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Post  Admin on Fri 13 Mar 2015, 1:49 am

My Job Is God's Will? 
     by Pastor Ricky Kurth
      
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters… doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians6:5,6).

Surely what was true of servants and their masters applies equally to employees and their employers. Thus our text suggests that Christians involved in secular labor are “doing the will of God.” Of course, Paul says that we are to labor and work with our hands “the thing which is good” (Eph. 4:28). So unless you are an abortion doctor or some such thing, when you go to work, you are doing the will of God, and your work clothes are just as holy in the eyes of God as the vestments that Aaron wore when he entered the presence of the Lord, whether you wear a white collar or a blue collar.

Is it possible then that secular employment will earn rewards for Christians at the Judgment seat of Christ? The Apostle Paul says yes! If such labor is done “not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart,” and if it is done “as to the Lord, and not unto men,” then Paul unequivocally asserts “that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance” (Col. 3:22-24).

There is even evidence to suggest that those involved in secular labor who then faithfully support the ministry can look forward to rewards equal to those given to Christians directly engaged in the Lord’s work. God instructed Moses:

“And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to the battle, and between all the congregation” (Num. 31:27).

When “wicked men” tried to ignore this plain command of God (I Sam.30:22), David insisted:

“…as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff; they shall part alike” (v.23-25).

Secular labor constitutes half of the fourth commandment (Ex. 20:9,10), and is also a commandment of grace. When the Thessalonians got so excited about the Rapture that they quit their jobs in eager anticipation, Paul twice reminded them that he had “commanded” them not to do this (I Thes. 4:11; II Thes. 3:10). He then re-issued the command (IIThes. 3:12) and further commanded them to “withdraw” from any who wouldn’t obey these commands (II Thes. 3:6-10). Thus we see that working for a living is a commandment of God given to members of the Body of Christ through the Apostle Paul.

Finally, if you are considering entering the Lord’s work, you should know that throughout Scripture, God called to His service men who were already demonstrating their faithfulness and dependability in secular employment. God called Moses when he was tending his father-in-law’s sheep, Gideon as he was threshing wheat, David as he was shepherding his father’s flock and several of the apostles as they were fishing or mending their nets.  

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" 


OUR COMMISSION IN THE AGE OF GRACE IS:

2Co 5:16-21  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.  Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

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Post  Admin on Wed 11 Mar 2015, 10:04 pm

GROW TO SHARE 
By Miles Stanford

"For they disciplined us only a short time, as it seemed proper to them; but He does it for our good, in order that we may share His holy character" (Heb. 12:10, Wms.). 
 
It is only natural to feel that our need requires immediate victory, but the truth is that we cannot come to maturity apart from the Holy Spirit's processing and development of our life, day by day. A quick and easy victory would cripple our useful- ness in these two ways: we would not understand the all-important principle of processing; we would not appreciate the needs of others.  'If we are unable to share, we abide alone like the grain of wheat that does not die.
 
So often in the battle we go to the Lord, and pray, and plead, and appeal for victory, for ascendancy, for mastery over the forces of evil and death, and our thought is that in some way the Lord is going to come in with a mighty exercise of power and put us into a place of spiritual maturity as in an act. We must have this mentality corrected. What the Lord does is to enlarge us to possess. He takes us through some exercise, through some experience, takes us by some way which means our spiritual expansion, an increase of spirituality so we occupy the larger place spontaneously because of our growth. 'I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased' (Exod. 23:29,30)." -T. A-S. 

"Now for the time being no discipline [ child-training] seems to be pleasant; it is painful; later on, however, to those who are trained by it, it yields the fruit of peace which grows from upright character" (Heb. 12:11, Wms.). 


"In Christ there is no East or West,
  In Him no South or North;
  But one great fellowship of love
  Throughout the whole wide  earth."


Should this Inspirational be a blessing and encouragement to you, why not send to a friend, coworker or, to your loved one who may be defending the USA the Word of God is so needed in our troubled world. It is our heart at GRACE AND THE TRUTH and mission to reach as many people as we possibly can TO SHARE with them the Word of God and all that the Lord Jesus Christ has done for members of the body of Christ. 
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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Mar 2015, 10:36 pm

The Ministry of the Church
By Charles W. Wages

There is more confusion concerning the mission and message of the local assembly today than ever in history. Such Satanic issues as social and financial support for extremist groups occupies the concern of many large religious bodies. Others are expounding political views of the far right or left or philosophizing as to man's origin and destiny. All of these keep God's people from really fulfilling the eternal purpose of our Lord.

Among "enlightened" believers there must be a distinction between the church which is Christ's Body and the churches or local gathering places of the saints. It should be noted that the apostle Paul addressed his epistles to the saints of the various areas of the then known world. He taught the truth concerning the Body of Christ, but never addressed a message in this manner.

In 2 Corinthians 11:28, Paul is led of the Lord to state, among his many tribulations, this, "Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches." It must be emphasized that God will take care of His church. We can't run God's business in heaven from the earth, but He surely can control heaven and earth as He desires. In God's great plan, He does instruct His children in their worship here on earth. Believers are given ample instruction in carrying on God's work in the local assembly.

Redeemed people should distinguish between preaching and teaching. Granted, there is much overlapping of these two important functions, yet they serve the cause of Christ in different ways to fulfill God's purpose. Many people think the manner in which a message is delivered distinguishes between preaching and teaching. It is not the manner, but the matter that is important. Preaching is simply announcing a joyful message. It has to do primarily with evangelizing or proclaiming the gospel to the lost. In 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, we have a clear exposition and explanation of the purpose of preaching, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." The message is Christ, and Him crucified.

Teaching tends toward perfection or maturity. It seeks an end or ultimate for the individual believer. In Colossians 1:28, we are shown that Christ is preached ("whom we preach"), and then that "every man" is taught in wisdom, and "every man" presented perfect in Christ Jesus. The latter part of the verse is the purpose of teaching. 2 Timothy 2:15 and 3:16 are familiar but important verses in regard to teaching.

Really interested believers will make an honest effort to distinguish between order and organization. It is often said that the Body of Christ is an organism and not an organization. This is true, but it must also be remembered that an organism has organization. Take for example, the human body. It is truly an organism, yet it has structure and function. In 1 Corinthians 12, God compares the human body to the Body of Christ. Religious bodies that pay too much attention to their organization are like people who pay too much attention to their physical bodies. They become selfish, and neglect the real purpose of life—to honor and love the Lord and not self. We are instructed "to let all things be done decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:40).

Those who are saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ have such a wonderful opportunity today to serve the risen Saviour and Head. God has given us the means; He has given us the message. Let us pray for a real mind to follow His will in this dispensation of the Grace of God.

It has been stated that there is more confusion and lack of understanding about the ministry of the local assembly today than ever in history. Many "churches" are becoming entertainment centers as they copy the world. While others are trying to fight the world system in the flesh. We all need to constantly evaluate the work God has charged us with in the light of His Word.

The Ministry and Message of the Church Must be Positive

In 2 Corinthians 1:17-20, the apostle informs us that he did not desire to purpose "according to the flesh," that with him there should be "yea, yea, and nay nay." Contrariwise, he said, "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." Anytime Christ is preached it is a positive message. Anytime Christ is preached in a positive manner, it will be a personal message. The ministry of the church must be involved in telling individuals about (1) God's love, (2) God's forgiveness, and (3) God's future. It must be understood and believed that all people have needs. The familiar story of one shoe salesman who went to Africa and reported back that the people didn't need shoes because they all went barefooted while another salesman went and announced that "everyone needs shoes" because the people were barefooted, vividly points up that we all should see the need in a positive and personal way.

The Ministry of the Church Must be Purposeful

In 1 Timothy 2:3-4, it is stated, "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." This double purpose is at once evident. We must fit our ministry into this holy purpose. We must preach the Word that lost souls will be saved, and teach the Word that all may "grow in grace and knowledge" of our Lord and Head, Jesus Christ. The Ministry of the Church Must be Practical

Ephesians 2:10 states, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." To become and remain strong and vigorous, we must all work in some capacity for the Lord. Physical work was given to man for a reason. Surely we can see that spiritual work was also intended of God. The local assembly should be a place where people have an opportunity to give and serve. It is said that Socrates would hold his students heads underwater when he wanted to teach about living and breathing. The only way God's people will learn about working for the Lord is by actually giving and serving. The book of Titus, chapter three, teaches us that we are "to be ready for every good work" (verse one), "to maintain good works" (verse eight), and "to learn to maintain good works for necessary uses" (verse 14).

The church should offer the opportunity for redeemed people to serve the Lord. Everyone should know "that the fields are white unto harvest," therefore let us pray and provide that the laborers will not be too few.

The Prime Purpose of the Church Must be for Worship

The first five verses of Psalm 105 are very appropriate to read and study in regard to worship. They teach us that worship should be active and not passive. Too many people are just spectators in the service and often times not very interested spectators. Someone has succinctly said, "Many are on the salvation train, but too many are in the sleeping car." At least nine things could be enumerated from Psalm 105:1-6 that speak of an active worship: (1) give thanks, (2) call upon His name, (3) make known His deeds, (4) sing unto Him, (5) talk of His works, (6) glory in His name, (7) let the heart rejoice, (8) seek the Lord, and (9) remember His works.

Out of the above thoughts, we can gather the fact that the mind should be involved in worship. We are constantly told, in God's Word, to remember. We are instructed to remember His words ("judgments of His mouth," verse 5). When we hear the Word preached, we should have active minds thinking of the meaning and how it can be applied in our lives. Don't let the preacher do all your thinking.

It should be acknowledged that the heart be active in worship. Words brought out in Psalm 105, such as sing, rejoice, glory, and give thanks, all speak of an emotional response. We should be moved by the Word, especially when it speaks of God's great love for us through Jesus Christ. The Word can bring conviction and it can bring comfort. The Word can stir us and it can quieten us. We should never be afraid of the emotional responses that worship brings to us.

It must be realized that the will is involved in worship. The word "seek" implies that we need to search for right decisions. Sometimes decisions in God's work and worship are optional. God wants us to seek and search what is best. The closer we get to the Lord and His Word, the more likely we are to make the right or best decision. Man is a responsible creation of God. He is responsible first to God, then to other persons, and then to himself.

The ministry of the church in the above matters is of greatest importance. The local assembly must be tuned and turned to God and His will. The church must honor our Lord in everything (Colossians 3:17) and fulfill its mission to the people it serves.

It must constantly be kept in mind that the ministry and message of every assembly should be to "people" about the Person of Jesus Christ.

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Tim. 2:3-6)

When we see that God desires "all men to be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth," how can anyone of us do less than present the glorious gospel of God's grace to the unsaved and His Word "rightly divided" to the saved. We must plant and water the seed, but God will give the increase.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:8-10)

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" 

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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Mar 2015, 12:44 am

God's Eternal Purpose 
 by Pastor C. R. Stam
      

       Have you ever considered carefully the opening words of the Bible? “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Why doesn’t it simply say that God created the Universe? Why the heaven and the earth?

As we go on reading we find the answer to this question, for the Bible clearly teaches that God has a two-fold purpose; one having to do with the earth and the other with heaven. The former is the subject of prophecy, while the latter is the subject of the “mystery”, or secret, revealed to and through St. Paul. (See Acts 3:21; and cf. Romans16:25). The former concerns Israel and the nations; the latter “the Body of Christ”, the Church of the heavenly calling.

Some people are surprised to learn that there is not one promise in the whole Old Testament about going to heaven. There the whole outlook is earthly, with Messiah reigning as King (Jer.23:5; et al). When our Lord appeared in the flesh the angels cried: “Peace on earth” (Luke 2:14). He Himself said that “the meek”shall “inherit the earth” (Matt.5:5). He taught His disciples to pray: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt.6:10).

Even at Pentecost Peter declared that after “the restitution of all things” God would send Jesus back to earth and the times okay leave the door what will I was asking Would you do what of the planned will you did water the plant you out there will is beyond know how to get the My 1st BUT IS WILL YOU WILL WHERE YOU would “come from the presence of the Lord”(Acts 3:19-21).

