows nothing. Let him

remain there a little longer, and that joy of curiosity, that hectic

joy which he now has in the path of sin, will die away, and there will

come over him a spirit of slumber. Sin will make him drowsy, so that he

will not hear the voice of the ministry, crying to him to escape for his

life. Let him continue in it, and it will by-and-bye make him

spiritually an idiot. He will become so in sin, that common reason will

be lost on him. All the arguments that a sensible man will receive, will

be only wasted on him. Let him go on, and he will proceed from bad to

worse, till he acquires the raving mania of a desperado in sin; and let

death step in, and the darkness will have produced its full effect; he

will come into the delirious madness of hell. Ah! it needs but the power

of sin to make a man more truly hideous than human thought can realize,

or language paint. Oh “the power of darkness!”

    Now, my brethren, all of us were under this power once. It is but a few

months—a few weeks with some of you—since you were under the power of

darkness and of sin. Some of you had only got as far as the curiosity of

it; others had got as far as the sleepiness of it; a good many of you

had got as far as the apathy of it; and I do not know but some of you

had got almost to the terror of it. You had so cursed and swore; so

yelled ye out your blasphemies, that you seemed to be ripening for hell;

but, praised and blessed be the name of the Father, he has “translated

you from the power of darkness, into the kingdom of his dear Son.”

    Having

thus explained this term, “the power of darkness,” to show you what you

were, let us take the next word, “and hath translated us.” Whet a

angular word this—”translated”—is. I dare say you think it means the

process by which a word is interpreted, when the sense is retained,

while the expression is rendered in another language. That is one

meaning of the word “translation,” but it is not the meaning here. The

word is used by Josephus in this sense—the taking away of a people who

have been dwelling in a certain country, and planting them in another

place. This is called a translation. We sometimes hear of a bishop being

translated or removed from one see to another. Now, if you want to have

the idea explained, give me your attention while I bring out an amazing

instance of a great translation. The children of Israel were in Egypt

under taskmasters that oppressed them very sorely, and brought them into

iron bondage. What did God do for these people? There were two millions

of them. He did not temper the tyranny of the tyrant; he did not

influence his mind, to give them a little more liberty; but he

translated his people; he took the whole two millions bodily, with a

high hand and outstretched arm, and led them through the wilderness, and

translated them into the kingdom of Canaan; and there they were

settled. What an achievement was that, when, with their flocks and their

Spurgeon near the end of his life.

Spurgeon near the end of his life. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


herds, and their little ones, the whole host of Israel went out of

Egypt, crossed the Jordan, and came into Canaan! My dear brethren, the

whole of it was not equal to the achievement of God’s powerful grace,

when he! brings one poor sinner out of the region of sin into the

kingdom of holiness and peace. It was easier for God to bring Israel out

of Egypt, to split the Red Sea, to make a highway through the pathless

wilderness, to drop manna from heaven, to send the whirlwind to drive

out the kings; it was easier for Omnipotence to do all this, than to

translate a man from the power of darkness into the kingdom of his dear

Son. This is the grandest achievement of Omnipotence. The sustenance of

the whole universe, I do believe, is even less than this—the changing of

a bad heart, the subduing of an iron will. But thanks be unto the

Father, he has done all that for you and for me. He has brought us out

of darkness, he has translated us, taken up the old tree that has struck

its roots never so deep—taken it up, blessed be God, roots and all, and

planted it in a goodly soil. He had to cut the top off, it is true—the

high branches of our pride; but the tree has grown better in the near

soil than it ever did before. Who ever heard of moving so huge a plant

as a man who has grown fifty years old in sin? Oh! what wonders hath our

Father done for us I He has taken the wild leopard of the wood, tamed

it into a lamb, and purged away its spots. He has regenerated the poor

Ethiopian—oh, how black are were by nature—our blackness was more than

skin deep; it went to the center of our hearts; but, blessed be his

name, he hath washed us white, and is still carrying on the divine

operation, and he will yet completely deliver us from every taint of

sin, and will finally bring us into the kingdom of his dear son. Here,

then, in the second mercy, we discern from what we were delivered, and

how we were delivered—God the Father hath “translated” us.

