ChristMarked: The Church, Blood Bought Sinners – By Troy Paylor

The Church, Blood Bought Sinners

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”Philippians‬ ‭1:3-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬


As I look at this passage and known I’ve went through this same passage twice and every time that I come back to it, there seems to be more treasure in it than I found before, speaking of the exhaustive word of God and all the blessedness of His word. While this is true my message is to the church, mainly the Providence Baptist Church where I’m so glad to be a part of, but doesn’t exclude others from this. For I can as with Paul more clearly now that ever before get a deeper understanding of his words. Although my imprisonment isn’t in a jail, yet I can’t be at my church with the members there who with me share in a commonality that unites us all that we are blood bought sinners of Christ Jesus. Christ died in our place and rose again and church what great news that is, that our Savior who born of a virgin lived a sinless life, died in our place and rose the third day. Oh like Paul, how I long to see you and miss you all with the affection of Christ Jesus, though mine isn’t perfect I’m without brothers and sisters in Christ, though we shouldn’t let this stop us, in fact we shall advance. More than ever during this time we should be spreading the gospel of Christ Jesus, for we worship the Risen one who is seated at the right hand of the Father.

How I do long to see you all, yet I pray for you all too, that you may seek the word of God and be in communion with Him, so that you may continue grow in knowledge and discernment so that you may approve what is excellent and honor and glorify God in all you do. Continue in being sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit for soon we shall all be together again, and at that point rejoice, but even now we shall rejoice, what a wonderful time more than ever to draw closer to our Savior. Dig deeper into the word, for the Bible is living, active, and sharp, pruning the fruits in us that are of the flesh and water and nurturing the fruits of the Spirit and in all may you all seek Christ Jesus and Him crucified. To God be the Glory, Forever and ever, amen. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:11-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬.


The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here, and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

ChristMarked: Christ and the Law and Grace – By Troy Paylor

Christ and the Law and Grace

“”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:15-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬


Hello to all, may mercy, peace and love be multiplied unto you. So thankful for you all who take the time out of your day to read this, but also thankful for the Godhead, the providential hand of God the Father, the Redemption of sinners through the Blood of Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying Christ’s sheep who He shall not lose. But this text right here, I want to draw your attention to is Christ speaking, now he lists the fruit first, he says “if you love me,” and the only way for us to love Christ is by the indwelling Holy Spirit. It’s a supernatural thing to love God, natural man cannot seek or love God. “no one understands; no one seeks for God.”Romans‬ ‭3:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬. With this being the case Christ says love, now I should really give two major notices here that I believe to be very important, there is a root and then a tree, the root of it being the Holy Spirit for as I said before without it you cannot love or seek God. Now the tree is love for God. Now this dear friends is what I say will if you keep nourishing your heart soul and mind in the word by the grace of God be a Grand Oak tree, only by the grace of God.

Now there is something to be noticed, those in Christ aren’t under law, but under Grace, but the believer doesn’t have an urge to abolish the law of God, because he is a new creature that has new heart that seeks and desires to glorify God. The next verse, Jesus ask the Father on our behalf for the Holy Spirit which is the helper to be with us. He tells us what the Spirit even brings, the truth, it helps us acknowledge the truth, then makes a conclusion most people have a misconception about today. The Holy Spirit isn’t in the non believers, but only in those who believe in Jesus Christ. The reason unbelievers don’t have it is because they believe it to be foolishness, but becoming wise in their own eyes they became fools.

John-chapter14-verses15to17

Jesus also says something to believers, He says we know the Holy Spirit, why? Because he dwells with us and in us. Sees all that we do and think and convicts us with the truth always leading to the finished work of Christ, urging repentance. But my question to those lost is who may not know or do know is that do you know you are dead in your sins, walking the course of this world? Do you know the wages of sin is death? Even one sin leads to death, Hell, the eternal fire. So the gospel is this, and be careful and heed this for it is the most important thing ever, that God in the beginning made everything good and gave man one command, and man willfully sinned against God. Because of this man has original sin in them where we have the sinful nature, we never had what Adam did before the fall? Communion with God and immortality and a right standing before God. Because of the fall we lost all of this and because God is so Holy, He can’t look upon sin.

