Grace Baptist Church

Berea, Kentucky 
JIM  MURRINER, Pastor (859) 986-1129
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Service Hours

SundaySchool 10:00 a.m. Morning Worship 11:00 a.m.
Sun. Evening 6:00 ; Wed. Evening 7:00 p.m.




By Jim Murriner
    JOHN 8:32 speaks of freedom.
    "If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

     The word "indeed" here is the same word, which is used for "indeed" in  I TIM. 5:5 & 5:16 where Paul is speaking of those who are "widows indeed" of widows for certain.  (5:5)  "Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day."  (5:16)  "If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the  church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed."  So what our Lord is telling us in John 8:32 is that if He makes us free, we will most certainly be free.

    We studied sometime ago about the Hebrew word (Adonai) and in our study we saw that when we speak of God as our "Lord" or (Adonai) that we are speaking of God being the master while we are the slaves.
    The slave is to always do the will and bidding of the master. This is not a bad, cruel and hard thing when God deals with His slaves and gives them a will that is conformed to His will.  We who have been saved by the grace of God need to remember just what we were before He saved us.  It is not only that we were sinners. Satan because of our former condition had acquired right over us.

      ROMANS 5:12 tells us that because of Adams sin we too were under the power and penalty of sin.
    "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
    Since Satan has power over death, he gained power over all that had sinned.
      HEBREWS 2:14 reminds us of this power that the devil has over all mankind.
    "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He himself likewise took  part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is that devil."
    And since all have sinned he then gained power over all. ROMANS 3:23 shows us plainly that all have sinned. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of  God." JOHN 12:31 declares that because the whole world has sinned, the devil is then the prince of the world. "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out."

            JOHN 16:11 also speaks of the devil as the prince of this world. "Of judgement because the prince of this world is judged" Satan has such tremendous control over this world that in IICOR. 4:4 he is even called the god of this world.  "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest  the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto  them."

    We therefore because we had sinned, had become hopelessly captive, sold by our sin under the power of Satan, who reigned over us, and afflicted our souls with the hard rigor of his bondage. We were hopeless as we were helpless; for having fallen through our sin under the penalty of death, and thereby under the power of Satan, and having no means to provide a ransom, we were shut up forever, unless someone from without, competent and able, should intervene to deliver us from the prison house of captivity.

      EPH. 2:1-2  puts it like this "And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;"
    "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" Such was our condition, like many of those who fled to liberty in our country in days past, we were in bondage; they many times in physical, but we were in spiritual bondage.
    Those who fled to our country in days past and those who come here today fleeing from oppression have the ability to do something about their captivity, but those who are held in spiritual captivity by Satan have no ability to escape their captivity.

            JOHN 8:44 tells us that lost people, those who are not trusting in Jesus Christ to get them to heaven are slaves to their father the devil. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do. He was a murder from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

            JOHN 8:34 has the same thought. "Jesus answered them, verily verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."  The word "servant" used here, has the meaning of "slave".  What Jesus was saying here is "every one who commits sin is a slave to sin".
            ROMANS 6:20 teaches us the same thing. "For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness." Here again the word servant means "slave", so we can see that before we were saved by God's marvelous grace, we were the slaves of Satan.

    We who are children of the most high God need to learn that there is no need to try to get the lost world around us to live any differently than they do, because those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal savior, are helpless slaves of the devil and cannot, by their own efforts, escape from their slavery.

    We need to learn what JEREMIAH 13:23 has to say about the matter. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil." Because of our inability to do anything about our condition, we are told in EPH. 2:8-9 that our works cannot deliver us from this bondage of slavery in which Satan has us bound.  "For by grace are ye saved through, faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."  "Not of works, lest any man should boast." All too often we are guilty of telling others that they must turn over a new leaf, or that they need to change their way of living. This is not what the lost world needs, and if you do not know my savior as your savior too, then you need to be made free by Jesus Christ the Son of God. The one who is even God in the flesh.

