Friday, October 20, 2017

Fear God, 92



~ Fear of God is the Start of True Wisdom ~

God does not want His children living in fear.  “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:2-3).  However, God does want His children to have a proper respect and reverence for Him.  We are told in many places in Scripture to “fear God.”  

This Week’s Passage  ~  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments.  His praise endures forever” (Psalm 111:10). 

Fearing God Results in Salvation  ~  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).  A wise person fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident” (Proverbs 14:16).  This does not mean the Christian is to live a fearful life—but a life which reverences God and seeks to do His will. 

Fearing God Results in Fearlessness  ~  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).  The answer is: only God.  With the gift of salvation comes responsibility.

Fearing God Results in Witnessing  ~  “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul” (Psalm 66:16). 

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

NOTES:
(1)     The current TOP 10 ALN posts are listed at the very bottom of this home page.
(2)     There is an INDEX of all ALN posts accessed by scrolling down the left column.
(3)     You may LINK to any ALN posts on your own blog or website. 
(4)     You may COPY any ALN post, but please credit ALN as the source by prominently displaying the following statement:  Reprinted from “Abundant Life Now,” a free blog which offers inspiring moments, thought-provoking comments, and solid Biblical insight at http://RobertLloydRussell.blogspot.com/ .

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Eternal Security, 15of15


~ A Summary Statement of Eternal Security for the Believer ~

The doctrine of “eternal security” (sometimes described as “once saved—always saved”) is widely accepted with Christianity.  There are however some who deny this important teaching of Scripture—by pulling verses out of their context to make them say something other than intended.  In this series we look at what the Word of God has to say about the subject.  “Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).

Security:  No Separation (from God)  ~  What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies.  Who is he who condemns?  It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written:For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39). 

Security:  No Judgment (for sin)  ~  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled” (Romans 8:1-4a).

Security:  Inheritance (eternal blessings)  ~  First, if you are born into a family you can never be unborn from the family.  Second, If you receive a large inheritance it is yours even if it is kept safely in the Trust Department of a financial institution for later distribution.  Third, once delivered to the Trust Department your inheritance is guaranteed.  In like manner once spiritually born you can never be unborn and a guaranteed inheritance is yours even if it is to be distributed at a later date. 
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.  In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:11-14).
“Being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). 
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).

Conclusion  ~  The believer can sing the grand hymn Blessed Assurance” (by Fanny Crosby) with absolute confidence. 

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

NOTES:
(1)     The current TOP 10 ALN posts are listed at the very bottom of this home page.
(2)     There is an INDEX of all ALN posts accessed by scrolling down the left column.
(3)     You may LINK to any ALN posts on your own blog or website. 
(4)     You may COPY any ALN post, but please credit ALN as the source by prominently displaying the following statement:  Reprinted from “Abundant Life Now,” a free blog which offers inspiring moments, thought-provoking comments, and solid Biblical insight at http://RobertLloydRussell.blogspot.com/ .

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Eternal Security, 14of15


~ The Absolute Certainty of the Believer’s Hope! ~

The doctrine of “eternal security” (sometimes described as “once saved—always saved”) is widely accepted with Christianity.  There are however some who deny this important teaching of Scripture—by pulling verses out of their context to make them say something other than intended.  In this series we look at what the Word of God has to say about the subject.  “Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).

Overview  ~  There are two critical Christian terms to be understood in relation to his post.  First, the fact that God is sovereign.  Biblical sovereignty refers to a supreme ruler with supreme authority and the power to accomplish.  Jesus Christ is the Son of God, a member of the Triune Godhead, and was literally God on earth for a period of history.  Because God is sovereign what God has decided to accomplish will happen!
Second, the Christian’s blessed hope.  “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).  In our day we think of hope as wishful thinking or a desire.  Biblical hope is related to a confident expectation—the firm assurance of something in the future.  Our blessed hope is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He returns for His church—all true believers in Him—that is our blessed hope.  We will be with Him forever! 

Key Passages  ~  “And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.  And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day’” (John 6:35-40). 
The Apostle Paul said, “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:4-9). 

The Process  ~  “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:28-30). 
Notice the progression in this verse.  The key to this progression is His omniscience (all-knowing the past, present, and future) which includes His foreknowledge regarding who would accept His Son’s salvation invitation.  Those individuals will be glorified at a future date. 

Summary  ~  There is absolutely no doubt—not even a shadow of doubt—regarding the future fulfillment of the Christian’s hope.  In our modern language the word hope sounds rather iffy.  In the language of Scripture the blessed hope is a guaranteed absolute reality. 

