Monthly Archives: April 2014

#122 – The Power to Become the Sons of God

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THE POWER TO BECOME SONS OF GOD

John 1:10-13 “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John says “He was in the world.” The verb “he was” is an imperfect tense referring to continuous action in the past. John did not use the aorist tense and gather up the whole history of his Lord’s stay on earth in a point of time. He used the imperfect tense suggesting the continuous exposure of Jesus to the world over the period of His life and ministry. John adds, “and the world was made by him.” The Creator was in human flesh. The natural man never accepts the teaching of the Scriptures when they present truth like this. It gave the lost religious leaders of Jesus day a problem and it gives unsaved men the same problem today. One of the identifying marks of a cult is that they do not believe in the deity of Christ. Several will argue with you that they do. But they do not believe that Jesus is God incarnate in the flesh. They deceive by the use of their own private definitions to the old terms. This way they can say, “We believe in the virgin birth.” But they do not believe what true Christians believe when they say the same.

The Athanasian creed says, “Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation: that he also believe rightly [faithfully] in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess: that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Substance [essence] of the Father; begotten before the worlds: and Man, of the Substance [essence] of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God: and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead: and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he be [is] God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but by taking [assumption] of the Manhood into God. One altogether; not by confusion of Substance [essence]: but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man: for God and Man is one Christ.”

Man wants to believe in a god that is subject to his rational thought. A god of this kind is not god at all.

Then John adds, “and the world knew him not.” The word “knew” (ginosko) according to the Linguistic Key means, “to know, to recognize, more than intellectual knowledge, rather ‘to be in right relation.’” This is a revelation of the spiritual bankruptcy of mankind. Think about the event of his birth and the things he did during his ministry that only God could do. Yet they did not recognize him. I have a problem that will illustrate. I will be looking for a book in my library and as I look for it on the shelves, it will be right before my eyes and I will not see it. Jesus was right before their eyes and to them he was just another man. This will give you a little glimpse of that to which the eternal Logos humbled himself.

Next John says, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” The words “He came” (erchomai) means “to come from one place to another, and used both of persons arriving and of those returning.” Where did he come from? He came from heaven. He came from the bosom of the Father, and from the Holy City, and from the eternal now, outside of time separate from time, from a state of protection into which no foreign power could penetrate, and all the safety that that eternal place offers. He came from that place from which he spoke and the things we see and the things we cannot see suddenly appeared simply because he spoke the word. He came from that eternal place into time, and into a virgin womb, and into a stable, and into a hostile environment, and subjected himself as God manifested in the flesh to a world that didn’t want him or recognize him. John said, “He came unto his own.” “His own” means his own nation; it means his own people whom he had raised up of the loins of Abraham and made of him a nation of people whom he had rescued as a slave people from Egypt and established them in the land of Canaan. “His own” refers to those he had given the Law and the Covenants. It refers to those to whom he had given the Scriptures. It refers to those beyond the borders of the nation of Israel because he was their creator to. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” The words “received” (paralambano) means “to accept or acknowledge one to be such as he professes to be.” They did not accept or acknowledge him for what he claimed to be. This means they believed him to be an imposter. They believed him to be a liar. They received him not.

Next John says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” The words “But as many as” identifies a group different from a world who rejected him and refused to receive him. This group identifies all the saved. John says, “to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” The words “gave he” is an aorist active indicative verb. The active voice means that he made the choice to do it. The word “power” (exousia) means “authority.” He had the right as God manifest in the flesh to make such a gift. I’ll never forget a preacher in Oklahoma City who had a man come forward in a service and give him a check for one million dollars. It got into the papers. They rejoiced in this great gift. But in a short time they realized this man was an imposter. He did not have the resources or the right to make such a gift. What a disappointment! What embarrassment that the preacher had fallen for such as this! Jesus did have the resources and the right to give those who received him the power to become the sons of God. Then John adds, “even to them that believe on his name.” This is what those who received did in the process of receiving him, they believe on his name. Every verb and verb form in this verse is aorist tense except this one. The verb “received” means that they did this at a point of time. The word “gave” is aorist tense and means that Jesus gave them at that point of time the power to become the sons of God. The words “to become” are an aorist infinitive and speak of a point of time in the past. But the word “believe” is a present active participle. It is saying that those who received him continue to believe. I have a part of my past that it not a good story to tell. It was a time when I got away from the Lord and did not serve him. This went on for a period of about eight years. But I can tell you that I never ceased to believe in Jesus. I knew I was wrong. But I never ceased to believe in Jesus. A believer will always be a believer. If you have faith in the circumstances of your religion, you may become an apostate to that faith. If you have your faith in your church, you may become an apostate to that church. If you have faith in Christ, there will never be a reason to disbelieve in him. Paul said in Roman 10:11, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” The word “ashamed” means that one will never be embarrassed that he put his faith in Christ.

May the Lord bless each of you.

In Christ
Bro. White

#121 – What Happens if Someone Dies Having Never Heard The Gospel

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WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO DIE HAVING NEVER HEARD THE GOSPEL?

Romans 1:18 20 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

This is an age old question.  There are many who have given logical  answers that make good sense.  However there are three  boundaries that we must not cross in answering this.  First, is the boundary of God’s wrath. Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” God had stated His wrath against all mankind.  Rom.  3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” The bloodhounds of God’s wrath are nipping at the heels of all the unsaved and He will not call off the dogs.  If we tell a man that he will not have to face God’s wrath because he never heard the gospel, we will put ourselves in opposition to the Word of God.

The second great boundary is that God has declared that man is without excuse. Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” If God says he is without excuse, we would be doing violence to the Scriptures if we claim that he did have an excuse, that excuse being, he never heard the gospel.  Many thinks because those who die without hearing the gospel will have another chance.  He will not have another chance.

The invisible things are clearly seen by the things that are seen.  Inspiration goes so far as to say that, “His eternal power and Godhead,” are evident in God’s revelation of Himself to man.  The conclusion is that “they are without excuse.” This means they are completely responsible.  Let me state it again.  Man is responsible to God for his sins and will suffer the wrath of God if he never hears the gospel.  Many cannot accept this.  Their point is that God would not be fair to let a man go to hell without a chance.

1.    First of all he has a chance.  Reread Romans one.  While a man cannot be saved without the gospel, he can and does know there is a Creator and that in his breast he knows he is responsible and accountable for his sins.

