August 20, 2017


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“The Lord’s Prayer: Part 2”

Matthew 6:9-13 (RSV)
9 Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread; 12 And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; 13 And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.

Luke 11:2-4 (RSV)
2 And he said to them, "When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread; 4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation."

Dear Lord, we live in a world that hates You, killed Your son, and hates us and our faith in You. Sometimes what we see in the world is so unbearable to us. It frightens us, it angers us, it makes us feel so helpless, and yes, EVEN THAT EVERYTHING IS HOPELESS.

We want Your Son Jesus Christ to return immediately in our timing. We lose focus on You and Your absolute sovereignty, holiness, mercy, grace, power, and above all LOVE !!! We lose focus on our eternal LOVE relationship with You…………………………

Help us oh Lord not to lose sight of You, Your goodness, Your call on our lives to be NOT OF THIS WORLD, but to serve You  in this world, to reach out to the very people who hate You, and hate us. Help us to be reflections of Your light, Your LOVE in this deeply fallen world.

Give us LOVE for all, and wisdom, grace, strength, endurance, and fortitude to live and do Your will for the people around us, for those Your Son voluntarily died for, who DIED FOR US. BE WITH US LORD. In Jesus name we pray these things, Amen and eternally Amen……………………………….

Let us continue our study of the Lord’s prayer:


So far we have been thinking of the first two words of this address to God—Our Father, but God is not only Our Father, He is Our Father who is in heaven. The last words are of primary importance. They conserve two great truths.

(i) They remind us of the holiness of God. It is very easy to cheapen and to sentimentalize the whole idea of the fatherhood of God, and to make it an excuse for an easy-going, comfortable religion. "He's a good fellow and all will be well." As Heine said of God:

"God will forgive. It is his trade."

If we were to say Our Father, and stop there, there might be some excuse for that; but it is Our Father in heaven to whom we pray. The LOVE is there, but the holiness is there, too.

It is extraordinary how seldom Jesus used the word Father in regard to God. Mark's gospel is the earliest gospel, and is therefore the nearest thing we will ever have to an actual report of all that Jesus said and did; and in Mark's gospel Jesus calls God Father only six times, and never outside the circle of the disciples. To Jesus the word Father was so sacred that he could hardly bear to use it; and he could never use it except amongst those who had grasped something of what it meant.

We must never use the word Father in regard to God cheaply, easily, and sentimentally. God is not an easy-going parent who tolerantly shuts His eyes to all sins and faults and mistakes. This God, our God, whom we can call Father, is the God whom we must still approach with reverence and adoration, and awe and wonder. God is our Father in heaven, and in God there is LOVE, justice and holiness combined.

(ii) They remind us of the power of God. In human LOVE there is so often the tragedy of frustration. We may LOVE a person and yet be unable to help him achieve something, or to stop him doing something. Human LOVE can be intense—and quite helpless. Any parent with an erring child, or any lover with a wandering loved one knows that. But when we say, 'Our Father in heaven,' we place two things side by side. We place side by side the LOVE of God and the power of God. We tell ourselves that the power of God is always motivated by the LOVE of God, and can never be exercised for anything but our good; we tell ourselves that the LOVE of God is backed by the power of God, and that therefore its purposes can never be ultimately frustrated or defeated. It is LOVE of which we think, but it is the LOVE of God. When we pray Our Father in heaven we must ever remember the holiness of God, the justice of God and we must ever remember the power which moves in LOVE, and the LOVE which has behind it the undefeatable power of God.

"Hallowed be Thy name"—it is probably true that of all the petitions of the Lord's Prayer this is the one whose meaning we would find it most difficult to express. First, then, let us concentrate on the actual meaning of the words.

The word which is translated hallowed is a part of the Greek verb hagiazesthai. The Greek verb hagiazesthai is connected with the adjective hagios, and means to treat a person or a thing as hagios. Hagios is the word which is usually translated holy; but the basic meaning of hagios is different or separate. A thing which is hagios is different from other things. A person who is hagios is separate from other people. So a temple is hagion because it is different from other buildings. An altar is hagios because it exists for a purpose different from the purpose of ordinary things. God's day is hagios because it is different from other days. A priest is hagios because he is separate from other men. So, then, this petition means, "Let God's name be treated differently from all other names; let God's name be given a position which is absolutely unique."

But there is something to add to this. In Hebrew the name does not mean simply the name by which a person is called—John or James, or whatever the name may be. In Hebrew the name means the nature, the character, the personality of the person in so far as it is known or revealed to us. That becomes clear when we see how the Bible writers use the expression.

The Psalmist says,

Psalm 9:10A (RSV)
10 And those who know thy name put their trust in thee,…

Quite clearly that does not mean that those who know that God is called Jehovah will trust in Him. It means that those who know what God is like, those who know the nature and the character of God will put their trust in Him. The Psalmist says,

Psalm 20:7 (RSV)
7 Some boast of chariots, and some of horses; but we boast of the name of the LORD our God.

Quite clearly that does not mean that in a time of difficulty the Psalmist will remember that God is called Jehovah. It means that at such a time some will put their trust in human and material aids and defenses, but the Psalmist will remember the nature and the character of God; he will remember what God is like, and that memory will give him confidence.

So, then, let us take these two things and put them together. Hagiazesthai, which is translated to hallow, means to regard as different, to give a unique and special place to. The name is the nature, the character, the personality of the person in so far as it is known and revealed to us. Therefore, when we pray "Hallowed be Thy name," it means, "Enable us to give to thee the unique place which thy nature and character deserve and demand."

Is there, then, one word in English for giving to God the unique place which His nature and character demand? There is such a word, and the word is reverence. This petition is a prayer that we should be enabled to reverence God as God deserves to be reverenced. In all true reverence of God there are four essentials.

(i) In order to reverence God we must believe that God exists. We cannot reverence someone who does not exist; we must begin by being sure of the existence of God.

To the modern mind it is strange that the Bible nowhere attempts to prove the existence of God. For the Bible God is an axiom. An axiom is a self-evident fact which is not itself proved, but which is the basis of all other proofs. For instance, 'A straight line is the shortest distance between two points,' and, 'Parallel lines, however far produced, will never meet,' are axioms.

The Bible writers would have said that it was superfluous to prove the existence of God, because they experienced the presence of God every moment of their lives. They would have said that a man no more needed to prove that God exists than he needs to prove that his wife exists. He meets his wife every day, and he meets God every day.

But suppose we did need to try to prove that God exists, using our own minds to do so, how would we begin? We might begin from the world in which we live. Paley's old argument is not yet completely outdated. Suppose there is a man walking along the road. He strikes his foot against a watch lying in the dust. He has never in his life seen a watch before; he does not know what it is. He picks it up; he sees that it consists of a metal case, and inside the case a complicated arrangement of wheels, levers, springs and jewels. He sees that the whole thing is moving and working in the most orderly way. He sees further that the hands are moving round the dial in an obviously predetermined routine. What then does he say? Does he say: "All these metals and jewels came together from the ends of the earth by chance, by chance made themselves into wheels and levers and springs, by chance assembled themselves into this mechanism, by chance wound themselves up and set themselves going, by chance acquired their obvious orderly working"? No. He says, "I have found a watch; somewhere there must be a watch-maker."

Order presupposes mind. We look at the world; we see a vast machine which is working in order. Suns rise and set in an unvarying succession. Tides ebb and flow to a timetable. Seasons follow each other in an order. We look at the world, and we are bound to say, "Somewhere there must be a world-maker." The fact of the world drives us to God. As Sir James Jeans has said,

"No astronomer can be an atheist."

The order of the world demands the mind of God behind it.

We might begin from ourselves. The one thing man has never created is life. Man can alter and rearrange and change things, but he cannot create a living thing. Where then did we get our life? From our parents. Yes, but where did they get theirs? From their parents. But where did all this begin? At some time life must have come into the world; and it must have come from outside the world for man cannot create life; and once again we are driven back to God.

When we look in upon ourselves and out upon the world we are driven to God. As Kant said long ago,

"the moral law within us, and the starry heavens above us,"

drive us to God.

(ii) Before we can reverence God, we must not only believe that God is, we must also know the kind of God He is. No one could reverence the Greek gods with their loves and wars, their hates and their adulteries, their trickeries and their knaveries. No one can reverence capricious, immoral, impure gods. But in God as we know Him there are three great qualities. There is holiness; there is justice; and there is LOVE. We must reverence God, not only because He exists, but because He is the God whom we know Him to be.

(iii) But a man might believe that God is; he might be intellectually convinced that God is holy, just and LOVING; and still he might not have reverence. For reverence there is necessary a constant awareness of God to reverence God means to live in a God-filled world, to live a life in which we never forget God. This awareness is not confined to the Church or to so-called holy places; it must be an awareness which exists everywhere and at all times.

Wordsworth spoke of it in Lines composed near Tintern Abbey:

"And I have felt

A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused,

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

And the round ocean, and the living air,

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:

A motion and a spirit, that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things."

One of the finest of devotional poets is Henry Ernest Hardy who wrote under the name of Father Andrew. In The Mystic Beauty he writes:

"O London town has many moods,

And mingled 'mongst its many broods

A leavening of saints,

And ever up and down its streets,

If one has eyes to see one meets

Stuff that an artist paints.

I've seen a back street bathed in blue,

Such as the soul of Whistler knew:

A smudge of amber light,

Where some fried fish-shop plied its trade,

A perfect note of colour made—

Oh, it was exquisite!

I once came through St. James' Park

Betwixt the sunset and the dark,

And oh the mystery

Of grey and green and violet!

I would I never might forget

That evening harmony.

I hold it true that God is there

If beauty breaks through anywhere;

And his most blessed feet,

Who once life's roughest roadway trod.,

Who came as man to show us God,

Still pass along the street."

God in the back street, God in St. James' Park, God in the fried fish-shop—that is reverence. The trouble with most people is that their awareness of God is spasmodic, acute at certain times and places, totally absent at others. Reverence means the constant awareness of God.

(iv) There remains one further ingredient in reverence. We must believe that God exists; we must know what kind of a God he is; we must be constantly aware of God. But a man might have all these things and still not have reverence. To all these things must be added obedience and submission to God. Reverence is knowledge plus submission. In his catechism Luther asks,

"How is God's name hallowed amongst us?"

and his answer is,

"When both our life and doctrine are truly Christian,"

That is to say, when our intellectual convictions, and our practical actions, are in full submission to the will of God.

To know that God is, to know what kind of a God He is, to be constantly aware of God, and to be constantly obedient to Him—that is reverence and that is what we pray for when we pray: "Hallowed be thy name." Let God be given the reverence which his nature and character deserve.

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc

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August 13, 2017


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“The Lord’s Prayer: Part 1”

Matthew 6:9-13 (RSV)
9 Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread; 12 And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; 13 And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.

Luke 11:2-4 (RSV)
2 And he said to them, "When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread; 4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation."

Lord God Jehovah, YHWH, hallowed be thy name. Oh Lord, we give You all honor and praise, and Thank You for the LOVE You freely bestow upon us, by Your great mercy and grace. I cannot believe how blessed I am!!! We pray for the serious problems occurring around the world, especially in North Korea. Guide, direct, give wisdom and grace to President Trump, his staff and all those who have responsibilities in our government. Thy will be done…

We pray for all those who are in harm’s way, in Guam, South Korea, Japan, and the world as a whole, and especially our military, protect them Father.

We pray for all those who are ill especially Tom Weatherford’s potential grandchild, give this baby life even unto old age…………….

Lord help us reach out to the Lost, in LOVE, grace, mercy and boundless compassion, to help them obtain Your eternal salvation. THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE; we pray all these things in Jesus our abundant Savior’s name Amen and eternally Amen………………….

Over the next month, and probably longer we will discuss God’s famous prayer that even most Atheists know: THE LORD’S PRAYER………………

Let us begin:

Before we begin to think about the Lord's Prayer in detail there are certain general facts which we will do well to remember about it.

We must note, first of all, that this is a prayer which taught His disciples to pray. Both Matthew and Luke are clear about that. Matthew sets the whole Sermon on the Mount in the context of the disciples:

Matthew 5:1 (RSV)
1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.

Luke tells us that Jesus taught this prayer in response to the request of one of his disciples:

Luke 11:1 (RSV)
1 He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples."

The Lord's Prayer is a prayer which only a disciple can pray; it is a prayer which only one who is committed to Jesus Christ can take upon his lips with any meaning.

The Lord's Prayer is not a child's prayer, as it is so often regarded; it is, in fact, not meaningful for a child. The Lord's Prayer is not the Family Prayer as it is sometimes called, unless by the word family we mean the family of the Church. The Lord's Prayer is specifically and definitely stated to be the disciple's prayer; and only on the lips of a disciple has the prayer its full meaning. To put it in another way, the Lord's Prayer can only really be prayed when the man or woman who prays it knows what they are saying, and they cannot know that until they have entered into discipleship.

We must note the order of the petitions in the Lord's Prayer. The first three petitions have to do with God and with the glory of God; the second three petitions have to do with our needs and our necessities. That is to say, God is first given His supreme place, and then, and only then, we turn to ourselves and our needs and desires. It is only when God is given His proper place that all other things fall into their proper places. Prayer must never be an attempt to bend the will of God to our desires; prayer ought always to be an attempt to submit our wills to the will of God.

The second part of the prayer, the part which deals with our needs and our necessities, is a marvelously wrought unity. It deals with the three essential needs of humanity, and the three spheres of time within which we move. First, it asks for bread, for that which is necessary for the maintenance of life, and thereby brings the needs of the present to the throne of God. Second, it asks for forgiveness and thereby brings the past into the presence of God. Third, it asks for help in temptation and thereby commits all the future into the hands of God. In these three brief petitions, we are taught to lay the present, the past, and the future before the footstool of the grace of God.

But not only is this a prayer which brings the whole of life to the presence of God; it is also a prayer which brings the whole of God to our lives. When we ask for bread to sustain our earthly lives, that request immediately directs our thoughts to God the Father, the Creator and the Sustainer of all life. When we ask for forgiveness, that request immediately directs our thoughts to God the Son, Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. When we ask for help for future temptation, that request immediately directs our thoughts to God the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Strengthener, the Illuminator, the Guide and the Guardian of our way.

In the most amazing way this brief second part of the Lord's Prayer takes the present, the past, and the future, the whole of man's life, and presents them to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, to God in all his fulness. In the Lord's Prayer Jesus teaches us to bring the whole of life to the whole of God, and to bring the whole of God to the whole of life.

Matthew 6:9 (RSV)
9 Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

It might well be said that the word Father used of God is a compact summary of the Christian faith. The great value of this word Father is that it settles all the relationships of this life.

(i) It settles our relationship to the unseen world. Missionaries tell us that one of the greatest reliefs which Christianity brings to the heathen mind and heart is the certainty that there is only one God. It is the heathen belief that there are hordes of gods, that every stream and river, and tree and valley, and hill and wood, and every natural force has its own god. The heathen lives in a world crowded with gods. Still further, all these gods are jealous, and grudging, and hostile. They must all be placated, and a man can never be sure that he has not omitted the honor due to some of these gods. The consequence is that the heathen lives in terror of the gods; he is "haunted and not helped by his religion."

The most significant Greek legend of the gods is the legend of Prometheus. Prometheus was a god. It was in the days before men possessed fire; and life without fire was a cheerless and a comfortless thing. In pity Prometheus took fire from heaven and gave it as a gift to men. Zeus, the king of the gods, was mightily angry that men should receive this gift. So he took Prometheus and he chained him to a rock in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, where he was tortured with the heat and the thirst of the day, and the cold of the night. Even more, Zeus prepared a vulture to tear out Prometheus' liver, which always grew again, only to be torn out again.

That is what happened to the god who tried to help men. The whole conception is that the gods are jealous, and vengeful, and grudging; and the last thing the gods wish to do is to help mankind. That is the heathen idea of the attitude of the unseen world to humanity. The heathen is haunted by the fear of a horde of jealous and grudging gods. So, then, when we discover that the God to whom we pray has the name and the heart of a father it makes literally all the difference in the world. We need no longer shiver before a horde of jealous gods; we can rest in a father's LOVE.

(ii) It settles our relationship to the seen world, to this world of space and time in which we live. It is easy to think of this world as a hostile world. There are the chances and the changes of life; there are the iron laws of the universe which we break at our peril; there is suffering and death; but if we can be sure that behind this world there is, not a capricious, jealous, mocking god, but a God whose name is Father, then although much may still remain dark, all is now bearable because behind all is LOVE. It will always help us if we regard this world as organized not for our comfort but for our training.

Take, for instance, pain. Pain might seem a bad thing, but pain has its place in the order of God. It sometimes happens that a person is so abnormally constituted that he is incapable of feeling pain. Such a person is a danger to himself and a problem to everyone else. If there were no such thing as pain, we would never know that we were ill, and often we would die before steps could be taken to deal with any disease or illness. That is not to say that pain cannot become a bad thing, but it is to say that times without number pain is God's red light to tell us that there is danger ahead.

Lessing used to say that if he had one question to ask the Sphinx, it would be:

"Is this a friendly universe?"

If we can be certain that the name of the God who created this world is Father, then we can also be certain that fundamentally this is a friendly universe. To call God Father is to settle our relationship to the world in which we live.

(iii) If we believe that God is Father, it settles our relationship to our fellow-men. If God is Father, He is Father of all mankind. The Lord's Prayer does not teach us to pray My Father; it teaches us to pray Our Father. It is very significant that in the Lord's Prayer the words I, me, and mine never occur; it is true to say that Jesus came to take these words out of life and to put in their place we, us, and ours. God is not any man's exclusive possession. The very phrase Our Father involves the elimination of self. The fatherhood of God is the only possible basis of the brotherhood of humanity.

(iv) If we believe that God is Father, it settles our relationship to ourselves. There are times when every person despises and hates themselves. We know ourselves to be lower than the lowest thing that crawls upon the earth. The heart knows its own bitterness, and no one knows a person's unworthiness better than that of ourselves!!!

Mark Rutherford wished to add a new beatitude:

 "Blessed are those who heal us of our self-despisings."

Blessed are those who give us back our self-respect. That is precisely what God does. In these grim, bleak, terrible moments we can still remind ourselves that, even if we matter to no one else, we matter to God; that in the infinite mercy of God we are of royal lineage, children of the King of kings.

(v) If we believe that God is Father, it settles our relationship to God. It is not that it removes the might, majesty and power of God. It is not that it makes God any the less God; but it makes that might, and majesty, and power, approachable for us.

There is an old Roman story which tells how a Roman Emperor was enjoying a triumph. He had the privilege, which Rome gave to her great victors, of marching his troops through the streets of Rome, with all his captured trophies and his prisoners in his train. So the Emperor was on the march with his troops. The streets were lined with cheering people. The tall legionaries lined the streets' edges to keep the people in their places. At one point on the triumphal route there was a little platform where the Empress and her family were sitting to watch the Emperor go by in all the pride of his triumph. On the platform with his mother there was the Emperor's youngest son, a little boy. As the Emperor came near the little boy jumped off the platform, burrowed through the crowd, tried to dodge between the legs of a legionary, and to run out on to the road to meet his father's chariot. The legionary stooped down and stopped him. He swung him up in his arms: "You can't do that, boy," he said. "Don't you know who that is in the chariot? That's the Emperor. You can't run out to his chariot." And the little lad laughed down. "He may be your Emperor," he said, "but he's my father." That is exactly the way the Christian feels towards God. The might, and the majesty, and the power are the might, and the majesty, and the power of one whom Jesus taught us to call Our Father.

Next week we will continue are discussion of the Lord’s Prayer………………..

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. 
Thy will be done in earth, 
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
But deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. In Jesus name Amen and eternally
Amen.

Sumitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc



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August 6, 2017


 "a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"The Steps of the Christian Way" 

Luke 1 v 76-77 context (v 67-80) 

"And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77. To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins," 

Father we are not of this world system but have a heavenly inheritance, reserved for us with You, and so we pray that we will no longer be conformed into the pattern of this world and squeezed into its mold, but day by day, moment by moment, be increasingly transformed into the image and likeness of our Lord, God, and blessed Savior Jesus Christ.

Help us to take every thought captive and to surrender our hearts and lives to You in true obedience and godly humility. May we who are Your children be drawn closer to each other and to You as You do a good work in each of our lives. Build us up into a spiritual house, where Christ is the cornerstone and may Your indwelling Holy Spirit – prompt and guide us, encourage and train us in everything we say and do.

ord I, we, surrender all we are to You today and pray that we may talk the talk, and walk the walk in newness of LOVE and humble obedience all the days of our lives, in Jesus, YOUR ONE AND ONLY BEGOTTEN SON’S name we pray, Amen and ETERNALLY AMEN...


Before the birth of our glorious King and Savior Jesus Christ, the Bible, foretold of a prophet who would come. 

Isaiah 40 v 3B 

“…Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” 

That prophet would prepare the world for the coming of their, our, Messiah. The entire context verses 67-80 speaks about that prophet. *But our main text verses 76-77 give us great insight into the steps of the Christian way… 

First, there is preparation. All life is training, the groundwork meant to lead us to Jesus Christ.
 
Take Moses for example: 

Exodus 1 v 22 

“And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.” 

After the death of Joseph and of all those of the Egyptians that knew him, a change of heart fell upon the new leaders. They saw how the Jews grew in number, and were very afraid… 

So the new Pharaoh ordered that all the new born male babies of the Jews were to be killed by being thrown into the river… 

Exodus 2 v 1-10 

“And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. 4. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. 5. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 6. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children. 7. Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? 8. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. 9. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. 10. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.” 

As a result of this decree by Pharaoh, Moses was hidden by his Mother in the bulrushes to, she hoped, to prevent her baby’s death. 

Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses and raised him as her own. Moses grew in stature and in the wisdom of the Egyptians. According to Jewish history outside of Bible accounts, Moses became a great general, and learned to lead a nation… 

Then as he became aware of the plight of his people the Hebrews, his heart turned to their suffering. 

Exodus 2 v 11-12 

“And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.” 

When Pharaoh heard what Moses had done, he must have felt Moses had betrayed him as king; and sought to kill Moses… 

Moses fled to Midian… 

Exodus 2 v 15 

“Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.” 

In Midian Moses married Zipporah a daughter of Jethro a priest of Midian. And for many years Moses listened to the faith of Jethro, and learned the terrain of the wilderness while shepherding flocks of sheep… 

Then as he watched his flock, God appeared to him in a bush a Blaze!!! 

Exodus 3 v 2 

“And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” 

And Moses’ life from a baby, to a man, to a well-tested adult prepared him, to return to Egypt and by the grace, power, and wisdom of God; he lead his Hebrew brothers and sisters out of the house of bondage into the wilderness of Sinai. Where his time in Midian had prepared him for his travels with the children of Israel in the wilderness. And there the children of Israel were prepared by their experiences in the wilderness for forty years; to one day enter into the promised land… 

Our lives, our families, our friends, our moment by moment lives, our hopes, dreams, desires, good times and times of perhaps great hardship or trials prepare us for coming to Jesus, or living for Him… 

When Sir Walter Scott was a young, it was his life’s desire to be a career soldier. An accident made him lame and he would never be able to become that soldier. Instead he took up reading old Scottish histories and romances which prepared him to become one of the world’s greatest novelists. And so by God’s grace and mercy life’s circumstances prepared a young man to become a master writer… 

*In life, God is working ALL things together to bring us to Jesus… 

Romans 8 v 28 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” 

Second, there is knowledge. It is a straightforward fact that mankind did not genuinely know or understand what God was really like, until Jesus became God incarnate, God in the flesh; fully God, fully man… 

The Greeks thought of a passionless God, beyond all joy or sorrow, looking on men in calm unmoved detachment---Not responsive to mans’ need or man’s joy…*No help for mankind there. 

