WOW!

Our Pastor preached one of the best, if not the BEST, sermon that I have ever sat under.  I am going to pick out bits and pieces of it for you.  You will get the point, I am sure.

The title was, “The Five Solas” (Alones). (Remember I am picking out bits and pieces only)

First of all, let me give you an intro.  The man I am zeroing in on is Martin Luther.  At the age of 33 he had all he could take of the abuses of the church and thus the Ninety-five Theses were launched. He only wanted reform – not to be famous but instead he was excommunicated.  However he started a Protest movement. (Have you ever heard of the “Protestants”?)

He began to study the Bible and it was through those studies that God changed his life, then his country, and “now”…….the world.

I have friends who are not Christians and some of them are smart as a whip but they are heavy into the demon world, some in cults, most just having nothing to do with the Bible, thus Hell is straight ahead.  What a waste……….  I can tell you, if they would do what Luther did, honestly and earnestly, they would end up believing and turning from the ways that are leading them to Hell.

What did Luther do? He began to study the scriptures: the Psalms, Romans and Galatians.  These three books of the Bible are what changed his life.

I want to leave with you the Five Solas. These Five Solas impacted his life in this order.  God taught him that it is Faith alone, Grace alone, Christ alone, Scripture alone and living to the Glory of God alone.

The Roman Catholic Church always added to each teaching.  (This is what all false doctrines do.) They use the Bible but only in “addition” to writings of other people. The RCC would say faith and good works, grace and the sacraments, Christ and the Church, Scripture and Tradition and the Pope, to the glory of God and of self.

Our pastor this morning encouraged us and reminded us of 2Timothy 2;15.  “be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. Then he followed that by saying, “we are called to know God’s word, believe God’s word and live God’s word every day of our lives.

I want to leave you with the five Solas and a question for each, from his sermon time.

It is through Faith Alone!  (Is your salvation through Faith Alone?)

It is through Grace Alone!  (Is your salvation because of God’s Grace Alone?)

It is by Christ Alone!  (Is your salvation in Christ Alone?)

It is by Scripture Alone! (Is your salvation grounded in the Scripture alone?)

Salvation is to the glory of God Alone!  (Is the goal of your salvation to the glory of God?)

Pastor Dan, this morning, challenged us all with this!

“God is calling us to Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Christ Alone, Scripture Alone, and living to the Glory of God Alone.  God does not need us. He is sufficient in Himself.  To His glory though, He enjoys including us humans.  Commit to knowing God.  He is the God that gives salvation.  Commit to sharing His grace and truth.  He is the God that can change hearts and minds.  Follow Him.  God enjoys hearing your public confession and decisions.”

The Word comes to my mind ~!~!~!~!~ Found in Psa. 50:15b.

“I want you to trust Me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you, and you can give Me glory“.

To God be the Glory. Great things He has done!!!  Marge

If any of you would like a copy of Pastor Dans “notes”, I would be happy to make a copy and send them to you.  Let me know!!

What ever happened to ~~~~~~

I just finished my post from my Pastor’s sermon this morning. Excellent!  I want to share with you a bit about Martin Luther before you read that Post.

He was born 11/10/1483.  He died 2/18/1546.  He was 63.  He married Katherine von Bora – a nun who had left her convent, in 1525. They were married 21 years and had 6 children.

A few days before his death he had written his beloved Katie. Katie was very concerned and fired off a letter to him saying such.  Then he wrote her this!!!

“I have a caregiver who is better than you and all the angels.  He lies in a manger and nurses at his mother’s breast, yet he sits at the Right Hand of God, the Almighty Father.”

The town of Eisleben  was the town of his birth and the town of his death.  Just before he died he preached his last sermon, using two simple texts.

Psa. 68:19.  “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation!”

He then cited John 3:16.  He followed that by saying, ” Our God is indeed a God of salvation and that salvation comes through the Word of His Son.”

It has been said that when Luther preached they did not see Luther, but instead saw Christ and Him Crucified”.  THAT was, is, and will, forever be Luther’s legacy!

WHAT WILL YOUR LEGACY BE??????????????????????????????

 

Constantly admitting my need of Him!  Marge

Faith! (Day 4)

“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:2)

“In the beginning, God……” (Gen. 1:1). We simply assume that God exists.  We take it by faith.

“But without faith it is impossible to please God….” (Heb. 11:6)

“Faith is the medium of exchange in the kingdom of heaven. On earth it may be your credit card but in the kingdom of heaven it is faith”

Faith is not limited.  The whole chapter of Hebrews 11 is there to show us the unlimited resources we have through our faith.  By faith..Abel.  By faith..Enoch.  By faith…By faith…By faith.

“Your spiritual life is no greater than your faith. God does for us, God does through us, what we believe God for.”

“Dwight L. Moody was a great man of God – a great man of faith.  But he said ‘In his younger ministry, I used to pray and ask God for faith.  I used to beg God for faith. And frankly, I was weak in faith.  Then I discovered Romans 10:27, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”  I stopped praying and asking God for faith, and I began to saturate myself with the word of God, and I found faith welling up in my life.”

