Paul Washer Explains the love of Christ in a passionate way!!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
This classic sermon is by Jonathan Edwards which was preached in July 8th. 1741. It's still as relevant today as it was then. Not easy to hear and many will not endure this or want to hear this. But if your desire is for the truth, you will listen to the end!
Many will call this your "fire and brimstone"sermon. But I believe much truth can be learned from this. Proverbs 1:7 says: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction." It will give a greater appreciation for what Christ has done to give us an escape from the penalty our sins deserve. The amazing grace of God can be seen in what exactly we have to escape from. May the Lord speak to your heart through this classic exhortation. In Christ -Dustin
To listen to full length of this sermon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtHijgqceXo
Saturday, August 27, 2011
By Dave Sheridan
How God used Dave's nine-year old daughter to bring the Sheridan family to Christ
I grew up Catholic in every respect. My family and friends were Catholics. My hometown, Pittsburgh, was over 75% Catholic, mostly Irish (like my family) or German. My education was Catholic: the Charity Nuns in grade school; the Brothers of Mary in high school; and priests from the Order of the Holy Ghost Fathers at Duquesne University. Religiously speaking, Catholicism was all I knew. I thought that all Protestants were going to hell. That's what I was taught, and I had no reason to doubt it.
This is not to say that I didn't see any problems with Catholicism. The Church had taught me that if I died after committing what it called a mortal sin, I would end up in hell. In those days committing a mortal sin was fairly easy (such as eating a hamburger on a Friday), so I often went to confession. I remember how after telling my sins to the priest I would kneel before an image of Christ on the cross, and ask Him, "If it's up to me to get to heaven, then why, Jesus, did you bother to come? Why did you suffer and die? What was the point?" I didn't realize it at the time, but this was my first step away from Roman Catholicism.
After college I received a commission with the Marines. I flew F-9's and F-5 Panther jets. I also flew search and rescue helicopters for the Corps. When I got out of the service I flew as a private pilot until I crashed a helicopter in downtown Pittsburgh.
A new career followed with the 3-M Company. There I met and fell in love with Barbara, a wonderful girl. We married and God gave us three children: Kathleen, Colleen, and David.
Barbara and I devoted our lives to our children, and family life drew me back into Catholicism. I became the vice- chairman of the parish council, head of a study group, and a trainer, who prepared lay people to serve as Eucharist ministers and lectors. We also helped formulate the baptism and First Communion preparation programs for the parish.
I still didn't feel like I was doing enough to please God. I began attending Mass more frequently, and soon found myself going every day, 365 days a year! I was determined to work my way to heaven the Roman Catholic way through devotion and hard work.
Nevertheless old questions resurfaced from a new source: my own children. They started asking Barbara and me the same questions about Roman Catholicism that I had grappled with as a youth: Why did Jesus die? Must I confess my sins to a priest? What's the purpose of limbo and purgatory? Why do we pray to Mary and the saints? Their questions planted new doubts in my mind.
About that time Barbara saw an advertisement in a local paper for a Vacation Bible School, a two-week club for children featuring Bible stories. Barbara had exhausted her summer list of activities for the children and the Vacation Bible School was free. She asked me if the kids could attend. I hesitated when I learned that it was being sponsored by a Baptist church. But then again, it would give the children an opportunity to be out and busy. Maybe they would learn some Bible stories, I thought. What harm could be done? The Vacation Bible School passed without incident until one evening when upon arriving home from work Barbara informed me that our oldest child, Kathleen, then nine years old, wanted to talk with me. Realizing that something important was up, I took Kathleen into my den and offered her a seat in front of my desk.
"Daddy," she started, "I know I'm going to heaven."
Kathleen made the announcement with such confidence that I was stunned. Even with all my learning, service, and devotion to the sacraments, I didn't know if I would make it to heaven. "She's just a kid," I thought to myself. "What does she know?" I decided to put her to the test, "How do you know you're going to heaven, Kathleen?"
"Today I prayed to receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior," she answered without hesitation.
"That's wonderful, Kathleen," I replied. I didn't really understand what she was talking about. Maybe she learned something in the Vacation Bible School that I didn't know. But then again, she was just a child.
A few days later, Barbara and the children attended the closing ceremony of the Vacation Bible School. There she met Bill Maupin, the pastor of Brecksville Chapel, the church sponsoring the school. He asked Barbara if Kathleen had told her about her decision to trust Christ. When Barbara told him that she had, the pastor asked if he could visit our family. Barbara agreed and they set up a time.
I was furious when I learned about the appointment. "Absolutely not!" I told Barbara. But she kept putting off calling the pastor to cancel. As the day of the visit approached, I began thinking about it more. What am I afraid of? I'm a well-educated Catholic and certainly know more about religion than any Baptist pastor.
"Tell Bill to come on over," I told Barbara. "I'll be happy to talk to him."
When Bill arrived we welcomed him warmly and settled down to what I thought would be a rousing discussion about religion, a topic on which I was well prepared. But he surprised me. All he wanted to talk about was Jesus Christ and what the Lord meant to him. I had been around religious people all of my life and I had never heard anyone talk about Jesus like this. When he left I told Barbara, "He talks as he if knows Jesus. He talks as if Jesus is still alive." My concept of Jesus was a dead man draped across the arms of Mary, as in Michelangelo's Pieta.
Bill began visiting our home weekly to help Kathleen complete a workbook titled "What Jesus Wants You To Do." Through those visits, our friendship with Bill and confidence in him grew. He sensed that we were spiritually unsatisfied ourselves, and so began encouraging us to visit his church. At that time my Sundays were filled with football and so we were going to Mass on Saturday evening. I told Barbara that she and the kids could visit his church Sunday mornings if she wished.
After several weeks of glowing reports from Barbara and the kids about their visits to Bill's church, I decided it was time to see for myself what was going on. I was surprised to learn that the Brecksville Chapel was nothing more than a meeting at the back of the Clippity Clop Saddle Shop on Route 82! I was accustomed to stained glass sanctuaries and Gothic cathedrals. I couldn't imagine anyone worshipping in a saddle shop!