    But

where are we now? Into what place is the believer brought, when he is

brought out of the power of darkness? He is brought into the kingdom of

God’s dear Son. Into what other kingdom would the Christian desire to be

brought? Brethren. a republic may sound very well in theory, but in

spiritual matters, the last thing we want is a republic. We want a

kingdom. I love to have Christ an absolute monarch in the heart. I do

not want to have a doubt about it. I want to give up all my liberty to

him. for I feel that I never shall be free till my self-control is all

gone; that I shall never have my will truly free till it is bound in the

golden fetters of his sweet love. We are brought into a kingdom—he is

Lord and Sovereign, and he has made us “kings and priests unto our God,”

and we shall reign with him. The proof that we are in this kingdom must

consist in our obedience to our King. Here, perhaps, we may raise many

causes and questions, but surely we can say after all, though we have

offended our King many times, yet our heart is loyal to him. “Oh, thou

precious Jesus! we would obey thee, and yield submission to every one of

thy laws, our sins are not wilful and beloved sins, but though we fall

we can truly say, that we would be holy as thou art holy, our heart is

true towards thy statutes; Lord, help us to run in the way of thy

commandments.”

    So,

you see, this mercy which God the Father hath given to us, this second

of these present mercies, is, that he hath “translated us out of the

power of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son.” This is the

Father’s work. Shall we not love God the Father from this day forth?

Will we not give him thanks, and sing our hymns to him, and exalt and

triumph in his great name?

    III. Upon the third point, I shall be as brief as possible; it is to SHOW THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TWO VERSES.

    When

I get a passage of Scripture to meditate upon, I like, if I can, to see

its drift, then I like to examine its various parts, and see if I can

understand each separate clause; and then I want to go back again, and

see what one clause has to do with another. I looked and looked again at

this text, and wondered what connection there could be between the two

verses. “Giving thanks unto God the Father, who hath made us meet to be

partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Well, that is

right enough; we can see how this is the work of God the Father, to make

us meet to go to heaven. But has the next verse, the 13th, anything to

do with our meetness?—”Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,

and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Well, I

looked it over and I said I will read it in this way. I see the 12th

verse tells me that the inheritance of heaven is the inheritance of

light. Is heaven light? Then I can see my meetness for it as described

in the 13th verse.—He hath delivered me from the power of darkness. Is

not that the same thing? If I am delivered from the power of darkness,

is not that being made meet to dwell in light? If I am now brought out

of darkness into light, and am walking in the light, is not that the

very meetness which is spoken of in the verse before? Then I read again.

It says they are saints. Well, the saints are a people that obey the

Son. Here is my meetness then in the 13th verse, where it says “He hath

translated me from the power of darkness into the kingdom of his dear

Son.” So that I not only have the light, but the sonship too, for I am

in “the kingdom of his dear Son.” But how about the inheritance? Is

there anything about that in the 13th verse? It is an inheritance; shall

I find anything about a meetness for it there? Yes, I find that I am in

the kingdom of his dear Son. How came Christ to have a kingdom? Why, by

inheritance. Then it seems I am in his inheritance; and if I am in his

inheritance here, then I am meet to be in it above, for I am in it

already. I am even now part of it and partner of it, since I am in the

kingdom which he inherits from his Father, and therefore there is the

meetness.

    I

do not know whether I have put this plainly enough before you. If you

will be kind enough to look at your Bible, I will just recapitulate. You

see, heaven is a place of light; when we are brought out of darkness,

that, of course, is the meetness for light. It is a place for sons; when

we are brought into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, we are of course

made sons, so that there is the meetness for it. It is an inheritance;

and when we are brought into the inherited kingdom of God’s dear Son, we

enjoy the inheritance now, and consequently are fitted to enjoy it for

ever.

