Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Liberated Life


Centuries before Christ was born, Isaiah prophesied that God would send a deliverer who would liberate mankind.
 Jesus himself stood in a Jewish synagogue one Sabbath and reminded the world of this prophecy:

“And when he had opened the book, [Jesus] found the place where it was written [by Isaiah], The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised… This day is the scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:17-21).

Jesus was telling the whole world, “My mission on earth is to liberate every bruised life.” To liberate means to set free from all bondage; to release from all slavery; to do away with everything that oppresses. If you believe Christ is telling the truth, then you must believe he is saying to you and me, “I am sent to liberate your life, to release you from all oppression and bondage. I come to set your spirit free.”

Paul also preached that Christ came to call every believer to a liberated life. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1)

Paul preached about “the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).

If Christ came to liberate us from a miserable life, why do we go on living the same old miserable way? We think a life totally free of fear and guilt is too incredible. We cannot imagine life with 24-hour-a-day rest and peace—life without a heavy burden of condemnation or depression—life in the presence of a loving, gentle Savior who cares about all our needs.

This may sound too good to be true but this is exactly the kind of liberated life Christ wants every one of his children to enjoy. Not just a few of his children—but all! This life is not just for those who break some kind of theological code, but it is for all who simply trust him for it!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

This is my infirmity


The infirmities of the believer are as varied as they are numerous.

Some are weak in faith, and are always questioning their interest in Christ. Some, superficial in knowledge, and shallow in experience, are ever exposed to the crudities of error and to the assaults of temptation. Some are slow travelers in the divine life, and are always in the rear; while yet others are often ready to halt altogether. Then there are others who groan beneath the burden of bodily infirmity, exerting a morbid influence upon their spiritual experience. A nervous temperament- a state of perpetual depression and despondency- the constant corrodings of mental disquietude- physical ailment- imaginary forebodings- a facile yielding to temptation- petulance of spirit- unguardedness of speech- gloomy interpretations of providence- an eye that only views the dark hues of the cloud, the somber shadings of the picture.

Ah! from this dismal catalogue how many, making their selection, may exclaim, “This is my infirmity.” But be that infirmity what it may, let it endear to our hearts the grace and sympathy of Him who for our sake was encompassed with infirmity, that He might have compassion upon those who are alike begirt. All the fullness of grace that is in Jesus is for that single infirmity over which you sigh.

“And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High” – Psalm 77:10

MORNING THOUGHTS, or DAILY WALKING WITH GOD by Octavius Winslow

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Power and Pity of Jesus.




I have had a hard time lately just living.

It’s been a bit of a struggle, in all areas of my life for some reason, illness, financial issues, and assorted hurts and buffets abound but God in his amazing, unmerited mercy has supported me with great preaching and teaching and He’s blessed me so abundantly by just being there for me, there is so much evidence of His strength in my weakness. He is my rock and my fortress and the harder and tougher life is it seems the stronger the hold of His mighty hand! I love him so much and as I sat in my office trying to find some comfort in his word, I stumbled upon these two sermons. These are so good that I sat, in my office and sobbed into my paperwork. He is our Risen Savior and even in the most seemingly unimportant personal stuff, He cares for us. I hope these are encouraging to you. They sure were to me.

In Love and Faith in Jesus Christ, Mrs. B.
The Power and Pity of Jesus part 1

The Power and Pity of Jesus part 2

Leave a comment

Filed under abiding in Christ, encouragement, Endurance, Freedom in Christ, Hope, Jesus Christ, John MacArthur, Love, Suffering, Trust in Jesus, Uncategorized

The Resurrection


By John MacArthur


In 1874, a Baptist minister named Robert Lowry penned one of the most stirring hymns to ever exalt the resurrection of Jesus Christ–“Low in the Grave He Lay.” Notice how these verses contrast the impotence of death and suffering with the resurrection power of Christ:

Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior;
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!
Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!
Death cannot keep its Prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Death, man’s most dread enemy, is powerless to reign over the Lord of life. And that truth has significance for you and me, here and now in the twenty-first century. You can see it in the most exciting and rousing part of Lowry’s hymn, the refrain that punctuates each stanza:

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Do you see in those lines what Jesus’ resurrection means to you? If you are a Christian, you can rejoice in the fact that Christ rose from the dead as a victor, a champion who lives forever to reign, “with His saints.” That refers to the promise based on our baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ–it is our hope and the reason and ground of all we believe.

