DARKNESS IS ON THE RUN

October 20, 2021

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Love One Another and Walk in the Light of Salvation

1 JOHN 2:7–11

John is good at simplifying the Christian life. Basically he says to know Jesus, obey God, and love others. Briefly introduced in verse 5, John will now give more intense attention to the theme of our love life. In verse 5 it was our love for God that concerned the apostle. Now in verses 7–11 he must address urgently our love for others.

John begins with an affirmation of his love for those to whom he is writing. He calls them “dear friends” or “beloved.” It is the Greek word agapetoi, and John will use it six times in this letter (2:7; 3:2, 21; 4:1, 7, 11). It is a term of endearment, of heart-felt love and concern. It usually serves John well as he begins a new thought. In this instance, though, it allows him to continue and expand on the idea of God’s commands. Here he will narrow his focus to one specific command: the command to love. Interestingly, though the idea of love is clearly the theme of this section, the word itself only appears in verse 10.

This section raises the question: Does John believe a right love for God (v. 5) is absolutely essential for a right love toward our brothers (v. 10)? I believe the answer is a resounding Yes! Indeed the two are inseparable.

In Christ the command to love one another is strengthened, deepened, expanded, and given a depth of meaning and understanding never seen before His coming in the incarnation. And now that same kind of supernatural love is being seen and experienced in those who love Him and abide in Him. But there’s more! Perfect love as revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has dealt a death blow to darkness. Darkness is on the run and it cannot outrun the light. In fact the darkness is already departing and the true light already shines! The light of the world (John 8:12) has come. The King of light and love is already reigning, and the fullness and consummation of that reign is just around the corner. How we love one another gives evidence of all of this.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, prayer requests or just saying hello, send us an email.

THE BARD

October 17, 2021

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There is an old illustration that’s hundreds of years old, but you might not have heard it yet and it does bear repeating.

In an old town in the Highlands of Scotland there was a small village that every summer they had a fair with all kinds of contests with rewards for the best tomato to the strongest man.

As it would be this particular summer a famous troupe’ of thespians happened to be traveling through the village and decided to stop and rest and perhaps even compete.

A master of the Bard (Shakespeare) decided that he could easily win when it came to the vocal speaking contest. Now it was time and the Bard stood and quoted the 23rd Psalm, masterfully, skillfully, his voice a resonant musical instrument pouring out a stirring rendition. The crowd applauded and threw coins to the talented Bard.

Then an old woodsman, grey haired and bent and hobbled with age and toil, painfully climbed the stairs to the podium. And in a voice just above a whisper, rendered his version of the 23rd Psalm. When done people bent their heads in prayer and others loudly praised the Lord. The Famous Bard approached the woodsman and said, “I truly know the oft quoted Psalm, but you surely know the heartbeat of the Shepherd.

There are those today who read the bible as an exercise in discipline, or read it out of curiosity, some for history and no doubt a host who seek to find errors or fault.

Yet blessed are those who read to find the Master and Savior of their souls.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Have a blessed week.

A ROAD MAP TO BIBLE STUDY

October 16, 2021

When it comes to interpreting the Bible, faithful and well-meaning believers tend to make two types of errors. The first is to rely solely on the interpretation of others. While we can certainly learn from wise Christians, especially faithful scholars, we can also trust that the Holy Spirit will help us to understand what God’s Word means. The second error is the opposite of the first, being too quick to jump to an interpretative conclusion without first doing the hard work necessary to understand the text.
To avoid both problems, use an interpretative “road map” to guide you in the task of Bible interpretation. Here is a six-step process to use with 2 Kings 17 to get you started:
1. Identify units of thought—The manuscripts in the original languages do not have the same paragraphs or line breaks found in English Bibles; those were added by translators to make it easier to read. Those editorial choices, however, can sometimes make it difficult to follow the line of reasoning. Copy the text or mark it so that you can regroup lines of thought. A new unit of thought is indicated by a clear change in location, time, characters or topic. The ESV bible has a version with no numbers and no paragraphs, it is basically a regular book format. I find you will read longer because you are not measuring chapters or verses. I also recommend not marking this book up, unlike your regular book, just my opinion.
2. Identify the genre—How we read and interpret the Bible depends on the genre of the particular text. Identify the proper genre or subgenre and understand the basic ways of reading those forms.
3. Define words and concepts—Use a Bible dictionary or commentary to make sure you understand the meanings of the words and idioms (such as “stiff-necked” in v. 14). if you are not a Greek or Hebrew scholar do not pretend to be one. Use good, old, well-established works to do the heavy lifting of the original languages. Beware of interlinear bibles. A majority are based on Jay Green’s work and that is just a fake interlinear. The interlinear bibles in Logos and E-Sword are reliable. The Amplified Bible has limited value as it gives ALL the possible meanings of a word but not how the word is used in context.
4. Look up Old Testament references—Make note of any Old Testament callbacks (such as the reference to Ex 20:4–5 in v. 12).
5. Answer remaining questions—Armed with this new information, read through the text again to try to answer the questions you had on the initial reading.
6. Identify the core message—What overriding theme or purpose is the author trying to communicate in this passage? Compare your conclusions with those of other mature Christians who have studied the Bible. 2 Kings 17. Trust the proven, time honored commentaries that have been around for literal centuries. Matthew Henry, or Jamison, Fausset and Brown, F.B. Meyer, John Gill.

