How Is Forgiveness And Repentance For Sins Given – Spiritual Reading

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How Is Forgiveness And Repentance For Sins Given – Spiritual Reading.



To return to the grand text: “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Our Lord Jesus Christ has gone up that grace may come down. His glory is employed to give greater currency to His grace. The Lord has not taken a step upward except with the design of bearing believing sinners upward with Him.


He is exalted to give repentance; and this we shall see if we remember a few great truths. The work which our Lord Jesus has done has made repentance possible, available, and acceptable. The law makes no mention of repentance, but says plainly, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” If the Lord Jesus had not died and risen again and gone unto the Father, what would your repenting or mine be worth?


We might feel remorse with its horrors, but never repentance with its hopes. Repentance, as a natural feeling, is a common duty deserving no great praise: indeed, it is so generally mingled with a selfish fear of punishment, that the kindliest estimate makes but little of it. Had not Jesus interposed and wrought out a wealth of merit, our tears of repentance would have been so much water spilled upon the ground.


Jesus is exalted on high, that through the virtue of His intercession repentance may have a place before God. In this respect He gives us repentance, because He puts repentance into a position of acceptance, which otherwise it could never have occupied.
When Jesus was exalted on high, the Spirit of God was poured out to work in us all needful graces.


The Holy Ghost creates repentance in us by supernaturally renewing our nature, and taking away the heart of stone out of our flesh. Oh, sit not down straining those eyes of yours to fetch out impossible tears! Repentance comes not from unwilling nature, but from free and sovereign grace. Get not to your chamber to smite your breast in order to fetch from a heart of stone feelings which are not there.


But go to Calvary and see how Jesus died. Look upward to the hills whence comes your help. The Holy Ghost has come on purpose that He may overshadow men’s spirits and breed repentance within them, even as once He brooded over chaos and brought forth order. Breathe your prayer to Him, “Blessed Spirit, dwell with me. Make me tender and lowly of heart, that I may hate sin and unfeignedly repent of it.” He will hear your cry and answer you.



Remember, too, that when our Lord Jesus was exalted, He not only gave us repentance by sending forth the Holy Spirit, but by consecrating all the works of nature and of providence to the great ends of our salvation, so that any one of them may call us to repentance, whether it crow like Peter’s cock, or shake the prison like the jailer’s earthquake. From the right hand of God our Lord Jesus rules all things here below, and makes them work together for the salvation of His redeemed.


He uses both bitters and sweets, trials and joys, that He may produce in sinners a better mind toward their God. Be thankful for the providence which has made you poor, or sick, or sad ; for by all this Jesus works the life of your spirit and turns you to Himself. The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our hearts on the black horse of affliction. Jesus uses the whole range of our experience to wean us from earth and woo us to Heaven.


Christ is exalted to the throne of Heaven and earth in order that, by all the processes of His providence, He may subdue hard hearts unto the gracious softening of repentance. Besides, He is at work at this hour by all His whispers in the conscience, by His inspired Book, by those of us who speak out of that Book, and by praying friends and earnest hearts. He can send a word to you which shall strike your rocky heart as with the rod of Moses, and cause streams of repentance to flow forth.


He can bring to your mind some heart-breaking text out of Holy Scripture which shall conquer you right speedily. He can mysteriously soften you, and cause a holy frame of mind to steal over you when you least look for it. Be sure of this, that He who is gone into His glory, raised into all the splendor and majesty of God, has abundant ways of working repentance in those to whom He grants forgiveness. He is even now waiting to give repentance to you. Ask Him for it at once.



Observe with much comfort that the Lord Jesus Christ gives this repentance to the most unlikely people in the world. He is exalted to give repentance to Israel. To Israel! In the days when the apostles thus spoke, Israel was the nation which had most grossly sinned against light and love, by daring to say, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Yet Jesus is exalted to give them repentance! What a marvel of grace! If you have been brought up in the brightest of Christian light, and yet have rejected it, there is still hope.


If you have sinned against conscience, and against the Holy Spirit, and against the love of Jesus, there is yet space for repentance. Though you may be as hard as unbelieving Israel of old, softening may yet come to you, since Jesus is exalted, and clothed with boundless power. For those who went the furthest in iniquity, and sinned with special aggravation, the Lord Jesus is exalted to give to them repentance and forgiveness of sins.


Happy am I to have so full a gospel to proclaim! Happy are you to be allowed to read it! The hearts of the children of Israel had grown hard as an adamant stone. Luther used to think it impossible to convert a Jew. We are far from agreeing with him, and yet we must admit that the seed of Israel have been exceedingly obstinate in their rejection of the Saviour during these many centuries.


