Daily Archives: January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Jan. 12, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

The pressure is now on U.S. House Republicans to complete the first step toward repealing Obamacare after a razor-thin Senate vote showed the contentiousness surrounding efforts to undo President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. The House plans to vote as early as Friday on a budget resolution that would set the repeal effort in motion, but the timing could slip because of intra-party angst.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization remains “enormously” beneficial to U.S. national security, James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for defense secretary, said in answers to a questionnaire from senators weighing his nomination. “I believe NATO is central to our defense” because “it facilitates European stability and as a military alliance it helps sustain our values,” Mattis said.

Nigeria ordered Taiwan to move its trade mission from the capital, Abuja, to the commercial hub, Lagos, following a visit by the Chinese foreign minister during which his government pledged to invest $40 billion into infrastructure in Africa’s most populous country.

Drivers are flooding across the border to southern California to fill up on gasoline, after protesters blocking distribution centers near the Baja California capital of Mexicali caused stations to run dry.

AP Top Stories

Back in 1975, Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which was later renewed and changed to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (or IDEA). The federal government in today’s case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, wants the Court to clarify what Congress has meant since it set these policies since 1975, and specifically the concept of “free appropriate public education” for disabled children at public schools.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Tuesday the U.S. intelligence community’s report concluding that Russia orchestrated hacks during the 2016 presidential campaign was based on a mix of human sources, collection of technical data and open-source information.

Nearly two months into the assault, Turkey has become bogged down in an unexpectedly bloody fight to retake the Islamic State group’s last stronghold in northern Syria. It has been forced to pour in troops, take the lead in the battle from its Syrian allies and reach out to Russia for aerial support.

Drenching winter rains combined with the punishing effects of six years of drought are causing trees to topple across California, in some cases with deadly results. At least two people have been killed in the past month.

Iran decided not to escalate a stand-off over the extension of U.S. sanctions at a meeting of diplomats overseeing the nuclear deal it reached with world powers in 2015, senior Russian and Iranian diplomats said after the session on Tuesday.

A college professor and his students might be at the cusp of accurately predicting a change in our night sky. Larry Molnar of Calvin College, with the help of colleagues Karen Kinemuchi and Henry Kobulnicky, say that a gigantic explosion in space is just a few years away, and that it’s going to be visible to the naked eye.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial drug war on Thursday as the pair met in Manila for talks that also focused on territorial rows with China.

BBC

Russia says it views the arrival of more than 3,000 US soldiers in Poland as a threat to its own security. The troops are part of President Obama’s response to reassure NATO allies concerned about a more aggressive Russia. It is the largest US military reinforcement of Europe in decades.

The Taliban have released video of an Australian and an American who they kidnapped in Afghanistan last year.

President-elect Donald Trump has picked former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to form a team of private sector cybersecurity experts.

Police in Brazil are stepping up their search for more than 100 prisoners who are still on the run after escaping from adjoining prisons in the northern state of Amazonas on 1 January. Officials have confirmed that of the 184 inmates that escaped, 70 have been captured, leaving 114 still at large.

Morocco has banned the sale, production and import of the burka, according to local reports.

Saudi authorities are investigating after being alerted by a viral video allegedly showing a woman’s ex-husband physically abusing their baby girl.

A man has shot dead at least five people and wounded four others in Iran in an apparent act of revenge.

WND

President Obama’s clashes with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may cost him a membership at an exclusive golf club, sources said. Obama is looking to join the elite Woodmont Country Club in Maryland once he becomes a private citizen. But members of the mostly Jewish club are at each other’s throats over whether to accept the golf-loving president, with many saying he deserves to be snubbed for not blocking an anti-Israel vote at the United Nations.

An elite team of American commandos killed Abu Anas al-Iraqi, said to be the finance chief of ISIS this week, giving President Obama another name to scratch off his list of top terrorists in the final days of his presidency.

According to data from Enseo, a company that provides in room entertainment solutions for some of the world’s biggest hotel brands like Marriott, more hotel guests are streaming a show or movie from Netflix in hotels that have axed pornographic video-on-demand (VOD) than ordering traditional adult-themed programming.


Top News – 1/12/2017

Trump Trolls ‘Fake News’ Organizations at ‘Great News Conference’ on Twitter
President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter late Wednesday night to troll news outlets — such as CNN — that he believes are “fake news.” We had a great News Conference at Trump Tower today. A couple of FAKE NEWS organizations were there but the people truly get what’s going on

Soros Lost $1 Billion After Trump Won
The Wall Street Journal reports Thursday that billionaire left-wing financier George Soros lost nearly $1 billion as a result of Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the November 2016 presidential election.

Mystic Rabbi’s Visions of Trump: Obama’s Betrayal Reversed, UN Will Fall, Europe Will Burn
“Europe and all the other nations believe that if they hate Israel, all of the Muslims will become their allies and cease attacking them from within,” the rabbi explained. “They are wrong about that. Muslims will continue to fill up Europe by the millions. At this point, whether they help or hurt Israel, Europe will be ashes.

‘I am a winner’ Juncker boasts he’s made march to federal EU ‘irreversible’ despite Brexit
Juncker declared himself a “global winner” as he boasted he has deliberately used his time as EU chief to force “irreversible” federalisation on European nations.

National Reciprocity Bill Will Apply to Non-Resident Gun Carry Permits
After Hudson introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 last week, questions were raised about whether it would apply to permits issued by some states to non-residents. In an interview with the Free Beacon, Hudson confirmed that permits issued by any state to residents or non-residents would have to be recognized by all other states under his legislation.

Thousands of US troops on Russia’s doorstep in Poland deployment
Thousands of U.S. troops crept up on Russia’s doorstep Thursday, rolling into Poland with a slew of unanswered questions about their future in the region.

Senate approves measure launching Obamacare repeal process
The U.S. Senate on Thursday took a first concrete step toward dismantling Obamacare, voting to instruct key committees to draft legislation repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance program. The resolution now goes to the House of Representatives, which is expected to vote on it this week. Scrapping Obamacare is a top priority for the Republican majorities in both chambers and Republican President-elect Donald Trump.

Republicans pass sweeping bill to reform ‘abusive’ U.S. regulation
Republicans on Wednesday passed a bill in the House of Representatives that touched on nearly every step U.S. agencies take in creating and applying new rules, continuing their blitz to radically reform “abusive” federal regulation of areas from the environment to the workplace.

Saturn’s spooky ‘Death Star’ moon captured in closest-ever NASA image
On its closest-ever flyby of Saturn’s moon Mimas, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured what may be the most detailed image to date of the celestial body. In a picture released on NASA’s website, it’s not hard to see how Mimas got its nickname – the enormous Herschel Crater dominates both its surface and the image, making the icy moon look like the Death Star,

Netanyahu: Paris peace conference a ‘fraud’
The Paris peace conference, which is expected to host officials from 72 different countries, is slated to take place on January 15. Netanyahu on Thursday described the upcoming Middle East peace conference in Paris as a “fraud,” insisting that the meeting was an “anti-Israel” summit orchestrated by the Palestinians and sponsored by the French government.

‘Netanyahu should learn from Trump’
Middle East expert David Bukay impressed by President-elect’s speech: ‘The media abused him and he answered them in kind’. “US as well as Israeli media abused Trump and he exhibited the necessary wherewithal and I wish Netanyahu would learn how to respond to them in kind”.

40,000 Jews Have Fled France In 10 Years Amid Rising Anti-Semitism Jacob Bojesson
Around 5,000 French Jews emigrated from the country in 2016 after a series of attacks on the community. A total of 40,000 Jews have left the country since 2006, according to figures released Monday. A majority of Jews move to Israel, but at least 10 percent return to their home country at a later point.

BuzzFeed Could Be In Legal Trouble For Publishing Trump Doc
While BuzzFeed weathers criticism for publishing a document cache containing unsubstantiated and scandalous allegations about President-elect Donald Trump and his confidantes, they also could face legal consequences.

Moderate Quake Hits Alor Island
An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale hit Alor Island in the eastern Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara on Thursday morning. The epicenter of the earthquake which struck at 06:44 a.m. local time was in the sea about 405 kilometers northeast of Alor at a depth of 405 kilometers, said the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) office in Kupang.

China launches new electronic intelligence naval ship
China’s Navy has launched a new electronic reconnaissance ship…the latest addition to an expanding fleet and as Beijing’s new assertiveness to territorial claims in the South China Sea fuels tensions. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) now operates six electronic reconnaissance vessels…noting that the PLA “has never made public so many details about its intelligence collection ships”.

Republicans pass sweeping bill to reform ‘abusive’ U.S. regulation
Republicans on Wednesday passed a bill in the House of Representatives that touched on nearly every step U.S. agencies take in creating and applying new rules, continuing their blitz to radically reform “abusive” federal regulation of areas from the environment to the workplace. In a 238-183 vote, the House passed the “Regulatory Accountability Act,” which combined eight bills aimed at changing how the vast government bureaucracy runs.