    You need to be delivered from the power of Satan by the one who is able to deliver. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego trusted that God was able to deliver them from the fiery furnace. DANIEL 3:17 tells us of their trust. "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace,  and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O,King."
            COLOSSIANS 1:12-13 tells us that all of us who are saved did not deliver ourselves but we were delivered by God. "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:" "Who delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear son:"

            JOHN 8:36 our text verse tells us that the only way that we can really be free is for the son to make us free. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."  For those who were once slaves to Satan to be free indeed they must not be under any condemnation at all.

            ROMANS 8:1 tells us this is exactly the condition of each one that is in Christ Jesus. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk no after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

            JOHN 3:18 tells us that while we were in bondage to Satan that we were condemned to go to hell, but when the Lord gives us grace to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ as our own personal savior, that we are no longer condemned. "He that believeth on His in not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned  already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

            JOHN 5:24 declares that believers not only are not condemned, but they shall not come into condemnation, or they shall never again be condemned. "Verily Verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life." For those who were once slaves of Satan to be free indeed, their freedom must never end. This cannot be said of those who fled to our country for freedom, or of those who were born here. Our physical freedom is constantly threatened.  Our Spiritual freedom will never end, it is eternal, everlasting. One reason for this is that the Lord will never stop loving those He has saved.

            ISAIAH 54:10 reminds us of this. "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." The word "kindness" used here is translated "lovingkindness" almost as often as kindness but what we need to see here is that He is talking about His covenant with the saints never being removed.

            ROMANS8:35 - 39 tells us that nothing shall separate us from the love that He has for us.  "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquers through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Some say, but the devil can separate us. We must remind those that the devil is a fallen angel.

            EZEKIEL 28:14 shows us this. "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire." So then the devil cannot separate us from the love of God. For those who were once slaves of Satan to be free indeed, the one freeing them must have paid the complete cost of their freedom.

            HEBREWS 10:10-14 tells us that was just what Jesus did.  "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every high priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the  right hand of God;  From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
    These verses show us that Christ' offering of Himself to God the Father did not merrily pay for our sins for a moment but paid for them forever.

            GALATIANS 3:13 speaks of His sacrifice as having redeemed or bought us back from being Satan's slave. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for  it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." For those who were once slaves of Satan to be free indeed, they must be preserved in a way that no one can steal them away from freedom.

            JOHN 10:28 tells us that no one can snatch us out of Gods hand. "And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

            EPH. 1:13 tells us that those whom the Lord has saved are sealed in Christ by the Holy Spirit. "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 the Holy Spirit of promise." There can be no better seal than the Holy Spirit.

            EPH. 4:30 in warning those who are saved that we need to be careful how we live so that we will not grieve the Holy Spirit, tells us that those that are saved are sealed by the Holy Spirit. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

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By Jim Murriner
    We must not feel that we have the right to determine what is just and unjust, when it comes to the punishment of the wicked.

    We must remember that we are the creatures and God alone is God. Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that we do not always think rightly so we must rely totally upon God to determine what is the just judgment of the wicked.
    "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 40:13-14 reminds us that we do not have the ability to teach God anything, let alone, teach Him concerning judgment. "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counselor hath taught Him?" "With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and shewed to Him the way of understanding?" We are creatures who have no right to set certain standards of just and unjust then impose them upon God. The conditions of the problem is not within our grasp to determine.

    If we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, we must depend upon this "Word" to determine what is just punishment of the wicked. Matt. 17:5 tells us to listen to Jesus. "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" John 1:1 tells us that Jesus is the "Word", so it is the "Word of God" that we are to listen to today. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." As we look at the scriptures it is important that we try to see what it meant to those to whom Jesus was speaking. Hell is a place and also a condition of unspeakable and unending torment and woe. We want to look at two aspects of hell. First, we want to see that hell is a place of outer darkness, and it is also a place of fire. Our Lord called it a furnace of fire! Matt.8:11-12 tells us of this. "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matt.22:13 has the same truth for us . "Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matt.25:30 also warns the wicked of the awful punishment awaiting them. "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

