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  4.        <title>Abide in Christ Daily Devotional</title>
  5.        <description>Free Daily Devotion for You</description>
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  20.            <title>God is Able</title>
  21.            <description>What is your favorite doxology in the Bible? Mine is found in Ephesians 3:20-21.
  22. &lt;br /&gt;
  23.  
  24. The context is a prayer for God’s high purposes for His redeemed people. Paul’s prayer is that every believer “be filled up to all the fullness of God” (v. 19).
  25. &lt;br /&gt;
  26.  
  27. No Christian ever has to worry about having inadequate resources to live the Christian life. God wants us to experience His fullness. The means of this fullness is the Holy Spirit.
  28. &lt;br /&gt;
  29.  
  30. His prayer is that every believer may be strengthened internally through the Holy Spirit every day and in every circumstance (v. 16). He is our Comforter, Helper or Encourager, who is called along side to help in time of need. He helps us to do the right thing at the right time under all circumstances. He is our competence to live the Christian life.
  31. &lt;br /&gt;
  32.  
  33. He also prays that believers will be growing in their availability to Christ (v. 17a). We are Christians because we have Christ indwelling us, but Paul’s prayer is that Christ will take fuller possession of every aspect of the believer’s life. It is the idea of Jesus Christ settling down in our hearts and making Himself at home and controlling us as the rightful owner of the home. The same word (katoikeo) is used of the fullness of the Godhead abiding in Christ and of Christ abiding in the believer’s life. The verb denotes a permanent habitation as opposed to an occasional visit.
  34. &lt;br /&gt;
  35.  
  36. Moreover, Paul prays that we will be firmly rooted or fixed, and grounded in love (vv. 17b-18). God’s love nourishes the believer because it is on a solid foundation. Paul prays that the believer will grow up in the soil of rich love.
  37. &lt;br /&gt;
  38.  
  39. He prays that believers will comprehend the greatness of God’s love for us (v. 19). We can never exhaust the love of Christ by our knowledge of it. What Paul is praying for is a true knowledge of God’s love for us. We can know that what we perceive is the true love of Christ. His prayer is that we grow in our awareness of that love for us. </description>
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  42.            <pubDate>Wed, 21 Mar 2012 21:56:32 -0500</pubDate>
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  45.            <title>From Despair to Hope</title>
  46.            <description>It is almost uncanny how the poet describes the abandonment of the sufferer by God to the scorn of evil people who mocked Him. The Hebrew poet-king wrote,
  47. &lt;br /&gt;
  48.  
  49. But I am a worm and not a man,
  50. A reproach of men and despised by the people.
  51. All who see me sneer at me;
  52. They separate with the lip, they wag the head,   saying,
  53. “Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him;
  54. Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him” (Psalm 22:6-8).
  55. &lt;br /&gt;
  56.  
  57. King David writes using gestures of helplessness, frailty, and hopelessness in these verses. It is another vivid picture of the events at Calvary put in writing a thousand years before they actually took place in history (Matt. 27:39-43).
  58. &lt;br /&gt;
  59.  
  60. “They open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring loin” (v. 13). The crowd at the crucifixion of Jesus did just that in graphic detail. His bones were pulled out of joint at the hands, arms, shoulders and pelvis (v. 14). “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint, my heart is like wax; it is melted within me” (v.14). Perspiration pours profusely from the intense suffering, and the exhaustion and strain affects the functioning of His heart. With His strength exhausted, and dehydration, His tongue clings to His mouth from extreme thirst (v. 15). “My strength is dried up like potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws” (v. 15).
  61. &lt;br /&gt;
  62.  
  63. We draw up near the cross in verse sixteen and hear him say, “For dogs [Jewish term for derision for Gentiles] have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet” (cf. Matt. 27:35; Jn. 20:20, 25).
  64. &lt;br /&gt;
  65.  
  66. They stare at Him on the cross. He is so frail from suffering they can count His bones on His naked body. Even the casting of lots for His clothing is literally fulfilled (v. 18; cf. Matt. 27:35; Lk. 23:34; Jn. 19:24; 19:23; Mk. 15:24).</description>
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  69.            <pubDate>Tue, 20 Mar 2012 21:37:45 -0500</pubDate>
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  71.        <item>
  72.            <title>The Forsaken and the Forgiven</title>
  73.            <description>The poignant, opening sentence in Psalm 22 reveals the disturbing fact of God’s servant crying out in God forsakenness.
  74. &lt;br /&gt;
  75.  
  76. How could one of the members of the Godhead turn His back on another member of the Trinity?
  77. &lt;br /&gt;
  78.  
  79. “God forsaken of God” was the price of our atonement. When Jesus Christ bore our sin on the cross He was forsaken of God the Father. He paid the full price for our atonement on the cross when He bore the penalty of the wrath of God against sin for us. This sacrificial act reveals how much God loves us.
  80. &lt;br /&gt;
  81.  
  82. Psalm 22 has been described as the “Psalm of the Cross” because it is the best description in the entire Bible of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The amazing thing is King David wrote it a thousand years before the event described actually took place in history. Moreover, execution by crucifixion was never practiced by the Jewish people and was unknown for centuries until developed by the Carthaginians and later refined by the Romans. David paints a prophetic picture of the anguish of the Suffering Servant of God to pay the penalty for our sins. Psalm 22 is entirely messianic and prophetic. David foresaw and spoke of the suffering of the Anointed of God.
  83. &lt;br /&gt;
  84.  
  85. No event in the life of David accounts for the terrible events in this Psalm. It defies a naturalistic explanation.
  86. &lt;br /&gt;
  87.  
  88. The words of the poet are fulfilled literally and exactly in the execution of Jesus Christ. The desolate God forsaken cry (v. 1; cf. Matt. 27:46); the contrasting periods of light and darkness (v. 2; Matt. 27:45); the extreme humiliation and treatment of the sufferer (vv. 6-8, 12-13; Matt. 27:39-44) and the casting of lots for His garments (v. 18; Matt. 27:35) are some of the greatest evidences for divine inspiration of all the Scriptures including this Psalm.</description>
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  91.            <pubDate>Mon, 19 Mar 2012 22:17:03 -0500</pubDate>
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  93.        <item>
  94.            <title>Jesus Christ is the Great I AM</title>
  95.            <description>Jesus Christ claimed to be the “I AM.” It is the personal name of the God of the Old Testament (Exodus 3:13-14). On several occasions it is recorded that Jesus used the “I AM” formula in attesting to His deity. He claimed to be the LORD God, Jehovah, Yahweh.
  96. &lt;br /&gt;
  97.  
  98. The greatest of all the names for the Lord Jesus Christ is the “I AM.”
  99. &lt;br /&gt;
  100.  
  101. This is why the apostle Paul wrote: “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). Jesus is Lord. The name that is above all other names is “Lord,” and it is equivalent to “Jehovah” or Yahweh. This is the exact equivalent to the words, “I AM.”
  102. &lt;br /&gt;
  103.  
  104. The name that is above all earthly and heavenly names is Yahweh, the great “I AM THAT I AM.”
  105. &lt;br /&gt;
  106.  
  107. The apostle Paul tells us that the Lord Jesus is so above all other beings that all who are in heaven and the earth will bow and worship Him. He is God. He is not one among many gods, but the One and Only (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Cor. 8:4).
  108. &lt;br /&gt;
  109.  
  110. On one occasion He responded to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well when she perceived that He could possibly be the long awaited for Messiah. Jesus said, “He who speaks to you am he.” Literally, Jesus said, “I am,” pointing to His claim to the title “I AM.”
  111. &lt;br /&gt;
  112.  
  113. Moreover, that is not the only time He made the claim. He used these words to refer to His deity in John 8:24. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” He was saying you cannot be saved unless you recognize and believe that Jesus Christ is God.</description>
  114.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar19.html</link>
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  116.            <pubDate>Sun, 18 Mar 2012 14:02:09 -0500</pubDate>
  117.        </item>
  118.        <item>
  119.            <title>Feasting on the Lamb</title>
  120.            <description>The same Passover lamb that was slain and its blood smeared on the doorpost and the lintel in the Jewish home was the lamb that the people ate for the journey out of Egypt (Ex. 12:11, 46).
  121. &lt;br /&gt;
  122.  
  123. Everything the people needed for life that night was provided by the substitutionary lamb. The blood of the lamb covered their sins. The lamb gave his blood to redeem them, and he gave his life for them to eat and be nourished for the journey (Ex. 12:1-14). They lived their redeemed life out of the life of the lamb. They lived in the strength provided by the lamb. The Passover lamb became their nourishment for the journey in the night.
  124. &lt;br /&gt;
  125.  
  126. The Christian life is lived on the life of the Lamb of God.
  127. &lt;br /&gt;
  128.  
  129. We are never ready to start the journey in the Christian life until we feast upon the lamb God has provided. We go about trying to live the spiritual life in the energy of the flesh. It will not work; it never has worked. Life in the energy of the flesh will die. God puts His life in us, and we must feast upon the Lamb of God to sustain His life in us.
  130. &lt;br /&gt;
  131.  
  132. God imparts His life to us and He will live it through us (Rom. 5:10). Jesus said, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life” (John 6:54). We have God’s life by appropriating the Lamb of God (John 6:27). Everything is centered on Jesus Christ. He is all we ever need for this new life in Christ. The only life that pleases God is His life and the life of His Son.
  133. &lt;br /&gt;
  134.  
  135. The Christian life is Jesus living His life in you, through you, and as you. It must always be His life flowing through us. “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” It is spiritual appropriation of Christ by faith. “I live, yet not I; Christ lives in me.” “Christ in you is the hope of glory.” “For me, to live is Christ.” Who is the one living? Christ. But whom do you see when you look at Him? You and me. He is in us living His life as us.</description>
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  138.            <pubDate>Sat, 17 Mar 2012 23:35:30 -0500</pubDate>
  139.        </item>
  140.        <item>
  141.            <title>Lamb of God</title>
  142.            <description>The focus of the life and work of Jesus Christ is found in His death and resurrection. It is the fulfillment of the great message of the coming redeemer in the Old Testament.
  143. &lt;br /&gt;
  144.  
  145. The lamb was the principal animal of sacrifice among the Jewish people at the evening and morning sacrifice (Ex. 29:38-42; Num. 38:3-8), and specials days (Num. 28:11), the Passover (28:16-19), Pentecost (28:26f), Feast of the Trumpets (29:1, 2), the Day of Atonement (29:7, 8), and the Tabernacle (29:12-16). Other personal sacrifices included lambs (Lev. 12:6; 14:10-18, etc), such as the sin offerings (Lev. 4:32-35). Moreover, the Pascal sacrifice is basic to the whole sacrificial system (Ex. 12:13). Thus the figures in Isaiah 53:7 and Exodus 12:13 come together in the designation of the “Lamb of God.” They compliment each other.
  146. &lt;br /&gt;
  147.  
  148. The innocence and gentleness of the sacrificial lamb is featured in descriptions in the Old Testament. As a symbol, the sacrificial lamb prefigured the character and suffering of the Lamb of God (Acts 8:32; Isa. 53:7). Jesus is introduced in the Gospel of John as “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32; 1 Pet. 1:19; Isa. 53:7).
  149. &lt;br /&gt;
  150.  
  151. In 1 Corinthians 5:7 Jesus is identified as the Passover lamb. He is also seen as the suffering lamb of God in Isaiah 53, and the fulfillment of all the lambs of sacrifice in the Jewish rituals.
  152. &lt;br /&gt;
  153.  
  154. When Jesus came, it was God who substituted His own provision, a Lamb for the people. This substitution aspect is seen in Abraham’s sacrifice of the lamb caught in the briars (Gen. 22). The LORD God who demanded the sacrifice was the One who provided the lamb in the place of Isaac. God in Jesus provided His own Lamb for the sacrifice.</description>
  155.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar17.html</link>
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  157.            <pubDate>Sat, 17 Mar 2012 23:34:21 -0500</pubDate>
  158.        </item>
  159.        <item>
  160.            <title>Jesus Christ is God</title>
  161.            <description>The eminent British professor and scholar C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity:
  162. &lt;br /&gt;
  163.  
  164.    I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come away with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
  165. &lt;br /&gt;
  166.  
  167. Jesus Christ is Lord because He is God.
  168. &lt;br /&gt;
  169.  
  170. While on the earth Jesus did exactly what was apparently the impossible thing He said He would do. He taught on numerous occasions that He would be killed, buried for three days, and would rise from the dead. Obviously, if Jesus did not rise from the dead what He said was a lie and He was justly crucified for blasphemy.
  171. &lt;br /&gt;
  172.  
  173. However, since He was raised from the dead what He declared was not blasphemy because He truly was God. He was claiming that He was Yahweh, the LORD God, Jehovah, and the great I AM.
  174. &lt;br /&gt;
  175.  
  176. In John 8:56-58 Jesus said to a group of hostile listeners, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad.” The aggressive religious leaders replied, “You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?” Obviously, they misunderstood. You will recall that Abraham lived 2000 years before Christ came in the flesh. These Jewish leaders asked a relevant question! Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM” (v. 58).</description>
  177.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar16.html</link>
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  179.            <pubDate>Sat, 17 Mar 2012 23:33:11 -0500</pubDate>
  180.        </item>
  181.        <item>
  182.            <title>Christ Our Redeemer</title>
  183.            <description>The most significant word that describes the death of Christ for sinful man is redemption. It means, “buying again,” or “buying back.” In the Bible it is used especially of purchasing a slave with a view of setting him free. It signifies a release procured by the payment of a ransom price.
  184. &lt;br /&gt;
  185.  
  186. The Roman slave could purchase his own freedom if he could come up with enough money. The owner could also sell his slave to someone else who would pay the price and set him free.
  187. &lt;br /&gt;
  188.  
  189. The word “ransom” signifies the price paid for a slave who is then set free by the one who bought him.
  190. &lt;br /&gt;
  191.  
  192. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
  193. &lt;br /&gt;
  194.  
  195. The apostle Peter wrote, “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Hebrews 9:12 tells us it is, “not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” In each of these verses the idea is to “set free by paying a price.”
  196. &lt;br /&gt;
  197.  
  198. The redemption price is the blood of Jesus which makes it possible for a righteous God to justify a believing sinner on the basis of satisfied justice.
  199. &lt;br /&gt;
  200.  
  201. It is significant in the Bible that we belong to God, but we fell into bondage through willful rebellion; and as a result of sin we must be purchased out of that bondage. Our bondage is the penalty and power of sin. We were alienated from God and in bondage to sin; therefore God in His grace redeemed us from that bondage. We have been “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).</description>
  202.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar15.html</link>
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  204.            <pubDate>Wed, 14 Mar 2012 22:48:58 -0500</pubDate>
  205.        </item>
  206.        <item>
  207.            <title>Christ our Reconciliation</title>
  208.            <description>Adam enjoyed perfect fellowship and communion with God before he disobeyed Him in the Garden. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God that fellowship was broken, and Adam tried to hide himself from God (Genesis 3:8-11).
  209. &lt;br /&gt;
  210.  
  211. That broken relationship with God needed to be restored or man would be eternally separated from God’s holy presence.
  212. &lt;br /&gt;
  213.  
  214. The apostle Paul tells us God “reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18-19).
  215. &lt;br /&gt;
  216.  
  217. God “makes one” that which was formerly a broken relationship. The word “reconcile” properly denotes to change, like exchanging money, and in relationship to persons, it is to change from enmity to friendship, and thus to reconcile.
  218. &lt;br /&gt;
  219.  
  220. This is what God accomplished by exercising His grace toward us sinners on the ground of the death of Christ for our sins. We are the ones who needed the change from enmity to friendship with God. We needed to be reconciled to God.
  221. &lt;br /&gt;
  222.  
  223. Because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ men in their sinful condition and alienation from God are invited to be reconciled to Him. The change in attitude is on our part, not God’s. Sinful, rebellious, disobedient men are the ones who need to change. God in love and grace reached down to man and provided a means whereby He could reconcile us to Himself.
  224. &lt;br /&gt;
  225.  
  226. The change that is needed on our part is repentance and faith. A spiritual birth brings about this change in our hearts toward God.</description>
  227.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar14.html</link>
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  229.            <pubDate>Tue, 13 Mar 2012 20:39:48 -0500</pubDate>
  230.        </item>
  231.        <item>
  232.            <title>Christ our Propitiation</title>
  233.            <description>Please don’t let that title scare you off. That is a beautiful and profound word.
  234. &lt;br /&gt;
  235.  
  236. Christ’s death turns away the wrath of God. The apostle Paul said Christ is our propitiation. He is a propitiatory sacrifice. It refers to what Christ did on our behalf before God.
  237. &lt;br /&gt;
  238.  
  239. We are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption, which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (Romans 3:24-25).
  240. &lt;br /&gt;
  241.  
  242. God gave His Son as the means of the propitiation, “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). A. T. Robertson said, “God could not let sin go as if a mere slip. God demanded the atonement and provided it.” It was “by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9).
  243. &lt;br /&gt;
  244.  
  245. The word “propitiate” in its classical form was used of the act of appeasing the Greek gods by a sacrifice, of rendering them favorable toward the worshipper. The sacrifice was offered by the pagan worshiper to buy off the anger of the god and buy his love. Note very carefully that this idea is not brought over into the New Testament. The LORD God does not need to be appeased nor is His love for sale.
  246. &lt;br /&gt;
  247.  
  248. In the New Testament it refers to the act of getting rid of sin which has come between God and man. The word hilasterion is used in the Greek translation of Leviticus 16:14 to refer to the golden cover on top of the Ark of the Covenant. In the Ark, below this lid, were placed the tablets of stone upon which were written the Ten Commandments, which Israel had violated. On the Day of Atonement before the Ark stood the High Priest representing the people who had sinned. When the sacrificial blood is sprinkled on this cover, it ceases to be a place of judgment and becomes a place of mercy. The blood comes between the violated law and the violators, the people. The blood of Jesus satisfies the just requirements of God’s holy law which mankind broke, pays the penalty for man, and thus removes that which had separated between a holy God and sinful man, sin, its guilt and penalty. This is far removed from the pagan idea of propitiation. Jesus Christ is God’s High Priest who was both the Mercy Seat and the Sacrifice, which transforms the former from a judgment seat to one where mercy is offered a sinner on the basis of justice satisfied.</description>
  249.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar13.html</link>
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  251.            <pubDate>Tue, 13 Mar 2012 20:38:29 -0500</pubDate>
  252.        </item>
  253.        <item>
  254.            <title>Christ our Sacrifice</title>
  255.            <description>The Old Testament is full of sacrifices in which an innocent animal was killed. These were substitutionary sacrifices meaning that the death of the animal was in the place of someone else.
  256. &lt;br /&gt;
  257.  
  258. Why was there such an emphasis in the Jewish writings? The holiness of God reveals that everyone who has ever lived has sinned. We have all failed to live up to God’s expectation of us. We have “all sinned and come short of the glory of God.” We have failed the test of God for a righteous person.
  259. &lt;br /&gt;
  260.  
  261. The penalty for breaking the laws of God is separation from Him throughout eternity. We deserve the death penalty. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). “The soul that sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). As a consequence of our sins we deserve to spend an eternity in hell.
  262. &lt;br /&gt;
  263.  
  264. Jesus Christ redeemed us from the law. He chose to die in our place. It was His free volitional choice. We deserved to die and He stepped in and voluntarily chose of His own free will to die in our place. Jesus took our death in His sacrifice for sin. He experienced both physical and spiritual death in our place on the cross as our substitute.
  265. &lt;br /&gt;
  266.  
  267. Every Easter is a vivid reminder of our sinfulness, and the penalty of our sins was laid on Christ.
  268. &lt;br /&gt;
  269.  
  270. God conducted the first ever sacrifice for sin. He chose the animals to sacrifice for Adam and Eve, and then He clothed them with the skins of the animals (Gen 3:21). Adam and Eve saw the first death anyone had ever witnessed. God slay the animals and in that event taught man that he deserved to die for His disobedience, and that it was possible for another to die in his place. The animals that were shed for their clothing paid the price of their sin debt. Those coats of animal skins were a constant testimony of the price of sin.</description>
  271.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar12.html</link>
  272.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F187DAEB-B295-4198-8B9E-0D7E4653A1B5</guid>
  273.            <pubDate>Mon, 12 Mar 2012 14:57:02 -0500</pubDate>
  274.        </item>
  275.        <item>
  276.            <title>Who Am I?</title>
  277.            <description>Every born again believer in Jesus Christ has a new standing before the Lord God. This eternal position never changes. It does not depend upon changes, chances or our circumstances.
  278. &lt;br /&gt;
  279.  
  280. Romans chapters three through seven tells us who we are in Christ.
  281. &lt;br /&gt;
  282.  
  283.    We have a new standing with God. By God&apos;s grace we have complete acceptance with God in Christ. We are at peace with God; God is at peace with us! &quot;Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God&quot; (5:1–2). We have a new relationship in which we are reconciled with God, and as a result is we experience His peace.
  284. &lt;br /&gt;
  285.  
  286.    We are members of a new family. The disobedience of Adam brought death. All men die in Adam. However, we have a new head of the family who is Jesus Christ, and He gives eternal life. &quot;For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ&quot; (5:17).
  287. &lt;br /&gt;
  288.  
  289.    We have a new identification in Christ. We have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. We have died to the old life, have been buried with Christ and have been raised to new life in Him. We are now identified with Christ. We are as men who have been raised from the dead. &quot;Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life&quot; (6:4).
  290. &lt;br /&gt;
  291.  
  292.    We also have a new master. We are no longer slaves to sin. We now have a choice; we do not have to obey sin any longer. &quot;For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification&quot; (6:19). Our new master leads us in God&apos;s righteousness. Sin has a payday and death is its wages, but Christ gives us life every day v. 23).</description>
  293.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar11.html</link>
  294.            <guid isPermaLink="false">94A74CE7-D296-4B2D-8A04-D85FF050D119</guid>
  295.            <pubDate>Sat, 10 Mar 2012 21:03:11 -0600</pubDate>
  296.        </item>
  297.        <item>
  298.            <title>The Power of the Resurrection Life</title>
  299.            <description>Christianity is Christ.
  300. &lt;br /&gt;
  301.  
  302. It is centered in a historical person who lived, died and rose from the dead. This truth is the most important fact in history. It is essential because it demands a life saving response in faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10).
  303. &lt;br /&gt;
  304.  
  305. What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ accomplish for us?
  306. &lt;br /&gt;
  307.  
  308. Because Christ rose from the dead all who are united to Him by faith are secure in their own resurrection and eternal life beyond the grave. Before He died on the cross, Jesus promised His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for us. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). Because Jesus rose from the dead just as He said He would do, we know His promise is true for every believer. He is now preparing a place for us in heaven to be with His Father.
  309. &lt;br /&gt;
  310.  
  311. We know this is true because the resurrection proves that Jesus Christ is God. His resurrection proves that He is equal to God and that God would raise Him from the dead three days after He died. The resurrection was God’s way of authenticating Jesus’ claim to deity. The resurrection of Jesus is the Father’s seal on the Son’s claims. Jesus was “declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). Jesus demonstrated God’s perfect love for us by dying on the cross and rising again (John 3:14-16).
  312. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  313.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar10.html</link>
  314.            <guid isPermaLink="false">A54E7769-DD38-4A25-8797-886BAF8C485F</guid>
  315.            <pubDate>Sat, 10 Mar 2012 20:38:46 -0600</pubDate>
  316.        </item>
  317.        <item>
  318.            <title>Risen with Christ</title>
  319.            <description>“Death stung itself to death, when it stung Christ” ––  Romaine.
  320.  
  321. The greatest event that has ever occurred in history is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  322.  
  323. The work of Christ divides itself into what Christ accomplished as our Sinbearer, and what He did as our Life-giver. He not only bore our sins on the cross, but He gives us eternal life.
  324. &lt;br /&gt;
  325.  
  326. As believers we look back upon our old nature, the old man, the penalty for sin and its punishment, and forward at the “all things that have become new” in Christ.
  327. &lt;br /&gt;
  328.  
  329. The apostle Paul declared, “if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain, you are yet in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17). Christ was so identified with our sins as our representative that God had to condemn Him to death. “For the wages of sin is death.” “The soul that sins will surely die.” “God made Him sin who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf . . .”
  330. &lt;br /&gt;
  331.  
  332. If Jesus Christ still lies in a cold, dark grave in Jerusalem then you are still in your sins and you must pay your own death penalty as a sinner. The wages of sin must be paid in full. You will pay it or your divine Substitute will pay it for you. “If Christ be not raised your faith is in vain . . . ,” and you are still dead in your transgressions and sins.
  333. &lt;br /&gt;
  334.  
  335. Since Christ has risen from the dead and we are risen with Him, we are not in our sins. We “shall never perish.” Jesus said,  “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:29).
  336. &lt;br /&gt;
  337.  
  338. The apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). We have been quickened together with Christ, raised up together with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:4-6).
  339. &lt;br /&gt;
  340.  
  341. We have been made alive with Christ, and have become permanently united with Christ in the likeness of His resurrection. “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,” (Col. 2:13).</description>
  342.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb21.html</link>
  343.            <guid isPermaLink="false">C39DBEBA-370B-454B-AB2C-FDB499181EB7</guid>
  344.            <pubDate>Tue, 21 Feb 2012 07:59:24 -0600</pubDate>
  345.        </item>
  346.        <item>
  347.            <title>Dead to Sin</title>
  348.            <description>The apostle Paul wrote of Christ, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:10-11).
  349. &lt;br /&gt;
  350.  
  351. The believer’s “old man” or “old self” is what he was spiritually before he believed on Christ when he was still under sin, powerless, depraved, ungodly and even an enemy of God.
  352. &lt;br /&gt;
  353.  
  354. Our fallen nature was not changed at conversion. It was not annihilated, but it was “rendered inactive, made of no effect” (Rom. 6:6). Our physical body is not sinful. It is neutral and can be controlled by sin or by the Holy Spirit. It was controlled by sin before we trusted Christ for salvation.
  355. &lt;br /&gt;
  356.  
  357. “In Jesus Christ we died to sin, and the old nature was crucified so that the old life is rendered inoperative.” This is a great fact for the believer to rely upon.  Now that we have died with Christ the power of controlling sin is broken and is rendered powerless or ineffective (Rom. 6:3-5).
  358. &lt;br /&gt;
  359.  
  360. There is a change in relationship with God and sin. Because of this new living union with Christ the believer now has a new relationship with God and different attitudes toward sin. Sin is no longer his master. Christ is the new master. We no longer want to continue in sin. Now because we are in Christ we have a choicer whether we choose to sin, or choose to obey our new Master.
  361. &lt;br /&gt;
  362.  
  363. In our unregenerate state we were slaves to sin. Now that our old self was crucified with Christ we have been delivered from this slavery. “Anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” We have been declared righteous, “freed,” with the result that sin no longer has the legal right to force us into its slavery. Sin no longer is the master of the believer because he has died with Christ and risen with Him “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with so that we would no longer be slaves to sin” (Rom. 6:6). &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  364.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb20.html</link>
  365.            <guid isPermaLink="false">B175A8B6-69CB-4291-AD5D-FC8AD32579A5</guid>
  366.            <pubDate>Tue, 21 Feb 2012 07:58:03 -0600</pubDate>
  367.        </item>
  368.        <item>
  369.            <title>No Condemnation!</title>
  370.            <description>“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
  371. &lt;br /&gt;
  372.  
  373. Justification is the opposite of condemnation.
  374. &lt;br /&gt;
  375.  
  376. God declares the believing sinner to have a right relationship with Him, but that does not make him righteous. A sinner does not have any righteousness of his own, and therefore cannot be innocent. However, God declares believers in Christ righteous on the grounds of Christ’s atonement.
  377. &lt;br /&gt;
  378.  
  379. The believing sinner is declared by God to be just by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
  380. &lt;br /&gt;
  381.  
  382. Grace of God is the cause of our justification.
  383. &lt;br /&gt;
  384.  
  385. Romans 3:24 reads, “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”  
  386. &lt;br /&gt;
  387.  
  388. No individual can make himself right with God no matter how hard he tries because he is a sinner. The Bible declares, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (3:10). The reason is because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (v. 23).
  389. &lt;br /&gt;
  390.  
  391. Since we are condemned sinners worthy of death as a punishment for our sins, someone else must do the work of righteousness for us (6:23). We do not deserve or merit God’s love. The source of our right relationship with God is His own free grace.
  392. &lt;br /&gt;
  393.  
  394. The foundation of our justification is the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
  395. &lt;br /&gt;
  396.  
  397. It was Christ “whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed” (3:25).
  398. &lt;br /&gt;
  399.  
  400. God can now freely justify us because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Christ paid our sin debt in full when He died for us (5:6, 8). We are “justified by His blood.”</description>
  401.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb15.html</link>
  402.            <guid isPermaLink="false">1B5D3218-48A0-405D-AAEA-CFA02B9C1D31</guid>
  403.            <pubDate>Tue, 14 Feb 2012 22:05:11 -0600</pubDate>
  404.        </item>
  405.        <item>
  406.            <title>Are You in Adam or in Christ?</title>
  407.            <description>Charles Hodge asked a crucial question: “If God requires one thing, and we present another, how can we be saved? If He has revealed a method in which He can be just and yet justify the sinner, and if we reject that method and insist upon pursuing a different way, how can we hope to be accepted?”
  408. &lt;br /&gt;
  409.  
  410. The safest answer, of course, is in the Scriptures. What has God revealed?
  411. &lt;br /&gt;
  412.  
  413. The first man sinned, but not just once; Adam sinned many times. Before he sinned the first time he was righteous. His righteousness was of his own doing, as a created being. It was the righteousness of a man. However, Adam never had the righteousness of Jesus Christ upon him. What he lost was his own self righteousness.
  414. &lt;br /&gt;
  415.  
  416. When you and I put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior we are not merely given back a human righteousness that Adam had before the fall. We are given the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. God gives us “much more” in abundance, a superabundance of grace. He gives us the full weight of His perfect righteousness.
  417. &lt;br /&gt;
  418.  
  419. Adam did not stand in his own righteousness. He fell. If we attempt to stand in our own righteousness we, too, shall fall.
  420. &lt;br /&gt;
  421.  
  422. The gift of God in Christ far surpasses the effects of Adam’s sin and all other transgressions we have committed.
  423. &lt;br /&gt;
  424.  
  425. The humbling fact is we were all in Adam once, and we fell in him. He brought sin and death to the human race by his own sin.
  426. &lt;br /&gt;
  427.  
  428. How can you and I escape the effects of the fall of Adam on us?</description>
  429.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb14.html</link>
  430.            <guid isPermaLink="false">0CDE8930-EAD0-43F3-BF58-81165D10FD9E</guid>
  431.            <pubDate>Tue, 14 Feb 2012 22:01:57 -0600</pubDate>
  432.        </item>
  433.        <item>
  434.            <title>The Imputed Righteousness of God</title>
  435.            <description>God imputes or accredits the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ to the believing sinner while he is still in his sinning state.
  436. &lt;br /&gt;
  437.  
  438. God has manifested His righteousness apart from the Law “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe” (Rom. 3:21-22). The reason for this judicial standing before a righteous God is because we have “all sinned and come short of the glory of God” (v. 23). The foundation upon which God can justify the believing sinner who is still in his sinning state is because this justification is “a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (vv. 24-25).
  439. &lt;br /&gt;
  440.  
  441. Romans 5:12-21 teaches the imputing or charging of Adam’s sin to the human race. Because Adam sinned as the federal head of the human race, God considers all men as sinners. We are possessed of Adam’s nature (vv. 12-14), and the sentence of death is imposed on us (6:23). The effect of Adam’s fall is universal. We are all fallen sons and daughters of old Adam. We do not become sinful by sinning; we sin because we are sinful by nature. We sin because we are sinners.
  442. &lt;br /&gt;
  443.  
  444. The judgment of God rests upon all men outside of a saving relationship with Jesus Christ because of imputed sin, our inherited sin nature and our own personal sins.
  445. &lt;br /&gt;
  446.  
  447. We stand guilty before God and deserve the death penalty until we come to Christ alone for a right standing before God (Rom. 6:23).
  448. &lt;br /&gt;
  449.  
  450. Moreover, in a similar way, the sin of man is imputed to Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). Jehovah, the LORD God, laid on His Son, the Lamb of God, the iniquities of us all (Isa. 53:5; Jn. 1:29; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18). There was a judicial transfer of the sins of man to Jesus Christ, God’s Sin-Bearer.
  451. &lt;br /&gt;
  452.  
  453. The sin of man was imputed to Christ when He became the sin offering for the whole world (2 Cor. 5:14-21; Heb. 2:9; 1 Jn. 2:2).</description>
  454.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb13.html</link>
  455.            <guid isPermaLink="false">EA809105-AD95-49C2-8DAA-AF1AD83F1480</guid>
  456.            <pubDate>Mon, 13 Feb 2012 11:09:16 -0600</pubDate>
  457.        </item>
  458.        <item>
  459.            <title>Dying Daily and Our Life in Christ</title>
  460.            <description>Spiritual growth is making real in our daily experience what is already true for us in Christ.
  461. &lt;br /&gt;
  462.  
  463. Our progressive sanctification is an ever putting off all that belongs to the old man, and putting on all that belongs to the new man in Christ.
  464. &lt;br /&gt;
  465.  
