Archive for the ‘First Peter’ Category

“Another Gospel? / Another Way?”

1 Peter 3:15

The Apostle Paul was beaten and thrown into prison because he cast out a demon from a young girl who had brought a great deal of money to her masters by her fortune telling. She had been following Paul and Silas around as they preached the Gospel concerning Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and said, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us [a way] of salvation” (Acts 16:17). This is how the original Greek (in which the New Testament was written) should read.

The Way. Jesus is not one of many ways to God. He is the only way to God (John 14:6). We know that this is not politically correct, but it is what Jesus said about Himself. If a person wants to spend eternity with God in heaven, he must come God’s way. Jesus spoke the truth about the only way to God.

Grace/Faith. The salvation that God offers to mankind has always been, and always will be by God’s grace (unmerited favor) through faith (believing) in God and the Good News. The Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Grace is not the help that God gives to someone when he is sprinkled as a baby (or as an adult) so he can keep the commandments of the church so he can be saved by good works.

Object. If the object of our faith is deficient in any manner, he can’t help us. If He isn’t the Christ of the Scriptures, he’s like a worthless idol. Sadly, there are many religious people and members of the cults whose faith is resting in/on another Christ (Matthew 24:5) who can’t help them. They are “believing in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2). Are you one of them? You cannot afford to be wrong. Otherwise you will end up with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire forever (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  We don’t want that to happen to anyone.  Salvation is offered to all mankind (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2).

Method. Our deliverance from the lake of fire to heaven is based on faith, not faith plus works. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). This Person is the Lord (God manifested in human flesh – John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9), Jesus (This name means Savior – Matthew 1:21), Christ (The promised Messiah and the resurrected, glorified One – John 20:31; Acts 2:36).

Believe. The word “Believe” is used about 100 times in John’s Gospel to let us know how a person is saved. If a person has to meet all kinds of other conditions (good works) before he can be saved, salvation is no longer by grace through faith in Christ (Romans 4:4, 5, 16). Nor could one who believes in “Lordship for salvation” ever be absolutely sure of his salvation because he wouldn’t know if he sufficiently had done all the things that supposedly were required of him by those who teach this heresy.

Lord. This Greek word “Lord” has different usages in the Scriptures. Sometimes is means “God” (Matthew 4:7; Romans 10:9). It can also mean “Master” (Acts 16:16; Matthew 6:24). It was used as a term of respect like our word “Sir” (John 12:21; Matthew 21:30). The context must determine how it is used. But to make this word always mean “Master” as it relates to salvation, is to suggest that an individual must do something (good works) on his part to be saved, other than to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. (See links below.)

Maturity. The multiple conditions for spiritual maturity are not the conditions for salvation. (Example: James 4:7-10 was written to Christians, not to the unsaved and how to be saved.)  Lordship for salvation causes many people to be confused and wonder if they were truly saved because they still sin periodically as Christians even though God has made it possible for us not to sin (1 John 2:1; 2 Peter 1:3; 1 Corinthians 10:13). Those who teach and believe that Christians get rid of their sin nature once they get saved, or that there is no such thing as a “carnal Christian,” are deceiving themselves and others (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). The Apostle Paul told Christians (not the unsaved) to present their bodies to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2; See 1 Peter 3:15). This wasn’t/isn’t a condition for salvation.

Quote. “I am convinced that this teaching [Lordship for salvation] produces more tares in professing Christianity [and in local churches] than any other teaching concerning salvation. – David K. Spurbeck

Important. The Apostle Peter wrote, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make you call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:10). Where you spend eternity is a very important matter. Please take time, as soon as possible, to read carefully the information that is found in the links below. Your eternal destiny or the destiny of someone you love and/or know is more important than other things that may be pressing on you right now.  Our lives are like a vapor that vanishes away (James 4:14).

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1 Peter 3:13-17

As a general rule, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7). But we all know that there are times when life isn’t always fair to those who do what is right and especially those who desire to live godly lives (2 Timothy 3:12). Our response to adversity is very important because others are watching and listening to us whether it’s other human beings or spirit beings (1 Peter 1:12). We might want to take matters into our own hands and get even or we might choose to look at things from God’s perspective (Isaiah 55:8, 9). His eyes and ears are on the righteous and his face is against those who do evil (1 Peter 3:12; See Romans 12:9). Nothing escapes His notice because He is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; Psalm 10:11; John 2:24, 25). Does this fact encourage or alarm you?

Blessed. When we suffer for doing what is right, we should consider ourselves to be uniquely blessed by God (1 Peter 3:14; See James 1:2). Every true Christian will suffer to some degree with Jesus. Therefore, we also will be glorified and reign with Him (Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:6). In comparison with other believers around the world, most of us in our country have suffered very little for Christ. But some early Christians rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for His name (Acts 5:41; 9:16). The “Martyr’s Crown” is given to believers who die physically for the cause of Christ and for those who resist temptations up to the point to death if necessary (Revelation 2:10; James 1:12).

Unafraid. We don’t need to be afraid or troubled by those who can only take our physical lives from us (Matthew 10:28) if the Lord permits them to do so. Today He holds the keys of death (Revelation 1:18; See 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Hebrews 2:14). God restrained the devil from taking Job’s life even though He didn’t restrict him from taking the lives of Job’s ten children (Job 1, 2). God used an angel to deliver Peter from King Herod’s sword (Acts 12; See Hebrews 1:14). He delivered Daniel’s three friends from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3) and Daniel from the den of lions (Daniel 6). However, many other believers suffered torture and death (Hebrews 11:36-38).

Years. Christians have “potential years” and “actual years.”  Do you know what can reduce the number of your days on earth (See 1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16)? What is a spiritual Christian supposed to do with a fellow believer who has a bad attitude that could lead to sin (Galatians 6:1)? What assurances and promises does God give to His children (See Romans 8:17, 18, 35-39; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Philippians 1:21; 3:20, 21)?

