Many people live their lives as “wondering generalities” rather than as “meaningful specifics.” This includes a lot of Christians. Some believers lack assurance of their salvation, and are confused as to what they are supposed to do now that they have become a Christian. Studying is not appealing to many of them and they seem to lack the ability to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). They aren’t fully convinced that all 66 books of the Scriptures are God breathed and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness so that they can be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). They don’t realize that while all of the Bible is to be believed, not all of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9). Some try to live by the “Mosaic Law” and the “Ten Commandments” (Exodus 20). Others try to live according to the “Sermon on the Mount” as the “Red Letter Christians” do (Matthew 5-7). Both of these “Rules for Living” were given to the Jews, not to Christians and the Church. Many of those who follow them allegorize and twist the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16) rather than use the normal (literal, historical, grammatical) interpretation of the Bible. Both of these two are legal systems which many “preachers” prefer to teach (1 Timothy 1:7). Living by “Grace Principles” is foreign to most Christians (See Romans 6:14; Galatians 3:1-3; 5:1 ff; 2 Peter 3:18). Some of them erroneously think that it leads to a license to sin (Romans 6:1 ff). If you think this way, please note what happens to God’s disobedient children (Hebrews 12:5-11; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13).

What Does God Want Christians To Do?

Baptism. Once a person has been saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 6:23; 8:1), he/she should be baptized/immersed. This is not a requirement for salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9) but it is a picture of our death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Romans 6:3-6; Galatians 2:20). He commanded this of His disciples (Matthew 28:19, 20). It enables a believer to have a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21) and it serves as a witness to others that we are identifying ourselves with Christ (Acts 8:36-38; 10:47; 16:33) and the “Body of Christ – The Church” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:15).  Sadly, there are many Christians who haven’t been baptized/immersed yet. Perhaps they’re ashamed of Jesus and deny that they know Him as Peter did (Matthew 26:75). Maybe they fear opposition or even loss of life (1 Corinthians 15:29; Philippians 1:21). What about you?

Dedication. Having been purchased out of the slave market of sin” with Christ’s own blood (1 Peter 1:18, 19; See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), every true Christian should present his/her body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2). We should gladly make ourselves available to the Lord so He can live out His life through our lives (Galatians 4:19; 5:22, 23; Romans 6:13). Note: This is not a condition for salvation as the Lordship In Exchange For Salvation” people teach. We should submit to Christ’s Lordship over our lives because we have been saved, not in order to be saved. If you’re saved, have you submitted to His Lordship yet? Is He your Master? If not, why not? Are you afraid that He might ask you to do something you don’t want to do? Are you interested in pleasing God or yourself (See 2 Corinthians 5:9, 10)? When God saved us, He gave us His quality of life – eternal life (John 3:16; 5:24) and we began to participate in the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). He began to put new desires in our hearts (Philippians 2:13). When He does this, He gives us the power and resources to do them (Philippians 3:10; 4:19; See Ephesians 2:10; 3:20). We bring joy and blessings to His heart when we do His desirous will” for our lives. He in turn makes us happy too. But, in spite of all this, many Christians frequently quench the Holy Spirit’s leading in their lives (Romans 8:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:19) and render Him inoperative. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If we deny Him (i.e. say “no” to Him), He also will deny us (say “no”) to us” (2 Timothy 2:12). Don’t ask God for favors if you’re disobedient to Him. This verse is not teaching that we will lose our salvation but we could lose rewards, crowns, and/or praise from God (Revelation 3:11).

Growth. Even though some parents may say that they want their babies to stay small, they really want them to grow up to be normal, well adjusted human beings who can reproduce themselves. New Christians need the milk of the Word” (1 Peter 2:2) and then the meat/solid food” of God’s Word (2 Peter 3:18). God has provided everything we need for life and godliness in His Word (2 Peter 1:3). But it must grieve the heart of God to see so many Christians remaining in a state of spiritual infancy and/or carnality (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Hebrews 5:12-14). How much spiritual growth has taken place in your life? Would this make God happy? If not, what needs to change?

Walk. Rather than crawling around everywhere, God wants His children to learn how to walk (order their lives) by means of the Holy Spirit so we don’t fulfill the lusts (strong desires) of the flesh/sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25; See 1John 1:8; Romans 7:14-25). It brings delight to the heart of God and to spiritual leaders when they see believers walking in love and truth (Ephesians 5:2; 2 John 1:4), and in the light as God Himself is in the light (1 John 1:7). Not only are we saved by one act of faith (Ephesians 2:8), we are to continue to live in an attitude of faith and claim the promises that were addressed to New Testament grace believers (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 4:2; 10:38). Regrettably, most Christians live by sight rather than by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) and only a few of them are aware of God’s promises and mix them with faith and live restful, joyful lives (Hebrews 4:2-16; Philippians 4:6, 7).