  466. The old nature of man in Adam has not evolved better over the last two thousand years. Has the carnal mind with its urges become so good to the Holy Spirit that we no longer need to subject it to the Holy Spirit? Undisciplined self-gratification has never been compatible with strong, vibrant, mature spiritual growth. You cannot be a mature believer and live anyway you choose. You cannot give nature all that it desires without defrauding the grace of God.
  467. &lt;br /&gt;
  468.  
  469. Romans chapter seven pictures every Christian’s spiritual battle in progress. Our old nature, though judged and condemned and deposed in the death of Christ is forever revolting against the sentence of death. It struggles daily to regain its lost supremacy.
  470. &lt;br /&gt;
  471.  
  472. The believer who is in Christ not only has died with Christ, but is bound to “die daily” with Him so long as he is in the flesh.
  473. &lt;br /&gt;
  474.  
  475. The two natures, at present are dwelling together, even though they are at perpetual war with one another. When one is weak the other is strong. When one loses the other conquers.
  476. &lt;br /&gt;
  477.  
  478. The crucifixion we have undergone as believers in Christ is personalized in our own person. The believer is “always bearing about in his body the dying of the Lord Jesus.” Our spiritual battle is a spiritual intimacy with Christ against the forces of Satan. Christ began a spiritual warfare that has not ended for us (Col. 3:9, 10).
  479.  
  480. &lt;br /&gt;
  481. We are new creatures in Christ whose inward man is “renewed day by day.” The new man from above battles daily with the forces of evil.</description>
  482.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb12.html</link>
  483.            <guid isPermaLink="false">29B210ED-2DA9-4B7F-B40C-9A1FE97EF01F</guid>
  484.            <pubDate>Sun, 12 Feb 2012 15:56:19 -0600</pubDate>
  485.        </item>
  486.        <item>
  487.            <title>Because Christ Lives</title>
  488.            <description>God supplies all of our spiritual needs through His infinite resources. The Holy Spirit indwells us with His power; therefore, as we walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. As we are occupied with Christ, we are kept from sin and thus “saved by His life” (Rom. 5:10).
  489. &lt;br /&gt;
  490.  
  491. “He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). This permanent priesthood of Jesus gives Him the capacity to carry His saving work to completion. He can see them through every trial and difficulty right to the end of the road “because He always lives to intercede for them.” In saying this, the author reverted again to a truth he had already enunciated (4:14-16) where he had invited the readers to avail themselves boldly of the mercy and grace accessible to them through Jesus’ priesthood.
  492. &lt;br /&gt;
  493.  
  494. Therefore, the living Christ is in the presence of the Father interceding on our behalf and the Holy Spirit is in our hearts bringing us to repentance, confession of sin and reconciliation with God. We are saved by His resurrection life as we walk in the Spirit.
  495. &lt;br /&gt;
  496.  
  497. He saves completely, forever, all who put their faith in Him. Because He is our High Priest forever, He can save forever. “Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Rom. 8:34).
  498. &lt;br /&gt;
  499.  
  500. One day we will stand before God complete in Christ and forever saved from the presence of sin. We will be in God’s presence and will never again be tempted by sin. In the fullest possible sense we shall be “saved by His life” forever.</description>
  501.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb11.html</link>
  502.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D831B7FC-7CD6-4550-A446-7C16BD5677CC</guid>
  503.            <pubDate>Sat, 11 Feb 2012 09:31:26 -0600</pubDate>
  504.        </item>
  505.        <item>
  506.            <title>Saved by His Life</title>
  507.            <description>We shall be saved by His life” (Rom. 5:10).
  508. &lt;br /&gt;
  509.  
  510. These words give us encouragement for difficult days when tempted by forces beyond ourselves, but let’s be clear as to what these words of the apostle Paul do not mean. “Saved by His life” does not imply that salvation comes from imitating the principles and godly character of our Lord Jesus Christ. Following or imitating the Lord Jesus Christ will not save anyone. No one has ever been saved by imitating the life of Christ. He alone lived a perfectly holy life. No one else can ever measure up.
  511. &lt;br /&gt;
  512.  
  513. The apostle wrote, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom. 5:10).
  514. &lt;br /&gt;
  515.  
  516. We are saved by the death of Jesus Christ that atoned for all our sins (Rom. 5:6-9). His precious blood alone atones and cleanses us from all sins. His blood purges our guilty consciences. We have peace with God because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Our salvation is complete and eternal from the moment we believe on Christ. We are saved for eternity from the moment we put our trust in Christ.
  517. &lt;br /&gt;
  518.  
  519. It is utterly impossible for a sinful, totally depraved man to follow in the perfect footsteps of our sinless Lord. Trying to “live the Christian life” saves no one. “Saved by His life” does not mean that we are saved as though His life were an atonement for our sins. “Saved by His life” cannot mean that it is His life on the earth, rather than His death that saves sinners. Christ paid the penalty for our sins by His death.</description>
  520.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb10.html</link>
  521.            <guid isPermaLink="false">DC1CECAC-C0C5-46F6-A3A0-3DCB93C4272C</guid>
  522.            <pubDate>Thu, 9 Feb 2012 21:48:44 -0600</pubDate>
  523.        </item>
  524.        <item>
  525.            <title>Righteousness for the Ungodly</title>
  526.            <description>It is an ugly picture and it is one that most of us do not want to view about ourselves.
  527. &lt;br /&gt;
  528.  
  529. All are sinners. All have turned away from God. All are ungodly. All are helpless to safe themselves. All are unrighteous. “There is none that does good.”
  530. &lt;br /&gt;
  531.  
  532. That is the way the apostle Paul began the greatest book written on a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
  533. &lt;br /&gt;
  534.  
  535. Now believe it or not, that is good news! We need to hear the bad news before we can receive the good news.
  536. &lt;br /&gt;
  537.  
  538. It is good news because God justifies the ungodly. God has a righteousness for the unrighteous. But God must do it. God looked upon us in our iniquity and demanded that sin be dealt with in justice. It was on the cross that God in the person of His Son took upon Himself the judgment that the ungodly sinner deserves and paid the penalty in full. We deserve to die because we are guilty. “The wages of sin is death . . .” (Rom. 6:23a). But Jesus Christ, the just and the holy One, died as our substitute on the cross (5:6, 8).
  539. &lt;br /&gt;
  540.  
  541. The Son of God, who is pure and holy, just and sinless, died because of your sins and mine as though He had been just as corrupt, wicked, and ungodly as we are. He took my judgment that I deserved and died in my place. He drank the depths of the cup of my judgment. “God forsaken of God.” Who can understand what Jesus Christ suffered for the ungodly except God alone?</description>
  542.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb9.html</link>
  543.            <guid isPermaLink="false">FB087C8C-D2EB-4A94-91EF-FFE4EB56D8B1</guid>
  544.            <pubDate>Wed, 8 Feb 2012 20:49:08 -0600</pubDate>
  545.        </item>
  546.        <item>
  547.            <title>God Justifies the Ungodly</title>
  548.            <description>The infinitely holy righteous Jehovah God justifies ungodly sinners.
  549. &lt;br /&gt;
  550.  
  551. That is the best news I have ever received.
  552. &lt;br /&gt;
  553.  
  554. Does that mean that God pronounces the sinner righteous, or makes a sinner righteous?
  555. &lt;br /&gt;
  556.  
  557. Justification is a forensic term meaning that God declares a sinner to be righteous. It is sanctification by which God makes the sinner righteous.
  558. &lt;br /&gt;
  559.  
  560. Let us be careful not to put the cart before the horse. Justification comes first. God justifies the sinner who acknowledges to himself and God that he is ungodly and cannot make himself right with God.
  561. &lt;br /&gt;
  562.  
  563. God justifies not the righteous, not good people, not holy people, but the ungodly.
  564. &lt;br /&gt;
  565.  
  566. All men by nature are ungodly. The very thought strikes against our sinful heart. It smites our conscience. To be ungodly is to be unlike God. This is the kind of person God justifies. It is a fact that no individual can do anything to deserve a right relationship with a perfectly holy God.
  567. &lt;br /&gt;
  568.  
  569. It is perfectly clear in God’s Word that every person is a sinner. No one lives up to the “light” that he has been given, even about God from nature (Rom. 1:18-23). We all stand guilty in His eyes.
  570. &lt;br /&gt;
  571.  
  572. “There is none that seeks after God.” The truth is we seek after our own selfish ways. We follow the desires of our selfish hearts (1:24-32). We always follow our sinful will until God in His sovereign grace intervenes.</description>
  573.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb8.html</link>
  574.            <guid isPermaLink="false">DC863CC5-C175-4E21-BDBB-EFE58B0B5D37</guid>
  575.            <pubDate>Tue, 7 Feb 2012 20:30:44 -0600</pubDate>
  576.        </item>
  577.        <item>
  578.            <title>The Unchanging Christ:The Same Forever</title>
  579.            <description>“When our Savior comes again,” wrote H. A. Ironside, “God is coming to take control of things in this world and the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh. Father, Son and the Holy Spirit in council in the past eternity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit working out our salvation here on earth; Father, Son and Holy Spirit bringing in the glory by and by when the long period of man’s trial is over, when the kingdom is fully established, and the Lord Jesus Christ abides forever the One in whom the Father and Spirit as well as the Son are fully displayed—for He is the image of the invisible God.”
  580. &lt;br /&gt;
  581.  
  582. The writer of Hebrews simply said, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).
  583. &lt;br /&gt;
  584.  
  585. In His awesome prayer the night before His death by crucifixion, Jesus prayed, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (Jn. 17:5).
  586. &lt;br /&gt;
  587.  
  588. “Jesus Christ is the same . . . forever.”
  589. &lt;br /&gt;
  590.  
  591. He came from glory and He returned to glory. Here is one of the most profound, relevant truths in God’s Word. Jesus Christ came from glory and took upon our flesh, and humbled Himself to die as our substitute to pay our death penalty. Now He has gone back to the glory He had with the Father in eternity, but He remains a man in that glory.
  592. &lt;br /&gt;
  593.  
  594. “This same Jesus.” Oh, praise God. “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).</description>
  595.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb7.html</link>
  596.            <guid isPermaLink="false">4AC5E46B-7B8C-4B4C-94CC-4064E3F5B6B5</guid>
  597.            <pubDate>Tue, 7 Feb 2012 20:29:00 -0600</pubDate>
  598.        </item>
  599.        <item>
  600.            <title>The Unchanging Christ: The Same Today</title>
  601.            <description>“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).&lt;br /&gt;
  602.  
  603.  
  604. The pre-incarnate Christ changes not.
  605. &lt;br /&gt;
  606.  
  607. It is said that Plato, the Greek philosopher proposed to his students one day, “It may be that some day there will come forth from God a Word, a Logos, who will reveal all mysteries and make everything plain.”
  608. &lt;br /&gt;
  609.  
  610. The Lord God answered Plato when He came in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Logos was made flesh and dwelt among men, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:1, 14, 18).
  611. &lt;br /&gt;
  612.  
  613. The Lord God has answered the cry in the heart of mankind for God to reveal all mysteries and make plain who He is. No, He has not answered all of our questions about an eternal, all-knowing, sovereign creator. However, He has revealed enough about Himself to answer our deepest needs.
  614. &lt;br /&gt;
  615.  
  616. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today . . .”
  617. &lt;br /&gt;
  618.  
  619. The simple fact of history never changes; Jesus Christ is alive. He is the same person who pre-existed before He became flesh and He is the same one who walked the dusty roads of Galilee, changed the water to wine in Canaan, and raised the dead in Lazarus’ tomb.
  620. &lt;br /&gt;
  621.  
  622. There were three witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus. We are told that the Father raised Jesus from the dead. Now since He raised Him from the dead He had to be an eyewitness.</description>
  623.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb6.html</link>
  624.            <guid isPermaLink="false">5E597699-6D55-4737-9E69-96599EF6F5BE</guid>
  625.            <pubDate>Mon, 6 Feb 2012 21:55:35 -0600</pubDate>
  626.        </item>
  627.        <item>
  628.            <title>Seated with Christ in Heaven</title>
  629.            <description>“We were made alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5).
  630. &lt;br /&gt;
  631.  
  632. The newness of life we received, as Christians is a spiritual life imparted through our identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. This identification with Him in His death broke the power of indwelling sin. Moreover, our identification with Christ in His resurrection resulted in the impartation of divine life (Romans 6:3, 4).
  633. &lt;br /&gt;
  634.  
  635. You have been completely saved by grace and the present result is that you are in a saved state of being.
  636. &lt;br /&gt;
  637.  
  638. The apostle Paul could not have stated in stronger and clearer terms the unending state of the believer in salvation. Our past, present and future state of salvation is dependent upon one thing alone, our appropriation by faith of Jesus Christ as our Savior the day we first believed on Him. We received salvation by that initial act of faith in Christ.
  639. &lt;br /&gt;
  640.  
  641. When we were born again we were made alive spiritually. The Holy Spirit imparted life to us just like raising the dead. Christ communicates life to us like He did to the dead man Lazarus (cf. Rom. 6:6-8; 8:11; Gal. 2:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:22-23; Col. 2:12; 2 Tim. 2:11ff).
  642. &lt;br /&gt;
  643.  
  644. Because of our vital union with Christ, His death is our death, His life is our life, and His exaltation is ours. Our physical position may be on earth, but our spiritual position is “in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”</description>
  645.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan19.html</link>
  646.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D5490399-05A4-429F-AA3F-FC4C6B5A178A</guid>
  647.            <pubDate>Wed, 18 Jan 2012 22:19:59 -0600</pubDate>
  648.        </item>
  649.        <item>
  650.            <title>Our One Supreme Passion</title>
  651.            <description>Authentic Christianity is God-centered because it loves the Lord God with all the heart, mind soul and strength. Evidence of a true knowledge of God is an obsession with the glory of God manifest in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  652. &lt;br /&gt;
  653.  
  654. The one consuming passion of the believer is the glory of God because he has witnessed the grandeur, majesty and excellence of the Lord God through the eyes of the Lord Jesus and he can never remain the same thereafter.
  655. &lt;br /&gt;
  656.  
  657. The glory of God is the sum weight of all the attributes of God. It sums up all that He is in the awesome beauty of His divine perfections. He is perfectly and infinitely glorious.
  658. &lt;br /&gt;
  659.  
  660. The grace of God frees us and enables us to live for His glory. Apart from His enabling grace we can do nothing that will honor and please a righteous and holy God. What we do in our abilities will only dishonor His glorious Name. If I touch it with my hands I ruin it for I am sinful. Only if what I do is covered by His atoning sacrifice will it be acceptable to a holy God.
  661. &lt;br /&gt;
  662.  
  663. It is our responsibility to ascribe the glory that is due to His wonderful person. We cannot add to His already perfect glory. We glory in His Name when we worship Him and live with the conviction that His perfections are characteristic of His person.
  664. &lt;br /&gt;
  665.  
  666. We live in a way that can mirror His glory. To sin is to bring dishonor and fall short of His glory. The passion of the Christian is to live a life-style that is to the praise of His glory. If that is our supreme passion it will redefine our daily life, and we will not be able to separate our personal lives from our worship of the living God.</description>
  667.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan18.html</link>
  668.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6855B00C-3C79-499F-99A6-9B393293E6AE</guid>
  669.            <pubDate>Wed, 18 Jan 2012 22:18:25 -0600</pubDate>
  670.        </item>
  671.        <item>
  672.            <title>What will you do with Jesus Christ?</title>
  673.            <description>Our acceptance before God depends entirely on what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross and our response to Him.
  674. &lt;br /&gt;
  675.  
  676. The Bible makes it emphatically clear if you accept Jesus Christ, God will accept you. If you reject Jesus Christ, God will reject you.
  677. &lt;br /&gt;
  678.  
  679. “He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
  680. &lt;br /&gt;
  681.  
  682. It does not matter who we are, what we have been, or what we have done in our past, because our eternal destiny deals with one question alone, what was our personal response to the demands of Jesus Christ?
  683. &lt;br /&gt;
  684.  
  685. There is only one basis upon which an individual can be declared right with God, and that basis is the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. When any person believes on Christ as his personal Savior, accepting the fact that He bore our sins in His body on the cross, God declares us acquitted. In that moment all of our sins are forgiven and we experience peace with God.
  686. &lt;br /&gt;
  687.  
  688. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
  689. &lt;br /&gt;
  690.  
  691. God provides us with a right relationship with Him, peace with God, and a deep and satisfying joy because of what God has done for us in Christ. The believer experiences “joy unspeakable and full of glory” because of the work of Christ, not only for us, but in us. Deep, satisfying and lasting peace and joy is found in Christ alone.</description>
  692.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan17.html</link>
  693.            <guid isPermaLink="false">8C83388D-0F98-409C-86C0-D28D1FCA95E6</guid>
  694.            <pubDate>Tue, 17 Jan 2012 19:59:14 -0600</pubDate>
  695.        </item>
  696.        <item>
  697.            <title>How do You know when You are Spirit-filled?</title>
  698.            <description>The supreme mission of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus Christ. He glorifies the Son by unfolding clearly the meaning of His person and atoning work.
  699. &lt;br /&gt;
  700.  
  701. The work of the Spirit is Christocentric. He will glorify Christ and will never draw attention to Himself. He always declares the work of Christ.
  702. &lt;br /&gt;
  703.  
  704. The work of the Holy Spirit is always to glorify Christ. Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes, “He shall glorify Me” (John 16:14). When the Spirit came upon the 120 in the upper room at Pentecost they immediately began to proclaim, not the Holy Spirit, but Jesus Christ is Lord. And they never ceased doing that.
  705. &lt;br /&gt;
  706.  
  707. How do you know when you are filled with the Spirit? You will be glorifying Jesus Christ in your everyday life and work. You are filled and under the control of the Spirit when Christ is Lord of your life. There is no greater joy than honoring Him every moment, every hour of the day.
  708. &lt;br /&gt;
  709.  
  710. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to exalt Jesus Christ in the life of every born again believer. If your life is not bringing glory to Christ then you need to ask the hard questions: Am I a true Christian? Have I been converted? Is He Lord of my life? When you become a new creation in Christ Jesus the Holy Spirit immediately begins to recreate in your life the image of the glorified Savior. It is impossible to know Christ as your Savior and not to some extent reflect His character in your life.
  711. &lt;br /&gt;
  712.  
  713. The Holy Spirit communicates and shares with us the presence and power of the exalted Christ so that He is demonstrated in us as the Lord of glory. Jesus said, “He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you” (v. 14). The Holy Spirit is the person who takes the things of Christ and manifests them to us and through us to the Father’s glory.</description>
  714.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan16.html</link>
  715.            <guid isPermaLink="false">CC705D15-4B00-48BB-B7D2-843111467740</guid>
  716.            <pubDate>Mon, 16 Jan 2012 20:41:06 -0600</pubDate>
  717.        </item>
  718.        <item>
  719.            <title>God Knows Me</title>
  720.            <description>God knows me, and He still wants to pursue a personal relationship with me. That is truly amazing. He knows everything about me, and still wants to enjoy my fellowship with Him.
  721. &lt;br /&gt;
  722.  
  723. What does it mean to know God? How do you come to an intimate personal knowledge of Him?
  724. &lt;br /&gt;
  725.  
  726. I am not thinking of intellectual knowledge or facts about Him, but the importance of knowing a close friend.
  727. &lt;br /&gt;
  728.  
  729. The apostle Paul prayed that believers would know God the Father who chose us, God the Son who redeemed us, and God the Holy Spirit who applied salvation to us personally through the new birth. Now that He has saved me do I have a growing knowledge of Him? Perhaps in our busy schedule and pressures of modern life we should ask do I even want it? How do I fit a hunger for God into a complex worldview?
  730. &lt;br /&gt;
  731.  
  732. In Ephesians 1:17-19 the apostle Paul prayed that God would give believers “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation . . . to know Him better.” Paul wanted them to have a “true knowledge of Him.” But you say, they already knew Him as their Savior, and had obtained eternal life. But what I am asking is has God placed within your heart a hunger to know Him better?
  733. &lt;br /&gt;
  734.  
  735. With every relationship in life we make deliberate choices as to whether we want to pursue the relationship. God has invited us to get to know Him better. Have we responded to that invitation to belongingness? Do we have that “we” feeling with Him? Have we taken the first few faltering steps and halted? Have we reached a plateau, and is it now time to respond to further instruction in His Word?
  736. &lt;br /&gt;
  737.  
  738. Has the Holy Spirit opened the “enlightened eyes of our hearts” in order that we may know “the hope to which He has called us, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe”?</description>
  739.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan15.html</link>
  740.            <guid isPermaLink="false">50ACF47C-522F-404F-9A67-3164AC4180F1</guid>
  741.            <pubDate>Sun, 15 Jan 2012 22:38:37 -0600</pubDate>
  742.        </item>
  743.        <item>
  744.            <title>Do the Impossible</title>
  745.            <description>Jesus saw a thirty-eight year old man lying on his mat at the pool of water at Bethesda and approached him asking, “Do you wish to get well?” (John 5:5-6).
  746. &lt;br /&gt;
  747.  
  748. Christ told the man to do the impossible. “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
  749. &lt;br /&gt;
  750.  
  751. The apostle John tells us “And immediately the man became well, and took up his pallet and began to walk” (v. 9).
  752. &lt;br /&gt;
  753.  
  754. This man could not help himself. Only the divine power of Jesus Christ enabled the man to rise and walk. It was a miracle that Jesus performed at the pool of Bethesda.
  755. &lt;br /&gt;
  756.  
  757. This miracle is a remarkable illustration of the spiritual condition of every individual. You and I cannot help ourselves spiritually; our salvation depends upon the grace of God alone. Just as this physically lame man could not help himself we are utterly helpless in our sinful condition to influence our salvation in any way.
  758. &lt;br /&gt;
  759.  
  760. Those disabled individuals lying at the pool were without strength to help themselves. John describes them as blind, lame and paralyzed. The poor man said to Jesus, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me” (v. 7). How sad is the man who knows only man.
  761. &lt;br /&gt;
  762.  
  763. This is a vivid and valid description of our human depravity without Jesus Christ. Spiritually, we are sick, blind, lame and withered.
  764. &lt;br /&gt;
  765.  
  766. Like the lame man we are weak, helpless, powerless as described in Romans 5:6. “While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” “Helpless.” The Greek lexicon says, “infirm, feeble, unable to achieve anything great, destitute of power among men, sluggish in doing right.”</description>
  767.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan14.html</link>
  768.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7D01E999-7536-4250-9693-AD349D4AD20E</guid>
  769.            <pubDate>Fri, 13 Jan 2012 20:28:52 -0600</pubDate>
  770.        </item>
  771.        <item>
  772.            <title>Do You have Eternal Life?</title>
  773.            <description>Jesus Christ said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). How do you obtain eternal life? Have you experienced the real thing? What is this knowledge of eternal life?
  774. &lt;br /&gt;
  775.  
  776. Life eternal is God&apos;s life in us produced by His Holy Spirit. It issues in a personal encounter with a holy God who in His grace forgives us of our sins based on the atoning death of Jesus Christ. No one can have His life and not be changed. God is holy and His Spirit makes us aware of our sinfulness and of our deep personal need of His grace. It is by His grace that we are turned to Christ who is our Savior. This knowledge occurs only where God’s Holy Spirit is at work beforehand to make it possible, and it always changes us, issuing in a heart response and true devotion to Him.
  777. &lt;br /&gt;
  778.  
  779. When we become aware of the true and living God we are confronted with our sinfulness and depravity as opposed to His holiness and righteousness. We are all together corrupt and He is altogether holy. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Our sin bars our entrance into the presence of a righteous God.
  780. &lt;br /&gt;
  781.  
  782. Have you ever been really disturbed knowing that you must ultimately deal with One in whom is no sin at all, who cannot tolerate sin in any form and who must judge it?
  783. &lt;br /&gt;
  784.  
  785. All knowledge of God begins with His holiness and the reality of your sin.
  786. &lt;br /&gt;
  787.  
  788. It is good to remind ourselves that we cannot fool God. He is always aware of who we are and what we are thinking and doing. Only the fool says, “No God!” “No God!” Nothing catches the LORD God by surprise. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).</description>
  789.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan13.html</link>
  790.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D063020C-7F09-41E1-A076-3C3F43BB2523</guid>
  791.            <pubDate>Thu, 12 Jan 2012 21:38:10 -0600</pubDate>
  792.        </item>
  793.        <item>
  794.            <title>Are You One of the Elect of God?</title>
  795.            <description>Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me shall come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37).
  796. &lt;br /&gt;
  797.  
  798. The answer to the question, are you one of the elect of God, is answered by another question: Have you believed on Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? If you have responded to His free grace, and have believed on Him alone for salvation, you should know that you are one who was given to Jesus before the foundation of the world.
  799. &lt;br /&gt;
  800.  
  801. When Jesus was praying to the Father the night before His sacrificial death on the cross He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life” (John 17:1-2).
  802. &lt;br /&gt;
  803.  
  804. Jesus is referring to the covenant between God the Father and God the Son when God gave to Jesus in salvation that great company for whom He would go to the cross and die.
  805. &lt;br /&gt;
  806.  
  807. His death provided the objective and judicial basis whereby the elect would be saved.
  808. &lt;br /&gt;
  809.  
  810. The prophet Isaiah spoke of that day in his poem of the Suffering Servant. “But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities” (Isa. 53:10-11).</description>
  811.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan12.html</link>
  812.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F1F92384-2436-4C41-9963-F60018779FAA</guid>
  813.            <pubDate>Wed, 11 Jan 2012 21:51:14 -0600</pubDate>
  814.        </item>
  815.        <item>
  816.            <title>Have You Seen the Face of God?</title>
  817.            <description>The disciples of Jesus saw His glory. They gazed into His character, which is the character of God. “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
  818. &lt;br /&gt;
  819.  
  820. When we see Jesus we see the Father. He “is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (v. 18).
  821. &lt;br /&gt;
  822.  
  823. The Old Testament speaks of the glory of God being so bright in radiance like the display of light that no man could approach it. The LORD is clothed with splendor and majesty. The face of Moses glowed with an irradiation or illumination in a strange and wonderful way when he came down from the mountain after speaking with God (Ex. 34:29-35). His whole personal being was mastered, captured, and illuminated by fellowship with God. There was a supreme consciousness of God’s presence.
  824. &lt;br /&gt;
  825.  
  826. That Shekinah glory cloud of God was seen coming down on the Tent of Meeting in the wilderness (Ex. 40:34). “And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (v. 35). God blessed His meeting place with His holy presence in a cloud by day and a column of fire by night. When Solomon’s Temple was dedicated God manifest His presence by filling it with His cloud of glory (1 Kings 8:10-11). “The glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.”
  827. &lt;br /&gt;
  828.  
  829. The apostle Peter, James and John were there on the mountainside when God the Father glorified His Son at His transfiguration (2 Pet. 1:16-17; Matt. 17:2). God the Father glorified His Son so that He would glorify the Father.</description>
  830.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan11.html</link>
  831.            <guid isPermaLink="false">23A5C359-9438-4A2E-868D-A09DDBD5BE29</guid>
  832.            <pubDate>Tue, 10 Jan 2012 21:31:37 -0600</pubDate>
  833.        </item>
  834.        <item>
  835.            <title>The Glory of God in Jesus Christ</title>
  836.            <description>What do you think God the Son would say to God the Father during the night before He would lay down His life as atonement for the sin of the world?
  837. &lt;br /&gt;
  838.  
  839. Imagine for a moment with me what the divine communication between God the Father and God the Son must be like. I wonder what deep conversations must take place between the members of the Trinity. The communiqué between the Godhead must be too profound and unfathomable for us to comprehend. The LORD said to Isaiah, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways . . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (55:8-9).
  840. &lt;br /&gt;
  841.  
  842. Yet, in the recorded prayer of Jesus in John chapter seventeen we are let in on this deep penetrating talk going on in the Godhead. It is exalted, holy and sublime. It is God speaking to God. This prayer is filled with simple sentences that communicate profound thought for Himself (vv. 1-5), His disciples who are with Him (vv. 6-19) and for you and me (vv. 20-26).
  843. &lt;br /&gt;
  844.  
  845. Jesus then is the burning bush of the New Testament on the most holy ground in New Testament soil.
  846. &lt;br /&gt;
  847.  
  848. This is a “warm and hearty prayer” from the depths of Jesus’ heart. It is “so honest, so simple; it is so deep, so rich, so wide, no one can fathom it,” wrote Luther.</description>
  849.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan10.html</link>
  850.            <guid isPermaLink="false">61151136-3578-432B-A1FD-E5CDA6DF096D</guid>
  851.            <pubDate>Mon, 9 Jan 2012 20:58:58 -0600</pubDate>
  852.        </item>
  853.        <item>
  854.            <title>Saved by Grace!</title>
  855.            <description>Saved by grace! There is no greater majestic theme for the Christian. It eliminates all grounds of boasting.
  856. &lt;br /&gt;
  857.  
  858. Salvation by God’s sovereign grace gives a wonderful assurance. We have security in salvation because our sovereign God elected us in eternity, adopted us into His family, regenerated us, and sealed us with His Spirit.
  859. &lt;br /&gt;
  860.  
  861. To appreciate so great salvation we must understand our great need.
  862. &lt;br /&gt;
  863.  
  864. The bottom line of sin is selfishness and the way it affects every area of our lives, but more importantly because it makes it impossible for us to influence our salvation is any way.
  865. &lt;br /&gt;
  866.  
  867. Any discussion of sin and salvation always leads to the question of our depravity. How badly depraved are we? How far did man fall when he fell in the Garden of Eden? Did man fall upward, or did he fall down?
  868. &lt;br /&gt;
  869.  
  870. The sad fact is &quot;all the kings men, and all the kings horses and all the kings soldiers cannot put him back together again.&quot; Only God can. All of Adam&apos;s offspring are corrupted and we cannot merit, earn, win or gain a right relationship with God. Because of spiritual depravity we are dead spiritually.
  871. &lt;br /&gt;
  872.  
  873. Because of the effects of the Fall, man is no longer capable to making the right choices to get himself right with God. If you have any doubts read Romans 1:18-20.</description>
  874.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan9.html</link>
  875.            <guid isPermaLink="false">9B19B7DB-1168-4289-8FA1-32E0FB8FCAA2</guid>
  876.            <pubDate>Sun, 8 Jan 2012 23:23:23 -0600</pubDate>
  877.        </item>
  878.        <item>
  879.            <title>Behold, What Manner of Love</title>
  880.            <description>Jesus wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus. The Jewish people who saw Him responded to one another, &quot;Behold, how He loved him&quot; (John 11:35-36).
  881. &lt;br /&gt;
  882.  
  883. C. H. Spurgeon said to his congregation in London, &quot;Most of us here, I trust, are not mere onlookers, but we have a share in the special love of Jesus. We see evidences of that love, not in the tears, but in the precious blood that He so freely shed for us. . . . Behold how He loves us!&quot;
  884. &lt;br /&gt;
  885.  
  886. Have you ever asked yourself where or when He first loved you? With fullness of heart we can say, &quot;See, how He loves me!&quot; Is the beginning of that great love when we first believed? Could it have begun when He died for us? As we reflect back on our lives and His love for us there is no time when He did not love us.
  887. &lt;br /&gt;
  888.  
  889. When we ponder the beginning of His love for us, it takes us beyond our creation into past eternity.
  890. &lt;br /&gt;
  891.  
  892. In eternity past Jesus so identified Himself with us and covenanted to redeem us.
  893. &lt;br /&gt;
  894.  
  895. From past eternity Jesus looked down the distant future in His divine perspective and saw the disastrous ruin of sin in our lives and chose to do something about it. In past eternity Jesus Christ took up our cause and pledged to be the guarantee of God&apos;s eternal covenant. Jesus knew that sinful man could never fulfill the demands of the covenant with the LORD God. Therefore, Jesus pledged to fulfill man&apos;s part of the covenant. He did so on our behalf long before we were able to have any part of it.</description>
  896.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan8.html</link>
  897.            <guid isPermaLink="false">9591E804-0B9F-42FC-85C7-3CCD36DCE7C9</guid>
  898.            <pubDate>Sat, 7 Jan 2012 21:01:43 -0600</pubDate>
  899.        </item>
  900.        <item>
  901.            <title>Do you have a Sense of God’s Presence?</title>
  902.            <description>“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith . . .” (Ephesians 3:17).
  903. &lt;br /&gt;
  904.  
  905. A good friend asked me, “Do you fell you are adequately experiencing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit?” That is a probing question every Christian should pause and consider.
  906. &lt;br /&gt;
  907.  
  908. I firmly believe that every born again believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but not every believer is yielded to His control. Our experience of His divine presence depends upon our yielding to Him moment by moment. If the Holy Spirit is to have a larger part of our lives we must make a deliberate choice and allow Him to take control.
  909. &lt;br /&gt;
  910.  
  911. The Spirit wants to fill our lives so that Christ may settle down and make Himself feel completely at home as a permanent resident in our hearts (Eph. 3:17). Our prayer should be that Christ would settle down, even now, in our hearts and take control as the rightful owner.
  912. &lt;br /&gt;
  913.  
  914. Imagine what it would be like to experience the “fullness of God” (v. 19). Paul was praying that we may be filled up to or unto all the fullness that is in God Himself. That will not take place until we stand complete and perfect in the likeness of Christ at His coming, but it can be our prayer and vision now. Paul was praying that we would be filled and filled and filled and filled forever, as God out of His infinite resources increasingly pours Himself into His redeemed people.</description>
  915.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan6.html</link>
  916.            <guid isPermaLink="false">AC564AC9-DF08-4531-83A5-B4AE25C78A79</guid>
  917.            <pubDate>Thu, 5 Jan 2012 21:45:32 -0600</pubDate>
  918.        </item>
  919.        <item>
  920.            <title>Do you Seek a Deeper Life with God?</title>
  921.            <description>The apostle Paul prayed, “That I may know Him . . .” (Philippians 3:10).