    What did this convey to our Lord's hearers? If we can come to the understanding that they would have had then we will know what our Lord was telling us here. In those days in which this was spoken it was common to hold banquets in rooms that were brilliantly lighted. Those who were excluded from the banquet were said to be "in outer darkness". They were excluded from the privilege of those within the banquet room. They were not permitted to enjoy the fine things within the room and within the light. Those who will be cast into hell will also be cast out into outer darkness. They will be excluded from the privileges of heaven and the privalige of approaching directly to God. They will be cut off from the fellowship with the redeemed forever. II Peter 2:17 tells of this. "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever." Jude 1:13 also reminds of this terrible darkness of hell. "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness for ever." What is the results of this being cast into "outer darkness"? Matt.8:12 speaks of the torment there. "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Rev. 14:11 "And the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever recieveth the mark of his name." At the very best this will not be a pleasant place or time for those who are cast into this place of punishment. Matthew tells us that there will be something in this outer darkness that will inflict pain of a greater than ordinary sort that will cause them to weep and gnash their teeth. The Apostle John in the Revelation tells us that there will be torment and that there will be no rest from that torment. This is how it will be in that awful place. Matt. 17:5 tells us to hear Jesus Christ. Hear Him. There is such a place or the Lord was deceiving His hearers. Not only is this a place of outer darkness it also is a place of fire. It is a furnace of fire. Matt. 13:24-30 warns us that our Lord will separate the tares and cast them into the fire. "Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:" "But while he slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way." "But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also." "So the servants of the householder came and said unto Him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?" "He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto Him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?" "But He said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them." "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."

    You may want to argue that Christ was here speaking of tares and not of wicked people, but lets notice verse twenty four, "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto.." This means that since the man here wanted his servants to burn the tares, in like manner God will cast the wicked into hell to burn forever. In Matt. 13:36-42 Jesus explains the parable of the tares unto His disciples. "Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and his disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field." "He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seeds is the Son of man;" "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;" "The enemy that soweth them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world." "The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;" "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." You have no right to say that there is no such thing or place as hell, when Jesus himself here very clearly teaches us that there most certainly is such a place. Not only does He teach that such a place does exist, He also tells us that all that do iniquity deserve to go there. Matt.18:8 declares the punishment of those who are cast into hell as being eternal or everlasting. "Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire." Matt.25:41 tells us the same thing. "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" What is our Lord talking about here in these verses when He speaks of such things as everlasting fire? Matt. 18:9 shows us that this fire is the same fire that we call hell. "And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire." Jesus used the Greek word "gehenia" here.

    The Jews in that day took this to mean the future punishment of the wicked. Matt.5:21-22 shows us that they thought that was what that word meant. "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:" "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." Jesus used the same word here that He uses later in chapter eighteen verse nine. Yet when it came to a doctrine that the Jews were wrong about our Lord took care to correct them. Matt.5:27-28 is an example of such a case. "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:" "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." When they were wrong, He said to them, Ye have heard that it was said, but I say unto thee. Then He would go on to explain how they were wrong. Now that we see what this meant to the people that our Lord spoke unto, just what is the significance of this for us? Fire is the symbol of the active movement of the wrath of God. In Gen. 19:24 we see the wrath of God being displayed by fire. "Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven:" In this place it was for the terrible sin of homosexuality that our Lord was showing His wrath . Numbers 11:1 shows us however, that He is also displeased with the sin of arguing with Him, or complaining against Him. "And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it: and His anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp."

    So we can see that to even disagree with God's method of judging the wicked is a terrible sin. Rev. 19:15 though not mentioning fire, gives us a look at the wrath of God. "And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." Rev.19:20 shows us God's wrath in casting the beast, and false prophet into the lake of fire. "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." Matt.13:49-50 makes it very clear that this is the wicked people that He is punishing in Hell. "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just," "And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." If only one in a million would go to hell, you need to ask yourself am I that one?

    II Peter 1:10 urges us to make our calling and election sure. "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give all diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

    II Cor. 13:5 warns us to not take our salvation for granted. "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?"

    Ask yourself do I have biblical grounds to claim to be a child of God. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

    Will you right now trust Christ as your own saviour?

