DARKNESS IS ON THE RUN

October 20, 2021

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

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.

AS LONG AS IT TAKES

October 19, 2021

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

We have very many prayer requests today, some of these folks I have known personally as their pastor for years. Some we have never met face to face, but they follow scumlikeuschurch.wordpress.com. we are blessed to have some very dedicated prayer warriors that take very seriously a sacred duty to pray for you at least once a day, some several times a day. We say, “God Bless you all”.

A common question I get asked often about prayer; “pastor, how long am I supposed to pray for this person or for this request”?

I have a couple of answers; one, until the prayer is answered, two, until the person is healed or passed away, three; God removes the burden to pray for the person, place or thing. fourth; God answers with a no.

I am sure there are more answers, but I feel like these are the most common ones.

Pray for Ray M. almost died of covid, only by getting Hydroxychloroquine did he recover, one more day and he probably would have died. He is a high-risk person and is fearful of getting a variant and is very fearful. So keep him in prayer.

Larry A, just diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Pray for Margie, still hanging in there dying what and when the doctors are saying about her dying, still smiling and still singing.

Keep Matthew in prayer, they are now saying a birth defect is what is causing all his hip pain.

Pray for Steve H, encouragement, guidance, a blossoming of his gifts. For his wife Pam, healing of her knees. pray the bid they put in for a home is accepted

Salvation for Lauren, Tara, Anne, Cheyenne, Cristina, Norma Perales, Hunter, Garrett, Tavon, Philip, Drew, Lubbock, Rick Perales and son Rick Jr. Oscar.

Allen says thank you for the prayers and the new pastor has been given a new spiritual heart.

Larry R, healing of cancer.

Dave I, as he battles his 5th cancer battle.

  1. C. Hickman, healing from cancer.

Pray hard, for Caliste Burt, problems with the last 2 brain tumors. This a great Christian warrior, surround her with prayer.

Pray for the Happy Zion Church in Missouri, looking for an exceptional pastor, fit just right for them.

BLESSING THE BLESSERS

October 18, 2021

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes we lack in appreciating each other as believers in Christ. We need to follow Paul’s example, and record what we see in others. You probably have all heard this statement, “80% of the work done in church is done by 20% of the people”. Well that is a true statement, not only in work but in financial support as well.

There is always nameless brother, an elderly saint, a widowed person, that in the background constantly praying, writing cards, visiting shut-in’s and they are never heralded, nor do they want to be.

And there are those who just by nature are natural encouragers, God bless them.

  1. Of the Nameless Brother, he said his praises were in all the churches—2 Cor. 8:18.

  2. Of Epaphras, he said, “He labored fervently in prayer” (Col. 4:12).

  3. Of Epaphroditus, he said, “He ministered to my wants” (Phil. 2:25).

  4. Of Onesimus, the slave, he said, He is “a faithful and beloved brother” (Col. 4:9).

  5. Of the Women in Philippi, he said, “They labored with me” (Phil. 4:3).

  6. Of the Thessalonian Saints he said, “From you sounded out the Word of the Lord” (1 Thess. 1:8).

  7. Of Onesiphorus, he said, “He oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain” (2 Tim. 1:16).

We need to make sure as pastors and church leaders we are lifting up and encouraging those are laboring and striving for the church without wanting any spotlight on them.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Bill and Lois W, getting old and they need to admit they need help and fellowship.

Craig L, nationally known attorney, just retired and is driving his wife nuts because now he is home bugging her. Could be a homicide if he does not get a hobby.

Keep Dave I, in prayer, has battled and won 4 times against prostate cancer and now number 5 is back.

Margie is barely hanging on, doctors say she should have passed on last week but nope she is still praying and very feebly singing or humming old hymns and being a witness to Jesus.

Keep Steve H in prayer,vim and vigor, encouragement, blessing. And for his wife Pam, complete healing of her knees.

Continued prayers for the Happy Zion Baptist Church in Missouri, praying for the perfect pastor for them.

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

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

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.

FRAGILE CHRISTIANS

October 2, 2021

“Be Not Anxious” Matt. 6:25, R.V.

“Glass, with anxiety!” Strange expression this! What does it mean? These words accompanied a parcel sent from Norway to England, and they were intended to indicate that the sender feared, from the fragile nature of the contents, that some mishap might befall it.