2.    Second, the truth of inward revelation. Romans 1:19, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.” The first step in salvation is to know there is a God and that we are accountable to Him for our sins.  God has revealed Himself to the conscience.  A missionary who goes to the field will find that God beat him there.  He has already worked in the conscience of the unsaved.  Some will respond and some won’t.

Now these things are not enough to save a man but they are enough to make a man consider the truth declared in these verses.  The man who wants to be saved after having God reveal Himself in the conscience, God will send a missionary or a Christian with a testimony of the grace of God to him.  He gives the one the gospel and in most cases he will be saved.  This principle is applied in the case of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:27-39.

I heard J.  Vernon McGee say that there would not be a man come before God in the judgment that never heard the gospel, who would have responded in repentance and faith, if they had heard.  I think that is a good conclusion.  But none of this neutralizes our responsibility to preach the gospel to every creature.

THE THIRD BOUNDARY

The third boundary that we must not cross in our preaching and teaching the Word of God is that, once a man dies, he will never have another chance. Hebrews 9:26 28, “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” If God says, “but after this the judgment,” He means exactly that.

WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THE CHURCH

Ezekiel 33:8 9, “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”

It is our responsibility to preach the gospel to the entire world.  It is not our responsibility to save them.  Only the Lord Jesus can save.  But it is our job to give them the good news.  There is a harvest out there.  It may be hard to find at times.  On other occasions it will be easy.  Adoniram Judson preached for 9 years before he had his first convert.  But then the Lord led him to a tribe that was ready to hear and thousands were saved.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ
Bro.  White

#120 – Divine Guidance

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DIVINE GUIDANCE

Exodus 13:16 22 “And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”

THOSE LED BY THE LORD ARE FIRST DELIVERED BY THE LORD

Exodus 13:16, “And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.”

The Jewish nation was to be constantly reminded of the deliverance from Egypt by the Lord.  It was not by Israel’s strength.  They were not allowed to develop an army or become experts in the use of weapons.  God was their weapon against all their foes. This is true of us: If we are to be led by the Lord, we must first of all be delivered by the Lord.

THOSE LED BY THE LORD SHOULD UNWAVERINGLY FOLLOW

The Lord led Israel to the Red Sea.  It was an area where you would not want to fight it out with the Egyptians.  It seemed more like the Lord leading them into a trap.  If they had not followed the Lord’s guidance there would not have been the parting of the Red Sea.  The Jews would long remember this experience.  And the Egyptians would also.  Pharaoh and his army were drowned to a man in their pursuit of the Children of Israel.  The Lord does not make mistakes.  Sometimes what He leads us to do does not make sense to the natural man.  The fact that we have Him as our Guide gives us an unfair advantage.  No one who runs up against God can win.

THOSE LED BY THE LORD SHOULD FOLLOW IN AN ORDERLY MANNER

Exodus 13:17 18, “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.”

God is careful and wise concerning His chosen people.  He did not want to engage them in war with the Philistines.  This could discourage them and turn them back to Egypt.  He could take better care of them in the wilderness.  Sometimes the Lord leads us into a fight with the powers of darkness, and at other times He leads through the wilderness.  His guidance is always right.

THOSE LED BY THE LORD WILL WALK IN THE LIGHT

Exodus 13:21, “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:”

God in the pillar led them, sheltered them, satisfied them with bread, and in the wilderness darkness shone upon them.  Jesus said in John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

THOSE LED BY THE LORD WILL BE PURSUED BY THE ENEMY

Exodus 14:8 9, “And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.”

Have you discovered that Satan is opposing the work of God in your life?  He will not leave us alone. 2 Corinthians 10:4 5, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” Paul speaks of “fighting the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12).

It is not an easy road.  Sometimes we are directly engaged with the enemy at other times we fight a different kind of war.  But we alway win if we are His child.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#119- It Is Finished

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IT IS FINISHED

John  +19:30 “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

The words in this meditation that I am especially concerned with are the words “It is finished.” They translate one word (tetelestai) and it is a perfect passive indicative verb. The perfect tense represents completed action in the past that completed action having present results. The completed action in the past gathers up all that Jesus did in the plan of God from eternity past, including his incarnation and perfect life, his trial and crucifixion until the point in time where he said “It is finished.” Now at that point of time God is satisfied in and through the person of Christ for the sins of the world so that a finished salvation can be offered to an unsaved world through the preaching of the gospel. The passive voice means that he, as the subject,  has been the one on whom redemption has depended, and all that justice demands as a penalty for sin has just been finished in him as man’s substitute, i.e., he received the action of divine wrath and satisfied it completely so that he could say, “it is finished.”

Robertson says in his word pictures: “A cry of victory in the hour of defeat like ‘nenikêka’ in John  +16:33″

There are several words that are used in Scripture that are synonymous with salvation that are finished because of the truth that Jesus declared when he said, “It is finished.”

If Justification is finished, the believer is no longer condemned. Justification removes one from the penalty of the law. He is therefore not condemned. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. . . ” How could this verse say “there is therefore now no condemnation,” if justification had not been accomplished in such a way as to remove any possibility of change of status in the future? We have a finished salvation so that when we receive Christ by faith we enter into a relationship with God that removes the threat of future change. In other words sin in the life of a believer does not change God’s mind about his justifying act. He chastens us because of sin but we remain participants in a finished salvation that needs nothing added and can have nothing subtracted. When Jesus said “It is finished” he meant it and it stands before God permanently without the chance of change. We are no long condemned.

If Redemption is finished, the believer is no longer in bondage. Galatians 4:3-7 says, “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” The word “bondage” in verse three is “douloo” which means “to make a slave of, to reduce to bondage.” It is a perfect passive participle which means that this slavery had been accomplished in the past and remained that way for those who had not been redeemed. The word “redeem” in verse five is “exagorazo” and means “to buy out of the slave market, to redeem by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom, buy off.” It is explained in these verse that this is what Jesus came to do. It is referring to the cross and when Jesus said, “It is finished” he meant that the price for redemption had at that point been paid in full.

Before I was saved I was in bondage to sin. All one has to do to realize this is to attempt to live without sin. If you attempt to do that by using God’s plumb line (The Law) you will find you are so crooked that a drunk man could not wobble enough to walk down beside your life. In John 8:34  Jesus answered them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” The word “servant” (doulos) is the same word and means slave. They had just denied in verse 33 having ever been in bondage to any man. It is amazing how blind unsaved people can be. They had been in bondage to Babylon and they were at the time in bondage to Rome. But Jesus is talking about a much greater bondage that this. It is bondage to sin. But when Jesus died on the cross he said, “It is finished,” and when he did he was declaring that the price has now been paid in full to set all the slaves free. If redemption is finished, the believer is no longer in bondage.

