What is the Bible?

The Bible

Written by: George J. Elling

The word “bible” simply means “book.” It has sometimes been called “The Book” or “The Good Book” because it is the most widely published book of all time and because of its content.

Actually, the Bible is not really a single book. Its content was written over a period of about 1,500 years by approximately 40 authors. The subsections of the Bible, also called “books”, consist of various types of literature; from historical narratives to poetry, proverbs, letters, and prophecies. These books are grouped into two main sections: The Old Testament, originally written almost exclusively in Hebrew, and the New Testament, originally written in the common Greek of the first century A.D.

The first 5 books are called the Books of Moses, or the law (“Torah” in Hebrew). They tell us about the creation of man, how we came to be separated from a personal relationship with God, and the consequences of that. They also tell us about the beginnings of God’s plan to bring us back to Himself.

First God called a man, Abram (later called Abraham), to have faith in Him. From the descendants of this one man, God promised to bring blessing and created a nation known today as the Hebrew or Jewish people. Early in their existence, the Hebrews became enslaved in Egypt. So, God called another man, named Moses, to lead the Hebrew people out of slavery and give them laws and regulations to become the nation known as Israel. In this process, God entered into a covenant with the Hebrews such that they would become a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” with the task of revealing God’s Word to others. The history of Israel and God’s revelations through them make up the rest of the Old Testament until we come to the time of Christ, the Messiah.

Many people do not realize that the word “Christ” is a title and means the same thing as “the Messiah”. The term “Christ” is from the Greek and “Messiah” is from the Hebrew. Translated into English, these terms mean “anointed one.”

As God had sent a deliverer to lead the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt, God spoke to the Hebrew prophets, priests, and kings about a coming anointed one who would be a deliverer to redeem all people of all nations from their bondage to “sin”, i.e., their acts and attitudes that fall short of God’s holiness and perfection. This sin is what separates us from God and from each other leading to conflicts. The Bible says:

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

The arrival the Christ and the consequential changes brought about in people’s lives is the story of the New Testament. The New Testament describes Christ’s coming as Jesus of Nazareth, his ministry on earth, his death on a cross, his resurrection to new life, and the development of the early church. The New Testament ends with prophecies of things to come.

The New Testament tells us that Jesus Christ’s death redeemed us from our sins and through his resurrection we are given new life, His life, in and by the Holy Spirit.  That is, we can now have a spiritual rebirth through the spirit. The Bible says:

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

Thus, the Bible is sometimes referred to as “the gospel” which means “good news.” Yes, the Bible has some hard things to say about us, and the people whose stories it recounts. But it also tells us how we can now be reborn spiritually, and in the future, experience a resurrection to life with God eternally and restoring the relationship we were created to have with Him.

How do you avail yourself of this opportunity for new birth, for a spiritual reset? The Bible says:

8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 
9 “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. 
10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
11 “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 
12 “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 
13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Romans 10:8-13

You can call upon the name of the Lord by prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God by faith, out loud or silently in your heart. Express to Him your need for a Savior, or Redeemer, and invite Christ into your life to change you into the person He would have you to be. Then thank Him for His death on the cross for the forgiveness of your sin and for the promise of the Holy Spirit in your life. You will now experience a new life, Christ’s life in your heart.

To grow in your understanding and to express worship to God and to experience fellowship with other believers, seek out a good Bible-teaching church and go there. Ask God to lead you to the right church. As with anything new, it will take some time for you to adjust to what God is doing in your life now that you have placed your faith and trust in Christ. Also, spend some time reading the Bible each day to better understand what is happening in your life. I’d recommend that you start with the New Testament section of the Bible, the section that recounts the Life of Christ on earth and the teachings of the early church. In time you will learn about the Old Testament section of the Bible that recounts what led up to the arrival of Christ on earth and it will give you more foundation for your faith.

