When I Say, “I Am A Christian”!

kneeling in prayer sunset

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not shouting ‘I’m clean livin’.
I’m whispering ‘I was lost,
Now I’m found and forgiven.’

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak
And need His strength to carry on.

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner
Who received God’s good grace, somehow!”

Author: Unknown

©2014 Mark Davis

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Top 10 Bible Truths

1. All men are sinners:

Romans 3:23
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”

Ecclesiastes 7:20
“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”

Isaiah 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.”

Romans 3:10
“There is none righteous, no not one”

James 2:10
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

1 John 1:8
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

2. Salvation by grace (undeserved mercy), not works:

Ephesians 2:8, 9
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Mark 10:25-27
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”

Romans 3:20
“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.”

Romans 11:6
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

Galatians 2:16
“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.”

Titus 3:5
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

 

3. Salvation only through Jesus:

Acts 4:12
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

1 Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God, one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, “

John 3:36
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

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.

John 10:1
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

John 10:9
I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

John 14:6
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.

1 Corinthians 3:11
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

1 John 5:12
“He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

 

4. Believe on Jesus:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 11:25,26
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believe you this?

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

Romans 10:9, 10
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:  for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”

5. Receive Jesus:

Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will eat with him, and he with me.

John 1:12
“But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

Galatians 4:6
“And because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

Ephesians 3:17-19
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

 

6. Eternal salvation:

A. You can never lose it, even if you make mistakes and fall:

Psalm 37:24
“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand”

John 3:36
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

John 6:37
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 10:28
I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand

Romans 8:38,39
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 3:11-15
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

1 Corinthians 5:5
“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”

Hebrews 13:5
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

2 Timothy 2:12
“If we endure, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: “

1 John 5:13
“These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God”

B. But the Lord will chasten you for wrongdoing:

Psalm 89:30-34
“If his children forsake my law, And walk not in my judgments;  If they break my statutes, And keep not my commandments;  Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes.  Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.  My covenant will I not break nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”

 Hebrews 12:5-8
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children:  My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards and not sons.”

Revelation 3:19
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

 

7. Receiving Jesus guarantees eternal life in Heaven:

Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. “

John 11:26
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

John 14:2-3
In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

1 Peter 1:3, 4
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,”

1 John 5:11, 12
 “And this is the record, that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

(See Revelation 21:1-27 and 22:1-5 for a description of Heaven)

 

8. The results of being born again:

A. Spiritual rebirth makes you a new creature:

John 3:3
“Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.””

Matthew 18:3
Verily, I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.

John 1:12, 13
“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.”

Romans 12:2
“Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

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

1 Peter 1:23
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”

B. You will desire to work for Jesus:

Ephesians 2:10
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Titus 2:12-14
“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works.”

(See also Ephesians 4:21-24; Colossians 3:8-10; Titus 3:8; James 2:18.)

 

9. Sin brings about spiritual death; but Jesus died in our place, taking our punishment:

Isaiah 59:2
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 5:8
“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

2 Corinthians 5:21
“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.”

1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John  2:1, 2
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation (replacement sacrifice) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

10. In the Mosaic law, blood is payment for sin; Jesus’ death paid that price in full:

Leviticus 17:11
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

Hebrews 9:22
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

Matthew 26:28
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

John 1:29
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and sayeth, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.””

Ephesians 1:7
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace,”
(See also 1 John 2:12)

1 Peter 1:18, 19
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver or gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.“

©2013 Mark Davis

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God Loves A Cheerful Christian

Where it is True that God wants us to be serious about doing His work, Here is proof that He really does want us to be able to enjoy our short time here on earth.  There is a time and a place for everything.

Thank you, Jon, for your perspective.
Mark, Administrator
http://ChristiansAreUs.wordpress.com

Mind Renewers

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

4 … a time to laugh….

I often say God has a sense of humour.  He made us, after all, and we’re rather silly creatures sometimes.  But some people think humour is frivolous and inappropriate, especially when speaking of the things of the Lord.   Certainly, it can be used wrongly, but I’d like to look at some examples of humour in Scripture to show that this is a tool that God Himself uses, and it is certainly fitting for us to use as well.

There are many plays on words in the original languages of the Scripture, and this is probably the most frequent use of humour.  But little of that survives in translation, so I’ll focus on those things that we can see in the English.

