Archive for the ‘Spiritual Gifts’ Category

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We desire to glorify God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3).  To be saved, one needs to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  To grow spiritually a believer needs to start out with the milk of the Word (1 Peter 2:2) and then move on the meat (solid food) of the Word (1 Corinthians 2:1-3; Hebrews 5:12-14).  Then to serve God, every Christian should realize that he/she is a minister (servant) with a ministry (Ephesians 4:12) and has been given a spiritual gift (1 Peter 4:10) that needs to be exercised in love (1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:13).  And then, as we have been made to go into the world (Acts 1:8), we are to make disciples (true believers), baptize (immerse) them, and then teach them how to put into practice the new commandment that Jesus gave to His disciples (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 13:34, 35).

When one interprets the Bible normally, he/she will begin to understand the distinctive rules for living called “Dispensations.” [1]  There are some doctrines and teachings in the Scriptures that are merely to be believed and others that are to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17).  All Scripture is for the believer’s understanding but not all of it is addressed specifically to the believer for his/her daily living.  Frustration will be the result of trying to live by the wrong set of rules to come to spiritual maturity (Galatians 3:1-5; 5:1-16).

If these articles or other things we share with you are helpful, we’d like to hear from you and ask that you share them with others too (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). Together we can reach more people for Christ.

We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: http://www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles, click on “Follow.”

[1] FREE Dispensations Chart: http://kelseypeach.com/Kelsey.8.pdf

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation – (In 24 languages) http://kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

 

 

 

John 9:1-14

“For years he sat in the street, a castaway from society, his soul aching for the touch of light and love. And then one day he heard the approaching footsteps of Jesus who, with a touch of compassion, gave him new eyes… Few afflictions are more difficult to bear than blindness. And in Jesus’ day, a blind person held little hope for anything more than a lifetime of begging.” – Chuck Swindoll.  Perhaps you know someone who is blind too. How do you treat him/her?

The Men. This blind man went virtually unnoticed by Jesus’ disciples who, apparently, were enamored more by the magnificent temple itself (Matthew 24:1). In a sense, they were a lot like the priest and Levite who passed by the man who had been robbed by thieves and left for dead (Luke 10:30-37). Jesus, however, was concerned about people. To those who were oppressed by the hypocritical, religious leaders of the day, Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Jesus.  I’d rather have Jesus as my Shepherd than anything else. He loves me, knows me, knows my future, and gives me the strength to do the things that He wants me to do. He forgives me when I confess my sins and helps me start over again. He will never leave or forsake me. He will reward me for faithful service to Him. He is the God-man (John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9). King David wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). My friend, is He your Shepherd? If not, we’d like to introduce you to Him. If He is your Shepherd, do you tend to wander away from Him and get yourself in precarious situations that cause Him a lot of grief (Ephesians 4:3). He wants you to stay close by Him so you will be safe? It’s so much better to stay under His care and let Him lead you (Romans 8:14) than to wander away like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-31).

Cause And Effect. Seeing the blind man, it was quite natural for His disciples to ask Jesus why this man was blind from birth (John 9:1). Was it due to his own sins or his parent’s sins? Apparently some Rabbis were teaching that it was possible for a baby in the womb to sin by kicking his mother on the Sabbath. Perhaps they concluded that this man’s parents had sinned and thus passed down a curse on him (Exodus 20:5, 6; Jeremiah 32:18). Yes, it’s true. Some parents who take illegal drugs, alcohol, or who have sexually transmitted diseases, sometimes do pass a curse on to their children. Just talk to some Doctors and nurses about such babies.

Jesus’ Diagnosis. “Jesus answered [the disciples’ questions], ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him’” (John 9:3). Jesus was on a mission to glorify His Father by making Him known to humanity (John 17:3, 4). He did everything that the Father wanted Him to do at the right time and in the proper manner. His miracles were designed to prove to them/us that He was/is the promised Messiah/Christ and the Son of God (John 20:31). They validated His person and work (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:6, 7). Perhaps you didn’t know this but God has some predetermined works for Christians to do too (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). Sadly, most Christians don’t know very much about the “Spiritual Gifts” that God gave to every Christian at the moment of his/her salvation (See Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11-16). Which gifts were temporary and which are extant? [1]  Which one do you have?  Are you using it with love (1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:13)?

Miracles. The miracles that Jesus performed were conducted in different ways. Sometimes He performed them without a lot of fanfare (John 2:7, 8). He was able to heal the nobleman’s son from a distance just by speaking a word. He told a crippled man to take up his bed and walk (John 5:8). He fed over 5,000 people at one time (John 6:11). He brought Lazarus back to life with a word (John 11:43). But on this occasion Jesus “spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’…So he went and washed, and came back seeing” (John 9:6, 7).