Additional Notes about the Bible Quotes:

The words after the biblical quotes, for example, “Romans 10: 8-13”, refer to where the quote came from in the Bible. First is the name of the book within the Bible (Romans 10: 8-13). In this example, the book is called “Romans.” The numbers after the book’s name refer to the chapter and verse, or range of verses where the quote is found (Romans 10: 8-13). In this example, it is chapter 10, verses 8 through 13.

If you are not familiar with the books of the Bible you can look them up in the table of contents in the front of most Bibles.

-GJE

©Mark Davis 2021

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Do You Have Questions About Salvation?

For those of you that truly do have questions

regarding true “Salvation” vs. false.

Many of you have seen street evangelist Ray Comfort and have seen his valid method of pointing a person toward the Lord (Jesus Christ) by comparing people’s lives to the original 10 Commandments that God gave Moses nearly 4,000 years or so ago, also found in Exodus 20. While Ray uses this tactic he is very confrontational and will normally end up pushing a person away from God rather than drawing them toward God – While I could use the very same approach, I prefer not to due to the conflict that it creates, so I choose to use the friendlier approach and I like to show people right from the Bible just how God laid out His special plan of “Salvation” to save us from a future eternity in Hell. This being said, I will try to spell out for you as easily as I can God’s plan of Salvation as follows:

  • Back at the beginning of our earthly time (not eternity past), God created Adam and Eve (Genesis 1).  While in the Garden of Eden, God told them that they could eat from anything in the Garden except the fruit of one particular tree – the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. For some strange reason, God gave man (and woman; “man” is being used here as a reference to the collective whole of the human race, moving forward) a “free will”… The ability to choose for themselves what they would do. (Genesis 2:17)

Long story short, Eve, then Adam (in that order according to the Bible – Genesis 3:6) chose to eat of the fruit of the only tree that God told them not to, under penalty of death (Genesis 2:17). This death turned out to be an eternal death and the eventual physical death of their physical body as well. (The serpent, otherwise known as Satan, or the Devil, was the one that approached Eve with the temptation to eat of the fruit originally. Revelation 12:9; 20:2) — Satan, or previously known in Heaven as Lucifer, led a rebellion of the angels in Heaven before the Earth had been created and, again, long story short, had a following of nearly one-third of all of the angels in Heaven, and Lucifer said that he could be just as good as God, if not better, and God could not stand for the rebellion (being sin, as it was against God) and threw Lucifer and his following angels out of heaven and eventually gave them the Earth to roam upon until God’s final judgment which is to happen at some future distant time.

We learn later in the Bible that God created a special place for Satan and his angels called the Lake of Fire, or some even call it Hell. Since there will be people which will choose to follow God and some that will follow Satan, God chose that, after the Judgment, for all of the non-God followers to spend the rest of eternity with the Devil and his angels in the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 19:20) – You can figure that it will not be a party, but rather it will be a place of severe torture and pain and it is said that it is a place where “the worm dieth not“! (Luke 16:19-31) There will be no physical death even though people will want to.
— This story could be very long so I am trying to abbreviate it for you where I can. The whole story and more can be found in the Bible.

God wanted man to spend the rest of eternity with Him in Heaven (“I go to prepare a mansionJohn 14:1-3) after His physical death, but since God is perfect and man is sinful, there was no way in our present state for man to enter into the kingdom of Heaven to be with God. So, God could no longer allow man into His PERFECT Heaven. (Habakkuk 1:13)

