Eternal Salvation Can Be Yours
An Excerpt From
America, The Babylon: Volume 2
By R.A. Coombes
It's Decision Time
Biblical prophecy outlines the future events in which humanity will veer off and head for the cliffs. It won't however be the end of the world just the end of an era. These prophecies seem to indicate that these future events are very close at hand.
Whether or not this is so, the reader needs to take stock of his or her own personal situation and relationship to the Creator of the universe. In other words, for you the reader it is time to make a decision one way or the other. What kind of decision do I mean? I am referring to a decision as to whether or not you will surrender your future into the hands of the Creator.
Why should anyone be concerned about his or her relationship with the Creator?
Because whether we like it or not, we will one day face the Creator and account for our life's actions and attitudes in His court of Law. What we decide here and now will determine the outcome of our case when we confront Him. But in order for us to grasp the gravity of this future event we need to understand some facts surrounding the impending judicial case in the Divine Courtroom. Once we understand the facts of our reality we will have to make a decision. In order to make the best and informed decision we need to know a few key elements.
We need to know:
1. Who and what we really are
What follows in the next few pages will answer these questions so that you the reader can make an informed and intelligent choice in either the positive or negative.
We will explain exactly what each human being's status is between himself and the Creator God as defined by the Creator God in His written communiqué with mankind, which we call the Bible.
We will explain exactly who the Creator God is, what His Character is and what are His requirements for re-establishing a relationship between an individual and the Creator God.
We will also explain the consequences and ramifications of both a positive and a negative volitional choice.
We will provide the reader with what we believe is Good News. The Creator God loves you and wants to re-establish a relationship with you but only if you want it and will accept His terms for a solution to certain critical problems.
If you the reader are wondering where you stand with God, the next few pages should help you better understand what God has done to provide you with the opportunity for eternal life and sharing it with Him and not eternal death and eternal separation from Him.
These pages will explain who you are and what you are as God the Creator sees you. It is not a pretty picture, but remember, there is Good News in all of this and its not how you must be a certain way, act a certain way and by what you do you gain 'brownie points' with God and thereby 'earn' some sort of pardon.
Instead, know that God Himself has taken care of the situation but you must allow God to credit what He has done on your behalf and apply it to your personal ledger that God holds at His judicial bench.
So, sit tight and follow onward so that you can understand and make an intelligent, rational and informed decision one way or the other as to how you will relate to the Creator for all eternity.
In order for us to understand our relationship to the Creator of the universe it is essential that we understand who we are and who God is.
There are two ways that one can evaluate his standing with the Creator of the Universe.
1. Standards derived from a human origin and viewpoint
2. Standards derived from a Divine origin and viewpoint
You or I may wish to evaluate ourselves based upon societal norms and standards. If we are consistently living within these parameters we generally will conclude that while we may not be perfect we are okay. After all if you're okay and I'm okay we must be okay, right?
Our basis is derived from a human source origin. Is this appropriate? Is it enough for us to think that we are okay or is it possible that God's opinion of us is more important than our own opinion?
We assert that God's assessment of us is of preeminent importance.
What we think of ourselves is not nearly so important as what God thinks of us.
The real issue however is related to the question of how the Creator of the Universe assesses us and our situation.
It is important that we learn and realize how God views us and our situation. How do we learn of His views?
We assert that the Creator of the Universe has communicated His views about mankind in written form, which we call the scriptures or the "Bible." In order for us to understand how He perceives us we need to recognize and believe that He communicated His evaluation of us in those written words of the Bible.
The Divine View of Mankind
God indicated in writing much of His views through the Apostle Paul. In Paul's letter to the believers residing at Rome, in the first chapter beginning at verse 18 and continuing on through the third chapter up to and including verse twenty-three, we find God's assessment of mankind's situation as a whole.
That assessment is universal. That means that His assessment includes all human beings, both men and women.
In the following passage, God's view is that although all men do not sin in the same manner and though they do not commit the same sins, nevertheless all men are in a condition known as being "under sin." See Romans 3:9
"What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all "under sin." (NASV)
You should note that the term "we" that Paul uses is referring to himself and all other Jews who possessed the written Word of God. His use of the term "they" refers to all who are non-Jews who had no possession of the written Word of God previously.
He denotes this because the chief difference between Jews and non-Jews at that time was that the Jews had possession of the written Words of God. We see this pointed out in Romans chapter 3 and the first two verses. So Israel had a unique and special privilege in that they possessed God's written words.
Now Paul is going to indicate that such a privilege has nothing to do with a standing before God. All men and women approach God at the same equal level. All are forced to approach God on the same footing in one simple aspect.
All of us are "under sin."
Now if you will note in Romans 3:9 there is the word "then" in the opening question in that verse.
"Then" is a Greek particle that is used to introduce a logical and factual conclusion that is based upon a preceding argument. Paul is bringing the issue he presented in the first two and a half chapters to a conclusion.
His logical flow lists the sins of men who do not know or care to know God.
He also lists the sins of those moral men and also those men who are religious.
Now in chapter 3 verse 9 he's ready to draw the conclusion and get to the bottom line.
He says that sins come in all varieties but there is a common link through all of them. What is that? All men are "under sin."
Now perhaps we should stop and define what we mean by the term "sin."
The word in the original New Testament Greek language is the word "amartia" which is pronounced with an "h" sound on the front of it. The Strong's Concordance code number is #266.
Its derivation in the Greek includes the concept of archery in which the marksman's goal is to have the arrow hit the bulls-eye or the target. In the case of "amartia" the target is missed, hence the original term meant "to miss the mark" or to "miss the bulls-eye."
In Biblical usage the term was related to the concept of an error or a bad action or a bad deed. It may or may not convey the idea or notion of evil.
So when we see the term "under sin" we should realize that the term is indicating to us that all of mankind, each and every one of us are "target missers."
We each miss the intended targets or bulls-eyes that God established.
We are creatures who are imperfect and who "don't shoot straight" so to speak.
We find that this is a character trait, and more so, it is actually considered a "disease." In fact it is considered an "inherited disease" that we acquired from Adam at the time when Adam first "missed the mark" or "missed the target."
You should note that in Romans 3:9 we begin to see a shift in how mankind is considered. The consideration shifts from man's activities in sinning to that of man's condition as a "sinner" or one who commits sin. Remember, not all men sin the same way.
