Saved from….?

This article is prompted by some timely thoughts from Richard Owen Roberts (International Awakening Ministries). The question asked was: “Did Jesus come to save us from Hell?” The answer may surprise you! What did the angel tell Joseph? This part of Matthew 1:21 explains: “….He shall save His people from their sins.” Did you notice that we are to be saved “from,” not “in,” our sins? Hebrews 12:14 expands this line of thought by this closing portion of the verse: “….holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” The basic thought here is that we (those who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior) are rescued from the penalty for sin. This starts the process (sanctification) of being saved from sin’s power in our daily lives and one day to be saved from sin’s presence. Or, to put it another way, if we are seeing no victory over sin in our hearts and our sinning, if we are not seeing more and more holiness in our lives over time, it may be high time to consider if we had an authentic new birth. One of the indicators of genuine conversion is a longing and learning to live Godly. Our new nature (our new Spiritual life) increasingly craves righteousness. What a promise Jesus made to all who long for Spiritual purity! “Blessed (are) they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6)! “Called unto holiness,” Church of our God, purchase of Jesus, redeemed by His blood; called from the world and its idols to flee, called from the bondage of sin to be free. Called unto holiness, “children of light,” walking with Jesus in garments of white; raiment unsullied, untarnished with sin. God’s Holy Spirit abiding within. Called unto holiness, praise His dear name! This blessed secret to faith now made plain, not our own righteousness, but Christ within, living and reigning and saving from sin. “Holiness unto the Lord” is our watchword and song. “Holiness unto the Lord” as we’re marching along; sing it, shout it, loud and long. “Holiness unto the Lord,” now and forever.” (“Holiness unto the Lord”-by Mrs. C. H. Morris). Selah! When we are truly saved, growing in grace, pursuing holiness and turning from the world’s ways, our destination is Heaven!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

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Point of Contact

When God’s Truth comes to us, there are two points of contact. The serious problem is that much preaching, evangelism, teaching and discipling stops at one point of contact. That contact point is limited to reason, persuasion and knowledge. While this is important, God’s Truth is meant to make contact there and then to go on and make contact with the heart and will. When this doesn’t happen, the most we can hope for is for someone to agree to the Truth they learn. But just believing will change minds but not lives. When, by prayer, preaching, teaching and persuasion, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, God’s Truth makes contact with the heart and surrender to Jesus as Lord and Savior takes place, it changes lives. The Truth has been made personal; the heart is engaged and sanctification is underway. This is what Paul was inspired to to “drive home” to the Roman Christians and us: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10 Emphasis mine). That William R. Newell moved from the first point of contact to the second point of contact appears certain because of what he wrote in his hymn, “At Calvary.” He exclaimed: “By God’s Word at last my sin I learned; then I trembled at the law I’d spurned till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary. Now I’ve given to Jesus everything, now I gladly own Him as my King, now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary. Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan! Oh, the grace that brought it down to man! Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary.”  Selah! Intellectual content has never saved anyone; believing in our hearts in Jesus as Savior and Lord and giving ourselves to Him does save whosoever will.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Habit? Or, Glory?

Think with me: if Paul or John or one of the other early Christians came to live with you or me for a few months and observed our daily lives, what would they see? Would it be faithful Christian duty or would they see us thrilled with the wonder and glory of a daily  walk with Jesus? John’s inspired exclamation in John 1:14 was: “….we beheld His Glory,….” When we focus on Him in prayer and see Him revealed in God’s Word, do we find ourselves in awe of His Person and Presence? Or, have we not really been caught up in the wonder of our loving Savior, but are just going through a routine of “Christian” duty as a daily habit? Let us go beyond habit and, with love and gratitude, turn our eyes upon Jesus! We might just be able to experience and express what Avis B. Christiansen testified to in her hymn, “It Is Glory Just to Walk with Him.” Can we sing this hymn  as our personal experience? “It is glory just to walk with Him Whose blood has ransomed me. it is rapture for my soul each day. It is joy divine to feel Him near where’er my path may be. Bless the Lord, it’s glory all the way! It is glory when the shadows fall, to know that He is near. Oh, what joy to simply trust and pray! It is glory to abide in Him when skies above are clear. Yes, with Him, it’s glory all the way! ‘Twill be glory when I walk with Him on Heaven’s golden shore, never from His side again to stray. Twill be glory, wondrous glory with the Saviour evermore, everlasting glory all the way! It is glory just to walk with Him. It is glory just to walk with Him. He will guide my steps aright, thro’ the vale and o’er the height. It is glory just to walk with Him!” Selah! Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” (From Hebrews 10:22).  Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Doing It My Way

