It’s Cold!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

This morning’s weather broadcast showed the deep trough of cold air that has descended from  the north, just as is described in Job 37:9, upon the United States; confirming what we already  knew, “Baby, it’s cold outside.” But this too shall pass (2 Corinthians 4:17 – 18), for as Lord said  after Noah emerged from the ark, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,  winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

woooo it's cold outside

Woooo! It’s Cold Outside!

Sadly, mankind (as well as many Christians) is just as vacillating as the changing of the seasons.  I certainly understand the frustration that resonates from the words of Elijah of he addresses the  people of God by asking, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God,  follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). Indeed, a “double minded man is unstable  in all his ways” (James 1:8).

The cold can have a devastating effect on a man both physically and spiritually. This morning  we were told that in less than 30 minutes outside one would become susceptible to frostbite. In  John 18:18 we read that the servants and officers “made a fire of coals; for it was cold : and they  warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.” Peter allows the cold  reality of the situation he finds himself in, as well as the company and weather, to affect the  condition of his spiritual fortitude. He denies the Lord. Jesus tells us that because of sin the  “love of many shall wax  cold ” (Matthew 24:12).

The Lord wants us our internal, spiritual, temperature to always be on fire. And it would do all  of us well to gauge our condition regularly. The prophet Jeremiah once conveyed that he no  longer wished to “make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name,” but concluded that  “his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones , and I was weary of holding  it back, and I could not” (Jeremiah 20:9).

Allow me to challenge us to consider our internal spiritual temperature and then to consider this:  If one is cold and spiritually frostbit in this life he will most likely be on fire in the next. Spring  is only a few short months away but eternity is much closer and lasts much longer.

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A God of Truth

What If God Had Lied?

One of the most remarkable aspects of the nature of the Almighty God is one thing which He cannot do! Think of His power to speak the world into existence and it immediately happened. Think of that same power when His voice will roar from heaven and the entire universe will cease to be. Yet there is one thing He cannot do—He cannot lie.

share the truth of god

Share the Truth of God.

Imagine trying to serve a lying God—one whose words just cannot be trusted. We seek to deal with sin, but how do we know He was not lying when He revealed the plan of salvation? We seek to honor Him by worshiping every week with the five avenues of worship He gave to us, yet how do we know if He was lying when He gave us these things? Imagine trying to honor a lying God who speaks of sin, salvation, prayer, purity, holiness, kindness, peace and providence. He cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and that changes every relationship we have with Him. Our God is a God of truth!

The truthful God has given us the words of truth. On the night of Jesus’ betrayal, He spoke of the Father and truth. While He had been with those apostles for over three years, He had given them part of God’s truth. He said, “I have given to them the words which you have given Me” (John 17:8), but there was more truth which they had to learn. He told those apostles that when He went to the Father, the Father would send the Spirit of truth to the apostles (John 14:16). The Spirit which dwelt in them was to guide these men into all truth (John 16:12-13). The result of that is the Bible. Jesus summed it up best when He said, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

The truthful God has given us the words of truth and they are eternal. David said, “The truth of the Lord endures forever” (Psa. 117:2). The word of the Lord is forever fixed in the heavens (Psa. 119:89) and every single precept of God endures forever (Psa. 119:160). God cannot lie; He has given us His words of truth and not one syllable of any word has been lost.

The truthful God wants to write His truth on our souls.  Knowing truth is not just memorizing it. His plan is to take the eternal truth and make it part of our nature. Moses said, after he had given the law, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart” (Deut. 6:6). Most Jews felt that if they  know every detail of the law (and even some that were not there), God was pleased with them. There is a vast difference in knowing the law and knowing the Lawgiver. There is a difference in knowing about the Lord and knowing the Lord.

God help us to take His eternal truth from the One who cannot lie and love the truth, hide it in our heart and walk in His truth.

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Curse of the Law?

What is the Curse of the Law?

The curse of the Law is that one must keep the whole law in order to be justified by it and that once one has sinned under the law, there is no way to put away one’s guilt. The law made no provision for the forgiveness of sin. In James 2:10, we are taught that under a system of law, if one tries to keep the whole law yet offends in even one point, he is guilty of all. The curse of the law, according to Paul in Romans 7, is that it exposed sin in his life, yet it did nothing to take away his guilt.

what is the curse of the law

What is the Curse of the Law?

The Law of Moses only allowed for forgiveness in prospect, that is, it only covered the sins of men until Christ came to take away those sins. Now that Christ has come, the law has been taken away. It was nailed to the cross along with Him. So now, we are free from the curse of the Law of Moses. Does this mean that there is no longer a law that we must follow? Is there a requirement for Christians to obey, in the New Testament?

Christ demands our obedience. Matthew 7:21 teaches that we must do the will of the Father in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The will of God is our law. The will of God has been revealed in its completeness in the pages of the New Testament. It is the word of Christ that will judge us in the last day. Those who reject Christ and His word are rejecting the very law that will judge them. We are now under the Law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 gives us the imperative command to bear one another’s burdens in order to fulfill the law of Christ.

We are under the law of Christ which is a law of Liberty. The fact that Christ’s law is a law of liberty does not mean that we are free to disobey it. James teaches in chapter 1:22-25, that we must be a doer of the word of God and not a hearer only. One who is a doer of the law of liberty will be blessed. He also teaches in chapter 2:12 that we will be judged by that law of liberty.

Since one could not keep all of the commandments of the Law of Moses, as we saw in James 2:10, one was guilty of all the Law. There was no way under the old law for ones sins to be taken away. The punishment for sin is death. Therefore, violation of any point of the Law of Moses brought one under the “curse” of the law, which was the death sentence. Only by the grace of God was a way made for man to rid himself of the “curse” of law. The grace of God freed man from the curse of the law. Does this mean that grace and law are mutually exclusive?

Grace brought about a system of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus. We are justified by our obedient faith in Christ, not by works of law. But, that does not void law. Romans 3:31 teaches that law is established through faith. Faith establishes or confirms law. If we have faith in Jesus and are obedient to His will, then we must recognize His will as law, or else we would not be faithful to it. Our obedience to Christ’s law confirms that His law is in effect.

In Galatians 2:16-21, the word “law” is referring any system whereby one is saved according to works of merit. Whether it is by the Law of Moses, which made no provision for forgiveness;or whether it was by the Law of the Jews, which was apart from the Law of Moses, and had developed into a system of works based salvation. The Jews believed that they could earn their way to heaven by keeping the traditions of their forefathers. Therefore, we are not justified by law keeping in and of itself, but we are justified by the law of faith in Christ Jesus.

 

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