  922. &lt;br /&gt;
  923.  
  924. The late missionary to South Africa Andrew Murray was a holy man. At one point in his life he was going through a painful experience. Murray was quiet for sometime before the Lord and then he wrote these words for himself: &quot;First, He brought me here, it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest. Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child. Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last, in His good time He can bring me out again—how and when He knows.&quot;
  925. &lt;br /&gt;
  926.  
  927. The Christian is here:
  928. &lt;br /&gt;
  929.  
  930. ·         By God’s appointment,
  931.  
  932. ·         In His keeping,
  933.  
  934. ·         Under His training,
  935.  
  936. ·         For His time.
  937. &lt;br /&gt;
  938.  
  939. No natural man can produce that kind of life. It comes as a by-product of a Spirit-filled life. It is the fruit of patient submission to the perfect will of God.
  940. &lt;br /&gt;
  941.  
  942. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).
  943. &lt;br /&gt;
  944.  
  945. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “One’s will must always be abandoned to the divine will, that one’s own will must be given up, if the divine will is to be manifested.”</description>
  946.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan5.html</link>
  947.            <guid isPermaLink="false">916DAA1C-3425-4D91-9E77-2B701BB742B0</guid>
  948.            <pubDate>Wed, 4 Jan 2012 21:57:56 -0600</pubDate>
  949.        </item>
  950.        <item>
  951.            <title>Are You a Saint?</title>
  952.            <description>In His great priestly prayer Jesus was praying for His disciples, present and future. He said to His Father, “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth” (John 17:19).
  953. &lt;br /&gt;
  954.  
  955. Did Jesus mean that He wished to become holier? Was He praying for sinless perfection? Of course, not, that would have been impossible for the infinitely holy One to become holier. He was already perfectly holy.
  956. &lt;br /&gt;
  957.  
  958. Jesus was using the correct definition of the word saint. Jesus was setting Himself apart to the task of making atonement for our sins on the cross so we could become set apart for God. A saint is one who is “set apart” for God’s unique possession and purposes. The setting apart as a saint is something God does apart from human endeavor.
  959. &lt;br /&gt;
  960.  
  961. The person who believes on Jesus Christ is set apart when God reaches down in His grace and mercy through the person and work of the Holy Spirit, regenerates him spiritually and sets him apart for His own possession.
  962. &lt;br /&gt;
  963.  
  964. One of the great truths of the reformation is, “Every Christian is a saint, and every saint is a Christian.”
  965. &lt;br /&gt;
  966.  
  967. Every born again believer in Christ is set apart from the world system and no longer belongs to its way of life. The believer has a new principle, new nature, new kingdom, new master, new loyalties, new purpose and new agenda in life.</description>
  968.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan4.html</link>
  969.            <guid isPermaLink="false">A2E3B8D6-8E52-4CDB-8001-596D7C4F33C0</guid>
  970.            <pubDate>Tue, 3 Jan 2012 20:41:49 -0600</pubDate>
  971.        </item>
  972.        <item>
  973.            <title>Always in Abundant Supply</title>
  974.            <description>Jesus Christ is all-sufficient to meet our every need, but if He is going to meet our needs we must be wiling to recognize our needs and call upon Him. There must be a turning to Him for help. He can supply every spiritual need we face in life if we respond to His abiding presence.
  975. &lt;br /&gt;
  976.  
  977. At the feeding of the five thousand Jesus provided food in abundance, and it is always that way with God (Matt. 14:15-21; Mk. 6:33-44; Lk. 9:12-17; Jn. 6:1-15). The interesting thing is Jesus initiated the feeding of the people. He knew in advance that He was going to meet their need. He was interested in their welfare. He was able to do it.
  978. &lt;br /&gt;
  979.  
  980. What is your attitude toward being fed by God? Do you feed upon Him?
  981. &lt;br /&gt;
  982.  
  983. God never ceases granting our petitions until we cease asking. True, He does not always answer the way we would choose, but it is always with our very best in His mind. I thank God that He has not always granted my requests from my selfish, ignorant perspective. He often says no, in order to give me His very best.
  984. &lt;br /&gt;
  985.  
  986. Jesus is ever coming to bankrupt sinners and placing His hand on the bank draft of heaven and says to us, &quot;Write on it what you need.&quot;
  987. &lt;br /&gt;
  988.  
  989. We have so little faith in things unseen and eternal. We draw so little on the resources of our heavenly Intercessor. &quot;My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.&quot;</description>
  990.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan3.html</link>
  991.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6EE535F0-3A98-442D-87F2-0B4617662F0F</guid>
  992.            <pubDate>Mon, 2 Jan 2012 22:30:13 -0600</pubDate>
  993.        </item>
  994.        <item>
  995.            <title>Who is Jesus Christ?</title>
  996.            <description>In a hot debate with a group of hostile religious leaders Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56).
  997. &lt;br /&gt;
  998.  
  999. In their rush to react in emotional excitement they weren’t paying attention to what Jesus said so they concluded, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” (v. 57).
  1000. &lt;br /&gt;
  1001.  
  1002. In response to their question Jesus made one of the most profound statements about His deity. “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM” (v. 58).
  1003. &lt;br /&gt;
  1004.  
  1005. Who is this man? Is He God? Who is this “I AM”? Who is Jesus Christ?
  1006. &lt;br /&gt;
  1007.  
  1008. Make no mistake Jesus was claiming to have existed before the Jewish patriarch Abraham was born. He was claiming an eternal preexistence—“Before Abraham was born, I am.”
  1009. &lt;br /&gt;
  1010.  
  1011. When Jesus used the name “I AM” He was actually using the divine name by which the God of Israel had revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:13-14). God revealed Himself to Moses as “I am who I am.” “I AM” is the name for God that Jesus takes to Himself. With this name for deity He claimed to be Yahweh which is the very word for Jehovah or LORD.
  1012. &lt;br /&gt;
  1013.  
  1014. The Jews listening to Jesus immediately recognized His claim to be God. The Jewish leaders knew what Jesus was saying. They clearly understood His speech. Because they were so inferioritied, they picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy.
  1015. &lt;br /&gt;
  1016.  
  1017. This was not the only time Jesus directly or indirectly claimed to be God’s equal.</description>
  1018.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan2.html</link>
  1019.            <guid isPermaLink="false">62E0EE46-CD38-4E39-94C6-222D96E22E27</guid>
  1020.            <pubDate>Sun, 1 Jan 2012 20:38:06 -0600</pubDate>
  1021.        </item>
  1022.        <item>
  1023.            <title>The Lord Will Provide</title>
  1024.            <description>Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).
  1025. &lt;br /&gt;
  1026.  
  1027. Jesus made a startling statement stressing the fact that the ancient Jewish patriarch Abraham placed his ultimate hope in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and he rejoiced in the thought of Christ’s coming.
  1028. &lt;br /&gt;
  1029.  
  1030. Jesus points to the event as “My day”—the life of Jesus Christ. That is the event that Abraham was reflecting upon and rejoicing about.
  1031. &lt;br /&gt;
  1032.  
  1033. Something happened to Abraham in his day to cause him to rejoice back then at the thought of the coming of God’s redeemer. I believe Abraham’s vision of the coming of Christ as our substitute is vividly portrayed in the near sacrifice of his son Isaac on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22). There Abraham learned that “the Lord will provide,” and He did at Calvary.
  1034. &lt;br /&gt;
  1035.  
  1036. Abraham had already experienced the reality that God is true to His Word, no matter how strange it may seem. God told Abraham to kill Isaac, the son of the covenant, who had no children at this time in his life. Abraham knew God would have to perform a miracle in Isaac’s death. God would have to raise Isaac from the dead to accomplish His promise of producing a great nation through Isaac. Since God had done a miracle at Isaac’s birth, He was fully capable of performing a miracle in his sacrificial death. The context of Genesis chapter 22 fully expects God to bring Isaac back down the mountain with his father Abraham and the servants after the sacrifice (Gen. 22:5; Heb. 11:17-19).
  1037. &lt;br /&gt;
  1038.  
  1039. Abraham trusted God to bring Isaac back from the dead. This was precisely what God the Father did with His own Son Jesus Christ.
  1040. &lt;br /&gt;
  1041.  
  1042. Genesis 22:14 tells us Abraham rejoiced and called the place Jehovah Jireh meaning “the Lord will provide.”
  1043. &lt;br /&gt;
  1044.  
  1045. Could Abraham have meant earlier, “the Lord will provide a resurrection of Isaac”?</description>
  1046.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan1.html</link>
  1047.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D138E03B-C3AB-49B5-9610-3BA8172DAF70</guid>
  1048.            <pubDate>Sat, 31 Dec 2011 16:40:59 -0600</pubDate>
  1049.        </item>
  1050.        <item>
  1051.            <title>Justified Freely by God’s Grace</title>
  1052.            <description>Grace, how sweet the sound to our sinful hearts!
  1053. &lt;br /&gt;
  1054.  
  1055. The Bible teaches that we are saved by the free sovereign grace of God in Jesus Christ. Neither will the grace of God ever be withheld, nor will it be lessened because of anything we have done, or will do.
  1056. &lt;br /&gt;
  1057.  
  1058. There is no more majestic word than &quot;grace.&quot; It means unmerited favor or kindness shown to a person who is utterly undeserving. In fact, it is a free gift given to us who deserve the exact opposite. It is given to us sinners who are without hope and without God in the world.
  1059. &lt;br /&gt;
  1060.  
  1061. Grace is never set in the context of any supposed merit of our own, but always on the basis of Romans 1:18-3:20 which describes our utter ruin in sin. Grace must always be approached with that reality of personal sin in mind. Without the deep conviction of the Holy Spirit we do not understand our need for God’s saving grace.
  1062. &lt;br /&gt;
  1063.  
  1064. The Amplified Bible on Romans 3:20 reads, “For no person will be justified—made righteous, acquitted and judged acceptable—in His sight by observing the words prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith and holy character].”
  1065. &lt;br /&gt;
  1066.  
  1067. We are saved by unmerited grace (Eph. 2:8-9). Saving grace of God is a gift that is received only through faith in Jesus, apart from any human merit. We do not deserve grace, for if we did it would not be grace. The only thing we deserve is the full outpouring of God’s just wrath upon us for eternity. If it is not apart from good works and human merit, it is not saving grace because God does not owe us anything.</description>
  1068.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec31.html</link>
  1069.            <guid isPermaLink="false">FE90D7E3-82D5-467D-84C9-736FC10CD238</guid>
  1070.            <pubDate>Fri, 30 Dec 2011 21:53:45 -0600</pubDate>
  1071.        </item>
  1072.        <item>
  1073.            <title>Why Christians Must be Holy</title>
  1074.            <description>It is very clear in the teachings of the Scripture that no Christian is sinless (1 John 1:8-10), but it is also clear that God expects the true believer to not sin habitually. “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in Him, and he cannot practice sin because he is born of God” (3:9).
  1075. &lt;br /&gt;
  1076.  
  1077. To “practice” sin is to sin as a way of life. An unsaved person lives a life of habitual sin. The sin of unbelief is a normal thing for the lost person. A true believer does not live in habitual sin. He may commit occasional sins but he will not make it a habitual practice.
  1078. &lt;br /&gt;
  1079.  
  1080. The word “holy,” “holiness,” “saint” and “sanctify” comes from a Greek root meaning, “to set apart to God.” The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is set apart for God by the Holy Spirit. The “saint” is a person set apart for God, enjoying a holy standing before God in Christ Jesus, with the obligation of living a holy life (1 Pet. 1:15-16).
  1081. &lt;br /&gt;
  1082.  
  1083. The evidence of the new birth is righteous behavior in the life of the believer. Sanctification is evident in a changed life. God changes us from the inside out (2 Cor. 5:17).
  1084. &lt;br /&gt;
  1085.  
  1086. J. C. Ryle in his book on holiness gave eight reasons why holiness is necessary in the Christian’s life (Holiness, pp. 40-44).</description>
  1087.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec30.html</link>
  1088.            <guid isPermaLink="false">613EB726-D9FC-4F33-8744-21A3802C2207</guid>
  1089.            <pubDate>Thu, 29 Dec 2011 22:15:21 -0600</pubDate>
  1090.        </item>
  1091.        <item>
  1092.            <title>Secure Shelter in the Storms of Life</title>
  1093.            <description>“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).
  1094. &lt;br /&gt;
  1095.  
  1096. The Psalmist invites us to abide in the Father’s shadow where we see only the face of the Almighty. The veil of the temple was torn in two making it possible for every believer to go into the presence of the LORD God anytime he desires. In deed, as the Psalmist said we can abide in His presence all the time.
  1097. &lt;br /&gt;
  1098.  
  1099. The “shelter of the Almighty” implies His holy presence. In the “shadow of the Almighty” we find strength to live a holy life.
  1100. &lt;br /&gt;
  1101.  
  1102. Has the Most High become your dwelling presence? The believer finds refuge and a secure place in the strong fortress of Yahweh. The LORD is “My refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust” (v. 2). Whoever trusts in the Most High finds security and protection in God’s holy presence.
  1103. &lt;br /&gt;
  1104.  
  1105. Two interesting titles of God are found in verses one and two. The infinite power and sovereign rule of God are expressed in “the Most High” and “the Almighty.” We worship “the Most High” God. Elyôn suggests the exaltedness and overwhelming majesty of God, signifying the supremacy of the deity. This divine name reflects the ideas of omnipotence (Ps 18:13; Lam. 3:38), universality (Ps 83:18), and constancy (Ps 21:7). He is the place of protection and shelter for Israel (Ps 9:2; 91:1, 9), and for her king (Ps 21:7). Elyôn seems to have a special concern for Zion (Ps 46:4; 87:5) even though He is Lord of all heaven and earth. Psalm 73:11 tells us it is impossible to hide from the all-knowing God.
  1106. &lt;br /&gt;
  1107.  
  1108. The LORD appeared to Abraham when he was ninety-nine years old and revealed Himself by the great name El Shaddai saying, “I am the Almighty God. Obey Me and always do what is right” (Genesis 17:1). The Almighty is all-powerful. As El Shaddai God manifested himself to the patriarchs (Ex 6:3) Abraham (Gen 17:1; to Isaac, Gen 28:3), and to Jacob (Gen 35:11, 43:14; 48:3). The context for most of these references is the covenant, and the responsibility for obedience and faithfulness on the part of the patriarch and the promise of progeny by God. It is not to the hills that these men of faith looked for confidence, but to the Lord of these hills, the Lord of the mountain (Ps 121:1–2).
  1109. &lt;br /&gt;
  1110.  
  1111. In addition, the images “shelter” and “the shadow” suggest a secure hiding place from the storms of life. We have a secure refuge in His hiding place. We have safety in the presence of the LORD.</description>
  1112.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec29.html</link>
  1113.            <guid isPermaLink="false">745FFE28-6538-49E3-A40C-22E0A51FDD4F</guid>
  1114.            <pubDate>Wed, 28 Dec 2011 18:38:32 -0600</pubDate>
  1115.        </item>
  1116.        <item>
  1117.            <title>A New Life with a New Way</title>
  1118.            <description>The apostle Paul revealed the very core of the Christian life when he wrote: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Paul testified that his life passion is to know Christ.
  1119. &lt;br /&gt;
  1120.  
  1121. I count all thing loss that I might value the surpassing value of knowing by personal experience Christ Jesus my Lord. I count all my self-efforts a loss in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him. I want a righteousness that comes on the basis of faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ. The passion of my life is “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, in order that I may attain to the resurrection of the dead” (3:10-11).
  1122. &lt;br /&gt;
  1123.  
  1124. Has Jesus Christ laid hold of you? Like a wrestler, the apostle Paul says, Christ got hold on me, and now I want to get a good grip on Him. Do you have that same passion of the apostle?  I want Jesus Christ, and nothing else in life will satisfy once you get a taste of His life.
  1125. &lt;br /&gt;
  1126.  
  1127. When you come to an intimate love relationship with Christ, you want to celebrate His glory at every opportunity. You long to see His face and hear His voice and feel His touch and walk hand in hand with Him.
  1128. &lt;br /&gt;
  1129.  
  1130. He bides us, “Come and follow” and trust Him for every provision each step of the way.
  1131. &lt;br /&gt;
  1132.  
  1133. What makes the new life in Christ so dynamic is that in everything that happens in our lives, God is conforming us to the likeness of His Son. “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection” is the Spirit of God working in the inner person. It is Christ through His Holy Spirit in the heart, rooted and grounded in love, filled with the fullness of God.</description>
  1134.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec28.html</link>
  1135.            <guid isPermaLink="false">4672539E-FD52-4105-9E95-1E61E9AA2B8A</guid>
  1136.            <pubDate>Tue, 27 Dec 2011 19:12:08 -0600</pubDate>
  1137.        </item>
  1138.        <item>
  1139.            <title>Attitudes Toward the King</title>
  1140.            <description>What is your attitude toward the coming of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Savior of the world?
  1141. &lt;br /&gt;
  1142.  
  1143. Mary the expectant mother of Jesus declared in song, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . .” (Luke 1:46-47).
  1144. &lt;br /&gt;
  1145.  
  1146. Does your heart “make great the Lord”? Does your spirit rejoice in “God my Savior”?
  1147. &lt;br /&gt;
  1148.  
  1149. Great is the mercy of the Lord upon us. Mary’s heart filled to overflowing with thanksgiving for the privilege of serving the LORD God as a humble maiden.
  1150. &lt;br /&gt;
  1151.  
  1152. Because we have been saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ we have the wonderful privilege and opportunity of magnifying the Lord with our lives. We have been saved to serve Him. Our hearts have been made new by the new birth and we rejoice in God our Savior.
  1153. &lt;br /&gt;
  1154.  
  1155. The LORD God is great and is worthy of our worship. Mary proclaimed the greatness of Yahweh when she declared, “My soul magnifies the Lord.”
  1156. &lt;br /&gt;
  1157.  
  1158. With a joyful heart she enthusiastically shouted, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
  1159. &lt;br /&gt;
  1160.  
  1161. Has the Holy Spirit put a profound joy in your heart? Does that deep, deep peace cause you to break forth at times rejoicing in the great salvation God has brought into your life? There is a peace and joy in the Christian’s heart that is deep and profound because God has placed it there. It should cause our hearts to rejoice and keep on rejoicing at the great and mighty things God has done.&lt;br /&gt;</description>
  1162.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec27.html</link>
  1163.            <guid isPermaLink="false">AC430A12-576C-4F84-8403-840A12005FE0</guid>
  1164.            <pubDate>Mon, 26 Dec 2011 19:14:40 -0600</pubDate>
  1165.        </item>
  1166.        <item>
  1167.            <title>Wise Men Worship the King</title>
  1168.            <description>The longer I live the more I want to be around wise men.
  1169. &lt;br /&gt;
  1170.  
  1171. “Wise men,” more properly, “Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem” looking for the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:1-2).
  1172. &lt;br /&gt;
  1173.  
  1174. Since Herod had all of the children less than two years of age murdered in Bethlehem, the Magi probably arrived after Jesus had already become a young child. The Magi didn’t find Mary and Jesus in the stable, but in a house.
  1175. &lt;br /&gt;
  1176.  
  1177. The “star” that guided the Magi was possibly the appearance of the Shekinah glory that signified the presence of God and guided the Jewish people in their wilderness wanderings. The glory could have appeared and reappeared as needed to guide the wise men to Bethlehem on their long journey. The “star” “stopped over the place where the child was” (v. 9). It kept on going before them and then “came and stood over where the child was.”
  1178. &lt;br /&gt;
  1179.  
  1180. We are not told how long the journey was, how many Magi were on the trip, or any details about the star. We do not know where they came from except for a general indication “from the east.” Probably the distant Persia was the beginning of their journey. The important thing for the Gospel writer was the fact that non-Jews made the long journey to come and worship the Jewish Messiah. He even concludes his Gospel reminding the church to take the good news of Jesus Christ to “all the nations.”
  1181. &lt;br /&gt;
  1182.  
  1183. These wise men made their journey “to worship Him.”</description>
  1184.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec26.html</link>
  1185.            <guid isPermaLink="false">1CCC219C-271A-4A4B-AABC-4205F9D6E247</guid>
  1186.            <pubDate>Sun, 25 Dec 2011 19:02:51 -0600</pubDate>
  1187.        </item>
  1188.        <item>
  1189.            <title>God’s Christmas Tree</title>
  1190.            <description>God’s ultimate will is for every believer to be conformed to the likeness of His Son. The most powerful message of Christmas is the transforming grace of God in Jesus Christ.
  1191. &lt;br /&gt;
  1192.  
  1193. God’s Christmas tree is covered with the undefiled and sinless blood of His Son Jesus Christ. It is not the meek and mild “baby Jesus” that saves a lost humanity. It is His sacrificial, substitutionary, atoning death that deals with our human depravity and sin. Without that death we are eternally lost and judged to spend eternity in hell.
  1194. &lt;br /&gt;
  1195.  
  1196. There is only one way to be made acceptable with a holy and righteous God. The grace of God in Jesus Christ alone saves the confessing and believing sinner.
  1197. &lt;br /&gt;
  1198.  
  1199. Good works and religious activity at Christmas time will not save you. All of your human titles and achievements are absolutely of no spiritual value. We will enter into God’s holy presence by depending on the death of Jesus Christ alone to save us. There is no other way (Acts 4:12). Our eternal salvation is by grace alone (Eph. 2:8-9). God transforms us by His grace. That is why even at Christmas time the only thing worth boasting about is the cross of Jesus Christ (Gal. 6:14).  Because of His great love for us, Jesus offered Himself as our substitutionary sacrifice. It was not because He saw anything in us, or anything we would do, but His majestic love. Everything we count as spiritually valuable is worthless in God’s eyes. Only the substitutionary death of His Son on our behalf on His tree can satisfy God and save us.
  1200. &lt;br /&gt;
  1201.  
  1202. The grace that decorates God’s tree illumines our minds and changes our hearts. “Oh Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee.”</description>
  1203.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec25.html</link>
  1204.            <guid isPermaLink="false">09ADC01C-C217-4FA9-9D1A-D81E44582DE3</guid>
  1205.            <pubDate>Sat, 24 Dec 2011 20:56:29 -0600</pubDate>
  1206.        </item>
  1207.        <item>
  1208.            <title>When God Invaded History</title>
  1209.            <description>The accounts of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth are fully historical. They describe the events when the supernatural invaded the normal flow of historical events.
  1210. &lt;br /&gt;
  1211.  
  1212. The physician Luke tells us he thoroughly researched everything about the life of Jesus concerning His conception and birth (Luke 1:1-4). Luke must have gotten his details from Mary.
  1213. &lt;br /&gt;
  1214.  
  1215. Matthew makes it very clear that God invaded history. He quotes Isaiah 7:14, &quot;Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.&quot; Jesus is “God with us.”  The Hebrew word Bethulah means an unblemished young woman of marriageable age. She was a virgin. Matthew used the word “virgin” to tell his readers that Jesus was conceived by God to the Holy Spirit apart from any human father.
  1216. &lt;br /&gt;
  1217.  
  1218. Matthew states clearly and concisely: &quot;Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit&quot; (Matthew 1:18).  A couple of verses later he adds, &quot;But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit&quot; (Matthew 1:20).
  1219. &lt;br /&gt;
  1220.  
  1221. The child who had been conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit was the divine Messiah, the Son of God. He is Immanuel, God incarnate, meaning “God with us.” Jesus is incarnate deity, and He has promised us that He will be with us always, even to the very end of the ages (Matt. 28:20). He will never leave us nor forsake us.
  1222. &lt;br /&gt;
  1223.  
  1224. Jesus is “God with us” by means of the supernatural conception in the womb of the Jewish virgin Mary.</description>
  1225.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec24.html</link>
  1226.            <guid isPermaLink="false">936378EF-46B7-4DEE-99BF-9AF43BC2D0B8</guid>
  1227.            <pubDate>Sat, 24 Dec 2011 20:18:19 -0600</pubDate>
  1228.        </item>
  1229.        <item>
  1230.            <title>Faith’s Object: Jesus Christ</title>
  1231.            <description>What is the object of my faith? What am I to believe in to receive the gift of eternal life and live with God in heaven? What must I do to be saved?
  1232. &lt;br /&gt;
  1233.  
  1234. The object of faith for the sinner is Jesus Christ. We receive “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe” (Romans 3:22). We are “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (v. 24).
  1235. &lt;br /&gt;
  1236.  
  1237. Jesus Christ alone is the object of your faith for the forgiveness of sin. On nothing else can you trust to have all your sins pardoned.
  1238. &lt;br /&gt;
  1239.  
  1240. God is a just God, and He must punish sin. God at the same time is merciful and wills to pardon and forgive those who believe on Jesus Christ. How can He be just and exact the penalty for sin? How can He be merciful and accept the sinner? How can He be just and at the same time justify the believing sinner?
  1241. &lt;br /&gt;
  1242.  
  1243. The Biblical solution to our sins problem is substitution, which is essential to God’s plan of salvation. God looks upon Jesus Christ as though He had been all the sinners in the world wrapped up into one. The sins of His people were taken from their persons and actually laid on Jesus Christ when He died on the cross. God in fiery judgment met the sinner and punished Him. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). God poured out His wrath against sin on His own Son. Christ was not the actual sinner, but the sins of all His people were all imputed to Him. They were charged to His account personally and spiritually. The justice of God met Jesus Christ on the cross as though He had been the actual sinner. Jesus received the punishment for His people’s sins. God extracted from His Son the last atom of the penalty for our sins. He drank the last drop of judgment against us.</description>
  1244.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec2.html</link>
  1245.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F8EB32FF-ED4F-4574-B3EF-7C6F38108E96</guid>
  1246.            <pubDate>Fri, 23 Dec 2011 21:25:55 -0600</pubDate>
  1247.        </item>
  1248.        <item>
  1249.            <title>The Genealogy of Jesus</title>
  1250.            <description>Are you up-to-date on your genealogy? Lots of families have their own historian who wants to delve into their family history and genealogy.
  1251.  
  1252. The Jewish people through out the early years of their history kept up with their genealogy because every male child of King David was a potential Messiah. Down through Jewish history, the people looked forward to the coming of their Messiah. The genealogies would show them who might be a legitimate descendant of David to reign on the throne. Only when Jesus was born in Bethlehem did the long awaited king arrive.
  1253. &lt;br /&gt;
  1254.  
  1255. “Joseph, son of David” (Matthew 1:20) is a quote from the genealogy of Jesus. “Where is he who is born King of the Jews?” (2:2) Jesus was no son of the illegitimate King Herod who ruled Judah (2:12-23). Herod was an Idumaean, and he did not have a drop of David’s blood in him.
  1256. &lt;br /&gt;
  1257.  
  1258. The angel said to Mary, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:31-33).
  1259. &lt;br /&gt;
  1260.  
  1261. Why do we have two genealogies of Jesus in the Gospels? I agree with a number of leading scholars who understand the two lines represent the lines of Joseph and Mary respectively.
  1262. &lt;br /&gt;
  1263.  
  1264. They are both identified as descendents of King David. Matthew gives us the “royal” line of those who actually sat on the throne as descendents of the great king. The other line was the “legal” line of those who descended from the oldest son to the next, even though they never actually reigned as kings on the throne of David.</description>
  1265.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec23.html</link>
  1266.            <guid isPermaLink="false">1CE4F7C3-5895-4707-BF08-ABF8BB29E83A</guid>
  1267.            <pubDate>Thu, 22 Dec 2011 21:05:35 -0600</pubDate>
  1268.        </item>
  1269.        <item>
  1270.            <title>He Will Save His People from Their Sins</title>
  1271.            <description>“A kind of moral relativism has taken over. Nothing is really wrong. If I have a good reason to do it, it’s not sin.” That is the modern attitude toward the righteousness of God.
  1272. &lt;br /&gt;
  1273.  
  1274. I get the impression that the church in our day avoids at all costs the idea of sin and guilt and therefore tries to entertain lost sinners into heaven.
  1275. &lt;br /&gt;
  1276.  
  1277. However, there is no escaping the fact that when God became flesh so He could be with us He did so in order to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
  1278. &lt;br /&gt;
  1279.  
  1280. The angel appeared in the presence of Joseph who was engaged to be married to Mary and told him, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (v. 20).
  1281. &lt;br /&gt;
  1282.  
  1283. Joseph did not ask why, but here is God’s answer to the question. The angel continues, “And she will bear a son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins” (v. 21).
  1284. &lt;br /&gt;
  1285.  
  1286. The ancient Jewish rabbis had a saying concerning the names of the six persons who were named before they were born: Isaac, Moses, Solomon, Josiah, and the name of the Messiah.
  1287. &lt;br /&gt;
  1288.  
  1289. “You shall call His name Jesus.” You will name Him after His Father. Not Joseph, mind you, because Joseph would be his stepfather. Jesus was “conceived in her [Mary] of the Holy Spirit” (v.20).
  1290. &lt;br /&gt;
  1291.  
  1292. Jesus had no human father. The historian Matthew tells us Joseph “found” Mary to be pregnant “before they came together” (v. 18). The discovery was inevitable and it is plain that Mary had not told Joseph. The discovery shocked Joseph. Jesus had no human father because “she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit” (v. 18).</description>
  1293.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec22.html</link>
  1294.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6F6E7CF1-26BF-4C3D-A670-A33CCA87525C</guid>
  1295.            <pubDate>Wed, 21 Dec 2011 22:06:03 -0600</pubDate>
  1296.        </item>
  1297.        <item>
  1298.            <title>A Virgin, Immanuel and the Incarnation</title>
  1299.            <description>Ahaz was faithless.
  1300. &lt;br /&gt;
  1301.  
  1302. Neighboring countries of Syria and Israel banned together to fight the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Ahaz, the king of Judah, sent for the king of Assyria to come to his rescue.
  1303. &lt;br /&gt;
  1304.  
  1305. The LORD God is sovereign in the affairs of the nations and He sent the Hebrew prophet Isaiah to counsel Ahaz. Isaiah said, “Take care, and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because the two stubs of smoldering firebrands . . .” (Isaiah 7:4).  The two threatening countries are just burned up pieces of firewood. God said, “It shall not stand, nor shall it come to pass” (v. 7).
  1306. &lt;br /&gt;
  1307.  
  1308. What would you have done if you were Ahaz? The pressure on Ahaz was intense, not just the threat of war, but the LORD was breathing down his neck as well. “If you will not believe, you surely shall not last” (v. 19). Ahaz, you are as good as gone yourself if you do not trust Me. If you trust Me I will deliver you from this smoke, but if you don’t you are through as a king. Moreover, trusting in the Assyrian army is not trusting in Yahweh.
  1309. &lt;br /&gt;
  1310.  
  1311. Ahaz refused to trust in the LORD. So He spoke to the king again, “Ask for a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; make it as deep as Sheol or high as heaven” (v. 11). Go ahead, ask Ahaz! What an opportunity to see God do the impossible!
  1312. &lt;br /&gt;
  1313.  
  1314. King Ahaz got a little religious. “I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD” (v. 12). That was exactly what he was doing by not trusting Yahweh. God invited Ahaz to ask for the “sign.” He was not testing God; God was testing him. The “sign” was a pledge of divine certainty, a miracle wrought for evidential purposes.
  1315. &lt;br /&gt;
  1316.  
  1317. What would you have asked for? How would you have responded?</description>
  1318.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec21.html</link>
  1319.            <guid isPermaLink="false">4A686B1E-53CA-497E-A099-03F8CD87297C</guid>
  1320.            <pubDate>Tue, 20 Dec 2011 22:57:52 -0600</pubDate>
  1321.        </item>
  1322.        <item>
  1323.            <title>Consequences of Unbelief</title>
  1324.            <description>The gospel writer Luke described Zacharias and Elizabeth as an elderly couple, “both advanced in years,” and without children. “Elizabeth was barren.” Zechariah was a priest who married a woman of priestly descent. “They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6).
  1325. &lt;br /&gt;
  1326.  
  1327. Zacharias had the honor “to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense” (v. 9). “And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering” (v. 10).
  1328. &lt;br /&gt;
  1329.  
  1330. It was a very special time for the elderly priest. He and his wife had prayed often and for many years for a son to carry on his family name, and to fill their lives with joy.
  1331. &lt;br /&gt;
  1332.  
  1333. Imagine what it was like that day in the temple when “an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense” in the Holy Place (v. 11). “Fear gripped” Zacharias as he listened to the angel.
  1334. &lt;br /&gt;
  1335.  
  1336. “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear a son, and you will give him the name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth” (vv. 13-14).
  1337. &lt;br /&gt;
  1338.  
  1339. God answered the prayers of this righteous couple in a most impressive manner. But it was not a message of importance just for this humble couple; it was an important word for the people of Israel.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  1340.  
  1341. “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine or liquor; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. And he will turn back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God” (vv. 15-16, cf. v. 41). God has chosen this child for a special purpose. He will have a special anointing of the Holy Spirit “while yet in his mother’s womb,” and his message will be the instrument of God to bring a revival in the nation.</description>
  1342.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec20.html</link>
  1343.            <guid isPermaLink="false">EFF649E7-3FF8-44A2-BEE4-4FD3B7D8C211</guid>
  1344.            <pubDate>Mon, 19 Dec 2011 16:42:26 -0600</pubDate>
  1345.        </item>
  1346.        <item>
  1347.            <title>The Spirit of Free Grace</title>
  1348.            <description>Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us salvation is by the free grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Salvation is by free grace.