View original post 2,090 more words

Working vs. Receiving

chspurgeon

‎”Beloved, here is a test for us—is our religion a receiving religion, or is it a working and an earning religion? An earning religion sends souls to Hell. It is only a receiving religion that will take you to Heaven.”

— Charles H. Spurgeon

Bible Readings:

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

Galatians 2:16 “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.”

John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

Acts 20:32 “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

Lesson 7 – Stewardship – Assignments

Lesson 7

Stewardship

Assignments

1. Memorize Malachi 3:10.  Also, we suggest that you memorize I Corinthians 4:2.

2. Read these chapters in John: 20 – 21; 3 – 7.  Please note any truths concerning our responsibility for witnessing that you find.  Record this information under “NOTES” on a separate page.

3. Answer the following questions in your own words:

1. To whom does our property really belong? (I Corinthians 10:26)
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2. To whom does the Christian belong? (Romans 6:22)
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3. What should a Christian surrender to God? (Romans 12:1)
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4. What did the Lord Jesus mean in His answer to the two men in Luke 9:59 – 62?
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5. Does God expect us to do something for which He has not equipped us? Refer to II Corinthians 8:12; 9:8; and Philippians 4:13.
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6. What does God want each Christian to do? (Romans 12:3 – 8)
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7. What talent or gift do you have that God would desire you to use for Him?
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8. What is the bare minimum for a Christian to give to the Lord’s work?
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9. Is the tithe ten percent of that which is left over after we pay our bills? (Proverbs 3:9 – 10)
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10. What is the promise that God gives to those who honor the Lord with their substance and with the firstfruits of all their increase? (Proverbs 3:9 – 10)
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11. With what attitude should a Christian give to God’s work? (II Corinthians 9:7)
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12. What is God’s  promise to one who gives faithfully to the Lord’s work? (II Corinthians 9:8)
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13. What is one requirement which God makes of stewards? (I Corinthians 4:2)
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14. What happened in Israel when the people presented their offerings willingly to the Lord? (Exodus 36:1 – 7)
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15. What did Azariah say was the result when God’s people brought the offerings into the house of the Lord? (II Chronicles 31:10)
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NOTES:

1. A blessing I received each day as I read John 20 and 21; then John 3 – 7:

Day 1 – John 20________________________________

Day 2 – John 21________________________________

Day 3 – John 3_________________________________

Day 4 – John 4_________________________________

Day 5 – John 5_________________________________

Day 6 – John 6_________________________________

Day 7 – John 7_________________________________

2. Truths I found about witnessing:

John 20______________________________________

John 21______________________________________

John 3_______________________________________

John 4_______________________________________

John 5_______________________________________

John 6_______________________________________

John 7_______________________________________

3. My understanding of my responsibility as a steward for God:
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General Notes:

(Including new thoughts on soulwinning)

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©2012  Mark Davis

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Lesson 7 – Stewardship – Lesson

Lesson 7

Stewardship

STEWARDSHIP

I Peter 4:10 – “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. “

Stewardship is one of the most important parts of your Christian life.

WHAT DOES STEWARDSHIP MEAN?

The Greek root from which we get our word stewardship means “the keeper of another’s property.” The steward or stewardess on an airliner is managing the passenger compartment of the plane while it is in flight. Some clubs call their manager a steward. The man in charge of the dining car on a train is called the steward.  A steward is the manager of another’s property.

Therefore, when we say that a Christian is a steward for God, we simply mean that a Christian is managing God’s property.

A CHRISTIAN BELONGS TO GOD.

1.  His property is God’s.  Everything I have and everything I am belong to God.

Psalm 24:1 – “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”

Psalm  50:10-12 – “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.  I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.  If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.”

Haggai 2:8 – “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.”

2.  His body is God’s.

I Corinthians 6:19, 20 – “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

3.  His soul is God’s.

Note I Corinthians 6:19, 20 – in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Romans 14:7, 8 – “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.  For whether you live, we live unto the Lord/ and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”

EVERY CHRISTIAN IS A STEWARD FOR GOD

In the verses listed below, please note the truth that every one of  the believers is a steward for God.

I Peter 4:10 – “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Matthew 25:15 – “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and staightway took his journey.”

Romans 12:3-8 – “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 … So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us … Let us prophesy … ministering … teaching.”

