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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Crossing The Line

He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah. 
He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan.
2 Kings 18:4 NASB

Hezekiah was a king of Judah.  He did right in the sight of the Lord (2 Kings 18:3,) and he trusted in the Lord (2 Kings 18:5).

Was the bronze serpent a sinful thing? 

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live."
Numbers 21:8 NASB

So, if the Lord told Moses to make it, it could not have been sinful.
Yet, apparently, it was turned into an object of worship.  
That was sinful.
Many people take what was meant for good and turn it into sinful veneration and worship of objects or statues of people (or the people themselves), etc.
A crucifix with an imaginary image of Jesus easily is made into an object of worshiping the image rather than the Jesus of the Bible.
That is the way that the hearts of sinful mankind can work.
Yet, the serpent being lifted up by Moses was symbolic of something which was for the good of those who trust the Lord.

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.
John 3:14-15  NASB

The line between what is good & what is sinful is easily crossed.
We who are Christians need to be careful not to cross that line.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Not By Empty Faith • Christian Assurance • The Steady Anchor

The following are a couple of messages that are relevant to my previous post.
I heard them both the same day, and they complement each other (though given at different churches).

Not by Works Nor by Empty Faith - Don Green (11/5/2017)
This addresses the issue of self-deception as well as the verse in James that many Roman Catholics like to bring up in discussions about justification.

The Christian's Assurance of Salvation - John MacArthur (11/5/2017)
This one was encouraging to me. How do you know you are saved?  MacArthur gives some Biblical answers to the question.

Song For The Day

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Can We Keep Ourselves Saved?

Note: I'm a female blogger.

Do you think you can keep yourself saved?
If salvation depends at all upon us to keep it, we are lost.
The new birth is from above rather than of us (John 3).
So, the answer to the opening question is that we can't keep ourselves saved.
It is God who is faithful to complete what He has begun (Philippians 1:6). 

Those who turn away from the truth do not have a true living faith (James demonstrates the kind of faith that is genuine).
So, the verses that talk about those who have the knowledge of the truth and disobey or are enslaved to sin again are about those who may go to church & think they are saved, and yet their faith is not genuine. 
They may hear the truth and yet be lying about their claim to know God (1 John 2:4).
Then there are those who are genuine believers who sin, but who repent as believers.
That is where a believer confesses to God, but it is not to be justified all over again.
Other verses that demonstrate God keeps His own saved are 1 Peter 1:4-5; John 10:27-29; Romans 8:35 & 8:38-39.

Nobody can be justified by works or good deeds in order to be made right before God or obtain Heaven.
Old Testament believers were not saved by the works of the Law. 
They were saved by faith (Romans 3; Hebrews 11, Galatians 3) 
Justification has always been by a living real genuine faith (1 John 2:4), but even that faith is a gift of God. Acts 11:17-18...God grants the repentance that leads to life (also you can see Ephesians 2:8-10 & Titus 3:5-7).

So, in review:
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we could never keep ourselves saved by our deeds. 
Deeds are the fruit ...not the root. We cannot even obey God in repentance without God.
The spiritually dead have no spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear. 
Genuine repentance transforms, and that is a change of heart that a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2;13).

with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
2 Tim. 2:25 NASB
(I notice that it talks about God granting repentance!)

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
2 Corinthians 7:10 NASB
(Simple regret and worldly sorrow is not the true repentance that is from God.)

Between hearing messages and not reading Why We're Protestant by Nate Pickowicz (I'm in chapter 4),  I've been having scriptural teaching reinforced a lot.  This isn't a new belief!

Monday, October 30, 2017

5 Solas: Messages & Music

Five Solas of the Reformation Series

In the past few weeks, Grace Community Church in California has been having messages given on the 5 Solas of the Reformation.
The final one was given October 29th, 2017, so it should be online soon.
It was given by Nathan Busenitz who teaches Historical Theology at The Master's Seminary.
You can hear the messages HERE.