Senate approves measure launching Obamacare repeal process
The U.S. Senate on Thursday took a first concrete step toward dismantling Obamacare, voting to instruct key committees to draft legislation repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance program. The vote was 51-48. The resolution now goes to the House of Representatives, which is expected to vote on it this week.

US tanks and troops to begin arriving in Poland
US tanks and armoured vehicles along with more than 3,000 US soldiers start arriving in Poland on Thursday. They are part of President Barack Obama’s response to reassure Nato allies concerned about a more aggressive Russia. Their arrival comes just days before the inauguration of Donald Trump who has signalled he wants to improve relations with Moscow.

Israeli soldiers ‘caught in Hamas online honey trap’
Israel’s military says it has uncovered a scam by Hamas militants to spy on its soldiers by hacking their mobile phones after posing as women on social media. Members of the Palestinian group found the soldiers online, then tried to strike up a friendship using the fake identities, an officer told reporters. Dozens of soldiers were persuaded to install an application that controlled their phone cameras and microphones.

Turkey PM boosts Cyprus peace deal hopes in Geneva
Turkey’s prime minister is to join international diplomats at Cyprus peace talks in Geneva, amid signs of progress towards reuniting the divided island. UN sources said they had not expected Binali Yildirim to come, and it showed how importantly these talks were being viewed, the BBC’s James Landale says. The Geneva talks also involve UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and his Greek and Turkish counterparts.

Netanyahu: Paris peace conference a ‘fraud’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday described the upcoming Paris peace conference as a “fraud,” insisting that the meeting was an “anti-Israel” summit orchestrated by the Palestinians and sponsored by the French government. “This is a conference which is fraud, a fraud presented by the Palestinians and sponsored by the French, which will further lead to the adoption of anti-Israel positions,” Netanyahu said..

CUFI Storms Washington to Push Pro-Israel Legislation and Strengthen Trump Ties
Pro-Israel Evangelical group Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is sending hundreds of members to Washington, DC this week in order to influence Israel policies being debated on Capitol Hill. Coming from 49 states, 260 CUFI members are flying into the capital Wednesday with the goal of pushing two congressional measures which slam the UN’s recent anti-settlement resolution and slash security budgets for America’s embassies worldwide until the US Embassy in Israel is moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, an act President-elect Donald Trump has said is a top priority for his administration.

Europe in deep freeze, over 60 dead as new Arctic blast arrives
More than 60 people have died in Europe since the beginning of the month when cold Arctic airmass started descending south, toward the Mediterranean. The most vulnerable, and many of the victims, are homeless and migrants. There are fears thousands of people could die before the winter ends.

Chicago Homicides Even Higher Than Reported
The record-setting violence in Chicago is even worse than announced as new evidence shows the city suffered 50 more homicides last year than the numbers publicly reported in the past week. The city posted a decades-high homicide count of 812 in 2016, per the Cook County Medical Examiner

Thousands of Muslims reportedly turning to Christ in Middle East
Thousands of Muslims are turning to Jesus Christ and what they view as the “religion of freedom” amid ongoing bloodshed in the Middle East, reports indicate. Some churches hope that millions of people will accept Christ amid a “spiritual hunger” that is forming in the wake of persecution.

Five United Arab Emirates diplomats killed in Afghan bombing
The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday said five of its diplomats were killed in a deadly attack in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar.

Chicago Mayor Pushes Moody’s to Rescind City’s Junk-Bond Rating
Chicago is stepping up its battle with Moody’s Investors Service ahead of a $1.2 billion bond sale next week. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat who pushed through a record tax increase to shore up the city’s finances, asked the company to pull its junk rating on Chicago’s debt, saying it’s exaggerating the risks to bondholders and failing to recognize steps he’s taken. Chicago has already stopped hiring Moody’s to rate new bond deals, relying instead on rivals S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings that continue to consider its debt investment grade.


The Briefing 01-12-17

What to watch for in the Senate’s confirmation hearings on Trump’s cabinet nominations

Meryl Streep, the Golden Globes, and Hollywood’s “new kind of culture war”

Bubbles, automobiles, and zip codes: How a worldview is shaped

The culture of death and theology: Faith leaders “bless” new Planned Parenthood facility

The post The Briefing 01-12-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top Headlines – 1/12/2017

Paris Peace Summit to Urge Netanyahu, Abbas: Disavow Officials Who Oppose Two-state Solution

Trump secretary of state pick: Two-state solution must remain the ‘aspiration’

In confirmation hearing, Tillerson slams anti-settlements UN resolution

Over 100 Congressional Republicans sign call for Trump to move embassy to Jerusalem

Former U.S. Defense Official: Israel’s Security at Risk Due to Religious Intolerance

In landmark decision, High Court rules for women’s Western Wall prayer

Jerusalem municipality demolishes 13 illegal buildings in terrorist’s neighborhood

Arab Israeli arrested for Facebook post urging car-ramming attacks

IDF: Hamas hacked soldiers’ phones by posing as pretty girls

IDF: ‘We’ll turn Hamas tunnels into their death trap’

Israeli official confirms strong cooperation with Egypt in Sinai

Huge concealed weapons factory sealed off in Hebron

Amid Warming Ties With Jewish State, Russia Approves Importation of Israeli Dairy Products

Russia steps up military presence in Syria, despite Putin promise

Assad Has Won in Syria. But Syria Hardly Exists.

United Arab Emirates says 5 diplomats killed in Afghan blast

Germany Sets Plan to Rein In Extremists

100% of Christians Face Persecution in These 21 Countries

Thousands of Muslims reportedly turning to Christ in Middle East

Christians in India increasingly under attack, study shows

U.S. deploys high-tech radar amid heightened North Korea rhetoric: official

Kim Jong Un Now Has Enough Plutonium to Make 10 Nuclear Warheads, a New Report Says

Chinese bomber flies around contested Spratlys in show of force: U.S. official

Taiwan scrambles jets, navy as China aircraft carrier enters Taiwan Strait

‘No access’: Rex Tillerson sets collision course with Beijing in South China Sea

Massive security preparations under way for inauguration, amid protest threats to ‘paralyze’ DC

Trump blasts Russia reports, unveils plan for business empire at feisty news conference

NYT Accuses CNN, BuzzFeed Of Peddling “Fake News” Over Russia Report

Trump berates CNN reporter: ‘You are fake news’

Trump, Russia Both Hit Out at Claims in Intelligence Dossier

Intel chief: Leaks on Trump Russian ‘dossier’ not from intelligence community

Russian tech expert named in Trump report says US intelligence never contacted him

Trump press conference: ‘sick people’ leaked ‘fake news’ Russia dossier

Donald Trump: It’s a disgrace the intelligence agencies allowed false news out – it’s like Nazi Germany

US Jewish groups condemn Trump’s comparison to Nazi Germany

Russia says it does not gather dirt on others, but history of ‘kompromat’ says otherwise

Rubio grills Tillerson on Russia: ‘Is Vladimir Putin a war criminal?’

Obama Refers To Himself 75 Times In Farewell Address

World Economic Forum says capitalism needs urgent change

Investors Bolt Mexico as Peso Enters Free Fall

Mexican Drivers Flood to California for ‘Gasolinazo’ Relief

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Tocopilla, Chile

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Betafo, Madagascar

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Fais, Micronesia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near La Gomera, Guatemala

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Fais, Micronesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tanaga Volcano, Alaska

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 24,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 22,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 18,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

UK weather: Lorry overturns and homes left without power as gale-force winds and 90mph gusts bring travel chaos to parts of the country

Another Colorado ski resort closes because of too much snow

This three-mile-high skyscraper design is coated in self-cleaning material that eats smog

Gene-silencing spray lets us modify plants without changing DNA

Scientists can now grow a beating human heart from stem cells

Anna Yocca, Tennessee Woman in Coat-Hanger Attempted Abortion Case, Released From Jail a Year Later

Andy Cohen hosting ‘Love Connection’ game show revival with both straight and gay couples

Historic Baptist Church Hires Same-Sex Couple to Lead Congregation in Nation’s Capital

Chicago Homicides Even Higher Than Reported

Forced to watch child porn for their job, Microsoft employees developed PTSD, they say

R.Scott Clark – On Turning The World Upside Down

Joyce Meyer’s Conference in India Canceled – Meyer Declined Entrance

RZIM Speaker, Editor at The Gospel Coalition Compares Jesus to a Transgender

Koran Verse Denying Jesus Was the Son of God Sung at Scottish Church

Rare Magnitude 5.5 earthquake strikes Madagascar

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 08:20 AM PST

People on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar were shaken by a rare moderately-strong M5.5 earthquake on January 12, 2017 morning. Earthquakes are rare but…

