Daily Archives: May 1, 2018

May 1: Who Will Fight for Us?

Judges 1:1–2:10; Philippians 1:1–11; Psalm 61:1–62:12

“Who will go up first for us against the Canaanites to fight against them?” (Judg 1:1).

I’ve felt this way before—wondering who will be my advocate in my time of need. It’s ironic that we are surrounded by people, and we have constant access to communication, and yet we can still feel alone. In a world of ambient noise, we’re often left feeling that no one is there to come to our aid. Most of us do have people to help us; it’s just that we’re not willing to ask for help. At all times, we have someone who will be our guide in times of distress.

Paul tells us that it is Christ “who began a good work in you [and He] will finish it until the day [He returns]” (Phil 1:6). In essence, the story of Paul and the Philippian believers’ struggles is really the same story told in the book of Judges. God’s people are at war against powers seen and unseen (Phil 3:1–4; compare Col 1:16). They feel lonely and wounded, but when they search their hearts, they see that God really is rising up to defend them. In Judges, He sends His people great advocates who go out before them in battle. In Philippians, we see Paul telling his story to a church in need of a leader so they can look to his example (e.g., Phil 1:12–25; 3:1–21). We also see Paul, time and time again, point to the greatest example: Christ (e.g., Phil 1:9–11).

In the humility of his situation, Paul sees God at work (Phil 2). When God’s people found themselves in dire circumstances, being opposed by outside forces, they saw God come to their aid (e.g., Judg 4). Christ is our advocate before God the Father, and He is our guide in this life, which can often be confusing and disheartening. God’s faithfulness in guiding and loving His people remains the same today as yesterday, but now we see an even greater manifestation of that love in Jesus.

What humbling situation are you going through? How can you hand it over to God and trust in His providence?

John D. Barry[1]

[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

May 1 The Master’s Men

“The names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:2–4).


God uses unqualified people to accomplish His purposes.

We live in a qualification-conscious society. Almost everything you do requires you to meet someone else’s standards. You must qualify to purchase a home, buy a car, get a credit card, or attend college. In the job market, the most difficult jobs require people with the highest possible qualifications.

Ironically, God uses unqualified people to accomplish the world’s most important task: advancing the Kingdom of God. It has always been that way. Adam and Eve plunged the human race into sin. Lot got drunk and committed incest with his own daughters. Abraham doubted God and committed adultery. Jacob deceived his father. Moses was a murderer. David was too, as well as an adulterer. Jonah got upset when God showed mercy to Nineveh. Elijah withstood 850 false priests and prophets, yet fled in terror from one woman—Jezebel. Paul (Saul) murdered Christians. And the list goes on and on.

The fact is, no one is fully qualified to do God’s work. That’s why He uses unqualified people. Perhaps that truth is most clearly illustrated in the twelve disciples, who had numerous human frailties, different temperaments, different skills, and diverse backgrounds, and yet Christ used them to change the world.

This month you will meet the disciples one by one. As you do, I want you to see that they were common men with a very uncommon calling. I also want you to observe the training process Jesus put them through, because it serves as a pattern for our discipleship as well.

I pray that you will be challenged by their strengths and encouraged by the way God used them despite their weaknesses and failures. He will use you too as you continue yielding your life to Him.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Memorize Luke 6:40. Ask God to make you more like Christ.

For Further Study: Read 2 Timothy 1:3–5, noting the weaknesses Timothy may have struggled with, and how Paul encouraged him. How might Paul’s words apply to you?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 134). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Megachurch Pastor, Andy Stanley, Says Unity More Important Than Theology — Pulpit & Pen

In Ephesians 4:13 we learn that pastors and teachers are to equip the saints “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…” Paul admonishes believers to pursue unity in the faith. And we should have one goal — to bring glory to God. Under no circumstances are Christians…

via Megachurch Pastor, Andy Stanley, Says Unity More Important Than Theology — Pulpit & Pen

A Response to Andy Stanley on “Theological Correctness”–With Help from Jonathan Edwards

A Response to Andy Stanley on “Theological Correctness”–With Help from Jonathan Edwards
— Read on www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2018/05/a-response-to-andy-stanley-on-theological-correctness-with-help-from-jonathan-edwards/

05/01/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0501 •The prophetic work of secular sociologist Philip Rieff •How do we learn God’s will without putting out a fleece? •Are you called to prison ministry? •Bethel Church is rolling in the money •How the Passion Translation obfuscates the plain meaning of Scripture •How not to preach open-air •One church’s culture of evangelism Download Now…

via 05/01/2018 — Wretched

May 1 Why Sufferings and Trials?

