Messages on the Cross Have Nearly Disappeared

Messages on the true continuing work of the cross in the believer’s life have nearly disappeared.

No longer are messages heard on how a Christian is to die to live moment‑by‑moment in Christ. The life blood of the gospel is Jesus on the cross as our substitute and our identification in His death and resurrection. As Christians, we identify with Him experientially if we are to live experientially by Him. Our old man is dead with Christ positionally, and now we must by faith reckon ourselves dead to sin, moment‑by‑moment, experientially. (See Romans 6:6, 11 and 13)

Why don’t we hear sermons on the crucified life? Why don’t we hear sermons on how Christians are to put away works of the flesh in everyday life that we might live by the power of the Spirit? When did these messages on the crucified life become lost?

Today’s sermons may bring twelve steps or a new focus. Ministers seem to believe they must come up with another unusual or vivid way to package ethical principles for creating better Christian conduct. Beloved, the power of Christ is as simple as it is old. It is simply Christ and Him crucified and us with Him in our daily life.

It is time true believers cried out for ministers and churches to return to biblical gospel messages that feed their hearts and bless their souls.

 

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EIGHT EVIDENCES OF GENUINE SALVATION

Following are eight evidences, given in God’s Word, that reveal if a person is truly born again. (There are more, but we have listed these eight so that you may use then to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith.)

According to Scripture, the following will be true of a genuinely saved person.

1. He Is a New Creature
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17)
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Gal. 6:15)

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Essence of Prayer

There is also a poem which I believe describes the true essence of prayer.

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
that trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is something deeper than words that is already present in our heart before ever being formed into words, and it abides long after words have faded away.
Letting Jesus Come into Our Need

Prayer simply means letting Jesus come into our needs. This means submitting to Jesus to use His power to alleviate our distress. As He does, He will glorify His name. And, for Jesus to glorify His name is to glorify the Father.

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Divine Guidance

OBEDIENCE
Willingness to Obey

Someone once said, “If a person truly desires to do the will of God as much as he says he desires to know it, he will know it.”

This means we must be willing to obey God’s will—even before we know it. Not being willing to obey God’s will, regardless what it may be, can prevent us from ever knowing it. It is true that God may choose to reveal His specific will to us even when He knows we are not going to obey it. But, we must also keep in mind that God may refuse to reveal it when, in His omniscience, He knows we have a disobedient heart. In this case, instead of showing us His specific will, He will deal with us on the basis of our disobedience.

Highest Form of Worship: Obedience

Many Christians believe that the highest form of worship is praise. But, God said: “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” (Amos 5:23-24) Obedience, not praise, is the highest form of worship. Praise is only a part of obedience.

Heart Purity and the Human Will

God may have given one person more light at a particular time in some area than He has another. So, we must each walk in obedience to the light God has given us, and, by so doing remain obedient to our day by day, progressing spiritual maturity.

However, there may be times when we do not receive light in some area because God knows that, in our hearts, we are not willing to yield to that light. In this case, He will work in us to make our hearts pure and ready to obey. Concerning this matter of heart purity, there are many factors. One is that God desires our heart’s cry not to be, “Oh, God, show me Your will so I may consider it among other alternatives” (i.e. decide whether I will do it or not), but, “Oh, God, show me Your will, and regardless of what it is, I will have no other alternatives.” (i.e. I will do it regardless.)

FAITH
The Necessity of Faith

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6) 17
“…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Rom. 14:23)
“…The just shall live by faith.” (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11)

Faith is an absolute essential in Divine Guidance. Anything done aside from faith has no merit before the Lord. In fact, Romans 14:23 goes so far as to tell us this is sin.
A faithful disposition is a prerequisite to sure Divine guidance. Take a look at Hebrews 11:1-23 (especially vss. 2, 11, 13, 19, 23).

Thanks for reading our blog—and for your prayers,encouragement and sharing your heart with us!

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Unable to Forgive Yourself?

Perhaps you have applied God’s grace to yourself and experienced that love and power which has delivered you from all roots of bitterness toward someone. You have put on a disposition of forgiveness, even toward those who will not repent or receive your forgiveness, but somehow you cannot forgive yourself and subconsciously are demanding some punishment of yourself.

