Saturday, June 25, 2016

Welcome

June is now posted.

Check out the latest Bible Study on "Dispensations"

We will be posting the Glorious Gospel articles individually below. The previous month's publication will be found under the Archive tab as pdf's. We will begin posting some studies, as pdf's and as ebooks in the coming months.

We are adding audio from Grace Assembly Church services.

“THY WORD”




“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that

I might not sin against thee.”  Ps. 119:11


PRICELESS PUBLICATION: There is no measuring its far reaching value, for it is beyond all comparison of anything else ever written. There is nothing else quite like it. Its special value is in its expressing and revealing the very heart of God. God’s Word is indeed an unquestionable, undeniable proclamation of His great love.

GOD HAS SPOKEN AND IS STILL SPEAKING: Consider II Peter 1:16-21 – “…Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” II Tim. 3:15-17 – “…All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable” (unto)…perfection. What other publication has the right to such claims? God’s Word is its own best commentary and illustrator. Read I Cor. 10:1-11. It was written for our admonition even at this end of the ages. Nothing else ever written stays so up-to-date. It was written for our learning, to renew and rekindle our hope (Rom. 15:4). God’s Word is the recording of His true and faithful sayings (expressions) Rev. 22:6-7. These are worthy of all acceptation (I Tim. 1:15). Believing humanity  is so highly favored to have, and richly blessed in keeping God’s faithful sayings.

TO BE HEARD: Jesus said, “Let these sayings sink down into your ears” –  Luke 9:43-44. “He that hath an ear, let him hear” – Rev. 2 & 3. “Faith cometh by hearing” the Word (Rom. 10:17).

WE NEED TO HEED IT: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word” – Ps. 119:9. We are wise to pay close attention to all our Father has spoken. In Psalm 45:10, we read: “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear…” Peter wrote that we do well to take heed. Paul said, “We ought to give the more earnest need to the things we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” The good seed of God’s Word should be given ample lodging in pliable sail. His Word will check us with spiritual reminders, correct our course, cleanse our way, and affect our walk and talk.

TO BE HID: It is so important to hear and heed, and good to search and read, but especially let us hide it in our hearts when it is invited, invested, and ingested. When we begin to recognize its importance, we will give it the honored place, we make room by being open and receptive. It is indeed a great privilege to acknowledge its authority, submit to its precepts, and give full attention to what He has said, The Word was not sent for wearing it on the surface, holding for show, or displayed by quotation. But rather by being assimilated into the depths of our being, becomes an important part of us.

Knowing God’s will by digesting His thoughts, we become fully aware of that which pleases Him (Col. 1:9-11). By letting God’s Word dwell in us richly (in all its wealth), His will and pleasure is made ours (Col. 3:16,17).

PRESERVING PURPOSE: “That I might not sin against thee.” Only by His Word hidden in our hearts are we able to stay in complete harmony with God’s will. This is food for the inner man. The ingesting of spiritual nourishment is indeed a bitter-sweet experience. “How sweet are they words to my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every false way” – Ps. 119:103,104.

ENJOYED AND EMPLOYED: “And I went to the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey” – Rev. 10:9.

We enjoy some of the sweetest times when feeding on God’s Word, but when it is fulfilled or made practical, it is hard on the flesh in its bitterness. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of Host” – Jer. 15:16. “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” – Job. 23:12. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” – I Thess. 2:13. Also read Heb. 4:12.

We like Paul, delight in the law (will) of God after the inward man as He writes His Word and will in our hearts. Thank God He does this by the precious Holy Spirit, for Jew and Gentile alike.
II Cor. 3:3, “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”
Heb. 8:10, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” Also Heb. 10:16.
J. D.

What does the Bible say?


About Sanctification


Sanctification is another very important phase of redemption. It means – ‘to set apart, consecrate, to make holy, to make free from sin, to purify, to make productive of spiritual blessing.’ Two thoughts are prominent in its definition: (1) – separation from evil; (2) – dedication to God and His service.