Truly did the Lord say, “Israel would none of me.” “He came to his own and his own received him not.” Yet on behalf of Israel our Lord Jesus is exalted for the giving of repentance and remission. Probably my reader is a Gentile; but yet he may have a very stubborn heart, which has stood out against the Lord Jesus for many years; and yet in him our Lord can work repentance.


It may be that you will yet feel compelled to write as William Hone did when he yielded to divine love. He was the author of those most entertaining volumes called the ” Everyday Book,” but he was once a stout–hearted infidel. When subdued by sovereign grace, he wrote:



The proudest heart that ever beat
Hath been subdued in me;
The wildest will that ever rose
To scorn Thy cause and aid Thy foes
Is quell’d my Lord, by Thee.
Thy will, and not my will be done,
My heart be ever Thine;
Confessing Thee the mighty Word,
My Saviour Christ, my God, my Lord,
Thy cross shall be my sign.


(All of Grace) The Lord can give repentance to the most unlikely, turning lions into lambs, and ravens into doves. Let us look to Him that this great change may be wrought in us. Assuredly the contemplation of the death of Christ is one of the surest and speediest methods of gaining repentance. Do not sit down and try to pump up repentance from the dry well of corrupt nature.


It is contrary to the laws of mind to suppose that you can force your soul into that gracious state. Take your heart in prayer to Him who understands it, and say, “Lord, cleanse it. Lord, renew it. Lord, work repentance in it.” The more you try to produce penitent emotions in yourself, the more you will be disappointed; but if you believingly think of Jesus dying for you, repentance will burst forth.


Meditate on the Lord’s shedding His heart’s blood out of love to you. Set before your mind’s eye the agony and bloody sweat, the cross and passion; and, as you do this, He who was the bearer of all this grief will look at you, and with that look He will do for you what He did for Peter, so that you also will go out and weep bitterly. He who died for you can, by His gracious Spirit, make you die to sin; and He who has gone into glory on your behalf can draw your soul after Him, away from evil, and toward holiness.



I shall be content if I leave this one thought with you; look not beneath the ice to find fire, neither hope in your own natural heart to find repentance. Look to the Living One for life. Look to Jesus for all you need between Hell Gate and Heaven Gate. Never seek elsewhere for any part of that which Jesus loves to bestow; but remember, Christ is all.


Excerpt From – All of Grace By Charles Haddon Spurgeon



Tikva



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At What Time Is A Believer And Christian Justified – Spiritual Reading

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At What Time Is A Believer And Christian Justified – Spiritual Reading.



The Time Of Justification:


When is a believer justified? This question is answered plainly in one of our texts, Acts 13:39, “And by him every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses.” What I wish you to notice particularly now in this verse is the word Is, “Everyone that believeth is justified from all things.” This answers plainly the question as to when a believer is justified.


In Christ Jesus every [believer in Him is justified from all things the moment he believes. The moment a man believes in Jesus Christ that moment he becomes united to Christ, and that moment God reckons the righteousness of God to him.


I repeat again, if the vilest murderer or sinner of any kind in the world should come into this room this morning while I am preaching and should here and now believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the moment that he did it, not only would every sin he ever committed be blotted out, but all the perfect righteousness of God in Christ would be put to his account, and his standing before God would be as perfect as it will be when he has been in heaven ten million years.


Let me repeat to you again the incident I told you one Sunday night some weeks ago. I was preaching one Sunday morning in the Moody church in Chicago on Rom. 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,” and in the course of my preaching I said, “If the vilest woman there is in Chicago should come into the Chicago Avenue church this morning, and should here and now accept Jesus Christ as her Saviour, the moment she did it every sin she ever committed would be blotted out and her record would be as white in God’s sight as that of the purest woman in the room.”


Unknown to me, one of the members of my congregation that very morning had gone down into a low den of iniquity near the river and had invited a woman who was an outcast to come and hear me preach. The woman replied, “I never go to church. Church is not for the likes of me. I would not be welcome at the church if I did go.”


The woman who was a saint replied, “You would be welcome at our church,” which, thank God, was true. But, “No,” the woman urged, “it would not do for me to go to church, church is not for the likes of me.” But the woman who was a saint urged the woman who was a sinner to go. She offered to accompany her to the church, but the other said, “No, that would never do.


The policemen know me and the boys on the street know me and sometimes throw stones at me, and if they saw you going up the street with me they would think you such as I am.” But the woman who was a saint had the Spirit of the Master and said, “I don’t care what they think of me. If you will accompany me to hear Mr. Torrey preach I will go along with you.”


The other woman refused. But the saved woman was so insistent that the woman who was an outcast finally said, “If you will go up the street a few steps ahead I will follow you up the street.” So up La Salle Avenue they came, the woman who was a saint a few steps ahead and the woman who was a sinner a few steps behind. Block after block they came until they reached the corner of La Salle and Chicago Avenues.