Be Filled. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). This verse tells us that not all Christians are filled with the Spirit; all can be filled; all should be filled; and all can/should be filled again and again. This filling of the Holy Spirit” involves His making up in our lives where we are lacking. But instead of our being spiritual Christians (1 Corinthians 2:15) who allow the Holy Spirit to produce the Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22,23) in their lives, and who then direct this fruit toward the right objects, at the right time, for the right reasons (1 John 2:15-17; Ephesians 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:31), many (perhaps most) Christians act carnally and are governed by their old sin nature (See 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:14-25; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Habitual carnality and sinful (lawless – 1 John 3:4) behavior can lead to a Christian’s premature, painful, physical death (James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16). Is this your condition right now? If so, immediate repentance (a change of mind – 2 Corinthians 7:9) and honest confession of your known sins could prevent your premature death (1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13). The believer’s chastening by God the Father is limited to this life so that he/she will not be condemned later with the world (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Hebrews 12:5-11). The idea of Purgatory, where one pays for his venial sins before entering heaven, is not found in the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul wrote, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present [immediately] with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Unity. In His High Priestly prayer to God the Father, Jesus said, I do not pray for these [disciples] alone, but also for those who will believe in Me [in the future] through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:19, 20). Most people don’t believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. They may know and believe the facts of the Gospel but they haven’t transferred their faith from themselves and their good works over to Christ alone. True unity can only exist among those who are a part of God’s family, not among God’s children and the devil’s children (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8-10). To which family do you belong? Are you sure?

Yokes. True Christians are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers…” (2 Corinthians 6:14). The Apostle Paul went further when he instructed the believers in the church in Corinth to put out of their fellowship the carnal Christian who was living in an incestuous relationship with his mother (1 Corinthians 5). So they did. But even after this man repented – changed his mind about his sin (2 Corinthians 7:9) and confessed it (1 John 1:9; James 5:16), they still didn’t want to forgive and restore him back into the fellowship of the church (See Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:34). So Paul gave them instructions to take him back into the church lest Satan take advantage of them (2 Corinthians 2:1-11). Sadly, too many carnal Christians bring disunity to the church over the wrong issues (Examples: the color of the choir robes, carpet, their favorite teachers, Et al) and render the church ineffective in its witness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:1-4). Note: God is opposed to man’s New World Order consisting of a One World Government, Religion, and Economic System (See Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 17:26; Revelation 17; 18; 19:11-16). He doesn’t want Christians promoting it. But God will allow rebellious man the opportunity to set one up, but it will only last for seven (7) years (Daniel 2:44, 45; 9:27; See Psalm 2). If Christ didn’t limit them, no flesh on earth would survive (Matthew 24:22). Man is not capable of ruling himself without God’s help (John 15:5). As is, over ½ of the world’s population will die during the 7 years of the Tribulation (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). The globalists, we’re told, want to reduce the population down to 500 million people. If this is the case, where will that leave you?     

Gifts. Our salvation is a gift from God that was purchased with Christ’s own blood (Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 Peter 1:18, 19). When He ascended back to heaven after dying for our sins…and rising again, He gave spiritual gifts” (special abilities) to Christians who make up the “Body of Christ – the True Church” (Ephesians 4:8-16; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Peter 4:10). Some of these gifts were of a temporary nature until the Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:10; Hebrews 2:4). Others are extant and are still being given out to believers at the moment of their salvation. They need to be developed and used with Divine love for the glory of God and the good of others, primarily the Church (1 Corinthians 10:31; 13:1-13; Galatians 5:13).  Sadly, most of these spiritual gifts get left undiscovered and/or unused by most Christians. Some teachers of the Bible misinform people by telling them that all 20 spiritual gifts are still being given to the Church. Many carnal Christians seek the flashy gifts that aren’t being given out today. [1]

Love. The best that an Old Testament believer could do was to love his neighbor as himself  (Leviticus 19:18). Christ’s New Commandment is …that you love one another [fellow believers] as I have loved you (John 13:34, 35). This “agape” love needs to be directed back to God the Father and to His children first (1 John 2:15-17; 3:16, 17; See Galatians 6:10). We can’t love God and the world system at the same time. It’s passing away (See 2 Peter 3:10-13). It was devised by the devil, in the days of Cain, to control man’s sin nature (Luke 11:50, 51; Genesis 4:16-24). Sadly, there are some maturing Christians who misdirect God’s love toward the world system. The Apostle John says this must stop! Christians may use it but we’re not to abuse it by making it more important than God and His children (1 Corinthians 7:31; See Hebrews 10:24, 25).   