For the Greek, trust Vincent’s Word Studies or Robertson’s Word Studies.

For the Psalms, The Treasury of David.

Best study bible (in my opinion) The Life Application Study Bible in whatever version floats your boat.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Margie in prayer, she fades in and out, what a vibrant testimony to the love of God, she has touched so many people with her grace, dignity and love of God.

Keep Allen in prayer, our former Aryan pastor friend. The church he is attending has a new pastor and he has a problem with Allen, reverse bigotry. Unless he publicly asks you to leave do not leave as the church as come to love you, but be submissive.

Pray for Steve H, guidance, encouragement, blessings, Healing for his wife Pam’s knees.

Thank you for all the prayers, my surgery on my foot went great, pain free and healing well.

WINNING THE BATTLE

October 15, 2021

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The strategy for temptation targeting our spirit is to cultivate a deep, intimate, personal relationship with our Father God through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. We must also learn to hate (i.e., completely separate from) sin even as God hates it (Psalms 97:10.Proverbs 8:13.Hebrews 1:9). Then when temptation comes, we will realize;

This temptation threatens everything I hold dear! (Romans 6:23)

Jesus died a bloody death on the cross to purchase all of me! (1 Corinthians 6:20)

I have no right or authority to even consider this sin! (Ephesians 5:3)

We must “reckon” ourselves dead to sin (Romans 6:11,12). We must live our Christian life based on the fact that sinful nature’s power was broken for us by Jesus at Calvary. Consequently, we are under no obligation to obey its orders (1 Corinthians 9:27). We have been set free from sin, and the proper response is to read God’s emancipation proclamation to the insistent demands of the Adamic nature!

We must realize we are responsible for all sins that we commit after salvation. The believer must know that before salvation, we could not help but sin. After salvation, we sin as a free choice (similar to Adam in the Garden of Eden) (Romans 6:14).

We must count on the fact of our possession of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). This will free us from depending upon our own strength to live sinless (1). We will then recognize the necessity of being moment by moment filled (i.e., lead) by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). The Holy Spirit will then do two things for us:

  • He will suppress the activities of the evil nature (Galatians 5:16).

  • He will produce in the believer a Christlike life (2 Corinthians 3:18).

There are just two things that the believer must do to be moment by moment lead by the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39):

  • Sincerely desire His leading demonstrated by living an obedient life (Acts 5:32).

  • Ask the Lord Jesus for that leading and believe that He will do it (Luke 11:13).

Three Tough Questions:

  • How long will you live as if you are free to do your will and not God’s?

  • How long will you fellowship with a sin that crucified our Lord?

  • How long will you continue to sin against our Holy God?

We can start today to win the victory over this sin in your life by praying the following:

Heavenly Father, I rebelled against You by committing the sin of ________.  I now see that You were right in forbidding it – this sin is destroying my life. I deeply regret this act of rebellion against you, my Holy and Loving Father. Please forgive me of my sin and cleanse me now from this defilement.  I ask for Jesus’ victory over this sin to be displayed in my life that you might be glorified. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart.  Lord Jesus, may those seeing and hearing me see You – be glorified in and through my life today!  Holy Spirit, please reveal the thoughts, words, actions, and attitude of the Lord Jesus in and through my life today.  Let the world see in me the one they so desperately need – the Lord Jesus Christ!  Thank you for continually leading me in life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

(Please read in addition Proverbs 28:13.1 John 1:9.2 Corinthians 7:9,10)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, prayer requests, just want to say hello, please feel free to email us, blessings.

CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS

October 14, 2021

Some of you may think this is so elementary, so basic, that you can skip right over it. Well let me tell you something, in a church of 500 people only 4 families did this exercise religiously, every day.

Can you imagine going to work naked (you wish you perv) or to school. Yet we step out into a world that hates us without any defense at all. This is why stable whole families are so important, a dad, a mom and “x” number of kids. All working together with the dad setting the tone. Everybody up on time, everybody knows what they are wearing (it was laid out the night before) everyone in and out of the bathroom on time, no cell phones on (or in possession) everyone at the breakfast table. And the father praying on the armor of God, every day, whether your kids are 4 years old or 24-year-old. In your house by your rules.

Remember, in school, we learned things by heart by first memorizing them with our brain but then persisted in saying them until we could quote them without even thinking about it (i.e., we learned it by (spiritual) heart (1)). We must do the same thing with scripture that addresses these fundamental teachings. Realize that the Apostle Paul was in prison in Rome (Ephesians 3:1;4:1;6:20) while teaching on this subject, so he used a Roman soldier’s armor as an object lesson to help us understand its importance (Ephesians 6:11-18).