Sadly, many in churches today wrongly believe that salvation is by faith plus works, and then some wrongly believe that Christians need not obey Christ due to salvation's being by faith alone.
Justification is by faith alone, but faith produces obedience.
It is a fruit, but it is not the root!
Righteousness is not infused as the Roman Catholics teach.
That would mean we have our own self-righteousness that has to be good enough (which can never be).
Christ's righteousness is imputed.  It is not our own righteousness working with Christ's, but it is His righteousness alone that we need.  If salvation depends at all upon us, we are lost!
God is the one at work in true Christians to will and to work for His good pleasure.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:12-13 NASB

Salvation is by grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone.
The Bible's authority does trump the church's because it is God's Words.
When a church adds to or subtracts from or contradicts Scripture, that church is wrong.
Christ is the Head of the church...not a pope.
Glory belongs to God alone.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing • My Music Video

A friend online shared one of the verses of a favorite hymn of mine, and I was surprised to find that I hadn't recorded that one.
I wish that I could have added the fourth verse, but I have a feeling that one is not in the public domain.
I've heard variations of the lyrics for this, so mine has some slight differences from what you may have heard before!
I have just an average voice, so you can sing and drown me out if you don't like my singing!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Raw Expository Preaching, Reformation Resources, & Relaxation

Raw Expository Preaching

Would that more pastors & preachers exposit the text of the Scriptures rather than leaping off into other things (moralistic sermons or unrelated topics).
The following is about the conversion of Charles Spurgeon (which I think would be great source material for a songwriter).
A poor man, a shoemaker, a tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had nothing else to say. The text was, 'Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.' He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter.                           
Spurgeon: The Prince of Preachers compiled by Hy. Pickering

Reformation Resources

I was recently blessed to get both a Kindle version and a hard copy of the book Why We're Protestant as gifts, and I'm now two chapters in. 
So far, it seems to be a great primer for what the Protestant Reformation was about as well as why it was necessary.
It also is doing a good job explaining the 5 Solas (though I'm not far into it).
It would be great for a church group or to share with friends (especially as lines have been getting blurred over the years).

Also, Pastor Don Green has been doing a midweek message series entitled "The Bible and Roman Catholicism".  I believe I listened to quite a bit of the first message about the idea of a pope.
It explained what the Bible really says compared to what Roman Catholicism teaches.


After having a bad reaction to having a flu shot, listening to ocean waves or a music video with pictures of God's creation seems like a pleasant idea.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Do You Believe Hell Is Eternal?

God is Holy & pure & there is no darkness in Him. 

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5 NASB

It is fully just for God to punish for eternity (Jude 1:7; Hebrews 6:2; Matthew 25:46). 
Every one of us deserves His wrath. The wonder is that He chooses to save any of us wretched rebellious sinners. We are all guilty (Romans 3:10-20).

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NASB

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Romans 1:18 NASB

The problem is that some want to project their own ideas of what is fair onto God by thinking that eternal punishment isn't fair. 
That is making an idol and actually cheapening who God is - to His being less holy than He is. If murdering a man deserves death (and it does), then how much more are we guilty when our sin is against God Himself? 

Some may question that Hell will have fire, but I won't give up the fact that Hell has fire & brimstone. When the plain sense makes sense, we need not seek any other sense.
Even in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:23-24, the man in Hades was in torment and wanting coolness on his tongue due to there being fire.

"Outer darkness" or "black darkness" which is also mentioned in scripture likely refers to being away from/abandoned by God (a kind of spiritual darkness) and judgment because otherwise there is a very consistent description in Scripture of there being fire & torment (and not just in a parable or allegorical setting).

The question is, do people believe in the authority of Scripture? 
Do they believe Sola Scriptura (if someone professes faith in Christ)? 
The Scripture is clear that Hell is as eternal as Heaven. 
Give up the eternality of Hell and you give up the eternality of Heaven.

Scripture is God's Word and is always true, so whether you believe in Hell or not, it still exists.
Every professing believer should examine the Scriptures to see if their church is actually teaching what the Scripture says (about Hell, the Gospel, Creation, etc.).

“If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
Mark 9:47-48

And these will go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into eternal life."
Matthew 25:46

These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
2 Thessalonians 1:9 NASB

Eternal punishment=Eternal destruction

God's wrath is just, but He loved enough to send His Son to die on a cross & take on the sins of any who repent & trust Christ & His death for them. 
Christ Jesus experienced the wrath of God and died shedding His blood. 
He did this as an atonement for those who were His enemies, so that they might be brought near and have His righteousness laid to their account, and they then become forgiven adopted children to receive an eternal inheritance with Jesus (the Son of God/God the Son). It is a mercy undeserved.
Those who receive the Lord receive the Spirit (God is one yet He is revealed in Three distinct Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). 

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
Isaiah 53:6 NASB