The Jews thought of a demanding God, whose name was Law and whose function was that of Judgment---Nothing but terror there… 

Jesus came to tell of God’s LOVE for ALL mankind and His eternal concern for our welfare and salvation… 

John 3 v 16-17 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” 

2 Peter 3:9 (RSV)
9 The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Far from the emotionless God, God really cares. *He cries for us… 

Jeremiah 14 v 17B 

“…Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.”
 
Upon the cross in His humiliation and death, Jesus pleaded the Love of God for, we who butchered and killed Him. 

Luke 23 v 34 

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” 

While we were yet sinners, enemies, haters of God, Jesus died for us… 

Romans 5 v 8 

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 

It is God’s desire that ALL should be saved!!! 

1 Timothy 2 v 3-4 

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 

God offers us knowledge and truth that can lead us to salvation… 

2 Timothy 3 v 15 

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 

And that faith comes from knowledge and study of God’s word. 

Romans 10 v 17 

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 

Faith and knowledge that leads to repentance… 

2 Peter 3 v 9 

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 

Repentance comes from knowledge of God’s holiness. 

Joshua 24 v 19 

“And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.” 

Psalms 99 v 9 

“Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.”
 
Matthew 27 v 46 

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 

When all the sins of all the world were put upon Jesus, God the Father being so holy, had to turn His back to the dying Jesus, for He could not look upon sin… 

Jesus for the only time in all of eternity was alone, for His Father for that moment in time, was not in communion with Jesus…***Jesus was utterly unaided, and estranged from His Father. As we are without God born in our sinful states, our ‘fallen’-human natures barren and without God.***Needing reconciliation with God Almighty… 

Psalms 58 v 3 

“The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” 

Isaiah 53 v 6A 

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…”
 
Psalms 14 v 2-3 

“The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” 

As we are given the knowledge and understanding of our ‘own’ sinfulness (total depravity), we realize our absolute need for a Savior. 

Matthew 5 v 3 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 

Being very clearly aware of how poor in spirit we are without God, meaning how totally evil we are without God in our lives, we are blessed if it moves us towards repentance. 

Martin Luther said: 

“Man must come to a knowledge of himself, be terrified of himself, and be crushed as a prelude to receiving God’s grace, forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ.” 

Matthew 5 v 4 

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” 

We will be blessed if that knowledge of ourselves leads us to mourn because of our depravity… 

Matthew 5 v 5 

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” 

The blessings will continue if our knowledge of our depravity not only causes us to mourn but leads on to a humble spirit… 

A spirit of humility that leads to an unassuming and willing submission to God, and a sensitive LOVING spirit to the lost around us! 

Psalms 34 v 18 

“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” 

This process leads to hungering and thirsting for God and His righteousness in our hearts and daily eternal actions… 

Matthew 5 v 6 

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” 

And God promises that WE WILL BE FORGIVEN… “Shall be filled”!!! 

Third, our main text says: remission of our sins. FORGIVENESS!!! 

Matthew 26 v 28 

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” 

Through Jesus’ sacrificial death upon the cross, His shed blood for payment and a covering of our sins, we by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ can experience remission of our sins…Forgiveness! 

Acts 10 v 43 

“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” 

Romans 3 v 25 

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”
 
By remission of sins, we are forgiven and reconciled to our holy Father: God the Eternal Father… 

Then and only then, DO WE BECOME HIS CHILDREN… 

John 1 v 12 

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” 

Hebrews 9 v 22-28 

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 23. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26. For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” 

Repentance and remission of sins goes hand in hand with Jesus Christ’s blood sacrifice and without His sacrifice there is no forgiveness of sins!!! 

I must be clear about one thing regarding forgiveness.***It is not so much the remission of the penalty of sin as it is the restoration of our relationship with God… 

God does not always deliver us from the physical consequences of our sins; but He does restore our spiritual and literal LOVE relationship with Him. ***If we genuinely and sincerely ask Him to in repentance!!! 

The way of the Christian, IS TO PREPARE FOR HIS COMING, TO GROW IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, by reading His word the Bible and attending Church as much as possible; 

2 Timothy 3 v 16-17 

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 

2 Timothy 2 v 15 

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 

Hebrews 10 v 25 

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” 

By doing God’s word. 

James 1 v 22 

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” 

1 John 3 v 18 

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 

Romans 2 v 13 

“For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” 

Luke 11 v 28 

“But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” 

And by ACCEPTING HIS FORGIVENESS for the REMISSION OF YOUR SINS!!!!!!!
 
Romans 10 v 9-10 

“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.” 

PREPARATION, KNOWLEDGE, and REMISSION are the “STEPS of the CHRISTIAN WAY”!!!!!!! 

Genuinely and humbly ask Jesus to be your SAVIOR today!!! 

2 Corinthians 6:2 (RSV)
2 For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Genuinely and humbly ask Jesus to help you to LOVE ALL OTHERS AS HE DOES, IN SERVICE AND SELF-SACRIFICE!!!!!!!

 Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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​July 30, 2017


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"The Loved Son,  A Type of Christ"

 Genesis 37 v 1-3

 "And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. 3. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours."

Great and awesome God, creator and source of all life, we worship and praise You. Out of chaos and darkness You spoke words which brought order and light and life. We marvel at such evidence of Your greatness and glory.

Yet, You laid these aside when You took on human flesh in Jesus Christ. In Him we gained a new understanding of Your power and glory, for He revealed through His life, that true power is based upon empowering others, and that glory is made visible through LOVING and serving others.

We marvel anew at the depth of Your care for us and the many ways our lives have been blessed by the sacrificial life and LOVE of Jesus. It is because of Him that we are gathered here today, and it is in Jesus name that we pray. Amen and eternally Amen………...

 There was a famous German Theologian named Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was known for trying to de-miracle the miracles in the Bible. At one such lecture in a church setting, with great eloquence and intellectual persona he masterfully explained that the parting of the Red Sea did not occur as ministers had taught. That in fact the phrase we translate Red Sea, DOES NOT MEAN RED SEA AT ALL, but rather it literally means: “reed sea”. He concluded the Red Sea was not involved at all, that logically and realistically the Jews had sought escape from the onslaught of the Egyptian army by means of passing through a marsh, an extremely shallow swamp. Being honest, there are many such areas near and around the Red Sea that match perfectly Bonhoeffer’s description, and truly it would make good sense for the Jewish people to attempt to escape through one of those areas rather than expecting God to somehow miraculously transport all their men, women, children, all their livestock and possessions, and the plunder they took from Egypt across the mighty Red Sea.

 After his lecture he had many in the church questioning the historic reality of the parting of the Red Sea. He was convinced he had debunked at-least one miracle of the Bible! Pleased with himself, after answering several questions from the audience, he stepped back stage to leave. As he left the stage one man stepped up to him, shook his hand, and said: “Praise the Lord”. Bonhoeffer smiled, the man continued, “What a miracle!”

 Bonhoeffer said, “What do you mean? Didn’t you hear my proof, THERE WAS NO PARTING OF THE RED SEA!!”

 The man now smiling ear to ear said, “Certainly I listened to what you said. I listened and was fascinated with every word.”

 “You made the miracle EVEN MORE GLORIOUS!!!”, the man declared.

 “What?” said Bonheoffer.

 The man went on, “Think of it, if you are right, then my beloved God DESTROYED THE EGYPTIAN ARMY NOT IN A RAGING SEA, BUT IN A LITTLE MUD PUDDLE!!!”

 There are many people who believe in God and yet do not believe in the miracles of the Bible, or even in the Bible itself, and many more non-believers that would agree with them.

 Like Bonhoeffer, they could not see the miracles for the facts they think they see, or like the person who cannot see the forest for all the trees in the way…

 Today we will discuss another amazingly glorious proof that the Bible is indeed the ABSOLUTELY INSPIRED, AND THE INERRANT, INFALLIBLE “WORD OF GOD”…….

 It is a historical fact agreed upon by all, that the Old Testament was written and all its human writers were long dead, hundreds of years before even the birth of Mary the mother of Jesus Christ.

 Yet throughout the pages of the Old Testament we have numerous reflections, clearly deliberate descriptions of the life, the person, and the mission of Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God.

 In Theological terms these are called “types of Christs”. For example, Noah, a righteous man in his time, built an ark at the command of God.  As a result of his obedience to God, a remnant of mankind was saved through the flood, and when the doors of the ark were finally opened, mankind stepped out to a “new” beginning…

 Jonah was three days in the belly of a big fish, and when he cameforth, those who believed his message and repented of their sins, WERE FORGIVEN.

 ***Both Noah and Jonah were “types of Christs”, reflections, glimpses of the coming Messiah, the coming SAVIOR, Jesus Christ. Noah was a foretaste of the “New Birth”, through faith in Jesus Christ. As Jonah was three days in the belly of a big fish, Jesus Christ was three days in the grave; and because they cameforth many have the opportunity of reconciliation with God.

 Today we will look in-depth at another person who was a “type of Christ” in the Old Testament, Joseph of Genesis our main text.

 Let us first look at the name Joseph, it literally means: abundance. The name Jesus literally means: YHWH saves abundantly.

 Both Joseph and Jesus were:

 ***The beloved son***

 Genesis 37 v 3A

 “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children…”

 Joseph was LOVED by his father above all his other children.

 Jesus Christ was the beLOVED son of God the Father.

 Matthew 3 v 17

 “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

 Matthew 17 v 5

 “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”

 As Joseph was LOVED and trusted by his father Jacob, Jesus was LOVED and trusted by His Father who is in heaven. ***They both had the devotion of their fathers…

 Genesis  37 v 2

 “These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.”

 Though Joseph was just a fallen human being as we all are, the Bible never mentions a single sin that he did.

 Jesus was a man who NEVER SINNED…

 Hebrews 4 v 15

 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

 Hebrews 7 v 26

 “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;”

 Joseph’s brothers resented him, and even hated him because he was not like them. Joseph’s life bared witness of their evil, as Jesus’ life and mission testified to the world’s evil. So Jesus was hated by mankind.

 John 7 v 7

 “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”

 Joseph had a faultless distinction in his time as Jesus has a faultless distinction for ALL time…

 Genesis 37 v 3

 “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.”

 Even the coat of many colors Joseph received from his father suggests the splendor and glory of the risen and eternal Jesus Christ.

 Genesis 37 v 5-6

 “And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 6. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:”

 Joseph had a dream that one day he would have great authority over his brothers.

 As Jesus the man one day would have future dominion over all of creation…

 Matthew 26 v 64

 “Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

 As Joseph was chief of the known world in his time; Jesus has full dominion for ALL time...

 ***Suffering Servant***

 Genesis 37 v 12-13

 “And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. 13. And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.”

 Joseph was sent to his brothers with a message from his father Jacob. Jesus was sent to the world with a message from His Father…

 1 John 4 v 10

 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

 As Joseph was sent to minister to his brothers, Jesus was sent to minister to all of His potential brothers and sisters.

 As Joseph was the sent one from his father, in his time; Jesus is the sent one from His Father for ALL time!!!

 Genesis 37 v 4

 “And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.”

 Joseph was hated by his brothers, rejected as Jesus Christ was rejected by the world…

 John 1 v 11

 “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

 Genesis 37 v 8

 “And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.”

 Joseph’s brothers would not even consider that he might have authority over them. Their pride, their arrogance, their refusal to submit to his future authority over them is a symbol of mankind’s sin of refusing to accept Jesus’ Lordship over them, over us…  

 John 15 v 24

 “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.”

 As Joseph’s brothers actions of hating him declared their actual hatred for their father, the world’s hatred of Jesus Christ shows their/our actual hatred for God the Father who sent Him…

 Luke 19 v 14

 “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.”

 Sinners are like proud peacocks, strutting EVER ONWARD TOWARD HELL!!!

 As Joseph was the scorned one of his brothers; Jesus is the scorned one of the world…

 Genesis 37 v 18

 “And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.”

 Joseph at his brothers’ hands suffered conspiracy to kill him; Jesus suffered conspiracy to kill him at the hands of the world…

 Matthew 26 v 3-4

 “Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4. And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.”

 Genesis 37 v 23-24

 “And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; 24. And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.”

 As Joseph was stripped from his coat of many colors and suffered many things at the hands of his brothers; so too, Jesus was stripped of His clothing and suffered many things at the hands of the world, AT OUR HANDS…

 Matthew 27 v 26-29

 “Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. 27. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!”

 Joseph suffered abuse at the hands of his brothers, Jesus suffered abuse from us ALL…

 Who had suggested that the brothers betray their own brother Joseph, it was his brother Judah.

 Genesis 37 v 26-27

 “And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? 27. Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.”

 Who was it that conspired to betray Jesus, it was His apostle Judas.

 Matthew 26 v 14-15

 “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15. And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.”

 Judah and Judas ARE THE SAME NAME…….

 As Joseph suffered betrayal by his own brother, Jesus suffered betrayal by His own apostle…

 Genesis 37 v 31-34

 “And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; 32. And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no. 33. And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. 34. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.”

 As Joseph was declared dead by his brothers, and for all intents and purposes he was dead-to-them; Jesus Christ was literally put to death upon a ragged, splinter riddled, blood soaked manmade cross.

 Matthew 27 v 35A

 “And they crucified him,…”

 As Joseph was the slain one in the minds of his brothers and in the knowledge of his father; so also, Jesus is the slain one to the world and in the sight of His Father…

 So many people read the Bible every day, so many people deny the authenticity, the authorship, the inspiration, the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s holy and ONLY WRITTEN SCRIPTURES. They acknowledge the Old Testament and the New Testament were written at least thousands of years apart, and only completed perhaps as close to four hundred years apart, they point out the facts that numerous human hands have put forth different sections of the scriptures, and yet they ARE BLINDED TO THE MIRACULOUS FLOWING, EVER CONSISTANT CONTENT OF THE HOLY WRIT, THE HOLY BIBLE, that of the person, and the life, and the mission of Jesus Christ, the ONE AND ONLY MESSIAH, THE ONE AND ONLY MOSHIACH, THE ONE AND ONLY SAVIOR, THE ONLY GOD!!!!!!!

 Joseph a “type of Christ” in the Old Testament:

 Joseph                                           Jesus
 Means: abundance                         Means: YHWH saves abundantly

 *Beloved son                                       *Beloved Son

*Father’s devotion                               *Father’s Devotion

*Faultless distinction                           *Faultless distinction

*Future Dominion                                *Future Dominion

*Suffering Servant                               *Suffering Servant

*Sent by his father                               *Sent by His Father

*Scorned by his Brothers                     *Scorned by the world

*Suffered Conspiracy                           *Suffered Conspiracy

*Suffered abuse                                   *Suffered abuse

*Suffered Betrayal by his brother         *Suffered Betrayal by His

 Judah or Judas                                      Apostle Judas or Judah

*Stripped of his robe                             *Stripped of His clothes

*Considered slain                                  *Slain

Written thousands of years apart, yet so perfectly a match; NOT BY MAN’S INTENTION; BUT BY THE VERY WILL OF GOD!!!!!!!

Bonhoeffer said, “What do you mean? Didn’t you hear my proof, THERE WAS NO PARTING OF THE RED SEA!!”

The man now smiling ear to ear said, “Certainly I listened to what you said. I listened and was fascinated with every word.”

 “You made the miracle EVEN MORE GLORIOUS!!!”, the man declared.

 “What?” said Bonheoffer.

 The man went on, “Think of it, if you are right, then my beLOVED God DESTROYED THE EGYPTIAN ARMY NOT IN A RAGING SEA, BUT IN A LITTLE MUD PUDDLE!!!”

 The Bible is indeed the inerrant, infallible written Word of God!!!!!!!

PRAISE BE GOD !!!!!!!

 Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith. sbc 


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July 23, 2017


"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"It Is Time!!!"

Hosea 10 v 12

"Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you."

Father, there was a time, when I climbed out of bed for the new day, that I would fall out on my knees thanking you for the new day, and each breath I would take, blessed by KNOWING I WAS YOUR’s and YOU WERE MINE. Excited for what I would be honored and blessed to do for You. How at every meal I never failed to gives thanks to You!

But as the years went by I DID NOT STOP LOVING YOU, I LOVE YOU and YOUR WORD SO, SO, SO VERY MUCH, but, I began taking You for granted, not always falling on my knees, not always giving thanks for life, not always praising you for the glorious blessings You had and are giving me.  I, we, beseech Thee, forgive us our complacency. Restore us to the vigor and enthusiasm of our early days with You, give us Your wisdom and LOVE to go out AND BE YOUR CHILDREN!!!!!!! Help us LOVE You with every fiber of our being and let my life, our lives GLORIFY YOU, in Jesus the Wonderful’s name Amen and eternally Amen……………….

Things are not going well in our country!!! The secular world’s and unfortunately much of the religious world’s focus is on the tremendous financial upheaval not only in our nation but in the nations around the worldwide. ***But this rollercoaster ride of financial demise and the military actions of the mid-East, North Korea, Syria, the war on terrorism, are only rouses to divert humanity’s focus and attention away from WHAT WE SHOULD REALLY BE FOCUSED ON!

The book of Hosea that our main text is from was written and completed sometime around 686 B.C.; considering that the Prophet Hosea’s ministry was roughly between 767 B.C. and 686 B.C. gleaned from the prophet’s own words in chapter one.

Hosea 1 v 1

“The word of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.“

Hosea was called to proclaim to his people (Israel) the word of the Lord to bear witness against their apostasy (leaving their faith) and their corruption as a nation, and in preaching the judgment of God. The ungodliness and wickedness had become so great in God’s chosen people that the destruction of the kingdom was inevitable; and the degenerate (sinful) nation was obliged to be given up into the power of the Assyrians, the existing representatives of the heathen power of the world at that time.

But God the Lord has no pleasure in the death of the sinner, but that we should turn and live, He would not exterminate the rebellious tribes of the people of His possession from the earth,

Ezekiel 18 v 32

"For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,'' says the Lord God. Therefore turn and live!'' NKJ

So God in His mercy put them away from His face and would humble them deeply by severe and long continual chastisement, in order that He might bring them to a self-awareness of their great guilt and lead them to repentance, so that He might at length show grace and mercy upon them once more, and save them from everlasting destruction.

Consequently, the promises of YHWH go side by side with His ominous pronouncements of chastisement. God does not merely declare His LOVE but calls His nation to repentance and to acknowledge their sinfulness; so that He may forgive even faithlessness, for He seeks out those which have gone astray.

Hosea begins with the reality that YHWH must chastise His children, His nation, His people; but when Israel is corrected by chastisement, and returns in sorrow and repentance to the Lord its God Hosea reveals that Israel WILL HONOR GOD ONCE AGAIN WITH REVERETIAL FEAR and WILL ETERNALLY EXPERIENCE GOD’S GOODNESS IN THE LATTER DAYS!!!

Hosea 3 v 5

“Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.”

This prophetic pronouncement  is founded upon the unchallengeable character of the divine covenant of grace, and rising up to the thought that the Lord will also redeem ALL HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE from hell and save us all who LOVE Jesus Christ from death, and will destroy both death and hell one day for-ever-more!!!!!!!

Hosea 13 v 14

“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”

That is a brief synopsis of the book of Hosea, but what do God’s words through Hosea have to do with us today, to our nation and to our citizens?

Hosea 10 v 1

“Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.”

The Hebrew word we translate empty does not mean empty but rather worthless. Israel was bringing forth much fruit, but it was worthless because it WAS NOT THE RIGHT KIND OF FRUIT. As God prospered Israel, as Israel multiplied, and grew economically and in world power Israel became self-reliant and so it forgot its God (YHWH), and fell more and more into idolatry.

Hosea 2 v 10A

“And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers…”

Hosea 8 v 4, 11

“They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.,…11.  Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.”

According to the abundance of its fruit, Israel made many altars; and in proportion to its prosperity, it made pillars to Baal.

1 Kings 14 v 22-23

“And Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. 23. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.”

Israel claimed to be obedient to their God, but the truth was THEY CHOSE TO WORSHIP IDOLS and WEALTH and POWER!!!

2 Kings 17 v 9-12

“And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.  10. And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: 11. And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger: 12. For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.”

Israel claimed to serve God, to serve righteousness, to be a moral people, but all their acts of religious ceremony and morality ONLY SERVED THEMSELVES and THEIR OWN SELF-DESIRES and LUSTS…

They had abandoned the “true” God, the “ONLY” God, and served graven images and wealth and greed, power and all manner of materialism.

Hosea 10 v 4-7

“They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. 5.  The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it. 6. It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel. 7. As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water.”

The people of Israel individually and collectively betrayed YHWH, by turning their focus on themselves and the lusts and desires of their own flesh. Most who were religious ONLY GAVE LIP SERVICE TO GOD, and really were not devoted to YHWH or living as HE HAD CALLED THEM TO LIVE.

They made covenants and peace agreements with nations that denied the “truth” and “reality” of YHWH only to have them broken by the ungodly nations or by themselves if it seemed to serve their purposes…

They rejected the LOVE of YHWH to follow false idols and to commit idolatrous adultery with others instead of LOVING YHWH!!!

Thus God was to chastise His people, to CALL THEM BACK TO TRUE REPENTANCE.

The sin of idolatry spread throughout the nation and kingdom of Israel like weeds through the furrows or channels of a field designed for great agricultural increase. Therefore the judgment will not be delayed, and is already approaching in so threatening a manner, that the inhabitants of Samaria tremble for the golden calves.

The people mourn not in humble repentance for their sins, but rather for the loss of their self-centered desires and adulterous and idolatrous lusts…

But their false gods and their wealth WILL NOT and CANNOT SAVE THEM, THEY TOO WILL BE PLUNDERED and CARRIED OFF TO SERVE ASSYRIA…

The people of Israel will be ashamed for their evil counsels and their kings will die…

Hosea 10 v 8-11

“The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.  9. O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them. 10. It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows. 11. And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods.”

God WILL CHASTISE THEM, He will destroy their idols and the temples of those worthless gods. The people will cry-out in utter agony pleading with their golden gods of materialism and humanism to end the chastisement even if they must die! ***But their idols can do nothing for there is but ONE GOD and YHWH IS HIS NAME!!!

Deuteronomy 4 v 35

“Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.”

Deuteronomy 4 v 39

“Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.”

Here in Deuteronomy the word Lord is literally YHWH…….

Daniel 3 v 29

“Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.”

Isaiah 44 v 6

“Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”

Nothing absolutely nothing can save Israel but the ONE and ONLY GOD, and YHWH IS HIS NAME!!! ***YHWH in three persons, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit; three yet one being…

Jesus said:

Revelation 1 v 8

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

If that’s not clear enough for you, Jesus said:

John 10 v 30-31

“I and my Father are one. 31. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.”

The Jews went to stone Jesus because they unmistakably understood Jesus TO SAY HE WAS GOD!!!!!!!

*******THE ONLY GOD!!!*******

*******THE ONLY GOD!!!*******

Finally as we are approaching our main text, God says as Ephraim (symbolic for the Northern Kingdom) will thoroughly be chastised so too will Judah (standing for the Southern Kingdom) be chastised for their idolatrous adultery; for Israel, the Jews as a whole have turned away from YHWH……To serve other things……

Hosea 10 v 12

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”

God through Hosea calls the individual and the nation of Israel as a whole to repentance. Though faithless, immoral, and consumed in the lusts of their own adultery, God cries out to them in His LOVE, GRACE and MERCY pleading with them to repent of their evil ways and to turn to righteousness in mind, body, and spirit. God says seek me, your hearts are like fallow (uncultivated) ground smothered in overgrown weeds, repent, till the soil of your hardened hearts with my word the Bible, seek me in prayer, fellowship with genuine believers, SEEK ME OUT, and YOU WILL RECEIVE MERCY, and I WILL CARE FOR YOU UNTIL I RAIN THE PRECIOUS CLEANSING WATERS ON YOU!!!