Not until the raising up of Paul do we learn that now all believers . I WILL BE are “baptized into one body” (the sure will.12:13), and Colossians 1:5 and many other Pauline passages, speak of“the hope which is laid up for you IN HEAVEN”. Indeed,before God, believers are already given a position “in heavenly places” and are “blessed with all spiritual blessings In [THE] HEAVENLIES in Christ” (Eph.1:3; 2:4-7).

The prophecies regarding the Kingdom, however, will still be fulfilled and Christ will reign on earth and bring the promised “times of refreshing”. Thank God, this world will not forever be a place of Farand bloodshed, sickness and death, misery and woe. Indeed, at that time,heaven and earth will be opened to each other, and thus will be fulfilled God’s two-fold purpose: “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ…” (Eph.1:10).

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" 

OUR COMMISSION IN THE AGE OF GRACE IS:

2Co 5:16-21  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.  Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

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Post  Admin on Sun 08 Mar 2015, 3:26 pm

ENEMIES OF GOD AND WORSHIPERS OF SATAN
by C. R. Stam 

"...we were enemies..." (Rom. 5:10). 

"...the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not..." (II Cor. 4:4). 

Many religious but unsaved people will not accept the fact that they are enemies of God, and fail to understand why the Bible should insist that they are. But the God who says that they are sinners, worthy of everlasting judgment; that their only hope of salvation lies in the One who poured out His life’s blood to pay the penalty for their sins -- this God, the God of the Bible, they cannot abide. Let one of His servants tell them what He says about them and they are insulted. When this God, the true God, refuses to accept their "good" works or their "righteous" conduct they react like Cain, of whom we read: "And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell" (Gen. 4:5). They simply will not bow to this God, and their attitude betrays their enmity against Him. 

But why will they not turn away from their self-righteousness and trust in Christ, who died for their sins? 

Simply because they worship Satan, "the god of this age," who "hath blinded the minds of those who believe not." Worship Satan? This too is hard for the unregenerate man to believe about himself. As he has his own conception of God, he also has his own conception of Satan -- a wrong one. 

Unbelievers do not know that the real Satan, the Satan of the Bible, has a vast wardrobe and, in this dispensation of grace, doubtless appears most often as "an angel of light" with "ministers of righteousness" (II Cor. 11:14,15). This Satan they do indeed worship. They adore him, and try to live by his precepts, convinced that the way to salvation is to do and be good. 

Love The Truth

I love the truth. 
I hate a lie.
Living a lie, we will die.
Jesus gave us the word of God.
The word of God is truth.
The word of God has set us free.
I was once blind, now I see.
For the grace of God has saved us.
I praise the Lord for this grace he hath set us free.
Jesus is the truth and the light.
He gave us life. 
His Glory is so Bright.
For the Glory goes to Jesus Christ.
Let's not let be taken away.


My Country 'Tis of Thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing; land where my fathers died, 
land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountain side let freedom ring
Our fathers' God to Thee, author of liberty, to Thee we sing; long may our land be bright 
with freedom's holy light; protect us by Thy might, great God, our King! 

In His grace and love, Paris

If you are blessed by this devotional, please 

forward it to your friends

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Grace From Calvary 
Pastor C.R. Stam

          If you want to enjoy a real spiritual feast, take a concordance to the Bible and look up the word “grace.” First notice how often this word is found in the four Gospels: only four times and only once in a doctrinal sense. Then notice how often it is used in Paul’s epistles (less than half the size of the four Gospels). Here it is found well over one hundred times and practically always in a doctrinal sense, about the love and mercy of God toward sinners and toward His own. Think of it: only once is grace referred to doctrinally in the four Gospels, yet in Paul’s epistles, less than half as large in volume, it is used more than one hundred times.

This is because St. Paul was God’s chosen apostle to make known His grace to sinners. In Acts 20:24 he speaks of “the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

But on what basis could God, through Paul, proclaim salvation by free grace to sinners? Ah, now take your Bible and begin looking up those passages which refer to the cross, the death and the blood of Christ, again noticing that while Paul does not actually relate the story of Christ’s death, he has more, far more, to say about that death, and what it accomplished, than any other Bible writer. It would thrill the heart of any sincere Christian to go through the Epistles of Paul and see how much good news Paul proclaims on the basis of the death of Christ. This is why his message is called “the preaching of the cross”— God’s good news about what Calvary has accomplished for us (1Cor. 1:17-23).

In Paul’s epistles we learn that through Christ’s death for us at Calvary believers are “justified,” “accepted”by God, and pronounced “complete in Christ.” By His death they are reconciled to God in one body, given a position at God’s right hand in the highest heavens and assured “the exceeding riches of His grace” in “the ages to come” — this and more Riches of grace flowing from Calvary; this is the very essence of the glorious message which Paul was raised up to proclaim. Read his epistles and see.

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" 

OUR COMMISSION IN THE AGE OF GRACE IS:

2Co 5:16-21  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.  Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

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Post  Admin on Fri 06 Mar 2015, 7:18 pm

The Offense of Grace
by Steve McVey
 
The thing about grace that many have a problem with is its appearance of being carelessly and indiscriminately thrown around by our Heavenly Father as if there is no limit to it. It just isn’t right by human standards. After all, fair is fair. Give people an inch and they’ll take a mile. Go soft on those who have sinned and the next thing you know everybody is doing it. People make their beds and they should lie in it. They need to learn their lesson. You’ve got to think about the message you’re sending!

Jesus didn’t seem to worry about all that in His ministry. He just loved people and poured out grace, grace, and more grace on the most unlikely candidates. It galls the self righteous when their own sense of justice is violated, but Jesus never seemed to worry about what they thought. He seemed to show such little discernment in how and to whom He gave so much. Even His stories seem to communicate a message that sounds downright wrong to religious ears.

In the parable of the laborers found in Matthew 20, those who came in to work at the last hour received the same salary as those who had worked all day. Those with the admirable ethic of hard work and dependability had been out in the hot sun all day long. Then the slackers show up at the last hour and get the same pay? Come on now! What’s fair about that?  

Then there is the prodigal son – a religious zealots worst nightmare. Here, this young boy in the youth group decides he wants to leave it all and move to Los Angeles. He asks His father to give him his inheritance (a subliminal insinuation that he has been thinking he’d be better off if his Dad was dead) and off he goes to the big city. His life soon becomes a blur of Jack Daniels, marijuana and strip clubs. 

When all his money is gone and he wakes up in bed one morning and rolls over to see a skanky-looking crack whore (a King James Bible word) who he doesn’t even remember meeting, he is jolted back to reality. “I’m outta here,” he thinks to himself. “Even Dad’s minimum wage guys at home don’t have to live like this.”

So off he goes, hitchhiking home and all the way thinking of how he will grovel when he gets there, how he will promise to do better if Dad will only give him back his old room. “I’ll even sleep in the barn if you want me to,” he figures he’ll say.

You know how the story ends. The moment comes when this scraggly looking, nasty smelling, son comes stumbling up the long driveway. His Dad sees him and immediately tears out running at full throttle.  He falls on his boy and, oblivious to the stench, starts laughing and crying, hugging and kissing him, all at the same time.  The son is forgiven before he even asks.

 The boy chokes up and tries to talk. This isn’t what he had expected. He gets out half a sentence when Dad interrupts and yells orders to fire up the grill, call our family and friends, see if JJT is available (Jerusalem Jazz Trio) and let’s get this party started!

 Hmm...that’s a strange story, Jesus. Don’t you think it might give the wrong message? “No,” our loving Savior would answer. “It gives the right message. The message is this: It doesn’t matter how pathetic you are, how low you have gone and how long you have been there, I love you and accept you.” 

 It isn’t about you and me. It never has been and never will be. It’s about Him and His ridiculous, irrational, excessive, loving grace. The self righteous crowd might as well shut up. Jesus is Jesus and He’s not going to change to fit their expectations. Thank God. 
  www.gracewalk.org  

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

There is no situation so chaotic that God cannot from that situation,
create something that is surpassingly good.
He did it at creation.
He did it at the cross.
He is doing it today.

-- Handley C. G. Moule

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Post  Admin on Fri 06 Mar 2015, 5:29 pm

The Offense of Grace
by Steve McVey
 
The thing about grace that many have a problem with is its appearance of being carelessly and indiscriminately thrown around by our Heavenly Father as if there is no limit to it. It just isn’t right by human standards. After all, fair is fair. Give people an inch and they’ll take a mile. Go soft on those who have sinned and the next thing you know everybody is doing it. People make their beds and they should lie in it. They need to learn their lesson. You’ve got to think about the message you’re sending!

Jesus didn’t seem to worry about all that in His ministry. He just loved people and poured out grace, grace, and more grace on the most unlikely candidates. It galls the self righteous when their own sense of justice is violated, but Jesus never seemed to worry about what they thought. He seemed to show such little discernment in how and to whom He gave so much. Even His stories seem to communicate a message that sounds downright wrong to religious ears.

In the parable of the laborers found in Matthew 20, those who came in to work at the last hour received the same salary as those who had worked all day. Those with the admirable ethic of hard work and dependability had been out in the hot sun all day long. Then the slackers show up at the last hour and get the same pay? Come on now! What’s fair about that?  

Then there is the prodigal son – a religious zealots worst nightmare. Here, this young boy in the youth group decides he wants to leave it all and move to Los Angeles. He asks His father to give him his inheritance (a subliminal insinuation that he has been thinking he’d be better off if his Dad was dead) and off he goes to the big city. His life soon becomes a blur of Jack Daniels, marijuana and strip clubs. 

When all his money is gone and he wakes up in bed one morning and rolls over to see a skanky-looking crack whore (a King James Bible word) who he doesn’t even remember meeting, he is jolted back to reality. “I’m outta here,” he thinks to himself. “Even Dad’s minimum wage guys at home don’t have to live like this.”

So off he goes, hitchhiking home and all the way thinking of how he will grovel when he gets there, how he will promise to do better if Dad will only give him back his old room. “I’ll even sleep in the barn if you want me to,” he figures he’ll say.

You know how the story ends. The moment comes when this scraggly looking, nasty smelling, son comes stumbling up the long driveway. His Dad sees him and immediately tears out running at full throttle.  He falls on his boy and, oblivious to the stench, starts laughing and crying, hugging and kissing him, all at the same time.  The son is forgiven before he even asks.

 The boy chokes up and tries to talk. This isn’t what he had expected. He gets out half a sentence when Dad interrupts and yells orders to fire up the grill, call our family and friends, see if JJT is available (Jerusalem Jazz Trio) and let’s get this party started!

 Hmm...that’s a strange story, Jesus. Don’t you think it might give the wrong message? “No,” our loving Savior would answer. “It gives the right message. The message is this: It doesn’t matter how pathetic you are, how low you have gone and how long you have been there, I love you and accept you.” 

 It isn’t about you and me. It never has been and never will be. It’s about Him and His ridiculous, irrational, excessive, loving grace. The self righteous crowd might as well shut up. Jesus is Jesus and He’s not going to change to fit their expectations. Thank God. 
  www.gracewalk.org  

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

There is no situation so chaotic that God cannot from that situation,
create something that is surpassingly good.
He did it at creation.
He did it at the cross.
He is doing it today.

-- Handley C. G. Moule

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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Mar 2015, 8:18 pm

The Timeless Sovereignty of God
 by Dr. Bill Gillham

The topic of "authority" began to intrigue me some time ago as I was reading the account of Jesus' encounter with the Roman Centurion in Matthew 8. Verse 9 captured me where the centurion states, "I, too, am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go' and he goes." Wait a minute! Did he say under authority? He surely meant to say, "I, too, am a man with authority…" I believe the Holy Spirit revealed to me that it was through submission that the centurion gained the authority he had over his men. He had been granted authority due to his submission to authority.

