WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT JUSTIFICATION – ARE YOU JUSTIFIED BY HIS GRACE?

February 27, 2012

   “And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”


Romans 5:16-18 KJV

Justification, in the Biblical sense, means being declared “Right” in God‘s sight. When I am justified before God it is just as if I’d never sinned.  Justification is the process of being made just.  Someone who is justified has been made Just.  Someone who is just is without blame.  A comprehensive study of scripture relating to justification reveals what it is and how mankind is justified in the sight of God. All the doctrines of the Bible are important, but none is more vital to the peace and rest of the child of God than the Bible truth of Justification. The believer does not ascend to the peak of Christian joy until he appreciates and appropriates this aspect of the grace of God. Forgiveness is wonderful; pardon is wonderful; cleansing is wonderful; but Justification is more wonderful. In Paul’s day, and later in the days of the Protestant Reformation, and in our own day, it would be difficult to find a truth more cardinal to our historic Christian faith than the doctrine of Justification. The question of man’s justification before God was raised early in man’s history. In the Book of Job we read, “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? How then can man be justified with God?” Job 9:2, 25:4 KJV  In the New Testament the Apostle Paul, developed it more fully. He said, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39 KJV  Paul says that forgiveness and justification are made possible through Jesus Christ, but he makes it clear that the two are not identical. If a criminal is found guilty and convicted of crime, he may be forgiven by the offended party and even pardoned by the governor, but he remains guilty of his offense. His guilt was established and the court records carry it as such. He has been forgiven but not justified. The Apostle is saying that God does two things for the guilty but believing sinner that no man can possibly do for another; that is, He both forgives and justifies. Justification is more than forgiveness. We can forgive another for his wrong, but never can we justify him. Forgiveness assumes guilt; therefore, the guilty one cannot be justified. On the other hand, if we justify a man, then he needs no forgiveness, because justification assumes no guilt. But since all men are both guilty and condemned sinners before God, all need both forgiveness and justification before entering the Kingdom of God. Justification can be defined as that act of God whereby He declares absolutely righteous any and all who take shelter in the blood of Christ as their only hope for salvation. Justification is a legal term which changes the believing sinner’s standing before God, declaring him acquitted and accepted by God, with the guilt and penalty of his sins put away forever. Justification is the sentence of the Judge in favor of the condemned man, clearing him of all blame and freeing him of every charge. Justification does not make the sinner righteous, but when God sees him “in Christ,” He declares that he is righteous, thereby pronouncing the verdict of “not guilty.” In modern jurisprudence a sentence in any court must be in keeping with the facts presented. A judge has no right to condemn the innocent or to clear the guilty. Only God can clear the guilty. We must keep in mind the fact that there is a close connection between the act of justifying and the imputed righteousness of the one who has been justified. A just person is one who has been declared righteous by God. God is the Author of Justification. The Bible says, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Romans 8:33 KJV  What is the function of justification?  First, we know that sinners are justified by God. God Himself is the Justifier. Only God can justify a man; no man can justify another man. The source of justification must be in the one holy and righteous God. The Bible states, “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.” Deuteronomy 25:1 KJV  If a man is not guilty of a charge made against him, he should be justified. All men are sinners, and since all sin is against God, He only must be satisfied. The Bible says, “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:26 KJV  Second, we are justified by grace. The Bible says, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:24 KJV  Look carefully at the text and notice that word “freely.” The Greek word (dorean) translated “freely” means “without a cause. There was no cause in the words and works of Jesus for which men should hate Him, yet He was hated “freely,” “without a cause.” Just as there was no cause that men should hate our Lord, so there was no cause that God should justify man; but He justifies him “freely,” without a cause. Jesus came with a heart full of love for mankind, but they hated Him. You cannot buy it with money, for it is “freely by His grace.”  Third, we are justified by blood. The provision for righteousness is solely through the blood of Christ. The Bible says, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:9 KJV  These next verses are of tremendous importance because they show the only ground of justification. It says, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26 KJV  God can make bad men good only through the death of His Son, for we are justified by His Blood. Fourth, we are justified by faith. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   The Bible says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 3:28, 4:5 KJV  This is the God-ward aspect of justification, but like all the blessings of salvation, the sinner cannot receive it until he accepts it, and this he does when he acknowledges his guilt and puts personal faith in what God has done for him in Christ. Fifth, we are justified  by the spirit. The Bible says, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV  The believing sinner’s righteousness is the plan of God the Father, the provision of God the Son, and by the power of God the Holy Spirit. When a man says he has been justified by God, his fellowmen have a right to expect him to prove his faith by his good works. The Bible says, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” James 2:24 KJV  God’s standard of holiness is man’s that things which are approved of men may be counted as evil in the sight of God. Let us make certain that by faith we are justified before God. Self-effort, religious ritual, or agonizing prayer cannot take away sin. But when we trust in Christ for salvation, we are justified, declared righteous by God. Then, as we lose our burden of guilt and experience total justification, we will have real peace. Grace is receiving what we do not deserve. Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. We deserve to go to hell, but by His mercy we shall never go there. We do not deserve to go to heaven, but by grace we’ll spend eternity there. Grace justifies. Mercy pardons. Grace admits us to heaven. Mercy saves us from hell. The death of Christ was enough to pardon us in mercy, but it took the resurrection to effect our justification. So don’t wait any longer to put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ. May we all be justified in the blood of the lamb of God. Open up your heart and let Jesus in, for He is the One that died on the cross, shed His blood and paid the penalty for your sins, so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