Sanctify. As believers, we’re supposed to set aside and elevate the Lord God in our hearts (1 Peter 3:15; See Isaiah 8:13). This verse is not teaching “Lordship in exchange for salvation.”[1] God alone deserves our worship and praise (John 4:24; Revelation 4:11; 5:12) and the most exalted place in our lives. But as Christians we still have an old sin nature that rebels against God and His Word (Romans 7:15-25; 1 John 1:8). Believers, not the unsaved, are exhorted to “present [their] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is [their] reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). If you’re a Christian, have you done this yet? Don’t waste your whole life pursuing fame, fortune, power, and pleasure as King Solomon did only to regret it when he came to the end of his life (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 14; 12:1). Our primary purpose in life should be to glorify God by making Him known to those around us (1 Corinthians 10:31). If you’re a Christian, are you doing this?

Ready. God allows some of His children to suffer from time to time to give them an opportunity to display the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Christ likeness) before others (Galatians 5:22, 23). Sometimes they will ask how we are able to endure such hardships. Our answers should be given with meekness (strength under control) and with fear of displeasing God or grieving Him (1 Peter 3:15; Ephesians 5:30; 2 Corinthians 5:9). Consider the responses that Peter, Stephen, and Paul gave to those who asked them about their hope and faith in Christ (Acts 2, 7, 22).

Hope. This is the confident expectation that we have as a result of believing a promise from God who is able to do what He says He will do (Romans 15:4; Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:8). When God promises to do something, and we believe it, that settles it. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Jesus said, “I am the [only] way, the [absolute] truth, and the [One who gives eternal] life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6; See Acts 4:12; 16:31). We are not saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). How many promises do you know that you are claiming? Not all the promises in the Bible are for Christians to claim (2 Peter 1:4). Keep Israel and the Church separate. We don’t believe in “Replacement Theology.” [2]

Good Conscience. In order for the conscience to be a useful tool to assist us in life, it needs to be regulated by God’s Word that is addressed to Christians. All Scripture is to be believed, but not all of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We must “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).  (The “Seven Dispensations” found in the Scriptures are the result of a normal, literal, grammatical, historical interpretation of the Bible. They are not different ways of salvation as some have said. For more information, see our “Dispensations Chart.”) A Christian’s conscience may be evil (Hebrews 10:22), weak (1 Corinthians 8:7), or possibly seared (1 Timothy 4:2). This could lead to a premature death (Romans 8:6).

So What? Unjust suffering is always better than deserved punishment (1 Peter 2:20; 4:19). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:18). “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change when they are presented with the truth from God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:2). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website:

[1] Lordship Salvation.

[2] Replacement Theology.

Clear Gospel.

1 Peter 2:21-25

Had they known the extent of the suffering and sorrow they would bring on themselves and on us, Adam and Eve would probably have avoided Satan’s suggestion to eat the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3). But it appealed to her desire to be like God and know good from evil (i. e. what would bring them happiness or be detrimental to them) without having to consult with God every day. All of man’s suffering today came as a result of one act of lawlessness (Romans 5:12).

God had made it clear to Adam that if he ate the forbidden fruit, he would die two types of death: spiritual and physical (Genesis 2:17). He didn’t know what death was, having never seen or experienced it. But as soon as he and Eve ate the fruit, their garment of light was stripped from them (1 Corinthians 15:49) and they were separated from fellowship with God. They recognized that they were naked and sewed fig leaves to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:7). Physical death wouldn’t come for many years (Genesis 5) but their comfortable life in the Garden of Eden came to an end and they had to work hard to get their food (Genesis 3:17-19).

The penalty for sin also involves spiritual death and eternal separation from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8). To make it possible for mankind not to have to go there forever, One of the members in the Godhead volunteered to add to His deity a true human nature and body (Hebrews 10:5-7). He would be born of a virgin so He wouldn’t have a sinful nature passed on to Him (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He would live a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) and then go to the cross to die as a Substitute for all of mankind’s sins (1 Peter 3:18).  We do not believe in “limited atonement.”

His suffering at the hands of sinful men was horrific (Matthew 27:27-32). But He experienced His greatest suffering when His Father in heaven forsook Him from noon until 3 P.M. as He hung naked on the cross in our place (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46). It was during this time that God the Father laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).  We are the ones who should have been hanging there.  He was our Substitute.

Unjust suffering? It certainly was. But in addition to making it possible for us to be saved, by His suffering He set an example for us to follow when we suffer unjustly too (1 Peter 2:21). We can’t die for the sins of others as Jesus did for our sins.

“[The Apostle] Peter had seen firsthand the yoke of unjust suffering placed upon Jesus’ shoulders. He saw the rejection of society and the retaliation of the Sanhedrin. He saw Jesus betrayed by a friend and brutalized by an empire. Peter himself had denied Him. Yet in the Savior’s innocent eyes was no windswept harbor of revenge. They were placid under the storm of unjust suffering. And they offered the cool drink of forgiveness for friend and foe alike.” – Chuck Swindoll, Hope In Hurtful Times, p. 51

Jesus never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). He serves as an example of One who never compromised with His words to avoid mistreatment (John 14:6; Ephesians 4:15). He didn’t revile or threaten those who were mistreating Him but committed Himself into His Father’s care as He suffered at their hands (Luke 23:46). He did all this to take our place and die for our sins to satisfy God’s outraged holiness against our sin nature and our sins (1 John 2:2).

But His offer of salvation and eternal life would have been of no value to us had He not risen from the dead. His bodily resurrection demonstrates to us that God the Father was satisfied with His payment for our sins (Romans 4:25) and would accept us into heaven if we would place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone who died for our sins…and rose again from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

There is nothing to “crow about” if we suffer for doing what is wrong or sinful (1 Peter 2:20). But if we should suffer for doing what is right, we can/should submit ourselves to God and let Him be the One who takes vengeance on evil doers (Romans 12:19).