If Reconciliation is finished, the believer is no longer an enemy. Romans 5:10 says, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Every unsaved man is an enemy of God. He can deny it all day. But God says the unsaved are enemies. If you are reading this and you are not a born again Christian, you may feel like this is a harsh statement. I just want to tell you that you will have to accept God’s diagnosis and admit what he says is right or you will never be saved. God says you are an enemy. The word “enemy” in this verse is “echthros” and means “hated, odious, hateful, hostile, hating, and opposing another.” Have you ever seen yourself as a hater of God? You see, you can’t hate his way without hating him. Jesus came to “reconcile” God and man. In Colossians 1:20-21 Paul says, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” When Jesus said, “It is finished” the way had been made for a sinner to be reconciled to God. Nothing else needed to be done. All that was needed for reconciliation to take place, Jesus had accomplished it, and declared it so in the words, “It is finished.”

If Substitution is finished, the believer can be spoken of in the same way as the Substitute. If God accepted Jesus as my Substitute then all that Jesus is as my Substitute I am also. Paul says in Galatians 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.” The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death.” This is what is required of the sinner for his sin. Jesus as my Substitute paid God for my sin by dying. Since God has accepted the Substitute, I am accepted in the person of my Substitute. Ephesians 2:5-6 says, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” When Jesus said “It is finished” the Substitution was completed so that nothing needs to be added to his suffering and death to make it complete. Jesus, my Substitute is no longer on a cross but is rather on a throne. And what is said of my Substitute is also said of me. This is the reason verse six says, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” In our Substitute we are already in heaven. We have a finished salvation. Praise his holy name. We must worship at his feet.

May God bless you.

In Christ
Bro. White

#118 – The Just Shall Live By Faith

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THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH

Gal.  +3:11  “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”

There are at least seven things that is said about faith in Galatians two and three that I want us to look at in this meditation.

Paul talks about the hearing of faith: Chapter 2 and verse 2 says, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Romans  +10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith does not create its own things to believe. We are believers as a result of what we have heard. But the hearing of faith is more than just hearing. It is believing what we hear. This is true of the gospel message that brings us to Christ. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” What about those who hear and don’t believe? It is not just hearing the message and knowing it is from God. It is called “the hearing of faith.”  Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica and goes over what happened there when he came and preached the gospel. He says in 1 Thess. 2:13: ”For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” It was received by them as the Word of God. It worked effectively in those that believed. It illustrates the hearing of faith.

Then there is the prospect of faith in Gal. 3:24: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Here Paul pictures the law of Moses as a schoolmaster that brings those under the law to Christ. One could never be justified by the law ( +2:16) he is only condemned by the law. But a condemned man is ready to listen to anything that will get him off death row. So the Law says, “I have done my job. I have justly condemned you. I have had no mercy. It is not in my makeup to have mercy. But there is one who has been successful in setting men free whom I have condemned.” Would that be good news to you if you had been condemned and left on death row to await execution? This is the good news that is offered to every man. The words of this verse that say, “that we might be justified by faith.” This is the good news of the gospel. The words “might be justified” is an aorist passive subjunctive verb. The subjunctive mood is the mood of possibility. That means there is hope for the one condemned by the law even thought that condemnation left him on death row. The aorist tense is a point tense and it means that this justification is possible at some point in time in the future since it hasn’t happened yet. It is possible. At what point of time? At the point that you believe. The words “that we might be justified by faith” give us the message of the point of time. This is the prospect of faith.

Then there is the exercise of faith. Paul brings this out in chapter two and verse sixteen: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” The exercise of faith is in the person of Christ. Our justification is based on his faith. He is the only one who had perfect faith in the Father. There was no fault in him including his perfect faith. We put our faith in him and as a result we are justified by the faith of Christ. Our faith is not in our faith it is in him and his faith. Most modern translations of the Bible do not translate this verse right. The King James Bible translates the Textus Receptus exactly as it is. “. . . even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ. . . .” I am convinced that the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures is always right and that God the Holy Spirit is the Author of this statement. If we were justified by our faith we would have something to boast about. But here we have a definitive statement concerning faith, it is the faith of Christ that justifies and again all the glory goes to him.

Then we have the family of faith. Paul brings this out in chapter three and verse twenty six: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” The entrance into God’s family is the same for all. Someone has said the ground is level at the cross. We are all the same. That is certainly true when it comes to faith. We must come as a child simply believing that Jesus is God’s answer to our sins and that he had to die and that he was raised again the third day. Jesus said in Matthew 18:4, “ Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Man would like to come before God with something great to offer. But the rich and the poor, the brilliant and the ignorant, the cannibal and the moralist must all come the same way. All enter God’s family and are children of God by faith in Christ.

Then there is the life of faith. Paul says in chapter three and verse eleven: “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” This verse says two important things. First, no man is justified in the sight of God by keeping the law. That does not mean he cannot be justified in the sight of man. I have heard drunkards preached into heaven by the moralist who believe this man was good enough because he was a member of their organization (the Masons) and I happen to know that the man died because he drank himself to death. We are to live by faith. Not only are we to get into God’s family by faith but we are to live by faith after we enter. There is no way to live by faith without the Bible being the very life of your life. Jesus said in John chapter six and verse sixty three, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” No one lives by faith if he does not live in the Word of God. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I do not mean to hurt anyone when I make statements like this. But the moralist needs to know that. It is faith and faith alone that justifies in the sight of God and if one does not live by faith then it is evident he didn’t get in by faith. And if he didn’t get into God’s family by faith he will not go to heaven with God’s family.

Then there is the power of faith. Paul says in chapter three and verse fourteen:  “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” The promise of the Spirit is the promise of power. For this read Acts 1:8 and 2:39.

Then there is the Source of faith. Paul says in Galatians chapter two verse twenty: “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.” It is living by the faith OF the Son of God. . .” He is the source of all true faith. Paul says, “The just shall live by faith.” Amen.

May God bless you.

In Christ

Bro. White

#117 – I Am From Above

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I AM FROM ABOVE

John 8:23 “And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.”

This is one of those Scriptures that the Pharisees had such a problem with.  They were confused at this point.  The problem of where Jesus came from is settled once-and-for-all with this statement.  But just like unsaved religious leaders today, they buried their heads in the sand.  There is no way to explain what the Lord says in this statement.