Dangerous and potentially destructive ice storm looms for 1,000-mile swath of central US

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 08:17 AM PST

People from Texas to Ohio are bracing for a long-duration ice storm that could turn destructive and cut power to hundreds of thousands from Friday…
Europe freeze death toll rises to 65

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 08:01 AM PST

The death toll from the cold snap hitting parts of Europe rose to at least 65 on Wednesday as Bulgarian authorities reported seven fatalities. They…
World’s Top Online Brothel Falls to the Name of Jesus

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 07:57 AM PST

This is a historic week! On Jan. 9, backpage.com, a website notorious for its facilitation of prostitution and sex trafficking finally shut down the “adult”…
Actor Dennis Quaid to Star in ‘I Can Only Imagine’ Film Based on MercyMe Song

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 06:53 AM PST

Hollywood actor Dennis Quaid will be starring in the upcoming film “I Can Only Imagine,” which is based on the popular Christian song of the…
Boots Recalled After Man Discovers They Leave Swastika-Shaped Prints

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 06:47 AM PST

A Redditor’s shocking post over the imprint left by his new work boots has led to the item’s recall. Unsurprising, since the imprint resembles several…
Koran Verse Denying Jesus Was Son of God Sung in Scottish Cathedral

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 06:43 AM PST

A passage from the Koran that denies one of the central tenets of the Christian faith was sung aloud at a cathedral service in Scotland….

The Most Dangerous Countries for Christians

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 06:38 AM PST

More than 200 million Christians–or one in 12 worldwide– are persecuted for their faith. The most dangerous place for Christians is North Korea, but most…
Christian Leaders Descend on Nation’s Capital to Take a Stand for Israel

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 06:34 AM PST

This week, more than 250 leaders with Christians United For Israel are in the nation’s capital to speak up for Israel in light of the…

Bee placed on endangered list after US habitat loss

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 06:24 AM PST

US officials for the first time have placed a bee found in the continental United States on the endangered species list. Authorities said Wednesday the…
Why Are Wal-Mart And Boeing Laying Off Workers If The U.S. Economy Is In Good Shape?

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 06:20 AM PST

(Reported By Michael Snyder) The stock market has been on quite a roll in recent weeks, but signs of trouble continue to plague the real…
Abbas asks world leaders to stop Trump from moving US embassy to Jerusalem

Posted: 12 Jan 2017 06:16 AM PST

Chairman Mahmoud Abbas sent letters to a number of government leaders around the world, asking them to ensure that US President-elect Donald Trump does not…
Trump promises Obamacare replacement, border wall and Supreme Court nominee

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 03:53 PM PST

Republicans will have a replacement for Obamacare ready to go at the same time they repeal the massive health law, President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday,…
Va. Governor Issues Executive Order Allowing Only Pro-LGBT Groups to Receive State Contracts

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 03:45 PM PST

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed an executive order barring the state from giving contracts to businesses that do not have antidiscrimination policies regarding sexual…
Woman Sues Tennessee Sheriff for $1.5 Million for Denying Abortion While Incarcerated

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 03:40 PM PST

A Tennessee woman who had been arrested on robbery and murder conspiracy charges two years ago has sued her local sheriff for $1.5 million dollars…

US Army moves 2,500 tanks, trucks and military vehicles into Europe…

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 03:35 PM PST

Thousands of heavily armoured US military vehicles have arrived in Germany to respond to Russian aggression in Europe. The military brigade of 3,500 troops is…
What You Need to Know About Angelic Watchers

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 11:26 AM PST

(By Jennifer Leclaire) Angels have many functions, from protecting to providing, but angelic watchers are roaming the earth on assignment—and have been through the ages….
“Love Connection” to get makeover and include same-sex couples…

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 11:14 AM PST

The 1980s classic game show Love Connection is being revived by Fox. The network just announced a new spin on the series that promises to…

Demon possessed doll blinks and nods head before entire room shakes…

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 11:06 AM PST

A ‘ poltergeist was caught terrorising a young girl’ as she played in her home before it ‘made the room shake’ from underneath her. Eerie…
Trump Rips CNN and Calls Them “FAKE NEWS”

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 11:03 AM PST

During President-elect Donald Trump’s press conference today, Trump took aim at “fake news” regarding the release of an unverified dossier by Buzzfeed, calling them a…

Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


Do You Know Him?


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


The Gospel In A Nutshell

Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl


What Is the Gospel?

This post is adapted from the tract “What Is the Gospel?” by Greg Gilbert.


A Message from God

What exactly do Christians mean when they talk about the “gospel of Jesus Christ”? Since the word “gospel” means “good news,” when Christians talk about the gospel, they’re simply telling the good news about Jesus! It’s a message from God saying, “Good news! Here is how you can be saved from my judgment!” That’s an announcement you can’t afford to ignore.

Why Is the Gospel Good News?

So, what is the good news about Jesus Christ?

Since the earliest Christians announced the good news about Jesus, it has been organized around these questions:

  1. Who made us, and to whom are we accountable?
  2. What is our problem?
  3. What is God’s solution to our problem?
  4. How can I be included in his solution?

Christians through the centuries since Christ have answered those questions with the same truth from the Bible.

  1. We are accountable to God.
  2. Our problem is our sin against him.
  3. God’s solution is salvation through Jesus Christ.
  4. We come to be included in that salvation by faith and repentance.

Let’s summarize those points like this: God, Mankind, Jesus Christ, and Our Response.

God

The first thing to know about the good news of Jesus is that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Everything starts from that point, so if you get that point wrong then everything else that follows will be wrong. Because God created everything—including us—he has the right to tell us how to live. You have to understand that in order to understand the good news about Jesus. To understand just how glorious and life-giving the gospel of Jesus Christ is, we have to understand that God is also holy and righteous. He is determined never to ignore or tolerate sin. Including ours!

Mankind

When God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, he intended for them to live under his righteous rule in perfect joy—obeying him and living in fellowship with him. When Adam disobeyed God, though, and ate the one fruit that God had told him not to eat, that fellowship with God was broken. Moreover, Adam and Eve had declared rebellion against God. They were denying his authority over their lives.

It’s not just Adam and Eve who are guilty of sin. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin is the rejection of God himself and his authority over those to whom he gives life.

Once you understand sin in that light, you begin to understand why “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). That’s not just physical death, but spiritual death, a forceful separating of our sinful, rebellious selves from the presence of God forever. The Bible teaches that the final destiny for unbelieving sinners is eternal, active judgment in a place called “hell.”

But . . .

Jesus Christ

The word “Christ” means “anointed one,” referring to anointing a king with oil when he is crowned. So, when we say “Jesus Christ,” we’re saying that Jesus is a King!

When Jesus began his public ministry, he told the people, “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus died on a cross, the awful weight of all our sins fell on his shoulders. The sentence of death God had pronounced against rebellious sinners struck. And Jesus died. For you and me!

But the story doesn’t end there. Jesus the Crucified is no longer dead. The Bible tells us that he rose from the grave. Jesus’s rising from the grave was God’s way of saying, “What Jesus claimed about who he is and what he came to do is true!”

Our Response

What does God expect us to do with the information that Jesus died in our place so we can be saved from God’s righteous wrath against our sins? He expects us to respond with repentance and faith.

To repent of our sins means to turn away from our rebellion against God. Repentance doesn’t mean we’ll bring an immediate end to our sinning. It does mean, though, that we’ll never again live at peace with our sins.

Not only that, but we also turn to God in faith. Faith is reliance. It’s a promise-founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from your sins. If God is ever to count us righteous, he’ll have to do it on the basis of someone else’s record, someone who’s qualified to stand in as our substitute. And that’s what happens when a person is saved by Jesus: All our sins are credited to Jesus who took the punishment for them, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus is then credited to us when we place our trust in what he has done for us! That’s what faith means—to rely on Jesus, to trust in him alone to stand in our place and win a righteous verdict from God!


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


Please take the time to watch this clip, so that you might understand the authentic Gospel


This is the Gospel:

Friend, God is holy. There is a God in heaven who has created you and me, and He is the authority over both of us. He is perfectly holy. “In Him is Light, and there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And the problem with that is that if we want to have fellowship with God, we have to be light and no darkness at all. And yet here’s the problem: we are darkness. We are sinful. We’ve all broken His law. We’ve all lied, stolen, we’ve all looked with lust, we’ve all been angry with our brothers in our hearts. We’ve all fallen short of the glorious standard of perfection that God requires (Rom 3:23). And there’s nothing we can do about it. No amount of works, no amount of contrition, no amount of bad feelings, no amount of church attendance, no amount of Bible reading, no amount of evangelism can earn forgiveness of our sins and the righteousness which God requires (Titus 3:5; cf. Isa 64:6).