Closing Thought  ~  As a child I grew up singing a great hymn which contained the refrain: “Our times are in Thy hands, and Father we would wish them there.”  Aren’t you glad that the sovereign of the universe is in control and one day you will be glorified to live with Him forever! 

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

NOTES:
(1)     The current TOP 10 ALN posts are listed at the very bottom of this home page.
(2)     There is an INDEX of all ALN posts accessed by scrolling down the left column.
(3)     You may LINK to any ALN posts on your own blog or website. 
(4)     You may COPY any ALN post, but please credit ALN as the source by prominently displaying the following statement:  Reprinted from “Abundant Life Now,” a free blog which offers inspiring moments, thought-provoking comments, and solid Biblical insight at http://RobertLloydRussell.blogspot.com/ .

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Eternal Security, 13of15



~ The Absolute Commitment of God to the Believer! ~

The doctrine of “eternal security” (sometimes described as “once saved—always saved”) is widely accepted with Christianity.  There are however some who deny this important teaching of Scripture—by pulling verses out of their context to make them say something other than intended.  In this series we look at what the Word of God has to say about the subject.  “Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).

The following is a quote from Max Lucado’s book Glory Days:

Jimmy Wayne never knew his father.  His mom spent more time in prison than out.  When he was twelve years old, she was released from jail and took up with a troublemaker.  They loaded Jimmy into the backseat of the Olds Delta 88, and for a year the car was his home.  “It had bench seats and smelled like body odor,” remembers Jimmy.  They drove from city to city, avoiding the police.

After miles of drifting they dumped Jimmy in the parking lot of a Pensacola, Florida, bus station and drove off.  He was thirteen years old.  He had no home.  No future.  No provision.  One day while wandering through a neighborhood, he spotted an older man who was at work in a garage wood shop.

He approached the elderly gentleman and asked if the man had any work.  The carpenter sized up the boy, assessed him to be home-less, and decided to give him a chance.  The man introduced himself as Russell.  He called for his wife, Bea, to come to the garage.  They showed Jimmy the lawn mower and how to operate it.

For several weeks Jimmy cut the couple’s grass and survived on the twenty dollars they paid him each week.  After some time Bea asked Jimmy where he lived.  At first he lied, afraid she wouldn’t let a homeless boy work.  But finally she convinced him to tell her the truth.  When he did, the couple took him in.

They gave him his own bedroom, bathroom, and place at the dinner table.  The home was like heaven to Jimmy.  He took a hot bath and ate hot meals.  He even sat with the family in the living room and watched television in the evening.  Still, in spite of their kindness, Jimmy refused to unpack his bag.  He’d been turned away so many times that he’d learned to be wary.  For four days his plastic bag sat on the floor, full of clothes, ready to be snatched up when Bea and Russell changed their minds.

He was in the house but not in the house.  He was under the roof but not under the promise.  He was with the family but didn’t behave like a family member.

Russell eventually convinced Jimmy to unpack and move in.  It took several days, a dozen or so meals, and more than one heart-to-heart conversation.  But Russell persuaded Jimmy to trust them to care for him.1

Our Father is still working to convince us.

Maybe you question your place in God’s family.  You fear His impending rejection.  You wrestle with doubt-laced questions: Am I really in God’s family?  What if God changes His mind?  Reverses His acceptance?  Lord knows, He has reason to do so.  We press forward only to fall back.  We renew our resolve only to stumble again.

We wonder, Will God turn me out?

Boyfriends do.  Employers do.  Coaches kick players off the team.  Teachers expel students from school.  Parents give birth to children and abandon them at bus stations.  How do we know God won’t do the same?  What if he changes His mind about us?  After all, He is holy and pure, and we are anything but.  Is it safe to unpack our bags?

God answered this question at the Cross.  When Jesus died, the heavenly vote was forever cast in your favor and mine.  He declared for all to hear, “This child is my child. My covenant will never change.”

Promised Land people believe this.  They trust God’s hold on them more than their hold on God.  They place their trust in the finished work of Christ.  They deeply believe that they are “delivered… from the power of darkness and conveyed… into the kingdom of the Son” (Colossians 1:13).  They know that Jesus was serious when He said, “[My children] shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28 NIV).

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

NOTES:
(1)     The current TOP 10 ALN posts are listed at the very bottom of this home page.
(2)     There is an INDEX of all ALN posts accessed by scrolling down the left column.
(3)     You may LINK to any ALN posts on your own blog or website. 
(4)     You may COPY any ALN post, but please credit ALN as the source by prominently displaying the following statement:  Reprinted from “Abundant Life Now,” a free blog which offers inspiring moments, thought-provoking comments, and solid Biblical insight at http://RobertLloydRussell.blogspot.com/ .