To my surprise, I found the service interesting and informative. The men impressed me with their ability to pray aloud and their knowledge of the Scriptures. We soon became regular attendees and close friends with Bill and his family.
One Sunday after the service we invited Bill and his family over for dinner. During conversation after the meal, our middle child Colleen, who was seven at the time and preparing for her First Holy Communion, came over to us and said, "Daddy, I would like to pray to receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior!"
"What's happening?" I thought to myself. "I've raised these children to be good Catholics. Now they're all defecting!"
"She's only seven years old," I said, apologizing to the pastor. "I don't think she knows what she's asking."
Bill, however, took Colleen's request seriously. He asked her several questions and carefully reviewed with her the way of salvation. Though I couldn't completely follow his explanation myself, it was clear to me from her answers that Colleen knew exactly what he was talking about. Finally Bill asked Barbara and me if we had any objections to Colleen praying to receive Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. How could we say no?
I'll never forget the scene. My little seven-year-old got down on her knees, Barbara and I following her. First Bill led in prayer. Then Colleen told God that she was a sinner and wanted to be saved. We had no sooner finished than Bill asked, "How about Mom and Dad?"
I didn't know what to think. I explained to Bill that all this was pretty new to us. We needed time to think it through and more information, a lot more information.
He suggested that we start reading the Bible. "What I say about salvation doesn't really matter," Bill explained. "What does the Bible say? That's the important question."
The next day Barbara purchased Bibles for each of us. When I came home from work, I took mine into the den and started looking for the place where Bill had told us to begin, the Gospel of John. Barbara took her Bible to the upstairs bedroom and also began reading.
When I finally found John's Gospel, my eyes fell on John 8:31-32, "If you abide in my word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." I silently offered a prayer to God. "That's what I want, Lord. I want to know the truth."
I turned to the beginning of John's Gospel and read until I came to John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." The profound simplicity of this verse grabbed me. I stopped, picked up my Bible, and went upstairs to show Barbara. To my surprise, when I entered the room she too was stopped at John 3:16. "Do you realize that if this verse is true, it contradicts everything we know and believe as Catholics?" I asked her.
The weeks that followed were difficult. Our problem was that what we were reading in the Bible seemed too wonderful. We were accustomed to the idea that we had to earn our way into heaven. Catholicism had taught us that the Church and its sacraments were also necessary for salvation. Each day we studied the Bible looking for answers. The Gospel of John and Paul's letters to the Galatians and Romans were especially helpful. Wherever we looked the Bible always had the same message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
We were finally ready to surrender and accept God's way to get us to heaven. Jesus did it all (John 19:30). On the cross He took our place and suffered for our sins (Mark 10:45). All that we could do was to trust Him to save us, accepting His free gift of eternal life (Ephesians 2:8-9).
This, of course, raised other hard questions. What were we to do about our Catholicism? Should we remain in the Catholic Church so that we could help others find the truth? Should we keep our children in Catholic school, if we no longer trusted what the Church taught? What would our parents and family say if we left the Church?
God through His Scriptures answered these questions as well. "Come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord (2 Corinthians 6:17).
We knew what we needed to do. One evening, Barbara and I got down on our knees on either side of our bed. Speaking to God in prayer, we each placed our trust in Christ to save us. We renounced our dependence upon the Catholic Church, the sacraments, and our own good works to get us into heaven.
The next day we took our children out of the Catholic school. We left the Catholic Church and dedicated ourselves to God for service. God blessed us and a year later, our youngest child, David, also trusted Christ. Since then God has used us to help many Catholics find salvation in Jesus Christ.
In 1992 Dave was diagnosed with lung cancer. Knowing that his time was short, he and Barbara concentrated on telling others about Christ. The years that followed were the most productive of their lives. They saw many Catholics saved and come out of Roman Catholicism. Christians caught their vision for evangelism and some have now gone overseas as missionaries. It was during this time that we at GNFC came to know the Sheridans and began praying with them that they might join us in this ministry. The Lord, however, had a greater calling for Dave. On January 26, 1996, Dave went to be with Christ. Barbara remains active in ministry and has become a valued member of our staff, helping with the correspondence work. If you have been touched by the testimony of her husband, please let her know by writing to Barbara Sheridan at Good News for Catholics, PO Box 595, Cupertino, CA, 95015-0595.
(Taken from: http://www.gnfc.org/sheridan.html)
Friday, August 26, 2011
The reasonableness of Christian Exclusivism
Having seen that the Bible clearly teaches Exclusivism, it is now time to philosophically show the reasonableness of the biblical teaching that sins deserve eternal punishment, and therefore if anyone is going to be forgiven the penalty for their sins must be paid by a substitute. While my aim here is not yet to prove that Christianity is true, I do believe that this section will show that if any religion at all is true, it must be Christianity.
In an excellent work entitled Concerning the Necessity and Reasonableness of the Christian Doctrine of Satisfaction for Sin, Jonathan Edwards (regarded by many to be the greatest American philosopher/theologian to ever live) gives four main arguments establishing the necessity of sins being punished. We will examine three of them and apply them to show that, based upon the truth that sin must be punished, Christianity is the only possible true religion.
