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“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us! God is love.”
(1 John 4:16)
The sweeter the truth–the more backward we often are to receive and believe it. Therefore it must be presented to us again and again. What is more pleasant, than the fact that “God is love”?
Yet so quickly we doubt it, or forget it, or fail to realize it. Therefore the Gospel presents it to us again and again, and in almost every possible form. Twice within the scope of a few verses, John tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8,16).
Belief in this portrayal of God lies at the root of our holiness, happiness, and peace. To the extent that we believe that “God is love”–we will . . .
consecrate ourselves to His service,
enjoy peace in our consciences,
and be happy in His ways.
God loves us, and therefore He planned our salvation, sending His one and only Son to take away our sins by the sacrifice of Himself. He also sent His Holy Spirit to teach us our need of Christ and lead us to Him. And, finally, He has put His blessed Word in our hands so that through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures, we might have hope.
God loves us–and therefore He . . .
strips us, and
He will not let us live satisfied without Himself.
God is love–therefore He has provided an atonement for all our sins. His justice is satisfied, and Heaven is prepared for us!
Yes, though we were sinners by nature, and deeply feel it–though we are not all that we wish to be, and deeply deplore it–yet God loves us!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, who in His love and in His pity has redeemed me!
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins!”
(1 John 4:10)
~James Smith, “Comfort for Christians!”
HT: Grace Gems
from John MacArthur’s teaching on Ephesians 1: 6-10
There are five Greek words in the New Testament that come from the legal vocabulary. They have to do with legal things in the Roman world, a legal background. Let me share them with you and then I’ll show you how they differ.
The first one is dikaiosis. Now dikaiosis is a word that means acquittal. It means acquittal in the court. When somebody was acquitted of a crime, we translate it in the Bible justification. Justification. Somebody is justified.
All right, there is a second word, aphesis. That word means to cancel a debt, to cancel a debt. Sometimes it would be a lawsuit or something would be wrangling in the court and there would be a judgment that would say you don’t owe that man anything the debt is cancelled, or whatever, retribution has been made, the price is paid, there’s the canceling of the debt. Aphesis in its legal sense means to cancel a debt, we translate it in the Bible, are you ready, forgiveness, forgiveness.
The third word is huiothesia. And that is a word that means in legalese, it means in the Greek world – adoption. Like a family would go to court to adopt a child. Now the Bible really uses it to speak of sonship, sonship. Becoming a son of God.
And then there is the word katallasso which legally means reconciliation. Sometimes people go to court for a divorce and they will be reconciled. Or sometimes two fighting factions will be brought into a suit and there will be reconciliation brought about. Now it means in a courtroom reconciliation and that’s exactly the way we translate it in the Bible. Paul talks about being reconciled to God.
The fifth word is apolutrosis, it means to redeem, to purchase to set free. And it is translated redemption.
Now listen and I’ll show you the distinction of these words.
In justification the sinner stands before God accused but he is declared righteous. In justification he stands before God accused but he is declared righteous.
In forgiveness, the second word, the sinner stands before God as a debtor and receives a cancellation of his debt.
In adoption the sinner stands before God as a stranger but he is made a…what? … son.
In reconciliation the sinner stands before God as an enemy but he is made a friend.
In redemption the sinner stands before God as a slave and he is receiving his freedom, you see.
All of those terms speak of the wondrous miracle of salvation. All of those things; justification,
forgiveness, adoption, reconciliation and redemption are provided because Jesus paid the price.
In this three part series by Dr. Paul M. Elliott, we learn specific details of our new life as adopted sons of God.
Part 1 ~ What does it mean to be adopted by God?
“Adoption is a legal act of God on our behalf, in the same way as justification. Justification is legal language in Scripture. We stand before the judgment bar of God as hopeless sinners, condemned to death, with nothing to offer for our own redemption. But Christ comes and stands before His Father at the judgment bar, and offers His perfect righteousness – His full atonement for our sins and His perfect keeping of God’s law – as our substitute. And so God the Father declares us not guilty. “
Read the full article here.
Part 2 ~ New Privileges, New Relationships, New Responsibilities.
” Because of what Christ has done, God the condemning Judge is now God our loving Father. […] …[B]ecause of adoption we have a new relationship with God the Son. Not only is He our Savior, the One who paid for our justification, but He is now also our Brother. […] The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. He comes and brings us to spiritual life by the work of calling us and regenerating us, and He takes up residence within us.”