THE COMPARISONS OF ORIGIN

The first thing that Jesus said to them was, “Ye are from beneath.” Their origin made all the difference in the world.  To be “from beneath” means that your origin is in this world and all your thoughts are from beneath.  Satan rules the kingdom that is from beneath. John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

Think about it.  Jesus said, “Ye are from beneath.” What did Jesus mean when He said this?  What the text actually says is, “ego eimi”.  This is the same as when Jesus said, “I am.” Jesus is the eternal God without beginning and without end.  He has incarnated Himself into man in order to save him from the eternal punishment of hell.

A verse that carries this further is 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” He roams the world to find someone that he can influence and cause to kill and give oneself to lust.  The way to overcome Satan is to “Be sober, and vigilant” the reason is because you have an adversary that will bring you down if he can. 1 Peter 5:9, “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

THE ORIGIN FROM ABOVE

Jesus said, “I am from above.” the word could refer to either place or time, (i.e. place, the Jerusalem which is above in the heavens, or time the eternal Jerusalem which preceded the earthly one).

Jesus clearly knew where He was from.  There have been many who have suggested that Christ did not know that He was the Messiah.  Some suggested that this calling came on Him at His baptism.  Bible believers believe that Jesus knew before He was born that He would come into the world as Saviour. John 8:58, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”  This places Jesus before Abraham at the time He was speaking.  We know all God wants us to know.  But God is omniscient.  This means that there is more to God’s knowledge than we will ever find out.  It is enough to know that the Omniscient God of our salvation loves us and has written our names in the Lamb’s book of life never to be erased.

This is the Lord’s prayer in John 17.  He prayed in verse 5: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” For this prayer to be true, Jesus had to exist with the Father before the world was.

THE CONTRAST OF PLACES

Jesus said, “Ye are from beneath.”  “Those that live in unbelief, are for ever undone, if they die in unbelief. The Jews belonged to this present evil world, but Jesus was of a heavenly and Divine nature, so that his doctrine, kingdom, and blessings, would not suit their taste. But the curse of the law is done away to all that submit to the grace of the gospel. Nothing but the doctrine of Christ’s grace will be an argument powerful enough, and none but the Spirit of Christ’s grace will be an agent powerful enough, to turn us from sin to God; and that Spirit is given, and that doctrine is given, to work upon those only who believe in Christ. Some say, Who is this Jesus? They allow him to have been a Prophet, an excellent Teacher, and even more than a creature; but cannot acknowledge him as over all, God blessed for evermore. Will not this suffice? Jesus here answers the question. Is this to honour him as the Father? Does this admit his being the Light of the world, and the Life of men, one with the Father? All shall know by their conversion, or in their condemnation, that he always spake and did what pleased the Father, even when he claimed the highest honors to himself.”    —Matthew Henry

“Ye are from beneath means that those to whom He was speaking were from this world. Their origin was from this world and this excludes them from the world above.  They cannot cross over.  They are stuck by sin so deeply in the world below, that it would take nothing short of a miracle for them to change origins.  Jesus could do this for them but they are bound by their own pride and prejudice to a world on its way to hell.

Jesus said, “I am not of this world.” Here we have the incarnation.  Jesus God’s only begotten Son came into this world to save man.  But He is One who had no beginning.  He is eternal in nature and belongs in heaven.  When Christ ascended into heaven after the crucifixion He was welcomed by the host of heaven who rejoiced that He was back home.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ
Bro.  White

#116 – The Great Commission

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THE GREAT COMMISSION

Matt. 28:16-20 “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

We have in this passage of Scripture what we call the Great Commission. It is where Jesus gave his church the commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing the converts and then teaching them to do all things “whatsoever I have commanded you.” Then those to whom he gave the commission had the promise “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

Jesus had established his church during his personal ministry and given them discipleship training and had them prepared for this occasion. I’m sure they probably felt very unprepared. They certainly did not want to do without his bodily presence. But this was a must. It was and is a part of God’s plan for Jesus to ascend into heaven, take his seat on the right hand of the father and wait until the time for the rapture and resurrection. During that time of waiting the Church that Jesus Build will be taking the gospel to the world through missionary enterprise.

The Church on Pentecost received the baptism of the Holy Spirit which was not its organizational service but where it received its power to carry out the great commission. If the church started on Pentecost it is preaching under a commission received before it came into existence.

Many missionaries go out completely equipped to win souls to Christ and this is commendable. But they do not have a clue what to do to organize them into a New Testament Church after they have won them. They have just not been trained in what a church is. If you do not know what a church is how could you ever hope to form one after the New Testament model? A lot of people believe that a church is just a group of saved people getting together and having a Bible study.

The Bible teaches that you can get in and out of a New Testament Church. So it is more than just attending a Bible class.

Jesus formed the first Church out of material prepared for him by the for-runner, John the Baptist. John preached repentance and told those who listened to him, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire (Matt. +3:11). John preached Jesus and baptized Converts.

When Jesus came on the scene he took the converts of John and made them the core of the disciples who would be his full time associates. John +1:35-37 says, “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God.  And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”

When Judas fell from his office of apostleship and they were electing someone to take his place one of the requirements for this is described in Acts chapter 1. Acts 1:21-22 says, “Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” An apostle had to have John’s baptism and continue under the ministry of Christ until he was taken up.

So from this is I take it that a New Testament Church should be organized out of people who have accepted Christ as a personal Saviour and can give testimony to his saving grace. These disciples of Christ should also have Scriptural baptism administered by a New Testament Church which is operating under the authority of Christ. I had a man tell me one time that he baptized himself in a swimming pool. Well, I never heard that one before. I tried to be as nice as my frustration would allow me and explained to him that he needed baptism at the hands of a church that had the commission from Christ to baptize.

Missionaries who go out to foreign fields should have a commission from their local church to baptize their converts. When they have enough in number and God has raised up leadership who can take responsibility the church should be organized. At the organization there should be a covenant and articles of faith adopted so that those who join this fellowship of believers will know what is believed and what is expected of them.

This church should have been trained before organization to recognize heresy so that it will be dealt with in a disciplinary fashion if it surfaces in the church. Discipline is necessary in a New Testament Church and if you don’t exercise discipline in love the leaven of sin will permeate the assembly and will render it powerless and it will become disgrace to the name of Jesus. Satan will attack every New Testament Church on both these areas.

