Nuggets – Reconciliation

Reconciliation
“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.” (Romans 5:10

It is interesting to note that as important as is the doctrine of the atonement in Christian theology, the word itself occurs only once in the King James New Testament. It is in the very next verse after our text. “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (v. 11).

The Greek word is translated “reconciliation” in 2 Corinthians 5:18: “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” Thus, the doctrine of atonement is the doctrine of reconciliation. Men are separated from our holy God both by their sin nature and also by their actual guilt of committed sin. But through the substitutionary death of Christ for our sins, “we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” That is, God has already reconciled sinners to Himself by the sacrificial death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The problem is that sinners are not actually reconciled to God until they personally accept this free gift of God’s love to them.

But we who “have now received the atonement [that is, reconciliation] . . . joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:11). A part of that joy should be in the fact that God has now “given unto us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Thus, it has become our great privilege to tell others that they can be completely forgiven and eternally saved. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 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” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

 

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ATB 36 BMW

One afternoon while speaking with a few friends they were sharing with me their excitement on seeing pictures of the 2019 BMW.  They marveled at the beauty of the car. It truly had a shine and presence about it that made it breathe taking.  So just to kind of give myself an idea of what they were excited about, I decided to check out a few pictures.

I must admit that I too was impressed with this vehicle.  But in looking at the picture of the BMW I found myself thinking what would be required of me to not just own it but to as well take care of it.

I asked my friends what happens after you have purchased the vehicle, what do you do from there.   There were several things that they mentioned but I just wanted to share a few.

First, Read Your Owner’s Manual

This would seem to be obvious.  However we all know that with some people they are not even going to read let alone glance over their owner’s manual.  The owner’s manual of course gives you not just an introduction to your new vehicle but tells you in detail about your BMW.

Preventive Maintenance   

Now that you have this wonderful new car you want to do everything that you can to keep it in the best shape possible.  Things such as: Learn to check your fluids. Check your oil and remember to get it changed regularly. Check your battery and clean the contact points when necessary. Replace your windshield wipers when the view gets streaky.

Every vehicle be it old or new has a dashboard. The dashboard is visible.  When there is something going wrong with the vehicle a light or an indicator will come on letting us know something is wrong.  I have to admit; the BMW is a thing of beauty.  It does indeed capture your attention.

After these conversations with my friends I found myself being drawn back not necessarily to the vehicle itself, but those three letters: BMW(Bavarian Motor Works)

One day while looking into a mirror while getting dressed the scripture of Psalms 139:14 came to mind.  It states that were are fearfully and made wonderfully.  And because of God’s handiwork we are humbled to say that we are our own BMW; blessed and made wonderfully.

Yes each and every one of us are beautiful and made wonderfully.  No two people are alike. And while thinking on this a few thoughts came to mind about each of us, this BMW.

First; read your Owner’s Manuel

None of us are our own. Each and every one of us are God’s creation. Ephesians 2:10 states that we are God’s workmanship. If we are truly a reflection of what God’s workmanship is then I would suggestion that first things being first, that we read our owner’s manual. The bible is of course the word of God. It contains everything that we need to know.  It has been said that reading the word of God is two fold. It is a revelation as to who and what God is and an inspiration as to who and what each one of us can become. This owner’s manual, our bible serves as the base point for all of our lives.

Preventive Maintenance

I would surmise that our very first act of preventive maintenance is prayer.  Prayer is our activator that on a daily basis connects us to God.  And after beginning our day with prayer, before we go out to face another day we need to be dressed up for battle.  As Ephesians 6:10-18 reminds us, we need to put on the whole armor of God.  Each and every day we are going to face a battle.  From the very second that we awake unto the minute that we lie down to sleep. There will be battles that will test us and even at times push us to our very limits.  But know that as prayer is our shield and the word of God is our armor, we know that no matter what we will persevere.