But what if there were no resurrection? What if the resurrection of Jesus Christ is just a first-century myth to be ignored or marginalized as a secondary issue? The implications of that approach are devastating to Christianity.

I want to draw your attention to what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:16-19 so that you can see what happens when you forget the resurrection.

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

Without question, if Jesus is still in the grave, if He is perpetually the sufferer and never the Victor, then you and I are hopelessly lost. And though that is not the case, I want to focus on the hypothetical “what if” that Paul assumes temporarily in 1 Corinthians 15. “What if the resurrection were a myth? What if Jesus Christ were still dead and in the grave?”

First of all, you would still be in your sins, under the tyranny of death along with the most vile and unbelieving pagan. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then sin won the victory over Him and continues to be victorious over you too. If Jesus remained in the grave, then, when you die you would also stay dead. Furthermore, since “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), were you to remain dead, death and eternal punishment would be your future.

The purpose of trusting in Christ is for forgiveness of sins, because it is from sin that we need to be saved. “Christ died for our sins” and “was buried, and … raised on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). If Christ was not raised, His death was in vain, your faith in Him would be pointless, and your sins would still be counted against you with no hope of spiritual life.

Second, if there is no resurrection, then “those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” That means every Old Testament saint, every New Testament saint, and every saint since Paul wrote would be suffering in torment at this very moment. That would include Paul himself, the rest of the apostles, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Moody, and the faithful and prayerful saints you’ve known–every other believer in every age also would be in hell. Their faith would have been in vain, their sins would not have been forgiven, and their destiny would be damnation.

In light of the other consequences, the last is rather obvious. “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” Without Christ’s resurrection, and the salvation and blessings it brings, Christianity would be pointless and pitiable. Without the resurrection we would have no Savior, no forgiveness, no gospel, no meaningful faith, no life, and we could never have hope for any of those things.

To have hoped in Christ alone in this life would be to teach, preach, suffer, sacrifice, and work entirely for nothing. If Christ is still dead, then He not only has no ability to save you in the future, but He can’t help you now either. If He were not alive, where would be your source of peace, joy, or satisfaction now? The Christian life would be a mockery, a charade, a tragic and cruel joke. Christians who suffer and even die for the faith would be just as blind and pathetic as those “believers” who followed Jim Jones and the People’s Temple, David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, and Marshall Applewhite and the Heaven’s Gate cult.

Since a Christian has no Savior but Christ, no Redeemer but Christ, and no Lord but Christ, if Christ is not raised, He is not alive, and our Christian life is lifeless. We would have nothing to justify our faith, our Bible study, our preaching or witnessing, our service for Him or our worship of Him, and nothing to justify our hope in this life or the next. We would deserve nothing but the compassion reserved for fools.

But, God did raise “Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification” (Romans 4:24-25). Because Christ lives, we too shall live (John 14:19). “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:30-31).

We are NOT to be pitied, for Paul immediately ends the dreadful “what if” section by saying, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Paul said at the end of his life, “I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him [i.e. his life] until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).

Those who do not hope in Christ alone for salvation are the real fools; they are the ones who need to hear your compassionate testimony about the triumph of Christ’s resurrection. So don’t forget the resurrection; rejoice in it and glory in it, for He is risen indeed.


Leave a comment

Filed under abiding in Christ, Belief, Easter, encouragement, Endurance, Hope, Jesus Christ, John MacArthur, Love, Salvation, seeking God, Suffering, The Crucifixion, Trust in Jesus