Witness. God usually leaves believers on this earth for awhile after He saves us. He wants all Christians to bear witness to His saving power (Romans 1:16, 17; Ephesians 3:20; Hebrews 7:25) and for us to share the Good News concerning Christ with lost people (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) so we can earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20; See Revelation 4:10, 11). Our lives need to correspond with our lips. We need to be ready to give an answer to those who ask us about our hope (1 Peter 3:15). But most Christians fail to tell others about the Savior and seem to be timid or ashamed of Him (2 Timothy 1:7, 8). Some distort the Gospel message (2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-15) and/or the method/way of salvation (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). This produces many “professing Christians” who aren’t truly saved (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Matthew 7:21-23).   

Glory. God wants all His creatures to know that He is who He claims to be. He has revealed Himself through nature (Psalm 19:1), His Word – the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16, 17), and through God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18). The chief end/purpose of man should be to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Sadly, many Christians are more interested in promoting themselves rather than God (Romans 12:3). Do you worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25)? In the end God will be glorified and everyone (spirit beings and human beings) will admit that Jesus Christ is the God-man (Philippians 2:11; See Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14).  These verses are NOT teaching “Universal Salvation.”

Check Up. God wants His children to examine themselves on a regular basis (1 Corinthians 11:28). “An unexamined life is not worth living.” One day, at the “Bema Seat Judgment,” every Christian will have his/her works examined to determine which ones are rewardable and which ones get burned up because they are worthless (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10). This judgment will NOT be to determine if one gets into heaven or not.

Judgment. Even though God accepts all true Christians in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6), and graciously teaches (1 John 2:20, 27), disciplines (Hebrews 12:5-11), empowers (Matthew 28:19, 20), rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15), guides (John 16:13) and enables (Philippians 4:13) us to grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18), many (perhaps most) Christians fail to carry out the responsibilities that God has placed on them. With God’s help you don’t have to be one who grieves God (Ephesians 4:30).

Grace. In spite of this, at the time of the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52), God will raise all the dead New Testament Christians, and translate/transform the living Christians, and then judge their works and reward what He can (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 15:51, 52). Then He makes the true Church His Bride (Ephesians 5:22) and takes her to His home in heaven (John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:9-27). Will you miss out on some crowns, rewards, and praise because you were carnal? If you are, repent and then confess your known sins to God, and start abiding (feeling at ease) in His presence so that He feels at ease in your presence (John 15:1-8).

Motivation. Doesn’t God’s marvelous grace deserve a response of love and obedience from true Christians (John 14:15; 15:10)? Living each day with Christ’s imminent return in mind will (1) encourage us to be pure (1 John 3:3), (2) bring us true happiness (Titus 2:13), and (3) comfort us in times of sorrow (1 Thessalonians 4:18)? Ask yourself, “Am I pleasing God or self?” (2 Corinthians 5:9). With God’s help, what changes will I start making today (James 4:14, 17)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 25; 3:16, 17). We’d like to hear from you. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has, and then SHARE it with others.

This article is an expansion of some of the material I have on my website under “Understanding The Times Dispensations Chart.”  If you’re not sure you’re truly saved, please read “The Bad News & The Good News.”

[1] Spiritual Gifts. See “Basic Bible Docs” on our website.

Please watch “The Ultimate Final” by Dr. Howard Hendricks  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKaavuDlvZ4

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When it comes to “How To Live The Christian Life,” many new Christians (and some older ones) are confused. They are told to Read their Bibles – let God talk to you, Pray – you talk to God, and Witness for God. Many of them don’t know that while all the Bible is for us, not all of it is addressed to us (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Titus 1:9). They aren’t aware that there are eight ways to communicate with God, not just “asking and receiving.” [1] When trying to witness to others, many Christians confuse “The Message & The Method” of salvation. [2]