“For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward.”

Job 5:7


Because they are sinners, still living in a sinful world, Christians should expect to encounter difficulties.

It all depends on how you look at it.” That may be a cliché, but it is very applicable for believers as they deal with trials and sufferings. Any trial can be a joyous experience for a Christian if he looks at it from the proper, biblical perspective. Or, as with Jonah (Jonah 4) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:1–14), trials can be frustrating times of self–pity if believers lose their focus on what God is doing.

For some of us, the first hurdle to overcome is the very notion that trials and sufferings will be a part of the Christian life. But Job 5:7 reminds us that trouble is inevitable. If we imagine an ideal world where everything is just right all the time for believers, we are setting ourselves up for profound disappointment. Jesus Himself tells us we must expect significant difficulties in our lives: “In the world you have tribulation” (John 16:33).

All of us, to a greater or lesser extent, need to be prepared for testings and tribulations. And these troubles will be different for each of us. For some, the trial might be a financial crisis, accompanied by the loss of personal savings or investments. For some, it could be the loss of employment, with the anxiety of not being able to find another job anytime soon. Perhaps for others, the severe trial will be a serious illness or injury in their family, a fatal car accident, or being devastated by a major crime like murder or burglary.

In God’s purpose and plan, trials and sufferings are real and should not catch us by surprise or leave us angry and perplexed. If we recognize the Lord’s sovereign role in all these things, we will be able to affirm these words from an old hymn:

Whate’er my God ordains is right:

Holy His will abideth;

I will be still whate’er He doth,

And follow where He guideth.


Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God for wisdom to better understand and accept the truth that He is sovereign over all areas of life. ✧ Pray for a friend or family member who might be currently in the midst of a trial.

For Further Study: Read 1 Kings 19:1–14. Who and what did Elijah focus on more than God? ✧ What events from chapter 18 did the prophet quickly forget?[1]

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

The Bee Explains: Democrats Vs. Republicans — The Babylon Bee

All this Left vs. Right stuff can be confusing for the uninitiated. Who’s right? And who’s left? Do you even politics, bro? The Bee is here for you, with a primer that explains our country’s two political parties in great detail, with unprecedented historical accuracy, and with unparalleled impartial reporting. Prepare yourself to get KNOWLEDGED:…

via The Bee Explains: Democrats Vs. Republicans — The Babylon Bee

Andy Stanley: Church Unity Is More Important Than ‘Being Theologically Correct’ — Christian Research Network

“The goal isn’t to be right about everything.The goal is to be one.” “They made cultural concessions for the sake of unity.” In Ephesians 4:13 we learn that pastors and teachers are to equip the saints “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…”…

via Andy Stanley: Church Unity Is More Important Than ‘Being Theologically Correct’ — Christian Research Network

What you need to know about ‘A Billion-Soul Harvest 2018’ — Christian Research Network

(Berean Research) There is a major effort by the “Billion Souls Network” to “Bring Back The King” by finishing the Great Commission by the year 2100. The Billion Soul Network Coalition comprises more than 1,300 denominations and organizations, along with more than 400,000 local churches, committed to synergizing their efforts together to accelerate the doubling of…

via What you need to know about ‘A Billion-Soul Harvest 2018’ — Christian Research Network

Woman Celebrated For Killing 3.5 Million People — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—After her final day as president of abortion provider Planned Parenthood Monday, thousands of people took to social media to celebrate Cecile Richards and thank her for killing 3.5 million people during her tenure. The nation offered kind remarks on Richards’ positive attitude, support for women’s rights, and ruthless genocidal efficiency. The hashtag #ThankYouCecile began…

via Woman Celebrated For Killing 3.5 Million People — The Babylon Bee

May 1, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Changes in the New Heaven and the New Earth

and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, orcrying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” (21:4–6a)

Heaven will be so dramatically different from the present world that to describe it requires the use of negatives, as well as the previous positives. To describe what is totally beyond human understanding also requires pointing out how it differs from present human experience.

