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Friday, January 31, 2014

DIVINE SOLUTION OF THE JUSTIFICATION PROBLEM

THE DIVINE SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM

                        The Question - How Can a Holy God Justify the Ungodly?
             There had to be a moral basis.

                      For God to justify sinners without such a basis would wreck the  order of the universe.
                        cf. Rom. 3:31  It establishes the law.  "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."   The sinner upholds the law in its right use and honor by confessing his guilt and just condemnation. Christ, on the sinner's behalf, upholds the law by obediently keeping its precepts (Mat 5:17 - 18; Gal 4:4 - 5), and by enduring its penalty, death.
                      The hardest thing ever attempted by an Infinite God. cf. Job 9:2 ASV                                            "How should man be just with God?" (KJV)

             Negatively - What this basis could not be

                         Could not be on the basis of man's own character.
                                    Psa. 130:3 "If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who stand?"
                                    Psa. 143:2 "For in thy sight no man living shall be justified."
                                    Isa. 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil."

                        Nor on the basis of man's observance of the Law.
                                    Rom. 3:20 "By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.
                          Gal. 3:11-12   "No man is justified by the law."  "The law is not of faith."

                         Nor on the basis of any religious rites done.
                                    Rom. 4:9-11 "Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also?For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness."
"How was it then reckoned? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision." "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also."  
  This is a classic example in scripture of imputation. See vs. 7-8. Even though he was uncircumcised did not stop them from being declared righteous because it was imputed to them.

                        Nor on the basis of God's Love for man.
                                 - Love which winks at sin is not true love. It is mere sentimentalism,

                         Nor on the basis of God's pity for man's helpless condition.
  cf. The patricide's plea - From Sir Robert Anderson. Boy killed father and then begged mercy because he was an orphan.

             Positively - What the Divine Basis was:
    God justifies the believing sinner on the basis of that satisfaction rendered fully to the Divine moral law by God's own Son when He died for our sins in our stead upon the cross.
                        Rom. 3:20-26 - "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;" "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:" "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."  Cf. Psa. 85:10 Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
cf. John 15:25 "But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause."   The utmost reach of the Free-will choice. Man doing as he pleases as his heart unfolds in this ultimate action.

             The Logic of Divine Justification

                                  (1) Two ways of meeting the demands of the Law: Either keep it perfectly, or pay the penalty for breaking it.
                                  (2) The first we have not done - the second we cannot do.
                                  (3) Christ on the cross satisfied all the demands of broken law. He could do this because He was an infinite person without sin.
                                  Isa. 53:6 "Laid upon him the iniquity of us all." Infinite in force, finite in time.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

THE GREAT PROBLEM OF JUSTIFICATION

THE GREAT PROBLEM OF JUSTIFICATION


 This problem lays the Biblical background for whole doctrine. It is a moral and                              ethical  problem with three aspects:
                      The Sinful Character of All Men - Rom. 3:21, 23 - no problem to justify righteous men "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets."  "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

                      The Non-Relaxable Nature of the Moral Law - Rom. 2:12-13 "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law."  "(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."
                        - cf. Kant's "Categorical imperative"  Men must do good.  Hypothetically, the law could save if men would keep it. Cf. Lev. 18:5; Rom. 10:5; 2:13. But this doing of the law had to be perfect. Cf. Gal. 3:10; James 2:10.

             The Holy and Righteous Character of God - Hab. 1:13  "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?"
                        -           His very nature makes it impossible for God to overlook sin.

                                       Note: argument - In view of these three things the justification of any man would seem to be morally impossible. In the light of this fact Rom. 4:5 is the most startling statement in the Bible. "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

MEANING OF THE TERM "JUSTIFY"

MEANING OF THE TERM "JUSTIFY" (Most Important)

     

 

                 The words:  Heb. tsadaq (Exod. 23:7) - Grk. Dikaioo (Luke 10:29)                         The nouns refer basically to "righteousness"

                      Negatively, "to justify" does not mean to "make righteous"
                                                Prov. 17:15 “He that justifieth the wicked."
                                               Luke 7:29 “And all the people....justified God."
                        Cf. also Rom. 3:4  “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
                        Rom. 2:13 "Doers of the law shall be justified." This hypothetical. But if a man                               did the law he would be righteous and would not need to be made righteous.

                    Positively, "to justify" means "to declare and treat as righteous"
. Deut. 25:1 "If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked." (Courtroom picture).

                        1 Tim. 3:16      "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."      Christ was already righteous. He only needed to be declared so.