Read the full article here.
Part 3 ~ New Citizenship, New Bodies, A Secure Inheritance.
“The father’s property was his by right of adoption. And that is true for us. We have an inheritance. Our inheritance is our Father’s property — all the riches that are in Christ Jesus. The spiritual riches of life in Him now, and the riches of the new heavens and new earth in the life to come. “
Read the full article here.
Dr. Paul M. Elliott is founder and president of Teaching The Word Ministries.
1. The Spirit awakens a person’s heart.
2. The Spirit teaches a person’s mind.
3. The Spirit leads to the Word.
4. The Spirit convinces of sin.
5. The Spirit draws to Christ.
6. The Spirit sanctifies.
7. The Spirit makes a person spiritually minded.
8. The Spirit produces inward conflict.
9. The Spirit makes a person love the brethren.
10. The Spirit teaches a person to pray.
These are the great marks of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Put the question to your conscience and ask: Has the Spirit done anything of this kind for your soul?
~ J.C. Ryle
HT: JC Ryles Quotes
by Bill Perkins
Compass International, Inc.
The “repentance in salvation”question is hotly debated between the dispensationalists and covenant theologians. The idea of “salvation without repentance” understandably sends many into fits of rage. But is salvation without repentence even possible?
Lewis Chafer wrote:
Roy B. Zuck writes:
Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead
the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness
of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the
Dr. Charles Ryrie says of this verse,“Clearly, repentance for the forgiveness of sins is connected to the death and resurrection of Christ.”(Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Victor Books, p. 98).
that your good works will save you, but they won’t. The only thing that can save you is your faith and belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Neither did Jesus tell the woman at the well in Samaria to repent. When she recounted her story, the other Samaritians didn’t “repent,” rather they “believed.”
Christians do sin and when we are convicted about that sin, we need to repent, or change directions, away from the sin toward God’s way. But this repentance has nothing to do with salvation. It’s simply a Believer maturing in his/her faith.
A Peek Behind
The Name of God
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever”
When we go to Israel our guides are usually non-Christian Jews. To be a guide in Israel means you are licensed by the State of Israel only after completing the equivalent of a two-year college course studying the hundreds of Biblical sites in the promised land.
So the vast majority of our Israeli guides are articulate, well-educated… but secular– meaning not religious. They usually observe Passover and Day of Atonement but nothing else. Sorta like some Christians only go to church on Christmas and Easter.
They talk about God and Jesus all day long, quote passages out of the Old and New Testaments, but don’t connect the spiritual dots. They refer to Him by name, but the deep and powerful meaning of that name escapes them.
What Does “Yahweh” Mean?
Hebrew letters all have meanings. You’re going to love what the letters mean in “Yahweh”!
So when read in Hebrew, right to left, God’s name means:
“Behold the Nail, Behold the Hand”
“Behold the nailed hand.”
It gets even better when you combine the meaning of the individual letters with the overall meaning of the word, Yahweh, YHWH, which means “Salvation,” then it basically translates:
“Behold, the nailed hand is salvation.”
“…they will look upon Me whom they have pierced”
“…they have pierced My hands and feet.” Ps 22:16
With the name of God being so specific, it makes one wonder how in the world do the Jews, especially the Jewish guides in Israel, miss the fact Jesus came as the Messiah?!
The answer, of course, is in scripture. God has “blinded” them.
“… And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” For this cause they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, “He has blinded their eyes, and He
hardened their heart; lest they see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and be converted, and I heal them.”John 12:39-40
But God has not blinded us. His Holy Spirit living in us reveals truth to Believers through the Word of God.
Why should I give up the definite promise of God’s Word to embrace the indefinite promise of Roman Catholicism, that sometime, someway, somehow, after much suffering and hard work and purging in purgatory, I will make it at last — but don’t ask how much of anything, or how long it will take?!
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
–2 Corinthians 5:8
‘Apples of Gold’ daily devotional
The Berean Call
The Second Coming — In Two Part Harmony
By Jack Kinsella
The Omega Letter
The Bible often appears to address the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as if it were one event, but upon closer examination, it is obvious that it takes place in two separate parts with an interval of time between them.
The Lord returns once for His Church as its Redeemer and then again at the end of the Tribulation Period as its Avenger. The first coming is in secret. It is signless – that is to say – there is nothing that must occur first.
