A Fresh Look at Basics- The Deity of The Lord Jesus Christ

Note: It is not my purpose in these articles to give a detailed defense of all these Biblical teachings but rather to assume them and to consider their significance. Jesus is God! Cultists and sceptics resist this reality. Every cult is off on the Person of Christ. If Jesus were not God, His Sacrifice would be little more than symbolic and inspirational. Only God is infinite and perfect. Because He is God, His Sacrifice can save all who exercise saving faith (trust) in Him as Savior and Lord. His Sacrifice is also perfect.  It is sufficient for all who receive Him.  God is "Truth." If Jesus were not God, we could not be sure that what He says is true. Only God cannot lie!  Jesus said," I and my Father are one.". He also said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father;..". John 10:30b. Elsewhere we read, "Thy word is true from the beginning,…". Psalm 119:160a. The Bible makes plain that Jesus is God! Do you know any other philosophy or teaching that you would trust, regarding your eternal destiny, and be sure it was absolutely reliable? (Please see my article of November 23, 2007.)   Selah!    Probe the following in your thoughts: Jesus said "Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God,..". Matthew 4:10; Thomas replied, ( after seeing the resurrected Jesus) "..My Lord and my God.".  He was not rebuked!     Ron

A Fresh Look at Basics-Trinity

"Trinity!" The word is not in the Bible but the teaching is. God is one God but manifested in three different persons. These persons, yet one God, are co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent. A couple of illustrations will help us get a handle on this great truth. They are not perfect illustrations but at least furnish us with some understanding. An egg is shell, yoke, and white. Each is egg. Any two or three together are egg. However, they function separately and sometimes together. Water is manifested as water, ice, and steam but they are all water in different forms for different purposes. Incidentally, man is a trinity of sorts. He is body, soul, and spirit. These are separate but work together in one being. We are told in Matthew 28:19 to baptize: "in the Name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost". The Trinity is involved in every aspect of our salvation and disciplined growth. God planned salvation, Jesus purchased it, at infinite cost, and the Holy Spirit administers it.  Selah!  Think of the implications of this apostolic benediction: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen."  II Corinthians 13:14     Ron

A Fresh Look at Basics-The Virgin Birth

If Jesus had not been virgin born, He would have inherited a sinful nature. If He inherited a sinful nature, He would die for His sin and sins. Unthinkable! The Bible clearly shows that He was virgin born and is sinless. ( A fascinating study on this was done by the late Dr. DeHaan in his book: The Chemistry of the Blood. Dr. DeHaan was a medical doctor.) Original sin (that we inherited from Adam) is passed down through the blood. The blood of the mother doesn’t directly touch the baby. For Joseph’s blood to not be involved with Jesus, required a virgin birth. It is remakable how different vital doctrines coordinate with each other. If no virgin birth then there would be no salvation. If Jesus were not sinless He couldn’t die for others. If He isn’t God, He wouldn’t be infinite. If He is sinless but not infinite, He could die for only one person. If He died but didn’t rise, He could not impart Spiritual Life to us. If He were not omnipresent (i.e. everywhere present) then He couldn’t be there for all His children and there is the possibility that something might escape His attention. As the saying goes, "It all ties together." How wonderfully our God has planned and provided!  Selah! Let your thoughts center on this, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"  Romans 11:33  God’s Word gives us more and more insights on this as time goes by.  Ron

A Fresh Look at Basics-Believers’ Priesthood

An often overlooked teaching in Scripture is the priesthood of each believer. This doctrine highlights one of the Christian’s greatest blessings. We are privileged to boldly (albeit respectfully) enter right into God’s Throne Room. We have the wonder of His Presence and attention. Imagine God paying attention to us! We enjoy an unlimited audience with The Creator of all, the King of kings! We approach Him with worship, praise and thanksgiving. He is our (not just mine, or just your, but our) Father. Rejoicing in His love, we are urged to cast "all of our care upon Him; for He careth for you." I Peter 5:7   In the words of that wonderful gospel song, "Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there!" We commune! We are loved and, "We love Him because He first loved us." I John 4:19. No elaborate preparation is needed. We do need to quiet ourselves to listen. We need to focus, (to shut out distractions). The Old Testament high priest went only once a year, in fear and trembling, into the Holy Presence! We need the same reverence but we enter His Presence with confidence. His sons and daughters are always welcome and when all of our accounts are up-to-date with Him, we have His ear. This is a blood-bought blessing. Avail yourself of it, often. He is awaiting you!   Selah! Think about and accept this invitation: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light."… Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30    Ron

A Fresh Look at Basics-Salvation Future

For the genuine believer, there is an unbelievable future. Eternity future begins with seeing Jesus face-to-face, then being made like Him. We will be perfected. Can you picture yourself perfect? Imagine never doing or being wrong or sinning again. No more mistakes. No more lack of understanding. No more pain. No more death or suffering. No more tears or sorrow. Picture a place with no police, no jails, because of no crime. There will be no military. It will not be needed for there will be no war. Don’t look for funeral parlors. Hence, there will be no cemeteries. There is an absence of want. ( No bills, no debt, no taxes. Wow!)  No keys. No disease. How is that for warm-ups? A place of unimaginable beauty. No pollution. No weeds. No destructive storms. You will have things to explore that will be unbelievably fascinating. Expect unequaled music. We will exult in worship and praise because of our profound love for and gratitude to Him. Anticipate wonderful reunions. Meet exciting people from the Bible. All of this doesn’t even begin to cover the whole scope of Heaven. Capping it all off: basking in the Presence of God forever!! Read thoroughly Revelation Chapter 21.   Selah!  Probe this thoughtfully: "I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also,…" Jesus in John 14:2c.-3.   Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. Are you ready to meet God?     Ron

