Grace

A while back I wrote about what we deserve, which is judgment and condemnation for our sins against a thrice holy God. Today I want to talk about what the believer receives, instead of what we deserve. Grace.

Grace. It’s become such a common word, thrown about, that we lose the gravity of it. The very topic of Gods grace is so grand that I am almost without words. I’ve gone over and over this all day yesterday and today, in my mind, trying to figure out how to put into words how inconceivable it is that we receive grace from God.

We live in a world that glorifies relativeness. To the lost, grace might mean many different things. In reality, Gods grace is an absolute truth. Not just my absolute, or Christianity’s absolute, but literally, biblically, factually an absolute truth. It is only by Gods grace that we live, and breathe, and have our being.

I have the joy, and honor, dear friends, to daily glean from your wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Christ Jesus. What a privilege that is! It is by the grace of God that we are able to fellowship together. I thank God constantly in my prayers for you all, for your faithfulness in bringing truth to the lost, light to the darkness. I know I have clumsily presented grace today, my greatest hope is that in my weakness Gods strength will shine through.

As we head into another weekend, filled with tasks, chores, errands, and for some more work, I pray we do so with our eyes fixed securely on the one who saves, Jesus Christ. For while we were yet sinners, He came and laid down His life, taking on the judgment for our sins, as the final guilt offering. Beloved friends we did not deserve this. It is only by Gods grace that we are saved, through faith in Christ alone! Surely this great God is worthy of our full attention, of our complete worship, of all honor and glory ever and ever, amen! This much, from us all, for all eternity, will not be enough to sufficiently thank Him for His grace. So therefor, dearest brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Wednesday Testimony – John Newton

Sunday I posted a hymn by John Newton (1725-1807), and realized that I hadn’t written about his testimony yet. Most know Amazing Grace, but how many of us know the tremendous weight behind the words? When you hear the story you’ll never sing the song lightly again.

John Newtons mother was a Puritan, who taught him scriptures, until she died when he was 7. His father, who was a sea captain, remarried and Newton fell into bad company. His Christian learning stopped, and if not by the grace of God, it all would have been lossed.


His life was plagued by near death experiences, each one leading him to attempt a life of piety only to lapse into more wickedness than before. He eventually became a slave trader, professing there was nothing after life, no God, no eternity. 

His last close call with death came during a storm at sea, when he was heading up to the top deck and someone called down for him to go find a knife. He did, but the man who went up in his place was immediately swept out to sea. The storm raged on, the ship was tossed too and fro for four weeks. Newton entered that ship a lost, blind, wretch. He left it a new creation in Jesus Christ!


From slave trader to preacher…John Newton was saved by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Newton’s testimony is prescious to those of us with lost loved ones who seem too far gone to turn. Those who have been forgiven much, love much. I pray the Lord will encourage you all today, dear brethren, with the story and song Amazing Grace! As always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday’s – Saved From What?

I don’t know if any of you have seen, and I certainly would not recommend you watch, a show called ‘Lucifer’. I’ve only seen the commercials, which are blasphemous enough on their own to warrant a believer never watch the show.

I stopped watching cable TV when I got saved. I could sit here and tell you that there is a hyper-spiritual reason for shutting off the heretical, and often times blasphemous, cable shows, but there’s not. I stopped watching cable because tablets, phones, and now TV’s have access to YouTube and YouTube has access to all my favorite preachers and teachers. I have developed an intolerance for regular television programming over the past two years. *cough ten minutes of commercials cough*

Most of the time, if the cable is on, there is some type of baseball or football on. The other day the same commercial for Lucifer kept playing at each break, and it reminded me of a subject I meant to write about. What are we saved from? A while ago I addressed the confusion surrounding who was in charge. This is closely related and seems to be a misconception formed in the same way. Most people have a view of Satan and Hell created for them by media or cartoons.


This caricature theology gives the impression that Satan is king of Hell and God sent His Son to save us from Satan’s wrath. That is blasphemously incorrect. As we discussed in a previous post, God is sovereign over Heaven, Earth, and Hell. This is His creation. He writes the rules, like it or not. We are not saved from Satan’s wrath, God sent Christ Jesus to die in our place, as a guilt offering, to pay our sin debt…to rescue us from His own wrath. God is angry at sin every day, beloved. On Judgement Day Gods wrath will be poured out on the wicked, that includes Satan.