  1349. &lt;br /&gt;
  1350.  
  1351. The old way of legalism does not like that kind of salvation. The legalists do not like to hear the good news in Jesus Christ. True salvation is by grace of God through faith in Christ. There is no hope of salvation by the law because no sinner can ever live up to the righteous demands of God’s holy law. Salvation is on the basis of free grace, and grace alone, through faith in the person and saving work of Jesus Christ. It is God’s free gift to the sinner.
  1352. &lt;br /&gt;
  1353.  
  1354. The apostle goes on to write in the next verse the outcome of salvation by free grace. “For you are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (v. 10).
  1355. &lt;br /&gt;
  1356.  
  1357. The emphasis is still on grace. We are “His workmanship.” We are His poem. It is His creative work, not ours. It is so easy to get the wagon in front of the horse. Our good works do not save us. The good works are produced as a result of His work in us. Our works are a result of justification by faith.
  1358. &lt;br /&gt;
  1359.  
  1360. In Philippians 2:12, the apostle Paul wrote, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” This clause is not suggesting work for our salvation. The Philippians were already “saints.” The idea is to go on to Christ-likeness in your spiritual growth. “Work out” has the idea to carry it to its ultimate conclusions, work on to completion, finish, or manifest. Work out what God has already worked in when you put your faith in Christ to save you. Carry on to completion what God has begun. Let the Holy Spirit produce His fruit in your daily life.
  1361. &lt;br /&gt;
  1362.  
  1363. The legalist believes that grace is “too risky to be true” because people will take it to the extreme and use it as an excuse to sin. But grace does not produce a desire to sin because it does just the opposite. It creates a desire within us to pursue holiness.</description>
  1364.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec19.html</link>
  1365.            <guid isPermaLink="false">0A8D1376-9D73-491C-BB1B-21103174CA90</guid>
  1366.            <pubDate>Sun, 18 Dec 2011 19:56:02 -0600</pubDate>
  1367.        </item>
  1368.        <item>
  1369.            <title>A Zeal for the Righteousness of God</title>
  1370.            <description>The apostle Paul prayed to God for the salvation of those who “have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:1-3).
  1371. &lt;br /&gt;
  1372.  
  1373. The apostle Paul was making his plea to his own people who in their religious zeal had rejected God’s provision of His own perfect righteousness for their own self-righteousness. They were intensely religious in their own eyes, but not with the true knowledge of God. They were running well but in the wrong direction. They labored to do good deeds, but for the wrong goal. They were religious, sincere, dedicated, but in their anxiety, they would miss their eternal reward.
  1374. &lt;br /&gt;
  1375.  
  1376. “They have a zeal for God.” I meet people like that every day. In their religious zeal, they knock on your door, too. Like the apostle Paul, I am not against religious zeal or enthusiasm. However, they are zealous in their religious ceremonies, prayers, observances, holy days, fasts, visitation, teaching, etc., “but not in accordance with knowledge.” There is no use being zealous if you are zealous for the wrong reason. It will not help you if you are going in the wrong direction spiritually.
  1377. &lt;br /&gt;
  1378.  
  1379. The apostle Paul was writing from his own personal experience. He had been very zealous for the Law, and in that enthusiasm, he killed men and women who had a different “knowledge” than his. He had a mistaken zeal for God. He believed sincerely, but he was sincerely wrong. He had been zealous, but his zeal was focused on the wrong object.
  1380. &lt;br /&gt;
  1381.  
  1382. Then there came a day when he gained true knowledge of the righteousness of God, and he counted all his self-righteousness as dung and received salvation by free grace alone.</description>
  1383.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec18.html</link>
  1384.            <guid isPermaLink="false">5B628023-EE43-49C3-9DDB-A6D9156012CE</guid>
  1385.            <pubDate>Sat, 17 Dec 2011 20:09:01 -0600</pubDate>
  1386.        </item>
  1387.        <item>
  1388.            <title>Grace</title>
  1389.            <description>I am convinced the most important message we can ever proclaim is the free grace of God that forgives us of all our sins and gives us a perfect relationship with God. We are justified by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21-28; 4:5).
  1390. &lt;br /&gt;
  1391.  
  1392. Let’s examine a simple acrostic of the word G-R-A-C-E.
  1393. &lt;br /&gt;
  1394.  
  1395. GOD in holy love
  1396. RECONCILES ruined and rebellious sinners by His
  1397. ABUNDANT grace and
  1398. CHANGES ruined men from the inside out and gives
  1399. ETERNAL LIFE to all who believe on Jesus Christ.
  1400. &lt;br /&gt;
  1401.  
  1402. GOD—is the Creator of the universe. His personal name is Jehovah or Yahweh. Most modern English translations use the name LORD, written with four small capital letters to translate the Hebrew word JHVH.
  1403. &lt;br /&gt;
  1404.  
  1405. The Bible tells us He is the creator and sustainer of the universe (Gen. 1:1, 27; Psalm 14:1). He did not wind up the universe like a clock and then walk away. He is personally involved in His creation (Ps. 139).
  1406. &lt;br /&gt;
  1407.  
  1408. He is holy and righteous (Isaiah 6:1; Rev. 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:15-18). The Hebrew prophet Isaiah saw Him in a vision, sitting on His throne, lofty and exalted. He heard the Seraphim chanting, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of hosts, the whole world is full of His glory” (Isa. 6:3).
  1409. &lt;br /&gt;
  1410.  
  1411. The LORD God loves His creation and is patient with mankind. He first loved us and expects us to love Him with all our heart (1 John 4:10, 19). “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 27:37; Deut. 6:5). Jesus said, “Seek first His [God’s] kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).
  1412. &lt;br /&gt;
  1413.  
  1414. The LORD God is good to us all the time, and He alone is worthy of our praise (Rev. 4:11).</description>
  1415.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec17.html</link>
  1416.            <guid isPermaLink="false">2B5735A1-9BF1-4BC4-88CB-6C6EB4E70150</guid>
  1417.            <pubDate>Fri, 16 Dec 2011 19:12:55 -0600</pubDate>
  1418.        </item>
  1419.        <item>
  1420.            <title>Trinity</title>
  1421.            <description>The Trinity is the theological term designating one God in three persons.
  1422. &lt;br /&gt;
  1423.  
  1424. Even though the term is not used in the Bible, it is a correct designation for the one God self-revealed in Scripture as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The term simply means that within the one essence of the Godhead, we have to distinguish three persons who are neither three gods, nor three parts or modes of God. The three persons of the Godhead are coequal and coeternally God.
  1425. &lt;br /&gt;
  1426.  
  1427. The biblical teaching on the Trinity is developed through the progressive self-revelation of God in the Scriptures. The Bible declares, “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). The unity of God is emphasized. The Hebrew word echad always denotes “compound unity.” It is one in the sense of unity. It is suggestive of the one Divine Unity of the Trinity. He is the only Yahweh. There is no other. It is to Him alone that the name rightly belongs. God is not Himself a plurality. He is not one among many others. There are no other gods (5:7-11). There is only one essence or substance of God. However, the individuality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is preserved. God is one, yet the self-revelation of God clearly teaches in Himself and from all eternity, He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the triune God—the three in one.
  1428. &lt;br /&gt;
  1429.  
  1430. There are clear intimations of the Trinity in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit is mentioned frequently from the beginning verses (Genesis 1:2), and in verses 26 and 27 the plural form is used. Each member of the Godhead was explicit participants in creation. The &quot;Spirit of God&quot; in the Old Testament is synonymous with the Holy Spirit. In Genesis 18, the appearance of the LORD to Abraham is suggestive of the second person of the Godhead as well as other occurrences in the Old Testament. Isaiah 48:16 is also a strong Trinitarian statement. “Come near Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, from the first time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.” The speaker in this verse is probably the Messiah, the Servant of the LORD.
  1431. &lt;br /&gt;
  1432.  
  1433. The New Testament never violates the Old Testament concept of the oneness of God. The writers unanimously and fully affirm the great Hebrew monotheistic faith in Yahweh. They extend this great doctrine to include the deity of both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.</description>
  1434.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec16.html</link>
  1435.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F0231517-B84A-4AE9-9FA6-9F43F0ED81A8</guid>
  1436.            <pubDate>Thu, 15 Dec 2011 21:38:11 -0600</pubDate>
  1437.        </item>
  1438.        <item>
  1439.            <title>Everything for Nothing</title>
  1440.            <description>The Hebrew prophet Isaiah offered a great invitation to everyone to come to the fountain of grace.
  1441. &lt;br /&gt;
  1442.  
  1443. “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost” (Isaiah 55:1).
  1444. &lt;br /&gt;
  1445.  
  1446. The blessings of God are available “without cost.” Salvation is a free gift of God. This invitation is a picture of grace in the Old Testament. These blessings are gifts of divine grace, and they are also obtained by grace. They are received only by a sense of need and readiness to accept them.
  1447. &lt;br /&gt;
  1448.  
  1449. When speaking of the remnant of Israel the apostle Paul wrote, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace” (Romans 11:6). Free grace and works are like water and oil; they do not mix. They are opposites; they are incompatible.
  1450. &lt;br /&gt;
  1451.  
  1452. The only qualification is to be spiritually thirsty and needy. The “water” of refreshing and cleaning that Christ gives is the “water of life.” He gives the “wine” of joy, exhilarating, comforting, and refreshing that “makes glad the heart of man.” He gives “wine” with fullness of holy delight and “milk” that nourishes and satisfies the soul. These are pictures of the satisfying and sustaining qualities of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He brings satisfaction to the soul for time and eternity. The water, wine, and milk are the full supply of life joy and satisfaction in the Christian’s life.
  1453. &lt;br /&gt;
  1454.  
  1455. The wonder of it all is that God gives it freely. It is free grace that God gives to sinners who are thirsty for God. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). Only the grace of God can possibly give this kind of satisfaction. The purchase is made “without money and without cost.” The gifts of God are without money and without price.”</description>
  1456.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec15.html</link>
  1457.            <guid isPermaLink="false">9338A262-0557-40DA-AEDC-32ED60757606</guid>
  1458.            <pubDate>Wed, 14 Dec 2011 19:09:22 -0600</pubDate>
  1459.        </item>
  1460.        <item>
  1461.            <title>Sin of Unbelief</title>
  1462.            <description>We live in a day of tolerance.
  1463. &lt;br /&gt;
  1464.  
  1465. But our problem is we tolerate the wrong things. The last virtue of the ungodly is tolerance. When the ungodly have abandoned all other moral standards, the cry of the ungodly is for more tolerance of their immorality and ungodliness.
  1466. &lt;br /&gt;
  1467.  
  1468. One pastor remarked recently, “People do not want anybody to pass judgment while they are engaged in the most vile perversions and immoral ungodliness imaginable.”
  1469. &lt;br /&gt;
  1470.  
  1471. One recent study in the United States demonstrated that almost all high school graduates are convinced there are no absolutes.
  1472. &lt;br /&gt;
  1473.  
  1474. The truth still stands; there is one sin for which Christ never made atonement. The person who dies in unbelief can never be saved, no matter how religious he may be. There is no atonement for the person who does not believe on Jesus Christ as his Savior.
  1475. &lt;br /&gt;
  1476.  
  1477. Yes, there is an atonement made for the unbelief of the Christian, because it is temporary. However, the unbelief with which men die never was atoned for by Christ. There is no atonement for the person who died in unbelief. If he had been guilty of every other sin, if he had but believed, he would have been pardoned. The one exception is to die without Christ. The Bible clearly says, “He that believes not shall be damned.”
  1478. &lt;br /&gt;
  1479.  
  1480. If you hear the good news in Jesus Christ and believe on Him, that is enough. If you perish, and go to hell in your quest for tolerance, it is only because you have refused to call upon the name of Jesus to be saved. “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).</description>
  1481.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec14.html</link>
  1482.            <guid isPermaLink="false">29256F29-0998-44FA-99F7-CF089F0713B2</guid>
  1483.            <pubDate>Tue, 13 Dec 2011 20:08:34 -0600</pubDate>
  1484.        </item>
  1485.        <item>
  1486.            <title>&quot;Look Unto Me, and be Saved&quot;</title>
  1487.            <description>“Look unto Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22).&lt;br /&gt;
  1488. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  1489.  
  1490. This is the verse the layman was preaching on the day C. H. Spurgeon placed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior. “I stepped within the house of God, and sat there, afraid to look upward, lest I should be utterly cut off, and lest His fierce wrath should consume me.” The minister read the verse of Scripture and Spurgeon says, “I looked that moment; the grace of faith was vouchsafed to me in the self-same instant . . .” He looked upon the wounds of Christ and could say, “Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be until I die.” From that moment on for the rest of his life Spurgeon preached God’s saving grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ.&lt;br /&gt;
  1491. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  1492.  
  1493. God saves sinners by grace so that all may know, “I am God, and there is none other.” He is always removing our false securities and gods so we will put our trust in Him alone.&lt;br /&gt;
  1494. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  1495.  
  1496. Every God-called minister of grace can identify with the godly pastor when he said, “We are made to see that the Lord is God, and that beside Him there is none else. Very frequently God teaches this to the minister, by leading him to see his own sinful nature. He will have such an insight into his own wicked and abominable heart, that he will feel as he comes up to the pulpit stairs that he does not deserve so much as to sit in his pew much less to preach to his fellows. Although we feel always joy in the declaration of God’s Word, yet we have known what it is to totter on the pulpit steps, under a sense that the chief of sinners should scarcely be allowed to preach to others. Ah beloved, I do not think he will be very successful as a minister who is not taken into the depths and blackness of his own soul, and made to exclaim, ‘Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.’”&lt;br /&gt;</description>
  1497.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec13.html</link>
  1498.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D6340CFB-75F9-46C3-A002-D46297B014C8</guid>
  1499.            <pubDate>Mon, 12 Dec 2011 18:07:01 -0600</pubDate>
  1500.        </item>
  1501.        <item>
  1502.            <title>Blessings out of Sufferings</title>
  1503.            <description>What is your response to suffering? There is no escape from intense pressures in this life, but it helps when we get God into the picture.
  1504. &lt;br /&gt;
  1505.  
  1506. The apostle Peter wrote to a group of suffering Christians with words of encouragement. “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).
  1507. &lt;br /&gt;
  1508.  
  1509. “After you have suffered for a little,” says Peter. The suffering is temporary, in contrast and comparison to the eternal glory that is in store for the believer.
  1510. &lt;br /&gt;
  1511.  
  1512. Before God blesses us there come times of trouble, distress, grief and pain. We can rejoice knowing the suffering is for a short time, but out of the suffering comes blessings that cannot be had any other way.
  1513. &lt;br /&gt;
  1514.  
  1515. “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Our suffering is temporary, but it produces in us character that will last thought out eternity.
  1516. &lt;br /&gt;
  1517.  
  1518. God equips believers for His service through suffering. He strengthens character in the fires of pressure.
  1519. &lt;br /&gt;
  1520.  
  1521. “After you have suffered for a little while,” indicates the blessings come only after we submit to the refiner’s fire. We cannot disregard the sufferings.</description>
  1522.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec12.html</link>
  1523.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F1CCE0E4-7F57-4CBD-B7F0-BD3CC89AF46B</guid>
  1524.            <pubDate>Sun, 11 Dec 2011 21:48:41 -0600</pubDate>
  1525.        </item>
  1526.        <item>
  1527.            <title>Excuses, Excuses!</title>
  1528.            <description>“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The apostle Paul and Silas responded to the jailor in the city of Philippi, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved, and your household” (Acts 16:31).
  1529. &lt;br /&gt;
  1530. &lt;br /&gt;
  1531.  
  1532. The only road to heaven is by faith in Jesus Christ. Calling on any other name will not save you. There is salvation only in the atoning death of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). When we believe on Christ as Savior we trust or lean upon Him with our whole weight upon His cross. We cease to stand in our own religious strength, and cast ourselves wholly upon the Rock of Ages. Faith, belief and trust are synonyms for receiving Jesus Christ and the free gift of eternal life in Him.
  1533. &lt;br /&gt;
  1534. &lt;br /&gt;
  1535.  
  1536. Jesus Christ is able to save to the uttermost all sinners who come to Him, take His word, and trust Him. Only believe. That is God’s requirement for salvation. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” The greatest sin in the entire world is unbelief. The object of saving faith is Jesus Christ.
  1537. &lt;br /&gt;
  1538. &lt;br /&gt;
  1539.  
  1540. R. G. Lee once said, “Excuses, excuses—rotten bridges over hell.” What are some excuses that will send you to an eternal hell?
  1541. &lt;br /&gt;
  1542. &lt;br /&gt;
  1543.  
  1544. Some people give the excuse, “My faith is too small. I do not think Christ could save me.” God does not ask us to trust in ourselves, but in the finished work of Jesus Christ who died in our place on the cross. C. H. Spurgeon said, “It is not the strength of your faith that saves you, . . . it is the object of your faith. If your faith is fixed on Christ, though it seems to be in itself a line no thicker than a spider’s web, it will hold your soul throughout time and eternity. . . The faith that saves men is sometimes so small that man himself cannot see it.” Put your trust in the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse you of all your sins. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved . . .” Let Him be the object of your faith and trust.</description>
  1545.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec11.html</link>
  1546.            <guid isPermaLink="false">355C8E3E-75B5-492A-B925-4ACB375E61E6</guid>
  1547.            <pubDate>Sat, 10 Dec 2011 20:54:44 -0600</pubDate>
  1548.        </item>
  1549.        <item>
  1550.            <title>Forgiveness According to the Riches of God’s Grace</title>
  1551.            <description>The greatest peace and joy in all the world is knowing all my sins have been forgiven according to the riches of God’s free grace in Jesus Christ. We are trophies of His grace both now and throughout eternity.
  1552. &lt;br /&gt;
  1553. &lt;br /&gt;
  1554.  
  1555. There is nothing like the free, full, sovereign, unconditional, eternal grace of God that deals with all our sins. The apostle sang “the praise of the glory of God’s grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:6-7).
  1556. &lt;br /&gt;
  1557. &lt;br /&gt;
  1558.  
  1559. There is no boundary to God’s omniscience. There is no limit to His understanding, or of His grace. Just as He has knowledge of all our sins, so does His infinite grace comprehend all our sins.
  1560. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  1561.  
  1562.  
  1563. How can a holy and just God forgive us of all our sins in one all encompassing declaration of acquittal? It is because the believing sinner is blood-bought. “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” The apostle John wrote, “To Him who loves us, and [once and for all] released us from our sins by His blood” (Revelation 1:5).&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  1564. &lt;br /&gt;
  1565.  
  1566. “When God forgives He draws the mark through every sin which the believer ever has committed, or ever will commit,” observed C. H. Spurgeon. “However many, however heinous, your sins may have been the moment you believe, they are every one of them blotted out. In the Book of God there is not a single sin against any man in this place whose trust is in Christ, not a single one, not even the shadow of one, not a spot, or the remnant of a sin remaining; all is gone . . . and when God’s love covers the big sins it covers the little ones, and they are all gone at once! When God forgives, He not only forgives all, but once for all. . . . By one sacrifice there is a full remission of all sin that ever was against a believer, or that ever will be against him . . . not a single sin shall ever stand against you, nor shall you ever be punished for a single sin; for every sin is forgiven, fully forgiven, so that not even part of the punishment shall be executed against you” (Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon, vol. Vii, pp. 72-73).</description>
  1567.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec10.html</link>
  1568.            <guid isPermaLink="false">253E84A6-BD3D-44D0-87EB-57BF6DE8930A</guid>
  1569.            <pubDate>Sat, 10 Dec 2011 20:52:21 -0600</pubDate>
  1570.        </item>
  1571.        <item>
  1572.            <title>God’s Everlasting Covenant of Grace</title>
  1573.            <description>There is infinite value in the atoning blood of the Lamb of God.
  1574. &lt;br /&gt;
  1575.  
  1576. The new covenant with the LORD God is ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:28; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 7:22; 8:6-10; 10:16-17; 12:24; 13:20; 2 Timothy 1:9).
  1577. &lt;br /&gt;
  1578.  
  1579. We have peace with God “through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord.”
  1580. &lt;br /&gt;
  1581.  
  1582. The “blood of the eternal covenant” with Jesus Christ stands over against “the blood of bulls and of goats” in the old covenant with Israel. Christ shed His precious blood in fulfillment of the stipulation of the everlasting covenant. Christ’s atoning blood is the foundation of this covenant with God. The eternal salvation of sinful men and women is guaranteed by this eternal covenant in the blood of Jesus Christ.
  1583. &lt;br /&gt;
  1584.  
  1585. “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen&quot; (Hebrews 13:20-21).
  1586. &lt;br /&gt;
  1587.  
  1588. The everlasting guarantee of the covenant of grace is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It is by His blood that all our sins are cancelled, justice of God was satisfied, and the law was honored. Christ has done everything that God can demand. The blood of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the debtor’s side of the covenant. Because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the sinner’s behalf, God is bound by His own covenant to show grace and mercy to all whom Christ redeemed by His blood.&lt;br /&gt;</description>
  1589.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec9.html</link>
  1590.            <guid isPermaLink="false">C3144E1A-2CE7-4AF7-BF56-64C7E8D16149</guid>
  1591.            <pubDate>Fri, 9 Dec 2011 19:31:27 -0600</pubDate>
  1592.        </item>
  1593.        <item>
  1594.            <title>Justification by Faith and Imputed Righteousness</title>
  1595.            <description>God is a just God, and He is the justifier of the person who has faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:26).
  1596. &lt;br /&gt;
  1597.  
  1598. That is one of those important truths that separate historical Biblical Christianity from the religious cults.
  1599. &lt;br /&gt;
  1600.  
  1601. The believing sinner is “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (vv. 23-24).
  1602. &lt;br /&gt;
  1603.  
  1604. God is a just God, and the justification of the sinner must be accomplished in perfect harmony with God’s justice. Even in the justification of the sinner the holiness of God must be preserved and demonstrated. Every requirement of the law must be satisfied, and the infinitely holy character of God must be satisfied.
  1605. &lt;br /&gt;
  1606.  
  1607. The law places a double demand on sinners because it requires their full obedience to its precepts, and their full endurance of its penalty when the law is broken.
  1608. &lt;br /&gt;
  1609.  
  1610. How can anyone possibly meet this condition since it is a universal fact that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”? The only way is for God to provide what man cannot do. In grace God has already fulfilled these requirements, and paid in full the penalty by sending His Son “born under the law” (Gal. 4:4) to “became obedient unto death” (Phil. 2:8).</description>
  1611.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec8.html</link>
  1612.            <guid isPermaLink="false">473A5146-9E09-46EE-AEFA-5F566F0ACD91</guid>
  1613.            <pubDate>Thu, 8 Dec 2011 07:59:22 -0600</pubDate>
  1614.        </item>
  1615.        <item>
  1616.            <title>Sleepless Nights and Stressful Days</title>
  1617.            <description>What do you do when the pressures of daily life assail and assault you?
  1618. &lt;br /&gt;
  1619.  
  1620. Since the LORD God has saved you by His grace from beginning to end, why should you tremble before the lesser dangers of this life?
  1621. &lt;br /&gt;
  1622.  
  1623. King David tells of an experience how he was able to lie down and sleep in the midst of a sudden danger occasioned by his son Absalom’s rebellion (2 Samuel 15-16).
  1624. &lt;br /&gt;
  1625.  
  1626. “I lie down and sleep; I awake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side” (Psalm 3:5-6).
  1627. &lt;br /&gt;
  1628.  
  1629. David went to sleep trusting God with one of the greatest threats to his life. God was a shield around David as he slept trusting God with his life.
  1630. &lt;br /&gt;
  1631.  
  1632. C. H. Spurgeon said, “It is the most bitter of all afflictions to be led to fear that there is no help for us in God.” Those are the most crushing moments in our lives. We feel as if the very floor has been pulled out from us, and someone has greased the rope we were holding on to desperately.
  1633. &lt;br /&gt;
  1634.  
  1635. King David in the first stanza gave expression to the great crisis he was experiencing. He acknowledged and deeply experienced the deep anxious feelings. His enemies have risen up against him. “O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me? Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him’” (vv. 1-2).</description>
  1636.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec7.html</link>
  1637.            <guid isPermaLink="false">AC2AABC7-874D-4610-B820-74933AAE0F39</guid>
  1638.            <pubDate>Wed, 7 Dec 2011 07:34:32 -0600</pubDate>
  1639.        </item>
  1640.        <item>
  1641.            <title>My Cup is Running Over</title>
  1642.            <description>God’s blessings are always a superabundance.
  1643.  
  1644. When the “LORD is my shepherd,” “my cup runs over” in superabundance.
  1645.  
  1646. We do not have to wait until we get to heaven to experience God’s banquet house. His overflowing grace is something we experience as Christians in this life. Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10b). That is a cup running over with God’s grace. He does not just give us the gift of eternal life when we first believed, but He keeps on giving eternal life. The life He gives us is perisson, meaning, “to have a surplus,” “superabundance,” “till it overflows.”
  1647.  
  1648. Jesus gives us Himself (John 14:6). He is this abundant life. It is God’s kind of life. “My cup overflows,” means it is not just full; it is “running over,’ filled to the brim and overflowing.
  1649.  
  1650. God’s saving and sustaining grace is always like that. His grace is always in fullness, abundance and all-sufficiency.</description>
  1651.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec6.html</link>
  1652.            <guid isPermaLink="false">EC651729-C1BB-4CD7-B00A-B826D8DE550E</guid>
  1653.            <pubDate>Tue, 6 Dec 2011 07:46:49 -0600</pubDate>
  1654.        </item>
  1655.        <item>
  1656.            <title>The Spirit of Life</title>
  1657.            <description>
  1658.                <![CDATA[The Spirit of life is the life-giving Spirit.
  1659. <br />
  1660. <br />
  1661.  
  1662. The Holy Spirit is the author and giver of life, and the life He gives is free of condemnation. There is now no condemnation for the believer in Christ because of the saving work of Christ which sets His people free from the law that condemns.
  1663. <br />
  1664. <br />
  1665.  
  1666. The principle on which the Holy Spirit works in the Christian’s life operates in power. He can do what the law could never do.
  1667. <br />
  1668. <br />
  1669.  
  1670. It is interesting the word Holy Spirit is found more often in chapter eight of Romans than in any other chapter in the New Testament.
  1671. <br />
  1672. <br />
  1673.  
  1674. The Holy Spirit is the “distinguishing mark” of the believer. His very presence in the Christian means defeat of the power of sin in the believer’s life. The Holy Spirit rules within the heart.
  1675. <br />
  1676. <br />
  1677.  
  1678. “When the Holy Spirit comes into a person that person is liberated from bondage to evil and finds a new power within, a power that causes the defeat of sin and leads the liberated person into ways of goodness and love,” writes Leon Morris.
  1679. <br />
  1680. <br />
  1681.  
  1682. By the death of Jesus Christ the believer was freed from the law of sin (Romans 7:23, 25), and death (7:10-11, 13). That does not mean, however, that we are sinless even though we have been liberated from its dominion (6:18, 22). We have a new relationship to the law because of our new relationship with Christ.<br />
  1683. <br />]]>
  1684.            </description>
  1685.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul18.html</link>
  1686.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D793C150-A3F4-4650-AE7B-EE69791D7B88</guid>
  1687.            <pubDate>Mon, 18 Jul 2011 21:06:17 -0500</pubDate>
  1688.        </item>
  1689.        <item>
  1690.            <title>Christ Our Refuge</title>
  1691.            <description>The Bible is very clear in its declaration that individuals who are not “in Christ” are lost and under condemnation. If you are not “in Christ Jesus” you have not escaped the condemnation and the wrath of God.&lt;br /&gt;
  1692. &lt;br /&gt;
  1693.  
  1694.  
  1695. The apostle John wrote, “He who believes in Him [Jesus] is not judged” (John 3:18a). Paul wrote “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). John goes on to say, “he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (v. 18b). The person who does not believe is already condemned and that condemnation of unbelievers is now in the present time.
  1696. &lt;br /&gt;
  1697. &lt;br /&gt;
  1698.  
  1699. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24). “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). &lt;br /&gt;
  1700. &lt;br /&gt;
  1701.  
  1702.  
  1703. The sole basis of this justification and declaration of “no condemnation” is the assurance found in the words “in Christ Jesus.” We were all condemned in Adam, but in the second Adam there is no condemnation.&lt;br /&gt;
  1704. &lt;br /&gt;
  1705.  
  1706.  
  1707. Christians do sin and fail to bring glory to God, and we do suffer the natural consequences of our sins. However, we do not suffer condemnation because Christ was condemned in our stead.&lt;br /&gt;
  1708. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  1709.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul17.html</link>
  1710.            <guid isPermaLink="false">2A1899DE-8704-490F-A256-D6AF94528EF2</guid>
  1711.            <pubDate>Sun, 17 Jul 2011 22:45:50 -0500</pubDate>
  1712.        </item>
  1713.        <item>
  1714.            <title>Evidence that Demands Our Faith</title>
  1715.            <description>How do I know that God has fully accepted the death of Jesus Christ as payment for my sins?
  1716. &lt;br /&gt;
  1717. &lt;br /&gt;
  1718.  
  1719. “When Jesus died, He died as my representative, and I died in Him; when He rose, He rose as my representative, and I rose in Him. . . . I look at the cross of Christ, and I know that atonement has been made for my sins; I look at the open sepulcher and the risen and ascended Lord, and I know that the atonement has been accepted. There no longer remains a single sin on me, no matter how many or how great my sins may have been. My sins may have been as high as the mountains, but in the light of the resurrection the atonement that covers them is as high as heaven. My sins may have been as deep as the ocean, but in the light of the resurrection the atonement that swallows them up is as deep as eternity” (R. A. Torrey, The Bible and Its Cross, pp. 107-08).
  1720. &lt;br /&gt;
  1721. &lt;br /&gt;
  1722.  
  1723. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof that the LORD God has accepted the full payment for our sins in the death of His Son. God is fully and completely satisfied with the atoning work Jesus did on the cross for my sins because He raised Him from the dead.
  1724. &lt;br /&gt;
  1725. &lt;br /&gt;
  1726.  
  1727. The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves that every believer in Christ is justified by faith, and cleansed by His blood of all their sins (Heb. 12:1-2; Phil. 2:8-11). It is the evidence from God Himself that the penalty for our sins has been paid in full by the death of Jesus Christ. By the resurrection of Jesus from the dead God declared that He has accepted the death of Jesus as an atonement for our sins.&lt;br /&gt;
  1728. &lt;br /&gt;
  1729. Do you “believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead”? (Romans 4:24). Jesus “was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification” (v. 25). God the Father sent Jesus to the cross to die for our sins (Acts 2:23), and “God raised Him up again” (v. 24). “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses,” declared Peter (v. 32). The death of Jesus Christ was according to God’s determined plan to accomplish our redemption. Jesus Christ is “the Lamb of God slain from the creation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).</description>
  1730.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/may30.html</link>
  1731.            <guid isPermaLink="false">C97412C6-E0FD-4849-B17B-D1300AB7B761</guid>
  1732.            <pubDate>Sun, 29 May 2011 22:15:28 -0500</pubDate>
  1733.        </item>
  1734.        <item>
  1735.            <title>The Law and the Gospel</title>
  1736.            <description>The gospel of grace does not nullify God’s Law; it fulfills it. In fact, it is the only way the Law of God could possibly be fulfilled.
  1737. &lt;br /&gt;
  1738. &lt;br /&gt;
  1739.  
  1740. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? . . . . It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. . . . For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Romans 6:1; Galatians 5:1, 13).
  1741. &lt;br /&gt;
  1742. &lt;br /&gt;
  1743.  
  1744. The highest motivation for living the Christian life is the result of God’s sacrificial love for us. If we love Him we will keep His commandments (Jn. 14:15). We want to please Him because He reached down in His grace and mercy to save us while we were sinners condemned by God’s just Law. Therefore, we want to love and please Him wholeheartedly.
  1745. &lt;br /&gt;
  1746. &lt;br /&gt;
  1747.  
  1748. Moreover, since we have been spiritually regenerated or born again by the Holy Spirit, we are now a changed people. You cannot be justified without out this spiritual birth taking place at the same time. The person who is saved by the grace of God will demonstrate it by a determination to pursue personal righteousness in his daily life. We will do good works because that is what we are destined to do (Eph. 1:4; 2:10). The failure to strive to live a morally upright life according to God’s holy Law only proves that the individual has never been justified by faith and born again (1 Jn. 2:15-17). The evidence for justification and spiritual birth are the good works that follow in a person’s life. You cannot separate the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and the justifying work of Jesus Christ.
  1749. &lt;br /&gt;
  1750. &lt;br /&gt;
  1751.  
  1752. The apostle Paul makes it very clear in both Romans and Galatians that justification by grace through faith fulfills and upholds the Law of God. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law in His life of perfect obedience to the Father. He accomplished for us what we could not do. By His death Jesus established the Law by enforcing the demands of the Law upon all who sin.&lt;br /&gt;
  1753. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  1754.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/may29.html</link>
  1755.            <guid isPermaLink="false">C60DCA28-B096-497D-AE9F-82DFEF3D443E</guid>
  1756.            <pubDate>Sun, 29 May 2011 22:14:24 -0500</pubDate>
  1757.        </item>
  1758.        <item>
  1759.            <title>Commitment to Christ</title>
  1760.            <description>
  1761.                <![CDATA[When we trust or yield ourselves to Christ, there is a true commitment just like in a healthy marriage.