The woman who was a saint entered the tower door at the corner, went up the steps, entered the church, and the woman who was a sinner followed her. On reaching the door the woman who was a sinner looked in, saw a vacant seat under the gallery in the very last row at the back, and slipped into it, and scarcely had she taken the seat when I made the remark that I just quoted, “If the vilest woman there is in Chicago should come into the Chicago Avenue church this morning and should here and now accept Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour, the moment she did it every sin she ever committed would be blotted out and her record would be as white in God’s sight as that of the purest woman in the room.”


My words went floating down over the audience and dropped into the heart of the woman who was a sinner. She believed it, she believed that Jesus died for her, she believed that by the shedding of His blood she could be saved, she believed, and found pardon and peace and justification then and there.


And when the meeting was over she came up the aisle to the front as I stepped down from the pulpit, tears streaming down her face, and thanked me for the blessing that she had received.


And I repeat it here this morning, not knowing who may be here, not knowing what may be the secret life of any one of you who is here, not knowing what may be the sins that may be hidden in your heart, if the vilest man or woman on earth should come into the Church of the Open Door this morning and should here and now put their trust in Jesus Christ, the moment you did it every sin you ever committed would be blotted out and in an instant your record would be as white in God’s sight, not only as that of the purest woman in the room, but as that of the purest angel in heaven, and not only that, but all the perfect righteousness of God that clothed our Lord Jesus Christ would be put to your account and you would be just as near and just as dear to God as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is. That is the doctrine of justification by faith. Wondrous doctrine! Glorious doctrine!


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



Tikva



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Will All Men Be Saved And Brought To Repentance – Spiritual Reading

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Will All Men Be Saved And Brought To Repentance – Spiritual Reading.



There are several passages of Scripture which those who believe that all men will ultimately repent and be brought to accept Christ and thus saved, urge against what seems to be the plain teaching of the passages we have been studying.


The first of these is:


1 Peter 3:18-20: “Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.” 


It is urged that as Christ went and preached to the spirits in prison there will be another chance after men have died. But this the passage in question does not assert or imply in any way.


First of all there is no proof that “the spirits in prison” refers to the departed spirits of men who once lived here on earth. In the Bible departed spirits of men are not spoken of in this way. These words are used of other spirits, but not of human spirits disembodied, and there is every reason for supposing that these “spirits in prison” were not the sinful men that were on earth when the ark was preparing, but the angels who sinned at that time, just as we are told in Gen. 6:1, 2 that they did sin (cf. Jude 6, 7).


Furthermore, even if “the spirits in prison” here spoken of were the spirits of men who were disobedient in the time of Noah, there is not a hint in the passage that they were saved through the preaching of Christ to them, or that they had another chance. There are two words commonly used in the New Testament for preaching, one is kerusso and the other is euaggelizo. The first of these means to herald, as to herald a king, or to herald the kingdom.


It may, however, be used of preaching a message, the gospel message or some other message. The second word euaggelizo, means to preach the gospel. In the passage that we are studying it is the first word that is used, and there is not a hint that Christ preached the gospel to these spirits in prison. He simply heralded the triumph of the kingdom. It was not a saving message. So there is nothing in this passage to put up even inferentially against the plain, direct statements regarding the destiny of the wicked found in the passages we have been studying.


The second passage that is appealed to by those who deny the endlessness of future punishment is: 


Phil. 2:9-11: “Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave unto Him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 


Here it is said, we are told, that all those “under the earth” as well as in heaven and on earth should bow the knee in the name of Jesus and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that this implies that they are saved. But it does not imply that they are saved. Every knee of lost men and of the devil and his angels too will be forced some day to bow in the name of Jesus and every tongue forced to confess that He is Lord.


If any one does that in the present life of his own free choice, he will be saved, but otherwise he will do it by compulsion in the age to come and every one has his choice between doing it now willingly and gladly and being saved, or doing it by compulsion hereafter and being lost. There is absolutely nothing in this passage to teach universal salvation or to militate even inferentially against the plain statements we have been studying.


The third passage that is appealed to is:


Acts 3:19-21: “Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things whereof God spake by the mouth of His holy prophets that have been from of old.” 


Here we are told of a coming “restoration of all things” and those who contend for the doctrine of universal salvation hold that this means the restoration to righteousness of all persons. But that is not what it says, and that is not what it refers to.


We are taught in Old Testament prophecy and also in the book of Romans, that in connection with the return of our Lord Jesus there is to be a restoration of all nature, of the whole physical universe, from its fallen state.


For example, in Rom. 8:19-21 we read: “For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. For the [creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.” 


And in Isa. 55:13 we read: “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree; and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree: and it shall be to Jehovah for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” 


And in Isa. 65:25 we are told: “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith Jehovah,” 


And in Isa. 32:15, we are told that “until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest.” 


