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Category Archives: salvation

Salvation–God Removes All Doubt

Before going on to Acts 11, I think I should consider Peter’s speech before Cornelius and his household and friends to highlight a few things that he mentions. We shall begin in Acts 10:34 and continue to the end of the chapter. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in circumcision, salvation

 

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The Atypical… Jesus!

Did you ever notice that Jesus just will not fit into a box? He just doesn’t fit our preconceptions. John was astonished to find that Jesus was the Messiah (John 1:31, 33). The rulers of the Jews just could not understand his message (John 2:20). They were exceedingly impressed with his miracles, but simply could not understand what he was trying to say (John 3:1-2, 4, 9). Why was this so? Why didn’t anyone who read and were devoted to the Scriptures understand who Jesus was (John 1:11)? I believe the answer to these questions is that those who were devoted to God and the Scriptures had preconceived notions about what God was telling them through Moses and the Prophets. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Gospel, Religion, salvation

 

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Jesus Versus John

As a Sunday school teacher, from time to time someone will come to my class, spend one week with us and then leave, sometimes telling me he wants to check out another class. I thank him for stopping by and considering our class and what we are discussing, and tell him I hope he finds what he is looking for. To be perfectly honest, I have to admit there is a tinge of jealousy on my part, as I watch him walk away. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, and I put the feeling down, recognizing it is only from the flesh, but, still, it is there; and it surfaced, even if I am the only one who noticed. Do we all have such feelings? I don’t know—but I know I do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Christianity, Religion, salvation

 

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Do We Know Jesus?

I cannot help but wonder what Nicodemus thought as he listened to Jesus so long ago. Jesus as much as told him that he was the Messiah; certainly John the Baptist was telling others Jesus was the Messiah. It was no secret that this is what Jesus was claiming to others, and many in Israel looked for the coming of the one of whom Daniel spoke and counted the days that pointed to his arrival (Daniel 9). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2011 in Gospel, Religion, salvation

 

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Jesus Must Be Lifted Up

I need to revisit Nicodemus’ conversation with Christ once more. Nicodemus couldn’t understand what Jesus was saying mainly because he and all the other teachers of Israel had only investigated a portion of what God had said concerning the coming Messiah through his servants, the Prophets. When Jesus spoke of his death in John 2:19 the rulers of the Jews didn’t understand (John 2:20) and therefore couldn’t believe. When Jesus spoke of man’s need to be reborn spiritually (John 3:3), even Nicodemus, who had come to seek answers, couldn’t understand and therefore couldn’t believe, because the teachers had not considered their need (Ezekiel 11:19: Jeremiah 4:4; 17:9; 31:30-34). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Gospel, Religion, salvation

 

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You Must Be Born Again!

When Nicodemus came to speak with Jesus about the Kingdom of God, he was astonished to understand that as a Jew and son of Abraham, he had no right to the Kingdom of God. Even as a disciplined Pharisee, devoted to the Law, he had no right to the Kingdom of God. He couldn’t inherit this right; he couldn’t earn this right and the right could not be bestowed upon him by any man, no matter how lofty his position! This thought utterly astonished Nicodemus, and it ought to give us pause as well. How can I come into God’s Kingdom, if I cannot enter through my Christian parents, if I cannot enter through righteous discipline, or it cannot be bestowed upon me by a religious or legal authority or ceremonial act? How can I become a child of God? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Gospel, Religion, salvation

 

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How Not to Become a Christian

Christ talking with Nicodemus at night (Christ...

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Reading John 3 causes me to pause and revisit John 1:12-13 to consider its meaning once more. Nicodemus (John 3:1) was a very religious man who followed the Law of Moses meticulously. In fact, as a Pharisee, he also followed another law—the Oral Law. Traditionally, it is supposed to have been handed down from Moses, but its source is probably among the traditions brought back from Babylon following the captivity. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2011 in Gospel, Religion, salvation

 

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Jesus’ Life is the Light of Men!