That first, secret coming for His Church could have taken place at any time in history from the 1st century until now, something known to theology as the “doctrine of immanency.”
This secret coming is called the Rapture of the Church.
There will be some who will argue that the Rapture is a made up doctrine and point to the fact the word rapture does not appear in the Bible as ‘evidence’. (It is worth noting at this point that the word ‘Bible’ isn’t in the Bible either.)
The word ‘Rapture’ comes from the Latin word rapios which is itself a translation of the Greek word ‘harpazo’ which means, “to snatch away, grab, or carry off.”
So it’s not a very compelling argument, and its rebuttal is devastating:
The word ‘Rapture’ doesn’t appear in the English Bible for the same reason that there IS an English Bible. Because the Greeks and Romans used different words for everything than we do. Duh.
Whether the word Rapture is in the Bible or not, the picture of the Second Coming taking place in two-part harmony is unmistakable.
- In the first part, He comes as a thief. (Revelation 16:15)
- In the second part, He comes as lightning. (Luke 17:24)
- In the first part, as the Morning Star. (Revelation 22:16)
- In the second part, the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:1-2)
- In the first part, as a bridegroom. (Matthew 25:1-6)
- In the second part, as a King. (Matthew 25:31-34)
- In the first, to the marriage. (Matthew 25:10)
- In the Second, to the Throne of His Glory. (Matthew 25:31)
- In the first, to the virgins. (Matthew 25:1)
- In the second, to the nations. (Matthew 25:32)
- In the first, before the marriage. (Matthew 25:1)
- In the second, after the marriage. (Luke 12:36)
- In the first, for His Bride. (John 14:3)
- In the second, with His Bride. (Colossians 3:4)
- In the first, He meets His Bride in the air. (1st Thessalonians 4:17)
- In the second, He puts His foot down on the Mount of Olives. (Zechariah 14:3-4)
- In the first, He comes to receive His Bride unto Himself. (John 14:3)
- In the second, He comes to be received by repentant Israel. (Zechariah 11:10)
- In the first, He comes to take His bride to the heavenly city. (John 14:1-5, Song of Solomon 4, Ephesians 5:27)
- In the second, He comes to the earthly city of Jerusalem to take up His Throne as King.
- The first part is called, “our gathering together unto Him” (2nd Thessalonians 2:1)
- The second part is called, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven.” (2nd Thessalonians 1:7)
The Rapture of the Church is clearly not a new doctrine invented by a Scottish schoolgirl, or by C.I. Scofield or by J.N. Darby. For fourteen hundred years, it was a lost doctrine, along with the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith.
Martin Luther didn’t discover a new doctrine when he read Ephesians 2:8-9, he rediscovered what the Vatican had buried during the Dark Ages. (That’s why they were called “the Dark Ages” in the first place).
Luther rediscovered the truth that salvation comes through grace and by faith, not by paying money to a priest for absolution from purgatory.
To the degree one can credit Scofield or Darby or anybody else, it can only be for the rediscovery of a doctrine long buried by the Vatican for the same reason. If the Lord is to come for the living saints, then the Vatican dogma that requires additional purification in Purgatory collapses.
It is beyond question that the Bible presents the Second Coming in two-part harmony – to argue otherwise is to argue that the Bible contradicts itself, rather than harmonizes.
Having established the clear Biblical timeline that proves the Second Coming is in two parts, the next question is whether or not the Rapture takes place before, during or after the Tribulation.
I could fill the page with similar references that confirm that the date of the Rapture will be incalculable, whereas the length of the Tribulation period is precisely outlined and concludes with His visible return, and can therefore be calculated. (Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel 12:7,11-13)
This is the same problem with the Pre-Wrath, Mid-Trib and Post-Trib views – each conflicts with the doctrine of immanency, a doctrine Jesus hammered home many times.
The Rapture of the Church could have happened at any time in history without being early and the Tribulation could still be future without being late. That has always been the spiritual status quo – until this generation.
For this generation, that equation is turned on its head. Instead, the Rapture is like a floodgate on a dam. During the Church age, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within believers serves to hold back the onset of unrestricted evil.
When that floodgate is removed, then evil is allowed to flow unrestricted. We are that floodgate – once the Church has been removed, there will be nobody left to stand in the way.
In the meantime, we are all that stands in the enemy’s way.