The first change from their earthly life believers in heaven will experience is that God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (cf. 7:17; Isa. 25:8). That does not mean that people who arrive in heaven will be crying and God will comfort them. They will not, as some imagine, be weeping as they face the record of their sins. There is no such record, because “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1), since Christ “bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24). What it declares is the absence of anything to be sorry about—no sadness, no disappointment, no pain. There will be no tears of misfortune, tears over lost love, tears of remorse, tears of regret, tears over the death of loved ones, or tears for any other reason.

Another dramatic difference from the present world will be that in heaven there will no longer be any death (cf. Isa. 25:8). The greatest curse of human existence will be no more. “Death,” as Paul promised, “is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54). Both Satan, who had the power of death (Heb. 2:14) and death itself will have been cast into the lake of fire (20:10, 14).

Nor will there be any mourning, or crying in heaven. The grief, sorrow, and distress that produce mourning and its outward manifestation, crying, will not exist in heaven. This glorious reality will be the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:3–4: “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” When Christ bore believers’ sins on the cross, He also bore their sorrows, since sin is the cause of sorrow.

The perfect holiness and absence of sin that will characterize heaven will also mean that there will be no more pain. On the cross, Jesus 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” (Isa. 53:5). While the healing in view in that verse is primarily spiritual healing, it also includes physical healing. Commenting on Jesus’ healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, Matthew 8:17 says, “This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.’ ” The healing ministry of Jesus was a preview of the well-being that will characterize the millennial kingdom and the eternal state. The glorified sin free bodies believers will possess in heaven will not be subject to pain of any kind.

All those changes that will mark the new heaven and the new earth indicate that the first things have passed away. Old human experience related to the original, fallen creation is gone forever, and with it all the mourning, suffering, sorrow, disease, pain, and death that has characterized it since the Fall. Summarizing those changes in a positive way, He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” The One who sits on the throne is the same One “from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them” (20:11). As noted in chapter 17 of this volume, the present universe will be uncreated. The new heaven and the new earth will be truly a new creation, and not merely a refurbishing of the present heaven and earth. In that forever new creation, there will be no entropy, no atrophy, no decay, no decline, and no waste.

Overwhelmed by all that he had seen, John seems to have lost his concentration. Thus, God Himself, the glorious, majestic One on the throne said to him “Write, for these words are faithful and true” (cf. 1:19). The words John was commanded by God to write are as faithful and true (cf. 22:6) as the One revealing them to him (3:14; 19:11). Though the present “heaven and earth will pass away,” still God’s “words will not pass away” (Luke 21:33). There will be an end to the universe, but not to the truth God reveals to His people. Whether or not men understand and believe that truth, it will come to pass.

Also by way of summary, the majestic voice of the One sitting on heaven’s throne said to John, “It is done.” Those words are reminiscent of Jesus’ words on the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Jesus’ words marked the completion of the work of redemption; these words mark the end of redemptive history. It is the time of which Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:24–28:

Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

The One who sits on the throne is qualified to declare the end of redemptive history, because He is the Alpha and the Omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet; cf. 1:8), the beginning and the end (cf. Isa. 44:6; 48:12). God started history, and He will end it, and all of it has unfolded according to His sovereign plan. That this same phrase is applied to the Lord Jesus Christ in 22:13 offers proof of His full deity and equality with the Father.[1]

Tears and tear-producers (21:4)

There will also be no tears in heaven because ‘God will wipe away every tear from their eyes’ (21:4). The reason there will be no tears in heaven is because the tear-producers—death, sorrow and pain—will all be for ever gone (v. 4).