Mankind continually after the law was given fall utterly short of the law, but at the right time sent Christ, the Son of God, born of a virgin, sinless life, dying in our place for our sins and resurrecting the third day so that all who believe in Him May be given His righteousness as they stand before God. Then they shall be with Him in eternity at Peace with God. Because of this, God sends His Holy Spirit into a person, and sanctifies them all the days of their walk with Christ that they love God’s law. But Jesus says you must repent of your sins and believe and confess Christ as Lord to be saved. So I urge you with this, and to those in Christ, continue to follow the way of the Spirit of truth, for we are children of God. God bless you all.


The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here, and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – Are You Legalistic?

My friends, if you proclaim the Gospel to enough people you will eventually be called a legalistic Christian. Why? Well, you’re calling people to repent from their sins. The only problem is, we don’t live in a society that understands sin or the Law. We live in a postmodern era filled with generations that have no idea how holy God is. They see Jesus as a good man, a buddy, that just loves to love everyone regardless of their sin and blasphemy. That means we inevitably end up explaining these things, the sin against God by breaking His Ten Commandments, and the thrice holy God that is infinite, just, and righteous. At that point, unless God no longer needs to work patience in you, a professing believer will step in and label your message one of legalism. But what does that word mean? Are we even using it correctly?

In actuality, to be preaching a message of legalism you have to be teaching that obeying the Law is what will either save you, or keep you saved. Postmodernism has caused a disease of jellyfishitis to spread through the churches, which makes Christians uncomfortable hurting anyone’s feelings. Or worse, offending them. So, we need to understand that these generations who have been tainted by the absolute absurdity of postmodernism 1. don’t realize they’re expressing this humanistic worldview, and 2. usually believe they’re doing the right thing. These are sometimes brothers and sisters, sometimes false converts, who simply need more instruction in these areas. I don’t tell you to abandon the unbeliever to teach the professing believer who is interrupting you. But politely ask them to wait, that you’d love to talk to them when you’re done. Lovingly correct them with Scripture. Start by explaining what legalism is, and is not.

When we express to the lost that they have sinned, we have to explain that (Romans 3:23-24). It’s just a truth of our time, they do not understand the Law. Giving them the Law is like showing them a mirror, as Scripture teaches us, it shows them how unrighteous they really are (Romans 7:12-13). Humans will always proclaim their own goodness, even if they claim not to believe in God and blaspheme Christ, they’ll still tell you they think they should go to Heaven. Recognize, my beloved friends, that showing them their flawed worldview is not unloving, or legalistic, it’s what we’re called to do. Once they comprehend their predicament they’ll be able to see just why Christ had to live that perfect life, why He had to be crucified, why He had to bare the full wrath of God, why He had to die, and why He had to rise again!

The last thing I want to say, I hope will be read in light of everything I’ve said thus far. This is meant with love, and humility, so please take this as a gentle rebuke. Slander is very serious. It means to accuse someone of something wrongfully. Please, dear ones, be very careful not to slander others by wrongfully calling them legalistic. Are they teaching that you must do something to be saved? Are they teaching that you must do something to remain saved? That’s legalism, and it should be refuted. We do not earn our salvation by obeying the Law, obedience before salvation is impossible. The lost man is chained and enslaved to their sin, and only faith in Jesus Christ can set them free of that. Obedience after salvation does not keep you saved, it doesn’t even come from a desire to remain saved, it comes from an outpouring of thankfulness for what has already been done on our behave. Someone sharing the Law and the Gospel is not legalism. (Romans 3:31) Someone rebuking a believer for their sin is not legalism. These are two things we’re commanded to do, and they are different. I hope this helps to clarify the issue, but if there are any questions please feel free to ask them. If you’re uncomfortable asking them publicly I have a new e-mail address that you can send questions to. I’m also including a short clip below for further explanation on this topic. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Historical Church Series – The Early Heretics: Judaizers

It’s Friday, beloved, the day I’ve waited for all week! Not because this begins my weekend, as a homeschooling mom there really is no such thing as a weekend. We don’t get paid time off or sick days either, which usually means that I have no idea what day of the week it is! However, I’ve been preparing for today all week so I’m very excited. Why? My friends, history is a fascinating topic! And there is no greater time in history to research than the time we’re going to talk about today. God has shown His people such a kindness to have the disciples confront heretics during the period of time Scripture was being written. In this way, we have a pattern for how to address it in the future. This, as we begin in the book of Acts and move out through church history, we’ll see is the pattern. It starts with the Judaizers, Pharisees who had professed a faith in Christ, but we’re calling gentiles to a different gospel.