Equippers. Upon His ascension back to heaven, Christ gave to the Church Evangelists and Pastor-teachers (Ephesians 4:8-16). They are responsible to equip the believers in their care so all of them are equipped to do their work of ministry primarily through the use of their spiritual gifts (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14). They need to be taught “How To Live The Christian Life.” We must not confuse the condition for salvation with the multiple conditions for spiritual growth as one commentator does in James 4:7-10. He writes: “In a series of 10 commands (10 imperative verbs in the [Greek] text), James reveals how to receive saving grace. These verses delineate man’s response to God’s gracious offer of salvation, and disclose what it means to be humble.” The MacArthur Study Bible, NKJV, p. 1932.  No, these verses are not telling a sinner how to be saved. They were written to Christians to tell us how to live once we have been saved. The word “Brethren” refers to Christians, not the unsaved (See James 1:2, 16, 19; 2:1, 5; 3:1, 10, 12; 4:11; 5:7, 9, 10, 12, 19).  Beware of the false teaching of Lordship In Exchange For Salvation” [3]

Salvation. Mankind has always been saved by God’s grace through faith in God and not by good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6). Today, the Gospel truth we must believe in order to be saved is that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). It is the same message for Jews and non-Jews (Romans 1:16; 10:9). Have you placed your faith in Him alone to save you? Are you relying on any of your good works to save you? Why should God let you into heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what?

Dispensations. Throughout man’s existence on earth, God has given different rules for living to different people. They are the “House Rules.” It’s not too hard to see that the rules given to the Old Testament Jews are different from the rules given to Christians. Examples: Dietary rules, Sabbath keeping, animal sacrifices, etc. All these different rules were designed by God to test people’s obedience to God and to demonstrate to us that no matter what kind of rules God imposes on mankind, we always fail when we depend on ourselves to keep God’s rules for living.  Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). On the other hand, “[Every true Christian] can do all things [that God intended for us to do] through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13; See Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). Question – If you’re saved, are you doing your good works for the glory of God and the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 5:13; 6:10)? God, being omniscient, knows what we do and why we do it and will judge our works someday (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Note: Dispensations are not different ways to be saved but different rules for living. They are the result of a normal, literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of the Bible, not the allegorical interpretation that twists Scripture (2 Peter 3:16; See Genesis 3:1).

Rules. The Christian’s “Rules For Living” in the “Dispensation of Grace” can generally be found between John 13 – Revelation 3 after which the true Church is found in heaven. In John 13:34, 35 Jesus gave His disciples a New Commandment “…that you love one another as I [Jesus] have loved you.” This is a positive command and this kind of “agape” love is produced by God the Holy Spirit in the life of a “Spirit filled” Christian who is “walking by means of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-25). This “agape” love also stands in contrast to the Old Commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). Under the “Dispensation of Law” this was the best an Old Testament believer could do. The “Ten Commandments” were basically negative prohibitions (Exodus 20:1-17). Even before God had given them to the Jews they boastfully said, “All that the LORD has spoken, we will do” (Exodus 19:8). But they didn’t. Their obedience to the Mosaic Law would have brought to them health, wealth, and happiness. But their disobedience brought on them the curses from God that the Jews are experiencing to this very day (See Deuteronomy 28; Malachi 3:8-12).

Replaced? The Church has not replaced Israel. God is not finished with the Jews as a nation. He will keep all His unconditional covenants (promises) that He gave to them (See Romans 11). They will get all the land that God promised to give to them when Christ returns at His Second Coming, not the Rapture (Genesis 15:18-21). The future of the remnant of believing Jews is as bright at the promises of God that were given to them. (See Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; 11:1 ff; 35:1 ff; Jeremiah 30:9; Zechariah 14.)  God’s time clock with the Jews will start up again after the fullness of the Gentile believers have come in and been saved (Romans 11:25; John 6:37) and the man of sin (Antichrist) signs a seven year covenant with the Jews (Daniel 9:27). The last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation are known as the “time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) and the “Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:15 ff). These days may be just around the corner. Where will you be when they occur?

Check Up. To see how well you are doing as a New Testament Grace believer, we invite you to refer to our “Understanding The Times Dispensations Chart” on our website. We’ve listed some of our Responsibilities, the Failure of most Christians, and the Judgment of our works at the “Bema Seat Judgment” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Use it as a guide for doctrine, reproof, correction, or instructing you in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Don’t lose out on the crowns, rewards, and praise that might have been yours if you had done what God wanted you to do in this life (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 3:11). “…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which hall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18; See 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 4:8; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33).

Help. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change if necessary (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through out website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share it with others who might benefit from it.

[1] Prayer https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/%E2%80%9Clord-teach-us-to-pray%E2%80%9D/)

[2] Salvation https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/salvation-the-message-the-method/)

[3] Lordship For Salvation http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

“For I [the Apostle Paul] am not ashamed of the gospel of [concerning] Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek [non-Jew] (Romans 1:16).

