Monthly Archives: April 2013

My Sin For His Righteousness

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us,who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”.

Jesus Christ death;the message is unbelievable,a message of redemption,that is a substitution for sin. This is one of the great verses proclaiming the unbelievable love of God.It is impossible for man to grasp the fact that God made Christ to be sin for us,yet that is exactly what the scripture says.He who knew no sin made to be sin,for the sole that sinneth shall surley die,so for man to live He had to die.

Did He die in vain?Why was this act necessary? Because man needs more than just righteousness to stand perfect before God.To stand righteous before God is not enough,for man has already sinned.Man already stands guilty of breaking God’s law, and the judgement and condemnation of death has already taken effect upon man. So the condemnation and judgement of sin had to be taken care of. God did this by laying all the sins of man upon Christ,all the guilt and condemnation of sin,God placed it all on Christ and let Him bear it all Himself.God’s purpose for this was that we through Christ death, might be made righteousness of God in Christ.When a person really believes in Jesus Christ,God takes that man’s faith and He counts it as righteousness.The man is not righteous,but God considers the man’s faith in Christ as righteousness.God does this because he loves man so much,that he sent His only Son to die that we might have a right to life.Jesus secured righteousness for man. He came into the world to die for man.He came and arose from death and thus conquered death for man,thus His resurrected life could stand for the resurrected life of the believer.But did Christ die in vain in your life?Have you accepted this truth?

The truth is this God loves His Son Jesus Christ so much, that He honors any man who honors His son by believing in Him and believing Him.When we sincerly trust Christ,God takes that faith and counts it as righteousness,thus He judges us , and treats us,as though we are innocent.We are not innocent,us and God both knows this,but God counts us as innocent because of our faith in Jesus Christ.To God we have died with Christ and rose a new creation.So did Christ die in vain for you?.

A Place To Be Saved

Luke19:5″And when Jesus came to the place,he looked up and saw him,and said unto him,Zacchaeus, make haste,and come down;for today I must abide at thy house”

“Pass me not oh gentle savior,hear my humble cry,while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by”. These words are more than just lyrics to a hymm,these are the words of the humble cry, from the soul of all repented sinners.A sincere heart felt cry,from every heart which desires to see the Lord.A desire so strong,that one will make haste,push through,get in front of and even rise above all that would hinder their chance at a personal relationship with the savior.This is the cry of all who are in a place to be saved.

Zacchaeus was a sinner who sought to see Jesus for himself.He heard that Jesus was passing through, and he sought to see him, and to him Jesus came.(It is good when sinners seek Jesus while he can be found)It says”And when Jesus came to the place”, there is a place in the life of every sinner, when they realize they are lost and in need of salvation, and Jesus will meet every sinner at that place. Seek Him and He will be found. Zacchaeus was at that place, he was a sinner in need of salvation and he didn’t want Jesus to pass him by.He made haste to see him,not letting the crowd or anything stand between him and his salvation. He received him with joy, he called him Lord, accepting him for who he was and not what he could give him,and he was willing to surrender all he had, to the rule of the Lord.

What the Lord saw was a sinner who not only needed,but who would accept the mercy of the lord. One willing to stand alone in his decision. Jesus looked up and saw one whose character, would make him a great witness to the grace of the Lord. Jesus saw one who would receive him with all his heart. So Jesus said “today I must abide at thy house”.Today is the acceptable day of salvation;Jesus must abide at the house of all repented sinners,and must have rule of the house,to do what he will,to do as he sees fit,to arrange it as he wants it.We must let him mold us into the instrument he sees fit, to be used in His garden of salvation,that we might bring in the sheeves.If you don’t want Christ to pass you by, you must make yourself avaiable to Him,in the place to be saved.

Standing Firm In Hope

Lesson: II Thessalonians 2:1-3, 9-17

Golden Text: “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work” (II Thessalonians 2:16-17).

