The Master‘s Class, LifeChange Church Wichita
TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD (Romans 8:9-14)

TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD (Romans 8:9-14)

February 27, 2015
Are you a born again, regenerated, adopted child of God?

Romans 8:9
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
KJV

That is the real test.  Paul states very clearly if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  The true mark of a born again believer and a genuine Christian is that he is indwelt by the Spirit of God.  A believer is a new creation.  Paul is telling us that if you are truly saved you will answer yes to these questions.  Do you love God?  Do you want to serve Him?  Are these things uppermost in your mind and heart?  

If you are a true believer then you will have the indwelling Spirit of God empowering you to want the things of God. A believer has been granted a new law which liberates him from sin. He has been granted a new Lord who is none other than the third Person of the Triune Godhead.

It is a basic truth of the gospel that a person must be born again before he can be viewed as a child of God.  

John 1:11-13
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
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:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
KJV

Paul tells us that it is the Holy Spirit that places the believer as an adult son, with all of the privileges of an adult son, into the family of God.  

Romans 8:14
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
KJV

One evidence of the believer’s sonship in the divine family of God is the cooperation of the believer with the guiding and leading ministry of the Spirit of God.  Those that are led by God’s Spirit are the sons of God.  The phrase, sons of God, appears in the New Testament as a name for people who are in a covenant relationship with God.  The process is described as one of adoption, by which the believer becomes a child of God, and thus an heir of God, a joint-heir with Christ.  Listen to this podcast to learn what it means to know that you are a child of God.
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BELIEVER (Romans 8:5-9)

THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BELIEVER (Romans 8:5-9)

February 19, 2015
How do you know, that you know, that you are a born again, regenerated, adopted child of God?

You went down at the time of the invitation and you said the prayers the preacher asked you to say.  The preacher told you that you were saved, yet sin still plaques you.  You try as hard as you can to do what you think God wants you to do, yet your desires to do the things of this world are still there in your body.  So are you really saved?  Are you really born again?  How do you know? 

First, to be saved there must be more than just mumbling a few prayers at the direction of the preacher.  Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord requires more than a mere mental prayer, there must be a true desire in your heart to turn away from the sin that is in your life and turn towards Jesus Christ.

There must be a change in your heart.  You are walking down the path of the world, Satan is your master.  In order to be saved from an eternity in hell, you must stop, turn around, and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and begin to follow Him.  The Bible doesn’t say make Jesus your Savior, although He becomes that, it says make Jesus Christ your Lord.  This is what it takes to become a born again, regenerated, adopted child of God.  But how do you know if you have done this?

First and foremost, you know that you are saved because the Word of God tells you it is so.  It is not about signs, or feelings.  You know that you are saved because God tells you that you are in His Word.

John 5:24
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.
KJV

This verse, and many others with the same message, are your rock solid birth certificate as a born again Christian.  Your knowledge that you have been saved comes from the very Word of God.  

The second answer is what our lesson is about today.  You know that you are saved because the Holy Spirit has made known to you that He is indwelling in your heart.  How do you know this?  Listen to this podcast and find out.  
THE GREATEST POWER OF ALL (Romans 8:1-4)

THE GREATEST POWER OF ALL (Romans 8:1-4)

February 14, 2015
When you look at the world around us, what would you say is the greatest untapped source of power in the entire world?

Is it nuclear?  Is it hydrogen with all of the water on the earth? 

For the vast majority of believers and non-believers alike, the Holy Spirit of God is without question the greatest untapped source of power in the world. 

For the non-believer, or the lost person, the Holy Spirit is outside of their ability to tap for power.  The one role of the Holy Spirit with the lost person is to convict them of their need for a Savior.  The lost person cannot turn to the Holy Spirit for power.  You must be a born again child of God to have this power.

For the believer, the Holy Spirit is indwelling in their heart, waiting on the believer to turn to Him for power.  The sad fact is that most Christians do not know how to, or simply choose not to, tap into the power of the Holy Spirit to live a victorious Christian life.  We find that joy and peace are to be given to the child of God in this life.  We are to live for God in the very presence of sin.  Sin is not to dictate our life’s program.  

Paul has already shown us that there is nothing in the justified sinner that can produce this ideal state.  We have seen that even though we have a new nature, that new nature has no power of its own to do the things of God, and our old nature has no good in it at all.  We simply cannot live for God under our own efforts.  

