Posts Tagged ‘Salvation in Jesus Christ alone’

You Need Jesus

I just finished reading an article from FEMA called, “Help Available for Sandy Survivors Stressed by the Holidays.’ griefHere is a short excerpt:

The holiday season can create its own stress. This stress can be especially trying for those recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Free help is available just a phone call away for New Jersey survivors who feel overwhelmed during the holidays…Rest, exercise and healthy eating help the body deal with stress. But disaster-induced mental distress may include:

  • Stomach aches or headaches.
  • Worrying a lot of the time; feeling guilty but not sure why.
  • Lack of energy or always feeling tired.
  • Severe disorientation or confusion.
  • Overwhelming sense of guilt.
  • Depression, sadness and feelings of hopelessness.
  • Increased use of substances like drugs or alcohol.
As you can see, it prompted me to write you all a little something. Now don’t panic, I’m still going to post all the toll-free numbers and web-links FEMA provided in their article, but please hear me out in regard to this Jesus stuff. First, check out this passage from the Bible:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peaceof God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
The first thing you must understand about this verse is that it’s a promise for the Christian, those who believe and follow Jesus Christ. It assures the Christian that if they follow the exhortation, they will experience peace, the likes of which the world cannot know. Stop for a moment and chew on that.
Isn’t peace of heart and mind what you’re looking for? Mull over the other things you have tried and how they worked out for you. While it’s true you may have found temporary relief, temporary was probably not what you were looking for. You should know that everything Christ Jesus offers, He delivers. The promises of God are true — He cannot lie.
How to Get Started
Relax. It’s free. And best of all, you don’t have to do anything; Jesus finished all the work when He suffered and died on the cross. Jesus willingly did this and in so doing He carried all our shame and sin to the grave. Even if you refuse His free gift of grace, or deny it happened, it doesn’t undo His awesome deed. The reality is that it’s a done deal — Jesus paid the price so you don’t have to.The other reality is that you are a sinner. Everybody is. Yes, even Mother Teresa. All you have to do is agree with God on this issue. Mother Teresa did! Are you still not sure you’re a sinner? Have you ever lied, cheated, stole, desired something that someone owned, looked at a woman (or man) with lust, disrespected your parents or God? Then guess what. One sin, in one life time, qualifies you. Doing a gazillion good deeds will never erase one sin. This made God sad, so He sent His perfect, sinless Son to earth to take our sin upon Himself and carry it away for ever. Now, when God looks at a believer, He sees him or her as if they have never sinned.


You’ve already confessed that you’re sinner, now make a commitment before God that you don’t want to sin any longer. The word repent simply means to ‘turn away from,’ but in this realm it also means to turn towards Jesus Christ. The fact is that you’re going to have to, because you won’t be able to successfully stop sinning on your own. People who grit their teeth and fight the urge to sin under their own power, always fail. However, those who rely solely on Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, have tremendous success! Here’s the best part — if you take your focus off of Jesus and sin, you’re still forgiven. Confess it and be done with it. God knows your heart better than you do, so if your commitment to Christ is sincere, your Father in Heaven knows it.
Just talk to God respectfully. Tell Him what He already knows — that you’re a sinner. Now tell Him you believe what Jesus did on the cross is true and you desire that Jesus would come and rule in your life. Be humble, knowing that humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking of your self less. Tell Him you want to do things His way, acknowledging that your own ways have failed. Tell Him you want to learn more about Him, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the truth, and the His way of life.

Jesus Doesn’t Want Converts

Did you know that? If God wanted to, He could make us all zombie-like followers. But in His infinite wisdom, He desires that His believers choose to follow Him. May I be frank? If Jesus forced Himself upon us, that would be akin to rape. But God has given us all a free will knowing that after we have examined the truth, wise folks would choose Him. Those who choose Jesus are not converts; they are called disciples, which is a fancy word for an earnest student. How will you know if you are an earnest student? You will understand that you don’t have to go to church, but that it is something you get to do. The same holds true for reading the Bible; you don’t have to, you get to!

Are You Ready for Peace?

That’s awesome. If you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, know that at this very second, angels in Heaven are having a party for you in God’s presence. They are celebrating your wisdom and your salvation, giving all the honor, glory, and praise to God the Father!

Now please, go find a Bible-believing church. You might already know this, but not all churches are the same. Some exist for reasons other than what God has prescribed. The Bible says that you will recognize these by their fruit. Here’s a link to help you find a church where God is glorified, worshiped and praised. Click HERE, enter your zip code to find a church near you.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Here are the other numbers and links I promised I would share with you, but please let me warn you that the services and results they offer are only temporary and might very well leave you worse off than when you started.
Choose Jesus instead.

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“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank” (Daniel 1:8a)
College Daze

Yes, I admit it, I am a college dropout. The worldly freedom that the college experience allowed did me in. Don’t let me mislead you, the decisions that led to this downward spiral were of my own doing.  The carnal indulgences of this  particular institute of higher learning were merely an hors d’oeuvre offering on satan’s plate that I willingly consumed. What I didn’t see then was how woefully ill-equipped I was to handle faithless autonomy.

Freedom in Slavery

In my walk with Jesus I have come to esteem Daniel. Daniel was one of many Jewish kids (perhaps 16 years of age or so), who were enslaved after King Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem. King Nebbie’s plan was to take the best and the brightest of these slaves, provide them the finest wine and delicacies, and prepare them for service in his court. The only problem was that Daniel wasn’t biting and (in time) he would end up being tossed to the lions because he always sided with God.

But God miraculously saved him.