A Fresh Look at Basics-Salvation Present

We have mentioned before that, when we receive The Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, God declares us legally perfect and then proceeds to actually perfect us. This is a lifelong process that the Bible calls sanctifying (or we might say, saint-ifying). Theologians describe the lifelong process as progressive sanctification. However, to bring it down to where we live, God is working in us, in the person of The Holy Spirit, to bring about more and more victory over sin, and to make us holy in behavior, attitudes, and values. His chief tool to accomplish this is: The Word of God, the Bible. Our part is to cooperate with Him, and in His strength, apply the things we learn from that grand Book! Our old (Adamic) nature in alliance with Satan’s temptations will offer strong resistance but, "..greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." I John 4:4b.  Is there progress? If we are in daily fellowship with our Lord in prayer, and studying the Word with an eye to obedience, and motivated by our love for Him, we will experience growth in Holiness and become more and more like our Lord. What a destiny! (See Romans 8:29.)   Selah!  Just think what God intends us to be: "Be ye Holy  (sanctified) ; for I am Holy,…"  I Peter1:16b. We are being prepared for Heaven!           Ron

A Fresh Look at Basics-Salvation Past

Those who are truly born again will never enter Hell!  I wonder if we, who are His children, have any adequate idea of just what that means. Luke tells of a man sent to Hell who begged for a drop of water for the tip of his tongue (Luke 16:24). He was tormented in the flame! A question often asked is, "Why would God send anyone to a place like that?" In Matthew 25:41, it appears that He does. However, a closer look reveals that Hell was: "prepared for the devil and his angels". The reality is that He only confirms our rejection. He has put Calvary as a roadblock on the road to Hell. If we go around the roadblock, we choose the consequences! Obviously, God won’t spoil Heaven by letting undealt-with sin enter and corrupt His abode. When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ, the penalty, for our sin and sins, has been paid. The other side of that coin is that, at the moment of our arrival in His Presence, we find that we are also delivered from the very presence of sin and sins. No wonder the hymnwriter proclaims; "Love so amazing, so Divine, demands my soul, my life, my all".  Selah!  Thrill to this wonderful thought: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." I Corinthians 2:9  What a different future the child of God will enjoy!         Ron

A Fresh Look at Basics-Salvation

What an experience salvation is!  What a provision God has made! Let’s go back to the Garden of Eden. Man(kind) was in harmony, communion, fellowship with God, and Spiritually Alive with the Life of God. He was allowed the freedom (within God’s Sovereignty) to choose right or wrong. For man to choose his own way was to die spiritually. To choose God’s way was to retain Spiritual Life. When the choice to sin was made, man was disconnected (i.e.died) from the Source of Life: God.  When Jesus died, was buried, and rose again, this made possible a restoration of, a reconnection with, the Life of God. Titus 3:5 tells us that there is a "renewing of the Holy Ghost" a reconnecting, a restoration of Life. When we receive the gift of salvation, we are "born again" (John 3:3). We have the Life of God imparted to us! A wonderful thing takes place. We discover that we have been saved from the penalty of sin (i.e. eternal death in Hell), we are being saved from the power of sin (i.e. its sway in our lives), and that we will be saved from the presence of sin (in Heaven). We take on the nature of God and the name of God (i.e. Christians, Christ’s ones). We are made children of God, the adventure has begun!  Selah!  Think this over: "…the Father…hath delivered us from the power of darkness (Satan and sin), and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son;….Colossians1:12-13    Astounding!!         Ron

A Fresh Look at Basics-God’s Answer to Our Need

Yesterday, we saw how God will not allow any sin into Heaven. The problem is that "all have sinned…" Romans 3:23.  What is the answer to this problem?  In II Corinthians 5:19 we read that:  "…God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself,…". Two days ago, we were reminded that Jesus is God! God is infinite! Therefore Jesus’ sacrifice is of infinite value! Jesus paid, in full, the sin debt of the entire world for all of time. It only benefits those who truly receive Him as Savior and Lord. We may have a million dollars in a bank account. Until we take it, and put it to work, it will do us no good. However, if we receive His gift of eternal life, some amazing things take place. First, we find that all of our sin was charged to Him and He atoned for our sin and sins. The next thing to realize is that we are credited with His perfect righteousness. Without this credit, we could not enter Heaven. It doesn’t stop with that. He declares us legally, Spiritually speaking, sin free. This is sometimes referred to as our "standing". That leaves us with our "state" (i.e. our actual condition). God declares us righteous in terms of our "standing" and then the Holy Spirit, using the Word of God, the Bible, begins to bring about true righteousness in our daily lives. There are other considerations but that is the basic picture. It is amazing grace, indeed!   Selah! Think much about this truth: "For by one offering He hath perfected forever  them that are sanctified." Hebrews 10:14         Ron

A Fresh Look at Basics-Sin

Which is worse, stealing a penny or a thousand dollars? Stealing is a sin, no matter the amount. Stealing a penny is sufficient to keep us out of Heaven, unless…..well, that is what we want to look at tomorrow. For right now, I suggest that there may be a too shallow view of sin on the part of many Christians. Stealing only a penny would require Jesus’ death on the cross to make forgiveness possible. John defines sin in this way: "…sin is the transgression of the law." I John 3:4b.  He makes no distinction between a wilful sin and a sin of ignorance. James further informs us: "…him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17. Paul introduces another dimension, "whatever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23c. Any sin and all sin is an offense against a Holy God!  No sin can be allowed into Heaven! (God does not allow His children to get away with sin. He disciplines them). How then, is there  any hope?  Selah! Think ahead with me, a little bit, about tomorrow’s subject.  Psalm 103:12 tells us: "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us." How does He remove our sins and how far away does He remove them?  East is east and west is west!  Be sure to drop by tomorrow, for more on this.    Ron