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Friday, May 19, 2017

The Faithful Witness • A Prayer Request

Week after week a faithful witness makes his way to an abortuary in Mission Hills in southern California.
He declares the Gospel and pleads for the lives of babies.
He faithfully witnesses even to the man who is performing the heinous acts (Jack Dym) in hopes that he too might repent and turn to Christ and find forgiveness and peace with God.
Others have joined this Gospel warrior in evangelizing on a difficult mission field.

Some of the people who need the Gospel at the "clinic" are actually others who are there desiring to save the lives of babies.
This man who is proclaiming the Gospel knows where some of them are coming from.
He also was once a Roman Catholic, but God's grace and mercy led him to the true Gospel found in God's Word.
All true Christians are meant to be missionaries, and not all will receive any notice or reward on earth for faithful service.
The Christian doesn't gain salvation by obedience, and the accolades of man aren't what we should be seeking.
Yet, some who do labor diligently in hard places where not all can or will go still need encouragement and the prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ.
Don is one such man.
Please pray for God to use him and that other Christians will continue to join him.
Please pray that souls will be saved by the power of God through the Gospel of Christ and that the lives of the little babies will be saved.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Are We Justified By Faith Or Works Or Both?

Roman Catholics & the Eastern Orthodox church believe that works are a part of justification.
The Eastern Orthodox church says that justification is by faith & works.
Roman Catholics believe same.
Both have a false gospel.
The Bible says that those who teach a false gospel are to be cursed (Galatians 1:9).
This is serious.

Here are just a couple of the sources where the EOC & Roman Catholics get it wrong:

Eastern Orthodox
Decree 13

We believe a man to be not simply justified through faith alone, but through faith which works through love, that is to say, through faith and works.  But [the idea] that faith can fulfill the function of a hand that lays hold on the righteousness which is in Christ, and can then apply it unto us for salvation, we know to be far from all Orthodoxy.  For faith so understood would be possible in all, and so none could miss salvation, which is obviously false.  But on the contrary, we rather believe that it is not the correlative of faith, but the faith which is in us, justifies through works, with Christ.  But we regard works not as witnesses certifying our calling, but as being fruits in themselves, through which faith becomes efficacious, and as in themselves meriting, through the Divine promises {cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10} that each of the Faithful may receive what is done through his own body, whether it be good or bad.
Roman Catholics
Council of Trent, Canons on Justification
CANON XXIV.-If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.
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Many Roman Catholics cite James 2:24 as their authority for their view - regardless that the Bible has so many passages and individual verses that show that their understanding of that passage is incorrect. The overwhelming evidence of justification by faith alone could make a head swim by finding them all.

I realize that it can be confusing as to what James meant, because at first, it may seem to contradict so many other portions of Scripture.

I have been reading through the book Holiness by J.C. Ryle, and something he said really stood out to me.
"We are frequently told that a man is "justified by faith, without the works of the law," by Paul.  But not once are we told that we are "sanctified by faith, without the deeds of the law."  On the contrary, we are expressly told by James, that the faith whereby we are visibly and demonstratively justified before man, is a faith which "if it has not works is dead, being alone." (James 2:17.)  I may be told, in reply, that no one of course means to disparage "works" as an essential part of a holy life. It would be well, however, to make this more plain than many seem to make it in these days."  - J.C. Ryle
James 2:24 is in a context that is demonstrating that a living faith will produce works that prove to men that our faith is a real faith and not a said faith.
That particular verse in James is speaking of a different kind of justification that is before man & not the being declared righteous by faith kind of justification before God.
Many many verses make it clear that we cannot be justified before God by our works.
Romans 4, Romans 5:1, Ephesian 2:8-10, & Romans 3:28 are examples.
Plus, Galatians warns against those who were trying to add the works of the law back in.
.  
Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?  Galatians 3:3 NASB

Works are the fruit of a living faith, but they don't make the faith efficacious.
Faith is a gift of God - not of works.
Forgiveness of sins is not a result of our works either.
Unlike what the EOC teaches, works are witnesses to a living faith & have to do with sanctification.
Works can't add a thing to what Christ did on the cross...not physical baptism, church, or communion, etc.
Works are evidence of a life being transformed by the Holy Spirit.
We don't keep ourselves saved or help make ourselves declared righteous by works.
Justification and sanctification go together, but they are also distinct.
A true Christian is given the desire to obey Christ and to fight against sinful desires.
"The only righteousness in which we can appear before God is the righteousness of another — even the perfect righteousness of our Substitute and Representative, Jesus Christ the Lord.
His work, and not our work — is our only title to Heaven.
This is a truth which we should be ready to die to maintain."
- J.C. Ryle

"Justification is the reckoning and counting a man to be righteous for the sake of another, even Jesus Christ the Lord.
Sanctification is the actual making a man inwardly righteous, though it may be in a very feeble degree."   - J.C. Ryle
Justification is the act of God for us and is not easily discerned by others.
Sanctification is the work of God within us and cannot be hidden in its outward manifestation from the eyes of men.   - J.C. Ryle
J.C. Ryle quotes are from:
https://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/holiness1.htm
https://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/holiness3.htm

Added Food For Thought For Christians: 
Created For Good Works - Voice of Reason Podcast

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Response To Criticism of The Police

While police are sinners like the rest of us, God has placed them in authority. 

Rudeness by an officer doesn't excuse disobedience. 
Jesus was reviled, and yet He didn't revile in return. 

Have you ever had only seconds to make a decision that could save a life? 
The police have to make these decisions.
God has placed people in authority...even those that aren't believers. 
Sometimes they mess up, but we should be careful about how readily we judge guilt.

There are Christian police officers out there as well.

You know what is rude? Today a young child was told by his dad that a Christian cop was "the bad people."
How do you think that makes him feel?

These guys often are willing to put their lives in danger for you, but how much thanks do they get?

Bible on submission:
1 Peter 2:13-20
Romans 13
We are to pray for leaders:
1 Timothy 2:1-2