God Bless, Jeff Ellinger



Jotta-A Fenômeno Gospel com 6 anos Camboriú 2004.Louvor DEUS dos deuses com Cantora

February 18, 2012

ABOVE ALL – KAITLYN MAHER – 5yo

November 30, 2011

CHRISTIAN VIDEO:

Kaitlyn Maher, the 5-year-old who was the youngest ever Top 10 finalist of the hit TV showAmerica’s Got Talent” when she was only 4, sings an original arrangement of the song “Above All” at Christian Fellowship Church‘s (CFC) Worship Concert on 5/1/09.

For more information on Kaitlyn Maher, or her début CD “You Were Meant to Be,” please visit:

*** http://www.Kaitlyn Maher.com ***

Also, please feel free to also check out some of her other links, including:

* Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Kaitlyn Maher
* Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/KaitlynMaherOfficial
* MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/KaitlynMaher


This Thanksgiving, We as Christians Should Focus on the Reasons Why We Celebrate the Truth about Being Thankful

November 18, 2011

“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Colossians 1:3,12,14 KJV

The Thanksgiving Holiday:

Christians look forward to the time of the year when we celebrate this important holiday, Thanksgiving. This holiday has its beginnings and roots in Christian celebrations. The word holiday actually means “holy day”; hence this event should be remembered and celebrated in a holy way. We have strayed from that purpose over the years as we have embraced many unholy practices and worldly customs and added them to our “holy days.” Thanksgiving is one of our main national holidays here in the U.S.A. A good question to ask is “Are we as Christians celebrating it the way the Lord would have us celebrate, or have we compromised with the world?” Have we lost the emphasis on thanksgiving and prayer and shifted it to a gluttonous feast of food, drink and games like those in the world have done? God wants us to enjoy family, friends and feasting, but leaving God out of the day breaks His heart. More and more the media is referring to this holiday as “turkey day” instead of Thanksgiving Day. They also eliminate the object of who we are to offer our thanks. We are just to be “thankful” we are told. Who should our thanks be directed to? The object of our thanks for our many blessings, should be directed to the Lord God. It should not just be a general “thanks.”

The Origin of Thanksgiving Day:

The original thanksgiving celebration was held by the Pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts during their second winter in America in December, 1621. The first winter had killed 44 of the original 102 colonists. At one point their daily food ration was down to five kernels of corn apiece, but then an unexpected trading vessel arrived, swapping them beaver pelts for corn, providing for their severe need. The next summer’s crop brought hope, and Governor William Bradford decreed that December 13, 1621, be set aside as a day of feasting and prayer to show the gratitude of the colonists that they were still alive. These Pilgrims, seeking religious freedom and opportunity in America, gave thanks to God for His provision for them in helping them find 20 acres of cleared land, for the fact that there were no hostile Indians in that area, for their newfound religious freedom, and for God’s provision of an interpreter to the Indians in Squanto. Along with the feasting and games involving the colonists and more than 80 friendly Indians (who added to the feast by bringing wild turkeys and venison), prayers, sermons, and songs of praise were important in the celebration. Three days were spent in feasting and prayer. From that time forward, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a day to give thanks to God for His gracious and sufficient provision. President Abraham Lincoln officially set aside the last Thursday of November, in 1863, “as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” In 1941, Congress ruled that after 1941, the fourth Thursday of November be observed as Thanksgiving Day and be a legal holiday.