“Moreover, brethren, I [the Apostle Paul] declare the gospel…to you…by which also you are saved – unless you believed in vain. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas [Peter], then by the twelve” (1 Corinthians 15:1-5).

Confusion. If there is one thing Satan, God’s adversary, would like to do, it would be to change the Gospel message and confuse people about the method (way) of salvation (deliverance) from the lake of fire to heaven (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:17, 31). He would get his ministers (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15) to twist the Gospel message and the Scriptures to try to keep people from being saved (2 Peter 3:16). But if the Gospel message and the method of salvation are presented clearly, and in its entirety, God the Holy Spirit can do His work of convincing lost people of the sin of unbelief, of their need for Christ’s righteousness, and of the judgment (eternal doom) that will come on all those who reject Christ as their personal Savior (John 16:8-11).

Purpose. God’s primary purpose is to glorify Himself by making Himself known to His creatures (John 1:14-18; 17:3; See Ezekiel 6:7, 10, 14). One day, in the future, every tongue [will] confess [admit] that Jesus Christ is Lord [God], to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11; See Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). This verse is NOT teaching “universal salvation” for everyone. Even the fallen angels/demons acknowledge Christ’s deity without their being saved (Matthew 8:29; James 2:19). No salvation has been provided for them.

Message/Method. God has chosen to use a simple message concerning the Christ of the Scriptures, (not the Christs of the cults – Matthew 24:5) to save people. He is the God-man (Philippians 2:5-11), who was born of the virgin, Mary (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14), who lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day so any human being could be saved. He also chose a simple method whereby we could be saved – Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31; John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24). The word “believe” is used about 100 times in the Gospel of John to indicate the method of salvation.

Christ’s Death. Here are some false ideas about His death. At least one cult believes that Jesus didn’t die on a cross but on a stake. One religious group believes that someone else, who looked like Jesus, died on the cross. Then there are those who say that He didn’t really die; He only swooned on the cross and was revived back to life in the cool tomb. Some deny that He died for our sins, but they say that He died for us because of our great value. One cult doesn’t believe that Jesus finished the work of salvation and teaches that He needs to continually be offered up in the Mass for our sins. Here is the truth from the Scriptures. He died for all our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10) because all of us are sinners who have acted lawlessly (Romans 3:10-23; 1 John 3:4). He died for the sins of all mankind, not just for a few people (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2). [1] He died for our sins to pay the debt that we owed to God the Father. Physical death involves the separation of the spirit and soul from the body, not the annihilation of the wicked. Spiritual death will result in the eternal separation of a sinner from God in the lake of fire unless he/she believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and receives the gift of eternal life by faith during his/her life on earth (Romans 6:23; See Genesis 2:17).

Christ’s Burial. We bury dead people. There was no doubt in the Roman centurion’s mind that Jesus Christ was dead ( Matthew 27:54). One of the soldiers pierced His side and blood and water came forth indicating that He had died from a broken/ruptured heart (John 19:34). Jesus chose the time and method of His own death (Luke 23:46; John 12:32; See Psalm 22). Then His body was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb. His burial proves that He had really died.

Christ’s Resurrection. It was a bodily resurrection, not a resuscitation as some others. His resurrection body had flesh and bones, but lacked blood (Luke 24:33-43; See 1 Corinthians 15:50). It took place on the third day as He predicted it would (John 2:19; 10:15-18). Had He risen from the dead on the first day, many would have doubted His actual death. Three days was the maximum amount of time He could have been in the tomb without His body starting to decay. Had it decayed, He would not have fulfilled the Scriptures (Psalm 16:10; Acts 13:35). His friend, Lazarus, was dead for four days and his body had begun to rot/decay/stink (John 11:39). Without His bodily resurrection from the dead, we’d have no sufficient Savior and no hope of resurrection ourselves (Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19). The Apostle Paul insisted that the bodily resurrection be included in the Gospel presentation, for which he suffered persecution (2 Timothy 2:8-10; See Acts 23:6; 24:15; 1 Peter 1:3). His bodily resurrection guarantees the bodily resurrection of everyone – believers and unbelievers, each group in their own order (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). True believers will spend eternity with God (John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:8; See Daniel 12:2); all unbelievers will spend eternity in torment in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Jude 1:13). Where will you spend eternity? Are you absolutely sure? You can be (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16).  Need help?  Ask for it.

