The Throne of Grace (Kingdom Salvation #9)

We have noted that reconciliation between God and sinful individuals has both a human side and a divine side. Conversion is man’s part in reconciliation. Though God, by His grace, leads people to repentance and faith, it is our responsibility to repent and believe. Regeneration is God’s part in reconciliation. He justifies and renews the repentant sinner.

The same cooperation is required in the relationship that follows reconciliation. We are called to trust, love and obey Jesus after we are reconciled to God through Him. We covered this in the previous post. But we are not expected to do this without God’s continuing grace. In the next two posts we want to look at the two primary ways God supports our daily walk with Jesus.

Are You Nervous Yet?

10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 

– John 15:10 NKJV

3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 

– 1 John 2:3-4 NKJV

In the last post we concluded by talking about the requirement to obey Jesus. We pointed out that John 15:10 teaches that those who do not walk in obedience to Jesus Christ will be cut off from Him and the eternal life that is in Him. And 1 John 2:3-4 tells us that those who do not obey God through Christ do not know God. When the God fearing Christian reads such verses he trembles at God’s word. He begins to look at his life and judge it according to such divine declarations. And since the weakness of the humble Christian is never hidden from his conscience, the trembling begins. This is a good sign, for God delights in those who tremble at His word (Isaiah 66:5). 

Continue reading “The Throne of Grace (Kingdom Salvation #9)”

Trust, Love & Obey Jesus (Kingdom Salvation #8)

Conversion + Regeneration = Reconciliation

We have been looking at conversion and regeneration in the last several posts. These two things together result in reconciliation between individuals and God. Conversion is the turning of the heart back to God through repentance towards God, faith in Christ and identification with Him in baptism. Regeneration is the work of God by which we are accepted by God and indwelt by His Holy Spirit.

God Doesn’t Make Deals

Reconciliation is just the beginning of a renewed relationship. It is not the entire relationship. The goal is a Father/child relationship between the repentant sinner and God, reconciliation is the first step in this relationship, but not the entire relationship itself. In our day many have come to assume that the main goal of evangelism is to lead people to faith in Jesus Christ so that they can be justified. Once a person has received justification there is a sense of relief for the evangelist; the goal has been accomplished, the person is now going to heaven. This is a great error.

Continue reading “Trust, Love & Obey Jesus (Kingdom Salvation #8)”

Renewal of the Spirit (Kingdom Salvation #7)

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

– Acts 2:36-38 NKJV

In this post we want to go onto consider the second stage of regeneration. We considered the first stage of regeneration in the last post. Acts 2:38 summarizes this second aspect of salvation with the phrase, “you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not merely a relational change (i.e. forgiven, justified and adopted), but a spiritual change worked within the new believer. It is related to the first aspect of regeneration, but distinct from it.

The First Leads to the Second

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ

– Galatians 3:26-27 NKJV

Continue reading “Renewal of the Spirit (Kingdom Salvation #7)”

Forgiven, Justified & Adopted (Kingdom Salvation #6)

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

– Acts 2:36-38 NKJV

The Promise of New Life

Over the last few posts we have been looking at the three aspects of conversion: repentance, faith and baptism. Peter, in his evangelistic sermon in Acts chapter 2, tells people what they must do to be reconciled to God, and He also tells them what God promises to do if they will meet those conditions. He makes it clear that God will do two things for those that are converted; He will forgive their sins and fill them with His Holy Spirit.

These two divine actions sum up what it means to be born again. Conversion is the role God requires men play in salvation. Through repentance, faith and baptism they respond to the Gospel message and the convicting grace of the Holy Spirit. But regeneration (i.e. rebirth) is what God does for and in the soul of the genuine convert. They are first given the right to become children of God and adopted into God’s family. Then they receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and are given a new and circumcised heart on which God writes His law. They are reborn relationally as God’s children and then internally renewed by the Holy Spirit. 

Continue reading “Forgiven, Justified & Adopted (Kingdom Salvation #6)”

Baptized into Christ Jesus (Kingdom Salvation #5)

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

– Acts 2:36-38 NKJV

Peter told the seekers in Acts 2:38 that they must repent of their sin and place their trust in the name of Jesus Christ. He explains how God commands them to do this. Those who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, and know that His lordship includes the authority to judge and save, must seek refuge by calling on His name in baptism.

Continue reading “Baptized into Christ Jesus (Kingdom Salvation #5)”

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Kingdom Salvation #4)

Preview in new tab

Click here for the previous post in which we discussed the need for repentance in the conversion process:

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

– Acts 2:36-38 NKJV

The Nature of Biblical Faith

Peter told the conscience stricken crowd that they must repent. That is, they must determine to turn from rebellion and submit to God. He then tells them that they must place their trust in Jesus Christ. But he doesn’t tell them this in so many words. Instead he instructs them to “be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” He connects faith with the act of receiving baptism. This fact helps give us a better idea about the nature of saving faith. Saving faith is not merely a mental assent to some concept. But it is trust in a Person which moves us to action. 