***When my Son Jesus Christ returns in the latter days of human history…

If all this sounds familiar it is because our nation HAS FALLEN INTO DEEP, DEEP SIN; WE AS A PEOPLE AS A NATION ARE ADULTERERS. We have turned our back on the God of our forefathers and have turned almost every one of us to idols of gold and sex and pantheism and humanistic theology and natural evolutionism!!! We have worshipped human wisdom and human science and the various philosophies’ of man and intellectualism; and have laughed in the face of God. We have said in our hearts THERE IS NO GOD, or GOD IS DEAD FOR-EVER-MORE……

Amen and Amen, WE ARE FREE TO DO AS WE IMAGINE IN OUR OWN HEARTS (as lustful and sinful as they are)!!!!!!

God is not in us, WE ARE GODS……

Sound familiar???

Isaiah 14 v 12-15

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13.  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

God tells us now, NOW IS THE TIME TO SEEK HIM!!!

Not tomorrow, not in just a few minutes, not next week or next month or next year, not after we’ve sown our wild oats; BUT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!

Even the vast majority of professing Christians, just like the nation of Israel in the time of Hosea, even Israel now, HAS FALLEN INTO IDOLATRY; TRUSTING OTHER THINGS RATHER THAN YHWH, JESUS CHRIST!!!

“How dare you”, you say, the nation of Israel said the same to Hosea and to ALL the prophets of YHWH of old.

But it is not me speaking, it is God, it is Jesus Christ Himself proclaiming:

Luke 6 v 46

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Matthew 4 v 4

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Yet YOU pick and chose what YOU want to believe the Bible teaches, and even then YOU chose what YOU want to obey.

Seventy-three percent of American evangelicals surveyed believe THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO GET TO HEAVEN BESIDES FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST and HIM ONLY!!!

Yet, Jesus declares ABSOLUTELY:

John 14 v 6-9

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9. Jesus saith unto him, have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?”

In the book of Acts the apostles say this:

Acts 4 v 12

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Yet the vast majority of professing Christians ignore or deny God’s inerrant infallible word and in effect CALL JESUS CHRIST A LIAR!!!

To this Jesus says two things:

First,

Matthew 7 v 13-14

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

The gate is strait; the way is narrow to ETERNAL JOY and HAPPINESS because LOVING JESUS CHRIST BY ACCEPTING HIM AS “YOUR” ONLY LORD, “YOUR” ONLY SAVIOR, and “YOUR” ONLY GOD IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN!!!

Secondly Jesus declares:

Matthew 7 v 21-23

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Just because YOU say YOU are His, just because YOU repeat a few words or pray the prayer of salvation, DOES NOT PROVE YOU ARE SAVED.

*******ACTUALLY LOVING JESUS CHRIST IS PROOF OF YOUR SALVATION, not simply saying YOU do…*******

James 1 v 22

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

How many professing Christians KNOW JESUS CHRIST IS NOT MERELY THE SON OF GOD, BUT HE IS GOD INCARNET, LITTERALLY YHWH IN THE FLESH???

Referring to Jesus, John says, more importantly the HOLY SPIRIT says:

John 1:1-4 (RSV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

John 20 v 28-29

“And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  29. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

In verse 28 Jesus declares ALL those that have the same faith and LOVE as Thomas exhibits WILL BE BLESSED!!!!!!!

How many professing Christians share their alleged LOVE and faith in Jesus Christ???  Jesus asks ALL genuine Christians as an OBLIGATION OF LOVE, to LOVE THE LOST OF THE WORLD by sharing the true gospel of Jesus Christ…

Matthew 28 v 19-20

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

What hypocrites we are if we do teach them, but DON’T BELIEVE OR OBEY THEM OURSELVES???

How then DO I GET SAVED, HOW DO I KNOW I AM GENUINELY BORN AGAIN, HOW DO I KNOW I AM TRULY A CHILD OF GOD???

Do YOU LOVE Him, do YOU SEEK HIM MOMENT BY MOMENT AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN? *******THEN YOU ARE ETERNALLY SAVED!!!!!!!*******

If not, now IS THE TIME, THIS VERY MOMENT, chose to CALL OUT TO HIM IN GENUINE REPENTANCE AND YOU WELL BE SAVED!!!!!!!

Genuinely chose to accept Jesus Christ as YOUR only Lord, YOUR only God, and YOUR only Savior, AND YOU WELL BE SAVED!!!!!!!

*******He will help YOU, just ask…*******

But seek Him now, for with His promises also come warnings!

Our God YHWH is long-suffering and abounding in LOVE, GRACE and MERCY, but there is a line WHICH MUST NOT BE CROSSED. ***It is extremely dangerous to presume that YHWH, that Jesus Christ will always continue to forgive; He can become a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12 v 29

“For our God is a consuming fire.”

At this moment Jesus is our advocate, WHEN HE RETURNS HE WILL BE OUR JUDGE!!!

The Bible contains many similar warnings:

Genesis 6 v 3A

“And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man…”

Matthew 7 v 6

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

Matthew 15 v 14

“Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

Isaiah 55 v 6-7

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

So seek Him now, while YOU still can. Jesus says:

Revelation 3 v 20

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

This very moment He is ready, willing, and able to come into YOUR heart, YOU must chose TO LET HIM IN…

Revelation 22 v 17

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Its free, IT’S UP TO YOU!!!

God is LOVINGLY and tenderly pleading with YOU, but ONLY YOU CAN CHOSE TO LOVE HIM, that is up to each and every sinner; ALL OF US!!!!!!!

One last plea by God offering His salvation:

2 Corinthians 6 v 2

“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

YHWH is pleading, begging YOU, today can be the Day of YOUR Salvation; ITS UP TO YOU…

Will YOU get another opportunity, I DO NOT KNOW…….

1 Peter 4 v 17-19

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”

Our focus and attention SHOULD ALWAYS BE ON LOVING AND SERVING GOD AND HIS CREATION!!!

“It is Time!!!”

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc​


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July 16, 2017


"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"Examine Yourselves!"

2 Corinthians 13 v 5

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

Help us O God, to remember that all great things have their price.


***Help us to remember that, There is no achievement without work; There is no learning without study; There is no skill of body or mind without discipline.

***Help us to remember that, There is no purity without vigilance; There is no friendship without loyalty; There is no LOVE without the DEATH OF SELF.

***Help us to remember that, There is no joy without service; There is no discipleship without devotion; There is no crown without a cross.

Give us this day, O Father, Reverence, to realize Your presence; Humility, to know our own need; Trust, to ask Your help; Obedience, to accept whatever You say to us: The Will, to LOVING reach out to the spiritually Lost that they might be saved by Your grace…….

We pray all these things In the name of our most amazing and glorious Savior Jesus ChrisT, Amen and eternally Amen…………..

Today’s text is very sobering and extremely important for any genuine professing Christian!!! I KNOW ABSOLUTELY that the doctrine of eternal security (once saved always saved) is true and that no true Christian ever needs to worry that somehow they might lose their salvation!!!

***Salvation is eternal, THEREFORE IT CANNOT HAVE AN END!!!

Hebrews 10 v 14

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

When we are saved we are sanctified and perfected FOREVER!!!!!!!

***Salvation is not based on what we do but ON WHAT JESUS CHRIST DID UPON THAT CROSS!!!

***Salvation is a gift and calling of God upon our lives, and once accepted by the sinner by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ CANNOT EVER BE TAKEN AWAY!!!

Romans 11 v 29

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

God cannot take it back, nor can the genuine “born again” believer ever reject their salvation once they have truly accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord, God, and Savior!!!

***Salvation is a work begun by God in the person of a genuinely contrite heart!!! Therefore it is Jesus Christ who absolutely guarantees SALVATION WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED!!!

Philippians 1 v 6

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

***Salvation is salvation from self, God essentially saves “YOU” from “YOUR” own sinfulness; God saves “YOU”, “ME”, ALL WHO WILL ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR LORD, GOD, AND SAVIOR FROM OURSELVES!!!!!!!

God saves us from ourselves, from our own stupidity, from our own totally depraved carnal nature, GOD SAVES US FROM EVER LOSING OUR SALVATION ONCE WE GENUINELY ACCEPT HIS ATONING SHED BLOOD SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS!!!

On the day of our salvation, WE ARE SAVED ETERNALLY FOR EVER!!!!!!!

2 Corinthians 6 v 2

“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

For it is THE DAY OF OUR SALVATION!!!!!!!

***Salvation is not secured or guaranteed by anything we do (good works, works of righteousness, or by our commitment to God), IT IS ETERNALLY GUARANTEED BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT!!!!!!!

2 Corinthians 1 v 22

“Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”

Ephesians 1 v 13-14

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

God seals the saved person ETERNALLY and guarantees that eternal seal WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT as absolute payment verifying the person’s eternal salvation…God the Holy Spirit eternally secures our salvation!!!!!!! Once we are genuinely “born again”!!!!!!!

Salvation is not guaranteed by our faith, but by God’s faithfulness!!!!!!!

That is basically the doctrine of eternal security.

There are some who wrongfully argue that the doctrine of eternal security makes, and they self-righteously joke: “salvation easy” Oh, they say: “oh so, so easy; it would be nice.”

Sarcastically and ignorantly they jest about a very real and ABSOLUTELY TRUE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF GOD’S!!!!!!!

But this message is not about eternal security, but rather on how this doctrine reflects upon our understanding of what the Bible tells us about “TRUE” salvation!!!!!!! ***Which is eternal…….

Those who oppose the doctrine of eternal security maintain such a belief not only invites but produces believers into using their eternal salvation as an excuse to continue their lives as usual. To continue in a carnal and sinful life style, since there is no incentive to live transformed or holy lives because either way you cannot lose your “free” pass to heaven…

*******But the reality is that KNOWING we are eternally saved by acceptance of the blood sacrifice of our LOVING and beautiful redeemer Jesus Christ MAKES OUR SALVATION ALL THE MORE SOBERING AND OVERPOWERINGLY SOLEMN!!!!!!!

Something that is literally damnable to take lightly or for granted!!!!!!!

As Christians we are the only Children of God!!!!!!!

John 1 v 12

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

As many as receive Jesus Christ as their Lord, God, and Savior TO THEM AND THEM ALONE DID GOD GIVE THE POWER TO BE THE sons OF GOD!!!

God LOVES all people, wants all people to be His children, but only through a LOVE relationship with Jesus Christ can anyone legitimately be called a child of God, or truly saved!!!

John 14 v 6

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Acts 4 v 12

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Salvation is not simply having a contrite heart, but also includes a genuine LOVE relationship with Jesus Christ the ONLY begotten Son of God!!!

You don’t just LOVE someone sometime, you LOVE them ALL THE TIME!!! You don’t just LOVE them for a while; you LOVE them forever, ETERNALLY!!!!!!!

True LOVE never fails, it NEVER ENDS, LOVE ENDURES FOREVER…….

1 Corinthians 13 v 7

“Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”   KJV

1 Corinthians 13 v 8A

“LOVE never fails…”   NIV

We humanly say, a person can fallout of LOVE, but the Bible says NOT IF IT IS GENUINE LOVE!!!

To LOVE Jesus Christ IS TO LOVE HIM FOREVER…….

To LOVE Jesus Christ IS TO NEVER GO BACK…….

Being a Child of God, the only Children of God, CANNOT BE TAKEN LIGHTLY. It is a very, very, very serious and somber undertaking!

***It literally will change your life and eternity FOREVER!!!

2 Corinthians 5 v 17

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

If we are genuinely God’s Children, WE WILL BE A NEW CREATURE, old life styles and attitudes HAVE PASSED AWAY. Our lives ARE NEW!!!

If we are really His???

God does not call us to live like we have in the past, God has not called us to continue living for ourselves, God has called us to die to self-will, self-desire, self-goals and dreams, God calls us to LET JESUS CHRIST LIVE IN US, INSTEAD OF US!!!

Galatians 2 v 20

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

We are to recognize that WE ARE CRUCIFIED TO OUR OLD SELF CENTERED, SINFUL NATURE, and we are now living to serve and live AS JESUS CHRIST WOULD WANT US TO!!!!!!!

Since we LOVE God with every fiber and tiniest molecule of our being WE WANT FOR LOVE SAKE TO MAKE HIM HAPPY… We are ready, willing, and as we grow in Christ-likeness are able by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to do whatever it takes to LOVE, serve, and glorify Him…

That is our eternal goal and desire for our lives, never, never, never to live a carnal life style in thought, word, or deed EVER AGAIN!!!!!!!

The person claiming to LOVE God, claiming to be “born again”, claiming to have a genuinely contrite heart yet somehow feels they can continue to sin like they did in the past because they cannot lose their salvation HAS NEVER TRULY COME TO THE REALITY OF THEIR UTTERLY SINFUL AND TOTALLY DEPRAVED NATURE!!!***NOR DO THEY UNDERSTAND THE UNFATHNABLE COST, THE PRICE GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON JESUS CHRIST AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT HAD TO PAY FOR THEIR, OUR, REDEMPTION…

No one genuinely saved can honestly think or say, “I wasn’t so bad”!

No sinner, no human being is innocent of murdering Jesus Christ upon that cross, the cross made of each and every one of all our sins!!!

Yes we are saved eternally, but we are eternally aware of how totally depraved and sinfully heinously evil we are without a LOVE relationship with Jesus Christ!!!

C.S. Lewis wrote:

“Look for yourself and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay.”

The persons who are ETERNALLY SAVED are the ones that look at themselves and being brutally honest can see the ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF THEIR OWN LIVES IN THE WORDS OF C.S. LEWIS!!!!!!!

There is no little sin, there is no sinner that is less sinful than another; WE ALL HAVE EARNED AND TOTALLY DESERVE ETERNAL DAMNATION!!!

The person who is genuinely eternally secure in their salvation NEVER EVER FORGETS THIS TRUTH!!! ***They take every effort to live their lives accordingly, by their genuine LOVE for Jesus Christ…….

Luke 7 v 47

“Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”

Martin Luther wrote:

“Man must come to the knowledge of himself, be terrified of himself, and be crushed as a prelude to receiving and appreciating God’s grace, forgiveness, and new life in Jesus Christ.”

Luther did not say this simply to make a point, he said it because IT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE!!!

Jesus Himself said:

Matthew 5 v 3

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus said those who are continually aware of their own sinfulness without His salvation and accept that salvation WILL RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD!!!***Not might receive it, but WIILL RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!!!!!!!

Yes we are eternally secure but only because WE LOVE HIM MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN EXISTENCE!!!!!!! Because He first LOVED us…….

1 John 4 v 19

“We love him, because he first loved us.”

Living a holy life IS NOT AN OPTION FOR THE PERSON WHO IS ETERNALLY SECURE IN THEIR SALVATION,  IN THEIR REDEMPTON; ***IT IS THEIR LIFE!!!!!!!

It is WHO THEY ARE…….

1 John 4 v 20-21

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21. And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

That is biblical holiness, that is perfection here and now in this earthly life…LOVING God, LOVING and willing serving all of God’s creation…….

Matthew 5 v 48

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

That is the life and way of the ETERNALLY SAVED, or they were never saved at all!!!

Matthew 7 v 21-23

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

The eternally secure KNOW salvation is not received for their works of righteousness; they understand their good works do not even prove they are saved!

They, we, are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and by and because of Him alone!!! Once we accept Jesus Christ as our eternal Lord, our eternal God, our eternal Savior,  WE ARE SAVED FOREVER, ETERNALLY!!!!!!! Why, because once genuinely saved, nothing can ever separate us from the LOVE of God…….

Romans 8 v 33-39

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36. As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

With God’s amazing and eternal salvation comes true awareness of whom and WHO’S we are! For the person who believes in eternal security there are only two options, one you are either saved, or two you were never saved to begin with, even with all your works and appearance of dedication to God or your denomination…

That salvation IS NOT SIMPLE NOR IS IT EASY IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM…….

You must come to the realization that nothing you say or do has anything to save you, nor do your works have any power to maintain and sustain your salvation; ONLY THE FAITH JESUS CHRIST GIVES YOU, CAN SAVE YOU!!! Nothing you can see or physically hold on to can eternally or otherwise save you. ***Only faith which humanly cannot be explained IS THE ONLY SOURCE OF YOUR, MINE, OR ANYONE ELSE’S SALVATION…

We must fall back in the arms of Jesus Christ and by faith believe HE WILL ETERNALLY REDEEM AND SAVE US!!!

For we are not saved by the material world, but by God’s spirit which cannot be grasped or understood by any mortal means or reason or human logic!

2 Corinthians 5 v 7

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”

It is easy to look at a person’s life and say, “there is a Christian”. It takes faith, something we cannot now understand fully and say; God WILL SAVE THOSE WHO GENUINELY REPENT OF THEIR SINS AND TRULY LOVE JESUS CHRIST NO MATTER WHAT WE SEE OR THINK!!!

I am not saved because I live a life worthy of my calling, ((( yet I want to be worthy )), I am saved because on March 26, 1975 I genuinely and sincerely asked God to help me repent of my hideous sins, all past, present, and future sins; I begged God to forgive me, and save me, and HE DID!!!!!!!

But even so, as Paul said to the Church at Cornith:

2 Corinthians 13 v 5

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

As those who believe in eternal security WE MUST ALWAYS (moment by moment) LOOK AT OUR INNER SELVES AND  HONESTLY AND SOBERLY ASK OURSELVES: “DID I REALLY MEAN IT WHEN I ASKED GOD TO SAVE ME?”

That inner self which also cannot be seen, KNOWS THE TRUTH OF OUR SALVATION, IT KNOWS THE SINCERITY OF OUR HEART…

The eternally secure in their salvation KNOW THAT THEY KNOW that they genuinely and eternally LOVE JESUS CHRIST, and there is no turning back, NO TURNING BACK!!!!!!!

1 John 5 v 13

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

We are saved not by our promises but by God’s promise…….

2 Timothy 2:13 (NIV2011)
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

That is something we can eternally TRUST!!!!!!!

I Have Decided To Follow Jesus

 Verse 1:

I have decided to follow Jesus,

I have decided to follow Jesus.

I have decided to follow Jesus;

no turning back, no turning back.

 
Verse 2:

Though none go with me, still I will follow,

though none go with me, still I will follow.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;

no turning back, no turning back.

Verse 3:

The world behind me, the cross before me,

the world behind me, the cross before me.

The world behind me, the cross before me;

no turning back, no turning back.

NO TURNING BACK !!!!!!!

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc​


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July 9, 2017


"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"Are YOU a Stork???"

Jeremiah 8 v 7

"Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord."

We lift our eyes to You, Heavenly and Most Gracious Father, from where our hope and help comes – You, the maker of heaven and earth. Today Lord, we cry out to You on behalf of those persons who are missing from You’re kingdom. We, Your children often drift from Your word, and there are unknown numbers that have never accepted Your word, Your LOVE, or faith in You.

Even though You said be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let our request be known, it is heart-wrenching not knowing where our LOVED ones are, where we stand with You.

We feel so overwhelmed and helpless. Give us the peace that surpasses our understanding so our hearts can be guarded from negative thoughts Lord. You said You would never leave us or forsake us, so we continue to trust and hope in the mighty working power of the Holy Spirit. We trust You Lord Jesus for the safe return of Your LOVED ones, ourselves, our family, friends, and acquaintances.

Abba Father, Daddy, You are our Great, All-knowing LOVING God, All-powerful creator of all that is, and You know that all Your LOVED ones, all  Your created beings are somewhere out there needing to be touched by the Holy Spirit to find our way back home to You. If for some reason Lord, we are being held by the deceptions of our hearts, by the lusts of this world, intervene we pray Thee and deliver us and save us from all the distractions of this life. Save us!!!

Father, You said whatever we ask for in pray, we will receive once we believe and have faith.  We declare today Lord that we stand as weak or as strong as we may be in our faith in You, believing that You will help return home safely all those who obtain faith in Your only begotten son Jesus ChrisT.

Until then, wherever we are, Almighty God, cover us in the precious BLOOD of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  We pray we find grace in Your sight to survive whatever ordeal our distorted natures, this fallen world of sin and destruction put us in. Be with us, now and forever In the precious name of Jesus, we thank You for Your everlasting mercies, SO BE IT… Amen and eternally Amen.

 
Your spouse or your children might think you are a “dork”, even your friends or acquaintances may have that same impression, I’m quite sure there are many holding that opinion of me, however , my question is not whether YOU or I are “dorks”, but rather to you:

“Are YOU a Stork???”

At times I sit and am quite amazed at the wisdom of God’s prophets of old, even to the point I must admit I envy their wisdom and understanding of God and His natural forces in this world…

God is the creator of all things and in His economy of design He has made all things with a purpose and we can learn much from His created universe.

As the early people of God studied the heavens and the fowl of the air they watched with eyes of wonder, with eyes of expectation and with hearts yearning to understand…

As they observed the migratory behavior of birds they discovered something fascinating. If it had only occurred once, we would call it a most magnificent miracle of God. Yet twice a year, they of long ago and we to this very day, see massive bird migrations each and every year.

Geographically, Israel sits center-stage among the great expanse of the

European continents, Asia and Africa. A great many birds migrate from European and Asian winters to Africa, with migrations reversed in summer. Yet in this glorious example of God’s wondrous design of nature, which bird became famous by being observed by God’s chosen people TO ALWAYS RETURN HOME THE EARLIEST? The Stork!!! ***So faithful is the stork in it’s early returns, that the early Hebrews named this bird “chasidah” literally meaning: “Faithful One!”

As Jeremiah the weeping prophet bitterly lamented over the ignorance and unfaithfulness of the vast majority of God’s people Israel, by God’s command he called Israel TO BE FAITHFUL! But as is unfortunately so true only a small remnant were faithful and true to God. Sadly, most of Israel as most of the people in our world today refuse to repent and be faithful to God and His word the Bible, Jeremiah’s prophesies of God’s judgment on fallen, sinful, disobedient, unfaithful mankind WILL BE FULFILLED!!!!!!!

For LOVE sake God chastised, disciplined Israel over and over again desiring faithless ignorant Israel to repent and RETURN HOME to God! Jeremiah in our text is contrasting Israel’s deliberate refusal to return home to God to the faithful one, to the natural God given wisdom of the stork WHO ALWAYS RETURN HOME EARLY!!!

God graphically warns of the terrible judgment on those who reject Him, His son Jesus Christ, and His TRUTH!!!

Jeremiah 15 v 2-7

“And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the Lord; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. 3. And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the Lord: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy.4.  And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem. 5. For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest? 6. Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. 7. And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people since they return not from their ways.”

God cries out to the LOST people of this world, to repent and turn to God as their home, their eternal refuge before judgment comes!!!

Jeremiah 15 v 14

“Therefore thus saith the Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.”

If those who reject God, will repent of their sins, accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord, God, and Savior, God will not only forgive them of all their past, present, and future sins but will so thoroughly forgive them THAT GOD WILL TRUST THEM, US, WITH THE GLORIOUS OBLIGATION OF LOVE IN SHARING THE GOSPEL WITH OTHERS!!!!!!! ***We will be honored by being asked to share God’s LOVE and forgiveness with others…

Jeremiah 18 v 8

“If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.”