                      Notes: a. Godet says never in all Greek literature is "dikaioo" used to mean to make one righteous.
                  b. This declarative meaning is exactly in accord with the common use of the English word "justify". Definition. To show to be just, vindicate, defend, declare guiltless, exonerate, to regard and treat as just, absolve, acquit, approve, clear, excuse, uphold.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

JUSTIFICATION & ITS PLACE IN THE BIBLE

THE PLACE OF JUSTIFICATION IN THE BIBLE

 Historically, Justification Rises Out of Gods Way of Dealing with Abram
Gen. 15:6 - All  Three Elements Present (Faith, Righteousness, Imputation)
"And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Gen. 15:6
                        Cf. Num. 2:21 and Psa. 32:2 "The Lord imputeth not iniquity."
                        Num. 23:21 "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel."

                    Later Justification is given important place in certain prophecies
                               Isa. 43:23-26 "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my own                               sake, and will not remember thy sins."
                               Isa. 45:21-25 "In the Lord shall the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory."
                        Isa. 53:11 "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many."
                        Jer. 50:20 "The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none."
                        Hab. 2:4  "The just shall live by faith."

                    The truth of Justification is found in teaching of Christ
                                                   - Implicitly in many texts -                               
                          John 3:18, 5:24 "He that believeth on him is not condemmed." "He that...believeth...shall not come into condemnation."
                                          - Clearly in Luke 18:9-14  "And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:"  "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican."  "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican."  "I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess."  "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."  "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."  The Pharisee listed all that were imputed righteous and therefore justified.

                     In Writings of Paul Justification is Most Clearly Revealed
                        cf. especially Romans and Galatians

                        Paul regards it not new, but ancient truth
                        cf. Rom. 1:17 with chapter 4 for illustrations  "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."

Monday, January 27, 2014

PRACTICAL APPEAL OF THIS UNION WITH CHRIST


THE GREAT PRACTICAL APPEAL OF THIS TRUTH                         Col. 2:20 - 3:1



              Union in His Death - antidote for legalism        
 Col. 2:20-23 “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,” “(Touch not; taste not; handle not;”  “Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?”  “Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh.”

             Union in His Resurrection - antidote for worldliness
Col. 3:1 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”

Sunday, January 26, 2014

EVIDENCES OF THIS UNION WITH CHRIST

EVIDENCES OF THIS UNION WITH CHRIST

 
             The Outward Evidence
                        1 John 3:24      Keep his commandments “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

      The Inward Evidence
                        1 John 3:24      Spirits ministry within “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

RESULTS OF THIS UNION WITH CHRIST

RESULTS OF THIS UNION WITH CHRIST

            Results to the Christian:
                        Secures our participation in all the spiritual blessings in Christ:
                                    Eph. 1:3       All spiritual blessings in Christ.  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ."
                                    Rom. 8:2         Freedom from the law of sin and death.  "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
                                    2 Cor. 5:21      Righteousness "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
                                   Rom, 8:10-11  Spiritual and resurrection life.  "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."
                                    2 Cor. 5:17      New creation,  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
                                    1 Cor. 1:30      Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption.  "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."
                                    Rom. 8:17       Joint heirship.  "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
                                    Rom. 7:4         Power to bear fruit.  "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."
                                    John 14:13       Identification with Christ in our prayers.  "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."
                                    Rom. 5:10       Guarantee of salvation. "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."

                        Secures for Us Complete Identification with Christ in His Redemptive Work
                        We have been:
                                    Gal. 2:20         crucified with him   "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
                                    Col. 2:20         died with him  "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances."
                                    Rom. 6:4         buried with him  "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." {Spirit Baptism-spirit is made alive-see next}
                                    Eph. 2:5 ARV made alive with him "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)"
                                    Eph. 2:6a         raised up with him "And hath raised us up together......"
                                    Eph. 2:6b         seated in the heavenlies with him   "......And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
                                    Col. 3:3           our life is hid with Christ in God  "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
                                    Col. 3:4           manifested with him in glory  "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."

                         Secures for Us an Ideal Completeness in Christ
                                    Col. 2:10         made full in him  "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power."

                         Secures for Us a Vital Union with All Other Believers
                                    Gal. 3:28  all one in Christ Jesus  "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

             Results to Christ Himself
                        Secures for Him an inheritance - Eph. 1:11, 18  "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."  "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,"

                         Secures for Him a body - Eph. 1:23  "Which is His body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

                         Secures for Him an evidence of His Deity and Divine Mission -
                                    John 17:20-21 "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."

                         Secures for Him a declaration of His true identity -
                                    John 17:10 "And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them."

            Fulfilled at Pentecost, and being fulfilled as sinners are united to Christ.