And yet God is gracious, and He loves us, and as His creatures He wants to display His glory in us by rescuing us from that. And so He sent His Son—God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ—to be born as a helpless little baby (John 1:14; 3:16; Col 2:9). God of the universe, Sustainer of the universe, Himself being sustained in the womb of a teenage Hebrew girl, and upholding the world by the word of His power (Heb 1:3) while He is upheld by the nutrients from her own body! Unspeakable! And in great humility, He grows up with the growing pains of life in a fallen world, though He Himself never being with any sin—without sin entirely (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26). And He lives a perfectly righteous life. The way that you and I have failed to live before God—the way that we have failed in thought, word, and deed, and fallen short of God’s glory—Christ never did. Not even a thought. He loved God, His Father, perfectly. He always walked in perfect righteousness. He lived the life that you were commanded to live, that I was commanded to live, that we failed to live. He lived that perfect life that God is worthy of.

And not only did He live for us, He died for us. He went to the cross. Our sin demanded death. Our sin demanded eternal punishment. Our sin demanded wrath—just wrath exercised on us for eternity (Rom 6:23). But because of the infinite worth of Christ’s person, He was on that cross. And on that cross, God exercised upon Him the full fury of His own anger (Rom 3:24–26; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:10–14), that was rightly due to me and rightly due to you, and that you will experience if you don’t turn from your sin and trust in this Messiah. Christ was born, lived, died, and was raised (1 Cor 15:3–4). And He rose from the grave after being dead, demonstrating His victory over sin and death.

And now God promises that if you turn from your sin, if you repudiate all that you are and all that you were and all that you love, and you turn away from a life of pursuing sin—and if you repudiate not only your bad works but your good works, if you turn from trying to earn your salvation by all the good deeds that you might want to do as a moral person—if you turn away from all of that (Acts 17:30–31), and you trust in Christ alone for righteousness (Phil 3:7–8; cf. Rom 3:28; 10:4), God promises that He will forgive you. He will have treated Christ on the cross as if Christ lived your life. And He will then treat you, justly and legally and righteously, as if you lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). And you can be saved to know the God you were created to love and enjoy. You can have the fullness of joy, the eternal pleasures that are at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Ps 16:11), and begin even now, because eternal life is to know God (John 17:3).

Friend, would you repent? Would you turn from your sin and trust in this perfect Savior to avail for you before God, to pay for your sin and to provide your righteousness?


A Gospel Presentation

God is Holy

The Bible teaches that the entire universe was created by God. And that God who has created everything has spoken to humanity in the Bible. And the Bible tells us that a fundamental characteristic of God is that He is holy. 1 John 1:5 says, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” That’s a way of saying that He’s entirely pure. God’s character is one of perfect moral uprightness. He is the essence of all that is good—so much so that, as the verse says, He can have absolutely no fellowship with “darkness”—no fellowship with that which is not perfectly holy, righteous, and pure.

God’s righteous character was expressed in the law He gave to Moses and the Israelites. You’ve heard of the Ten Commandments. They summarized the perfection of God’s character. These laws were directives for how people who were in a proper relationship with God must act.

We are Sinful

The problem is: all of us are sinful. We have all broken God’s law. All humanity has “gone astray like sheep, and each one of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). We’ve tried to live our lives without God, according to our own standards, in our own ways. Whether we’re drug addicts and murderers, or white collar, well-to-do, upstanding citizens, we do what we do because we want to do it, with no consideration for God and what He would have us to do. The Bible calls that sin. It is the missing of the mark, the falling short of God’s standard of righteousness.

And in your heart of hearts you know you’re a sinner. I don’t know anyone who would say that they are perfect, even by their own standards. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” And if God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all, then in order to have fellowship with Him, we’d need to be perfectly holy like Him. But we’re not. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are stained by the “darkness” of our sin. And this is a problem, because if darkness can’t dwell with light, and we’re darkness and God is light, we’re cut off from a relationship with Him. We become absolutely incapable of doing the very thing we were created and designed to do: to enjoy a relationship with our Creator.

There is a Penalty for Sin

But it’s not just that we and God can’t be friends. There’s a penalty to be paid for sin. The Bible tells us that that penalty is death, Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death.” But the death that Paul talks about there isn’t just physical death. It’s not like we pay for our sins by going out of existence. The death talked about in that verse is a spiritual death. This is hell: eternal conscious torment. Jesus Himself calls it “a furnace of fire,” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50).

The idea of hell grates against the sensibilities of modern people, because nobody thinks they’re really bad enough to deserve something like eternal torment. They might admit that they’re not the greatest of people, but surely they don’t deserve that. But their reasoning is skewed. The punishment for sin isn’t merely measured by the sin itself. In other words, while there are qualitative differences in the experience of divine punishment, murder, lust, and lying all receive the sentence of an eternity in hell. That’s because punishment for sin is measured by the One sinned against. All sin is fundamentally a sin against God, and He is infinitely holy. Therefore, sin against an infinitely holy God demands an infinite punishment. That’s why the punishment is so serious: because God is actually that righteous.

And so the bad news is that we’re sinful, separated from God, and doomed to spend eternity in hell. There’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t simply tell God we’re sorry and we won’t do it again. What would you say about a judge who let a guilty, convicted criminal go free because he was sorry and said he wouldn’t do it again? You’d call him an unjust judge. But God is a perfectly just, perfectly righteous Judge. God’s justice demands that sin be punished, and the only payment is eternal spiritual death.

God Became Man

But the Good News is: God saw the miserable condition of humanity, and took pity on us. He knew that there was no way we could ever earn our way back to Him. We could never pay for our sins. But just when man was absolutely hopeless, when we were all doomed to spend eternity in hell with no way to pay our penalty, God the Father sent His Son to the earth on a mission. He was miraculously born to a virgin. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit miraculously conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb. And so being conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was God. And being born to a human being, He was human. This is the greatest mystery in the universe. As finite human beings, we can’t entirely wrap our minds around this, but it’s true: Jesus was fully God and fully man.

He lived for 33 years on the earth. He grew up just like every other child. He became a carpenter like Joseph, His earthly father. The great difference, though, between Jesus and every other human being, was that He never sinned. Never once did He ever break God’s law. He always loved God with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength in everything He did. He never sought satisfaction outside of the Father Himself. He never disobeyed His parents, He was never selfish, He never spoke sinful words. In a word, He lived the life that you and I should have lived, but failed to live. He lived a life totally worthy of God, a life that was purely “Light,” like we said before, with no darkness at all.

Jesus Paid the Penalty

And because He was perfectly righteous, He was fit to be the substitute for sinners. The Bible records for us that the Jews plotted to kill Jesus because He preached a message that was very different to the religious establishment of His day. It was against the Jewish law to put people to death, so they sought help from the Romans, who were the governing body in Israel. Because the governor, Pontius Pilate, feared that the people would riot if he didn’t give them what they wanted, he agreed to crucify Jesus.

At the same time, Scripture also tells us that God sent His Son to die this way. It was all part of God’s plan. God used the sinful desires of the Jews and the Romans to accomplish something for His own good purpose. On the cross, Jesus suffered for sins. But He didn’t suffer for His own sins. He had no sins. He lived an entirely perfect life. No, on the cross, God “caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”

The verse right before that, Isaiah 53:5, says, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” What was happening on the cross was: God was carrying out the punishment against my sins—i.e., the pouring out of His wrath—on His innocent Son. Jesus voluntarily laid down His life in order to pay the penalty for sins. On the cross, God treated Jesus if He lived my life. And because I believe in Him, He treats me as if I lived Jesus’ life. See, because God is perfectly righteous, the only way to get to heaven is to be perfectly righteous. But because Jesus was perfectly righteous, and traded places with me on the cross, the perfect righteousness I need to go to heaven is His righteousness applied to my account.

After Jesus died, God miraculously raised Him from the dead three days later in order to show that He was satisfied with His sacrifice. Jesus was dead, but then He came back to life! It was a miracle. The Bible says God did this to “furnish proof to all men” that this message is true (Acts 17:30-31).


Law or Gospel — Which comes first?

Sometimes in life, the question is posed to us, “Which do you want first — the bad news or the good news?”

In response to this question, some choose to hear the good news first. It appears they desire to be thoroughly overwhelmed with the positive before getting their dose of the negative.

Others choose differently. They would rather hear the bad news first, get it out of the way, and put behind them their wonder and worry. Then, after processing the ramifications of the bad news, they hope to soothe the pain an end the conversation on a good note with positive vibes.