If you missed Tuesday’s post it will be helpful at this point to read it first, here. The doctrine of salvation by grace is exactly what’s being attacked in Acts 15:1 by these early heretics. God uses all things for good, and certainly had a purpose for these Judaizer’s coming into the body of Christ and causing confusion. Such as will be the case many more times in our study, we’ll see Christians coming together in the form of counsels to make specific declarations of Biblical doctrines. These early counsels helped to cement born again believers in Biblical truths. This is what we see in Acts 15:6, what is called the Jerusalem Counsel, believed to have taken place around 49 A.D. Paul also expands on this in Galatians 2:4-5.

What was decided in that counsel, and what is clearly taught throughout Scripture (Acts 13:39, Galatians 3:11) is that there are no works that can earn salvation. The Judaizer’s were not simply calling Gentiles to be saved and then to follow Moses, but telling them there could be no salvation until circumcision. We hear similar things today from many different groups, which follow the Judaizer’s in assuming anything man does could add to what Christ did. What pride, what foolish ambition, to attempt to pull Christ off His throne and seat yourself there, having believed your able to save yourself! The very idea is sinful, how could it save? This, my friends, is what we say when we join ourselves to this ancient heresy, and claim that works can achieve salvation.

What the Judaizer’s were missing is twofold, they failed to understand their own sinfulness and desperate need for Christ, secondly they failed to understand the immensity of Gods complete righteousness. When we see that God is utterly, infinitely, holy and just we ought to tremble. When we see that we are endlessly, hopelessly, full of wretched sin, we ought to tremble all the more. From this position, on our knees, fully aware of the bottomless chasm between God and man, the very idea of circumcision lending to salvation is laughable. Mankind is without hope on this earth, there is only one way of our own doing that we can merit salvation, and that is to be, from the womb, completely perfect. This, beloved, is impossible, as the Law clearly shows us. Our only hope is to fling ourselves upon the mercy of Christ, who willingly condescended to become man, entering His creation, from the womb living a sinless, perfectly righteous life, yet dying in the place of sinners.

Had these men, who went about laying heavy burdens on Gentile believers, fully understood the weight of their sin, they would never have suggested a work in place of grace. Understand, my friends, that even faith is a gift! Even repentance is a gift! Beloved, if with have been born again it is, from start to finish, by the grace of God, so that we have nothing to boast in. I didn’t understand this before God saved me, I thought I was earning my way into Heaven through my constant repeating of the sinners prayer. It wasn’t until I had my sin laid bare before me, and Gods righteousness proclaimed to me, that I saw my desperate need, and the folly of my false religion. A gospel given with anything added before, or after, Christ crucified, as means to salvation, can not save. Unfortunately we see these Judaizer’s heresy alive and well today, in the form of the cults false doctrines.

I pray this series will edify you all, beloved brethren, and encourage you to rebuke the falsehoods when you are confronted by them. Always doing so with love, and gentleness, bringing to your own mind the very truth you’re sharing, you are only where you are by the grace of God. If not for His mercy, we would be lost in religion and works righteousness. Not a single person who has ever lived on this Earth, except for Christ, deserves salvation. The wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life. If you have earned it, it’s not a gift it’s repayment. If you deserve it, it’s not a gift it’s what you’re owed. We haven’t earned it, and we are not owed it, God’s great name is glorified in both His forgiveness, and His justice. Anything which takes from His glory and hands it to man must be rebuked. As always, dear ones, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Mercy, Have Mercy!