The first argument is from our sense of justice. Sins must be punished because sin deserves punishment. Could we really respect God if He smiled down on Adolf Hitler and Charles Mansons and said "That's okay, guys. Do whatever you want, as long as you're having fun"? Our minds recoil at such a thought! And if there is no God at all, the situation is even worse: the terrible evils of Hitler and such people will never be recompensed. Justice would never be served. But it would be hypocritical to single out people like Hitler as deserving of punishment and ignore our own sins. We all know that we have each sinned, and therefore if we are going to believe that the terrible crimes of people like Hitler need to be recompensed, our sins need to be recompensed as well. This is where Edward's first argument comes in:
1. God's justice is His commitment to love and uphold the orderly connections which He has established in the universe.This, of course, raises a problem. Since everybody has sinned, how can anyone be forgiven? The only possible answer is that somebody else must take this punishment for us. This is what we saw earlier. Christ died in the place of those who would come to believe in Him, thus canceling their penalty. No other religion upholds justice in the solution it gives to the human problem of sin. All other religions either deny that sin is as serious as we all know it is, deny that sin is evil at all (which also goes against our common sense), or provide forgiveness to humans without proper compensation to justice. Christianity is the only religion that does justice to our sense of justice.
2. There is a connection between sin and punishment such that sin deserves punishment.
3. Thus, if God did not judge sin He would be contradicting this connection and thus violating His justice. A God who did not judge sin would not be maintaining order in His kingdom.
4. Therefore, if God is to remain just, He must punish sin.
Edward's next argument is from the holiness of God.
1. God is holy.Christianity is the only religion with a God who is truly holy. Hinduism believes in many gods (or that god is impersonal) and most forms of Buddhism don't even believe in God. These "gods" (or lack of gods) do not claim to be so great that they are of infinite worth and holiness, the utter contradiction of all sin. Islam believes in one God, and does claim that this God is holy. However, the god of Islam saves people without satisfying His holiness by punishing their sin. Thus, the god of Islam contradicts himself and thus is not truly holy. These three examples illustrate this truth: in all other religions, the god worshiped either doesn't claim to be holy, or claims to be holy but contradicts this claim in the way he provides salvation from sin. Neither kind of god(s) would be worth worshiping. And surely if there is a God, He must be holy. Christianity is the only religion that can honestly claim they worship a holy God.
2. Sin is unholy, and therefore God is the utter contradiction of sin.
3. This means that God is opposed to sin, since it contradicts His nature.
4. If God is opposed to sin by nature, He must express that opposition in the world, for otherwise creation would not answer the reality of God's nature.
5. Therefore, if God did not punish sin, He would be contradicting His holiness and thereby denying Himself.
Edward's third argument is from the infinite honor and worth of God.
1. God's glory is of infinite value and worth.From what we have seen earlier, again we must conclude that the Christian view is the only one worthy of God. For all other religions end up denying the infinite worth of the Supreme Being, and why should we accept a religion with such a cheap God? Could we really call that being "supreme"? But you may be wondering, how do other religions dishonor God's worth? Because they present God as forgiving sin without vindicating the worth of His glory. Christianity is the only religion which believes that God became man in the Person of Christ, who then, as man, died on the cross. Since Christ is fully God and fully man, He is of infinite value and thus He fully vindicated the worth of God's infinite glory in His suffering. But, you may ask again, what about the religions who don't believe in a God who is of infinite honor, or perhaps the regions that don't believe in God at all? How can you say that the gods in those religions would be violating their honor, for they don't have any honor to uphold? But to this I respond again, would such a god, who has no honor, be worth worshiping? He would not even be worthy of the name God.
2. Therefore, God must maintain the value and honor of His glory in order to be righteous.
3. Sin is an attack on God's glory. It dishonors God's infinite worth.
4. Therefore, if sin is treated as inconsequential, God's glory is treated as inconsequential.
5. Thus, God must punish sin in order to uphold His honor. For if He did not, He would be denying His infinite worth and thus would be committing unrighteousness.
The fact of God's infinite value also allows us to answer the objection presented by theologians such as Clark Pinnock and John Stott, that "eternal punishment is disproportionate to a finite life of sinning" (Piper, p. 127). These theologians neglect the fact that "degrees of blameworthiness come not from how long you offend dignity, but from how high the dignity is that you offend" (Piper). As Edwards pointed out in his sermon, "The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners," since God is of infinite value, and all sins are ultimately committed against God, all sins therefore deserve an infinite penalty. Thus, the Christian doctrine of eternal punishment is not only consistent with justice, but is required by justice.
Conclusive Evidence for Christian Exclusivism
Thus, it seems that if any religion at all is true, it must be Christianity. But if we approach the question from a slightly different angle, there is even more concrete and solid evidence for accepting Christianity over any other religion. First, remember that earlier we saw how all religions cannot be true because they all contradict each other. Christianity teaches that Jesus is God and man, that He died on the cross for sins, and then rose from the dead. All other religions deny these truths (there may be some religions which accept one of these truths, but none accept all three of them). Thus, all religions cannot be true any more than 2+2 can equal both 4 and 5 at the same time. John Hick's attempt to provide a framework that synthesizes all religions fails because it ignores the fact that Christianity is based upon real-life historical events: the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ. They only way to make Christianity consistent with other religions would be to change history.
How, then, are we to know which religion is correct? By a simple test: which religion gives the best evidence for its truth?
Christianity is the religion that gives the best evidence for its truth. We saw some good evidence from our analysis of Edward's, but now I wish to provide even more conclusive evidence: Jesus is the only religious leader who has risen from the dead. All other religious leaders are still in their tombs. Who would you believe--a religious leader who conquered death, or a religious leader who was defeated by death?
One may object that I am begging the question, for the way we know that Jesus is from the dead is that the Bible teaches it. Aren't I using the Bible to prove the Bible? No, I am not. One of the most fascinating and compelling things is that the resurrection of Christ can be historically demonstrated using only the facts that critical scholars accept. Thus, we do not need to assume the trustworthiness of the Bible to have good evidence for the resurrection. It is a solid historical fact. For a good demonstration of this, see, for example, the debate between Antony Flew, an atheist, and Gary Habermas, a Christian, in the book Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?
Therefore, since Christ rose from the dead, His claim to be the only way to God seems to be verified: "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, except through me." In fact, Christ not only claimed to be the only way to God, He claimed to be God (John 10:30). Thus, the resurrection of Christ proves that there is in fact a God and that Jesus is the only way to be saved by God, for it validates the truth of all that Jesus said.