I Corinthians 12:11 – “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

Every believer has something he can use for God. Matthew 25:14-30 teaches that each one of us must give account of how we have used that which God has given us.

Stewardship is not optional!

When you accepted Christ, you became a steward. You do not decide whether you are going to be a steward. You decide only what kind of steward you are going to be.  You will answer at the Judgement Seat of Christ concerning your stewardship.

WHAT IS GOD’S REQUIREMENT?

I Corinthians 4:2 – “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Faithfulness is all that God requires.  He wants His people to use faithfully what He has given.

EVERY CHRISTIAN IS A STEWARD OF:

1.   His life – Romans 12:3-8.

2.   His God-given talents – Matthew 25:14-30.

God has given talents (abilities) to use for the Lord.  God expects His people to use what He has given for His glory.

3.   His time – Ephesians 5:16.

4.   His money and possessions.

a.   The Bible teaches that the tithe is the minimum standard for the Christian to give.

Leviticus 27:30 – “And all the tithe of the land… is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord.”

The Bible teaches that the tithe is God’s. Not to tithe is literally to steal that which belongs to the Lord.

Malachi 3:8 – “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”

Tithing is a command of God.

Malachi 3:10 – “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

b. The New Testament Christian should accept tithing as his minimum standard, just as the Old Testament saint accepted tithing as his commandment.

(1)   The Lord Jesus approved of tithing.

Matthew 23:23 – “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other [tithing] undone.

(2)   The New Testament Christian is under the promise of grace.  Some say that tithing is not a matter of grace but of law.  They forget that Abraham tithed to Melchisedec. Abraham was not living during the age of law, but rather was under the promise of grace.

Hebrews 7:6 – “But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.”

The person mentioned in the verse above to whom Abraham paid tithes is Melchisedec, who was an Old Testament type of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(3)   Therefore, the New Testament Christian should accept tithing as a minimum standard, and then go for beyond the tithe in giving.  The New Testament teaches that believers should give generously.

II Corinthians 8:7 – “Therefore as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”

When Paul speaks of “this grace” in the verse above, he is speaking of the grace of giving.

II Corinthians 9:7 – “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

Please Note:

Giving offerings begins after a person has tithed.  The tithe belongs to the Lord.  Hebrews 9:7 speaks of Levi paying tithes.  The tithe already is the Lord’s.  When we present it to Him, it really is not a gift.  We are simply returning to the Lord that which is already His.  When we go beyond the tithe, we begin to give.

WHAT IS THE TITHE?

The tithe is the first 10%, of one’s income.  It is not just 10%, but rather the first 10%.  One who pays all bills and then presents to the Lord the 10% that is left over would not actually be tithing.  To tithe is to recognize that the first 10% is God’s and present that to Him.  To tithe, therefore, is to present to God His 10% before we use any of our income.

Proverbs 3:9 – “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.”

These firstfruits belong to God.

What is a practical application of this truth?

For the working individual who draws a salary check, to tithe would be to present to the Lord 10% of his gross income.  Suppose a man makes $300.00 per week, gross income, and he has $230.00 a week “take-home-pay.”  His tithe should be figured on his gross income before his withholding tax, credit union payment, etc. are deducted.  Therefore, his tithe would be $30.00 instead of $23.00.

For the person engaged in business, he would be required to tithe only the profit from the business.  He would not need to figure 10% of the gross income in order to be tithing.

WHERE SHOULD THE TITHE BE GIVEN?

The Bible teaches that the tithe should be given in and through the local church.

1.   In the Old Testament God had a place for the tithe to be presented.

Deuteronomy 12:5, 6 – “But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: And thither ye shall bring .. your tithes … and your vows, and your free will offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks.”

The God who had a place in the Old Testament is the same God with whom we deal in the New Testament.  He has not changed; He is still a God of decency and order (I Corinthians 14:40).  Therefore, He must have a proper place for tithing in the New Testament.

2.   The local churches in the New Testament were to account for the tithe.

Second Corinthians 8 and 9 present the challenge for the Christians in Greece to give for the support of the poor saints in Jerusalem. The money that was collected was the responsibility of the churches, not the Apostle Paul.

II Corinthians 8:21-24 – “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.  And we have sent with them our brother … Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellow helper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. Wherefore show ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.”

