Assurance in Judgment, Romans 5:6-11

I received my gold crown today. Yes, really . . . I did! However, I almost bailed halfway through the process.

I nearly jumped out of the chair when my dentist began prepping my exposed tooth. The unnerving sensation—akin to finger nails on a chalkboard—caused me to impulsively grab my dentist’s hand. That’s when he asked, “Shall I numb the area?”

“Yes, please!”

I’ll be okay now, I thought when my tongue felt fat and tingly after the shot. Yea, I won’t feel a thing now! But one poke of his instrument stole my breath with those unnerving shock waves. So I opted for another numbing shot. While waiting for the novocaine to set in, my thoughts shifted like the wind: This shot isn’t going to do the job either! And when it doesn’t, how am I going to hold still? Should I just up and leave? No, I can’t do that! Do they ever strap their patients hands down? Dear Lord, please help me not feel this, or at least distract me from this pain . . . . And so my thoughts flickered.

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Uncertainty

Everyone struggles with uncertainty at times: decisions, jobs, relationships, etc.

Do you ever feel uncertain of God’s love for you? If so, spend some time soaking in these amazing words:

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners. Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified [declared not guilty for our sins] by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!”  – Romans 5:8-10

At the perfect time, God orchestrated the unthinkable: sending His sinless Son to die for the atonement of our sins. We don’t—and can’t—get our act together before coming to Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Our sin was poured into Christ at His crucifixion. His righteousness is poured into us when we place our trust in Christ at our conversion.

So What?

God’s love is bigger than our doubts and sin. Because His generous act has provided reconciliation, Christians “rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (vs.11). We can rest and have complete confidence, knowing we will be saved from God’s wrath at the final judgment because Jesus paid our sins in full.

The same love that caused Christ to die is also the same love that equips believers with the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide, teach, and comfort (John 14:26).

If you haven’t asked Jesus for forgiveness and placed your trust in Him, there is no time like now. Don’t let anything hold you back from coming to Christ.

Evangelism (part 2)—The Message

Hi friends! I hope this Friday finds you well. The following is a recap from last week’s post:

  • Evangelism is not reserved just for the pastor or professional.
  • The gifts of teaching and evangelism are closely related.
  • Only God can save and transform souls.
  • Although living a quiet, godly life honors God, evangelism requires words—with respect and gentleness—in addition to service.
  • Leslie Flynn, 19 Gifts of the Spirit, defines evangelism:

The gift of proclaiming the Good News of salvation effectively so that people respond to the claims of Christ in conversion and in discipleship.”

What is this Good News Message?

The short, but sweet truth: Jesus came to save us!

This message should appeal to both the emotions and intellect. A longer version, such as below, tells of the historic event that can bring incomparable riches both today and in the future:

Jesus Christ—God and man—died on the cross for my sins over nineteen centuries ago. He was buried and rose the third day. If through faith, I receive Christ as my Savior, God will declare me righteous through Jesus’ shedding of His blood. God the Father will accept His Son’s sacrifice as full satisfaction for the guilt and penalty of my sin. This is a free gift, which can’t be earned or deserved. Because I am no longer under the penalty of the Old Covenant’s broken law, I am pardoned once and for all. God also adopts me as His child. He strengthens me through the ministry of His Holy Spirit, which indwells and regenerates my inner being.

What are some Bible verses that speak about our fallen, sinful nature and God’s plan to save/redeem us?

Salvation Verses

The following verses speak about our sin and the wages of sin, God’s grace and justification, provision and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ:

  • Wages of sin: Romans 5:12; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23a
  • God’s wrath & spiritual death toward the disbelieving: John 3:36; 1 John 5:12-13
  • Grace and justification: Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:24; Romans 6:23b
  • Jesus’ provision for our sin: Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 3:17
  • Eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ: John 3:36a; John 3:16; John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:8-10; 1 John 5:11
  • Confession of belief in Christ: Romans 10:10; Matthew 10:32

Next week I’ll explore more on this topic. Have a wonderful week!

Evangelism Plans (Part 4)

Although evangelism plans vary, the truth of the message must not. While false teachers flourish, it’s important to know and guard the main doctrinal points of the Bible (1 Tim. 4:1-3, 16). Any tampering with the Bible’s message will be under God’s scrutiny and judgment (Dt. 4:2; Rev. 22:18-19).

How Many Roads to Salvation?
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."  - Proverbs 14:12

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” – Proverbs 14:12

One hiccup that many people have with Christianity is the “narrow viewpoint” that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Matthew 7:13-14 not only agrees with this narrow viewpoint, but admonishes us to go there: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”

Many believe that a loving God won’t turn anyone away who has done his/her lion share of good deeds and/or has achieved much in life. This is a dangerous assumption. A great resource that addresses what’s wrong with this popular theory is Andy Stanley’s book, How Good is Good Enough?