Do you want a strong faith????????????   Saturate yourself with the Word of God.!!!!

“It is not great faith that you need.  It is faith in a great God, in order to see who Jesus Christ is.”

The beautiful Chapter of Faith:  Hebrews 11.  It reeks with strength and the faith that each of those mentioned there is so strong. Yet, we read in verse 39, “And these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised.”

They will, of course.  In time.  But we.  We are living on this side of the Cross.  We have the Word of God in our homes.

We can come to the first word now in Hebrews 12:1.  “Therefore”.

God has shown us the faith that so many had and how it brought them to where they were.  Now.  It is time for us to pick up the mantle and carry on deepening our own faith so that we can continue on and so it begins with the beautiful word:  Therefore.

God is still on the throne.  God is still wanting each of us to be like an Abraham or Sarah, or Noah, or,  or,  or.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of wtnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and let us run with endurane the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Heb. 12:1

Faith! (Day 3)

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”.

Faith ~~~ substance ~~~ hoped for ~~~ and now we look at the “evidence“.

I like what Dr. Rogers says about what God does here.  He says, “The faith you have in your heart is evidence God is up to something.  You see, when God massages your heart, He leaves His fingerprints on you.  When God touches the human life, you can see the fingerprint of God, evidence God is going to do something very real.” Don’t you like that!  I surely do!!

Now we come to the next interesting couple of words.  What is faith the evidence of?  The Word says, “~~~~~of things not seen”.  Oops. Did we just step back on thin ice???

There is a lot in the world today that we cannot see.  Interesting story in 2 kings 6, begin reading at verse 8.  It is the story of Elisha and Elijah.  Elisha is staying in the city of Samaria and the Syrian army is advancing.  When the King learns that Elisha is there he sends horses, chariots and a great army at night and has them surround the city knowing that Elisha is there and he is “caught”.  In the morning his servant sees what is out there and asks Elisha what to do.  His answer?  “~~~Fear not; for those that be with us are more than they that be with them”.  WHAT!!!!HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT!!!!  We are only two – they surround us!!!!

And then!!!!!!!!!  Elisha prays and asks God to open his servant’s eyes that he might see. (verse 7). GUESS WHAT!!!! “And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw; and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

That is exciting.  It was what could not be seen but was believed on by a man full of faith.

Yes!  We too, are not alone.  We are surrounded by God’s angels, WHEN““““(Oh yes) ~~~ there has to be a catch doesn’t there!!  God is protecting us all the time when we are walking in the Spirit, when we are obeying God. The unseen is always right there with us.

Faith is the substance:  Solid, unmovable, promises from God’s Word to us.

Faith is the evidence:  There is definitely something else there – the unseen.  It has always been there and always will be there.  The way you can know that is that it is evidence that you have in your heart.  How to you get it? By deeply getting into the Word of God and believing every single Word that you read, and putting it to work in your own heart and soul.

God is moving.  God is working.  Unseenly, but for sure!!

Dr. Rogers continues in the Study by saying this:

“The atheist or skeptic may say, ‘You soft-headed Christians, you just accept by faith that there is a God’.

And I say, ‘You’re absolutely right.’

He says, ‘You can’t prove there’s a God.’

I say ‘You’re absolutely right. I can’t prove it.  I just accept it by Faith.’ ”

So be it!!!  Tomorrow we will finish up our mini study on Faith.

FAITH: (Day 2)

Yesterday we learned that Faith has no definition.  We do find a description, though.  And in that description we see that Faith is not wish-washy – it is strong – – like cement.  It is not thin like ice but something we can “stand on”, jump up and down on and nothing will happen to it.  It is spiritually strong!

We as humans make light of the word “Faith”.

a.  I hope it rains tomorrow.

b.  I hope the kids get home for the holidays.

c.  I hope I get that raise next month.

d.  I hope our home sells soon.

 

And……we “I hope” for ever, in frivolous ways.  But that is NOT the Faith found in Heb. 11:1.

Today.  We are going to look further into this verse at another word:  “hoped”

“Faith is the substance of things “hoped for”.  “Hoped for”.  That sounds like getting back onto thin ice, doesn’t it!!

The Study which I am doing on Faith finds the writer making so much sense of the Bible’s meaning of “Hope”.

He says, “the Bible’s ‘hope’ means ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE BASED ON THE WORD OF GOD.” (He suggests that you write this in the margin of your Bible.)

“Faith is something REAL.  It has a substance, a basis, something to stand on based on an absolute assurance, based on the Word of God.

FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR.”

 

As I showed in my comments in a. to d. above those are not good usages of the word FAITH.  It has nothing to do with FAITH as the Bible shows us.

But as we read those first 8 words in 11:1 the last 4 of those words trim our description of how we should use the usage of “faith” in our daily living.

It requires that we ‘know” the Word.  Not superficially but by dissecting it word for word and determining the depth of each word and each phrase of the verses that we use OFTEN in our communicating.  I believe by so doing, we not only can learn more deeply the Word of God, but we can make “use” of it more empathically in our lives with the way we live and have a much closer walk with our Lord, by thus doing.