Men are not all equally bad but all men are equally bad off because all men are "under sin." So what does this mean?
It means that all men, in addition to being "under sin" are, because they are "under sin" also "under condemnation" because one of the responses by God to sin is to condemn it.
We see this right at the very beginning of human history in the Garden of Eden when God tells Adam: "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:17-18)
Now this passage indicates that there is a common link between the action of committing a sin, its consequences, and the activity of death. If Adam commits a wrong activity there will be a consequence and that consequence is "death."
The Hebrew text here makes it quite clear that death is a certainty. The Hebrew word "muth" (translated as "surely" and also as "die") is God's way of underlining and underscoring His point that death will follow. We should note that in the temptation by Satan to Eve it was Satan's first lie when he asserted that death would not transpire after committing an act of disobedience.
Genesis 3:4 "You surely shall not die".
It is worth noting that Satan denies death as a consequence of sin just as resolutely and just as loudly if not more so than God's assertion that death will indeed follow.
All Men Are Condemned to Death
God tells us through Paul in Ephesians 2:1-3 "And you were
dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the
course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the
spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we
Paul is letting us know that this was our former condition for his readers, not a current condition. Now this should let us know that there must be a way of saving us from that condition. There is a way of getting out from under the situation in which we find ourselves. We call it salvation. But before we continue, let us remember that all men, all of mankind is "under sin," "under condemnation," and "under death."
We need to know who He is. We need to realize what His basic nature is and His character.
Understanding Who God Is
In order to understand God we must understand His basic nature. That nature is repeatedly underscored in the Old Testament of the Bible. God's most basic nature is called "Holiness." It is also expressed in the terms "righteousness" and justice. We need to recognize that holiness is the underlying foundation upon which the rest of God's character sits.
We see this in Psalm 97:2 with the usage of the terminology: "righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne."
Righteousness is that part of God's character that loves and demands perfect goodness. Justice is the part of God that hates sin and demands its full punishment. And because these are foundational attitudes of God, these attitudes remain consistent with Him. He never ever gives up on them.
He has never once been "unrighteous" nor unjust. He also never ever overlooks unrighteousness for if He were to do so He would be unjust and he is always, always, always a just and right being. (Psalm 145:17 is but one of many examples.)
Because God is "holy" or righteous and just we need to recognize what that means to us who are unholy, unrighteous and unjust. Because God cannot tolerate the presence of sin, imperfection, unrighteousness and unjustness, we need to realize that because we are all of those things, God cannot tolerate us.
God cannot tolerate a sinner.
God refuses to let sin approach Him.
Psalm 143:2 tells us that no man can face God's justice and live to tell about it.
So if this is indeed the case, we have a unique question.
How is it that God can punish the sinner (which His justness requires) and at the same time save the sinner?
Why would He want to save the sinner?
Because one of the other attributes of God, along with Holiness is Love.
God's love is equal to his holiness.
They reside in harmony and mutual balance within Him.
God requires holiness, rightness and justness. He also requires love.
He requires all of these for Himself and also of all creation.
He cannot be holy without being loving. He also cannot be love without being holy. He cannot overlook sin and nor can he overlook His love.
"Houston, we have a problem"
There is a dilemma that exists in creation. Mankind's condition conflicts with God's character and therefore his requirements.
Man's condition and God's character are at such a conflict and impasse that there can be no fellowship between the two of any sort. So here's the problem:
How can a just and righteous God punish sin, as His character demands and requires while at the same time also "save" man, as His character trait of Love so wishes?
It is not a 'trick' question. Instead it is a serious dilemma which has no compromise possible.
There must be some way in which to satisfy God's justness and at the same time satisfy His wish that men and women could be restored to a relationship with Him.
Is it possible that a man or woman can redeem themselves in some manner? Is it possible for us to somehow be good enough in the future to satisfy God's demands for holiness? Is it possible for us to somehow pay back in some way for all the wrong things we've done in the past?
Here's the dilemma we face. We are found to be guilty of past wrongs. The penalty for those wrong actions and attitudes is eternal and spiritual death. In other words, eternal separation from God.
Is there some way we can remedy that without eternal death?
Also for a relationship with God to be developed we must be perfect at the present and forever after into the future.
Can we suddenly make ourselves pure and perfect?
If we can, what about the past sins?
Can God just forget about our past and let it go?
No. God has written that there are none who are righteous in and of themselves.
In fact, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 64:6 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away."
Note that God says that all our righteousnesses or our good deeds are as filthy rags. Now the term here for filthy rags in the Hebrew is not well conveyed in the King James English version. In fact, it is not well conveyed in any English version because the Hebrew words here for "filthy rags" are Filthy = (Strong's code # 5708) "ayd" = menstrual flow, impure, dirty blood. Rags = (Strong's code #899) "begh-ed" = cloth, garment.
So that the idea of these two words is that of an old, used menstrual cloth or in today's vernacular: an old, used feminine hygiene product. It connotes the idea of being very foul smelling and nasty to the senses.
So the connotation that God is trying to convey is that it is man's good deeds that are also offensive to God. In other words, what we deem as good deeds that are pure and noble and good, God considers to be offensive, nasty and totally repugnant.
Now if that is what God thinks of our good deeds, what does He think of our sin?
Yes, indeed "Houston, we have a problem."
We are in essence "dead men walking."
If God is not pleased with our good actions and He is thoroughly angry with our bad actions then what hope is there? I mean, we can do nothing it seems to please God. Can there be a solution at all? Is there a solution? Yes indeed there is Good News.
To understand the Good News Message from God we have to realize some pertinent facts that God has had written down.
1. There is a Creator-God of the universe.
2. The Creator-God is a perfect being. His character is enveloped in rightness (a.k.a. righteousness) and justness (promoting justice).
3. Mankind (while starting out perfect) is now imperfect and an enemy of the Creator-God. Mankind has joined a cosmic rebellion led by an angel named Satan who is attempting to overthrow the Creator-God of universe. God cannot allow the rebellion and an imperfect human race to exist forever. At some point He has to bring it to an end. Man's imperfection is most often called "sin." Every human is called a "sinner."
4. Mankind is spiritually dead and cut-off from the Creator-God. All of mankind has been condemned to being eternally separated from the Creator-God and must die.
