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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Proclaiming the Gospel & Assurance - 3 Messages Worth Listening To

I have been listening to some really good messages lately that I would like to pass on to my blog readers who may have missed them.

1. Who did Christ die for?  Will God provide?  How assured of acquittal are believers?
Steve Lawson's Bible Study (from part of Romans 8)

2. The following message may have people thinking about their methods of evangelism and step on toes.
This will challenge people.  Austin was fired up.
Austin Duncan (Truth & Life conference TMU)

3. The day before Austin's message at TMU, John MacArthur gave a message to seminary students at TMS.  There was a connection in what was said.
Preaching the real Gospel and sacrificing freedom for the purpose of it.
John MacArthur at the TMS Chapel

Despite the difficulties happening to me and my family, I am so thankful for the online messages and prayers of friends. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

We Imitate Those We Love Most

Those we love most, we spend the most time with and tend to emulate.
I really enjoy listening to certain pastors and teachers and seeing what certain people I respect and like have to say - whether on social media or wherever.
It is true that we often start to copycat people and things we fill our minds with whether intentionally or unintentionally.
We even sometimes quote lines from a favorite movie that really has little value of lasting significance.

How much do we love and imitate our Lord?
Do we spend a lot of time getting to know Him?
Are we spending time in Scripture, and do we cultivate our relationship with God?
Do the people we listen to the most lead us to mirror Christ?
This isn't just about you.  It's about me.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5-8 NASB

Message by Michael Reeves (from 1/6/2019) God's Transforming Glory

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Justification & Sanctification Revisited

I have been suffering with mental fog a lot lately, so I have not posted here for some time.
Having this issue is not new, but it does seem to have gotten worse.
Working through it can be very difficult, but there are short bits of time where I can have some clarity before it settles back (which has happened before I have even completed this post).
This means that this cannot be as thorough as I would like it to be.
It is difficult to endure life this way, so I'm grateful for Christians who do pray for me.

Today, I'm just scratching the surface of justification and sanctification.
Both are present when we believe, but sanctification is ongoing.
The following is what I have learned and believe due to its basis in Scripture.


Justification is monergistic. God alone justifies.
Nothing we do can add to the gift of His perfect righteousness imputed to those who are saved by grace through faith (which is a gift of God and not of works).
We can't add to what Christ did on the cross by our own good deeds or efforts at justice.
If you are justified by His blood, it's past tense...complete..finished.
We don't finish our justification by what we do, and no justified person will be kept out of Heaven.

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” 
And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
John 19:30 NASB

Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
Romans 8:33 NASB

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
Romans 5:9 NASB

It doesn't have to be repeated.

For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 
Hebrews 11:26-27 NASB


Sanctification is described by many as synergistic, but God is still the first cause.
Believers will have fruit, because God is at work.  
If there has been no repentance or fruit, then the justifying faith isn't there to begin with.
Christ will lose none.

"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
John 6:39 NASB

The Spirit indwells every true believer, and so there will be some fruit in true believers.

We can't manufacture justification or sanctification by giving a false impression of it by doing a bunch of "good deeds."

Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Galatians 3:3 NASB

God is the one who sanctifies, and believers are the sanctified.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 NASB

For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Hebrews 2:11 NASB

Christ lives in His children, and we live in Him.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Galatians 2:20 NASB

Those who are already justified by Christ's blood are to set apart Christ as Lord in our hearts and are to obey and work as believers, and yet it is God working in us to desire & to work for His pleasure.
We are His workmanship, and He even prepares works for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
1 Peter 3:15 NASB

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