Is there not a lesson here for Christians? Might not some of us be rightly labelled, “Christians with anxiety?” In many instances there is no need for a label, as anxiety is only too plainly stamped upon the countenance, although the apostolic injunction is, “In nothing be anxious” (Phil. 4:6. R.V.). Some obey this command in certain circumstances only, while others reverse the reading, and live as though they were to be anxious for everything. The Lord wishes His children to carry their worries and anxieties to Him; and to leave them with Him. Here are seven things which He bids us cast upon Him, or commit unto Him.

  1. Commit Yourself unto Him. “He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). Paul deposited himself in the hands of the Heavenly Banker; and, as the money in the Bank of England is kept safe in the strong-rooms within and by the guard without, so was the apostle, for he was kept by the Holy Spirit within, and by the Lord who encamped round about him.

  2. Commit Your Soul unto Him. “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19). Suffering we shall have, but if we commit the keeping of our souls unto the Lord in well-doing, as the three Hebrew young men did, we shall, like them, cut loose our bonds, and gain the company of Jesus.

  3. Commit Your Spirit unto Him. “Into Thine hand I commit my spirit” (Psa. 31:5). If the Lord has the control of our spirit, He will control us altogether.

  4. Commit Your Way unto Him. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass” (Psa. 37:5). If we commit our way unto Him, we shall never stray from Him.

  5. Commit Your Works unto Him. “Commit thy works unto the Lord” (Prov. 16:3). If the Lord controls the works and the workers, there will be no clashing in the working.

  6. Commit Your Burden unto Him. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord” (Psa. 55:22). If the Lord is our Burden-bearer, we shall be free to bear one another’s burdens.

  7. Commit Your Care unto Him. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). One, John Careless, a martyr, in writing to a friend, said: “Now my soul is turned to her old rest again, and has taken a sweet nap in Christ’s lap. I have cast my care upon the Lord, who careth for me, and will be careless, according to my name.” If we cast all our cares upon Him, He will take all care of us.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Thank you Patty for the pictures from Hungary, beautiful.

Jac, is doing great and she reiterates her thanks for the prayers.

Margie is not slowing down one bit.

Caliste is concerned and fearful, her brain scan is Monday.

KNOW AND OBEY

October 1, 2021

Know and Obey to Be Happy in Jesus

1 JOHN 2:3–11

Main Idea: True followers of Jesus will have assurance in their salvation because they know, love, and obey Him.

  1. Obey Christ’s Commands and Enjoy the Assurance of Salvation (2:3–6).

  2. You will know that you know Him (2:3–4).

  3. You will know His love perfectly (2:5).

  4. You will know you are abiding in Christ (2:6).

  5. Love One Another and Walk in the Light of Salvation (2:7–11).

  6. God’s love has been with us since conversion (2:7).

  7. God’s love is seen most truly in Jesus and His followers (2:8).

  8. God’s love exposes the darkness of hatred (2:9–11).

Is it possible to know God and to live like the Devil? Is it possible to truly know God and have no life change? Adrian Rogers answered these questions this way: “Study the Bible to know about God. Obey the Bible to really know God” (Adrianisms, 33). The apostle John would agree. He explained in 1 John that it is one thing to say you know God, but it is another to really know Him. To help us be “sure that we have come to know Him” (2:3), John provides a threefold test that he returns to again and again in this letter. We can put them in the form of three questions. First, do I believe the right things about Jesus? We may call this the theological test. Second, do I obey the commands of God? This is the moral test. Third, do I love others? This is the ethical test. John addressed the theological test in 1:5–2:2. Now he will address the moral test in 2:3–6 and the ethical test in 2:7–11. His goal is that you and I would live in the assurance of our salvation and thereby be happy in Jesus all the days of our lives.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Keep Caliste Burt in prayer, she has been having headaches, with 2 inoperable brain tumors it is not always easy to tell allergies from something more serious. So more testing is coming up.

Remember Margie in prayer, according to the doctors she was supposed to be dead by now, well she is not out playing golf, but neither is she dead. Still up and around and still has that great sense of humor.

Keep Steve H, in prayer, vim and vigor, encouragement, guidance. We are all believing God to heal Pam of her knee pain.