The proper place for receiving tithes and offerings in this New Testament church age is the Bible-preaching, local New Testament church.

TITHES AND OFFERINGS ARE GOD’S ORDAINED WAY TO SUPPORT HIS WORK.

Malachi 3:10 – “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

As the tithes are presented, there is meat in God’s house and blessing flows into the lives of the Christians.  Today many churches endeavor to support God’s work with bazaars, suppers, raffles, rummage sales, etc. God’s work should be supported by the tithes and offerings of God’s people.

The tithing Christian is:

1.   Seeing that the needs of God’s work are met.

2.   Receiving blessing because he is faithful to the Lord.

And then the tithing Christian can go on to greater blessings by sacrificing to give offerings to the Lord’s work.

©2012 Mark Davis

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Growing in Grace – Table of Contents

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Our Holy Scriptures

Core Beliefs: 

Our Holy Scriptures – The Bible

Through the sands of time, God has used men/people to chronicle history (mostly of the Children of Israel), from the beginning of time to near the end of the first century A. D.  In this article, I will attempt to show you how we can know that the Holy Bible is our Word from God that we can hold to be true and infallible so that we can use it and ONLY IT as our road map through life.

The Holy Bible is compiled of 66 books, ranging from Genesis to Revelations, including the Old Testament and the New Testament.  We hold that the WHOLE Bible has been compiled by men by the inspiration of God to become the Holy Bible that we hold today.

The Scripture is Verbally Inspired Directly BY God:

Verbally – Verbal means that every word of Scripture is God-given. The idea is that every single word in the Bible is there because God wanted it there.

Plenary – Plenary means that all parts of the Bible are equally authoritative. This includes such things as the genealogies of the Old Testament. All parts of the Bible are of divine origin. Jesus said:

Luke 16:17; “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.”
Paul wrote: “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

After having that said, I want to emphasize that Scripture contains the exact words, forms of words, and wording that God desired. The fact that a certain word in Scripture is found in the singular rather than the plural is all part of the divine work. Everything in Scripture is there because God wanted it to be.

II Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

It is important to emphasize that the Bible contains the exact wording that God wanted. When the Holy Spirit worked with the various writers of Scripture He moved them in a mysterious way to bring about exactly what God wanted to say.  We have to remember that the inspired words of God are the words that are found in the original manuscripts.

There are many different translations and interpretations today that do NOT convey the words and thoughts that God had in mind when they were originally given.  When choosing a translation that is more “inspired” than the rest, you need to look at the texts and compare them to the original GREEK (New Testament) and HEBREW (Old Testament).  There were no original texts that were written in Aramaic or Latin except for several chapters in Daniel and a brief passage in Ezra, which were written in Aramaic.  These were later translated and, in a lot of cases, adulterated by “not-so-inspired” men that did not believe that God had a reason for putting certain words in certain places.  They changed words, removed words and added words to be able to meet their agenda.  DO NOT be deceived by these translations.  Other supporting scriptures include; I Corinthians 2:13; II Peter 1:19-21; Titus 1:2, 3; Hebrews 6:18).

God’s Word has been preserved down through the ages.

God’s Word is important enough to Him that He would go to any extreme to preserve His Word so that it will say the same thing now as it did 4000 years ago (the originals – not in some translated manuscripts).  We have available to us now, the same truths that the Hebrew children memorized in Torah school and knew by memory by the time they were adults.  In Matthew 5:18 Jesus says, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”.  In Matthew 24:35 Jesus also says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away”.  And in I Peter 1:25 it says, “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you”.

God, Himself, has vowed that absolutely nothing, even the end of the heavens and earth, would change His words and that they would be preserved, or stay the same, from the time they were written down the first time to the end of the heavens and earth.  Other supporting scriptures: Psalm 12:6, 7; Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 19:8; Psalm 119:140; Matthew 24:35; Luke 16:17; Revelation 22:18, 19; Deuteronomy 12:32.

The Bible is Truth without any error whatsoever (John 10:35; Matthew 5:18, 19).

It is the complete and final revelation of the Will of God to humanity (Deuteronomy 12:32, Revelations 22:18, 19).

The Purpose of the “Testaments”

In the Old Testament, we see allusions to the coming of a new testament or covenant to mankind.  That being the case, we can see that God never intended for the Old Testament (the Law) to be the final testament or covenant.

