Archive for the 'Religion' Category

Rolling Back Civil Asset Forfeiture

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 21 hours ago


When local bureaucrats in Hennepin County, Minnesota, seized an elderly woman’s home over a small tax debt, sold it, and kept the profit, they likely had no idea they would set in motion a series of events that would cripple the practice known as “home equity theft” across the country.

Yet that’s what happened. The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled that the government violated the Constitution when it took possession of Geraldine Tyler’s condo over an overdue property tax bill, auctioned the home, and pocketed the proceeds in excess of what she actually owed.

Tyler, who is now 94 years old, purchased the Minneapolis-area condo in 1999. But a series of events, including a neighborhood shooting, prompted her to relocate to a retirement community in 2010, at which point it became difficult for her to pay both her new rent and the property taxes on her former home. She accrued a $2,300 tax bill, which turned into an approximately $15,000 bill after the government added on $13,000 in penalties, interest, and fees. Local officials then sold the home for $40,000—and kept the remaining $25,000.

Tyler spent years arguing that such a taking was unconstitutional. But despite the case appearing fairly black and white from the outset, she had no such luck in the lower courts. When her case went before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, its ruling was also unanimous—in favor of the government. “Where state law recognizes no property interest in surplus proceeds from a tax foreclosure-sale conducted after adequate notice to the owner, there is no unconstitutional taking,” wrote Judge Steven Colloton.

The Supreme Court forcefully overturned that decision today. “A taxpayer who loses her $40,000 house to the State to fulfill a $15,000 tax debt has made a far greater contribution to the public fisc than she owed,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts for the Court. “The taxpayer must render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but no more.”

At the heart of the case is the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which stipulates that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use without just compensation.” In explaining the justices’ decision, Roberts traced the spirit of the law back to the Magna Carta, then to English law, and ultimately to the States, buttressed by several Supreme Court precedents which, as Roberts wrote, “have also recognized the principle that a taxpayer is entitled to the surplus in excess of the debt owed.”

Tyler is far from the only victim of this practice. Home equity theft is legal in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia, although today’s ruling should hamstring those forfeiture schemes.

Civil asset forfeiture is thievery and therefore sinful.  There is no other way to see it, and every individual, whether associated with the government or not, who has participated in or enabled such a scheme, should be ashamed, and will certainly face eternal punishment.  It’s an abomination that the Eighth Circuit found in favor of the state, and equally absurd that the Supreme Court took so long to take this head on and smash it to the ground in pieces.

Are Images of Jesus Idolatry?

1 week, 1 day ago

We’ve already explored why you are made in the Image and Likeness of God in three parts; OneTwo, and Three. Those posts, starting from Genesis, regard what our final estate will be. And we previously posted on this very topic discussing The Image of Christ.

Humans are visual creatures. It’s the most prevalent of our five senses. We have 3d depth perception in one of the broadest color spectrums of any creature on earth. Humans become enamored with beauty for a season. Some men appreciate specific facial structures and adornments given by God, while other men may respect different ones.

We’ve seen folks enamored with the appearance of somebody to the point of refusing to acknowledge that soul’s inward condition and ugliness. And conversely, if Christ had been attractive, could any have heard His great word and the offer of the Kingdom? The Father, through Christ, was and is seeking a people to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), not in outward impression.

Lovely, however, is the notion that He grew before God as a tender shoot [Isaiah 53], indeed, born of a virgin, God in a helpless child nurtured into manhood. So too that He grew from dry ground, an infertile hard pack where no life of the Spirit would grow; all Israel hadn’t heard from God in 400 years and was far astray from the Holy Creator of heaven and earth when John Baptist came preaching repentance toward God making way for the Holy One. Jesus arrived right on time, according to the prophet Daniel. But, praise God, not all were in darkness; some waited for the consolation of Israel and the Kingdom of God at His appearing. Simeon in the temple – Luke 2:25 and Joseph of Arimathea, who buried Christ’s body – Mark 15:43, are two examples.

The Stoic Christian, who I’m not very familiar with but seems solid in doctrine from what I’ve read, has a succinct article about artwork depicting Jesus, wherein this question is raised based on the Second Commandment. This is a consideration we’d not made previously.

Theologians often grapple with the question of visual representations of God and the incarnation of Christ. This document explores the four main objections raised by the Orthodox and Reformed traditions regarding visual representations of God and provides insights into the theological discourse surrounding this topic.

1. Violation of the second commandment

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: [Exodus 20:4 KJV]

The objection stems from the belief that creating pictures of Jesus or God goes against the second commandment, which prohibits making idols. Critics argue that visual depictions of God, made by human hands, can lead to idolatry. They refer to Old Testament descriptions of pagan idols made of earthly materials, incapable of hearing, seeing, or acting.

The question arises: Do visual representations of Jesus, whether in Sunday School books, galleries, or places of worship, amount to idolatry? Furthermore, how should we understand the relationship between the unique revelation of God in the incarnation and visual depictions of that Word?

The other three concise objections are at the link.

It has occurred to me that many problems in some churches and church groups have arisen from idolatry, which is not a stretch since the word of God is replete with warnings. A question was asked, why is sodomy rampant in certain churches, sects, and denominations? God warns us in Romans 1 of this path when making idols of creatures.

“23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

Now, doubtless, Christ is not a creature but the Creator (Colossians 1:16); nonetheless, He is the image of God not in appearance but in manifest power, grace, truth, and by instruction in righteousness (John 1:14). Images of an effeminate or beautiful Jesus have their own disrespectful effect on the senses. The Image of Christ is His holy word (the Holy Bible); after all, He is the word made Flesh (again John 1:14). He is the Son of God and having been raised from the dead: “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” – Romans 1:4. Context is critical, this declaration is near the outset of the entire Romans thesis on New Covenant doctrine, and before verses 23 through 25 above. Having risen from the dead, all power also given Him (Matthew 28:18), He is The Word of God (Revelation 19:13) coming to destroy His enemies and bringing in His kingdom.

Daniel Penny, Defense of Others and The Good Samaritan

1 week, 6 days ago

The recent case in New York about the defense of others on the subway will undoubtedly be politicized, and the laws will be abused for those purposes with no respect of persons but to discriminate wrongfully, trashing God’s ordained laws of justice. It would be quite remarkable if any just application of the law were found in this case.

The Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution comes from the ancient biblical legal foundation of not treating persons differently in matters of law as a magistrate or juror. It’s respect of persons, which is not respect for persons. Respect for persons requires discernment and, yes, discrimination in the classical sense of the word.

Though not about firearms, the case concerns the defense of others, something every CCW should consider carefully and pray about. You must know the laws in your state about using deadly force to defend others. It’s biblical to protect those less able from unlawful harm of all forms by the use of arms or other means. If we are commanded to rescue our neighbor’s Ox from the ditch, how much more important, made in the image of God, is the defense of our less capable neighbor?

Here are two articles concerning the matter.

Defending Law And Order Is Social Justice

Rewriting the Parable of the Good Samaritan

The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 is considered.

But first, as background, respect of persons in the Holy Bible applies only to law. It stems from Leviticus 19:15 and has nothing to do with outcomes of equality or equity among men and surely not forced results. See also Proverbs 24:23.

Proverbs 28:21 perfectly makes the application as to why any person representing the law of the land must show non-bias. “To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.” What would a judge do for a bit of bread? Some areas of the world operate on “greasing the wheels.” Christendom was supposed to be different (Acts 24:26), but look no further than Congress receiving bread to bias the law, and here we are. There’s a reason money is sometimes referred to as bread and now you know why. Anyone in a position of authority is bound to this Bible truth and will be judged by the Almighty, including parents with their children, teachers, pastors, supervisors, civil leadership, business owners, etc. It’s the Law of God. And James 2:9 says failing to adhere is a sin.

Next, respect of persons in the law of salvation is considered. God is no respecter of persons; all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God by breaking His law and all will be judged rightly on that terrible day. But neither does salvation in Christ grant license to sin. Salvation in Christ is a judicial matter before the courts of heaven as to how you will make restitution to God for your transgressions against Him.

Romans 2:11 mentions respect of persons, and verses 12-16 explain why in God’s law, all men need Christ Jesus, both the Jew and Gentile: if you sin in the law (of Moses / 10 Commandments), you’re judged by that law and die in hell without Christ. If you sin outside the law of Moses (a Gentile), your conscience bears witness, through God’s law written on your heart, about your sin against Him; without Christ, you also burn in hell. That’s God’s law concerning soul salvation without respect of persons; you must have Christ Jesus, as your mediator before the Judge, by faith to enter into eternal life.