 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

NATURE OF THIS UNION WITH CHRIST

THE NATURE OF THIS UNION WITH CHRIST




           This is a Supernatural Union

John 14:23  "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."

                        Different from the natural union -
Col. 1:16 ASV This by creation. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him."

             Vital Union

1 John 5:11-12  "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
             All-inclusive Union
 1 Cor. 6:15, 17 Includes Spirit, Soul, Body  "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid." "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."

             Inseparable Union

  Rom. 8:38-39  "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

             Mysterious Union

Eph. 5:31-32 "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."  This union with Christ is a mysterious union. Unbeknownst to the people of Moses' day (it was a "mystery"), marriage was designed by God from the beginning to be a picture or parable of the relationship between Christ and the church. Back when God was planning what marriage would be like, He planned it for this great purpose: it would give a beautiful earthly picture of the relationship that would someday come about between Christ and His church. This was not known to people for many generations, and that is why Paul can call it a "mystery." But now in the New Testament age Paul reveals this mystery, and it is amazing.
This means that when Paul wanted to tell the Ephesians about marriage, he did not just hunt around for a helpful analogy and suddenly think that "Christ and the church" might be a good teaching illustration. No, it was much more fundamental than that: Paul saw that when God designed the original marriage He already had Christ and the church in mind. This is one of God's great purposes in marriage: to picture the relationship between Christ and His redeemed people forever!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

UNION WITH CHRIST

THE FACT OF THE BELIEVER'S UNION WITH CHRIST


             This Union - taught by striking  statements and expressions.
                                            Rom. 8:1 "In Christ."
                                            John 17:23 "I in them."
                                            1 Cor. 6:17 "Joined unto the Lord."
                                             Eph. 2:10 "Created in Christ."
                                             Col. 2:7 "Rooted and built up in Him."
                                             Rom. 6:5 ARV "United with Christ" .... Grk. - "Planted together."
                                             Col. 2:6 "Walk ye in Him."

                    This Union - also indicated by various figures and illustrations.
                                                   Eph. 2:20-22    Union of building with its foundation.
                                            Rom. 7:1-4      Union of a husband and wife.
                                            Rom. 5:12-2l, esp. 14  Union of Adam with his race.
                                            John 6:51-56   Union of an organism with its food.
                                            John 15:5         Union of a vine and its branches.
                                            Eph. 1:22-23   Union of a head with the body.
                                            John 17:21       Union of the Father and the Divine Son.

             This Union - also symbolized by certain Biblical forms.
                                            Rom. 6:1-5 - Baptism - symbol of union by entrance into Christ.
                                           1 Cor. 10:16-17 - Communion - symbol of union by Christ entering us.
                                           Jude 12 ARV - Love feast - symbol of union by marriage cf. Rev. 19

QUESTIONS CONCERNING CONVERSION

QUESTIONS CONCERNING CONVERSION 

 

             How is word used in James 5:19-20?

"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
                        (1) "Brethren" indicates a saved person.

                        (2) "Death" is physical death.

                                    cf. use of "soul" for the person - Acts 2:41 "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."
and 0.T.

                                    -           The context of James 5 - Approaching the conclusion of his letter, the writer addressed a terrible indictment and solemn warning to the rich. He showed the failure of possessions, and how they may become the curse of life. Selfish life which results in oppression of the poor and consequent robbery of God is known by God. The teaching reveals remarkably the divine passion for justice. To those who suffer, the writer addressed words full of tender comfort. He called them to patience. All that was said at the beginning of the letter concerning the value of trial in the life is taken for granted. Remembering that God is working through all these processes toward bringing the fruit to maturity and ripeness, it is necessary that His people (Jews) have patience (for great tribulation awaits them in the end). The final paragraph of the epistle contains advice and instructions for differing experiences and needs. "Is any . . . suffering?" "Is any . . . cheerful?" "Is any . . . sick?" Those who are in suffering are charged to pray. Those who are in circumstances of good cheer are to express themselves in praise to God. In dealing with sickness it is most important to remember that here sickness is connected with sin; the raising of the sick is united with forgiveness of sin. The particular cases of sickness were those which were evidently the result of wrongdoing. In such cases the elders were to be called to act. The use of oil is in itself the indication for such necessity. Any other interpretation would make it a matter of superstition. The Christian man, however, will never depend on natural means alone. While recognizing the place and importance of means, the divine action is also recognized as the ultimate in all healing. The value of this exercise of confession and forgiveness is emphasized by the words with which the epistle closes.

                                    -           Doctrine of chastisement - 1 Cor. 11:27-30 
27 "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."