All believers who desire to live godly lives will suffer persecution from time to time (2 Timothy 3:12). But the suffering of this life is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall follow (Romans 8:18).  Do you know the difference between suffering “for Christ” as opposed to suffering “with Christ?”  If n0t, ask about it.

The Apostle Paul was willing to suffer all things for the salvation of God’s elect (2 Timothy 2:10).  If you think you’ve suffered for Christ, consider his sufferings (2 Corinthians 11:23-33).  All whom the Father has given to the Son are going to come to Him, and anyone who comes to Him, He will never cast out (John 6:37). When that number is complete, Jesus will come back for His bride (the true Church – not the apostate Church) and take us to the home that He has been preparing for us (John 14:1-3). Will you be in that group?

Have you come to Christ for your salvation (deliverance) from hell to heaven? If not, why not come to Him right now? Now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). There are no opportunities to be saved once you’re physically dead (Hebrews 9:27).

If you need spiritual help, we’re here to assist you and to help you come to have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13). Don’t delay! Today could be your last day on earth.  Don’t boast about tomorrow (James 4:15; Proverbs 27:1).

We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Would you share this with someone else too? To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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“Slave Laborers”

Posted: September 3, 2016 in Christian Life, First Peter

1 Peter 2:18-20

Slavery. It usually brings up a lot of gruesome images in our minds as we think about it and the mistreatment that some people have experienced and are still experiencing even to this very day. Having to submit to another person goes against the grain of our natural disposition. We want to be our own master and do what we want when we want to do it without any negative consequences.  This rebellious attitude goes all the way back to our original father, Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-14; 1 John 3:9, 10).

But such lawlessness will lead people back into slavery under a very cruel tyrant. Did you know that the Scriptures speak of such an individual who rise up out of the sea of humanity and rule over the whole world (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 13)? He is probably alive right now and ready to rise to the occasion when the moment it right.


It may surprise you to know that not all slave masters were cruel to their slaves. After having to serve another Jew for up to seven years, perhaps for an indebtedness, some Israelites chose to stay on as slaves to their wise, considerate, and kind masters who took good care of them. To demonstrate their willingness to remain as his slave, these Jews would have his ears bored through with an awl which left a mark for all to see (Exodus 21:1-6).

“In Bible times, slavery was based more on economics; it was a matter of social status. People sold themselves as slaves when they could not pay their debts or provide for their families. In New Testament times, sometimes doctors, lawyers, and even politicians were slaves of someone else. Some people actually chose to be slaves so as to have all their needs provided for by their masters.” [1]

In our country today most people are free to be employers or employees. We can choose to serve and work for someone else or have our own business and employ others who may or may not be reliable workers. God has instructions for both groups (Ephesians 6:5-9).


Joseph was one of the twelve sons of Jacob. He was sold by his brothers and ended up as a slave to Potiphar in Egypt (Genesis 39). Because of his trustworthiness he was elevated to the steward of his household. But he spent time in prison too because his master’s wife lied about him because he wouldn’t commit adultery with her. But eventually he was elevated to the number two position in Egypt for interpreting the Pharaoh’s dream about the coming famine in the land. But much later another Pharaoh came to the throne and enslaved the Jews for hundreds of years as God had predicted (Genesis 15:13-16; Exodus 1:8-22; 13:3, 4; 20:2).

Even after entering the land that God had promised to give to them as an eternal inheritance, the Jews failed to obey God and ended up enslaved to the heathen people around them as recorded for us in the book of Judges. Later the Jews were enslaved in Babylon for 70 years for their idolatrous practices and violating the Sabbatical year by not letting the land rest (2 Chronicles 36:21). Since 605 B.C. to the present, the Jews have not been totally free from Gentile domination and oppression and won’t be until their Messiah, Jesus returns and delivers the believing, Jewish remnant from total annihilation (Romans 11:25; Zechariah 12, 14; Revelation 19).

The Church has not replaced Israel. [2] The believing Jewish remnant still has a bright future ahead of them (Romans 11:1ff).  They will inherit all the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendents (Genesis 15:18-21). When the Romans conquered and captured people, they usually enslaved them if they thought they had some value and/or usefulness to them. It has been estimated that there were about 60 million slaves who served the Romans.

Slavery is still practiced in our world today. Some believe that there are about 30 million people who are involved in forced labor around the world. Many people are kidnapped and forced into human trafficking. God was and still is opposed to such practices but this will go on until Jesus Christ returns to rule and reign over this world for 1,000 years (Exodus 21:16; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Revelation 18:13; 20:1-7).


Technically, we may not be slaves, but if we, as Christians, work for someone else, God has some directives for us to follow. We are to submissive to our master, employer, or manager. We are being paid to do a job that provides a product and/or service to others who will pay for them. Without “paying customers” there will be no money for our employer to pay us. To submit means to arrange ourselves under someone. It is used in these Bible passages: Ephesians 5:21-24, 6:1-9, Galatians 5:13, and other places.

Furthermore, God wants us maintain a proper attitude of gratitude toward our master, employer, manager whether he/she is good and gentle or harsh (1 Timothy 2:1-4). We must keep in mind that our ultimate Master is/should be the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:5-9).  We should do our best to meet His approval (2 Corinthians 5:9; Matthew 25:23).

If we do what is wrong and suffer for it, we should not think that we are suffering unjustly. We should not be guilty of insubordination, disrespect, theft, or other dishonorable practices. This could lead to God’s disapproval, rebuke, discipline, and possibly the termination of our employment or something worse.

The Reasons For Such Behavior

God can be glorified when we suffer for doing what is right (1 Peter 2:19) and it may bring to us credit, praise, and rewards in this life and/or in the next life, but not salvation (Romans 13:3; Esther 6:1-3; 1 Corinthians 3:11-14; 2 Corinthians 5:10). What motivates you? Is it the love of God that has been shed abroad in your life or some other motive (Romans 5:5)? God knows and will judge us not only according to our works but also according to our motivations (1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:12).