5. The Creator-God of the universe is also a being of pure love that has motivated Him to provide a solution to the problem that exists between Himself and mankind.
6. The Creator-God solved the problem by becoming a human being (Jesus Christ the God-Man) and living a perfect life before voluntarily dying upon a cross so that He could be the substitute to take the Divine judgment upon Himself instead of ourselves.
He did this on a personal basis for any individual human who wishes to accept it as a fact and rely upon it as a fact.
This is the Creator-God's rescue plan. It is his way of 'saving' any human who will accept it by relying upon it.
We call this reliance or acceptance by the word "faith." So that "faith" is the vehicle through which the Creator-
God has provided a means of saving us (a.k.a. "salvation"). So
that salvation is simply a gift (that cost God everything of Himself) that is
freely offered to any human being. It is offered by way of it being a gift
through the vehicle of "believing" or "relying" or having "faith" and taking Him
at His word as it has been written down and given to us in what we call the
Bible. Jesus Christ, the Son of God died on a cross on your behalf to take the
penalty of your sins upon
Jesus Christ not only died for you but He also then rose again from the dead which is proof that God the Father was satisfied with His death as being an adequate sacrifice on our behalf. He arose because He was able to take our sins in His death and do away with them.
7. Not only is one who accepts the Creator-God's gift saved but the human who accepts this gift also is made an adopted son of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ the God-Man who died on our behalf. Each human who believes God's Good News message will also receive a new 'spiritual' body that will never die and will have superhuman capabilities. This new eternal life and body will be residing in the same house or abode as the Creator-God of the universe.
8. Those who reject the Creator-God's terms and the gift that He has offered (including those who would partially accept it but then also want to add to it their own good deeds as partial compensation to God) will be cut-off forever from God. Those who reject Him will be placed into a location of eternal suffering along with the angelic rebel angels who attempted to overthrow the Creator-God of the universe.
9. At some point, and we think fairly soon, the Son of God, Jesus Christ at His Father's command will return to earth with a mission to rescue and remove all who have accepted the message that Jesus Christ died for their sins. This includes first of all those who have already physically died. They will be resurrected from the dead and given new supernatural bodies. Then those who are alive will be instantly changed and caught up in the air with Jesus Christ and all will live and reign with Him over Earth and the whole universe. In the process of this, the rest of mankind will go to war against Jesus Christ at His return and Jesus Christ will instantly destroy all that oppose Him including the rebel angelic forces.
This then is the entire nutshell version of God's Good News Program for humanity. The essential points to consider are as follows:
1. Humans are enemies of God and incapable of solving the problem that exists between God and themselves. Humans are condemned to eternal separation from God and thereby a spiritual death.
2. God who is perfect, righteous, and just cannot allow mankind's imperfections to continue forever. He has to put a stop to it and destroy the imperfections and restore perfection to the universe.
3. God solved the problem that exists between Himself and human beings by becoming a human being and thereby a substitute and thus sacrificing Himself into death on behalf of anyone who will accept His actions as a substitute. This part of God that did this is named Jesus the Christ. He died on a cross voluntarily so that if you will accept His actions on your behalf, then in the Divine Courtroom of Judgment before His Father, (God the Father who sits as Judge on the Judicial bench) the recorded sins in your personal records will be wiped clean. The penalty will be accounted to Jesus Christ who also in death got rid of all the sins attributed to Him, because He is deity and He has the ability to remove and dispose of imperfection. Because He was able to do this, He was also able to resurrect Himself from the dead. This is proof that His Father accepted the results as being perfect and accepted Jesus death as payment for our sins.
4. The only way the sins can be removed from our record is by believing God and His written words that Jesus Christ the Son of God has died on our behalf and rose from the dead for the removal of our sins. It is not a matter of believing and then getting baptized. It is not a matter of believing and then going forward in a public church service or revival crusade.
5. It is not a matter of believing and then giving any amount of money (from a penny to billions makes no difference). We cannot buy "salvation." Neither can we earn it. We cannot even partially pay God back. In no way can we do anything to earn 'brownie points' with God. God freely gives gifts to humans. We cannot mix belief with any actions on our own in which we think it will gain us any extra standing with God.
6. After we believe His message, He does have a plan for our life. This plan entails the notion of learning as much about Him as we can.
The plan also involves our learning what goodness and rightness are and then practicing to live in a good and right manner. Why? So that when we are given our superhuman bodies we will have had some practice in being Godlike so that we are better prepared for an eternity in which we will rule the universe with Him.
So the Christian life is just a training program for future opportunities.
Depending on how we live now may well determine what our specific roles will be in eternity. Some may get to oversee a whole Galaxy because they were more grown up spiritually in their human existence and thus more qualified than others. Some may only get a solar system or simply a planet or a moon or whatever. We don’t know the specifics. We only know that our remaining amount of time here on earth needs to be focused on living our lives in a godlike manner of good ness and rightness.
Why? Because it is what He wants us to do because He wants to give us more good things in eternity but no more than we can handle. Now, isn't that good news?
Now we've covered a lot of important information in a quick nutshell format. In doing so we've used some terms that some readers may not readily understand, especially the idea of faith.
Faith is the key element in the Good News message because without Faith we're 'sunk' so to speak. It is really important for everyone, including those who already believe to realize all aspects that are involved in the meaning of the word "faith."
In fact there are probably some who will read this thinking that they already are "saved" but in reality don't realize what the word means and therefore they may actually be adding something to faith that actually makes faith invalid and of no effect. So, for this reason we want to include a section that defines and tells us exactly what Faith is and what the word actually means.
We have examined the situation that all of mankind faces in relationship to the Creator God. All of mankind is under a death sentence. All men and women face eternal death and separation from the Creator and ruler of the Universe. That is bad news for all of us.
We can't do anything to solve the problem. God can't stand our good deeds any more than He can stand our bad deeds. But as we mentioned at the end of the last section, there is Good News.
The Good News is that God does not want us to be eternally separated from Him.
Instead He wants to re-establish a relationship with each and every human being. However, He cannot just wish it to be so. He had to do something Himself.
If we can do nothing to solve the problem then the only solution must rest with God taking care of the problem. If even our best is not good enough, if even man's best efforts are still repulsive to God then only God's efforts alone can provide a solution. Has He provided a solution? Yes, He has.