Objections to Christian Exclusivism
In conclusion, let us briefly examine the main objections to Christian Exclusivism.
- Christianity is narrow minded. Just because something is narrow and exclusive does not make it wrong. Life is full of things that are narrow and true. For example, we want the airplane pilot to land on the runway, not the highway. Truth is always exclusive of error. Two plus two equals four is a narrow statement, but it is still right.
- Truth changes from person to person. Sometimes people say "It may be true for you, but it is not true for me." But simply believing something cannot make it true, and simply disbelieving something cannot make it false. Truth exists independent of our beliefs. For example, people used to believe that the earth was flat, but that did not make it flat--it was still round. Jesus' statement in John 14:6, "No one comes to the Father, but through Me," is a universal truth. It applies to everyone, even if they do not believe it. And since Jesus is God and rose from the dead, He has the authority to say this.
- It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere. A common belief today is that God will accept people no matter what they believe, as long as they are sincere. We have already seen how unbiblical such a view is. This view is also unphilosophical, for sincerity cannot determine whether something is true. It is possible to be sincerely wrong, because faith is only as good as its object. Several years ago a nurse in a large hospital changed an oxygen tank for one of her patients. She sincerely believed that there was oxygen in the new tank she was replacing the old one with, but the next nurse to check on the patient found him dead. The tank had been wrongly labeled at the warehouse and contained nitrogen, not oxygen. This nurse sincerely believed that the tank contained oxygen, but the nitrogen still had terrible consequences for her patient.
To further illustrate that faith is only as good as its object, let's say that I put all of my trust into a potted plant to teach me calculus. Will I learn calculus from this plant? No, because it is the wrong object. In the same way, a person can not get to heaven by trusting in religion or good works, because that is trusting in the wrong object--these things cannot pay the penalty for our sin. Only Jesus can pay this penalty, and therefore He is the only legitimate object of trust for salvation.
- Reason and evidence don't apply to religion. This objection refutes the very nature of our class--the Philosophy of Religion. If reason and evidence don't apply to religion, then we should all drop this class because we are trying to do the impossible. Further, "Persons who claim that reason and evidence are irrelevant to religion must be asked why they believe this is true. If they respond by appealing to any kind of reason or evidence to support their belief, they are refuting it in the process" (Dean Halverson, The Compact Guide to World Religions, p. 245).
- It is arrogant and mean to claim that Jesus is the only way to be saved. This would be true if Christians thought of this idea on their own, were trying to teach it to others out of prideful motives, and thought it was true simply because they thought they were better than others. But this is not the case at all. Christians did not invent this claim. We are just being faithful to what Jesus Himself said. And we don't believe it is true because we think we have superior intellects or that we are better than others, but because Jesus Christ rose from the dead and proved that it was true. It is not arrogant to proclaim the truth. If I tell someone that it is wrong to believe that 2 + 2 = 8, I am not being arrogant, but honest.
- Hasn't Christian Exclusivism led to religious wars in the past? It seems that it has. But this does not mean that it is false. First, the people who encouraged these wars were acting contrary to the Bible they thought that they were defending. Mean-spirited intolerance and persecution is not the teaching of the Bible. Thus, the problem is not with this teaching, but with the sinful abuse of it by certain people who probably weren't even true Christians (see Titus 1:16). Again, the abuse of a truth does not render it false. If people went around killing in the name of love, we wouldn't conclude that love was wrong, would we?
Having seen the clear teaching of Scripture on Christian Exclusivism, we may conclude that the Christian church has not been misrepresenting its Bible for the last two thousand years. Having seen the reasonableness and necessity of this truth, we may conclude that the Christian belief is not irrational. Having seen the inadequacy of other religions and the fact of Christ's resurrection, we may conclude that the belief of Christian Exclusivism is true. And having defending this truth against its objections, we see that it is strong and able to stand on its own. Thus, there are very good reasons for accepting the truth of Christian Exclusivism.
(Part of article taken from:http://contendforthefaith2.com/exclus.html)
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
NonChristians turn to the vast recovery movement because the programs offer hope, help, and promises of recovery. And there is no encouragement to believe in the God of the Bible, whom they have never understood or known. They don't turn to Christ because they have accumulated plenty of reasons not to. They remind themselves of Christians who have failed. Some have heard pastors say what they didn't want to hear. Furthermore, they cannot understand a God who might condemn anyone or offer such a narrow way. However, beyond all of the human excuses, the actual reason nonChristians do not turn to Christ is because their eyes and ears are closed to the merciful grace of God.
But why do Christians look for answers outside the Bible and their relationship with Jesus Christ? Paul wrestled with this problem in his letter to the Galatians. The Galatians had started out well in the Christian walk, but then, under the influence of the Judaizers, they lost confidence in the sufficiency of the gospel. In his salutation Paul reminds them of what Jesus had already accomplished for them:
Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Galatians 1:3-5)Then Paul presents his concern:
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-7)
The Galatians were attempting to be justified by the works of the law rather than by faith in what Jesus had accomplished for them by dying in their place and giving them new life through His resurrection. And this is true today.
Paul admonishes them and all who fall into this error:
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:1-3)In adding requirements, they entered into bondage. They evidently did not understand that just as they were saved through faith in the finished work of Christ, they were to live by faith in the finished and ongoing work of Christ in them. Therefore Paul reminds them and us: "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith" (Galatians 3:11).
People confuse the works of the law with the works of faith. Works of the law undermine a person's ability to please God, because they are limited to self-effort. Works of faith, however, are the fruit of faith that grow from the Holy Spirit who indwells and empowers believers to obey and please God. Trying to keep the law by way of the flesh leads to bondage and death, because no one can keep the law. The way of the Spirit is freedom to please God and leads to life eternal.
