Monday, June 29, 2009

The Truth In Us

2 John 2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
The word "truth" occurs more in the Gospel of John than any other book of the New Testament, and it occurs in the first epistle of John more than in any other book except John's Gospel. Then it occurs more in John's two, one-chapter epistles (2 and 3 John) than in any other New Testament book save John and 1 John. Surely one of the great themes in John's writings is truth!

God is, indeed, the God of truth, and His written word is "the scripture of truth" (Dan. 10:21).

Pslm. 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

The Lord Jesus Christ is, in fact, the very incarnation of truth. He asserted;

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Surely truth dwells forever in Christ, for He is Himself the Creator and is thereby the very definition of truth. But how can it be that truth dwells in us and shall be with us forever? This is certainly not the case with the natural man.

It can only be by the Holy Spirit, of course, and this is what Christ - who is the truth - has promised.

John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

That being so, with the Holy Spirit of truth indwelling us forever, our words, and deeds, and our very lives, should be characterized by truth and complete consistency.

Eph. 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

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Sunday, June 28, 2009


Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.

God is truth. It is impossible for God to lie. His promises will never fail. God's veracity knows no equal. Many have asked, "What is truth?" Jesus told us what truth is. He proclaimed in John 14:6, "I am . . . the truth." Everything He says is true. "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). God is honest in every way. There is no deception, falsehood, or fiction in Him. God is real and not imaginary. His truth will never change, for "his truth endureth to all generations" (Psalm 100:5). God would have us to know that in every way and in every word, He can be trusted completely. His Word is the standard for truth. The Word of God is the supreme test for every doctrine and every opinion of man. When anyone or anything is in disagreement with the Scripture, we can be certain that the Bible is true. Romans 3:4 says, "let God be true, but every man a liar." God wants us to know the truth and be people of the truth.

From the beginning, Satan has attempted to cause men to doubt the Word of God. Jesus said of the enemy that he is the father of lies, and there is no truth in him. The devil's first words to Eve in Genesis 3:1 were "hath God said." The wiles of our adversary have not changed. He is vigilant in his attempts to cause men to question the trustworthiness of God's Word. Lies and deception bring men into bondage, but the truth is liberating. "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Satan has brought many into bondage through falsehoods and empty promises. In order for us to endure the spiritual attacks of the enemy, we need to be saturated in the truth. The first part of the armor of God mentioned in the Scripture instructs us to have our loins girt about with truth. Multitudes have been led into error because they were not grounded in the truth.

Because God is truth, He hates lying. Lying takes many forms, such as hypocrisy, exaggerations, and deception. God desires "truth in the inward parts" (Psalm 51:6). One of the most important commitments we could ever make is a commitment to walk in the truth. We need to be truthful and honest with ourselves, with others, and with God. Because God is truth in its highest and holiest form, if we are to walk with Him, we must walk in sincerity and in the truth.

A devotional thought by Pastor Smith of Mt. Zion Baptist Church

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Whole Law

Lev. 18:5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

The absolute holiness of God is emphasized throughout the book of Leviticus, and this is the standard for all those created in His image. This is made clear, beyond question, when the verse above is quoted in the New Testament:

Gal. 3:11-12 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

It is not enough that a man keep most of God's laws.

Gal. 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

It is obvious, therefore, that while "the law is holy, and the commandments holy, and just, and good" (Rom. 7:12), no man (except Jesus Christ, God appearing in flesh) has ever been able to keep God's perfect law, and all are therefore under God's condemnation.

Rom. 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

The widespread delusion that a person can be saved by good works is dangerous, and many are on the road to Hell smug in their supposed goodness. To keep the law, however, the Creator Himself had to become man, and He did fulfill the law as our representative before God. Then, when He died, Christ "redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." (Gal. 3:13).

Rom. 3:21-22 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Our Job As Ambassadors

2 Cor. 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Jesus Christ has made each of us His ambassadors here on Earth. He is no longer here in the flesh, so now He expects us to faithfully and effectively represent Him. As His ambassadors, He has given us two basic tasks to perform.

First of all, we are to spread the good news of salvation in such a way that unbelievers will be drawn to the light and out of their darkness.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

To do this, an ambassador must live a life of conformity to His life and teachings, adequately representing Him.

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

Secondly, we are to saturate ourselves totally with the knowledge of His will and His Word so that we will be enabled to encourage other Christians, strengthening them for their duties as ambassadors as well, applying our attention to His directives.

2 Tim. 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Tim. 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

It has rightly been said that the only two things which will last for eternity are people and the Word of God. These two things must occupy our attention if we are to be effective "ambassadors for Christ."