Sabbath. It’s interesting that Jesus chose to give this man his sight on the Sabbath (Saturday). The hypocritical, legalistic, religious Pharisees had added all kinds of other requirements to the observance of the Sabbath. Apparently they said it was unlawful for a man to pluck a hair from his head or beard because that involved work. Cutting one’s fingernails was illegal. No medical attention could be administered unless it was a life or death situation. It was unlawful for a man to walk with sandals that had nails in them because that was carrying a burden on the Sabbath. Is it any wonder that Jesus had compassion on the common people who were weighted down with such additional burdens? They missed the whole purpose of the Sabbath. “Apart from maintaining the continual burnt offering ( Numbers 28:9), and its connection with the annual feasts…the seventh day was never made a day of sacrifice, worship, or any manner of religious service. It was simply and only a day of complete rest for man and beast, a humane provision for man’s needs. In Christ’s words, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath’ (Mark 2:27).” – Dr. C. I. Scofield

Response. Perplexed by what had happened to this blind man, the people asked him about it. Not satisfied with his answer, they took him to the Pharisees for them to interrogate him about his eyesight. With all their knowledge of the Scriptures, they should have made the connection of this miracle to the prophecy that Isaiah had made concerning the Messiah’s giving sight to the blind when He came (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:6, 7). But they didn’t get it. Things haven’t changed much today either. Liberal theologians refuse to acknowledge that Jesus is the God-man who had/has all the Divine attributes of God. They don’t believe that He came to earth through the virgin, Mary. They don’t believe that He was sinless, and that He went to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again bodily from the dead on the third day. They don’t believe that He’s coming back literally as He said He would (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11).

Confusion/Unbelief. The Jewish prophet Jeremiah rehearsed the reasons for the Jewish captivity by their enemies. “Hear this now, O foolish people [Jews], without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not…But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; They have revolted and departed…” (Jeremiah 5:21-23). Because most of the Jews rejected their Messiah when He came 2,000 years ago and said, “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25), they have been to this day under Gentile domination and will be until Christ returns after the seven years of tribulation (Daniel 9:27; Romans 11:25). The last 3 ½ years are known as “the time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). This time seems to be just around the corner. To get the big picture, would you like to receive a free “Dispensations Chart” for your consideration? If so, ask us for one. Do you know what happens to a Jewish person who believes in Jesus as his/her personal Savior today (Romans 1:16; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:11-18)?

Israel’s Future. God hasn’t forsaken the Jewish nation forever as some “Replacement Theology” people believe. [2] A bright future awaits the believing Jewish remnant (Romans 11:26). Those who physically survive the seven year Tribulation will be the ones who repopulate the earth (Matthew 10:22; 24:13). They will inherit all the land that God promised to give to them in an everlasting covenant. During Christ’s 1,000 reign on/over earth (Revelation 20:6; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Daniel 2:44, 45) it will extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Euphrates (Genesis 15:18- 21). In eternity future, the believing Jews will inherit a new earth in which they will dwell (Revelation 21:1; Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13). “Nevertheless we [believers], according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells [feels at ease]” (2 Peter 3:13). Don’t let the scoffers intimidate you. They don’t believe that Jesus is returning to earth as He said He would (2 Peter 3:3ff). Are they ever in for a surprise!

Judgment Day. “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Every person who has lived on this earth will face Judge Jesus someday (John 5:22). Do you know the purposes for the different judgments (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 20:11-15)? Where will you spend eternity – Heaven or Hell? Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead? Are you depending on any of your good works to get you into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)? Would you like assurance of salvation (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)?

Our True Condition. All of us were born spiritually blind (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4). We need someone to share the Clear Gospel [3] with us so God the Holy Spirit can open our spiritual eyes and enable us to see the Lord Jesus Christ and believe on Him to be saved (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 10:9-16).

Witnesses. If you’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Christ of the Scriptures, you can/should tell others about Him (Acts 1:8). Carnal Christians need to get right with God through confession of their sins to God and others against whom they have sinned or face discipline from God (1 John 1:9; James 5:16, 19, 20; 1 John 5:16; Hebrews 12:5ff).

Help. If you need spiritual help, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] Spiritual Gifts. http://kelseypeach.com/bible_basics.htm

[2] Replacement Theology:

http://www.gotquestions.org/replacement-theology.html

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/mevangel/scofield.htm

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/replace.pdf

[3] Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

To many people Jesus was a passive, weak man who never said anything to offend anyone. And yet He said, “…if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24; See John 8:58; 10:30; 20:31). Previously He had made a whip of cords and chased out the money changers from the temple (John 2:13-16). With harsh words He denounced the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy (Matthew 7:1-5, 21-23; 23:13-36). They had laid on the common people heavy burdens.