The obvious question is then how is a child of God to live for God? 

Paul cried out for someone’s help, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).  In other words, who is going to enable me to live for God?

Paul concluded chapter 7 by saying, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” 

Now chapter 8 will give us the modus operandi; that is, the means by which the victory for the Christian is secured.  Listen to this podcast as we begin a series of lessons on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
THE ROLE OF GOD’S LAW IN OUR LIVES (Romans 7:1-9)

THE ROLE OF GOD’S LAW IN OUR LIVES (Romans 7:1-9)

January 27, 2015
What is the role of God’s Law in our lives?

Is it to establish the absolute truth about what the Creator of all things, including man, declares as right and wrong?

Is it to define the punishment for violating God’s Law?

Is it to define sin in the eyes of God so that man can know that he has missed the mark of the holiness and glory of God?

Is it a tool to reveal the sin in your life?

The answer is yes to all of these, but the most important role of God’s Law in our lives is to bring us to an awareness of our need for a Savior.  That Savior is Jesus Christ.  The Law says that all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God and the penalty for that sin is death and eternal separation from God.  The Law says that we are hopelessly lost and doomed forever.  Yet God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 

The role of God’s Law in the life of a non-believer is to bring them to Jesus Christ for salvation from the condemnation of the Law.

Listen to this podcast to find out that the role of God’s Law in the life of a believer is to demonstrate the wonderful love of God for a sinful man.  As a believer you no longer need to fear the power of the Law.  As a believer you no longer need to be dismayed by your inability to meet the perfect standards of the Law.  When Jesus Christ died on the cross He broke the power of the Law over the believer.  He paid your penalty.  He satisfied all of the demands of the Law so that you are now free from the Law.  He died and rose again so that you might have eternal life.
THE FREE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE (Romans 6:19-23)

THE FREE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE (Romans 6:19-23)

January 14, 2015
Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
KJV

This is one of the verses of the Roman Road to salvation.  It is familiar to anyone who has led someone else to the Lord, for it is in this verse that Paul summarizes the contrast between the ultimate goal of the lost person and that of the believer.

Paul says For the wages of sin is death:  A wage is the pay distributed by a paymaster, and the paymaster, which in this case is God, only pays for what you have earned.  A lost person believes that they can earn God’s wages.  Paul says that if you want to be paid by God, then He will only pay you for what you have earned by your sin.

What is the proper wage for sin, death.  If you demand payment from God for what you deserve, then the wages of your sin is death. 

But the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  For a life of sin, God will deliver payment for the wages earned.  But for those who believe in Christ, God gives a gift that is not deserved.  It is not earned.  It is a gift of God.

The word gift carries the force of a free gift.  The free gift of God compared against the earned wages of sin.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that God’s gift of eternal life is a life of the highest quality.  It is a life that endures throughout all ages. 
USING GOD’S POWER TO DEFEAT SIN

USING GOD’S POWER TO DEFEAT SIN

January 9, 2015

In a break from our traditional Bible study lesson, here are three scenarios that will help you understand how the believer is dead to the power of sin in their lives.  If you can apply these concepts in your life, then the Holy Spirit can give you victory over any sin.  There is no sin too big for God to remove from your life.

CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE (Romans 6:14-18)

CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE (Romans 6:14-18)

December 30, 2014
Certainly, one of the most frustrating parts of living the victorious Christian life is the sin that keeps showing up in our lives.  Whether it is the occasional sin, or one that has built a stronghold in our lives that we just cannot seem to get rid of, sin keeps showing up in our lives.  Why does it keep happening?  We know we shouldn't do it, but we do it anyway.  Why?  Is there any hope for us to stop?

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you have only one choice, come and make Jesus Christ your Lord and Master.  That is the only way.  You cannot defeat sin on your own.  You are a slave to sin and it is only the saving work of Jesus Christ that can provide for your freedom from the dominion of sin over you.

If you are a believer, then God’s Word says that you are dead to sin, that you are free from the dominion of sin over you, and so you must choose you this day whom you will serve, either God or sin.  God has declared that sin shall not have dominion over the life of the believer.  There is no sin in your life that God cannot break the power of, if you choose to turn it over to God.  But you must believe that God can do what He says in His Word and you must really want Him to break that sin.  It is not a matter of how hard you try to stop that sin, for you cannot do it on your own.  It is a matter of how obedient you want to be to God as your Master.  

