Tag Archives: righteous

SIN AND RIGHTEOUSNESS SIMPLIFIED


 

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

It is true that some folk have the mindset of concrete: thoroughly mixed up and profusely set. They would argue with the proverbial signpost, but they cannot argue with God, neither may they box with Him because their arm is too short! So, it is not the burden of men to convince one another that they are sinners. The Holy Spirit witnesses that in every heart. But the idea of sin may be better understood in the simplistic terms of “Use” and “Misuse.” Think about it!
Get it straight, and never forget it! God is righteous, but men are not. If men are not righteous; they are sinners, big time! Some jovial chap will roar that all sin is sin, and there is no difference! Others will say that there is no difference to God. I find it amusing that so many seem to know the mind of God in these matters without a specific scripture reference. Stay with me for a moment.
If all sin is the same, why are there at least three categories of it: transgression, iniquity, and sin? Psalm 32:5. If all sin is the same, why were some sins worthy of death, and others could be atoned for? If all sin is the same why did Jesus say the Pharisees would receive the greater condemnation? Certainly, one sin of any sort severs one from God as Adam and Eve sinned in Eden. But, beyond that the saints have to deal with their sinful nature every day of their life, and there is a wide array of sins. So leaving “Iniquity” and “Transgression” for another time, let us focus on the term “Sin.”
“Sin” means “to miss the mark!” To miss the mark of anything assumes the mark was intended to be hit, but missed. Thus, sin is the misuse of every possible thing in life.
Think about the common sins of men. “Greed” is the misuse of things material or immaterial acquired in access, and restricted to the individual, when enough of those things are already made available for one to serve and honor God day by day. It is use vs misuse. Alcohol and drugs were made by the same God who created everything else. They have a purpose: medicinal, not recreational. It is a simple matter of use vs misuse. Sexual activity was created to insure the survival of the species, thus placed within honorable perimeters. Outside of those perimeters it is misuse; hence, sin. Language may be loving or vile; a matter of use vs misuse. Human Relationships may be gentle, kind and loving or abusive, harsh, and mean. It is a matter of emotional use vs misuse. In the wide spectrum of all things, the apostle Paul boldly declared, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” I Cor. 10:23. In short, all things God created have purpose and rightful use, but the practices of men have established misuse; it does not edify. Simply put, it is sin!

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APRIL 5 – What Does It Mean To Flourish?


APRIL 5 – What Does It Mean To Flourish?

Psalm 92:12  The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 

13  Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. 

14  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; 

15  To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. 

I love this passage. The righteous shall flourish. Not the self-righteous, not the righteous in their own eyes, but those that are righteous in God’s eyes. Too often we think we are righteous in what little we do for God. To be righteous, we must have the righteousness of Christ, that is we must be covered by His blood, we must be born again. But notice, we shall flourish and grow. The righteous shall make steady progress and grow and be strong. A Christian cannot become stagnant and remain a Christian.

Here is another requirement for those that say they don’t need to go to Church. The righteous shall be planted in the house of the Lord. The source of what nurtures them is the Word of God and the songs of praise that are offered to God. Jesus said, “I am the vine and ye are the branches.” Our sustenance is from the vine. We must be connected to grow. There is more about a life in Christ than just being saved and attending the house of God occasionally. We must be faithful in attendance if we are to flourish. We must be faithful in study if we are to flourish.

We have a promise of bringing forth fruit in our old age. What a wonderful promise that we will give the Word of Life to many. We shall grow fat. Now some preacher is going to say, see it is okay to have a fat preacher for a pastor. This word means they shall have vigor and good health.

We have a promise of vigorous growth, longevity, usefulness, and the beauty of these trees. This will be the evidence of a faithful Lord who is our rock and where there is no unrighteousness in him.

Lord, May I Be Fat.

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Some Men are Not for Sale—Samuel Adams


Some Men are Not for Sale—Samuel Adams

Background of the American Revolution

samueladamsSamuel Adams, The Father of the American Revolution and a staunch Puritan until his death, displays, prior to the Revolutionary War, one of the characteristic traits of those Puritans.

It is said that one of the reasons given for calling Samuel Adams “The Last of the Puritans,” was the fact that he, was the last man so far as known, in New England who wore the Continental costume.  —Fallows,Samuel Adams, 1898.

The Last of the Puritans.

samuel adamsGOVERNOR Gage arrived in Boston in May, 1774, and presuming upon the truth of a maxim which originated among British politicians, and is generally believed there, that “every man has his price,” offered a heavy “consideration” through Colonel Fenton, his agent, to Samuel Adams. But those minions of regal power and rotten aristocracy were destined to learn, that there is such a thing as patriotism, which thrones cannot awe nor bribes corrupt. If the sturdy patriot was found to be proof against venality and corruption, then the agent of tyrannical arrogance was directed to threaten him with an arrest for treason. Mr. Adams, glowing with indignation at such attacks upon his honor and patriotism, first demanded of the messenger, Fenton, a solemn pledge that he would return to Gage his reply just as it was given, and then rising in a firm manner, said, “I trust that I have long since made my peace with the King of kings. No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country. Tell Governor Gage, it is the advice of Samuel Adams to him, no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.”

—Magoon, Orators of the American Revolution, 1860.


Courtesy of Democratic Thinker

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Cast Your Burdens


Psalm 55:22
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved,” Psalm 55:22.