Check Your Dashboard   

As the BMW’s of God each of us has our dashboard.  For some it might that light that comes on when perhaps we have drifted away from our church community.  For others it might be a light that says, hey you’re getting low on fuel.  You need to stop and fill up with the word of God, our daily bread.

I would say that the dashboard that we have that is always going to be spot on is the Holy Spirit.  As the indwelling presence of God himself the Holy Spirit will be our guide.  It will warn us when perhaps when we need to check our connection with God.  It will alert us to the fact that we are responsible to be good stewards for what God has given us.  The Holy Spirit will always be our dashboard that will keep us in line with God, and directing us on the path to follow.

BMW….beautiful and made wonderfully.  As the songwriter wrote, “red and yellow black and white we are precious in his sight.”  How blessed are we to know that the most important BMW will we ever know is that one that we see in our mirrors each day.  Made and created in the image of God, and made and created to give him the glory.

To God Be the Glory

Alan T. Black                

 

 

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Baptism Controversies: Acts 8

Receing the love of God in our baptism.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Acts 7-8.

“Who should be baptized?”

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Romans 6:3-5

Baptism is one of those great divides in Christianity. Infant baptism. Believer’s baptism. Sprinkling, pouring, dunking. How could something so clearly commanded by Jesus become such a source of disagreement? In brief, by 400 AD the practice of infant baptism was firmly established in the Catholic Church. Augustine codified the doctrine through his writings and established the precepts of original sin, the necessity…

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Nuggets – The Teacher

The Teacher
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.” (2 Timothy 2:24

Patience and gentleness are invaluable Christian virtues in any occupation. Teaching, however, involves other attributes as well, and these are effectively set forth by Paul in the second letter to young pastor Timothy. Consider just four of these important exhortations to God-called teachers.

Be straight. Sound doctrine is absolutely essential, the most vital criterion of all. “Hold fast the form of sound words. . . . Shun profane and vain babblings. . . . Preach the word . . . Exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. . . . Endure sound doctrine” (1:13; 2:16; 4:2-3). Straight doctrine is the basis of everything.

Be strong. One can, of course, be strong and gentle at the same time, and this is what God requires. “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2:1). A non-gracious Christian leader is a dis-grace to his calling.

Be studious. The Lord has given us His inspired Word, and a “sound mind” with which to study it, as well as “the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us” (1:7, 14) to illuminate it, and He expects us to be diligent in its use. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2:15).

Be steadfast. As he concludes, Paul foresees the awful spiritual and moral conditions of the last days—surely enough to intimidate and discourage any Christian. “But,” he then says “continue . . . in the things which thou hast learned” (3:14). This exhortation is followed by the strongest passage on the full divine inspiration, authority, and sufficiency of the Scriptures to be found in the Bible. Regardless of circumstances, a Christian teacher must maintain sound doctrine, be both strong and gracious, be diligent in handling the Scriptures, and just “live there” in the Word of God. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

 

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No Spiritual Growth Without Knowledge

Immortality Road

To grow in God, first, we have got to know things—His things. “Knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Prov. 9: 10). If you want to take a look at a human being without this kind of knowledge, then observe the young man in Proverbs 7. He does not know of His plan to perfect us. He hasn’t a clue about the spiritual maturity that can transform us into righteous powerhouses. He has no knowledge of God and His thoughts and ways, and he is left as prey for the lion Satan who “goes about seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5: 8).

The young man is a type of all young men who are “void of understanding” and who lack true knowledge of the holy. He easily falls prey to the “woman with the attire of a harlot.” This loose woman in Proverbs is a symbol of the false…

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Nuggets – The Vanishing Serpents

The Vanishing Serpents
“For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.” (Exodus 7:12

Like the future image of the beast, which will seem to have life, these magician-induced serpents can only have been “lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Neither men nor demons can really create life; this is a prerogative of God alone, who “created every living creature” (Genesis 1:21). However, both human magicians and demons can generate hypnotic mental states and occult hallucinations that ungodly people like Pharaoh may be deceived into seeing as real physical entities. When their demonstration was over, however, nothing was left. Even their rods (not “serpents”) were gone, for Aaron’s genuine serpent had made a meal of them. In a true miracle of creation, Aaron’s God had transmuted the dead atoms of a wooden stick (just as He later made it to produce blossoms and almonds, Numbers 17:8) into a living serpent, capable of consuming other sticks that only appeared to be serpents.