Just as the Galatians, some Christians start out well and then shift into works. They lose confidence in the efficacy of the gospel and the Holy Spirit. When they sin, they may admonish themselves and try to change through trying harder, rather than responding through faith (1 John 1:9). Or, when they sin, they may not think it really matters that much since they already have the righteousness of Christ. One slips off course by trying to do it on his own, and another doesn't bother to obey. Both responses lead to disaster and bondage; both are bondage to the world, the flesh, and the devil. Therefore Paul presents the solution to both errors:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. . . . For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. . . . This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:1,13,16)Just as Christians are saved by grace through faith, they are to walk by grace through faith. The very source of walking in the Spirit comes through the profound relationship of the believer to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Another reason why some who call themselves Christians may be looking for some program in place of (or in addition to) Christ is that they have misunderstood the gospel and what it entails. The gospel might not have been presented clearly. Rather than recognizing their need for a savior to save them from their own sins, they may have been looking for a savior who would save them from their circumstances and/or who would make life easy and pleasant. They may have misunderstood the need to die to self and thought that Jesus was there to make them feel better about themselves, build their self-esteem, and cater to their desires. While Jesus meets every true need for the believer, and while life in Him holds a marvelous new dimension of peace with God and the hope of eternal life, all problems do not simply vanish. Jesus being the answer to problems of living does not mean that He necessarily takes them away. He gives strength and purpose, and He even uses problems to make a believer more like Himself. Three well-known sections of Scripture speak to this issue: Romans 5:1-5; Romans 8:28-29; and 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Christians who expect God to take away problems and change circumstances may begin to think poorly of God and even begin to blame Him for allowing bad things to happen. They may resent God for letting them down. Those feelings come from a misunderstanding of the character of God, the sinful condition of man, and the influence of "the prince of the power of the air" on the circumstances of this world. Rather than getting angry with God or forgiving Him, which some wrongfully teach, Christians who have an erroneous view of God need to have their vision restored by the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. God is holy, pure, righteous, and full of compassion and mercy. He has provided salvation for the lost through the death of His only begotten Son. And He fulfills all His promises.
From Chapter One of Martin & Deidre's book: 12 Steps to Destruction
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
"There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 14:12)
But its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 14:12)
It has been said with considerable truth that the way to Hell is paved with good intentions. There will be many in the Lake of Fire who commended life with good intentions, honest resolutions and exalted ideals-those who were just in their dealings, fair in their transactions and charitable in all their ways; men who prided themselves in their integrity but who sought to justify themselves before God by their own righteousness; men who were moral, merciful and magnanimous, but who never saw themselves as guilty, lost, hell-deserving sinners needing a Savior. Such is the way which "seems right." Such is the way that commends itself to the carnal mind and recommends itself to multitudes of deluded ones today. The Devil's Delusion is that we can be saved by our own works, and justified by our own deeds; whereas, God tells us in His Word-"By grace are you saved through faith...not of works lest any man should boast." And again. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us."
Those who are trusting to an outward form of godliness, such as baptism or "confirmation," those who are religious because it is considered a mark of respectability; those who attend some Church or Chapel because it is the fashion to do so; and those who unite with some Denomination because they suppose that such a step will enable them to become Christians, are in the way which "ends in death"-death spiritual and eternal. However pure our motives, however noble our intentions, however well meaning our purposes, however sincere our endeavors, God will not acknowledge us as His son/daughters, until we accept His Son.
The Son of God did not come here to save His people in their sin, but "from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). To be saved from sins. is to be saved from ignoring and despising the authority of God, it is to abandon the course of sell-will and self-pleasing, it is to "forsake our way"(Isa. 55:7). It is to surrender to God's authority, to yield to His dominion, to give ourselves over to be ruled by Him.
"Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:22-23) It is possible to work in the name of Christ, and even to preach in his name, and though the world knows us, the Church knows us, yet to be unknown to the Lord!
How necessary then to find out where we really are; to examine ourselves and see whether we be in the faith; to measure ourselves by the Word of God and see if we are being deceived by our subtle Enemy; to find out whether we are building our house on sand, or whether it is erected on the Rock which is Jesus Christ.
(Excerpts taken from: "Another Gospel," by Arthur W. Pink)
Friday, August 19, 2011
WHAT IS A CULT?- Introduction
With such an overwhelming number of religious groups around these days, it is necessary to understand the difference between a legitimate religious group and a cult. What exactly is a cult?
With such an overwhelming number of religious groups around these days, it is necessary to understand the difference between a legitimate religious group and a cult. What exactly is a cult?
WHAT IS A CULT- Definitions
There are two ways to define a cult. The first way to describe a cult is popular in the secular media. From this perspective, a cult is a religious or semi-religious sect whose members are controlled almost entirely by a single individual or by an organization.
This kind of cult is usually manipulative, demanding total commitment and loyalty from its followers. Converts are usually cut off from all former associations, including their own families. The Hare Krishnas, the Family of Love led by Moses David Berg, and Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church are some examples of this kind of a cult.
The second way to define a cult is popular in evangelical Christian circles. From this perspective, a cult is any group that deviates from the orthodox teachings of the historic Christian faith being derived from the Bible and confirmed through the ancient ecumenical creeds.
WHAT IS A CULT- Psuedo-Christian Cults
These groups deny or distort fundamental Christian doctrines such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and salvation by grace through faith alone. Some cults that would fall into this category are the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, The Way International, and the Unity School of Christianity.
Most of these cults claim to be Christian, and even consider the Bible to be authoritative. But they manipulate the Scriptures to fit their own beliefs. Although they may claim to serve Jesus Christ, and may even use the same terminology orthodox Christians use, their definitions are vastly different.
WHAT IS A CULT- The Dangers of False Teachings
These groups do not lead to the Christ of the Bible, but to another Jesus and another gospel (2 Cor. 11:1-4; Gal. 1:8,9). We must therefore reject these false teachings, and “earnestly contend for the faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). And, of course, remember the Bible also goes on to admonish us that we must do this with gentleness, and with respect. Remember, you must present the message, but you need to recognize that it is only the Holy Spirit that changes the heart.