The Roman's Road to Salvation

The Roman’s Road to Salvation

  • Because we (man) inherit our “sin-nature” (Romans 5:12)– the propensity to sin or break the 10 Commandments in one way or another – some of us worse than others, but all still the same in God’s eyes – Fallible! – and God still cannot let sin into Heaven, none the less! Even if it were only for just a little white lie and that was it… it is still sin nonetheless!
  • God made a way for man to escape the final punishment of eternity in Hell. He chose to come to earth in the form of a man, to be born like a normal man (not an alien coming out of space), to grow up just as a normal child would grow up, and to die the worst death known to man at the time – the death upon a Roman cross, for accusations that were totally untrue and unfounded. (Philippians 2:8)
  • The only real difference between the way He grew up and the way we grow up is that He grew up totally flawless – without sin – none at ALL!!! (Hebrews 4:15) Even though He was tempted just like we are, He never “chose” to sin. (Luke 9:22) This God/Man’s name was Jesus. It is a proven fact, through historians, not listed in the Bible, that He did live and He started what we call today as “Christianity”. The word literally means “Christ-followers” or “Little-Christs” – in other words, we try to emulate what Jesus would do in all situations and actions.
  • One thing that Jesus told His followers was that once He died, He would not just stay in the grave but He would rise again to new life 3 days after (Luke 24:3-8). He died and not just disappear, but He was seen again by more than 3,000 men (not counting women and children) and that was when God allowed us to have His Holy Spirit after we received Him as our Savior. Remember that we are talking about God and that, being God, He can do anything He wants to do – except sin!
    Once we are Saved, He gives us His Holy Spirit to live and dwell with us in our soul (heart as it is known in the “circles”) until we die and are accepted immediately into Heaven. (This is going to be AWESOME!!!!!)
  • The way we know these things is that it is all recorded in a compilation of 66 books together that make up what we call today as the Holy Bible. The way that we know that the Holy Bible is true is that down through the ages – nearly 4,000 years to be nearly exact – there were some people known as “prophets” that God told certain things would happen through history (the advent of Jesus’ birth, His life and His execution included) called prophecy and many of these things have come true as the “prophet” foretold and there are still some that have yet to be fulfilled in the future from now.
  • I will list a few Bible references here (not the only verses that back up these topics but just a few to show we are telling the truth) that will show you some of what I have explained:
    • All men have sinned and are not worthy of going to Heaven: Romans 3:10 – “For there is NONE Righteous, no not one.” and Romans 3:23 – “For ALL have sinned and come SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.”
    • There is a penalty for our sins: Romans 6:23 – “For the WAGES of sin is DEATH”
    • God provided a contingency plan for those of us who WANT it: Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth His LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
    • There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that we can do as a “work” that can “buy” our way to Heaven: Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by GRACE are ye saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves, it is the (FREE) GIFT of God. Not of WORKS lest any man should boast.”

— I have to explain this just a little to make sure that it is totally clear: Grace by definition is: Receiving something that you do NOT deserve. Mercy defined is: Withholding something in the form of punishment that you definitely deserve.

We are saved by the Grace of God – He is offering us something that we don’t deserve because He also knows that there would be absolutely no way that we would be able to actually earn it. We MUST have FAITH that God is real; that Jesus did come to earth and lived and died as He said He would (and did – as the prophets foretold) and that He is in Heaven right now preparing a place for us (John 14:2-3) so that when it is our turn to go, we will have a mansion with streets of solid Gold… I’m getting ahead of myself now. But, returning to the subject, God wanted it to be this way so that there would be NO ONE that could stand up to you and say that they did one thing or another in order to get to Heaven because that would be PRIDE and that in and of itself is a sin… again, it can’t be in Heaven!

God made this entry into Heaven to be FREE – but instead of just letting everyone in that says they are going, He wanted only to have people who really appreciated what He did on the cross and that he took our sins to the cross with him and when He died, He went to God in Heaven and said, now I have paid his/her debt in full – He bought our entry tickets but we have to go to the “will call” and pick them up.

That is the point of a Gift… one has to receive it before it becomes theirs. That is why not just anybody is going to make it into Heaven…

  • In order for us to receive the FREE GIFT of eternal life in Heaven, we MUST ask for it:
    — Romans 10:9-10, 13; “For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, thou shalt be saved.”

— Again, I think a little explanation is appropriate, but this is somewhat self-explanatory. I don’t know if you have any Catholic background or not, but if you do, you might remember having to go to the priest and make your confessions every so often.

