THANKSGIVING


Most born again Christians celebrate Thanksgiving for a number of reasons, but whether to celebrate is a personal choice. Here are Biblical teachings along with the true history of this national holiday. While the Pilgrims began the custom, it was not established as a national holiday until 1863.

THANKSGIVING AND THE LEVITICAL LAW

God established a peace offering which was to be a ‘thanksgiving offering.’ Under the Old Covenant, the priests ate the offering.

Leviticus 7:15
The meat of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offering must be eaten on the day he offers it; none of it may be left until morning.

Leviticus 7:11 “Now this is the law of the peace offering that one may present to the LORD: 12 If he offers it as a thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, he must offer unleavened cakes mixed with olive oil, unleavened wafers coated with oil, and well-kneaded cakes of fine flour mixed with oil. 13 Along with his peace offering of thanksgiving, he is to present an offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14 From the cakes he must present one portion of each offering as a contribution to the LORD. It belongs to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offering.…”

  • Thanksgiving is NOT a pagan holiday. (see below)

THANKSGIVING UNDER THE NEW COVENANT 

Under the New Covenant Christ has made provision for us and taught us to offer thanks to God.

Matthew 15:36
Taking the seven loaves and the fish, He gave thanks and broke them. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.

THE FIRST AMERICAN THANKSGIVING

  • On the first Thanksgiving in 1622, Pilgrims gave thanks to God as we see in an excerpt from this letter: “Our corn [i.e. wheat] did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown…”
  • The Bible teaches that we are to give thanks to God. Ephesians 5:4, Colossians 2:7, Isaiah 51:3, Psalm 50:14
  • Jesus celebrated the holidays that were customs during His lifetime.

Thanksgiving is a national holiday due to the efforts of a woman named Sarah Hale.

Sarah Hale was the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book and the author of the children’s poem, “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”

She promoted the idea of Thanksgiving as a national holiday to unify the nation in the time of the Civil War and wrote about the proposal in her magazine.

 She lobbied President Lincoln to issue a proclamation of the day as a national holiday. The letter is on-file in The Library of Congress and is on-line for those interested in reading.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2018

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not extinguish the Spirit.

May God be with each of you and bless you richly this Thanksgivings Day, November 22, 2018.

 

 

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Posted in Bible Teaching, Christ, Christianity, Jehovah's Witness, Thanksgiving

LIVING BY FAITH…


PLEASING GOD

God sent His Son to redeem us. How then are we to please Him? He tells us that we cannot please Him without placing faith and trust in Him.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

The Creator of the universe is pleased when I trust Him!

Do we insult and reject Christ when we place our confidence in good works or in what we can do to please God? I think we insult Him, dishonor Him, and ‘yes,’ we reject Him when we fail to live by faith in Christ and the cleansing blood. Also, the Bible tells us that the greatest sacrifice ever made was in vain for those who do not come to Christ by faith.

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come[s] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.  –Galatians:2:21

It follows then that we are to walk by faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

FAITH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Because God loves us, He values our faith. It is what is best for us. A  study of the Holy Bible shows us that God values our faith because faith has tremendous value for each person. He wants us to trust Him. Justification by faith isn’t just taught in the New Testament. It began long before then. The first expressed example was Abel:

Hebrews 11:4 By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous…

Hebrews 11 is called the faith chapter. It tells us that Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and even Rahab the prostitute, all lived by faith. The writer goes on to say:

Hebrews 11:32 What more shall I say? For the time would fail me if I told of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets; 33 who, through faith subdued kingdoms, worked out righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, grew mighty in war, and caused foreign armies to flee. 35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, not accepting their deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Others were tried by mocking and scourging, yes, moreover by bonds and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned. They were sawn apart. They were tempted. They were slain with the sword. They went around in sheep skins and in goat skins; being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts, mountains, caves, and the holes of the earth. 39 These all, having had testimony given to them through their faith, didn’t receive the promise, 40 God having provided some better thing concerning us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Romans 4:3 Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as righteousness.

