Tag Archives: faith alone

The Despair of Atheism and the Hope of Christianity

The atheist’s worldview denies the existence of God and believes the universe and earth happened by a chance explosion billions of years ago. Rather than intelligent design, he believes in unintelligent chaos, that the earth, with all its complexity of life, is merely the product of accidental evolutionary processes over millions of years. His worldview believes everything is merely the product of matter, motion, time and chance; that we are the accidental collection of molecules; that we are nothing more than evolving bags of protoplasm who happen to be able to think, feel, and act. The conclusion is that we came from nothing significant, that we are nothing significant, and we go to nothing significant. Ultimately, there’s no reason for us to exist, and no given purpose to assign meaning to our lives. We are a zero. Some have thought through the logical implications of their atheism and understand this well. Continue reading

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A Look at Grace

Grace is undeserved favor. It is the love, mercy, or kindness that one person freely confers upon another who deserves the opposite (Matt 5:44-45; Rom 11:6; Eph 1:6; 2:1-9; 2 Tim 1:9; Tit 3:5-7). The Bible reveals God is gracious, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34:6), and, “You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth” (Psa 86:15). God the Father is described as “the God of all grace” (1 Pet 5:10), who sits upon a “throne of grace” (Heb 4:16), who “gives grace to the afflicted” (Prov 3:34), and provides salvation “by grace” through faith in Jesus (Eph 2:8-9; cf. Acts 15:11; Rom 3:24). Jesus is said to be “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), and the Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of grace” (Heb 10:29). Continue reading

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The High Calling of God’s Servant

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition” (2 Tim 2:24-25a). The Christian who properly represents the Lord Jesus Christ will possess certain qualities that are useful to the Lord, and these are developed over time. As Christians, we are to “speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15), “with grace” (Col 4:6), and “with gentleness and respect” (1 Pet 3:15-16). There’s no place for hostility in the Christian life, for “the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (Jam 1:20). This is how the Lord Jesus conducted Himself, for “while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Pet 2:23). Paul handled himself this way too, saying, “When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we respond graciously” (1 Cor 4:12-13 CSB). The bar of Christian behavior is set very high, as it should be. Continue reading

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Great and Least in the Kingdom of Heaven – A Life of Discipleship

While discussing eternal rewards in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught there would be varying degrees of placement in the kingdom of heaven. In Matthew 5:19, Jesus said, “whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” This gradation of status in heaven is taught elsewhere by Jesus (Matt 11:11; 18:1-4; 20:20-28). Continue reading

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The Gospel in two Minutes

The gospel is the solution to a problem. There are two parts to the problem. First, God is holy (Ps. 99:9; Isa. 6:3), which means He is positively righteous and can have nothing to do with sin except to condemn it (Hab. 1:13; 1 John 1:5). Second, all mankind is sinful and separated from God (Rom. 3:10-23). The gospel message is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).  Jesus died in our place, “the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18; cf. Rom. 5:6-10). In order for us to be reconciled to God, we must simply trust in Jesus as our Savior (John 3:16; Acts 16:30-31). Continue reading

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The Doctrine of Election

Election (ἐκλέγω eklego) is that free choice of God from eternity past in which He chose to save and bless those who are the objects of His love and grace. The elect are the ones chosen. God elects based on His sovereign good pleasure and not because of any foreseen goodness in people (John 1:11-13; 6:37, 44, 65-66; 10:27-28; Acts 13:48; 16:14; Rom. 8:29-30; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:1-2). God elects groups (Luke 6:13-16; John 6:70) and individuals (1 Chron. 28:5; Acts 9:15); and His selection is based on sovereign choice (Rom. 9:10-18), not any foresight of good or worth (Deut. 7:7-8; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; Rom. 9:11). Election is to salvation (Acts 13:48; Eph. 1:4-6), spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3), holy and righteous living (Col. 3:12; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9), and service for the Lord (Jer. 1:4-5; Gal. 1:15-16; cf. Acts 9:15). Continue reading

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Essentials of the Christian Faith

The essentials of the Christian faith consist of core doctrines taught in Scripture. To depart from one or all of these doctrines is to be outside Christian orthodoxy. Christians may disagree about non-essential doctrines (i.e. the rapture, millennial reign of Jesus, baptism, church government, etc.), and still be regarded as part of the church, the body of Christ (Eph 1:22-23). I like the statement, in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love. Continue reading

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The Providence of God

God’s providence refers to His wise and personal acts, whereby He creates and controls circumstances in order to direct history according to His predetermined plan, all for His glory and the benefit of His elect. Continue reading

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The Gospel

Salvation is never what we do for God, but rather what He has done for us by sending His Son to die in our place and bear the wrath for sin that was due to us (Isa. 53). We are helpless to save ourselves because we are completely crippled by sin (Rom. 5:6-10; 6:23; Eph. 2:1); therefore, salvation comes to us only as a free gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5), “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24). Continue reading

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O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head! – Anne Ross Cousin

O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head!  Our load was laid on Thee;  Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead –  To bear all ill for me.  A victim led, Thy blood was shed;  Now there’s no load for me.  Death … Continue reading

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Christ to the Cross

     The Raising of the Cross was painted by Rembrandt sometime around A.D. 1633.  In the painting the artist portrayed himself as one among many who placed Christ on the cross to bear the sin of all mankind.  You … Continue reading

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Saved by God’s Grace

Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as … Continue reading

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God’s Great Grace

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)      Grace (Grk. charis) is the … Continue reading

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The Filling of the Holy Spirit

       The Holy Spirit fills us to accomplish His will (Eph. 5:18).  The filling of the Holy Spirit simply means He controls, influences or directs us as we yield to Him and are willing to accomplish His will according to … Continue reading

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All is Vanity…Except for God’s Blessings

“Vanity of vanities…All is vanity” declares the wise Solomon, as he writes of the emptiness of life (Eccl 1:2, NASB). When selecting a word to describe the vanity he saw in life, Solomon chose the Hebrew noun hebel which has at its core meaning the idea of “vapor” or “breath.”[1] Hebel is like the wispy vapor of one’s breath on a cold morning; it appears to have substance, until you grasp at it, and it passes through your fingers and disappears. Hebel also refers to what is empty, useless, futile or meaningless. Continue reading

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Satan’s World System

Do not love the world [Grk. kosmos] nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and … Continue reading

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Learning to Live by Faith

       Everyone lives by faith; it’s a fact of life.  We trust in things and people in order to live from day to day.  We trust in chairs to support us, cars to transport us, employers to pay us, telephones … Continue reading

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Believe in Jesus for Salvation

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”        To be saved means to be rescued from harm or danger. Based … Continue reading

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Illumination and the Doctrine of Election

       If you’ve believed in Jesus for salvation, then you are among the elect.  In order for a person to be saved, he must believe in Jesus as the Savior (1 Cor. 15:3-4). This, of course, is the … Continue reading

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