MEN LOVE THE EASY ROAD

MEN LOVE THE EASY ROAD - DON'T LET ME SUFFER JESUS - PLEASE

¶ From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mt 16:25
 
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
 
 
 

Peter's Wonderful Plan for Jesus Life
Problem was, it was the same plan that Satan had for Him presented at the temptation (Temptation)
 
Jesus had just shared what was the purpose for His life and Peter acted on the same level as Adam did when he fell in the garden.
 
Made in the image and likeness of God having a mind, emotion, and a will that has to be influenced by God sharing His unlimited intelligence from the unlimited love He has for these men so that their actions might be in accord with His will. (Matt. 14:22)
 
Instead Peter like Adam heard the words and the plan of God and it failed to cause the love response from the heart for the knowledge gained. Instead he mimics the plan of Satan, tempting Christ on God. Christ knew who put those words in Peter's mouth (23). He had already heard them.
 
Instead Christ gave Peter the wonderful plan not only for his life but also all who would accept Christ as the unfallen Adam and the role model of those who shall inherit the Kingdom.
 
Let us ever check with the only Leader before we decide what we do next and especially before we open our mouths.

9th OF 9 REASONS WHY MEN DON'T SHARE THE GOSPEL

9th OF 9 REASONS WHY MEN DON'T SHARE THE GOSPEL

 
Seeing it is a duty that the King has laid upon every man according to his ability to exhort and reprove in the Great Commission work (Matt. 28:19-20), and with all possible diligence to labor after the salvation of all about him, judge then whether this work be reasonably performed. Where shall we find the man almost among us, that sets himself to it with all his might, and that has set his heart upon the souls of his fellow man, that they may be saved? Let us here, therefore, question what may be the causes of the gross neglect of this duty, that the hindrances being discovered may more easily be overcome.
     Lastly; with some also their ignorance of the duty hinders them from performing it. Either they know it not to be a duty, or at least not to be their duty. Perhaps they have not considered much of it, nor have been pressed to it by their teachers, as they have been to hearing, and praying, and other duties. If this be your case who reads this, that mere ignorance or inconsiderateness has kept you from it, then I am in hope now you are ac­quainted with your duty, you will set upon this work given by Him with all authority in heaven and earth. (Matt. 28:18-20). For He is with us to the end of this work. And obviously this work is not finished for we are still here!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

THE RESULTS OF CONVERSION

THE RESULTS OF CONVERSION

 
Sins blotted out - Acts 3:19 "That your sins may be blotted out."
 Inheritance - Acts 26:18  "That they may receive...inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith."
Spiritual discernment – 2 Cor. 3:16 "The veil shall be taken away."
A new service and home – 1 Thess. 1:9-10 "To serve....to wait."

8th OF 9 REASONS WHY MEN DO NOT SHARE THE GOSPEL

8th OF 9 REASONS WHY MEN DO NOT SHARE THE GOSPEL

 
Seeing it is a duty that the King has laid upon every man according to his ability to exhort and reprove in the Great Commission work (Matt. 28:19-20), and with all possible diligence to labor after the salvation of all about him, judge then whether this work be reasonably performed. Where shall we find the man almost among us, that sets himself to it with all his might, and that has set his heart upon the souls of his fellow man, that they may be saved? Let us here, therefore, question what may be the causes of the gross neglect of this duty, that the hindrances being discovered may more easily be overcome.
With many, also, pride is a great impediment. If it were to speak to a great man, they would do it, so it would not displease him. But to go among the poor multitude, and to take pains with a company of ignorant beggars, or mean persons, and to sit with them in a smoky, nasty house, and there to instruct them and exhort them from day to day, where is the person almost that will do it? Many will greatly rejoice if they have been instruments of converting a gentleman, (and they have good cause,) but for the common multitude, they look not after them: as if God were a re­specter of the persons of the rich, or the souls of all were not alike to him. Alas! These men little consider how long Christ did stoop to us! When the God of glory comes down in flesh, to worms, and goes preaching up and down among them from city to city! Not the silliest woman that he thought too low to confer with. Few rich, and noble, and wise, are called. It is the poor that receive the glad tidings of the gospel, John 4, and 1 Cor. 1:26.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

THE NATURE OF CONVERSION

THE NATURE OF CONVERSION

            Conversion is a "turning" with two distinct aspects:

                        Away from sin - Acts 3:26 "In turning away every one of you from his  iniquities."
                        Toward God - Acts 9:35 "and turned to the Lord."
                            -           Both in Acts 14:15 - Epistrepho with apo and epi
                            -           cf. also Acts 26:18  "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."
                             -            cf. also 1 Thess. 1:9  "For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God."
                            -           Assumption of the doctrine of conversion is that man by nature and practice is going away from God toward evil and needs to turn back.