Well, Scripture does not offer us options. The Bible makes the choice for us, and it chooses to present the negative before the positive. The Bible declares bad news before declaring good news. It first presents the holy, wise, beneficial and condemning Law, then it publishes the “good tidings of great joy” or the Gospel. (Is. 60:1-2)

Understanding God’s Law

God’s Law was first presented in the opening chapters of Genesis. Some of it was stated; all of it was written upon man’s heart. Adam and Eve were to be entirely holy and obedient. They were to worship God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, all the time. Whether they ate, or drank, or whatsoever they did, they were do to it all for the glory of God. As image-bearers, they were to keep up God’s image. As men and women created in his likeness, they were to be like God. Vocationally, they were to enjoy and steward the garden and all God’s creatures. Relationally, they were to love one another and populate the planet. Ceremonially, they were to enjoy and glorify the Lord by walking with him in the cool of the day and never eating from the forbidden tree. These were some of their obligations, and as long as they performed perfectly they were guaranteed life in the family and kingdom of God.

However, things soon went from glorious to ghastly. Outside of them, they experienced the testing of God and the temptation of Satan. Within them they chose to question God’s truth, wisdom, and affection. Then, drawn away by their own lusts and enticed, they followed their internal sinful inclinations and externally ate of the forbidden fruit. Therefore, the holy, wise, and beneficial Law became a harsh taskmaster. It showed them the standard, showed them their guilt, and plagued their consciences. It encouraged them to hide, fear, and religiously self-medicate. It declared them wicked, separated from God, at enmity with God, and deserving of death, and it promised this for both them and their children. Yes, the Law of God promised to give them that which they deserved. It promised to pay them based upon performance, and this proved to be very, very bad news.

Understanding God’s Gospel

God, through the Law declared to Adam and Eve who they were, what they had done, and what they had justly earned — condemnation. Then God mercifully, graciously, and lovingly went to work. He performed on their behalf and promised them an eternity of undeserved blessings:

He predetermined to love his enemies.
He sought out his enemies while they hid from him in fear.
He called to the man and woman who vainly had self-medicated themselves.
He promised to rescue them and their children; they would be removed from Satan’s family.
He promised to do so by means of a special Son – one to come who would be fiercely bitten yet ultimately victorious.
He promised to damn the Evil One.
He then covered or clothed Adam and Eve by means of his ceremonial sacrifice.
He perfectly performed for and made promises to them who had performed so wickedly for him.
Friends, are we seeing the difference? The Law presents our duty to perfectly perform, and it only results in bad news. For there is none who keep all the Law, all the time, both internally and externally. However, the Gospel is not like the Law. The Gospel presents not our duty to perform for God, but it presents God’s performance and promise for us. Through the Law we lose our credentials to be a part of God’s family and enjoy his kingdom. Through the Gospel we gain credentials that cannot be earned or lost.

A Great Illustration

Perhaps nowhere is the distinction better seen between Law and Gospel than on Calvary’s cross. On that day, the Law had placed a criminal beside Jesus. There he was guilty, vile, dying, hopeless, and still hurling insults at the Son of God. He was getting that which he earned and deserved. He was being treated justly and fairly. His payment was based upon his performance, and he had hell to pay. The Law had nothing good to say to the thief on the cross. But then God went to work; Jesus granted the Law-breaking criminal complete pardon, intimate communion, and never-ending paradise. These blessings were not based upon any labors of his own, but only based upon the performance and promise of God. These blessings were not earned; they were a gift. A divine swap occurred. Jesus (The Law Keeping Man) received that which he did not deserve so that the thief (The Law Breaking Man) might also receive that which he did not deserve. And this is a fantastic picture of the Gospel. Communion with God that was lost by man seeking to keep the Law, was granted to man as a gift of God.

Responding to the Gospel

Therefore, how should we respond to the Gospel? While believing in divine sovereignty, what is our human responsibility?

Let us make the Gospel our Gospel. Along with the Apostle Paul let us call it “mine.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit offer this gift to you. They command you to receive it and enjoy it. If you find yourself with faith, willing to repent and receive, call out to Jesus in prayer right now. Call Jesus, “My Jesus.” Call Jesus’ righteousness, “My Righteousness.” Call Jesus’ Gospel, “My Gospel.” (Rom. 2:16; 2 Tim. 2:8) Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. As a matter of fact, if you draw near to God, it is only because he has already been drawing nearer to you.

Let us not water down the Gospel. This is always our tendency, to add human works to the sufficient work of Jesus Christ. Friends, re-read the letter to the Galatians. If we must perform, it is not Gospel. If we must labor, it is not Gospel. If it involves our works, it is not Gospel. If it is conditioned upon us in anyway, it is not Gospel. If it is a contract, it is not Gospel. If it can be lost, it is not Gospel. The Gospel represents the unilateral work of God on behalf of men. The Law ought never be divorced from the Gospel, but it must never be confused either.

Let us celebrate the Gospel. William Tyndall wrote of the Gospel, “It makes a man’s heart glad, and makes him sing, dance, and leap for joy.” It is the best of news. It means we can sabbath. It means we can boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence. It means we are seen as Christlike image-bearers. Give God the celebratory praise he deserves. He has labored perfectly on your behalf, give him reverent and radical praise and worship.

Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel. (Rom.1:16) Paul wrote, “Woe if I do not preach the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:16) He wrote, “How beautiful are the feet of those who spread the Good News.” Friends, just as Adam and Eve were to physically reproduce, we are to spiritually reproduce around the world. This is our mission. This is our great mission. This is our Great Commission. Let us be humble, for we cannot make someone believe. Let us be zealous, for God has a tendency to honor those who labor hard. And let us become flexibly relevant in order to better spread the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:22-23) As Gospel-lovers and Gospel-beneficiants, let us do that which is Lawful and bring in the Gospel-harvest.

Then, let us live Lawfully in accordance with the Gospel. Now that we have been saved from having to perform, let us perform. Yes, with Gospel-eyes, let us look at the Law and enjoy practicing that which is holy, wise, beneficial, and worshipful. Living in the power of the Gospel, let us enjoy becoming more and more like Jesus — the Author and Finisher of our Faith. And when we look at the Law, let us not get frustrated and despondent. Instead, let us glory in the Law, for there is the description of who we are in Christ today, and it also shows us all we will be in glory tomorrow when our old flesh is finally exterminated.

Bottom line, the Law shows us how to perform for God, but the Gospel shows us how God performs for us. This is radical. This is crazy. This is beautiful. This is truth.


Our Response

And now, God promises that…

  • if you acknowledge that you are a sinner—that you have broken His law,
  • and if you admit that there is no way that you could earn His favor and His forgiveness,
  • and if you purpose to turn away from your life of sin and commit your life to Him,
  • and if you trust in Jesus’ righteousness alone for your acceptance before this holy God,

…then He will have treated Jesus as if He lived your life, and will treat you as if you lived Jesus’ life. You will be saved from the penalty of your sin, and will be able to enjoy fellowship with God forever in heaven, and even fellowship with Him starting now.

In other words, if you believe that you’re a sinner and deserve God’s punishment because of your sin, but you also believe that God sent Jesus to endure that punishment in your place, and that His sacrifice is the only way you can be forgiven, then God promises that He will forgive you and you will be saved. You’ll know the God who created you.

Don’t Waste Your Life

God designed your soul. And He designed you so that, just as a car engine is designed to run on gasoline, you’re designed to run on Him. He is what life is about. All of the disappointments, discouragements, and uncertainties of your life find their resolution in Him. And all of the satisfactions, fun experiences, and joys of life find their consummation in Him. Everything good in our lives is like a trail of breadcrumbs that leads us to the feast of God Himself. And everything bad in our lives is a reminder that life lived apart from knowing God in Christ is not the way it was meant to be.

And I also don’t want to see you waste your life. God created us for the purpose of rightly knowing and worshiping Him. That’s the meaning of life. That’s where true happiness and satisfaction are found. When you don’t live your life for that purpose, you waste it. So many people go through life seeking that happiness, but never find it because they don’t know what life is really about. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want you to suffer God’s wrath eternally for your sin. I want to spend eternity in heaven worshiping God with you, praising Him for how gracious He was to forgive our sins because of Christ’s sacrifice.

Receive Forgiveness

So would you receive Christ? Would you acknowledge your sinfulness before God and admit you can’t do a thing about it? Would you turn from your sin, and seek to live your life in submission to Jesus Christ? Would you trust in Jesus alone for your righteousness before God? Would you join me in worshiping the God we were created to know?

Source


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.


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Obama’s Legacy Makeover: A Reality Check

According to Obama, “Reality has a way of catching up with you.” What follows is a final reality check on the last eight years.

By Mark Alexander · January 11, 2017

“Though in reviewing the incidents of my Administration I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence, and that … the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.” — George Washington from his Farewell Address (1796)

2017-01-11-08bcd1ae_large.jpg

Barack Hussein Obama entertained his dwindling legion of constituents with farewell remarks Tuesday night — the last stop on his extensive “legacy makeover” tour that began after Donald Trump defeated his designated heir, Hillary Clinton.

I should note that by “last stop,” I mean as “president.”