It is to this restoration of the physical universe, here plainly predicted in Rom. 8:19-21 and these Old Testament prophecies, that the “restoration of all things” spoken of in Acts 3:21 refers. There is not a hint, not the slightest suggestion, of a restoration of impenitent sinners.


Still another passage that is urged is: 


Eph. 1:9, 10, where we read: “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Him unto a dispensation of the fulness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth.” 


Here it is urged that things in heaven and things in earth are to be summed up in Christ. This is true, but it should be noticed that the Holy Spirit has specifically omitted here the phrase that is found in Phil. 2:10, the “things under the earth,” that is the abode of the lost, so this passage, so far from suggesting that the lost ones in hell will be restored, suggests exactly the opposite thing. There is then certainly nothing in this passage to militate even inferentially against the plain statements we have been studying.


One more passage that is urged against the doctrine we have been studying remains to be considered, that is: 


1 Cor. 15:22. Here we read, “For as in Adam all died, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” It is urged in connection with this passage that we are distinctly told here that all who die in Adam, that is every human being, shall be made alive in Christ, and that “made alive” means “obtain eternal life,” or “be saved.”


For years I thought that this was the true interpretation of this passage, and for that reason in part, I held and preached at that time that all men ultimately, some time, somewhere, somehow, would be brought to accept Jesus Christ and be saved; but when I came to study the passage more carefully I saw that this was a misinterpretation of the passage.


Every passage in the Bible, or in any other book, must be interpreted in its context. The whole subject that Paul is talking about in this chapter is not eternal life, not the immortality of the soul, but the resurrection of the body, and all this passage declares is that as all lose physical life in Adam, so also all will obtain a resurrection of the body in Christ.


Whether that resurrection of the body is a resurrection to everlasting life or a resurrection to shame and everlasting contempt (Dan. 12:2) depends entirely upon what men do with the Christ in whom they get it. There is absolutely nothing here to teach universal salvation. It only teaches a universal resurrection, resurrection of the wicked as well as of the righteous.


To sum up the teaching of all these passages that are so often urged to prove universal salvation, there is nothing in any one of the passages, nor in all of them together, to teach that all men will ultimately be saved, and there is nothing in them to in any way conflict with what we have seen to be the honest meaning of the passages studied above, namely, that the future punishment of sin is absolutely endless.


There is not a passage to be found in the Bible that teaches universal salvation, or that all men will ultimately come to repentance and be saved. I wish that there were, but there is not. I have been searching diligently for such a passage for nearly forty years and I have not found it, and it cannot be found.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey. 



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In this place I would say a plain word or two to those who understand the method of justification by faith which is in Christ Jesus, but whose trouble is that they cannot cease from sin. We can never be happy, restful, or spiritually healthy till we become holy. We must be rid of sin; but how is the riddance to be wrought? This is the life-or-death question of many.


The old nature is very strong, and they have tried to curb and tame it; but it will not be subdued, and they find themselves, though anxious to be better, if anything growing worse than before. The heart is so hard, the will is so obstinate, the passions are so furious, the thoughts are so volatile, the imagination is so ungovernable, the desires are so wild, that the man feels that he has a den of wild beasts within him, which will eat him up sooner than be ruled by him.


We may say of our fallen nature what the Lord said to Job concerning Leviathan: “Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?” A man might as well hope to hold the north wind in the hollow of his hand as expect to control by his own strength those boisterous powers which dwell within his fallen nature. This is a greater feat than any of the fabled labors of Hercules: God is wanted here.



“I could believe that Jesus would forgive sin,” says one, “but then my trouble is that I sin again, and that I feel such awful tendencies to evil within me. As surely as a stone, if it be flung up into the air, soon comes down again to the ground, so do I, though I am sent up to heaven by earnest preaching, return again to my insensible state. Alas ! I am easily fascinated with the basilisk eyes of sin, and am thus held as under a spell, so that I cannot escape from my own folly.”


Dear friend, salvation would be a sadly incomplete affair if it did not deal with this part of our ruined estate. We want to be purified as well as pardoned. Justification without sanctification would not be salvation at all. It would call the leper clean, and leave him to die of his disease; if would forgive the rebellion and allow the rebel to remain an enemy to his king.


It would remove the consequences but overlook the cause, and this would leave an endless and hopeless task before us. It would stop the stream for a time, but leave an open fountain of defilement, which would sooner or later break forth with increased power. Remember that the Lord Jesus came to take away sin in three ways; He came to remove the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and, at last, the presence of sin.


At once you may reach to the second part-the power of sin may immediately be broken; and so you will be on the road to the third, namely, the removal of the presence of sin. “We know that he was manifested to take away our sins.” The angel said of our Lord, “Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” Our Lord Jesus came to destroy in us the works of the devil.


