Pride is a Grace Killer
The greatest necessity in the Christian life is grace. Many of you have heard grace definitions over and over again. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. We do not deserve God’s favor. We have not earned it. In fact, the only thing we ever earned from God is death. “For the wages of sin is death…”Romans 6:23a Every human being that has come to the knowledge of good and evil, (we reach this time as a young child), has earned death and hell. “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23b That, my friend, is grace.
I heard Bill Gothard describe grace as “The desire and the power to do the will of God.” In our spirit (heart) there is a desire, and as we obey that desire we find that we have the power to do so. We have the desire to be saved and we have the power to be saved. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” Colossians 2:6. We received Him by grace through faith. We walk in Him by grace through faith. [click to continue…]
It is no secret that the New Testament Church had great power from God that resulted in turning the wrong side up world upside down which made it right side up. Every church since that day was to do the same thing–preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, cast out devils and heal the sick in heart and body. There are many Old Testament prophecies that point to this lifestyle, but let’s look at the one in Isaiah, chapter sixty one.
The first verse here is a prophecy that we will see fullfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 4:18. This verse tells us why the Holy Spirit comes upon a person. Because He hath anointed him to do some things. I believe, as did Bro. Manley Beasley and Dr. Jack Hyles, that there is a difference between the Holy Spirit within and the Holy Spirit upon. As Bro. Beasley stated, the Holy Spirit within is for character and the Holy Spirit upon is for power or authority. The same Holy Spirit, but two different ministries. When we receive the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, the Holy Spirit comes into our Spirit, gives us a new birth, and seals us with Himself. When we begin to obey God, the Holy Spirit comes upon us to give us power to be witnesses unto our Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Hyles has an excellent book Meet the Holy Spirit that can be ordered from First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana, that explains this very well. Dr. John R. Rice also has a very good booklet on how Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit that you can order from Sword of the Lord that speaks of the importance of baptism as the first step of obedience to the new Christian. [click to continue…]
General Wainwright was captured by the Japanese during World War II. He, along with scores of Americans and Allies, were put in prison camps. When Japan surrendered at the close of the war, the news was forwarded to the Japanese commandant where the general was held prisoner. The commandant, however, did not inform the prisoners, but continued to hold them captive and treat them with ill will and horrendous abuse.
One day, a small aircraft landed at the prison compound and informed the prisoners of Japanese surrender and that all of the prisoners were free now. General Wainwright walked into the commandant’s office and said, “My commander in chief has defeated your commander in chief and I am in charge now.” Hallelujah! [click to continue…]
First Stage – Infancy
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 1 John 2:12-14
In 1 John 2:12-14 we clearly see the four stages of the Christian life. As we shall see, it parallels the physical life, but actually has nothing to do with periods of time.
The first stage we see in verse 12 is that of a baby Christian. This is one who has seen themselves a guilty, hell bound sinner, lost without God and without hope. They have believed the gospel, the good news that our Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth to save sinners. He shed His Blood on the cross and there died for the sins of the whole world. They have repented from self-righteousness and turned to God and put their faith solely in the Lord Jesus. They have been born into God’s family and they need the milk of the Word of God immediately. [click to continue…]