  1762. <br />
  1763. <br />
  1764.  
  1765. How tragic that many many marriages are dysfunctional and are a poor example of long lasting commitments.
  1766. <br />
  1767. <br />
  1768.  
  1769. Jesus made an eternal commitment to us (Rom. 8:38-39). In response to His love we are called upon to pledge ourselves to him.
  1770. <br />
  1771. <br />
  1772.  
  1773. We love Him because He first loved us (1 Jn. 4:19).
  1774. <br />
  1775. <br />
  1776.  
  1777. The apostle Paul used the marriage relationship to illustrate our relationship with Christ (Eph. 5:22ff). "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (v. 25).
  1778. <br />
  1779. <br />
  1780.  
  1781. Just like in the vows of a wedding we can express our faith to Christ who died for us, demonstrating His great love for us. We love Him because He first loved us.
  1782. <br />
  1783. <br />
  1784.  
  1785. One of the best illustrations of this commitment I have ever read was by C. H. Spurgeon. He said Christ Jesus vows to us: “I, Jesus, take you [whoever you may be; put your own name in the space], to be my wedded wife; and I do promise and covenant before God the Father and these witnesses gathered here, to be your loving and faithful Savior and Bridegroom: in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, in this life and for all eternity.”<br />
  1786. <br />]]>
  1787.            </description>
  1788.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/may28.html</link>
  1789.            <guid isPermaLink="false">BC133D6A-EBC0-4F80-84B5-C6CA6FE55D7A</guid>
  1790.            <pubDate>Sat, 28 May 2011 22:05:42 -0500</pubDate>
  1791.        </item>
  1792.        <item>
  1793.            <title>Faith and the Bible</title>
  1794.            <description>
  1795.                <![CDATA[The Bible is God’s perfectly inspired word. The written Word testifies to God’s self-revelation in His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. All Scripture, both Old and New Testament, is a clear testimony to Jesus Christ. The Bible is not just a record of revelation of God, but it is revelation itself, and it is an infallible witness of God to men.
  1796. <br />
  1797. <br />
  1798.  
  1799. "The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever" (Isa. 40:8). There is nothing like the abiding Word of God.
  1800. <br />
  1801. <br />
  1802.  
  1803. This is why it is so important for us to examine God’s Word and seek to understand it and its authority in the believer’s life. Our faith is defined by God's Word, and there cannot be any true saving faith without the Word of God.
  1804. <br />
  1805. <br />
  1806.  
  1807. The apostle Paul wrote, there is “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:22). Believe in what? Our faith must rest in Jesus Christ and His atoning work. Our faith must reside in Jesus Christ.
  1808. <br />
  1809. <br />
  1810.  
  1811. Calvin wrote, “There is a permanent relationship between faith and the Word. Take away the Word and no faith will there remain.”
  1812. <br />
  1813. <br />
  1814.  
  1815. The Word of God also does something. Apart from the word of God we are dead in our trespasses and sins. We are as Whitfield compared us to Lazarus' body dead in his tomb before Jesus arrived. Martha told Jesus, "Lord, he has been dead four days and he stinks." What will awaken us from our spiritual death? "Lazarus come forth!" He shouts to us in his Word, "Wil, come forth!" And the Word of God awakened in me the truth of my sinfulness and the saving work of Jesus Christ.<br />
  1816. <br />]]>
  1817.            </description>
  1818.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/may27.html</link>
  1819.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7AFC22D2-BDE4-4DD9-9695-ADFAAA7C8C75</guid>
  1820.            <pubDate>Sat, 28 May 2011 22:04:33 -0500</pubDate>
  1821.        </item>
  1822.        <item>
  1823.            <title>But I Don’t Have Enough Faith</title>
  1824.            <description>
  1825.                <![CDATA[I often hear people say, “I am afraid I don’t know if I have enough faith.” How much faith do you need in order to be saved?
  1826. <br />
  1827. <br />
  1828.  
  1829. The Bible does not teach that you are justified because of your faith. Faith is not works.
  1830. <br />
  1831. <br />
  1832.  
  1833. Faith is nothing more than the instrument to receive our salvation. Nowhere in Scripture will you find that we are justified on account of our faith. The Scripture says that we are justified by faith or through faith. Faith is nothing but the the channel by which this righteousness of God in Christ becomes ours. It is not our faith that saves us.
  1834. <br />
  1835. <br />
  1836.  
  1837. What saves us is the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect saving work. It is the death of Christ upon Calvary’s Cross that saves us. It is God putting Christ’s righteousness to our account that saves. Faith is only the channel and the instrument by which His righteousness becomes mine (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 4:24). The righteousness that saves is entirely Christ’s.  My faith is not my righteousness and I must never define or think of faith as righteousness. Faith is nothing but that which connects us to the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness.
  1838. <br />
  1839. <br />
  1840.  
  1841. The whole emphasis on salvation by faith is clearly on the object of our faith: Jesus Christ. Jesus saves! Faith does not save us. Jesus alone does that.
  1842. <br />
  1843. <br />
  1844.  
  1845. If we are saved at all it must be through faith in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
  1846. <br />
  1847. <br />
  1848.  
  1849. Spurgeon once said, “It does not take a strong faith to save you, just faith. The weakness of your faith will not destroy you. A trembling hand may receive a golden gift.”<br />
  1850. <br />]]>
  1851.            </description>
  1852.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/may26.html</link>
  1853.            <guid isPermaLink="false">B62CC685-2D69-4E88-B169-5D840AA849D0</guid>
  1854.            <pubDate>Sat, 28 May 2011 22:02:56 -0500</pubDate>
  1855.        </item>
  1856.        <item>
  1857.            <title>Righteousness apart from the Law</title>
  1858.            <description>
  1859.                <![CDATA[Because we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, God gets all the glory.
  1860. <br />
  1861. <br />
  1862.  
  1863. Salvation is a free gift because it is a receiving of God’s righteousness apart from any human doing. Since we are saved by grace as a gift of God, all the glory goes to God alone. There will be no human praise in heaven.
  1864. <br />
  1865. <br />
  1866.  
  1867. Christianity is a unique religion because it is not man made. It is the revelation of God.
  1868. <br />
  1869. <br />
  1870.  
  1871. “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe” (Romans 3:21-22). The reason God does it that way is because it is impossible for sinners to save themselves, “for there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (vv. 23-24).
  1872. <br />
  1873. <br />
  1874.  
  1875. The word “Law” in this passage embraces all our human effort to attain a right relationship with God. The Bible clearly teaches that God’s righteousness is received as a gift apart from any human effort. We do not contribute anything in any manner to our justification.
  1876. <br />
  1877. <br />
  1878.  
  1879. All our human efforts bring upon us the judgment of God.<br />
  1880. <br />]]>
  1881.            </description>
  1882.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/may25.html</link>
  1883.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F748B759-A863-46BC-9664-2344D4BEC53D</guid>
  1884.            <pubDate>Tue, 24 May 2011 22:25:48 -0500</pubDate>
  1885.        </item>
  1886.        <item>
  1887.            <title>Righteousness apart from the Law</title>
  1888.            <description>
  1889.                <![CDATA[Because we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, God gets all the glory.
  1890. <br />
  1891. <br />
  1892.  
  1893. Salvation is a free gift because it is a receiving of God’s righteousness apart from any human doing. Since we are saved by grace as a gift of God, all the glory goes to God alone. There will be no human praise in heaven.
  1894. <br />
  1895. <br />
  1896.  
  1897. Christianity is a unique religion because it is not man made. It is the revelation of God.
  1898. <br />
  1899. <br />
  1900.  
  1901. “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe” (Romans 3:21-22). The reason God does it that way is because it is impossible for sinners to save themselves, “for there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (vv. 23-24).
  1902. <br />
  1903. <br />
  1904.  
  1905. The word “Law” in this passage embraces all our human effort to attain a right relationship with God. The Bible clearly teaches that God’s righteousness is received as a gift apart from any human effort. We do not contribute anything in any manner to our justification.
  1906. <br />
  1907. <br />
  1908.  
  1909. All our human efforts bring upon us the judgment of God.
  1910. <br />
  1911. <br />
  1912.  
  1913. Take a few moments and look into your own heart and see in whom or what you are trusting for salvation. Have you ceased from your works for God in order to attain a right relationship with Him? Or are you resting on the work that was accomplished for you by Jesus Christ on the cross? “Righteousness apart from the law” is righteousness that God provides. It is righteousness apart from anything we do to merit or gain it. The work of righteousness is fully accomplished by Christ Jesus. <br />]]>
  1914.            </description>
  1915.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/may24.html</link>
  1916.            <guid isPermaLink="false">62BBC8EB-CBFF-45E1-841C-B1977DC5DA12</guid>
  1917.            <pubDate>Mon, 23 May 2011 19:59:42 -0500</pubDate>
  1918.        </item>
  1919.        <item>
  1920.            <title>“Why Should I Let You into My Heaven?”</title>
  1921.            <description>
  1922.                <![CDATA[Let’s suppose for a moment that you died today and stood before the Lord God and He asked you, “Why should I let you into My heaven?” What would you say? What do you think you would say?
  1923. <br />
  1924. <br />
  1925.  
  1926. That is one of the most important questions you can ask a person regarding their salvation. James Kennedy got the idea from Donald Grey Barnhouse who asked the same questions in a slightly different wording. “What right do you have to come into God’s heaven? What would be your answer?”
  1927. <br />
  1928. <br />
  1929.  
  1930. I like those questions because they force us to clarify our thoughts about salvation.
  1931. <br />
  1932. <br />
  1933.  
  1934. One thing is sure, one day you will die. You will be suddenly thrust into the face of God and He will ask the question, “Why should I let you come into My heaven?” “What right do you have to enter into the holy of holies?”
  1935. <br />
  1936. <br />
  1937.  
  1938. Your reply could be, “I am a religious person. I am trying to live a Christian life the best I can. I give to the poor, and try to help people in need. I an not a notorious sinner. I read religious books, my Bible, and I try to love people. I am serving God the best I can.” But no one will be justified before God on the basis of his good religious works. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9). The apostle Paul said wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  1939. <br />
  1940. <br />
  1941.  
  1942. The only way a religious person will ever be saved is by faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross paying the penalty for our sins. Jesus Christ offers His own perfect righteousness in the place of our self-righteousness, which can never save us. When we stand before the judgment throne of God no one will be able to offer any good works as the basis for their right relationship with God. Our sins and our guilt will stop our mouths because God demands perfect righteousness, and that we do not have on our own.<br />
  1943. <br />]]>
  1944.            </description>
  1945.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/may22.html</link>
  1946.            <guid isPermaLink="false">720C6191-D9CF-412B-B05E-3E82B79FE7F0</guid>
  1947.            <pubDate>Sun, 22 May 2011 22:11:58 -0500</pubDate>
  1948.        </item>
  1949.        <item>
  1950.            <title>Where Will You Spend Eternity?</title>
  1951.            <description>
  1952.                <![CDATA[Jesus Christ made it very clear that a person’s relationship with God in this present life will determine his destiny in the life to come (Matthew 19:16-26; 7:13-23).
  1953. <br />
  1954. <br />
  1955.  
  1956. In a parable on the last judgment in Matthew 25:31ff, Jesus brought out this truth clearly. He concluded His parable saying, “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (v. 46).
  1957. <br />
  1958. <br />
  1959.  
  1960. Jesus has power over life and death because He rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:4). “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Rom. 14:9). He is the very embodiment of God’s living power, conquering death and raising the dead (2 Cor. 13:4). Jesus alone gives eternal life.
  1961. <br />
  1962. <br />
  1963.  
  1964. Moreover, Jesus said the most sobering thing about man’s eternal destiny. Hell is the destiny of those who refuse Him. Heaven is the destiny of those who believe in Him.
  1965. <br />
  1966. <br />
  1967.  
  1968. Jesus not only gives eternal life; He is eternal life (1 Jn. 5:20; Jn. 11:25-26; Rom. 5:12ff; 1 Cor. 15:20ff; Gal. 2:16, 20; Phil. 1:21; 2 Cor. 4:10).  
  1969. <br />
  1970. <br />
  1971.  
  1972. The life Christ gives is not confined to this life, but points to eternal life when the last enemy, death, is vanquished forever (1 Cor. 15:20-28; Rom. 6:22; Gal. 6:8; Rev. 21:4; 1 Thess. 4:13-17). We will be with Christ forever (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:17; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23). This life that God gives is received by faith in His Son (1 J. 5:12).  <br />
  1973. <br />]]>
  1974.            </description>
  1975.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr13.html</link>
  1976.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F8EBA7D1-463D-416F-B95F-475865F24B02</guid>
  1977.            <pubDate>Tue, 12 Apr 2011 22:29:13 -0500</pubDate>
  1978.        </item>
  1979.        <item>
  1980.            <title>Eternal Life -- the Gift</title>
  1981.            <description>Eternal Life is God’s kind of life. It is eternal because He is eternal. Nothing will ever separate the believer in Christ from the One who loves us. He gave us His free gift of eternal life the very moment we were born spiritually, and it can never be lost (Jn. 3:15-16, 36; 6:47; 10:28). It is a life without end, and no one can ever take it from you. There are no final boundaries to eternal life.
  1982. &lt;br /&gt;
  1983. &lt;br /&gt;
  1984.  
  1985. We enter into that life transforming vital union with Him when we responded to His love and believed on Him (1 Jn. 5:11).
  1986. &lt;br /&gt;
  1987. &lt;br /&gt;
  1988.  
  1989. The beauty of this new life in Christ is that Christ has so joined Himself to us that we are to go on receiving this life He gives in increasing abundance throughout eternity. The Scriptures tell us that God has promised to enlarge our spiritual capacities until the full life of the infinite Christ is reproduced in us. We are gradually being conformed to His image and likeness.
  1990. &lt;br /&gt;
  1991. &lt;br /&gt;
  1992.  
  1993. The life God gives us the moment we believe in Christ is the same life that we will be living with Him in eternity. God has already imparted to the believer in Christ the life of the age to come. Eternal life is already a present blessing available to everyone who submits to Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). The new life is life “in the Spirit,” or “in Christ.” Jesus used metaphors to describe this new life He gives (Jn. 4:14; 6:35-40; 11:25-26; 15:5, etc).
  1994. &lt;br /&gt;
  1995. &lt;br /&gt;
  1996.  
  1997. Eternal life or spiritual life is a state of regeneration and fellowship with God (Jn. 3:15-16, 36; 5:24; 6:47). The relationship is eternal, not temporal.&lt;br /&gt;
  1998. &lt;br /&gt;
  1999. Jesus defined it when he said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (Jn. 17:3). It is knowing God and having fellowship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.</description>
  2000.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr12.html</link>
  2001.            <guid isPermaLink="false">B7D6E52E-A369-4EFC-A92A-4CBD2D144DFF</guid>
  2002.            <pubDate>Mon, 11 Apr 2011 21:02:20 -0500</pubDate>
  2003.        </item>
  2004.        <item>
  2005.            <title>Perfect Atonement for Personal Sin</title>
  2006.            <description>
  2007.                <![CDATA[The most important day in the Jewish religious calendar is the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). It is to this day central to Judaism even though the sacrificial system came to an end with the destruction of the temple in A. D. 70. It is the highest holy day in Judaism.
  2008. <br />
  2009. <br />
  2010.  
  2011. On the day of Atonement the high priest entered the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle of the wilderness, and later the temple in Jerusalem, to make atonement for the sins of the people of Israel.
  2012. <br />
  2013. <br />
  2014.  
  2015. The word atonement means, “to cover” the sin, and thus to “wipe out,” “to erase,” “to cover.” In doing so the sacrifice “removed” the guilt of man’s sin before God. The removal of the sin accomplished reconciliation between men and God. Perhaps this is why the Jewish rabbis called it the “Day,” or the “Great Day.”<br />
  2016. <br />
  2017.  
  2018.  
  2019. God provided the Day of Atonement to avert His wrath for sins already committed and guarantee His presence with His people.
  2020. <br />
  2021. <br />
  2022.  
  2023. The sacrifice of the first goat and the sending the second one away into the wilderness to die were intended to cleanse the nation, the priesthood, and the sanctuary of sin.
  2024. <br />
  2025. <br />
  2026.  
  2027. Every sacrifice in the tabernacle reached its climax on that day. Something was left undone in the daily sacrifice and rituals to cover sin. Only one day of the year could the high priest enter into the Most Holy place and meet with God before the mercy seat. Only on the Day of Atonement could the representative of the people enter into this most solemn meeting place between God and man. It was only with the sacrificial blood of the animal substitute that He could enter on behalf of the people and himself. <br />
  2028. <br />]]>
  2029.            </description>
  2030.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr11.html</link>
  2031.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D377E27B-119D-4E16-93A4-1886A3D3FFB1</guid>
  2032.            <pubDate>Mon, 11 Apr 2011 21:01:22 -0500</pubDate>
  2033.        </item>
  2034.        <item>
  2035.            <title>How do You Handle Tribulation?</title>
  2036.            <description>
  2037.                <![CDATA[Most believers in Christ throughout history of Christianity have suffered tribulation. For most it has been an ever-present reality (1 Thess. 1:6; 2 Tim. 3:12-13).<br />
  2038. <br />
  2039.  
  2040.  
  2041. The New Testament describes tribulation as the inevitable conflict between the good news of Jesus Christ and a sinful hostile world dominated by Satan (John 16:33; 2 Cor. 1:8).
  2042. <br />
  2043. <br />
  2044.  
  2045. The word for “tribulation” (thilipsis) is found 45 times in the New Testament and is variously translated suffering, distress, affliction, trouble, persecution, and tribulation.
  2046. <br />
  2047. <br />
  2048.  
  2049. Sometimes the context deals with hardships that are common to every individual such as childbirth, illness, and common relationship.
  2050. <br />
  2051. <br />
  2052.  
  2053. Tribulation is something that all believer’s in the New Testament experienced. It includes persecution (1 Thess. 1:6), imprisonment (Acts 20:23), derision (Heb. 10:33), poverty (2 Cor. 8:13), sickness (Rev. 2:22), inner distress and sorrow (Phil. 1:17; 2 Cor. 2:4), etc.
  2054. <br />
  2055. <br />
  2056.  
  2057. In a more narrow sense the word “tribulation” refers to the hostile world’s reaction to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus said it is inevitable and unavoidable that persecutions and tribulations will be present when the gospel is preached and men are saved (Matt. 13:21).
  2058. <br />
  2059. <br />
  2060.  
  2061. What should the Christian’s response be to the ever present reality of tribulations and persecutions in life?<br />
  2062. <br />]]>
  2063.            </description>
  2064.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr10.html</link>
  2065.            <guid isPermaLink="false">77CC2150-1F44-4E3C-A4C2-C19E35B2660C</guid>
  2066.            <pubDate>Mon, 11 Apr 2011 21:00:06 -0500</pubDate>
  2067.        </item>
  2068.        <item>
  2069.            <title>Blessed Assurance</title>
  2070.            <description>God does not intend for His saved child to live the Christian life without the blessed assurance of eternal life.
  2071. &lt;br /&gt;
  2072. &lt;br /&gt;
  2073.  
  2074. The apostle Paul had a profound conviction that nothing will be able to separate the believer from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:31-39).
  2075. &lt;br /&gt;
  2076. &lt;br /&gt;
  2077.  
  2078. Jesus spoke of double assurance or security for the believer when He said to His disciples: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand . . . and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:27-30).
  2079. &lt;br /&gt;
  2080. &lt;br /&gt;
  2081.  
  2082. We have “been born anew to a living hope” (1 Pet. 1:3-5). We are guarded by God’s power through faith for salvation. Because the new birth has taken place in our lives, we have the presence of the Holy Spirit within us (Rom. 8:23). He is called the “first fruits,&quot; the initial promise and pledge of a greater harvest to follow. The Holy Spirit does a work in our lives producing His fruit that is characteristically different from our human nature. The Holy Spirit is evidence of assurance because “we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His own Spirit” (1 Jn. 4:13).&lt;br /&gt;
  2083. &lt;br /&gt;
  2084. The ascension of Christ to heaven to be our advocate is another great assurance for the believer who has been saved by grace. Jesus “ever lives to make intercession on our behalf” (Rom. 8:34; 1 Jn. 2:2). He is our great God and “He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through Him” (Heb. 7:25). Do you have an intimate love relationship with your Savior? Are you abiding in Him and He in you? Spend time with Him everyday. Learn to go into His presence throughout the day and make yourself available to Him all day long.</description>
  2085.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr9.html</link>
  2086.            <guid isPermaLink="false">E47B1B83-B232-47EF-9783-A9725AC2D90C</guid>
  2087.            <pubDate>Fri, 8 Apr 2011 21:15:03 -0500</pubDate>
  2088.        </item>
  2089.        <item>
  2090.            <title>Saving Faith</title>
  2091.            <description>C. H. Spurgeon said faith has three essential ingredients: knowledge, belief and trust.
  2092. &lt;br /&gt;
  2093. &lt;br /&gt;
  2094.  
  2095. There must be “a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us.” We must have certain knowledge in which to anchor our faith. It is God’s revealed Word that gives us the essential knowledge of eternal life. What we need to know God has unveiled to mankind in the person of Jesus Christ.
  2096. &lt;br /&gt;
  2097. &lt;br /&gt;
  2098.  
  2099. What we need to know is that we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1), and that salvation is not of works (v. 9). It is by grace that you are saved (v. 8). We have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and the wages of sin is death (6:23).  Because we are sinners, we are the objects of God’s wrath.
  2100. &lt;br /&gt;
  2101. &lt;br /&gt;
  2102.  
  2103. However, there is some good news because God loves us, and He wants us to spend eternity with Him in heaven (Jn. 3:16). Jesus Christ died for us on the cross. God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to come to the earth and live a perfect life without sin and then go to the cross and die in our place as our substitute (Rom. 5:6, 8; 2 Cor. 5:21).
  2104. &lt;br /&gt;
  2105. &lt;br /&gt;
  2106.  
  2107. We have a firm and certain knowledge of the reveled facts to believe in. No one can be saved without this knowledge from God. He has given us all the facts we need to know. We do not need to speculate or second-guess God. We have a certain knowledge that God has given us in His Word and in His Son Jesus Christ.&lt;br /&gt;
  2108. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2109.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr8.html</link>
  2110.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7A76DB70-18F5-4C7A-A7EB-A83BC1196555</guid>
  2111.            <pubDate>Fri, 8 Apr 2011 21:14:12 -0500</pubDate>
  2112.        </item>
  2113.        <item>
  2114.            <title>The Perfect Place of Mercy</title>
  2115.            <description>The most important piece of furniture in the Tabernacle of Meeting in the wilderness and later the Jerusalem Temple was the Ark of the Covenant, and the lid of gold called the mercy seat or place of mercy (Exodus 25:10-22).
  2116. &lt;br /&gt;
  2117. &lt;br /&gt;
  2118.  
  2119. The ark was also called “the ark of the testimony” because it contained God’s testimony to the people of His covenant. In the ark chest were a pot of manna, Aaron’s budded rod, and the two stone tablets on which was written the Law of Moses (25:16, 33; Num. 17:10; Heb. 9:4).
  2120. &lt;br /&gt;
  2121. &lt;br /&gt;
  2122.  
  2123. The “mercy seat” was a slab of gold fitting over the top of the ark chest. Once a year the High Priest would enter into the Most Holy Place and make atonement for the sins of the people of Israel by sprinkling blood of bulls and goats on the mercy seat (Lev. 16:2-16).
  2124. &lt;br /&gt;
  2125. &lt;br /&gt;
  2126.  
  2127. The ark symbolizing the presence of God with His people was holy and was placed in the Holy of Holies and separated from the rest of the tabernacle by a heavy veil (Ex. 26:31-33; Heb. 9:3-5). No sinful person could look upon the glory of God above the ark and live (Lev. 16:2).
  2128. &lt;br /&gt;
  2129. &lt;br /&gt;
  2130.  
  2131. No one knows what happened to the Ark of the Covenant after Babylon destroyed the Temple in 586 B.C. We do know that the new temple built by Zerubbabel and later remodeled by Herod did not contain the Ark of the Covenant.&lt;br /&gt;
  2132. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2133.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr7.html</link>
  2134.            <guid isPermaLink="false">46BEDDFD-31CD-4B40-A08C-04BC938C6D8E</guid>
  2135.            <pubDate>Thu, 7 Apr 2011 21:27:42 -0500</pubDate>
  2136.        </item>
  2137.        <item>
  2138.            <title>The Ascension of Christ</title>
  2139.            <description>
  2140.                <![CDATA[The Gospel of Luke describes the transference of the resurrected body of Jesus from the earth to heaven in Acts 1:9-11.
  2141. <br />
  2142. <br />
  2143.  
  2144. “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
  2145. <br />
  2146. <br />
  2147.  
  2148. The location of the ascension was east of Jerusalem near Bethany. Forty days after His physical resurrection Jesus “was taken up” and disappeared into a cloud.
  2149. <br />
  2150. <br />
  2151.  
  2152. God raised Christ from the dead “and made Him sit at His right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:20). He sits “at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3).
  2153. <br />
  2154. <br />
  2155.  
  2156. The ascension made it possible for Christ to enter into His heavenly “glorification” and sit at the right hand of the Father until His enemies are made His footstool (Ps. 110:1).
  2157. <br />
  2158. <br />
  2159.  
  2160. The evidence for the glorification of Christ and His superiority over the Old Testament saints is His ascension (Acts 2:33-36). When He arrived into heaven He received  “the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9-11). Jesus is superior to angels, authorities, principalities, powers and dominions because He is the ascended Lord (Heb. 1:13; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet. 3:22).<br />
  2161. <br />]]>
  2162.            </description>
  2163.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr6.html</link>
  2164.            <guid isPermaLink="false">4335A9D1-D15E-482F-9B42-FC84F94DBF46</guid>
  2165.            <pubDate>Thu, 7 Apr 2011 21:26:34 -0500</pubDate>
  2166.        </item>
  2167.        <item>
  2168.            <title>Adopted Children of God</title>
  2169.            <description>The term “Son of God” refers preeminently to Jesus Christ’s deity (Matt. 11:25-27; 16:16-17). He alone is one in substance and glory with God the Father. Believers in Christ, although “adopted” are never on a par with the uncreated, divine Son of God.
  2170. &lt;br /&gt;
  2171. &lt;br /&gt;
  2172.  
  2173. “Adoption” is the term the apostle Paul uses to describe the act of the Holy Spirit whereby the believing sinner becomes a member of God’s family, with all the privileges and obligations of family members.
  2174. &lt;br /&gt;
  2175. &lt;br /&gt;
  2176.  
  2177. We were “children of wrath” by nature (Eph. 2:3). However, those upon whom God bestows His saving grace become the “children of God.”
  2178. &lt;br /&gt;
  2179. &lt;br /&gt;
  2180.  
  2181. The word adoption in the New Testament means to place as an adult son. It was a term used in the Roman legal practice in the apostle Paul’s day referring to a legal action by which a person takes into his family a child not his own, with the purpose of treating him as and giving him all the privileges of an own son. An adopted child was legally entitled to all rights and privileges of a natural-born child. Paul uses it as an illustration of the act of God giving a believing sinner, who is not His natural child, a position as His adult son in His family. The emphasis is on the legal position of the child of God.
  2182. &lt;br /&gt;
  2183. &lt;br /&gt;
  2184.  
  2185. It is the Holy Spirit who is called “the Spirit of adoption” who performs the act of placing the believing sinner as an adult into the family of God. “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Rom. 8:15)&lt;br /&gt;
  2186. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2187.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr5.html</link>
  2188.            <guid isPermaLink="false">72DF41AA-B9FB-4D9D-95C7-2AF018D73CA4</guid>
  2189.            <pubDate>Thu, 7 Apr 2011 21:25:19 -0500</pubDate>
  2190.        </item>
  2191.        <item>
  2192.            <title>The Supremacy of Jesus Christ</title>
  2193.            <description>Jesus Christ is the supreme Sovereign of the universe.
  2194. &lt;br /&gt;
  2195. &lt;br /&gt;
  2196.  
  2197. Colossians 1:15-20 gives seven reasons why Christ is preeminent. These verses are at the heart of the epistle’s main emphasis on the exaltation and preeminence of Christ.
  2198. &lt;br /&gt;
  2199. &lt;br /&gt;
  2200.  
  2201. Jesus Christ “is the image of the invisible God” (v. 15). Jesus is supreme because of His relationship with God the Father. He is the perfect resemblance and representation of God. God is invisible and unknown except by self-revelation. In the person of Jesus Christ the unknowable God becomes known.. The very nature and being of God have been perfectly revealed in Christ.   Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Everyone who saw Christ, the visible manifestation of the invisible God, has thereby &quot;seen&quot; God indirectly. The apostle John who saw Jesus face to face wrote, “No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son . . . has made Him known” (v. 18). Jesus Christ is the perfect visible representation and manifestation of the “invisible” God (1 Tim. 1:17). Jesus is the perfect image, likeness and glory of His Father. He is “the exact representation” of the Father’s being (Heb. 1:3). The Son is in the “exact likeness” of His Father.
  2202. &lt;br /&gt;
  2203. &lt;br /&gt;
  2204.  
  2205. Jesus is supreme over all things because He is “the firstborn over all creation” (Col. 1:15). He preceded the whole creation, and He is Sovereign over all His creation. As Creator He has dignity, supremacy, sovereign power over it. As “firstborn” Jesus is the Messiah-God (Ps. 89:27-29). Jesus Christ was not created, but is the Creator who is Sovereign over all His creation.
  2206. &lt;br /&gt;
  2207. &lt;br /&gt;
  2208.  
  2209. Jesus is supreme because “in Him all things were created” (Col. 1:16-17). “All things were created by Him,” and “for Him,” and “in Him they all hold together.” Not only is He the final Cause of creation, but also the conserving Cause that keeps it together. Everything in the universe continues to exist because of Him (Jn. 1:3; Heb. 1:2; Rev. 3:14). Nothing is to be excluded in His supremacy in creation. Christ reigns supreme over all creation, visible and invisible, material and spiritual (Eph. 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Phil. 2:9-10; Col. 2:10, 15; Rom. 8:38-39). &lt;br /&gt;
  2210. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2211.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr4.html</link>
  2212.            <guid isPermaLink="false">66CC7D38-06DC-41A3-8ED1-6866E1131C7C</guid>
  2213.            <pubDate>Sun, 3 Apr 2011 20:47:20 -0500</pubDate>
  2214.        </item>
  2215.        <item>
  2216.            <title>All that Jesus Continues to Do</title>
  2217.            <description>&quot;All that Jesus began to do and teach” He continues to do and teach today.
  2218. &lt;br /&gt;
  2219. &lt;br /&gt;
  2220.  
  2221. In Acts 1:1 the words “all that Jesus began to do and teach” are in the linear action. It is action still going on. The verb “began” is present infinitive, linear action. It is as if to say that Jesus is still carrying on from heaven the work and teachings which He started while on earth before His ascension.
  2222. &lt;br /&gt;
  2223. &lt;br /&gt;
  2224.  
  2225. Luke does not say “all that Jesus did and taught,” but “all that Jesus began to do and to teach.” The Gospel of Luke tells us what Jesus began to do and teach, while Acts of the Apostles tells what He continues to do and teach by His Spirit through His special Body.
  2226. &lt;br /&gt;
  2227. &lt;br /&gt;
  2228.  
  2229. In Volume 1 of the Life and Acts of Jesus Christ, Dr. Luke tells the story of the beginnings of what Jesus began to do and teach. In his Gospel, Luke gave “the first account I composed, Theophilis, about all that Jesus began to do and teach.” What was it Jesus began to do and teach?
  2230. &lt;br /&gt;
  2231. &lt;br /&gt;
  2232.  
  2233. In Luke 4:16-21 Jesus stood in the synagogue at Nazareth and read Himself into His divine office. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Then Jesus closed the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, sat down, and with the eyes of all the synagogue fixed upon Him said to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (vv. 20-21).&lt;br /&gt;
  2234. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2235.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr3.html</link>
  2236.            <guid isPermaLink="false">818FB5FD-AF61-4B7F-8CEE-B9E982904324</guid>
  2237.            <pubDate>Sun, 3 Apr 2011 16:45:22 -0500</pubDate>
  2238.        </item>
  2239.        <item>
  2240.            <title>Good Works for God’s Glory</title>
  2241.            <description>
  2242.                <![CDATA[Why should the believing sinner do good works?
  2243. <br />
  2244. <br />
  2245.  
  2246. Do we do good works so we can atone for our “temporal” sins after we were baptized? Are we to do good religious works in order to make satisfaction for our sins? Do we contribute to our salvation in some measure by good works? Are we to believe that one day we will stand before God listening to the judgment as He decides if we have had enough good works to outweigh our sins and condemnation?
  2247. <br />
  2248. <br />
  2249.  
  2250. The essential question is what is your motive for doing good works? Are these done in order to be saved, or are they done because we have been saved by grace through faith? The Bible is clear that we are not justified by faith plus good works, but works do follow justification by faith.
  2251. <br />
  2252. <br />
  2253.  
  2254. It is only natural that good works should flow out of the salvation already accomplished for us by Jesus Christ. Jesus alone is our Savor. He alone is the sinless Lamb of God who could make atonement for sins. Only His blood cleanses from sin. The only requirement of God is to repent and believe on Jesus Christ.