FAITH UNDER THE NEW COVENANT

As we see so many old testaments saints who pleased God by faith in Him it is no surprise that the good news or gospel teaches we are saved by grace through faith and there is no other way except to place our faith and trust in the blood of Jesus Christ the Righteous One. Jesus is the way and we must trust in Christ.

Romans 1:17 For the gospel reveals the righteousness of God that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

If this were all that we had been given, it really should be enough, but just as a parent tells a toddler repeatedly that he is to not talk to strangers, our loving heavenly Father tells us that we are SAVED by HIS grace through FAITH!

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

WHY WORK?

Many religious groups place their faith in working to please God. Indeed, they teach that we must work to be saved. Some are very ambiguous about this as they want to hold to both sides of the coin. Jesus said, however, that we cannot have two masters. We must place our hope in one or the other. To experience eternal life, we must place our faith in the One Person, who is able to save us.

An excellent explanation on why the teaching of salvation by works is prevalent in our world is given at Got Questions.

There are many groups, Watchtower is one, that teach this heresy. In fact, all religions are based on works. True Christianity is based on faith in Christ Jesus. We have all sinned and Christ paid the penalty for our sin. We will either pay for our own sins, or accept the gracious gift of God. We cannot work off the debt we owe.

Christian experience and the Bible tells us that true faith produces works that endure to the end, meaning Christians will produce spiritual fruit and works because Christ has worked a work of creation in their lives:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.

These in no way we are able to contribute to our salvation. Christ paid for that on the cross of Calvary. He uses our works to improve or change our lives, but that does not mean our eternal life depends upon our works. It depends upon Christ creating us anew or giving us new birth.

John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Great peace and joy is found in knowing that Christ paid the price and saves to the uttermost those who come to Him through faith.

Scriptures taken from Bible Hub.

 

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Christ, Christianity, Islam, Israel, Jehovah's Witness, Jesus, New Covenant

CAPTIVE OR COMPLETE?


If you believe the Bible is God’s word, but you believe Christians put too much emphasis on Christ, then this post is for you. 

COMPLETE IN CHRIST

Does scripture teach we are complete in Christ? Absolutely!

Colossians 2:6 Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, 7 having been rooted and being built up in Him, and being strengthened in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding with thanksgiving. 8 TAKE HEED LEST THERE BE ANYONE TAKING YOU CAPTIVE through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the principles of the world and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of the Deity dwells bodily. 10 AND YOU ARE COMPLETE IN HIM, who is the head of all rule and authority,

WHO ARE THE CAPTIVES?

The psalmist spoke of a time when God would lead captivity captive. Paul says this is fulfilled in Christ.

Psalm 68:16 Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever.

17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord isamong them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.

18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

Ephesians 4:7 Now to each one of us grace has been given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 This is why it says: “When He ascended on high, He led captives away, and gave gifts to men.”

Clark’s commentary reads: “That the Lord God might dwell among them – יה אלהים yah Elohim, the self-existing God; see on Psalm 68:4 (note). The conqueror now coming to fix his abode among the conquered people to organize them under his laws, to govern and dispense justice among them. The whole of this is very properly applied by St. Paul, Ephesians 4:5, to the resurrection and glory of Christ; where the reader is requested to consult the note.“

The only satisfying explanation and interpretation of this passage, and the interpretation I believe to be correct is found at SimplyBible.org:

The simplest explanation of “he led captivity captive” (Ephesians 4:8) is to think of captivity as slavery. Paul thinks of the new birth as an enslavement to Christ when he releases us from enslavement to sin (Romans 6:6,16-18).When Christ died, was buried, arose from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of God, he set a host of captives free from sin and took them captive to himself. He continues to do so even today and until he comes again, “that he might fill all things” (Ephesians 4:10).

Now if we become captives to Christ, how then are we complete? 

The beauty of the Gospel and of Christ’s atonement is that while He takes us captive, He then sets us free; free from sin and shame and captive to Christ’s love. We are complete in Him because Christ not only allows us to be declared not guilty, He enabled us to love and serve Him. Christ provides all we need because He is light, food, and water to those who trust Him and He justifies us.