Satan is constantly attacking the church with doctrinal and moral error. None of us like to tell someone else he is wrong. But the church has to proclaim the standard and keep the faith and in order to do so, some people won’t like it. Do we stop and bury our heads in the sand when we are opposed? Not if we obey the Lord. It is the truth that sets men free. Not compromise.

God bless each of you

In Christ

Bro. White

#115 – An Eternal Memorial

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AN ETERNAL MEMORIAL

Exo.  12:14 “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.”

The passover is a graphic illustration of the deliverance one gets when he trusts Christ as his personal Saviour.  Someone has said, “The story of the first Passover is just an early edition of the gospel of Christ.  The first item in this story is a change of dates where a NEW YEAR begins.

THE NEW YEAR FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD

Exodus 12:1 2, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” The passover began a new birth day for them.  This is exactly what happens when one is saved.  Now the world does not recognize it but the new birth starts a new beginning for us.  I was born the first time in 1930 and I was born the second time in 1939.  My body still hangs on to the old calendar but the new man in Christ has a new birth day that extends into the eternal ages.  It is not affected by time and does not age.  It is wonderful to be on the eternal time clock.

THE SLAIN LAMB OUR SUBSTITUTE

There was no way around this.  It was the death of the first-born or the death of a carefully selected lamb.  “Ye shall take every man a lamb, a lamb for an house” (vs 3).

Either the firstborn or an innocent substitute must die.  This was God’s method, there was no escape from it.  The Lord Jesus Christ is the divinely appointed Lamb (John 1:29).   I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins…  “Christ our Passover sacrificed for us” (1 Cor.  5:7).

Substitution is the only way of salvation for man.  Man has fallen into sin and is totally depraved and cannot save himself.  Jesus our slain Lamb has paid the price.  The Father in heaven has accepted the payment and has promised to save those who will put their faith in Christ as a personal Saviour.

THE SLAIN LAMB MUST BE APPROPRIATED

“Ye shall take the blood, . . . and it shall be a token upon the houses where ye are” (vss 7-12).  The death of the Lamb availed them nothing until the blood was applied.  There are those who discount the value of the blood by saying it was symbolic.  They say that it was the death of Christ that set man free.

There are those who would say that the death of the Lamb was enough.  It took the death of the Lamb and the application of the blood to save the first-born. Exodus 12:13, “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”

The implication of this verse is that the first-born of every Jewish family would die along with the Egyptians if the blood was not applied.

Jesus shed His blood for all mankind, but if that blood is not applied by faith to each individual, there will be no forgiveness.  The person who refuses the blood as an atonement for the Soul chooses his own destiny.  Next we see the—

CONFIRMATION

The message was in verse 13, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” When God came through the land of Egypt that night, He was not looking for Jew or Egyptian but for the blood.  The blood made them safe and the promise made them sure.  Next we see that in the Passover there was—

PURIFICATION

Exodus 12:15, “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.”

Leaven as typical of secret and hidden sin must be put away (1 Cor.  5:7-8), and put away on the first day.  The blood without not only justifies, but also leads to cleansing within.  2 Corinthians 7:1, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Next there was—

SEPARATION

Exodus 12:31 33, “And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.”

They must leave Egypt before the regular worship of God took place. 2 Corinthians 6:17 18, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

The Passover was to become an eternal memorial of God’s salvation of the Jews for the horrible slavery they endured in Egypt. Exodus 12:14, “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.”

May the Lord bless our hearts with these words.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#114 – Temperance – The Fruit of the Spirit

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Part 9

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The ninth fruit of the Spirit is temperance.

The word temperance is self-restraint. It is moderation in action. Peter uses it in a list of things that should be in every Christian. 2 Peter 1:5-7, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”

The drunkard needs to practice total abstinence. The glutton needs to practice temperance.
A man with a violent temper needs to be temperate (self-control).

Self-control is a good word that should describe the believer in Christ.

Titus 2:9 “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;” Back-talking is forbidden on the part of the servant with reference to his master. Sometimes the servant has the urge to challenge the wishes of his master. Peter instructs the servant to exercise self-control.

The believer is to exercise self-control in every area of his life.

For the one who says he cannot do it, we need to be reminded that this is a fruit of the Spirit.

We have the Holy Spirit to fill us with His power to be temperate.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts today!

In Christ,
Bro. White

#113 – Meekness – The Fruit of the Spirit

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Part 8

Galatians 5:22-24, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Meekness is the eighth fruit of the Spirit.

Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is temper under control. Jesus is meek. Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Jesus was completely approachable. He showed meekness as He ministered during His personal ministry. I hear someone say, “I am not meek by nature.” The Spirit-filled believer has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

Many things the Lord tells us to do cannot be done in the strength of the flesh. The Lord has given us the Person of the Holy Spirit to reproduce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

2 Corinthians 10:1 “Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:”

Paul did not want to come to them in harshness. We are not representatives of Christ when we are harsh with people.

2 Timothy 2:24-25 “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”

Our leaders are to be meek as they instruct wayward believers.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts today!

In Christ,
Bro. White

#112 – Faith – The Fruit of the Spirit

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Part 7

Galatians 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The seventh fruit of the Spirit is faith.

How do we get faith? Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

Faith is a gift from God. We have the power to use it to glorify God or to exercise unbelief to reject God and His Word. The world as a whole is in rejection of God’s Word and operates in the kingdom of Satan and unbelief.

The kingdom of God is entered by faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” God is Spirit and cannot be seen. Faith believes that He is so that through the faith of believers God is seen.

When the world wants to know where man and the world came from, they come up with the thought of evolution. The believer accepts God’s Word on the subject: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Hebrews 11:3 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

Faith is a fruit of the Spirit. This is what Paul says by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Do you believe God? If you do, you glorify God. Faith rests its case on the Word of God.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts today!

In Christ,
Bro. White

#111 – Goodness – The Fruit of the Spirit

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Part 6

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The sixth fruit of the Spirit is goodness.

Romans 2:4 “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

The Bible says, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” Repentance is a condition to salvation. God in His goodness grants salvation to everyone who believes.  This word is also used by the Lord in His dealing with the rich young ruler. Matthew 19:16-17, “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” We learn from our Lord’s teaching that God is good in a way that no other person is good.
The goodness that is the fruit of the Spirit is God’s goodness growing out of the believer’s relationship with God.

Matthew 26:10 “When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.”

Our text speaks of the fruit of the Spirit which is the overflow of the believer’s walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16). The first time this word is used is in Genesis: Genesis 1:31 “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”

If God does it, it is always good. So goodness that is the fruit of the Spirit originates in God.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts today!