INTRODUCTION. During his visit with the believers in Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul taught them many truths about the Day of the Lord; that period of history mentioned repeatedly in the Old Testament during which God will bring judgment and blessing on the people of the earth in a more direct, dramatic, and drastic way than ever before (see Isaiah 13:6, 9; Zechariah 1:14-16). The Thessalonian believers had been experiencing persecution and now they were confused. Were they in the Day of the Lord now? No doubt false teachers had caused this confusion. However, as the church’s spiritual parent, Paul in our lesson sought to set their thinking straight.

II. FALLING AWAY (II Thessalonians 2:1-3)

A. An alarming proposal (II Thessalonians 2:1-2).

1. (vs. 1). As previously noted Paul’s second letter to the church at Thessalonica helped to correct the misunderstanding in the church. He began this section by writing “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.” This was a tender appeal to his new “brethren” or fellow believers. The word “beseech” means to implore or beg earnestly. Note: As an apostle, he could have used his authority and spoken by command. But Paul considered himself as one of them, so he besought or begged these believers (see II Corinthians 10:1-2). The proposal that Paul was about to make in the next verse was “by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” which is a reference to the rapture. It will include “our gathering together unto him.” In other words, at the rapture, all saints, both living and dead will be gathered together with Christ in the air (see I Thessalonians 4:13-17).

2. (vs. 2). Here Paul gives his purpose for writing. He said “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” It seems that false teachers had so misled the church that the members were “shaken in mind, or be troubled” indicating that these believers were frightened that the Day of the Lord had arrived (see Mark 13:7). Paul may not have known who or what was causing the trouble, but he suggested that it could be “by spirit” or prophecy; “by word” or oral report. When Paul said “by letter as from us” he was referring to any written communication that was said to have come from him and didn’t. At any rate, the Thessalonian believers were begged by Paul not to believe any of those things that indicated that “the day of Christ is at hand” or that the tribulation had begun.

B. Antichrist predicted (II Thessalonians 2:3). Paul went on to say “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” The phrase “Let no man deceive you by any means” looks back to the three ways in verse 2 that these believers would be troubled by false teaching regarding the coming of the Day of the Lord. Paul said that before the day of the Lord came, two significant events had to take place. First, there would be “a falling away.” The use of the definite article “a” before the word translated “falling” indicates that Paul was referring to a specific, identifiable time. The term Paul used for “falling away” or the departure from God’s revealed truth in His Word is literally translated “the apostasy.” The second event to take place before the day of the Lord would be “that man of sin be revealed.” The term “man of sin” means man of lawlessness; he will act in a lawless manner. The “man of sin” or antichrist is also called the “son of perdition” meaning one doomed to destruction. This predicts the ultimate destruction of the antichrist (see Revelation 19:20; 20:10). He is a man doomed for destruction. Note: A study of the Bible reveals that the “man of sin” is the antichrist (see I John 2:18; 4:3), the “little horn” (see Daniel 7:8), “the prince that shall come” (see Daniel 9:26), “the king (who) shall do according to his will (see Daniel 11:36) and also the “beast” in Revelation chapter 13. As Satan’s instrument (see II Thessalonians 2:9), he will be revealed after the church is raptured and will attempt to usurp the place of God. He will make use of the rebuilt Jerusalem temple in establishing a new religion in which he is the god to be worshipped (see Daniel 9:27; 11:37; Matthew 24:15; Revelation 13:4, 12, 15). The apostasy or falling away from the faith during the reign of the antichrist will be greater than any previous apostasy in history.

III. FALSE SIGNS (ii Thessalonians 2:9-12)

A. Satanic deception (II Thessalonians 2:9-10). In verses 4-8, Paul gives us a picture of the antichrist as a person who exalts himself above God and demands worship (see vs. 4). Paul had taught these believers these things while ministering among them, but it appears that they didn’t remember them (see vs. 5). This wicked one will not succeed in his efforts to thwart Christ’s work; instead he will be destroyed at the second coming of Christ (see vs. 8).

1. (vs. 9). Now in this verse, Paul continues to talk about the “man of sin” or the antichrist saying “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” The word translated “coming” in this verse is the same word used of the coming of Christ in verse 8 indicating satanic deception causing people to think the “man of sin” is Christ. The phrase “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” means that this man will be able to perform miracles through Satan’s power. As a result, the world will stand in awe of him as he claims divine power and demands worship (see II Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:3-4). Note: The ability to perform miracles does not necessarily mean that a person is God sent or is preaching the truth. This is true of the antichrist or any other false teacher (see Matthew 7:21-23).