What Does The Bible Say:

President George Washington made the following proclamation in 1789:

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection, aid, and favors …

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day

of November next, to be devoted by the people of the United States to the

service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of

all the good that was, and is, or that will be; and that we may all then

unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind

care and protection of the people of this country, and for all the great and

various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.”

This country has forgotten God. It is virtually illegal in this country to mention God unless one is using His name as a curse word. Yet the founding fathers of this nation recognized that it was because of God’s mercy and blessings that they existed. It is because of God’s great love for men today hat they have such abundance of clothes, shelter, and food. The Bible says, “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:” Psalms 50:14 KJV  All men and women need to be thankful this week for the families they have and for the privilege of living in a free country. People need to learn how to thank God even during times of hardships. Some turn to drugs – legal and illegal. Some commit suicide. Others gripe and complain and make everyone around them as miserable as they are. Yet people need to learn joy and thankfulness in spite of circumstances. If men could focus on the Lord and forget about themselves, they could learn to be joyful, not because of circumstances, but in spite of circumstances. The Bible says, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11 KJV  Paul was in prison when he wrote this. He had learned to be content under any circumstance. He kept his attention focused on serving God first and others second and he placed himself third. By doing this, he was content. The Bible also says, “And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.” Leviticus 22:29 KJV  Here the OT scriptures speak of a “sacrifice of thanksgiving” which Israel would offer long ago. The Lord wanted this to be offered from a person’s “own free will.” He did not want anyone coerced or forced to do this. When a person is forced to say “thank-you,” then he might as well have said nothing. An expression of thanksgiving is accepted only when it is truly meant and not forced.

Reasons to Make Thanksgiving Thankful:

First, God has qualified us. Paul wrote, “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Colossians 1:12). The word qualified means “to make meet” or “to make able.” The idea is that God has enabled us to have something. Put simply, God has given us the privilege of a relationship with Him by forgiving us of our sins and providing a means to turn from the darkness and toward the light. Think about that. Through no merit of our own, God presented us with the gift of life eternal with Him. The center of the Gospel is the cross of Christ. We simply come to the cross as humble sinners, in repentance and humility, and He accepts us. Through His blood He washes away our sins. As the hymnist reminds us, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.” Christ has made us fit to be partakers. He has qualified us. Second, God has delivered us. Paul said, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13). Third, God has conveyed us. Paul stated, “He … conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). Every person must make a choice sometime in his or her life to leave the kingdom of darkness and walk into the Kingdom of light through the ticket that has been bought with the blood of Jesus Christ. When we do that, we can be thankful that God will take us from hate, fear and oppression and bring us into a relationship of trust, love and hope. Fourth, God has redeemed us. Paul wrote: “In whom we have redemption through His blood” (Colossians 1:14).Redemption means “to release a slave by paying a price, or to buy back.” It was a term borrowed from the ancient slave markets where someone could come in and pay a price for a slave. Once he’d paid the price, he could set the slave free. Fifth, God has forgiven us. Paul stated, “Through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). The word forgiveness means “to send away.” God took your sins and shipped them off.These three short verses in Colossians show us how thankful we should be for our salvation. We can be thankful that God has qualified us, delivered us, conveyed us, redeemed us and forgiven us. And because we are thankful to God for so great a salvation, we can pour out our lives in service to God and become a conduit of His goodness to a desperately hungry world.