Sometimes it is more difficult to receive forgiveness that to grant it. We feel we deserve to suffer because of what we’ve done. But, to bear our burden and take our penalty was part of our Saviour’s ministry on the Cross.

When we belong to Him, we can leave our shame and punishment with Him. This is part of God’s grace. This is part of the unmerited privilege that is ours when we are in His grace. Only when we realize that God truly desires us to receive all He freely offers can we avail ourselves of His unfathomable love and grace.

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A Life Entirely of Grace

The Christian life is one entirely of grace! The moment we forget this, we become prey to the flesh. If we try to rationalize what the flesh has done, we only sink deeper into condemnation. If we try to recondition the flesh in some way or dress it up, we are still under condemnation. When we simply choose to abandon the flesh with its sin by repentance, we find we are fully forgiven and in the experience of our new man in Christ. We are free to live in peace, through grace, with God.

The key phrase is “through grace.” Grace is our only claim to righteousness. Grace can be our only reasonable explanation for any goodness. Repentance of sins and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is the only Gospel message.

Why shouldn’t we condemn ourselves? Because God does not condemn us.

Why shouldn’t we punish ourselves? Because God’s grace and mercy has taken care of our punishment.

Why shouldn’t we hate ourselves? Because God does not hate us; He loves us.

Why should we forgive ourselves? Because God has forgiven us.

Our testimony can never be “I’ve arrived” or “I could never do something like that.” Our testimony can only be “By God’s grace….” It is only by God’s grace that we are even granted repentance. We cannot brag on our repentance for this came by the unfathomable love and grace of God Who granted it to us.

We need to rejoice in God’s unfathomable grace. By it and in it, we live the new life and are the new man in Jesus Christ. One day, we shall ascend by wings of faith, carried by grace to live forever free from the presence of flesh. By God’s unfathomable grace, we will live forever with Jacob the “usurper;” King David, the murderer; Peter, who denied Christ; and even Moses, God’s faithful servant with whom God spoke “face to face” but who once so failed to sanctify God that God refused him entrance into Canaan. We will eternally fellowship one with another and all because of grace, all because of God’s unfathomable love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

God’s Healing Power for Hurting Hearts

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What is your Church Demonstrating?

 The church’s condition should demonstrate a holy and righteous testimony to the world.

It should demonstrate the life of Christ and the way of salvation. Through the love, grace and mercy of God, it should demonstrate and preach a holy God Who offers salvation in His Son Jesus Christ. This salvation will come by grace through faith and not of good human works. If salvation could be obtained by good works then man could boast of how he saved himself by his own righteous works.

If a man has experienced a true rebirth, his regeneration will produce the character of Christ. His righteousness is through Christ and Christ alone; nothing of his own good works can achieve righteousness. Accompanying this rebirth in Christ will be an instilled desire for holy living which will involve good works born out of his supernatural conversion. Since the church should be comprised of such individuals, the church as a whole should desire and demonstrate Christ’s holy character to the world.

Unfortunately, the majority of churches today have lost this witness. The church has become so filled with unregenerate membership that it has taken on the character of the world. Over the years, we have seen this happen to both individual churches and entire denominations.

Churches have gone from preaching and living the true gospel, to preaching but not living it, to finally no longer preaching it.

It is true the world is in a condition of sin and people need the Lord. Certainly the sin of the world needs to be reproved. This is  both for sake of the lost that they might desire a Savior and the Christians’ sake that they might demonstrate a Savior. But the world’s sin cannot be addressed from a position of hypocrisy. If the church attempts to reprove the world from a position of hypocrisy, it will only demonstrate its own self-righteousness, which will result in resentment from the lost.

Today, the greatest problem is not sin in the world, but sin in the church. The real travesty against the world today is preachers and church members who want to address the world’s sin while they overlook sin in their own lives and churches. The preacher, who sets about to reprove the sins of the world without dealing with sin in his church, is himself sinning against God.

Brethren, before we, as Christians, attempt to reprove sin in the world, we must first deal with sin in ourselves, our family and our church—in this order.

I Pet. 4:17 For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

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