  1. This is something similar to having to do that but much less painful. This means that you first MUST believe that what the Bible says is true
  2. and that Jesus DID come to earth to live and die for us and raise the 3rd day
  3. and took the weight of the sin of the world on Him at the time He was crucified and paid the debt for the whole world to enable them to be able to go to Heaven when we die – and we are never guaranteed another tomorrow, so you better do this sooner than later.
  4. This is what you do – and only do this if you want to receive this free gift of Eternal Life offered by Jesus Christ. Read this prayer with me and mean it with all of your heart:

Pray: “Dear Jesus, I know I’m a sinner. I know that I don’t deserve this free gift of salvation, but I want to go to Heaven when I die instead of going to eternal Damnation and torment in Hell. Jesus, I thank you for dying in my place so that I could go to Heaven and for paying for all of my sins and I ask You, right now, that You would forgive me of all of the terrible sins that I have committed. Thank you, Jesus, for Your forgiveness and enabling me to go to Heaven. Amen.”

The last thing here is not a requirement for entry into Heaven, but, I strongly recommend that you find a good Christian Church and be Baptized according to the Bible (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; Baptism Lesson); and be clear that Baptism does NOT have anything to do with becoming saved, but rather it is to come after salvation and then by being baptism by immersion as the Bible teaches, shows obedience to God and it puts you in front of “your peers” to show that you are taking a stand to do what is right and follow Christ and be obedient to the Bible and what God instructs us to do. This is also the first thing you should do to show that you are willing to be conformative to the instructions of the Holy Bible and the Holy Spirit.

If you feel that you can do this later, please DON’T wait. None of us are guaranteed another breath. Tomorrow may never come. I’m sure that you’ve known someone that has passed away (died) suddenly, as do I, and I know that if something like that might happen to me, I’d be in heaven in the next second. Don’t you wish you had that assurance that you could be in Heaven if you died today? I beg you to pray the prayer above to make sure.  If you still have questions, please don’t leave this site until you have your answers. There are additional articles at the bottom of this article that might tell you in a slightly different way that might give you more information that would clear up your questions. If that doesn’t do it, press the button at the button and you can email me personally your questions and I will do my best to give you the answers you so desperately need in a timely manner.

I also do request that if you have any questions or if you did pray this prayer with me that you would visit my website and let me know. There you will also find many materials including an excellent Bible Study, Growing in Grace by Dr. Ed Nelson, designed for those who have just received God’s free gift of Salvation, but please let me know that you took the time to read this and follow the steps. I can also give you some additional links to more supportive documents that can help you through your new walk in Christ.

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Sincerely,
–Mark Davis

©Mark Davis 2017

 

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Temptation 2

1 Corinthians 10:13
“There hath no temptation taken you
but such as is common to man:
but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted
above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,
that ye may be able to bear it.”

Matthew 26:41
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation:
the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

– James 1:12-16
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:
for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life,
which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

James 4:7
“Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Hebrews 2:18
“For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted,
he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

– Ephesians 6:10-12
10″Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord,
and in the power of his might. 
11″Put on the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12″For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Matthew 4:1-11
“Then was Jesus led up of the
Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted
of the devil.” 

Ephesians 4:27
“Neither give place to the devil.”

– Mark 14:38
“Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”

James 1:2-4 
2″My brethren, count it all joy
when ye fall into divers temptations; 

3″Knowing this, that the trying
of your faith worketh patience.

4″But let patience have her perfect work,
that ye may be perfect and entire,
wanting nothing.”

Luke 4:8
And Jesus answered and said unto him,
Get thee behind me, Satan:
for it is written,
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God,
and him only shalt thou serve.

– 2 Peter 2:9
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly
out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust
unto the day of judgment to be punished”

Proverbs 1:10 –
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”

– Luke 22:40
“And when he was at the place,
he said unto them,
Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”

Revelation 3:10
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,
which shall come upon all the world,
to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

Hebrews 2:17-18
17″Wherefore in all things it behoved him
to be made like unto his brethren,
that he might be a merciful and faithful
high priest in things pertaining to God,
to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18″For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted,
he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

– Hebrews 4:15-16
15″For we have not an high priest which
cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;
but was in all points tempted like as we are,
yet without sin.