That’s how Jesus completed the law by making the final necessary offering, and that of Himself, to God so you might be found not guilty if you place your faith in His payment to God by believing His sacrificial death on the cross is sufficient to cover your sin debt. Christ rose again the third, proving He has the power to go to God for you as your intermediary, or great High Preist proclaiming you to be His by right of payment; by faith in Him, you make this covenant to become His purchased possession, a bondservant of the King, no more bound to death and hell, but an everlasting heir with Christ in the household of God. I say to you, my friends, it’s a far better gig than being trapped by sin under the law of either Moses or conscience; He says: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Much lighter than a life mired in the horrors of sin and its ever-worsening consequences and so much more, for liberty in Christ eradicates the law where men were bound to a set of rules they could never attain. Praise be to God.

Now, the precursive conversation that leads to Jesus’ parable and some application. Context is king. Understanding the parable correctly requires understanding its purpose. Here’s the beginning of the exchange between a lawyer and Jesus that sets the parable’s intent and meaning.

“25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” – Luke 10:25-28

So far, so good, but then comes the tempting in verse 29.

“But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?”

If your church skips discussing justification and goes straight to an explanation about who your neighbor is, I’ll caution that you may be in a liberal church. No man will justify Himself before God.

Remember, the question before us is one of law: be it the law of Moses or that which God wrote on your heart. The lawyer is confronted with a matter of Bible law from which comes our now-ending system of jurisprudence that began to mold and then guided Western Civilization since the Gospel went into Europe.

Next, this bit of commentary from the second link above (Rewriting the Parable of the Good Samaritan), though essentially right in its assertions, has glaring results of the dumbed downed churches in America.

“This was the story of a man who was robbed, beaten and left for dead. A priest and a Levite both saw the beaten man and walked past him, crossing to the other side of the street. But the Samaritan stopped to help the injured man, attending to his wounds, bringing him to an inn, paying the innkeeper to care for the injured man until he was well.”

I realize that article is about current events, but some necessary background would be helpful. Why did the Preist and Levite walk by, even crossing to the other side of the street? They were trying to follow the letter of the law and not become unclean by touching a sinner, getting blood on themselves, or helping a man that might die in their arms. Remember the context, Jesus is talking to a lawyer about Bible law. The Preist and Levite should have violated the immediate letter of the law concerning purification to save the man, then gone through the ceremonial tasks of making themselves “clean” again under the law. It would have burdened them more to take the time to separate themselves from family, fellowship, and work to be purified again than it would to have helped the man. They used the law as an excuse for not doing the right thing; beware the leaven of the Pharisees.

And finally, here’s the parable:

“30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”

And Christ’s necessary final exchange with the lawyer whose question was, who is my neighbor?

“36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”

It’s a merciful duty to defend yourself and others.

Concluding statements. Some states have had statutes on the books where a citizen must help somebody whose life is under threat, making it criminal to do what the Preist and the Levite did. That’s taking Jesus at His word and applying it seriously as a people, as it should be again. In post-Christian America, the law of Christ is fading fast. In much of Europe, it’s now illegal to defend yourself from murder, let alone somebody else under threat. That’s not at all Christian.

Atheists, Agnostics, and mushy Christians declare there is no need for God or His law in government or society; keep your religion private they demand. Look around at the darkening landscape: behold, injustice and violence in all quarters in the absence of the Law of God.

That’s some background to help you understand what’s at stake as a result of the recent event in New York on the subway and the case in Austin, Texas with Daniel Perry. The overall trend in Western law as America comes under judgment is an outright abuse of hundreds of years of Western jurisprudence by removing the biblical foundation of the law including that of having no respect of persons and considering rightly the duty of defense as a good neighbor in light of understanding proper application of the parable of the Good Samaritan.

To Whom Should Believers Be Loyal?

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 2 days ago


In an interview with the Real America’s Voice program earlier in the year “The Water Cooler,” Trump was asked about his thoughts on why evangelical leaders expressed hesitance to support him in his bid to seek re-election.

“I don’t really care,” the former president replied during his interview with David Brody of the Trump-aligned right-wing news and opinion channel. “It’s a sign of disloyalty.”

This is all referring to Trump’s having recommended to “religious leaders” (whomever that is) that they jettison the high importance on right to life because Trump sees it as a losing issue.

We are not therefore to be governed by our parochial loyalties, nor by group dynamics, nor by peer pressure. All our churches, institutions, groups, races, nationalities, and allegiances must be subject to the prior government of the triune God and His law-word. Anything short of that is idolatry.  R. J. Rushdoony, Chalcedon Position Paper No. 62.

Men who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ should have no other loyalties than to Him, and Him alone.

Christianity and gun violence

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago


If the Church is to make a faithful difference in the evil scourge of unholy and deadly violence against humanity in America, it is vital that the Church turn to a different understanding of Jesus Christ, the Bible, and our faithful role as ambassadors of Christ in the world.

A starting point is a heart-felt and prayerful acknowledgement of the fact that people on all sides of the gun debate share an essential common ground. We all want peace, security, safety, and solidarity. The difference lies in the fundamental disagreement on the role guns play in this shared desire. To some, guns are the guarantee of this goal and to others, guns are the force that makes the goals unobtainable. Tragically, when differences of belief regarding the role guns play in our desire for peace, security, safety, and solidarity dominate the argument, the true goal is lost in our collective defense of passionate belief systems over guns. Ultimately, nothing is resolved because we refuse to speak from the perspective of our shared common ground as we, instead, angry and defiantly defend our own arrogantly passionate presumption of righteousness.

Now, here is R. J. Rushdoony on common ground.

Whether recognized or not, every argument, and every theological, philosophical, political, or any other exposition is based on a presupposition about man, God and society — about reality.  This presupposition rules and determines the conclusion; the effect is the result of the cause.  “The One and the Many: Studies in the Philosophy of Order and Ultimacy.”

The proper role of the church is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a dying world, not to attempt solutions to social ills based on non-existent common ground.

There is no common ground because in the Christian world and life view, everything has a purpose and reason, God is providential over all, everything must redound to His glory, and must be under the umbrella of His law-word.  Finding common ground with the thinking of evil men is a fool’s errand.

Marks of Christian Maturity, Parts One and Two

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Part One

The Grace that God has given you is to be measured out again by you unto the brethren for the increase of the body in the love of Christ.

Ephesians 4:1-16

In Ephesians 4, verses 1 and 16, there is a command and God’s splendid purpose for this section. We are to walk worthy of our vocation, which is to be like Jesus doing the works to which we are appointed. And in Verse 16, there is that purpose; the body of Christ must fit and function to accomplish His goal for the Church on earth until He returns to call His bride unto Himself, judge the quick and the dead, and consummate history.

From verse 17 to the end of the chapter in verse 32, we find a set of commandments that all believers must follow, perhaps broken into sections beginning at verse 25. But if a collection of commands was sufficient, was not God’s holy law handed down through Moses enough? Or further, and more importantly, if a list of commandments was adequate to reach God in His holy hill of heaven, why did Christ suffer and die? So, there must be some attributes, some way to attain not perfection nor salvation but certain things that mark those, sealed of God unto the day of redemption, to actively pursue the mission of Christ using the tools with which God has blessed His people, each one in his way according to the Holy Bible. The law of commandments convicts of sin, but holding to the law of grace makes a believer more faithful to bear fruit for the glory of God.

Verses 1-6 tell us how to walk worthy, which is a personal presence of peace by the Holy Spirit in us, Christ being the Prince of peace. God deserves our unity (verse 3), so we have a single purpose in Christ (verse 4), for God is a unified God (Verses 5-6); therefore, being a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9), we must be suitable men under His command.

Verses 7-16 tell us why we must walk worthy in sharing the measure of God’s grace shown to us (verse 7) because He saved us (verses 8-10) and gave us the gifts to share His grace through us (verse 11) to complete us as a unified people (12-13), showing both positive and negative attributes that require our due diligence (14-16) to walk rightly in service of Him that we might be like Him, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (verse 13).

Nothing, not one single thing in chapter 4 of Ephesians, can be accomplished except by faith. God has laid a sure foundation in Christ, given an Old and New Testament to show God’s purposes in judgment, love in grace, and for instruction in righteousness. And He’s given the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost of God that we might be reminded of the truth, comforted in it, while training us and showing us the way of Christ. You came to this knowledge by faith; therefore, we continue in this same faith in Christ to attain all that is pleasing in His sight.

Maturing in Christ does not happen by accident; you must follow the plan of God. God wants you to walk worthy of His plan for you. So in Ephesians verses 1 through 15, we find markers of a man walking in the Spirit, serving with purpose, and growing in the faith and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Since the text shows us indications of what maturing in Christ looks like within the body, we must accept this instruction and follow Christ in prayer and deed to be like Him, who chose us for His eternal purposes.