Listen to this podcast to learn how you can choose God as your Master and become free from any sin in your life.  God wants to work in your life.  The question is do you really want Him to?
HOW TO HAVE VICTORY BY SURRENDER (Romans 6:10-13)

HOW TO HAVE VICTORY BY SURRENDER (Romans 6:10-13)

December 19, 2014

To claim victory by surrendering appears to be an oxymoron.  How can anyone be victorious when they surrender to the will of another?  Someone once said, to the victor goes the spoils.  Yet, to be a victorious Christian, to live the life that God wants, we must surrender our will to that of Christ. The source of our power to be victorious over sin, Satan, and the things of this world, descends from Jesus Christ who has been placed above all things. 

We do not have to possess physical, intellectual, financial, or political strength to overcome Satan.  When you are willing to be to Jesus what Jesus was in His humanity to the Father, then Jesus will be to your humanity what the Father was to Him.  

When you fully surrender your life to Jesus, His Spirit will empower you to become victorious over sin.  Whatever sin that you have in your life, when you surrender it to Christ, Satan no longer has control over that portion of your life. 

Living victoriously isn’t your responsibility, it is your response to God’s ability. We are conquerors through Christ. In our lesson today, Paul is telling us that in order to be victorious over sin:

We must know that we are dead to sin.  Sin no longer has dominion over us.

We must reckon that knowledge in our lives.  Christ has more than adequately provided for the sin in our lives, therefore, we must reckon this in the way that we live.  

And then, we must yield our bodies, our minds, and our spirits, totally to the will of God.  We must totally surrender our will to the will of God.

Victory over sin and death is yours through Christ.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SIN?  (Romans 6:6-10)

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SIN? (Romans 6:6-10)

December 12, 2014
What value is a promise made to you if you do not believe it and appropriate it in your life?

God has said in His Word that believers have victory over sin and death.  This is God’s promise.  But what good is that promise if we do not believe it and appropriate it in our lives?

The problem is that many of us do not feel like we have died to sin.  Sin is still a problem in our lives.  We are still allowing sin to dominate our lives.  We feel like we are alive to sin.

How we feel is important to us, for it can make a real difference in our performance.  For example, God has given me the task of speaking in front of various groups of people, on both secular and Biblical issues.  When I feel confident about the subject I am going to be speaking about, I perform better, I am more relaxed, I am not worried about making a fool out of myself.  My voice projects, it is stronger, and my whole attitude is one of confidence in what I am speaking about.  In other words, I am victorious in performing the tasks that God has given me.  

However, if I were to get up and speak on something that I know nothing about, and that I have had no time to prepare my thoughts, then I would feel nervous, my words would be halting, and the word “UH” would be repeated over and over.  When I feel less confident, then I am likely to fail in the tasks that God has given me.  My feelings impact how I conduct myself.  

Now somebody might say, Well the Bible says that if God asks you to do something, He will empower you to do it. 
And I would say precisely.  I am allowing my feelings to impact my performance in my obedience to God.  God tells me in His Word that He will provide, but when I allow my feelings to guide me, I am saying that I don’t believe God.  

The same thing applies to how we deal with sin.  If we are confident in our knowledge of the Word of God, then we are victorious in dealing with sin.  Paul has said that we are dead to sin, and that we are to be totally unresponsive to it, but how can we do that?

By putting our feelings aside, and believing what God tells us and applying it in our lives.  This is what our lesson is about today.  Knowing that not only have we died to sin, but that we have also been raised to walk in the newness of life, victorious over sin and death.
HOW CAN YOU DEFEAT SIN? (Romans 6:1-5)

HOW CAN YOU DEFEAT SIN? (Romans 6:1-5)

December 4, 2014
As a believer, would you say that you are in a constant battle with sin in your life?  

Every Christian should answer yes to this question, for Satan has never given up on destroying you, especially once you became a Christian.  But the wonderful good news that God has for us is that each believer has the power of the Holy Spirit of God to defeat sin in their life.  They can be victorious against sin.  

The process of sanctification is the ability of God to make sinners, whom He has declared righteous, actually righteous.  Paul will tell us that the justified sinner cannot continue in sin because he died and rose again in Christ.  This does not mean the believer will not sin, but it does mean that they will not continue live in sin.