Being Thankful:

Let everyone, this Thanksgiving Day, be thankful for the wonderful blessings he enjoys. Let everyone freely, without coercion, give thanks to the God who holds each one’s breath in His hand and freely gives all things to enjoy. The Bible says, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;” 1 Timothy 6:17 KJV  We, like the Pilgrims, have a choice. In life there will always be those things that we can complain about (the Pilgrims had lost many loved ones), but there will also be much to be thankful for. As our society becomes increasingly secular, the actual “giving of thanks to God” during our annual Thanksgiving holiday is being overlooked, leaving only the feasting. May God grant that He may find us grateful every day for all of His gifts, spiritual and material. God is good, and every good gift comes from Him. It says in the Bible, “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.” James 1:17 KJV  For those who know Christ, God also works everything together for good, even events we would not necessarily consider good. May He find us to be His grateful children. Before you and your family enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, or begin watching a parade or football game, be sure to take time to truly thank God in prayer and thought for the national wealth, power and prestige He has given this nation. While there is still time, make certain that you and your family are not partaking in the nationwide, unthankful attitude. Be sure to give thanks to God in the same heartfelt, sincere manner that the pilgrims did on the first Thanksgiving in North America! The best kind of thanks giving is thanks living! – showing our thanks to God by the way we live. To grow rich in God’s sight, we say our thanks and we show our thanks. Not just in words of appreciation, but deeds. To properly thank God for His gifts we must use them according to His will – 365 days a year!

God Bless, Jeff Ellinger


WHO IS JESUS? – MARK DRISCOLL

November 8, 2011

CHRISTIAN VIDEO

These are collected snippets from Mark Driscoll‘s Easter sermon in Qwest Field 2011. The church service was the biggest church service in the history of the Northwest, when only 16 years prior Mars Hill did not even exist yet. The urgency in his voice and message was apparent. Jesus stands alone and is in a category unto himself. He claimed things no other religious leaders claimed, and He did things no other religious leaders did, namely rising from the dead. All other religions celebrate and have enshrined their leaders tombs. Christians do not, because we do not even know where Jesus was buried since He rose from the dead.


ETERNAL REWARDS GIVEN TO CHRISTIANS IN HEAVEN – FIVE CROWNS OF REWARD

August 16, 2011

“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.”

Mark 10:29-30KJV

Rewards in Heaven:

One of the things I feel I have picked up from the Holy Spirit is that it will really be worth your while to fully surrender your entire life over to God the Father and go with His call on your life rather than you deciding what you are going to do with your life. The reason for this is that there will be some incredible rewards being given out in heaven for those who are willing to do good works for the Lord while living down here on this earth. Good works will not get us into heaven, as the Bible specifically tells us that we can only be saved by grace through our faith in Jesus Christ. But being willing to do good works for the Lord in this life will bring us certain types of rewards. And not only does God have full knowledge on all the above for your life, but He is also the only One who can safely guide you to reach the goals that He has set up for you to seek after in this life. And the only way to be able to get God’s full protection and full guidance for your life is to fully surrender your entire life over to Him and let Him place you in His perfect will for your life. It will really be worth your while to fully surrender your entire life over to God the Father. Why? Because the Bible says that God will be rewarding each person for the work they have done for Him while living down here on this earth. This life is for just a very short period of time compared to the eternal time frame that is operating in heaven. Heaven is for eternity, our earthly life is not! The time we will spend in heaven, and then eventually the New Heaven and New Earth, will be for the rest of our eternal lives, forever and ever. This earthly life is not even a blink of an eye compared to the eternal time frame that is operating in heaven. You need ask yourself, do you want to call all of your own shots and do what you want to do in this life, all for earthly wealth that will completely perish and pass away the second you die and cross over into heaven? Or do you want to go with God’s perfect will for your life, accomplish the missions and goals that He will want you to accomplish for Him in this life, and then receive your full and final just rewards that will last forever once you enter into heaven? the Bible says, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:20-21 KJV  Jesus Himself said that what does it profit a man to gain all the wealth of this world, but then lose his own soul in the process of acquiring all that wealth. The Bible says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 KJV  God can reward you with some incredible blessings while you are still down here on this earth. However, the rewards that you will be receiving when you enter into heaven, are the rewards that will really matter. These are the rewards that will last you for the rest of your eternal life.

Five Crowns in The Bible for Believers

1)  The incorruptible crown:

This is also called the imperishable crown. This crown is given to believers who faithfully run the race, who crucify every selfish desire in the flesh and point men to Jesus. God calls some people to do things that will require some sacrifice in the way they will live and conduct their lives. Some people may be called to be a missionary in a far off and poor country. They will literally be working for almost nothing in earthly terms. They will have to sacrifice the money,possessions and life style they could have had, if they stayed home in their own country. The Bible says, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 KJV  This verse also implies that these people will also receive this crown for the sacrifices they were willing to make for God to successfully complete the call and mission God had called them to do. Basically run whatever race that God has set out for you and be the best you can be for God. Be willing to make whatever sacrifices there may be to successfully complete the mission that God has set out for you.