God will indeed thoroughly and eternally forgive every nation and every individual who will genuinely and completely repent of their sins and become faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ by God’s power, grace and mercy…

Ezekiel 14 v 6

“Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.”

The key to becoming faithful IS TO RETURN HOME TO GOD, accept Jesus Christ as our eternal Lord, our eternal God, our eternal Savior, NOT JUST FOR A MOMENT IN TIME, BUT FOREVER MORE!!!!!!!

No turning back, no turning back!

Ezekiel 18 v 30-32

“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 32. For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”

Though judgment WILL ABSOLUTELY COME for those that will not LOVE God, to those who’s hearts will melt for His sacrifice on the cross for their, our sins, GOD WILL SAVE THEM ALL!!!!!!!

God WILL SAVE ALL REPENTANT SINNERS, EVERY ONE…….

The question is: “Are YOU a Faithful One”???

Are YOU willing to be a “Faithful One”???

To those of you who once claimed salvation in Jesus Christ but you have allowed the “things” of this world to distract you, the philosophies and man made arguments of doubt against God, the material riches and even needs of this world to change your focus from God to anything and everything but God and His will for your life, LEARN THE LESSON OF THE STORK, RETURN HOME, RETURN TO YOUR REFUGE, YOUR SANCTUARY, YOUR HOME, RETURN TO GOD…….

1 John 1 v 9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

There are many who were raised in Christian homes, they have heard the truth, they have learned the truth, THEY KNOW THE TRUTH, but the weaknesses and inconsistencies of their parents or others professing to be Christian have allowed them to question their faith, to question the truths they have learned, as God calls the stork home, God IS CALLING YOU HOME; if only you will listen…

This world, this life will do everything in it’s power to stop YOU from returning home, from returning to God; but GOD IS FAITHFUL AND TRUE. And will do everything in His power to bring YOU home safely…

Proverbs 22 v 6

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

God’s word in your heart WILL BRING YOU HOME…….

What about those of us that are genuine God LOVING Christians yet at times we see our lives are NOT WHAT THEY SHOULD BE. We hold certain resentments, have certain prejudices, desire certain things that may not be good for us, we sin and refuse to confess our sins and fallen human weaknesses; God is calling us home, learn from the stork, do not simply come home, COME HOME EARLY!!! *******COME HOME QUICKLY!!!!!!!*******

1 John 2 v 1

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”

Jesus Christ the righteous IS ALWAYS WANTING TO BRING US HOME, TO SEE US SAFE AND SOUND IN HIS LOVING ARMS…

To the LOST, to the FOUND, to the Child of God:

“Are YOU a Stork???”

Are YOU, are YOU willing to be a “FAITHFUL ONE???”

Ephesians 2 v 8

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

Faith comes from God…….

Romans 10 v 17

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

By belief, by God given faith, WE CAN BECOME A “FAITHFUL ONE”

Romans 10 v 9-10

“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.”

“Are YOU a Stork???”

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc​


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July 2, 2017

{{{ Maureen thank you for 36 years of a beautiful marriage !!! }}}


"a" Church

Evanston , Wyoming

"Marriage: The Vow With God!!!"

Genesis 2 v 23-25

"And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."

Since the beginning when God instituted marriage, humanity in it’s fallen state has continually made every effort to break the concept, the ideal, and the VOW of marriage…

Throughout the ages mankind has taken the splendor and majesty of marriage and attempted to make it no more than a piece of paper, which at a whim can casually be tossed into the waste basket of life!!!

Even in many Christian homes marriage is not entered into with the soberness and seriousness that such a God given act DEMANDS!!!

Today’s message will discuss marriage, and I pray with all of my being that I share with the wisdom and understanding of God.

Prayer:

“Lord open my mind, my heart, my soul, and may your words flow from me especially today, especially about YOUR institution of marriage, and may all who hear or read UNDERSTAND and PUT INTO GENUINE PRACTICE YOUR GIFT OF MARRIAGE!  In Jesus LOVING name, Amen and eternally Amen!!!”

James 1 v 22

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

I remember having a “spirited” discussion with a lady in my church. She was talking about her daughter’s up and coming marriage. She was so proud of her daughter and she added, she really needs a prenuptial agreement. I was shocked at her statement, and asked her what she meant. The mother was concerned that in the event that her daughter ultimately gets a divorce, the man would get a portion of her daughter’s inheritance from her (the Mother’s estate) as a result of the divorce.

I could not believe my ears, here a mature (age) Christian woman was assuming the marriage of her daughter would not last. I realize the legal ramifications of marriage and the reality of an over 55% divorce rate in America. ***But if Christians enter marriages assuming the probability of ultimate divorce, THEN WE ARE NOT ENTERING MARRIAGE WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE!!! In psychology it is known as the “self fulfilling prophecy”; if you persistently believe something is going to happen, IT USUALLY DOES!

If we see marriage as a temporary, ultimately a non-binding vow, THEN IT WILL IN TIME BECOME EXACTLY THAT: TEMPORARY, NON-BINDING, with no COMMITMENT NECESSARY…….

To enter marriage presuming it will fail, almost guarantees IT WILL FAIL!!!

For most, even for most Christians, marriage is presumed NOT TO BE PERMANTENT! The world’s reality is ever so quickly becoming the Church’s reality. The world is defining marriage, and God’s glorious institution of marriage is being lost to humanity!!!

But what was God’s concept of Marriage?

God’s Concept of Marriage

Marriage is to be the most intimate and personal of all human relationships. In fact, it is the foundation of all relationships!!! ***It is what holds society and mankind together as an entity. As the atom is made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons and their separation ends up in a violent and often deadly reaction; a marriage is to be a permanent relationship that makes one man and one woman ONE, UNIFIED, and INTIMATLEY LOVING EACH OTHER…

Genesis 2 v 21-22

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

God made Eve from the insides of Adam. Eve the woman IS EVER A PART OF MAN, and MAN IS EVER A PART OF A WOMAN.  We men and women were meant to be together, intimately together; inside each other, ONE!!! Imagine having a rib taken from your insides while you are awake, watching. What excruciating pain you would feel. Why, because a part of yourself, what completes you as a whole human being was taken. Yes you can survive, yes, you can live a normal wonderful life, you can experience great joy and great happiness; but still part of you is gone!

In marriage one man and one woman unite and become complete, whole, one flesh!!! The missing rib is spiritually returned in a LOVE relationship in marriage! Literally the man and the woman become one. One spiritual body united in a mutual vow between themselves and WITH GOD ALMIGHTY!!!

Life is no longer my life, but OUR LIFE! Your dreams and goals, your spouse’s dreams and goals become OUR’S!!!!!!!

It is no longer me and you but US!!!!!!!

In marriage by LOVE and commitment, one man and one woman are permanently fused together becoming spiritually one in mind, body, and spirit.

***Its “WE”, not me…….

You choose to live for each other, be for each other, you choose to serve each other in EXCLUSIVE and MUTUAL LOVE and RESPECT!!!

It is not my life or your life, but OUR LIFE, OUR LOVE, OUR DESTINY!!!

Not my joy, or your joy, but OUR HAPPINESS, OUR SORROW, OUR FUTURE…….

You see all that is through your mutually exclusive eyes, and life is nothing without each other. To think of separation is to see eternal death! To hurt one another, is to experience eternal damnation!!!

Life is death without each other.

God said for this reason, a man and the woman will leave their father and mother, their past lives, and will cleave, be bound permanently, one to another as long as they live on this physical plain…

***For how could such LOVE, such commitment, such oneness of spirit be separated without the universe as we know it being crushed and eternally lost???

As God is one, in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; a man and woman are to be one in marriage…

Think of the unity, the oneness, the intimacy of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. That is what a man and woman are to have in marriage!!!

Jesus said:

John 10 v 30

“I and my Father are one.”

ONE!!!

That is God’s concept of marriage…

God’s Ideal of Marriage

That marriage should be a permanent LOVE relationship. A LOVE relationship filled with ABSOLUTE TRUST, ABSOLUTE PASSION, ABSOLUTE UNITY of SPIRIT, ABSOLUTE MUTUAL RESPECT and ABSOLUTE MUTUAL SUBMISSION …….

Ephesians 5 v 21

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

Wolf experts say wolves mate for life. Are wolves forced to, NO, IT IS THEIR NATURE TO DO SO. God’s ideal marriage for humanity is not meant to be a burden, but by it’s very nature marriage’s ideal is for life!!!

Marriage is meant to be perfect harmony. Harmony of mind, body and spirit…

Marriage is to be deeply intimate, intensely personal between one man and one woman.

Marriage is meant to be mutually exclusive, a permanent living commitment…

Marriage is meant to be one man and one woman living and acting as one…

As Christ LOVES the Church, the married couple ARE TO LOVE AND ADORE EACH OTHER!!!

Marriage is meant to be sacrificial living between the spouses, each living to serve the other out of mutual LOVE…

The Vow of Marriage

The vow of marriage is grounded in LOVE and bound together by mutual respect and commitment to each other and to God!!!

The vow is based on intimate TRUST…

The vow is based on intimate LOVE…

The vow is based on intimate and profound faith in each other and in

God…

The vow is based on intimate and eternal hope in each other and in

God…

The vow is an ABSOLUTE and PERMANENT COMMITMENT TO EACH OTHER AND TO GOD…….

The vow includes the necessity of infinite forgiveness for each other and God for the couple…

Romans 3 v 23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

The world says you can grow out of LOVE, you can grow apart.

***But according to God, LOVE is forever, LOVE NEVER FAILS!!!!!!!

1 Corinthians 13 v 4-8

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  8. Love never fails.”  NIV

LOVE ALWAYS FORGIVES A GENUINELY REPENTENT SINNER!!!

Marriage is two, one male and one female spiritually becoming one flesh; can the heart say “I wish to live apart from the body?” Can the body say, “I wish to live without the heart?”

Marriage is not just legal or moral sex; marriage is a permanent LOVE relationship between two people, one man and one woman for the purposes of MUTUAL and EXCLUSIVE ONENESS in MIND, BODY, and SPIRIT, MUTUAL and EXCLUSIVE LOVE, TRUST, PASSION, and COMMITMENT to EACH OTHER and with GOD the founder and creator of all that is…….

Marriage is meant to be beautiful, good, and sweet; it is meant to be a little bit of heaven on earth, a physical and symbolic example of God’s LOVE and commitment to us, and as true Children of God, our LOVE and commitment to Him!!!

In entering into marriage THIS IS WHAT GOD WANTS FOR US…

This is a portion of what God wants us to know, understand, and commit to in holy matrimony…….

We must NEVER, NEVER, NEVER forget the absolute pain and anguish of breaking the vow of marriage. For to do so, would be like ripping God the Father from God the Son, the LOVE of Christ from the LOVE of His people the Church, our ribs from our rib cages, our arms and limbs from our bodies, our beating hearts from our bodies, our eternal souls from our humanity!!!

Yet not to forgive a wayward spouse who is genuinely repentant for their sins IS AN EQUAL TRAGEDY, an equal denial of YOUR VOW TO GOD and YOUR SPOUSE…….

Marriage is indeed a vow between one man and one woman and the ETERNAL, ALMIGHTY, ONE and ONLY GOD!!!

Be Aware, Beware!!!

Numbers 30 v 2-3

“If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. 3. If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond…”

Deuteronomy 23 v 21

“When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.”

Ecclesiastes 5 v 5

“Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”

LOVE and true forgiveness go hand in hand. Let us keep our vows to God, our vows to one another; but if we fail, let us humbly, sincerely, genuinely and honestly repent of our sins and accept God’s precious forgiveness while understanding some times we must live with the consequences of our infidelities…

“Our Father forgive us our sins as WE MUST FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US…”

God thy will be done…….

Submitted by: Harold Chris Smith

BLESSED 36TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY TO MY "FOREVER ONLY", MY WIFE, MAUREEN !!!!!! THANK YOU MAUREEN AND THANK YOU LORD JESUS ABOVE ALL!!!!!!!


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June 25, 2017

"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"What Is Forgiveness???"

Matthew 18 v 21-22

"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22. Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."

Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth,  As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever.


In Jesus name Amen and eternally Amen.

Throughout the inerrant infallible scriptures God clearly gives us as an obligation of LOVE the reconciliating task of “forgiving” others. To God it is so important to forgive others that Jesus Himself made it part of the LAW, that unless we “forgive”, God will not “forgive” us!!!

Matthew 6 v 15

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

So then what does to “forgive” mean? Is it simply saying the phrase ‘I forgive you’, then you are free to continue to harbor your anger or hurt inside you, never really letting go? Is “forgiveness” saying you “forgive”, then bringing up that act or words that hurt or offended you for whatever reason you want? What does to “forgive” actually mean, and how can we as Christians actually “forgive”???

Dr. Charles Stanley put it this way once:

“Forgiveness is forgiving even when we are right!”

One of the most important issues that we all face in life is the question of forgiveness. It is important because, whatever our reputation in moral matters, we will never be free of the need of receiving forgiveness from God and from one another, and also of giving it to one another. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus showed His recognition of this by including our request for God's forgiveness, and our offer of it to others, as part of our regular praying. Without learning something of the meaning of forgiveness, we will never be able to form deep relationships. And yet it is not easy. It has been said that,

"the most painful question short of our own death is the question of forgiveness."

So then what does to “forgive” mean???

The dictionary defines to “forgive”:

1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.

2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).

3. to grant pardon to (a person).

4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies. 

5. to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan. 

6. to pardon an offense or an offender.

Lisa Goertz lost her family in the Jewish holocaust in Germany. Before escaping from Germany herself, she became a Christian, she wrote this about “forgiveness”:

"Forgiveness means that we are not going to allow the experiences of the past to dominate our future"

Someone has also said about “forgivenss”:

“It means that I am willing to have a relationship with the other party that is based on Christian LOVE and not on what has happened in the past.”

Turning to the Bible, the two words we translate “to forgive” literally means “TO LET GO OF” and to “CANCEL A DEBT”.

***Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you, but, forgiveness is treating it as if it did not occur.***

In other words to “forgive” means the slate is clean, Forgiveness is a new beginning. There is no need to bring up the past offense because to “forgive” means THE PAST IS OVER…

Isaiah 43 v 25

“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

Jeremiah 31 v 34

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

This does not mean we simply forget the offense or perceived offense but that we allow it to remain in the past, and not continue it in the present or future. Its over, WE LET IT GO…

What are some signs that we haven’t forgiven?

1) Dwelling on how we have been dreadfully hurt or miss-understood.

When a person keeps thinking about how much they have been hurt or injured in someway, then they have not forgiven. We may have truly been terribly hurt by what someone did or said, but we will be the ones suffering when we keep dwelling on the offense. ***It robs us of peace and contentment, and it does not allow the hurt or pain to heal…

Continually thinking about or expressing to others how we have been terribly hurt or miss-understood is a vivid sign THAT WE REALLY HAVE NOT FORGIVEN THE OTHER PERSON…

2) Thinking of ways to get even.

If you keep coming up ways to make him/her suffer, then you have not forgiven.

3) Irritability, or sensitivity to what people say.

There are many causes of irritability and sensitivity, such as fatigue and stress. However, resentment is another reason why we become easily annoyed. If we find that we are snapping more at people, finding fault more with people, or just thinking they’re being insensitive to me and my needs or feelings we need to stop and seriously in prayer examine our own heart, to see if there are any offenses that we have not forgiven.

4) Bringing up the incident.

If you keep bringing up a past incident, especially out of the blue, then it is a sign that you have not forgiven the person. Feeling the necessity to explain why you were so hurt and how the other person just doesn’t understand you. ***This is a sign that you have not forgiven him/her for that transgression.

5) Getting irritated or angry when you think about the incident.

When thinking about the incident, you feel you must do or say something about it to the other person, you have not forgiven them.

6) Having a critical spirit.

Finding fault with others.

7) Restlessness

Feeling you have to prove something, being easily frustrated with others.

Forgiveness again is not necessarily forgetting about the offense, but the hurt and pain is released. ***If you still feel hurt or sensitive about it, then you still have resentment over the issue.***

Forgiveness is something that we all have to work to achieve and sometimes we have to do it several times a day. If you hold onto resentment and anger, then you lose peace both within yourself and in your relationship. Is holding on to that offense worth the price that you are paying for it?

Denying that we have resentment or anger only makes things worse FOR NOT ONLY ALL THAT ARE INVOLVED, but lack of “forgiveness” also affects other areas of our life including all our personal relationships…

How does God define to “forgive” or “forgiveness”?

Psalms 32 v 1

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”

Forgiven is to mean the sin has been covered, NO LONGER SEEN, NOT THOUGHT OF ANYMORE…

So then how do we truly and completely forgive?

1) Confess that you have not forgiven.

You’ve got to admit to God and yourself THAT YOU HAVE NOT FORGIVEN, that you are holding onto the pain and hurt.

2) Identify the ‘real’ nature and source of anger.

Figure out why you cannot give up your hurt and or anger.

3) Purpose in your heart to genuinely deal with your lack of forgiveness quickly. (There is NO justification for holding on to it)

No matter how you’ve been hurt, its up to you, TO LET GO OF THE PAIN.

4) Vent to God.

God is ready, willing, and quite able TO LISTEN TO OUR PAIN, AND HEAR OUR FRUSTRATIONS OR ANGER.

5) Put it away, LET IT GO.

Not forgiving is an energy force, if we hold onto it, IT WILL BURN US ALIVE!!! We must choice to release the person from the perceived debt they owe us, and wipe the slate clean. That does not mean we turn the slate over and see the clean slate, and then feel we have the “right” to turn the slate back over and see our hurt and their debt to us, IT MEANS TO LITERALLY WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN, SO THERE IS NO TURNING BACK!!!

There is no debt to pay, there is no hurt to be healed, there is no responsibility that must be understood further, there is no explanation that is necessary…….

ITS LET GO…….

Un-forgiveness is like toxic waste, IT WILL DESTROY, if we cannot let go.

***Forgiveness is giving up resentment against someone who has or that we perceive has hurt us, and giving up our right to demand that they pay or acknowledge in someway that they were wrong.***

***Un-forgiveness is the conscious or unconscious act of refusing to give up one’s resentment and right to demand payment in someway.***

***Forgiveness is SURRENDERING YOUR HURT AND PAIN TO GOD, not holding onto it…….***

Partial “forgiveness” is like partial obedience, IT IS NEITHER FORGIVENESS OR OBEDIENCE…

***We are slaves to hate WHEN WE DO NOT FORGIVE.***

***Forgiveness has no buts in it, I forgive you but you must understand, I forgive you but you must pay, I forgive but, but, but, but…….

***Forgiveness sets the other person free…….*******

How do you know you have forgiven?

***Your pain and hurt will be relieved.

***Your willing to accept the other person the way they are.

***You will no longer wonder why they did that, because it is over, you’ve let it go…

THEY ARE FREE AND YOU ARE TOO…

***To forgive is to release. Let it go. Freely and wholeheartedly grant freedom and blessing. It has very little to do with feelings or even trust. Forgiveness is simply a decision a choice to let go of our hurt, pain, or frustrations and our own view of justice.

Does Jesus hold on to the pain we caused Him, does He constantly bop us in the head, constantly reminding us what we did or said, DOES HE DEMAND WE UNDERSTAND HOW WE HURT HIM, or DOES HE SIMPLY ASK THAT WE SINCERELY ASK FOR FORGIVENESS, and then HE SETS US FREE…….

Too many times by our actions and/or our feelings we treat our injuries or our hurts as if they somehow out weigh the pain and hurt we caused God by our sins. We demand retribution or restitution when people hurt us, but we gladly accept Christ paying the price for our sins.

We can only genuinely forgive when WE MOST VIVIDLY SEE and UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH WE WERE FORGIVEN BY JESUS CHRIST!!!

If we truly see our own depravity and I don’t mean intellectually acknowledge it, or Theologically accept it, but to the depth of our souls experience the pain of our own total depravity.

C.S. Lewis wrote:

“Look for yourself and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay.”

Martin Luther wrote:   

“Man must come to a knowledge of himself, be terrified of himself, and be crushed as a prelude to receiving and appreciating God’s grace, forgiveness, and new life in Jesus Christ.”

Jesus himself says of the Christian:

Matthew 5 v 3-4

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of   heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

A person who is so consumed with his or her own sinfulness without Jesus Christ, CANNOT HOLD ON TO ANY RESENMENT OR ANGER FOR LONG WITHOUT DENY THE VERY SAVIOR THEY CLAIM TO LOVE……..

That does not mean we will never be hurt, that does not mean if cut, we will not bleed; IT SIMPLY MEANS THAT IF WE FORGIVE AS CHRIST FORGAVE US, WE WILL NOT HOLD ON TO OUR HURTS, WE WILL NOT POUR SALT ONTO OUR OWN WOUNDS, we will LET OUR PAIN and FRUSTRATIONS GO, ALSO NAILINGLY THEM TO THE CROSS…

Forgiving is perhaps much harder than repenting, for repenting is asking someone to forgive us, and forgiving is us actually doing the forgiving…….

The old saying goes ‘to error is human and to forgive is divine.

Now “forgiving” is far more than saying ‘I forgive you’, ITS ACTUALLY TO LET GO!!!

Forgiving is what God wants His children to freely do, but truly, truly, IT IS NOT SOMETHING WE CAN DO UNDER OUR OWN POWER, IT IS THE GRACE OF GOD………………………………………………….

Matthew 23 v 34

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

That is genuine forgiveness…

Psalms 103 v 12

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

THIS IS THE HARDEST MESSAGE I EVER WROTE!!!!!!!

Submitted by: chris



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June 18, 2017


"a" Church


Evanston, Wyoming


"Four Prerequisites For Church Unity"

Philippians 2 v 1-2

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2. Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."

Our Father, we thank You for our Church Family,

Thank You for calling each of us to serve Your Kingdom through Your wonderful church. Thank You for using our individual gifts and talents to manifest Your Kingdom here on earth as it already is in heaven. Lord, we are thankful for the freedom to worship You, our God.

Thank You for Your bountiful blessings. Thank You for increasing Your presence, power, anointing, and abundance in Your Church Family. You are great and greatly to be praised. You are to be feared above all gods. The earth is Your’s and everything in it; the world and all its people belong to You. You laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.

Lord, no pagan god is like You! None can do what You do. Loving Father, we declare that we will LOVE You with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength. As a Church Family, we confess that we will LOVE one another, as ourselves. As Your children, we proclaim that we have all put on Christ, like putting on new clothes and we will walk in unity and LOVE with one another.

It is because of this LOVE that we exhibit for each other that people will know that we are Your disciples. Your Word tells us that if we LOVE You, we must also LOVE our brothers and sisters, too. Therefore, we declare that we will not look out only for our own interests, but we take an interest in each other’s needs. We declare that we will live in harmony with each other and resist division. We will be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

We declare that as a Church Family we will turn away from evil, and do good; we will search for peace and work to maintain it. We confess that we will encourage and build each other up. Above all things, we decree that we will put on LOVE, which is the bond of perfection.

We pray all these things in Jesus exquisite name, Amen and eternally Amen……………………


Marriage and the intimate relationship between a man and a woman covenanted together in oneness of unity in Love is God's bright and shinning pictogram of His Church, His people, His bride...

Throughout the ages the necessities of the Church have rarely changed. As the call for unity in the Philippians’ Church rings out in our main text today, so too, in our Churches of this modern era, the call and essential need for Church unity is profoundly self-evident!!!