The stooped man moved slowly but steadily down the road toward his home. At the end of the poles, balanced on each shoulder, were buckets filled with the essential water his household needed for the day. The task would be repeated every day until he grew so old he could no longer bear the weight of the water. Then, one day a man came to the village and taught them how to dig a well. Now, water was abundant for every household. The man, however, could choose not to use the well and continue the laborious task of carrying water. On the other hand, what honor is there in carrying unnecessary burdens on one’s shoulders? There is none.
Likewise, Jesus offers to relieve us of our burdens. Trials and troubles are heavy when we try to carry them; they bow us over, cause sleepless nights and form worry wrinkles on our faces. Who wants wrinkles? Instead, we can pray telling Jesus our problems, who takes them to the Father. The Father is touched by our infirmities and answers them according to His will (Heb. 4:15).
Often, instead of leaving our burdens with the Father, we pick them up again, straining needlessly under the weight. Through our actions we say to Him, I do not believe you can help me, my faith is weak in Your ability to carry my burdens.

REFLECTION
When we carry our own burdens, trials and troubles, we forfeit the opportunity for blessings and steal the opportunity for Jesus to be glorified.

Beverly Barnett

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Filthy Rags


Jasper-John-1

Clothing makes the man. May we be clothed in the righteousness of the Lord and not found in our own tattered and torn righteousness.

‘iddâ begeḏ

Addressing the ever-increasing propensity for redefining salvation and the gospel nowadays, no teaching is more prevalent today (or throughout history) than the one that insists that salvation is either wholly, or at least partly, the result of human merit or works. There is perhaps no more graphic verse in Scripture that speaks to the contrary, however, than Isa_64:6 : “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Rags is begeḏ (H899), which is the most common OT word for clothing and by itself refers simply to any kind of garment, as in its first appearance in Gen_24:53, where a servant brought jewels and “raiment” to Rebekah. When coupled with a qualifying word, however, it is used to refer to specific types of garments, from something as common as a widow’s clothing (Gen_38:14) to the specialized, holy garments of Aaron (Exo_28:2-4).
Our text, therefore, adds a very unique qualifying word to begeḏ. (We do not wish to offend any reader’s sensitivities, so we will say this as delicately as possible.) Filthy is beged (H5708), which appears only here in the OT and refers to a woman’s menstrual period, and therefore, the cloth that accompanies it when coupled with begeḏ. Does this not clearly demonstrate what all our good works are, what any “righteous deed” we might perform really is? All of them are as filthy and repulsive as begeḏ.
No truth is clearer in Scripture than that salvation is apart from any merit or works of men. Scripture repeatedly declares man’s uncleanness and depravity (Job_15:14-16; Job_25:4; Job_40:4; Psa_51:5; Rom_1:21-32; Rom_7:18; Rom_7:24; Eph_2:1-3) and that works cannot save (Job_9:20; Rom_3:20; Rom_3:28; Rom_4:5; Rom_9:11; Rom_9:16; Rom_9:30; Rom_11:6; Gal_2:16; Gal_3:16-21; Eph_2:8-9).
Sadly, every false religion, cult, and human philosophy teaches that enough works will result in salvation, “renewal,” “enlightenment,” or whatever concept they choose as their goal. Even some today who call themselves evangelicals are diluting salvation by insisting that works have a part in salvation. James makes it clear that works are the result of salvation (Jas_2:14-26), but it is grace (April 6, 7) alone through faith (April 9) alone that is the cause. Let us rejoice this day in God’s power, for that alone can save us.
Scriptures for Study: Read the verses cited above about depravity and the insufficiency of works, and then rejoice in God’s power (and willingness) to save.

 

 

 

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Days of Noah


Author – Bob Hess
TODAY AND THE DAYS OF NOAH ARE LIKE LOOKING IN A MIRROR:
“As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.” Matthew 24:37-41
What are these verses telling us? We are told that Noah was a preacher of righteousness (Contrary to how the new movie portrays him), according to 2 Peter 2:5. He was a righteous man (living a life that was right in the eyes of God), blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God, according to Genesis 6:9.
When Noah began building the Ark, I can just imagine how those who observed what he was doing reacted. Being a “preacher of righteousness”, I can see Noah telling the people what God was planning to do. But in spite of watching this faithful man of God, being obedient to God, the people continued on in living each day as though Noah was crazy for doing what he was doing. A flood? It doesn’t even rain. Where is all the water going to come from that will cover our city, let alone the whole world? I can just hear them saying, as days became months and months became years. Then came the 119th year, and still no rain, let alone a flood. But, Noah kept building and making the preparations that God had instructed him to do.
But people STILL continued on with their same lifestyle of “eat, sleep and be merry”. Noah was “crazy” – “Building an ark because it is going to rain and kill everyone?”. Finally at the end of the 120th year from the day that Noah was told that God had had it with man, Noah had completed the task that God had given him – completely and he made sure that every “I” was dotted and very “T” was crossed (Genesis 6:22). God told Noah to get into the ark with the seven members of his family, and GOD SHUT THE DOOR OF SAFETY.
Today, many of God’s people are telling the people of this world that Jesus is about to return. But, life goes on as usual. Things are becoming more and more evil as each day passes bye, just as they did in the day of Noah. Right is becoming wrong and wrong is becoming right – homosexuality, abortion, etc. (Isaiah 5:20-24 and Malachi 2:17). In Malachi, God said that He is tired of them saying that “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD and He is pleased with them”. Sound familiar? We are facing a day when people spit in the face of God by saying that homosexuality is OK in God’s sight when God’s Word says otherwise.
Well folks. Jesus IS COMING BACK SOON. People can deny it if they want to. But Peter warned the Christians of his day that “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say “Where is this coming He promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:4)
The scoffers are becoming the majority today. But we can’t give up and we can’t give in. We need to be “preachers of righteousness” just as Noah was as he waited for God’s promise to be fulfilled for 120 years. I honestly don’t believe that we have 120 years. Who knows? We may not even have another 120 minutes.

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TO ERR


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