The first hospital my husband worked at after finishing his degree was called Mercy, a hospital run by nuns. On top of the building is a huge cross that makes a complete turn once a day, and lights up at night. The employees jokingly called it merciless because of the work load, which was often so great that quality care and attention was hard to give each individual patient. That’s not a knock against this hospital, he’s worked all over the country and it’s the same to varying degrees everywhere. Mercy is no longer the purpose of major hospitals, in its place is the bottom line.

Most hospitals were started by churches, which is why so many bare their name. Originally it was a way to minister to the sick, to share God’s love and the Good News of the Gospel. In the same way that many of today’s most secular colleges were once beacons of Gods Word, hospitals have changed. Has our society changed? I don’t think so, dear ones. There has always been institutes built by believing hands to glorify our Lord. Yet, when they pass from death to life, others with different principles take their place. All the while the lost continue to be chained to their sins, in every generation. Whitfield was not only teased mercilessly for his appearance, he had pieces of a dead cat thrown at him. We can’t imagine anything that disgusting happening today, but our generation has its own besetting sins.

Poor Spurgeon was not only ridiculed by the media, but had a group of men run into where he was preaching to thousands and yell “fire” and “the buildings collapsing”. The panic that ensued caused the death of seven people, and many more were injured. Spurgeon never recovered from that merciless act, and was easily frightened until the day he died. The decided behavior of those who hate God might change from decade to decade, surely today the keyboard warriors take to their reddit accounts to mock and belittle us. I’d take that over dead cat parts any day, personally, and am often pleased to see such articles written against my own blog. They always include a link, which leads unbelievers that never would have found my tiny piece of blogosphere to the Gospel message!

What I’m trying to get out here in a round about way is that the mercy of believers must not waiver. Consider Thorpe, a member of the Hell-Fire club, who stood up in a bar full of drunk friends to mock Whitfield. They were having a contest to see who could mimic him best. Thorpe crosses his eyes, and put on his best Whitfield accent, then opened the pages of the Bible at random. “Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” As Thorpe read on he lost the accent and became deadly serious, he preached Gods Word in all sincerity, and the room full of hooligans became deathly silent. When he finished reading the text he closed the Bible and sat down, broken, humble, and soundly saved by Gods grace. What the devil meant for evil, God meant for good. Thorpe would go on to become a preacher himself, and would remain a fan of Whitfield’s.

Oh that we could see what great works God is doing, if we could see behind the screen of the angriest atheist! I had someone once tell me they cried themselves to sleep every night because they knew they were living in sin. I would have never taken that person as one to care at all about their sin, it certainly didn’t seem to bother them on the outside. This is why our mercy can not fail, we can not repay evil with evil, we can not answer the lost with angry words. We don’t pick up the cat parts and angrily toss them back. When Ray Comfort was being spit at repeatedly in Israel he didn’t return the favor, but laughingly dogged the spit and continued his message. From time to time we will lose heart, we will even lose our tempter, but we must not lose our mercy.

I’m amazed at the wickedness of my own heart, at how quickly I can forget that if not for the grace of God I’d be far worse. We have received so much mercy from our Lord, so much kindness, while we were yet sinners, yet sinners I say, He died for us. Even now, redeemed, free from the chains of sin and death, I do not deserve the love of God, nor in my best days. I often wonder why He didn’t save someone who was stronger willed. To be honest, I struggled to even make calls for a doctors appointment. My brain doesn’t work right, it mixes the words all up, it sends alarms of panic and fear at the sound of another voice answers the line. Even with the treatment I’ll receive, I’ll be less likely to poor bacon grease on myself, but it won’t fix the wires that misfire. Surely there was someone more eloquent, bold, and nuero-typical? I don’t understand why God saved a wretch like me, but I am eternally grateful. It’s that gratefulness which should lead us all to deeper mercy for the lost.

It’s Friday again, my friends, which means many of you will be home with friends, family, fellowship, and the random strangers you meet along the way. Be merciful to the lost, be merciful to the saved! Shower mercy upon your spouse, your children, and even your in-laws. They’re no more a sinner than we are, and in so doing we bring glory to our God. I hope this will encourage you all, it’s certainly a message I needed. As always, my dear beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

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.