Again, we put this armor on by learning by (spiritual) heart Bible verses that support our understanding of the following six armor pieces that represent foundational teachings of the Bible. Note that each of these pieces of armor is designed to neutralize Satan’s most successful strategy, which is causing us to fear rejection by God (Genesis 3:1-8), fear rejection (1) by others (which can lead to us preemptively reject them before they can reject us) and ultimately self-rejection. If you fear rejection by God, rejection by others, and ultimately reject yourself, then you are without God and without hope in the world and indeed very vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks (Ephesians 2:12. 1 Peter 5:8).

Rejected people, reject people, and easily feel rejected by others. Rejected people look for something to comfort this feeling of rejection, and Satan offers more sin (realize sin is what caused us to feel rejected in the first place!). While this may provide false comfort via temporary pleasure (Hebrews 11:25), it does not remove the feelings of rejection and make us whole. God alone can bring us true comfort that removes the feelings of rejection and makes us whole! (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)

Belt of Truth (Ephesians 6:14) The truth that holds everything together like a belt is that God is grace, mercy, and compassion, and He is for us and not against us (Exodus 34:6,7.Romans 8:31). That we are accepted not based on our performance but our FAITH in Jesus’ sinless performance (Ephesians 2:8,9). That we never have to hide from God when we sin but instead turn to Him to be cleansed of it (1 John 1:9). He is not holding out on us (i.e., not rejecting us) but has already given us everything He has, including Himself! (Romans 8:32.2 Peter 1:3,4). These things are always true, which means that they are TRUTH (Hebrews 13:8).

Breastplate of Righteousness (Ephesians 6:14. Isaiah 59:17) Our spiritual heart is protected knowing Jesus entered an exchange at the Cross of Calvary where He took our sin so that we might have His righteousness or right standing with God (i.e., we can stand right with God at His throne!) (2 Corinthians 5:21.Hebrews 4:16. 1 Thessalonians 5:8). This means we are as righteous as Jesus Christ is righteous! (1 Corinthians 1:30). This righteousness is not something we have earned but instead received by FAITH as a free gift (Romans 3:21-26;5:17;6:23). Consequently, we cannot lose this righteousness by our poor performance! Realize, when we sin, it is between Jesus and us and is none of Satan’s business! If we repent (i.e., realize that sin hurts our fellowship with God, change our mind to stop doing it with God’s help, and align with what God has said about it – that sin kills), then He is faithful to forgive the sin and to cleanse us from all the unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Nevertheless, the sin did not make us unrighteous, just like dirt that gets on sandaled feet does not make a freshly bathed body dirty – only the feet have dirt on them (John 13:10).

Sandals of the preparation that comes from the Gospel of Peace (Ephesians 6:15) We will not slip, trip or stumble due to wondering if God is angry with us because the war for mankind’s eternal fate is over! (Isaiah 54:8,9) God’s just wrath against sin has been fully satisfied having been released in full upon Jesus at the cross (Isaiah 53:4,5,10,11. Colossians 1:20). Consequently, the price for man’s sin has been paid in full by the God-Man Jesus Christ at the Cross of Calvary, thus canceling it (i.e., making it as if we never owed the debt!) (Colossians 2:13-15;1:13,14). We have peace with God, and the offer is available to all that will by FAITH accept it – the free gift of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ! (Acts 2:39. Ephesians 2:8,9. Romans 10:9,10,13)

Shield of Faith (Ephesians 6:16) The shield of FAITH stops the fiery thoughts of Satan that attempt to undermine our relationship with God. Note that all the other pieces of this armor are worn by FAITH, too. So how do we put it into use? When a fiery thought of the enemy comes, such as God is not pleased with you because you are not doing enough for Him (i.e., a works-based “condemnation” message), the shield goes up by doing what Jesus did when He was tempted by Satan (Luke 4:1-13). That is to say: “It is written” and finish with scripture that addresses the area of temptation. In this temptation, the following scriptures would work nicely to run off the tempter: Romans 8:1. Ephesians 2:8,9. Hebrews 11:6 ,etc. However, we must remember that to operate in faith, we must be living in the love of God (Galatians 5:6). That is because fear is the opposite of faith in God, and it is chased away by living in the love of God (1 John 4:18).

Helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17. Isaiah 59:17) Our minds are protected and can be kept in perfect peace knowing that we can trust God to always be there for us (Isaiah 26:3. 1 Thessalonians 5:8). We know that nothing can separate us from God and that He desires to be with us forever! (Romans 8:38,39. Hebrews 13:5,6) That we never have to be anxious because God is more than enough for any and all situations and has already made provision for all of our needs in Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:6,7,19) By not being anxious, we avoid the side effect of depression (Proverbs 12:25). Because God has saved us completely through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), we can always have hope no matter the darkness of our personal situation in life (1 Thessalonians 5:8). Furthermore, what we have hoped for becomes a reality when activated by faith (Hebrews 11:1).

Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), The sword of the Spirit, is wielded by saying the word of God – that the Holy Spirit prompts us to say – from our spiritual heart (Ephesians 6:18. Luke 12:12. Revelation 19:15). Note this is the “Sword of the Holy Spirit,” not our sword. That is, the Holy Spirit attacks the enemy of souls when we say from our spiritual heart the Word of God He brings to our remembrance (2 Corinthians 10:4,5. John 14:26). This is the same way we operated the shield of faith; however, the sword is an offensive weapon where the shield is defensive. The sword of the Spirit is sharper than any two-edged sword, and this double-edged sword is designed for stabbing the enemy to their death. (Judges 3:16-22. Hebrews 4:12,13)

In conclusion, to have the armor of God on, we must spend time studying and memorizing the Bible until we know it by (spiritual) heart (2 Timothy 2:15). An excellent way to learn scripture by (spiritual) heart is to say it over and over to God out loud in prayer! (Isaiah 55:10,11) Over time, we will find that this will change how we think and respond to the events in our lives (Romans 12:2). We will also cultivate our relationship with the Holy Spirit, and it is He who will cause us to live according to the Word of God and not the flesh (Ezekiel 36:27. Galatians 5:16. Isaiah 58:8). It is He who empowers the Word of God coming out of our spiritual hearts to rout the enemy! (James 4:7. Psalms 149:5-9. Romans 16:19,20) Lastly, we have also learned that we must walk in love and have hope activated by faith to wear the armor of God! (1 Corinthians 13:13)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Four hours in the hospital for a 20 minute foot surgery, but it went great thanks for all the prayers and the immense pain relief.

Keep Margie in prayer, she is just about at the end of her journey. Still smiling but not as cheerful, she is waiting for the heavenly clouds to part and go home to heaven.

It has been a long time, but we heard from Tommy today, and all is well. Still praying his sister forgives him.

Keep Steve H in prayer, health, strength, vision, guidance and prayers for his wife Pam, chronic knee pain.

SWEET, SWEET SALVATION

October 12, 2021

God freely offers all people the gift of eternal life—the opportunity to know and have a personal relationship with God and to be with him forever—through faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. But understanding the exact process by which that life becomes available to us is sometimes difficult. For this reason, God paints various pictures in the Bible to help us grasp the concept and reality of spiritual salvation, each one with its own unique emphasis. This article examines three of those pictures: salvation, redemption and justification.

Salvation. Salvation (Gk sötëria) means “deliverance,” “rescue,” “bringing safely through” or “keeping from harm.” Already in the OT God revealed himself as the One who saves his people (Ps 27:1; 88:1; see Dt 26:8, Ps 62:1, Isa 25:6, 53:5,). The means, or process, of salvation is described in the NT as “the way”—the road that leads through earthly life to eternal life with God in heaven (Mt 7:14; Mk 12:14; Jn 14:16; Ac 16:17; 2Pe 2:2, 21; cf. Ac 9:2; 22:4; Heb 10:20). In order to inherit a place in God’s eternal kingdom (Mt 25:34; Heb 1:14; 6:12), we must walk the road of salvation to the very end of our earthly life. We can describe salvation as one way with two sides and three stages:

(1) The one way of salvation. Jesus Christ is the way—the only way—to God the Father (Jn 14:6; Ac 4:12). God offers and provides salvation because of his grace (i.e., his undeserved favor, love, kindness, help), which he showed through his Son, Christ Jesus (Ro 3:24). God’s gracious gift of salvation is based on Christ’s sacrificial death (3:25; 5:8), miraculous resurrection (5:10) and continued intercession (i.e., mediation, representation) in heaven for us (Heb 7:25). His death paid the supreme and complete price for our offenses against God and provided the only means for us to be forgiven for that sin (Mt 26:28; Lk 24:46-47). His resurrection showed, confirmed and secured his power and authority over life and death. It also provided the means for us to be victorious over spiritual death (Ro 6:4; 8:11) and, in the end, to be raised to eternal life. His constant interceding for us in heaven (i.e., representing and pleading our case to our heavenly Father) assures us of access to God and his continued mercy and help (Ro 5:2; Eph 2:18).

(2) The two sides of salvation. Spiritual salvation is a gift of God’s grace that is received through faith in Jesus Christ (Ro 3:22, 24-25, 28). That is to say, salvation is extended to us by God as a result of his grace (Jn 1:16) and is received by us through the response of faith (Ac 16:31; Ro 1:17; Eph 1:15; 2:8).

(3) The three stages of salvation. (a) The past stage of salvation includes the personal experience that takes place at a point in time when we choose to receive God’s forgiveness for sins and yield our lives to Christ (Ac 10:43; Ro 4:6-8). At this point, we pass from spiritual death to spiritual life (1Jn 3:14; see article on Regeneration: Spiritual Birth and Renewal), from the power of sin to the power of the Lord (Ro 6:17-23), from Satan’s control to God’s control (Ac 26:18). In this way, we enter a new personal relationship with God (Jn 1:12) and are rescued from the final penalty of sin (Ro 1:16; 6:23; 1Co 1:18), which is spiritual death and eternal separation from God.