Unlike his predecessor, Obama has no plans to quietly recede from the nation’s capital, as has been the practice of former presidents since 1796. In fact, the Obamas will be taking up residence in a nine-bedroom mansion in the District’s most exclusive neighborhood, and you can be certain that he’ll be out on his front stoop stumping for his failed policies every time Trump endeavors to alter or abolish one of them. Given that the Obama presidency has been the equivalent of a neutron bomb to the Democrat Party brand — leaving its structure intact while annihilating the human resources within it — is it any wonder that he’s so desperate for that legacy makeover?

Leftist political analyst Ed Klein gleefully opines that Obama will be leading “a shadow government opposing the Trump administration,” while presidential historian Stephen Hess concludes that Obama’s adoring media will be “camping out on [his] doorstep.”

Since George Washington delivered his extraordinary farewell remarks in 1796, such addresses have served as a bookend for a president to highlight the nation’s achievements under his tenure.

The last great farewell address, indeed the greatest of the 20th century, was Ronald Reagan’s delivery of his inspirational paean to “the shining city upon a hill.” He humbly declared, “I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation — from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries.”

Indeed, like President Washington, President Reagan departed office having affirmed the sense of the people that America’s best days were ahead.

As is my practice, I will be rebutting some of Mr. Obama’s more salacious and fallacious assertions from his final national address.

However, given it is his final address, let’s first review how he, and we, arrived at this point in history.

During 2008, in a series on then-presidential candidate Obama’s disturbing pathos, I noted that he was an unknown “community organizer” with a tragic pedigree who had, for his entire adult life, been mentored as a disciple of hate by “pastor” Jeremiah “G-d Damn America” Wright.

Of greater political significance, in the third part of that series, “Another Marx Brother,” I named the Marxist mentors who shaped Obama’s political views from his earliest years and paved his way into the Illinois State Senate in 1997, and then the U.S. Senate in 2005.

I noted that his first political fundraiser was hosted by his friend and neighbor, Bill Ayers, cofounder of the Weather Underground, a communist revolutionary terrorist group that bombed public buildings in the 1960s and 1970s, including police stations, the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol Building. Not only were Obama and Ayers friends, but they actively worked together for leftist organizations. Ayers’s terrorist wife, Bernardine Dohrn, was a close friend and law partner with Michelle Obama.

Few Americans had ever heard of Obama when he was tapped to provide the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention by ultra-leftists John Kerry and Teddy Kennedy.

Four years later, however, an utterly unqualified Obama would win first the Democrat nomination and then the 2008 presidential election, largely due to a banking crisis precipitated by a manufactured mortgage crisis, and the fecklessness of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who lacked any semblance of Obama’s charismatic appeal and failed to launch both a substantive grassroots campaign and an effective argument against Obama’s snake-oil candidacy.

In 2009, I noted that Obama’s remarkably brief White House bio began with this assertion: “His story is the American story — values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family.” Of course, nothing could’ve been further from the truth. Nothing about Obama’s “American story” has anything to do with “the heartland” or “a middle-class upbringing” or “a strong family.” (Amazingly, that deceitful bio page has not been altered since 2009.)

Ultimately, the election of Barack Obama, who was sold to the American people as a centrist but who is in fact an ardent ideological Socialist, came with some unintended consequences for him and his leftist cadres across the nation.

Chief among those consequences was the emergence of the grassroots Tea Party movement ahead of the 2010 midterm election. That year, Republicans dealt Obama and his fellow Democrats a historic “shellacking”: 63 House seats, 6 Senate seats, 6 governorships and a whopping 680 state legislative seats — more state legislatures than at any time since 1928. But, regrettably, establishment Republicans, led by then-House Speaker John Boehner, excluded these new conservatives from leadership positions.

Thus, in 2012, the grassroots momentum was sidelined by fratricidal infighting, and Republicans lost eight House seats and two Senate seats. Most notably, Mitt Romney failed to connect with grassroots conservatives, which allowed Obama to dupe voters into electing him for a second term by a very narrow margin. (Remember how, during the final presidential debate, Obama mocked Gov. Romney’s assessment of Russia as our nation’s “number-one geopolitical foe”? How’s that working out, Barry?)

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However, once again, in 2014, Republicans decimated Democrats in not only House and Senate midterm races but in gubernatorial and statehouse elections across the nation. This was a broad and deep victory for Republicans and particularly conservatives, one that moved the political needle back toward Liberty.

After the smoke cleared, Republicans had made historic gains both in federal and state elections. This time, they picked up a whopping nine Senate seats for a total of 54, retaking the majority with fresh, conservative grassroots candidates like Iowa’s Joni Ernst, Nebraska’s Ben Sasse and Arkansas’ Tom Cotton. Republicans also gained 14 additional House seats, increasing their majority to 247. And they added two more Republican governors, bringing that total to 31, while picking up 11 more legislative chambers for a total of 68.

The line between conservatives and leftists was never more clear, nor was the truism that when genuine conservatives are on the ticket, they prevail.

Of the 2014 gains, Charles Krauthammer noted, “[R]egaining the Senate would finally give the GOP the opportunity, going into 2016, to demonstrate its capacity to govern. … [C]ontrolling both houses would allow the GOP to produce a compelling legislative agenda.”

And, indeed, they did.

Recall last year, when Hillary Clinton’s election seemed all but certain, Obama arrogantly declared, “I will not be on the ballot, but everything we’ve done is going to be on the ballot.”

And recall when he told a Congressional Black Caucus dinner audience, “I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy” if blacks don’t get out and vote in sufficient numbers against Donald Trump.

Indeed, BO’s record was on the ballot, and so was his legacy. Obama’s heir-apparent Hillary Clinton, a consummate congenital liar with an extensive record of malfeasance, would bring out enough middle-American “irredeemable deplorables” to defeat her, and to thereby reject Obama’s “third term.”

The 2016 election further decimated Democrats nationwide. When Obama took office there were 256 Demos in the House. Now there are 188 (-68 for -27%). There were 58 Demos in the Senate. Now there are 46 (-12 for -21%). There were 28 Demo governors. Now there are 18 (-10 for -36%). Across the nation, Democrats held 4,086 state legislative seats and controlled 60 chambers. Under Obama, they have lost 949 (-23%) of those seats and now control just 31 chambers (-52%.)

In the end, thanks to welfare-addled voters in California, Clinton won a popular plurality, 48% to 46%, which is notably short of a popular majority. But when her bewildered supporters ask, “Who won the popular vote?” leave them stumped with this reply: “Our Constitution.”

Now, Obama, in full denial, insists that he’s the best-qualified person to rebuild the once-noble Democrat Party, which devolved into the Socialist Democratic Party under his leadership. On this venture, he has my full and unconditional support.

In his last official press conference in December, Obama spared no truth when distorting his record.

He doubled down on his delusional self-assessment in his farewell remarks.

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In those remarks, Obama said, “My mother used to tell me reality has a way of catching up with you.”

So, what follows is a final reality check on Obama’s last eight years.

If you did not watch Obama’s 4,350-word self-congratulatory farewell fest, I slogged through it so you wouldn’t have to. It was a longer delivery than Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Bush (43) combined, and Obama only referred to himself 75 times.

Obama returned to Chicago for his final soapbox extravaganza, a city that, like most of America, is in much worse shape now than it was eight years ago. Urban poverty plantations have grown substantially under the Obama regime, and Chicago is no exception. One measure of the cultural devolution in the Windy City is the fact there have been 3,929 murders there since Obama was elected — another Obama record!

Despite the Beltway memo-media accolades concluding that Obama’s central message was “unity,” the fact is he never uttered the word. Instead, predictably, when he was not congratulating himself, he devoted the rest of his airtime to disunity, invoking all the standard Demo playbook “divide and conquer” constituencies — race, ethnicity, religion, gender and, of course, wealth.

According to Obama, “The disaffection and division that has stalled our progress will only sharpen in years to come.” Well, of course it will with him at the Democrat Party helm. He has devoted his career to fomenting of division and, in his words, promoting “the rise of naked partisanship.”

Invoking his race-bait rhetoric, he declared, “After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic. Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society. For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn’t suddenly vanish in the ’60s.”

On ethnicity and religious “diversity,” Obama complained about “fear of people who look or speak or pray differently” and our failure to “invest in the children of immigrants just because they don’t look like us.” He added, “I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans who are just as patriotic as you are!”

And stirring the class-warfare pot, Obama said, “Our economy doesn’t work as well or grow as fast when a few prosper at the expense of a growing middle class. … Stark inequality is also corrosive to our democratic principles. … If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard-working white middle class and undeserving minorities, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves. … [This] increases economic and regional stratification.”

In the self-congratulatory category, Obama gave himself high marks for his domestic and foreign policies.

Obama claimed, “By almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started. … If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession … and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history … you might have said our sights were set a little too high.”

Actually, I would say that his hindsight is set much too high.