The Old Testament was incomplete in the fact that it never provided a way to forgive our sins and to provide a way for us to be able to spend eternity with God in Heaven:

Hebrews 10:1 “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.

Hebrews 10:2 “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

Hebrews 10:3 “But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

Hebrews 10:4 “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” 

The Old Testament foretold the coming of a new testament:

Galatians 3:19; “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Galatians 3:20; “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

Galatians 3:21; “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

Galatians 3:22; “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Galatians 3:23; “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Galatians 3:24; “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

The Old Testament foretold of the coming of a Messiah which will provide permanent forgiveness of sins:

Isaiah 53:10; “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Isaiah 53:11; “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”

Galatians 3:25; “But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”

A final way for mankind to obtain final absolution from our sins:

God, through His Holy Scriptures, has provided a final way for mankind to obtain final absolution from our sins through the sacrifice of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and His shed blood on the cross:

Acts 5:31 “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins”.

Acts 13:38; “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Acts 13:39; “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses.”

Ephesians 1:7; “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”

Colossians 1:14; “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

God has provided a final sacrifice from our sins:

The next statement is made referring to Jesus Christ:

Hebrews 10:9; “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Hebrews 10:10; “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Hebrews 10:26; “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”.

The New Testament became the fulfillment of the Law by the shed blood of Christ Jesus, His death, burial and ultimate resurrection. Other supporting scriptures: Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20;  1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 9:15, 20; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 30:5,6; Isaiah 8:20; II Timothy 3:16; Revelation 22:18, 19.

The Bible is Truth without any error whatsoever.  As we have seen above, if the scriptures were given by God verbal plenarily, and if He has preserved it through the ages, then there is no way the scriptures can change from being the Truth and, as such, would continue to be without errors. (John 10:35; Matthew 5:18-19)

It is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, Christian unity, creeds, philosophies and opinions must be tried:

We have seen that the Word of God (Scripture/Bible) has been inspired by God and that it is perfect in all that it says.  God gave us His Law that gives us a guideline for personal activity – what should be done or not, and if something should not be done what the consequences would be if it is done and sometimes it will tell us that if we actually do something that is good, what the reward will be.

God has given us the ability to choose in all aspects of life.  He has given us these guidelines and tells us the good and the bad of things and lets us make the choice from there.  He then tells us what will happen if we make the wrong choice or what the blessing will be if the correct choice is made.

There are more verses through the Bible giving us these guidelines than I can even begin to list.  Here are just a few for you:

Proverbs 28:26; “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”

1 Thessalonians 5:12; “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

1 Thessalonians 5:13; “And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

1 Thessalonians 5:14; Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

1 Thessalonians 5:15; “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

1 Thessalonians 5:16; “Rejoice evermore.

1 Thessalonians 5:17; “Pray without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:18; “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:19; “Quench not the Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:20; “Despise not prophesying (Teachings).

1 Thessalonians 5:21; “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:22; “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

This list covers almost everything regarding human behavior.  If it isn’t written here, it is implied within at least one of them.

It is the only unerring canon that determines truth:

Deuteronomy 4:1; “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.

Deuteronomy 4:2; “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you”.

Deuteronomy 17:19; “And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them”:

Psalm 119:11; “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”.

Psalm 119:105; “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”.

Romans 15:4; “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”.

Hebrews 4:12; “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”.

These scriptures, as well as many prior to this, are excellent statements that prove that the canon of the scriptures (66 books) is the truth.  Yes, there are many books, many authors and many different statements within the Book, but these scriptures have been studied by scientists to verify the manuscripts are from the time period that it would have been written in, scholars have studied the words, statements, phraseology, writing styles, etc. to verify that the works were written by ONE true Author – God – at the hands of humans.  The true manuscripts have been vetted and the false (non-Spirit inspired) manuscripts weeded out so that we finally end up with the final 66 books.  All prophesies made that were to have been fulfilled, have been fulfilled when they were supposed to be fulfilled, save the ones that are still yet to be fulfilled regarding the End Times and the Second Coming of Christ.

We also have to remember that if there were any one place in the Book (The Holy Bible – all 66 books) that contradicts another place/statement therein, then we could not trust anything within the Bible to be true.  If there were any inconsistencies within the covers of the Bible, then we would not be able to trust ANY other words in the Bible to be true.

