All God’s people – Shoulders

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Nuggets – He counted me faithful

He Counted Me Faithful
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” (1 Timothy 1:12)

The testimony of a changed life is perhaps the best evidence that God is alive and active today. The fact that at salvation a dead slave to sin is given life and a new nature comprises the only rational explanation for one who lives in victory and power after a lifetime of defeat.

Take Paul, for example. Our introduction to him is at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58), after which his ardor for the Jewish traditions and hatred of Christianity caused him to wreak “havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3). This was not just casual opposition, for he was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1). He was a “blasphemer, and a persecutor [not only of Christians, but of Christ Himself—Acts 9:5], and injurious” (1 Timothy 1:13).

However, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I [Paul] am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15), he said. Paul “obtained mercy” (v. 13), not receiving the punishment he deserved, through “the grace of our Lord [which] was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (v. 14), even though he was not even seeking God (Acts 9:1-5).

To a greater or lesser degree, God has worked that same work of grace in each life that now belongs to Him. Paul called himself the chief of sinners, but each of us has done or has been capable of equally heinous acts. Through His grace, we are not only rescued from addiction to sin, but rehabilitated and empowered and given, as we see in our text, missions to accomplish that are of eternal significance. Let us “thank Christ Jesus our Lord” with Paul. JDM

From the Institute for Creation Research

 

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Are we born with a sin nature; or do we learn to sin as we grow up?

The question of original sin produces fodder for some of the most intense theologicaltrue identity in Christ arguments and discussions among people who call themselves Christians and authentic believers. Some folks believe everyone is born as pure as the driven snow, then learns to sin from their environment, their family and their experiences. In other words, sin is superficial, born of the external, with no spiritual connection.

“How can a babe in a cradle be sinful?” they pose. “Surely a baby doesn’t have the capacity to sin.” As a helpless child, no, of course not. But God’s word says that since all mankind are descendants of Adam, mankind was born with his nature.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world
(into every human who has ever been born--my note) and
death through sin, and so
death spread to all men, because
all sinned” 
Romans 5:8

In my view many who don’t believe in original sin, fail to search for God’s word on it. Instead, it seems to me that they choose to rely on their own beliefs, reasoning, or worse, what some preacher teaches. Not God’s word.

I don’t believe you can pluck a few verses out of the Bible on any subject and arrive at God’s truth. I can extract a hand full of verses that validate being born in original sin.

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother
conceived me.
” (Psalm 51:5) NASB

Surely I was sinful at birthsinful from the time my
mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5 NIV

Behold, I was shapen (born) in iniquity; and in sin did my
mother conceive me
. Psalm 51:5 KJV

For I was guilty from the day I was born, a sinner from the
time my mother became pregnant with me.
Psalm 51:5 The Voice
 

But, those verses, help validate for me that we were all born with Adam’s sin nature, since every human descended from Adam. When we accepted Christ, as the Bible says, that sinful nature of ours died on the cross with Christ as well. We became born again with a new incorruptible spirit to live forever with Almighty God in His kingdom.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no room for any speculation or feelings or opinions or human reasoning about any beliefs other than the way we were born in sin. And rescued from damnation and born again into an eternal life as unconditionally loved children of God.

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The life of a believer

A life in Christ is living holy and being accountable to Him

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All God’s people – How can it be

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Nuggets – Seeking signs

Seeking Signs
“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:39-40)

If there was ever “an evil and adulterous generation,” it is surely this present one and, once again, there is a widespread seeking after signs (same word in the Greek as “miracles”). The almost explosive rise of the so-called New Age movement has produced an amazing interest in all forms of occultism and supernatural phenomena: astrology, channeling, ESP, near-death experiences, UFOs, meditation, and mysticism of many strange varieties.

Even in Christian circles, there is an unhealthy interest in new revelations and other supernatural signs. The Lord Jesus, however, rebuked those who wanted special signs before receiving Him. “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (John 4:48). He has already given us the greatest of all signs—His bodily resurrection from the dead, the best-evidenced fact of all history—and this should suffice, as He told the scribes and Pharisees in our text.

In fact, there is a real danger in seeking such signs and wonders, for many of these things—while perhaps supernatural—are not from God. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).

Unlike the first generation of Christians, we now have the complete written Word of God, both Old and New Testaments, and it is sufficient for every need of every believer until Christ returns, “whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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All God’s people – O come to the altar

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Nuggets – Spirit, soul, body

Spirit, Soul, Body
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

The threefold nature of mankind reflects, to a degree, the triune nature of the Godhead. Just as each member of the triune God is complete and wholly God, yet distinct, so each aspect of mankind is also the whole, yet distinct. The body of man comprises the entire man, yet he also possesses certain soulish emotions, desires, and propensities; and finally, the total man is endowed with a spiritual, eternal nature, somehow reflecting the image of God.

These three reflect the three great creative acts of God during creation week, identified by the three usages of the Hebrew word bara, or create. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); i.e., physical material. Later, certain of this physical material was granted consciousness (1:21), which man shares with animals. On the sixth day, man was created as a spiritual being “in the image of God” (1:27), setting him qualitatively distinct from the animals, though he shares body and consciousness with the animals.

As in our text, when the “God of peace” sets about the task of sanctifying representatives of sinful, fallen mankind, restoring such ones to a measure of Christ-likeness, He does so in the order mentioned, beginning with a spiritual awakening. Then, through the transformed spirit, the soul is reached, and finally the body, with its appetites and lusts.

The wisdom of man says just the opposite, claiming the inner man can be improved by changing outside influences, a mentality all too often reflected even in evangelistic efforts. God’s way is to start with the inner man—the root of the problem—and then affect the outer man. JDM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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All God’s people – What a beautiful name

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Nuggets – Forsake and Follow

Forsake and Follow
“Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.” (Luke 5:10-11)

Perhaps we take too lightly the fact that the disciples “forsook all, and followed him.” This action involved at least two aspects, the leaving of their former life and the realignment of their loyalty.

The word “forsook” is used in a variety of extreme situations, including the “putting away” of a spouse (1 Corinthians 7:11-12; also “leave,” v. 13), and even death. “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up [same word] the ghost” (Matthew 27:50). This leaving implies a complete severing of a situation or relationship.

Furthermore, they forsook all. For Peter, James, John, and Andrew, this involved leaving a prosperous business; for Matthew, a prestigious position of wealth; i.e., their careers. Certainly each left their livelihood, security, training, possessions, relationships, hopes—everything! “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

Next, the disciples needed to restructure their lives and loyalties to those of Christ. The word “follow” implies a unity of purpose and direction. Jesus told the rich young ruler to give up all vestiges of his materialistic life “and come, take up the cross, and follow me” (Mark 10:21).

Christ issues the same call to discipleship to each of us. Peter asked Him the question which we frequently ask. “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” (Matthew 19:27). Christ answered, “Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (v. 29). JDM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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