That which was said at our Lord’s birth was also declared in His death; for when the soldier pierced His side forthwith came there out blood and water, to set forth the double cure by which we are delivered from the guilt and the defilement of sin. If, however, you are troubled about the power of sin, and about the tendencies of your nature, as you well may be, here is a promise for you.



Have faith in it, for it stands in that covenant of grace which is ordered in all things and sure. God, who cannot lie, has said in Ezekiel 36:26:
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
You see, it is all “I will,” and “I will.” “I will give,” and “I will take away.” This is the royal style of the King of kings, who is able to accomplish all His will. No word of His shall ever fall to the ground.




The Lord knows right well that you cannot change your own heart, and cannot cleanse your own nature; but He also knows that He can do both. He can cause the Ethiopian to change his skin, and the leopard his spots. Hear this, and be astonished: He can create you a second time; He can cause you to be born again.


This is a miracle of grace, but the Holy Ghost will perform it. It would be a very wonderful thing if one could stand at the foot of the Niagara Falls, and could speak a word which should make the river Niagara begin to run up stream, and leap up that great precipice over which it now rolls in stupendous force. Nothing but the power of God could achieve that marvel; but that would be more than a fit parallel to what would take place if the course of your nature were altogether reversed.


All things are possible with God. He can reverse the direction of your desires and the current of your life, and instead of going downward from God, He can make your whole being tend upward toward God. That is, in fact, what the Lord has promised to do for all who are in the covenant; and we know from Scripture that all believers are in the covenant. Let me read the words again:
A new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give an heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 11:19).


What a wonderful promise! And it is yea and amen in Christ Jesus to the glory of God by us. Let us lay hold of it; accept it as true, and appropriate it to ourselves. Then shall it be fulfilled in us, and we shall have, in after days and years, to sing of that wondrous change which the sovereign grace of God has wrought in us.



It is well worthy of consideration that when the Lord takes away the stony heart, that deed is done; and when that is once done, no known power can ever take away that new heart which He gives, and that right spirit which He puts within us. “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance “; that is, without repentance on His part; He does not take away what He once has given. Let Him renew you and you will be renewed.


Man’s reformations and cleanings up soon come to an end, for the dog returns to his vomit; but when God puts a new heart into us, the new heart is there forever, and never will it harden into stone again. He who made it flesh will keep it so. Herein we may rejoice and be glad forever in that which God creates in the kingdom of His grace.



To put the matter very simply–did you ever hear of Mr. Rowland Hill’s illustration of the cat and the sow? I will give it in my own fashion, to illustrate our Saviour’s expressive words–“Ye must be born again. ” Do you see that cat? What a cleanly creature she is! How cleverly she washes herself with her tongue and her paws! It is quite a pretty sight! Did you ever see a sow do that? No, you never did. It is contrary to its nature. It prefers to wallow in the mire.


Go and teach a sow to wash itself, and see how little success you would gain. It would be a great sanitary improvement if swine would be clean. Teach them to wash and clean themselves as the cat has been doing! Useless task. You may by force wash that sow, but it hastens to the mire, and is soon as foul as ever. The only way in which you can get a sow to wash itself is to transform it into a cat; then it will wash and be clean, but not till then!


Suppose that transformation to be accomplished, and then what was difficult or impossible is easy enough; the swine will henceforth be fit for your parlor and your hearth-rug. So it is with an ungodly man; you cannot force him to do what a renewed man does most willingly; you may teach him, and set him a good example, but he cannot learn the art of holiness, for he has no mind to it; his nature leads him another way.


When the Lord makes a new man of him, then all things wear a different aspect. So great is this change, that I once heard a convert say, “Either all the world is changed, or else I am.” The new nature follows after right as naturally as the old nature wanders after wrong. What a blessing to receive such a nature! Only the Holy Ghost can give it.



Did it ever strike you what a wonderful thing it is for the Lord to give a new heart and a right spirit to a man? You have seen a lobster, perhaps, which has fought with another lobster, and lost one of its claws, and a new claw has grown. That is a remarkable thing; but it is a much more astounding fact that a man should have a new heart given to him. This, indeed, is a miracle beyond the powers of nature.


There is a tree. If you cut off one of its limbs, another one may grow in its place; but can you change the tree; can you sweeten sour sap; can you make the thorn bear figs? You can graft something better into it and that is the analogy which nature gives us of the work of grace; but absolutely to change the vital sap of the tree would be a miracle indeed. Such a prodigy and mystery of power God works in all who believe in Jesus.



If you yield yourself up to His divine working, the Lord will alter your nature; He will subdue the old nature, and breathe new life into you. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and He will give you a heart of flesh. Where everything was hard, everything shall be tender; where everything was vicious, everything shall be virtuous: where everything tended downward, everything shall rise upward with impetuous force.