(b) The present stage of salvation saves us from the practice, pattern and control of sin in our daily lives, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit living within us. This side of salvation includes several elements: (i) It includes the privilege of a person-to-person relationship with God as our Father and Jesus as our Lord and Savior (Mt 6:9; Jn 14:18-23; see Jn 17:3, Gal 4:6,). (ii) It includes the challenge to consider ourselves “dead” to sin and its influence (Ro 6:1-14) and to submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:1-17) and God’s Word (Jn 8:31; 14:21; 2Ti 3:15-16). (iii) It includes the invitation to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the command to keep being filled (see Ac 2:33-39; Eph 5:18). (iv) It includes the demand to separate ourselves from sin (Ro 6:1-14) and the corrupt beliefs, behaviors and lifestyles that are common among those who do not know Christ as Savior (Ac 2:40; 2Co 6:17). (v) It includes the call to engage in spiritual warfare for God’s kingdom against Satan and his demons (2Co 10:4-5; Eph 6:11, 16; 1Pe 5:8).

(c) The future stage of salvation (Ro 13:11-12; 1Th 5:8-9; 1Pe 1:5) also includes several elements: (i) It includes rescue and freedom from God’s coming wrath, or condemning judgment, against sin (Ro 5:9; 1Co 3:15; 5:5; 1Th 1:10; 5:9). (ii) It includes sharing in God’s glory (Ro 8:29; 1Co 15:49) and receiving a resurrected and transformed body (1Co 15:52). (iii) It includes receiving eternal rewards for faithfully following Christ and overcoming the trials of the world (see Rev 2:7). This future salvation is the goal toward which all Christians strive (1Co 9:24-27; Php 3:8-14). All present warnings, discipline and punishment prescribed in God’s Word are aimed at keeping Christ’s followers from forfeiting (i.e., giving up, losing) this future salvation (1Co 5:1-13; 9:24-27; Php 2:12, 16; 2Pe 1:5-11; see Heb 12:1, note).

Redemption. The root meaning of “redemption” (Gk apolutrösis) is to be ransomed or bought back or restored by the payment of a price. It also implies being rescued, liberated and set free. The term “redemption” points out the means by which salvation is obtained—by the payment of a ransom. The concept and teaching of redemption can be summarized as follows:

(1) Our sinful condition: The NT describes humans as alienated or separated from God (Ro 3:10-18) because our natural tendency is to defy him and go our own way. Apart from God we are under the influence and control of satanic and evil powers (Ac 10:38; 26:18), we are slaves to sin (Ro 6:6; 7:14) and we are in need of rescue from sin’s guilt, punishment and power (Ac 26:18; Ro 1:18; 6:1-18, 23; Eph 5:8; Col 1:13; 1Pe 2:9).

(2) The price paid to free us: Christ paid and secured the ransom by shedding his own blood and giving his life in our place (Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45; 1Co 6:20; Eph 1:7; Tit 2:14; Heb 9:12; 1Pe 1:18-19). Sin is so opposed to God’s perfect nature and character that it requires the most extreme penalty, which is death (Ro 6:23) and permanent separation from God. There is no escaping that penalty without God’s forgiveness, and “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb 9:22). But only God could provide the perfect and complete payment for sin. He did so through the willing sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus’ death provided the complete payment, and it is sufficient to cover all sin for all time. Those who accept his sacrifice for themselves and surrender their lives to him receive his gifts of forgiveness and eternal life (Jn 3:16; 6:40; Ro 6:23; 1Jn 5:11).

(3) The result of being redeemed: By accepting Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness of sins and surrendering our lives to his authority and purpose, we are freed from Satan’s control and from the guilt and power of sin (Ac 26:18; Ro 6:7, 12, 14, 18; Col 1:13). This freedom from sin, however, does not mean that we can do as we please. Since God has paid the ransom for us, we become his property. Choosing Christ’s freedom from sin makes us willing slaves of God (Ac 26:18; Ro 6:18, 22; 1Co 6:19-20; 7:22-23).

(4) The NT teaching of redemption was foreshadowed and symbolized by various instances of redemption in the OT. The greatest OT redemptive event was the exodus—the miraculous rescue and mass departure of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt (see Ex 6:7, note; 12:26). In addition, through a system of sacrifices, the blood of animals was the price paid for the atonement (i.e., covering over, forgiveness) of sin (see Lev 9:8).

Justification. “To be justified” (Gk dikaioö) means to be “righteous in God’s sight” (Ro 2:13), to be “made righteous” (Ro 5:18-19), to “establish as right” or to “set or put something right.” In a judicial sense, it means to be acquitted or declared “not guilty.” In this respect, it is directly related to God’s forgiveness made available through Christ’s sacrifice. All people are sinners in rebellion and opposition against God. According to his perfect law, we are pronounced guilty and condemned to eternal death. But those who truly repent—who admit their sin, turn from their own way, surrender to Christ and begin following his purposes—enter a right relationship with God. From God’s perspective, when a person accepts Christ’s atoning (i.e., sin-covering, forgiveness-providing) sacrifice for himself or herself, in that moment it is as if that individual had never sinned. God credits Christ’s righteousness to those who receive and follow him (see Ro 4:24-25; Php 3:9). This is what allows God to accept mortal humans into heaven, since no one could ever be good enough to merit or earn a place in heaven on their own. The apostle Paul reveals several truths about justification and how it is accomplished:

(1) Justification (i.e., being put right with God) is only one part of the spiritual “conversion” experience. When a person accepts God’s forgiveness and yields his or her life to Christ, that person’s life is changed from being subject to spiritual death to being guided in a new direction toward eternal life. At that moment, several other things are taking place. First of all, a person receives a new life: he or she is spiritually “born again” (Jn 3:3). Christ comes to live in and through the believer (Gal 2:20). The Holy Spirit also lives in believers, giving the power to overcome sin and live by God’s standards (Ro 8:5-13). The Spirit also confirms that Christ’s followers are God’s children and have an eternal inheritance with Christ (8:16-17). There are many other blessings that come to a Christian at the instant of spiritual conversion. Justification is the part of this experience that makes us right with a completely pure and perfect God. From that point on, however, a Christian must continue to rely on God and obey his Word in order to overcome sin, grow spiritually and serve God’s purposes effectively. In this way, justification marks a starting point on a spiritual journey with Christ. Christians continue to live in a “justified” and right relationship with God as they look to him for forgiveness when they sin and as they rely on him for strength and guidance to accomplish his plans.

(2) Being put right with God is a gift (Ro 3:24; Eph 2:8). No one can make himself or herself right with God by keeping God’s law perfectly (which is impossible) or by performing good works (Ro 4:2-6), “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Ro 3:23).

(3) Being put right with God is grounded in the work of Jesus Christ. It happens “through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Ro 3:24). No one is justified who has not been redeemed by Christ (cf. Gal 2:16) and set free from sin and its power.

(4) Being put right with God comes “by his grace” (i.e., as a result of God’s undeserved favor, love and enablement) and is received “through faith in Jesus Christ” as Lord and Savior—the Forgiver of sins and the Leader of life (Ro 3:22-24; cf. 4:3-5).

(5) Being put right with God is related to the forgiveness of our sins (Ro 4:7). Sinners are declared guilty according to God’s law (Ro 3:9-18, 23) and condemned to eternal death (cf. Ro 3:9-18, 23; 6:23); but they are forgiven through faith in Christ because of his atoning (i.e., sin-covering) death and resurrection (see Ro 3:25 4:5, 4:25; 5:6-11). As a result, they receive God’s gift of eternal life (cf. Ro 6:23; 8:1-3).

(6) When we are put right with God through faith in Christ, we are “crucified with Christ” (Gal 2:20) and Christ comes to live in us (Gal 2:16-21). That is to say, we identify with Christ’s death for our sins so that we also can identify with and receive his gift of life and his power to continually overcome our pull toward rebellion against God. Through this experience, we are not only made right with God, but we also continue to grow in righteousness as we continually submit to Christ and allow him to live through us (2:19-21). This ongoing, life-transforming work of Christ is accomplished in us through the Holy Spirit (cf. 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2). Christ’s initial work of spiritual redemption cannot be separated from the Spirit’s ongoing work of spiritual sanctification, which involves purification, perfection, separation from evil, growth and development for God’s purposes. The work of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit are interdependent, cooperative and mutually supporting.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, prayer requests, just saying hello, drop us an email.

Almost forgot our bible quiz winner, Suzanne Meyers, Bridgeport, Connecticut, Elijah and then Elisha, easy way to remember who comes first, “J” before “S”

JUST A LITTLE PRICK

October 11, 2021

Why is America (and the World) not experiencing revival even though many are praying for it?

Ask 10 different preachers, professors, and bible scholars the reason and you might possibly get 10 different answers.

Some believe that man can do nothing to bring about revival. That it is strictly in the providence of God, His schedule, His calendar, and nothing we can to can change that. And there is some truth in that.

Charles Finney one of the greatest American Evangelists that ever lived felt that way but with a plus. If a church, each and every member would deeply repent of their sins, then God might grant such a revival.

Therefore, if a person believes there can be human participation working hand in hand with God, then there can indeed be a revival.

Since there has not been a revival and people every where are praying for one there is only two possible answers. One, it is not in God’s calendar, perhaps we have gone to far in the wrong direction and/or two, people (Christians) are not genuinely repenting of their sins.

Many understand the term repentance to mean “a turning from sin.” Regretting sin and turning from it is related to repentance, but it is not the precise meaning of the word. In the Bible, the word repent means “to change one’s mind.” The Bible also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8–14; Acts 3:19). In summarizing his ministry, Paul declares, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20). The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action.

Repentance involves recognizing that you have thought wrongly in the past and determining to think rightly in the future. The repentant person has “second thoughts” about the mindset he formerly embraced. There is a change of disposition and a new way of thinking about God, about sin, about holiness, and about doing God’s will. True repentance is prompted by “godly sorrow,” and it “leads to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10) and in our thinking it can also lead to Christians having a revival.

In the Bible, repentance results in a change in behavior. That is why John the Baptist called people to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). A person who has truly repented of his sin and exercised faith in Christ will give evidence of a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:19–23; James 2:14–26).

No repentance, no revival.

Here is the dangerous part, not soul damning, but soul hardening.

If God has called us as a nation, meaning first of all YOU as an individual and the Holy Spirit told you which specific sin to give up and you did not become obedient, then you/we have hardened our heart and we will reap what we sow and it will not be a revival.

Think it over, is all that you do, think and act, pleasing to God?