            Conversion appears in Bible both as man's act and God's work

                        Man is commanded to "turn" - Ezek. 33:11 "turn ye, turn ye."
                       God "turns" man - Luke 1:16 "And many...shall he turn to the Lord their  God."
                        cf. Jer. 31:18-19 "Turn thou me, and I shall be turned."

            Conversion in Bible describes two types of Christian experience

                        The initial experience of the sinner turning to God for salvation.
                                    Acts 3:19 "Repent ye therefore, and be converted."
                                    Acts 11:21 "And a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord."

                                  The experience of the wandering Christian who turns from his sin back to his  Father.
                                    Luke 22:31-32 "And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

                        Notes: a. The first experience never repeated. The second may be many times.
                                    b. In popular speech, "Conversion" generally refers to the first.

7th OF 9 REASONS WHY MEN DON'T SHARE THE GOSPEL

7th OF 9 REASONS WHY MEN DON'T SHARE THE GOSPEL

Seeing it is a duty that the King has laid upon every man according to his ability to exhort and reprove in the Great Commission work (Matt. 28:19-20), and with all possible diligence to labor after the salvation of all about him, judge then whether this work be reasonably performed. Where shall we find the man almost among us, that sets himself to it with all his might, and that has set his heart upon the souls of his fellow man, that they may be saved? Let us here, therefore, question what may be the causes of the gross neglect of this duty, that the hindrances being discovered may more easily be overcome.

Another hindrance is self-seeking and self-minding. Men are all for themselves, and all mind their own things, but few the things of Christ and their brethren. Hence is that Cainish voice, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Every man must answer for him­self. Hence also it is that a multitude of ignorant professing to believe do think only where they may enjoy the purest regulations, and from that point they will go over sea and land; or what way of discipline will be sweetest to themselves, and therefore are prone to groundless separation but where they have the fairest opportunity to win the souls of others, or in what place or way they may do most good, these things they little or nothing regard, as if we had learned of the religious, and were setting up their principles and practice when we seem to oppose them.

If these men had tried what some of their brethren have done, they would know that all the purest ordinances and churches will not afford that solid comfort, as the converting of a few sinners by our unwearied, compassionate exhortations. Two men in a very cold winter come where a company of people are ready to starve; the one of them rounds himself, and takes shelter, for fear lest he should perish with them; the other, in pity, falls to rub them that he may recover heat in them, and while he labored hard to help them, he gets far better heat to himself than his unprofitable com­panion does.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

CONVERSION TERMS & MEANING


THE BIBLE TERMS FOR CONVERSION AND THEIR MEANING


             New Testament Words


                        (1) Epistrepho - to turn back - Acts 3:19  "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."
                        (2) Apostrepho to turn away from - Acts 3:26  "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."
                                    translated by "convert" and "turn" generally in ARV
                                    - good illustration of meaning - John 21:20 "Then Peter, turning about."

             Old Testament Word

Shubh - to turn back - translated generally "turn".


6th OF 9 REASONS WHY MEN DON'T SHARE THE GOSPEL

6th OF 9 REASONS WHY MEN DON'T SHARE THE GOSPEL


Seeing it is a duty that the King has laid upon every man according to his ability to exhort and reprove in the Great Commission work (Matt. 28:19-20), and with all possible diligence to labor after the salvation of all about him, judge then whether this work be reasonably performed. Where shall we find the man almost among us, that sets himself to it with all his might, and that has set his heart upon the souls of his fellow man, that they may be saved? Let us here, therefore, question what may be the causes of the gross neglect of this duty, that the hindrances being discovered may more easily be overcome.
Another hindrance is, impatience, laziness, and the favoring of the flesh. It is an ungrateful work, and for the most part makes those our enemies that were our friends; and men cannot bear the reproaches and unthankful returns of sinners. It may be they are their chief friends, on whom is all their dependence, so that it may be their undoing to displease them. Christ and His Spirit do the saving. We are the preachers of the message He gave us. Besides, it is a work that seldom succeeded at the first, except it be followed on with wisdom and unwearied activity. You must be a great while teaching a just saved person, before he will be brought to know the very fundamentals; and a great while persuading an obstinate sinner, before he will come to a full resolution of his salvation. Now, this is a tedious course to the flesh, and few will bear it. Not considering what patience God used towards us when we were in our sins, and how long he followed us with the persistence of his Spirit, holding out Christ and life, and beseeching us to accept them. Woe to us if God had been as impatient with us as we are with others! If Christ be not weary, nor give over inviting them, we have little reason to be weary of preaching the message. See 2 Tim. 2:24, 25.