In Christ,
Bro White

#110 – Gentleness – The Fruit of the Spirit

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Part 5

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The fifth fruit of the spirit is gentleness.

A gentle person is approachable. I know pastors who were not approachable. They were rough and judgmental. This kind of a person is the kind of a person that you do not want to approach for counsel the second time.

There are parents who are like this. A child comes to them with a problem, and the parent blows his stack and makes the child feel like an idiot. Here communication is broken, and the child has no one to turn to but someone outside the home. This kid is not going to come to a parent because he knows that his parent is going to create a scene.

On the other hand, a gentle person is approachable. A gentle person will listen. Jesus was a gentle person. He was and is completely approachable. John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Gentleness is a characteristic of the yielded believer. The fruit of the Spirit is the natural, effortless product of a healthy plant. The Spirit-filled person is a person who has surrendered his right to blow his stack.

2 Corinthians 10:1 “Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you.”

Paul was a gentle person. His gentleness found its roots in the Lord Jesus. This verse says, “Now I beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ.” To be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with the Spirit of Christ. The fruit of the Spirit comes out of that relationship.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts today!

In Christ,
Bro. White

#109 – Longsuffering – The Fruit of the Spirit

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Part 4

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The fourth fruit of the Spirit is longsuffering. Patience is another word that expresses the same thing as longsuffering. However, longsuffering emphasizes patience during the time of suffering.
This word could apply to a person who is suffering from sickness. I have known Christians who were bedfast for years. Some have a negative attitude, and it is depressing to visit with them. Others are happy Christians in spite of the circumstances. These Christians are the ones who cheer you up when you visit them. They are longsuffering. Richard Wurmbrand is an example in longsuffering. Wurmbrand spent fourteen years in a communist prison and was tortured repeatedly. I recommend his books. They are inspiring.
There is the longsuffering of a faithful pastor who grounds his flock in the Word of God. I remember when I was a boy that I wanted to go to bed and wake up twenty-one. Growth to maturity seemed so slow. This is also true in the spiritual realm. Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” It is so important that the young Christian be grounded in the Word of God so that he is not blown around by every wind of doctrine. Ephesians 4:14 “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts today!

In Christ,
Bro. White

#108 – Peace – The Fruit of the Spirit

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Part 3

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The third fruit of the Spirit is peace. This is not a peace that depends on circumstances. Worldly peace is totally dependent on the circumstances. If the circumstances are favorable, there is peace.

But the peace that our text is referring to is not dependent on the circumstances.
Jesus gave this peace to His disciples; John 14:27 “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.”

There are many things that are disturbing to the Christian. The shape the world is in is a stealer of peace. Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jesus had the kind of peace that could not be taken from Him when faced with the cross. Jesus was only days away from His crucifixion when He gave this verse to His disciples.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

It takes faith to receive the gift of peace. It is by faith that we know the will of God.

Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

The Holy Spirit produces this peace as we walk in the Spirit. Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit.
Is this peace evident in your life? Ask and you shall receive!

May the Lord Bless these words to our hearts today!

In Christ,
Bro. White

#107 – Joy – The Fruit of the Spirit

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Part 2

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Joy is the second in the cluster of nine. This is not human joy produced by the circumstances or a product of the flesh. It is joy that finds its origin in the Spirit that indwells the believer. It is a gift.

John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

Psalms 51:12 “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”

David had lost his joy over the sinful act of adultery with Bathsheba. He is praying in this psalm that he might regain the joy of his salvation.

There is nothing to compare with the joy of salvation that the believer has when everything is right between him and his Lord.

One of the ways that we know that something has gone wrong in our walk with the Lord is our joy is lost.

Philippians 1:25 “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;”

Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”

The most joy-filled Christian that you know has found the secret of walking in the Spirit. Many times the way to regain lost joy is to crucify the flesh.

Galatians 5:24 “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

Do you still have the joy of your salvation? Are you walking in the Spirit so that joy is produced in your life by the Holy Spirit?

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts!

In Christ,
Bro. White

#106 – Love -The Fruit of the Spirit

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LOVE – THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT –Part 1
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The Christian life begins with the new birth. Jesus told Nicodemus that he “must be born again” to see or enter the kingdom of God. This new birth is a spiritual birth. John 3:6 says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”  From this verse, we learn that the human spirit is born into God’s family. The believer becomes spiritually alive.

How can you tell if a person is born again? One of the ways is that the fruit of the Spirit is seen in the overflow of his life.

The first fruit of the Spirit is love. Love becomes a characteristic of the yielded believer. This love is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

This love expresses itself in love for the brethren. 1 John 3:14 “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” This love is essential to the assurance of salvation. This text says, “We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren…”

So this fruit of the Spirit identifies the believer as a child of God who is walking in the Spirit. Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Is love for the brethren a characteristic of your life? If so, it identifies you as a child of God walking in the Spirit.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts!

In Christ,
Bro. White

#105 – Submission is the Rule

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SUBMISSION IS THE RULE

Col. 3:18 22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.”

There are five areas in which submission is to take place. No one is submitted Spiritually to the Lord without the proof of it in practical life. First Paul says . . .

WIVES SUBMIT TO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS

The word “wives” translates “gune” and means, “a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow.” It can refer to a woman who is betrothed. Here it is certainly referring to a married woman because she is told who to submit to. The word “own” translates “idios” (Looks a lot like our word idiot!) pertaining to one’s self, one’s own, belonging to one’s self.” I can just hear some woman asking, “Do you mean Jesus commands me to submit to that idiot?!”

The word “submit” translates “hupotasso” and means, “to arrange under, to subordinate.” The following explanation is also given in Strong’s Dictionary in Online Bible: “A Greek military term meaning ‘to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader. In non military use, it was ‘a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.'” When I was in the military on two different occasions, I experienced this definition as I voluntarily submitted to the authority of anyone whose rank was higher than mine. The military is built on the system of authority. And there is a penalty exercised on those who are not willing to submit respectfully to that authority.

Paul instructs the wives in proper submission to their husbands. This is the Holy Spirit’s word on this subject. It is the role of the woman from creation to be in submission to her husband. Peter gave the same kind of instructions in 1 Peter 3:1 6: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

Paul and Peter are by no means putting the woman down as we would call it. He is just saying that God had a purpose in mind when He created the woman and in this life, to be right with His purpose in creation, the woman must submit to the authority of her husband. This is what he means when he says, “as it is fit in the Lord.” Next He says . . .

HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES

The word “husbands” translates “aner” and means, “a male or a betrothed husband.” This word is also used to distinguish an adult man from a boy. The word “love” translates “agapao” and when it is used of persons it means, “to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly.” This is a verb and is a present active imperative. The present tense means to continue to love them. The imperative mood is a command that expresses urgency. Stress is on the importance of the husband loving his wife dearly, thus making her task of submission to his authority a joy instead of a burden. The husband is under orders to love his wife and if he does not, he is as much out of the will of God in refusing to submit to this command as the wife would be if she refused to submit to him. Obedience to God in these areas would probably stop divorce. Then Paul says . . .

CHILDREN OBEY YOUR PARENTS IN ALL THINGS

The word “children” translates “teknon” and means, “offspring, children, a child.” The word “obey” translates “hupakouo” and it means, “to listen, to harken.” It is used “of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen to who it is, (the duty of a porter), to harken to a command.” Children should listen to the teaching of their parents in all things. Children are an heritage of the Lord and it behooves parents to rear their children to honor and serve God. Solomon said in Proverbs 1:8: “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” You will never get better advice than Solomon gives here.

Solomon also speaks to the son who does not listen to his parents.  Proverbs 13:1 says, “A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.” The word “scorner” means “to make mouths at, to talk arrogantly to.” We used to call it making a face. Have you ever made a face at someone? I didn’t do it to my parent’s face. But when they turned their backs!!! However, they caught me and taught me better. They taught me respect. The words “to talk arrogantly to” are speaking of what we called sassing our parents. Now you didn’t get away with that at all in my home. The Human Services organization was not in existence in that day! I sassed my grandmother one time in low tones where she couldn’t hear me. But my grandfather was near, and I didn’t see him. The next thing I knew he had me by the nap of the neck and my boyish feet were not even touching ground, and as I dangled before his red face I saw an expression that I had never seen before. He instructed me never to do that again. And I didn’t!

Paul adds, “in all things.” Many questions have arisen. What if they tell you to do something wrong? Let me say this. Most of the time that question comes up to justify disobedience. There won’t be much obedience if the child is allowed to decide which commands to obey.  The words “for this is well pleasing to the Lord” mean that God does take note of a child’s obedient response to his parents. Have you ever looked at a person, and you said that person doesn’t look happy. God is not happy when a child disobeys his parents. When a child says, “I really want to please the Lord,” associate that with obedience, submission, and respect to his parents, and see if he is still as committed to pleasing the Lord? Then next Paul says . . .

FATHER’S PROVOKE NOT YOUR CHILDREN TO ANGER

The father is the head of home and the one in authority. Because of this the father is singled out. The word “provoke” translates “erethizo” and means, “to stir up, excite, stimulate, to provoke.” When authority is exercised in an unreasonable manner it will stir up the child in a wrong way. The child will not be able to make sense of the use of the father’s authority. The result will be anger. If the punishment is not equal to the offense, it can harm the child. Chastening is for the purpose of teaching. If the child can’t see the point it frustrates and angers.

Then Paul gives the reason, “lest they be discouraged.” This translates “athumeo” and means, “to be disheartened, dispirited, broken in spirit.” It is a present active subjunctive verb. The spirit of a child can be broken. There are times when a child just gives up. The subjunctive mood suggests a real possibility. They can do nothing. All decisions are made for them. They are never allowed to do anything without such strict management that they are more or less robots. The way a child interprets this is, “I am too dumb to do this on my own. My parents do not trust me so I’ll just do what they say and quit trying.” Paul instructs the father not to make this mistake. Then Paul says . . .

SERVANTS OBEY YOUR MASTERS

The word “servants” translates “doulos” and means “slave.” This word describes the kind of person that is sold for money. It is very difficult for Christians of our day to accept that slavery was a practice in the days of the early Church. And to top it off, Jesus did not seem to condemn it. I’m not saying He endorsed it either. What I am saying is that Jesus did not come for the purpose of social reform. He came to seek and to save that which is lost. Paul instructs slaves in how to behave as Christians in relationship to their masters. They were to “obey” their masters. The word “obey” is the same word that is used to instruct children. Servants are to listen to and take heed to their masters. It is a present active imperative verb. It is a command and it is urgent that they do it. If they don’t, they will be punished for their disobedience, and it will cause them to lose their testimony as Christians.

The words “according to the flesh” mean that it is talking about their duty in this world. The flesh is in contrast to their spiritual lives. Their earthly master cannot tell them what to believe as Christians. Jesus rules there. But their earthly masters are to be obeyed.   The slaves are not to serve with “eyeservice, as menpleasers.” It is not to be for show. It is not to be hypocritical. The words, “but in singleness of heart, fearing God,” mean that their service to their earthly masters is done as unto the Lord. Their service to man is obedience to their heavenly Master. They do it because they fear God. Now this fear of God is a reverential fear. I loved my parents, but I feared them at the same time. I knew, if I disobeyed, there would be consequences. Paul wanted the servants to know that what he was telling them was the Word of God, and how they responded to this Word would be something for which they would have to give account.

I believe these instructions to servants has an application to the Christian employee. The Christian should give eight hours (or more) work for eight hours pay. We owe it to Christ our Lord to be the best employee possible as HIS servants.

May the Lord help us to submit and obey, in those areas in which He has instructed us, without complaint and with great joy as His servants.

In Christ,

Bro. Earl White

#104 – Faith is Counted for Righteousness

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FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS

Rom. 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Is faith a righteous act? What is the Bible saying in this verse and others where faith is counted for righteousness? Let us look at what this verse is saying.

Paul says “But to him that worketh not.” The works here is a reference to the works of the law. He has just said in chapter three and verse 20: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The words “the deeds of the law” is a definite reference to human works in the process of obedience to the law of God. And God says in this verse that “there shall no flesh be justified in his sight” by the deeds of the law. This is what God says. If you think that you can be justified in the sight of God by keeping the Law of Moses or any other set of rules someone presents to you as a means of salvation, you need to take a close look at what Paul is saying here. He says that no one will be justified in his sight by works.