When a sergeant gives an order to a private, the sergeant represents his captain, his general, his president …indeed the entire United States. He can back up his commands with plenty of force should the private resist his authority. But this unregenerate centurion knew something that I had never seen. He had earned it over the years by submitting. He never arrived at such a point of power that submission ceased to be the key to authority. And Jesus said, "I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel." The centurion clearly understood the source of Jesus' authority to be His submission to the Father, and that authority is earned via submission. You earn authority in the kingdom of God by submission to authority, as unto the Lord.

Earthly Implications of Spiritual Authority

The principle is so clear once you see it in the world! We are granted authority in the realm of the spiritual in proportion to our submission to all authority as unto the Lord. "Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant…" (Matthew 20:26). Jesus Christ actually earned His Title via submission to the Father's authority by obedience unto death (Phil. 2:5-11). Verse eight points out His obedience and verse nine states that for this reason God bestowed upon Him His Name…and that Name is "Jesus Christ is Lord!" Praise His Lovely Name! He is the Lord Creator of the universe, yes, but He laid it all aside and took on the form of a servant man when He came to earth. He then earned His Title through obedience (Hebrews 5:8,9).

Years ago I recall tuning into the TV program "Dallas" to see what all the hoopla was about. I saw on that show the graphic contrast of how the world views authority. The old patriarch, Dad Ewing, chairman of the board of Ewing Oil, had made one of his sons, J.R., president of the company. There was about $20,000,000 in the general fund, and J.R. had pulled a slick deal to purchase oil leases obligating the major portion of the twenty. Meanwhile, the old man had worked a side deal with an old cronie for other leases and he had used most of the twenty for his deal. At the showdown in the Petroleum Club J.R. angrily tells his dad, "You had no right to do that! You gave me authority over this company!" Where upon the patriarch grabbed him by the coat lapel, jerked his shorter frame up to his height, and with fist in face spat out, "Listen! Nobody gives you authority! You take it!" Case dismissed! I thought, "Lord, how true. That's the way it works in Satan's kingdom. You get authority in his rat race by running over people with power plays, but authority in Your Kingdom comes only by submission." The exact opposite of what Satan tries to make us believe! But then, would we expect God to operate in any other way than the opposite of Satan's way?

Submission in the Real World

I have sat under some teachers who, quite frankly, have not seen some of the truths that God, purely by His grace, has shown me. There have been times in my Christian walk where Sunday morning has been the most difficult time of my week as I'd sit and listen to "salvation by grace" served up with a heavy side of "law gravy" to motivate the flock into obedience." Motive good, method bad. Ultimately, God began to get through to me that despite this mis- interpretation, here was a chance to just love this dear brother (instead of getting frustrated with him) and submit to his authority over me. What a neat opportunity!

Oh, it's easy to submit to authority that I admire and respect! But the Lord had me closed into a mini-laboratory where I was given a chance to learn to submit to authority when I felt I was more mature in the faith! And after I had earned his respect by loving him and submitting to his authority via gentleness and kindness, God gave me opportunity to share some of the truths with him that the Holy Spirit had taught me. I believe my encounter never would have happened without my practicing submission, yet never compromising convictions, and always watching my tone of voice if the occasion called for taking a stand.

All authority on Planet Earth, indeed in the universe, is established by God (Rom. 13). I believe that in many ways we are to see our earthly experience as simply a laboratory wherein the Father choreographs the circumstances (even sometimes by allowing the devil more latitude to work) so as to teach His children to act more like family (Rom. 8:28-29). The world, the flesh, and the devil say the pathway to authority is muscle; God's Word teaches that authority is gained through submission to authority. We Christians will one day sit as co-regent with the Lord Jesus Christ. Now is the time to learn how to gain and use authority in an eternal social order, where agape reigns as the order of the day. Humble yourself, dear Christian. You are standing on God's gracious tutoring ground for granting you authority and rule from here to eternity (1 Peter 5:6).

According to Ken Cummins, our Thanksgiving celebration is a wonderful illustration of CHANGE AND THE UNCHANGEABLE.

Recently I realized that Thanksgiving, one of the biggest holidays we celebrate in the USA, is both about change and things that never change.

Have you noticed when God is at work things change? Those who fear its consequences often fight it with vigor or retreat in denial. On the other hand, those who embrace the changes that spring forth from a revelation of truth find it offers new hope and a richer, more meaningful life. Our Thanksgiving celebration is an event born of inspired revelation, tumultuous changes, courageous vision, and obedience to the heart of God.

As we study the history of Thanksgiving we find connective threads that run from Martin Luther challenging papal authority to the Puritan landing at Plymouth Rock. Though one hundred and four years separate these events Martin Luther and the Puritans' shared the same heart and mission. In their heart, they were prepared to face whatever changes resulted from their convictions. They were labeled heretics. They were excommunicated. This because they resolutely identified with and kept their focus on the immutable mission they shared with Jesus.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are downtrodden, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18,19)

They knew, as we do, that the mission Jesus was on as He walked the hills of Israel 2000 years ago is the same mission He was on 600 years ago in Germany, 500 years ago at Plymouth Rock, and today wherever a heart is surrendered to Him. When we share the heart of God; when we experience the freedom that truth brings; when we witness the destruction of lives that high sounding lies have produced; everything changes.
         
     Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We read in in Ephesians. 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints," and in Colossians 2:2 " That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment (epignosis) true knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ".

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 

We are wiling o help you on this journey just give us a call,  1 623 546 8866, Paris

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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Mar 2015, 7:33 pm

FELLOWSHIP IN THE GOSPEL
By the late Pastor L. PETERSON
In writing the church at PhiIippi Paul said, 'I thank my God .... for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.' Phil. 1:3,5. What does fellowship mean? Dr.Harry Ironside illustrated it by picturing a team of horses pulling together. The word itself means partnership. It implies working together with a common goal in mind. There are various aspects of fellowship. There is the possibility of sweet and wholesome communion while working together.
 
When we were boys and working together in the field we didn't spend all  our time talking about the work we were doing. While we were doing that work we exchanged ideas, planned our recreation, told stories and debated. This was fun too; it helped us to pass the time as we labored and to make the burden of the day lighter. Fellowship is so important to all of us as Christians. We need to get together and have some of the other folk share life with us and we with them.
 
Man in a sense is a triumvirate, that is, an association of three in the governing forces of life. Genesis 2:7 says, 'And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.' To me this is Body, Soul and Spirit. Dust of the ground---Body; Breath of Life--- Spirit; and living soul (union of body and spirit)---Soul. Daily we care for the body by feeding, washing and repairing it. The spirit is cared for too if we are right with God. This is done by the ministry through the Word of God. Jesus said 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. ' Matt. 4:4.
 
What about the soul? Can its needs be met by physical culture or spiritual exercise? Indeed it cannot. There is therefore the need to care for the soul. In my way of thinking this is done by fellowship; the communion with fellow Christians. It does us all good to become acquainted with each other. The exchange of ideas, the expression of convictions concerning life, to get the other fellow's slant on life, the making known of burdens and problems, spiritual and economic, to gain the attention and sympathies of others. This is good and wholesome for us all. Do you want me to prove it to you? Doesn't it make you feel better to know your friends have problems financially as well as you do? Really now, wouldn't you hate to be the only person in your circle of friends having mortgage on your property? It may not really be right in a deeper sense to 'feel good' because your close friend is paying installments on his car, but it sure goes for encouragement. This may all seem trite but it is only to illustrate that we need fellowship as Christians in order to learn how goals are gained, problems are solved and trials are endured. We need one another more than we know. Should you be a person inclined to shut yourself off from the rest of the world, break the spell or habit. meet with fellow Christians for pure, good, clean and wholesome fellowship. The early Christians did, why not today? God forbid that we as a church should ever major, in socials.This is not our calling. We are called of the Lord to 'preach  the gospel'. However, in the preaching of the gospel there necessitates In our program a place for expression and communion relative to the soul.We can thus better pray for, sympathize with and encourage one another in our pulling together in the matters that are spiritual and eternal. Thus, should your class in Bible School or circle of friends in any auxiliary of the church meet for fellowship, be sure to meet with them. May God our Heavenly Father guide us in our spiritual programming that in all things we may please Him. 

Should this Inspirational series has  been a blessing and encouragement to you, why not send to a friend, coworker or, to your loved one who maybe defending the USA. The Word of God is so needed in our troubled world.  It is our heart at  GRACE AND THE TRUTH and mission to reach as many people as we possibly can TO SHARE with them the Word of God and all that the Lord Jesus Christ has done for members of the body of Christ. 

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Post  Admin on Tue 03 Mar 2015, 9:36 pm

“Prayer can never be in excess.” Charles Spurgeon

SCRIPTURES FOR TODAY

Phi 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer 
and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Col 4:2 Continue in prayer and watch in it with thanksgiving,

Eph 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, making mention of you in 
my prayers,

Col 4:12 Epaphras greets you, he being of you, a servant of Christ, 
always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect 
and complete in all the will of God.

Phm 1:4 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers,
Paris
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Mar 2015, 11:41 pm

How Full Is Your Assurance? 
Part 1 of 2
   by Pastor Ricky Kurth
      
“For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them… That their hearts might be comforted…unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding…” (Col.2:1,2).


There is nothing worse than running low on assurance! During the gas shortage of the ‘70s, I was traveling from Illinois to Minnesota for a fishing trip with my father, when we began to run low on fuel. As we looked for a place to fill up, we were alarmed to find that one gas station after another had posted an “Out of Gas” sign. Suddenly all assurance that we wouldn’t find ourselves stranded along the Interstate was gone!

While the assurance that a full tank of gas can give is a comfortable thing, the assurance of salvation is infinitely and eternally better! No wonder the Apostle Paul was willing to endure “great conflict” for the saints to whom he ministered, that their hearts might be comforted by “the full assurance” that can be ours with a proper“understanding” of how simple faith saves us in the dispensation of grace (Col. 2:1,2).

But as we rightly divide the Word of truth (II Tim. 2:15), we find that to obtain the assurance of salvation, God required more than just faith of the Hebrews. In Hebrews 10:22, for instance, we read:

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

Here we see that in a day when God required water baptism for there mission of sins (Mark 1:4; 16:16; Acts 2:38; I Pet. 3:21), Hebrews could not enjoy “full assurance of faith” unless their bodies were “washed with pure water.” Of course! While men have always been saved by faith,when God required certain works as an expression of that faith, there could be no salvation without a performance of whatever work He required 1, and no assurance apart from that expression of faith.

We see this again in I John 3:17-19:

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?… let us not love in word…but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we… shall assure our hearts before Him.”

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" 

OUR COMMISSION IN THE AGE OF GRACE IS:

2Co 5:16-21  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.  Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET

How Full Is Your Assurance? 
Part 2 of 2
  by Pastor Ricky Kurth
       

Clearly, if John’s readers wanted to assure their hearts, they had to express their faith by sharing “this world’s good” (things like food and clothing) with fellow Hebrews in need of these things. Here it must be remembered that John wrote these words with the coming Great Tribulation in view 2. After the Beast issues his mark, many Hebrews will find themselves unable to buy this world’s good without it (Rev. 13:17). Thus God has ordained that men seeking salvation in that day must express their faith by helping Hebrew sin need (James 2:14-17 cf. Matt. 25:31-46). Under this arrangement, there can be no salvation without these works, and no assurance of salvation apart from these mandatory expressions of faith.

Nor could this brotherly benevolence be a one-time occurrence. Such charity will have to be maintained throughout the duration of the Tribulation, as we see in Hebrews 6:10,11:

“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love…in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.”

The words “unto the end” here help us understand the meaning of verses like Matthew 24:13, where Hebrews were told, “He that endureth to the end shall be saved.” In a day when “the love of many shall wax cold” (v. 12), true believers will maintain their love for their brethren by continuing to supply them with this world’s goods all the way to the end of the Tribulation. Of course, this will become increasingly difficult as Daniel’s seventieth week wears on, especially since true believers will themselves be unable to buy food or clothing without taking the mark.No wonder these Hebrews are exhorted to “shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.” There can be no assurance of salvation in that day without continuing in these necessary expressions of faith.