2. (vs. 10). Paul continued to say that the “man of sin” would not only demonstrate the works of Satan with lying wonders but also “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” The words “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness” reveal the strategy of the antichrist. Part of his purpose is to mislead. The phrase “in them that perish” refers to those who follow the antichrist who will make up the majority of the people on earth during the tribulation. They will “perish” or die. Note: The Bible gives two reasons why unsaved people will die during the tribulation. One reason is that a series of divine judgments will devastate the earth (see Revelation 6:7-8; 8:11; 9:18; 11:13). Another reason the unsaved will die is that they will destroy themselves. Entire armies will be wiped out as Gentiles converge on Palestine (see Ezekiel 38:11-39:29; Daniel 11:40-45; Revelation 16:12-14; 19:17-21). Any unsaved people who survive the tribulation will be judged by Christ before His millennial reign begins (see Matthew 25:31-46). Paul also said that the unsaved would “perish” because “they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” In other words, the deceived followers of the antichrist will perish because they refuse to love the truth which would save them. Since Jesus is the Truth (see John 14:6) and God’s Word is truth (see John 17:17), not receiving both God’s Son and His Word will lead to eternal death.

B. Strong delusion (II Thessalonians 2:11-12).

1. (vs. 11). In this verse Paul writes “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” The phrase “for this cause” refers back to verse 10 and the fact that the unsaved will not receive the truth. Since they will not receive the truth, “God shall send them strong delusion.” This simply means that God will allow the unsaved to be deluded, deceived or led astray. The fact that God will send this strong deception does not mean that these unbelievers will not have the choice not to be deceived, because they will. When Paul says “God shall send them strong delusion” he is presenting a principle of divine justice that when a person turns away from the truth, God allows that person to be led off into error. During the tribulation God will give the unsaved over to their own lusts and desires (see Romans 1:24, 26, 28). Having been deluded or deceived by the antichrist, unbelievers will “believe a lie.” Since the word “lie” is preceded by the definite article “a,” indicates that Paul is referring to a specific “lie.” Most likely the “lie” the unsaved will believe will be the self-deification (calling himself god) of the antichrist, who is controlled by Satan (see II Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:4).

2. (vs. 12). God will allow the unbelievers to believe a lie so “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” This is further confirmation of what will happen to the unsaved during the tribulation. They all will “be damned” or condemned. This is the ultimate result of denying the truth. All the unbelievers will stand condemned because they “had pleasure in unrighteousness” which is the opposite of God’s will (see Colossians 1:10; I Peter 1:15-16). What Paul describes here is a people who have rejected the light that God has given them and turned their backs on the love of the truth. When this happens there are consequences.

IV. FUTURE GLORY (II Thessalonians 2:13-14)

A. The fact of God’s choosing (II Thessalonians 2:13). In this verse, Paul speaks of his prayer for the Thessalonian believers. He said “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” Paul thanked God for the Thessalonians and their response to God’s Word which was their part in salvation. These believers were also “brethren beloved of the Lord” just as Paul and all believers are. The reason we are is because “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation.” The fact that believers are “chosen” or elected to salvation “from the beginning” does not mean we had no choice in the matter. Even though God knew from the beginning who would accept His gospel message, the doctrine of election involves both divine and human aspects. On the divine side, God “through sanctification of the Spirit” has made us holy and set us aside for His good pleasure by indwelling us and making our bodies holy temples (see I Corinthians 6:19-20; I Peter 1:2). On the human side every believer’s election is completed because of their “belief of the truth.” Note: Simply put, election to salvation on God’s part is providing opportunities for us to hear the Word of God (see Romans 10:14-17), and our part is believing that same Word. While it may be difficult to understand both the divine and human concepts involved in election to salvation, both are true. While God knows who will or will not respond to the gospel, we don’t. As a result, we too must share the message with others and leave the results with God (se I Corinthians 3:6).

