Jesus Ransomed Us

The Pharisees Question Jesus

The Pharisees Question Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

By Adam’s sin, we all were made sinners and by Jesus’ sacrifice, we are made
righteous. Jesus ransomed us, paid the price, so that the devil would have no
claim on those who repent and trust in Christ and His completed work.

All along God knew that man could not keep or fulfill His divine law. He had
instituted the law to bring order to the human race, lest we destroy ourselves.
The law was for our own protection; it was to make us realize that in our own
strength and righteousness, we could not stand before a holy God. The law was a
mirror God held up to us, saying, “Let me show you what I expect, what My
justice requires. Here is My law and here is where you’ve failed, where you’re
living in sin. You have failed at this point . . . this point . . . and this
point. No one is righteous enough to fulfill My law!”

The Pharisees tried to fulfill the law. They observed more than 600
regulations, from the washing of hands and pots to refusing to touch a Gentile.
They tried to keep all the law, believing that one day they could stand before
God and say, “I kept all Your laws. I did this, this and this. Now You are
obligated to save me.”

But no one can expect his good works to merit justification. God’s Word
answers, “If you’ve failed just one point of the law, you’ve failed the whole
law!” If you expect God to accept you for your good behavior, forget it! You’ll
never be able to keep the whole law.
Because we couldn’t meet justice’s demands to fulfill God’s law, Jesus came to
earth and perfectly fulfilled the law of God. He never failed one point of it
and He did it all out of pure motives of love. “Think not that I am come to
destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil”
(Matthew 5:17).

When Jesus ascended to the Father, His perfect obedience had fulfilled all the
demands of the law and His blood was presented in full payment for our sin.
Here stood a Man in the presence of God whose righteousness was perfect and
therefore acceptable to the Father.

Word for Today…

 

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

Romans 15:1-2

I heard about a church in California back in the 1970s that opened their doors to some kids on Friday night. So the street kids, the beach kids, and the hippies flocked in, many of them barefoot and dirty. And as they came in, many were encountering Christ in powerful, life-changing ways.

Well, that was fine until the church decided they were going to put brand new baby blue carpet on the floor of their sanctuary. And as you could imagine, it wasn’t long before these kids with their dirty feet were staining that beautiful baby blue carpet.

So in a deacon’s meeting one afternoon, the deacons said, “Pastor, we’ve got to do something about these kids. They’re messing up our baby blue carpet!” So the next Saturday, the pastor went in there and started ripping up the carpet. Somebody stopped him and said, “What are you doing?” He responded, “We don’t need this carpet but we must reach those kids!”

A church’s programs and everything they do shouldn’t be for comfort, but for the purpose of bringing people to Jesus Christ. That’s why the Church exists. Humble yourself, then, and put others first so that they can be led to Christ!

DON’T ALLOW COMFORTS TO HINDER OTHERS FROM COMING TO CHRIST. PUT OTHERS FIRST AND MAKE IT A PRIORITY TO LEAD THEM TO JESUS!

Pastor Graham

How You Can be Sure the Battle is Won


 

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19:30

I remember back in the early 1990s after the Gulf War when, several days and even weeks after the war was concluded, there were still Iraqi soldiers who were fighting and resisting. Why was that? Well, the coalition of forces had so badly damaged their communications infrastructure that they weren’t able to receive the message that the war was over.

It reminds me of many people in the world today who don’t know that the war against condemning sin is over. They’re still fighting and struggling, trying to overcome sin on their own, but the mission has already been accomplished.

You see, when Jesus went to the cross, He didn’t die for a possibility of salvation. He didn’t give His life on the outside chance it would work. No, He came to earth, humbling Himself, and died willingly in your place so that for all who know Him, there would be a guarantee of eternal salvation.

All you have to do is accept the victory of Jesus Christ—what He accomplished for you upon the cross. When you do, peace will come into your heart and the war will be done. Just as He proclaimed on the cross, “It is finished,” that battle over condemning sin will be eternally finished in your life!

IN CHRIST, THE BATTLE AGAINST CONDEMNING SIN IS OVER! SO TRUST FULLY IN HIS SAVING WORK FOR YOU ON THE CROSS.

Pastor Graham

Our Iheritance

By David Wilkerson

English: Jezabel and Ahab Meeting Elijah in Na...

English: Jezabel and Ahab Meeting Elijah in Naboth’s Vineyard Giclee. Print by Sir Frank Dicksee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

When Elijah went up to heaven, he left Elisha his cloak (2 Kings 2:13).
Likewise, when Jesus went up to the Father, He left us His own garment — His
perfect righteousness. He cast it upon us, as surely as Elijah cast his garment
upon Elisha. The prophet’s action was a type and shadow of what was going to
happen when Jesus was translated to the Father. Indeed, we are heirs to a
wonderful garment of righteousness that covers us completely, making us
acceptable in God‘s holy presence!