  2255. <br />
  2256. <br />
  2257.  
  2258. The only thing left for the sinner to do is accept the finished work of Christ. Have you trusted in His work alone to save you?
  2259. <br />
  2260. <br />
  2261.  
  2262. Since we are God’s workmanship, created in His sovereign grace, our salvation cannot be of ourselves. We are God-made. We are His workmanship. We have been created in Christ Jesus for good works. We are God’s spiritual handiwork. In regeneration we were made a new spiritual creature by Him (2 Cor. 5:17). <br />
  2263. <br />]]>
  2264.            </description>
  2265.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr2.html</link>
  2266.            <guid isPermaLink="false">E99FBAA9-BA94-47BF-9BE3-F1F2817435C6</guid>
  2267.            <pubDate>Fri, 1 Apr 2011 21:42:37 -0500</pubDate>
  2268.        </item>
  2269.        <item>
  2270.            <title>Before and After</title>
  2271.            <description>
  2272.                <![CDATA[“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  2273. <br />
  2274. <br />
  2275.  
  2276. Whenever any person becomes a new creature in union with Christ, he or she becomes a new person altogether. There is a whole new creation whenever a person comes to be in Christ. The effect is the old life is passed away and a new life has begun. Everything becomes new in Christ. The person who is in Christ and has experienced the new birth is a part of the new creation.
  2277. <br />
  2278. <br />
  2279.  
  2280. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus. There has been a re-creation in which God has given us a new set of senses, values, and spiritual principles.
  2281. <br />
  2282. <br />
  2283.  
  2284. Before we were spiritually blind, now we see with spiritual eyes, and we see all things new.
  2285. <br />
  2286. <br />
  2287.  
  2288. Before we were spiritually deaf and we could not hear God’s Word, and now we have a new set of spiritual eyes and we hear and respond to the Holy Spirit.
  2289. <br />
  2290. <br />
  2291.  
  2292. Before our minds were in spiritual darkness, and we called bad, good and good, bad. Now we have the mind of Christ and we see the difference between that which is good and that, which is evil. Our minds are now being renewed day by day.
  2293. <br />
  2294. <br />
  2295.  
  2296. Before our hearts were hardened to spiritual truths, and we hated God and the things of God. Now God has changed them from hearts of stone to hearts made alive to the things of the Spirit.
  2297. <br />
  2298. <br />
  2299.  
  2300. Before we were spiritually dead, and now we have become new creatures in Christ Jesus.
  2301. <br />
  2302. <br />
  2303.  
  2304. Before we were a people without hope and now we have a living hope in Christ. Apart from the resurrected, living Christ we cannot have any true hope of anything beyond our grave.<br />
  2305. <br />]]>
  2306.            </description>
  2307.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/apr1.html</link>
  2308.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D9E877F9-9188-46DD-B39C-344B71223EFD</guid>
  2309.            <pubDate>Thu, 31 Mar 2011 21:36:12 -0500</pubDate>
  2310.        </item>
  2311.        <item>
  2312.            <title>Free Salvation</title>
  2313.            <description>
  2314.                <![CDATA[Free, but not cheap!
  2315. <br />
  2316. <br />
  2317.  
  2318. Your salvation is a gift freely given and received from God, but it is not cheap. It is the most expensive gift you will ever receive.
  2319. <br />
  2320. <br />
  2321.  
  2322. God comes and offers us free salvation. But He does not change His standard. He remains a righteous and holy God.
  2323. <br />
  2324. <br />
  2325.  
  2326. How could it be possible that Jesus Christ could die as a substitute for my penalty as a sinner? It is because He is the infinite God, not a sinful man, that He could die for an infinite number of sinners. Because He is God He could pay the eternal punishment for all of our sins.
  2327. <br />
  2328. <br />
  2329.  
  2330. Second Corinthians 5:21 tells us it was not enough that He should only die and pay the penalty of our sins, but that His perfect righteousness would be counted in God's eyes as our righteousness. All of the pure righteousness of Jesus Christ is now available through Him to the believing sinner.
  2331. <br />
  2332. <br />
  2333.  
  2334. Based upon the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, God can now come and offer the great invitation to all sinners to come and join Him in heaven.
  2335. <br />
  2336. <br />
  2337.  
  2338. How do I know that this is absolute truth? Look at the empty tomb! Christ is alive! The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof that God is eternally satisfied with the sacrifice of His Son on the cross.
  2339. <br />
  2340. <br />
  2341.  
  2342. Now you and I can take the righteousness of God and go boldly or trembling to the scales of justice and put it over against all the perfection God has demanded and that He must demand. The balance is immediately made. The Christian believer stands before God justified. God can never have anything against you and me forever. <br />
  2343. <br />]]>
  2344.            </description>
  2345.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar31.html</link>
  2346.            <guid isPermaLink="false">2311FBCA-644A-4E63-B011-990CD93BC14C</guid>
  2347.            <pubDate>Wed, 30 Mar 2011 21:01:08 -0500</pubDate>
  2348.        </item>
  2349.        <item>
  2350.            <title>Sweet Sovereign Saving Grace</title>
  2351.            <description>
  2352.                <![CDATA[Do you find the topic of grace boring?
  2353. <br />
  2354. <br />
  2355.  
  2356. Someone asked me, “Don’t you ever get tired of preaching on grace?” My response was “no,” because every other doctrine in the Christian faith is build upon and related to God’s sovereign grace.
  2357. <br />
  2358. <br />
  2359.  
  2360. Grace is something that is charming and beautiful. Once you have come under the strong grip of God’s saving grace you can never be the same person again. And neither can you ever be a base ingrate, either.
  2361. <br />
  2362. <br />
  2363.  
  2364. The apostle Paul was “dumbfounded,” absolutely astonished, that there were people who professed faith in Christ who were turning to a counterfeit gospel. They were “so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). They were turning to a teaching and philosophy that was “no gospel at all” (v. 7). They were changing their minds and deserting the message of grace in Christ. It is a strong word Paul uses meaning to desert or revolt in the military. They had changed their religion.
  2365. <br />
  2366. <br />
  2367.  
  2368. What they were being lead to believe was really no good news at all. It was a heresy, a cult of man’s making. It was diametrically opposed to the Good News in Christ.
  2369. <br />
  2370. <br />
  2371.  
  2372. If you are saved by grace, it is no longer on the basis of men’s deeds. Because salvation is by the unmerited favor of God, it is not at all conditioned on what we have done, and never can be. <br />
  2373. <br />]]>
  2374.            </description>
  2375.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar30.html</link>
  2376.            <guid isPermaLink="false">24C040CE-DBBF-411A-BDE2-8F2DD05D8A94</guid>
  2377.            <pubDate>Wed, 30 Mar 2011 13:32:02 -0500</pubDate>
  2378.        </item>
  2379.        <item>
  2380.            <title>Dressed for the New Life</title>
  2381.            <description>
  2382.                <![CDATA[Are you dressed in grave clothes or wedding garments?
  2383. <br />
  2384. <br />
  2385.  
  2386. Now that we have been saved by grace how then shall we live? How are we to walk in this new life?
  2387. <br />
  2388. <br />
  2389.  
  2390. The apostle Paul uses an illustration in terms of taking off one set of clothes and putting on another in Colossians 3:9-10. “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.”
  2391. <br />
  2392. <br />
  2393.  
  2394. The verbs in this passage are in the past tense. “You have taken off your old self . . . and have put on the new.” The aorist tense indicates something that has already taken place. It has already happened, and not something to be done.
  2395. <br />
  2396. <br />
  2397.  
  2398. The action is to take off completely; to strip off one’s self. If the old self really has been put off, one must not at a critical moment revert to the way one acted before his conversion. The plural describes the deeds, which characterized the former life.
  2399. <br />
  2400. <br />
  2401.  
  2402. In Colossians 3:10, the idea of “new” is the newness in quality, and it is the continual action “which is ever being renewed.”
  2403. <br />
  2404. <br />
  2405.  
  2406. We are to take off once for all, definite concluding action. Stripping off is to be done at once, and for good. The old manner of life is to be done with.
  2407. <br />
  2408. <br />
  2409.  
  2410. “In reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self (Lit. man), which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:22-24).<br />
  2411. <br />
  2412. <br />]]>
  2413.            </description>
  2414.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar29.html</link>
  2415.            <guid isPermaLink="false">A9672B47-6582-41BB-807A-8F471024C48F</guid>
  2416.            <pubDate>Mon, 28 Mar 2011 17:46:00 -0500</pubDate>
  2417.        </item>
  2418.        <item>
  2419.            <title>A New Standard of Living</title>
  2420.            <description>The world is not our standard for Christian living.
  2421. &lt;br /&gt;
  2422. &lt;br /&gt;
  2423.  
  2424. The apostle Paul stressed, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind . . .” (Rom. 12:2). Again he writes, “put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:24). In the verses that follow he gives five specific examples of the higher standard of Christian conduct.
  2425. &lt;br /&gt;
  2426. &lt;br /&gt;
  2427.  
  2428. We are to put off lying and speak the truth in love (v. 25). It is a habitual action that is to characterize the Christian life. Literally the believer is to put off  “the lie” (v.25), and speak the truth. This is the same word the apostle John uses for the antichrist in 1 John 2:20-23. When a person puts his faith in Jesus Christ he is rejecting the lie, and embracing the Truth (Jn. 14:6).
  2429. &lt;br /&gt;
  2430. &lt;br /&gt;
  2431.  
  2432. What a profound significance this is for the person in Christ. “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another” (v. 25). Let it be a habitual action to tell the truth. Let it characterize your lifestyle.
  2433. &lt;br /&gt;
  2434. &lt;br /&gt;
  2435.  
  2436. Make a commitment to yourself and God to speak the whole truth without mixture of error in your family, business and life relationships. How much easier life is when you live an honest, open, transparent life style. Cultivate truthfulness in your life everyday. Don’t be careless with your words. &lt;br /&gt;
  2437. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2438.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar28.html</link>
  2439.            <guid isPermaLink="false">1428169E-A6EF-4343-82A7-741C98A508A5</guid>
  2440.            <pubDate>Sun, 27 Mar 2011 23:01:46 -0500</pubDate>
  2441.        </item>
  2442.        <item>
  2443.            <title>Living Sacrifices</title>
  2444.            <description>
  2445.                <![CDATA[The apostle Paul gives an urgent plea to believers in Christ “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12:1). Paul makes such a plea based upon “the mercies of God.”
  2446. <br />
  2447. <br />
  2448.  
  2449. We are objects of His saving grace; therefore we are to put our lives at His disposal. Paul uses the sacrificial word for the Jewish Levitical offering of sacrifices. The body of the believer is to be a “living sacrifice.”
  2450. <br />
  2451. <br />
  2452.  
  2453. How do you become a “living sacrifice”?
  2454. <br />
  2455. <br />
  2456.  
  2457. It begins in a once and for all being set apart to God. The Christian is set apart for God’s use in the sense of being for pure and righteous purposes.
  2458. <br />
  2459. <br />
  2460.  
  2461. Why such an urgent plea? The philosophy of the world system does not satisfy. The longer you life by the humanistic philosophy to emptier your inner person becomes.
  2462. <br />
  2463. <br />
  2464.  
  2465. However, the will of God is good, acceptable and perfect.
  2466. <br />
  2467. <br />
  2468.  
  2469. Being a living sacrifice is often not easy, or pleasant. It is self-denial, self-sacrifice, self-crucifixion of the whole person. But remember the problem with living sacrifices is they want to crawl off the altar.
  2470. <br />
  2471. <br />
  2472.  
  2473. For the Lord Jesus Christ being a living sacrifice meant oppressive burdens. It brought Him in conflict with evil. He offered Himself as the perfect Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. However, as He conducted His Father's business He found it to be good and acceptable and perfect.
  2474.  
  2475. A living sacrifice for Him means He humbled Himself and became “obedient to death—even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). <br />
  2476. <br />]]>
  2477.            </description>
  2478.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar27.html</link>
  2479.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6D270EF6-A5BC-42AE-B4F5-D9A9D995DC5E</guid>
  2480.            <pubDate>Sun, 27 Mar 2011 15:40:31 -0500</pubDate>
  2481.        </item>
  2482.        <item>
  2483.            <title>God’s Kind of Life</title>
  2484.            <description>
  2485.                <![CDATA[From God’s eternal perspective the believer in Christ is already a finished work. From our human perspective in time and space, He is continuing to work the truth deeper and deeper into our hearts so He can conform us to the image and likeness of Christ.
  2486. <br />
  2487.  
  2488. The tension is always there: perfect and yet not perfect, holy and yet sinners, righteous and yet, unrighteous.
  2489. <br />
  2490. <br />
  2491.  
  2492. Since the day we put our faith in Christ God sees us complete in Him (Col. 2:10). We are already holy in His presence (Col. 3:2). We are already perfect in His eyes (Heb. 10:14). We are His righteousness in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). There is nothing else to be done to achieve a right relationship with God. When we accept those truths by faith we will live it out each day. God makes what is already true in the eternal, unseen spiritual reality, a reality in the seen and temporal realm. We live out what is already true. We live in union with Christ. We rest in Him and He lives His life out in us. “Christ in you” means God has permanently joined Himself to you. He lives in you and you in Him.
  2493. <br />
  2494. <br />
  2495.  
  2496. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Jesus says to you and me, “I am the Life.” I am your life. You take Me into you, and you have life. I live My life in and through you. I live my life as you. The Christian life is He in you, and you in Him. He will live His life in you if you will let Him live as He chooses. Christ lives the life that is impossible for us to live. Christianity is Christ, and it is Christ in you.
  2497. <br />
  2498. <br />
  2499.  
  2500. Do you experience the life He gives with a sense in which you are content with a knowledge of God’s grace that is more than sufficient for your personal needs, that nothing in this life can suppress it, and that God’s favor toward you is unending? Do you live in the reality of your unending unchanging eternal position in Christ Jesus?
  2501. <br />
  2502. <br />
  2503.  
  2504. Our life in Christ is a life with a surplus. We have it in Christ in superabundance. Jesus said, “I am come that you might keep on having life, and might keep on having it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10b).
  2505. <br />
  2506. <br />]]>
  2507.            </description>
  2508.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar26.html</link>
  2509.            <guid isPermaLink="false">200FBD90-357C-4DBE-B6AE-DC1E0E224462</guid>
  2510.            <pubDate>Fri, 25 Mar 2011 17:49:25 -0500</pubDate>
  2511.        </item>
  2512.        <item>
  2513.            <title>Abundant Life</title>
  2514.            <description>
  2515.                <![CDATA[Abundant life as Jesus described it is the life of God Himself.
  2516. <br />
  2517. <br />
  2518.  
  2519. God places the new spiritual life within the individual the moment he responds to God’s grace and believes on Christ as his personal Savior.
  2520. <br />
  2521. <br />
  2522.  
  2523. That is the beginning of a new life for one who was spiritually dead in trespasses and sins.
  2524. <br />
  2525. <br />
  2526.  
  2527. Jesus said, “I am come that you may have life, and keep on having it in abundance” (John 10:10b). The abundant life is a growing thing. It is the increasingly abundant present life of the believer that is emphasized.
  2528. <br />
  2529. <br />
  2530.  
  2531. God plants His life in the person who hears the Word of God and believes. The born again believer increasingly enters into the experience of the new spiritual life by believing and yielding to Christ. It is like a spring of water that perpetually springs up in an abundant flow from resources deep within. The Christian is to live in an abundant way of life now.
  2532. <br />
  2533. <br />
  2534.  
  2535. Are you living in God’s abundance? You can be a Christian and miss the abundant life. God invites you to enter into it increasingly as you trust in Jesus to change your life daily.
  2536. <br />
  2537. <br />
  2538.  
  2539. This overflowing life is Christ living His life out in you as you make yourself available to Him and trust Him to new areas of spiritual growth.<br />
  2540. <br />]]>
  2541.            </description>
  2542.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar25.html</link>
  2543.            <guid isPermaLink="false">8CD30061-6880-421C-976A-50028981C446</guid>
  2544.            <pubDate>Thu, 24 Mar 2011 22:54:11 -0500</pubDate>
  2545.        </item>
  2546.        <item>
  2547.            <title>Finished!</title>
  2548.            <description>The apostle John saw what was happening at the cross when Jesus was crucified. He was an eyewitness to Jesus’ death. A few moments before His death Jesus declared, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).  It is one word in the Greek and can be translated, “Done!” “Finished!” or “Completed!” The entire redemptive work of Jesus Christ was finished. The Son gave His report to the Father in a loud voice so all mankind could hear it, and then He went home to the Father having completed the Father’s will.
  2549. &lt;br /&gt;
  2550. &lt;br /&gt;
  2551.  
  2552. Jesus did not say, “I am finished.” In essence He said, “It was finished and as a result it is forever done.” “It stands finished.” “Done.” The idea is that of perfection, accomplishment, relief, satisfaction, and victory.
  2553. &lt;br /&gt;
  2554. &lt;br /&gt;
  2555.  
  2556. All the accumulated sin, and guilt, of all men, of all time,  guilt of all time, including the combined hells of all who have offended God, was paid in full by His death.
  2557. &lt;br /&gt;
  2558. &lt;br /&gt;
  2559.  
  2560. The death of Jesus Christ completed the redemptive work. The Lamb of God has made His great sacrifice for the world. It is this that is now done. Our great Substitute paid the great ransom, paid it to the uttermost cent. &quot;It is finished&quot; indeed! There is nothing that can be added to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
  2561. &lt;br /&gt;
  2562. &lt;br /&gt;
  2563.  
  2564. Our atonement was completed in the moment of Christ’s death for our sins. All of the righteous demands of the law of God against our sins were paid in full and satisfied in His sacrifice for sin. The punishment of our sins and the satisfaction of the righteousness of God meant that God was now free to offer the believing sinner His own perfect righteous standing before God based upon grace alone (2 Cor. 5:21).&lt;br /&gt;
  2565. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2566.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar24.html</link>
  2567.            <guid isPermaLink="false">75983FA3-E8D2-4EEA-8FDB-F2BD849D6AC3</guid>
  2568.            <pubDate>Wed, 23 Mar 2011 17:03:27 -0500</pubDate>
  2569.        </item>
  2570.        <item>
  2571.            <title>Under God’s Watchful Eye</title>
  2572.            <description>Jesus reminds us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
  2573. &lt;br /&gt;
  2574. &lt;br /&gt;
  2575.  
  2576. What do you say to yourself when you are pressed in on every side by dangerous situations? What do you do when you face troubles?
  2577. &lt;br /&gt;
  2578. &lt;br /&gt;
  2579.  
  2580. Many times I have turned to Psalm 121 where I find a marvelous spirit of deep peace as the Psalmist turns his eyes to heaven and expresses his confidence in the LORD God.  The weary pilgrim experiences God’s protection under His constant watchful eye.
  2581. &lt;br /&gt;
  2582. &lt;br /&gt;
  2583.  
  2584. Ancient roads in the Middle East consisted of only well-trodden paths across the valleys, along rivers and the mountain passes. Many a traveler sang this song to give himself hope and courage along his journey. Have you ever whistled or sang a hymn in the dark to remind yourself of God’s sustaining grace?  I have rested in deep peace as I listened to the machine guns and mortar fire in the distance in the middle of the night. On other occasions I have gone to sleep knowing there were 35,000 leftist militias surrounding the place where I slept.
  2585. &lt;br /&gt;
  2586. &lt;br /&gt;
  2587.  
  2588. The Psalmist gave himself courage as he longed to see the hills of Judah in the distance, which reminded him of God’s care and protection. “To look unto the hills,” meant looking to God as one’s true help. When the Psalmist looked at the hills, he saw beyond them to the One who made the mountains (v. 2). The poet develops the idea of putting one’s trust in the God who  “watches over,” “preserves,” “keeps,” “exercises great care over,” and “guards” His people.&lt;br /&gt;
  2589. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2590.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar23.html</link>
  2591.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F806D5C7-114B-484A-B8BE-1731C955C7E5</guid>
  2592.            <pubDate>Tue, 22 Mar 2011 17:44:04 -0500</pubDate>
  2593.        </item>
  2594.        <item>
  2595.            <title>God is Able</title>
  2596.            <description>
  2597.                <![CDATA[What is your favorite doxology in the Bible? Mine is found in Ephesians 3:20-21.
  2598. <br />
  2599. <br />
  2600.  
  2601. The context is a prayer for God’s high purposes for His redeemed people. Paul’s prayer is that every believer “be filled up to all the fullness of God” (v. 19).
  2602. <br />
  2603. <br />
  2604.  
  2605. No Christian ever has to worry about having inadequate resources to live the Christian life. God wants us to experience His fullness. The means of this fullness is the Holy Spirit.
  2606. <br />
  2607. <br />
  2608.  
  2609. His prayer is that every believer may be strengthened internally through the Holy Spirit every day and in every circumstance (v. 16). He is our Comforter, Helper or Encourager, who is called along side to help in time of need. He helps us to do the right thing at the right time under all circumstances. He is our competence to live the Christian life.
  2610. <br />
  2611. <br />
  2612.  
  2613. He also prays that believers will be growing in their availability to Christ (v. 17a). We are Christians because we have Christ indwelling us, but Paul’s prayer is that Christ will take fuller possession of every aspect of the believer’s life. It is the idea of Jesus Christ settling down in our hearts and making Himself at home and controlling us as the rightful owner of the home. The same word (katoikeo) is used of the fullness of the Godhead abiding in Christ and of Christ abiding in the believer’s life. The verb denotes a permanent habitation as opposed to an occasional visit.
  2614. <br />
  2615. <br />
  2616.  
  2617. Moreover, Paul prays that we will be firmly rooted or fixed, and grounded in love (vv. 17b-18). God’s love nourishes the believer because it is on a solid foundation. Paul prays that the believer will grow up in the soil of rich love. <br />
  2618. <br />]]>
  2619.            </description>
  2620.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar22.html</link>
  2621.            <guid isPermaLink="false">BCD3B0D6-4BA9-4114-BE9C-8A41D71559DB</guid>
  2622.            <pubDate>Tue, 22 Mar 2011 17:42:02 -0500</pubDate>
  2623.        </item>
  2624.        <item>
  2625.            <title>Christ our Propitiation</title>
  2626.            <description>
  2627.                <![CDATA[Please don’t let that title scare you off. That is a beautiful and profound word.
  2628. <br />
  2629. <br />
  2630.  
  2631. Christ’s death turns away the wrath of God. The apostle Paul said Christ is our propitiation. He is a propitiatory sacrifice. It refers to what Christ did on our behalf before God.
  2632. <br />
  2633. <br />
  2634.  
  2635. We are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption, which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (Romans 3:24-25).
  2636. <br />
  2637. <br />
  2638.  
  2639. God gave His Son as the means of the propitiation, “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). A. T. Robertson said, “God could not let sin go as if a mere slip. God demanded the atonement and provided it.” It was “by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9).
  2640. <br />
  2641. <br />
  2642.  
  2643. The word “propitiate” in its classical form was used of the act of appeasing the Greek gods by a sacrifice, of rendering them favorable toward the worshipper. The sacrifice was offered by the pagan worshiper to buy off the anger of the god and buy his love. Note very carefully that this idea is not brought over into the New Testament. The LORD God does not need to be appeased nor is His love for sale.
  2644. <br />
  2645. <br />
  2646.  
  2647. In the New Testament it refers to the act of getting rid of sin which has come between God and man. The word hilasterion is used in the Greek translation of Leviticus 16:14 to refer to the golden cover on top of the Ark of the Covenant. In the Ark, below this lid, were placed the tablets of stone upon which were written the Ten Commandments, which Israel had violated. On the Day of Atonement before the Ark stood the High Priest representing the people who had sinned. When the sacrificial blood is sprinkled on this cover, it ceases to be a place of judgment and becomes a place of mercy. The blood comes between the violated law and the violators, the people. The blood of Jesus satisfies the just requirements of God’s holy law which mankind broke, pays the penalty for man, and thus removes that which had separated between a holy God and sinful man, sin, its guilt and penalty. This is far removed from the pagan idea of propitiation. Jesus Christ is God’s High Priest who was both the Mercy Seat and the Sacrifice, which transforms the former from a judgment seat to one where mercy is offered a sinner on the basis of justice satisfied.<br />
  2648. <br />]]>
  2649.            </description>
  2650.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar13.html</link>
  2651.            <guid isPermaLink="false">61BFB7BD-8430-4319-A64F-37B768EDEBD7</guid>
  2652.            <pubDate>Sat, 12 Mar 2011 21:43:02 -0600</pubDate>
  2653.        </item>
  2654.        <item>
  2655.            <title>Christ our Sacrifice</title>
  2656.            <description>
  2657.                <![CDATA[The Old Testament is full of sacrifices in which an innocent animal was killed. These were substitutionary sacrifices meaning that the death of the animal was in the place of someone else.
  2658. <br />
  2659. <br />
  2660.  
  2661. Why was there such an emphasis in the Jewish writings? The holiness of God reveals that everyone who has ever lived has sinned. We have all failed to live up to God’s expectation of us. We have “all sinned and come short of the glory of God.” We have failed the test of God for a righteous person.
  2662. <br />
  2663. <br />
  2664.  
  2665. The penalty for breaking the laws of God is separation from Him throughout eternity. We deserve the death penalty. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). “The soul that sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). As a consequence of our sins we deserve to spend an eternity in hell.
  2666. <br />
  2667. <br />
  2668.  
  2669. Jesus Christ redeemed us from the law. He chose to die in our place. It was His free volitional choice. We deserved to die and He stepped in and voluntarily chose of His own free will to die in our place. Jesus took our death in His sacrifice for sin. He experienced both physical and spiritual death in our place on the cross as our substitute.
  2670. <br />
  2671. <br />
  2672.  
  2673. Every Easter is a vivid reminder of our sinfulness, and the penalty of our sins was laid on Christ.
  2674. <br />
  2675. <br />
  2676.  
  2677. God conducted the first ever sacrifice for sin. He chose the animals to sacrifice for Adam and Eve, and then He clothed them with the skins of the animals (Gen 3:21). Adam and Eve saw the first death anyone had ever witnessed. God slay the animals and in that event taught man that he deserved to die for His disobedience, and that it was possible for another to die in his place. The animals that were shed for their clothing paid the price of their sin debt. Those coats of animal skins were a constant testimony of the price of sin.
  2678. <br />
  2679. <br />
  2680.  
  2681. The greatest substitutionary sacrifice ever paid for sin was carried out at Calvary when Jesus died on behalf of another. Why Jesus? “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin” (Heb. 10:4). Those sacrifices in the Jewish tabernacle were a constant reminder of sin and the wages of sin. They symbolized that God would one day provide His own Lamb to do what animals could never do. They were a symbol of how man’s sins had to be dealt with, but symbols cannot lift up and take away our sin.<br />
  2682. <br />]]>
  2683.            </description>
  2684.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar12.html</link>
  2685.            <guid isPermaLink="false">AAE63F30-687B-4592-949E-B86145EEDF8A</guid>
  2686.            <pubDate>Fri, 11 Mar 2011 18:37:06 -0600</pubDate>
  2687.        </item>
  2688.        <item>
  2689.            <title>Who Am I?</title>
  2690.            <description>Every born again believer in Jesus Christ has a new standing before the Lord God. This eternal position never changes. It does not depend upon changes, chances or our circumstances.
  2691. &lt;br /&gt;
  2692. &lt;br /&gt;
  2693.  
  2694. Romans chapters three through seven tells us who we are in Christ.
  2695. &lt;br /&gt;
  2696. &lt;br /&gt;
  2697.  
  2698. We have a new standing with God. By God&apos;s grace we have complete acceptance with God in Christ. We are at peace with God; God is at peace with us! &quot;Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God&quot; (5:1–2). We have a new relationship in which we are reconciled with God, and as a result is we experience His peace.&lt;br /&gt;
  2699. &lt;br /&gt;
  2700.  
  2701. We are members of a new family. The disobedience of Adam brought death. All men die in Adam. However, we have a new head of the family who is Jesus Christ, and He gives eternal life. &quot;For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ&quot; (5:17).
  2702. We have a new identification in Christ. We have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. We have died to the old life, have been buried with Christ and have been raised to new life in Him. We are now identified with Christ. We are as men who have been raised from the dead. &quot;Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life&quot; (6:4).&lt;br /&gt;
  2703. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2704.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar11.html</link>
  2705.            <guid isPermaLink="false">41A3D168-E6DF-47AB-86EC-6EB81EAF395D</guid>
  2706.            <pubDate>Thu, 10 Mar 2011 23:49:34 -0600</pubDate>
  2707.        </item>
  2708.        <item>
  2709.            <title>The Power of the Resurrection Life</title>
  2710.            <description>Christianity is Christ.
  2711. &lt;br /&gt;
  2712. &lt;br /&gt;
  2713.  
  2714. It is centered in a historical person who lived, died and rose from the dead. This truth is the most important fact in history. It is essential because it demands a life saving response in faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10).
  2715. &lt;br /&gt;
  2716. &lt;br /&gt;
  2717.  
  2718. What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ accomplish for us?
  2719. &lt;br /&gt;
  2720. &lt;br /&gt;
  2721.  
  2722. Because Christ rose from the dead all who are united to Him by faith are secure in their own resurrection and eternal life beyond the grave. Before He died on the cross, Jesus promised His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for us. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). Because Jesus rose from the dead just as He said He would do, we know His promise is true for every believer. He is now preparing a place for us in heaven to be with His Father.
  2723. &lt;br /&gt;
  2724. &lt;br /&gt;
  2725.  
  2726. We know this is true because the resurrection proves that Jesus Christ is God. His resurrection proves that He is equal to God and that God would raise Him from the dead three days after He died. The resurrection was God’s way of authenticating Jesus’ claim to deity. The resurrection of Jesus is the Father’s seal on the Son’s claims. Jesus was “declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). Jesus demonstrated God’s perfect love for us by dying on the cross and rising again (John 3:14-16).&lt;br /&gt;
  2727. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2728.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar10.html</link>
  2729.            <guid isPermaLink="false">1260A7BA-785B-4368-BFC5-203BCCC92151</guid>
  2730.            <pubDate>Thu, 10 Mar 2011 23:48:23 -0600</pubDate>
  2731.        </item>
  2732.        <item>
  2733.            <title>Infallibly Convincing Proofs</title>
  2734.            <description>
  2735.                <![CDATA[Matthew Arnold said, “The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the best attested fact in history.”
  2736. <br />
  2737. <br />
  2738.  
  2739. William Lyon Phelps of Yale wrote, “It may be said that the historical evidence for the resurrection is stronger than for any other miracle anywhere narrated.”
  2740. <br />
  2741. <br />
  2742.  
  2743. Some of the best books on the resurrection have been written by lawyers who set out with the goal of disproving it as a historical fact.
  2744. <br />
  2745. <br />
  2746.  
  2747. Sir Edward Clark wrote, “As a lawyer I have made a prolonged study of the evidences for the first Easter. To me the evidence is conclusive, and over and over again in the high Court I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so compelling. As a lawyer I accept it unreservedly as the testimony of men to facts that they were able to substantiate.”
  2748. <br />
  2749. <br />
  2750.  
  2751. The historian Luke wrote that Jesus “presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).
  2752. <br />
  2753. <br />
  2754.  
  2755. Jesus foretold His own death and resurrection (Luke 9:22; Mark 12:40).
  2756. <br />
  2757. <br />
  2758.  
  2759. After He rose from the dead Jesus appeared to a wide variety of people in numerous circumstances, through out the land. He showed Himself alive as “demonstrative proofs,” or “evidences manifest to the senses.” Luke uses a word that is not used in the sense of a vision, but the idea “to let oneself be seen.” Let me summarize briefly the testimony of eyewitnesses to the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  2760. <br />
  2761. <br />
  2762.  
  2763. Mary Magdalene was the first witness who saw Jesus alive after His resurrection (John 20:11-18). She was standing outside the tomb when Jesus startled her into recognizing Him when He called her name, “Mary!” Surprised by joy, she grabbed hold of Him, and then rushed away to tell the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” (v. 18). <br />
  2764. <br />]]>
  2765.            </description>
  2766.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar9.html</link>
  2767.            <guid isPermaLink="false">1F5F52BC-BE7E-473F-BA51-3379B8BA6620</guid>
  2768.            <pubDate>Thu, 10 Mar 2011 23:47:09 -0600</pubDate>
  2769.        </item>
  2770.        <item>
  2771.            <title>Evidences of the Death of Christ</title>
  2772.            <description>
  2773.                <![CDATA[The eyewitness John keenly observed two unusual things that  happen at the crucifixion of Jesus. These facts made a deep impression on him as he watched the crucifixion taking place.
  2774. <br />
  2775. <br />
  2776.  
  2777. The crucifixion took place on the day of preparation for the Passover festival that would begin at 6 p.m. The Jewish authorities felt an urgency to get the bodies off the crosses and buried before the sun went down.
  2778. <br />
  2779. <br />
  2780.  
  2781. “So that the bodies might not remain on the crosses on the Sabbath (for the Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away” (John 19:31; cf. Deut. 21:22-23).
  2782. <br />
  2783. <br />
  2784.  
  2785. The legs of Jesus were not broken as was the case of the other two men crucified that day, and in His case a Roman soldier seeing He was already dead thrust a spear deep into His side and out flowed water and blood. Either to make doubly sure that Jesus was dead, or out of hate he picked up a spear and thrust it deeply into the side of Jesus (John 19:32-34). A real man, with a real human body, with real human blood, died on the cross that afternoon in Jerusalem.