B. The fact of how we are chosen (II Thessalonians 2:14). Continuing his thoughts regarding the believer’s being chosen for salvation Paul said “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The apostle here was saying that God had called the Thessalonian believers to salvation through his preaching of the gospel so that they could share in the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

V. FIRM FOUNDATION (II Thessalonians 2:15-16)

A. A proclamation (II Thessalonians 2:15). Based on the fact that God had called these believers to salvation, Paul urged them to “stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” They were to “stand fast” in their faith despite their present difficulties. There are many ways we can remain steadfast in the faith (see Acts 2:41-42: I Thessalonians 5:15-22), but remaining true to those things that have been taught and preached is at the top of the list. They were also encouraged to “hold the traditions which ye have been taught” meaning they were to cling to the truths they had been taught by Paul. The apostle noted that those “traditions” or teachings were given to the Thessalonians “by word” or orally when he was with them, and “by our epistle” or the letters that he was writing to them. Note: A tradition is simply something handed down to us by others. At this time in the history of the church, early Christians had to depend on the oral testimony of the apostles and others. Even though we have the completed New Testament today, faithful pastors and teachers still need to be passing along the truths of the gospel to each new generation (see II Timothy 2:2; 4:1-5).

B. A prayer (II Thessalonians 2:16-17).

1. (vs. 16). Here Paul says “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.” In this verse and the next verse, Paul utters a benediction over these believers. A benediction is simply a prayer that God may bestow certain blessings on His people. In this portion of the prayer, Paul reminded the Thessalonians that our Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father both love us and have given us “everlasting consolation” or comfort. In addition, we are given “good hope.” Biblical “hope” is not wishful thinking but it is a confident expectation of the return of Christ through God’s grace.

2. (vs. 17). Finally Paul prayed that God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ would “Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” In light of the fact that these believers were troubled over the status of their departed loved ones, Paul was compelled to pray for their “comfort” and that The Father and Son would “stablish” or help them to stand firm “in every good word and work.” The phrase “in every good word and work” means in everything we say and do we should demonstrate how God has provided us comfort and hope.

VI. Conclusion. The hope of the Lord’s imminent return has helped believers persevere through the centuries, and it can keep us going through the hardest days. When friends and family disappoint you and life seems unbearable, tell yourself that “He knows what I am going through and will come to take me to the home He has prepared for me.” When you feel like giving up, remember that you want to be ready to greet Jesus when He comes. Biblical hope is never “I hope so.” It is a confident expectation that keeps you standing strong and sleeping peacefully until He returns.

My Inner me-My Enemy

Mark 7:21-23 “For from within out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,thefts,covetousness,wickedness,deceit,lasciviousness, pride,foolishness:All these evil things come from within,and defile the man”.

Jesus makes it plain that repentance isnot only a change of mind, but a change of heart a change that happens from within.He explains what defiles us comes from within. He gives example of the most basic evil attitudes and passions that dominate our thinking and behavior. Isaiah states plainly that repentance is changing the way we think.let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord,and he will have mercy on him;and to our God for he will pardon. Isaiah points out two things we must forsake to receive God’s pardon:Our sinful ways and our sinful thoughts.

To repent we must recognize that at least some of the pulls of human nature are at work in our minds, influencing or even controlling our thinking.Not every human constantly yeilds to every trait of human nature. But we all sin,we all have weakness.One person might give in to greed,another to pride, or self-righteousness.Yet another may have difficulty being truthful and honest.But in some way we all exhibit self-centered and self-serving thinking and behavior.Repentance means we must truly examine ourselves and recognize our own particular weakness,the areas where we sin in thought or action. We must ask God to reveal what we need to change.

This, too, is a lifelong process. The more we submit to God and ask for his help in seeing what we need to change, the more he opens our mind to reconize our faults and weakness.This process goes on for years as commmitted and converted Christians”grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.A change in the way we think and the intent of our hearts, is the most important aspect of real repentance.After we receive the Holy Spirit, we are better able to sustain right behavior as the fruit of our new way of thinking