It is first mentioned in Genesis 2:3 when God sanctified the seventh day of the week, setting it apart as holy, a Sabbath day of rest. The Sabbath was fulfilled in Christ. Mt. 11:28, “Come unto me…and I will give you rest.”

We will view sanctification as instantaneous, progressive, and complete.

INSTANTANEOUS SANCTIFICATION takes place the very moment we believe and receive Jesus Christ. We are separated from sin and separated unto God. In Jesus’ prayer to His Father in John 17, He prayed, that the Father would sanctify all those who will believe in Him (Jesus). The Father answered that prayer, I Cor. 6:11 – “And such were some of you (unrighteous); but ye are washed…ye are sanctified…ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” By the simple act of faith in Christ, the believer is at once put into a state of sanctification. In that state of sanctification, the believer is to grow until he reaches the fulness of the measure of the stature of Christ (Eph. 4:13). 

PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION: It is God’s will that we “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” - II Pet. 3:18. In this progressive growth, we are exhorted to “increase and abound” - I Thess. 3:12. “Furthermore, then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more” I Thess:4:1 and also verse 10. Can we accomplish this in ourselves? NO. II Cor. 3:18 informs us that as we behold the glory of the Lord in His Word, we are being changed into His image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Transformed from one degree of glory to another by the Spirit. There is such a thing as “perfecting holiness,” II Cor. 7:1 “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” For this reason God gave pastors and teachers to the church, for the perfecting of the saints (read Eph. 4: 11-15). Holiness grows little by little, degree by degree. Like the Apostle Paul we want to know Him in the power of His resurrection and fellowship of his sufferings. We want to follow after that we may apprehend that for which we have been apprehended of Christ Jesus. Let us reach forth, and press on. As many as would be perfect, be thus minded and if in any thing ye be other wise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you (Phil. 3:10-15).

COMPLETE AND FINAL SANCTIFICATION: I Thess. 5:23, “The very God of peace sanctity you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body he preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Perfect in every respect (mature) whether it refers to the church as a whole or to the individual. This blessing of entire sanctification if to take place when Christ comes. I Thess. 3:13, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” It is when we shall see Him that we shall be like Him – I Jn. 3:2.

What means or agencies make us like Christ? The Trinity is involved:

God the Father, “the God of peace (Himself) sanctify you wholly…faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it” – I Thess 5:23-24. Trust Him to accomplish that for us, for we cannot purify ourselves, but as we yield to God, the purity will come. Jesus prayer to His Father as the One who sanctifies said, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth” – Jn. 17:17.

Jesus Christ, the Son of course is involved. Heb. 10:10 & 14, “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Eph. 5:25-27 – Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That He might present it to Himself, a glorious church without any blemish. Also read I Cor. 1:30 and Heb. 13:12.

The Holy Spirit sanctifies: I Pet. 1:2 – The Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit. II Thess. 2:13 – “God hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” The Holy Spirit seals and confirms the work of grace in the believer by producing the fruit of righteousness in them. The Holy Spirit is the executive of the Godhead. It is His work to war against the lust of the flesh and enable us to overcome – Gal. 5:16-25. The Apostle Paul told of his struggle in Romans 7 and his victory in chapter 8 where the Holy Spirit is mentioned 16 times.

So what is our part? I Cor. 1:30, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,.” He is such only as we appropriate Him by faith. Daily taking of His faith, patience, and love for the need of the moment. The degree of our sanctification is the proportion of our laying hold of Jesus Christ in all the riches of His grace. The study of His Word and obedience to it means growth in purity. John. 15:3, “Now ye are clean through the word.” The Word awakens our conscience to sin and reveals the character of Christ by His example, and offers the influence and power of the Holy Spirit. We come to know God and His will for us through His Word. Heb. 12:14 exhorts us to “follow after” (pursue) sanctification. May we deliberately separate ourselves for all uncleanness and continually trust God to accomplish His purposes. By single acts of surrender, sanctification is being accomplished.
E. J. D.