Death will have died, and all the things associated with death—hospitals, funeral homes, cemeteries, obituary columns—will no longer exist. All sorrow will have vanished. No one in heaven will be broken-hearted or in anguish. Pain will also have no place there. Nothing will hurt in heaven!

There will be no night in heaven (21:25; 22:5). The night, which we associate with sin, will no longer exist.[2]

4. “And he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be death, or grief, or crying, nor will there be pain anymore, because the first things passed away.”

This is now the second time (7:17) that John alludes to Isaiah 25:8 (see Jer. 31:16), “The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces.” Like a mother who bends down and tenderly wipes away the tears from the eyes of her weeping child, so the Lord God stoops down to dry the tear-filled eyes of his children. Here is a telling portrait of God’s tender mercies extended to the suffering members of his household. Ever since the fall into sin, mankind has shed countless tears, so that this present world indeed can be called a vale of tears. The shedding of tears is the result of anguish, oppression, persecution, sorrow, and death.

Death rules supreme until the final judgment (20:14). But that power will have effectively come to an end when God and his people are together. Jewish literature also states that at the time of the Messiah death will cease forever. With the departure of death, mourning, crying, and disease also disappear, for all these have been caused by the curse of sin affecting God’s creation (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 8:20–23). None of them have any part in God’s renewed creation, which is marked by peace and harmony, joy and mirth, pleasure and delight (Isa. 35:10; 51:11; 65:19). Indeed the first things have passed away and all things are new (Isa. 43:18; 65:17).[3]

21:4, 5 The expression “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” does not mean that there will be tears in heaven. It is a poetic way of saying that there will not be! Neither will there be death, nor sorrow, nor crying. For God’s people, these will be forever ended.

The One who sits on the throne will make all things new. His words are true and faithful, and will surely come to pass.[4]

21:4, 5Wipe away every tear fulfills the promises in 7:17 and Is. 25:8. No more death … no more pain goes far beyond the earlier promise of 7:16, which promises freedom from hunger, thirst, and scorching heat. Former things have passed away echoes both v. 1 and 2 Cor. 5:17. The believer’s rebirth through faith in Christ brings newness to that person’s life, but it is only in the eternal state that God will make all things new.[5]

21:3–4. Following this initial revelation of the New Jerusalem John wrote, I heard a loud voice from the throne. This is the last of 20 times that the expression “a loud voice” is used in Revelation (first used in 5:2).

The final revelation from heaven states that God will then dwell with men, that the saints will be His people and He will be their God. In eternity saints will enjoy a new intimacy with God which is impossible in a world where sin and death are still present. The new order will be without sorrow. God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death with its mourning, and pain with its crying will vanish, for the old order of things will have passed away.

Some have wondered if grief and sorrow will exist for a while in heaven and then be done away with here at the establishing of the new order. It is better to understand this passage as saying that heaven will have none of the features that so characterize the present earth.[6]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2000). Revelation 12–22 (pp. 268–271). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Ellsworth, R. (2013). Opening Up Revelation (p. 144). Leominster: Day One.

[3] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Vol. 20, pp. 557–558). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[4] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2379). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1765). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[6] Walvoord, J. F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 984–985). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

JOHN 1:1

The whole Bible supports the idea that it is the nature of God to speak, to communicate His thoughts to others. “In the beginning was the Word”—a word is a medium by which thoughts are expressed, and the application of the term to the Eternal Son leads us to believe that self-expression is inherent in the Godhead, and that God is forever seeking to speak Himself out to His creation.

It is not just that God spoke: but God is speaking! He is by His nature continuously articulate. He fills the world with His speaking voice.

One of the great realities with which we have to deal is the Voice of God in His world. The briefest and only satisfying cosmogony is this: “He spake, and it was done!” The “why” of natural law is the living Voice of God in His creation.