On the cults and answering the question "What is a cult", that’s the Bible Answer Man Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff. (http://www.equip.org/perspectives/what-is-a-religious-cult)
Thursday, August 18, 2011
If you were asked to name America's most influential spiritual advisor for the past 25 years, what would your response be? Billy Graham? Robert Schuller? Perhaps Rick Warren or Joel Osteen? It may surprise you to learn that none of these men have been as successful numbers-wise as Oprah Winfrey! Her programs drew a daily audience as high as 12.4 million and averaged 7.4 million in 2007, diminishing only slightly when she touted Obama during the 2008 election year. Her closing program had its highest-ever rating, with 16.4 million viewers.
All of this adds up to an incredible amount of influence. What do I mean by including Oprah in this group of "spiritual advisors"? What religion might she have been promoting? Oprah hinted at the answer to those questions on her final program: "People often ask me, 'What is the secret of success of the show? How have we lasted 25 years? I non-jokingly say, 'My team and Jesus.' Because nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me"(http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/The-Oprah-Winfrey-Show-Finale_1/1).She then further identified the God to whom she referred: "I'm talking about the same one you're talking about. I'm talking about Alpha and Omega, the Omniscient, the Omnipresent, the Ultimate Consciousness, the Source, the Force, the All of everything there is, the One and Only G-O-D" (http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/05/oprahs-last-show-a-recap-in-quotes/239483/).
If it's still not clear to you exactly who or what this "One and Only G-O-D" is, you're not alone. All the commentaries that I've read regarding Oprah's farewell program have noted that reviewers also were confused about the deity to whom she paid homage. What should be clear is that the "Jesus" and the "God" whom she describes are not the biblical Jesus and God. But that may not be so clear for some--especially those who consider themselves Christians and who think that Oprah is talking about the same Jesus in whom they believe.
No matter what anyone has in his or her mind about Jesus, only the Scriptures can set the record straight, and here's why. Mankind has only three options when it comes to our knowledge about God. Either God has revealed Himself to humanity in both general (His creation) and very specific terms (His words), or man has conjured up his own ideas about God. The third option is by far the most common: it's a mixture of the two that includes bits and pieces of God's revelation combined with mankind's opinions and speculations. Of the three, which one will be the most accurate? Obviously, communication from God himself would be best.
Is that a reality? Well, that's what the Bible claims. More than 4,000 times throughout the Scriptures, God's prophets have written phrases such as "Thus saith the Lord" and "The word of the Lord came to me." If that isn't the case, then they were all lying. That would be amazing because the "lies" were consistent among all 40 who wrote the Scriptures--men who lived during different cultural times over a period of 1,600 years and who reflected quite diverse occupations in life: Moses was raised in the court of Pharaoh of Egypt; others were fishermen or shepherds; one was a tax collector, another a physician, and a few were royalty.
Further proof that God has communicated to mankind through His Word are the miraculous aspects of what He says, especially through prophecy: "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them....Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them [pagan idols] bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. 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 42:9; 43:9-10).
Only God is omniscient, and He challenges any gods that humans have concocted to demonstrate their ability to foretell the future. In contrast to the failed prophecies of the idol worshipers, the record of the Scriptures contains hundreds of prophecies accurately detailing events foretold by the God of the Bible that would take place days, months, and even hundreds or thousands of years from the time they were issued. Fulfilled prophecy is the foremost verification that God's Word is just that: the Word of God (TBC, 8/06; 9/06, et al.).
Oprah's widespread influence on America's spirituality can be attributed to many factors, from the popularity of the New Age Movement (of which she was a chief promoter, by featuring wannabe gurus such as Shirley MacLaine, Marilyn Ferguson, and Marianne Williamson), to the national rush to psychotherapy as the solution for all of life's problems, to our historic Yankee love affair with self-help theology and practice. All of these, Oprah dished up daily.
The reason for the incredible acceptance of her spiritual teachings, however, must be credited primarily to her ability to make even the most far-fetched Hindu/Buddhist concepts appear to fit with Christianity--a mix that she has fed to viewers who, for the most part, profess to be Christian yet are largely ignorant of the teachings of the Bible. This has effectively disabled their ability to recognize God's direct revelation as the authority for spiritual truth and has opened the door for any mixture of thoughts one has about God (e.g., opinions, speculations, guesses, or whatever a person "feels" regarding the nature of God).
Oprah's own "Christianity" leans heavily upon the Christianity of the Mind Sciences, including New Thought, Religious Science, Christian Science, and Unity School of Christianity, all of which incorporate into their teachings ideas drawn from Eastern mystical religions. Although some feature the Christian name, they are diametrically opposed to biblical Christianity. Oprah is a latter-day composite of Madame Blavatsky and Mary Baker Eddy, the former a co-founder of Theosophy, who popularized Buddhist occultism in the West in the last half of the 1800s, and the latter, who founded the Christian Science cult in New England in the same century. Oprah's background is Baptist, which she left in her late 20s.
She claims that her eyes were opened to the fact that "God" was bigger than the doctrines she had been taught, and she later was excited to discover views that taught that there were many ways to God besides through Jesus. The Cross, to her, was not a matter of Jesus' reconciliation of man to God through His payment for the sins of the world but rather a preeminent lesson in overcoming the obstacles in one's life. She recalls that transition period in her life as the time when she began her search for more than Bible doctrines. She turned to those who have Westernized and homogenized Eastern religous concepts for the American consumer, such as Eckhart Tolle, Gary Zukav, Deepak Chopra, IyanlaVanzant, Carolyn Myss, and Elizabeth Lesser.