    Having

thus shown the connection between these verses, I propose now to close

with a few general observations. I like so to expound the Scripture,

that we can draw some practical inferences from it. Of course the first

inference is this: let us from this night forward never omit God the

Father in our praises. I think I have said this already six times over

in the sermon. Why I am repeating it so often, is that we may never

forget it. Martin Luther said he preached upon justification by faith

every day in the week and then the people would not understand. There

are some truths, I believe, that need to be said over and over again,

either because our silly hearse will not receive, or our treacherous

memories will not hold them. Sing, I beseech you, habitually, the

praises of the Father in heaven, as you do the praises of the Son

hanging upon the cross. Love as truly God, the ever-living God, as you

love Jesus the God-man, the Savior who once died for you. That is the

great inference.

    Yet

another inference arises. Brothers and sisters, are you conscious

to-night that you are not now what you once were? Are you sure that the

power of darkness does not now rest upon you, that you love divine

knowledge, that you are panting after heavenly joys? Are you sure that

you have been “translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son?” Then

never be troubled about thoughts of death, because, come death whenever

it may, you are meet to be a “partaker of the inheritance of the saints

in light.” Let no thought distress you about death’s coming to you at an

unseasonable hour. Should it come to-morrow should it come now, if your

faith is fixed on nothing less than Jesu’s blood and righteousness, you

shall see the face of God with acceptance. I have that consciousness in

my soul, by the witness of the Holy Spirit, of my adoption into the

family of God, that I feel that though I should never preach again, but

should lay down my body and my charge together, ere I should reach my

home, and rest in my bed, “I know that my Redeemer liveth,” and more,

that I should be a “partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

It is not always that one feels that but I would have you never rest

satisfied till you do, till you know your meetness, till you are

conscious of it; until, moreover, you are panting to be gone, because

you feel that you have powers which never can be satisfied short-of

heaven—powers which heaven only can employ.

    One

more reflection lingers behind. There are some of you here that cannot

be thought by the utmost charity of judgment, to be “meet for the

inheritance of the saints in light.” Ah! if a wicked man should go to

heaven without being converted, heaven would be no heaven to him. Heaven

is not adapted for sinners; it is not a place for them. If you were to

take a Hottentot who has long dwelt at the equator up to where the

Esquimaux are dwelling, and tell him that you would show him the aurora,

and all the glories of the North Pole, the poor wretch could not

appreciate them; he would say, “It is not the element for me; it is not

the place where I could rest happy! And if you were to take, on the

other hand, some dwarfish dweller in the north, down to the region where

trees grow to a stupendous height, and where the spices give their

balmy odours to the gale, and bid him live there under the torrid zone,

he could enjoy nothing; he would say, “This is not the place for me,

because it is not adapted to my nature.” Or if you were to take the

vulture, that has never fed on anything but carrion, and put it into the

noblest dwelling you could make for it, and feed it with the daintiest

meals, it would not be happy because it is not food that is adapted for

it. And you, sinner, you are nothing but a carrion vulture; nothing

makes you happy but sin, you do not want too much psalm singing, do you?

Sunday is a dull day to you; you like to get it over, you do not care

about your Bible; you would as soon there should be no Bible at all, You

find that going to a meeting-house or a church is very dull work

indeed. Oh then you will not be troubled with that in eternity; do not

agitate yourself. If you love not God, and die as you are, you shall go

to your own company, you shall go to your jolly mates, you shall go to

your good fellows; those who have been your mates on earth shall be your

mates for ever; but you shall go to the Prince of those good fellows,

unless you repent and be converted. Where God is you cannot come. It is

not an element suited to you. As well place a bird at the bottom of the

sea, or a fish in the air, as place an ungodly sinner in heaven. What is

to be done then? You must have a new nature. I pray God to give it to

you. Remember if now you feel your need of a Savior, that is the

beginning of the new nature. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ;” cast

yourselves simply on him, trust in nothing but his blood, and then the

new nature shall be expanded, and you shall be made meet by the Holy

Spirit’s operations to be a “partaker of the inheritance of the saints

in light.” There is many a man who has come into this house of prayer,

many a man is now present, who has come in here a rollicking fellow,

fearing neither God nor devil. Many a man has come from the ale house up

to this place. If he had died then, where would his soul have been? But

the Lord that very night met him, There are trophies of that grace

present here to-night. You can say, “Thanks be to the Father, who hath

brought us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the

kingdom of his dear Son.” And if God has done that for some, why cannot

he do it for others? Why need you despair, O poor sinner? If thou art

here to-night, the worst sinner out of hell, remember, the gate of mercy

stands wide open, and Jesus bids thee come, Conscious of thy guilt,

flee, flee to him. Look to his cross, and thou shalt find pardon in his

veins, and life in his death.