Some consider that Ephesians 4 is only about unity in the body or just the gifts, but the vocation and calling (verses 1 and 4) is to love as Christ loved the Church. Chapter 4 starts with “I therefore…beseech you…” We should ask what Chapter 3 is about since it’s the precursive point that Chapter 4 instructs us to apply.

The mystery of chapter 3 is the Gospel to the Gentiles; therefore, we, too, like Philip (Acts 8:26-40), Peter (Acts 10:30-48), and as James (half brother of Jesus) commands (Acts 15:13-19), must seek the lost unto the uttermost part of the earth according as Christ has made us witnesses (Acts 1:8). We are witnesses for Jesus Christ our Lord; the purpose of which in Chapter 4 is the building of the Church in the bond of faith. But, indeed, if there is strife, envy, or false prophets sowing discord, the body becomes lame, and any service would do little satisfactory and pleasing to God, showing no good fruit and none that remains to stand against persecution.

“2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling”

The new religion would have you believe that this is how we ought to behave in the face of unrepentant sinners and heathens. But context matters; this book and chapter and our verses are written to believers showing them the functions of the members of the body of Christ and a picture of how that looks if done in the faith of God and love for Him who saved us and washed us in His blood. Verses 2 through 4 give a sense of how the fruit of the Spirit should appear in us among the saints of God. Lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing with patience the weaker members, endeavoring for the unity of Spirit being knit one to another in the bond of peace.

Submit yourselves one to another in love (verse 2), being servants, for there is no chief but he who is a servant of all (Mark 10:44).

Secured by the Spirit in unity (verse 3), there is no way a Christian may be bound, one man to another, except in Christ. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). God the Spirit knows His own because those born of the Spirit are His. The mark of unity is the cement of peace, for Christ is the Prince of Peace. There is no war among the members. If Christ has saved a man, the lust of the flesh is enmity with God and causes, therefore, strife one another; all others are tares cast into eternal fire.

There is a calling on your life, and the work of God starts in the house of God through diligence to make your calling and election sure. Like mind and spirit in these things are next shown.

To be one (verses 4, 5, 6), you must submit yourself to God because that is how to be submitted to one another, as verse 2 indicates. The sin of pride seeks to make us our own god and the controller of others.

“5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

There is one God, common faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and one baptism of the believer as evidence of the fear of God in you, Christ, the head of His Church, and Holy Father God is the head of all. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God (1 John 5:7). Therefore be ye one people in Christ to serve in faith with love, blessing, and edifying the saints and proclaiming the truth of the Gospel to all men. Why? Because of the grace of God poured out from heaven when the King of saints made His covenant with you.

“7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”

The Grace that God has given you is to be measured out again by you unto the brethren for the increase of the body in the love of Christ. If you’ve received the grace of God (verse 7) and have no measure of it for your fellows, you do err. What is the gift of grace? Forgiveness of the debt we could never pay to have eternal life in Christ. How is there a war in one body except by sin; does Christ have sin? Then go and sin no more, shedding grace abroad among the saints.

Please make sure to take benefit of the point here. We are not to thus sit down and attempt to define or measure this gift in us. Many confuse themselves looking for gifts before walking in the confidence of Christ. “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” – James 2:17. Everything starts with faith; the blessings you have from God to share are only evident by trust, not by your own might.

The measure of the miracle in us is found not in receiving but also in executing the mission or calling of God on us. The effort will be reckoned at Christ’s throne one day; walk therefore to fill up to overflowing, service upon service, even in sacrifice to our Lord. If you mark the sacrifice of Christ worthy, then so too be worthy of acceptance in service of Him. Pass the time of sojourn here in fear; “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16.

Want to know your vocation and calling; read all 5 of these short posts and do, by faith, the four things God commands and you will discover the works He’s ordained for you.

Jesus died for your sins and rose again from the grave, this is a marvelous gift indeed; what of you now, what offering shall you give to Him but yourself because that’s what He wants (Romans 12:1-2), that ye may prove the will of God for you. What is a holy man that hides his light under a bushel basket? None of Christ’s.


Part Two

“8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”

Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is His death for our sins, burial, and resurrection unto eternal life (verses 8-10), by God’s grace, come the gifts.

“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”

Pray about these, but with all confidence, I can tell you that your gift is found in the doing. Often, two years and halfway through a service, you may see God’s hand of perfecting your works unto Him; why stand ye gazing up into heaven? Pray with all seriousness at length and not only for yourself and your family. Study your Bible like your life depends upon knowing and doing those things. Assemble with other believers regularly provoking each other unto love and to good works. And tell lost sinners about how Christ paid the ultimate price for them that they might go free, condemned to eternal death no more. In these, you will find your calling.

Believe God will use you. You don’t need a new book, a guru, or today’s most popular up-and-coming Christian star; you must do what Christ says in His book. Your contributions will become evident and kept alive if you stay in faith. These four services of God will not bind you as the law would but will free you in the ordinance of grace that is in Christ Jesus, walking worthy of your calling. Faith is the currency of God that runs the economy of the believer.

Treasure. Talent. Time. Testimony.

From the beginning, Christianity was commissioned under the New Covenant as a campaign of witnessing (Acts 1:8, Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:18-20). Christianity has been turned into a lifestyle add-on to appease our sinful thoughts, but the Christian worker is primarily a witness, a teller of the truth of soul salvation through the story that never gets old. It’s outrageous, scandalous even, that the religion, ceremony, rites, and rituals are of no lasting effect, but that’s of God’s design; it’s the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by word of mouth that builds His Church by converting those called through faith and always has been.

The dying of the light is not for lack of talent or treasure but for lack of time and testimony; modern Christianity is failing, in large part, because men won’t give what’s plainly needed. Heaven forbid the idea that you can buy off God with your meager trinkets of fiat! And, you can’t outsource the work of Christ to a few paid men, woe unto us for such a thought found nowhere in Scripture. What has a professional class of “expert” Christianity done for the world?

You must give up your time and your testimony in the field; tell somebody your conversion story; tell them today! God doesn’t need another building (obviously, in fact, He’s abandoning your old ones) or a new program; the works of Christ require us (time and testimony) to elucidate the body and tell the Gospel to those who Christ would make His people, planting seeds and watering with purpose.

The Christians in the first century abandoned their former lives with glee and set about to build His Church. John Mark left the field (Acts 15:38), but he later returned to the battle as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:11); if you’ve left the war, rejoin the fight, God’s people need you. They weren’t the most talented (have you read the Bible?), and most surely were not rich; they gave their time in faithful service to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the known world. It will cost you something to follow Christ; is eternity worth more than your time and testimony?

Christianity is not a mountaintop monastery religion. The perfecting (completing) work of Christ in you does not come by self-centered seeking; it comes by outward giving in service, just as all the saints, by numerous examples walking in faith, have shown in the word of God. Joy is found in Christ not by inward reflection but by being like Christ to others.

How Christ was to His disciples: He taught them exhaustively what they must do upon receiving the Holy Spirit. How Christ was to the lost: He told them of their broken, sinful condition and need for salvation. It’s not complicated unless you overthink it or outsource it to create a learned class of leaders with marginal effectiveness in the Kingdom of God.

Modern Christianity is fractured because it’s not doing what God said a disciple of Christ must do. Unity of faith comes from times full of Christ, reading His word, telling two or three folks the Gospel, sharing fellowship with the body, and praying for the saints and sinners alike.

“13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”

Unity in the faith is not found among us but only in Christ! Stop looking for agreement in men, for any such thing shall never be seen, but we are all one in Christ by His will, or we are none of His, and no accord will be found! If you do the works of Christ, you will be one with Him and with each other; otherwise, is endless activity to no perfecting purpose nor glory to God before His throne; hopeless is the man seeking to please men with pious sounding agendas that are found nowhere in the Scriptures.

God gave you a battle plan and the tools to win. Please stop wandering up and down with no direction, a soldier of Christ with no battle implements, supposing there is no land to conquer in the name of King Jesus. The measure of Christ is in Him! The more you do what Christ said to do and in the manner that He said to it, the more your stature looks like He who loved you and bought you with a price. The more you serve, the greater the gift of the Holy Spirit becomes in leading you, pillowing your head at night full of the knowledge that you’ve done well as a good and faithful servant.

“14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive”

You must read and study God’s word. But that you do as Christ commands, you are lost sheep gone astray, without a master, gnawed on by wolves, having your pastures spoiled by the dung of ungodly men. We are so prone to sin that except you be steadfast in Christ, seeking to be full of the Spirit of truth at all times as a doer of the word, you will be led away by sleight of hand with cunning craftiness under Christian-sounding speech and service to no effect, bringing the judgment of God upon you. You don’t need an outside consultant to explain false doctrine; read chapter four of Ephesians and be a doer of the truth.

