Sunday, July 20, 2014

Truth to the Unsaved

Life is brief.

"As for man, his days are like grass;  As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.  When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,  And its place acknowledges it no longer."  Ps. 103:15, 16

"As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,  Or if due to strength, eighty years;  Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;  For soon it is gone and we fly away."  Ps. 90:10

Death is certain.

" is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment."   Hebrews 9:27

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, so death spread to all men, because all sinned,"
Romans 5:12

Hell is real.

"And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame."
Luke 16:24

"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;"   Matthew 25:41

Eternity is forever.

"...the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." 
II Thessalonians 1:7b-9

"And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also;  and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."   Revelation 20:10

Monday, July 14, 2014

Standing, Sin, & Satan

There is condemnation judicial, and there is condemnation experiential.  One is based on God's perspective, the other on ours.  The former is predicated upon how He sees our sin, and the latter on our view of it.  As with all truths of Scripture, the more simply and obediently we grasp and apply what God says is so, the greater He is glorified and we will be Christ-like.

Judicial Condemnation

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."  Romans 8:1

In His essence God will not abide sin.  In His presence, in heaven, there is no sin.  His infinite holiness and purity preclude it (Habakkuk 1:13a; Leviticus 11:44; I Peter 1:16).  Since every person born into this world is a sinner by nature and choice, and the wages of sin is separation from God (Romans 6:23), God's judgment seems inescapable.

Yet, in loving condescension, God sent His Son to endure His holy wrath against sin upon the cross, taking the place of sinners God had set His heart upon in eternity past.  God's gavel of judgment came down in a death sentence upon the Lord Jesus rather than us, and we not only are viewed as free but righteous (II Corinthians 5:21).
At the moment of salvation, the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus is imputed to the account of the believer.  For time and eternity, his position is "in Christ," permanently placed there by the living God.  The sentence can never be altered, because the unchanging righteous Judge of all the earth has decreed it so.  We can never be condemned because the Lord Jesus' atoning sacrifice was utterly sufficient and accepted as complete by His Father.

Experiential Condemnation

The condemnation we experience as believers comes primarily from Satan and his agents, through the world system and our flesh.  Its manifestation is guilt, and the result is broken fellowship with the Father, as well as a shamed conscience. 
When we've sinned, the enemy's tactic is to increase guilt and condemnation through accusation.  He wants us to focus on the transgression, as well as our weakness, in order to keep our focus off the Lord Jesus.  He doesn't care what he uses, as long as our attention is taken from Him.  
The apostle John wrote, "We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.  Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God," (I John 3:19-21).  
Claiming Romans 8:1 as our position, we are to fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), and thank Him for the full payment of our sin-debt on the cross.  Agreeing with the Master that we have sinned (confession), we plea repentance and restoration, knowing this is His desire, as well.  The Holy Spirit longs for us to look upward, not downward... outward rather than inward... focused upon Him instead of ourselves.  

May we grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, increasing in spiritual discernment, that we may take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Thank You for the truth, personified in the Lord Jesus, and revealed so clearly in the Scriptures.  Knowing it is such a privilege to have great ease of access to Your truth, while there are so many believers who would give anything for a scrap of Scripture, I would plea in these moments for those who are translating Your infallible Word into languages I will never know, in places I will never see.  
I praise You for placing such a commitment in their hearts... be pleased to deepen their heart-determination, especially in times of discouragement, opposition, and fatigue.  Speak encouragement to their spirit when the spiritual warfare is intense, that it may be evident to unbelievers that You alone are the living God.  May their speech always be with grace, seasoned as it were with salt, particularly when it would be so much easier to complain, grumble, or resort to cynicism.  
May Your watch-care extend to their families, as they are often the avenues the enemy effectively uses to attack Your servants.  Protect and shield them, as well, from the fiery missiles of the evil one, as he seeks whom he may devour... maintaining their priority of prayer... cultivating a servant's heart which rejoices most when least observed.  Bring Your blessed Word to their remembrance at crucial times when tempted to be critical, judgmental or pitied.  
Grant perseverance, Father, when they're tempted to slack off.... empowering grace, when the flesh, the world, and the devil oppose their efforts most strongly.... Spirit-strengthened resolve, when days are long and nights provide little rest.  May they return to the cross continually, seeing the price paid for their salvation, putting their efforts in proper perspective.  Lavish them with love, Father, as only You can... that others may see it, recognize Your divine work, and be drawn to the Savior.
Praise to Your omnipotent Name, that nothing is too difficult for You!
In Your Son's Name, I pray,