To continue in sin leads to slavery.  Believers have been freed from the slavery of sin.  There is no reason for them to go back to it.  The believer has a new nature now, and he is to obey God.  

Union with Christ in His death and resurrection means that He is now our Lord and our Master.  He gives us freedom, but that freedom is not a license to live in sin.

Today, we are going to begin a series of lessons that talk about the power that we have, as Christians, to be freed from slavery.  The slavery that a lost person has to Satan and sin.  We are going to see how the power of God frees a believer from the dominance of sin in their lives and empowers them to live a victorious Christian life.
GOD’S GIFT AND GOD’S GRACE (Romans 5:16-21)

GOD’S GIFT AND GOD’S GRACE (Romans 5:16-21)

November 28, 2014
Each day that I live I am grateful for the gift of God and the grace of God.  It is by the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, that I can have eternal life in Heaven, and it is the grace of God that makes it all possible.

Nothing can stand in the way of God’s grace.  It is absolutely sovereign.  Eternal life through Jesus Christ is assured.  God’s abundant grace will reign through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, for all who believe on Him, unto everlasting life.  That is our security as a believer.  It was God’s gift and God’s grace that allowed us to have salvation, and nothing can stand in the way of God’s grace.  Absolutely nothing.  We are secure in God’s grace.  

This whole concept of sin and death, and of God’s gift and grace, is so amazing that it is hard to believe.  Yet, it is also so simple and direct that it truly brings out the divine nature of God, His omniscience and omnipotence, and most of all His love for each of us.  His desire that none should perish but that all should have everlasting life is one of the great promises of the Bible.  I know that God loves me because the Bible has told me so.

On this week of thanksgiving, I praise God that:

John 3:16-18
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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
KJV
JESUS IS THE SOLUTION (Romans 5:15)

JESUS IS THE SOLUTION (Romans 5:15)

November 18, 2014
Sin has caused the death of every human that has ever lived.  So you might ask Is there a solution to the problem of sin and death?

The answer to this question is found in the love and grace of God.  God loves us so much that He planned the solution to the problem of sin and death before the world was ever formed.  

The answer is where one man created the problem, a second Man is the solution, or a last Adam.  Jesus Christ.  The One who through His obedience to will of the Father restored all that the first Adam threw away by his willful rebellion against the command of God.  
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION TO DEATH?  (Romans 5:12-14)

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION TO DEATH? (Romans 5:12-14)

November 14, 2014
There is no question that one of the greatest trials that we will face in our lifetime is the loss of a loved one.  As we face that event we often begin to ask God questions like, why did my parent, or spouse, or child have to die?  Even more difficult is the day the doctor tells you that you are going to die.  When faced with the death of a loved one, or even our own death, we ask God, Why must everyone die?  

Why do innocent babies die?  Why do good people die?  Why is it that bad people are not the only ones that die?  According to the way that man thinks, if it was a just world, good people would live forever, and bad people would die at a young age, in a horrible way.  But that is not the way it works in our world, everyone dies.  Little children die, moral people die, and even religious people die right along with the bad people.  Death is universal.  The question is why, and is there a solution to the problem of death?

For a universal effect there must be a universal cause.  That cause is a state of universal sin, but what was the cause of this universal state of sin?  The direct answer is that we all die because the first man, Adam, rebelled against God by violating God’s direct commandment.  

The consequence of Adam’s sin was that a universal state of sin was given to all of Adam’s descendants.  As the descendants of Adam all men must now die, even innocent children.  There is the saying that only two things are certain in this life, death and taxes.  Until the day Jesus comes, each of us will certainly face death because of sin.  

Well you say, Keith that is not fair.  Why must I die because of something Adam did?  Actually, not only is it fair, but it is to our advantage to have sin enter the world through the acts of one man.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that the wonderful thing about God’s love for man is that it is because sin and death entered as a result of one man’s sin, that the solution is provided by the death of one Man as well.  Jesus Christ is the world’s solution to eternal death.  