Compassionate. This is why Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28). Meekness is not weakness; It is strength under control. It is one part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” which is Christ likeness (Galatians 5:22, 23).

The Hour.  No one was able to take Jesus until “His hour” had come (John 8:20).  This was predetermined by God and it would involve Judas’ betraying Him to the enemy for thirty pieces of silver  (Zechariah 11:12, 13; John 8:20; 18:5-12). He said, “No one takes [My life] from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:18). He, along with the two other Persons in the Godhead, were involved in His bodily resurrection from the dead (John 2:19-22; Romans 6:4; 8:11; See Luke 24:33-43). Without it Christians would be of all men the most pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). His resurrected, glorified body consists of flesh and bones, but it has no blood (1 Corinthians 15:50). The Christian’s resurrected, glorified bodies will be like His (1 John 3:2). Those who deny His bodily resurrection and His literal return to this earth are antichrists (1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7; Matthew 24:5). Beware of them.

Unbelievers. In no uncertain terms, Jesus said to the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:23). He went on to tell them that their father was the devil (John 8:44; See 1 John 3:9, 10; 5:19). They also were spiritually blinded and lulled to sleep by him (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19). They would die in their sins if they didn’t believe that He was the eternal “I AM” (John 8:24, 58; 10:30; See Exodus 3:14). He was claiming to be the God-man and the promised Messiah (John 5:18; 20:31; See Matthew 16:16). Believing in/on Jesus involves more than giving mental assent to some facts about Him (James 2:19). Furthermore, once they died physically, there would be no more opportunities to change their minds (repent) and believe on Him so they could be saved (Luke 16:19-31; Hebrews 9:27). “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Salvation. It always have been and always will be by God’s grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Jonah 2:9). Grace is unmerited favor that God extends to us. It is not the help that God gives to a person when he is baptized (sprinkled) as a baby so he can do good works (Sacraments) and earn his own way to heaven. God’s mercy is displayed when He shows compassion for those who are suffering, either as a result of their own sin(s), or the sin(s) of others (Titus 3:5).  Faith doesn’t save us; God saves us when we place our faith in the right object – the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, who was buried for three days, and who rose again bodily on the third day. Then He was seen by over 500 witnesses before ascending publicly, gradually, and literally back to heaven (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). This is the Good News that is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). The Gospel must not be changed by adding to or subtracting anything from it as the false teachers do (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; Galatians 1:6-9). When it is presented correctly and in its entirety, the Holy Spirit can do His work of convicting people of their sin of unbelief in Christ, their need to have Christ’s righteousness to enter heaven, and the certain judgment and condemnation that will come to all who don’t believe on Him for their salvation (John 16:8-11; 3:18, 36).

Questions. What are your thoughts about Jesus? Is He the “Wafer Jesus” who didn’t finish the work of salvation? Is He just an elevated man and the brother of Lucifer who became a god. Do you believe that He was/is Michael the archangel? Maybe you think of Him as the “Revolutionary Jesus” of New Age Communism, or the “Universalist Jesus” who won’t send anyone to hell.

Warning. Jesus said, “…many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5). Have you or has someone you know been deceived? Are you trying to get into heaven by your good works or by your faith plus your good works (John 10:1; 14:6)? Those who aren’t fit for heaven will spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46). To be saved and fit for heaven, we must Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone through the message of the Gospel. Have you done this yet? If not, why not believe on Him right now? Then let us know about your decision so we can help you grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18) and teach you about the spiritual gifts that God gives to His children at the time of our salvation (1 Peter 4:10).

Contact. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask that you share it with someone else who might be helped from it. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

 

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: http://www.gotquestions.org/Old-Testament-sacrifices.html

[2] Spiritual Gifts” See http://kelseypeach.com/bible_basics.htm

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Gospel In Less Than 25 Words: http://www.faith.edu/resources/publications/faith-pulpit/message/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/read

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

 

 

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: www.kelseypeach.com. 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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God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

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: www.kelseypeach.com. 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.”

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

 

It is a well documented fact of history that Jesus Christ died on a cross as predicted in the Scriptures (Psalm 22). But why? The Word of God tell us that it was to pay the penalty for all of our sins once and for all (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 10:10). But thankfully He rose again bodily from the grave after being in the tomb for three days and nights (Luke 24:33-43). His resurrected body was different in that it had flesh and bones but no blood (1 Corinthians 15:50). Many people celebrate His resurrection but their lives have not been changed. They’ve never been born again from above (John 3:3-6; 1 Peter 1:23). But what is sadder, many people “believe in vain” by adding to or subtracting things from the Gospel and God’s plan of salvation (1 Corinthians 15:2-5; Revelation 22:18, 19). Consider what the “Lordship for Salvation” preachers and teachers do by making the requirements for discipleship (good works) the requirements for salvation.  How could one ever be sure of his/her salvation before they die?  They can’t be sure.