How then can believers today enjoy “the full assurance”Paul described in our text? Well, notice that Paul speaks of “the full assurance of understanding” (Col. 2:2). To attain the full assurance of salvation today, in the dispensation of grace, God does no task us to do something, He asks us to understand something. And He doesn’t leave us guessing as to what it is we must understand, for Paul goes on to talk about “the acknowledgment of the mystery” (2:2). The only way to enjoy the full assurance of faith today is to acknowledge that the mystery has introduced an era in which works are no longer required as expressions of faith. There can be no assurance of salvation without an “understanding” and an“acknowledgment” of this dispensational change.

Many suspect that the gas shortage of the ‘70s was man-made, designed to drive up the price of gasoline. While we know nothing of this, we do know that if you are suffering from a shortage of assurance, it is a man-made shortage, caused by men (perhaps well meaning men) who taught you God’s Word without rightly dividing it. But we trust that the“understanding” we have shared in this article will enable you to rejoice with us in “all riches of the full assurance of understanding.”

Notes:
Except when this was impossible, as with the thief on the cross ?
The Hebrew epistles were written to 1st century Hebrews to instruct them as to how to be saved and enjoy the assurance of faith, even amid the terrors of the Tribulation. Had the dispensation of grace not interrupted God’s prophetic program, these people would have lived to see that terrible time.Even after the mystery was introduced, it was thought that the Rapture would take place quickly (as Paul’s use of the word “we” in I Thessalonians 4:15,17 indicates) and that the time of Jacob’s trouble would then come upon them. ?

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" 

OUR COMMISSION IN THE AGE OF GRACE IS:

2Co 5:16-21  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.  Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

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Post  Admin on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 10:13 pm

The Days of Our Life
By Charles W. Wages


"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)

Much is being said and written about accountability in every medium of communication today. It means different things to different people, but what place does it have in the life of a believer in Christ? God is not particularly interested in the counting of our days as He is in our being accountable for our words and deeds. Most of us are not really serious about the day by day business of living for the Lord.

The Psalmist spoke of "spending our years as a tale that is told" (verse 9). It appears that he was pointing up the fact that life is often taken lightly or as fiction instead of fact. Some people go through life in a "make-believe" world like Cinderella or Snow White. Others follow the view of "eat, drink, and be merry," never thinking that they really will die in time.

To "number" our days simply means to make our time count for the Lord as we realize that we are accountable to God. We must realize that the quality of our days is more important than the quantity of our days. If we are not careful we are in danger of letting our lives gradually slip away without accomplishing God's "ordained good works." The captain of a ship often does not realize that an anchor is slowly slipping until it is too late.

Oftentimes we become too familiar with important things, and we fail to see the real reasons for them. The story is told of a man in a restaurant who called the waiter and said, "I cannot eat this soup." The waiter became alarmed, thinking something was wrong with the soup. He called the manager, who in turn called the chef from the kitchen. They all asked in chorus, "Why can't you eat the soup?" the man replied, "I don't have a spoon."

We might well ask, what is the purpose in numbering our days? The answer is quickly forthcoming from God—"that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

God's ancient people used to say, "that we may bring home a heart of wisdom." This can often be accomplished by not rushing through life. I read not long ago of a man who waited two weeks in line to watch men travel at 140 m.p.h. in cars. In reverse, an old military expression used to read, "hurry up and wait." It is wonderful to see and feel God work every day. That most beautiful passage in Lamentations 3:22-26 is always appropriate.

"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; Therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord."

It is very instructive to see that when the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God only gave them bread enough for a day at a time (Exodus 16:4). Not only did this allow them to know that God was the giver of every good gift, but served as a test of their dependence on the One that delivered them. This dependence required their faith in God to be exercised every day. It also gave them a means or source of continual rejoicing. It is a wonderful and exhilarating feeling to see God work in the fulfilling of our needs. The Lord led Paul to say,

"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:19)

We must understand that God supplies our needs not only for us to rejoice, but that we may be able to serve Him. The provision of God should not be used to satiate the flesh or even satisfy a spiritual longing, but rather to bring glory to His name.

In closing, it must be seen that we need to be taught how to "number" our days. In order for this to be accomplished we must feed upon Christ and His Word every day. The most responsible or accountable persons are those who look to God for their strength (Phil. 4:13) through food He supplies, continually rejoice in His bountiful provisions, and "apply their hearts unto wisdom." May we all be diligent to follow and apply these fundamental principles in our own lives.

    Our Purpose and Mission

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 

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Post  Admin on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 2:43 am

The God of Peace 
By K. Blades
Part Seven Conclusion


Our Godly Peace Today

The Godly peace is true and with us today. When we too through prayer intelligently commune with our Father about specific matters of His counsel and purpose with us as His "sons," it effectually works within us to displace disturbing thoughts about what may be happening to us and have them replaced with the Godly thinking that produces peace.

For this reason after our sonship edification gets underway in Romans 8:14ff, and we are taught the fundamentals of God's specific counsel and purpose with us as His "sons" in this present dispensation, we are then immediately exhorted to make use of that knowledge as we encounter the inevitable "sufferings of this present time" and tribulations of this life. Hence, for example, in Romans 12:12 we are told to be,...


12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in
tribulation; continuing instant
in prayer; (Romans 12:12)


Through what we are taught regarding God's counsel and purpose with us in this present dispensation we learn about the particular "hope" in which we should be "rejoicing." We also are taught to understand and appreciate a number of specific, fundamental reasons why we should be "patient in tribulation" when it occurs in our lives. Hence when such tribulation does occur, the issue for us is to think on the things that we are taught regarding God's counsel and purpose with us, and to commune with our Father about them by being "instant in prayer" in connection with them.

Now when we do occupy our minds with this information, and do intelligently commune with our Father about our tribulation specifically in the light of this information, it effectually works to produce within us the Godly peace that our Father Himself has regarding our situation. The tranquilizing ministry of prayer occurs within us as the disturbing and distressing thoughts that we have in response to the tribulation are displaced by the effectual working of God's word regarding us, making it so that our thoughts become the same as our Father's thoughts, and there-by producing Godly peace within us.

And not only so, but Godly peace is able to be effectually produced within us throughout the entire range of sufferings, afflictions, tribulations, and trouble to which we can be subject in this present dispensation. Nothing is outside its range, or beyond its capacity. For it is produced within us by the excellency of the power of God's word to us, which in perfect accordance with God's counsel and purpose regarding us has been specifically written to address and deal with every form of suffering to which we are subject as His "sons."

Wherefore even when it comes to facing the extreme tribulations belonging to the policy of evil against us, as was the case when Paul wrote to the saints in Philippi, the tranquilizing ministry of prayer is effectual. Hence as they faced death and were being 'terrified by their adversaries,' Paul said to them,...

     4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
      5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at      hand.
      6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
     7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Indeed our Father is "the God of peace." He truly has provided for us to have His peace - Godly peace-in all areas of our lives. Both within and without; from mild disturbances to the most extreme occurrences of carefulness, anxiety, or distress.

May it be that through our sonship edification and sonship prayer, as we learn both general and specific matters regarding God's counsel and purpose with us and commune with Him about them in prayer, that we truly learn to know our Father and love Him as "the God of peace" that He is, and thereby possess peace "always by all means." Especially may this be so as we frequently encounter and experience any of the common "sufferings of this present time," but more so as we are privileged to bear any of "the sufferings of Christ." - K.R. Blades


 





    Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We read in in Ephesians. 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints," and in Colossians 2:2 " That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment (epignosis) true knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ".

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 


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Post  Admin on Fri 27 Feb 2015, 5:03 pm

Now, take the pressure off yourself in trying to discover what to DO, 
and focus on discovering who you are "in Christ".

SCRIPTURES FOR TODAY

Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and 
whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he 
also glorified.

Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all 
principality and power:

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

2Co 2:14 Now thanks [be] unto God, which always causeth us to triumph 
in Christ...../

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, 
but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I 
live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

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Post  Admin on Fri 27 Feb 2015, 5:00 pm

The God of Peace 
By K. Blades
Part 6 of 7


However they will not be 'in a lurch.' For they will have much knowledge from God's word upon which to operate at  that time. Knowledge that is specifically designed to produce peace and stability within them in the very situations they find themselves, and knowledge that does this by being specifically about God's counsel and purpose with them during that time. Hence, as the following examples show, it will be by having their minds occupied with this specific knowledge, and communing with God about it in prayer, that they will have the peace that the Lord promised them when He said to them,...

     In your patience possess ye
     your souls. (Luke 21 :19)


God has given them specific knowledge and information for 'their patience.' And when they operate upon it, and hold themselves accountable to it in prayer, they will be able to 'possess their souls' and be at peace within.

Note the reality of this, for example, in Psalm 94.


       17 Unless the LORD had been
     my help, my soul had almost
     dwelt in silence.
       18 When I said, My foot
      slippeth; thy mercy, a LORD,
      held me up.
       19 In the multitude of my
      thoughts within me thy com-
      forts delight my soul. (Psalm
      94:17-19)

This Psalm has the final installment in God's program with Israel in view. In that time the remnant of Israel will be experiencing the temporary 'triumphing of the wicked' described in the beginning of the Psalm, along with all of the afflictions that they will experience as that apparent 'triumphing' takes place. However during that time there is a specific doctrine that God expects the remnant to have learned, and hence to have operating within them. This is the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ functioning as Israel's Avenger, fulfilling the third mandate of the Davidic Covenant. By its effectual working within them it is designed to give them the clear understanding of what is happening at that time and why. It teaches them about God's counsel and specific purpose with them during that time, including why the wicked are allowed to triumph to the extent they will and the wisdom of God in connection with it. As such this specific knowledge is designed to be  the subject of their prayers and their cries to God for vengeance, as the 'triumphing' is underway and the afflictions are experienced. 

Wherefore as this specific knowledge of God's counsel works effectually within them, the Psalmist declares,.. . 

      12 Blessed is the man whom
     thou chastenest, 0 LORD,
     and teachest him out of thy
     law; 
      13 That thou mayest give him
     rest from the days of adver-
     sity, until the pit be digged for
     the wicked. (Psalm 94:12-13)

So then when the distress of this particular situation becomes overwhelming for the believing remnant during that time, as the Psalmist says there is tranquility, rest, and even delight for their souls as their prayers hold them accountable to the specific doctrine that God has given to them for this situation and it effectually works within them.

Hence as the Psalmist says, "In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul"; with those "comforts" being the specific knowledge from the law about the Lord being their Avenger at that time.

A similar type testimony is found earlier on in Psalm 55 and Psalm 61 in connection with some different afflictions.

      16 As for me, I will call upon
     God; and the LORD shall save
     me.
       17 Evening, and morning, and
     at noon, will I pray, and cry
     aloud: and he shall hear my
     voice.
       18 He hath delivered my soul
     in peace from the battle that
     was against me: for there
     were many with me. (Psalm
     55:16-18)

      1 Hear my cry, a God; attend
     unto my prayer.
      2 From the end of the earth will
     I cry unto thee, when my heart
     is overwhelmed: lead me to
     the rock that is higher than I.
    (Psalm 61 :1-2)

    Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We read in in Ephesians. 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints," and in Colossians 2:2 " That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment (epignosis) true knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ".

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 

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Post  Admin on Thu 26 Feb 2015, 11:39 pm

“If it were possible for me to alter any part of His plan, I 
could only spoil it.” – John Newton

SCRIPTURES FOR TODAY

Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in 
thy book all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were 
fashioned,(scheduled) when [as yet there was] none of them.

Rom 9:18 Everything depends on what God decides to do, and he can 
either have pity on people or make them stubborn.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being 
predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things 
after the counsel of his own will:
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Post  Admin on Thu 26 Feb 2015, 11:37 pm

The God of Peace 
By K. Blades
Part 5 of 7


Godly Peace from "The God of Peace"

Now it is God's own brand of peace that He not only offers to us, but expects us to receive and operate upon in our lives. In connection with this, what the Lord said to His disciples in the climactic stage in Israel's program is also true regarding us in this present dispensation.