God Solved the Problem: SUBSTITUTION
God has acted in a manner that solved the problem. Only He could act to remedy the situation and satisfy His own justness and righteousness. But how could He do this? By becoming our substitute and accept the penalty upon Himself on our behalf. How did He do this?
God became a human being.
He retained His Divinity but in becoming man He also laid down some of His power but not His essence. He became a physical human male. He took His own genetic material and matched it with that of a human female who had never had any sexual relations or exposure to any male DNA material in her reproductive system.
In other words, the woman who would give birth to a "God-Man" would be a virgin.
Now it is important to note that problem of sin is (as we stated earlier) that it is also an inherited condition, a spiritual genetic disease if you will. This condition is passed down through the male DNA and not the female DNA. Why? It was actually Adam who realized all along that it was a wrong thing to eat the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Eve, however, had been fooled into thinking it was okay after all. Eve was deceived, but Adam was not deceived. Therefore, the disease of sin and imperfection is passed down through the male DNA.
This is important because for God to become a human he couldn't have the male DNA disease of Adam. The female DNA didn't automatically pass along sin into the "God-Man" and therefore when God became a man He was not automatically born as a sinner but He did have the opportunity and option to 'sin' if He so chose.
This God-Man that was born of a virgin was named Jesus whom we also call the "Christ" which is a Greek word which means "anointed" or "selected" one. Interestingly enough the name Jesus means in its Hebrew root word (#3467 -- yasha) to be open, wide, to be free or to free and by the implication the word was used with the idea of being safe or when as a name … one who saves or sets free.
Jesus actually is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name which in English we would say is Joshua, but in Hebrew is (#3091) Yehowshua.
It literally means Jehovah-saved. (Sometimes pronounced asYeh-shoo-wah)
So that the very name God took for Himself in human form connotes the purpose for which He came …… as a savior, one who sets free, a freedom-bringer. We find in the New Testament writings that He saves or brings freedom by 'buying' humanity out of the condition of sin that is likened to being akin to slavery.
So that He bought us (for a price) and paid to have us made free from the slavery of sin. What was that price? It was death. He died in our place. He died on behalf of you.
He became your substitute and took His wrath that was reserved for you and applied it to Himself instead.
He did that for you and for me and for anyone else who is willing to allow his death to be the purchase on your behalf or on your personal account ledger.
There are metaphors in the writings of Paul that are accounting terms in which Paul explains that as in accounting we have a personal accounting sheet in God's accounting ledgers.
On the debit side of the ledger are our sinful actions.
On the credit side is a column and blank spot for which a certification of death signifies and thereby enables a balancing of the books.
Instead of the payment being recorded as our death in that column on our personal ledger page, God can apply His death to our ledger sheet and mark it "paid in full" which will balance the account. Let me give you some written passages that will confirm this.
"Christ died for our sins."
Now is this something that all humans get their account written as paid in full? No. The account is actually not paid until or unless you as individual accept it as a fact. When you accept it as a fact and begin to rely upon it as a fact, then the ledger sheet is marked "paid in full" and it is credited to your account as 'righteousness.'
This satisfies the debt as being paid in full and your ledger sheet with God is balanced.
This happens the moment you believe it to be so.
The moment you accept this in your mind and rely upon it.
In doing so you then speak in your heart/mind a petition to God asking this to be so. This asking however is preceded by the belief itself or you wouldn't ask.
The asking doesn't actual cause the solution but is merely an acknowledgment of what you already have started relying upon.
This reliance is belief and belief is what the word "faith" means.
Faith means to rely upon, to believe something to be true.
It is this "reliance" or "faith" upon what God; the Lord Jesus Christ died on your behalf, that is the active agent that gets His actions credited to your account. This is what we call "salvation."
It is the activity that frees you from the death penalty that you were under.
Now that IS GOOD NEWS isn't it?
Keep in mind, that it is nothing you can do.
You can do nothing to 'earn' this result from God. Remember Isaiah 64:6 which says that even our righteous actions are like foul smelling used feminine hygiene products.
It is only what He has done as a substitute for you that counts.
All you do is accept it just like you'd accept a gift from someone.
You do not possess a gift unless you accept it, correct?
It is also true with God's actions. God's death on the cross, His crucifixion paid the penalty.
His Resurrection was the canceled check so to speak. His rising from the dead was His way of saying "I'm satisfied that it was enough." Payment accepted in full.
Truly what the Lord Jesus Christ did on our behalf is a gift. It is a gift to us.
We can do nothing to pay for it. We can pay NOTHING.
It isn't a gift if we give the giver the full money for its price, correct?
If I give you a book that costs $20.00 and somehow you slip a twenty-dollar bill into my pocket then its no longer a gift is it?
God's death and resurrection was a gift freely given to you and to me to pay the penalty on our behalf. We can do nothing to alter its status as a gift. This also means that it was not a loan by which you must later pay it back somehow.
The Son of God's death was not a loan.
Also, Jesus Christ's death and Resurrection did not just cover all of your past sins.
Yes, it covered all of your past sins plus sins that you are committing now in the present.
It also covers the sins that you will commit in the future until the point in time in which God will finish your salvation process.
He will finish this process when He gives you a new, physical, 'super' body with which there will no longer be any 'sin' urges. Then you will be perfected completely.
At the moment someone just now believing this information is free from committing sin but the old sin nature still exists within him/her but it doesn't have the right to be in control anymore. You now have a choice to sin or not to sin.
You can choose to let God, who now resides in Spirit inside you to let Him control you thoughts and decisions. This is the third part of the Godhead known as the Holy Spirit. This is God's Spirit residing in you permanently and completely. You can give Him control of your life's attitudes and thinking or you can retain control yourself and be led around by the sin nature that wants to continue sinning. It becomes a constant battle for Christians as to who will retain control of your life's actions and decisions.
We have explained our condition and we in a nutshell we have explained God's program that remedies our condition if we will accept it. But we want to explain God's program in a little more detail so that you will better understand it in order to make an intelligent decision.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for your sins.
God manifested His love towards us by taking a human body and then dying on our behalf. How did He die? He was executed by Roman soldiers acting under orders of the Roman government at the behest of the Jewish religious leaders of Jesus' time.