16″Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need.”

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.”

©2016 Mark Davis

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Mary Had A Little Lamb

Lamb

We’ve all heard the poem “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, but most of us only know the first part of it. Click on the link to see how the story ends up. It’s really a shame about that little Lamb…

Mary had a little Lamb,
His fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went,
The Lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school each day,
‘Twasn’t even in the rule.
He made the children laugh and play.
To have a Lamb at school.

And then the rules all changed one day,
Illegal it became;
To bring the Lamb of God to school,
Or even speak His name.

Every day got worse and worse,
And days turned into years.
Instead of hearing children laugh,
We heard gun shots and tears.

What must we do to stop the crime
That’s in our schools today?
Let’s let the Lamb come back to school,
And teach our kids to pray!

–Author unknown

IF YOU AGREE, PLEASE PASS IT ON!

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Assurance Of An Eternal Heaven

Can I really be sure that I will be in heaven when this life is past? That seems to be the question that concerns us most. I know that various religious people and groups tell me a lot of things and most of what I hear is in conflict with what others say. Is there a way that I can be absolutely sure that I will be in heaven? I don’t want to hear more of man’s theories or philosophies on the subject… I want to be sure… as soon as possible!
Then, I would submit to you that we consult with the One who has set the qualifications for entrance into His heaven. Surely, if He wants us in heaven He will tell us how to get there. Amazingly, God has already given us the rule book (The Bible). The rules are simple and to the point. He has preserved the rules for us through many centuries by giving the message of redemption to special men so they could record God’s Word so we may have it today. There is a battle on right now between God (the Creator and author of the rules) and Satan. Satan supports and distributes lies. He tries to get people to fall for the lies that he promotes. That is why it is so very important to consult the Book of Truth– The Bible. A good reliable translation is the KJV (1611)

Let’s look briefly at the facts that we should know, then we can progress from there…

Fact #1 All people 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.”
Romans 6:23;
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Death means you will not be in God’s heaven. There will be separation from God for all eternity in hell.
Simply stated, we are kept out of heaven and doomed to be in hell because of our sin problem. Something had to be done to provide forgiveness and cleansing of those sins. Heaven is a perfectly prepared place for a prepared people. So then, no sin can possibly go into God’s perfect heaven.

Fact #2 God loves you…

John 3:16;
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.
Romans 5:8;
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus shed His perfect, sinless blood so that we can have the forgiveness and cleansing from the guilt and penalty of sin.
Ephesians 1:7;
In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace;“

Fact #3 We must repent and believe that Jesus paid the complete price for our sin.

Acts 16:31;
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
Romans 10:9-10,13;
9That 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. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
John 1:12;
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:”
John 5:24;
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (note: this is present tense; RIGHT NOW!!!)
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.
I John 5:10-13;
10He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
John 10:28;
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Believing is simply… putting your whole trust in Jesus as the One who died in your place for your sins. On the other hand, it also means that we dare not subtract from His finished work on Calvary’s cross. We must come to Him as a guilty, defiled sinners and receive by faith the gift of eternal life in the person of Jesus Christ, thus making us his blood-bought children and forgiving us the guilt and penalty of our sins.
Ephesians 2:8-9;
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Some have tried to add to God’s plan of salvation by telling people they must do certain good works or keep certain church ordinances. Works of any sort can never help. Titus 3:5 tells us: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” Nothing can be added to, or taken away from what God has already done to secure our salvation. Our salvation does not become more, or less, secure by what we do or do not do. If it could be of works, then we have not really trusted Jesus by faith as our personal Saviour from sin.

When one is born-again (John 3:7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.), there is a difference. There is new joy, new goals and a new determination to do what pleases our Heavenly Father. We also become aware of those around us that are lost and begin praying that they, too, would soon trust Jesus as their Saviour. The Bible tells us that we are a new creature in Christ by trusting Jesus by faith as our Saviour.
II Corinthians 5:15,17,18;
15And that he died for all, that they which henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again… 17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new… 18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”

Assurance of salvation can only be a reality when we have been “born-again”.
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.