2) The Crown of Rejoicing:

To those who faithfully are witnesses to the saving grace of God and leads souls to Jesus. This crown has also been named the soul winner’s crown. It  indicates here that God will be giving a crown to those who have witnessed to others and leading people to Christ. Telling others about the grace of God, telling others about Jesus, is the greatest thing that you can do for someone while here on this earth. When you help someone to be led to the Lord, you have just been used as a vessel of God. It says in the Bible, “Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:” 1 Thessalonians 2:10 KJV  God will judge you by your willingness and desire to be used by Him to witness to others, not necessarily on how many actually get saved, because we are to water and He gives the increase. Christians can be used by God to try to lead others to the Lord. God can fit opportunities for you in your life to witness and work for Him if you allow Him to. Some could be your unsaved friends, family members or co-workers, etc. The Bible says it good here, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” 1 Thessalonians 2:19 KJV

3) The Crown of Life:

Jesus says that He will give this crown to those who undergo severe hardship, testing, tribulation and/or physical death on His behalf. Probably being willing to die for your faith in God would be the ultimate sacrifice. It is the greatest act of courage and love that you can show God. Christians who have been martyred for their faith throughout history will not only be given this crown of life, but other rewards once they enter into heaven. The Bible says, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12 KJV  God the Father will honour each ones trials and tribulations and thus will be rewarding them accordingly. Look at this verse, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 KJV

4} The Crown of Righteousness:

To those who love the appearing of Christ, who anxiously wait and look forward to the day when He will return for His saints. This crown is given to those who have lived a good and righteous life for God while living down here on earth. If you are a believer you have been made righteous before God the Father as a result of Jesus dying on the cross for all of our sins. This means that the righteousness of Jesus has now been imputed to you. It also refers to us living a good and righteous life for God the Father with what time we have left down here. There are Christians who are righteous before God the Father as a result of being saved, called Justification, through the blood of Jesus Christ; but they are not living righteous lives in their actions, words and behaviours, called Sanctification. There are some people that may be saved in God’s eyes, but still continue to do evil works that the unsaved would do. We all have our flaws, weaknesses, and certain temptations that we may struggle with. It is not perfection but direction that God is looking for. God just wants each one of us to choose to do the right thing when faced with certain temptations or choices to do something bad. When it is all said and done, these Christians will probably be receiving some of the greatest rewards that God can hand out once they enter into heaven. It says in the Bible, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8 KJV  To live a righteous life for God will really be worth your while as you will definitely be given this crown by God Himself once you enter into heaven.

5) The Crown of Glory:

This is the pastor’s crown and will be given to the ministers who faithfully feed the flock of God. This probably could also include preachers, teachers, Sunday School teachers, missionaries and all those who teach the Word of God in their respective ministries. This crown may signify the importance and sacrifices of bringing up others into the ways of God. God wants those who are saved to grow and learn as much as they can about Him, His Son and His Holy Spirit and to do that he uses mature believers who are willing to each others. The Bible says, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 1 Peter 5:1-4 KJV  God can use you to teach and shepherd others. God shows you the extreme importance that He is placing on those who teach and preach the word. Being willing to teach and educate others after they are saved is one of the greatest things you can do for them this side of heaven.

Conclusion:

All of these crowns will be permanent, incorruptible, and will never fade away. They will be eternal rewards bestowed upon those deemed to be deserving of them by God the Father for extra-ordinary service rendered on His behalf while living down here on this earth. The five crowns addressed in Scripture represent the goals that every Christian should strive to meet in his Christian walk with the Lord. Every wise Christian should set about earning all five crowns so that he can receive a full reward and reign and rule as the Bride of Christ. Only those Christians who have kept themselves clean and pure and who have lived in close communion and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ will be rewarded with the “prize” of the high calling of God. These servant Christians will be gloriously presented as the Bride of Christ. There are many incentives for faithful service that involve both our acts and our motives. These rewards, which are designated as “crowns” in the New Testament, are to be earned by those who have first received the gift of eternal life. Perhaps you’re saying, “I would never expect to be rewarded for what I do for Christ.” Have you considered what you may do with any crown you receive on that day? There will be no trophy cases in heaven; no gloating over earthly accomplishments. Redeemed sinners will have the transcendent joy of casting their crowns before the throne and saying, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11 KJV  The cross speaks of forgiveness and of peace with God. It points to the merits of Christ and not our own. As we step through the doorway of death, we must lay aside our “earthly crowns.” Our only hope is to cling to our Savior, who died so that we could have everlasting life. How do you put your trust in God? Accept that we have all sinned, all broken his commandments, that we cannot pay the penalty ourselves, but that Jesus paid our fine for us. The Bible says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 KJV  Will you open the door for the only one who can save us? He’s asking us to open our hearts and let him in. Change occurs when you accept Jesus, but not always an immediate change, so do not always expect an overwhelming emotion. Confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe in your heart that he is risen from the dead, and ask forgiveness for your sins, you will be saved.

By: Jeff Ellinger




WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT WHO CREATED GOD ?

July 27, 2011

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John 1:1 KJV

Introduction:

Who created God? It is an age-old question that has plagued all those who like to think about the big questions. Christianity claims that God has always existed. Is this idea even possible? The Bible makes it clear in many places that God is outside of time. He is eternal, with no beginning or end, He is infinite! He also knows all things, being infinitely intelligent. Our finite minds find it hard to comprehend that before the universe was created, God existed alone. We also know that the Holy Spirit was present before we were created. In the Bible it says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 KJV  Since God, by definition, is the creator of the whole universe, he is the creator of time.

Christianity’s Answer:

Christianity answers the question of who made God in the very first verse of the very first book, Genesis. “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 KJV  This verse tells us that God was acting before time when He created the universe. Many other verses from the New Testament tell us that God was acting before time began, and so, He created time, along with the other dimensions of our universe. Here are some verses from the Bible that show God telling us about before time began: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:” 1 Corinthians 2:7 KJV  “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” 2 Timothy 1:9 KJV  “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” Titus 1:2 KJV  “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 1:25 KJV  The idea that God created time, along with the physical universe, is not just some wacky modern Christian interpretation of the Bible.

Conclusion:

We understand that when God began creating the physical universe, He made the heaven and the earth first. But who created God? My son, who is an unbeliever, asked me this question in one of our many discussions about God. My answer to Him was the same as it is now. No one created God. Nothing created Him. He has simply always been. It says it in the Bible here, “The eternal God is thy refuge” Deuteronomy 33:27 KJV  He is called “the eternal God.” The very first definition for the word “eternal” in Webster’s Dictionary is “without beginning or end.” That’s God. He is without beginning or end. He has always been. He will always be. Everything else has a beginning and an end. We are all the created. He is the only Creator. Psalms 90:2  KJV says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” That God has always existed, is not easy for anyone to comprehend. Our world was created by none other than the eternal God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. And His first act of creating the world as we know it was to make the heaven and the earth.

Invocation:

Have you given your life to Jesus Christ ? If not, now is the time to do it. Just open up your heart to Him and ask for forgiveness and He  will forgive you of your sins. He loves you and wants you to have eternal life spent with Him. So why not open your heart because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood to pay the penalty for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger







BE STILL – AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD – ARE YOU LISTENING ??

June 22, 2011

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HAVING A PURE HEART – BE AN ORGAN DONOR, GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS !!!

May 19, 2011

               “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”