Christ’s Appearances. After His bodily resurrection out from among the dead ones, He appeared on more than 10 occasions to over 500 witnesses over a 40 day period of time before He ascended back into heaven in the presence of His disciples (Acts 1:1-11). To His disciple Thomas, who wasn’t there when Christ first appeared to His disciples and who doubted His resurrection, Jesus said, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Today we believe the testimony of those who actually saw Jesus’ resurrected body. As Dr. Charles Ryrie wrote, “When we ask someone to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are asking something very difficult. We are asking the person to believe in someone he or she has never seen. Someone who lived in the very distant past. Someone who has no living eyewitnesses who can vouch for His character and the truth of His words. Someone whose biography was written very long ago and by those who were His friends.” So Great Salvation, Moody Press, 1997, p. 108

Salvation. It’s not gained by a mere knowledge of and a belief in the facts of the Gospel. Many people and even the demons do this (James 2:19; See Matthew 7:21-23). To be saved, we must change our minds (true repentance is a part of believing) [2] and transfer our faith/trust from ourselves and our good works over to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross through the message of the Gospel (See Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). One “believes in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2) when he/she adds any good works to faith. Examples: Adding to faith baptism, church membership, promising God you’ll turn from your sins and never sin again, confessing every sin you’ve ever committed to God, raising your hand and/or walking an isle, or insisting that the “Social Gospel” of good works be required for one’s salvation, along with many other things. Confusing the many requirements for spiritual growth and development with the single requirement for salvation can lead to disaster. [3]

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change if they’re convinced from the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 24-26; 3:16, 17). If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and also ask you to share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] Limited or Unlimited Atonement? – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/4whom23.htm

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/4wchdied.htm

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/4whom.pdf

[2] Repentance – https://voice.dts.edu/review/g-michael-cocoris-repentance/

[3] Lordship For Salvation – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

“My Mother’s Prayers”

Posted: November 29, 2018 in Christian Life, Prayer

Etched in recesses of my mind are the prayers of my mother as I headed off for school each morning. It took my siblings and me about 1 ½ hours and three separate trains to get to the missionary school we attended in Japan. She always seemed to include the words of Psalm 19:14 to her prayers. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable to Thee, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”

Our Words. Every day we make choices as to what we will do and say and how we will say what we say. Some words build others up, heal broken relationships, unite people in a common cause, or revive saddened hearts. But all too often our careless words do just the opposite and have a negative effect on others who hear us.

Sticks & Stones. We’ve been told that sticks and stones can break our bones, but names and faces can’t hurt us. But that isn’t quite true. We all have emotions that can be hurt. What are you communicating to others by the expressions on your face and the tone of your voice? What is the purpose for your speaking? Are your words glorifying God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31) or are they designed to make yourself look good at the expense of others (James 4:16; Romans 12:3)? Are you seeking the approval of others or of God (Galatians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 5:9)? Are you quick or slow to speak (James 1:19)?

Wisdom. True Christians are free to ask God for wisdom to know how to apply Biblical truths to our every day lives (James 1:5). Those believers who are continually being led by God the Holy Spirit are the maturing sons/daughters of God (Romans 8:14). But beware of the wisdom of this world that comes from God’s adversary, the devil (James 3:15-17). It may seem right, but it could lead to a premature death (Proverbs 14:12).

Meditations. While we can’t always control the thoughts that come into our minds, we do have a choice as to whether or not we will entertain them or not. Temptations to sin (act lawlessly – 1 John 3:4) can come from the devil, our own sin nature, or the present world system. If there weren’t any perceived pleasures that might come from engaging in them, we wouldn’t pursue them. But there is pleasure in some sins even though they may be for a very short time (Hebrews 11:25). Many of them are followed by great sorrow (Proverbs 5:4). Do you know the source from which your temptations come? Do you know how to counterattack them and live a victorious Christian life? Are you tired of being defeated so often? Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15)? If so, we may be able to help you by pointing you in the right direction. God’s Word has everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

Motivations. Do you know that God is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24)? He knows everything about you and me? He knows the numbers of hairs on our head and the motivations of our hearts. While we may be able to deceive others, we can’t hide anything from God (Psalm 139:7). One day He will unveil the hidden motives of our hearts and will reward us (Christians) for the good works we did on earth that He planned for us to do (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; Ephesians 2:10; See James 4:13-17).

Prayer. “Prayer doesn’t change things. God does in response to proper prayers.” Maybe you didn’t have a mother or father who prayed for you as I did. But if you’re a true Christian, you can be assured of the fact that God the Holy Spirit and God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ intercede continually to God the Father on your behalf (Romans 8:26, 27, 34; Hebrews 7:25). Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39) and nothing can happen to us without God’s permission (1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:2). Learn to give thanks in the midst of all your trials (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things (Ephesians 5:20), and for all men (1 Timothy 2:1). As believers, we can and should supplicate and intercede for or against evil doers (See Romans 11:2).