A marriage without unity will fail and cause exceedingly great grief, so too, the lack of unity in a Church can destroy it’s strongest members, and leave the weakest members without faith.

So then what are the prerequisites for unity in a Church, let us look towards our verses for today…

Consolation in Christ

Consolation in Christ, the Greek word we translate consolation is frequently translated “exhortation”.

Philippians 2 v 3                                           

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Considering verse three and following are clearly referring to Christ’s humility, in proper context, Paul is exhorting (encouraging) the Church to be humble as Christ is humble. ***He is exhorting in Christ that WE SHOULD BE HUMBLE.

Philippians 2 v 5-7

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

 We SHOULD BE MEEK…

Matthew 5 v 5

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

The first prerequisite for unity in a Church is the Christ-like humility manifested in each of it’s members!!!

Galatians 2 v 20

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Christians should live lives of servant-hood, seeking to assist others and not demanding their own way. Rather living not for themselves, but instead living for Jesus Christ, and HIS CHURCH. As in a perfect marriage spouses SHOULD SUBMIT ONE TO ANOTHER, submission is a two way street.

Ephesians 5 v 21

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

***Humility based on mutual LOVE for God is the foundation of Church unity!!!

Living to serve verse living to be served is the key. The absence of self-pride and instead the Holy Spirit manifestation of UNCONDITIONAL FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST in our Church members…….

Not our way, but HIS WAY; not my way or the highway, but HIS WILL BE DONE!!!

Comfort of LOVE

Comfort of LOVE, implies encouragement or a tender incentive to produce unity. In-other-words God’s agape LOVE must be the center in the heart of the Christian, if so, God the Holy Spirit graciously bestows or encourages the genuine Christian to live in unity with his/her brothers and sisters in Christ…

John 13 v 34

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

And by that LOVE that encourages our Church unity people will SEE WE BELONG TO HIM.

When Church members truly LOVE each other as Christ LOVES us, UNITY WILL PREVAIL!!!!!!!

God made each of us different and unique, that He might make us ONE IN THE CHURCH…

***God’s LOVE must be the center of our heart and desire!!!

Fellowship of the Spirit

Fellowship of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit provides an intimate fellowship between genuine believers.

Through the empowering assistance of God the Holy Spirit, our wills are molded into characters of Christ-likeness; enabling us to live in unity with our fellow Church members and all fellow Christians…

I remember back when I was a student at Michigan State University, and also an active member of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. I suggested to our leaders that the various Christians groups should get together and SHARE WHAT EACH WAS DOING TO SPREAD GOD’S LOVE AND GOD’S GOSPEL. It was turned down as a foolish and a dangerous idea. Why???

My leaders said, “We would only fight”.

Wow…

Each group had it’s own agenda, it’s own ways of doing things, and each group was adamant, “OUR WAY IS THE BEST WAY!”

But when our motive is truly of God’s LOVE and genuine Christian fellowship, THEN AND ONLY THEN CAN THERE BE UNITY!!!!!!!

We must realize that we each, whether an individual in a Church, a group within our faith, or very diverse genuine Christian denominations; WE ALL HAVE A GOD GIVEN PART TO PLAY IN HIS COMING KINGDOM and in the PRESENT SPREADING OF GOD’S LOVE, GRACE, and MERCY to others in need of His truth…

Romans 12 v 3-12

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7. Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8. Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11. Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12. Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”

God has given each Christian gifts, and those gifts only work properly when we realize NO ONE IS GREATER THAN ANOTHER, that all the gifts are necessary to supply unity to God’s Church!!!

We are all spokes in the Wheel of God, and WE ALL ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO THE NEEDS OF HIS KINGDOM; NOW AND IN ETERNITY!!!!!!!

We must realize WE NEED EACH OTHER TOTALLY!!!

Bowels and mercies

Bowels and mercies, in our western culture the “heart” is considered the seat of our being, of our affections; in other cultures it is in our bowels, our innermost parts. Paul is telling us that to truly be unified as a Church, WE MUST HAVE UNCONDITINAL TENDER COMPASSIONATE YEARNINGS FOR ONE ANOTHER. If we do, our divisions, our clicks will end, and THERE WILL BE UNITY!!!!!!!

*******We MUST REALLY CARE ABOUT ONE ANOTHER!!!!!!!

Talk is cheap, for the Church to see Godly “unity”, WE MUST CARE ABOUT ONE ANOTHER…

We MUST like each other, LOVE each other, TRULY, TRULY, TRULY CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER!!!

We MUST HAVE EMPATHY FOR EACH OTHER!!!!!!!

Not just for those who are just like us, but EVEN FOR THOSE WHO ARE MOST UNLIKE US!!!

We MUST NOT JUDGE PEOPLE AS THE WORLD DOES, by first, second, or even third or forth impressions or appearances.

We should not judge a book by it’s cover nor should we judge a person simply by their looks or behavior!!!

John 7 v 24

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

As Moses,

Exodus 32 v 32

“Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.”

As Paul did,

Romans 9 v 3

“For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:”

And above all as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit does,

John 15 v 13

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Unity comes from sincere and genuinely real feelings of friendship. Friendship which cares ABSOLUTELY, and is WILLING TO GIVE ALL IT HAS TO THAT FRIENDSHIP; EVEN IF IT MEANS YOUR OWN LIFE!!!

In such an atmosphere there WILL BE “NO” DIS-UNITY!!!!!!!

The four prerequisites for Church unity are:

1)    Christ-like humility and meekness within each member

2)    Spirit produced agape LOVE in the heart of each member

3)    Complete submission to the Holy Spirit of God

4)    Tenderheartedness, empathy, compassionate sensitivity and concern for one another…


In this nothing can destroy the God given unity of His bride, His Children, His Church!!!!!!!

Let it be so, Amen and Amen!!!!!!!

It is up to each one of us………………………………………….

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc​


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June 11, 2017


​“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“If This Was My Last Message: What Would I Say???”

Revelation 22:17 (RSV)
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let him who hears say, "Come." And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.

Father, I, we praise Your holy name for saving us. Unworthy, full of sin without Your grace, I, we, thank you. We pray that we have lived such a life that it honors You, undoubtedly far from perfect, but You understand and You see us white as snow through the washing and regeneration by the covering of the beautiful, precious, innocent shed BLOOD of Your only begotten son Jesus ChrisT.

I, we, repent of all our past, present, and futures sins, and truly and genuinely grieve over our sins. Thank You, thank You, thank You!!!!!!! God we wish our lives equaled our LOVE for You, and in heaven I, we, pray WE WILL BE AS YOUR SON IS, SINLESS, and BEAUTIFUL IN YOUR SIGHT. We pray with the gifts You gave us, and with our weaknesses and imperfections WE STILL HELPED YOU AND THE PEOPLE YOU PUT IN OUR LIVES…

We pray for the new ChrisTians, and the new ChrisTian leaders that they would always be true to Your only inerrant, infallible word the precious, precious, precious Bible. Guide them, direct them, protect them from THIS EVIL WORLD, FROM THE god OF THIS WORLD SATAN, and from their own sinful, self-centered, evil selves………………..

For whatever time, I, we, have on this earth HAVE US GLORIFY YOU, and SEEK THE SALVATION OF THE LOST, WITH Your LOVE, Your compassion, Your mercy and grace, in Jesus my, our, BLESSED SAVIORS NAME, AMEN AND ETERNALLY AMEN AND AMEN……

[[[ The Spirit and the Bride say come……………]]]

God the Father, God the son Jesus ChrisT, God the Holy Spirit, and ALL GOD’S TRUE PEOPLE, ask, beg, plead that the Lost COME TO THE TRUTH, TO JESUS, TO BE ETERNALLY SAVED!!!!!!!

Revelation 3:20 (RSV)
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Jesus knocks, calls out to all the lost people of creation, if THEY open the door of THEIR heart, He will come in and save them, you!!!!!!!

God is pleading with you……………………………..

Luke 4:18-19 (RSV)
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."

God the Father, God the Holy Spirit sent Jesus ChrisT to the earth to preach, teach, and offer salvation TO WHOSOEVER WILL BELIEVE!!!!!!!

John 3:16-17 (ASV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
17 For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.

That means me, that means you, that means the Atheist, the Agnostic, those of all beliefs, all backgrounds,  EVERY MAN, WOMAN, OR CHILD WHO WILL ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST, as their ONLY LORD, their ONLY GOD, their ONLY SAVIOR: WILL BE SAVED!!!!!!!

John 14:6 (ASV)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Acts 4:12 (ASV)
12 And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.

JESUS THE CHRIST AND HIM ALONE……………………………………………

Joel 2:32 (ASV)
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as Jehovah hath said, and among the remnant those whom Jehovah doth call.

Acts 2:21 (ASV)
21 And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:13 (ASV)
13 for, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

1 Corinthians 1:2 (ASV)
2 unto the church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours:

SHALL BE SAVED!!!!!!!

***COME TO JESUS CHRIST TO BE SAVED***

Matthew 28:19-20 (ASV)
19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:
20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD SAVED BY GOD’S GRACE ARE COMPELLED BY THE LOVE WITHIN THEM TO REACHOUT TO THE LOST TO ASSIST THEM IN COMING TO KNOW JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR LORD, GOD, AND ETERNAL SAVIOR!!!!!!!

1 Corinthians 9:16 (NIV2011)
16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

Our hearts and souls BURN WITH THE YEARNING TO SHARE THE LOVE OF GOD WITH OTHERS………………………………………………..

2 Corinthians 5:14 (NIV2011)
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

WE KNOW JESUS DIED FOR ALL, IT IS ONLY HIS GRACE, HIS MERCY, HIS LOVE, HIS BLOOD SACRIFICE THAT CAN REDEEM US FROM OUR PERSONAL SINS………………………………………………

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (RSV)
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

WE THE PEOPLE OF HIS CHURCH, HIS BELOVED SON’S BRIDE; WE ARE CALLED TO SHARE, *THE HUMILITY OF JESUS CHRIST, *THE TRUTH OF JESUS CHRIST, AND *THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST TO ALL HE PUTS IN OUR PATH ACCORDING TO THE LEADING OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT!!!!!!!

[[[ WHOSOEVER DESIRES TAKE THE GIFT OF GOD’S SALVATION WITHOUT COST ]]]

2 Peter 3:9 (RSV)
9 The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

GOD WANTS NO ONE TO PERISH, NO ONE, PRAISE GOD, NOT EVEN ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU ABBA, DADDY, MY BELOVED FATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OUR BELOVED FATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (RSV)
3 This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Ezekiel 18:23 (RSV)
23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

Matthew 23:37 (RSV)
37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!

God LOVES EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US!!!!!!! Yet He gives us the Free Will to say “YES” or “NO” to Him……………….Through His word and His obedient children, HE HAS MADE IT CLEAR, THE CONSEQUENCES OF SAYING “NO”, but out of pure LOVE, HE OFFERS THE FREE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE WITH HIM, BUT AS A GIFT, WE MUST CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT OR REJECT IT…………………………………………………….

HE STANDS AT THE DOOR, KNOCKING, CALLING OUT, WILL YOU LET HIM IN??????????????????????????????????????????????

LET US PRAY FOR EACH OTHER AND THE LOST IN JESUS NAME AMEN AND ETERNALLY AMEN…………………………………………………

Romans 10:9-11 (RSV)
9 because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame."

2 Corinthians 6:2 (RSV)
2 For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Please do not wait, YOU DO NOT HAVE FOR EVER……………………………

Submitted by Harold Chris Smith​


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June 4, 2017


"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"The Whole Armor of God!!!!!!!"

Ephesians 6 v 10-18

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"

Father, sometimes we can almost sense the heaviness of pressure mounting and the ominous presence of darkness around us. We recognize our enemy is at work again. Whether he's trying to discourage us to get sidetracked, to fall into temptation, to give up, or to take our eyes off You, he's always hanging around.

We need Your supernatural power, Lord, to stand strong and not surrender. Physical force won't help, because You've said the weapons of our warfare are different from those in this world. As believers, ours are powerful and can demolish strongholds and lies. These supernatural weapons originate from You. By Your precious Son’s name and blood, Father, We ask You to confuse Satan and cancel his attempts to shut us and our influence as Your children down. Help us not to become discouraged or to give in when heavy times of testing come.

When we are tired and weak, You are strong, Lord, and You are our only source of help. We cannot fight without You. Teach us how to pray and to trust You to pull down those strongholds that attempt to keep us helpless. Guard us from isolation that leaves us exposed and vulnerable. We know You destroyed the power of our enemy by Your death and resurrection. But like a bad penny, our enemy keeps showing up, whispering lies, twisting truth, and attempting to inflate our selfish pride. He never gives up.

We are declaring the devil and his demons liars today, Lord. Through the power of Your Son’s precious name and blood, We agree with Your Word and the truth that You are in us and that You are greater than our enemies who want to rule the world. You, Your Word, and, Lord, are our secret weapons. We belong to You, and that fills us with a powerful God-confidence. We want to constantly dress in the SPIRITUAL ARMOR YOU GIVE. Help us use it to defend others from Satan's fiery darts as well. No one and nothing can snatch us away from Your hand.

Strengthen our faith, Lord. Forgive our sins, so that we may be clean in Your righteousness. Make us brave, make me brave, so we can stand and fight the spiritual battles in or lives and in our world. Give us Your wisdom and discernment so we won't be caught off guard. Together, Lord, we'll win, because in truth, YOU ALREADY HAVE.

In Jesus's powerful, glorious, and beautiful name before which every knee shall bow, we pray, Amen and eternally Amen!!!!!!!

“We as genuine Christians are His soldiers in the field, if we do not stand up for what God teaches in spiritual things, in moral issues, in current events and in the political realm of society, THEN ONLY SATAN WILL!!!!!!!”

Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc

*******WE ARE AT WAR!!!!!!!*******

“Every day in schools, on TV, or in other media, the Bible and those who believe it are ridiculed. These attacks can be so scornful and relentless…” RJG…Days of Praise

Day after day, week after week, we hear often vicious attacks on such Christian Saints as: Dr. James Dobson, Reverend Pat Robertson, Reverend Franklin Graham, Reverend Rick Warren author of The Purpose Driven Life, and the list goes on. Unfortunately even within our ranks professing Christians often ridicule other professing Christians, sometimes for very valid reasons and sometimes for a difference in temperament, the way they express their faith.

There are false pastors, false teachers, false theologians, false prophets, false Christians disguised as “angels of Light” within our various Christian Churches and denominations, SEEKING TO DEVOUR WHO THEY MAY DEVOUR!!! ***Polluting and perverting the actual “truths” and teachings of God’s ONLY INERRANT, INFALLIBLE WORD THE BIBLE!!!

Still there are others who are quite obvious to the genuine Christians but with their subtle, wily ways deceive many who profess to be Christians but have not actually surrendered their lives to the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ. These Deceivers speak in modern day language and are politically correct; they speak with worldly wisdom, and make sense to itching ears that want a form of godliness but are not willing to submit their lives to the absolute authority of THE WORD OF GOD THE BIBLE……

How then can we stand firm in our faith, how can we with stand the mighty attacks upon the “TRUE GOSPEL” at every area of our lives???

God knew from the beginning of human existence that genuine Christians WOULD BE IN A WAR, A WAR WE NEVER WANTED, BUT A WAR NEVER THE LESS…

A war against those who hate God and all that is His……

So God provided our needs for this war, HE PROVIDED THE “WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD”!!!

Ephesians 6 v 10-14

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;”

Loins Girt about with Truth (Belt of Truth)

It was the belt which girt in the soldier's tunic and from which his sword hung and which gave him freedom of movement. Others may guess and grope; the Christian moves freely and quickly because he knows the truth. Jesus said:

John 14 v 6

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

“The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth of God; unless this be

known and conscientiously believed no man can enter the spiritual warfare with any advantage or prospect of success. By this alone we discover who our enemies are, and how they come on to attack us; and by this we know where our strength lies; and, as the truth is great, and must prevail, we are to gird ourselves with this against all false religion, and the various winds of doctrine by which cunning men and insidious devils lie in wait to deceive.”

Adam Clarke

We must know without a doubt THAT JESUS CHRIST IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS, THAT HIS WORD IS THE BIBLE!!! That the BIBLE IS OUR RESOURCE TO KNOW GOD AND HIS TRUE WILL FOR ALL MANKIND!!!

*******That the Bible and IT ALONE and ALL THAT IT SAYS IS THE STANDARD UPON WHICH ANY GENUINE CHRISTIAN PLACES THEIR ABSOLUTE FAITH!!!*******

Jesus declared:

Matthew 4 v 4

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

To diligently and thoroughly study God’s word the Bible is to prepare you for our spiritual war in two ways.

First, in conscientiously studying God’s word the Bible WE GROW IN FAITH. ***IN OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST!!!***

Romans 10 v 17

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Without faith NO ONE CAN SURVIVE THIS WAR!!! No one will know the truth without studying God’s word…….

Secondly, industriously reading, studying, listening to God’s word the Bible WILL AFFIRM YOUR ABSOLUTE COMMITMENT TO GOD AND YOUR NOBLINESS OF CHARACTER IN CHRIST…

Acts 17 v 11

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

By carefully studying the Bible you will be able to teach others the truth, and that truth will prepare you for the war…….

2 Timothy 2 v 15

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Knowing the “Truth” and living the truth both in our public and private lives; in- other- words being “Born Again” is essential for any person to fight the good fight for God and those needing salvation…

John 3 v 3

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

James 1 v 22

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

Genuinely being saved, “born again” in the TRUTH of Jesus Christ is the foundation, the cement that holds the Full Armor of God together…….

Isaiah 11 v 5

“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”

The Breastplate of Righteousness

When a Christian is clothed in righteousness WE ARE IMPREGNABLE!!! Words are no defense against accusations but a good life is. Once a man accused Plato of certain crimes.

"Well then," said Plato, "we must live in such a way as to prove that his accusations are a lie."

The only way to meet the accusations against Christianity is to show how good a Christian can be.

John Wesley wrote of this “Breastplate”:

“The righteousness of a spotless purity, in which Christ will present us faultless before God, through the merit of his own blood.”

This righteousness is not of our own doing, but by the power of the atoning shed blood of Jesus Christ!!!

The word righteousness, dikaisunh, we have often had occasion to note, is a word of very extensive import: it signifies the principle of righteousness; it signifies the practice of righteousness, or living a holy life.

We must be saved by the “Truth”, Jesus Christ and we must truly by the assistance of the Holy Spirit seek to live a moment by moment holy life.

1 Thessalonians 4 v 7-8

“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.”

 As the breast-plate defends the heart and lungs, and all those vital functionaries that are contained in what is called the region of the thorax; so this righteousness, this life of God in the soul of the Christian, defends everything on which the person’s spiritual existence depends.

Ephesians 6 v 15

“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”

Feet Shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace (Sandals)

Sandals were the sign of one equipped and ready to move. The sign of the Christian is that we are eager to be on the way to share the gospel with others who have not heard it.

Isaiah 52 v 7

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

The genuine Christian is ready, willing, and with the Holy Spirit’s help able to share the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ to those we are at war with, THAT THEY MIGHT BE ETERNALLY SAVED AS WE ARE!!!

Romans 10 v 15

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

The Peace of the Gospel of Truth is that, God desires that even the most vilest of sinner might be forgiven and saved if they authentically repent!!!

Luke 23 v 34A

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…”

2 Peter 3 v 9

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

1 Timothy 2 v 3-4

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Not only must we be prepared to share the Gospel of Truth with the Lost, we must be prepared to use it in our defense when the fiery darts of temptations and doubts come upon us from Satan and his soldiers…….

As Matthew Henry said:

“Motives to obedience, amidst trials, must be drawn from a clear knowledge of the gospel.”

Ephesians 6 v 16

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

The Shield of Faith

The word Paul uses is not that for the comparatively small round shield; it is that for the great oblong shield which the heavily armed warrior wore. One of the most dangerous weapons in ancient warfare was the fiery dart. It was a dart tipped with tow dipped in pitch. The pitch-soaked tow was set alight and the dart was thrown. The great oblong shield was made of two sections of wood, glued together. When the shield was presented to the dart, the dart sank into the wood and the flame was put out. Faith can deal with the darts of temptation. With Paul, faith is always complete trust in Christ. When we walk close with Christ, we are safe from temptation.

Our Shield of Faith is all in all in an hour of temptation. Faith, as absolute trust in Jesus Christ, receiving Christ and the benefits of redemption, and so deriving grace from Him.  

***Faith is applying the word of God and the grace of Christ, which quenches the darts of temptation.***

John Wesley says of the Shield of Faith:

“It is a sort of universal covering to every other part of the armor itself, continually exercise a strong and lively faith. This you may use as a shield, which will quench all the fiery darts, the furious temptations, violent and sudden injections of the devil.”

Isaiah 7 v 9B

“…If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

Faith is absolute trust in God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), God the Holy Spirit (three persons yet one God), and God’s holy word the Bible!!!

Keep focused on God and you cannot spiritually fail!!!!!!!

Adam Clarke said of this Shield of Faith:

“Faith, in this place, must mean that evidence of things unseen which every genuine believer has, that God, for Christ’s sake, has blotted out his sins, and by which he is enabled to call God his Father, and feel him to be his portion. It is such an appropriating faith as this which can quench any dart of the devil.”

Ephesians 6 v 17

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

Helmet of Salvation

Salvation is not something which looks back only. The salvation which is in Christ gives us forgiveness for the sins of the past and strength to conquer sin in the days to come.

1 Thessalonians 5 v 8

“But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for and helmet, the hope of salvation.”

So the hope of conquering every adversary and surmounting every difficulty, through the blood of the Lamb, is as a helmet that protects the head; an impenetrable one, that the blow of the battle-axe cannot cleave. The hope of continual safety and protection, built on the promises of God, to which the upright follower of Christ feels they

have a Divine right, protects the understanding from being darkened, and the judgment from being confused by any temptations of Satan, or subtle arguments of the sophistical ungodly. Those who carry Jesus Christ in their hearts cannot be cheated out of the hope of His heaven, and ultimate victory for God and His servants…….

One severe blow to our head, our thought processes, can potentially be devastating. The armor for this is the hope of salvation. The least degree of this hope is a confidence that God will work the whole work of faith in us; the highest is a full assurance of future glory, added to the knowledge of pardoning LOVE. ***Armed with this helmet, the hope of the joy set before Him, Jesus Christ “endured the cross, and despised the shame:

Hebrews 12 v 2

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Absolute HOPE in the atoning shed blood of Jesus Christ and all His promises in the Bible IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR VICTORY IN THIS WAR…….

The Sword of the Spirit

The Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. The word of God is at once our weapon of defense against sin and our weapon of attack against the sins of the world. Cromwell's Ironsides fought with a sword in one hand and a Bible in the other. We can never win God's battles without God's book. The Greek word for “word” here is rhema meaning: spoken word.

***Thus God declares only when His Bible is lived and put into daily and moment by moment practice WILL IT BE A WINNING GLORIOUS DEFENSIVE AND OFFENSIVE WEAPON IN THE WAR AGAINST THOSE WHO HATE GOD!!!!!!!***

A Bible simply stored on a bookshelf or on top of the television set or used only when at Church or kept only within our heart silently and only personally and privately, IS NO SWORD AT ALL… The Sword of the Spirit is the word of God WHEN WE SHARE OUR FAITH AND BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WRITTEN WORD THE BIBLE WITH OTHERS!!!!!!!

It has been said and rightfully so: “A SECRETE  DISCIPLESHIP WILL ONLY DESTROY THE DISCIPLE”!!! 