   1 Timothy 1:5 KJV

   There is a very serious heart disease we should all know about, it is called “the disease of hard-heartedness.” Many times in the Old Testament, we read that God accused the people of Israel of being hard-hearted.  In the New Testament, Jesus would sometimes tell the religious leaders, and even His own followers that their hearts were hard. Jesus told a parable of a farmer who went out and sowed seeds.  You don’t have a to have a green thumb to know that the object of sowing seed is to get it into fertile soil so it can take root and produce fruit.  Jesus pointed out that often when a farmer would throw seed, some would land on hard-packed soil.  That seed was wasted; it would never grow.  Jesus went on to explain what He meant by this agricultural story.  Some people’s hearts are impenetrable, hardened, unresponsive, and callous.  The Word of God just bounces off.  It doesn’t even take root. One biblical character who had an iron heart was the man who was crucified next to Jesus.  When Jesus was nailed to the cross, there was a criminal being executed on His right and another on His left.  One was a repentant thief.  In the last moments of his life, he softened his heart and said, “Oh Lord, would You remember me?”  Jesus said to him, “Today you’ll be with Me in paradise.”  But the other thief, who was being crucified for a life of crime and violence, had a hard heart.  He was minutes from death, inches from the Savior, but his heart was like stone.  He was busy hurling abuse and insults at Jesus. And this is what will happen ultimately to those people who spend their whole lives with an attitude of hard-heartedness. In the Bible, “hard-heartedness” refers to the unresponsive, stiff, angry, insensitive, rebellious, and independent attitude ruling our hearts.  This attitude is first directed toward God, but also toward other people.  People in Jesus’ time, like those in the time of Isaiah, would not believe despite the evidence. As a result, God hardened their hearts. Does that mean God intentionally prevented these people from believing in him? No, he simply confirmed their own choices. After a lifetime of resisting God, they had become so set in their ways that they wouldn’t even try to understand Jesus’ message. For such people, it is almost impossible to come to God, their hearts have been permanently hardened. Other instances of hardened hearts because of constant stubbornness are recorded in the Bible here, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was met. And even as they did not like to keep God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” Romans 1:24-28 KJV  The Bible tells us that sin is a root cause for hard-heartedness. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13 KJV  We learn to sin at a very young age.  We have a sin nature, and we make sinful choices.  Our sins can build up and harden our hearts. When our hearts become hard, Jesus is distressed or grieved.  He is hurt.  The result of an unrepentant heart is the eventual wrath of God.  Although God doesn’t always punish us immediately for our sins, his eventual judgment is certain. Our hearts are important to God.   What is the heart?  The heart is the soul or mind of man.  It is the foundation of our thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, and endeavors.God wants our hearts to be right with Him and not just our outward appearances and actions. In the Bible, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 KJV  God told Samuel to go to the house of Jesse and anoint one of his sons to be the next king.  Samuel saw one of Jesses’ sons, Eliab, and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  It’s the heart that matters to God.In the New Testament, Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for outwardly appearing saintly and holy but inwardly remaining far from God. In the Bible it says, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matthew 23:27-28 KJV  Brethren, it’s what is on the inside that matters to God.  Since we are sinful people, we cannot create by ourselves the kind of heart that God wants us to have.  David recognized this when he wrote in Psalms, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10 KJV  We need to go to God in prayer and ask Him to change our hearts. As Saul was being made the King, “As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart.”  Regardless of how far a person’s heart is from God; God can change it. Sin separates us from God.  If sin reigns in our hearts and lives, then we are alienating ourselves from God.  We have a heart problem when there is sin reigning in our lives. The Bible says, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2 KJV  So what do we need to do to get our hearts back right with God?  We need to confess our sins to God. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 KJV  We can’t hide our sins from God, we must acknowledge them before God. When should we confess our sins?  Right when the sin is committed.  We must confess our sins immediately to guard our hearts from sin.  A Proverb writer once wrote, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 KJV   We shouldn’t commit a sin and let that sin dwell in us all day.  No, we need to guard our hearts from any type of sin that is trying to invade it!  We need to turn away from our sins.  Stop doing what God does not want us to do. The Bible says, “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” Ezekiel 18:21-23 KJV  This passage teaches that if we turn away from our sins, then God will forgive us and He will remember our sins no more.  Isn’t that wonderful!  That’s the kind of Loving God that we have.  If we stop the sinning, then our hearts can be brought back to God. The heart is very important to God.  It is the wellspring of life. We must guard our hearts against hardness and always have an open and healthy heart towards God.  When you have a new heart, you have a desire to be submissive to God.  Every morning you need to say, “I give You my life today, Lord.”  You can start your day singing, “Have Your own way, Lord.  Have Your own way.  You are the potter, I am the clay.”  You begin to pray, “Mold me, make me, do whatever you want with my life, it’s Yours.”  It’s a submission issue, a flexibility issue, a surrender issue.  Your life motto becomes: “Just say the word, Lord.”  Your soft heart says, “Whatever the Scriptures teach, that’s what I want to do.”  A responsive heart is one that always says yes to the Lord. Just be a donor and give your heart to Jesus ! We may fool others who see us only on the outside, but God sees the reality of our hearts, whether good or bad. It is wise, therefore, to humbly confess our faults to the Lord. He desires that we admit the truth. The only way to escape the sin and restore our fellowship with God is to acknowledge and confess it to Him. So why not today open up your heart to Jesus Christ, because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood and paid the penalty for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen


By: Jeff Ellinger


THIS EASTER – THE STORY OF “LEAVING THE CITY OF REGRETS”

April 19, 2011

  “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”

Philippians 3:12-16 KJV

This Easter, Regrets always produce one thing, depression. A depressing day is a day goes wasted. Just one depressive thought can sap you of strength and motivation for an entire day. Most of the time, regret is a product of creative thinking and excessive guilt, and not a godly remorse. As long as we live, we will have setbacks and missed opportunities; and we will make tons of mistakes along the way. If you look back in life and regret choosing a certain path, or mourn for missed opportunities, just stop thinking that way the moment you catch yourself doing that! When you see missed opportunities, it means that you have become more mature, that you have made significant progress in term of insights and competence, and that you are able to achieve much more if you encounter similar situations again. So the next time you see missed opportunities that you’d failed to see in the past, you should celebrate. Given abundance time, or the ability to travel back in time, anyone can make things perfect. But in reality, time is limited; it is always in the passing mode; you will lose it whether you use it or not. And don’t spend time mourning for the past, because while you are doing that, opportunities in the present will elude you too, fast! Remember, there are always opportunities lying around, you just have to train your eyes to see them. The Bible says, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 KJV  If you’re struggling with certain sins in your life, but are otherwise a solid Christian, then you don’t need to regret. The good news is that, no matter how serious the sin, God is always seeking us out and is willing to forgive and forget our sins and give us a fresh start. As long as we live, it is never too late to ask for forgiveness and make a new start! When we have sinned, we can ask God for forgiveness, as in the Lord’s Prayer, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Matthew 6:12 KJV  If our sin has harmed another person, we should try to make amends for the wrong done.If we have tried to hide our sin, we should confess it. The Bible Says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16 KJV   Forgiving another person means pardoning the offender and ceasing to feel resentment or hold a grudge. There should be no limit to our willingness to forgive others. We should have a forgiving spirit when someone has committed an offense against us. The Bible Says, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25 KJV  Don’t beat yourself up and create worldly sorrow. A Christian is to walk with the Spirit, so he or she should feel guilty only if the Spirit of God rebukes him or her, and bring his or her sins to light. No need for regret or mid-life crisis. You can have success now if you start meditating on God’s word and obey, because God had promised that we will prosper if we obey His commands and think about His words day and night. I found this interesting article by Larry Harp called,  “LEAVING THE CITY OF REGRETS” and I thought I would share it with you:

I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I’m talking about my annual “Guilt Trip.”
I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been. No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.
As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event, the Annual Pity Party. I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.
First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know ol’ Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterday’s. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share.
Then Shattered Dreams would surely make and appearance. And It’s Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don’t Blame Me and I Couldn’t Help It.
Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent “pity party” could be canceled by ME! I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them.
So, if you’re planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now. Instead, take a trip to a place called, Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myselfs and the New Starts are so very helpful. By the way, you don’t have to carry around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. God bless you in finding this great town. If you can find it — it’s in your own heart — please look me up. I live on I Can Do It Street.

 

The best plan this Easter is for our lives is to take God at His Word and always do what’s right. Only then will we have a life with no regrets. Why do we add foolishness to foolishness by thinking we can get away with wrongdoing? It makes so much more sense to trust in the Lord and seek His mercy.  We cannot erase yesterday, but we can learn from it. When we take our sins and mistakes to the Lord and seek His help, we can be better today and tomorrow. God knows what is best for us, including this important area of our lives. Why ignore His way, when it is best for us in the long run?  There’s still time to redirect our goals. Thanks to our gracious God, now we can reverse our direction and start living for Christ. That’s the life that leaves no regrets. So before you regret, open up your heart to Jesus Christ, because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood to pay the penalty for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger


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