 

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Martin Luther, commemorated on February 18 Eva...

Martin Luther, commemorated on February 18 Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Minneapolis: Fortress Press (2006), 15. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Milestone in History:

A Halloween Tale

by Chuck Missler

In the year 1483 in Eisleben, Saxony, a baby boy was born to a poorcoal miner. As he grew up and observed the poverty of hi s father, this boy, named Martin, chose to pursue a different vocation.He decided to become a lawyer and, in 1501, entered the University of Erfurt, where he excelled in his studies. As he came to the end of his schooling in 1504, an event took place which changed his life. While he was walking the campus grounds, a storm broke so forcefully that Martin fell on his face in fear. The thunder was deafening and lightning struck all around him.Instinctively, he cried out to the patron saint of coal miners, whose name he had heard invoked during his childhood, “Saint Anne! Save me from the lightning. If you save me I will become a monk.” Shortly thereafter the storm stopped. Being a man of his word, Martinwithdrew from law school and entered an Augustinian monastery where heapplied himself so diligently that he obtained a Doctorate of Theology within a few years. But the more he studied, the more troubled his heart became; for although he was becoming an expert in theology, he lacked peace personally.The question he repeatedly wrote in his diary was: “Howcan a man find favor with God?” In search of such peace, Martin devoted himself to an exceedingly pious life-style. He would fast for ten to fifteen days at a time. When temperatures dropped below freezing, he slept outside without a blanket. Between his studies, he beat his body until it was black and blue and bleeding-hoping that somehow by punishing his flesh, he could rid himself of the thoughts and motives that he knew were not right. (These were typical practices of the medieval church…) He went to confession so many times a day that finally the abbot said, “Martin, either go out and commit a sin worth confessing or stop coming here so often!”Martin was so introspective and continually plagued by what he knew of his own depravity and sinfulness that once, while sitting at his desk writing theology, he felt the presence of Satan so tangibly that he grabbed a bottle of ink and hurled it across the room to where he thought the devil was standing. The bottle crashed against the wall and left a mark that can still be seen today.Finally, in 1509, Martin decided to make a pilgrimage to Rome in hope of finding the elusive peace for which he longed. He set out on foot and crossed the Alps. On his descent, he almost died of a high fever before making his way to a monastery at the foot of the mountains. There the Brothers nursed him back to health. While there, a wise monk approached him and s aid, “You need to read the Book of Habakkuk.” And so Martin did just that. He read Habakkuk. It was a good suggestion. Habakkuk was a struggler just like Martin, and like us today: If God is good, why does He allow suffering? If there really is a devil, why doesn’t God just obliterate him? (When we throw out questions, we then plunge into our personal pursuits-and wonder why we don’t get answers.) One verse captured Martin’s imagination: Habakkuk 2:4.”The just shall live by faith.” He couldn’t get it out of his mind.Having recovered sufficiently to continue his journey to Rome, he went to the Church of St. John’s Lateran, a typical cathedral of that day. There is a staircase there that is said to be from Pilate’s judgment hall. The existing stairs are four parts: the special inner two are said to have been transported there miraculously from Jerusalem. The outer two are ordinary. The inner steps are not walked on. Here pilgrims mount painfully on their knees, a step at a time, saying prayers as they go.The pope had promised an indulgence to all who would undergo this rite.As Martin repeated his prayers on the Lateran staircase, Habakkuk 2:4 suddenly came into his mind: “the just shall live by faith.” He ceased his prayers, returned to the University of Wittenberg, and went on to explore the revolutionary idea of “justification by faith.” And with great deliberation, on October 31, 1517, Martin drove a stake into the heart of the prevailing pagan concepts by nailing his famous 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg,Germany, and started the movement known today as the Reformation-the single most important event in modern history. Appropriately, he did this on Halloween. His name, of course, was Martin Luther. The church leadership didn’t like the implications of his views and ultimately, at the Diet (council) of Worms (a town) they excommunicated him as a heretic. He went on to write commentaries that are classics today; hymns like, “A Mighty Fortress is our God”; and translated the entire Bible into German, a classic which remains the literary masterpiece in the Germanic tongue 