The death, burial, and resurrection, of Jesus Christ means that everyone who has ever lived can have eternal life if they have, or will, believe in Christ’s completed work of salvation.  We can have eternal life with Jesus in heaven because He was divinely capable of being the One man who could pay the universal penalty of our sin, and Jesus volunteered to do this for you and for me.  
HOW SECURE IS GOD’S LOVE? (Romans 5:6-11)

HOW SECURE IS GOD’S LOVE? (Romans 5:6-11)

November 7, 2014
We live in a society where everything changes, where nothing is permanent.  A majority of people in our state can define marriage as being between one man and one woman, and yet a set of activist judges, with no regard for the constitution of the U.S., can overrule the will of the people.  

We can live in this nation for hundreds of years with clearly defined morals about what is right and wrong based on the absolute truths established by God, and then suddenly anything that God says must be disregarded.  Where man is involved, everything changes, nothing is secure.  

So it is easy to understand why people have a hard time accepting God’s gift of salvation as permanent.  Surely there must be things that we can do to take that salvation away, or perhaps God will change His mind as He looks at the depravity of man in our current world.   

This is the way man acts, right?  Our love towards others is generally dictated by how that other person treats us.  It is easy to love someone who loves us back.  It is much harder to love someone who intentionally harms us.  So this is man’s concept of love, do unto others as they have done unto me.  

However, God’s concept of love is very different from ours.  In our lesson today, Paul will tell us that God loves even the ungodly.  He loves us even if we have rejected Him.  He loves us even if we have done things that He has established as evil and wrong.  God loves us in spite of what we do, say, or even if we do not love Him back.  Paul will go on to say that it is because God’s love for us does not change that our salvation, once accepted, is unchangeable.  Once we have become a reborn, sanctified, justified, and adopted child of God, we cannot be unborn, nor can our adoption to the family of God be revoked.  Once we are in the hand of our Lord, nothing can remove us.  Our salvation is secure, because God’s love for us is secure.  

It is the love of God that guarantees our eternal security.  That same love that planned our redemption at the foundation of the universe, that sent His own beloved Son to die on a cross, will be the same love that will fling wide open the gates of glory to welcome us home. 
THE BENEFITS OF KNOWING GOD (Romans 5:1-5)

THE BENEFITS OF KNOWING GOD (Romans 5:1-5)

November 2, 2014
We live in a world where the predominant thought in a person’s mind when confronted with a decision is What’s in it for me?  Quite naturally, if they are going to buy something, they want to know the benefits of owning that item.  For instance, owning a home provides shelter and security, stability in that your lease won’t run out and you have to move.  The down side is ownership.  Anything that goes wrong you own the problem.

This is the same way that most people approach a decision about accepting Jesus as their Savior.  They think they know all of the benefits and downsides, but do they really?  

They look at what most people think of when they consider the benefits of knowing God, which is eternal life in heaven, and then they look at the perceived downside of having to change their lifestyles.  

They ask themselves, is a life in an eternity that they cannot see right now, worth giving up whatever they are doing today that they know is not right under the rules of God.  They are asking what is in this for me right now, not later, but right now?

This is the problem that we face as we try to explain the benefits of knowing God.  They see the persecution of Christians in today’s society, so it can easily appear as if all of the benefits are out in some unknown future.  So the task that we face as Christians is what can we tell them about the benefits of knowing God right now, in our lives today?  

Listen to this podcast as we learn that it is because we know Christ as our Savior that we have peace with God, we have access to the constant presence of God, we have the patience and endurance to face trials and tribulations in our lives through the power of God, and most of all we have hope.  

Do you have hope in your life today?  For the believer, God is our hope, our hope is in God. That is the benefit of knowing God.  
WHO DO YOU TRUST FOR YOUR SALVATION?  (Romans 4:16-25)

WHO DO YOU TRUST FOR YOUR SALVATION? (Romans 4:16-25)

October 22, 2014
Have you ever looked at the work that you asked somebody to do for you, or even hired them to do it, and ultimately said, If you want a job done right, then do it yourself.

Finding people to do quality work is difficult in a society where excellent craftsmanship is so expensive, that we have learned to settle for less.  Contractors, plumbers, service technicians, arrive late, or not at all.  The work that many of them do is poorly done, or mediocre at best, with little pride in what they have accomplished.  My father had another saying that he instilled in me, if you are going to do a job, do it right, or don’t do it all.  