  2786. <br />
  2787. <br />
  2788.  
  2789. Prophecy was fulfilled in a most unusual manner. One Scripture said the Savior’s bones must not be broken (Exodus 12:46; Num. 9:12; Ps. 34:20), and another said His body must be pierced (Zech. 13:1).
  2790. <br />
  2791. <br />
  2792.  
  2793. These Roman soldiers would have done just the opposite. They came to break the legs of Jesus as they had the other two men, but there was no point in breaking his legs since He was already dead.
  2794. <br />
  2795. <br />
  2796.  
  2797. Moreover, they had no intention of piercing the side of Jesus with the spear. To John’s utter amazement that is exactly what the soldiers did.
  2798. <br />
  2799. <br />
  2800.  
  2801. Why was this observation so important to John?<br />
  2802. <br />]]>
  2803.            </description>
  2804.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar8.html</link>
  2805.            <guid isPermaLink="false">9733066A-273B-4223-810C-6A20ABF72713</guid>
  2806.            <pubDate>Mon, 7 Mar 2011 20:48:37 -0600</pubDate>
  2807.        </item>
  2808.        <item>
  2809.            <title>God Removed the Body</title>
  2810.            <description>When Peter and John heard Mary Magdalene say, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him,” they took off running to the tomb of Jesus leaving Mary far behind (John 20:2-3).
  2811. &lt;br /&gt;
  2812. &lt;br /&gt;
  2813.  
  2814. They ran together for a distance and then John outran Peter and came to the tomb first (v. 4). The huge stone covering the entrance to the tomb had been rolled away. John did not enter the tomb, but just stood there outside the entranceway. He was stooping and looking in, and “he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth, which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself” (vv. 5-8).
  2815. &lt;br /&gt;
  2816. &lt;br /&gt;
  2817.  
  2818. John bent over to get a better look inside the tomb. When Peter arrived a little later, he did not hesitate, but went straight into the tomb.
  2819. &lt;br /&gt;
  2820. &lt;br /&gt;
  2821.  
  2822. The apostle John repeats the thing that made for him the convincing proof that Christ had risen from the dead. The head wrapping that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head was lying there in its proper place, by itself, still rolled up, twirled round and about like a turban as if the head were still inside. John saw this convincing proof and believed (v. 8).
  2823. &lt;br /&gt;
  2824. &lt;br /&gt;
  2825.  
  2826. There were no signs of a hasty grave robber removing the body, or someone running with the body in fear of discovery. It was an orderly scene, not one of wild confusion. They could not have left the clothes wrapped up neatly just as they had been around a dead body. Grave robbers would have taken the body, cloths and all, or would have stripped the body and left the clothes piled up on the floor.&lt;br /&gt;
  2827. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2828.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar7.html</link>
  2829.            <guid isPermaLink="false">9DB49AF4-59C4-45D0-B787-6B1831A244BC</guid>
  2830.            <pubDate>Sun, 6 Mar 2011 19:27:04 -0600</pubDate>
  2831.        </item>
  2832.        <item>
  2833.            <title>Limiting Christ</title>
  2834.            <description>
  2835.                <![CDATA[Do you have trouble making the transition between the historical Christ of the New Testament and the living Christ of today?
  2836. <br />
  2837. <br />
  2838.  
  2839. In reality He is the same person. He changes not. The one whom we worship and serve today is the same one who walked the dusty roads of Galilee, was crucified and rose again.
  2840. <br />
  2841. <br />
  2842.  
  2843. We limit Christ when we say that He is able to do all that He said He would do in our lives, but we do not appropriate Him by faith today. The promises of Jesus are absolutely trustworthy. Do you believe all that is written in His Book?
  2844. <br />
  2845. <br />
  2846.  
  2847. We see Him walking on water, healing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, making the deaf to hear, loosing the tongue-tied, restoring the crippled limbs, casting out demons, stilling the violent storms on Lake Galilee, and bringing the dead to life again. We seem to have no problem believing these great historical events in the life of Jesus Christ. We believe without question that He did all this, but do we believe He will do it in the here and now? More importantly, do we believe that He is sovereign in our lives today? Do we expect Him to break in upon us any moment during the day? Are we genuinely surprised when He intervenes in our lives? Is there a tendency to doubt and disbelieve when He does startle us with His divine presence?
  2848. <br />
  2849. <br />
  2850.  
  2851. Do we treat the words of Jesus impersonally? Jesus told His friend Martha, “Your brother will rise again” (John 11:23). Instead of taking the words of Jesus as a promise to trust in that moment of crisis she pushed the words of Jesus aside and referred them to the future life when every believer will rise again.
  2852. <br />
  2853. <br />
  2854.  
  2855. Martha does something we moderns do. She did not receive them personally and act upon them immediately. We say to ourselves these apply to the far distant past or the distant future. Or we think this is for other people who are better than us, or more spiritual, but not for me in my situation. <br />
  2856. <br />]]>
  2857.            </description>
  2858.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar6.html</link>
  2859.            <guid isPermaLink="false">ADC50AB3-7DC9-4674-9115-F594FA4B43EE</guid>
  2860.            <pubDate>Sat, 5 Mar 2011 19:21:12 -0600</pubDate>
  2861.        </item>
  2862.        <item>
  2863.            <title>Lord of the Living and the Dead</title>
  2864.            <description>Jesus Christ is “Lord of both the dead and the living,” declares the apostle Paul. Those who belong to Him now will still belong to Him in the future, even beyond death. They will belong to Him forever. This is true because Jesus died for us and purchased us with His own blood (1 Cor. 6:20; Acts 20:28). Jesus Christ owns us. If we have believed on Christ as our Savior He is our sovereign Lord.
  2865. &lt;br /&gt;
  2866. &lt;br /&gt;
  2867.  
  2868. There is a special lordship over us as His saved people. He has become our Lord by dying for us and rising again. He delivered us from our death penalty. He has set us free from the power of sin and its consequences. By His resurrection He has established an on going relationship with us until He calls us home to be with Him in heaven.
  2869. &lt;br /&gt;
  2870. &lt;br /&gt;
  2871.  
  2872. This extensive sovereign Lordship is expressed by Paul in these words: “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14:8-9).
  2873. &lt;br /&gt;
  2874. &lt;br /&gt;
  2875.  
  2876. There is an extraordinary comfort in these words for all who know Jesus as their Lord. If we live, we live unto the Lord. If we die, we die unto the Lord. He is the Master of both. We belong to Him whether we live or whether we die. The only comfort and security in this life is that we belong to Him. We can trust Jesus Christ to be wise and utterly sovereign with whatever comes into our lives and in whatever manner and timing it may come. This is true whether we are alive or even when we die. Jesus Christ is Lord; He is sovereign.
  2877. &lt;br /&gt;
  2878. &lt;br /&gt;
  2879.  
  2880. My desire in life is that Jesus will be in practice Lord of every thought and action in my thinking, in my writing, in my speaking, in my motives and actions. I want Him to be Lord in everything there is in me. &lt;br /&gt;
  2881. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  2882.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar5.html</link>
  2883.            <guid isPermaLink="false">84B600BD-BBBD-4202-9D02-7343A9F0387E</guid>
  2884.            <pubDate>Sat, 5 Mar 2011 19:20:08 -0600</pubDate>
  2885.        </item>
  2886.        <item>
  2887.            <title>Satisfied Faith</title>
  2888.            <description>
  2889.                <![CDATA[Faith is simply taking God at His word and then acting on it.
  2890. <br />
  2891. <br />
  2892.  
  2893. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29b). These words are for you and me because we have not seen Him in the days of His incarnation.
  2894. <br />
  2895. <br />
  2896.  
  2897. Jesus is not suggesting faith without the facts, but “a satisfied faith.” It is a faith that is satisfied with God’s provisions and does not plead for visions, miracles or strange experiences as evidence of God’s blessings.
  2898. <br />
  2899. <br />
  2900.  
  2901. Jesus is saying that a faith without these evidences is superior because it is a mature faith.
  2902. <br />
  2903. <br />
  2904.  
  2905. God’s word is full of promises to those who by faith act on His truths. God blesses faith in the Triune God. The Bible teaches us to trust in Him, and not the living out of some spectacular experience. The blessings of God are for all believers, and are  common to all who call upon the name of Christ as God and Savior.
  2906. <br />
  2907. <br />
  2908.  
  2909. If we are constantly looking for spectacular miracles, rather than walking by faith in Christ, we will gradually become insensitive to the thousands of normal everyday experiences that God continually gives us.
  2910. <br />
  2911. <br />
  2912.  
  2913. God blesses those who live by faith, and not by sight. The person who enjoys the great benefits of the Christian life lives by their faith in the character and benevolence of God and not in the evidence of visions, miracles, or other religious experiences.
  2914. <br />
  2915. <br />
  2916.  
  2917. It is by faith that we become the children of God and enter into His family (Jn. 1:12-13). We received eternal life by simple faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who gave His life for us and rose from the dead (Jn. 3:16; 20:30-31; 11:25-26).<br />
  2918. <br />]]>
  2919.            </description>
  2920.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar4.html</link>
  2921.            <guid isPermaLink="false">223A7B5D-88AB-4617-A3BC-F238755B7645</guid>
  2922.            <pubDate>Thu, 3 Mar 2011 20:33:15 -0600</pubDate>
  2923.        </item>
  2924.        <item>
  2925.            <title>Our Resurrection Hope</title>
  2926.            <description>
  2927.                <![CDATA[“The dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
  2928. <br />
  2929. <br />
  2930.  
  2931. The resurrection of Christ gives us assurance that our loved ones who have died in Christ are currently safe in Christ and they shall live again. They will have their own identity in their own resurrected body. His resurrection assures us that these bodies buried in the grave shall rise again, not in corruption, but in incorruptible, perfect, glorified bodies like that of the resurrected Christ (1 Cor. 15).
  2932. <br />
  2933. <br />
  2934.  
  2935. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord” assures us of our vital union with Christ even in death. When Christ returns all those who believe in Him will come with Him. They will be raised up at His appearing. Jesus is the “Resurrection and the Life” and He gives His life to those who believe on Him.
  2936. <br />
  2937. <br />
  2938.  
  2939. “He that raised up Christ from the dead shall quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). In Paul’s logic the believer’s resurrection is linked to the resurrection of His Lord. Everything is suspended on the great fact of our vital union “in Christ.”
  2940. <br />
  2941. <br />
  2942.  
  2943. “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them that slept in Jesus will God bring with Him.” The “dead in Christ” will hear the voice of the Resurrection and the Life and come alive.
  2944. <br />
  2945. <br />
  2946.  
  2947. The resurrection of Jesus Christ answers the question “with what body do they come?” We look at the resurrected body of Jesus in the Scriptures and we see in Him a living mirror of our own future resurrected bodies.
  2948. <br />
  2949. <br />
  2950.  
  2951. We will have holiness and righteousness perfectly restored to us in Christ. The apostle John declares, “When He shall appear we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2). Christ shall return as He went up. We shall receive back our bodies perfected in Christ. Our bodies shall be “fashioned like His glorious body.” That removes all the foolish vain imaginations and arrogant nonsense the world proposes about Christianity.<br />
  2952. <br />]]>
  2953.            </description>
  2954.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar3.html</link>
  2955.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7FC4AF08-9CB9-4CEC-9124-CD68F8F81911</guid>
  2956.            <pubDate>Wed, 2 Mar 2011 19:45:48 -0600</pubDate>
  2957.        </item>
  2958.        <item>
  2959.            <title>From Doubt to Faith</title>
  2960.            <description>
  2961.                <![CDATA[Would you consider it a compliment if someone called you a “doubting Thomas”?
  2962. <br />
  2963. <br />
  2964.  
  2965. Doubting is a vital ingredient in all mature critical thinking. No one really respects a gullible person. The mature person weighs the facts and draws his conclusions based upon solid information.
  2966. <br />
  2967. <br />
  2968.  
  2969. Christ drew even closer to His disciples when they found it hard to believe. He did not push them away, or give up on them; He gave them space to think, ponder and meditate on the reality of spiritual truths.
  2970. <br />
  2971. <br />
  2972.  
  2973. His disciple Thomas doubted the witness of his fellow disciples when they sought him out and told him that Jesus was risen from the dead. Jesus did not jump in with a quick revelation. He let Thomas sweat it out for eight days (John 20:24-29).
  2974. <br />
  2975. <br />
  2976.  
  2977. “And after eight days. . . Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in their midst, and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” (v. 26).
  2978. <br />
  2979. <br />
  2980.  
  2981. God deals with us in our doubts the same way He did with Thomas. When we acknowledge our doubts, Christ reaches out to us, and as we yield to His presence He reveals more and more of Himself to us.
  2982. <br />
  2983. <br />
  2984.  
  2985. Don’t run from your doubts or deny them. Acknowledge them to God and ask Him for wisdom to understand things that are beyond our reason.
  2986. <br />
  2987. <br />
  2988.  
  2989. Our doubts become the means of experiencing the reality of Christ more profoundly. He reaches out to us in our unique needs. To Thomas He says, “Reach here your finger, and see My hands; reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing” (v. 27).
  2990. <br />
  2991. <br />
  2992.  
  2993. It is not a matter of psyching ourselves up. It is our response to His wisdom, insight and intimate presence with us. <br />
  2994. <br />]]>
  2995.            </description>
  2996.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar2.html</link>
  2997.            <guid isPermaLink="false">900B31B9-EA1C-41A3-9FA2-297D828B07DB</guid>
  2998.            <pubDate>Tue, 1 Mar 2011 17:53:37 -0600</pubDate>
  2999.        </item>
  3000.        <item>
  3001.            <title>Abiding in Christ</title>
  3002.            <description>
  3003.                <![CDATA[Jesus Christ offers every believer His life. It is like the life of a vine whereby the branches draw their life from the trailing plant. The believer shares in the life of the Vine.
  3004. <br />
  3005. <br />
  3006.  
  3007. The soul of the believer is in Christ and through our vital union with Him we receive spiritual nourishment. The Christian life is like the entwined vine with every fiber “like the ivy in an ancient wall.”
  3008. <br />
  3009. <br />
  3010.  
  3011. The Christian is permitted to enjoy “such ravishing tastes of heavenly joys” in Christ.
  3012.  
  3013. Brainerd described the life in the Vine as “lively actings of a holy temper and heavenly disposition, such vigorous exercise of that divine love which cast out fear.”
  3014. <br />
  3015. <br />
  3016.  
  3017. The apostle Paul described this deep entering into the divine life of Christ for him as to live and to die, “for to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” It is, “Not I, but Christ.”
  3018. <br />
  3019. <br />
  3020.  
  3021. Jonathan Edwards described it as “a calm, sweet abstraction of soul from all the concerns of this world; and sometimes a kind of vision or fixed idea of being alone in the mountains, or some solitary wilderness far from all mankind, sweetly conversing with Christ, and rapt and swallowed up in God.”
  3022. <br />
  3023. <br />
  3024.  
  3025. Uninterrupted communion with Christ is the hunger and desire of every born again Spirit-filled believer in Christ Jesus.
  3026. <br />
  3027. <br />
  3028.  
  3029. We are in Christ by faith and therefore one with Him in unchangeable justification which enwraps the root, branches, leaves and fruit into one vine.
  3030. <br />
  3031. <br />
  3032.  
  3033. Christ our Vine is not limited, and we are only limited by our being available to Him. Why should we therefore limit God? It is easy to get involved in “show and tell” forms of legalism that emphasize seeking fruit from without instead from within. We look for adornments instead of the fruit of the Spirit.<br />
  3034. <br />]]>
  3035.            </description>
  3036.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/mar1.html</link>
  3037.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7C434D53-F702-46A6-B766-3A28E426BA44</guid>
  3038.            <pubDate>Mon, 28 Feb 2011 19:47:25 -0600</pubDate>
  3039.        </item>
  3040.        <item>
  3041.            <title>What must I do to be Saved?</title>
  3042.            <description>
  3043.                <![CDATA[Salvation is the work of God alone. It is from Him, by Him and to Him. It is God's gift to man. Man’s responsibility is only to receive it by faith.
  3044. <br />
  3045. <br />
  3046.  
  3047. The salvation of man is the display of the power of God for His glory alone. No part of our salvation is dependent even in the slightest degree on human effort.
  3048. <br />
  3049. <br />
  3050.  
  3051. Only God can perform what He requires of man to be saved. We are blind to spiritual truths (2 Cor. 4:3-4). He requires a new creation because man is dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-2). God requires a spiritual birth, which only He can perform (Jn. 3:3). We are powerless to bring about such a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
  3052. <br />
  3053. <br />
  3054.  
  3055. Moreover, because we are sinners, we cannot produce in our sinful nature a righteousness that is pleasing to God (Rom. 3:9-20). We cannot merit by our virtue a right relationship with God. The salvation God demands and provides is wrought for sinful man wholly apart from man’s efforts.
  3056. <br />
  3057. <br />
  3058.  
  3059. Salvation is provided only through the person and work of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). We cannot resolve our sin problem, but Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for our sins (Rom. 5:6, 8; 2 Cor. 5:21).
  3060. <br />
  3061. <br />
  3062.  
  3063. What God requires of the sinner is to simply trust in Jesus Christ as one’s Savior (Jn. 3:16, 36). Believing on Christ makes the sinner available to receive the infinite power and grace of God. All that the sinner can and must do to be saved is “believe” on Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Such a personal faith in Christ is a definite decision on the part of the individual.
  3064. <br />
  3065. <br />
  3066.  
  3067. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (John 3:18-19).<br />
  3068. <br />]]>
  3069.            </description>
  3070.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb29.html</link>
  3071.            <guid isPermaLink="false">0F3DAE3C-DC51-46E4-AFB5-477DB77637BD</guid>
  3072.            <pubDate>Mon, 28 Feb 2011 19:45:14 -0600</pubDate>
  3073.        </item>
  3074.        <item>
  3075.            <title>Wisdom for Trials</title>
  3076.            <description>
  3077.                <![CDATA[In the context of a discussion on trials in life the apostle James tells believers to ask God for wisdom to understand and use them for God’s glory.
  3078. <br />
  3079. <br />
  3080.  
  3081. Divine wisdom gives us the spiritual ability to view trials form God’s perspective. But not only does He help us to understand our suffering, He enables us to apply the wisdom to our trials.
  3082. <br />
  3083. <br />
  3084.  
  3085. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).  
  3086. <br />
  3087. <br />
  3088.  
  3089. James tells us trials come from many sources. Sometimes we bring trials on ourselves by making foolish decisions and pursuing selfish objectives.
  3090. <br />
  3091. <br />
  3092.  
  3093. They come when we are persecuted for the cause of Christ. Satan is the one behind these trials because God has invaded his territory. He cannot take away our salvation, but he can sure eat away at our joy and fellowship in the Lord.
  3094. <br />
  3095. <br />
  3096.  
  3097. We live in a fallen world that has been severely affected by the results of Adam’s disobedience. Therefore, hardships in this world cannot be prevented and will be with us until the day of its redemption when Christ comes.
  3098. <br />
  3099. <br />
  3100.  
  3101. We also need to be sensitive to the fact that God allows each trial that we encounter. He sends trials so that we will learn to trust Him.  
  3102. <br />
  3103. <br />
  3104.  
  3105. God uses trials so He can get our attention and teach us through those experiences. His wisdom helps us to discern not only His will, but also how we respond to these pressures in life. What does God want you to learn in this process of dealing with this trial? What is the good that can come out of this evil intent in persecution or misunderstanding? <br />
  3106. <br />]]>
  3107.            </description>
  3108.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb28.html</link>
  3109.            <guid isPermaLink="false">5910F333-1292-44BE-9E2E-D528F5638175</guid>
  3110.            <pubDate>Sun, 27 Feb 2011 21:07:31 -0600</pubDate>
  3111.        </item>
  3112.        <item>
  3113.            <title>Sanctified in Christ</title>
  3114.            <description>
  3115.                <![CDATA[The believer’s sanctification is at once both complete and incomplete.  
  3116. <br />
  3117. <br />
  3118.  
  3119. Just as we have been fully and completely justified, we have also been completely sanctified in Christ. The Bible says, “You are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption.” “By one offering He has perfected forever them that are sanctified.” “You are washed and you are sanctified.” Yet, the apostle admonishes, “Let us go on unto perfection.”
  3120. <br />
  3121. <br />
  3122.  
  3123. How can we go on to perfection if we have already been perfected?
  3124. <br />
  3125. <br />
  3126.  
  3127. As a gift of grace, sanctification is conferred on each Christian as soon as he believes. But there is the sense that it is “hid with Christ in God.” It is “held on deposit.” We appropriate it  through daily communion and gradual apprehension of Christ.
  3128. <br />
  3129. <br />
  3130.  
  3131. Does that mean we are already sinless? No. We have not reached a state of practical and realized sanctification in our personal lives. On the daily practical side what has been crucified must be mortified. We die daily to sin and what has been buried must be kept buried. It is still true that “In me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing.” “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” We simply have not reached holy perfection as long as we dwell in this body. We will be without sin only when we appear with Him in glory. Only then shall we be fully conformed to Christ. All our holiness is in Christ and from Him. It is only in the open vision of His face and in His light that our likeness to Him will be rendered perfect.
  3132. <br />
  3133. <br />
  3134.  
  3135. Every aspect of our imputed righteousness rests upon our being in Christ. And every condition of our practical sanctification rests on our abiding or continuing in Christ.  
  3136. <br />
  3137. <br />
  3138.  
  3139. With equal emphasis the Bible stresses our progressive sanctification. “He that abides in Me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit” (John 15:5).
  3140. <br />
  3141. <br />
  3142.  
  3143. As we make ourselves available to Christ, He gives Himself to us to reproduce Himself in us. <br />
  3144. <br />]]>
  3145.            </description>
  3146.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb27.html</link>
  3147.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D90AA68C-2034-4EEA-B198-3CA6C625EA6F</guid>
  3148.            <pubDate>Sat, 26 Feb 2011 19:58:18 -0600</pubDate>
  3149.        </item>
  3150.        <item>
  3151.            <title>Appropriating Christ Daily</title>
  3152.            <description>
  3153.                <![CDATA[Just as it was the supreme mission of Jesus to give eternal life, so it is the supreme responsibility of the believer to appropriate that life.
  3154. <br />
  3155. <br />
  3156.  
  3157. God contemplates the believer even now in the image of Christ. We can rejoice as those who are already justified.
  3158. <br />
  3159. <br />
  3160.  
  3161. Our pardon is full and it is secure. God put the terms of salvation so high that we could never measure up to them, and therefore has saved us by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Therefore, the “title-deed” to our salvation is so high that we can never void it because “we are hidden with Christ in God.” God keeps the original copy of His eternal covenant with us in heaven with Himself. The Lord Jesus’ atoning sacrifice is our only reason for acceptance with God. Nothing can remove us from our standing with Him because the righteousness of Christ is upon us by our vital union with Him.
  3162. <br />
  3163. <br />
  3164.  
  3165. Our imputed righteousness is still in Christ, and not in us, even when we are made partakers of the benefit of it.
  3166. <br />
  3167. <br />
  3168.  
  3169. When we are in Christ we can look back upon our lives and see that everything in time past of our unregenerate lives ended at the cross. Moreover, we look at our lives since we believed on Christ as our Savior and see it in the risen Christ in a fresh new perfect blessing in eternal life.
  3170. <br />
  3171. <br />
  3172.  
  3173. All that we are and all that we need to live the Christian life are found in Christ and His perfect provision for us. <br />
  3174. <br />]]>
  3175.            </description>
  3176.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb26.html</link>
  3177.            <guid isPermaLink="false">410F96C5-6AB5-45D6-8BAC-98C4CE436F53</guid>
  3178.            <pubDate>Fri, 25 Feb 2011 22:02:07 -0600</pubDate>
  3179.        </item>
  3180.        <item>
  3181.            <title>Accepted in the Beloved</title>
  3182.            <description>
  3183.                <![CDATA[There is always the tension in the Christian life between the “now” and the “yet to be.” However, what we are now in the eyes of God is what we shall be in practice when we stand before Him in complete, perfect sanctification in glory.
  3184. <br />
  3185. <br />
  3186.  
  3187. Even now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1). He has made us acceptable in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6). In deed, we are complete in Him (Col. 2:10).
  3188. <br />
  3189. <br />
  3190.  
  3191. How do we explain this tension in our daily lives between our practical sanctification and our eternal position and standing before God?
  3192. <br />
  3193. <br />
  3194.  
  3195. The believer’s positional standing before God never ever changes. No believer is less justified than another. You are either acquitted by God or you stand condemned. You are either a child of God by adoption or you are an enemy. You either have eternal life, or you are dead in trespasses and sins.
  3196. <br />
  3197. <br />
  3198.  
  3199. Our standing before God, once we are His child, does not change. Our sonship does not depend upon our fellowship with Him. It is the other way around. Our fellowship with God depends upon our sonship.
  3200. <br />
  3201. <br />
  3202.  
  3203. There are degrees in our fellowship, but there can be none in our justification before God. Sometimes we are warm and sometimes we are cold in our fellowship, but our sonship never changes since we were adopted as His children.
  3204. <br />
  3205. <br />
  3206.  
  3207. Our justification is entirely above the fluctuations of Christian experience. It knows nothing of degrees or the rise and fall of our emotions. You are either justified by faith or you are condemned. We are “in Christ” and He is “the same, yesterday, today and forever.”
  3208. <br />
  3209. <br />
  3210.  
  3211. Christ alone is our righteousness and results in our right relationship with God. Christ is of God “made unto us righteousness.”<br />
  3212. <br />]]>
  3213.            </description>
  3214.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb25.html</link>
  3215.            <guid isPermaLink="false">2C6D2B6D-79EC-4DA1-B5E3-52031B2C1B61</guid>
  3216.            <pubDate>Thu, 24 Feb 2011 15:28:10 -0600</pubDate>
  3217.        </item>
  3218.        <item>
  3219.            <title>Born Crucified, yet Alive in Christ</title>
  3220.            <description>
  3221.                <![CDATA[The Christian life is a daily putting off all that belonged to the unregenerate old self and constantly putting on all that belongs to the new life in Christ. The cross and the resurrection extend their power and influence over the believer’s entire life.
  3222. <br />
  3223. <br />
  3224.  
  3225. The Christian life is constantly producing new life. This new life in Christ through His Spirit must be daily replacing within the soul what our daily crucifixion of the flesh is taking away. This new life in Christ fills the emptiness created by self-denial with some new likeness of Christ. In place of the natural affection, there comes some new divine affection (Eph. 4:17-32).
  3226. <br />
  3227. <br />
  3228.  
  3229. “You are dead . . . . you are risen with Christ” (Col. 3:1, 6).
  3230. <br />
  3231. <br />
  3232.  
  3233. The flesh will never produce a strong spiritual life that pleases God and looks and smells like authentic Christianity. The flesh will always disgrace the Lord Jesus Christ no matter how you try to dress it up in legalism.
  3234. <br />
  3235. <br />
  3236.  
  3237. The Holy Spirit is busy making real in the believer’s life what is already true of him doctrinally.
  3238. <br />
  3239. <br />
  3240.  
  3241. The believer has not only died, but is to “die daily” with Christ as long as we live in this present life because we are in “an irreconcilable enmity” between the flesh and the spirit (Gal. 5:17). We have no option but to take up the cross daily in following Christ. The flesh can only reproduce itself. It holds no possibility of a divine life. This dying to self and sin is something we do daily.
  3242. <br />
  3243. <br />
  3244.  
  3245. Our life-long growth in Christ-likeness is a determination to deliver us to death for Christ’s sake all that is kin to our old life before we gave our lives to Christ. It is also a commitment to put on Christ daily.<br />
  3246. <br />]]>
  3247.            </description>
  3248.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb24.html</link>
  3249.            <guid isPermaLink="false">2E597A9E-7BC6-4BE0-A47C-9E4EA3A482FE</guid>
  3250.            <pubDate>Wed, 23 Feb 2011 16:10:58 -0600</pubDate>
  3251.        </item>
  3252.        <item>
  3253.            <title>Baptized into Christ</title>
  3254.            <description>
  3255.                <![CDATA[The word "baptized" is not the translation of the Greek work in Romans 6:3-4, but a transliteration spelling it out in English letters. The word in the original language means to dip. The figurative use of the word means to take on a new identification. After I dip a white shirt into red dye I no longer refer to it as the “white shirt,” but the red shirt. It has a new identification.
  3256. <br />
  3257. <br />
  3258.  
  3259. The apostle Paul wrote, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?" (v. 3).
  3260. <br />
  3261. <br />
  3262.  
  3263. The word Baptizo in Romans six means "the introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union with something else so as to alter its condition or its relationship to its previous environment or condition."
  3264. <br />
  3265. <br />
  3266.  
  3267. Paul is referring to the act of God when He introduces a believing sinner into a vital union with Jesus Christ. In this vital relationship the power of his sinful nature is broken and the divine nature implanted through his identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. The believer's relation to his previous state and environment is changed and he now has a new environment which is defined as being "in Christ."
  3268. <br />
  3269. <br />
  3270.  
  3271. God placed us in Christ when He died so that we might share His death and thus come into the benefits of that identification with Him. We were placed in a new environment, Christ. We have a vital union with Christ. Paul declares we re "in Christ." In our new environment in Christ we have righteousness and life. Our condition is changed from that of a sinner to that of a saint.
  3272. <br />
  3273. <br />
  3274.  
  3275. The Holy Spirit baptized us into Christ. He placed us in Christ in order that we might share His death and be separated from the evil nature. He also placed us in Christ in order that we might share His resurrection and have His divine life imparted to us. The Spirit of the resurrected Christ imparts to us a new quality of life. It is a new source of life that God imparts to us. It is only through this new source of life that we have the ethical and spiritual energy to live the Christian life.<br />
  3276. <br />]]>
  3277.            </description>
  3278.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb23.html</link>
  3279.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7921FDA4-02B0-4BE6-A613-D40A9ABAB19A</guid>
  3280.            <pubDate>Tue, 22 Feb 2011 19:48:01 -0600</pubDate>
  3281.        </item>
  3282.        <item>
  3283.            <title>Believer’s Baptism</title>
  3284.            <description>
  3285.                <![CDATA[The ordinance of the believer’s baptism is a marvelous picture of the Christian’s vital union, and identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
  3286. <br />
  3287. <br />
  3288.  
  3289. There is a “wet” baptism and a “dry” baptism. The “dry” baptism is without water and is the work of God the Holy Spirit placing the believer in Christ the moment he believes on Him as his Savior.
  3290. <br />
  3291. <br />
  3292.  
  3293. The “wet” baptism is the ordinance that Christ gave to the church. It is a believer’s baptism by immersion in water which presents in symbolism the Christian’s vital union with Jesus Christ. Take away the Biblical mode of baptism and you loose the vital theological message of baptism.
  3294. <br />
  3295. <br />
  3296.  
  3297. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-4).
  3298. <br />
  3299. <br />
  3300.  
  3301. The ordinance of baptism is a constant reminder of how we were redeemed. It is an outward symbol of an inward, silent and real experience.
  3302. <br />
  3303. <br />
  3304.  
  3305. Baptism by immersion in water does not put the believer “into Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit did that when we believed in Christ. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer. Immersion is a picture of what the Holy Spirit did in our identification with Christ.
  3306. <br />
  3307. <br />
  3308.  
  3309. Dead in Christ, risen with Christ. Buried with Christ, alive in Christ (Rom. 8:34). <br />
  3310. <br />]]>
  3311.            </description>
  3312.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb22.html</link>
  3313.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6CBF38AE-BD4F-4F31-B244-9A00FB66278B</guid>
  3314.            <pubDate>Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:16:30 -0600</pubDate>
  3315.        </item>
  3316.        <item>
  3317.            <title>Risen with Christ</title>
  3318.            <description>
  3319.                <![CDATA[“Death stung itself to death, when it stung Christ” ––  Romaine.
  3320. <br />
  3321. <br />
  3322.  
  3323. The greatest event that has ever occurred in history is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  3324. <br />
  3325. <br />
  3326.  
  3327. The work of Christ divides itself into what Christ accomplished as our Sinbearer, and what He did as our Life-giver. He not only bore our sins on the cross, but He gives us eternal life.
  3328. <br />
  3329. <br />
  3330.  
  3331. As believers we look back upon our old nature, the old man, the penalty for sin and its punishment, and forward at the “all things that have become new” in Christ.
  3332. <br />
  3333. <br />
  3334.  
  3335. The apostle Paul declared, “if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain, you are yet in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17). Christ was so identified with our sins as our representative that God had to condemn Him to death. “For the wages of sin is death.” “The soul that sins will surely die.” “God made Him sin who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf . . .”
  3336. <br />
  3337. <br />
  3338.  
  3339. If Jesus Christ still lies in a cold, dark grave in Jerusalem then you are still in your sins and you must pay your own death penalty as a sinner. The wages of sin must be paid in full. You will pay it or your divine Substitute will pay it for you. “If Christ be not raised your faith is in vain . . . ,” and you are still dead in your transgressions and sins.
  3340. <br />
  3341. <br />
  3342.  
  3343. Since Christ has risen from the dead and we are risen with Him, we are not in our sins. We “shall never perish.” Jesus said,  “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:29).
  3344. <br />
  3345. <br />
  3346.  
  3347. The apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). We have been quickened together with Christ, raised up together with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:4-6).