According to the Scriptures, when people like Oprah either drift away from or reject biblical doctrine, they have turned from God's instructions to the rationalizations of men, at least, and/or to the doctrines of demons at worst (1 Timothy 4:1). She raised false spiritual teaching to new technological heights when she began her series on A New Earth with Eckhart Tolle. The initial program reached 139 countries with simultaneous, interactive worldwide instructions and grew from there. Another attraction that drew the multitudes were her celebrity guests with "spiritual insights" that she paraded before her audience (80 percent of whom were women) day after day, including Scientologists Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Unity minister Della Reese, Eckhart Tolle-disciple Jim Carrey, and Kabbalah devotee Madonna, among a litany of others. Tragically, for untold millions, she's paved the broad road that leads to eternal destruction.
Although Oprah and her friends seem to be all over the spiritual map, their beliefs and practices can be simplified from a biblical perspective. They all promote 1) the deification of self, and 2) salvation through good works. Here is what Oprah gleaned from her spiritual advisors: Jesus came not to pay for everyone's sin but to teach Christ consciousness--the idea that each person is a part of God and needs to be conscious of that. Hindus call it "self-realization," i.e., realizing that one's own self is God. That was the ultimate message of The Secret (see TBC's The Secret Seduction ), a book and DVD that millions purchased due primarily to Oprah's endorsement and enthusiastic promotion.
In Oprah's words as she considers one Christian woman's view against a non-Christian woman's path to God: "[There are] many paths to what you call God. Her path might be something else, and when she gets there she might call it the Light, but her loving and her kindness and her generosity, if it brings her to the same place it brings you, it doesn't matter whether she calls it God or not." This is "works salvation," and it is the foundational belief system of all the world's religions. Only biblical Christianity rejects works unequivocally as a path to being reconciled to God: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us" (Titus 3:5); "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [salvation] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Scripture is emphatic that no loving act, no kindness, no generosity, or any other "good" deed qualifies anyone for eternal life with God. The problem is sin, regarding which every human (except the sinless God/Man Jesus Christ) is guilty (Romans 3:23), and for which no sinner can do anything to pay off the penalty that God established. Why not? The penalty is eternal separation from the presence of God. Oprah and all her spiritual teachers may reject the biblical teaching concerning sin and its penalty, but the absolute fact is--it must be paid in order for God's divine justice to be satisfied and for one to receive the gift of everlasting life with Him: "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" (John 3:16). Their "many paths" statement is a rejection of the most unfathomable act imaginable. In fact, it is so incredible that none of the non-Christian world religions have ever even hinted at such a deed: the Creator of the universe Himself would pay the penalty for His rebellious creatures and would offer the free gift of eternal life to them on the basis of their simply receiving it by an act of faith. Charles Wesley immortalized Jesus' astonishing achievement in song when he wrote, "Amazing love, how can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?"
It's doubtful that Oprah Winfrey will be giving up her pulpit; it is more probable that she'll seek effective ways and means to spread her gospel in other venues. Of her many "apostles" (a.k.a. Oprah's Allstars) whom she has established over the years, it will very likely be Dr. Oz who will fill the gap and keep the bastion of false spirituality thriving on daytime TV.
Mehmet Oz is highly qualified for the job. He is a Sufi Muslim, given more to the metaphysical and experiential than to the legalism of Sharia law, which is practiced by most Muslims. His medical expertise lends credibility to his religious offerings, which reflect the Indian guru Mahesh more than Mohammed.
Oz is a national spokesperson for Transcendental Meditation, or TM, which was introduced to the U.S. in the late '60s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (guru to the Beatles) as The Spiritual Regeneration Movement. It was pure Hinduism packaged for the West. However, legal issues related to the introduction of religion into the schools prevented its spread until the name was changed to TM, and it was subsequently repackaged and promoted as a scientific stress reducer that employed the use of meditation.
TM is currently back in the limelight not only for millions on daytime TV but also for evangelicals. Oz and two other medical doctors have been drafted by Rick Warren to "shape up" himself and his SaddlebackCommunityChurch, as well as all the thousands of evangelical churches that partner with Saddleback. Warren's "Daniel Plan" is an attempt to give biblical support for improving the physical welfare of overweight and out-of-shape believers. The "Daniel" reference is to the young man described in chapter one of the book of the Old Testament that bears his name. This is one more example of the biblical illiteracy that has infected the church through marketing, seeker-friendly, and purpose-driven programs that have weaned Christians off the Word of God and have all but completely eliminated their ability to discern what's biblical and what's not. Daniel was hardly an overweight teenager in need of an exercise, nutritional, and meditation program but rather a godly youth whose fear was that he would defile himself before his holy God.
But that doesn't sell today. All three doctors to whom the shepherd of Saddleback has turned his sheep over for their physical well-being feature occult meditation (See TBCNewswatch 2/11; Q&A, 3/11) in their programs under the pseudo-scientific labels of TM and the Relaxation Response (See America, the Sorcerer's New Apprentice; also http://www.saddleback.com/thedanielplan/webcast/).
The spiritual climate of America in the 21st century is neo-pagan in general, neo-gnostic among most professing Christians, and severely lacking in biblical discernment among those who may well be true believers. We are in the throes of rampant spiritual delusion. What can be done to stem the tide? Nothing that the Bible seems to indicate. On the other hand, God has given believers marching orders for these times--orders that appear to be designed more for a rescue operation than for a reversal of widespread apostasy: "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" (2 Timothy 2:24-26). Furthermore, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry" (2 Timothy 4:2-5)."Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).
By T. A. McMahon (http://www.thebereancall.org/node/9322)
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
But the truth is, God has revealed himself to us. He has done this in the person of Jesus Christ. Oh yes, Jesus was more than a great moral teacher, a prophet, and miracle worker. He is God in the flesh or as Hebrews 1:2-4 wonderfully puts it: "but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs."
Here are 100 truths about Jesus. It is Jesus Christ who we need to look to (not Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius,) when we ask: "What is God Like?"