THE LAST DAYS


Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas



“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken “ Matthew 24:29.

Jesus is speaking in the above verse of “the tribulation.”  The Tribulation is a period of time of seven years allotted by God for the final judgment of Christ rejecting mankind on the earth.  The book of Revelation tells of this terrible time which shall soon come upon the earth.

The Scripture tells of the great calamities that will happen on the earth during this horrendous time.  “The sun will be darkened and the moon shall not give light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”  Matthew 24:7 says, “... and there shall be famines, and pestilences (diseases) and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

Jesus Christ will take His throne in heaven (Rev. 4)  immediately before the seven years begins. Then the tribulation period will begin.  The counterfeit of Christ will make a covenant with Israel, no doubt for a guarantee of their safety for seven years (Daniel 9:27).  He will appear to be a very wonderful gifted man, who will charm many into believing that he has the answers for the world’s problems. The beast out of the sea (known as the Antichrist) of Revelation 13:1-10,  will become the ruler of the world, and with his partner, the beast out of the earth (Revelation 13:11-18), known as the False Prophet, a religious figure, will bring the world into bondage to Satan and to themselves.  Those who do not take the “mark of the beast,” if caught by the evil forces will suffer beheading (Revelation 20:4), but those who take the mark will suffer from the wrath of Almighty God.  Terrible sores will come upon all those who take the mark (Revelation 16:2). In Revelation 9:4 it says that the locust that come up out of the bottomless pit will hurt and torment those who are unbelievers, who do not have the “seal of God in their foreheads.” The suffering of those who take the mark will be terrible, i.e. the trees and other vegetation being burned up, great hail falling, the waters turned to blood, plagues and destruction and etc.

The believers of this age will be with the Lord in heaven.  The Overcomers of this age will be helping to bring forth the judgment, in agreement with Christ who will be ruling from heaven.
There will be believers on the earth, and also a believing remnant of Israelites who will be protected from all the danger and wrath, but some will suffer death at the hand of the Antichrist and his forces.  Their spirits will be instantly with the Lord.  They will be rewarded for their faithfulness to stand against the evil manifested during that time.

Matthew 24:21-22 tells us, “For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened , there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”  The last three years of the tribulation are known as “the great tribulation.”  The Antichrist’s rule will be in full swing, and his wicked persecution of the believers will be in effect.  The Antichrist will break the covenant he made with Israel and begin persecuting the Jews.  God will miraculously protect a “remnant” or small portion of believing Jews by hiding them in the wilderness (Rev. 12:13-16).  Daniel 12:1 “...and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since  there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered everyone that shall be found written in the book.”  Also, Jeremiah 30:7 states, “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”

This message may seem terribly gloomy, but it is what the Word of God declares.  The wrath of God will surely come upon this world which has turned away from the truth of God’s Word and is running headlong after Satanic things, those things of disobedience of God.  However, the world’s sin is not what will cause them to experience the wrath of God, but one thing, their rejection of the salvation provided through Jesus Christ’s death upon the cross.

Apostle Paul commended the Thessalonians in saying, “...ye turned to God from idols to serve the living God; and to wait for His Son from heaven, Whom God raised from the dead even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”  Through Jesus Christ and our trust in Him as our Savior, we are, “DELIVERED FROM THE WRATH TO COME.”  We can claim the promise to be “kept from the hour of tribulation.” Very soon the trumpet will sound and the overcomers of this age will be taken up to be with the Lord (I Thess. 4:13-18).  Let us be watching and waiting for the trumpet to sound as Jesus gives a triumphant shout, “Come up here!”  The Holy Spirit will give us power to rise up to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Praise God! Praise God!

Too Little Is Too Much




And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Judges 7:2

Gideon thought, like any normal person, that there was safety in numbers. What God wanted him to learn is that God does not need our “much”. What we consider a lot is not necessary for our God. What we consider too little is exactly what God uses to do much.