Peace I leave with you, my
peace I give unto you: not as
the world giveth, give I unto 
you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be
afraid. (John 14:27) 


The peace that God provides for us to have in this present dispensation is also "not as the world giveth." It too is "my peace"; i.e. God's own peace.

Furthermore just as the peace that the Lord gave to the remnant of Israel comes from specific information and knowledge about God's counsel and purpose with them in the climactic stage of their program, so too does our peace come from specific knowledge and information regarding God's counsel and purpose with us as His "sons" in this present dispensation. Through both general and specific information thereon God provides us with the ability to possess the very thinking and understanding that He operates upon regarding us. This makes it so that when we likewise think what He thinks, and understand what He understands, it effectually produces within us the same peace and contentment that it produces in Him.

Therefore when this is the case with us we not only have peace from "the God of peace," but we truly have Godly peace. That is, we have the very same peace that God Himself possesses.

Let's appreciate the reality of this by briefly considering some examples of it. First in God's program with Israel. Then we will deal with our Godly peace today.

Godly Peace in God's Program with Israel

The book of Psalms deals with many of the distressing, worrisome, and dreadful situations that the remnant of Israel will experience throughout the climactic stage in Israel's program. In particular, as their program enters its final installment, the intense afflictions that will come upon them will have the tendency to easily overwhelm them and drive them to despair. Indeed, this will be one of the objectives of the Adversary's persecution as he works to 'wear them out' and have their hearts fail them in their stand for the truth.


 


THOUGHT FOR THIS WEEK 

This moment is all you're guaranteed, tomorrow may never come......(in this world)......so live it up,.....love it up....laugh it up........and put Jesus at the very center of every moment.......and enjoy.

This is the abundant life God was talking about........seize it.......sufficient to each day are it's troubles.....we can either live in those troubles or by faith in God........cast all our cares on Him and live in His joy...............you choose.

..............Wendell...His servant 


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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Feb 2015, 4:13 pm

The God of Peace 
By K. Blades
Part 4 of 7


Once again, there is nothing abstract, mystical, or mysterious to this. Instead both prayer itself and its tranquilizing ministry are functions of the intelligent, information-based functioning of our inner man, which God has designed to be both the source and the foundation for the Godly lives that He has purposed us to live with Him.

Accordingly, therefore, prayer and its tranquilizing ministry are functions of Godly thinking. With this being so, the mechanics of prayer's tranquility are easily described. Indeed they are just what Isaiah declared to Israel in Isaiah 26:3 regarding God's provision for the peace of their inner man, ...

     Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, 
      whose mind is stayed on thee: because he
      trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)

So it is then that as we intelligently and doctrinally commune with our Father in prayer, it functions to keep our minds and hearts sober and sound in godliness, instead of the opposite. Through prayer we deliberately and pointedly hold ourselves accountable to sound doctrine that we have learned as "sons." In so doing "the doctrine which is according to godliness" controls and governs our thinking; stabilizing it, adjusting it, and thereby settling our minds and hearts.

Moreover this is something that prayer does especially when our minds and hearts have become unsettled by some situation, circumstance, or event with the result that we are upset, disturbed, distressed, and lacking inner peace. This, once again, is prayer's tranquilizing ministry. And it is something that we should deeply appreciate and enjoy when we are experiencing any of the afflictions belonging to "the sufferings of this present time" and/or any of "the sufferings of Christ."

Godly Peace

Now as was previously stated, specific living words of the living God are designed by God to effectually work within us to displace what is disturbing our inner man and replace it with Godly thinking that produces peace. And indeed this is accomplished by specific living words of the living God. In fact they are the very same words that live and operate in God's own mind. They are the very words that form and comprise His thinking about us and about our situation, which in turn has Him in a state of peace and contentment regarding us.

It may seem almost silly to put it this way, but the truth of the matter is that neither God our Father, nor the Lord Jesus Christ, nor the Spirit of God within us, become distressed when we encounter and experience disturbing situations. With God there is no onset of anxiety or worry; no racing of the mind; no 'fight or flight response'; no wringing of the hands, pacing of the floor, sleepless nights, or any other product of distress and uneasiness of mind. Instead our Father, our Lord, and the Spirit within us, are at peace within themselves regarding us.

Yet this is not simply because God is God, and anything but contentment is impossible for Him. For though God is God, He is not a detached, impersonal, or unaffected God, as He clearly testifies. Rather He has a direct, interactive and personal relationship with His creation as a whole, and more specifically with His people. Because of this God is personally affected by what occurs, having not only purposed and designed for this to be so, but also having enabled it to be so. And this is true both in His program with Israel and with us in this present dispensation of His grace. With this being so God acts and reacts with real actions and reactions; not merely with sentiments that are anthropopathisms in description, but not true sentiments in nature. For God is not only the "true" God, He is also the "living God." As such God lives and has a living, involved relationship both to us and with us. So much so that He is neither a casual, nor detached, nor unaffected observer of us or of what occurs with us. Instead God is genuinely touched by us and by what occurs with us; and this is true and real with God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Ghost that dwells in us.

So it is, therefore, that God is genuinely touched by any and all of the disturbing and distressing things that we may encounter in our lives.

Now though God is genuinely affected by them, He is not disturbed and distressed by them. For operating within Him is some particular peace-producing and peace-maintaining knowledge, which is the product of His own counsel and purpose regarding us as His "sons." And on the basis of this particular knowledge God thinks differently about our situations and circumstances than we do. Hence His mind generates responses to our situations that differ from those that are typically generated by our natural minds. Consequently with this particular knowledge operating within Him, God is not distressed regarding us. Instead, He is at peace and content.


==================
...neither God our
Father, nor the Lord
Jesus Christ, nor
the Spirit of God 
within us, become 
distressed when we
encounter and
experience disturb-
ing situations.
==================
    
     Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We read in Ephesians. 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints," and in Colossians 2:2 " That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment (epignosis) true knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ".

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 

GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET

“The weaker we feel, the harder we lean. And the harder we lean, the 
stronger we grow spiritually, even while our bodies waste away. “ – J. 
J. Packer

SCRIPTURES FOR TODAY
By Paris

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the 
knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the 
stature of the fulness of Christ:

Eph 4:14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, 
and carried about with every wind of doctrine........

1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he 
fall.

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually 
minded [is] life and peace.
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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Feb 2015, 5:56 pm

The God of Peace
By K. Blade
Part  2 of 7 

Moreover in the outworking of our sonship edification, (as we progress through its curriculum for our godly edifying, processing its numerous forms of doctrine and so growing and maturing), we encounter God presenting Himself to us as "the God of peace" in various contexts and for various reasons. For example,...

     "Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. (Romans 15:33)

      "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  Amen. (Romans 16:20)

       "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. (II Corinthians 13:11 )

         "Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 6:23)

          "Those things, which ye have both learned,and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:9)

           "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. (II Thessalonians 3:16)

God is indeed "the God of peace." And though realizing this is not something that is exclusive to us in this present dispensation of God's grace, there is a real sense in which we today are to have a special understanding and appreciation for God as such. For the fact is that knowing God as "the God of peace," deeply appreciating Him as such, and hence loving Him as such, is a definite and preplanned objective in our sonship education and edification. It is not only one of the specific ways in which we as "sons" have intimacy of fellowship with God our Father, it is also one of the primary ways in which we learn about the excellency of the power of God's word operating within us. Moreover this particular aspect of our education and edification provides for the development within us of an increasing ability to trust in, and operate upon, the power of the effectual working of God's word within us no matter what.

Wherefore our God and Father presents Himself to us as "the God of peace" a number of times and in several different contexts. With this being so, as we proceed through the curriculum for our sonship edification we are taught to understand and appreciate the issue of "peace" in a number of different ways, ranging from the fundamental issue of having "peace with God" being justified in His sight, to the issue of possessing complete inner peace,  along with joy, even when encountering the most extreme adversities from the Satanic policy of evil against us.

Therefore the "peace" that God extends to us is manifold and varied, existing in many forms. Yet of all its forms and occurrences, one of the most fundamental is the Godly peace for our inner man that our Father wants us to possess when we experience disquieting, disturbing, and trying circumstances in the details of our lives. And though this is a fundamental matter, and we are taught about it right from the outset of our sonship edification, it is also something that God has designed for us to benefit from throughout the growth and maturing of our Christian lives. In view of this the Godly peace that our Father extends to us is far-reaching and mighty in its capacity, being able to deal effectually with whatsoever may come our way as we progress through our sonship edification. 

Wherefore it behooves us to be certain that we understand and appreciate the issue of possessing such Godly peace. Especially the particular mechanism by which God has purposed for us to acquire it and enjoy it, and also through which we are to grow to love Him as "the God of peace." And the mechanism for all of this is the direct communion and fellowship we are able to have, and should have, with our Father through prayer.

Should this Inspirational be a blessing and encouragement to you, why not send to a friend, coworker or, to your loved one who maybe defending the USA. The Word of God is so needed in our troubled world.  It is our heart at  GRACE AND THE TRUTH and mission to reach as many people as we possibly can TO SHARE with them the Word of God and all that the Lord Jesus Christ has done for members of the body of Christ.  


"May God, Whose grace is irresistible and 
all sufficient, be glorified!" 

GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET

The God of Peace 
By K. Blades
 Part 3 of 7

Peace and the Role of Prayer

Prayer truly is designed to be an integral component of our peace. For this reason when we are in the initial stage of our sonship edification and the apostle Paul deals with us about properly responding to tribulation in our lives, he teaches us to be,...

     Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; (Romans 12:12)

Likewise in God's program with Israel is this so. Hence, for example, as James says to the members of the remnant of Israel,. . .

     Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. (James 5:13a)

Prayer, therefore, is a pivotal mechanism for producing peace when needed. It is designed to have a tranquilizing ministry to it. And as we partake of its tranquilizing ministry, and benefit from it amid the details of our lives, we come to know, understand, appreciate, and love our God and Father as "the God of peace" that He is.

Now before considering this any further, there is an important matter that needs to be addressed regarding prayer itself.

An Intelligent Communion; Not an Abstract or Mystical Experience

Unfortunately a lot of Christians lack a real solid and clear understanding of what prayer is. Hence their ability to appreciate its tranquilizing ministry, and fully benefit from it, is hindered. Moreover there is also much misunderstanding, misinformation, and erroneous teaching about prayer today, which contributes to a lack of proper understanding and so compounds the problem all the more. Because of this a lot of Christians actually look upon prayer as something different from what it really is. Likewise many seek to obtain benefits from it that either do not exist, or that do not pertain to what God is doing today.

Now when Christians learn the need to be "rightly dividing the word of truth" in accordance with the great dispensational change that God has made, this certainly goes a long way towards rectifying the problem. For at least they are no longer trying to operate upon doctrines and promises about prayer, and examples of it, that pertain to God's program and dealings with Israel, and not to us in this present dispensation of His grace.

Yet this does not clear up all the misunderstanding and misinformation about prayer. For often times the very nature of prayer itself is either not clearly understood, or it is badly misunderstood. And sadly this seems to be on the rise today, with prayer more frequently being taught and described as something other than what it really is. Consequently instead of prayer being understood to be an intelligent, thoughtful activity that we participate in with God, in which we have heart-to-heart fellowship based upon specific knowledge that God has given to us in His word, Christians are given to understand it to be something other than this; something more lofty and transcendental in nature; something more experiential. 