Our schools teach our children that competing to win at sports, on the playground, in academics, or even at life, is degrading to those that lose.  A grading system that rewards the hard work, or natural ability, of some, discourages those who do not get those grades, so they do away with the grades.  They teach kids that not excelling is ok, when they ought to be telling our kids, that success in our society is obtained by hard work, excelling at what you do, having desire, passion, and intelligence about what to work hard on.  

When faced with the failure of so many in our lives to do the things that we ask them to do, we often stop trusting in others.  We decide that when something is really important, then we can only trust ourselves to get it done right.  This is probably a true statement when our faith is in the things of this world, or man.  

But what about our eternal lives?  Who do you trust with your acceptance by God?

Do you trust your preacher with your eternal destiny?  Can you trust your friends or family to make sure you get into heaven?  Your parents have always worked hard at the church, so you must be ok, right?

Or, do you say, If I want a job done right, or if I want to be sure I am going to heaven, then I better do it myself?  

Well, this is the question that Paul has been answering over the last several weeks of lessons.  Are you going to believe in salvation by trying, or doing it yourself, or salvation by trusting?

Paul has said that no matter how hard we try, we cannot be good enough to meet the perfect standards of righteousness that a Holy God demands.  That salvation by trying is not even possible, no matter how hard you try.  Therefore, the only reasonable alternative is to depend on salvation by trusting, or salvation by faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ towards our salvation.  

Listen to this podcast as we discover who the Bible says you should trust with your eternal life.
ARE YOU TOO BAD TO BE SAVED?  (Romans 4:6-15)

ARE YOU TOO BAD TO BE SAVED? (Romans 4:6-15)

October 17, 2014
Many of us have lived lives where we have done things that we regret today.  Things that have had terrible consequences to our own life, and the lives of those around us.  Prison, a ruined marriage, a lost career, and personal finances that were wasted.  The question that comes to mind when you are confronted with religion, salvation, eternal life, heaven, or hell, is have I been too bad to be accepted by God?

Are there things that a person could do that would be just too bad, too ugly, or too horrific, that would make them unacceptable for God’s plan of salvation?  

What about a murderer?  Is murder the unpardonable sin?  Can a person who has committed a vicious act of murder ever hope to be saved?  

What about suicide?  Can a Christian commit suicide and still go to heaven? 

How about someone who commits adultery?  A man and a woman have been married for years and the man decides to look for a younger woman.  Can he be saved?

Can a drunk, or a thief, or name the worst sin that you can think of, can they be accepted by God?

Many of the people that I converse with on my web-pages argue that justification by faith makes no sense at all if it allows really bad people to be saved.  Are they right?

The Bible tells me that a career thief who hung on cross next to Jesus was able to join Jesus in heaven.  The Bible also tells me that there is no act of murder which is too great.  There is no act of adultery which is too awful.  There is no unpardonable act of sin, not even suicide.  

The key to your salvation is not what type of sin, or how much sin you have committed.  The key to your salvation is what you do with Jesus Christ.  If you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, then you can be saved.  I am not going to say that people whose hearts have been so seared by evil can do this easily, or would even want to do this, but God says that by the power of the Holy Spirit, it can be done.

God’s plan of salvation says that we must have faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God in order to be saved.  It requires that we accept the fact that we are hopelessly guilty of sin against God.  It requires that we repent of those sins by agreeing with God that it was wrong and then choosing to change our lives, to never do those things again, and then make Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives.

If we do this, if a person who has committed murder can actually do this, then I believe that the Bible is clear when it says that Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  The Bible does not say Whosoever has not done evil, or Whosoever has done more good than bad, it says Whosoever, meaning anyone who accepts God’s plan of salvation by calling upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that the only unpardonable sin that a man can commit is to reject the completed work of Christ for your salvation and to reject Jesus as the Son of God.   
IS GOD’S PLAN REASONABLE? (Romans 3:27 to 4:5)

IS GOD’S PLAN REASONABLE? (Romans 3:27 to 4:5)

October 11, 2014
Is God’s plan of salvation reasonable?  That is an interesting question, for if we are to consider whether or not God’s plan of salvation is reasonable, then we have to ask is God reasonable?

I have to admit that I have never thought of the word reasonable in relation to God.  God is divine, therefore, He doesn't have to be reasonable.  God is gracious, God is loving, God is our judge, He is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, but is God reasonable?

Is God reasonable as He judges our works?  What are His standards?  Are they reasonable?