Christian. A true Christian is someone who has placed his/her faith in Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). We’re not saved by our good works, or by our faith plus our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Have you been saved? Do you have assurance or doubts? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything you could do, or fail to do, that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be? If you are saved, is there any evidence of it for other people to see (James 2:18-20)? Are you merely a “professing Christian” or do you “possess eternal life” (See 1 Corinthians 15:2; Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 5:11-13)? Make sure today (2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13).

Help/Questions? We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

The Scriptures teach and we believe that every true New Testament believer was/is given a spiritual gift at the time of his/her salvation (1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11). Sadly, many Christians spend their entire lives thinking of themselves as nothing more than “bill payers” or “pew warmers.” They “sit, soak, and sour” because they take in God’s Word but don’t apply it to their own lives and share it with others (James 1:22; 2:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:2). They are like the Dead Sea. Others sometimes think more highly of themselves than they should (Romans 12:3). We need to remember that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

Gifts. After Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day He ascended on high to the Father’s right hand (Acts 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:20). Then He gave some believers the spiritual gifts of evangelists and pastor/teachers to equip the church (Christians) for their work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16). These are the good works that God planned for us to do while we’re here on earth (Ephesians 2:10). If you’re a true Christian, do you know what your spiritual gift is and are you using it with love for the glory of God and the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:31; 13:1-13; Galatians 5:13; 6:10)? If not, why not start now? Our crowns, rewards, and praise at the Bema Seat Judgment will be determined by what we do here on earth (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Body. Most of us have taken biology and/or human anatomy in school. We have come to realize that our human bodies are made up of many parts – some visible to others and some internal members that aren’t seen but which are vital to the function of the whole body. Working together they enable us to think, live, move, breathe, walk and talk. “For as the [human] body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is [the] Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12; 13).

Test. “Have you ever taken an aptitude or vocational interest test? If you have, you know these tests often measure dexterity, vocabulary, and problem solving ability. Their purpose is to identify skills you have as a guide for future education and training. That way you might avoid becoming a square peg in a round hole.

Questions: “Here’s a three question ‘aptitude test’ to help you discover your spiritual gift…for use in your local church:

1. As you examine your church’s ministry, where do you think improvement could be made? (This is probably an area which would involve your gift, as revealed by your sensitivity to need in that area.)

2. What type of ministry do you eagerly anticipate doing?

3. What type of ministry do others compliment you on?” [1]

How To Discover Your Spiritual Gift [2]

by David K. Spurbeck, Sr.

1. Know what the temporary and extant spiritual gifts are. 1 Corinthians 13:8-10

2. Walk by means of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:14; 1 John 1:9

3. Ask God for wisdom and illumination. Ephesians 1:18; James 1:5; 3:17; 1 John 2:20, 27

4. Be available and patient. Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Galatians 5:22, 23

5. Ask for the acknowledgment of other believers. Galatians 2:1-10

6. Does God seem to be blessing your efforts? 2 Corinthians 3:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20

Are you teachable, willing to study, and to change if necessary (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17)? If you’d like to learn more about “Spiritual Gifts,” go to www.kelseypeach.com and to Bible Basics Docs. For more information, go to https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-gifts/ For audio/visual presentations, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsexvC2jhnk and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhgPB5T2OlM

Help. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. Please let us know if this information has helped you discover your spiritual gift. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Some of this material has been adapted and condensed from [1] “Your Daily Walk” Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 386, and from [2] “Spiritual Gift: Which One Is Yours?” by David K. Spurbeck, Sr., Valley Baptist Church, Gaston, OR 97119

If you became a true Christian as a result of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and you would like to see others in your circle of influence saved, please SHARE this article by Dr. Manfred Kober with them so they can hear the unadulterated and clear Gospel. Too many “preachers” are garbling the Gospel and/or adding good works to it. https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/ See also, Dr. Ron Shea’s “The Gospel – The Bad News & Good Newsbooklet at www.kelseypeach.com

If you’re a Christian, but you’re struggling with your understanding of the Bible, please consider our “Understanding The Times – Dispensations Chart” too. Contact us if you have questions and/or comments. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16. 17).

If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies.

“Evolving Into Gods?”