Acts 13: 38 Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.39 Through Him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the Law of Moses.

AUTHORITY OF CHRIST

There are 18 passages in scriptures teaching that YHWH has placed all His authority in Christ, who came to earth as Son of man and Son of God. See Knowing Jesus…

Hebrews 1:1 On many past occasions and in many different ways, God spoke to our fathers through the prophets. 2 But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature, upholding all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.…

When we are placed in Christ, we are under this awesome Authority, yet Christ sets us free from sin and death. There is no greater place to be! A person can NEVER put too much emphasis on Christ! It is in Christ that YHWH makes us complete and we are justified before Him! 

Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Posted in Bible prophecy, Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Christ, Gospel, Grace of God, Jehovah's Witness, Jesus, Religion

America’s History -Founding Father Roger Sherman


Roger Sherman

Roger Sherman (April 19, 1721 – July 23, 1793) was an attorney. He is said to be the only person who signed all four great state papers of the United States: the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution.

Sherman was instrumental in securing the addition of “or to the people” in the wording of the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and caused the cent to be used in the financial system. In a letter to Oliver Wolcott (May 21, 1777) he wrote, “I think it dangerous to admit citizens not connected to the army to be tried by a Court Martial”.[28]

With the passage of time, and not many papers written by Sherman, we need to look at what he supported to learn his political leanings. It is recorded that he made motions or seconds in reference to the Virginia Plan 160 times. So what was the Virginia plan and what did its supporters believe?

THE VIRGINIA PLAN

The Virginia Plan was drafted by James Madison, and presented by Edmund Randolph to the Constitutional Convention on May 29, 1787.  It was a plan for a strong central government consisting of the three branches we know as: legislative, executive, and judicial. It had a flaw; it favored the large states as the plan provided for all states to be represented equally in Congress regardless of size. While Sherman made motions concerning the plan many times, he saw its weakness.

THE GREAT COMPROMISE 

The Virginia Plan did favor the large states, but there was an opposing plan called the New Jersey plan that gave all states equal representation. Roger Sherman was the person who proposed a compromise. It was adopted and became known as the Great Compromise.  His plan provided for two houses of Congress, one with representation according to or in proportion to the population of the state. The other house would have equal representation regardless of the size or population of the state. This has worked for 237 years and we have Roger Sherman to thank.

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Education, First Amendment Rights, Freedom

America’s History – Dr. John Witherspoon


We hear much talk of our Founding Fathers, what they believed and what they intended for the USA.  Most of us can name a few, but who exactly is included in this group and what influence did each have on our  history?

For my next few posts, I wish to learn who these men are and become better acquainted with each of them and how they helped to shape our nation.

FOUNDING FATHERS

Thought.com lists the most well-known among our founders: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams,Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Alexander Hamilton, & Gouverneur Morris. Biography includes John Jay. But for a complete list, see Ranker.com.  At Ranker we find all those who had a part in founding the nation. Perhaps you have an ancestor listed here!

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/Declaration_of_Independence_%281819%29%2C_by_John_Trumbull.jpgIn John Trumbull‘s famous painting, Witherspoon is the second seated figure from the (viewer’s) right among those shown in the background facing the large table. Photo is taken from Wikipedia

My plan here is to carefully study each person and as best we can, given the passage of time, sort out facts from fiction. We will begin with:

DR. JOHN WITHERSPOON 

Historical Records

John Knox Witherspoon, Feb 5, 1723, Gifford, East Lothian, Scotland was a pastor, a professor and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and ratified of the Constitution of the USA

Private Life

Dr. Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister before coming to America in 1768. He became president of the College of New Jersey which is now Princeton University. He was a family man, very committed to his ministry, and he lost a son, James, in a war in Europe.

Political Life

There is much information about his religious beliefs found at Wikipedia, but there is not a great deal known about his political beliefs. It appears that he was dedicated to the cause of independence for the Colonies.