“And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” And “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” – Jesus Christ in John 10:5 and 27

The simplicity that is in Christ cannot be duplicated because complications arise from any lying form seeking to deceive (2 Corinthians 11:3).

“15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ”

It’s not speaking ‘truth in love’ as we’ve heard some say. It’s telling ‘The Truth’ in love, for what greater love than to share the Gospel and the word of God, even if it offends? There is only one truth! Not a feeling, not going along with sin, not weakening the righteousness of God’s people; the truth is Jesus Christ (John 14:6)! Lest you thought meekness and longsuffering were the allowances of sin in your midst, we find in verse 15 the command to speak the truth, that the actual body, which are those sanctified by the blood of Christ, grow up in Him, all (good) things, to the glory of Holy God.

Without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6); it’s by continuous diligence in seeking to serve the Lord that our reward comes. Don’t look for the gift or blessings in this life; pray for the faith of the Almighty to be made complete in Him, for Him, and by Him (verses 12-15), and all these things (gifts and blessings) will be added.

Shall you never get started, or worse still, quit the labor of your vocation before receiving the reward of heaven, or will you forsake the calling of Christ to follow another master?

Therefore, the Marks of Christian Maturity treat the confidence Christ has placed in you as a vocation and a calling to form unity among the brethren in dispensing in love the gifts Christ gave you for your service of Him, giving all diligence to make your calling and election sure.

“16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

The Method of Grace

3 weeks, 5 days ago

[“11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. 12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD. 13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.” – Jeremiah 6:11-15]

The Method of Grace, George Whitefield,

Jeremiah 6:14 “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.”

As God can send a nation or people no greater blessing than to give them faithful, sincere, and upright ministers, so the greatest curse that God can possibly send upon a people in this world, is to give them over to blind, unregenerate, carnal, lukewarm, and unskilled guides. And yet, in all ages, we find that there have been many wolves in sheep’s clothing, many that daubed with untempered mortar, that prophesied smoother things than God did allow. As it was formerly, so it is now; there are many that corrupt the Word of God and deal deceitfully with it. It was so in a special manner in the prophet Jeremiah’s time; and he, faithful to his Lord, faithful to that God who employed him, did not fail from time to time to open his mouth against them, and to bear a noble testimony to the honor of that God in whose name he from time to time spake. If you will read this prophecy, you will find that none spake more against such ministers than Jeremiah, and here especially in the chapter out of which the text is taken, he speaks very severely against them—he charges them with several crimes; particularly, he charges them with covetousness: “For,” says he in the 13th verse, “from the least of them even to the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth false.” And then, in the words of the text, in a more special manner, he exemplifies how they had dealt falsely, how they had behaved treacherously to poor souls: says he, “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace, when there is no peace.’” The prophet, in the name of God, had been denouncing war against the people, he had been telling them that their house should be left desolate, and that the Lord would certainly visit the land with war. “Therefore,” says he, in the 11th verse, “I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in; I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together; for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord.” The prophet gives a thundering message, that they might be terrified and have some convictions and inclinations to repent; but it seems that the false prophets, the false priests, went about stifling people’s convictions, and when they were hurt or a little terrified, they were for daubing over the wound, telling them that Jeremiah was but an enthusiastic preacher, that there could be no such thing as war among them, and saying to people, Peace, peace, be still, when the prophet told them there was no peace. The words, then, refer primarily unto outward things, but I verily believe have also a further reference to the soul, and are to be referred to those false teachers, who, when people were under conviction of sin, when people were beginning to look towards heaven, were for stifling their convictions and telling them they were good enough before. And, indeed, people generally love to have it so; our hearts are exceedingly deceitful, and desperately wicked; none but the eternal God knows how treacherous they are. How many of us cry, Peace, peace, to our souls, when there is no peace! How many are there who are now settled upon their lees, that now think they are Christians, that now flatter themselves that they have an interest in Jesus Christ; whereas if we come to examine their experiences, we shall find that their peace is but a peace of the devil’s making—it is not a peace of God’s giving—it is not a peace that passeth human understanding. It is matter, therefore, of great importance, my dear hearers, to know whether we may speak peace to our hearts. We are all desirous of peace; peace is an unspeakable blessing; how can we live without peace? And, therefore, people from time to time must be taught how far they must go, and what must be wrought in them, before they can speak peace to their hearts. This is what I design at present, that I may deliver my soul, that I may be free from the blood of those to whom I preach—that I may not fail to declare the whole counsel of God. I shall, from the words of the text, endeavor to show you what you must undergo, and what must be wrought in you before you can speak peace to your hearts.

But before I come directly to this, give me leave to premise a caution or two. And the first is, that I take it for granted you believe religion to be an inward thing; you believe it to be a work in the heart, a work wrought in the soul by the power of the Spirit of God. If you do not believe this, you do not believe your Bibles. If you do not believe this, though you have got your Bibles in your hand, you hate the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart; for religion is everywhere represented in Scripture as the work of God in the heart. “The kingdom of God is within us,” says our Lord; and, “He is not a Christian who is one outwardly; but he is a Christian who is one inwardly.” If any of you place religion in outward things, I shall not perhaps please you this morning; you will understand me no more when I speak of the work of God upon a poor sinner’s heart, than if I were talking in an unknown tongue. I would further premise a caution, that I would by no means confine God to one way of acting. I would by no means say, that all persons, before they come to have a settled peace in their hearts, are obliged to undergo the same degrees of conviction. No; God has various ways of bringing his children home; his sacred Spirit bloweth when, and where, and how it listeth. But, however, I will venture to affirm this, that before ever you can speak peace to your heart, whether by shorter or longer continuance of your convictions, whether in a more pungent or in a more gentle way, you must undergo what I shall hereafter lay down in the following discourse.

First, then, before you can speak peace to your hearts, you must be made to see, made to feel, made to weep over, made to bewail, your actual transgressions against the law of God. According to the covenant of works, “The soul that sinneth it shall die;” cursed is that man, be he what he may, that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them. We are not only to do some things, but we are to do all things, and we are to continue so to do; so that the least deviation from the moral law, according to the covenant of works, whether in thought, word, or deed, deserves eternal death at the hand of God. And if one evil thought, if one evil word, if one evil action, deserves eternal damnation, how many hells, my friends, do every one of us deserve, whose whole lives have been one continued rebellion against God! Before ever, therefore, you can speak peace to your hearts, you must be brought to see, brought to believe, what a dreadful thing it is to depart from the living God. And now, my dear friends, examine your hearts, for I hope you came hither with a design to have your souls made better. Give me leave to ask you, in the presence of God, whether you know the time, and if you do not know exactly the time, do you know there was a time, when God wrote bitter things against you, when the arrows of the Almighty were within you? Was ever the remembrance of your sins grievous to you? Was the burden of your sins intolerable to your thoughts? Did you ever see that God’s wrath might justly fall upon you, on account of your actual transgressions against God? Were you ever in all your life sorry for your sins? Could you ever say, My sins are gone over my head as a burden too heavy for me to bear? Did you ever experience any such thing as this? Did ever any such thing as this pass between God and your soul? If not, for Jesus Christ’s sake, do not call yourselves Christians; you may speak peace to your hearts, but there is no peace. May the Lord awaken you, may the Lord convert you, may the Lord give you peace, if it be his will, before you go home!