This garment is our inheritance and God expects us to value it. He expects us
to seek after it, to be willing heirs to His legacy. You may remember what
happened when King Ahab came against Naboth, coveting his vineyard. Naboth
valued his vineyard so much, he rejected Ahab’s offer to buy it, saying, “The
Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee”
(1 Kings 21:3). He was saying, “God forbid that anyone should take my
inheritance from me. It’s mine!”

I believe the most important thing you can seek from God is the understanding
that this inheritance is yours and it is waiting to be claimed. The knowledge
of the perfect righteousness of Jesus will put you on a rock that is
unshakable. It will end all your useless struggles and put you in God’s
presence justified and accepted.

If God has provided you with an inheritance whereby you can stand before Him
with perfect righteousness in Jesus Christ, then you should want it. It should
be an inheritance nobody can take from you. No lie of the devil should be able
to remove it from your spirit, no man should be able to steal it from you, and
no emotion should drain you of it.

Because God said it, you must lay hold of it! You need to seek it, go after it,
allow your soul no rest until you get your hands on it. “Seek ye first the
kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto
you” (Matthew 6:33).

The Difference Between Faith and Works

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

Isn’t it funny how there are basically two kinds of religions in the world? There are those religions of works, which are false religions. And then there is religion by faith, which is true religion. Those are the only two categories: works-based religion and faith-based religion.

Now, a religion of works says do. It tells you that if you accomplish XYZ in your life, you’ve done well. If you haven’t, then you’ve done badly. That’s how works-based religion determines the success of the follower.

But the faith-based religion, the religion of Christ (which is not a religion but a relationship) has already been done. It takes into account the fact that God is so holy and man is so sinful that there’s no amount of good works we can do to even come close to success. That’s why Jesus came… to live the life we couldn’t and give us His righteousness as He took away our sin.

When Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” He said, “Done!” The work of salvation has been accomplished. And because of His faithful obedience which took Him to the cross, you can now have life in His name by placing your faith in Him!

CHRIST DID THE WORK YOU COULDN’T DO SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. SO THANK HIM TODAY FOR THAT WONDERFUL GIFT!

Pastor Graham

Needless Doubts

 

Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine..

John, calling to himself two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for another?” – Luke 7:19

 

John did not doubt the Messiahship of Jesus that day beside the Jordan, when from the cloven heavens the radiant dove descended upon Him and the Father’s voice was heard in loving approval. Nor did He doubt in any of the bright days that followed. It was only when it grew dark for John himself that he doubted.

That is just the way yet with many people. When everything is bright and sunny they think they have surely found Christ, and they believe He is their friend, and their hearts are full of joy. But when troubles come and things begin to go against them, they wonder whether, after all, they have really found the Savior. They begin to question their own experiences. “Am I really a Christian? Was that really conversion when I thought I was saved? or is there some other experience that I must yet have?” Christ does not do just the things they thought He would do for them. Their religion does not support them as firmly as they supposed it would. If they are indeed Christians, why does Christ let them suffer so much and not come to relieve them? So they sink away down into the Slough of Despond, some times losing all hope.

See how unnecessary was John’s doubt. Jesus was indeed the Messiah. John’s active work was done, and he was now to glorify God by suffering and soon by martyrdom. Just as needless is all anxiety of Christian people in their times of darkness. Of course we must have some earthly trials. Christ does not carry us to heaven on flowery beds of ease. We must expect to bear the cross many a mile. The true way for us is never to doubt Jesus. Suppose there are clouds, the sun still shines behind them undimmed. Suppose we have failures, trials, and disappointments; Jesus is the same loving friend as when there was not a speck of trouble for us in all the world.

How to Handle Negative Relationships

 

May 28

Read | 1 Corinthians 15:33-34

In an ideal environment, all our relationships would draw us closer to the Lord. However, we live in a fallen world with sinful people, so that is not our reality. God wants us to influence those who aren’t walking obediently with Him, but unless we’re careful, we could easily end up following them. How are we to deal with relationships that drag us down instead of building us up?

Prayer: Your first step is to pray for the people who tend to pull you away from the Lord. It’s not your job to change them, but you can ask God to work in their lives. And don’t forget to ask Him to give you the wisdom and patience you need in your interactions with them.

Separation: You may have to break off a relationship if it’s hindering your Christian walk. However, this should be done only after much prayer and wise counsel. And remember, some relationships are meant to be permanent, so listen carefully to what God is telling you.

Perseverance: If the negative relationship never changes, and the Lord is not calling you to break off association with that person, then He wants you to persevere in the situation. Your goal is to walk faithfully with your heavenly Father despite any hindrances or opposition.

If you struggle with negative relationships, cultivate friendships with godly people who can help you grow in your faith. Spend time in God’s Word, filling your mind with truths that anchor your soul in stormy situations. Persevere in walking faithfully with Christ–you may even influence the other person.

Dr. Charles Stanley

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