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Folly of Humanism

Pslm. 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

Despite all their pretense of scientific intellectualism, those who deny the existence of a personal Creator God are, in God's judgment, nothing but fools. Psalm 14, Psalm 53, Romans 3, etc. all describe the inner character of all such people - whether they call themselves atheists or humanists or pantheists or whatever. This repeated emphasis indicates how strongly God feels about those who dare to question His reality. It is bad enough to disobey His commandments and to spurn His love; it is utter folly to deny that He even exists!!!

The Bible describes the awful descent from true creationism into evolutionary pantheistic humanism.

Romans 1:18-32 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 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 recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Certain atheists/humanists claim to be moral people, though their criteria of morality are often quite different from those of the Bible. No matter how admirable their humane acts of "righteousness" may seem, however, they are guilty of the sin of unbelief, the greatest sin of all.

Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

With all the innumerable evidences of God's reality as seen in the creation and throughout history, and then especially in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, it is utter foolishness to plunge blindly into eternity to meet the God whom they deny.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Be Truly Converted

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

To be "converted" can mean many things to men in today's world. Repent simply means to "turn" or "change directions." Christian conversion, however, refers to turning away from the whole world system and turning to God through Christ. Similarly, to "repent" means essentially to "think differently" and in a Christian context, to change one's whole thought process from worldly reasoning to spiritual, as centered in Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. Genuine Christian repentence and conversion results in having one's "sins.... blotted out" and thus true "times of refreshing" from the Lord.

But without genuine repentence and conversion, there is no salvation.

Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Matt. 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

There are, sad to say, multitudes of men and women who think they are Christians, but are not. This is evidenced by the lack of real change in their thinking and living from the beliefs and practices of this world.

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Jesus Christ himself warned that:

Matt. 7:21-23 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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Therefore, it behooves all who profess Christ to seriously review their personal belief and behaviours in terms of their conformity to the world of men or to the Word of God.

2 Cor. 13:5a Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.

Friend, only you know deep down in your heart whether or not you possess Christ in your life, or are simply professing Christ in your life. Possess/Profess; two similar looking and sounding words, but they mean an extremely opposite destination for all eternity on the day of your pending death. Heaven or Hell??? Eternal life or eternal damnation??? The choice is your's..... don't blame God for your final destination. Hell wasn't made for man originally (created by God for the Devil and his angels)....... but because of man's sin, that is his final destination unless he personally accepts and confesses the blood of Christ to cover his trangressions. What will it be???

2 Cor. 6:2b (.... behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

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Thursday, June 18, 2009


I Kings 8:60 That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.

The work of building the magnificent temple in Solomon’s day was complete. The furniture was in place. The priests exited the holy place after placing the ark of the covenant in its proper position. At that moment, the “glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD” (I Kings 8:11). Solomon then prayed the lengthy prayer of dedication, and stood and blessed the people of Israel. As he was blessing them, he included in his words this great purpose that we have in our Scripture in I Kings 8:60, “That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.” Why do we need God’s power and presence with us? Why is it so important that we obey God and walk in submission to Him? One answer to those questions is found in our text: that all the earth may know about our God. What a profound purpose! What a mission statement! What a reason for living and serving: THAT ALL THE EARTH MAY KNOW. This gives meaning to our existence. How can we make our lives count? Life becomes very shallow when we interpret everything through the filter of “How will this help me?” God is certainly good to us, and He faithfully and daily loads us with benefits. But ultimately, it is not all about us. We are here to influence others. It matters how we live in this world.

* We tell others of our Savior because it is important THAT ALL THE EARTH MAY KNOW.
* We serve in our church and its ministries THAT ALL THE EARTH MAY KNOW.
* We are involved in outreach programs of our church in the community THAT ALL THE EARTH MAY KNOW.
* We give our money to God through the church and support the missions program of the church THAT ALL THE EARTH MAY KNOW.
* We pray for God’s work to go forward and His Word to prosper THAT ALL THE EARTH MAY KNOW.
* We teach and train our children to live for Christ THAT ALL THE EARTH MAY KNOW.

This verse reminds us of a very simple, and yet powerful reality. God wants all the earth to know. He cares about every person on the planet. Every creature needs to hear. Every kindred, nation, and tongue needs to know.
We serve, labor, pray, and give THAT ALL THE EARTH MAY KNOW.

A devotional thought by Pastor Smith of Mt. Zion Baptist Church

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Sunday, June 07, 2009


I Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 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.

The Bible teaches the absolute necessity of the new birth. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" God is holy, and none of us are righteous within ourselves. Every person is in need of salvation. In our unregenerate and natural state, none will qualify for Heaven.

People are deceived about the seriousness of sin, the nature of salvation, and the requirement of rebirth and imputed righteousness. False teachers assure their listeners that good works or moral reform will gain an entrance into God's holy Heaven. This is not true. That is why the text says, "Be not deceived."