The Holy Spirit now bears witness with our spirit that we are right now, the children of God.
Romans 8:16;
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”
Assurance is based on the promises of God. (not on feelings or emotions). God always tells us the truth. God wants you to have a settled confidence of salvation. Take Him for what He has told you in His word.
John 20:31;
“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
Romans 8:35-39;
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor 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.”
Ephesians 1:13-14;
13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Claim it by faith. “God said it and I can believe it”. Since you now have Jesus, you are a child of the King. Rejoice, be glad and walk close to your “new-found” friend who will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5b; “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”) Get into a good gospel preaching church, be baptized by immersion, and study your Bible, and pray. Grow in the things of God, and serve Him until you are actually in the very presence of the One who planned it all. If you still have not believed on Jesus Christ as your Saviour, I would urge you to settle the issue today. Pray and invite Jesus to be your Saviour and begin that new life. You will be glad that you did.
R.L.D.
©2014 Mark Davis

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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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Nominal Christianity

I AM a Christian

I AM a Christian

This is a great write-up on Christianity and what people think are Christians and what makes us a Christian. Many people figure that they have been a good person (generally) and so deserving of Heaven.  Others think that going to church every week – maybe even 2-3 times a week – will get them into Heaven. And yet others believe that being sprinkled as a baby or even baptised as an adult into their particular religion will get them there.

What is it that makes you a Christian — or are you a Nominal Christian (meaning a Christian in name only but not truly on their way to Heaven)? Read this article to find out. If you have any further questions, you can read any of the articles that I feature on my blog that I actually wrote.

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©2014 Mark Davis

Don’t forget to follow the link and read the story that brought you here in the first place — I’ll know if you don’t… 😉

Are You Ashamed?

Psalm 25:20-21; "O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee."

Psalm 25:20-21 — “O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.”

 

I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made – I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ – I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. “My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure – I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.

“My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ. “I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me and when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear.” –Unknown Author

Oh, how I would love to be able to have said this.

As the Apostle Paul said in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”  This is how we are to live our lives from day to day.

Then Paul tops it off with this statement in 2 Timothy 1:12:  “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

This is one of my favorite passages in the Psalms:

A Psalm of David.
Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
“O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed,
let not mine enemies triumph over me.
“Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed:
let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
“Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me:
for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait all the day.
“Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies
and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
“Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions:
according to thy mercy remember thou me
for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.
“Good and upright is the LORD:
therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
“The meek will he guide in judgment:
and the meek will he teach his way.
“All the paths of the LORD art mercy and truth
unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
“For thy name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
“What man is he that feareth the LORD?
him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
“His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him;
and he will shew them his covenant.
“Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD;
for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
“Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me;
for I am desolate and afflicted.
“The troubles of my heart are enlarged:
O bring thou me out of my distresses.
“Look upon mine affliction and my pain;
and forgive all my sins.
Ps 25:1-18

There is no longer any reason for any of us to be ashamed to stand up and let everyone know that we are Christians.  In fact, in Luke 12:8, Jesus said that if we confess, or declare, that we are one of His, then God the Father will declare to the angels that we are His.

Jesus is going to be coming back soon to claim us to Himself and take us to heaven to be with Him – What is it that He will catch you doing?

Are you going to be ashamed at His appearing (2 Timothy 4:1-8)?

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Matthew McConaughey is Not My Hero, Either

I did not watch the Oscars. I did catch his “speech” as a highlight (or at least parts of it). I heard him thank god (notice the small “g”) for the award. I noticed that he even gave god credit for the opportunities that eventually made it possible to bring him to that stage. I have to take Melissa’s side on this article. MY God is a righteous God – meaning, He will lead you in paths of righteousness (good, holy things – NOT sinful, vile, and literally Satanic things).