On the Princeton University site, W. Frank Craven wrote a very biography on the life of Dr. Witherspoon. There is not a great deal written about his political life, but these paragraphs are helpful:

In his support of the American cause there is no occasion for surprise. He subscribed to John Locke’s political philosophy as wholeheartedly as to his psychology, and brought from Scotland a strong sense of ‘British liberty,” which he came to see as greatly endangered by the course of British policy. When John Adams stopped over in Princeton on his way to the first meeting of the Continental Congress in 1774, he met Witherspoon and pronounced him “as high a Son of Liberty, as any Man in America.”

Through the years he served in Congress, Witherspoon’s patriotism and judgment won the respect of his colleagues, as evidenced by his assignment to many committees, some of them among the most important. He struggled through these years — not always successfully — to keep the College in session, and he became a frequent commuter between Princeton and Philadelphia. He resigned from Congress in November 1782, when a war that had cost him the life of his son James (who graduated from the College in 1770 and was killed in Germantown) was ended, and peace, with American independence, seemed assured.

John Locke’s Political Philosophy

Since Witherspoon agreed with John Locke’s philosophy, we will look at what Locke believed. It can be summed up as follows:

Locke believed that

  • Everyone is born equal and free.
  • The purpose of forming and submitting to government is to secure the individual rights to life, liberty, and property.
  • Men have the right of revolution when it is called for.
  • The individual acquires property in nature by “mixing his labor” with natural objects.
  • …“for ‘tis labor indeed that puts the difference of value on every thing…”
  • People should have religious toleration for dissenters from the state church.
  • There should be broad legal toleration of competing religious doctrines, including Judaism, Islam, and even paganism.
  • Locke believed that we should “value a virtuous or wise man infinitely before a great scholar.”

The above was taken from a summary of John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration.

 

 

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Freedom, History

What happens to the spread of the gospel when Bibles are banned?


WILL CHINA STOP THE GROWTH OF CHRISTIANITY?

In China, not only have they stopped the sale of Bibles and the download of the Bible, they have forced the closing of Zion’s House Church. Apparently the Chinese government believes they can control the spread of the word of God with these actions. They are mistaken.

John 1:4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.

GOD PRESERVES AND KEEPS HIS WORD

From the scriptures, I have concluded that those who believe they can stop the spread of the written or Living Word are disillusioned. 

(Jesus said) Matthew 24:35 The heaven and the earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.

Psalm 119:89
Your word, YHWH, is everlasting; it is firmly fixed in the heavens.

Isaiah 51:6
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth below; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and its people will die like gnats. But My salvation will last forever, and My righteousness will never fail.

Isaiah 55:11
My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.

Matthew 5:18
For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

At least three times Jesus said:

Matthew 24:35 The heaven and the earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.

Mark 13:31
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

Luke 21:33
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away

HISTORY SHOWS THAT PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS RESULTS IN DEEPER FAITH AND COMMITMENT

Consider the following:

The Timothy Initiative when “Many people were added to the church as a result of that particular persecution.” 

The Church in Iran  In 2017, Operation World reported that the number of Christians in Iran saw a 19.6% rise in 2016 alone.

Persecution and Church Growth teaches “But the Bible, especially in the book of Acts, is clear that church growth will likely bring persecution.”

The early church is the best example we have of the church growing in spite of persecution. We are here today in spite of the persecution of the early Christians who describe the following situation:

Acts 5:28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name (Jesus),” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us responsible for this man’s blood.” 29But Peter and the other apostles replied,“We must obey God rather than men. 30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging Him on a tree.…

PRAY FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHINA

Colossians 1:We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified youe to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13e has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Christ, Christianity, communism, Gospel, Holy Spirit, Jesus | 4 Comments

My journey to faith…


BY FAITH

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Were you born with faith? I believe we all are, until someone or something (sin) destroys our faith. Our first expression of faith is that if we cry, someone will feed and clothe us and if you are reading this, someone did. So we begin our journey by faith, but where will it end?