The word reasonable is defined as rational, in accord with common sense, not expecting more than what is possible, not exorbitant, and fairly good.  So with these words in mind, if you believe that you will be accepted by God based on your works, or how much good versus how much bad you have done, then will God be reasonable in His judgment of your works?

To answer this we have to ask what is the standard that God will use to judge us by? And the Bible tells us that our works must meet the standard of God’s own perfect righteousness and holiness.  Is it rational for God to expect perfection?  Is it in accord with common sense, and is it not expecting too much? 

Most people would answer that God knows that we cannot be perfect so it would be expecting too much for Him to demand perfection.  My response is that God created Adam and Eve in perfect bodies and placed them in a perfect environment called the Garden of Eden.  God expected Adam and Eve to keep that perfection.  It was man who willfully chose to sin and corrupt the perfection that God had created.  So it is certainly reasonable for God to expect man to be as perfect as He created him.

If this is true, then that leaves those who believe in salvation by works with a problem.  How can they meet the standards demanded by God when man is no longer capable of perfection?  

Does God have to change His standards?  The Bible says there is no changing in God.  What God demanded in the past, God demands today.  What God expected from Adam in the past, God expects from us today.  The bottom line is that I would not trust the best five minutes of my life to meet the perfect standards of God.  So if man’s plan is not possible, what is God’s plan?

God’s plan is salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.  In man’s plan of salvation by works, everything depends on the sinner.  In God’s plan of salvation by faith, everything depends on the perfect work of salvation performed by the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that if you want to plead not guilty and demand a fair trial, then God will give you one, a trial where your works must meet His standards of perfection.  The more reasonable approach is to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, plead guilty, and depend on God’s mercy and grace that He is able to grant us through the perfect work of Christ.


HOW CAN WE BE RIGHTEOUS? (Romans 3:24-26)

HOW CAN WE BE RIGHTEOUS? (Romans 3:24-26)

October 2, 2014
For the believer who has Christ as his Savior, words like justified, freely, grace, redemption, propitiation, faith, and blood all have very specific meanings to their faith.  Yet how many Christians can define these words in a way that allows others to understand how God’s plan of salvation has changed their lives?  

For example, as you relate God’s plan of salvation to someone you know, can you tell them how it meets their need of being seen as righteous before God because of the redemptive price that was paid by Jesus on the cross.  How it grants them redemption?  How it serves as propitiation, and how the means of this salvation is our faith in Christ?  How the redemptive price for this salvation was so high, that it cost the shed blood of the Son of God?

The wonderful good news about God’s plan of salvation is that a holy and perfectly righteous God devised a plan of salvation that reaches down into the depths of sin and darkness that man has fallen to, and yet does not compromise God’s own inherent holiness, justice, and righteousness.  Listen to this podcast to learn what these words mean to your salvation, and to the salvation of those who want eternal life with Jesus in heaven.
IF MAN IS TO BE SAVED, THEN GOD MUST SAVE HIM (Romans 3:21-23)

IF MAN IS TO BE SAVED, THEN GOD MUST SAVE HIM (Romans 3:21-23)

September 25, 2014
When we accept the apostle Paul’s statement that we are all hopelessly guilty before a holy God, and that we are  helpless to redeem ourselves, the natural questions that might be asked are, What then?  If I cannot help myself, then who will?  Am I too bad, have I done too many bad things to be saved?

This is exactly the question that Paul wants us to ask, because this tells him that we are ready to hear about God’s plan for the justification and salvation of man.  Paul is going to tell us that we have a God that loves us, and He has a plan for us.  

God’s plan is a simple plan, yet it is a difficult plan for many of us to accept.  We do not easily admit that we cannot do something, or that we are dependent on others to something for us.  The more successful in life that you are, the more difficult is for you.

God’s plan is a complete plan that stands ready for us, when we are ready for God.  Jesus has done all of the work for our justification, redemption, regeneration, and salvation.  You only have to accept it.

God’s plan costs us nothing, it is free to us, but it cost God the Father, the most precious thing that He has, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  

God’s plan tells us that if man is to be saved at all, then it is God that must save him, and it is by God’s plan, and only God’s plan, that man can be saved.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that God has a plan of salvation for sinners, even the worst of sinners.  There is nothing that you could do, other than rejecting God’s plan, that would be too bad for you to be saved.  This makes God’s plan unique among other religions.
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