But further: you may be convinced of your actual sins, so as to be made to tremble, and yet you may be strangers to Jesus Christ, you may have no true work of grace upon your hearts. Before ever, therefore, you can speak peace to your hearts, conviction must go deeper; you must not only be convinced of your actual transgressions against the law of God, but likewise of the foundation of all your transgressions. And what is that? I mean original sin, that original corruption each of us brings into the world with us, which renders us liable to God’s wrath and damnation. There are many poor souls that think themselves fine reasoners, yet they pretend to say there is no such thing as original sin; they will charge God with injustice in imputing Adam’s sin to us; although we have got the mark of the beast and of the devil upon us, yet they tell us we are not born in sin. Let them look abroad into the world and see the disorders in it, and think, if they can, if this is the paradise in which God did put man. No! everything in the world is out of order. I have often thought, when I was abroad, that if there were no other argument to prove original sin, the rising of wolves and tigers against man, nay, the barking of a dog against us, is a proof of original sin. Tigers and lions durst not rise against us, if it were not for Adam’s first sin; for when the creatures rise up against us, it is as much as to say, “You have sinned against God, and we take up our Master’s quarrel.” If we look inwardly, we shall see enough of lusts, and man’s temper contrary to the temper of God. There is pride, malice, and revenge, in all our hearts; and this temper cannot come from God; it comes from our first parent, Adam, who, after he fell from God, fell out of God into the devil. However, therefore, some people may deny this, yet when conviction comes, all carnal reasonings are battered down immediately and the poor soul begins to feel and see the fountain from which all the polluted streams do flow. When the sinner is first awakened, he begins to wonder—How came I to be so wicked? The Spirit of God then strikes in, and shows that he has no good thing in him by nature; then he sees that he is altogether gone out of the way, that he is altogether become abominable, and the poor creature is made to live down at the foot of the throne of God, and to acknowledge that God would be just to damn him, just to cut him off, though he never had committed one actual sin in his life. Did you ever feel and experience this, any of you—to justify God in your damnation—to own that you are by nature children of wrath, and that God may justly cut you off, though you never actually had offended him in all your life? If you were ever truly convicted, if your hearts were ever truly cut, if self were truly taken out of you, you would be made to see and feel this. And if you have never felt the weight of original sin, do not call yourselves Christians. I am verily persuaded original sin is the greatest burden of a true convert; this ever grieves the regenerate soul, the sanctified soul. The indwelling of sin in the heart is the burden of a converted person; it is the burden of a true Christian. He continually cries out, “O! who will deliver me from this body of death,’ this indwelling corruption in my heart? This is that which disturbs a poor soul most. And, therefore, if you never felt this inward corruption, if you never saw that God might justly curse you for it, indeed, my dear friends, you may speak peace to your hearts, but I fear, nay, I know, there is no true peace.

Further: before you can speak peace to your hearts, you must not only be troubled for the sins of your life, the sin of your nature, but likewise for the sins of your best duties and performances. When a poor soul is somewhat awakened by the terrors of the Lord, then the poor creature, being born under the covenant of works, flies directly to a covenant of works again. And as Adam and Eve hid themselves among the trees of the garden, and sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness, so the poor sinner, when awakened, flies to his duties and to his performances, to hide himself from God, and goes to patch up a righteousness of his own. Says he, I will be mighty good now—I will reform—I will do all I can; and then certainly Jesus Christ will have mercy on me. But before you can speak peace to your heart, you must be brought to see that God may damn you for the best prayer you ever put up; you must be brought to see that all your duties — all your righteousness—as the prophet elegantly expresses it—put them all together, are so far from recommending you to God, are so far from being any motive and inducement to God to have mercy on your poor soul, that he will see them to be filthy rags, a menstruous cloth—that God hates them, and cannot away with them, if you bring them to him in order to recommend you to his favor. My dear friends, what is there in our performances to recommend us unto God? Our persons are in an unjustified state by nature, we deserve to be damned ten thousand times over; and what must our performances be? We can do no good thing by nature: “They that are in the flesh cannot please God.” You may do many things materially good, but you cannot do a thing formally and rightly good; because nature cannot act above itself. It is impossible that a man who is unconverted can act for the glory of God; he cannot do anything in faith, and “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” After we are renewed, yet we are renewed but in part, indwelling sin continues in us, there is a mixture of corruption in every one of our duties; so that after we are converted, were Jesus Christ only to accept us according to our works, our works would damn us, for we cannot put up a prayer but it is far from that perfection which the moral law requireth. I do not know what you may think, but I can say that I cannot pray but I sin—I cannot preach to you or any others but I sin—I can do nothing without sin; and, as one expresseth it, my repentance wants to be repented of, and my tears to be washed in the precious blood of my dear Redeemer. Our best duties are as so many splendid sins. Before you can speak peace in your heart, you must not only be made sick of your original and actual sin, but you must be made sick of your righteousness, of all your duties and performances. There must be a deep conviction before you can be brought out of your self-righteousness; it is the last idol taken out of our heart. The pride of our heart will not let us submit to the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But if you never felt that you had no righteousness of your own, if you never felt the deficiency of your own righteousness, you cannot come to Jesus Christ. There are a great many now who may say, Well, we believe all this; but there is a great difference betwixt talking and feeling. Did you ever feel the want of a dear Redeemer? Did you ever feel the want of Jesus Christ, upon the account of the deficiency of your own righteousness? And can you now say from your heart, Lord, thou mayst justly damn me for the best duties that ever I did perform? If you are not thus brought out of self, you may speak peace to yourselves, but yet there is no peace.

But then, before you can speak peace to your souls, there is one particular sin you must be greatly troubled for, and yet I fear there are few of you think what it is; it is the reigning, the damning sin of the Christian world, and yet the Christian world seldom or never think of it. And pray what is that? It is what most of you think you are not guilty of—and that is, the sin of unbelief. Before you can speak peace to your heart, you must be troubled for the unbelief of your heart. But, can it be supposed that any of you are unbelievers here in this church-yard, that are born in Scotland, in a reformed country, that go to church every Sabbath? Can any of you that receive the sacrament once a year—O that it were administered oftener!—can it be supposed that you who had tokens for the sacrament, that you who keep up family prayer, that any of you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? I appeal to your own hearts, if you would not think me uncharitable, if I doubted whether any of you believed in Christ; and yet, I fear upon examination, we should find that most of you have not so much faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the devil himself. I am persuaded the devil believes more of the Bible than most of us do. He believes the divinity of Jesus Christ; that is more than many who call themselves Christians do; nay, he believes and trembles, and that is more than thousands amongst us do. My friends, we mistake a historical faith for a true faith, wrought in the heart by the Spirit of God. You fancy you believe, because you believe there is such a book as we call the Bible—because you go to church; all this you may do, and have no true faith in Christ. Merely to believe there was such a person as Christ, merely to believe there is a book called the Bible, will do you no good, more than to believe there was such a man a Caesar or Alexander the Great. The Bible is a sacred depository. What thanks have we to give to God for these lively oracles! But yet we may have these, and not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. My dear friends, there must be a principle wrought in the heart by the Spirit of the living God. Did I ask you how long it is since you believed in Jesus Christ, I suppose most of you would tell me, you believed in Jesus Christ as long as ever you remember—you never did misbelieve. Then, you could not give me a better proof that you never yet believed in Jesus Christ, unless you were sanctified early, as from the womb; for, they that otherwise believe in Christ know there was a time when they did not believe in Jesus Christ. You say you love God with all your heart, soul, and strength. If I were to ask you how long it is since you loved God, you would say, As long as you can remember; you never hated God, you know no time when there was enmity in your heart against God. Then, unless you were sanctified very early, you never loved God in your life. My dear friends, I am more particular in this, because it is a most deceitful delusion, whereby so many people are carried away, that they believe already. Therefore, it is remarked of Mr. Marshall, giving account of his experiences, that he had been working for life, and he had ranged all his sins under the ten commandments, and then coming to a minister, asked him the reason why he could not get peace. The minister looked at his catalogue, “Away,” says he, “I do not find one word of the sin of unbelief in all your catalogue.” It is the peculiar work of the Spirit of God to convince us of our unbelief—that we have got no faith. Says Jesus Christ, “I will send the Comforter; and when he is come, he will reprove the world” of the sin of unbelief; “of sin,” says Christ, “because they believe not on me.” Now, my dear friends, did God ever show you that you had no faith? Were you ever made to bewail a hard heart of unbelief? Was it ever the language of your heart, Lord, give me faith; Lord, enable me to lay hold on thee; Lord, enable me to call thee my Lord and my God? Did Jesus Christ ever convince you in this manner? Did he ever convince you of your inability to close with Christ, and make you to cry out to God to give you faith? If not, do not speak peace to your heart. May the Lord awaken you, and give you true, solid peace before you go hence and be no more!

Once more then: before you can speak peace to your heart, you must not only be convinced of your actual and original sin, the sins of your own righteousness, the sin of unbelief, but you must be enabled to lay hold upon the perfect righteousness, the all-sufficient righteousness, of the Lord Jesus Christ; you must lay hold by faith on the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and then you shall have peace. “Come,” says Jesus, “unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” This speaks encouragement to all that are weary and heavy laden; but the promise of rest is made to them only upon their coming and believing, and taking him to be their God and their all. Before we can ever have peace with God, we must be justified by faith through our Lord Jesus Christ, we must be enabled to apply Christ to our hearts, we must have Christ brought home to our souls, so as his righteousness may be made our righteousness, so as his merits may be imputed to our souls. My dear friends, were you ever married to Jesus Christ? Did Jesus Christ ever give himself to you? Did you ever close with Christ by a lively faith, so as to feel Christ in your hearts, so as to hear him speaking peace to your souls? Did peace ever flow in upon your hearts like a river? Did you ever feel that peace that Christ spoke to his disciples? I pray God he may come and speak peace to you. These things you must experience. I am now talking of the invisible realities of another world, of inward religion, of the work of God upon a poor sinner’s heart. I am now talking of a matter of great importance, my dear hearers; you are all concerned in it, your souls are concerned in it, your eternal salvation is concerned in it. You may be all at peace, but perhaps the devil has lulled you asleep into a carnal lethargy and security, and will endeavor to keep you there, `till he get you to hell, and there you will be awakened; but it will be dreadful to be awakened and find yourselves so fearfully mistaken, when the great gulf is fixed, when you will be calling to all eternity for a drop of water to cool your tongue, and shall not obtain it.