Domestically, Obama’s policies have crushed the middle class. Currently the labor participation rate is testing the lows of the 1970s, with 95 million Americans out of the labor force. The “Obama recovery” is the worst since World War II. America has lost more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs since 2008 and the global trade deficit has risen to more than $730 billion. There are 11 million more Americans on food stamps than 2008, another Obama record, and more than 43 million Americans now live below the poverty line.

Consumers are now paying $874 billion for government regulations, with 2,988 new regulations under Obama.

Oh, and Obama accumulated more “unpatriotic” national debt than all other presidents combined — almost $10 trillion — with little to show for it.

On his signature namesake, ObamaCare, he declared, “The uninsured rate has never, ever been lower [and] health care costs are rising at the slowest rate in 50 years.”

Ah, yes, those claims are as accurate as this most memorable line from his litany of ObamaCare lies: “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, he will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan, period.”

Despite Obama’s claims about reduced premiums, on average premiums are going up 25% in 2016 and the insurance cost for an average family has increased almost 50% since 2008.

Beyond failed economic and health care policies, Obama heralded new levels of corruption, including his IRS Enemies List targeting conservatives; his “Fast and Furious” gun control charade; the VA death panels cover-up; the immigration crisis on our southern border; and his corrupt attorney general, Eric Holder.

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Regarding homeland security, in a typical example of hubris, Obama had the audacity to claim, “No foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years.”

Finding a shred of truth in this statement requires convulsive Clintonian parsing of the facts. Obama had best not assert his lone wolf defense of Islamist jihadis at Ft. Hood or in Boston or San Bernardino or Orlando or Chattanooga or any other homeland sites of Jihadi assaults during his tenure.

On the national security front, Obama has chalked up the most inept and dangerous foreign policy failures since James Earl Carter.

On a prior farewell tour stop, Obama insisted, “Almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago when I took office.”

Actually, not.

Obama’s foreign policy malfeasance is unparalleled. Under his tenure we witnessed the “Russian Spring” in Crimea; his hollow “Red Line” in the Syrian sand; the Middle East meltdown in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Jordan and Gaza; his political retreat from Iraq — discarding all the blood and treasure spent there to establish stability; the Benghazi cover-up ahead of the 2012 election; the dramatic resurgence of al-Qa’ida; Obama’s reference to ISIL as the “JV team“; and the rise of the Islamic State and an epic humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.

While Obama claims to have ended wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, American troops are on their way back into both theaters. At present, in Afghanistan we have 8,500 military personnel and 26,000 military contractors, and in Iraq we have more than 5,000 military personnel and 15,000 military contractors.

Obama heralded his Iran nuke “deal” as one of his greatest foreign policy achievements: “I shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot.” The fact is, his acquiescence and coddling of Iran resulted in the re-emergence of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, which is now metastasizing into Western Europe and North America.

Additionally, Obama and Kerry took a parting shot at Israel, undermining our historic relations with this essential Middle Eastern ally.

Islamist assaults worldwide have increased greatly under Obama, and there will be a very heavy price to pay in the next decade for his unprecedented foreign policy failures — one reason he has a record low approval rating with our military personnel. (Memo to Obama: The Nobel Committee called — they want their medal back!)

All his unearned self-aggrandizement notwithstanding, perhaps most disturbing in Obama’s remarks was his deliberate mischaracterization of our form of government as a “democracy” — 20 times — while mentioning “republic” only once. He insisted, “We must forge a new social compact,” having failed to “fundamentally transform the USA” as he promised in 2008. He even mentioned Rule of Law four times, but in each case, out of context.

Finally, Obama asserted, “In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote … that we should reject ‘the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties’ that make us one.”

But that divisive alienation is all Obama and his Democrats have done for the last eight years.

The good news — no, the GREAT NEWS — is that in 10 days there will be a new administration and a new era of recovery for our nation. Donald Trump’s team is shaping up to be a Reagan revival!

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Pro Deo et Libertas — 1776

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Putin directed Russian intelligence to disrupt U.S. elections, concludes DNI report. Heading into his 17th year in power, Putin is becoming more brazen. It’s time to confront and contain him.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

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Let’s be clear about two important facts.

First, Donald Trump and Mike Pence won a decisive victory in the November elections, and they won fair and square. While Democrats, left-wing activists, and many in Hollywood and the media hate this, it’s still true.

Second, Russian intelligence — directed by Vladimir Putin — actively tried to disrupt, influence and discredit the recent American elections. Tried, but failed. That’s the conclusion of an important new report by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.

Hillary’s supporters can’t nullify Mr. Trump’s victory with the new DNI report. But Mr. Trump’s supporters shouldn’t turn a blind eye to it or mounting evidence of Putin’s aggression.

  • The Russians hacked into computers of the Democratic Committee, and into other American computer networks.
  • Moscow leaked information negative to Hillary Clinton.
  • The Kremlin used their wide array of propaganda tools to try to influence the American electoral process against Clinton and in favor of Trump.
  • These…

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RZIM Speaker, Editor at The Gospel Coalition Compares Jesus to a Transgender

Brandon Hines of Pulpit & Pen has the story:

Sam Allberry, an editor for The Gospel Coalition and a global speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), recently wrote an article at The Gospel Coalition entitled, What Christianity Alone Offers Transgender Persons. The only acceptable answer that could have been provided in the article would be, “forgiveness for the sin of transgenderism as well as all other sins and eternal life in Jesus Christ.”

That, sadly, was not what was included in the article. As Pastor Justin Pierce remarked,

Not once did the author mention repentance, a broken heart over the sin that destroys us and breaks our fellowship with God. Not once did he say placing one’s faith in Christ and learning to mortify the flesh and identify with Christ and we fight the wicked sin that He overcame.

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Roman Catholicism: Idolatry and Bondage

What happens if a person wishes to break communion with the Roman Catholic Church?  Glenn E. Chatfield of The Watchman’s Bagpipes explains:

Indulgences, those things made up by the Roman Catholic Church to fill their coffers and/or for continuing to scare their followers with the invented place called “Purgatory,” are being offered by the Pope to those who celebrate the anniversary of the demonic apparition pretending to be Mary at Fatima, Portugal.

Here are the three ways you can get rewarded by the Pope:

You an make a pilgrimage to the shrine at Fatima and participate in the occultic celebration and rituals.

You can pray before any statue of “Our Lady of Fatima” — bow before and pray to an idol, as well as doing the same rituals.

January 12, 2017: Verse of the day

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A powerful motivation for putting off unwholesome talk is that not to do so will grieve the Holy Spirit of God. All sin is painful to God, but sin in His children breaks His heart. When His children refuse to change the ways of the old life for the ways of the new, God grieves. The Holy Spirit of God weeps, as it were, when he sees Christians lying instead of speaking the truth, becoming unrighteously rather than righteously angry, stealing instead of sharing, and speaking corrupt instead of uplifting and gracious words.

Whatever violates the will of God and the holiness of the heart will grieve the third Person of the Trinity. Grieving can lead to quenching (1 Thess. 5:19) and to a forfeiture of power and blessing. It should be noted also that such responses by the Holy Spirit indicate His personhood, which is seen in the use of personal pronouns referring to Him (cf. John 14:17; 16:13; etc.). His identity as Comforter, or Helper (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7), indicates that He is like Christ, who is a person. The Holy Spirit has intellect (1 Cor. 2:11), feelings (Rom. 8:27; 15:30), and will (1 Cor. 12:11). He works (1 Cor. 12:11), searches (1 Cor. 2:10), speaks (Acts 13:2), testifies (John 15:26), teaches (John 14:26), convicts (John 16:8–11), regenerates (John 3:5), intercedes (Acts 8:26), guides (John 16:13), glorifies Christ (John 16:14), and directs service to God (Acts 16:6–7).

Specifically in light of this text in Ephesians, the personhood of the Holy Spirit is seen in the fact that He can be treated as a person. He can be tested (Acts 5:9), lied to (Acts 5:3), resisted (Acts 7:51), insulted (Heb. 10:29), and blasphemed (Matt. 12:31–32).

Paul asks, in effect, “How can we do that which is so displeasing to the One by whom [we] have been sealed for the day of redemption?” (see 1:13–14). The Holy Spirit is God’s personal mark of authenticity on us, His stamp of divine approval. How can we grieve the One who is our Helper, Comforter, Teacher, Advocate, Divine Resident of our hearts, and guarantor of our eternal redemption? How can we ungraciously grieve God’s infinitely gracious Holy Spirit? He has done so much for us that, out of gratitude, we ought not to grieve Him.

The command not to show ingratitude to the Divine Spirit is based on the fact that He has secured our salvation. Paul is not saying we should avoid sin in order to keep our salvation, but rather that we should be eternally grateful to the Holy Spirit for His making it impossible for us to lose it.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

January 12, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

January 12

A Treasure Store

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with everyspiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3

There is no way to comprehend the riches God has provided for those who love His Son. The treasures He has prepared are infinite. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field” (Matt. 13:44). The apostle Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah when he says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).