John tells us that in the Word was life and this life was the light of men (John 1:4). The Psalmist says: “With thee is the fountain of life; in thy light we shall see light” (Psalm 36:9). If I were to ask what the opposite of light is, probably everyone would say darkness. Isn’t that so? If I were to ask what is the opposite of life, most people would conclude non-existence or death. Isn’t this so? Here John makes light a synonym for life or perhaps consciousness. In a way this seems appropriate; doesn’t it? We do that ourselves; don’t we? We’ve heard people say, “I’ll knock his lights out;” or “The lights are on, but nobody’s home!” Light is often used even today as a synonym for life or consciousness. If someone is unconscious, he is not aware; it is like being in the dark. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2011 in Christianity, Religion, salvation

 

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Paul, ‘Kicking Against the Goads’

It seems evident to me that Paul was being called by the Lord sometime before his meeting Jesus on the Damascus road. According to Paul’s testimony before Agrippa years later, the Lord mentioned to Paul that it was difficult to “kick against the goads” (Acts 26:14). A goad was a stick with a sharp metal point affixed to one end, and it was used to cause the oxen to do what his owner desired. The ox-goad was used by one of Israel’s judges to kill 600 Philistines in order to deliver his people from their hands (Judges 3:31). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2010 in Christianity, Religion, salvation

 

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The Resurrection at the Coming of Jesus

I think one of the major difficulties we have in seeing what Peter is saying about our salvation in his first epistle is that we have been taught very well what our salvation is and what Jesus went through to secure eternal salvation for us. Nevertheless, in the first century this was something very new to one’s thinking. When the Pharisees spoke of resurrection, they spoke of rising from the dead to live again on earth. Whether they believed in eternal life is hard to say. Certainly the Jews teach eternal life today, but did they back in the first century CE? Personally, I believe this was strictly a Jesus’ teaching, and it caught everyone by surprise. Folks in Palestine who waited for the Messiah simply believed he would “save” the Jewish people from the Romans and make them a supreme power that would defeat all their enemies. The proposition that the Messiah would come and give us eternal life was simply not suggested. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2010 in Religion, salvation, Second Coming

 

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Saved by Grace

Jerusalem mercy gate, between 1890 and 1900.
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Quite awhile ago I learned how to use Romans 6:23 as an evangelistic tool to express how we receive Salvation. What we do is simply use the nouns and describe what they mean. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2010 in Religion, salvation

 

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Salvation Even for Me!

After opening their minds, Jesus did three things. First he explained the Scriptures showing why it was necessary for him to die and rise again (Luke 24:46). Secondly, he commissioned the apostles to preach this Gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus (Luke 24:46), which made him the Messiah (Acts 2:32-36), and to call the whole world to repentance and reconcile themselves to God (Luke 24:47-48; Acts 2:37-38; 2Corinthians 5:14-21). Finally, he empowered them for the work of God, telling them to wait at Jerusalem for the promise of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49). They had no idea what to expect. They just trusted Jesus and obeyed. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2010 in Religion, salvation

 

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Seasons of Refreshing

As I read through Acts 3 I have to wonder how many folks believe in miracles today. It must have been something to see a man leaping and walking on legs that looked more like spindles than something that would actually hold up a human body.

Peter and John got themselves in a little trouble afterward, because they preached the resurrection of the crucified Jesus, showing that he is indeed the Messiah. The chief priests and the Temple captain had them arrested to be tried the next morning, but really what could they say against an apparent miracle? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2009 in Religion, salvation

 

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He Was Numbered with Us!

One of the saddest statements in the Bible, in my opinion, is Judas’ epitaph in Acts 1:17: “He was numbered with us!” That is, it was so at one time, but is no longer true. The disciples remedied the situation by looking out among those who had been with them throughout Jesus’ ministry and chose two and of them chose one by lot to replace Judas. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2009 in Religion, salvation

 

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Your Sins are Forgiven!

The spiritual condition of man before he comes to Christ is revealed in the miracle of our Lord’s healing of the paralytic in Luke 5:18-20. Without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5) and before Christ we are without strength (Romans 5:6). This is seen in the fact that the paralytic didn’t come to Christ under his own strength or even his own faith. On his own he was without power of any kind to affect his condition. This was also true of the spiritual leadership at that time. What Jesus did that day completely unsettled the safety of their religious understanding. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2009 in Religion, salvation

 

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