Many of God’s people today think they need much to do much for the Lord. Often times, all of that gets in the way of God being able to do His work. The only thing God really needed from Gideon was a willing vessel. The same is true for us today. God needs willing vessels that He can use to show His “much”, which is much more than we can imagine.

We want to look at the great and the capable and those that have the resources, while God is looking for the small and the incapable and those with no resources. He does great thins through the small. Did God not use a small boy David to defeat the great giant Goliath?

God enables the incapable. Did God not use Moses and Gideon and Peter and many others in the Bible that thought they were incapable? Our capacity is of no concern to the One who enables the lame to walk.

For those without resources, God provides the necessary resources. Did not Jesus use a little boy and his limited resources to feed the five thousand? Did not he use a widow with only enough resources for one more meal to feed the prophet and her family for the rest of the famine?

How often are we tempted to limit God by what we see. We are reminded time and again that the just shall live by faith, but still tend to want to look and see what we have and limit God by that. God wants us to trust Him for every part of our life, even the parts we think we are capable of controlling our self.

We don’t have to wait until we have much to offer, God is waiting for us to just come to Him willing and open to His working. Paul had so much to look to for confidence. He had education, standing in the religious community, his own self righteousness. It was not until he gave up all of those things that he was able to really become useful to God.

Paul tells us that he did not come with excellency of speech, which he obviously had in his natural ability. But he did not rely on his ability to speak, but on the power of the Holy Spirit. Man’s “too little” is God’s “too much”.

Gordon Crook

RUTH



Pastor Debra Isenbletter

Springfield, Missouri



Ruth 3:11 – “And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.”

In the first part of this verse you can see what Ruth is not to do and what Boaz promises he will do. Then you can see how far reaching her testimony was and what that testimony was. What wonderful words of encouragement Boaz gives to Ruth following his words of blessing.

The first thing Boaz tells Ruth is that she is not to fear: “He calls her “my daughter,” this is the third time Boaz addresses her in this way (2:8; 3:10; 3:11). Boaz speaks to her with respect and as noted in the previous verse the word daughter is used to show a relationship and respect. This word can also be translated “apple of the eye.” Jamieson, Fausset & Brown define the “apple of the eye” as:
The “apple of the eye” or “as the little man of his eye; i.e., the pupil, in which, as in a mirror, a person can discern the image of himself reflected in miniature. It is a beautiful image, it refers to the care with which every person defends his eye from injury, conveys a graphic idea of the tender, vigilant diligence/attention with which the Lord watched over His people.”

This was God’s promise and protection: “he kept them as the apple of his eye” (Deut 32:10). “for he that toucheth you touches the apple of his eye” (Zech 2:8).  This was their prayer: “keep me as the apple of the eye” (Ps 17:8). This was God’s provision (to see His reflection in them): “Keep my commandments and my law as the apple of thine eye.” (Prov 7:2)

This is how Boaz felt about Ruth! This is how Jesus feels about His Bride. Jesus cares for and guards us as the “apple” of His eye!” Jesus sees the image of Himself reflected in His Bride!

The word “daughter” can be translated “first.” She served him “first,” he makes her “first” and will elevate her above all other women. This pictures saints who hold Jesus as their “first love” (Rev 2:4) and have not relaxed their hold on Him.

The word “daughter” can be translated “a company.” This is a “company” or “rank” of people. Ruth represents a company of people, a unique group of people that have the testimony of suffering, service and submission.  Paul in describing the resurrection of the saints says that Christ is the first fruits but others will follow after Him in resurrection, “but every man in his own order (rank).” (1 Cor 15:23). The Psalmist talks about the greatness of “the company” of those who publish the Word (Ps 68:11). John singles out two churches, two companies that have no criticism against them in Revelation from the seven that he writes to. The Smyrna saints were known for their “works and tribulation and poverty” (Rev 2:9) but are told that they were rich; and the Philadelphia saints were known for their strength and John describes it as “a little strength,” not because it was weak, but because they were small in number, but they had the strength to stand and withstand. They showed that strength when they “kept” (guarded) the Word and refused to deny His name (Rev 3:8).