The lion of anger shall give place to the lamb of meekness; the raven of uncleanness shall fly before the dove of purity; the vile serpent of deceit shall be trodden under the heel of truth.
I have seen with my own eyes such marvellous changes of moral and spiritual character that I despair of none. I could, if it were fitting, point out those who were once unchaste women who are now pure as the driven snow, and blaspheming men who now delight all around them by their intense devotion.


Thieves are made honest, drunkards sober, liars truthful, and scoffers zealous. Wherever the grace of God has appeared to a man it has trained him to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world: and, dear reader, it will do the same for you. “I cannot make this change,” says one. Who said you could? The Scripture which we have quoted speaks not of what man will do, but of what God will do. It is God’s promise, and it is for Him to fulfill His own engagements.


Trust in Him to fulfill His Word to you, and it will be done. “But how is it to be done?” What business is that of yours? Must the Lord explain His methods before you will believe him? The Lord’s working in this matter is a great mystery: the Holy Ghost performs it. He who made the promise has the responsibility of keeping the promise, and He is equal to the occasion.


God, who promises this marvellous change, will assuredly carry it out in all who receive Jesus, for to all such He gives power to become the Sons of God. Oh that you would believe it! Oh that you would do the gracious Lord the justice to believe that He can and will do this for you, great miracle though it will be!


Oh that you would believe that God cannot lie! Oh that you would trust Him for a new heart, and a right spirit, for He can give them to you! May the Lord give you faith in His promise, faith in His Son, faith in the Holy Spirit, and faith in Him, and to Him shall be praise and honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.


Excerpt From – All of Grace By Charles Haddon Spurgeon.



Tikva



Is It True God Love’s Sinners It’s Only Their Sin He Hates – Exploring Love In The New Age

Is It True God Love's Sinners It's Only Their Sin He Hates - Exploring Love In The New Age Blog Post Banner Image

Is It True God Love’s Sinners It’s Only Their Sin He Hates – Exploring Love In The New Age.

New age has really preached and spread this idea. The notion that, “God loves sinners and it’s only their sin that he hates.”

We hear it all the time. Even some priests, pastors, reverends throw it around during their services.

In fact a man I knew once used to tell me this every time I asked him to stop a particularly wicked habit.

He would go like, “Who are you to tell me to stop my evil vice when God loves me as a sinner? It’s my sin he doesn’t like but he loves me very much.”

Well, maybe it’s high time we took a rain check on some of these popular adages we are used to applying in everyday life.
The last time I checked the Holy Bible , God says it’s the unrepentant sinner he will throw into hell. He didn’t say he will throw the sin into hell and leave the sinner to enter heaven.
He clearly says he will throw people, coupled with their sins for added effect into hell.

43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 where
Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’
45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 46 where
Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’
47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— 48 where Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’
Mark 9:43-48

Let us not fool ourselves. God hates sin, abominations and iniquity. We should stop being baby believers and start being mature, spirit filled and let men and women of God.

We should endeavour to live righteous and godly lives before God. We should pursue holiness and godliness. Let us leave sin behind us.

Jules

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Sarah – Scandal To Salvation – Scandalous Women In The Bible

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Sarah – Scandal To Salvation – Scandalous Women In The Bible

Friend: “Hannah, why do Christians act so Holier than Thou? Like goody two shoes who never sin.”

Me: I don’t think that is a fair assessment of Christians. Most Christians are just flawed people who have found salvation from scandal. Sinners saved by the mercy and grace of God.

Friend: “Really?” Going by the way most Christians have become so judgemental and critical, that is hard to believe.”

Me: Let me tell you about some scandalous people in the Bible and how they were able to find salvation in the midst of their sins and scandal.

Today, we shall be speaking about Sarai who became Sarah in our series on Scandalous Women in the Bible and how their Scandal, Sin and Shame was turned to salvation and redemption by the Lord God almighty who is able to forgive sins and change destinies for the best.

I will put a spin on the write ups:

I will start off by writing how our media houses today might have sensationalized and told the stories of these women. After that, I will write on what the Bible actually tells us happened.

The Media Headlines of Modern Times Would Probably Carry:

  • Scientists are baffled and are trying to investigate how an elderly post menopausal woman could give birth to a healthy baby boy.
  • Sister and Brother get married sending worldwide shockwaves.
  • Wife given away to neighbors by her husband so he can get food and other favors.
  • Woman surprises her friends by encouraging her husband to sleep with her maid.
  • Woman anger’s and enrages feminists when she chooses to address her husband as, “My Lord.”

What the Bible Says:

1. God promised Sarah and her Husband Abraham a Son and that She would be the Mother of Nations.

15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”
17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

Genesis 17:15-17

10 And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.”
(Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

Genesis 18:10-12

2. Sarah, doubted the promises God had made to her husband Abraham. Because of her doubt and fear, she asked her husband to sleep with Hagar so that he could get children by her.