Free Or Not?

Thank God that we who live in the United States are still quite free in many ways. But most people are still living under the tyranny of their father, the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10; 5:19). As long as a person is physically alive, he can get out of the devil’s family the moment he believes in/on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Even though Jesus came to set us free, many Christians are still taking orders from the devil and/or are yielding to the lusts (strong desires) that come from the sin our nature. We become the slaves of those whom we obey (Romans 6:16).

Have you placed your faith in Christ alone to save you? If you’re saved, have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1,2)? If not, why not now? When we walk by means of the Spirit, we can’t/won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).


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[1] Slavery

      Slavery of the mind.

[2] Replacement Theology.

Clear Gospel:



1 Peter 2:11-17

“This world is not my home, I’m just passing through / My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue / The angels beckon me from heavens open door / And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” – Albert E. Brumley

Citizens. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20, 21; See Romans 8:23).

Quit? The people to whom the Apostle Peter was writing were suffering greatly for their faith. Those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus can/should expect to suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). But the glory to follow is out of this world (Romans 8:18). It seems that these believers were being tempted to quit the race and conform themselves to this evil age (Romans 12:1, 2; See Acts 20:24). So he wrote to encourage them to stay the course until God called them home. Consider what God the Holy Spirit led the Apostle Peter to write to them in such times. Maybe you’re in a similar situation.

Abstain. Contrary to what some believers are being taught, the Christian doesn’t lose his sin nature when he gets saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). At the time of our salvation we participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and are enabled to do things that please God (2 Corinthians 5:9; Hebrews 11:6). This is why Peter told these believers to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul/emotions (1 Peter 2:11). Our emotions are yet to be saved at the time of the “Rapture” (1 Peter 1:9).

Flesh. The “works of the flesh” are enumerated for us in Galatians 5:19-21. All of them are perversions of good things. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, his son in the faith, to “flee youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22). Those who think that they can overcome these temptations on their own are prime victims for a fall (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Victory. A Christian can gain victory over these lusts (strong desires) that come from the sin nature by walking [ordering his life] by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25; Romans 6:11ff). To overcome the strong, sinful desires that come from the devil or the present world system involves using other methods prescribed by God (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 John 2:15-17).

Soul. The soul and the spirit of man are two separate parts (Hebrews 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). The soul seems to be associated with the emotions we have, whereas the spirit belongs to the mind (Ephesians 4:23).  It is the only part of us that is currently saved (1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:16). It is with the spirit and in the realm of truth that we are called upon to worship God (John 4:24). The salvation of the soul and body are yet future (1 Peter 1:9; Romans 8:23). We must be careful not to allow our unstable emotions to rule over our spirit. We need to be led moment by moment by God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).

Conduct. Dishonorable conduct shouldn’t characterize a Christian. We are called upon to live morally pure lives (1 Peter 1:15, 16). With God’s help, we can do this (Philippians 4:13; Romans 6:14). Our former, unsaved friends may try to pull us back into the lifestyle we used to live (1 Peter 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:33). We need to find new friends while trying to win our old friends to the Lord so they can be saved too. A transformed life is a powerful testimony as illustrated by the man out of whom Jesus cast out a multitude of demons (Mark 5:19).  If you’re a believer, do others notice that you are different (1 Peter 2:9)?

The Law. God established human government for the protection of the citizens (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1ff). It holds the power to carry out capital punishment on those who unjustly take the lives of others. Even though we may not like the way the government spends our tax dollars, we’re supposed to pay them. When the government makes rules that violate God’s rules, we must obey God (Acts 5:29) and suffer the consequences if necessary (1 Peter 2:19, 20). Consider Daniel and his three friends (Daniel 3:16-18; 6:10).

God’s Will. God has a determinative will that can’t be altered (Ephesians 1:11). But He also has a desirous will that men may or may not carry out. He offers deliverance from hell to heaven to all mankind (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). Most people refuse to accept this gift of eternal life that God has provided for them because they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). What about you? Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13)?  Keep this in mind – We aren’t saved by our good works or by our faith plus our good works lest we should  boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Rapture. Those believers who live in the light of Christ’s any moment return for them, will live life differently. Moral purity will characterize their lives (1 John 3:3). Those who love His imminent return also will earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). Are you preparing yourself to meet Him? Perhaps Today!

Confession. If you are a believer who isn’t walking in the light as He [God] is in the light, perhaps you need to do some self examination and then confess your known sins to God. Then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:3-9).  You may also need to make things right with other people (James 5:16).  If you don’t, you can expect Divine discipline from God the Father who loves you (Hebrews 12:5ff; 1 John 5:16). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). It’s so much more enjoyable to abide (feel at ease) in Him and have Him feel at ease with you (John 15:1-14).

Help. If you need spiritual assistance, and if you are teachable and willing to change when you are exposed to the Scriptures, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: We need your help. If this article has helped you, will you share it with someone else? To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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1 Peter 2:5, 9

Ever since the dawn of human history sacrifices have been offered up to God to satisfy God’s outraged holiness against our sin nature and the sins (lawless behavior – 1 John 3:4) that come from this nature. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God told Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil lest he die (Genesis 2:17). This involved physical and spiritual death. Death is not annihilation, but the separation of the spirit and soul from the body, or the separation of our spirit and soul from God.

Mosaic Law. Under the Law given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, God prescribed the sacrifices that the Jews were to make to atone for their sins. There were voluntary sacrifices and mandatory sacrifices. [1] The priests, who came from the tribe of Levi and through Aaron and his sons, carried out daily sacrifices to God on behalf of the Jewish people. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies and offered the blood of an animal on the mercy seat on top of the ark of the covenant (Leviticus 16:1-34; 23:26-32; Hebrews 9:1-15). This allowed God to live in the midst of Israel for another year. This sacrifice never took away sins, it only covered their sins (Hebrews 10:1-14).