In Hebrews chapter 11 we see a list of Old Testament believers who were moved by their faith into action. By faith Abel offered a better sacrifice (11:4). By faith Noah prepared an ark (11:7). By faith Abraham obeyed and went out of his home country to a land he didn’t know (11:8). The nature of their faith compelled them to obey God.

Continue reading “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Kingdom Salvation #4)”

Repentance Towards God (Kingdom Salvation #3)

n the last post we discussed the Gospel of the Kingdom. In this post we will look at the proper response to the Gospel:

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

– Acts 2:36-38 NKJV

The Gospel Summarized

In this passage we see the conclusion of Peter’s Sermon on the Day of Pentecost. The sermon started because the Spirit of God had been poured out on the believers and this attracted the attention of the crowd. Once the crowd gathered around the believers, Peter addressed the crowd.

He started off by quoting a passage from the prophet Joel which prophesied the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:16-17). This passage ended with the promise that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (2:21). Peter continues his message by referring to the fact that Jesus had been anointed with the power of God, and had worked many miraculous works of mercy and power while on earth (2:22). This was clear proof that God was with Him. 

Continue reading “Repentance Towards God (Kingdom Salvation #3)”

The Gospel of the Kingdom (Kingdom Salvation #2)

For the first post in this series click here:

There is only one gospel

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is the central message of the Bible. It was preached by Christ and the apostles, and was foretold by the prophets. This good news is mentioned throughout the New Testament, sometimes with various terminology. It is often just referred to simply as “the Gospel,” but can also be called by other names.

24 “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 

– Acts 20:24-25 NKJV

The Gospel of grace of God and the Gospel of the kingdom of God are one! For it is by Jesus Christ becoming king through His death, resurrection and exaltation that the grace of God can be given to us.

1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 

– Mark 1:1 NKJV

14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” 

– Mark 1:14-15 NKJV

The Gospel of the Kingdom and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are one and the same Gospel! The Gospel of the kingdom of God is about Jesus Christ being made king by His Father and is therefore appropriately called the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Continue reading “The Gospel of the Kingdom (Kingdom Salvation #2)”

Interpreting the Bible (Kingdom Salvation #1)

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 

– 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

The Bible is the standard God has given us by which we can grow in understanding of Him, His will and His kingdom. There are some basic principles we must follow in order to be able to understand and apply the scriptures accurately. 

Rightfully Dividing the Word

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth

– 2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV

The first basic principle is that we must interpret Scripture in its appropriate context. We must understand that the Bible was written to other people, not us. This does not mean it does not apply to us, it just means we have to understand what God was saying to those who first received it before we know how, or if, it applies to us in our situation. We need to do our best to know who the original human author was (Paul, Moses, etc.), who the recipient(s) was/were (the church in Rome, ancient Israel, etc.), what relationship the author and recipient(s) had with one another and what the occasion for writing was. Most of this can usually be found in the particular book (Romans, Exodus, etc) in which it is written. By understanding what was originally communicated we will be better equipped to see how, or if, the truth of the passage applies to us in our circumstance.

When we come to any passage in scripture and seek to understand what it is teaching, we first look at the immediate context. That is, we look at the verses immediately before and after the verse/verses we are considering. The Bible was not originally divided into chapters and verses. Sometimes the division of verses can give us the impression that a particular verse stands alone, but this is not the case. We must seek to understand the flow of thought of the original author. Reading a few verses before and after a particular verse can go a long way to helping us better understand what the author had in mind.

Continue reading “Interpreting the Bible (Kingdom Salvation #1)”

Adopted & Indwelt (Galatians 3:26 & 4:6)

Galatians 3:26 & 4:6

Galatians 3:26 & 4:6

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. …And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Galatians 3:26 & 4:6 – Context

Galatians 3:23-24

23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 

The Law of Moses revealed sin, but did not provide a lasting and thorough means of justification. It is true that people could receive cleansing from the breaking of certain aspects of the Law by offering the proscribed sacrifices at the temple. And there was a general cleansing that happened once a year during the Day of Atonement. But these did not cover every sin and they had to be offered again and again. 

So, from the Law people understood that sin offended God, and they knew they had no way to fully and finally deal with it. But in Jesus Christ, through faith in Him, we can receive full and complete forgiveness for all sin. He died once, and is now sitting at the right hand of God presenting that sacrifice on behalf of those who trust Him. We always have access to the throne of grace, and can come boldly to receive mercy and grace through faith in Christ Jesus. 

Continue reading “Adopted & Indwelt (Galatians 3:26 & 4:6)”