The good news is, if we love the Son of God, we inherit all the riches of the Father. If we believe in Christ, we have treasure beyond imagination.[1]


January 12 The Importance of Brotherly Love

“Let love of the brethren continue.”

Hebrews 13:1

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Genuine love among Christians is a testimony to the world, to ourselves, and to God.

The importance of brotherly love extends well beyond the walls of your local church or fellowship hall. In John 13:35 Jesus says, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” In effect, God has made love for one another the measuring stick by which the world can determine if our Christian profession is genuine. That’s why it’s so important that we have a selfless attitude and sincerely place the interests of our brothers and sisters in Christ ahead of our own.

If you are a parent, you know what a delight it is when your children love and care for one another. Such harmonious relations make for a close–knit family and fulfill the words of the psalmist: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1). God is both pleased and glorified when Christian brothers and sisters love each other and minister together in harmony.

Neither the author of Hebrews nor the apostle John is equating love with a sentimental, superficial affection. As already suggested, practical commitment marks true brotherly love. If you do not have such commitment, it is fair to question your relationship to God (1 John 3:17). Refusing to help a fellow believer when you can, John reasons, reveals that you don’t really love him. And if you don’t love him, God’s love can’t be in your heart, which proves that you don’t belong to Him. This logic is sobering and persuasive. It should motivate us all the more to see the importance of practicing brotherly love: “Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him” (1 John 3:18–19).

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Suggestions for Prayer: Ask the Lord’s forgiveness for times when you did not show brotherly love or when you were reluctant to help another Christian in need.

For Further Study: Read Luke 6:31–35 and notice how our duty to love extends even beyond the sphere of fellow believers. What kind of reward results?[2]


JANUARY 12

MADE FOR HIGHER WORLDS

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

—Colossians 3:2

God has revealed Himself many times and in many ways to assure men and women made in His image that there is another and a better world than this vale of tears we refer to as home….

When people around us learn that we are involved in a spiritual kingdom not yet visible, they think we are prime candidates for a mental institution. But this we know: Those same people around us are subject to the cruel tyranny of material and temporal things—things that will decay and pass away. No world dictator ever ruled his cowering subjects with any more fierce and compulsive domination than the material, visible things rule the men and women of this world.

Of all the calamities that have been visited upon this world and its inhabitants, the willing surrender of the human spirit to materialistic values is the worst! We who were made for higher worlds are accepting the ways of this world as the ultimate. That is a tragedy of staggering proportions.

We who were meant to commune with the Creator God, with the angels, archangels and seraphim, have decided instead to settle down here. As well might the eagle leave his lofty domain to scratch in the barnyard with the common hens. MMG101-102

It’s so easy, Lord, to become enamored with and ensnared by the things of this barnyard. Help me to be more lofty in my affections today. Amen. [3]


January 12

The Tempter Is Real

And the tempter came and said to Him … —Matt. 4:3a

It is not popular today to believe in a literal, personal devil, even among professing Christians. The devil is increasingly seen as being somewhere between a figment of our imagination and a useful device to coerce obedience.

Yet in addition to the name used here (“tempter”), the New Testament gives Satan many other names: “ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11); “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2); “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4); “Abaddon” and “Apollyon,” both of which mean “destroyer” (Rev. 9:11); and “the serpent of old” (Rev. 12:9).

With these and many other references to the devil in God’s infallible Scripture—all of which assume a real, supernatural person—it’s clear that Satan does exist. And he never made himself more personally manifest than when he confronted Jesus in the wilderness. The Lord’s opponent was an actual, personal foe in every sense of that expression.

Since the Fall, Satan has directed his full attention and fury against God and His kingdom work. While Christ was on earth, that opposition was particularly intense against the Son and His redemptive mission, beginning at the very outset of His ministry. Yet all the forces of hell continue to present us with real challenges as we endeavor to advance God’s kingdom. Thus all believers must remain ever vigilant and prayerful against a genuine spiritual foe.

ASK YOURSELF
Have you grown lax in guarding yourself from the “roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8) who actively seeks to devour you? He is not to be feared, for your God is triumphant, but he is definitely in need of accounting for. Ask the Lord to make you wise and wary of the enemy’s presence.[4]

JANUARY 12

DEALING WITH SIN

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life.

Romans 6:23

Many evangelical teachers insist so strongly upon free, unconditional grace as to create the impression that sin is not a serious matter and that God cares very little about it!

They make it seem that God is only concerned with our escaping the consequences.

The gospel, then, in practical application, means little more than a way to escape the fruits of our past!

But the heart that has felt the weight of its own sin and has seen the dread whiteness of the Most High God will never believe that a message of forgiveness without transformation is a message of good news. To remit a man’s past without transforming his present is to violate the moral sincerity of his own heart.

To that kind of thing God will be no party! For to offer a sinner the gift of salvation based upon the work of Christ, while at the same time allowing him to retain the idea that the gift carries with it no moral implications, is to do him untold injury where it hurts him most!

Father, thank You for changing me from the inside out. Empower me by Your Spirit to live in the light of Your forgiveness today.[5]


January 12 The High Cost of Free Grace

“In [Christ] we have redemption through His blood” (Eph. 1:7, emphasis added).

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Redeeming grace is free to us, but its cost to God is inestimable.

Sin is not a serious issue to most people. Our culture flaunts and peddles it in countless forms. Even Christians who would never think of committing certain sins will often allow themselves to be entertained by those same sins through television, movies, music, and other media.

We sometimes flirt with sin, but God hates it. The price He paid to redeem us from it speaks of the seriousness with which He views it. After all, we “were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold … but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18–19).

In Scripture the shedding of blood refers to violent physical death—whether of a sacrificial animal or of Christ Himself. Sin is so serious that without bloodshed, there is no forgiveness of sin in God’s sight (Heb. 9:22).

The sacrificial animals in the Old Testament pictured Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. That’s why John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

The Old Testament sacrifices were necessary but incomplete. Christ’s sacrifice was perfect, complete, and once for all (Heb. 10:10). No further sacrifices are needed other than the “sacrifice of praise to God” for what He has done (Heb. 13:15) and our very lives in service to Him as “a living and holy sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1).

By His sacrifice Christ demonstrated not only God’s hatred for sin, but also His great love for sinners. You could never redeem yourself, but Christ willingly paid the price with His own precious blood. He “gave Himself up for [you], an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Eph. 5:2). His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father; so your redemption was paid in full.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Worship God for His wonderful plan of salvation. ✧ Worship Christ for the enormous sacrifice He made on your behalf. ✧ Worship the Holy Spirit for applying Christ’s sacrifice to your life and for drawing you to Christ in saving faith. ✧ Ask God to help you guard your heart from flirting with sin.

For Further Study: Read 2 Samuel 11. ✧ What circumstances led to David’s sin with Bathsheba? ✧ How did David attempt to cover his sin? ✧ How did David finally deal with his sin (see Ps. 51)?[6]


JANUARY 12

SATAN WOULD BIND US IN OUR OWN GRAVE CLOTHES

…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 JOHN 3:8

It is part of the devil’s business to keep the Christian’s spirit imprisoned. He knows that the believing and justified Christian has been raised up out of the grave of his sins and trespasses. From that point on, Satan works that much harder to keep us bound and gagged, actually imprisoned in our own grave clothes!

He knows that if we continue in this kind of bondage we will never be able to claim our rightful spiritual heritage. He knows also that while we continue bound in this kind of enslavement we are not much better off than when we were spiritually dead.

This is one reason why the Christians in today’s churches are behaving like a flock of frightened sheep so intimidated by the devil that we can’t even say “Amen!”

I am sure that it is not glorifying to our God that Christians should be so intimidated and silenced in our day. It was Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, who came down and took our human body for Himself. He was a man, born of a woman, a man wearing our own nature—but He was also God!

He went out to the cross and they sacrificed Him there. The Father, God Almighty, accepted His sacrifice as the one, final fulfillment and consummation of all the sacrifices ever made on Jewish altars. After three days, He came out of the grave, then ascended as Victor over death and hell!

Believing this, we ought to be the most fearless, the happiest and most God-assured people in the whole world![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 23). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[2] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[3] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 20). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 24). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Because we have been justified by faith we exult in hope of the glory of God

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2 (NASB) 

What is the difference between faith and hope? Are they the same thing? They are not the same, but they are two sides of the same coin. If I want my old College to win in football against our biggest rival that is hope. On the other hand, if I believe it will happen then it is faith. With this faith, my hope is enhanced. It becomes active. On the other hand, if I have little faith that it will happen then my hope becomes simply wishful thinking. What about our faith through which we are saved by grace? Is…

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