The Sword of the Spirit is only a sword of victory WHEN WE EARNESTLY SEEK TO LIVE ALL THAT IT CALLS US TO BE!!!

John Wesley speaking of the Sword of the Spirit,

“This Satan cannot withstand, when it is edged and wielded by faith. Till now our armor has been only defensive. But we are to attack Satan, as well as secure ourselves; the shield in one hand, and the sword in the other. Whoever fights with the powers of hell will need both. He that is covered with armor from head to foot, and neglects this, will be foiled after all.”

James 2 v 18

“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

A silent disciple HAS A DEAD FAITH, A DISCIPLE WHO IN LOVE PROCLAIMS THEIR FAITH HAS FAITH INDEED!!!

***Only in living and sharing our faith do we truly use the Sword of the Spirit for God’s glory and final victory…….***

Many Theologians have innocently but wrongly declared that the Sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon that God gives us, but that is not true!!!

Finally we look at our greatest offensive weapon in the Full Armor of God…

Ephesians 6 v 18

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

Prayer

Finally, Paul comes to the greatest weapon of all and THAT IS PRAYER!!! We note three things that he says about prayer.

ONE, It must be constant. Our tendency is so often to pray only in the great crises of life; but it is from daily prayer that the Christian will find daily strength.

TWO, It must be intense. Limp prayer never got a person anywhere. Prayer demands the concentration of every faculty upon God.

THIRD, It must be unselfish. The Jews had a saying,

"Let a man unite himself with the community in his prayers."

I think that often our prayers are too much for ourselves and too little for others. We must learn to pray as much for others and with others as for ourselves.

***We do well to remember that ever Christian leader and every Christian preacher needs their people to uphold their hands in prayer.***

***We must pray for each other as often as we can…….***

How great is the power of a genuine Christians’ prayers???

In prayer for a person’s salvation, IT WILL TAKE ALL THE POWER OF HELL AND THEN SOME, TO STOP THAT PERSON FROM BEING SAVED!!!!!!!

Prayer is the power of God, and only by an individual’s personal choice, only by their free will, will they be blotted out from the Lamb’s book of Life, if a Christian is praying for them!!! Prayer for the Lost gives them the choice, blinded by sin and Satan, prayer allows them to see the Light, yet they still MUST CHOOSE THE LIGHT!!!

Therefore being in such a grievous and dreadful war, WE AS TRUE CHRISTIANS MUST TAKE ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD, TO SERVE GOD FAITHFULLY AND TO REACH THE LOST FOR JESUS CHRIST AND FOR THEIR ETERNAL DESTINIES!!!!!!!

The “Full Armor of God”:

*Belt of Truth…….The Truth of the Gospel within your heart

**Breastplate of Righteousness…….Living a holy life

***Sandals with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace…….Always prepared to share your faith

****Shield of Faith…….Absolute trust in Jesus Christ and His word the Bible

*****Helmet of Salvation…….Absolute hope in your salvation and God’s power to eternally sustain you

******Sword of the Spirit which is the spoken and living word of God…….

*******Prayer…….Unselfish prayer for others and oneself

Don’t deny the war we’re in as Christians, prepare yourself and others for the war that will decide eternity!!!!!!!

Romans 8 v 37-39

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

May God bless you all, and may we all be a blessing to God…….

Submitted by: Harold Chris Smith​


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May 28, 2017..........................................................Memorial Day

“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“Freedom!!!”

John 8:36 (RSV)
36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Memorial Day Reflections

Memorial Day is a good time to reflect on the sacrifices and services of the American soldiers and veterans and the U.S. military men and women. The American military is, has always been and will always recruit the best and finest of the crop of young men and women of the country and we will continue to shower them with appreciation, support and prayers, as we have always done. Memorial Day is just an opportunity for us to express the special places they have in the hearts of American citizens and more by honoring the people who work in the various branches of the military. 

The horrific tragedy of September 11, 2001, has stirred all and reawakened the spirit of patriotism in all hearts and unity and oneness binds all Americans in a special bond. The words 'United We Stand' and 'God Bless America' still hold the power to stir out hearts on this very special day. Let the feelings of true patriotism and LOVE for all those who have risked their lives for the sake of America show by putting up American flags in front of our houses, have parties with patriotic themes to honor military and ex-military men and women in our neighborhoods and communities. God bless those men and women who have or will give their lives for the freedom we will long enjoy…….

 Gracious Lord and heavenly Father there are many struggles that we are facing today as our freedoms are increasingly being eroded. Keep us Lord under Your protection as we seek to live our lives as unto You.

On this day of remembrance for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, we think of how they have followed in the footsteps of Your son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Please hold our servicemen and women in Your strong arms. Cover them with Your sheltering grace and Your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.

We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for Your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray Your peace, provision, hope and strength will fill their lives.

May the members of our armed forces be supplied with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord's mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our LOVE and support.

And may we Your warriors for Christ show the same resolve, the same courage, and the same ability for advancement of Your saving gospel as they fought for humanity’s earthly freedom.

Lord How we long to live in a world that is truly free and liberated – but Lord, help use see beyond our own limited perception of what is true liberty in this world, and to understand that our desire to see this world governed by men and women of integrity and goodness, WILL NEVER BE TRULY REALIZED – for we are a sinful race that lives in a fallen world


Father, help all who are Your children to understand that until the Lord Jesus returns to break forever the power of this fallen world system, there will be no absolute peace or prosperity or freedom on earth.

Thank You that Jesus is coming one day to right all the wrongs. Thank You that You have promised that you are returning to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind - and to set at liberty those who are oppressed.

Help us Lord to see this world from YOUR perspective and pray into YOUR will – knowing that only when Christ returns will the earth experience real freedom. 

How we thank and praise You that You are our living Lord and LOVING Saviour and that You hold the reins of the universe in the palm of Your hands. Thank You that You are fully in control of all that is taking place in this fallen world and that You have not simply left us without hope. 

Thank You for our Salvation in Christ and thank You Father, for the freedom we have in Him – Thank You that we have been released from this world system and can rest in You, knowing that nothing can happen to us that is not permitted by You that will not eventually be for our good and for Your glory. 

Lord as the temporal freedoms within the world are fading away, may our confidence rest in You and You alone. Give us Your peace that passes all understanding in our hearts… Your peace, which alone can set us free from the worries and anxieties that this world affords.

Help us to reach out to those who are Lost and in bondage to sin, in the power of Your LOVE, in the tenderness of Your compassion, and in the glory of Your boundless mercy, let us serve You, each other and all those who You put in our paths in Jesus name Amen and eternally Amen………………………………………………………


This week-end we celebrate the men and women of the United States Armed Forces for their service in freeing us from tyranny as a nation of people!!!!!!!

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

For most Americans, these are the most powerful words in American history. This is what the Founders wanted the meaning of Independence to be. The idea behind these words provocatively asserted that the rights listed are not now, nor have they ever been, granted by the throne, the Parliament, or any other ruling body of mankind’s making. While we may take those words for granted, back in 1776; they were earth shattering. 

Never before in the history of the world was the idea of personal rights and freedom for all men been given such a stage. Up until this time, all rights were ‘granted’ as favors from the king or leader and could always be revoked should favor turn from you.

This idea of unalienable rights, this marvelous truth, that we hold so dear, was mocked and ridiculed by the entire known civilized world. We were hated for it from every corner of the globe. In fact, America is still hated for it in many places.

This one line in our Declaration of Independence paved the way for every single law on the books today. It holds the basis for our Separation of Powers and all three branches of government. It is also the foundation of the civil rights movement.

The dream of a free and equal people burned brightly in the hearts of men back in 1776. The love of this country by Americans should never be in doubt. The love of freedom is expressed everyday by Americans who love this country and the principals of individual freedoms that it represents. This hard fought freedom, this grand Independence, is what we hold dear and what the meaning of Memorial Day should be.

However true and ultimate freedom is found in a LOVE relationship with Jesus Christ, and Him alone!!!  Jesus declared,

John 14:6 (RSV)
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.

[[[ ONLY BY ME !!!!!!! ]]]

As we celebrate the Fourth of July as freedom from human tyranny, let us remember every day our spiritual freedom from sin and ultimately the grave!!!

Let us praise Jesus always, as we remember the BLOOD He shed for us all at Calvary!!!  Today let us consider 21 Bible verses on different aspects of the freedom we have through Jesus the ChrisT.

FREDOOM IN CHRIST:

Galatians 5:1 (RSV)
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

2 Corinthians 3:17 (RSV)
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Galatians 2:4 (RSV)
4 But because of false brethren secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage --

John 8:36 (RSV)
36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Romans 8:2 (RSV)
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.

THE CALLING TO FREEDOM:

Galatians 5:13 (RSV)
13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.

FREEDOM FROM SIN:

Acts 10:43 (RSV)
43 To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

Romans 6:6-7 (RSV)
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
7 For he who has died is freed from sin.

[[[ DIED FROM SELF ]]]

1 Corinthians 10:13b (RSV)
13b … God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

[[[ GOD DID THIS MANY TIMES FOR ME ]]]

FREEDOM FROM FEAR:

Proverbs 1:33 (RSV)
33 but he who listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of evil."

Romans 8:15 (RSV)
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!"

2 Timothy 1:7 (RSV)
7 for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.

Psalm 56:4 (RSV)
4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me?

OTHER FREEDOM SCRIPTURE:

John 8:32 (RSV)
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

[[[ THAT TRUTH IS JESUS CHRIST ]]]

Luke 4:18-19 (RSV)
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."

1 Peter 2:16-17 (RSV)
16 Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God. 17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

[[[ LOVE AND RESPECT ALL PEOPLE ]]]

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 (RSV)
8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. 9 Why, we felt that we had received the sentence of death; but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead; 10 he delivered us from so deadly a peril, and he will deliver us; on him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.

Hebrews 2:14-15 (RSV)
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.

Psalm 91:14-15 (RSV)
14 Because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and honor him.

Colossians 1:22 (RSV)
22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him,

Psalm 118:5 (RSV)
5 Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.

[[[ THE LORD SETS US FREE ]]]

Conclusion:

Freedom in ChrisT is true freedom.  Until you understand and accept Him as Lord and Savior, you will stay in bondage to sin, shackled up by many chains. GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS today and shake off those chains, if you have not already. 

What does it mean to “Come to Jesus”? It means agreeing with what the Bible says about Jesus. Take a look:

What Coming to Jesus is Not

It is not about repeating a sinner’s prayer
It is not about walking down an aisle
Is is not about filling out a Decision Card
[[[ BUT IT MAY INCLUDE THOSE THINGS ]]]

 What Coming to Jesus Is

Repenting of your sins and turning the other way toward God
Confessing your sins and seeing your sinfulness and realizing your desperate need for the Savior
Believing that Jesus is your personal Savior
Believing with your heart and not just your head
Relying on, fully trusting in, leaning upon, and resting in — Him
Believing that He is your Savior first and allowing the Holy Spirit to help you make Him your Lord too
Believing that there is no other way to the Father in Heaven except by Jesus Christ alone……………………….

We are not promised tomorrow, we are not promised the next second, so do not delay!  Start your journey of freedom with Jesus Christ today!!! 

For those that are free, stay strong and finish the race well!!!  God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!!!

2 Corinthians 6:2 (RSV)
2 For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

IT’S UP TO YOU…………………………………………………………….

***In closing a final tribute to our military:

A Nation’s Strength
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1904)

 What makes a nation’s pillars high
 And its foundations strong?
 What makes it mighty to defy
 The foes that round it throng?

 It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
 Go down in battle shock;
 Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
 Not on abiding rock.

 Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
 Of empires passed away;
 The blood has turned their stones to rust,
 Their glory to decay.

 And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
 Has seemed to nations sweet;
 But God has struck its luster down
 In ashes at his feet.

 Not gold but only men can make
 A people great and strong;
 Men who for truth and honor’s sake
 Stand fast and suffer long.

 Brave men who work while others sleep,
 Who dare while others fly...
 They build a nation’s pillars deep
 And lift them to the sky.

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc




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May 21, 2017


"a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"Does What You Believe Really Matter???"

Matthew 4 v 4

"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Dear heavenly Father, we pray that You would give Your servants a discerning heart, an honest and true heart that seeks to put You first in all things – a heart of understanding and a genuine desire for a deeper knowledge of You.

How precious to know that You are our God.. and Lord we just want to know You more and to LOVE You better. Heavenly Father, it is the yearning of our hearts to know more of You and to grow closer to You with every passing moment.

As we read Your word the Bible and study the Scriptures we pray that You would help us to embrace all that You would teach us as Your children and we ask that You would develop in us a teachable spirit, which is quick to hear Your voice speaking to us and ready and willing to respond to the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

It says in Your Holy Writ that Your people are destroyed for lack of knowledge – and Lord we pray that You would help us to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest all that You would teach us in the Scriptures – for we want to be able to give an answer for the hope that is in us and we desire to share the truth of the glorious gospel of grace with all we meet. Into Your hands we give our lives and pray that we may live each moment to Your praise and glory, In Jesus name, Amen and eternally Amen…………….


 
As Christians does it matter what we really believe??? Do denominations really matter, as long as we believe in Jesus Christ as our only LORD, our only GOD (As: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit), and our only SAVIOR; DOES ANY THING ELSE REALLY MATTER??? Are other Bible doctrines essential to our faith and growth in Jesus Christ??? That is the topic of this week’s message…

Let us look at just a few disheartening statistics:

*Only 32% of surveyed professing Christians believe in absolute truth.

*Of all young adults surveyed, 62% believe each individual has the right to determine “what is right or wrong, moral or immoral”. **That total increases to 82% of those adults under 25 years of age.

*Of evangelical Christians, those professing to be “born again”, of those surveyed, 72% believe Jesus Christ IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN, that there are many ways to obtain eternal life…

*A world renowned Theological Seminary published a test, testing the Bible literacy of Christians. One of the questions read:

“Where was Jesus born?”

The answer by the participants was not the problem, the test key written and approved by this legitimately prestigious and highly acclaimed Christian Seminary, gave the answer of: “Jerusalem”.

The very test to determine the Bible knowledge of professing Christians showed how even school Professor Christians DID NOT KNOW THE BIBLE ALL THAT WELL!!!

Paul warned the Church at Galatia that they were falling prey to a different Gospel, a gospel other than the one that SAVED THEM!!!

Galatians 1 v 6-9

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7. Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

See, even in the time of Paul there were religious teachers and secularists who tried to modernize, clarify, culturalize and make Christianity politically correct. They would attempt to make the Gospel, the Bible sound more reasonable and rational in human thought, THUS USING THEIR OWN INTELLECT TO CORRECT THE VERY WORDS OF GOD!!!

Paul wrote to Timothy:

2 Timothy 3 v 15-17

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Paul declares that reading and understanding God’s inerrant infallible words in the scriptures (Bible) will lead a person to faith and salvation in Jesus Christ. This Gospel, this Bible exists by the will and power of God Himself to provide everything that is necessary for DOCTRINE, REPROOF, CORRECTION, and INSTRUCTION IN LIVING A GOD CENTERED LIFE…

*Doctrine---principles or guidelines for being and living a genuine Christian life in this world and the one to come!!!

*Reproof---pointing out error of thought, word, or deed!!!

*Correction---clarifying what is the perfect and acceptable will of God for an individual's life...                                                                                                                                                                    
      

 

*Instruction---training material to educate people about the ONE TRUE GOD and how to live a holy, righteous life here and now…….

Jesus tells a parable:

Matthew 7 v 24-27

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

Jesus says that the foundation that holds His people, His Church together IS THE HOLY BIBLE, ALL THAT HE HAS REVEALED TO US THROUGH HIS ONLY SCRIPTURES!!!

That foundation must be in us internally and expressed externally in LOVE in everything we say or do!!!

A house not firmly attached to it’s foundation will be washed away by floods or blown away by turbulent winds…

If as a professing Christian we do not know or understand the foundation, the biblical doctrines of our professed faith WE MAY FALL AWAY WITH THE FLOODS OF FALSE DOCTRINES, OR BLOWN AWAY BY THE WINDS OF DOUBT AND TEMPTATION…

Without a foundation our professed faith HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO HOLD IT, US, TOGETHER…

What we believe and have faith in, IS THE CEMENT THAT KEEPS US FAITHFUL EVEN IN THE MOST TRYING OF TIMES…

Again Jesus spoke a parable:

Matthew 13 v 3-9

“And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8. But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

There are people who hear the words of God and immediately dismiss them as foolish or irrelevant and instead, buy into lock, stock, and barrel THE WORLD’S STANDARDS FOR LIFE, OF RIGHT AND WRONG.

Yet there are other people who hear God’s words and without really taking it to heart profess to be Christian, but when false doctrines are spread, when the world declares how foolish the Christian doctrines are in the Bible, how ludicrous ministers and preachers of the faith are; then those not really knowing what “TRUE” and “GENUINE” Christian dogma and doctrine give into the temptations of doubt and turn away from their professed faith. ***They had no foundation to hold onto!!!

There are others who hear and perhaps even understand the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, yet because they do not ground themselves into their faith and it’s doctrine, they have not the power to let go of this world’s control on their lives, then sooner or later when push comes to shove, when problems arise they too have no foundation and they turn their back on God……

Then, there are a few compared to the others, that hear the truth and by the grace of God grasp onto the doctrine of God’s faith and by God the Holy Spirit eternally adhere themselves to the foundation of their Faith in Jesus Christ!!! For them though bitterly tossed and thrown here or there by the fiery darts of trials and seductive temptations of all kinds, THEIR FOUNDATION STANDS FIRM IN THE KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH OF GOD’S HOLY WORDS THE BIBLE and IN THE END OF THEIR PHYSICAL LIFE IN THE HERE AND NOW THEY WILL FIND THEMSELVES IN THE PRESENCE OF JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF…

JESUS WILL LOOK UPON THEM WITH EYES OF INFINITE LOVE and SAY TO THEM:

“Well done my good and faithful servants, please come into my eternal kingdom which I have prepared for you…….”

“Which I have prepared for you…….”

*******Most certainly what you believe or don’t believe affects EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE!!!*******

What we believe can affect how we live our moment by moment lives. If the only doctrine we follow is what our own mind tells us or if we follow the lucy-goosey “whatever goes” philosophies of this degenerate world, our inward and outward actions WILL MOST CERTAINLY BE DICTATED BY WHAT OUR FOUNDATION IS!!!

1 Peter 3 v 13-15

 "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14. But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

God says NO ONE CAN HARM YOU SPIRITUALLY IF YOU ARE A GENUINE FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WORDS…

If you KNOW and LIVE God’s words in your heart, body and soul NO ONE CAN DESTROY YOUR FAITH!!!!!!!

You as a genuine Christian are sanctified, set apart from the rest of the world, to serve God, to LOVE Him, and to LOVE His creation as He does, by the saving power of His holy scripture the Bible and the guidance of the Holy Spirit!!!

***In order for the genuine Child of God to develop a living and active set of beliefs of moral and spiritual values THE BIBLE MUST BE OUR ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY IN OUR LIVES!!!!!!!

How many of us accept the absolute authority of God’s Bible in our lives???

God warns us there will be a time when many will deny the authority of the Bible in our lives, and because we have not taken the time to thoroughly read and soberly study the Bible MANY WILL BE DECEIVED BY FALSE RELIGIOUS TEACHERS, BY FALSE SPIRITUAL TEACHERS, BY FALSE SECULAR TEACHERS AND PHILOSOPHIES……

2 Timothy 4 v 1-5

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4.  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

God calls ALL genuine Christians with whatever varying gifts we have to not only be grounded in our faith and doctrine but to actively share the LOVE of Jesus Christ and His beliefs, His teachings with as many as we can…However we can in LOVE…….

We must stand firm in our faith or we will not stand at all, and our faith is by God’s grace, and we increase in faith by diligently and thoroughly examining the Bible for ourselves and trusting our pastors and teachers in light of what we have soberly studied in God’s word…

Romans 10 v 17

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

How shall we believe, how shall we have faith, how shall we live by faith IF WE DO NOT SEEK TO KNOW, UNDERSTAND, AND OBEY GOD’S HOLY WORDS THE BIBLE???

Romans 10 v 13-15

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  14. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15. And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

What we believe is so very essential not only to our faith, but to the potential faith of those God has called ALL genuine Christians to share with. As Paul points out, if we who profess to believe DO NOT SHARE OUR FAITH, WHO WILL??????

If we do not know or understand our own doctrines of faith, HOW WILL WE BE ABLE TO SHARE WITH OTHERS THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST???

There are so many false Christians, so many false teachers, so many false ministers, and a countless number of false and deceiving pastors SEEKING TO DESTROY YOUR AND MY ETERNAL SOULS; OUR ONLY HOPE IS TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS OUR ONLY LORD, OUR ONLY GOD (In Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and OUR ONLY SAVIOR…….

To acknowledge Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, and to accept His Holy Bible as the absolute and only source for the FOUNDATION OF OUR FAITH…….

We need to be like the genuine Christian believers in chapter seventeen of the book of Acts:

Acts 17 v 11

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

We work very hard to pay our bills and earn our wages, HOW HARD ARE WE WILLING TO WORK TO TRULY KNOW, UNDERSTAND, AND LOVE GOD ALMIGHTY???

The Bible gives us God’s answers for everything we “NEED” to know to live or die in this present world.

Some use this acronym for the Bible:

asic

nstructions

efore

L eaving


arth

Knowing the doctrines of what we believe as genuine Christians gives us the strength and knowledge to protect ourselves and others we LOVE against the DECEIVERS of this world.

***The very real and eternal consequences of not knowing what the Bible truly says IS DEVASTATING AND ETERNALLY DESTRUCTIVE IN EVERY WAY!!!!!!!

"God’s Laws, His Bible is meant for our protection and to guide us away from “things that will ultimately destroy us” …….

***God’s Bible is meant by God to assist us in living not only now, but also for eternity!!!!!!!

The Bible tells us the only way to genuinely be Children of God instead of children of wrath:

John 3 v 3

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Our doctrine of Faith is WE MUST BE “BORN AGAIN”, repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ as OUR ONLY SAVIOR!!!

John 1 v 12

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

Only if we LOVE Jesus Christ as our ONLY LORD, our ONLY GOD (FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT) and our ONLY SAVIOR, THEN AND ONLY THEN ARE WE GOD’S CHILDREN!!!

Ephesians 2 v 3

“Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

***It doesn’t matter what religion or region of the world we come from, WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF WRATH BY OUR VERY OWN FALLEN HUMAN NATURE, DOOMED TO ETERNAL DAMNATION,  NOT UNTIL WE ACCEPT AND LOVE JESUS CHRIST DO WE BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD!!!!!!!

That belief, that doctrine IS UNAVOIDABLY ESSENTIAL TO ETERNAL JOY AND SALVATION!!!!!!!

As we move ever closer to the “End of Days”, what we KNOW and BELIEVE in Faith and Doctrine WILL BE THE ABSOLUTE TEST OF OUR CHRISTIANITY!!!

For the doctrine of the Bible, ALL OF IT, COVER TO COVER, WILL BE ESSENTIAL, IF WHEN Jesus Christ returns: He finds any who are “TRULY” and “ABSOLUTELY” Christian…….

What we believe is so fundamentally imperative, for what we do and teach will be either a firm unsinkable foundation for our future posterity or it will be no foundation at all and God will only find those who are condemned to damnation when He returns…….

***You better believe it is important what you believe and everything the Bible teaches is intensely central FOR OF ALL MANKIND!!!!!!!***

I leave you with three questions:

1) Can YOU live with what YOU believe???