Boaz, as a type of Christ is talking about more than the family relationship. Yes, Ruth is his “daughter” in the sense that she is “a young woman.” Yes, she is his “daughter” in the sense that he is a “kinsman” through Naomi. But she is more than that; she is the “apple of his eye.” She is his “first” love as he has become her “first” love. She may look insignificant but she is part of a great “company,” from her will come forth kings and the Messiah. But all her qualities that look so insignificant are a wonderful portrait of the Bride of Christ, of the woman who He has redeemed and will elevate and exalt one day.

Boaz speaks gently to Ruth, he tells her not to be afraid, he says: “fear not.” The word for fear doesn’t mean terror, it means to “stand in awe” of. Boaz was a great man, a mighty man, a wealthy man, an older man. He was a man of position and power and Ruth was a servant in his fields. She had made her request and Boaz could see how overwhelmed she was in his presence. To go on in a deeper relationship, she must find a balance between reverential fear and awe and the loving devotion of a wife.

The first thing that Boaz does is calm her fears, he gives her comfort. We need not be afraid to come into the Presence of Christ with our petitions. We come in faith with “awe” and “reverential fear.” We come also in love and deep devotion. We come knowing there is a deeper, more personal relationship. Our Reverence (He is Savior/Master) and our Love (He is Bridegroom) are perfected balanced.

“Our assurance is not in our feelings or our circumstances but in His Word. During the Boxer Rebellion, when the workers with the China Inland Mission were experiencing great suffering, the founder James Hudson Taylor, then in his late seventies, said to some colleagues, ‘’I cannot read; I cannot think; I cannot even pray; but I can trust.’” (Warren Wiersbe)

Next we see what Boaz tells Ruth “I will do to thee all that thou requirest.” What a wonderful assurance! The word “requirest” means “a challenge,” “a demand;” “a desire.” It also means “to name,” showing the specific details of the request made. What wonderful boldness on her part and Boaz is not displeased, he is pleased! She has the right to demand and desire his help. Jesus is waiting for us to challenge Him, to prove Him, to come to Him and name our need, to let Him prove His love for us! Boaz’s words give this assurance. He says he will “do” what she has asked and that he will do “all,” everything that she has asked. She hasn’t listed the details, because he knows them, he knows what to do, what is his responsibility, what is required of him. He will answer her challenge and meet the desire of her heart, it is his desire too! The Lord will never start something and not finish it, Paul tells us He “has begun a good work…and will perform it” (Phil 1:6). It is not in His nature to do anything else and whatever He does, He does it well, we cannot help but be satisfied. From His work in saving us (justifying), to his work of cleansing us (sanctifying), to His work of putting us on display and calling us home (glorifying). It is a perfect work, it is a good work, it is a wonderful work. We have the assurance He will do everything He has said He would and waits for us to lay claim to those things.

Boaz concludes his words to Ruth with a description of her wonderful testimony, he tells her who has seen her testimony: “for all the city of my people doeth know” and what her testimony revealed: “thou art a virtuous woman.” We see who it is that observed Ruth, it was “all the city,” it was “my people.” The word people can speak of the whole population and it can speak of all who sat at the gate of the city, the elders. It can be translated both ways. The Amplified and NAS: “all my people in the city” and the Complete Jewish Bible: “for all the city leaders among my people.” He tells her what they “know,” what they have “observed” by watching her. He tells her that everyone has been watching her and I can just picture this. Here is a woman of Moab, come back with Naomi, and I think that their initial attitude of watching was to find something to criticize and they could not! At the end of the harvest everyone knows the type of woman she is. She is called “a virtuous woman.” The word “virtuous” means “valor, strength” and can be translated “army, company, power, strength.” It is translated “you are a woman of strength (worth, bravery, capability)” (Amplified); “you are a woman of noble character” (NIV); “you are a woman of excellence” (NAS). She is like the “virtuous woman” whose “price is above rubies” (Prov 31:10). He has searched for her and found her, she was easy to find, she was right there in their midst. What a testimony she had!