NO REPENTANCE, NO REVIVAL.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Keep Margie in prayer, still in great spirit, still smiling, but her body is losing the fight, slowly but gradually. But what a testimony is shining through her. Many nurses have been touched by her sweet spirit and quoting of so many bible verses for each person.

Pray for Kaylee, a young (19) run away woman. Such a tale of sorrow. Needs salvation, needs healing, needs to let law enforcement do its part. Heartbreaking. We have her staying with Crissy, who is no stranger to abuse and will let Kaylee stay as long as she wants.

Less pain today, thank you for your prayers. I could actually walk today with out a cane or a walker.

Keep Steve H in prayer, guidance, encouragement, vim and vigor. For his wife Pam, we are praying for God to completely heal her knees.

CAN YOU SMELL THE BIBLE

October 10, 2021

2 Kings 7

New International Version

Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah[a] of the finest flour will sell for a shekel[b] and two seahs[c] of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?”

“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!”

The Siege Lifted

Now there were four men with leprosy[d] at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”

10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” 11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

12 The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking, ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’”

13 One of his officers answered, “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here—yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.”

14 So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, “Go and find out what has happened.” 15 They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight. So the messengers returned and reported to the king. 16 Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of the finest flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the Lord had said.

17 Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died, just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house. 18 It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

19 The officer had said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” The man of God had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!” 20 And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.

As children we’re taught to use our imaginations when reading. Adults ask us to visualize and describe what we’re seeing in our minds when we read stories about animals or tales of adventure. We naturally put ourselves into the tales and create “movies” we could watch in our mind’s eye.

But sometimes when we read as adults, we set aside our imaginative faculties. We read for a purpose so we skip the scene setting and instead try to extract and analyze “information.” Ironically, this causes us to miss much of value in a text.

Engaging with the Bible creatively and accessing the resources of our imagination enables us to perceive emphasis, tone, nuance, emotional-motivational force and aesthetic appeal that might be otherwise overlooked or misunderstood.

Here are a few exercises to help you to use your imagination to “enter the text.” Read through 2 Kings 7. Then read it again, using one of the following perspectives:

➤ As a newspaper reporter—Imagine you’re reporting on this event for a modern newspaper. How do you describe the scene and events? What background information do you include to make it accessible for your audience?

➤ As an eyewitness—Describe the scene as if you’re an eyewitness asked to provide evidence for a jury trial. What details do you include? How do you describe the people involved in the action and their motives?

➤ As a film director—Imagine you’re a director and this passage is a key scene in your movie. What camera angles do you use? What background music is playing, and how does it change as the scene progresses?

➤ As a character—Imagine you’re one of the people described in the passage. Everything happening is occurring in real time and you don’t know what comes next. How does that affect your understanding of the events taking place?

➤ Using your senses—Describe the scene using your senses. Start by creating as strong a visual impression as possible. Next move to hearing. Recreate the voices speaking and the ambient sounds (the clanging of the chariots and so on). Then, consider other senses. What smells are dominant? What do objects in the scene feel like when touched? 2 Kings 7

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for those on our salvation list, we are praying that they will give their hearts to Jesus, the Son of God. Tara, Lauren, Anne, Cheyenne, Oscar, Cristina, Drew, Tavon, Lubbock, Philip, Hunter, Garrett. Norma Perales and her husband Rick and adult son Rick Jr.

FREE BIBLE GIVE AWAY,

NO STRINGS, NO SHIPPING, NO HIDDEN COSTS.

TWO PROPHETS IN THE BIBLE, BOTH OF THEIR NAMES START WITH THE LETTER ‘E’ ONE IS THE MENTOR, WHO COMES FIRST AND WHAT ARE THEIR NAMES. EMAIL YOU ANSWER AND WE WILL SHIP YOU YOUR FREE BIBLE.

BE ONE TOO!

October 9, 2021

NUMBER ONE REQUESTED RE-POST FOR DEVOTIONS AND BECAUSE WE HAVE SO MANY NEW READERS, BLESSINGS

WHO’S WITH ME, DO YOU WANT TO GROW UP AND BE A POTATO CHIP?

BETTER LET ME EXPLAIN, LAYS POTATO CHIPS THEY HAVE ONE THAT’S LABELED, ‘LIGHTLY SALTED; IN A WEIRD WAY IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT THAT EXPLAINS THE FOUR GOSPELS AND THE BOOK OF ACTS (NOT COMPLETELY BUT ALMOST).

GOD IS LIGHT, HIS SON IS LIGHT, AND WE ARE CALLED TO BE LIGHT. IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN IT SAYS THAT DARKNESS (EVIL, THE DEVIL) CANNOT OVERCOME THE LIGHT OR EVEN UNDERSTAND IT. THAT’S HOW POWERFUL LIGHT IS.

SO WE ARE CALLED TO LIGHT.

WE ARE ALSO CALLED TO BE SALT

THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW 5:13 SAYS WE ARE TO BE THE SALT OF THE EARTH. WE ARE TO BRING FLAVOR AND BE A PRESERVATIVE TO THE WORLD. BUT IF THE SALT LOSES ITS FLAVOR IT IS NO GOOD; AND THERE IS THE PROBLEM.