Hence increasingly prayer is being looked upon, and actually taught to be, 'an incomprehensible experience that transcends our knowing,' through which one 'feels God's presence' or 'experiences contact with God' in an inscrutable way and on a 'higher or different level of consciousness.' Though expressions and descriptions like these are normally encountered in mysticism, idolatry, the occult, and mystical forms of men's religions, such ideas and thinking about prayer also exist 'under the umbrella of Christianity.' Sometimes even among ones known for being 'Bible-believing' and 'fundamentalists. '

However neither the tranquilizing ministry of prayer, nor prayer itself, is some unintelligent or abstract or inscrutable experience. It is not some mindless, or mind-emptying experience by which one achieves a state of mental relaxation and inner peace. Hence it is not a yoga-like exercise or practice. Nor is it a transcendental meditation of any kind. Neither is it some process for the abstraction, or the distraction, of the mind; nor a practice involving the concentration of the mind by which a mind-over-matter state is reached, through which our disquieting thoughts and overwrought emotions are mastered. Nor is it a relaxation technique; or a calming exercise.

The tranquilizing ministry of prayer is also not some mystical, mysterious, and unexplainable experience. It is not an ethereal thing, which is beyond comprehension; or something that takes place unconsciously, passively, magically, or subliminally. Hence it is not an experience in which you just let the Spirit of God infuse you with a calming sensation, as you shut out all outside distractions and concerns by focusing upon God in prayer; intoning His holy name, letting go, and feeling the Spirit take control.

Instead the tranquilizing ministry of prayer is a function of what prayer itself is: i.e. intelligent, communicative communion and fellowship with God based upon specific knowledge that God has given to us in His word. There is nothing abstract, inscrutable, or mystical about it. In accordance with this, the tranquilizing ministry of prayer is the product of intelligent, thoughtful communion with God, by which our minds are actively occupied with knowledge, understanding, and thoughts that God has designed to produce peace. To put it more pointedly, the tranquilizing ministry of prayer is the product of specifically designed living words of the living God effectually working within us to displace what is disturbing our inner man and replacing it with intelligent Godly thinking that produces peace.

"May God, Whose grace is irresistible and 
all sufficient, be glorified!" 

    Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We read in in Ephesians. 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints," and in Colossians 2:2 " That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment (epignosis) true knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ".

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 

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Post  Admin on Sun 22 Feb 2015, 11:48 pm

Thank God
Lessons from the Book of Job
By Lori Gardner


The book of Job is a fascinating study for many reasons. We get a glimpse of some of the interaction between God and Satan. It is comforting to read that Satan is limited and that God can make a "hedge" of protection around his people. We see the wonders of creation and rejoice in the power behind it as we ask the age old question, "Why do the righteous suffer?" Along with these lessons, we also find several things for which we can give thanks to God.

Thank God
For a True Friend

Job lost ten children, his livestock, and most of his servants in one day's time. Then he was stricken with "sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown." As soon as they heard the news, three of Job's friends came to visit him. At first, they sat silently with him because they saw his "grief was very great." Then they felt they had to speak in order to help Job make sense of his misery. Their speeches cover many chapters and they are full of accusations, and self-righteousness. Each friend, in his own long-winded way, said the same thing, "Job, if you were really innocent, you would not be suffering" (Job 4:7; 8:6; 11:6). Job found no comfort or peace in their words.

There are times when the most sincere words from our friends are not enough to comfort us. Thank God we have someone that loves us unconditionally, and knows our every need. John 15:13 describes the characteristic of a true friend, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." The Lord Jesus Christ is that friend, the One who gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. He assures us in His Word, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Heb.13:5; Deut. 31:6). Nothing can separate us from His love (Rom. 8:38-39). We are told to cast all our care upon Him, knowing that He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7). When we feel desperate, His answer is, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:10). 

Thank God
For His Mercy

Job's friends insisted that he must have done something terrible to deserve such suffering. There are times when we suffer consequences for the choices we make, but Job's calamity was not brought on by any particular sin on his part. The Bible describes Job as "perfect and upright, one that feared God and shunned evil" (Job 1:1). He was considered to be these things because of his faith, which is why God held him up as an example to Satan (Job 1:8; 2:3). The Lord knew that no matter what happened in Job's life, he would "hold fast his integrity."

Mercy means not getting what we really deserve. Job was only seen as perfect and upright because of God's mercy. The Scriptures tell us that we are all born in sin and deserve death as a result (Rom. 5:13; 3:23; 6:23). The only way we can escape a life of misery and eternal separation from God is by receiving by faith His gift of salvation. We can rejoice in the fact that according to His mercy He has saved us (Titus 2:5). It is through Him that we are made righteous (2 Cor. 5:21). Thank God we don't get what we deserve.

Thank God
There's More to Life

In Job 19:13-24, he laments over his circumstances. Physically, Job had become skin and bone. All of his family and friends had forgotten him, and even his wife found him repulsive. In spite of all of this, he still had the hope that one day things would be better. He says, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:25-26). Job knew that one day he would be in the very presence of the Lord and all of his suffering and heartache would be over.

The Apostle Paul wrote, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable" (1 Cor. 15:19). Believers have assurance from God's Word that the sufferings of our present life are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18). We simply cannot imagine the things which God has prepared for those that love Him (1 Cor. 1:9; Is. 64:4). Thank God believers in the Lord Jesus Christ can look forward to a blessed, heavenly future.

Having endured these hardships, the latter part of Job's life was blessed more than the beginning. He lived one hundred and forty more years, saw four generations of sons grow up, and died being old and full of days.

Man cannot begin to understand why God works the way He does. Job summed it up well when he said, "I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withheld from thee" (Job 42:2). God is all powerful and all knowing. He has a reason for everything He does. We may not understand it, but we can be thankful that everything He does is because of His love for us.
Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 
Message  "CHRIST" Rom. 16:25, Col. 1:28
Material   "All Scripture, 2 Tim. 3:16, 17
Method   "Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth, 2 Tim. 2:15
Mission   "To Make All See"  Eph. 3:9

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." Eph.2:13. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 

We are wiling to help you on this journey just give us a call,  1 623 546 8866, Paris
GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET


The God of Peace
By K. Blades
Part 1 of 7


Peace. Even the sound of the word has something soothing and pleasant about it. Though not strictly classified as an onomatopoetic word, it  possesses the essential quality of such, both in English as well as in other languages. It has no sharpness in sound nor in appearance; no jarring impact occurs when it is spoken, heard, or read. Rather in accordance with its meaning it possesses the exact opposite features, being quiet in sound and gentle on contact.

Hence in meaning and in sound the word "peace" is welcomed by our inner man. It is no intruder or unwanted guest. Of all the visitors that come 'knocking on the door of our mind,' peace is one that we long to see and readily receive. It is the most welcome of guests. Moreover we want it to reside with us; to make itself at home with us. It can never overstay its welcome, for it is always welcome. Because of this we are grieved whenever peace takes its leave, and when unwanted guests arrive to take its place in our minds. We are not at ease and relaxed when we are intruded upon by such characters as stress, distress, grief, sorrow, perplexity, anxiety; carefulness, worry, fear, dread, despair, and the like. Their visits are always unsettling and up-setting. Hence we long to see them leave, and for peace to pay us a visit again.

Peace, therefore, is something we much desire. We also view it as a most precious commodity. For often we will seek it at great cost; sometimes even at all costs. This is because there is little that compares with 'being at peace,' both in our inner man and in our relationships with others. In view of this, being 'at peace' is often the consummate expression used by psychologists and the like when referring to what best characterizes 'good mental health.'

Now peace in its various forms and occurrences is not only something that we naturally desire in the details of our lives, it is also something that God Himself wants us to possess. Hence He has fully provided for us to have it, and as such He both deliberately and constantly extends it to us. In fact understanding and appreciating the reality of this is so fundamental to our relationship with God, and to our fellowship with Him in our daily lives, that He has Paul preface each of his epistles to us with this very offering by saying,..

"Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ:"


"May God, Whose grace is irresistible and 
all sufficient, be glorified!" 
    Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We read in in Ephesians. 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints," and in Colossians 2:2 " That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment (epignosis) true knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ".

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" 
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Post  Admin on Fri 20 Feb 2015, 1:04 pm

RECONCILIATION
by John Baker, 

To understand reconciliation it helps to understand its antonym, alienation. Alienation means to be outside - isolated -separated - estranged. We must accept the fact of alienation in order to receive the great truth of reconciliation.

The unbeliever is in a threefold state of alienation:

* From the commonwealth of Israel. Ephesians 2:11-12 
* From the life of God. Ephesians 4:17-18 
* From God Himself. Colossians 1:21

In Christ we have been reconciled to God, to Israel, and have eternal life. Reconcile means reunite; reconnect; restore; or change completely the relationship.

Following are two non-doctrinal examples of reconciliation:

I Corinthians 7:10,11 - "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife." In this case to be reconciled means to be reunited.

Mathew 5:23,24 - "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." Here the exhortation to change enmity for friendship or a strained relationship for reconciliation. The idea is to change the relationship completely. To be reconciled is to be reconnected; to be brought into a friendly relationship and back on speaking terms. 

How does this apply to the alienation of Jew and Gentile? (Ephesians 2:11,12) The barrier between Jew and Gentile has been broken down and both have been reconciled unto God in one body. This was accomplished at the cross where Christ slew the enmity (see Ephesians 2:13-16). There is a new relationship in the body of Christ between Jew and Gentile. There is a new relationship between both Jew and Gentile and God. Both Jew and Gentile have been reconciled by the cross and brought into a new relationship with God described as the one new man; the body of Christ. The previous priorities by the Jew have been put aside. The Gentiles were alienated and separated, but now, they have been brought nigh through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. "And came and preached peace to you which were afar off (Gentiles), and to them that are nigh (Jews), For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father" (Ephesians 2:17,18).

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation" (II Corinthians 5:19). Through the death of Christ God changed completely the position of mankind (the world) in its relationship to Himself. The Bible never states that God is reconciled. God's righteousness never changes. God is immutable-never changing. Through the finished work of Christ on the cross, God sees the world reconciled. He is not changed or reconciled Himself. 

Some Scriptures that talk about reconciliation are: 

Romans 11:15 - The casting aside of Israel is the reconciling of the world.

Colossians 1:20 - all things are reconciled. 

II Corinthians 5:19 - whole world reconciled.

>From these references we conclude that reconciliation does not necessarily mean salvation. Reconciliation does mean that the world has been brought into a position or relationship to God whereby He can deal with the world in grace instead of wrath. In simple terms, reconciliation means man has been made saveable. This was all made possible by the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The whole world was not saved, nor is the whole world going to be saved. At the cross of Calvary God made reconciliation; this is an accomplished fact. Now, because of this accomplished fact, God can deal with the world in His grace. In II Corinthians 5:19 it says that God is not imputing our sins, but instead He is offering peace. Because of the cross, and what was accomplished there, God is able to deal with the world in His grace. The world has been reconciled through the blood of His cross. Man has been made saveable. The world is so altered, so changed in its position in respect to the holy judgments of God that it is rendered saveable.

II Corinthians 5:20 exhorts believers "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." As Christ's messengers we have been committed the word (or message) of reconciliation. We are to go forth in His behalf, beseeching others to appropriate this reconciliation as their own. Having been reconciled - be ye reconciled is not double talk. Man still has to accept God's grace and reconciliation. This is where faith comes into the picture. We are to put our trust in His finished work and appropriate the truth of reconciliation as our very own. God is beseeching the world to receive the reconciliation which has been made. God is offering peace and reconciliation and we are to be His messengers.

One of the obstacles between man and God is the law. This is God's standard and it condemns all, for none can meet God's standard. The Lord Jesus Christ took away this obstacle at the cross and the world has been reconciled. The demands and condemnation of the law have been satisfied, the guilt has been paid for, and the heart can be changed through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is all possible because God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.

Glory be to God for fulfilling His promises in raising Jesus Christ from the dead. Nevertheless, does His resurrection have any meaning to you? Has it had any impact in your life? Have you experienced the work of salvation that Jesus Christ perfected in His resurrection? 

  Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 


Message  "CHRIST" Rom. 16:25, Col. 1:28
Material   "All Scripture, 2 Tim. 3:16, 17
Method   "Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth, 2 Tim. 2:15
Mission   "To Make All See"  Eph. 3:9

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." Eph.2:13. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 

We are wiling to help you on this journey just give us a call,  1 623 546 8866, Paris 

GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET

Jesus Christ the Same
By John LaVier

(Written May 1953)

A verse that has been much misunderstood is Hebrews 13:8. There we read: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Along with this verse we ought to read the verse following, which says, "Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines," for many divers and strange doctrines have been taught using Hebrews 13:8 as a proof text. There are those who say that since Jesus Christ is the same, we should expect Him to work in the same manner today as He did in the days of yore. They are trying to duplicate the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth and the result is confusion and fanaticism.

Jesus Christ is ever the same insofar as His essential character and deity are concerned. He is the unchanging One, reminding us of Psalm 102:25-27, "Of old hast Thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years shall have no end." Yes, He is ever the same, and He could truly say, "I am the Lord, I change not." He is the Eternal Christ, the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord God Almighty.

But though Christ is the same as to His Person, even the most casual study of the Word ought to convince us that His program for His people is not always the same. When Christ was here upon earth He was a minister of the circumcision (Rom. 15:8), sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24). If He is still in this character today there is not much hope for the Gentiles. He was in the midst of Israel as their Messiah and King, and they were preaching the gospel of the kingdom and all the kingdom signs were being manifested. However, Israel would not receive Him as King, and so the kingdom program was postponed. After the death and resurrection of Christ, and after Israel refused the offer of repentance in the book of Acts, God turned away from the Jew and turned to the Gentile. Then He brought in the dispensation of grace, the Secret made known through Paul, and what He is doing today is something far different than what He was doing when the Lord Jesus Christ was here upon earth.

In Matthew 9:35 we read that Jesus went about preaching the gospel of the kingdom. Then in Matthew 10:5-7 He commissioned the disciples, commanding them not to go to the Gentiles, but only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and they were to preach that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Now this is certainly not God’s message for the present dispensation. Instead of preaching the gospel of the kingdom today we are to preach the gospel of the grace of God, and that is an entirely different thing. The gospel of the kingdom had to do with the establishment here upon earth of the visible, Messianic kingdom that was promised in the Old Testament Scriptures, with Israel in the place of supremacy as the head and not the tail. The gospel of the grace of God is God’s good news that while Israel is for a season set aside, He is reaching out to all mankind, and that today "there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him, and whosoever (Jew or Gentile) shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:12). God is willing to save by grace any sinner who will put their trust in His Son. We are saved by grace, apart from Israel’s law and apart from human works of any kind, and it is through faith, without sight or signs of any kind.

When the Lord was here on earth He was presented as King, the promised Messiah and Redeemer of Israel. When He came into Jerusalem in lowly humiliation, riding on an ass’s colt, the people went forth to meet Him, and cried, "Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord" (John 12:13). Now we see Him in a new position, in heavenly exaltation, at God’s right hand, and He is not there as King of Israel but as Head of the Church, His Body. Now those who are saved are likewise made to sit at God’s right hand, as members of Christ’s Body, with a heavenly hope and calling. There is assuredly a big difference between the kingdom to be established here on earth, and the Body of Christ completed and caught up in the rapture to meet the Lord in the air and to be forever with Him in glory.

Yes, Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever, and He never changes, but He has surely changed His program for His people in this dispensation.

 

    Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 


Message  "CHRIST" Rom. 16:25, Col. 1:28
Material   "All Scripture, 2 Tim. 3:16, 17
Method   "Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth, 2 Tim. 2:15
Mission   "To Make All See"  Eph. 3:9

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." Eph.2:13. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 

We are wiling to help you on this journey just give us a call,  1 623 546 8866, Paris

GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET
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Post  Admin on Wed 18 Feb 2015, 10:57 pm

Life More Abundant
Part One
Facing Death with Hope
By Gregg Bing

This wonderful gift of eternal life can only be received by simple faith in Jesus Christ and what He accomplished for us on the cross. "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). Salvation is not by any goodness in us—there is none! Salvation is not by any good works we do—there are none! Salvation is by faith, which means that we trust in God to save us from our sins; we rely upon His finished work on the cross, not on any of our own works.

When we hear the "word of truth, the gospel of our salvation" and trust in Christ as our Savior, God's Holy Spirit places us "in Christ" and seals us there "until the day of redemption" (Ephesians 1:12-14). We are "made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21), and "there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). The moment we put our faith in Christ, we are "passed from death unto life" (John 5:24). This truly is "life more abundant!"

Life—Even in Death

What happens, then, at death, to those who have this abundant life in Christ? While spiritual death is separation from God, physical death is also a separation. When a person dies physically, their spirit is separated from their body. The body, which is made of dust, "will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:7). The spirit of an unbeliever will be reserved for eternal judgment by God, but what happens to the spirit of a believer? Paul expressed the hope, or expectation, we have as believers in Christ in his second letter to the Corinthians.

"So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Even though we are saved from our sins, as long as we live in these bodies of sinful flesh, we cannot enter into God's presence, thus we are "absent from the Lord." However, when we physically die, we become "absent from the body." Our spirits are separated from our bodies of sin, thus making it possible for us to be "present with the Lord." Paul spoke of death for the believer as a departure. He wrote to the Philippians of his desire "to depart and be with Christ which is far better" (Philippians 1:23). This is what death means to a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we physically die, our spirit departs from our body and enters into the very presence of the Lord, which, as Paul says, is "far better." In His presence, there is no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears, and no more suffering. The Psalmist David wrote that in the presence of the Lord there is "fullness of joy" and "pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).

This is the blessed hope of every believer in Christ. This is what we can look forward to, with expectation. We are confident this is what our future holds, because this is what God has promised us in His Word. Not only do we have the hope of one day being with the Lord; we also have the hope of being like Him.

Christ is our life, and one day He will appear in the air to take His church (all believers in this present age of grace) home to be with Him in heaven (Colossians 3:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). When that day comes, those believers who have already died physically will have their bodies resurrected. Those believers who are still alive when He comes, will be caught up together with the "dead in Christ," and "we shall all be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51-57). Our sinful, shameful bodies of flesh will be transformed and made like the glorious body of our risen Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20-21), and "so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17). What a wonderful message of hope and comfort!

What About You?

Do you have this abundant life in Christ? Do you have this blessed hope in Him? If so, you can rejoice and take comfort in knowing what the future holds for you, even in facing death. If not, you are still lost, spiritually dead in your sins, and separated from God. However, you need not spend eternity in this miserable condition. You can be saved from your sins today. You can be reconciled to God and receive the gift of eternal life if you simply trust Christ as your Savior. He will give you such a wonderful life, a life more abundant than your mere existence here on earth. He will bless you with a life of love, joy, and peace—a life with Him that will last for all eternity.

MY PRAYER LORD

Father, 
Now that I am "in Christ". From this moment on, I choose to have your son, Jesus Christ, live His life in me and through me. I consider myself dead to sin and alive to you, and I am counting on the Holy Spirit to make me aware when I forget my death with Christ and try to live His life for Him in my own human wisdom and energy. I choose to yield my total being to you as an instrument of righteousness, allowing no part of me to be used for sin. Thank you for making Christ and his life real to me. Glorify yourself through me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen,"
 Romans 12:1

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" 

OUR COMMISSION IN THE AGE OF GRACE IS:

2Co 5:16-21  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.  Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET

RECONCILED UNTO GOD IN ONE BODY 
By FLOYD BAKER, Pastor 

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2: 16 

"And that he might reconcile both unto God in one Body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." Our word reconcile comes from the Greek word APOKATALLASSO and has the meaning, "to reconcile completely; to change from one condition to another, so as to remove all enmity and leave no impediment to unity and peace" (W.E.Vine). In your study of the Scriptures it is important to remember that the WORLD has been conciliated to God (11 Corinthians 5:19) but the believer is reconciled to God. In both instances it is God who has taken the initiative and in 11 Corinthians the appeal is to the unsaved to be conciliated to God while in Ephesians the action is completed. Believing Jews and Gentiles are not reconciled to each other but both to God with the end result being ONE BODY.
 
We see in our context starting with verse 11 that the Gentiles were "afar off, while the Jews were nigh." The Body of Christ is God's special purpose for the present administration and is called a "new man," and is not to be confused with His kingdom people and program. These are not Jews of the kingdom program becoming members of the Body of Christ but those who have been saved into the Body of Christ. We see that it is all made possible by the cross. To the Jew the cross was a stumbling block and to the Greek foolishness, but to us who believe, the power and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:23,24). With Paul we declare, "Unto him glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." 

Should this Inspirational series has  been a blessing and encouragement to you, why not send to a friend, coworker or, to your loved one who maybe defending the USA. The Word of God is so needed in our troubled world.  It is our heart at  GRACE AND THE TRUTH and mission to reach as many people as we possibly can TO SHARE with them the Word of God and all that the Lord Jesus Christ has done for members of the body of Christ. 


    Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says.
Message  "CHRIST" Rom. 16:25, Col. 1:28
Material   "All Scripture, 2 Tim. 3:16, 17
Method   "Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth, 2 Tim. 2:15
Mission   "To Make All See"  Eph. 3:9

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." Eph.2:13. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 

We are wiling to help you on this journey just give us a call,  1 623 546 8866, Paris

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Life More Abundant
Part Three
Facing Death with Hope
By Gregg Bing

Life through Death

God's provision of salvation for a sinful world came at great cost to Him. He endured harsher sufferings than anything we face here on earth. Some of Jesus' sufferings we can identify with; sufferings we cringe at when we think about them. Jesus was subjected to extremely painful physical sufferings: beaten with a rod, crowned with thorns, scourged with a whip, and nailed to a cross for the slow, cruel death of crucifixion. Jesus suffered emotional anguish as well: rejected by His own people, the very ones He had created, abandoned by His closest friends, betrayed by one of those friends, and denied three times by another. Jesus suffered the social stigma associated with being crucified, a punishment reserved for the worst of criminals. He was publicly humiliated, mocked, and insulted as He hung on that cross for six long hours.

As terrible as these forms of suffering were, Jesus endured far worse. Philippians 2:8 says that Jesus "became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." The "death of the cross" has reference not just to death by crucifixion, but Jesus' death on the cross. God's sinless Son not only "became flesh;" He also "became sin for us" (2 Corinthians 5:21). As He hung there on that cross, Jesus Christ "bore our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24).

Christ died for our sins in two different ways: He shed His blood and died physically for us because "without the shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiveness) of sins" (Hebrews 9:22), but Jesus also died spiritually. What does this mean? As Christ neared death, He cried out in agony, "My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46). Because Jesus bore our sins, He was separated from God, completely and utterly forsaken by His Father. That is what spiritual death means. We can understand, to some extent, how it might feel to be forsaken by our own father, but Jesus' relationship with God the Father was closer and dearer than any relationship we have in this world. The agony Jesus experienced when His Father turned His face away was more painful than anything we can imagine. This dreadful judgment should have been ours, but He took it for us!

Why would God do this for us? The simple and wonderful answer is love. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). God did not love us because of any goodness or good works on our part. "God demonstrated His own love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). It was "not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10). The word "propitiation" simply means satisfaction. Christ's sacrificial death as a substitute for our sins satisfied all of God's holy and righteous requirements.

Just before Christ died, He cried out with a loud voice, "It is finished!" (John 19:30). His sacrificial work was complete, meaning that the wages (or penalty) for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) was "paid in full." God proved He was satisfied with Christ's sacrifice for our sins by raising Him from the dead after three days in the grave. Jesus was raised unto eternal life, never to die again (Romans 6:9-10), and because He lives, we can live as well.

The Gift of Life

Romans 6:23 begins with bad news: "the wages of sin is death," but it concludes with good news: "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." The gospel, or good news, for all men is that "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

While Christ has paid the penalty for everyone's sins, and the gift of eternal life is available to all people, not everyone is saved and reconciled to God. Why not? Because the gift of salvation must be received by each person individually. We do not have to earn it or work for it, for it is a gift! Therefore, it is "not by works of righteousness which we have done" (Titus 3:5). Salvation is by God's grace; it is His gift to us, though a gift we certainly do not deserve. So, how is it received?