* * *

The just shall live by faith. By faith; not by intellect, sight, or feelings. Faith is the currency of eternity. God wants us to be rich people. Faith is not believing in spite of evidence;it is obeying in spite of the consequences

The Holy Spirit has given us a trilogy on Habakkuk 2:4:

The Just shall live by Faith Rom 1:15-17

The Just shall live by Faith Gal 1;6-9; 3:1-3, 11

The Just shall live by Faith Heb 10:38 (introduces the “Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11.)

It takes three epistles of the New Testament to expound just one Old Testament text of six words! (This is one of the several reasons I personally ascribe authorship of the Epistles to the Hebrews to Paul.)

One small verse in Habakkuk changed the course of history. Among the most fascinating portions of the Bible are the lesser known “Minor” prophets. (The scholastic term “minor” derives from their small size,not their significance!) Why not undertake a personally tutored study of some of them.

This article was originally published in the September 1998 Personal Update NewsJournal.

Portrait of Martin Luther as an Augustinian Monk

Portrait of Martin Luther as an Augustinian Monk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wittenberg All Saints' Church. The "These...

Wittenberg All Saints’ Church. The “Theses Doors”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences Commonly Known as

The 95 Theses
by Dr. Martin Luther

While the world is busy acting out Druidic satanism on Halloween, let us remember the REAL reason to celebrate October 31: Reformation Day, commemorating Martin Luther’s protest against the Catholic Church’s ungodly practices.  This led to printing of the Word of God in languages people could finally read for themselves. At last the true Salvation Gospel was revealed, and along with it the doctrine of Grace, which freed the people from the fear based control of the Catholic power structure.  Without the Protestant Reformation, the Dark Ages would never have ended, and there would be no nation on earth founded on Biblical principles; no freedom, no USA.

This is also a day to remember the enemies of the Reformation: the “Company of Jesus” also called the Jesuit Order, dedicated to the Counter-Reformation–bringing back the Dark Ages of Papal domination over the nations of the earth.  The Babylonian Whore of Revelation still sits on the seven headed beast–the city on seven hills–ROME!  The papacy is drunk with the blood of the saints and today more than ever, “reigns over the kings of the earth”.  No wonder the pope’s title “vicarius filii dei” in Roman numerals adds up to 666! 

The Jesuits are the master destroyers of national sovereignty, ruling behind their loyal front men (Masonic Jews, Republicans, Democrats, etc) and front organizations (CIA, Council on Foreign Relations, Freemasons, Illuminati).  Few see the Jesuit hand behind the laws and policies that destroy our economy and culture, or the false flag attacks like 9-11, used to take our freedom and justify wars that only benefit the Vatican.

That’s why they want us to celebrate Halloween and forget Reformation Day; to keep Sunday and forget that Saturday is the Sabbath; to believe their evolution scam and forget the Bible. The Jesuits know how to bring God’s judgment down on a nation: corrupt it beyond all recognition. 

So let us put aside the Devil’s occult celebration and remember all that the Jesuit social engineers want us to forget, starting this Sabbath DANIEL HENDERICK

d_henderick@yahoo.com

 95thses

Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.

1.    When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent”, He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

2.    The word cannot be properly understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, i.e. confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.

3.    Yet its meaning is not restricted to repentance in one’s heart; for such repentance is null unless it produces outward signs in various mortifications of the flesh.