Church. In the New Testament, God established that every Christian is a royal priest (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6). We don’t have to approach God through another man or with bloody sacrifices. The veil of the temple, having been torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51) when Christ died, indicates to us that the believer’s way into the presence of God the Father had been opened for every Christian to go directly to the Father through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ, our High Priest (Hebrews 4:15, 16).

Forgive Sins. As New Testament priests we can’t forgive sins. Only God can do that. Jesus proved that He was God, who could forgive sins, by healing a paralytic man (Mark 2:1-11). Nor can we change the bread and the fruit of the vine into the literal body and blood of Christ. We believe that these elements serve as memorials for us to remember Christ until He returns for us (1 Corinthians 11:24, 25; John 14:1-3).

Sacrifices. Having been baptized (immersed) to demonstrate to other people that he/she is a true believer in Christ who died for our sins…and rose again from the dead (Acts 8:34-38), a new believer should present his/her body to God as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God (Romans 12:1, 2). Baptism also enables us to have a good conscience (1 Peter 3:21). If you’ve been saved, have you been immersed? It is to follow faith, not precede it. Dedicating your body to God is the logical thing to do in light of the mercies of God that have been demonstrated to us (See Ephesians 1:3-14). In doing this, we make ourselves available to God for Him to live His quality of life (eternal life) through our lives so others can learn about the true and living God (Galatians 2:20; 4:19; 5:22, 23).

Praise. A second sacrifice that a New Testament priest can/should offer to God regularly is praise. Worship is simply adorning God for who He is as He is presented to us in the Scriptures. We are to worship God by using our spirit that belongs to our minds (Ephesians 4:23) and in the realm of the truth that is found in the Scriptures alone (John 4:24). We are not to concoct mental images of God that don’t align with the Scripture. In praising God, we first recognize the good gift that has come from God (James 1:17) and then try to trace it back to the attribute of God that was responsible for our receiving it. God’s attributes include: goodness, righteousness, omniscience, omnipotence, truth, holiness, and love.

Thanksgiving. Here is a third sacrifice that should continually come forth from the believer’s heart and through his/her lips. We are to give thanks in the midst of all the circumstances of life (1 Thessalonians 5:18; See Romans 8:28), for all things (Ephesians 5:20; See James 1:17; 1 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 12:7), and for all men (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Only Spirit filled believers are able to do this (Ephesians 5:18).

Good Works. If you are a Christian, did you know that God planned for you to do good works while you are here on planet earth (Ephesians 2:10)? At the time of our salvation He gave each Christian a spiritual gift [2] (1 Peter 4:10) that needs to be used with love (1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:13). These good works are not to pay God back for our salvation, but to glorify God and enhance the work of Christ in the establishment of the true Church, which is His body (Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; Ephesians 4:16). If you’re a Christian, do you know what your spiritual gift [2] is, and are you using it with love?  This is a fourth sacrifice.

Sharing. “Let him who is taught in the word share in all good things with him who teaches” (Galatians 6:6). “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine” (1 Timothy 5:17; See 1 Corinthians 9:1-14). As believers, we are to do good to all men, but especially to those of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10; See 1 John 3:16, 17; 1 Timothy 5:1-16).  This is the fifth sacrifice.

Sweet. Just as some of Israel’s sacrifices were sweet smelling to God, so when Christians offer these spiritual sacrifices up to God with the right attitude, He is glorified and well pleased (2 Corinthians 5:9). Other people will be able to see Christ living His quality of life through our lives as the “Fruit of the Spirit” is being displayed (Galatians 5:22, 23). Are you grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19)? Do you have unconfused sins in your life? If so, take care of them by confessing them to God and those whom you have offended (1 John 1:9; James 5:16).

Help.  Realizing that this article may have been a little on the heavy side, it you have questions and/or comments, contact us at 805-238-3549.  We want to help those who are teachable and wiling to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).

[1] Five Various Sacrifices:

[2] Spiritual Gifts” See

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1 Peter 2:5

Rocks. Mood stone rings and pet rocks were popular at one time. Did you ever have one yourself? We all know that rocks are inanimate things and can’t do anything by themselves. But in the hands of skilled artisans they can be turned into beautiful rings or magnificent structures (1 Kings 5:17). Small stones can even be used to bring down giants (1 Samuel 17). Rocks have qualities about them which could be used to describe different kinds of people. Peter was described as a chip of a stone; Jesus was/is likened to a large, massive rock (Matthew 16:18). Hewn stones make good foundations and strong buildings that can endure storms (Matthew 7:24, 25). The foundation of the heavenly New Jerusalem is made up of 12 different kinds of stones (Revelation 21). This will be the future home of Christ’s Bride, the Church (John 14:1-3). Have you ever considered its dimensions (Revelation 21:16, 17)?  It’s huge.

Church. Jesus said that He would build His Church upon Himself, not upon Peter. Had the Church been built on Peter it would have crumbled long ago. Peter and the other Apostles to the Church were instrumental in laying down the foundation which is Christ (Ephesians 2:20; Revelation 21:14).

Cornerstone. As such, Jesus was the one selected for this role and was/is very precious to God the Father and to Christians (Hebrews 10:9; John 10:17, 18). But He was also rejected by His own people, the Jews, as a whole (John 1:11; 1 Corinthians 1:23). Because of this, they have been temporarily set aside by God until “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25). There is a bright future awaiting the believing, Jewish remnant when Christ/Messiah returns to this earth at the end of the seven years of Tribulation (Romans 9:27; Matthew 23:37-39; 24:29ff; Zechariah 12:10). Seventy five days after the Tribulation is over, the Old Testament Jewish believers will be resurrected in inhabit the “Promised Land” too (Daniel 12:12). The believing Jews will inherit all the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their Jewish descendents. It extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Euphrates (Genesis 15:18-21). The Jews are not illegitimate “occupiers” of the land in Israel as some people are saying. The Church has not replaced Israel.