This death is referred to as His "cross work" in which the sins that we committed fell on the Son of God while He hung on the cross. This death was the method of solving the sin problem. It was a method that we call "substitution." This means that Christ stood in a man's (or woman's) place in such a way that He bore your sinful guilt and condemnation for you. He did this for you. He did this for me. He did this for any and all who would accept it as a gift freely given on behalf of whomever would accept it as the payment for their personal wrong actions that God had charged to each person's account with God.
Therefore, His actions are summed up in this verse that God wrote through Paul to the church in Corinth, Greece. This is found in Paul's first epistle (or letter) to that church.
1st Corinthians 15:3 which states that He, Christ – "died for our sins."
Now this event was predicted and "foreshadowed" in the Old Testament centuries before His crucifixion.
First it was symbolized in the religious sacrificial system of Israel. This system required animals to be killed and burned on an altar in the temple as a way of showing God that the people believed God's promises.
Sacrifices displayed the fact that they believed God when He stated that He was Holy and could tolerate no imperfections in actions or attitudes. Such sins required a death. Animal deaths were a way to symbolize this fact. Those deaths were symbolizing God's justness and also the fact that God would someday substitute Himself as the ultimate substitutionary sacrifice on behalf of a sinner.
In the case of an animal sacrifice the animal became the substitute.
This was a way for God to teach Israel that a substitute
sacrifice by Himself was
We see these principles instituted by God to Moses and Israel in the book of Leviticus chapter 1 and verses 1 through 4.
About 500 years later than Moses, the prophet Isaiah wrote that the animal sacrifice becomes personified. Isaiah 53:4-6 repeatedly indicates teachings that relate to a person who someday would act in the same substitutionary manner taking man's sin in his own person.
"Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well being fell upon Him and by His scourging WE are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him."
It is interesting to note that in the Hebrew original text of verse 6 the word "ALL" is both the first and last word in the verse.
So it begins by stating the universal condition of sinfulness and yet it also ends by pointing to the universal provision of Christ's substitutionary death.
Sin can never be overlooked or just forgotten. It has a penalty cost that must be paid and so it cannot simply be ignored or overlooked or just forgotten. The penalty for sin has to be paid for by either the one who commits the sin or by someone else who has not committed sin.
Now the Good News is that God has resolved the problem of sin. He chose to set forth Himself, the Son of God who bears each man and woman's sin and thereby becoming the substitute. Because the sins of a man or woman have now been paid sufficiently by Christ's death, God is free to extend salvation to the sinner in a gift format.
Propitiation is the term that means that God is satisfied by Christ's accomplishments on the cross.
Yet, within the human mind and heart of mankind there is still some sort of twisted and distorted perception of who God is and what it takes to satisfy His holiness.
It has often times been twisted into various concepts like polytheism (multiple gods). One of the more popular concepts that mankind has is that God is angry and that he must be placated or soothed in some way and then coaxed or begged into providing blessing.
1st Kings chapter 18 shows a heathen idea of satisfying God. The prophet Elijah challenges these heathen worshippers of the 'god' Baal. Elijah suggests that they coax Baal into consuming their animal sacrifices on the altar with fire from Heaven. Their first attempt to gain attention is through prayer. The worshippers pray from morning until lunchtime at noon. Nothing happened. Later, the worshippers jumped and danced around the altar to get the attention of Baal. Still nothing happened.
Elijah then really lays it on them with sarcastic taunting and
suggests that perhaps Baal might be out of town or on journey or sleeping or
perhaps he's gone to the bathroom. As a response these heathen worshippers of a
false god moved into high gear. No doubt they'd become frantic and doubtful as
well as a bit unnerved by Elijah's taunts. So we read that they then began to
Finally, it is Elijah's turn to prevail upon his God to send down fire from heaven to light the altar to burn his sacrificed animal. Elijah builds his altar and cuts his animal sacrifice into pieces. The moment he is finished, God sends down fire from the sky and consumes the burnt offering.
Now this story indicates an important lesson for us.
1. Man by his own nature just believes that his prayers, his sincerity, his suffering or his own deeds/works can somehow satisfy God and cause God respond favorably to man's finest efforts. All of these notions count for nothing. God is not satisfied (ever) with the offerings of human merit. Nothing we do can satisfy God based on our own efforts.
2. God responded to Elijah on the principle of a sacrifice placed on the altar to die. God is satisfied only on the basis of the sacrifice of another in the place of a man or woman.
This is much like the work of Jesus Christ as accomplished on
the cross. God fellowships with us through His Son and on the basis of His death
Now there is a word that describes this idea. It is called "PROPITIATION."
It means "satisfaction." So that Christ's cross work activity was indeed the satisfaction for our sins.
1st John 2:1-2 says "My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins; and not for ours only but also for those of the whole world."
Now we have presented to you the very elemental basics of the Good News that we talked about. I have deliberately avoided using a word that means good news. It is the word "gospel." Gospel in the original Greek language of the New Testament is the word.
Eu = "good"
Angelion = message …… other forms of the word are messenger which we call angel. An angel is nothing more than a messenger.
A messenger can be a human being or a supernatural being that resides in the presence of God.
Gospel is an old English word originally spelled "Godspell" meaning good = god and tale = spel i.e. god's tale or God's tale or God's story. Just remember that in the original Greek New Testament the authors were conveying the idea of it being Good News.
So every time you see "gospel" in your English version, no matter which one, just remember that it really means "Good News" or "Good Message."
So the Gospel is actually the Greek word eu-angelion which literally means "Good Message" or "Good News."
Now this "good news" is simply a message that delivers the information that leads to eternal salvation.
It is the information that IF believed by the hearer (or
reader) will result in eternal life and an eternal living relationship with the
Creator-God of the Universe. Now,
Now remember one thing. Nothing is more important than the accuracy of the good news message, i.e. the gospel.
Woe to the person or persons who present or believe an ill-defined gospel message.
Hey you wouldn't want your pharmacist to fool around haphazardly in filling a complex prescription would you? You wouldn't want him to make a mistake that could result in serious physical suffering for yourself would you?
Well isn't it then equally important for the Gospel/Good News message to be presented accurately. After all the stakes are a lot higher when it comes to the Gospel. The gospel deals with eternity.
You can't get more high stakes than that can you?