Jesus, the Only Way

Gregory Koukle addresses critics who embrace religious pluralism in his booklet, Jesus the Only Way: “. . . . When a hundred [Bible] passages argue the same point [Jesus the only way] from a variety of angles it cannot be mistaken, only ignored.”

Everyone follows something or someone. When one receives eternal life through Christ, it’s important that he/she realizes that he/she isn’t just saved unto salvation, but also is receiving a new leader—Jesus Christ— to follow.

Billy Graham Crusades Evangelism plan

Billy Graham Crusades “Steps to Peace with God” emphasizes four simple steps:

  1. God’s Plan–> Peace and Life (Rom. 5:1; John 3:16; 10:10)
  2. Humanity’s Problem–> Separation (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; Isa. 59:2)
  3. God’s Remedy–> The Cross (1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Peter 3:18; Rom. 5:8)
  4. Human Response–> Receive Christ (John 1:12; 5:24; Rom. 10:9)

Billy Graham Crusades also offers free tracts and hosts online evangelistic resources:

  • A downloadable worksheet to help share “Your Faith Story”
  • A customizable downloadable tract
  • Examples of how the Grahams have shared their faith story
  • How God uses ordinary people in extraordinary ways
  • Short videos with different styles that share the Good News

You can check out their resources here:

https://secure.billygraham.org/testimony-tract/testimony-tract.aspx?SOURCE=BY120TTCG&gclid=CI-h4s-jlb4CFcuVfgod6D8ANA

Next week, I’ll wrap this series up with some other evangelism plans to check out.

Any thoughts, questions, comments?

My week has flown by with my boys’ baseball games and daughter’s play. It’s been a crazy-busy, but fun week. While driving my kids around, the thought occurred: I’m grateful that most drivers heed the law to drive on the right side of the road, the correct/one way to drive on a U.S. highway. Similarly, I’m grateful God made a way—even though it’s the only way—to receive forgiveness and eternal life through His son, Jesus.

May your week be fun, full and sane!

 

Trials and Triumphs book give-away

Yes, I promised last week I would give away Faith Writers Trials and Triumphs to a lucky winner.Trials_&_Triumphs_Final_Cover For those of you who would like more information on this book, click on Amazon’s link: Trials and Triumphs. I am privileged to have my testimony included in this anthology along with 39 other writers. Although we are a diverse group, we share a unifying saving grace in the person of Jesus Christ.

But first, will you please fill out my poll? Don’t forget to click “vote”. I greatly appreciate your feedback! (Don’t worry, your name won’t appear when you vote, only percentages.)

Blessings,

K.D.

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Plan for Spiritual Gifts

You are a paintbrush. God uses the paintbrush in your hand (your gifts) to help change and transform others in the body of Christ. And God uses others in your life to make you like Christ.”  – Chip Ingram

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God’s ultimate makeover is to produce the life of Christ

I found Chip Ingram’s analogy of spiritual gifts and paintbrushes interesting (Your Divine Design). This is my paraphrase:

  • Some believers’ gifts are like a paint roller. Although they may not be as personal, they are more effective in a large group setting with their broad paint strokes.
  • Some believers’ spiritual gifts are more like a refined artist, patiently painting detailed color and techniques on an individual’s canvas/heart.

You get the picture . . . . There are different paintbrushes for specific jobs; God uses different spiritual gifts for His specific purposes.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NIV) says: There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

Where does God do His extreme makeover?
  • In His people—the church (Ephesians 2:18-22)
  • In the believer’s heart (Ephesians 3:14-19)
How does God do His extreme makeover?

Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and Satan is witnessed through spiritual gifts in His church (Ephesians 4:7-13).

10 Principles for Understanding Spiritual Gifts

(Source: Chip Ingram)

  1. Every Christian has one or more spiritual gifts.
  2. Many believers have received more than one spiritual gift.
  3. Spiritual gifts are given the moment of regeneration, but they may lie undiscovered and dormant for a long period of time.
  4. Spiritual gifts can be abused and neglected, but if they are received at regeneration, it would appear that they cannot be lost.
  5. Spiritual gifts are not the same as the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  6. Spiritual gifts are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit.
  7. Spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents.
  8. Some spiritual gifts are more useful in local churches than others because they result in greater edification of the body.
  9. Charismata literally means “grace gifts”. These gifts are sovereignly and undeservedly given by the Holy Spirit.
  10. Gifts are God’s spiritual equipment for effective service and edification of the body [church].

Do any of these 10 principles surprise you? If so, which ones? Why?

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