4.    As long as hatred of self abides (i.e. true inward repentance) the penalty of sin abides, viz., until we enter the kingdom of heaven.

5.    The pope has neither the will nor the power to remit any penalties beyond those imposed either at his own discretion or by canon law.

6.    The pope himself cannot remit guilt, but only declare and confirm that it has been remitted by God; or, at most, he can remit it in cases reserved to his discretion. Except for these cases, the guilt remains untouched.

7.    God never remits guilt to anyone without, at the same time, making him humbly submissive to the priest, His representative.

8.    The penitential canons apply only to men who are still alive, and, according to the canons themselves, none applies to the dead.

9.    Accordingly, the Holy Spirit, acting in the person of the pope, manifests grace to us, by the fact that the papal regulations always cease to apply at death, or in any hard case.

10.                    It is a wrongful act, due to ignorance, when priests retain the canonical penalties on the dead in purgatory.

11.                    When canonical penalties were changed and made to apply to purgatory, surely it would seem that tares were sown while the bishops were asleep.

12.                    In former days, the canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution was pronounced; and were intended to be tests of true contrition.

13.                    Death puts an end to all the claims of the Church; even the dying are already dead to the canon laws, and are no longer bound by them.

14.                    Defective piety or love in a dying person is necessarily accompanied by great fear, which is greatest where the piety or love is least.

15.                    This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, whatever else might be said, to constitute the pain of purgatory, since it approaches very closely to the horror of despair.

16.                    There seems to be the same difference between hell, purgatory, and heaven as between despair, uncertainty, and assurance.

17.                    Of a truth, the pains of souls in purgatory ought to be abated, and charity ought to be proportionately increased.

18.                    Moreover, it does not seem proved, on any grounds of reason or Scripture, that these souls are outside the state of merit, or unable to grow in grace.

19.                    Nor does it seem proved to be always the case that they are certain and assured of salvation, even if we are very certain ourselves.

20.                    Therefore the pope, in speaking of the plenary remission of all penalties, does not mean “all” in the strict sense, but only those imposed by himself.

21.                    Hence those who preach indulgences are in error when they say that a man is absolved and saved from every penalty by the pope’s indulgences.

22.                    Indeed, he cannot remit to souls in purgatory any penalty which canon law declares should be suffered in the present life.

23.                    If plenary remission could be granted to anyone at all, it would be only in the cases of the most perfect, i.e. to very few.

24.                    It must therefore be the case that the major part of the people are deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of relief from penalty.

25.                    The same power as the pope exercises in general over purgatory is exercised in particular by every single bishop in his bishopric and priest in his parish.

26.                    The pope does excellently when he grants remission to the souls in purgatory on account of intercessions made on their behalf, and not by the power of the keys (which he cannot exercise for them).

27.                    There is no divine authority for preaching that the soul flies out of the purgatory immediately the money clinks in the bottom of the chest.

28.                    It is certainly possible that when the money clinks in the bottom of the chest avarice and greed increase; but when the church offers intercession, all depends in the will of God.

29.                    Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed in view of what is said of St. Severinus and St. Pascal? (Note: Paschal I, pope 817-24. The legend is that he and Severinus were willing to endure the pains of purgatory for the benefit of the faithful).

30.                    No one is sure of the reality of his own contrition, much less of receiving plenary forgiveness.

31.                    One who bona fide buys indulgence is a rare as a bona fide penitent man, i.e. very rare indeed.

32.                    All those who believe themselves certain of their own salvation by means of letters of indulgence, will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.

33.                    We should be most carefully on our guard against those who say that the papal indulgences are an inestimable divine gift, and that a man is reconciled to God by them.

34.                    For the grace conveyed by these indulgences relates simply to the penalties of the sacramental “satisfactions” decreed merely by man.

35.                    It is not in accordance with Christian doctrines to preach and teach that those who buy off souls, or purchase confessional licenses, have no need to repent of their own sins.

36.                    Any Christian whatsoever, who is truly repentant, enjoys plenary remission from penalty and guilt, and this is given him without letters of indulgence.