Give me leave, then, to address myself to several sorts of persons; and O may God, of his infinite mercy, bless the application! There are some of you perhaps can say, Through grace we can go along with you. Blessed be God, we have been convinced of our actual sins, we have been convinced of original sin, we have been convinced of self-righteousness, we have felt the bitterness of unbelief, and through grace we have closed with Jesus Christ; we can speak peace to our hearts, because God hath spoken peace to us. Can you say so? Then I will salute you, as the angels did the women the first day of the week, All hail! Fear not ye, my dear brethren, you are happy souls; you may lie down and be at peace indeed, for God hath given you peace; you may be content under all the dispensations of providence, for nothing can happen to you now, but what shall be the effect of God’s love to your soul; you need not fear what sightings may be without, seeing there is peace within. Have you closed with Christ? Is God your friend? Is Christ your friend? Then, look up with comfort; all is yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. Everything shall work together for your good; the very hairs of your head are numbered; he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of God’s eye. But then, my dear friends, beware of resting on your first conversion. You that are young believers in Christ, you should be looking out for fresh discoveries of the Lord Jesus Christ every moment; you must not build upon your past experiences, you must not build upon a work within you, but always come out of yourselves to the righteousness of Jesus Christ without you; you must be always coming as poor sinners to draw water out of the wells of salvation; you must be forgetting the things that are behind, and be continually pressing forward to the things that are before. My dear friends, you must keep up a tender, close walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many of us who lose our peace by our untender walk; something or other gets in betwixt Christ and us, and we fall into darkness; something or other steals our hearts from God, and this grieves the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost leaves us to ourselves. Let me, therefore, exhort you that have got peace with God, to take care that you do not lose this peace. It is true, if you are once in Christ, you cannot finally fall from God: “There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus;” but if you cannot fall finally, you may fall foully, and may go with broken bones all your days. Take care of backslidings; for Jesus Christ’s sake, do not grieve the Holy Ghost—you may never recover your comfort while you live. O take care of going a gadding and wandering from God, after you have closed with Jesus Christ. My dear friends, I have paid dear for backsliding. Our hearts are so cursedly wicked, that if you take not care, if you do not keep up a constant watch, your wicked hearts will deceive you, and draw you aside. It will be sad to be under the scourge of a correcting Father; witness the visitation of Job, David, and other saints in Scripture. Let me, therefore, exhort you that have got peace to keep a close walk with Christ. I am grieved with the loose walk of those that are Christians, that have had discoveries of Jesus Christ; there is so little difference betwixt them and other people, that I scarce know which is the true Christian. Christians are afraid to speak of God—they run down with the stream; if they come into worldly company, they will talk of the world as if they were in their element; this you would not do when you had the first discoveries of Christ’s love; you could talk then of Christ’s love for ever, when the candle of the Lord shined upon your soul. That time has been when you had something to say for your dear Lord; but now you can go into company and hear others speaking about the world bold enough, and you are afraid of being laughed at if you speak for Jesus Christ. A great many people have grown conformists now in the worst sense of the word; they will cry out against the ceremonies of the church, as they may justly do; but then you are mighty fond of ceremonies in your behavior; you will conform to the world, which is a great deal worse. Many will stay `till the devil bring up new fashions. Take care, then, not to be conformed to the world. What have Christians to do with the world? Christians should be singularly good, bold for their Lord, that all who are with you may take notice that you have been with Jesus. I would exhort you to come to a settlement in Jesus Christ, so as to have a continual abiding of God in your heart. We go a-building on our faith of adherence, and lost our comfort; but we should be growing up to a faith of assurance, to know that we are God’s, and so walk in the comfort of the Holy Ghost and be edified. Jesus Christ is now much wounded in the house of his friends. Excuse me in being particular; for, my friends, it grieves me more that Jesus Christ should be wounded by his friends than by his enemies. We cannot expect anything else from Deists; but for such as have felt his power, to fall away, for them not to walk agreeably to the vocation wherewith they are called—by these means we bring our Lord’s religion into contempt, to be a byword among the heathen. For Christ’s sake, if you know Christ keep close by him; if God have spoken peace, O keep that peace by looking up to Jesus Christ every moment. Such as have got peace with God, if you are under trials, fear not, all things shall work for your good; if you are under temptations, fear not, if he has spoken peace to your hearts, all these things shall be for your good.