We have to believe all of the Bible or none of it at all.

©2012  Mark Davis

Growing

Unto him that hath, Thou givest,

Ever “more abundantly.”

Lord, I live because Thou livest,

Therefore give more life to me;

Therefore speed me in the race;

Therefore let me grow in grace.

Deepen all Thy work, O Master,

Strengthen every downward root,

Only do Thou ripen faster.

More and more, Thy pleasant fruit.

Purge me, prune me, self  abase,

Only let me grow in grace.

Jesus, grace for grace outpouring,

Show me ever greater things;

Raise me higher, sunward soaring,

Mounting as on eagle-wings.

By the brightness of Thy face,

Jesus, let me grow in grace.

Let me grow by sun and shower,

Every moment water me;

Make me really hour by hour

More and more conformed to Thee,

That Thy loving eye may trace,

Day by day my growth in grace.

Let me then be always growing,

Never, never standing still;

Listening, learning, better knowing

Thee and Thy most blessed will,

Till I reach Thy holy place,

Daily let me grow in grace”.

— Francis Ridley Havergal, 1836-1879

 

©2012  Mark Davis

Letter From Our Pastor – Growing In Grace

Dear Believer,

The most important decision any person can make is to receive Christ as his Lord and Saviour and thus become a child of God. We rejoice that you have done this.

But — NOW WHAT?

The Bible teaches that you need to grow in God’s grace. You have been born again by faith in Christ (John 3:3). As a Christian, you are born spiritually and need to grow in grace.

Dr. Ed Nelson, Author Growing In Grace

Dr. Ed Nelson, Author Growing In Grace

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby”.  — I Peter 2:2

The purpose of this book with its thirteen lessons is to help you grow in the Lord. We are anxious to help you in any way that we can. Do not be afraid to ask some questions. Many of these things are completely new to you, and you will need help in understanding. But remember, they were new to us once, and we also needed help.

May the Lord give you understanding and produce spiritual growth in your life.

Yours and His,

Pastor Ed Nelson

Copyright 1986 by The Mile-Hi Evangelist Press

©2012  Mark Davis

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Growing in Grace – Table of Contents

 

Growing in Grace – Preface

The title and theme of this book is:

“Growing in Grace.”

This title is taken from a command given by God in II Peter 3:18 — “BUT GROW IN GRACE, AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. TO HIM BE GLORY BOTH NOW AND FOREVER. AMEN.”

This book is designed to help you grow spiritually now that you have been saved by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ. You grow as you feed on God’s Word and learn the truths concerning Christ and the Christian life.

We have designed this book so that it can be taught in a regular class or used by believers in one-on-one discipleship.  You have assignments to study to help you understand the truths of the Word of God. There are also memory verses to accompany each lesson. I recommend that you memorize the verses each week and then by memory daily for seven weeks. The memory verses are on cards. There are also blank cards so that you can write down additional verses as suggested. You can memorize two or three verses a week. By reviewing them daily for seven weeks (49 days), you will find that they become your verses for life.

As you begin this study, we recommend that you memorize our title verse, II Peter 3:18. It is the first printed verse in your packet. Then you have printed verses for each week and blank cards on which you can write other suggested verses.

Do answer the questions each week and memorize the verses. These will be a great help for your growth in the Lord.

May God bless you in this study.

–Pastor Ed Nelson, Author

Letter from the Editor:

Since this is a blog and not in a formal book form, I will be breaking the lessons apart in a way that it will be easier for study: you will have one post as the “Lesson” and it will be followed by “Assignments”. Some of the lessons could actually be very lengthy otherwise. I still recommend memorizing the verses as stated and suggested as well as answering the questions.

Since this is a blog, you will have a chance to ask questions and start a discussion on the topic at hand. I will attend to the questions and comments as they come in and try to promptly answer any comment that requires an answer (questions).

Remember, start memorizing II Peter 3:18 now.  Please be faithful to God and yourself by continuing with the lessons.

I pray that you will benefit as much from this study as I do by presenting it to you. I know that Pastor Nelson is/will be pleased to know that you are benefiting from this study as he designed it.

God’s best for you,

Mark Davis, Editor

©2012  Mark Davis

Continue Reading:

Growing in Grace – Table of Contents

Growing in Grace – A Letter From Our Pastor

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