FOUR THINGS WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DO AS CHRISTIANS.ONE, BE LIGHT, TWO BE SALT, THREE BE CHRIST LIKE, AND FOUR BE MATURE.

WE CAN’T LEAVE ONE PART OUT, WE ARE TO SHINE IN DARKNESS AND LET THE WORLD KNOW A RESURRECTED CHRIST; WE ARE TO HAVE AN INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD THAT ACTUALLY STOPS OR RETARDS THE PEOPLE AND THEIR SINS (CONVICTION AND THAT GOD LOVES THEM). BE CHRIST LIKE IN ALL WE DO SO THE LIGHT SHINES FROM US. AND GROW UP SO WE CAN GROW OUT.

SO HERE’S MY PROPOSITION, SPEAKING JUST ABOUT AMERICA, WE HAVE PRETTY MUCH FAILED IN EVANGELISM, WITNESSING AND SPREADING THE HOPE OF GOD. SO EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG IN OUR COUNTRY IS PRETTY MUCH THE CHURCHES FAULT AND OF COURSE THE SINFULNESS OF MAN.

ONE WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER, THE OTHER WE DO. DON’T BLAME THE GOVERNMENT, OR POLITICIANS, THE QUESTION WE HAVE TO ASK IS ‘HAVE OUR LIGHTS GONE OUT AND IS THE SALT GONE FROM OUR LIVES?

HOW MANY FAMOUS TV AND BOOK PASTORS ARE SAYING THE BIBLE ISN’T HISTORICALLY RELEVANT, IT HAS NO PLACE IN THE PLACE OF MODERN MAN. HOW ABOUT ALL THE CHURCHES THAT HAVE ONE GOAL ON SUNDAY, TO MAKE YOU FEEL HAPPY AND GOOD ABOUT YOUR SELF (BIG NEWS FLASH, GOD DOESN’T ACTUALLY CARE IF YOUR HAPPY).

THERE IS A WELL KNOWN PASTOR NEAR HERE THAT TOLD ME HE HASN’T PREACHED A MESSAGE ABOUT SIN IN OVER 15 YEARS AND WOULDN’T BECAUSE HE THINKS THAT MESSAGE WOULD DRIVE THE CROWDS AWAY.

ASK YOUR SELF ‘WHY DO I GO TO CHURCH?’ HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU’VE WITNESSED TO SOMEONE OR TRIED TO HOLD A BROTHER OR SISTER ACCOUNTABLE FOR SOMETHING THEY ARE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH?

BE BIG

BE BOLD

BE BRAVE

BE SALTY

SO TODAY WILL YOU RENEW YOUR VOW TO BE A POTATO CHIP, VOTE YES.

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

PRAY FOR STEVE H, vitality and endurance, guidance for his old church THE HAPPY ZION BAPTIST CHURCH as they are seeking a pastor. Healing for his wife Pam, chronic knee pain.

Thank you for all the prayers, had a less painful day. Pray for all those that suffer chronic pain and the depression and tiredness that are all part of a vicious cycle.

Keep J.C. Hickman in prayer as he battles cancer.

Keep Margie in prayer, she is now in hospice but still smiling.

STAYING YET GOING

October 8, 2021

You Will Know You Are Abiding in Christ (1 John 2:6)

When God saved us He did not save us simply to take us to heaven. He saved us that we might be conformed to His perfect image—that we might become like Jesus (Rom 8:29; 1 John 3:2). He saved us that we might “walk just as He walked.”

Verse 6 is the second “the one who says” statement in this section (cf. vv. 4, 9). Here John speaks of our remaining, or abiding, in Him. Jesus said a lot about this in John 15. So will John. He will use this word 23 times in this epistle (Gk meno, translated “remain” in Holman Christian Standard Bible). Like obeying Jesus and loving Jesus, abiding in Christ is the natural outgrowth of knowing Him. The idea is one of continuing in Jesus.

John says we have both a statement to prove and a Savior to imitate. And the word “should” conveys a moral obligation for our walk to match our talk. To truly abide in Christ means I will live (walk) like Christ. This theme is not unique to 1 John but is repeated several times in the New Testament.

  Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. (John 15:4–5)

  Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ. (1 Cor 11:1)

  Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. (Eph 5:1)

  For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps. (1 Pet 2:21)

Like Father, like Son. Like Savior, like saint. Christ’s life becomes my life, my example, my goal, and my pattern. And we must note that it is abiding in Him that enables me to live like Him. I don’t do it in my strength. I do it in His! I don’t have to be like Him to be assured, I want to be like Him and am assured. John Stott says, “We cannot claim to abide in Him unless we are like Him” (Stott, The Letters of John, 97). But as we abide in Him we will be like Him because we will know Him.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Keep J.C. Hickman in prayer, another round of chemo.

Keep praying for Margie, they admitted her to hospice today. Still a smile on her face and telling everyone her favorite bible verses.

Pray for Steve H, guidance, encouragement, blessings, vim and vigor, pray for healing of his wife Pam’s knees.

Praying for the Happy Zion Baptist Church for the right man to be their pastor.

Pray for me, spent the day lying on ice packs and then heating pads all day with back and hip pain. Been awhile since it has been this bad.