2) Can YOU happily die with what YOU believe???

3) Those who have heard YOU, and those who really know YOU, by what they have experienced with YOU, Do they have the knowledge to say: “yes” or “no” to Jesus Christ?

Believe on Him…….

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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May 14, 2017


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“Water Baptism: The Final Word”

or

“Biblical Baptism”

Matthew 3:13-17 (NKJV)

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Father,

We are grateful for Your gracious offer to give us new hearts, one that LOVES You, one that is tender and responsive to Your voice and one that reflects Your LOVE back to everyone in our lives, friend and foe alike. How can we access this heart? Through faith – just the same way we received our salvation in the first place. So in faith, we take You at Your word. We receive today a new heart and a new spirit. We will walk with this new heart and care for this new spirit by our commitment to Your Word and by seeking Your face through prayer and worship. Praise You!

Heavenly Father, we pray that as each of us comes to a point in our lives where we dare to ask You to reveal Your will for us, You would put us in a place of acceptance of what You reveal to us. It may not be what we want, but it will surely be what we need in order to live a life fully invested in You. Help us to realize that anything You bring into our lives and anything You reveal to us is for our good. Give us a spirit of acceptance and a heart open to Your movement in our lives.

Allow us to let Your LOVE surround us and cast out any fear or doubts. Help us to live in LOVE with You, accept Your will for our lives and give us the proper response to Your revelation. May we trust in the way You gently lead us to go.

In Jesus’ beLOVED name, Amen and eternally Amen……………………………………….

I have been preaching since 1979, that is over 30 years, and “right” now I can not remember a single sermon I preached specifically or principally about “Water” Baptism. If my recollection is correct, I have been sorely lacking in my duty as a Pastor!!! I know I have mentioned it numerous times, perhaps in some detail, however, in this week’s sermon we will thoroughly discuss “Water” Baptism as the chief topic of our message, including: Should Every Christian be Baptized???

This may be what many may call “just one viewpoint” on “Water” Baptism, but with the Lords help, IT WILL BE GOD’S VIEW POINT and the BIBLE’s VIEWPOINT…

As we begin let us consider:

1 Peter 2:21 (NIV)

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

We are called to suffer for our faith if necessary, because Jesus Christ suffered, and HE IS OUR MOST PERFECT EXAMPLE..

The key, Jesus Christ the Jewish Moshiac, or Messiah, our Christ and Savior is the Only perfect example of how EVERY genuine Christian should live our lives!!!

We should be like Him, we should FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS…….

Justin Martyr wrote:

"Christ was circumcised, and observed all the other ordinances of the law of Moses, not with a view to his own justification; but to fulfill the dispensation committed to him by the Lord, the God and Creator of all things."

In other words, Jesus being born a Jew followed and obeyed every ordinance that God gave to the Jewish people through the Law of Moses.

But was this “Water” Baptism an ordinance? Clearly, it was the initiatory or basic and essential ordinance of John the Baptist's dispensation or his ministry to the beginning Church. Now, as Christ had submitted to circumcision, which was the initiatory ordinance of the Mosaic dispensation, it was necessary that he should submit to this, which was instituted by no less an authority, and was the introduction to His own dispensation of eternal mercy and truth. ***It was of dual necessity for Jesus on another account: Our Lord represented the high priest, and was to be the high priest over the house of God: now, as the high priest was initiated into his office by washing and anointing, so must Christ: and consequently He was baptized, washed, and anointed by the Holy Ghost. Thus He fulfilled the righteous ordinance of His initiation into the office of high priest, and thus was prepared to make an atonement for the sins of all mankind.

So Jesus the only begotten son of the ONE TRUE GOD, willingly wanting to be an example to be followed by ALL mankind, came to John the Baptist to be baptized. But John initially refuses and Jesus responds:

“Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."

So John baptized Jesus…….

Jesus was baptized that day for several reasons.

First: to fulfill ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS. In other words TO OBEY A DIVINE ORDINANCE OF HIS FATHER, which all genuine followers of YHWH are to follow. ***ALL not just some, but, ALL!!!***

Secondly: to identify His personal humanity with that of the rest of humanity. He acknowledged HE WAS FULLY HUMAN. As such He was a perfect example for ALL humanity.

Third: Baptism is a symbol of His death for all of mankind’s’ sins, and of His resurrection to everlasting life.

His baptism was approved and sanctioned by His Father:

“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.”

Immediately after Jesus was baptized the scripture declares that God the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus.

Then,

“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

In response to Jesus’ obedience to being baptized, His Father in heaven declared, and acknowledged that Jesus was HIS ONE and ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, and that Jesus pleased Him because of Jesus’ willingness and action of being baptized by water…….

Thus God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit approved and sanctioned “Water” Baptism as a permanent ordinance for ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS…….

In this case an ordinance means an authoritative rule or a statute enacted by God.

Before we go further however, it must be made abundantly understandable with no shadow of a doubt; Baptism is an act or work of Righteousness and IN NO WAY DOES IT SAVE YOU!!!  

*******”WATER” BAPTISM CAN NOT and NEVER CAN SAVE ANYONE!!!*******

*******”WATER” BAPTISM IS NOT AND NEVER WILL BE A REQUIREMENT FOR BEING SAVED or BORN AGAIN!!!!!!!*******

Titus 3:5 (NIV)

 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,”

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”

“Water” Baptism is NOT a requirement of Salvation!!!!!!!

Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Salvation is a change of the heart, a change of the mind, a change of how we think of God, others, and ourselves…

Salvation is an inner cleansing not an outward washing…….

Also we must understand “Water” Baptism follows salvation; Baptism is not for the sinner, the non-repentant or for the person who is too young to understand what they believe. A “Water Baptized” sinner is simply a WET SINNER…

Acts 8:35-38 (NKJV)

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" 37 Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.”

The apostle Philip unmistakably teaches that the ordinance of “Water” Baptism is to follow salvation NOT precede it, nor is it a prerequisite of being Born Again, being SAVED, or is it a mandatory instantaneous act…

Salvation IS ABSOLUTELY A SEPARATE ACT FROM BEING “WATER” BAPTISED!!!

***Salvation is the FREE GIFT OF GOD!!!***

***”Water” Baptism is a work of righteousness, a good work in response to willing obedience to the Spirit and Bible of God!!!***

You must already be saved for “Water” Baptism to have any spiritual value.

There maybe those among us that were baptized as children, long before they actually accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and have never been baptized since; YOU NEED TO BE OBEDIENT TO GOD and GET YOURSELF “WATER” BAPTIZED…

Infant “Water” Baptism when the child is too young to make a genuine commitment to God IS NOT BIBLICAL!!!

True Christian “Water” Baptism IS FOR BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS ONLY…

As a commitment to the infant to raise him or her with Christian principles, baptism as a symbol of that is certainly permissible but not an ordinance.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.”

God in fact calls us as genuine Christians to baptize all new believers. To teach them the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not just to teach it but TO OBEY IT!!!

How long, EVEN TO THE END OF HUMAN HISTORY!!!

To the End of the Age…….

What is “Water” Baptism? Some sprinkle, some dip, some immerse; is it all the same, does it really matter?

The Greek word “"rantizo" means "to sprinkle"; the Greek word "baptizo" means "to dip", "to submerge", "to immerse". The scriptural word used for “Baptism” is “baptizo”, and literally means to immerse; it is the word in Greek literature that is used to describe a ship sinking to the depths of the sea.

In other words, IMMERSION.

Therefore biblical “Water” Baptism is for believers only and is complete immersion, That’s the BIBLICAL TRUTH.

*******Salvation is grace…….*******

***”Water” Baptism is a willing good work, a product of salvation.*******

A Christian’s “Water” Baptism is an act that symbolizes our death to sin, death to our old way of life. A symbol of our bodily resurrection and newness in life in Christ Jesus. We are new creatures, literally NEW CREATIONS IN JESUS CHRIST…

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

That is what “Water” Baptism symbolizes for the genuine Christian…

Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

That also is what “Water” Baptism means for the true believer…

Jesus commands all genuine believers TO BE “WATER” BAPTIZED when possible.

Do you lose your salvation if you are not biblically baptized?

Absolutely not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GRACE NOT Works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Partial obedience IS STILL DISOBEDIENCE!!!

Disobedience IS SIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rebellion against the command of God is SIN!!!

James 4:17 (NKJV)

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

IT IS SIN!!!

1 John 2:3 (NKJV)

“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.”

Jesus is our example, and obeying His will, His commands, is our joyous obligation of LOVE…

So in conclusion there are at least “6” reasons why ALL CHRISTIANS, even YOU and me, SHOULD BE “Water” Baptized if we haven’t been…

*It is the command of God!!!


*It is a public confession of our faith!!!


*It is a symbol of our death and resurrection to eternal salvation!!!


*It identifies us with the unseen universal Church of God, and our being one of the brides’ of Jesus Christ!!!


*It is a permanent reminder of OUR HEARTS’ DECLARATION OF OUR ABSOLUTE LOVE and FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST!!!


*It affirms our unwavering faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His promise of a bodily resurrection!!!

So remember if you are a true and genuine Christian today and have never been biblically “Water” Baptized YOU NEED TO DO SO TO BE COMPLETELY OBEDIENT TO GOD.

You cannot lose your salvation, however:

James 4:17 (NKJV)

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

Romans 14:23B (NIV)

“…everything that does not come from faith is sin.”

Sin can separate us from the perfect will of God for our lives. He will not turn His back on YOU, but with sin in YOUR life, YOU might turn your back on Him. You may stray from His perfect life for you…

TRUST and OBEY

 When we walk with the Lord
      in the light of his word,
      what a glory he sheds on our way!
      While we do his good will,
      he abides with us still,
      and with all who will trust and obey.
Refrain:
      Trust and obey, for there's no other way
      to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
 
2.    Not a burden we bear,
      not a sorrow we share,
      but our toil he doth richly repay;
      not a grief or a loss,
      not a frown or a cross,
      but is blest if we trust and obey.
      (Refrain)
 
3.    But we never can prove
      the delights of his love
      until all on the altar we lay;
      for the favor he shows,
      for the joy he bestows,
      are for them who will trust and obey.
      (Refrain)
 
4.    Then in fellowship sweet
      we will sit at his feet,
      or we'll walk by his side in the way;
      what he says we will do,
      where he sends we will go;
      never fear, only trust and obey.
 
***Ultimately “Water” baptism is not a requirement of Salvation; rather, “Water” Baptism is a requirement of perfect obedience……..***
 
So let us:
 
Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
 
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
 
Submitted by Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc



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May 7, 2017


"a" Church

Evantson, Wyoming

"Doctrine of the Holy Spirit"
(Part Two)

Matthew 28 v 19

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"



Dear Lord, God Jehovah, Your Holy Spirit is BeLOVED by Your people, we adore Him. We pray through Your Holy Spirit that we are Enlightened………

Guide us, strengthen us and Console us. Tell us what we ought to do and command us to do it. We promise to submit to everything that You ask of us and to accept all that You allow to happen to us collectively, and individually. Just show us what is Your will.

Lord, You have enriched Your Church with the strength of Your word. You have opened our minds and hearts to see the wonders You have created. You have blessed us with the gift of communication to share Your divine message.

Through Your Holy Spirit, help us to understand the power of Your gifts, and teach us to use them wisely. Bless all who use their talents
to communicate the Gospel. Guide those who work in the field of communications to use their power for the good of Your holy gospel.

All these things we ask through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen and eternally Amen……………….


Adrian Rogers wrote:

"Try to define the Trinity and you'll lose your mind. Deny it and you'll lose your soul."

Last week in a very systematic manor we showed that the Bible without a doubt teaches that, One, the Holy Spirit is a living, eternal, self-aware, distinct personage. Two, that the Bible makes absolutely plain, the Holy Spirit is “the” true God!!!

This week we will continue to study the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit as, HE relates to the Trinity and HIS works or offices as the third person of the Trinity. ***Three persons, but ABSOLUTELY ONE AND ONLY ONE GOD!!!

Deuteronomy 4 v 39

“Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.”

1 Kings 8 v 60

“That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.”

Isaiah 43 v 10

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”

Isaiah 44 v 6

“Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”

Isaiah 45 v 5

“I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:”

This must be made VERY CLEAR, the position of the True Christian Church is: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY ONLY ONE GOD!!!

***Yet He is found in three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the THREE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY…

The Trinity does not simply share a ‘divine spark’, but THEY ARE THE DIVINE SPARK. The Trinity is not simply three manifestations of God at different times, but THEY ARE ALWAYS AND ETERNALY “THE” ONE TRUE GOD...Each, yet one, are, the exact essence of divinity. ***What makes God, God, the Divine, Divine is the fundamental nature of the Trinity, and THE TRINITY ALONE…

***GOD IS, GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT , THEY ARE ONE, AND THERE IS NO OTHER!!!

Now what is the relationship of the Holy Spirit and the Trinity? 

Proposition Three: the Holy Spirit as He relates to the Trinity…

The understanding of the Holy Spirit as He relates to the Holy Trinity developed slowly in the Christian faith. Not because the fact of the Trinity was ever in doubt, but to explain this dogma or doctrine was exceptionally difficult considering our limited abilities and knowledge as fallen- human- beings!

1 Corinthians 13 v 12A

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part;…”

Again, Adrian Rogers writes:

“The doctrine of the Trinity is not beyond logic and reason, JUST ABOVE IT…”

Over four plus centuries the understanding of the Trinity and the Holy Spirit’s relation to it were studied and clarified by the Church.

The Council at Nicaea (AD 325) (mentioned in Part One), simply added the clause to the Christian creed of belief:

“…the third person in the Trinity….and…we believe in the Holy Spirit”

The second Council at Constantinople (AD 381) included the words:

“the Lord the giver of life who proceeds from the Father, who is worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son, and spake through the prophets.”

At the third Synod of Toledo (AD 589), the words “filio que” (and the Son) were added, so as to assert the procession of the Holy Spirit (ghost) from the Son as well as the Father.

In-other-words:

“the Lord the giver of life who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and spake through the prophets.”

This addition, for those who are interested, caused the split between the Western and Eastern Churches. The former maintaining, the later denying, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son.

The majority of Christianity upholds and teaches:

1) The Holy Spirit is the same substance (essence) and equal to in every way in the power, and the glory of the Father and the Son.

2) He is, never-the-less, as to mode of subsistence and operation, subordinate to both the Father and Son, as He proceeds from them and is sent by them, and They operate through Him.

John 15 v 26

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”

John 16 v 15

“All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.”

John 14 v 26

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

Philippians 1 v 19

“For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,”

Acts 11 v 17

“Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?”

All that simplified,

As Jesus voluntarily submits to the Father’s will, so too, the Holy Spirit voluntarily submits to the Father and the Son’s will; that the Trinity, the One God in three distinct persons, submits ALL THINGS UNTO THEIR WILL!!!!!!!

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit (GOD)

(GOD)……..and everything else must voluntarily submit to Them , or face judgment…
 
As we move on to proposition four, we conclude this brief discussion on the Holy Spirit as He relates to the Trinity, by saying this:

“God the Father is all there is, God the Son has done it all, and God the Holy Spirit gives us all the opportunity to know and LOVE them all!!!!!!! (to LOVE each other as well)
 
Proposition Four: the works or offices of the Holy Spirit…

Without detracting from the colossal importance of the first three propositions the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit, the fourth is of supreme consequence, the works and/or offices of the Holy Spirit.

1) The Holy Spirit is the immediate source of ALL CREATED LIFE, both physical and intellectual…

Psalms 104 v 29

“Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.”

Isaiah 32 v 14-15

“Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; 15. Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.”

Job 32 v 8

“But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”

Job 33 v 4

“The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.”

Genesis 2 v 7

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Numbers 11 v 17

“And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.”

2) The Holy Spirit bore a very important part in the coming of God the Son (Jesus Christ) in the flesh and the qualifying of Jesus’ human nature for His work of redemption…

Luke 1 v 35

“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

John 3 v 34

“For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”

John 1 v 32

“And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.”

3) The Holy Spirit is the revealer of ALL TRUTH…

***The Holy Scriptures, the Bible is especially the creation of the Holy Spirit…

Micah 3 v 8

“But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.”

John 14 v 26

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

John 16 v 13

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.”

1 Corinthians 2 v 10-13

“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual”

2 Timothy 3 v 16

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

4) The Holy Spirit speaks to the hearts and minds of mankind, revealing God’s truth in power wherever God is known, and even when God is not known, He gives gracious opportunities and influence (grace) that the divine light can be seen by those willing to open their spiritual eyes by the power of the grace freely given…

Acts 2 v 17

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:”

John 16 v 8-11

“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9. Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10. Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

1 Corinthians 2 v 4

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power:”

5) The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, aids those convicted of sin in repenting of their sins, assists in the gift of Faith, regenerates willing sinners; comforts, sanctifies believers; bears witness to their reconciliation with God, and their eternal adoption as children of God; and dwells within all genuine born again believers as the power to live holy lives, and is the guarantee (earnest) of their eternal, permanent salvation…***HE SEALS THE SAINT’S FATE, FOREVER!!!

In addition to many of the scriptures previously quoted:

Romans 8 v 14-16

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

1 Corinthians 6 v 19

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

2 Corinthians 3 v 18

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Ephesians 1 v 13-14

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
 
6) The Holy Spirit also exercises direction in the nurture of the Church, by calling men and women to various offices and responsibilities within God’s Church, and providing such called persons with the spiritual gifts and intellect to perform their tasks in their duties…

Acts 13 v 2

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”

1 Corinthians 12 v 4-11

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

Though we have mentioned it in general, the Holy Spirit has a special work in the Christian. In our present age the Holy Spirit has a unique work in the life and heart of the genuine Christian.

1 Corinthians 12 v 13

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

At Pentecost to the glorification of the Church at the Rapture, the Holy Spirit unifies the Church, the true believers, with Jesus Christ, and exercises saving faith and sanctification (consecration to God and God alone) of the believers…

Galatians 2 v 20

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Romans 6 v 3-4

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Ephesians 5 v 18

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”

The Holy Spirit fills each true believer with the power and strength to serve and live every moment for God…

He teaches, He encourages. He motivates, and He gives us each special gifts to accomplish the individual and collective goals He has for His Children…….***Each one of us, who LOVE Him…

He, the Holy Spirit equips each child of God with ALL THAT WE NEED TO BE HIS ON THIS EARTH AND IN ETERNITY TO COME!!!!!!!

How???

Acts 1 v 5
 
“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”

Acts 11 v 14-16

“Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. 15. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.”

The Holy Spirit baptizes us with His ever-lasting indwelling presence within the believer, and bestows upon us His gifts, to help us ever grow in God’s grace, love, mercy and sanctification…

Philippians 4 v 8

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” 

Yes, God the Father, God the Son, and most certainly God the Holy Spirit are essential in the life and growth of God’s creation…

This is the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit!!!!!!!

He, the spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit leaves you with this:

Revelation 22 v 17

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

2 Corinthians 6 v 2

“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

Submitted by: the Holy Spirit……………………………………………​


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April 30, 2017


"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit"
(Part One)

Genesis 1 v 2

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

Lord God Jehovah, breathe in us, the Holy Spirit, that our thoughts may all be holy. Act in us, O Holy Spirit, that our work, too, may be holy. Draw our hearts, O Holy Spirit, that we LOVE but what is holy. That we reach out with all our hearts in LOVE and great compassion for all those who are lost and deceived. Strengthen us, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy, that we preach the gospel in thought, word, and deed. Guard us, then, O Holy Spirit, that we always may be holy, that we always be merciful, that we may always be forgiving, tender, and kind. In Jesus name Amen and eternally Amen.

There has been much discussion on this very verse.

What does it mean “the Spirit of God”?

Some commentators think this statement refers to a violent wind, because jwr, or transliterated ruach often signifies wind as well as spirit, as pneuma, pneuma does in Greek; and the term God is connected with it merely, as they think, to express the superlative (exceptional) magnitude of the wind. Others, the sun, penetrating and drying up the earth with it’s rays. Simply, elementary fire, others, the angels, who were supposed to have been used by God as agents in creation. Even others suggest, a certain occult principle, termed the “anima mundi” or soul of the world. To some this statement represented the magnetic attraction, by which all things were caused to gravitate to a common center.

Some have speculated the “Spirit of God” is the invisible ‘power ‘ of God’s will and its operation on creation. It is the creative force from God, which compels all created substances to submit ultimately to the heart and will of God. Not unlike gravity, this understanding of the spirit of God, is an energy, a non-living power that interacts with it’s environment without self-thought or self-awareness, not having any life of it’s own.

Today we will turn to the Biblical Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, is it a ‘what’ or is He a ‘being’?

One of the first creeds of the Christian faith was recorded by Irenaeus:

SECOND CENTURY, AS RECORDED BY IRENAEUS:

“. . .this faith: in one God, the Father Almighty, who made the heaven and the earth and the seas and all the things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was made flesh for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who made known through the prophets the plan of salvation, and the coming, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the bodily ascension into heaven of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and his future appearing from heaven in the glory of the Father to sum up all things and to raise anew all flesh of the whole human race…”
 
The Apostles Creed

Legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after Christ’s ascension into heaven . . . each of the doctrines found in the creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period.

“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. AMEN.”
 
The Nicene Creed (325 AD)

“We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

***These 3 early creeds of the Christian faith differ in completeness of content, but all three agree, the Holy Spirit was not simply a non-living force from God; but in fact the Holy Spirit is alive and is a distinct being from the Father and the Son!

As Jesus Christ has been revealed progressively beginning in the Old Testament and elaborated upon in the New Testament, the same is true of the Holy Spirit. As the incarnate Son is the Redeemer of mankind by virtue of His atoning work upon the cross as gradually revealed from the Old Testament to the New Testament; the Holy Spirit is gradually revealed as the Administrator of that redemption.

We will look at the four propositions of the development of the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Proposition One: The Holy Spirit is a person…

Matthew 3 v 16

“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:”

Throughout scripture the statement the “Spirit of God” is referring to the Holy Spirit as first seen in our original text today.

Matthew 28 v 19

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

In Matthew we see, the distinction between the person of the Father and Son, and Holy Spirit (ghost).

John 14 v 16-17

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

The name Comforter and the Spirit of the Truth also refer to the person of the Holy Spirit, and are associated with the pronouns ‘him’ and ‘he’.

John 15 v 26

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”

The pronouns used in reference to the Holy Spirit are invariably personal pronouns:

John 16 v 13-14

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

Acts 13 v 2-3

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”

The Holy Spirit, Himself, speaks!

”Separate ME…..I have called them”

The very attributes of personality, self-consciousness, and freedom are ascribed to the Holy Spirit:

1 Corinthians 2 v 10

“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

1 Corinthians 12 v 11

“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

The relationship between the Holy Spirit and mankind suggest HIS personality:

Genesis 6 v 3

“And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”

The Holy Spirit instructs man, regenerates man, sanctifies man, and comforts believers:

John 16 v 13

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

John 3 v 5

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

John 14 v 16

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;”

1 Peter 1 v 2

“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

***We are warned not to sin against, not to grieve, nor to quench the Holy Spirit!!!

Matthew 12 v 31-32

“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

Acts 7 v 51

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”

1 Thessalonians 5 v 19

“Quench not the Spirit.”

***The Holy Spirit is a distinct person, a living being!!!!!!!

Proposition Two: The Holy Spirit is Deity (God)…

All the genuine Christian denominations of the world agree that the Holy Spirit is in deed a living person, and unanimously they further recognize the Bible’s teaching that the Holy Spirit is God!!! And not ‘a’ God, one of three, or a lesser god; but part of the triune God head: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!!!!!!!