All three Persons in the Godhead were involved in the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (The Father – Romans 6:4; The Holy Spirit – Romans 8:11; and Jesus Himself – John 10:17, 18).

As a result of this, many benefits were extended to those who would put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation.

A New Life In Christ. The natural, unsaved man is helpless, hopeless, and hell bound (Romans 5:6, 8; Ephesians 2:12). He doesn’t receive the things of the Spirit of God because of his spiritual blindness and rebellion toward God (1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 3:10-23; 6:23). He also has a Satanic blindness that hinders him from seeing his need for the Savior (2 Corinthians 4:4). Jewish people have a third blindness that is judicial (Romans 11:25). But God has the ability to lift these blinds after the “Clear Gospel” is presented to them (Acts 26:18). The FREE gift of God is eternal life (John 3:16, 18; 36; 1 John 5:12, 13). It is a present possession and not earned by any of our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Upon believing in Christ, the person is placed by Spirit baptism (dry) into the “Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13) and becomes part of a new creation known as “The Christ” – Jesus is the Head and true Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Christ are the Body (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:15).

A Victorious Life. Sadly, most Christians live much of their entire lives enslaved to their old masters: the devil (2 Timothy 2:24-26), their own sin nature (Romans 6:14; 7:15-25), or the present world system (1 John 2:15-17). God doesn’t want His children to keep on sinning (1 John 2:1; 3:9, 10). He has made it possible for us to be victorious over our three spiritual enemies (Romans 8:37). We can find everything we need for life and godliness within the pages of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:3). We don’t need to resort to the philosophies and wisdom of unsaved men which often contradicts the clear teachings of the Word of God (Colossians 2:8; James 3:14-16). Sometimes the unsaved counselors are able to detect the person’s problem, but they don’t have God’s solution to the problem. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Once a believer dies or is caught up to meet the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17), his spiritual battles on earth will be over. For the true Christian, to be absent from the body means being immediately with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). We don’t have to go to some purging place to pay for our sins before we can go to heaven. The last victory that Christ will win is the one over physical death . He will do this by raising everyone who has died and bring him/her back to life to be judged by Him (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:26; John 5:22; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). Do you know in which judgment you will participate?

An Abundant Life. Some people can only identify with the physical and material side of life. The Jews in the Old Testament were promised earthly things and blessings for their obedience to God and curses for disobedience to the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 28). The Jewish people were told to “Bring all the tithes [not 10% but 23% of their total income] into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out on you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). But confusing Israel with the Church leads to all sorts of problems. They are two distinct groups with different promises and different destinations. The Jews were promised the earth (Genesis 15:18- ; Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13). True Christians are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20; John 14:1-3). Our spiritual blessings far exceed any physical blessings (Ephesians 1:3). Most Christians haven’t been taught about the 33 major spiritual blessings and things that transpired at the moment of their salvation. If you’re a Christian, how often do you set your deeper reflective thinking on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2ff)? Do you know how to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)? How does a Christian discover his/her spiritual gift and use it (1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14).

A Useful Life. Everything that a Christian does should bring honor and glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31). God’s purpose is to demonstrate to His creatures who He is by what He says and does (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). Every Christian is called upon to abide (feel at ease) in Christ and bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit (John 15:1-8). This fruit could be one’s Christ like character (2 Peter 1:5-8; Galatians 5:22, 23). It could be a life characterized by good works done for God’s glory (Colossians 1:10; Ephesians 2:10), or it might be by being a faithful witness for the Lord (Romans 1:13; 1 Corinthians 16:15), or a pair of lips that praises God (Hebrews 13:15), or it might be a believer’s generous giving to the work of the Lord and to those who preach and teach the Word faithfully without trying to tickle people’s ears (Galatians 6:6-10; 1 Corinthians 9:1-14; Philippians 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:2; 4:1-4). How much fruit are you bearing in your life?

Saving Faith. Do you merely know and believe the facts about Jesus Christ’s death for your sins and His bodily resurrection? That’s not enough to save you (James 2:19). Not until you transfer your faith from yourself, and your good works over to Christ alone are you saved. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Genuine faith manifests itself to other human beings by the good works we do (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:20-26). If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? If not, what needs to change? Our salvation from the penalty of sin is gained by a single act of faith in Christ. But for a Christian to enjoy a new, victorious, abundant, and useful life while here on this earth, he/she must live in a continual attitude of faith (Romans 1:17). If you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you can sing “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…”

Help. If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached at 805-238-3549.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  If something has helped you, will you share it with others?  Thanks.  We want to bless you so you can bless others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).