Living Stones. New Testament Christians are likened to living stones who are being cut, shaped, and polished through afflictions and trials. We need these things to help bring us to spiritual maturity (James 1:2-5; 1 Peter 1:7). Are you giving thanks in the adverse circumstances that come into your life? Doing this is part of God’s will for us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). God places us along side of other believers within the Body of Christ as it pleases Him (1 Corinthians 12:11, 18). Many of the members of His Body, the Church are already in heaven. Christ’s building project began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and will continue on until the Rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) when all whom the Father has given to the Son will have come to Him for their salvation (John 6:37). Christians are referred to as a spiritual house and a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21; See 1 Corinthians 6:19). This house is built on “The Rock, Christ Jesus” which cannot be moved by the storms of life (Matthew 7:24, 25). Our purpose is to glorify God by making Him known to other people with whom we come in contact (Psalm 34:3; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14).

The Priests. In the Old Testament economy the Jews had successive High Priests and many priests who came from the line of Levi and Aaron. These priests went between God and men and were the ones who offered daily sacrifices to God (Hebrews 7:27; 10:11). But their sacrifices could never take away sin. All they could do was cover the sins of the people so God could continue to live among the Jews for another year (Leviticus 23:26-32; Hebrews 9:1-10; 10:1). But once Jesus came on the scene, He became the High Priest from the order of Melchizedek, not Levi (Hebrews 7:11-22). He graciously offered His own blood as the payment for all our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). This satisfied God’s outraged holiness against our sin nature and our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10). The full benefits of Christ’s death are applied to believers (1 Timothy 4:10; See Matthew 5:45). Could you name some of your blessings (Ephesians 1:3ff)?  Don’t act like a pauper who doesn’t know that he has oil under his land.

Royal Priests. In the Old Testament times the priests weren’t kings and the kings weren’t priests. King Saul learned this lesson the hard way and lost his kingdom because he didn’t wait for Samuel to offer the sacrifice to God (1 Samuel 13:8-14). But in the New Testament all Christians are said to be part of a holy, royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6). Every Christian can/should offer up spiritual (not bloody) sacrifices to God (1 Peter 2:5). These include our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2), praise and thanksgiving, doing good works, and sharing our material things with others (Hebrews 13:15, 16). If you’re a Christian, are you offering these sacrifices up to God on a regular basis?

Questions. Are you a New Testament priest? You can become one by placing your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. As a living stone, you can/should be useful in the hands of Jesus, the High Priest, who laid down His life so you could be saved. Are you willing to lay down your life, if necessary, so others can be saved (2 Timothy 2:10)? Jesus said that He would build His Church (Matthew 16:18). Why not become a volunteer to assist Him in this building project (Romans 12:1, 2)? Why not use the spiritual gift and skills that he gave you when He saved you (1 Corinthians 12:7, 18; 1 Peter 4:10; Hebrews 10:24, 25)?

Contact. If you have questions/comments we’d like to hear from you. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: We hope that this information stimulates you to do those things that would be pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; James 1:22). “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He [exists], and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

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1 Peter 2:4

Hope. Everyone needs it to stay alive and live well. But for many people it’s nothing more than wishful thinking. Hope for the Christian is a confident expectation that is based on a promise from God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2). It enables us to live what has been called “The Faith-Rest Life” (Hebrews 3, 4). Yes, you can count on God to always tell the truth because He and His Word are truth (John 14:6; 17:17).

Basis. Upon who/what is your hope for the future based? Is it on the temporal things of this world that are passing away (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:11) or is it resting on the “Jesus – The Solid Rock” and the eternal promises that He has given to us? With the impending earthquakes that California and other places may soon be facing, how secure are you? Do you have earthquake insurance? Are you hoping the government will bail you out if your house comes tumbling down? What if it can’t or won’t help you? Where will you be when the wrath of the Lamb (Jesus) is poured out on this earth (Revelation 6:16)? Are you a Christian who is planning to go through some or all of the seven years of tribulation (Revelation 6-19; Daniel 9:27)? Upon what are you basing your belief?

Foundations. Jesus spoke about two foundations. The wise man built his house on the rock. The foolish man built his house on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27). One house weathered the storm but the other one fell flat.

Stones. They come in all sizes and shapes. They are used for many purposes. When Jesus told Peter that He would build His Church (Matthew 16:18), He used a play on words to let Peter know that the Church would not be built on him (“petros” – a chip of a stone), but upon Himself (“petra” – a large massive rock).

Comfort. In his letter to some persecuted believers living far from the mother church in Jerusalem, Peter wrote a letter in which he reminded them of their personal relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ their Savior. His words also can bring comfort to us today if we’re true Christians.

A Living Stone. The believers to whom Peter wrote had already come to Jesus (who has the qualities of a living stone). They had been saved by grace through faith in Him as their personal Savior (Ephesians 2:8, 9). They were saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1). Their present tense salvation and deliverance from the power of sin was taking place as they relied on God and His Word to overcome their three spiritual enemies: the devil (1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10-17), their own sin nature (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18), and the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31). Their/our future tense salvation involves the salvation of their/our bodies (Romans 8:23), and their/our souls – emotions (1 Peter 1:9). It will take place at the time of the Rapture of the true Church (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). This event is imminent. No sign miracles precede it even though there are many indicators that seem to be pointing in this direction.

A Rejected Stone. When He came to this earth the first time, Jesus was rejected by His own people, the Jews who had Him crucified by the Romans (John 1:11; Acts 3:13-15; 4:27, 28). God counts all of us guilty of Jesus’ death (Isaiah 53:6; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). He fulfilled literally the predictions that were made about Him. He has extended salvation to all mankind, not just to the Jews (John 3:16; Romans 1:16, 17).

Return. But this same Jesus will return to this earth as He promised in two phases (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11). Once the true Church, made up of Jewish and Gentile believers, comes to its completion (John 6:37), it will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (raptured – 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 17). God’s time clock with the nation of Israel will start up again when the man of sin (Antichrist) signs a 7 year peace agreement with the Jews (Romans 11:25; Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). The Church has not replaced Israel.