Ruth looked weak outwardly but all saw in her a noble, virtuous character. They saw in Ruth a power and strength that was revealed through her service to Naomi and Boaz. Her strength is a wonderful testimony of the strength of the Bride of Christ. It is the strength of an “army” or “company.” A company is a people bound together with one purpose, and one love and their unity makes them strong. Solomon describes the Shulamite as a company. He compares her to “a company of horses” (Song 1:9), this pictures the power of horses to draw the chariots, especially in battle. He compares her to “the company of two armies” (Song 6:13). She fights on two levels, through prayer and through praise; she has let the Lord make her into what He wants and declares “thou hast made us kings and priests unto God” (Rev 1:6). I think this can picture the two armies Solomon used to describe the one he loved, an army of kings and priests, and army of those who battle through prayer and praise, an army made up of a company, a group of saints that, like Ruth, come and lay claim to all Christ will provide.

NOT ASHAMED

OF THE GOSPEL



Pastor Gary Giddings

Sand Lake, Michigan


Romans 1:16-17  16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Before the Apostle Paul was saved, he was “Saul of Tarsus,” a mover and shaker in the Jewish religion. He was very zealous as he rounded up so-called “heretics” that dared to follow the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. He disagreed violently with those who called Jesus the “anointed one,” or THE CHRIST.

But Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and he was never the same! He put aside all the benefits of being a Pharisee in order to follow Jesus.  He was NOT ASHAMED, humiliated or embarrassed to identify with Jesus because his personal relationship with Jesus changed his life!  Paul said, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Phil. 3:7-8)

Paul no longer cared what the religious Jews thought of him and his new found love for Jesus. His friends in the Jewish Council no longer had any respect for him because they supposed that Paul had dishonored and disgraced himself by identifying with Jesus. Not only was Paul redeemed and made a New Creation in Christ, God gave him a commission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ that he once opposed.

1 Timothy 1:12-16  12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Saul of Tarsus simply believed on Jesus Christ to life everlasting. This is the PATTERN for us: believe on Jesus and receive life everlasting. There are so many stories about those who, once AGAINST the Gospel of Jesus, came to bow the knee to Christ! Pray for those around you who need salvation. It may seem impossible at times, but KEEP PRAYING for them to be saved.  Your life might be the model that helps them to come to Christ.

Romans 9:30-33  30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.

Jesus is called A ROCK OF OFFENCE for those who reject Him.  But this Rock, Jesus Christ, is our stability and our strength! There is NO SHAME in the RIGHTEOUSNESS which is of FAITH in Jesus. Paul found that righteousness could NOT be attained by his “good works.” Paul declared that “we are made the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Romans 10:9-11  9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

God will honor those who submit themselves to Him. We may be shamed by the world, but not by God: we are now His CHILDREN. He loves us and He will take care of us! God honors those who put their faith and trust in Him. Even if our family and friends no longer respect us, God’s honor is much greater. What we have in Christ goes against the grain of this world system, so don’t expect to be praised and honored by this world. But only the Gospel of Jesus gives us the real picture of reality and the ability to enjoy it.

1 Corinthians 1:18, 21-24  18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God … 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Paul admits that preaching is foolishness to the world. But what makes it worthwhile is that God uses it! The power of God will flow through the channel that He chooses, however simple and backward it may seem to our human sensibilities.  The power and wisdom of God is still Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:15-16  15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

As we humbly read, study and meditate on God’s Word, we will learn to rightly handle and to AGREE with God’s message to us.  This is how we can PUT AWAY the vain babblings of the world, the flesh and the enemy.  We will NOT BE ASHAMED of the Gospel of Christ but we will REJOICE in Him.