The Uniqueness of Paul’s Ministry

In 2 Timothy 2:7 Paul says, “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

When the student of the Bible begins to listen to the apostle Paul, it becomes clear that Paul’s writings are unique among the other books of the Bible. It was given to Paul to teach the Church the body of Christ, and how to rightly divide the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Paul writes to the Galatians about the uniqueness of his ministry. In Galatians 1:7 he said,”But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Paul did not receive his teaching from any of the other apostles or from the Old Testament. The revelation that God gave Paul helped him to understand that in order for a man to be saved (whether Jew or Gentile), he must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as his sin bearer at the Cross. Only a complete reliance upon the holiness and perfection of Christ Himself, including His resurrection, would bring about salvation.

This was of tremendous change, especially for the Jews. They had been taught that if they were to know God they must know Him through the Torah and the Temple. This approach to God, of course, required works; works of the law. Paul taught that a man could not be justified by the works of the Law of Moses, but by faith alone, which provided quite a shock to the Jewish people. (Romans 3:20)

In Paul’s first recorded sermon in the synagogue at Antioch of Pisidia, Paul said this, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39)

Grace be with You,

-Brother Jerry

Truth Shines in the Darkness

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31)

To get to this wonderful declaration by Paul about salvation through faith in Jesus, Paul and Silas had endured a most miserable situation. First of all, we need to realize that Philippi was a Roman colony and practiced pagan Roman idolatry. The spiritual darkness in Philippi was so great, that prior to Paul’s arrest he had to cast a demon out of a soothsaying, black magic practicing, demon possessed girl. This girl had been used as a front for the sale of pagan religious idols, and this girl’s masters had Paul and Silas arrested and beaten for disrupting their moneymaking schemes. It must have seemed that darkness had triumphed over the truth. But, the abiding faith that dwelt in the hearts of Paul and Silas shined through the darkness in the prison as they sang hymns to Jesus in the night. Acts 16:25-26: “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” What a wonderful thing it is that these men were singing praises unto God while in prison! No wonder the doors were shaken loose!

The jailer, who was responsible for the prisoners, assumed they had escaped in the earthquake, and he would be responsible to forfeit his own life through suicide. When a man is in a position like that, he thinks about eternity. This man did just that, as he asked Paul and Silas how to be saved. The verse beginning this note is the reply to his question, and instead of taking his own life he gets saved and baptized. The truth had pierced through the darkness and shined for all to see.

When Jesus was crucified it seemed as though Darkness had prevailed, but three days later up from the grave He arose, and that truth is still shining into a dark world today. May God help us all to be confident in the tough situations we may get into, remember that God is with us and that truth shines especially bright in the darkness.

-Brother Jerry

Seven Reasons You Should Quit Your Meanness

Today we’re going to see what happens after we’re saved. Salvation is a gift from God; it’s not forced on us and it’s a gift we don’t have to accept. However, it is the most wonderful and best gift you’ll ever be offered! I hope y’all have listened and if you’re lost you will ask God to save you.

If you are saved, there are some wonderful things that happened to you after you accepted Christ that every Christian needs to know about. You understand that God has saved you and you know you’re going to Heaven, but many don’t know about all the things that happened when you got saved. Think of it like beginning a car trip out of town; you know where you’re going, and you know how you’re getting there. However, you may not understand all the intricacies of the engine, what exactly happens when you turn the car on, or what all the parts are that make the vehicle work.

So let’s look at some of the things that happen after salvation. If you know more about the gifts that come with salvation, you’ll be a happier Christian, more inclined to a sweeter spirit and you may just quit your meanness!

1.    You were forgiven
2.    You were given eternal life
3.    You were adopted
4.    You were born again
5.    You were sealed with the Holy Spirit
6.    You were made an Ambassador for Christ
7.    You have a Heavenly Home

FORGIVEN—When God saved you He forgave every sin you did, and He forgot about it! Since God has forgiven you, you must forget about the past sins you have done and move on. Even though other people may not forgive you, God has. Don’t let dwelling on old sin distract you from your new Christian life. Col. 1:14

ETERNAL LIFE– Everlasting, forever, never-ending life! Eternal life is what God gave you the moment you were saved and you can never lose that gift or have it taken away. When your earthly existence ends, you will step into forever with God. John 6:47

ADOPTED—Before you were saved guess whose family you were in? The devil’s. But God has adopted you out of Satan’s family into His! When you trusted God He became your new Father and you became His child. Instead of just knowing about God, He is now your Father and you can know Him in a personal way by praying and fellowshipping with Him. He is ABBA, Father. Gal. 4:4-7

BORN AGAIN— In John 3:8 Jesus told Nicodemus that being “born again” was a spiritual birth. When you were born into this world you were born into your parents’ family. When you were born again spiritually, you were born into God’s family. Remember that when we are born as babies we are born sinners because of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. That sinful state takes us out of fellowship with God. But, when we get saved our spirit becomes born again and we then have fellowship with God. Titus 3:4-5

SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT— It’s so comforting to know that God is your Father and that He has forgiven you. No one on earth can make a promise to you as sweet as God’s promise. But what if you could lose this great salvation, this gift of heaven? Thank the Lord you can’t! You can’t be Un-born again; once you’re saved you are guaranteed a home in Heaven. When you were saved God sent His Holy Spirit into you and sealed you with it. The Holy Spirit also guides us in everyday life, and was called the Comforter by Jesus. He also helps us understand our Bible. The Holy Spirit guarantees us salvation. Eph.1:13

AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST—Now that you are saved you represent God. Did you know that many Christians don’t read the bible or go to Church? How easily could those Christians be dismissed by the ones with which they’re trying to share God’s gift when in their own lives they aren’t acting as Christians should? You may be the one to help your good friend or your neighbor down the street seek God’s free gift of salvation, and that could be achieved by acting like a Christian ought. Remember who you are, and don’t act in a way that would displease God. 2 Cor 5:17-21

YOU HAVE A HEAVENLY HOME PREPARED FOR YOU– In this day and time it’s hard to keep your mind on Heavenly things, but this is where your victory is. Your time here on earth is a blink of the eye compared to what comes next. It only makes sense to think on your heavenly home, and all the other wonderful and rich gifts that God has given you. It will make your earthly life more sweet and better prepare you for what’s to come. Col 3:1-6

I hope these reasons will bless your spirit and help you quit your meanness!

-Brother Jerry

Faith, Hope and Charity

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (I Cor. 13:13).

Paul had been discussing, in I Corinthians 13, some of the miraculous signs that were to vanish away as God’s revelation, as given to Paul, became complete (Col.1:25). But faith, hope and charity, he declared, would abide as a triune evidence of true Christianity.

These three are all we need in the present “dispensation of the grace of God.” Any church where faith, hope and charity are found in abundant measure is a “full” church. It may have but a few members, but what greater blessing could it wish for than faith, hope and the love of God in its fellowship?

Faith, hope and charity are a triunity often referred to in Paul’s epistles. Each is of basic importance in its way, and none can exist without the other two.

Faith is of primary importance. “Without faith it is impossible to please him [speaking of God].” (Heb 11:6). How can there be hope and charity without faith?

Hope holds the central place among the three. Hope in the Bible is more than a wish; it is the opposite of despair, an eager anticipation of blessings to come. Hope is the Christian’s experience, his living with eternity’s glory in view.

Charity is the crowning virtue of the three; it is the fruit of faith and hope, and is greatest in the sense that it is “the bond of perfectness.” Moreover, God’s love is eternal. Some day, for every true believer, “faith will vanish into sight; hope be emptied in delight,” and charity will reign supreme. (These words are found in the hymn Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost by Christopher Wordsworth.)

May God help us, in our fellowship with each other, to evidence a full measure of faith, hope and Charity.

-Brother Jerry

The Power is in the Blood

The most wonderful truth in the Bible is the fact that Jesus’ blood paid the full payment for our sin (Romans 3:24-25). Those who ask God’s forgiveness of sin will be forgiven, based on what Christ did for us at Calvary (Col. 1:14). Understanding this will cause us to “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” by whom we received this atonement (Romans 5:11).

We have to understand that in receiving Christ we receive the blood sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. This sinless sacrifice is the only sacrifice that God would eternally accept for man as a sinner. It is then God Himself who provides the necessary righteousness to save our souls. In 2 Cor.5:21 the Bible says, “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.” When we trusted in Jesus and what He did for us, God remitted our sins (Romans 3:25-26). Remission of sin here is an act of God based on the blood sacrifice of His Son. Remission of sin in this context is defined as forgiveness of sin, never to be remembered. The believer is completely cleared of the guilt of sin based on the eternal blood sacrifice of Christ Himself. To better understand this, and why it must be Jesus’ blood alone that offers remission, we will compare the New Testament with the Old Testament.

There are only two Testaments in the Bible. The fact that there are only two Testaments in the Bible is sometimes clouded by the fact that there are many covenants in the Bible, and the Old Covenant with Israel is confused with the previous Old Testament. Briefly, a testament is made by God alone; a covenant is an agreement made between God and men.

God established the Old Testament in the Garden of Eden when He gave “coats of skins” to clothe Adam and Eve. The blood of an animal had to be spilled for this to occur. We see this further illustrated when Abel did animal blood sacrifices and it pleased God (Gen.4:3). The reason that Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted is because he had not followed God’s instruction to make a blood sacrifice.

In Leviticus 17:11 we find that God had given the blood sacrifice of animals for a temporary atonement of sin. The key word here is temporary. The reason is obvious; an animal does not possess eternal life, and so cannot provide eternal forgiveness.

This Old Testament later merged with the Old Covenant made between the newly formed Nation of Israel and God at Mt. Sinai. The animal blood sacrifices, which could never clear the guilty, continued (Ex. 34:7). The Israelites’ sins were forgiven but NOT remitted. The sins of Israelites were remembered from year to year. The Levitical High Priest made an annual, temporary atonement for sin.