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    Blessed is He Whose Transgression is Forgiven.
    By Jim Murriner
        Psalms 32: 1-2 "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." "Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile."
      If your sins have been forgiven you have been greatly blessed. We might understand that statement better if we understood just what sin is. I John 3:4 tells us that sin is the transgression of God's law "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." Having your sins forgiven is the fundamental blessing, the blessing which you must have before you will receive many others. Psalms 1:1 tells us of a blessed man who did not do certain sins any more. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." However if your transgressions are not forgiven then this verse cannot be describing you.

      Notice that the forgivness is a blessing, we did not earn it. Eph. 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" Eph.4:32 tells us that forgivness is not for our sakes, but for Christ' sake, because of what Christ did. "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Being blessed to have your sins forgiven, brings with it the blessing of rest. Matt. 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." It is even a blessing of God that we would ever be burdened over our sins, because God's word declares that we do not naturally seek the things of God. Romans 3:11 "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God." I Cor. 2:14 "But the natural man recieveth not the things of the Spirit of God : for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually descerned." Being in this condition, the lost sinner does not see himself as a sinner. This blessing of having your sins forgiven, brings with it a covering for your sin. Psalms 32:1 (text verse) "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."

      God has provided a covering, just as He provided a covering for Adam, and Eve. Gen. 3:21 "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them." While these coats of skins, latterly covered Adams nakedness, they also pictured the death of Christ, and the covering which it provided for us. Our sins can only be covered by blood. Ex.12:13 "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt."

      It is only Christ's blood that can cover our sins. The blood in Ex. 12:13 was only a picture or type of what Christ was to do. Heb. 9:12-14 "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:" "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?"

      Another blessing to those of us who have our sins forgiven, is , that the Lord will not impute their iniquity unto them. To impute is to recon to ones account or to charge to ones account. Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:34 "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."

      This blessing comes only unto those who have had their sins paid for by the blood of Christ. God will not simply acquit sin. Nahum 1:3 "The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet."

      An additional blessing for those who have their sins forgiven, is that there is no guile in their spirit. Guile is deceit, and it is a great blessing from God to never try to deceive anyone. Although we would like to boast of our honesty, if we do not attempt to deceive it is only because we have been blessed of the Lord. In the text here the word guile has more to do with our trying to deceive God than our trying to deceive man. It is a tremendous blessing for us to repent with no intention at all of returning to our sin.

      When anyone makes an attempt at repentance, in their own way, and do not have godly sorrow, and do not find their sins to be a disgusting thing, their repentance is not a blessing from God, but a poor attempt at doing some work. II Cor. 7:9-11 tells us of the blessing of being given godly sorrow. "Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing." "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but sorrow of the world worketh death." "For behold the selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter."

      The blessing of being given godly sorrow, is followed by the blessing of being given repentance, which involves an indignation of our sin, and a vehement desire, to be separated from that sin. Godly sorrow then will not allow us to approach unto God as one approaches unto the confessional, with the intent of returning unto their sin. For us to approach God without guile in our spirit, is for us to set our spirit aside and come unto Him with a poverty of spirit. Matt. 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven."

      We then who have been saved by the grace of God, must be careful to recognize and point out to others that our salvation, and any good which we have, or any good works, which we now do as a child of God is all because of what God has done. We must admit that each of the things mentioned here is a blessing from God, and not a skill which we have learned through our much study or through our works some how.

      May God bless you this day by giving you not only repentance, but also faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Food for Thought 

      Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." This verse is often misused as a proof text for those who teach that you must pray to be saved. God's word is very clear though that we are not saved by anything which we do. Eph. 2:8-10 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" "Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Romans 9:32 "Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. for they stumbled at that stumbling stone."

      Gal. 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." While praying might not seem to you to be work, let us think of others today who would teach us that we must pray through, to be saved. Their thoughts on this seems to be that there is some barrier some place that must be penetrated, that one might reach right into Heaven with their prayers. Thus they are making reaching Heaven with our prayers a very hard thing or a very hard work. I hear many, who in many ways are very sound preachers, presenting the gospel, as it is in the Bible, having faith as the means by which we accept Christ as our Saviour. Even having faith to be the gift of God, that we receive at the new birth, thus making our salvation, to be all of God, and not of us in any way. Yet many of these men will lay out certain steps we must go through, with the last step being the sinners prayer. For the lost sinner to call out to the All Mighty God, and be able to demand salvation, simply for the asking, is to make the lost sinner who is dead in his sins, and having no power to help himself, more powerful than the All Mighty God. For the lost sinner to call out to the All Mighty God, and be able to demand anything, is to belittle God, in that it demands that He stoop to the request of man. For the Lost sinner to call out to the All Mighty God, and be able to demand salvation, simply for the asking is to overlook the justice of God, which demands punishment for every sin. Rom. 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Nahum 1:3 "The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet." These two verses are to be considered as you continue to read.