The deception of the magicians was revealed when they were unable later to imitate Moses’ miracle of turning dust into lice throughout the land of Egypt (Exodus 8:18). Interestingly, many people believed for many centuries that similar phenomena—which they called “spontaneous generation”— occurred naturalistically, but this notion was scientifically demolished by Pasteur over a hundred years ago. Only the living God can create life!

The miracle of Aaron’s rod is also a parable. Aaron’s rod of life took on the nature of the serpent, just as Christ was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). But then it swallowed up the other serpent-rods, and the sting of “that old serpent” was put away. Thus, “death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Holy Anointing

Holy Anointing
“But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” (1 John 2:20

The word “unction” in our text is translated “anointing” the other two times it is used (1 John 2:27). That term, and a companion word, are used only seven times in the New Testament, but all refer to the same essential concept often spoken of in the Old Testament.

Both things (tabernacle, temple, vessels, offerings) and people (priests, Levites, kings, ambassadors) were “anointed”—often ceremoniously—to identify them as consecrated or honored for a special service or position. Once anointed, the person or object was to be held in great respect by everyone.

Thus, we who are the “children of God” (Romans 8:16) have been anointed by God Himself (2 Corinthians 1:21) in such a way that the anointing abides, teaches, and is truth (1 John 2:27). This anointing is, obviously, no ceremonial oil demonstrating an honor (Psalm 133:2), but rather the “pouring out” of the Holy Spirit Himself onto and into our earthly bodies, consecrating us to be the very “temple” of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

This “unction” further designates us to be “kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6) who will one day “reign on earth” (Revelation 5:10). We are called “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5) being built into a spiritual house for the Lord.

Furthermore, we are to be seen as “chaste virgin[s]” (2 Corinthians 11:2) who are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), having been set apart as a “vessel unto honour” (2 Timothy 2:21) in the “household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). We are to know all these things. HMM III

From the Institute for Creation Research
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Beneath the Surface

Recently, I was working through a Bible study I was to deliver to a class on the first chapter of Joshua, and quickly discovered that there was more to learn than just an understanding of historical facts. To grasp the tension of Joshua’s commissioning as the man to lead Israel into the Promised Land, you really have to back up and focus on the last days of his predecessor and mentor, Moses. Besides being the man through whom the Law of God was delivered, I read somewhere that the Lord chose to preform over 55 miracles through, or in the presence of this legendary prophet. Quite an amazing epitaph! But despite all those astounding accomplishments, there was one thing that he wasn’t able to do … he didn’t lead Israel to take possession of the Land of Canaan.

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Nuggets – The Ministry of Reconciliation

The Ministry of Reconciliation
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18)

The great work of reconciling lost men to a holy God has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ, yet He “hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation,” through which we, as His ministers (i.e., “servants”), urge men, “Be ye reconciled to God” (vv. 19-20).

This wonderful “ministry of reconciliation” is outlined in 6:1-10, under three subcategories, totaling 28 characteristics. First, there is a tenfoldministry of suffering. “In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings” (vv. 4-5). On the other hand, it also encompasses a ninefoldministry of godliness: “By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left” (vv. 6-7).

These attributes of suffering, combined with the characteristics of godliness, produce what might be called the ninefold paradox of the ministry. “By honor and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” (vv. 8-10).

The central paradox of these nine is the great central theme of the Christian life, centered in Christ: “As dying, and, behold, we live!” This is the ministry of reconciliation, for “they which live should . . . henceforth live . . . unto him which died for them, and rose again” (5:15). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Redeemed

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, —2 Corinthians 5:21

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