God is all His attributes all the time, He is not sometimes loving and sometimes just. He is always loving, and always just. Brother Paul Washer explains it like this “if you love the Jews, you hate the Holocaust. If you love children, you hate abortion.” It’s the same way with God, because He is a God of love, and He loves justice and righteousness, He hates sin.

It seems Hollywood constantly feels the need to redeem evil, whether it be a certain sin or Satan himself. They make evil good and good evil. This show, Lucifer, is a prime example but you can really see it in most shows and movies. This is happening because the church has allowed Hollywood to define these terms for decades. Why? Because most pastors just want to preach the feel-good stuff. They don’t want to lose members by being too controversial. This priority of church growth is utter nonsense, Christ Himself warned the lost about hell. Souls should be the priority!

You may not like Gods sovereignty, but that does not make Him any less sovereign. We have not sinned against man, or against an angel, but against the Most High. It is to Him we will answer for those sins, as the wages of sin is death, and the gift of God is eternal life. On judgment day, dear brethren, we will stand before His mighty throne, forgiven of our sins and washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. The lost will stand condemned, and because of this, we need to love them enough to warn them. We need to love them enough to speak truth to a darkened world, even if that truth is as hard to hear as it is to say. And as always, beloved, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.

Intelligent Design – The Miracle of Life Part VI

It’s finally here, beloved brethren, I have finally found an excuse to gush over Gods creative design of the heart and lungs! As you’ll remember if you’ve been reading this series every Monday, we made it to the second trimester of pregnancy last week in our review of Gods amazing work within the miracle of life. We’re now in month 5, which is when the babies organs begin to mature. Today we’re going to primarily discuss the heart and lungs.


I have some technical clips for you to stress the intricacies of Gods design. You’re not in school, beloved, don’t worry about all the terms. These clips are computer models, and they’re very well done. They do an excellent job of showing what’s happening on a cellular level as well as on a full scale. I promise you’ll be blessed…here is the first one on the lungs…

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kacMYexDgHg

During the second trimester, when the babies lungs are developing, the baby will begin taking practice breaths. It’s amazing to recall that this is all happening within the baby because of God’s sovereign will. The miracle of human life can not be explained by evolutionary scientists because they’re starting with a false assumption. Can we have evolved from single-celled organisms into the intricate creature you’ve seen forming over these past view weeks in this series? Statistically, no. In fact, statistically, the universe forming out of nothing is impossible, nothing we see should be happening, much less the beautiful creation of a human being in the womb.


An interesting, recent, discovery involving the lungs has been the realization that blood forms within them. Previously it was thought blood formed in the bones, now we know that nearly half the blood in the body forms in the lungs. God’s creation is so complex that we’re still learning all the designs. The next video clip is on the heart, it doesn’t go into as much detail as the lung video but it does show the electricity which is what I wanted to discuss in regards to the heart.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=16s&v=wvl6uPChAl4

The little heart forming in the baby has been taking practice beats from the moment it began forming. When the muscle cells inside the babies heart begin to contract it sets off a chain reaction, which continues until the brain develops enough to start controlling the contractions. What starts the electrical impulse? Where does the information for a heart to beat come from? The DNA has all the information our bodies need to form from the beginning of conception. Where there is information, there is an intelligent writer, where there is design, there is an intelligent designer.


Why is the sinful man without excuse on judgment day? Because we’re made in God’s image, and the very evidence of His being is found within us. Our generation has more knowledge of God design than any before us, and what do they all stand and say? “The intelligent designer was an alien, they came and seeded this planet with life.” Or “We’re all Martians, we came from bacteria on Mars.” Wow. Dear ones, have you ever been told that we believe in pie in the sky? Or fairy tales? I certainly have…and yet the person who knows the truth of God yet suppresses it in unrighteousness comes up with some of the most far-fetched ideas of how life began. Why are they more willing to believe in aliens than in God? Because they are not going to be held accountable to aliens, or bacteria from Mars. The question naturally has to be asked though, if we came from aliens or bacteria who created them? Who ‘seeded’ their planet?

Beloved friends, God is the ultimate judge and creator, we are His creation and He will hold us accountable. He has given us life, and then, through His Son Jesus Christ, eternal life. The one who is able to begin a heartbeat, breathe in the lungs, is worthy of all honor and glory, and praise! So be good Berean’s, dear brethren, and study to show yourselves approved.