So Paul says, “But to him that worketh not.” The word “worketh” (ergazomai) is the translation of a word that means “ to work, to toil,  to trade, to make gains by trading, do business.”  It is a present middle participle. It is used with the negative which means the one who is not working in response or obedience to the law but is believing. This verse begins by making it clear that what faith does for the person (the believer) it does not do because he is keeping the law or even attempting to keep the law. Let me state the matter of works in a different way so we will be clear on what Paul (the Holy Spirit because it is the inspired Word of God) is teaching here. The idea of being saved by “works” is where you trade your works for God’s salvation. You can’t say anything else. This is what a man has to say when he says that a person is saved by works. He is simply in business with God. He does those things that please God (he thinks) and trades these acts of righteousness (according to his definition) for heaven. Of course his human acts of righteousness, even those acts which are in response to God’s law, are spoken of in this manner in Isa. 64:6: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

Paul adds, “but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly.” The word “believeth” (pisteuo) is a verb form and is a present active participle. The word believe means “to be persuaded of, to place confidence in.” It means to treat as truth. It means to treat as a settled conviction of the truth of anything. The present tense means that this is the continuous attitude of the one referred to in this verse. The active voice means that it is a choice of the believer. Salvation is a choice. Men are saved because they make a choice when they hear the gospel.

The words “on him” state where justifying faith is placed. It is not in self or the church. I had a man tell me one time if you believe in a stump hard enough you will be saved. What the man was confused about was that “faith saves.” Therefore, it is not what you have your faith in as long as you have faith. Of course, saving faith is not faith in faith but saving faith is in him who justifies the ungodly. The preposition “on” is the translation of “epi” which means upon, i.e., like on a foundation. Jesus is the foundation of our faith. The Bible says in 1 Cor. 3:11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Faith is placed on the strong foundation of the faithfulness and immutability of God.

The word “justifieth” (dikaioo) comes from the word that means “righteous, observing divine laws.” There is only one who was truly righteous and that was Jesus. God said of his Son, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus said to those who were the most informed of his day concerning the Law, “Which of you convinceth me of sin.” And no one could. The word “justifieth” is translation of the same word that is rendered righteous in other places. My spell checker just went crazy! It tells me there is no such word. The word “justifieth” is the right word and it is the translation of the word that also means “righteous.” It is a present active participle. This means that “justification” is a present tense experience. It is not “pie in the sky by and by” it is justification right now on the spot for those willing to respond in repentance and faith to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The word “ungodly” describe the one’s whom God justifies by faith. It is not those who deem themselves righteous because of their perceived keeping of the law. It is the “ungodly” that he justifies. The word “ungodly” (asebes) means “destitute of reverential awe towards God, condemning God, impious.” Does this describe you? You say, “Not by a long shot! I am not ungodly. I am not a bad person.” Then you are not a candidate for salvation. Jesus didn’t come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:13). You say, “I am already saved.” You are not saved unless you have faced the FACT that you are ungodly. I am not saying that you have done a few things wrong. I am saying that you are ungodly to the very core of your life and in such a condition that you cannot think a good thought that God will accept as a righteous thought.

Our problem is that our perception of what is right is wrong. Sin is only measured or even discovered when placed in the presence of a holy God. Isaiah thought he was ok until he had the vision of Isaiah chapter 6. I won’t quote it here but when he saw the LORD high and lifted up he said, “Woe is me for I am undone!”

God justifies the ungodly by faith. The words “his faith is counted for righteousness” brings this out. The word “counted” (logizomai) means “to reckon, count, compute, calculate.” This means that God “reckons” this as righteousness.” It means God “computes or calculates” this as righteousness. The word “counted” is from a word that means “to say something with a word.” This means that when a person exercises faith in Jesus Christ God SAYS that man is righteous. Even though that man is ungodly! Do you qualify for God to say you are righteous?

Paul says “his faith is counted for righteousness.” I must say this is good news for me. I know I can’t keep God’s standards. I have tried. I am a total failure when it come to meeting what God requires. But one day I heard the good news. Christ died for sinners who were hopelessly locked in to an old sin nature that rendered it impossible for them to meet God’s standards. Jesus came and died for sinners like me. And the good news says that God will justify me if I will believe in Christ as my personal Saviour. I did and he did. Faith is counted for righteousness.

May God bless you.

In Christ
Bro. White

#103 – A Slave to Sin

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BEING A SLAVE TO SIN

Psalms 19:13 “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.”

The word “dominion” translates “katakurieuo” and means, “to bring under one’s power, to hold in subjection, to be master of, exercise lordship over.”

This definition definitely teaches that we can be under sins dominion.  It means we are being controlled by Satan and demons have a field day with those who do not think this is possible.

SLAVES TO SIN

John 8:32 34, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”

1.    First they answered Him that they had never been in bondage to any man.  It is amazing that they made this claim when the nation had been in bondage in Egypt; they had been in bondage to Babylon; they were presently in bondage to Rome.

2.    Second, there was the bondage to sin.  Jesus said, “Whoso committeth sin is the servant of sin.” The word “servant” translates “douleuo” and means, “to become slaves to some base power, to yield to, give one’s self up to.”

3.    What Jesus said here applies to the whole human race. Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” So to deny that one is a sinner is calling the Word of God a liar.

4.    There is only one way out of sins bondage: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Next we see the Jews—

REFUSING FREEDOM

Jesus makes the offer and the Jews flatly reject Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah.  In doing this they judged themselves unworthy of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus said in John 8:24, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

Another clear statement of Jesus to those who heard Him is found in John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” He did not say, “Ye cannot come to me that you might have life,” but, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” It is a matter of the will.  There will be no one in heaven who is there against their will.  There will be no one in hell that can say that they did not have a chance.  Next we see—

THE POWER TO DELIVER

The Lord is the only one that has the power over sin to deliver the one’s in bondage to it. Colossians 1:14, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” The purchase back of something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom. The Greek word for redemption is “apolutrosis”, a word occurring nine times in Scripture, and always with the idea of a ransom or price paid.” —Easton’s Dictionary of the Bible.

It is difficult for man to accept that he is in bondage and that he is accountable to God for refusing the way out.  If one is to be made free, he must come to Christ to obtain that freedom.

GOD’S RESTRAINING POWER AVAILABLE

David prayed, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.”

This is the way of holiness.  The Lord must keep us . . . from what David calls “presumptuous sins.” One might say that keeping one’s self from presumptuous sins is our responsibility.  That is true but the fact that Paul asked for help with this only proves it can be done.  We should pray for the same.  “Presumptuous sins” can bring us into bondage.  It can bring chastening.

God does restrain sin.  It is not enough “to will” not to do something.  What ever sin or sins are included in this cry for help, David knew God was available and his faith led him to pray for help.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White