But what shall I say to you that have got peace with God?—and these are, perhaps, the most of this congregation: it makes me weep to think of it. Most of you, if you examine your hearts, must confess that God never yet spoke peace to you; you are children of the devil, if Christ is not in you, if God has not spoken peace to your heart. Poor soul! What a cursed condition are you in. I would not be in your case for ten thousand, thousand worlds. Why? You are just hanging over hell. What peace can you have when God is your enemy, when the wrath of God is abiding upon your poor soul? Awake, then, you that are sleeping in a false peace, awake, ye carnal professors, ye hypocrites that go to church, receive the sacrament, read your Bibles, and never felt the power of God upon your hearts; you that are formal professors, you that are baptized heathens; awake, awake, and do not rest on a false bottom. Blame me not for addressing myself to you; indeed, it is out of love to your souls. I see you are lingering in your Sodom, and wanting to stay there; but I come to you as the angel did to Lot, to take you by the hand. Come away, my dear brethren—fly, fly, fly for your lives to Jesus Christ, fly to a bleeding God, fly to a throne of grace; and beg of God to break your hearts, beg of God to convince you of your actual sins, beg of God to convince you of your original sin, beg of God to convince you of your self-righteousness—beg of God to give you faith, and to enable you to close with Jesus Christ. O you that are secure, I must be a son of thunder to you, and O that God may awaken you, though it be with thunder; it is out of love, indeed, that I speak to you. I know by sad experience what it is to be lulled asleep with a false peace; long was I lulled asleep, long did I think myself a Christian, when I knew nothing of the Lord Jesus Christ. I went perhaps farther than many of you do; I used to fast twice a-week, I used to pray sometimes nine times a-day, I used to receive the sacrament constantly every Lord’s-day; and yet I knew nothing of Jesus Christ in my heart, I knew not that I must be a new creature—I knew nothing of inward religion in my soul. And perhaps, many of you may be deceived as I, poor creature, was; and, therefore, it is out of love to you indeed, that I speak to you. O if you do not take care, a form of religion will destroy your soul; you will rest in it, and will not come to Jesus Christ at all; whereas, these things are only the means, and not the end of religion; Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all that believe. O, then, awake, you that are settled on your lees; awake you Church professors; awake you that have got a name to live, that are rich and think you want nothing, not considering that you are poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel you to come and buy of Jesus Christ gold, white raiment, and eye-salve. But I hope there are some that are a little wounded; I hope God does not intend to let me preach in vain; I hope God will reach some of your precious souls, and awaken some of you out of your carnal security; I hope there are some who are willing to come to Christ, and beginning to think that they have been building upon a false foundation. Perhaps the devil may strike in, and bid you despair of mercy; but fear not, what I have been speaking to you is only out of love to you—is only to awaken you, and let you see your danger. If any of you are willing to be reconciled to God, God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is willing to be reconciled to you. O then, though you have no peace as yet, come away to Jesus Christ; he is our peace, he is our peace-maker—he has made peace betwixt God and offending man. Would you have peace with God? Away, then, to God through Jesus Christ, who has purchased peace; the Lord Jesus has shed his heart’s blood for this. He died for this; he rose again for this; he ascended into the highest heaven, and is now interceding at the right hand of God. Perhaps you think there will be no peace for you. Why so? Because you are sinners? Because you have crucified Christ—you have put him to open shame—you have trampled under foot the blood of the Son of God? What of all this? Yet there is peace for you. Pray, what did Jesus Christ say of his disciples, when he came to them the first day of the week? The first word he said was, “Peace be unto you;” he showed them his hands and his side, and said, “Peace be unto you.” It is as much as if he had said, Fear not, my disciples; see my hands and my feet how they have been pierced for your sake; therefore fear not. How did Chris speak to his disciples? “Go tell my brethren, and tell broken-hearted Peter in particular, that Christ is risen, that he is ascended unto his Father and your Father, to his God and your God.” And after Christ rose from the dead, he came preaching peace, with an olive branch of peace, like Noah’s dove; “My peace I leave with you.” Who were they? They were enemies of Christ as well as we, they were deniers of Christ once as well as we. Perhaps some of you have backslidden and lost your peace, and you think you deserve no peace; and no more you do. But, then, God will heal your backslidings, he will love you freely. As for you that are wounded, if you are made willing to come to Christ, come away. Perhaps some of you want to dress yourselves in your duties, that are but rotten rags. No, you had better come naked as you are, for you must throw aside your rags, and come in your blood. Some of you may say, We would come, but we have got a hard heart. But you will never get it made soft till ye come to Christ; he will take away the heart of stone, and give you an heart of flesh; he will speak peace to your souls; though ye have betrayed him, yet he will be your peace. Shall I prevail upon any of you this morning to come to Jesus Christ? There is a great multitude of souls here; how shortly must you all die, and go to judgment! Even before night, or to-morrow’s night, some of you may be laid out for this kirk-yard. And how will you do if you be not at peace with God—if the Lord Jesus Christ has not spoken peace to your heart? If God speak not peace to you here, you will be damned for ever. I must not flatter you, my dear friends; I will deal sincerely with your souls. Some of you may think I carry things too far. But, indeed, when you come to judgment, you will find what I say is true, either to your eternal damnation or comfort. May God influence your hearts to come to him! I am not willing to go away without persuading you. I cannot be persuaded but God may make use of me as a means of persuading some of you to come to the Lord Jesus Christ. O did you but feel the peace which they have that love the Lord Jesus Christ! “Great peace have they,” say the psalmist, “that love they law; nothing shall offend them.” But there is no peace to the wicked. I know what it is to live a life of sin; I was obliged to sin in order to stifle conviction. And I am sure this is the way many of you take; If you get into company, you drive off conviction. But you had better go to the bottom at once; it must be done—your wound must be searched, or you must be damned. If it were a matter of indifference, I would not speak one word about it. But you will be damned without Christ. He is the way, he is the truth, and the life. I cannot think you should go to hell without Christ. How can you dwell with everlasting burnings? How can you abide the thought of living with the devil for ever? Is it not better to have some soul-trouble here, than to be sent to hell by Jesus Christ hereafter? What is hell, but to be absent from Christ? If there were no other hell, that would be hell enough. It will be hell to be tormented with the devil for ever. Get acquaintance with God, then, and be at peace. I beseech you, as a poor worthless ambassador of Jesus Christ, that you would be reconciled to God. My business this morning, the first day of the week, is to tell you that Christ is willing to be reconciled to you. Will any of you be reconciled to Jesus Christ? Then, he will forgive you all your sins, he will blot out all your transgressions. But if you will go on and rebel against Christ, and stab him daily—if you will go on and abuse Jesus Christ, the wrath of God you must expect will fall upon you. God will not be mocked; that which a man soweth, that shall he also reap. And if you will not be at peace with God, God will not be at peace with you. Who can stand before God when he is angry? It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God. When the people came to apprehend Christ, they fell to the ground when Jesus said, “I am he.” And if they could not bear the sight of Christ when clothed with the rags of mortality, how will they bear the sight of him when he is on his Father’s throne? Methinks I see the poor wretches dragged out of their graves by the devil; methinks I see them trembling, crying out to the hills and rocks to cover them. But the devil will say, “Come, I will take you away;” and then they shall stand trembling before the judgment-seat of Christ. They shall appear before him to see him once, and hear him pronounce that irrevocable sentence, “Depart from me, ye cursed.” Methinks I hear the poor creatures saying, Lord, if we must be damned, let some angel pronounce the sentence. No, the God of love, Jesus Christ, will pronounce it. Will ye not believe this? Do not think I am talking at random, but agreeably to the Scriptures of truth. If you do not, then show yourselves men, and this morning go away with full resolution, in the strength of God, to cleave to Christ. And may you have no rest in your souls till you rest in Jesus Christ! I could still go on, for it is sweet to talk of Christ. Do you not long for the time when you shall have new bodies—when they shall be immortal, and made like Christ’s glorious body? And then they will talk of Jesus Christ for evermore. But it is time, perhaps, for you to go and prepare for your respective worship, and I would not hinder any of you. My design is, to bring poor sinners to Jesus Christ. O that God may bring some of you to himself! May the Lord Jesus now dismiss you with his blessing, and may the dear Redeemer convince you that are unawakened, and turn the wicked from the evil of their way! And may the love of God, that passeth all understanding, fill your hearts. Grant this, O Father, for Christ’s sake; to whom, with thee and the blessed Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and for evermore. Amen.

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The Pharisees And Evangelicals: A Study In Similarities

4 weeks, 1 day ago

This isn’t a bashing session of the modern churches but an excellent study about the Pharisees and Sadducees, their doctrines, and disputes with Christ about His doctrines. This video is very educational without being too technical and boring. You will understand the origins of Phariseeism and learn much about how they went terribly wrong to the point of missing their Messiah.

Quoting myself, the import of this understanding is critical for us today:

I’ve warned groups when speaking, individuals, and similarly over these pages. The Pharisees were the most knowledgeable people about the Bible ever to live. They were the keepers of the law of God and perhaps the most religious people in all history. Yet, they missed the Messiah partly because He didn’t fit their preconceived notions of what He would be and how He would proceed to fulfill Old Testament prophecies at His coming. So our warning is this to you today, do not expect perfect knowledge of how Christ will proceed at His appearance. His second coming will not go precisely according to the dictates of any one camp among the modern keepers of New Testament prophecy. You can take issue with that statement and pull out your favorite theologian’s commentary but know this: you must belong to Him! Peter, an eyewitness and an apostle of Christ, says of Paul that his writings on the subject are challenging to understand. As when that first raindrop fell from heaven, and God shut the door to the ark, He comes again with fire. As interesting as the topic of prophecy may be, the very practical appeal of the working man, Peter, is to be personally ready for the appearance of our Lord, which is what 2 Peter 3 encourages God’s people to do.

The Gift of Grace and Generational Work of Building Civilization

4 weeks, 1 day ago

Material Wealth has Driven America to a Poverty of the Soul.

I’ve been reading some Machen. The introduction of his short work, Christianity and Liberalism, is an excellent snapshot of the progressive conquest up to 1915 or so. The leaps the communists have made are clear from that starting point forward. This post is random thoughts, less so on the depth of the problem, but offers, from my own negative experience, some possible solutions.

Public schooling has reduced all education to a simple tactic, obeying the State expert and paraphrasing information, willfully neglecting consideration of that information’s purpose, usefulness, or validity. But it’s gotten worse still, full of communist dogma.

That system has been so deeply ingrained that Christian education is little more than State education without the overt worship of centralized authority. However, even then, most Christian schools still teach government worship while adding veneers of wholesomeness or tradition that are also accurately described as teaching helplessness but with Christian-sounding words and themes. Changing a curriculum is not enough if it still teaches children to remain dependent on the thoughts of other men.

Under the communist program, all hope of a child later finding his true purpose and potential is gone before ten years of age. Please don’t do this to your children; don’t teach them, as the heathen religions do, to reject the honest exploration of God’s purposes in anything. The object must be for boys to fill them with the ability to do things more significant than themselves. When boys hit young adulthood, they desire to be part of something bigger than themselves, for their people.

Gone from modern society in the last 100 years or more are excellent and beautiful art of all types. Also absent is the study of science, which the Christian correctly defines as the examination of God’s creation and His created order; science should always look for God’s purpose in a thing, or science itself becomes a false religion. To the religious mind, understanding that sin exists, where evil appears in creation, does not excuse that evil for some purported greater good in the name of “science.” Science absent from God can only lead to one place; mass murder.

There are no literary works of worth, probably because people must be taught how to write but are only shown what to repeat for a grade. Writing starts with critical thought upon the ponderance of an idea. Or, it begins with something else for the creative mind; I don’t know what that is; ask them.

The purpose of this is not yet another litany of complaints but to present a few ideas we hope will help. Sadly, almost all of these suggestions come not from positive experiences but from negative ones, so untested they remain.

I’m not claiming to be a good writer here. Of course, good writing starts with reading complex and rich texts, which is not the primary, but one reason that I reject all modern translations of the Bible. Reading that educates and teaches a man to think requires work to understand and, in the case of the Holy Bible, prayer. Much of the purpose of reading should be not to assimilate information but to teach the mind to take ideas and apply them critically, teaching how to think. Don’t teach children to read things to know what is said, becoming consumers of other men’s thoughts; they must read rich and complex texts thinking for themselves. Avoiding specific texts is prudent, but reading should teach how to think, not what to think; children learn that from listening to parents daily.