        I. God's Word does tell us to call upon the name of the Lord. Rom. 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Joel 2:32 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." We should note here that there will be deliverance for those whom the Lord shall call. We can see then that the "whosoever" that are mentioned concerning calling upon the Lord, will not be everyone, but will be those whom the Lord shall call.

        II. What is God telling us here, in our text verse, Rom. 10:13 We are given an example in Luke 18: 10 - 14 of a man calling on God, and at the end of this section of scripture we are told that this man went down to his house justified. Luke 18:10-14 "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican." "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are extortion's, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." "I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess." "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up do much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other : for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Are we to conclude then that justification comes by prayer, or are we to interpret this verse and our text verse by the Word of God and understand that justification is by faith. Rom.5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." As we look at the man and his request in Luke 18:13 we will be brought to our previous point that for the lost sinner to demand salvation of God, simply for the asking is to overlook the justice of God which demands punishment for sin. '..saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." The Greek word which is translated "merciful" in this verse, is translated "propitiation in Rom.3:25 , where the propitiation is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We can see then that the publican was not demanding salvation from God, but was asking for mercy, and not mercy like a mere criminal would request of the court, but mercy based upon the sacrifice of the one who is able to satisfy the justice of God, by the sacrifice of Himself. Preachers today tell people that they are not bad, and then in the same breath tell these same people to pray the sinners prayer to be saved. This publican was not one who did not admit to any sin and yet would say the sinners prayer. This publican was admitting his sin, and knowing that he could do nothing about it, was seeking mercy upon the bases of what Jesus Christ had done upon the cross.

        III. What then about the calling out? Lets look again at Romans 10:13 & 14 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." "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? While it does seem that the publican of Luke 18:10 - 14 did cry out, his crying out or what he said here gives us some great insight into what it was that he believed. This publican returned to his house justified, not because of some word of a prayer that he stated, but because he had his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to be his propitiation, or his mercy seat. If you pray some prayer that men might have you to pray, or some prayer which men might call the sinners prayer, this is not faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, but is faith in something which you do. Be extremely careful that you do not trust your prayer or any other thing which you have done to get you to heaven. As a preacher or teacher or one who is trying to witness to someone else, be careful that you do not present another gospel, a gospel other than that which Paul had presented to the Church at Galatia. Galatians 1:8 - 9 "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." "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." We would boldly say that someone teaching baptismal regeneration is teaching another gospel, and that someone teaching salvation by church membership is teaching another gospel. We would strongly condemn those who present works as a way for salvation, as teaching another gospel. I contend that all who tell the lost sinner to say the sinners prayer that he might be saved , are teaching another gospel.

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Parable of the Dead Church

      A person once called a pastor to say he wanted to join the church. But, he went on to explain that he didn't want to worship every week, study the Bible, visit the sick, witness to non-Christians, or serve as a leader or teacher. The pastor commended him for his desire to join, but told him the church he sought was located in another section of town. The man took the directions and hung up. When he arrived at the church, the man came face to face with the logical result of his own apathetic attitude. There stood an abandoned church building, boarded up and ready for demolition.


      Just suppose the Lord would begin tomorrow to make people as sick as they claim to be on Sunday.
      Just suppose the Lord should take away the child whom the parents use as an excuse for staying away from church.
      Just suppose the Lord should make people as poor as they claim to be when asked to help finance His program.
      Just suppose the Lord should have everyone stoned to death for covetness as was Achan.
      Just suppose the Lord should let some parents look into the future and see what their example and lax control did for their children.
      Just suppose - and then, by the help of the Lord, go forth and live and serve as if eternity was soon coming.

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