This word of God which brought all worlds into being cannot be understood to mean the Bible, for it is the expression of the will of God spoken into the structure of all things. This word of God is the breath of God filling the world with living potentiality. The Voice of God is the most powerful force in nature, for all energy is here only because the power-filled Word is being spoken![1]

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

Pagan Culture and Apostate Culture — Religious Affections Ministries: Conservative Christianity, Worship, Culture, Aesthetics, Classical Education, Homeschooling, Family

In discussions of evangelizing the post-modern West, something is often forgotten. Those cultures which were formed by Christianity and have since abandoned it are not reverting to paganism. They are not pagan cultures. They are apostate cultures, and an apostate culture is a much scarier animal than a pagan one. C.S. Lewis wrote on how…

via Pagan Culture and Apostate Culture — Religious Affections Ministries: Conservative Christianity, Worship, Culture, Aesthetics, Classical Education, Homeschooling, Family

Upright Men Walk Uprightly

Unfathomable Grace

donkeyWas yesterday a bad day? Did you scream and slap your child? Did pornography find its way to your tablet? How many crass words flowed from your lips? Was yesterday one more day where you failed to pray without ceasing? Were you an insubordinate employee? Did you cheat on an exam or fail to perform according to your contract?

Was last month a really bad month? Was your spiritual flame a bit low? Did you fail to lead properly? Did you look at a bathing woman and lust for her? Did you abuse your power and summon her to your residence? Did you use her and send her home? Did you dishonor one of your best friends who would give his life for you? Was your conscience dull? Did you seek to cover your sin and its consequences with cunning deception? When that didn’t work, did you resort to murder?…

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May 1 Jesus on God’s Love: For Persecutors

Pray for those who persecute you.—Matt. 5:44b

Throughout the centuries the worst kinds of persecutions against Jesus’ followers have come from religious people. Persecution has been so strong against believers because they uphold God’s standards, which indict the sin and corruption of false religion. God’s Word unmasks hypocrisy in a most crucial area—humanity’s propensity for self-justification.

Knowing that persecution would be the world’s response to the Father’s truth, Christ assures us that we will be persecuted, just as He was (John 15:20). Thus His command that we pray for our persecutors is one every faithful believer will have some opportunity to obey, not just those who live in countries where Christianity is illegal or severely restricted.

The best way to have agapē love for those who persecute us is to pray for them. We might sense their sinfulness and intense hatred and ridicule of us. Those traits make it impossible to love the persecutors for what they are, but we must love them for who they are—sinners in need of God’s forgiveness and His saving grace. So we need to pray for them that they will repent and turn to Him for salvation, as we have already done.

Bear in mind, though, that persecutors will not always and only be unbelievers. Those professing to be fellow believers can give saints real grief and difficulty, too, but—as in every case—the first step in making right those situations is prayer. Jesus knew that prayer for persecutors can begin to knit our hearts with God’s in the matter of loving our enemies.


Which has been the hardest for you to deal with—persecution from without or from within the family of God? Why is prayer such a powerful tool in combating the hard feelings this dredges up in you?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 130). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

May 1 Reigning Supreme

[Christ] has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

1 Peter 3:22

Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, the right hand of God is affirmed as the place of preeminence, power, and authority for all eternity. That’s where Jesus went when He had accomplished His work on the cross, and that’s where He rules from today.

Romans 8:34 says, “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” His position at the right hand of God gives Him authority over all created things.

Christ assumed His position of supremacy “after angels and authorities and powers” had been subjected to Him (1 Pet. 3:22)—that is, when Christ declared His triumph to the demons in prison. The cross and the resurrection are what subjected the angelic hosts to Him. When He ascended into heaven, He took His rightful place and is supreme over all.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 138). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

How to Find a Good Church | Answers in Genesis

You may be looking for a good church for a variety of reasons. Searching for a local church to join can be difficult, frustrating, and overwhelming, but God helps us to walk according to his will (Romans 12:2). He wants you to succeed in this worthy task, so pray with humble dependence upon his care for you.
— Read on answersingenesis.org/christianity/church/how-to-find-good-church/

Of First Importance: What will be on the test when we die? | The Cripplegate

“What is the bare minimum I need to know, understand, and believe, to be saved?”