Now there are two different categories for the Good News Messages in the New Testament! Most folks don't realize that there are these two broad categories
Good News about God's Kingdom (Matthew 4:23. 9:35, 24:14; Mark 1:14-15, 10:28-30. This revolved around the Messianic kingdom that Jesus Christ would have when he came to be Israel's king and rule on the throne of David -- Luke 1:32-33). It was good news of a special character as it pertained to Israel and the Messianic physical Kingdom on earth with a 1,000 year millennial reign. Jesus offered up the good news that He as Messiah was now available to fulfill the prophecies IF Israel would accept Him as King. His teachings (usually in parables, stories) talked about how Jews should live and behave in the Kingdom on Earth.
Good News about God's salvation program for the whole world in a spiritual sense. Acts 15:7 -- Peter tells us that indeed it was for the whole gentile world as well as for the Jews. In Acts 20:24 the Apostle Paul states that he was specifically commissioned to preach "the gospel of the grace of God."
What is the Nature of God's Good News/"Gospel"?
"But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed."
The gospel (in its basic nature) is a fixed and inflexible message. Paul makes this very clear in the above passage. Paul tells us that the message that he proclaims is the standard by which all other presentations of the gospel are to be judged.
Now how can we be so confident in saying that this is what Paul is stating?
Well, the English word "contrary" in our version above is the Greek word par, which is a preposition in the Greek text that means beside.
It is therefore an error to preach any gospel besides that which Paul proclaimed.
So what does that mean for us?
It means that there are to be no additions, subtractions or modifications to the message that Paul proclaimed.
We know this because of the above verses from Galatians chapter 1.
Paul gives us a hypothetical possibility regarding himself or even if an angel from heaven came down to proclaim a different gospel. Now Paul no doubt is using a bit of hyperbole here in making the statement but in doing so he's really underscoring the gravity of a false message.
Paul is telling us that it makes no difference who the messenger is or where he supposedly comes from; no one can alter the gospel message that Paul proclaimed in any manner without facing Divine wrath.
What does this mean?
There can be no deviation from the gospel message that Paul proclaimed.
If there is any deviation, then it is not the real gospel and in fact it is no good news message at all.
Now was Paul saying this because he had an ego problem? Far from it.
Paul tells us that his gospel message was fixed and absolute because it was given him "through a revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:12).
In this, Paul is letting us know that he himself did not originate the good news message (gospel).
Instead, he claims he was merely relaying it to men as it was simply given to him. Paul is really insisting on a dogmatic assertion for only one reason.
No one has the right to tamper with the message given by God Himself.
Paul was merely relaying what was given to him by God.
So what does that mean for us today?
It means that, we too, are to relay the same message today that Paul gave to men and women of his day. Now this flies in the face of modern day thinking because in this day and age the intellectuals and indeed society refuse to accept any such notion of absolutes or absolute truth.
There is a temptation to water down the absolute truth of the gospel.
What do we mean by absolute truth? An absolute truth is any truth that is unchanged by the passage of time or circumstances and therefore is always reliable.
This applies to the Gospel. It is a fixed message.
The Gospel is an absolute truth and any addition or omission, any careless statement or any attempt to adapt it to mankind's way of thinking is to destroy it!
This is so important because the gospel is God's only means of saving man and error within that message has profound consequences.
So what was Paul's Gospel?
"Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve." -- 1st Corinthians 15:1-5
This passage is THE central passage for defining the gospel. Paul specifically states it very clearly to us that there are three defining, central truths to the gospel.
1. The Gospel centers on a specific person and event - Christ died. The gospel is provided by none other than God Himself in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
This should tell us something.
The provision of salvation is going to be PERFECT and TOTALLY ADEQUATE to accomplish all that God intended.
If we think otherwise it would mean that we think that God is capable of failure!
It also then would imply that Jesus Christ, the Son of God might just do a second-rate job.
In other words it implies that maybe Jesus Christ might have 'bungled' the job!
How outrageous a thought! Once we consider the character of
the specific person of Jesus Christ who authored and provided for salvation
ought to be assurance for us that His accomplished work is flawless and totally
adequate to save us. The salvation provided by Jesus Christ is adequate to save
us simply because
Now also you must keep in mind that bred within mankind, (each of us) is the idea that we can work out our own salvation. That somehow we can cut out a separate deal with God perhaps.
Certainly we have this attitude within us naturally that relates to a 'work' ethic. Therefore we need to pay attention to this fact:
God chose to provide salvation totally on His own and without any human assistance or advice. Don't forget He did this long before any human being was around to even have Him consult on the matter.
Remember, Jesus Christ is the specific person in effecting salvation, not ourselves.
Let's face it. Salvation is such a gigantic task that only Deity can get the job done.
God didn't need our help at all.
In fact, we can only get in the way.
When this is not clearly and plainly taught, there is no gospel because anything less is not good news! Why? If somehow, we as men have to be added to the equation and somehow get involved in working on the solution then there can be no salvation only condemnation.
We can do nothing to add to the salvation process. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
2. The Gospel Involves a Specific Work
Let's look once again at 1st Corinthians 15:3. "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures."
Paul tells us that "Christ died". Within the context of these verses we find four verbs that explain to us the work of Christ. We are told that He died, was buried, was raised and appeared. These four verbs are actually what we call "couplets" that relate to one another in the following manner:
The first one states a fact.
The second one shows what confirms the fact. Christ died, and we know the death took place and that it actually occurred because he was buried. The burial of Christ underscores the genuine reality of His death.
We are also told that He was raised, and the reality of His resurrection is thus confirmed by the fact that He appeared. Now that means literally that He was seen.
Now as to these four verbs only one of them is interpreted as to its significance. Only the verb died is modified by the very important prepositional phrase for our sins. It is the statement of this passage as well as that of many others, that Christ's death is the only grounds upon which God is able to communicate salvation and thereby all subsequent blessing to us.
No gospel is proclaimed if it does not underscore the specific work of Christ which is: "CHRIST DIED."
3. The Gospel States a Specific Accomplishment.
Remember that Paul has told us that Christ died for our sins. The word for is a preposition and in the Greek text it is the word huper. It means on behalf of.
Christ in His death became our huper.
In other words, Christ in His death became our substitute on our behalf. That means He suffered the penalty of our sins, on our behalf.