So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. 3 Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram

Genesis 16:2-3

3. Sarah, was about to sleep with another man, Abimelech after Abraham claimed she was his sister. But God intervened and she did not sleep with Abimelech.

Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”
4 But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.”

Genesis 20:2-5

4. Sarah, was Abraham’s Half Sister.

12 But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is your kindness that you should do for me: in every place, wherever we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”

Genesis 20:12-13

5. Scandal to Salvation: God kept his promise to Sarah and Abraham. Sarah gave birth to Isaac.

And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3 And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac.

Genesis 21:1-3

I pray this post encourages someone and let’s them know that God is faithful even when we are not faithful. God always keeps his promises.

I pray this post speaks to someone to let them know that whatever their sin, God can redeem and forgive them.

I pray this post inspires someone to let them know that whatever the scandal they find themselves in, whatever the world and everyone says about them, there is still Salvation. God is able to raise anyone from Scandal to Salvation.

The love of Jesus is so wide, so high, so deep there is no sin, no scandal, his love can’t make right.

The grace of Jesus is so immeasurable, there is no sin, no guilt, no shame, he can’t forgive and erase.

Hannah

Eve – Scandal To Salvation – Scandalous Women In The Bible

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Eve – Scandal To Salvation – Scandalous Women In The Bible

Friend: “Hannah, why do Christians act so Holier than Thou? Like goody two shoes who have never sin.”

Me: I don’t think that is a fair assessment of Christians. Most Christians are just flawed people who have found salvation from scandal. Sinners saved by the mercy and grace of God.

Friend: “Really?” Going by the way most Christians have become so judgemental and critical, that is hard to believe.”

Me: Let me tell you about some scandalous people in the Bible and how they were able to find salvation in the midst of their sins and scandal.

Brethren, the conversation above with a dear friend is the inspiration for the series on Scandal to Salvation where we shall be exploring the stories of various women in the Bible and how they were able to find the abounding, eternal, redemptive Salvation of God. How these women rose from Sin and scandal.

I will put a spin on the write ups:

I will start off by writing how our media houses today might have sensationalized and told the stories of these women. After that, I will write on what the Bible actually tells us happened.

I start with the first woman in all of creation: Eve! 

The Media Headlines of Modern Times Would Probably Carry:

  • Woman caught speaking with a serpent: Might have Magical Powers or Be Mentally Disturbed.
  • Mother loses son in family brawl where the jealous elder brother kills his younger brother over sacrifice.
  • Unashamedly, Woman betrays her family and the rest of mankind.
  • Woman found red handed breaking the Law and inviting curses onto her kin.
  • Husband tempted by wife into eating poisonous fruit that kills both of them.
  • Husband and wife both naked asked to leave luxurious accommodation premises after angering the Landlord.

What the Bible Says:

1. Eve, Wife of Adam, Adam’s HelpMate and Rib.

Adam named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living. 

21 The Lord God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.

Genesis 3:20-21

2. Mother of Cain, Abel and Seth. Mother of all the Living. 

Adam was intimate with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the Lord’s help.” 2 Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel.

Genesis 4:1-2 

3. Eve, unfortunately succumb’s to sin after being tempted by the devil

1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. 3 But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”

4 “No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Genesis 3:1-7

4. Eve punished by God for her Sin and Transgression.

He said to the woman: I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish.

Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you.

Genesis 3:16

5. God Promises Redemption and Salvation from Sin and Death.

Then the Lord God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock

and more than any wild animal. You will move on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life.

15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head,

and you will strike his heel.

Genesis 3:14-1

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.

Isaiah 7:14-15

6. Scandal to Salvation: God fulfills his promise.

1 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Luke 1:31-33

4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 

5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:4-5

Eve the first woman was tempted by the serpent and she fell from Grace by eating the forbidden fruit and sharing it with her husband.

This led to her, Adam and the rest of mankind being cursed and chased from the Garden of Eden.

Yet despite this curse, God promised that her seed would eventually crush the Serpent’s head.

God is faithful and he kept his promises.

Many centuries after her fall from grace and scandal, Jesus Christ was born of a woman. This same Jesus came to redeem the whole of mankind and offer salvation to everyone. Jesus brought forgiveness and grace and everyone who believes in him, will not perish but they will have everlasting life.

I pray this post speaks to someone to let them know that whatever their sin, God can redeem and forgive them.

I pray this post inspires someone to let them know that whatever the scandal they find themselves in, whatever the world and everyone says about them, there is Salvation waiting for them. 

God is able to raise anyone from Scandal to Salvation.

The love of Jesus is so wide, so high, so deep there is no sin, no scandal, his love can’t can’t make right.