37.                    Any true Christian whatsoever, living or dead, participates in all the benefits of Christ and the Church; and this participation is granted to him by God without letters of indulgence.

38.                    Yet the pope’s remission and dispensation are in no way to be despised, for, as already said, they proclaim the divine remission.

39.                    It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, to extol to the people the great bounty contained in the indulgences, while, at the same time, praising contrition as a virtue.

40.                    A truly contrite sinner seeks out, and loves to pay, the penalties of his sins; whereas the very multitude of indulgences dulls men’s consciences, and tends to make them hate the penalties.

41.                    Papal indulgences should only be preached with caution, lest people gain a wrong understanding, and think that they are preferable to other good works: those of love.

42.                    Christians should be taught that the pope does not at all intend that the purchase of indulgences should be understood as at all comparable with the works of mercy.

43.                    Christians should be taught that one who gives to the poor, or lends to the needy, does a better action than if he purchases indulgences.

44.                    Because, by works of love, love grows and a man becomes a better man; whereas, by indulgences, he does not become a better man, but only escapes certain penalties.

45.                    Christians should be taught that he who sees a needy person, but passes him by although he gives money for indulgences, gains no benefit from the pope’s pardon, but only incurs the wrath of God.

46.                    Christians should be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they are bound to retain what is only necessary for the upkeep of their home, and should in no way squander it on indulgences.

47.                    Christians should be taught that they purchase indulgences voluntarily, and are not under obligation to do so.

48.                    Christians should be taught that, in granting indulgences, the pope has more need, and more desire, for devout prayer on his own behalf than for ready money.

49.                    Christians should be taught that the pope’s indulgences are useful only if one does not rely on them, but most harmful if one loses the fear of God through them.

50.                    Christians should be taught that, if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence-preachers, he would rather the church of St. Peter were reduced to ashes than be built with the skin, flesh, and bones of the sheep.

51.                    Christians should be taught that the pope would be willing, as he ought if necessity should arise, to sell the church of St. Peter, and give, too, his own money to many of those from whom the pardon-merchants conjure money.

52.                    It is vain to rely on salvation by letters of indulgence, even if the commissary, or indeed the pope himself, were to pledge his own soul for their validity.

53.                    Those are enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid the word of God to be preached at all in some churches, in order that indulgences may be preached in others.

54.                    The word of God suffers injury if, in the same sermon, an equal or longer time is devoted to indulgences than to that word.

55.                    The pope cannot help taking the view that if indulgences (very small matters) are celebrated by one bell, one pageant, or one ceremony, the gospel (a very great matter) should be preached to the accompaniment of a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.

56.                    The treasures of the church, out of which the pope dispenses indulgences, are not sufficiently spoken of or known among the people of Christ.

57.                    That these treasures are not temporal are clear from the fact that many of the merchants do not grant them freely, but only collect them.

58.                    Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, because, even apart from the pope, these merits are always working grace in the inner man, and working the cross, death, and hell in the outer man.

59.                    St. Laurence said that the poor were the treasures of the church, but he used the term in accordance with the custom of his own time.

60.                    We do not speak rashly in saying that the treasures of the church are the keys of the church, and are bestowed by the merits of Christ.

61.                    For it is clear that the power of the pope suffices, by itself, for the remission of penalties and reserved cases.

62.                    The true treasure of the church is the Holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God.

63.                    It is right to regard this treasure as most odious, for it makes the first to be the last.

64.                    On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is most acceptable, for it makes the last to be the first.

65.                    Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets which, in former times, they used to fish for men of wealth.

66.                    The treasures of the indulgences are the nets which to-day they use to fish for the wealth of men.

67.                    The indulgences, which the merchants extol as the greatest of favours, are seen to be, in fact, a favourite means for money-getting.

68.                    Nevertheless, they are not to be compared with the grace of God and the compassion shown in the Cross.

69.                    Bishops and curates, in duty bound, must receive the commissaries of the papal indulgences with all reverence.

70.                    But they are under a much greater obligation to watch closely and attend carefully lest these men preach their own fancies instead of what the pope commissioned.