Have you forgotten what we stated earlier about the character of God in regards to salvation? We need to be continually reminded so that it always remains in our minds that deity is incapable of imperfection or insufficiency. Christ dealt with our sins completely and His work on the cross, on our behalf was adequate and nothing can be added to that fact. His work was sufficient. It was adequate and really more than adequate. It was perfect. God can do nothing less than acting perfectly.
Therefore if we think for some reason that we can do something to deal with the sin problem then really we are insulting God!
Yes, really! We are insulting God if we think we have to some how become involved in solving the sin problem. It becomes a thought that insults Christ's ability to do adequately what He started to do, save us.
Now remember something else about Christ. While it was essential for God to take up a human body (to incarnate) and it was necessary for Him to live a life of sinlessness, nevertheless, the atonement for our sins does not lie in His birth or His life. The atonement for our sins lies in His cross work death.
So, the next time you run across someone who proclaims to you a gospel that offers some sort of "experience" remember:
"experience" is NOT the gospel.
The gospel i.e. "good news" is an announcement of fact!!!
We need to remember also that it is an enormous undertaking that God made to save man and to provide the basis for His eternal blessing. So we should not forget and we should not marvel at the Greek term that is used for this astounding information, which is called:
Euangelion = Good News
Lest we forget we should consider another basic factor of the gospel that is contained in Paul's statement of 1st Corinthians 15.
It is the fact of the resurrection. If Christ died for ours sins thereby settling the sin problem, what bearing did the resurrection have? Good question, right?
The significance of the resurrection is that it brings proof to us that His death satisfied God the Father.
As we said earlier, the resurrection is the "cancelled check" which proves that the sin debt is paid.
If Christ did not rise from the dead, how could we ever know that His payment for sin had been successfully made? Christ died for sin and we know His work was successful because He who died is alive forever.
So what have we learned here?
The good news/gospel involves a specific person -- Jesus Christ.
It involves a specific work -- He died.
It involves a specific accomplishment -- a perfect payment for sin --- and this combines with a receipt that says, "Paid in full" in His resurrection.
Now if you remove or omit any of the above elements then we have NO GOSPEL and if we have NO GOSPEL then we have NO SALVATION and if we have NO GOSPEL and NO SALVATION then we have NO GOOD NEWS.
Therefore our message is "that Jesus Christ died for our sins. His action is a perfect payment for our sins. It was payment in full. We know this by the fact of His resurrection that we know occurred because he appeared afterwards to many."
This message must be kept clearly in mind and we must hold to it steadfastly in order to uphold its purity because there are many out there who would alter it leaving us with no good news.
There are some Christians who have read the first Volume of "America, The Babylon" or have read similar studies regarding the Prophecies of a future Babylon being identified as America and have become worried about being caught in the coming judgment upon America.
As a result, I am writing this article for those with such concerns to help them develop a better understanding of the correct biblical attitude towards this coming event.
In order to do that, the reader needs to go back to the basics of the Christian life and understand how God relates to us. We also need to understand how God deals with His own, and also with those who are not His own. Once we know this, then we can rest confidently in Him and His word.
To do this, we need to review what we mean by the term "faith". We also need to remember other instances of God’s judgment, and how He operates when he conducts such judgment. When we know and remember these elements, we are able to have the proper mental attitude of confidence that pleases Him and empowers us to serve Him in these final moments of the age.
This section comes in two parts:
1. Defining and understanding Faith
What is Faith?
There are 6 basic words for faith found in the Bible, that we will examine here. 5 are from the Hebrew Old Testament. 1 is from the New Testament. Let’s examine the Hebrew words first.
#1. Aman [Ah-mahn];
Strong’s code #s: 529, 530, 539, 540. 539&540 are the main
Namely a promise of God or the Word of God, and or on HIS Character. So that the OBJECT OF FAITH is:
1. God’s Word
Faith always demands content…… it is the essence of propping or supporting.
Some selected examples:
#2. Yachal = [ Yah hal ]; Strong’s code # 3176 main root word.
Basic Definition: To be weak in such a sense as to wait long and patiently with a certainty of knowledge.
The Idea of the Definition: This is the word for faith when things don’t happen quickly.
Yachal is the most commonly experienced usage of the idea in the Bible for faith. Some selected examples: Isaiah 51:5; Job 13:15; Psalm 119:49. In Job 13:15 "though he slay me, I ……. Yachal = "will wait long and patiently." In Psalm 119:49 "remember your word to your servant…to………… Yachal…… "hope"……or trust.
#3. Batach = [Bah tak]; Strong’s code #982
Basic Definition: to lay out extended, to stretch out extended. Often used in wrestling and it meant to literally throw one down on his face and pin him to the mat. Also used for anyone who would lie out extended on something…… like when you’re tired and your back hurts. To get relief sometimes it helps to just lie out extended on a firm surface like the floor…so you can get maximum support in order to try and stretch out and relax those lower back muscles to ease the stress.
The Idea of the Definition: To relax on something solid for maximum support
Some selected examples: Psalm 31:10-14 and Psalm 37:5. In Psalm 31:10-14…… we see David where his environment is in dire shape. He has severe troubles……he’s hated, he’s avoided, he’s forgotten. In verse 14 though he says:……"But as for me…… I will …… Batach……I will lie out extended…… in the Lord." In Psalm 37:5 "Commit your way to the Lord……Batach also in Him……and He will do it"……
#4. Khaw saw = [hashaw] - pronounced like ‘‘hooosshhh’’ & pronounced like it sounds. It’s an onomotopaetic word…… like "crack" "snap" "zip" for imitating the sound in represents. Strong’s # 2620.
Basic Definition: to seek a shelter or refuge rapidly.
The Idea of the Definition: The activity involves fleeing. The activity involves fleeing to a place to flee to. What good does it do to flee if there is no place to flee to?? That’s the concept of faith. It always has to have an object for the attitude to be focused towards.
Faith always has to have an object.
Selected Example: Psalm 36:7…… uses the metaphor of chicks fleeing to a refuge under the mother hen’s wings. And the sound the make as they flee……. Hoooossssshhhhhh…… emphasis on the speed……quickness. Also Psalm 57:1 "My soul …… hoooosssshhhhh…… in Thee"
#5. Kawah = [kavaw]; Strong’s code # 2342.