The book of Hebrews 10:1-4 explains; “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

It becomes clear here that animal sacrifice was only a temporary forgiveness of sins, and cannot result in the remission of sins. The Christian under the New Testament has received forgiveness in the atoning blood of Jesus, AND the full remission of sin. We have been eternally cleared of guilt and we are fully accepted in the beloved! (Eph 1:6). The Power is in THE ETERNAL BLOOD!!!

Praise God!

-Bro. Jerry

Heroes of the Faith

In Romans 4:12 the Apostle Paul declares that Abraham was the father, not of his physical offspring alone, but also of those who “walk in the steps of that faith” which Abraham had.

Have you ever noticed that God does not hold the great men of Scripture up to us because of their personal virtues? Invariably their records are marred by failure and sin. But God bids us observe their faith and what their faith gained for them. (Rom. 4:3,9,11,12).

There is a whole chapter on this subject in the Book of Hebrews. Hebrews 11 is properly called “the great faith chapter,” and its heroes “heroes of faith,” for it tells how Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and scores of others “obtained a good report” before God. They all faltered and failed again and again, but Hebrews 11:39 declares that “these all….obtained a good report THROUGH FAITH.

You will never be found wanting when you believe God and His word.

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto to him for righteousness.” (Rom. 4:3)

May God Bless you,

-Brother Jerry

God’s Power Perfected in Weakness

Paul was divinely commissioned to proclaim the glorious all-sufficiency of Christ’s redemptive work. He made known God’s offer of salvation by free grace to all who trust in Christ, along with their heavenly position, blessings and prospect in Christ.

Lest he should become puffed by the glory of these great truths, God gave him what he called “a thorn in the flesh,” an aggravating physical illness of some sort. “For this thing,” he says, “I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.” (2 Cor. 12:8). But the Lord knew better than Paul what was good for him, as Paul continues in verse 9; “And he said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

How right God is! Every Christian knows that with brimming health and “good fortune” comes the tendency to forget our need of Him, while infirmity causes us to lean harder and to pray more. This is where our spiritual power lies. Every believer should acknowledge this and say with Paul:  “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities…for when I am weak, then am I strong.”(vs. 9 & 10)

May God Bless you and keep you,

-Brother Jerry

The Forgiveness of Sins

Over three thousand years ago, and about a thousand years before Christ, David said in the Psalms: “If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee…”(Psalm 130:3-4)

David did not explain, however, upon what basis a just and holy God could forgive a guilty sinner. This was to be proclaimed one thousand years later by the Apostle Paul, himself once “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious,” the “chief” of sinners, but forgiven and saved by the infinite grace of God. (I Tim. 1:13-15)

Preaching Christ at Antioch, in the province of Pisidia, Paul declared in a synagogue, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39)

But even this does not fully answer our question, for we must still ask; on what basis does God forgive sins through “this man?” The answer is, on the basis of His payment for our sins on Calvary’s Cross. So the apostle wrote to the Romans, and explained “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:24)

Now, thank God, through Christ’s finished work there is not a sinner who needs to remain unforgiven for; “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace:” (Eph. 1:7)

Glory to His Name!

-Brother Jerry

The Greatest of All Seals

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” (Eph. 1:13).

Here in this verse we see the order of salvation and great security for the believer in Christ. It is clear that the words “after that” have the immediate result of being sealed with the Spirit in full view. We see that upon believing “the gospel of salvation,” we are sealed “with,” not “by” the Holy Spirit. This may not seem, at first, to be a significant difference but like all of God’s words it is important.

Let’s say there is a housewife who is putting up preserves sealing each jar with wax. The jars are being sealed by the woman, but she is sealing them with wax. She causes the sealing to happen, but is not actually what keeps it sealed. In contrast, the Holy Spirit does not merely cause believers to be sealed and made secure, but rather He Himself is the seal that keeps us eternally secure as God’s beloved children. Sealed with the Holy Spirit, Who is Eternal! Remember Romans 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Praise His Name!!!

-Brother Jerry

Roses Will Bloom Again

At different times in life we find ourselves in some kind of a desert. Whether it is desert of finances, of heartache, of grief, or of health, it seems that the rose will never again bloom in our desert. It seems that the oasis is nowhere to be found, just mirage after mirage. It is at these times we need to remember our Saviour Jesus Christ, who was tempted in the desert and all points as we are, and was victorious over the evil one!

His mouth became parched and dry as He uttered these wonderful words from the Cross; “It is finished.” Then, the fresh water of the Holy Spirit could now flow into our parched lives. Refreshing, powerful, water of LIFE!  Yes, my dear Brothers and Sisters, roses will bloom again, all due to the fact that He did finish it, and all that for us.

Can’t you see that little rose bud springing up in your heart?

Praise JESUS’ name, Isn’t He Wonderful!!!

-Brother Jerry