71.                    Let him be anathema and accursed who denies the apostolic character of the indulgences.

72.                    On the other hand, let him be blessed who is on his guard against the wantonness and license of the pardon-merchant’s words.

73.                    In the same way, the pope rightly excommunicates those who make any plans to the detriment of the trade in indulgences.

74.                    It is much more in keeping with his views to excommunicate those who use the pretext of indulgences to plot anything to the detriment of holy love and truth.

75.                    It is foolish to think that papal indulgences have so much power that they can absolve a man even if he has done the impossible and violated the mother of God.

76.                    We assert the contrary, and say that the pope’s pardons are not able to remove the least venial of sins as far as their guilt is concerned.

77.                    When it is said that not even St. Peter, if he were now pope, could grant a greater grace, it is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope.

78.                    We assert the contrary, and say that he, and any pope whatever, possesses greater graces, viz., the gospel, spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc., as is declared in I Corinthians 12 [:28].

79.                    It is blasphemy to say that the insignia of the cross with the papal arms are of equal value to the cross on which Christ died.

80.                    The bishops, curates, and theologians, who permit assertions of that kind to be made to the people without let or hindrance, will have to answer for it.

81.                    This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult for learned men to guard the respect due to the pope against false accusations, or at least from the keen criticisms of the laity.

82.                    They ask, e.g.: Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter’s church, a very minor purpose.

83.                    Again: Why should funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continue to be said? And why does not the pope repay, or permit to be repaid, the benefactions instituted for these purposes, since it is wrong to pray for those souls who are now redeemed?

84.                    Again: Surely this is a new sort of compassion, on the part of God and the pope, when an impious man, an enemy of God, is allowed to pay money to redeem a devout soul, a friend of God; while yet that devout and beloved soul is not allowed to be redeemed without payment, for love’s sake, and just because of its need of redemption.

85.                    Again: Why are the penitential canon laws, which in fact, if not in practice, have long been obsolete and dead in themselves,—why are they, to-day, still used in imposing fines in money, through the granting of indulgences, as if all the penitential canons were fully operative?

86.                    Again: since the pope’s income to-day is larger than that of the wealthiest of wealthy men, why does he not build this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of indigent believers?

87.                    Again: What does the pope remit or dispense to people who, by their perfect repentance, have a right to plenary remission or dispensation?

88.                    Again: Surely a greater good could be done to the church if the pope were to bestow these remissions and dispensations, not once, as now, but a hundred times a day, for the benefit of any believer whatever.

89.                    What the pope seeks by indulgences is not money, but rather the salvation of souls; why then does he suspend the letters and indulgences formerly conceded, and still as efficacious as ever?

90.                    These questions are serious matters of conscience to the laity. To suppress them by force alone, and not to refute them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christian people unhappy.

91.                    If therefore, indulgences were preached in accordance with the spirit and mind of the pope, all these difficulties would be easily overcome, and indeed, cease to exist.

92.                    Away, then, with those prophets who say to Christ’s people, “Peace, peace,” where in there is no peace.

93.                    Hail, hail to all those prophets who say to Christ’s people, “The cross, the cross,” where there is no cross.

94.                    Christians should be exhorted to be zealous to follow Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hells.

95.                    And let them thus be more confident of entering heaven through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of peace.

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Hosanna – Paul Baloche

Praise is rising, eyes are turning to You, we turn to You
Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for You, we long for You
Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Pres ence all our fears are washed away, washed away

CHORUS
Ho- san- na, ho- sanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Ho- san- na, ho- sanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus

Hear the sound of hearts returning to You, we turn to You
In Your Kingdom broken lives are made new, You make us new
Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Pres-ence all our fears are washed away, washed away

CHORUS
Ho- san- na, ho- sanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Ho- san- na, ho- sanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus

Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Pres ence all our fears are washed away
‘Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Pres ence all our fears are washed away, washed away

CHORUS
Ho- san- na, ho- sanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Ho- san- na, ho- sanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
(Repeat)
Ho- san- na, ho- san- na
Ho- san- na, ho- san- na

lifes-quest

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