Holocaust. “The time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” will be the most horrific time in human history (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15-28). Over ½ of the world’s population will die within seven years (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). This event will take place shortly after the true Church has been taken from earth to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; Revelation 6-19). (If you would like to receive a FREE chart of “Things To Come” please ask us for one.) At the end of this seven year tribulation, every nation will come against Israel in a place called Armageddon in northern Israel (Revelation 16:16; Zechariah 14:1-15). When the Jews are on the brink of being totally annihilated, the Lord Jesus Christ will return bodily to this earth (Acts 1:9-11; 2 John 1:7). He will save the believing, Jewish remnant who acknowledge Him as their promised Messiah and Savior (Matthew 23:39; 24:29-31; Romans 9:27; Revelation 19:11-21). He will crush His and Israel’s enemies (Psalm 2:9). My friend, you won’t want to be left behind when Jesus returns for the true Church at the Rapture.

Literal. Just as the prophecies concerning Jesus’ first coming were fulfilled literally, so the prophecies concerning His return will also be fulfilled literally. Don’t let those who allegorize and twist the Scriptures confuse you (2 Peter 3:16). (To learn more about Bible Prophecy, we invite you to read our other articles on this website).

Chosen Stone. God the Son, the second Person in the Godhead, volunteered to come down to this earth to reveal God to man (Hebrews 10:5-10; John 1:1-18; 10:15-18). He said to Philip in the presence of the other disciples, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Both Persons share the same essence (John 10:30). Jesus is NOT inferior to God the Father or God the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:9). However, in time, they function in different roles as One subordinates Himself to the Others (1 Corinthians 11:3; Matthew 4:1; John 14:16, 17). Once eternity future begins (at least 1,007 years from now) their horizontal, equal relationships will again resume (1 Corinthians 15:26-28). (To help you visualize this, ask for our FREE “Dispensations Chart.”)

Precious Stone. A diamond in the rough may not look like it has much value, but once it’s carefully cut it becomes valuable in the sight of some people. Sows don’t value or appreciate diamonds or pearls (Matthew 7:6). God the Father referred to Jesus as “His only begotten Son” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). Christians can/should appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ who shed His precious blood so we could be saved (1 Peter 1:19; 2:4, 6, 7). Are you willing to lay down your life for the salvation of others as Jesus and the Apostle Paul did (John 10:17, 18; 2 Timothy 2:10)?

Unique. The Lord Jesus Christ – He’s certainly unique. He is the only One who can save mankind from eternal condemnation in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46; John 3:16, 18, 36). Is He your personal Savior? How do you express your love for Him? “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees His brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in Him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18).

Convenient/Committed? Are you only interested in securing a “Ticket” to heaven, or are you interested in doing the will of God and the works that He planned for you to be doing while you are here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)? Would you like to learn more about the spiritual gifts that God gives to Christians at the moment of their salvation? (Go to “Bible Basics” on our website for more information.)

Contact. If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: If this article has stimulated your thinking and has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. We’d ask you to share what you’re learning with other Christians who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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Essentials For Spiritual Growth”

1 Peter 2:1, 2

New born babies need a lot of love and care. They need milk right away to help them grow and develop properly. They need to be cuddled and have their diapers changed too.  Raising a child properly isn’t easy (Proverbs 22:6; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). This is true in the physical and spiritual realms. Just as good parents take care of their new baby, so the Christian who brought another person to Christ for salvation needs to be involved in the new believer’s life (1 Thessalonians 2:7-11).

Church. The new environment should include a good, Bible believing, local church where Christ is honored, the Word of God is preached with authority (2 Timothy 4:2-5), and the Gospel is proclaimed clearly (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31). Don’t forsake the “true” church (Hebrews 10:24, 25). There are many “apostate churches” that are really like the “synagogues of Satan” (Revelation 2:9; 3:9, 14-19). If you can’t find a good church near you, why not help to start one? The early Christians met in homes (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2). “O give me a church where folks in the lurch are encouraged, then healed from above; where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the truth is modeled in love.” – Chuck Swindoll

Dirty. The Apostle Peter told Christians to to put off malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking (1 Peter 2:1). This is not what a person has to do before or in order to get saved (as the “Lordship for salvation” teachers say), but these are things that a Christian needs to put off once he has been saved. We aren’t saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  “[Christians] can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13). Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Too many Christians act independently of God. Do you know how to overcome this and other temptations that come from the devil? (We’re currently teaching Christians how to do this during our Wednesday night Bible Studies. Some people who live in other communities and states are linking up with us by phone for these classes.)

Enemies. By learning about our three spiritual enemies (the devil, our own sin nature, and the present world system) and then applying the truth to our lives, we will be able to have victory over the things mentioned above that need to be put off. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). The way of escape is found in Scripture but many people don’t want to take/make the time to study about it (2 Timothy 2:15). Are you a convenient or a committed Christian?

Milk/Meat. The writer to the early Hebrew Christians was disturbed by their lack of spiritual growth. Even though they had been saved for a number of years, they were still like infants drinking only milk (Hebrews 5:12-14). They should have been enjoying solid food (spiritual steaks). How knowledgeable are you in the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:18)? How much of the truth is being applied to your daily life (James 1:22; 2:18-20; 4:17)? Are you enjoying the abundant life that Jesus came to give to Christians (John 10:10; See Galatians 5:22, 23)?

Primer. If you are a Christian, how well informed are you with the “Ten Basic Bible Truths”? Would you like some help learning them? If so, click here: Do you know how you should interpret the Bible by using the “normal” (literal, historical, grammatical) method (Ezra 8:8) rather than the “allegorical” method that was devised by the devil (Genesis 3:1) which lets one read into the Scripture almost any idea that comes to his mind? Satan’s method of interpreting the Bible is being used in many “apostate churches” today. Would you like a FREE “Dispensations Chart” that is a result of a normal interpretation of the Scripture? If so, ask how you can get one. It could change your life as it did mine.