https://church4u2.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/33911-13768104_1800063893570664_1977447120_n.jpg?w=306&h=306

THE WILDERNESS

John 11:26 Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

In the world I was born into, we had little, but enough. My parents carried me to church when they actually had to walk to get there. They were faithful to attend. Mother sewed the clothes that I wore as I grew and we sat in services every Sunday. I was much like other children. I heard the songs and some scripture and I began to wonder. I heard that “Jesus saves” but really had very little comprehension as to how or why Jesus did this. As I grew to be a teenager, the questions increased in my heart and mind, but I did not dare ask. I truly thought I should know the answers, but I didn’t actually know. I was in my own wilderness. I did hear frequently that if we would believe in Jesus we would not die and John 11:26 stated this truth. John 3:16 was memorized at an early age, but death was occurring all around me. My grandfather died. People in our church died. I wanted to believe, but I had trouble making sense of this and I would not ask. I did believe in God and I believed that somehow the Bible was right, but I was wandering and wondering.

THE LIGHT

I needed the light that is promised in John 8:12

Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.

My parents encouraged me to join the church and be baptized which I did at age seven, however, this changed nothing in my life. I did it because it was expected by them.

As I grew older, the world began to creep in and I thought less and less about the questions I had harbored as a child.  School activities and guys began to interest me more and the Bible interested me less. I did have faith, although it was very shallow. I did believe that somehow, God is good, Jesus saves, and things would work out in the end. That was about it. Philip Yancey had never written a book at this time and I did not realize, as I do now two truths that he later wrote in two of his books:

Somehow, …faith was what God valued… – Philip Yancey, Disappointment With God

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

“Because of Jesus we need never question God’s desire for intimacy. Does God really want close contact with us? Jesus gave up Heaven for it.” Philip Yancey, Grace Notes: Daily Readings with a Fellow Pilgrim

Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Luke 7:50 And he (Jesus) said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

I was busy reading “Gone With the Wind” and it actually ended up playing a part in God’s reaching down for me. If you’ve read the book, you know it is not a thin book. When I completed it, a thought occurred to me. Suppose I died and stood before the judgement seat of Christ. How would I explain that I had time in my life to read “Gone With the Wind“, yet I had never read the Bible. My mother had given me a new Bible as a gift and I decided, for that reason alone, to read it from Genesis to Revelation. It was during this reading that I met the risen Lord.

Luke 19:10 ‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” 

As I read, my mind often wandered. I didn’t stop, however, and one Saturday morning I reached John, chapter 3. This was the chapter I should have known better than any other chapter in the Bible, but that morning, it was as if I read it for the first time. Also, the Lord spoke to me as clearly as He spoke to Nicodemus. Here is what I read:

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but youf do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15  that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

As I read, I knew that I had not been born again. All I did about it at the time was be honest. I said something like, “Lord, I do not understand all about this, but I do believe what is written.”

JUST AS HE PROMISED

Matthew 11:28 All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

I felt a new peace in my heart. Peace that the world doesn’t offer. Something happened after that. I realized that I was a sinner and that only Christ could save me. I rededicated my life to the Lord publicly and eventually was baptized again. I began to read and understand the Bible more and more. I found myself with a new outlook and a new understanding of the crucifixion, atonement, and salvation by grace through faith. It was as if the Lord became my teacher by His Holy Spirit that continued to show me truth from the written word as my faith in the truth of the Living Word continued to grow.

THE JOURNEY

Fairly early on in my journey, this verse was given to me.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Truly the Lord values our faith and it is faith that pleases Him. Faith allows us to experience grace and salvation.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God…

Paul and Peter wrote of the importance of living by faith and the importance of faith in the life of a Christian.

Acts 15:8-9And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.

Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

2 Corinthians 4:13-14Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

GOD IS FAITHFUL

Another thing that the Lord has made clear to me on my journey is that God is faithful. If we have a little faith, and we exercise that faith in repentance of sin and trust in the atoning blood of Christ, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 Corinthians 1:8-He will sustain you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Gospel, Grace of God