The writer of the Bible Study I am using is/was Dr Adrian Rogers, now Home with his Lord.  He was a great Bible teacher/speaker/communicator/writer and whatever else you can say about him.

I found out a long time ago that you can follow someone in a study and find that they may later on do an update on their work but when you use the Bible there ain’t no updating because it is NEVER OUT OF DATE.  Always CURRENT.  So no matter who is the teacher, the material never needs updating when the Bible is the main material used for study.  And there is no better Author than the Lord himself.  Amen????

FAITH ~~ that possesses “us”! (Day 1)

Hebrews 11:1.

Some people say this is the definition of Faith.  It really isn’t.  There is no definition of Faith in the Word.  Heb. 11:1 is the “description” of faith, if you will.  A definition defines.  A description “describes”.

Definition:  The action or power of making definite and clear.

Description;  An account that presents a picture.

Let’s begin to dissect it – almost word for word.

FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE ~~~

The Bible says that Faith is the SUBSTANCE.  What is “Substance”?

The English is much like the Greek word.  It implies “sub” and “stance”. “Sub” ~~ the Dictionary suggests that “sub” means  under …. beneath. “stance” means “a way of standing”.  In other words ~~~~ Faith is strong. It is like steel or concrete.  When we step out on thin ice, the ice quickly cracks and we go under.  No. No.  Not Faith…. Faith is underneath – it is strong – it is real.  It is the substance.

Digest this and ask our Lord to make known to you the depths of the riches of learning the deepness of His Word.

Until tomorrow….Marge

Abraham and Faith ~~~~~~

Have you ever wanted the faith of Abraham?  We want to POSSESS Faith, but it should be the other way around, Faith should POSSESS us.  THAT is the kind of faith Abraham had ~~~~~after a fashion.

I like the following that was taken from a message delivered by Robert Deffinbaugh on 11/26/2000.

“God did not choose Abraham for his courage or intelligence, or his standing in the community. God’s sovereignty chose Abraham out of his weaknesses, rather than his strengths.  Abraham was a man who faced some trials and temptations that we do.  This man came to be a giant in Faith.  As he grew in his Faith so we can, by God’s grace.”

It is mind-boggling to me to read Gen. 22:1 and onward. God tells Abraham to take his only son and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which He would tell him. (Can you IMAGINE how he must have felt?).

Abraham was 75 when he was told that he and Sarah would have a child together.  Both of them laughed and wondered about that.  It was a long 25 year wait for them.  Had they given up?  Sarah tried to hurry things along and was greatly in the wrong. Ishmael was born out of Sarah’s desperation for the child God had promised.  Ishmael was the son of her Egyptian slave woman.  Ishmael became the head of the Arabs and Isaac became the head of the Jews, so as to speak.  And to this day and forever more, the Arabs and Jews have fought and will continue fighting until the end of time.  Thanks to friend Sarah.

With all of the above behind him, it is hard to believe that Abraham was not distraught within.  But no where do we get a hint of this.  We only sense PERHAPS his wondering at what God had asked him to do but carried on with a Faith that possessed him and he was able thus, to carry on and do what God had told him to do.

It tells us that Abraham rose early in the morning, took two of his young men with him and Isaac, and the split wood, and went to the place where God had told him.  It was on the 3rd day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.  (vs. 4)

THEN COMES VS. 5.  It reads, “And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship……………….and we will come back to you.”  DID YOU GET THAT.  “WE will come back to you”.  Was that Faith or WHAT!!!!!!!!

On the way up the mountain Isaac said to his father, “Look, the fire and the wood but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”  (vs.7)  Abraham’s answer!!  “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” (Where did that answer come from?)  Wishful thinking??  Or could it have been a FAITH THAT WAS POSSESSING HIM!!  God had something in mind that was above and beyond what Abraham could possibly think.  Abraham would have been limited by a faith that he could possess but with a faith that was possessing him – there were absolutely no boundaries!!!! WOW!!!!

We know by reading further that Abraham built the altar, placed the wood in order and bound Isaac and laid him on the altar upon the wood. (vs. 9) A~~N~~D ….with the knife in his hand and his arm raised he was ready for the SACRIFICE!!!!

QUESTION(S) for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you possibly feel for Abraham after God had told him what He wanted him to do?

Did he ponder his Faith in a God who would ask that of him?

What did he feel all night long before the break of morning when they left for the 3 day journey?

What was on Abraham’s mind when he told the young men that. “the lad and I will go yonder and worship and we will come back to you”.

We are not told any of the emotion of the man’s heart and soul.  If we were, then we would get off on a tangent that would take away from what God had in mind.  But you can’t help but wonder.  We aren’t told, either,  how Isaac felt when he found out he was to be the burnt offering.

I have been wanting to do an in-depth study of FAITH.  I needed something that is down to the grind – down to the nitty-gritty and I have found it.

I want Faith.  Not a faith that I possess , but a Faith that possesses me.  How about you?????

Monday morning we will begin THAT Study.  Join me, won’t you!!!

Marge