My wonder and admiration for Daniel is rooted in his God-given ability to resist temptation as a slave. I cannot help but imagine how miserably I would have failed this test. In my freedom I gobbled up sin. Imprisoned I suspect I would have leapt greedily at any opportunity afforded me. What I’ve come to understand by faith is that Daniel’s reverent choices, powered through obedience and submission to God, gave him a kind of freedom I never knew existed. This is true freedom.

And in case you missed it, it is God who makes the way of escape:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Is This You?

In your world-wise independence, do you think you have it all, when in truth you have very little? Do you feel entitled to seize as much as you can get and keep all you have acquired? Does the process (and results) leave you unsatisfied and wanting more? Despite believing you are climbing upwards from a pit, does the evidence demonstrate you are actually being driven downward into it? Has your faithless freedom left you feeling confined, bound, and addicted? Do you get the sense that all or part of what you are doing is sinful?

The ask yourself…

Are You  Really Free?

Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:34-36

Daniel was only able to do what he did because he loved the Lord. Daniel further understood that achievement and glory belonged solely to God and he obtained his true freedom by means of subjection. In relinquishing his life, he obtained life eternal. As a result he was used mightily by God.

We have access, through Christ Jesus, to this same freedom and it begins by acknowledging that we are all sinners and that sin separates us from God. Read these passages. If they don’t make sense initially, read them again and ask the Lord to speak His truth to your heart.

  • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  •  Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
  • For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Those are five powerful Bible verses that will change a sinner’s life and set him or her free. If you are sick and tired of experiencing a false freedom that produces only temporary and addictive results, then consider a new life in Christ.

If you give Jesus your all, He will give you His all.

  1. What do these Bible passages say about God?
  2. What do they say about you?
  3. What decisions should you seriously consider right now?

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Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us
(for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)
The First Adam

What we know about the first Adam, at least as it pertains to today’s verse, is found in God’s admonition to him recorded in Genesis 3:17-19:

Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

We see some recurring themes…

The Last Adam

And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.”
The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

We know from 1 Corinthians  that Jesus Christ is the last Adam, but what’s the connection to the first Adam? Is there any significance in the phraseology of the texts?

The short answer is yes — the first Adam’s sin brought about the curse, the thorns, and the sweat — the very things the last Adam assumed for the sake of all mankind. Jesus took the entire curse upon Himself, He bore the thorns, and He sweat the blood. Furthermore, He prepared His body as bread that by faith we might partake of the Lord’s Table and receive His mercy and grace.

“…The Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23b-26

Saved By Faith

Jesus overcame perfectly the curse of Adam’s bomb. He was the only One who could have.

In that light, why would anyone think that some sort of work is required? The work was finished on the cross and all we have to do is by faith believe it’s finished. Any personal effort towards salvation is pointless. Attempts to adhere to the law, to rules, and to regulations are futile.  Simply receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Do you believe?

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word ‘believe’ this way:

The word implies, with this assent of the mind, a yielding (obedience) of the will and affections, accompanied with a humble reliance (submission) on Christ for salvation.

Do you believe?

What About…

“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:17

What’s that all about?

James is simply telling us that works are a result of faith and faith is not a result of works. In other words, Christians do not have to go to church, pray, fellowship, or spend time in the word — these are the things we get to do. Because of our love and gratitude towards Jesus, for what He has accomplished for us, it is our desire to submit our lives to Him and obey His commands.

If you desire not to do these things, there is a possibility you don’t really believe what you say you believe.  Ask the Lord to search your heart.

Do You Believe?

  1. Are you submitted and obedient to Christ Jesus?
  2. Do you fear being submitted and obedient to Christ Jesus?
  3. Can you describe your fears?
  4. How have you overcome your fears?

Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down. Psalm 146:3-9

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None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord…And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. ’Do not defile yourselves with any of these things…’ Leviticus 18:6, 21-24

Sin Precedence

I don’t give precedence to one sin over another. God in His Word teaches that any singular sin a person commits, as it relates to causing separation from Him, is the same. I agree with that. Why am I raising the issue? Because today (in my Bible study) a few particular sins are singled-out and I do not want anyone to suppose I believe they deserve some kind of top-billing as the all-time worse sins a person can commit. They are in fact just sin.

They Are Sin

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

God said so (not me) and because I have some prudence, I agree with what He says—Call me crazy, I happen to agree with what God says in His entire Bible. When an individual refuses to accept the foundational premise that God’s Word is infallible, a door has been opened for that person to substitute that which he or she does not like with that which he or she does. I find it ironic that ninety-nine percent of the time (unsubstantiated embellishment) the parts of the Bible that are most often proxied are those things that define sin. When this occurs, the Bible is no longer God’s sacred Word, but an erroneous and artificial text of fallen man.

You might be a pervert if…

You habitually act in a perverse manner. In like fashion, you are a liar if you consistently lie and a murderer if you murder. The good news is that God loves perverts, liars, and murders; He loves all sinners—and so should we! We can see how a problem develops when the sinner determines his sin is no longer a sin. Once that happens—once we have deemed ourselves squeaky-clean, suddenly there is no need for salvation; we do not see ourselves estranged from God because of sin.

But I Was Born That Way

Have you ever heard someone use this excuse? Let me go on record and say I agree with you; you were born that way. We all were born that way, because we were all born sinners. The thing I will never agree with is that being born defective is an excuse to practice a deviate behavior. The serial rapist likely proclaims that he was born that way as well, but no one in his or her right mind would allow him to exploit that as an excuse, would we?

We Are a Fortunate Lot

Do not marvel that I said to you, ’You must be born again.’ John 3:7

Praise the Lord, we get a do-over. We may have been born one way, but God in His abounding love, mercy, and grace allows us all, by our choice, to be born again. The only thing a sinner need do is acknowledge that the sin they participate in is a sin. Every race has a start-line and for the Christian the event starts with recognizing who they are.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… Hebrews 12:1


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