Basic Definition: to twist, to twirl……process of twisting ……like as in making a rope. It is considered to be a slow process and thus connotes a tight twist for purpose of getting strength …… but remember, it is time consuming.
The Idea of the Definition: To patiently wait. It indicates also a knowledge of the object. Selected Example: Isaiah 40:31…… "those who …….kawah for the Lord will gain new strength, will mount up with wings as eagles……" Note that this word indicates that things don't always happen when we want them to and this type of faith-attitude denotes that ability to wait long and patiently if necessary. This is a far cry from the "name it and claim it" crowd that proposes that you should be able to snap your fingers in prayer to God and He'll instantly respond with showers of blessings to exactly what you ask for to fulfill your hearts desire. Uh no. This word shows that faith doesn't work that way although sometimes He can and will respond instantly if such is in your genuine best interests and it most glorifies the Lord.
The next word is the Greek word used in the New Testament For Faith
#6. Pisteuoh/Pistis/Pistin…… #4100, 4102, 4103
Basic Definition: To think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, to have a conviction and trust. Belief. The character of one being believed, or relied upon.
Or in other words: TO RELY UPON SOMETHING.
The Idea of the Definition: To Rely upon. The idea being conveyed by this word is that faith or pisteuoh is not doing something blindfolded. Faith or Pisteuoh is the mental attitude in which the person grasps objective truth and the objective fact about the Lord and then he relies upon it. You could also liken this mental attitude of faith to be just like the idea of propping yourself upon something.
Faith or pisteuoh could even be likened to the idea of lying extended and stretched out upon…… and hooosssshhhh-ing it quickly……but doing so with a patient attitude realizing it may not happen quickly because it may be a slow process. It may be a slow process like that of making a strong rope.
Some selected examples: Hebrews 11:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Hebrews 11:6 "without faith it is impossible to please God" Ephesians 2:8-9. "For by grace are you forever and ever being continually saved through the agency of faith, not by works"……
To Please God - One Has to Have 3 Things:
1. An object for your faith:
a. That means there has to be "given-content" of God’s Word (i.e. it needs to be in your mind). You can’t get it by asking someone for emergency help in a crisis situation asking "what does God’s Word teach about this _____"
It’s the Word transferred into our mind through the study of The Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. You gotta have it in your mind and understand it –– before you can believe it. Its IMPERATIVE that you understand it first or else how can you believe what you don't understand.
b. That means "given-content" about knowing God’s character too. We need to know who we are dealing with. What’s He like? What’s His character like? If we don’t know about His character then there’s nothing to trust in. We can only get this by systematic study of the Word of God.
2. You have to exercise Volition towards 1a and 1b above.
That means you have to make a positive mental agreement about God’s Word and rely upon it, and to make a positive agreement about God’s character and rely upon it. So that: … "The Word of God" says this _______ and your reaction to it is:
a. Rejection –– "thumbs down"…… then that is "no faith". And as Hebrews 11:6 tells us……without faith it is impossible to please God. So "thumbs down" on God’s Word or Character and God Is NOT pleased. When God is NOT pleased, God disciplines His own……us. His discipline can be via all sorts of things like:
1. upset emotions
3. can’t get along with people
4. the whole gamut of possibilities
b. acceptance -- agreement with God. That is reliance based upon who God is and what He has said. Why?
Why would we "thumbs down" God’s word or character?
1. We don’t know the Word so therefore we can’t have a
positive volition (or mental attitude) towards it.
There are many given situations in which we must act as a believer but we can’t find a given verse in scripture on which to rest…… then we’ve got to go back to the Word on what we know about the character of God, and simply say, "I can’t pin a verse to this, BUT I do know something from the Word of God, ……God is sovereign and whatever happens, God is in control and I exercise volition toward that…… positive volition to the Word of God."
And this is defined by the "complicated" word --- FAITH.
That’s all faith is:
Positive Volition toward the Word of God.
(Volition = Chosen Mental attitude)
Positive Volition toward the Word of God. I just hang the confidence there with the Word of God. Without Positive Volition towards God …… There is NO pleasing God -- Hebrews 11:6…… "without faith it is impossible to please Him."
This shows us that God is not pleased with ACTIVITY!!!
The only thing that can ultimately please God is a MENTAL ATTITUDE and IF it is not a positive, chosen mental attitude of trusting, relaxing, relying on God...
GOD IS NOT PLEASED.
Any time in scripture where you see God pleased with a man, you can infer automatically that the man has faith.
See Hebrews 11:1-40…… for a list of folks that fit this idea. For instance, the first example is of Abel.
In Genesis 4:1-8…… can you find anywhere in those verses anything about "faith"???? There is no mention of the word whatsoever. Not at all. Yet, Hebrews 11 says Abel had faith and God was pleased. Why…… Genesis 4:4 "God had regard for Abel’s offering. Why? Because Abel offered it in "faith"……and that is the point of Hebrews 11. Even though the text doesn’t explicitly state the word faith……it did exist within Abel and he did have it.
Final thoughts on Faith
Isaiah 1:13 shows us how impossible it is to please God without faith……even though we may act perfectly. We may "worship" perfectly, but that doesn't cut it with God.
Isaiah 1:13 shows us that Israel did not please God……even though Israel conducted all the right motions, and activities that God commanded them to do.
The Jews did everything God commanded them……BUT……they had a "wrong" mental attitude……
It was a "no-faith" mental attitude.
Isaiah 40:6-8 gives us a solid basis for our faith.
Faith rests on the Word of God.
Verses 6-8. Notice that in verse 6-7 the transiencey of everything around us.
Verse 8 notes the permanency of God’s Word.
The basis for our Faith is God’s Word because it is Permanent.
Faith rests on the character of God……in Verse 12……note how it shows His character is Omnipotent (all-powerfulness)!!
Verses 13-14 shows us His Omniscience……(perfect all-knowingness)!!
Verse 15 shows us that He is Sovereign……He IS in control of everything.
If you’re falling apart –– then think of the God you’ve got to trust in……
Notice it is to the faint.
In other words……if you’re cocky……FORGET IT.
Self-confidence NEGATES reliance/faith.
But GOD Gives Strength.
RELY ON IT…… and please HIM.
REJECT it and displease HIM.
The choice is yours.
(Volition = Chosen Mental Attitude).
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R. A. Coombes
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