Thank God for salvation that brings forgiveness of sin and the new man of righteousness. God's gift of eternal life produces transformed lives in those who are redeemed. Only God can create a new person through the miracle of the new birth. We can identify with Paul's statement, "And such were some of you." We may not be all that we should be, but thank God we are not what we once were. God can change anyone. When we are born again, we become new creatures in Christ. Our past is exactly that; it is our past.

Sometimes new believers have a hard time putting their past behind them because of guilt over past sins. It is important that we take God at His Word concerning our former lives. Our sins are under the blood; we have been justified by His grace; and we have peace with God.

Because we remember what we once were, it should help us have compassion on the unsaved and a desire to reach them with the Gospel. Nothing could have changed us like the power of salvation. We should never look, with a critical, judgmental eye, at others still bound in sin. But for the grace of God, we would still be there. The next time we get irritated or frustrated with the behavior of lost sinners, remember this: "And such were some of you."

A devotional thought by Pastor Smith of Mt. Zion Baptist Church

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Friday, June 05, 2009

A Tale of Two Murders

(Here is an article published June 5, 2009 in The Washington Flyer that is an interesting read; I had thought of the same thing earlier this week..... I wondered about the difference in response?!?!?!)

This past week Americans profiled two horrific acts of violence as Dr. George Tiller, known for his heinous acts against the unborn, was murdered in his church. A day later, America also witnessed a United States Army recruiter be murdered and another seriously injured, as they were fulfilling their duties in the great country they serve. Both acts of violence were horrific and unacceptable, yet the difference in response to both incidents is perhaps even more chilling. Within hours of the announcement of George Tiller’s murder, the President appropriately released a statement:

“I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.”

Attorney General Eric Holder also dispatched U.S. Marshals to protect “appropriate people and facilities around the nation,” in response to the murder of George Tiller. While authorities believe Tiller’s murderer acted alone, precautionary steps were taken.

In response to the murder of a U.S. Army Private, William Long, on home soil, the President stated absolutely nothing. Attorney General Eric Holder also made no comment and no U.S. Marshalls were directed to other recruiting stations, despite authorities, including the FBI, unsure if the suspect, a newly converted Muslim, acted alone or as evidence may be suggesting had ties with other domestic terrorists.

It was not until three days after the attack and an outcry from conservative media links and American citizens alike, that the President released this statement:

“I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence against two brave young soldiers who were doing their part to strengthen our armed forces and keep our country safe. I would like to wish Quinton Ezeagwula a speedy recovery, and to offer my condolences and prayers to William Long’s family as they mourn the loss of their son.”

Understanding the busy schedule of the President, it is still difficult to believe a simple statement or condolences to the family were not a priority. In fact, the President was even given a superb opportunity to denounce the actions of the perpetrator and give his respects to the soldiers and their families not even 24 hours after the attack when he announced the new Secretary of the Army. Again, nothing was said or mentioned. Some critics believe the President did not make comments regarding the attack earlier, fearing its impact when he traveled to the Middle East later in the week to reach out to Muslims.

While the President may not have made his remarks as hastily as many would have hoped, others were perturbed even further by the choice of words the President used and his ignorance to denounce the reasons behind the attacks. Bloggers criticized his word usage in response to the attack on the recruiters claiming “senseless act of violence” was a ignorant view of the evidence that suggests the actions were not senseless but rather planned and operated with a goal in mind. The President’s comments of being personally “shocked and outraged” when learning of the death of an abortion doctor compared to his “deeply saddened” statement of the attack on the U.S. soldiers also seemed a bit out of touch with many Americans.

Benjamin Franklin once stated, “Words may show a man’s wit, but actions his meaning.” While the President addressed both horrible incidents in words, his actions to remain silent for three days when a soldier was murdered by a terror suspect, compared to his rapid response to the murder of an abortion doctor have brought some questioning of his meanings.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

The "Devices" of Satan

2 Cor. 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
  1. Diversion - turning the mind from things great to small, the unseen and eternal to the visible and temporal - 2 Cor. 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
  2. Delusion - lies and wiles by denials, evasions, and misrepresentations - 2 Cor. 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Gen. 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
  3. Doubt - inducing hesitation by a "gospel of negation" leading to uncertainty, mental and moral - Rom. 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
  4. Double-mindedness - compromise, trying to serve God and mammon - Matt. 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 2 Cor. 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
  5. Darkness - enveloping the soul in gloom, either of imaginary difficulty, alienation from God, or despair - Isa. 50:10 Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.
  6. Deadness - substituting "dead works" for living, form of godliness without its power, ritualism, etc. - Heb. 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
  7. Delay - procrastinating all that is good, leading men to put off the time of decision and action - Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

From Knowing the Scriptures by A.T. Pierson