Jottings – Believers are to Show Forth Heavenly Grace

“Imprecatory

Commenting on Psalm 137:9 and the Imprecatory Psalms in general:

 

The language is exactly suited to souls under the law; but now are we under grace, and no longer under law, and we pray for persons that despitefully use us and persecute us; whereas the whole tone of the Psalms, where they speak of the happiness of dashing the children of Babylon against the stone, is anything but returning good for evil: it is evil meeting with its just doom. I maintain that every word in the Psalms is of God — that all these imprecations are divine. Each curse, threat, and warning, all this sympathy with divine retribution, is as much from God as the Christian’s now interceding for his enemies; but they are not suited to the same time nor the same persons, nor is God accomplishing the same end. As long as God carries on the day of grace, all these things are entirely inapplicable. They are not what God is bringing out now. They remain true for ever, each always in itself a right thing. But the fact is, that God has now, in Christ, brought in full, sovereign grace; and therefore God puts those who belong to Christ in a position to show forth, not earthly righteousness, but heavenly grace.

 

Kelly, William. “Galatians.” Lectures on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians. Galatians. Web. 27 June 2016. .

 

 

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Jottings – Love Makes Drudgery Divine

Love makes drudgery divine. Love cannot help itself, it outruns and leaves law far behind. The question is not what must I do, but what may I do?

Theodosia A. Viscountess Powerscourt commonly known as Lady Powerscourt. Letter #49. 2 Sept, 1832. The Letters & Papers of Lady Powerscourt. STEMPublishing.com. Accessed May 10, 2013.

 

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NT Tuesday: Should We ‘Keep the Sabbath?’ Part 2

calendarRest is now found in a Person not in a Day.

As mentioned last week, we are going to examine the relationship between the believer in Christ and the necessity of keeping the Sabbath. We concluded that there was three conclusions that are most often reached when thinking about this topic.

As a review, they are, as follows:

  1. the Christian must keep the seventh day Sabbath.
  2. the Christian must keep the Sabbath (as described in the Law), but that the Sabbath is now the first day rather than the seventh.
  3. the Christian is not obligated to keep the Sabbath in any way, shape or form.

We covered numbers 1 and 2 in last week’s blog. And just for full disclosure, I am in agreement with conclusion number 3. Furthermore, I think that any reasonable person examining the full preponderance of Biblical testimony on this subject would conclude the same thing. Finally, just to keep you all in suspense, I believe that the Bible speaks clearly about the Lord’s Day and how we should view that and that will be my topic when I return in 2013 (specifically January 8, 2013).

Continued…

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NT Tuesday: Should We ‘Keep the Sabbath?’

Sabbath Day BusRest is now found in a Person not in a Day.

As mentioned last week, we are going to examine the relationship between the believer in Christ and the necessity of keeping the Sabbath. Believe it or not, this issue comes up quite frequently and it recently came up in a recent conversation I was having with a young man.

This young man was born and raised in the Caribbean and he has been taught many things that simply aren’t true and seemingly contradictory. He is trying to discover truth, but on his own terms.

One of the tidbits of teaching that this young man is holding onto is the necessity of keeping the Sabbath as a Christian. He lives in fear of breaking the Sabbath. Does this young man have it right? The answer lies (of course) in the Word of God.

But before we delve into the Bible, let’s think of the most likely conclusions one could reach pertaining to the necessity of the Christian keeping the Sabbath.

  • First: obviously, is that one could conclude that the Christian must keep the seventh day Sabbath.
  • Second: one could conclude that the Christian must keep the Sabbath (as described in the Law), but that the Sabbath is now the first day rather than the seventh.
  • Third: one could conclude that the Christian is not obligated to keep the Sabbath in any way, shape or form.

Clearly there are other conclusions that one could reach, but these three seem to be the most likely.

How would one conclude that we are still supposed to keep the Sabbath? Easily! The Law makes it very clear. The fourth commandment reads “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” It goes on to say that there is to be NO work done on the Sabbath day, either by oneself or by his servants or his beasts. It is supposed to be a day of complete REST.

Continued…

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God’s Good News: Lesson 8 Part 1

Read in your Bible: Romans 7:7-25

If we need to be free from the Law… is it because the Law is sin? (Romans 7:7-12)

If I can not bear good fruit by the law, does that mean the law is sin? No way! The truth is that the law shows me that I have sin in me. It is like a light that reveals sin so I can see it.

For example, I did not realize how I had sin in me until the law told me not to lust (want things for myself). But the command not to lust made me lust! Where did that come from? It came from sin inside of me. Sin uses the commands of the law to make me want to do wrong things.

So the law is holy, and it shows me I have a problem inside.

Before the commands of the law came to me, I thought I was fine. But then the commands came, and I felt like I lost control of myself, because sin took over! It was like I died. The members of my body did not respond to me. Instead they did what sin wanted. But that raises another question…

Continued in Lesson 8 Part 2

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God’s Good News: Lesson 7 Part 2

Free from the Law by Christ’s Death, so we can bear fruit to God (Romans 7:1-6)

As I said, it is true that you are not under law. The example of marriage will help you see this. When a man and woman are married, they enter into a legal covenant which states they will belong to one another. But if a woman’s husband dies, she is not under that law any more. She is free from the rule of that “contract.”

So also with you. You died when Christ died. Adam’s race was put under law. But you died. You are no longer part of Adam’s race. So you are free from the law, because you died with Christ. And now you are free to belong to Christ! Christ died to set you free. And He also has risen to new life. He died and rose as our representative. In your new life in Christ, you are joined to the risen Christ rather than to the law.

God set us free from the law so that we could now bear fruit that pleases God. When I do right things, God enjoys it. When I sin, God does not enjoy it. When we were in the flesh under the law, the members of our body were ruled by desires to sin. So, God was not pleased.

But now we are free from the law, so that we can serve God from our hearts. We do not serve Him because we have to, but more because we want to! That is serving God in the newness of spirit. If I try to serve God by keeping written rules, it will become old and dry. But serving from the heart is great! We can serve God out of desire rather than duty.

The law tries to control my actions from outside. God wants to control my actions from inside! Law applies rules from the outside, but does not change who I am on the inside.

But why can’t I bear good fruit by the law? Is the law sin? Is the law evil? We’ll have to answer that in our next lesson.

Continued in Lesson 8 Part 1.

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God’s Good News: Lesson 7 Part 1

Read Romans 6:15-7:6 in your Bible

If we do not live under Law… should we sin then? (Romans 6:15-23)

We are not living under law? Do you mean I should just go out and sin? If I am not scared of getting in trouble because of breaking a rule, then I guess I should just commit sins! Right?

NO! Why would you want to serve sin? If you commit sins, you are letting sin rule you. If you choose to sin, you are choosing sin as a master. Why would you want to go back and make sin your master? When you came to Christ to be saved from your sins, you said that sin was a terrible master! You listened to what God said about sins, and agreed that sin is evil.

You should still think the same way about how terrible a master sin is! Now that you know God, you are ashamed of what you did when you served sin. And think of the wages that sin gives to its servants: death!

How much better to serve God! You can produce fruit that is good and right. What a great blessing to see holy things in our lives! How beautiful to have a live that shows love and clean words and kind actions in a holy way. That pleases God! And think of what a great Master God is – He has given you eternal life as a free gift! What a blessing to be able to serve Him! Surely you will want to yield the members of your body to God for Him to use!

Continued in Lesson 7 Part 2

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