Posted: September 28, 2018 in Creation, Evolution

Some religions and false cults believe that men can actually become gods. One of the cults believes, “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.” There are false teachers today who claim to be gods and who teach that by the words they speak they can bring things into existence. This is what some people in the “Word of Faith” movement do. Rather than asking God humbly for things they want, they demand things “in His name.”  They are sometimes referred to as the “health, wealth, and happiness” preachers. They tell you that if you sow a seed (money) into their ministry, God will cause you to reap a harvest of your own. Sadly, many who believed them and sent them money didn’t get the “harvest” they were promised and have become bitter toward all religious people and even toward God. Are you one of them or do you know someone who was taken in by them?

Explanation. But what did Jesus mean when He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12)? Some of the early Christians, to whom were given some temporary spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 13:8-13), did indeed perform some miracles as Christ did (Acts 2:22; See 2 Thessalonians 2:9). But we believe that the “greater works” pertained to the lasting spiritual health and eternal life that the believers would receive upon their being saved after hearing the Gospel concerning Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). The people whom Christ healed and resuscitated back from death eventually died again.

Temptation. When the devil, through the serpent, told Eve that by eating the forbidden fruit that she would become like God, what did he mean? Why was it so appealing to her? Which part of what the devil suggested to her was true, and which part was a lie? Was the concept of evolution around long before Charles Darwin came on the scene? Why do some people believe that mankind is evolving upward rather than morally degenerating downward? (See Romans 1:18 ff; 1 Timothy 4:1 ff; 2 Timothy 3:1 ff) Why has the theory of evolution and socialism/communism led to so many millions of deaths?

Quote. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote, “Evolution is a humanly devised theory which has no scientific basis or evidence upon which to rest, but is all the same believed by college and university professors and in general the intellectual class. No thoughtful person can avoid the problem of the origin of all things, and the evolutionary theory is perhaps the best theory that unregenerate man can conceive. The unsaved cannot take God and His revelation into their thoughts. He certainly is not in all their thoughts (Psalm 10:4). The divine seeming so unreal to them, the concept of deity has not provided a reasonable enough basis for their minds when it is declared that God did anything. Therefore, being unable to believe the Genesis account of creation and not having any ability to believe that there is a God who created all things, they have devised the best theory that they can, but still with great inconsistency. As avowedly scientific men, they must refuse to accept anything which is unproved; yet in this theory of evolution they accept every word of testimony regardless of a lack of proof, and of course no effectual line of proof has been constructed or discovered. Such men in their unregenerate limitation are to be pitied. No Spirit-taught person will have trouble with the Genesis account of the creation. Having nothing to put in its place, however, the evolutionist must devise the best theory that he can with which to satisfy the mind on the vexing problem of origins.” [1]

Choice. You have a choice to make. You can believe the unscientific theory of evolution, or you can accept the Scriptural truth about creation that was validated by the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for all of our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. He said, “But from the beginning of creation, God made them [Adam and Eve] male and female” (Mark 10:6). What He said was either true or false. He also said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Most of the Jewish leaders of His day wanted to kill Him for making Himself out to be equal with God the Father (John 5:18; 10:30, 31).

Solution. An individual who places his/her faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save him/her, by believing that He died for his/her sins, was buried for three days and nights, and who rose again bodily on the third day, should have no problem accepting the Biblical account of creation (Genesis 1:1 ff; John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-3). Is your love for the temporary pleasures of life keeping you from believing on Christ and His Word? Do you love the darkness rather than light (John 3:19).

Unbelief. There is only one unforgivable sin today that will send a person to the lake of fire to suffer forever (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). It is the sin of unbelief in the Christ of the Scriptures (John 16:8-11; See John 3:16, 18, 36). The Christs of the cults and other gods or religious leaders can’t save anyone (Matthew 24:5). The Gospel concerning Christ is the power of God unto one’s salvation (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Vain. Are you “believing in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2) by placing your faith in your good works or in the wrong Jesus (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15)? Do you have assurance of your salvation that comes from God’s Word (1 John 5:13) and the witness of God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16)? If you’re not sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die, or if you think that you must go to Purgatory first, or that you will have a second chance to be saved after you die, please let us show you from the Scriptures what God requires for you to receive His quality of life (eternal life) as a present possession. Don’t put it off. “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2; See Proverbs 27:1; 29:1). Our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. 

[1] – Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Doctrinal Summarization, Dallas Seminary Press, Dallas, Texas, Vol. 7, p. 146

For additional information, go to –

Are Christians Little Gods? https://www.gotquestions.org/little-gods.html

What Is Mormonism? https://www.gotquestions.org/Mormons.html

What Is Roman Catholicism? https://www.gotquestions.org/Roman-Catholicism.html

Word Of Faith Movement https://www.gotquestions.org/Word-Faith.html

Questions About Creation https://www.gotquestions.org/questions_Creation.html