Continued

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" 

OUR COMMISSION IN THE AGE OF GRACE IS:

2Co 5:16-21  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.  Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

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Life More Abundant
Part One
Facing Death with Hope
By Gregg Bing

The Bible describes our time here on earth as "a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14). We might think that if a person lives to be 80, 90, or even 100 years that they have had a long life, but in comparison to eternity, our span of years comes and goes like a vapor. Many people assume that our time on earth is all there is. As they face the prospect of death, for themselves or for a loved one, they are filled with deep sorrow. There is a finality about death that leaves them feeling devastated.

While the prospect of one's own death or the death of a loved one is a time of sorrow, grief and loss, we need not face this time without hope and without comfort.

Life Beyond this Earth

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he reminded them that there is life beyond our time here on earth.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Our physical life here on earth is temporary. The afflictions we experience in these bodies of flesh, the "outward man," are "light" and last only "for a moment." But, Paul stresses there is life beyond just the physical. We have an "inward man" that is spiritual and eternal. The sufferings we experience in this life will one day give way to a "weight of glory," a glory that far exceeds our present sufferings, a glory that will last for all eternity. The things we see and experience with our senses are temporary. There are things we cannot see with our physical eyes; there are eternal things that can only be seen with the eyes of faith.

Life More Abundant

When the Lord Jesus Christ lived here on earth, He said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). A person may have what the world considers to be a full life; maybe a life of many years, maybe a life with great financial success, maybe a life of great popularity, maybe a life filled with the love of family and friends: all things that people consider important. Jesus came to provide us with a life more abundant than anything the world can offer. Jesus came to give us life spiritually, a life of blessings that exceeds anything we experience in this world, a life that will last forever.

How did Jesus provide this abundant life for us? Jesus did not come into this world to teach us a way to live. It is true; Jesus was the greatest teacher who ever lived. We can learn many things from studying what He taught, but that is not why He came. Jesus did not come to provide an example for us to follow. Certainly, Jesus is the perfect Man. He lived a perfect, sinless life, a life that provides a wonderful example of a Man who humbled Himself and became obedient to the will of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-8). However, trying to follow Jesus' example and live as He did will not bring us "life more abundant."

Jesus came into this world for one purpose: to die. This is why the eternal Son of God had to become a Man and take a body of flesh and blood—to shed His blood and die, that we might live. To many this makes no sense; it seems foolish. Why, they ask, did Jesus have to go through this?

Why is There Death?

People struggle with this question because they fail to understand two important truths. The first truth is that people, by nature, are sinful. We are born that way. The common belief is that people are basically good, and since God is loving and merciful, He will accept those who at least try to live a good life. While this assumption may sound reasonable to us, it is simply not true. The Scriptures tell us, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12). In Paul's letter to the Romans, he declared, 

"There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one." (Romans 3:10-12)

We may not like to hear these things, but they are true. No one does what is right in God's eyes. Other people may consider us righteous, but God does not. "All of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" in the sight of a perfect God (Isaiah 64:6). None of us will seek after God on our own. It is not in our nature. We turn aside and follow our own desires, not to please God, but to please ourselves. No one does what is good in God's sight. Again, we might appear to other people to have good character or to do good deeds, but the nature we are born with is a sinful nature. There is "nothing good" that dwells in us by nature (Romans 7:18).

There are no exceptions to this, for "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Because of our sins, we "fall short" of God and His perfect standards. Why is this the case? Where did sin come from? When did it begin?

Sin began with one man: Adam. God created Adam and Eve to have a relationship with them. He placed them in a perfect place, the garden of Eden, where all their needs were provided. God met with them, walked and talked with them each day. They were allowed to freely eat from all the trees of the garden except one: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God warned Adam that in the day he ate from this forbidden tree, he would "surely die" (Genesis 2:17).

In spite of this warning, Adam and Eve disobeyed God's command and, thus, sinned against God. Though they did not die physically that very day, the process of death began in their bodies. Bodies that had once been incorruptible were now susceptible to disease and pain. Bodies that had once been immortal could now physically die.


    Our Purpose and Mission

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" 

GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET

Life More Abundant
Part Two
Facing Death with Hope
By Gregg Bing

Another Type of Death

The sentence of death was more than just physical death; it also meant spiritual death. Spiritual death is separation from God. The very moment Adam and Eve sinned, they were separated from God. They felt the shame and the guilt of their sin immediately. They tried to cover their nakedness and guilt by making coverings for their bodies from the leaves of the trees. They tried to hide themselves from God amongst the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:7-8). In judging them, God expelled them from the garden and no longer walked and talked with them daily, as He had done before their sin (Genesis 3:23-24).

When Adam disobeyed God, his sin and the consequences of that sin, death, passed upon all men. We read in Romans 5:12: "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." Because of Adam's sin, we all became sinners, for we inherited his sin nature. As a result, we are all under the same penalty for sin as Adam: death. "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). The word "wages" means the just payment which is due for sin is death.

However, God is a loving, merciful and gracious God. He did not abandon us in this terrible state: "dead in trespasses and sins." God, in fact, "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4); His plan and purpose all along was to "reconcile" us or bring us back to Him. The problem is that God cannot accept us in our sinful state. God cannot simply overlook or excuse our sins.

The second truth that many people fail to understand is that God is absolutely holy and righteous. This is why we, as sinners, "fall short." God is holy, meaning He is separate from sin. God is so pure, He cannot accept what is wicked and sinful (Habakkuk 1:13). God actually hates sin. We don't often think of a God of love being capable of hatred, but He does hate sin (Jeremiah 44:4). (Though God hates sin, as we shall see, He loves sinners. We must be careful to make this distinction.) God is also righteous (Deuteronomy 32:4), meaning He always does what is right or just. A righteous God must judge sin, and the just reward (wages) for sin is death (Romans 6:23).

Our problem is that in our sinful state and with our sinful nature, we are helpless to do anything to change our miserable condition. How, then, can sinful people ever be accepted by a holy God? The answer is through the death of a substitute. Someone would have to die in our place to pay the penalty for our sins, but this substitute must be without sin. This requirement was illustrated when Israel lived under the law. The people were required to bring a lamb to die as a sacrifice to cover their sins, but these sacrificial lambs, these substitutes, had to be "without blemish" (Leviticus 1:3). Because all people are sinners, none of us is qualified to be a substitute for anyone else's sins.

The only Person who is without sin is God, therefore, only He could die as a substitute for people's sins. However, God is a Spirit (John 4:24). In order to shed His blood and die for our sins, God had to become a Man; He had to take on a body of flesh and blood. The eternal Son of God "was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14) so that He could provide the way for sinful men to be reconciled to God. The Lord Jesus Himself declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, except through Me" (John 14:6). How did God accomplish this wonderful reconciliation?

 
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
You and I have a terrible time letting go. We ask God to help us with a problem, but we keep worrying about it. We carry our burdens to the foot of the cross, lay them down, then hook a toe on them and drag them with us when we leave! Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."  He didn't mean, "Come tell me your problems, but go fix them yourself." He meant, "come tell your problems, and then forget about them. They're my problems now." -- Bonnie Ricks *

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says. 

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" 

OUR COMMISSION IN THE AGE OF GRACE IS:

2Co 5:16-21  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.  Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

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Post  Admin on Fri 13 Feb 2015, 11:06 pm

*BASIC DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN PROPHECY AND THE MYSTERY *
*
PROPHECY

Concerns a kingdom; a political organization
(Dan. 2:44, Matt. 6:10).

The kingdom to be established on earth
(Jer. 23:5, Matt. 6:10).

Christ to be its King (Jer.
23.5, Isa. 9:6,7).

The kingdom prophesied "since the
world began" (Luke 1:68-70, Acts 3:21).

Israel to be given supremacy over the
nations (Isa. 60:10-12,61:6).

The Gentiles to be blessed through Israel's
instrumentality ( Gen. 22: 17,18, Zech. 8:13).

The Gentiles to be blessed through Israel's rise
(Isa. 60:1-3, Zech. 8:22,23).

Prophecy mainly concerns nations as such
(lsa. 2:4, Ezek.37:21,22).

Prophecy concerns blessings, both material and
spiritual, on earth (I Isa. 2:3, 4, 11:1-9, etc.).

Prophecy concerns Christ's coming to the earth
(Isa. 59:20, Zech. 14:4).

In prophecy salvation by grace through faith
alone is not contemplated.

The proclamation of the prophetic program committed
particularly to the twelve (Matt. 10:5-7, Acts 1:6-8, 3:19-26) .

The prophetic program revealed through
many of God's servants (Luke 1:70, II Pet. 1:21).

Old testament writers frequently did not understand the
prophecies made known through them (Dan. 12:8-10, I Pet. 1: 10-12).

°i.e., Paul's own writings. Certainly not the Old Testament Scriptures. 
See the "now" in Eph. 3 :5.

"Those who question whether the items listed under this heading are 
associated with the mystery have but to search and see whether they can 
find them In prophecy.

THE MYSTERY

Concerns a body; a living organism (I Cor. 12: 12,27, Eph. 4: 12-16).

The body given a position in heaven (Eph. 1:3, 2:5-6, Col. 3:1-3).

Christ its living Head (Eph. 1:19-23, Col. 1:18).

The body chosen in Christ before the world began, but "kept secret since 
the world began" (Rom. 16:25, Eph. 1:4-11, 3:5-9).

Jew and Gentile placed on the same level before God (Rom. 10:12, 11:32, 
Eph. 2: 16,17) .

The Gentiles blessed through Israel's obstinacy (Acts 13:44-46, Rom. 
11:28-32).

The Gentiles blessed through Israel's fall (Acts 28:27,28, Rom. 
11:11,12,15).

The mystery concerns individuals (Rom. 10:12,13, II Cor. 5:14-17).

The mystery concerns "all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies" (Eph. 
1:3, Col. 3: 1-3).

The mystery explains Christ's present absence from the earth (Eph. 
1:20-23, Col. 3:1-3).

Salvation by grace through faith alone lies at the very heart of the 
mystery (Rom. 3:21-26,4:5, Eph. 2:8,9).

The proclamation of the mystery committed particularly to Paul (Eph. 
3:1-3, 8,9, Col. 1:24-27).

The mystery revealed through one man: Paul (Gal. 1:1,11,12, 2:2,7,9, 
Eph. 3:2,3).

Paul both understood and longed that others might understand the mystery 
revealed through him. (Eph. 1:15-23, 3:14-21, Col. 1:9-10, 2:1-3).

QUIZ

1. Which is the most important division of the Bible? 2. When and 
through whom was the old covenant (or testament) made? 3. When and 
through whom was the new covenant made? 4. What is the main subject of 
prophecy? 5. What form of government will prevail in the Messianic 
kingdom? 6. Where will the kingdom be set up? 7. What great change will 
take place in Israel with the establishment of this kingdom? 8. What 
will be the relation of the Gentiles to Israel in the Messianic kingdom? 
9. What is the main subject of the mystery? 10. At what point in 
Israel's history did God begin to reveal the mystery? 11. What is the 
relative status of Gentiles to Jews before God today? 12. What is the 
relation between Jewish and Gentile believers today? 13. Where is The 
believer's position and citizenship today? 14. What erroneous method of 
interpretation have some theologians applied to the kingdom prophecies? 
15. What has caused them to adopt this method? 16. How does this method 
of interpretation affect the rest of Scripture? 17. What is the relation 
of this method to the prevailing heresies of our day? 18. What is the 
solution to the problem which has caused some theologians to adopt this 
method? 19. Name five basic distinctions between prophecy and the 
mystery. 20. Give five Scriptures to show the importance of the mystery.

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging 
Christians to believe what God says.

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and 
the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till 
we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son 
of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the 
fulness of Christ:"

OUR COMMISSION IN THE AGE OF GRACE IS:

2Co 5:16-21 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, 
though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we 
[him] no more. Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new 
creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become 
new. And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by 
Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To 
wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not 
imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word 
of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God 
did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye 
reconciled to God. For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no 
sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

*GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET*
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