Verse of the Day

My Musings, Observations, etc.


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December 31, 2011
Many people like to label those of us who believe the Bible as legalistic. Nothing could be farther from the truth. What is legalism? With regard to religion, it is the belief that salvation is gained through good works. One could also make the application that a strict adherence to rules is required. With that in mind, am I a legalist? Absolutely not.

First, salvation is by grace through faith. There is nothing we could ever do to earn our salvation.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Knowing that salvation is not according to anything one could do, it is impossible to use this definition to label me as a legalist.

As far as a "strict adherence to the law" goes, we have a schoolmaster in the law which shows us our need for salvation. Once a person is saved, we are made free from the law. As one who is saved, I enjoy the freedom to do whatever I wish. However, knowing I am free from the law and having been saved from the fires of hell (the fire I deserved), I willingly serve my Lord and do as He wishes. How can I know what the Lord wants for me? I can look to the Word of God.

Now that we see who the legalist is not, who is the real legalist? The real legalist is the one who looks for loopholes, the one who lives his life according to the exclusions and omissions from the Word of God.

When the Word of God is so clearly against the use of alcohol, the legalist will point out that there is no clear "thou shalt not drink beer."

When the Word of God is clear about worldly associations and entertainment, the legalist will say there is no clear commandment saying, "Thou shalt not listen to (supposedly) Christian rock." The legalist will point out that the Scriptures do not specifically prohibit going to movies, wearing pants (or other immodest apparel).

The legalist would point out that the Bible does not directly say, "thou shalt not date."

The legalist would point out that the Bible does not say, "thou shalt not go lay naked on the beach nor go with those who would lay naked."
**I know, some of you are saying you don't go to the nude beach, but the Bible gives a clear definition of "naked" and that standard is met at every beach.**

The legalist would point out that there is no clear prohibition against the abuse of drugs and tobacco.

When the legalist dilutes the Word of God into any of the corrupt versions, they may even claim there is no prohibition against women or sodomite preachers.

When we look at those who would twist Scripture or take things out of context to thwart God's Word or to suit their flesh, we also see a clear example of the true pharisee. The pharisees did not know Christ, but they knew the law. I am amazed at how well today's pharisees (let's use the modern term for them: liberals) know the Word of God when it suits them, and ignore it when it does not.

The point is, I am not the legalist. I am not living by a strict set of rules. It is the the modern pharisees, the liberals who are always looking for a way to escape the will of God who are the legalists. It is these modern pharisees who twist and ignore the Word of God to suit their own flesh.
December 29, 2011
There are many who claim Independent Baptist Churches are not really independent. Well, they are right. They got us. Our secret is out! At least, I am certainly not independent.

In his day, Paul dealt with an issue in the Corinthian church where people were following certain men. Some followed Apollos, some follow Paul and some follow others. Today, some follow Bob Jones, some follow Peter Ruckman, some follow John Calvin, some follow Jack Hyles and some follow others. Consider the following passage:
1Co 3:3-7 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (4) For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (5) Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (6) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Paul referred to these who followed men as carnal. So, following Paul's example, I refuse to be a follower of men. If we stopped there, many would label me as independent, but I am not. In fact, there is a man who I diligently try to follow. Who, do you ask, is that man? Jesus.

Am I independent? No. I am a bond-slave who has been bought with a price. I strive to do my Master's bidding and serve Him every day. Is this service laborious? Absolutely not. I am thankful for my Master's work in my life. He rescued me. I was on a broad path of destruction. There were many people on this path with me: co-workers, friends, relatives and strangers. Sadly, there are still many on this path. However, there was a day when Jesus, my Master, came along and showed me the end of this broad path. He offered me an alternative. He showed me that it was my sins which were taking me down this road. He also showed me how a debt had accumulated for my sin. Finally, through His Holy and Precious Word, He showed me that the debt had been paid. How was the debt paid? Who paid it? My master purchased my redemption with His own blood.

You may also be on this path, but the same blood which purchased me can set you free as well.
December 24, 2011
Do you believe??

SANTA IS OMNISCIENT – He knows exactly what everyone is doing, all year long and he keeps a record of when you are good and bad. Then, at the end of every year, children, who believe, are rewarded based on their works.
Ultimately, there is one who will judge: Jesus.
Re 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Re 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

SANTA IS OMNIPOTENT – The weather doesn’t hinder Santa at all. No matter how bad the storm nor how strong the wind, Santa was able to accomplish his goals. It is almost as though Santa can control the weather.
We know there is only one who has ever calmed a storm: Jesus.
Mark 4:37-39 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. (38) And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? (39) And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

SANTA IS OMNIPRESENT – Let’s face it. The only way the fat man could make all the stops he makes, in the short amount of time he has (less than a second), he must be everywhere at once. That does not even take into account the creepy claim that he can “see you when you’re sleeping.”
Psalms 139:7-8 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? (8) If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Proverbs 15:3 ¶ The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
SANTA IS ETERNAL – Though generations are born, age and die, Santa never ages.
Mal 3:6a For I am the LORD, I change not
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

SANTA IS WORSHIPPED – This is, perhaps, the saddest fact of all. I received a card one day which depicted a child kneeling beside his bed as though he were praying. His hands were folded and his eyes were closed. Above his head in a cloud was a picture of Santa. To whom was the child praying? Many other children, when asked, do not know who Jesus is, but they certainly know Santa.
Ex 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
God is clear about this. We are to worship no one (or no thing) other than Jehovah.

Of course, it’s all in fun, right? After all, telling a kid to believe in something that isn’t real doesn’t really hurt anyone, does it? It isn’t like Santa is a lie or anything.
Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
December 3, 2011
John 6:60-71 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (61) When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? (62) What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? (63) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (64) But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. (66) From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (67) Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? (68) Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (69) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (70) Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? (71) He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
When the Spirit of God makes someone alive, there is a definite, certain change in their life. They are new, refreshed. They are a completely different person. Jesus was taking His message of eternal life to the multitudes. As Jesus delivered this message, there was one who traveled with them who was against Him. Judas was, as Jesus described, a devil. If a devil can get in among Jesus and the eleven other disciples, how easy would it be for us to be deceived by a devil? We need to always be walking with God and relying upon the Holy Spirit of God to guide us and to protect us.
December 2, 2011
John 6:52-59 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? (53) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (54) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. Joh 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. (57) As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (58) This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (59) These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
Jesus must shed His own blood and sacrifice His own body to pay for our sins. When we are saved, we are taking part in the blood which was shed for us and the body which was sacrificed for us. That is the eating and drinking to which Jesus is referring. We are not literally eating the flesh and drinking the blood to be saved but we are allowing the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood and body to be applied to our sin.
December 1, 2011
John 6:39-51 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (41) The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. (42) And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? (43) Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. (44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (45) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. (46) Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. (47) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (48) I am that bread of life. (49) Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. (50) This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. (51) I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
The Jews are upset with Jesus. When they think of bread from heaven, they think of the manna the Jews ate as they wandered in the wilderness. Now, Jesus comes along and claims to be the Bread of Life. This angers the Jews. They do not understand what Jesus is telling them. Jesus tries to explain to them that all the people who ate the manna in the wilderness (read the book of Exodus) have died. However, whoever eats the Bread of Life (or believes in Jesus) will be saved. The bread Jesus is giving them, His own body, is what will be sacrificed on the cross later in our study.