Sunday Hymns from the Past – The Trembling Gaoler by John Newton 

John-Newton

John Newton, writer of Amazing Grace, actually wrote several hundred other hymns. There’s something about his songs, you can see that he was in awe of God and the salvation he received but never deserved. When someone is forgiven much, they have much to be thankful for! 

Luke-7-47

Just as an aside, did everyone have to be named John? No wonder we call these men by their last names. What’s it like in heaven? Someone shouts ‘hey John’ and three thousand men stand and say ‘yes?’. Surely there were other names to choose from. Am I the only one that gets all the Johns of history confused? Beloved I hope this hymn blesses you, like it blesses me. I pray today that your fellowship was sweet and that you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Be good Berean’s, my dear friends, and study to show yourselves approved.

 A believer, free from care,

May in chains or dungeons sing,

(If the Lord be with him there)

And he happier than a king

Paul and Silas thus confined,

Though their backs were torn by whips,

Yet possessing peace of mind,

Sung his praise with joyful lips.

Suddenly the prison shook,

Open flew the iron doors,

And the gaoler, terror-struck,

Now his captives’ help implores:

Trembling at their feet he fell,

“Tell me first, what must I do

To be saved from grief and hell?

None can tell me this but you.”

“Look to Jesus, (they replied)

If on him thou canst believe;

By the death that he has died,

Thou salvation shall receive:”

While the living word he heard,

Faith sprung up within his heart,

And released from all he feared,

In their joy his soul had part.

Sinners, Christ is still the same,

O that you could likewise fear!

Then the mention of his name

Would be music to your ear;

Jesus rescues Satan’s slaves,

His dear wounds still plead, “Forgive!”

Jesus to the utmost saves

Sinners look on him and live.

Snow Days

Beloved brethren, I haven’t written in a couple days, usually when that happens it’s because something specific comes up with family. I normally don’t make excuses for myself, but this time I wanted to share it with you.


It’s snowing here! Snow! Real, soft, beautiful, extremely cold snow! Growing up in Dallas, Texas meant that ‘snow’ was usually sleet. I can count the number of times I saw real snow growing up on one hand. In our travels we have had several occasions now to see real snow. It seems like everything stops, everything slows down, when it snows.

I’m so thankful to God for these moments! I hope you’re winters will all be white, and safe, this year dear friends. As always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Thursday Book Review – First Apology by Justin Martyr

Today I’m going to review the First Apology by Justin Martyr. Justin was born in Samaria in 100 AD and was martyred in Rome in 165 AD. This means it’s highly likely Justin new personally, or at least new of, Polycarp. Polycarp was personally disciples by John, so you can see the line of faithful men carrying the Gospel from generation to generation. Justin studied philosophy but was unfulfilled by what he learned, until he heard the Gospel. 


His works, like his first and second apology, were aimed at forming a legal defense to stop the extreme persecution of his Christian brothers and sisters. The First Apology of Justin Martyr, written to the Emperor of Rome, is as important for the church to read as the Pilgrims Progress, in my opinion. Not just for the apologetic aspect, but the historical content. It’s not just a blessing to read how our spiritual fathers lived, and died for Christ, but it also gives us a glimpse into the early church practices. 

In other words, beloved, I recommend this book to everyone! It’s almost 1900 years old, so it’s in the public domain. This means you can download a free PDF version, listen to a free audio version, or purchase an inexpensive Kindle version. I hope you’ll be edified by this book, dear brethren, and as always be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

The First Apology of Justin Martyr PDF
The First Apology of Justin Martyr Kindle Version

Wednesday Testimony – Foreknown

When I found this testimony, and watched it, I wept. We’ve been going through this series on the miracle of life, and I can think of no better Testimony this week then two people who were forgiven for taking innocent lives. Why? Because God’s grace is irresistible. Because God’s forgiveness is attainable. Because Christ came, for the sins of all who believe, and had the wrath of God poured out on Him that day on the cross. Because by grace through faith in Christ alone we can be saved. 


I pray you will each be blessed by this testimony, and the knowledge that forgiveness is real, God’s love is genuine. He is also a God of justice, one who is angry at sin everyday. If you’ve come to see the Christian God as some Santa clause genie who gives to all without requiring repentance then you will find yourself on judgement day facing this thrice holy God which you spent your life sinning against, and you will stand condemned of worshipping a false idol. Repent, dear friend, and work through your salvation with fear and trembling. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.