If you know much of Matthew’s film history, Melissa’s comments describe some of them. MY God, I know, didn’t make the opportunity happen for him to film a (or more like many) sex scene. MY God is NOT glorified by him (or anyone else) appearing, graphicly or implied, nude and/or in sexual situations or even for that matter, He NEVER approves of anyone taking His Name in vain, much less making reference to sexual acts or body parts in slang language. I understand that they call this “acting”, but there should Never be reason to do any of this under the guise of entertainment.

You may say, as some have said of Melissa, that I am being judgemental and that is NOT a Christian trait. Really? These things are SIN! Is there any way that you can legitimately justify any of these actions in the sight of God to me right now? If you even try, I pray God’s mercy on your soul. We are told in God’s Word (The Holy Bible) to try the “spirits” to see if they be good or evil (1 John 4:1).

Under NO circumstance should you listen to this “speech (Matthew’s)” and believe that everything that he had done up to that point is “under the blood” and “forgiven by God”. If that were the case, he should feel convicted that he was actually leading multitudes astray and he should have been at that mic on his knees begging for our forgiveness and that of God for his actions. In the Bible, in Matthew 7:16, 20, we are told that “by their fruits ye shall know them”. I call it the way I see it through the goggles of God’s Word.

One other thing that someone brought out in the comments to Melissa’s blog post regarding Matthew’s reference to “god”… Did you know that the muslims also call their Allah, “God”? I am not trying to say that Matthew McConaughey is muslim, or anything else. I’m just making a point that unless he quantifies his reference, we really don’t know who his “god” actually is. I know that MY God – the One, True and Only God – does not condone any of the aforementioned actions that he has done.

Weigh the evidence, consult your Bible and talk to God about this, then, make your comments with a clear conscience before God. We love Matthew, not because of what he has done, but because of what Jesus has done for him. “Hate the sin – Love the sinner!”

–Mark

©2014 Mark Davis

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Your Mom Has A Blog

Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar. And, boy, are Christians happy about it. I mean, Christians are jumping up and down for this Texas boy for his big win because he actually thanked God in his acceptance speech. He did, he gave God credit and he thanked his wife like he should and he gave a rambling speech that really made me wonder why they weren’t starting up the music to cut him off. They let Matthew talk for almost four minutes, and the clip of his speech is all over the internet.

Christians are so proud.

And, I can’t blame us. I mean, how often do we hear a major celebrity, an Oscar winner, no less, identifying with us? How often do we get that kind of star power in our corner? It almost makes us seem sort of cool and legitimate.

I liked his speech, although I thought it…

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Can God Really Forget Your Sins?

In response to a question from a reader:

“This question is off topic…but what do you think this verse means?”

Hebrews 8:12
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

“Do you think it’s bad to go as far to say that when God sees us, He doesn’t see any of our sin and only views us as perfect and righteous?”

This is a great question and one that many people mistranslate much of the time.

The reason I say this is that there are also other scriptures that back this up but also clarify it more, to the point that it changes what it looks like it says in this scripture.

(Hebrews 10:16-17; Psalms 25:7; Psalms 65:3; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 44:22; Jeremiah 33:8; Jeremiah 50:20; Micah 7:19; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 11:27; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1 John 1:7-9; 1 John 2:1-2; Revelation 1:5)

The actual thought behind this statement is this: God the Son – Jesus – came to earth, shed His blood as the perfect sacrifice to forgive our sins, once and for all, and we as Christians have chosen to accept that sacrifice as payment for our sins. That being the case, the fact becomes that Jesus’ blood has enveloped and covered our sins so that it appears that they never happened, in God’s sight.  Once we have been saved, we are saved for eternity – we can NEVER lose His salvation.

Think about this:
If we sin, God sees it. He sees us on the very inside of our souls and sees every sin that we have ever done or ever will do. Since God is omniscient, He knows everything.