One positive is that my father taught me how to read and instilled a particular love for reading, or more precisely, respect. The Department of Defense, for all its flaws, taught me how to teach myself. That didn’t come by general instruction offered to every recruit but from a small program that required not compliance with orders but problem-solving in a unique environment. But, the point is, people can be taught how to teach themselves; this is a gift of immeasurable value to impart to somebody. Teach your children neither by rote nor through informing but by showing them how to learn and teach themselves.

It’s been many years since meeting a heritage American who speaks more than one language, other than missionaries who get trained as adults. So thorough is the brainwashing that folks with language knowledge are viewed with suspicion. There may be a sound basis for that; foreigners bring foreign ideas, but Christians shouldn’t consider teaching language to their children as some anti-civilization enterprise; quite the contrary. Otherwise, why do we train missionaries in language except to bring the great truth of Christ to that people’s dying souls and meaningless religions? Much of the spreading of quality of life beyond Europe had a humble beginning in the missionary work of extending the Gospel to every creature. Giving the heathen skills and resources makes them merely a more effective enemy of Christ; they need salvation.

Missing are complex and rich music, local agriculture and horticulture, and training in religion, including the history of the Church. Everything seems geared toward repeating what some other person has discovered or produced, perhaps worthy, perhaps not, but gone is the free expression of ideas, teaching children to think for themselves and act on their own accord under the law of grace.

Material wealth has driven America to a poverty of the soul. All aptitudes of intellect and physical ability are of God. This is the root of the problem; denying God’s grace in ordinating men’s gifts or talents denies the grant’s purpose from the giver. Of course, the converted must walk by faith in using the spiritual and material facilities that God endows. Our purpose on earth is to glorify Holy God; this is why He made each individual the way they are and gives children aptitudes toward certain enterprises so that they may bring glory to God in those pursuits.

I’m not sure that American Christians believe what the Holy Bible says; the communist project has been so thorough that it’s hard to know where to start, but as with all things, prayer and the word of God must be first.

To grow children in resurgent traditional heritage America, outside help with language, music, art, natural science, etc., is needed. Other than old books, I don’t know where to get good help, but language training needs to start well before eight years old, and so does music training. Where to get training not overrun with the effects of willfully making children dumb and dependent on central authority is a huge problem even in Christian curriculum.

Civilization is gone because of the loss of classical liberal education. Just using the words liberal education causes consternation; since the War of Northern Aggression, communist demagogues have entirely destroyed the word liberal.

The point is that the simplicity that is in Christ is the foundation and root of all expression that lifts man, causing his mind to wonder at what he could create, his soul to yearn for a better day, and his heart to seek well and thoroughly the gifts that God has given not that he may walk in the uselessness of private knowledge but that he may bless his fellow man through works using the skills that God has ordained. The grace of God teaches us to share our gifts, for He shared His own Son upon a cross for our sin against Him, bringing the miracle of salvation unto eternal life in us through the resurrection. And He continues to teach us through His word and lead through His Spirit.

Teaching children to be anti-state is not enough; they must be pro-civilization and pro-culture of grace and love. Teaching children merely the basis of knowledge is quicksand over generations as each loses a small fraction. Preparing children in anything, however right and proper, without emphasis on our duty to Christ to be of service to civilization will not save the next generations.

Communism or socialism isn’t the only problematic cause. The hyper-personalization of Christianity is destroying the religion. Personal soul salvation is not the end; it’s the beginning, the launching pad from which the great faith of grace and truth in Jesus Christ is to permeate all aspects of society. Hiding Christianity away will not save it, for the agents of evil will not be satisfied with merely locking you in your church buildings or limiting you to silent prayer. Nor will they tolerate compromise within the word of God when Christians allow adding theoretical origins and hypotheses to the creation and other events in the Old and New Testaments. Evil will not stop its march if we integrate sciency-sounding excuses into the faith of the Old Testament forefathers. If science “proved” Christ never walked the earth (because that’s the direction we’re headed), would you still believe? Would you still earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints?

Though solid doctrine hid well in the heart that we might not sin against God is foundational, and teachers of the Christian religion abound, but where are the doers of the word, where are those dedicated to the Lord of the harvest, how are His fields ripe for the picking but left fallow? Hyper-personalization leading to a secret selfish religion is how Christianity shrinks to a mere ember. Evil will never be satisfied until Christ casts Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple. But the grace of the cross exists because Christ had a mission; do you think you’re immune to the onslaught of evil or that neglecting the assignments of a disciple will save you or your people?

All things come by the grace of God, for He owns all things. That simple fact produces character in the young, humility before the Creator builds love in a man’s soul. I deeply fear that God must take our material ease from us to bring us back to faith and knowledge of He who created and bestowed these things upon us.

The government has its own project of dependence, but God will not long compete with this mocking. The tremendous redemptive religion that is in Christ appears backed into a corner with enemies on all sides. Still, we reckon that’s just how Christ likes to fight, up close, personal: restorative or damning to the hearer of the word, for a man chooses his way upon contact from God, heaven or hell?

Read Joshua 23 and 24. We have gone the wrong way in all things, yet God offers a choice.

There is a longing for traditional ways, but it’s not enough to be anti-modern. There must be more than pious-sounding yet vacuous religious tenets for the building of a resurgence. With all assuredness, we begin in our own houses first. From there, the way to a future for our people is through knowledge of the giver of all graces who granted dominion to us over His creation, and becoming doers of the word in the name of Jesus Christ.

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Two or Three Witnesses

1 month ago

Under the Old Covenant, men were put to death if certain criteria were met. First, the sin had to rise to the standard of such a wicked act specified in the law of God. Secondly, two or more witnesses were needed to corroborate the accusation. Also, importantly, those worthy of death were not shipped off somewhere to be put to sleep with clinical precision some years or decades later, but the accusers would throw the stones of judgment in an hours-long gruesome death. It’s not the purpose of this writing, but as one might horridly imagine, the effect on crime was dramatic when family, friends, and neighbors were called upon to kill their own in such a brutally sobering affair.

“At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.” – Deuteronomy 17:6

John Baptist, as a witness of the truth, told of Christ’s coming. John said; there standeth one among you, whom ye know not. Jesus would, shortly after, begin His work revealing Himself. Jesus later would exclaim His witness is the most significant, not only for the miracles seen by hundreds of thousands but that He and the Father are witnesses together of the Son of God. This is a pronouncement of death upon the first-century keepers of the old law, and it extends into the New Covenant for us today.

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” – Hebrews 10:29

Jesus is the witness, and ultimately by His command, the soul that sins shall surely be put to death in hell. Jesus shed His own blood; in effect, though all men are guilty of breaking the law of God, making you therefore worthy of death, He took upon Himself this condemnation, as the true and faithful witness, that He would pay by blood for your sin. You are guilty of sin, your own conscience bearing witness against you, but the Saviour has cast the first stone upon His own head for you.

Are you counting the blood of the covenant that God has made as an unholy thing? Is God not holy? Christ was sanctified, set apart for this purpose, that your sin might be forgotten, the law satisfied being revealed to you today. Vengeance through God’s wrath belongs to He who rules heaven and earth; He has declared these things as the sole arbiter of your debt for sin and how it must be paid. Please don’t spitefully rebuke the Spirit of God that comes to you through grace and truth. Would you pay with eternal damnation when God has already offered to transfer that debt through His own Son, making it settled in full?

You, who have rejected the Christ of God and have decided to take the full force and brunt of the law of God, deny the wonderful gift of Jesus’ death for your sin. How much greater shall the wrath of God be for not only accepting your guilt and admitting hell is your destination but, in so doing, the depth of the offense toward God is immeasurable; it’s a personal affront. You heap wrath upon wrath on your head. Christ already died, and you declare His death was not worthy to reckon you among the living, forgiven at last. Not only has sin powerfully condemned you, but you indicate to God that He offered His own Son in vain. How much sorer punishment suppose ye is the price upon your eternal soul! You have valued God’s perfect sinless sacrificial forgiveness through the cross as naught! He is King of all; what have you done?

And that’s it, a concise post in which is the truth of the price on your head under the law, a price you could never pay. Jesus died the death of a sinless sacrifice for you and rose again so that you both might live. That’s how much He loves you. Christ is alive, so your life may be in Him, made like brothers before the Father.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” – John 3:36

Believe the witness of Christ; accept it. The value of Christ, for He is all-sufficient, will by faith, change your worth from condemned in eternal death to not only forgiven, but because you have accepted by faith the price of Christ, God will receive you, counting your faith as righteousness for trusting so thoroughly, so completely in Him. God smiles upon all who say in their heart, I believe; thank you for your Son. Take the offer to walk away from death, not guilty; turn toward Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. He paid the terrible price you never could; go, God, having recast wrath to peace during your few remaining days on earth and changing your final home to everlasting life with Him; do you believe?

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