The grace of Jesus is so immeasurable, there is no sin, guilt, no shame, he can’t forgive and erase.

Hannah

I Will Heal Them And Reveal To Them The Abundance Of Peace – Healing Bible Verses

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I Will Heal Them And Reveal To Them The Abundance Of Peace – Healing Bible Verses.



Sickness can be a difficult time in life. And with an increase in incurable diseases there often comes a desperation and hopelessness when one is faced with illness. A common question that is often asked by non-believers is does Jesus still heal or are miracles things of the past.


Well, the answer is simple. If we believe that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then we can also believe that he is able to do what he did yesterday, today and forever. So, in dealing with the issue of spiritual healing, I decided to look at three verses and what they can teach us on how to attain healing from God.


1.If we need God to heal us we should fear him. Fearing God is not the same as unbelief. Fearing God is obeying his commandments and living in godliness, righteousness and truth.


But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; And you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. 3 You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,” Says the Lord of hosts.

Malachi 4:2-3


2. The Lord is Faithful and waiting to heal us of any diseases we may have if we turn to him. Sin and iniquity can lead to disease but the Lord’s forgiveness will bring healing.


Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. 7 And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first. 8 I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. 9 Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.’

Jeremiah 33:6-9


3. Humility draws us closer to God and his healing presence. Prayer and seeking the Lord in sincerity will cause him to heal our bodies, our loved ones, our life and our Land.


If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and My ears

2 Chronicles 7:14-15



Do we want the Lord to heal our land and our lives? Then let’s turn to him and start to live in righteousness and godliness.



Tikva


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Trust And Belief – Faith In Jesus Christ

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Trust And Belief – Faith-in-jesus-christ/">Faith In Jesus Christ.



Countless times in my life, I have felt like the sinful woman Luke writes about in the Bible. And more times than I can remember and for various reasons, I have found myself at my Savior’s feet, weeping and telling him , ‘Lord, here is my Alabaster Jar. I don’t have much to give you my King and I know I’m not worthy but can you please accept the little I bring? Can you please take my alabaster jar and everything left in it.


Emunah, Faith, Hebrew Black, white, pink Square 1

Now, sometimes in my everyday life I get haughty about various things (I’m a work in progress friends) but when I approach the King’s throne in this broken way, something dramatic happens.


I don’t know if it’s the amount of tears I shed or the multiple shards of my heart scattered at his feet, but instead of him sending me away like everyone has, my King looks down at me with the deepest, most heart shattering compassion and enfolds me in his grace and mercy.


My dear friends, its amazing what happens to my tears. They dry up! Its astonishing what happens to my broken pieces. They become whole! I know he hears my pleas, because after the deep, heart drenching sobs I feel lighter. I feel like a butterfly or maybe superwoman? Like there is nothing impossible. My soul  soars.


Faith themed Calligraphy Abstract Letter Design Desktop Computer Christian Wallpaper Screensaver Multicolor.113

This blog is all about faith, hope and love. And it’s amazing how much faith and love Jesus commends, this woman for. Can you imagine that? Jesus saying this nameless and sinful woman has great love and faith?


Wow! The Bible text doesn’t specify what sins she had committed or how terrible she had been! All she is called is a sinful woman. And in the same text, all we know is that Jesus also calls her a woman of immense love and faith.


The oxymoron I tell you. Juxtapositions aside, this story illustrates in a powerful way, what great things Love and Faith can accomplish. This woman gets her sins forgiven and she gets her peace back. She is accepted. She is loved.


Yes! This is such an empowering story and I think it’s telling us: Doesn’t matter how much sin you are carrying. Nothing matters. Doesn’t matter how impossible your situation is. All you need is love and faith. That’s all that matters. Love and faith!


Faith Christ Christian Desktop, Laptop, Computer Wallpaper and Screensaver Pink Red Green leafy floral colors

I hope after reading this, someone will be encouraged to have faith and to trust Jesus with their Alabaster Jar. It doesn’t matter how little Perfume you have left in your jar. It doesn’t even matter whether you are male or female. Young or old, the Messiah is patiently waiting for you to approach him. To add context, I have included the Bible passage which writes about the sinful woman. At the end of the passage, there is a piece of poetry.


“A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” 40. Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43. Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
46. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48. Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49. The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50. Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Luke 7:37-50

Emunah, Faith, Hebrew Black, white, pink Square 8

Sin!

.
They make it sound so dirty
They make it sound like a jail sentence
They make it sound irredeemable
They make it sound condemned

But they don’t tell you the whole truth

.
They don’t tell you how to wash clean
They don’t tell you of freedom
They don’t tell you, you are redeemable
They don’t tell of forgiveness

So here is the truth

.
You can be clean
You can be free
You can be redeemed
You can be forgiven
All you need is to believe in the Messiah



Tikva


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