The Apostle Paul supplies the answer in his first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 15.

4 bare minimum ideas you need to understand and believe in order to be saved:

I. The Person of Christ: Jesus Christ alone is fully man, fully God, and sinless

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ …

Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and even many atheists may believe in Jesus of Nazareth: i.e. that he existed, that he was a prophet of God, and that he died on a cross. But they don’t believe that he is the only way, or that he was fully God and fully man, or that he was sinless.

So they have the wrong Christ.

If you have the wrong Christ, you have the wrong religion, even if you call yourself Christian.

You need to believe that Jesus is both fully God and fully man:

Colossians 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

John 1:1, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, …

You need to believe Jesus is the only way:

John 14: 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

You need to believe that he was sinless:

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

II. The Work of Christ: that he died for your sins on the cross

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christdied for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures

To be saved you need to believe that you are a sinner who needs to be saved:

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

You need to believe that because of your sin you deserve punishment for disobeying a holy and just God:

crossRomans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,…

You need to believe that Jesus died for your sins.

And Jesus died for your sins, on your behalf, or as your substitute.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, …

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

III. The Proof of Resurrection: Jesus rose from the dead physically

1 Corintiahsn15:3-4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day

You need to believe that Jesus rose bodily from the dead and is now alive. The resurrection is a pivotal historical fact on which our faith hinges. Jesus made outrageous claims, including that he would rise from the dead after three days … and then he rose from the dead after three days. That fact proves that his claims were true.

The stress in Paul’s message is that the resurrection was real. Jesus was physically buried and physically rose again. It was predicted centuries before it happened in the Scriptures and it was confirmed by eye-witnesses after it happened…

…that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

Jesus rose from the dead, he let Thomas touch his pierced hands, and in the presence of many he munched and swallowed food, just like any living, breathing human being.

Right now Jesus has a heartbeat, brainwaves, a hairstyle, and he eats and drinks and talks and lives.

He is not an apparition or a vision or spirit. He is a human in a glorified body, just like you and I will have if we trust in him to raise us from the dead.

IV. The Response to Christ: faith and repentance

1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

It is possible to “believe in vain” – if you give assent but are not be willing to “receive, stand, hold fast,” i.e. if you are not willing to respond.

We respond to these facts through confession of faith, repentance of sins, baptism, joining a church, contributing to the ministry and global missions, growing in knowledge and maturity through his word, evangelizing, and many other evidences of our faith in the facts of the gospel.

If you believe the gospel, and trust in Jesus, it will change your life!

You know in your heart if you only assent intellectually to the facts, or if you are truly entrusting your soul to Jesus alone in a way that stakes your eternity on the gospel being 100% true.

If you are not a believer, you can change your eternal destiny right this minute.

Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus [whom the Bible describes as fully God, fully man, and sinless] is Lord [has the right to command your repentance of disobedience to him] and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, [genuine trust in his work on the cross as proven acceptable by the resurrection] you will be saved.

I hope you will think seriously about judgment day, because the knowledge of and belief in the gospel, is of first importance. It will be on the test. In fact, the content of the gospel—who Jesus is and what he did for you—is all that is on the test.

Of First Importance: What will be on the test when we die? | The Cripplegate
— Read on thecripplegate.com/of-first-importance/

Reading the Bible for the First Time

Facts about the Bible and advice for a first-time reader

Imagine that a friend of yours has just become a Christian. She knows of your faith and asks to meet with you.

Your friend knows the Bible is an important book for Christians, and she wants to read it. But she has no familiarity with the Bible at all.

What would you say to her?

Only the Essentials

This post isn’t an attempt to say everything about the Bible, just what would be most helpful to a person reading the Bible for the first time.

In what follows, I’ve collected some important facts and advice aimed at first-time Bible readers. If you have further additions or suggestions, I’d love to read them in the comments!

— Read on www.knowableword.com/2018/04/30/reading-the-bible-for-the-first-time/