Frank Sinatra did a song called: “I Did It My Way!” It was quite popular for awhile. Probably that was because we all want to do “it” our way. This is no new way of dealing with life. In Judges 17:6, we read: “In those days (there was) no king in Israel, (but) every man did (that which was) right in his own eyes.” Did you catch the opening part of this verse? “In those days—no king….” They were without authority! That is mankind from “the fall” on! We strive to be our own authority, answering only to ourselves. This is the highest kind of folly. We are all under authority. It could be a king, ruler, law enforcement officer, teacher, etc. In fact, we are bound and controlled by our own sinful nature and desires, until we exercise true faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord and find true freedom. When we run our lives or let the devil do it, we are without any hope or help as far as this life and the one to come is concerned. Only in the loving heart of Jesus, and being in God’s Word, can we find solid ground for our lives. So, basically it’s a choice between our foolish thinking that we are our own authority or a willingness to yield to the only true and truly blessing authority, God Himself. Our authority will fail us in the end; His won’t! Haldor Lillenas’ hymn, “Glorious Freedom” showed that he understood the blessings of God’s authority: “Once I was bound by sin’s galling fetters, chained like a slave, I struggled in vain; but I received a glorious freedom, when Jesus broke my fetters in twain. Freedom from all the carnal affections, freedom from envy, hatred and strife; freedom from vain and worldly ambitions, freedom from all that saddened my life. Freedom from pride and all sinful follies, freedom from love and glitter of gold; freedom from evil, temper, and anger, glorious freedom, rapture untold. Freedom from fear with all of its torments, freedom from care with all of its pain; freedom in Christ, my blessed Redeemer, He who has rent my fetters in twain. Glorious freedom, wonderful freedom, no more in chains of sin I repine! Jesus the glorious Emancipator, now and forever He shall be mine.” Selah! True freedom is found in loving and willing bondage to Jesus, Who truly and fully loves us!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Intensifying Love

When we begin to comprehend the wonder of God’s love and the price He paid for our salvation, we start to respond with a growing, deepening, intensifying love for Him. As John testified, “We love Him, because He first loved us” (I John 4:19). His love for us (all who come to Him) reaches back before the creation of the world. But it was perfectly and fully expressed and demonstrated on the Cross of Calvary. Never has the world experienced love like this until then,  and no love will ever be greater! As His love enters all who come to Him and fills us with love for Him, that love becomes more and more intense. We will find our hearts crying out as did Frederick Whitfield’s, and the unknown author of the chorus: “There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth; it sounds like music in my ear, the sweetest name on earth. It tells me of a Savior’s love, Who died to set me free; it tells me of His precious blood, the sinner’s perfect plea. It tells of one Whose loving heart can feel my deepest woe; Who in each sorrow bears a part that none can bear below. O how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus, O how I love Jesus, because He first loved me!” (“Oh, How I Love Jesus”). Selah! To truly know Him is to love Him! Love for Him will intensify in the hearts of all who know Him. If you don’t know Him, you can! His love is reaching toward you. Receive Him!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Abundant Joy

When we come to Jesus, believe what the Bible says about Him, trust His atoning death as full payment for all our sin(s) and guilt, and surrender the control of our lives to Him as Lord and Savior, we have great cause for rejoicing! In John 10:10 Jesus said, “….I am come that they might have life and have it (it) more abundantly.” We have received peace with and from God, been adopted into His family as one of His heirs, are enjoying full forgiveness and cleansing, now have His Presence to guide and comfort, are held in His love, and now have an eternal purpose and guaranteed home in Heaven, forever! And much more could be added. This is why Peter could give us this inspired explanation in I Peter 1:8. He wrote this about all who have been born again: “Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see (Him) not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” In the Gospel song, “He Lives,” by Alfred H. Ackley is found a musical reminder to us: “Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King! The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find, none other is so loving, so good and kind.” Selah! This joy doesn’t fade and vanish when we are overwhelmed with life’s trials. It runs like a strong current in the flowing water of life as we drink of it from God’s Word.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Death Sentence

I wonder how many of us realize just how serious that sin is! In Romans 7:13, Paul speaks of this: “….sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” If all we ever did was to steal a penny, we would deserve eternal Hell! It is not the degree of sin, it is the act. It’s not the penny, it’s the “stealing!” By breaking one of the commandments, we are guilty of breaking them all. Stealing one penny would have required Jesus’ sacrificial death on the Cross, so that we could be saved. We have violated God’s perfect holiness. Sin pronounced the death sentence on the entire human race. Let me give you an imaginary scenario:  We are “hauled” into court, charged with many “crimes.” The charges against us are spoken one at a time. Here’s a sampling: lying, deceit, anger, hate, pride, selfishness, greed, immorality, rejecting God, stealing, swearing, profanity, cheating, law breaking, jealousy, envy, and the list goes on. It only takes one of these to separate us from God forever. “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us“ (Romans 5:8). This love is lavished on all who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. When a person surrenders to Jesus as Savior and Lord, all charges are dropped because He suffered the punishment that would have been ours and Calvary covers it all! That awful load of sin(s) has been removed and we are clothed in His righteousness! We are given a perfect record before God! When this happens, our testimony will be that found in the hymn, “He Took My Sins Away,” by Margaret J. Harris. She wrote: “I came to Jesus, weary, worn, and sad, He took my sins away, He took my sins away and now His love has made my heart so glad, He took my sins away. The load of sin was more than I could bear. He took them all away, He took them all away, and now on Him I roll my every care, He took my sins away. No condemnation have I in my heart, He took my sins away, He took my sins away. His perfect peace He did to me impart, He took my sins away. If you will come to Jesus Christ today, He’ll take your sins away, He’ll take your sins away, and keep you happy in His love each day, He’ll take your sins away. He took my sins away, He took my sins away, and keeps me singing every day! I’m so glad He took my sins away. He took my sins away.” Selah! Coming to Jesus dismisses all charges against us and from that point on, the Holy Spirit works to purge all these “crimes” (sin[s]) from our lives. He’ll take our sins away! Amazing grace!!   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com