***One God and One God alone, yet in three distinct persons…….

Holy Spirit is manifestly called God, and names are given to Him that properly belong to God and GOD ONLY!

Acts 5 v 3-4

“But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.“

Isaiah 6 v 9

“And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.”

In light of:

Acts 28 v 25

“And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,”
 
Jeremiah 31 v 31-34

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Hebrews 10 v 15

“Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,”

2 Corinthians 3 v 17-18

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

The Bible undoubtedly gives attributes to the Holy Spirit that ONLY GOD has:

1 Corinthians 2 v 11

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”

The Holy Spirit has knowledge and wisdom that ONLY GOD POSSESSES!!!

1 Corinthians 12 v 11

“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

The Holy Spirit is SOVEREIGN (ruler) AS ONLY GOD IS!!!

Hebrews 9 v 14

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
 
The Holy Spirit is ETERNAL, from EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING, AS ONLY GOD IS!!!

***A being with NO BEGINNING AND NO END, NOT CREATED BUT EVER EXISTING!!!

The divine works of creation and the New Birth are attributed to the Holy Spirit as well:

Genesis 1 v 2

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

Job 26 v 13

“By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.”

John 3 v 3, 8

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

We are to worship and give homage to God and God alone; and the Bible shows these too belong to the Holy Spirit…

Isaiah 6 v 3-10

“And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. 6. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7. And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 9. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”

In light of:

Acts 28 v 25-27

“And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26. Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27. For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

2 Corinthians 13 v 14

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

***The grace of God the Son (Jesus Christ), the love of God the Father, and the communion with God the Holy Spirit!!!!!!!

***God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the holy TRINITY!!!

Since we will not even finish our study of the Holy Spirit this week, but hopefully will finish next week; a more in-depth study of the Doctrine of the Trinity will be left for another time.

Needless to say however, God the Holy Spirit in relation to the Trinity has caused controversy throughout the ages.

But this and more will be discussed next week, when we continue with the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. When we conclude our study of this next week we will consider the last two propositions as seen in the Bible:

Proposition Three: The Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Trinity… and Proposition Four: The Works or Offices of the Holy Spirit…

In summary of today’s lesson, there are two propositions as seen in the Bible, that are BIBLE FACTS, and Christian DOCTRINES THAT ARE ABSOLUTES:

One: The Holy Spirit is a living, distinct, person!!! Not a what, but a living, self-aware, being!!!!!!!

Two: The Holy Spirit is God!!! Not one of three, not ‘a’ little god, but the third distinct person of the triune Godhead:

Co-eternal, NOT CREATED, BUT EVER EXISTENT…

Co-equal in every way, omnificent (all knowing), omnipresent (everywhere), Omnipotent (all powerful); God of God, true God of true God…….

***”The” God, the ONLY GOD, YET IN THREE PERSONS…

***If, you are a genuine Christian today, THESE ARE TWO OF THE ABSOLUTE FACTS OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT…….

Anything, contrary to what the Bible teaches, IS OF THE DEVIL, and MUST BE REJECTED AND DENIED, or is vain speculation and worth nothing…Leading many to destruction!!!

May the One True God, be with us all…

Isaiah 8 v 20

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

Galatians 1 v 8

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc​


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April 23, 2017


"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"Jude: Part Two"

Jude v 10-16

"But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. 14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.”

Dear God,

You know our hearts, You hear our prayers, and care about all that concerns us.  You understand the burden we carry and how we want, more than anything, to see our LOVED ones come to You.  Help us to remember that You LOVE them more than we ever could.  And You desire to extend Your great LOVE and forgiveness, Your mercy and hope.

Thank you that nothing is too difficult for You.  Thank you that Your power is unlimited and You came to set the captives free.  Thank you that you wait, arms open, for the prodigal to return, that You look for his arrival to lavishly celebrate that he’s come home.

We praise You for You are Redeemer and Rescuer, Savior and Lord.  We know and believe that there’s no pit so deep that Your LOVE can’t reach us still.  We understand that Your mercies are new every morning, and Your faithfulness is great. 

Lord, we ask that You would halt the plans of the enemy over these we LOVE as we bring them before You right now.  We pray that his schemes be demolished and that Your plans for good, for a future and hope, would prevail. Would You open blind eyes that they might see Your Truth. Would You rescue those walking in darkness and heal the deep wounds of those who’ve been hurt.

We pray for the miraculous intervention of Your                                                                  Holy Spirit to draw them to Yourself, to work strong on behalf of our LOVED ones who are lost and wandering. For You came with good news, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for captives and release for the prisoners.

Though we deserved penalty for our wrong, You stood in our place and took the blows on our behalf.  You choose to die, so that we can live. Forever and free.

Father, may we possess the same LOVE and perseverance for the salvation of the Lost as You do. Help us share compassionately, mercifully, without judgment or guile and always with a LOVING spirit for those You put in our paths.

Lord, forgive our unbelief.  Forgive the times we’ve doubted that You could ever change a distant heart.  Forgive our hard-heartedness, our weariness, or forgetfulness to “pray continually.”

Thank You that You never give up on us!!!!!!!

Remind us of how You’ve changed our own hearts. How Your miracle of life and hope has sprung up deep within our souls. We LOVE You Lord, we need You, and we thank You that You hear our prayers and are at work even now.

Powerfully. Faithfully. Miraculously.

Thank You for the gift of our Savior, God with us. Thank You for Your goodness and LOVE…

In Jesus’ Name, Amen and eternally Amen………………………..


Last week being Easter Sunday, we chose to discuss the RESURRECTION, this week we continue with the Book of Jude.

Last time in our study of the book of Jude, we learned most Bible scholars believe Jude to be the brother of Jesus Christ, yet a much smaller number understood Jude to simply be a servant of Jesus Christ as Jude says in his letter. But all agree Jude was a devote man of the Christian faith and a tenacious defender of the WORD OF GOD…….

He encourages each genuine Christian to be no less faithful than he, and to diligently share the true Gospel, the inerrant, infallible word of God the Bible with as many as possible!!!!!!!

And Jude warns false teachers of the consequences of their sins…….

Let us now continue………………………………………………………...

Jude says two things about the evil people whom he is aggressively denouncing.

ONE, They criticize everything which they do not understand. Anything which is out of their orbit and their experience they disregard as worthless and irrelevant. They say reason dictates that man has ruined the accuracy of the Bible, as corrupt and as evil as mankind is, LOGIC, REASON, WISDOM DICTATES THE BIBLE CANNOT BE WITHOUT ERROR……

It is impossible to live up to the standards of the Bible.

Clearly His beloved apostles  have corrupted, added to, subtracted from, and obviously miss-understand the teachings of Jesus Christ!

Only modern man can determine the authenticity of the holy writ……

This and exceedingly more is what false teachers, false Christians, those with the spirit of anti-Christ say……

1 Corinthians 2 v 14

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Spiritual truth is spiritually discerned by faith, they are not understood by logic or reason…They have no spiritual discernment, and, therefore, they are blind to, and condescending of, all spiritual realities.

TWO, These false teachers wise in their own minds and accepted by the fallen spirit in man allow themselves to be corrupted by the things they do understand. What they do understand are the fleshly instincts which they share with the animals of the field. Their way of life is to allow these instincts to have their way; their values are fleshly (carnal) values. Jude describes people who have lost all awareness of spiritual things and for whom the things demanded by the animal instincts are the only standards they willing accept.

The horrifying thing is that the first condition is the direct result of the second. The heartbreak is that no human being is born without a sense of spiritual truths (by God’s grace) but can lose that sense until finally for them the spiritual truth ceases to exist. People may lose any faculty, if they refuse to use it. We discover that with such simple things as games and skills. If we give up playing a game, we lose the ability to play it. If we give up practicing a skill, such as playing the piano, we lose it. We discover that in such things as abilities. We may know something of a foreign language, but if we never speak or read it, we lose it. Every human being can hear the voice of God; and every person has the animal instincts on which, indeed, the future existence of the race depends. But, if we consistently refuse to listen to God and make our instincts the sole dynamic of our life and conduct, in the end WE will be unable to hear the voice of God and will have nothing left to be OUR master but OUR OWN SELFESH DESIRES……

*******It is terribly heinous for a person to reach a stage where they are deaf to God and blind to goodness; and that is the stage which the people whom Jude denounces had reached.*******

Remember in their own minds and in the minds of those who have been deceived by their teaching, THEY MAY APPEAR VERY, VERY, VERY RIGHTEOUS AND TRUE, but if they vary from the Word of God the Bible, if they deny the true and only Gospel, THEN THEY ARE THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST, ONE OF A MULTITUDE…….

1 John 2 v 18

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”

1 John 4 v 3

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

And WILL BE DAMNED FOR ALL ETERNITY IF THEY DO NOT REPENT OF THEIR GREIVIOUS SINS AND ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR LORD, GOD, and SAVIOR!!!

Jude now goes to Hebrew history again for parallels to the wicked people of his own day and age; and from it he draws the examples of three notorious sinners.

FIRST, There is Cain, the murderer of his brother Abel.

Genesis 4 v 1-15

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. 2. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 4.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5.  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7. If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9. And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother's keeper? 10.  And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 12. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13. And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.”

In Hebrew custom Cain stood for two things. One, Cain was the first murderer in the world's history; and, as The Wisdom of Solomon has it,

Book of Wisdom 10 v 3

"he himself perished in the fury wherewith he murdered his brother"

It may well be that Jude is implying that those who delude others are nothing other than murderers of the souls of men and, therefore, the spiritual descendants of Cain. But in Hebrew teaching Cain came to stand for something more than that. In Philo he stands for selfishness. In the Rabbinic teaching Cain is the type of the cynical man.

In the Jerusalem Targum Cain is depicted as saying: "There is neither judgment nor judge; there is no other world; no good reward will be given to the good and no vengeance taken on the wicked; nor is there any pity in the creation or the government of the world."

To the Hebrew thinkers Cain was the cynical, materialistic unbeliever who believed neither in God nor in the moral order of the world and who, therefore, did exactly as he liked. So Jude is charging his opponents with defying God and denying the moral order of the world. It remains true that the man who chooses to sin has still to reckon with God and to learn, always with pain and sometimes with tragedy, that no man can defy the moral order of the world with impunity.

SECOND, there is Balaam. In Old Testament thought, in Jewish teaching and even in the New Testament.

Revelation 2 v 14

“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”

Balaam is the great example of those who taught Israel to sin. In the Old Testament there are two stories about him. One is quite clear, and very vivid and dramatic. The other is more shadowy, but much more terrible; and it is it which left its mark on Hebrew thought and teaching.

The first is in Numbers chapters 22 through 24. There it is told how Balak attempted to persuade Balaam to curse the people of Israel, for he feared their power, five times offering him large rewards. Balaam refused to be persuaded by Balak, but his covetousness stands out and it is clear that only the fear of what God would do to him kept him from striking a dreadful bargain. Balaam already emerges as a detestable character.

In Numbers chapter 25 there is the second story. Israel is seduced into the worship of Baal with dreadful and repulsive moral consequences. As we read later:

Numbers 31 v 8; 16

“8. And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword….16. Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.”

It was Balaam who was responsible for that seduction, and he perished miserably because he taught others to sin.

Out of this composite story Balaam stands for two things.

One, He stands for the covetous man who was prepared to sin in order to gain reward.

Two, He stands for the evil man who was guilty of the greatest of all sins, that of teaching others to sin. So Jude is declaring of the wicked men of his own day that they are ready to leave the way of righteousness to make gain; and that they are teaching others to sin. To sin for the sake of gain is bad; but to teach another to sin is the worst of all.

THIRD, there was Korah. His story is in Numbers chapter 16. The sin of Korah was that he rebelled against the guidance of Moses when the sons of Aaron and the tribe of Levi were made the priests of the nation. That was a decision which Korah was not willing to accept; he wished to exercise a occupation which he had no right to exercise; and when he did so he perished terribly and all his companions in wickedness with him. Korah stands for the man who refuses to accept authority and reaches out for things which he has no right to have.

So Jude is charging his opponents with defying the legitimate authority of the Bible and the legitimate Christian faith, and of,  preferring their own way to the way of God.

***We should remember that if we take certain thoughts or acts  which pride entices us to take, the consequences can be devastating.

Jude v 12-16

“These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. 14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.”

As Moffatt puts it:

"Sky, land and sea are ransacked for illustrations of the character of these men."

Here Jude gives s series of vivid images, every one with significance.

Let us take them one by one.

ONE, They are like hidden rocks which threaten to wreck the Love Feasts of the Church. This is the one case in which there is a question about what Jude is actually saying but of one thing there is no doubt, those evil people were a peril to the Love Feasts. The Love Feast, the Agape, was one of the earliest features of the Church. It was a meal of fellowship held on the Lord's Day. To it everyone brought what they could, and all shared alike. It was a lovely idea that the Christians in each little house church should sit down on the Lord's Day to eat in fellowship together. No doubt there were some who could bring much and others who could bring only little. For many of the slaves it was perhaps the only decent meal they ever ate. (Similar to our modern day “pot-luck” dinners)

But very soon the Agape Feasts began to go wrong. We can see it going wrong in the church at Corinth, when Paul declares that at the Corinthian Love Feasts there is nothing but division. They are divided into cliques and sections; some have too much, and others starve; and the meal for some has become a drunken revel,

1 Corinthians 11 v 17-22

“Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 20. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. 21. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.”

Unless the Agape was a true fellowship, it was a travesty, and very soon it had begun to contradict its name.

Jude's opponents were making a travesty of the Love Feasts. The Revised Standard Version says that he calls them "blemishes on your love feasts" (Jude v 12); and that agrees with the parallel passage in Second Peter:

2 Peter 2 v 13

“And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;”

The difficulty is that Peter and Jude do not use the same word, although they use words which are very similar. The word in Second Peter is spilos, which unquestionably means a blot or spot; but the word in Jude is spilas, which is very rare. Just possibly it may mean a blot, because in later Greek it could be used for the spots and markings on an opal stone. But in ordinary Greek by far its most common meaning was a submerged, or half-submerged, rock on which a ship could be easily ship-wrecked. I believe here the second meaning is much more likely.

In the Love Feast people were very close together in heart and there was the kiss of peace. These wicked people were using the Love Feasts as a cloak under which to gratify their lusts. It is a dreadful thing, if people enter into the church and use the opportunities which its fellowship gives for their own perverted ends. These people were like sunken rocks on which the fellowship of the Love Feasts was in danger of being wrecked. Ruined…

These wicked men party in their own cliques and have no feeling of responsibility for anyone except themselves. These two things go together for they both stress their essential selfishness.

ONE, They party in their own cliques without a qualm. This is exactly the situation which Paul condemns in First Corinthians. The Love Feast was supposed to be an act of fellowship; and the fellowship was demonstrated by the sharing of all things. Instead of sharing, the wicked people kept to their own clique and kept to themselves all they had. In First Corinthians Paul actually goes the length of saying that the Love Feast could become a drunken party in which every man grabbed at all that he could get.

1 Corinthians 11 v 21

“For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.”

No person can ever claim to truly understand what church membership really means, if in the church they are out for what they can get and always remain within their own little friendship group.

How often do we see churches where different economic groups, different ethnic groups, different educational levels form their own little fellowships, and as one person honestly put it:

“We just don’t give anybody else a chance.”

TWO, We have translated the next phrase: "They have no feeling of responsibility for anyone except themselves." The Greek literally means "shepherding themselves." The duty of a leader of the Church is to be a shepherd of the flock of God,

Acts 20 v 28

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

The false shepherd cared far more for himself than for the sheep which were supposed to be within his care. Ezekiel describes the false shepherds from whom their privileges were to be taken away:

Ezekiel 34 v 8-10

“As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; 9. Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; 10. Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.”

The man or woman who feels no responsibility for the welfare of anyone except themselves stands condemned.

So, then, Jude condemns the selfishness which destroys fellowship and the lack of the sense of responsibility for others.

THREE, wicked men are like clouds blown past by the wind, which drop no rain and like trees in harvest time which have no fruit. These two phrases go together, for they describe people who make great claims but are essentially useless. There were times in Palestine when people would pray for rain. At such a time a cloud might pass across the sky, bringing with it the promise of rain. But there were times when the promise was only an illusion, the cloud was blown on and the rain never came. In any harvest time there were trees which looked as if they were heavy with fruit but which, when men came to gather from them, gave no fruit at all.

At the heart of this lies a great truth. Promise without performance is useless and in the New Testament nothing is so unsparingly condemned as uselessness. No amount of outward show or fine words will take the place of usefulness to others. As it has been put:

"If a man is not good for something, he is good for nothing."

Jude goes on to use a vivid image of these evil people. "They are like wild sea waves frothing out their own shameless deeds." The image is this. After a storm, when the waves have been lashing the shore with their frothing spray and their spume, there is always left on the shore a fringe of seaweed and driftwood and all kinds of unsightly litter from the sea. That is always an unlovely scene. But in the case of one sea it is grimmer than in any other. The waters of the Dead Sea can be whipped up, into waves, and these waves, too, cast up driftwood on the shore; but in this instance there is a unique circumstance. The waters of the Dead Sea are so saturated with salt that they strip the bark of any driftwood in them; and, when such wood is cast up on the shore, it gleams bleak and white, more like dried bones than wood. The deeds of wicked people are like the useless and unsightly litter which the waves leave scattered on the beach after a storm and resemble the skeleton-like relics of Dead Sea storms.

The image vividly portrays the cruelty of the deeds of Jude's opponents.

Jude uses still another image. The wicked people are like the wandering stars that are kept in the abyss of darkness for their disobedience. This is a image directly taken from the Book of Enoch. In that book the stars and the angels are sometimes identified; and there is a picture of the fate of the stars who, disobedient to God, left their appointed orbit and were destroyed. In his journey through the, earth Enoch came to a place where he saw,

Enoch 21 v 1-6

 "neither a heaven above nor a firmly founded earth, but a place chaotic and horrible." He goes on: "And there I saw seven stars of the heaven bound together in it, like great mountains and burning with fire. Then I said, `For what sin are they bound, and on account of what have they been cast in hither?' Then said Uriel, one of the holy angels, who was with me and who was chief over them, `Enoch, why dost thou ask and why art thou eager for the truth? These are the numbers of the stars of heaven which have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and are bound here till ten thousand years, the time entailed by their sins, are consummated.”

The fate of the wandering stars is typical of the fate of the person who disobeys God's commandments and, as it were, takes their own way.

Jude then confirms all this with a prophecy; but the prophecy is again taken from Enoch. The actual passage runs:

Enoch 1 v 9

"And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment upon all, and to destroy all the ungodly; and to convict all flesh of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him"

This quotation has raised many questions in regard to Jude and Enoch. There is no doubt that in the days of Jude, and in the days of Jesus, Enoch was a very popular book which every pious Jew would know and read. Ordinarily, when the New Testament writers wish to confirm their words, they do so with a quotation from the Old Testament, using it as the word of God. Are we then to regard Enoch as sacred Scripture, since Jude uses it exactly as he would have used one of the prophets? Or, are we to take the view of which Jerome speaks, and say that Jude cannot be Scripture, because it makes the mistake of using as Scripture a book which is, in fact, not Scripture?

Interesting as it may be, we need waste no time upon that debate.

The fact is that Jude, a pious Jew, knew and loved the Book of Enoch and had grown up in a circle where it was regarded with respect and even reverence; and he takes his quotation from it perfectly naturally, knowing that his readers would recognize it, and respect it. He is simply doing what all the New Testament writers do, as every writer must in every age, and speaking to men in language which they will recognize and understand.

Jude sets down three last characteristics of the people.

FIRST, They are grumblers, for ever discontented with the life which God has allotted to them. In this picture Jude uses two words, one which was very familiar to his Jewish readers and one which was very familiar to his Greek readers.

ONE, The first is goggustes. The word describes the discontented voices of the grumblers and is the same as is so often used in the Greek Old Testament for the murmurings of the children of Israel against Moses as he led them through the wilderness.

Exodus 15 v 24

“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?”

Exodus 17 v 3

“And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?”

Numbers 14 v 29

“Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me.”

Its very sound describes the low mutter of resentful discontent which rose from the rebellious people. These wicked people in the time of Jude are the modern counterparts of the murmuring children of Israel in the desert, people full of sullen complaints against the guiding hand of God.

TWO, The second is mempsimoiros. It is made up of two Greek words, memphesthai, which means to blame and moira, which means one's allotted fate or life. A mempsimoiros was a person who was for ever grumbling about life in general. Theophrastus was the great master of the Greek character sketch, and he has a mocking study of the mempsimoiros, which is worth quoting in full:

“Querulousness is an undue complaining about one's lot; the querulous man will say to him that brings him a portion from his friend's table: "You begrudged me your soup or your collops, or you would have asked me to dine with you in person. When his mistress is kissing him he says, "I wonder whether you kiss me so warmly from your heart." He is displeased with Zeus, not because he sends no rain, but because he has been so long about sending it. When he finds a purse in the street, it is: "Ah! but I never found a treasure." When he has bought a slave cheap with much importuning the seller, he cries: "I wonder if my bargain's too cheap to be good." When they bring him the good news that he has a son born to him, then it is: "If you add that I have lost half my fortune, you'll speak the truth." Should this man win a law suit by a unanimous verdict, he is sure to find fault with his speech-writer for omitting so many of the pleas. And if a subscription has been got up for him among his friends, and one of them says to him: "You can cheer up now," he will say: "What? when I must repay each man his share, and be beholden to him into the bargain?"

Vividly drawn by Theophrastus' subtle pen, is the picture of a man who can find something to grumble about in any situation. He can find some fault with the best of bargains, the kindest of deeds, the most complete of successes, the richest of good fortune.

1 Timothy 6 v 6

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.

The evil hearted person are chronically discontented with life and with the place in life that God has given to them. There are few people more unpopular than chronic grumblers and all such might do well to remember that such grumbling is in its own way an insult to God.

SECONDLY, Jude reiterates a point about these wicked people, which he has made again and again their conduct is governed by their desires. To them self-discipline and self-control are nothing; to them the moral law is only a burden and a nuisance; honor and duty have no claim upon them; they have no desire to serve and no sense of responsibility. Their one value is pleasure and their one dynamic is desire. If all humanity was so driven like that, the world would be in complete chaos. *******And it is getting there!!!

THIRDLY, They speak with pride and arrogance, yet at the same time they are ready to “kiss-up” and flatter important people, if they think that they can get anything out of it. It is perfectly possible for a person at one and the same time to be stuck-up and look down on all those they believe they are better than, while pandering a plethora of flattering statements towards the people they wish to impress, the important people, the beautiful people, etc! Jude's opponents are glorifiers of themselves and flatterers of others, as they think the occasion demands; and their descendants are with us to this very day!!!

Time is fleeting, and we must call this session to a close, next week, I am partially sure we will conclude this study of the book of Jude, a short 25 verses, yet an abundance of wisdom from God!!!

As Jude continues to warn the genuine Christians against receiving false teaching, we must also realize, accept by the grace of God there goes each one of us!!!

Reach out to a Lost person in Christ’s LOVE, grace, and mercy today…And remember though false teachers and false doctrine ARE ALL AROUND US, and the danger is very, very, very real; God gives us this promise:

1 John 4 v 4

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

***Finally remember this thought:

“chronic grumblers and all such might do well to remember that such grumbling is in its own way an insult to God.”

An insult to God…….

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith. sbc



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