Can God forget something to the point that He can’t see it ever again? Since He created man and we are fallible; even though we have asked Jesus to come into our heart and His blood has forgiven and cleansed us of all of our past sins.  At that point, in God’s redemptive eyes, we have never sinned and are therefore perfect in His sight making us, because of Jesus’ blood, worthy of entering Heaven (since there can be no sin in heaven).

Did those sins disappear? NO! We can still remember them. We remember what we did, what it was like when we did it, how we felt and we may even have a propensity of committing that sin again (or one like it).

Can God, now, not see any of that? Yes. Because He knows us better than a brother knows us or our best friend. Being fallible, we have the ability to root up that memory of that action (sin); He doesn’t wipe our memory clean. Even if God had forgotten all of our sins prior to our salvation, if we remember that sin after that, God would know of that sin again.

It is just impossible for God to forget our sins to the point that it appears to Him as though we never sinned. He knows that we are “blood-bought”, “born again”, fallible Christians.

He knows that we have sinned but He also sees Christ in our lives and says, “Since you know My Son, you can come into Heaven.” Jesus has become our door pass into the Party of the Universe!

Remember that I said that Jesus’ blood forgives all of our sins up to that point – the point of salvation?

What happens to the sins that we will inevitably commit after that?

Won’t that then make us dirty in God’s sight and unable to enter Heaven? Yes, and No. We will be dirty but since we still have Jesus in our lives, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us; we will still be allowed entrance to Heaven.

Does that then give us a free pass to commit any sin we want after we are “saved”? NO! The whole chapter of Romans 6 talks about that.

What happens to the sins that we commit after we are saved?

Wow, that is a whopper of a question. The sins that we committed prior to salvation had, and still have, their consequences.  Even so, sin also has its consequences after we are saved and, if it results (or resulted) in some other consequence, regardless if it is physical, emotional or even judgmental (earthly).

Some of our sins are not seen by other people, maybe they were just a thought, but God sees them and so you are sinning against Him.

Much like the earthly courts, we will also stand before Jesus and face accountability for our unrepentant sins and our actions, whether right or wrong (1 Corinthians 3:1-11). Because of the verses before indicating that God remembers them no more, I believe that the judgment that the believers will face will be two-fold: 1) Judgment for the sins left unconfessed before God prior to the judgment (in Heaven), and 2) Judgement for the acts of service that we did and DID NOT do for God while we had the opportunity here on earth. Yes, we will be charged for the things that we knew we were supposed to do to please God and yet still didn’t do them (James 4:17).

Just for the record, the judgment that we will face as Christians is NOT the same judgment that the unsaved will face. The believer’s judgment is called the “Judgement Seat of Christ” or the “Bema Seat Judgment” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Jeremiah 17:7-10; 1 Peter 1:17; Romans 14:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Matthew 25:23; Proverbs 24:12). The unbeliever’s judgment is called the “Great White Throne Judgment” that will ultimately penalize the unsaved to an eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire with the Devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15)

Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never even heard of the incident. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Barton’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

Luis Palau, Experiencing God’s Forgiveness, Multnomah Press, 1985.

That little story may be a bit humorous but I assure you that the difference between what God sees and what God doesn’t hold us accountable for, is not going to be too funny when we finally stand before God at the Judgment, whether it be the judgment for the believers or the judgment for the unbelievers.

Friend, if you fall under the heading of the unbeliever, I urge you to settle that between you and God.  Accept Christ’s sacrifice of His life on the cross as He shed His blood to be able to forgive your sins and mine, so that we may no longer have to stand accountable before Jesus and be thrown into everlasting fire (Hell) for never accepting that FREE gift of forgiveness and with it, eternal life in Heaven.

If you need any help in asking God for that forgiveness and don’t really know what to do, please contact me and I will be more than happy to guide you along.  You will never be sorry that you did.

If you have any further questions after studying through this article, please note them at the bottom of this page or you can go to our Contact Us Page to leave a more private comment that will come straight to me.  I will not try to embarrass you, but rather, I just want to make sure your questions are all cleared up.

God Bless You,

–Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

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