Questions. Are you sure you would go immediately to heaven if you died right now (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; Read Matthew 7:21-23)? Why should God let you into His heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? Do you think you’d have to go a purging place first? Who came up with this idea, and why? Have you been “born again from above” (John 3:3-6; Titus 3:5)? Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13)? How long have you been saved (Hebrews 5:12-24)? Are you a carnal or spiritual Christian (1 Corinthians 2:15-3:4)? Are you steadily growing spiritually (2 Peter 3:18)? Do others see Christ living through you (James 2:18-20)? What is impeding your spiritual growth (Romans 6:14; Ephesians 4:30)? Is God pleased with your progress (2 Corinthians 5:9)? Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2)? Are you interested in the salvation of others, especially those in your circle of influence (2 Timothy 2:10)? Are you loving the present world system or God and His children (1 John 2:15-17; 4:20, 21)? Are you serving God and others with gladness or sadness (Psalm 100:2; 1 Peter 4:10)? What needs to change with God’s help (Philippians 4:13)?

Help. If you are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17) we invite you to contact us for more information or help. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: If this information has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Please share this information with others too (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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1 Peter 1:15-25  

Shortly before He was arrested, Jesus prayed for His disciples about their relationship to the world. He said, “…I do not ask that You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). He didn’t ask the Father to isolate them but to insulate them.

The Father’s Judgment. He is impartial (1 Peter 1:17) and He is to be feared/revered. Why? “’Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God” (Hebrews 10:30, 31; See Romans 12:19). He Himself is holy (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). He expects His children to live morally pure lives. With His enabling we can/should live this way (1 Peter 1:15, 16; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18). We need to abide (feel at ease) in Christ and walk in the light as He (God the Father) is in the light (John 15:5; 1 John 1:3-7). If you’re saved, are you doing these things? If not, it’s important to know that God the Father will discipline His unruly children (Hebrews 12:5-11; Proverbs 19:18). The purpose of His chastening is so that we won’t be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 5:5; 11:32). So, if necessary, confess and forsake your known sins to God (1 John 1:9) and to those against whom you have sinned (James 5:16). “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1). Beware of committing the “sin unto death” (1 John 5:16; See James 5:19, 20). Do you know what it is?

The Son’s Redemption. God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ purchased a pardon for all of us with His own precious blood (1 Peter 1:18, 19; See 1 Corinthians 6:15-20). This pardon can be rejected by unbelief (John 3:18, 36; 16:9). The value of Christ’s death comes from the fact that He’s God. The reality of His death comes from the fact that He’s a real man, the God-man (John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9). If we want to be delivered from the lake of fire and spend eternity with God in heaven, we must know and believe the facts of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and trust in the Christ of the Scriptures alone to save us (Acts 4:12; 16:31). He’s the only way to God in heaven (John 14:6). When we believe on Him, we begin to participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and have God’s seed implanted in us (1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 3:9). We are set free from sin’s domination over our lives (John 8:32, 36; See Romans 6:14) and no longer do we have to sin, although we, as Christians, will sin from time to time (1 John 2:1; 3:2-10). We were saved by one act of faith (Ephesians 2:8), but we are supposed to go on living in an attitude of faith (Romans 1:17). Are you saved? If so, are you living by faith in God and His promises to you (Hebrews 4:2)? Do you know which ones in Scripture you can/can’t claim. Don’t be misled by those who teach “Replacement Theology.” Keep Israel and the Church separate. God has distinct plans for each of these two groups.

The Holy Spirit’s Incentives. Some religions and cults don’t believe that Jesus is equal to God the Father or that the Holy Spirit is God. Jesus got Himself into a lot of trouble with the religious leaders for claiming to be equal with God (John 5:18; 10:30-33). He referred to Himself as the eternal “I AM” (John 8:58; Exodus 3:14; See Colossians 2:9). Yes, Jesus was/is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Furthermore, He prayed, “And I will pray the Father (i. e. ask the Father as My equal), and He will give you another Helper (of the same kind – equal to the God the Father and God the Son), that He (the Holy Spirit) may abide with you forever” (John 14:16). This took place when Jesus returned to heaven and sat down at the Father’s right hand (Ephesians 1:20-21). In heaven, Jesus, as our High Priest, is making intercession for believers on earth (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). He knows what we need to bring us to spiritual maturity (2 Peter 3:18). He energizes believers to do God’s desirous will for our lives (Philippians 2:13). Do you know what His desirous will for your life is? Are you resisting, grieving, or quenching the Holy Spirit’s ministry in your life (Acts 7:51; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19)? If so, could this be the reason you’re not enjoying an “abundant life” (John 10:10)? No, it’s not what the “Health, Wealthy, and Happiness” preachers are promising to those who contribute to their ministries. (*) This relates to our position in Christ and our spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). How many of them could you enumerate?

If we want to stay clean (holy) in a spiritually dark and dirty world, we need to (1) pay closer attention to what we look at (v. 13, Colossians 3:1, 2), (2) give greater thought to the consequences of sin rather than its pleasures (1 Peter 1:14; Proverbs 7), (3) start each day by renewing our sense of reverence for God (1 Peter 1:17; 2 Corinthians 7:1), and (4) periodically during each day focus fully on Christ (1 Peter 1:18-21; Hebrews 12:2). – Adapted from C. R. Swindoll, Hope In Hurtful Times, p. 26

Stay Focused

O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior, And a life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.” – Helen H. Lemmel

He’s coming back for believers (John 14:1-3). Perhaps today! Are you ready?

Help. We’re here to assist those who want to be sure of a home in heaven (1 John 5:13), and for Christians who would like to learn how to live a life that pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. We’d also like to ask you to share this information with others who might benefit from it. Thanks.

(*) “The Most Evil Man…”

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