- Jesus claimed to be God - John 8:24; 8:56-59 (see Exodus 3:14); John 10:30-33
- Jesus is called God - John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8
- Jesus is the image of the invisible God - Heb. 1:3
- Jesus abides forever - Heb. 7:24
- Jesus created all things - John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17
- Jesus is before all things - John 1:1-3; Col. 1:17;
- Jesus is eternal - John 1:1,14; 8:58; Micah 5:1-2
- Jesus is honored the same as the Father - John 5:23
- Jesus is prayed to - Acts 7:55-60; 1 Cor. 1:2 with Psalm 116:4; (John 14:14)
- Jesus is worshipped - Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; John 9:35-38; Heb. 1:6
- Jesus is omnipresent - Matt. 18:20; 28:20
- Jesus is with us always - Matt. 28:20
- Jesus is our only mediator between God and ourselves - 1 Tim. 2:5
- Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant - Heb. 7:22; 8:6
- Jesus said, "I AM the Bread of Life" - John 6:35,41,48,51
- Jesus said, "I AM the Door" - John 10:7,9
- Jesus said, "I AM the Good Shepherd" - John 10:11,14
- Jesus said, "I AM the Way the Truth and The Life" - John 14:6
- Jesus said, "I AM the Light of the world" - John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46; Luke 2:32
- Jesus said, "I AM the True Vine" - John 15:1,5
- Jesus said, "I AM the Resurrection and the Life" - John 11:25
- Jesus said, "I AM the First and the Last" - Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13
- Jesus always lives to make intercession for us - Heb. 7:25
- Jesus cleanses from sin - 1 John 1:9
- Jesus cleanses us from our sins by His blood - Rev. 1:5; Rom. 5:9
- Jesus forgives sins - Matt. 9:1-7; Luke 5:20; 7:48
- Jesus saves forever - Matt. 18:11; John 10:28; Heb. 7:25
- Jesus discloses Himself to us - John 14:21
- Jesus draws all men to Himself - John 12:32
- Jesus gives eternal life - John 10:28; 5:40
- Jesus resurrects - John 5:39; 6:40,44,54; 11:25-26
- Jesus gives joy - John 15:11
- Jesus gives peace - John 14:27
- Jesus has all authority - Matt. 28:18; John 5:26-27; 17:2; 3:35
- Jesus judges - John 5:22,27
- Jesus knows all men - John 16:30; John 21:17
- Jesus opens the mind to understand scripture - Luke 24:45
- Jesus received honor and glory from the Father - 2 Pet. 1:17
- Jesus reveals grace and truth - John 1:17 see John 6:45
- Jesus reveals the Father - Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22
- Jesus bears witness of Himself - John 8:18; 14:6
- Jesus' works bear witness of Himself - John 5:36; 10:25
- The Father bears witness of Jesus - John 5:37; 8:18; 1 John 5:9
- The Holy Spirit bears witness of Jesus - John 15:26
- The multitudes bear witness of Jesus - John 12:17
- The Prophets bear witness of Jesus - Acts 10:43
- The Scriptures bear witness of Jesus - John 5:39
- The Father will honor us if we serve Jesus - John 12:26 see Col. 3:24
- The Father wants us to fellowship with Jesus - 1 Cor. 1:9
- The Father tells us to listen to Jesus - Luke 9:35; Matt. 17:5
- Everyone who's heard & learned from the Father comes to Jesus - John 6:45
- We come to Jesus - John 5:50; 6:35,37,45,65; 7:37;
- The Father draws us to Jesus - John 6:44
- The Law leads us to Christ - Gal. 3:24
- Jesus is the Rock - 1 Cor. 10:4
- Jesus is the Savior - John 4:42; 1 John 4:14
- Jesus is the King - Matt. 2:1-6; Luke 23:3
- In Jesus are the treasures of wisdom and knowledge - Col. 2:2-3
- In Jesus we have been made complete Col. 2:10
- Jesus indwells us - Col. 1:27
- Jesus sanctifies - Heb. 2:11
- Jesus loves - Eph. 5:25
- We sin against Jesus - 1 Cor. 8:12
- We receive Jesus - John 1:12; Col. 2:6
- Jesus makes many righteous - Rom. 5:19
- Jesus sends the Holy Spirit - John 15:26
- Jesus offered up Himself - Heb. 7:27; 9:14
- Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins for all time - Heb. 10:12
- The Son of God has given us understanding - 1 John 5:20
- Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith - Heb. 12:2
- Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession - Heb. 3:1
- Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven - John 14:1-4
- Jesus is the Light of the world - John 8:12
- Jesus has explained the Father - John 1:18
- Jesus was crucified because of weakness - 2 Cor. 13:4
- Jesus has overcome the world - John 16:33
- Truth is in Jesus - Eph. 4:21
- The fruit of righteousness comes through Jesus Christ - Phil. 1:11
- Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come - 1 Thess. 1:10
- Disciples bear witness of Jesus Christ - John 15:27
- Jesus died for us - 1 Thess. 5:10
- Jesus died and rose again - 1 Thess. 4:14
- Jesus was a ransom for many - Matt. 20:28
- The Christian dead have fallen asleep in Jesus - 1 Thess. 4:15
- Jesus rendered the devil powerless - Heb. 2:14
- Jesus is able to save completely - Heb. 7:25
- Jesus came to serve - Matt. 20:28
- Jesus came to be a high priest - Heb. 2:17
- Jesus came to save - John 3:17; Luke 19:10
- Jesus came to preach the kingdom of God - Luke 4:43
- Jesus came to bring division - Luke 12:51
- Jesus came to do the will of the Father - John 6:38
- Jesus came to give the Father's words - John 17:8
- Jesus came to testify to the truth - John 18:37
- Jesus came to set us free from the Law - Rom. 8:2
- Jesus came to die and destroy Satan's power - Heb. 2:14
- Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets - Matt. 5:17
- Jesus came to give life - John 10:10,28
- Jesus came to taste death for everyone - Heb. 2:9
- Jesus came to proclaim freedom for believers - Luke 4:18