  3348. <br />
  3349. <br />
  3350.  
  3351. We have been made alive with Christ, and have become permanently united with Christ in the likeness of His resurrection. “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,” (Col. 2:13). <br />
  3352. <br />]]>
  3353.            </description>
  3354.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb21.html</link>
  3355.            <guid isPermaLink="false">8D772F99-ACD7-415C-8699-BF45203126F5</guid>
  3356.            <pubDate>Sun, 20 Feb 2011 22:02:37 -0600</pubDate>
  3357.        </item>
  3358.        <item>
  3359.            <title>Dead to Sin</title>
  3360.            <description>
  3361.                <![CDATA[The apostle Paul wrote of Christ, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:10-11).
  3362. <br />
  3363. <br />
  3364.  
  3365. The believer’s “old man” or “old self” is what he was spiritually before he believed on Christ when he was still under sin, powerless, depraved, ungodly and even an enemy of God.
  3366. <br />
  3367. <br />
  3368.  
  3369. Our fallen nature was not changed at conversion. It was not annihilated, but it was “rendered inactive, made of no effect” (Rom. 6:6). Our physical body is not sinful. It is neutral and can be controlled by sin or by the Holy Spirit. It was controlled by sin before we trusted Christ for salvation.
  3370. <br />
  3371. <br />
  3372.  
  3373. “In Jesus Christ we died to sin, and the old nature was crucified so that the old life is rendered inoperative.” This is a great fact for the believer to rely upon.  Now that we have died with Christ the power of controlling sin is broken and is rendered powerless or ineffective (Rom. 6:3-5).
  3374. <br />
  3375. <br />
  3376.  
  3377. There is a change in relationship with God and sin. Because of this new living union with Christ the believer now has a new relationship with God and different attitudes toward sin. Sin is no longer his master. Christ is the new master. We no longer want to continue in sin. Now because we are in Christ we have a choicer whether we choose to sin, or choose to obey our new Master.
  3378. <br />
  3379. <br />
  3380.  
  3381. In our unregenerate state we were slaves to sin. Now that our old self was crucified with Christ we have been delivered from this slavery. “Anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” We have been declared righteous, “freed,” with the result that sin no longer has the legal right to force us into its slavery. Sin no longer is the master of the believer because he has died with Christ and risen with Him “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with so that we would no longer be slaves to sin” (Rom. 6:6).<br />
  3382. <br />]]>
  3383.            </description>
  3384.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb20.html</link>
  3385.            <guid isPermaLink="false">4BBDBC72-63EC-417A-886F-53C4B2451A50</guid>
  3386.            <pubDate>Sat, 19 Feb 2011 22:58:55 -0600</pubDate>
  3387.        </item>
  3388.        <item>
  3389.            <title>I Died</title>
  3390.            <description>
  3391.                <![CDATA[Christ died for me, and I died in Christ.
  3392. <br />
  3393. <br />
  3394.  
  3395. Pascal said, “Everything which happened to Christ should come to pass in the soul and in the body of each Christian.”
  3396. <br />
  3397. <br />
  3398.  
  3399. The apostle Paul declared, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). Again, he wrote, “You died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:2).
  3400. <br />
  3401. <br />
  3402.  
  3403. Who died? I died.
  3404. <br />
  3405. <br />
  3406.  
  3407. In God’s reckoning we are even now delivered by our vital union with Christ. That vital, intimate relationship filled the mind of the great apostle.
  3408. <br />
  3409. <br />
  3410.  
  3411. “I have been crucified with Christ.” “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11).
  3412. <br />
  3413. <br />
  3414.  
  3415. What was true of Paul is true of every believer because we are “in Christ.” Our spiritual union with Christ is entirely independent of all conditions of time and space. And in depth of intimacy there can be no difference between the believer of today and those who knew our Lord on earth, since "by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body" (1 Cor. 12:13).
  3416. <br />
  3417. <br />
  3418.  
  3419. Paul writes, “As many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death” (Rom. 6:3). The water baptism by immersion is a symbolic picture of an even greater spiritual baptism when we were placed in the body of Christ when we first believed on Him as our Savior.
  3420. <br />
  3421. <br />
  3422.  
  3423. “In Christ.” “I am crucified with Christ.”
  3424. <br />
  3425. <br />
  3426.  
  3427. Have you gone back to the cross of Jesus and conceived of yourself so identified with Him in His death and obedience unto death that when He died you died? Jesus Christ paid your death penalty in full. You are now free to live the Christian life.
  3428. <br />
  3429. <br />
  3430.  
  3431. The apostle Paul’s one obsession was Christ. “That I may know Him.” <br />
  3432. <br />]]>
  3433.            </description>
  3434.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb19.html</link>
  3435.            <guid isPermaLink="false">9B87E817-76C1-4E8B-A2CF-34F07268A71F</guid>
  3436.            <pubDate>Fri, 18 Feb 2011 20:28:43 -0600</pubDate>
  3437.        </item>
  3438.        <item>
  3439.            <title>Christ Died for Me</title>
  3440.            <description>Salvation is entirely apart from any self-help. We are not saved by imitation of the crucifixion or by Christ’s example, but as Luther concluded, “that high crucifying whereby sin, the devil, and death, are crucified in Christ and not in me.”
  3441. &lt;br /&gt;
  3442. &lt;br /&gt;
  3443.  
  3444. The Bible says, “The soul that sins will surely die.” Christ died that we may live. He paid our debt to the righteousness of God. Two thousand years ago Christ paid a moral debt that belonged to you and me. His death secured our freedom from the debt and stamped the receipt “paid in full.” His death released us from all obligation to pay our spiritual debt.
  3445. &lt;br /&gt;
  3446. &lt;br /&gt;
  3447.  
  3448. The death of Christ is a historical fact at a time and place, but Christ crucified is also an eternal fact touching all time with equal nearness. The crucifixion of Christ is an ever-present reality in the mind and heart of God. Our reconciliation to God depends entirely upon that central fact of the ages.
  3449. &lt;br /&gt;
  3450. &lt;br /&gt;
  3451.  
  3452. By faith we lay our hands upon the head of the Lamb of God who was slain for our sins. In the sacrificial system of the Jewish tabernacle, the person offering the sacrifice laid his hands upon the head of the offering and declared by identification his sins upon that offering. The confessing Christian by faith lays his hand upon the head of God’s perfect sacrifice on his behalf. There is a solemn unity in the suffering of Christ and the believer. Christ made full atonement for the believing sinner. His death for the believer is intensely personal.
  3453. &lt;br /&gt;
  3454. &lt;br /&gt;
  3455.  
  3456. There is such an identification that the apostle Paul can say in Romans 6:6, “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” &lt;br /&gt;
  3457. &lt;br /&gt;
  3458. Not only did Christ die that we might live, but in a very real sense He died that we might die. “In one death for all, then all die.”</description>
  3459.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb18.html</link>
  3460.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7E0ECC5C-A882-4D39-AE8A-3CC57FF31154</guid>
  3461.            <pubDate>Thu, 17 Feb 2011 20:58:23 -0600</pubDate>
  3462.        </item>
  3463.        <item>
  3464.            <title>Yes, But God</title>
  3465.            <description>
  3466.                <![CDATA[Two of the most beautiful words in the Bible are “but God.”
  3467. <br />
  3468. <br />
  3469.  
  3470. We are totally depraved sinners who cannot earn or merit in any way, a right relationship with God. Before I became a Christian, I was “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). I “walked according to the course of this world, according to the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” (v. 2). I too “lived in the lust of my flesh, indulging in the desires of the flesh and of the mind and was by nature a child of wrath, even as the rest” (v. 3).
  3471. <br />
  3472. <br />
  3473.  
  3474. That is an ugly picture, but it is true of my life before Christ conquered me.
  3475. <br />
  3476. <br />
  3477.  
  3478. It is the sad state of every person outside of Christ. We have each failed in the eyes of a holy and righteous God. We are sinners. Our lives do not bring glory to God. Because we are sinners, we cannot please Him with our self-righteousness and religious works, no matter how good our motives or our works.
  3479. <br />
  3480. <br />
  3481.  
  3482. Yes, “But God.” How beautiful are those words to the depraved sinner.
  3483. <br />
  3484. <br />
  3485.  
  3486. Yes, “but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” (v. 4).
  3487. <br />
  3488. <br />
  3489.  
  3490. That same holy and righteous God had “mercy” on us. The word means loving kindness, help in the time of need. It is God’s active intervention to help. He is the Helper of the helpless. <br />
  3491. <br />]]>
  3492.            </description>
  3493.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb17.html</link>
  3494.            <guid isPermaLink="false">C1056753-F754-4358-9D6A-AA421B9F5D9B</guid>
  3495.            <pubDate>Wed, 16 Feb 2011 21:39:12 -0600</pubDate>
  3496.        </item>
  3497.        <item>
  3498.            <title>&quot;In Christ&quot;</title>
  3499.            <description>
  3500.                <![CDATA[There are some inexplicable things that belong wholly unto God.
  3501. <br />
  3502. <br />
  3503.  
  3504. The deepest mysteries into the majestic things that belong only unto God are found in the words “in Christ.”
  3505. <br />
  3506. <br />
  3507.  
  3508. The recorded Word says that we were “created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10), and “of Him are you in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 1:30). We were chosen “in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). “And we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn. 5:20).
  3509. <br />
  3510. <br />
  3511.  
  3512. “In Christ.” Let those words sink deep into your heart. Every born again believer is “in Christ.” It cannot be otherwise.
  3513. <br />
  3514. <br />
  3515.  
  3516. The Lord God through His Spirit has entered into a most holy union with every Christian in order to reproduce His life through us. We are members of His body.
  3517. <br />
  3518. <br />
  3519.  
  3520. If one is in Christ, he must be justified by grace through faith. He cannot be "in Christ" and under the condemnation of a holy and just God at the same time. Moreover, if one is in Christ, he must have sanctification; for a holy God cannot remain in vital connection with someone who is unholy. If one is in Christ, he must one day be glorified because God cannot abandon a part of His redeemed body in the grave of eternal death.
  3521. <br />
  3522. <br />
  3523.  
  3524. The world is waiting to see what God is doing in your life. That is the only way it will ever be convinced that He is real. Sinlessly perfect, no. Saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, yes.
  3525. <br />
  3526. <br />
  3527.  
  3528. All that we are as Christians is found “in Christ.” We are dependent “in Him.” We receive our strength “in Him.” “Of Him you are in Christ,” says the apostle Paul. Christ in taking man up into Himself, takes all that belongs to him. <br />
  3529. <br />]]>
  3530.            </description>
  3531.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb16.html</link>
  3532.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D2F14D8A-5C12-4E98-93ED-57550716BD42</guid>
  3533.            <pubDate>Tue, 15 Feb 2011 19:02:07 -0600</pubDate>
  3534.        </item>
  3535.        <item>
  3536.            <title>No Condemnation!</title>
  3537.            <description>
  3538.                <![CDATA[“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
  3539. <br />
  3540. <br />
  3541.  
  3542. Justification is the opposite of condemnation.
  3543. <br />
  3544. <br />
  3545.  
  3546. God declares the believing sinner to have a right relationship with Him, but that does not make him righteous. A sinner does not have any righteousness of his own, and therefore cannot be innocent. However, God declares believers in Christ righteous on the grounds of Christ’s atonement.
  3547. <br />
  3548. <br />
  3549.  
  3550. The believing sinner is declared by God to be just by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
  3551. <br />
  3552. <br />
  3553.  
  3554. Grace of God is the cause of our justification.
  3555. <br />
  3556. <br />
  3557.  
  3558. Romans 3:24 reads, “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”  
  3559. <br />
  3560. <br />
  3561.  
  3562. No individual can make himself right with God no matter how hard he tries because he is a sinner. The Bible declares, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (3:10). The reason is because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (v. 23).
  3563. <br />
  3564. <br />
  3565.  
  3566. Since we are condemned sinners worthy of death as a punishment for our sins, someone else must do the work of righteousness for us (6:23). We do not deserve or merit God’s love. The source of our right relationship with God is His own free grace.
  3567. <br />
  3568. <br />
  3569.  
  3570. The foundation of our justification is the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.<br />
  3571. <br />
  3572.  
  3573.  
  3574. It was Christ “whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed” (3:25). <br />
  3575. <br />]]>
  3576.            </description>
  3577.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb15.html</link>
  3578.            <guid isPermaLink="false">4BCF106B-E041-4274-9942-464501D7CD8A</guid>
  3579.            <pubDate>Mon, 14 Feb 2011 22:46:30 -0600</pubDate>
  3580.        </item>
  3581.        <item>
  3582.            <title>Are You in Adam or in Christ?</title>
  3583.            <description>
  3584.                <![CDATA[Charles Hodge asked a crucial question: “If God requires one thing, and we present another, how can we be saved? If He has revealed a method in which He can be just and yet justify the sinner, and if we reject that method and insist upon pursuing a different way, how can we hope to be accepted?”
  3585. <br />
  3586. <br />
  3587.  
  3588. The safest answer, of course, is in the Scriptures. What has God revealed?
  3589. <br />
  3590. <br />
  3591.  
  3592. The first man sinned, but not just once; Adam sinned many times. Before he sinned the first time he was righteous. His righteousness was of his own doing, as a created being. It was the righteousness of a man. However, Adam never had the righteousness of Jesus Christ upon him. What he lost was his own self righteousness.
  3593. <br />
  3594. <br />
  3595.  
  3596. When you and I put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior we are not merely given back a human righteousness that Adam had before the fall. We are given the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. God gives us “much more” in abundance, a superabundance of grace. He gives us the full weight of His perfect righteousness.
  3597. <br />
  3598. <br />
  3599.  
  3600. Adam did not stand in his own righteousness. He fell. If we attempt to stand in our own righteousness we, too, shall fall.
  3601. <br />
  3602. <br />
  3603.  
  3604. The gift of God in Christ far surpasses the effects of Adam’s sin and all other transgressions we have committed.
  3605. <br />
  3606. <br />
  3607.  
  3608. The humbling fact is we were all in Adam once, and we fell in him. He brought sin and death to the human race by his own sin.
  3609. <br />
  3610. <br />
  3611.  
  3612. How can you and I escape the effects of the fall of Adam on us?
  3613. <br />
  3614. <br />
  3615.  
  3616. We can stand in a divine righteousness provided by our divine substitute that will never be taken from us. It is God’s gift to us in His grace. The poet expressed it beautifully: <br />
  3617. <br />
  3618. Jesus thy Blood and righteousness
  3619. My beauty are, my glorious dress.]]>
  3620.            </description>
  3621.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb14.html</link>
  3622.            <guid isPermaLink="false">5DBB6125-544E-4AEF-8EF0-5FBCE897E6E0</guid>
  3623.            <pubDate>Sun, 13 Feb 2011 20:32:55 -0600</pubDate>
  3624.        </item>
  3625.        <item>
  3626.            <title>The Imputed Righteousness of God</title>
  3627.            <description>
  3628.                <![CDATA[God imputes or accredits the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ to the believing sinner while he is still in his sinning state.
  3629. <br />
  3630. <br />
  3631.  
  3632. God has manifested His righteousness apart from the Law “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe” (Rom. 3:21-22). The reason for this judicial standing before a righteous God is because we have “all sinned and come short of the glory of God” (v. 23). The foundation upon which God can justify the believing sinner who is still in his sinning state is because this justification is “a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith” (vv. 24-25).
  3633. <br />
  3634. <br />
  3635.  
  3636. Romans 5:12-21 teaches the imputing or charging of Adam’s sin to the human race. Because Adam sinned as the federal head of the human race, God considers all men as sinners. We are possessed of Adam’s nature (vv. 12-14), and the sentence of death is imposed on us (6:23). The effect of Adam’s fall is universal. We are all fallen sons and daughters of old Adam. We do not become sinful by sinning; we sin because we are sinful by nature. We sin because we are sinners.
  3637. <br />
  3638. <br />
  3639.  
  3640. The judgment of God rests upon all men outside of a saving relationship with Jesus Christ because of imputed sin, our inherited sin nature and our own personal sins.
  3641. <br />
  3642. <br />
  3643.  
  3644. We stand guilty before God and deserve the death penalty until we come to Christ alone for a right standing before God (Rom. 6:23).
  3645. <br />
  3646. <br />
  3647. <br />
  3648.  
  3649. Moreover, in a similar way, the sin of man is imputed to Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). Jehovah, the LORD God, laid on His Son, the Lamb of God, the iniquities of us all (Isa. 53:5; Jn. 1:29; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18). There was a judicial transfer of the sins of man to Jesus Christ, God’s Sin-Bearer. <br />
  3650. <br />
  3651. <br />]]>
  3652.            </description>
  3653.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/feb13.html</link>
  3654.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7AA4708F-FC01-4998-9D5B-37367ABD34A4</guid>
  3655.            <pubDate>Sun, 13 Feb 2011 10:14:01 -0600</pubDate>
  3656.        </item>
  3657.        <item>
  3658.            <title>The Lord Over Death</title>
  3659.            <description>When I was a teenager, I enjoyed watching the weekly TV program, “You Are There.” However, there was always one part of the program that I dreaded. Every one of the great men portrayed in history all died at the end of the program. There was always the view of the funeral procession. That view always brought fear and dread to my heart because I knew that one-day all die, including me.
  3660. &lt;br /&gt;
  3661. &lt;br /&gt;
  3662.  
  3663. However, Christianity gives me a totally different perspective of death. For me it is no longer a thing to be dreaded, but a marvelous moment of triumph. My physical death will be only a door that leads into life’s fullness in Christ.
  3664. &lt;br /&gt;
  3665. &lt;br /&gt;
  3666.  
  3667. Instead of something to fear as a horrible end to existence, the Christian looks to it as a door opening into a greater presence of the Lord God. It is only the continuity of life that began in time when I put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.
  3668. &lt;br /&gt;
  3669. &lt;br /&gt;
  3670.  
  3671. At the death of my father I felt orphaned, even as an adult man serving Christ. The Holy Spirit focused my mind and heart on 1 Corinthians 15. As I studied that great chapter verse-by-verse, sentence-by-sentence, phrase-by-phrase and cross-referenced each statement in the Bible the Holy Spirit applied to my heart the wondrous triumph of Jesus Christ over death and the grave. God gave me a tremendous sense of peace that Christ is the Lord over death.
  3672. &lt;br /&gt;
  3673. &lt;br /&gt;
  3674.  
  3675. For the believer in Christ, death is not the end of life; it is only the beginning of a deeper, richer life in Christ. Death is not the end of our personhood. This perishable body as an empty shell is left behind, but in His triumph over the grave Jesus gives us another body that is made for heaven and eternity (1 Cor. 15:35-38; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).&lt;br /&gt;
  3676. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  3677.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan29.html</link>
  3678.            <guid isPermaLink="false">753769F4-4BFC-42E7-B707-938A0AA9FD9E</guid>
  3679.            <pubDate>Fri, 28 Jan 2011 16:04:14 -0600</pubDate>
  3680.        </item>
  3681.        <item>
  3682.            <title>Lordship of Christ and Our Sanctification</title>
  3683.            <description>
  3684.                <![CDATA[There is always a constant tension between the “now” and the “yet to be” in the Christian’s life.
  3685. <br />
  3686. <br />
  3687.  
  3688. When we submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ He changes our lives. We grow in our inner person as the Holy Spirit reveals areas of our lives that are not fully yielded to Christ. It takes a lifetime to affect big changes in our lives because God’s goal is a person like Christ.
  3689. <br />
  3690. <br />
  3691.  
  3692. Matthew 5:48 reads, “you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” God will never lower His standard to human level. He demands absolute perfection. We want to become more like Him because He loves us. What a tragedy if we lose the desire to become perfect in Christ.
  3693. <br />
  3694. <br />
  3695.  
  3696. How wonderful to know even now His blood clovers all our sins. Nothing is left uncovered for those who believe on Christ as their Savior. In God’s holy eyes, the believer is already perfect in Christ because we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places.
  3697. <br />
  3698. <br />
  3699.  
  3700. Christ-likeness in our daily life begins when we put our faith in Christ. It is true, we will never reach sinless perfection in this life, but we strive for it because we love Him and respond to His love. God conforms us to His likeness as we yield ourselves to Him.
  3701. <br />
  3702. <br />
  3703.  
  3704. As we grow spiritually, we strive to make Christ lord of every area of our lives. This is where spiritual growth takes place. We learn to trust every area of our lives to Christ. Sadly, no one has given God all of themselves except Jesus Christ.
  3705. <br />
  3706. <br />
  3707.  
  3708. The Holy Spirit works within us revealing our true self and the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Do we really want Christ to control the deepest recesses of our hearts?<br />
  3709. <br />
  3710.  
  3711.  
  3712. There is absolutely nothing God cannot do in your life if He so chooses. The One who “brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” can do anything He so chooses with anyone who will yield himself to Him (Eph. 1:20-21). All He asks from us is to trust Him. All He wants of us is to make ourselves available to Him moment by moment. <br />
  3713. <br />]]>
  3714.            </description>
  3715.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan27.html</link>
  3716.            <guid isPermaLink="false">DDEB466D-A27F-4519-B5D3-76808774A6B5</guid>
  3717.            <pubDate>Wed, 26 Jan 2011 18:23:12 -0600</pubDate>
  3718.        </item>
  3719.        <item>
  3720.            <title>Jesus is both Lord and Messiah</title>
  3721.            <description>Jesus Christ is my Lord. That is the greatest confession of faith you can ever make. “Jesus is Lord.” He is not one of a variety of ways to get to heaven; He is the only way because He is the risen Lord. When we confess faith in Jesus we are saying Jesus is Lord because God raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10).
  3722. &lt;br /&gt;
  3723. &lt;br /&gt;
  3724.  
  3725. Why do followers of Jesus Christ believe He is Lord? The resurrection of Jesus demonstrated beyond any doubt that He is Lord of all. Our faith is based on the clear historical evidence of His resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus proved the validity and reality of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross and His sovereign Lordship. Because Jesus is alive He is our Lord, and He invites us to join Him in the resurrection life.
  3726. &lt;br /&gt;
  3727. &lt;br /&gt;
  3728.  
  3729. The apostle Peter gave four evidences of the resurrection of Jesus in Acts 2:22-36.
  3730. &lt;br /&gt;
  3731. &lt;br /&gt;
  3732.  
  3733. The person of Jesus Christ is the first clear evidence that He is risen from the dead (vv. 22-24). Jesus is a real historical person who lived in the town of Nazareth (2:22; 3:6; 4:10; 6:14; 10:38; 22:8; 26:9). He performed many miracles that were witnessed by multitudes of people on diverse occasions. There were eyewitnesses who saw Him raise the dead (cf. John 11:38-44), and heal the sick (Matt. 9:35-38).
  3734. &lt;br /&gt;
  3735. &lt;br /&gt;
  3736.  
  3737. Peter declared in his greatest sermon, this was the person who was crucified on the cross in Jerusalem (2:22-23). “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know” (v. 22). “. . . You nailed to the cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death” (v. 23; cf. 3:13; Lk. 24:19-20). People knew Him and could identify Him. This man was seen alive from the dead!&lt;br /&gt;
  3738. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  3739.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan26.html</link>
  3740.            <guid isPermaLink="false">74D93D0F-C3FC-4404-9419-0B919666F884</guid>
  3741.            <pubDate>Tue, 25 Jan 2011 22:23:37 -0600</pubDate>
  3742.        </item>
  3743.        <item>
  3744.            <title>The Problem of Evil and Suffering</title>
  3745.            <description>The greatest theological challenge Christians face is the problem of evil and suffering. Never have we had a greater demand to think biblically. We must speak the truth with integrity when people are desperate to hear it and no one else seems to know where to look for honest answers.
  3746. &lt;br /&gt;
  3747. &lt;br /&gt;
  3748.  
  3749. There is not a day that goes by that we are constantly called upon to minister at senseless accidents, terrible disasters, crimes against innocence, or someone suffering from a devastating disease. People demand some enlightenment. Perhaps the most difficult situations are those when the innocent suffer at the sinful hands of others.
  3750. &lt;br /&gt;
  3751. &lt;br /&gt;
  3752.  
  3753. In times of tragedy and crisis pastors are called upon to speak words of comfort and encouragement when no one else has any idea what to say. We are supposed to know what to say when nothing seems appropriate to say. Where do you go for such wisdom and guidance?
  3754. &lt;br /&gt;
  3755. &lt;br /&gt;
  3756.  
  3757. Jesus had a way of saying exactly what needed to be said in every situation. In Luke 13:1-8, Jesus was informed of a tragic event. Pontius Pilate perpetuated an atrocity in which innocent Galileans were killed in the Temple precincts in Jerusalem. The blood of the Galileans was mingled with the sacrifices in the Temple and therefore desecrated the Temple. A greater horror cannot be imagined in Jerusalem.
  3758. &lt;br /&gt;
  3759. &lt;br /&gt;
  3760.  
  3761. Jesus asked, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all the Galileans because they suffered this fate?” &lt;br /&gt;
  3762. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  3763.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan25.html</link>
  3764.            <guid isPermaLink="false">07C59CFD-8578-4EC2-BE2A-D49587E00B13</guid>
  3765.            <pubDate>Mon, 24 Jan 2011 19:32:21 -0600</pubDate>
  3766.        </item>
  3767.        <item>
  3768.            <title>God Brings Good out of Evil</title>
  3769.            <description>
  3770.                <![CDATA[Evil in our world is a reality every thinking person must face, but it need not be fatal to the Christian.
  3771. <br />
  3772. <br />
  3773.  
  3774. The fact never changes: God is good. God is omnipotent, God is omniscient and He is omnipresent. We interpret the events of the day by the known truths, not the unknown. In fact, we interpret the unknown in the light of the known.
  3775. <br />
  3776. <br />
  3777.  
  3778. Augustine said, “God judged it better to bring good out of evil, than to suffer no evil to exist.”
  3779. <br />
  3780. <br />
  3781.  
  3782. You must acknowledge that good exists for evil to exist. There can be no evil without there being good. God’s providence extends over both good and evil. Moreover, His will is absolutely good and perfect because His is a righteous God.
  3783. <br />
  3784. <br />
  3785.  
  3786. God has good reason for evil to exist, even though He did not create it. Evil cannot exist unless God willed it, therefore He can use it for His glory and for our good.
  3787. <br />
  3788. <br />
  3789.  
  3790. A false premise commonly heard in our day is because evil exists in the world there is no God. The reasoning is if God is all-powerful, sovereign, and totally good, He will not allow evil to take place.
  3791. <br />
  3792. <br />
  3793.  
  3794. Evil is only a problem if good exists. Only because both good and evil exists can you have a problem. If there is no God, you cannot account for both good and evil. The only basis for assuming both is because there is a moral law, a standard by which to determine both good and evil. There can be no moral law without a moral Absolute. As Ravi Zacharias observes: “If there is no moral Lawgiver there is no moral law; if there is no moral law, there is no good; if there is no good there is no evil.”<br />
  3795. <br />
  3796.  
  3797.  
  3798. Therefore, the idea of evil should cause us to seek God in His goodness rather than to flee from His presence and deny His existence.
  3799. <br />
  3800. <br />
  3801.  
  3802. Why does God get all the blame for the bad things that happen? Why doesn’t He get the credit for all the good we enjoy even though He owes us nothing?<br />
  3803. <br />]]>
  3804.            </description>
  3805.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan24.html</link>
  3806.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D88DEAD7-F74C-4C80-BB2B-63171AA2702D</guid>
  3807.            <pubDate>Sun, 23 Jan 2011 20:07:22 -0600</pubDate>
  3808.        </item>
  3809.        <item>
  3810.            <title>Why Pain and Suffering?</title>
  3811.            <description>
  3812.                <![CDATA[Researchers recently asked a cross-section of adults: “If you could ask God only one question and you knew He would give you the answer, what would you ask?” The majority of the people responded, “Why is there pain and suffering in the world?”
  3813. <br />
  3814. <br />
  3815.  
  3816. That is not a new question. It is the age old question the patriarch Job asked in the oldest book in the Bible during his earth shaking tragedy (1:13-19). If you substitute in this passage the words “Sabeans” and “Chaldeans” with  "terrorists,” and tornado or hurricane for the strong wind you have the headlines in today’s news.
  3817. <br />
  3818. <br />
  3819.  
  3820. Job asked the same question, “Why?” seven times in chapter three. “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?” (v. 11) Repeatedly, he asked “Why?” People still ask, “Why did God allow this to happen?” “Where is God?” “Why didn’t God do something?”
  3821. <br />
  3822. <br />
  3823.  
  3824. The Greek philosopher Epicures asked if there is a God, and if that God is good, why is there evil in our world? Epicures reasoned: “God either wishes to take away evil, and is unable; or He is able and unwitting; or He is neither willing nor able; or He is both willing and able.”
  3825. <br />
  3826. <br />
  3827.  
  3828. His reasoning raises other questions. Is He weak and feeble because He wishes to take away evil, but unable to do so? However, that does not answer to the real character of God.
  3829. <br />
  3830. <br />
  3831.  
  3832. Is He wicked because He is able and willing, but will not?
  3833. <br />
  3834. <br />
  3835.  
  3836. If He is weak, feeble and wicked He is not God. Then we must ask since God is not the source of evil what is its source? Since He is God and He knows the source then why does He not remove it immediately?<br />
  3837. <br />
  3838.  
  3839.  
  3840. The prophet Habakkuk asked God, “Why do You make me see iniquity? Why do you cause me to look on wickedness?” (Hab. 1:3).<br />
  3841. <br />]]>
  3842.            </description>
  3843.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan23.html</link>
  3844.            <guid isPermaLink="false">11D4BE2F-F581-4646-81B6-19D8DBCECA04</guid>
  3845.            <pubDate>Sat, 22 Jan 2011 21:16:07 -0600</pubDate>
  3846.        </item>
  3847.        <item>
  3848.            <title>New Life in Christ</title>
  3849.            <description>
  3850.                <![CDATA[The most basic work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is the new birth.
  3851. <br />
  3852. <br />
  3853.  
  3854. All of the powers and wonders of the Christian life are centered on this essential miracle of Christianity. This miracle in the individual soul communicates new life in the individual.
  3855. <br />
  3856. <br />
  3857.  
  3858. A religious leader asked Jesus, “How can a man be born again?” (John 3:1-5) Jesus told him that he needed a spiritual birth. Yes, it was a miracle of the Holy Spirit of God giving life to the spiritually dead. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).
  3859. <br />
  3860. <br />
  3861.  
  3862. There are three ways a person cannot be born again. The apostle John says those “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (v. 13).
  3863. <br />
  3864. <br />
  3865.  
  3866. It is “not of blood,” i.e., it is not a process of nature. It is not by descent from our parents, or after the human nature, or spiritual or religious evolution. I am not a Christian because my parents were Christians. My children are not Christians because I am a Christian. Your spiritual aristocracy means nothing to God.
  3867. <br />
  3868. <br />
  3869.  
  3870. It is not “the will of the flesh.” It is not by a sincere and passionate desire to be better as expressed in good religious works. You are not born again by your efforts or determination to live a good life, or imitate the virtues of Christ. You cannot enter into a new life in Christ by any natural power.
  3871. <br />
  3872. <br />
  3873.  
  3874. It is not accomplished by “the will of man.” No decision on your part brings spiritual regeneration. It is an act of God alone. It is not by my will that I am born again. It is not where there is a will there is a way. No individual can bestow spiritual life on another person.<br />
  3875. <br />]]>
  3876.            </description>
  3877.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan22.html</link>
  3878.            <guid isPermaLink="false">FA6BE19F-64D8-44C5-BB50-ADA348A76D1C</guid>
  3879.            <pubDate>Fri, 21 Jan 2011 20:04:38 -0600</pubDate>
  3880.        </item>
  3881.        <item>
  3882.            <title>A Good and Perfect Father</title>
  3883.            <description>
  3884.                <![CDATA[God the Father loves us just as much as He loves His Son, Jesus Christ.
  3885. <br />
  3886. <br />
  3887.  
  3888. Since that is a true statement can we ever have another anxious thought or rebellious attitude toward Him? Because our heavenly Father loves us with such love as He has for His Son He will not let us want for anything good in His divine will. He will take care of us in the very best possible manner (Psa. 23:1; Eph. 1:3). It is absolutely safe to put our trust in a perfect Father.
  3889. <br />
  3890. <br />
  3891.  
  3892. “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust” (Psalm 103:13-14).
  3893. <br />
  3894. <br />
  3895.  
  3896. Jesus came to reveal the LORD God as a loving and kind Father (John 14:7-9; Matt. 11:27). It is only in the revelation of God by the Lord Jesus Christ that the idea of God the Father is fully developed. The title “Father” is a distinguishing feature in the New Testament in the teaching of Jesus, especially in the Gospel of John. He reveals Jehovah God as Father. He is not the Father of all men, but only those who come to Him through Jesus Christ. “No one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). There is a distinction between God as our Creator and as Father to the believer.
  3897. <br />
  3898. <br />
  3899.  
  3900. God is a good and perfect Father (1 John 3:1-2; John 10:15; 14:2; Eph. 3:14; Phil. 2:11).
  3901. <br />
  3902. <br />
  3903.  
  3904. We have been adopted and placed as His full-grown children in His family. He chose us to be His children; therefore we must allow Him to take care of the responsibilities as a caring Father.
  3905. <br />
  3906. <br />
  3907.  
  3908. Are we not worth more than many sparrows? As a loving Father He always takes a greater care of His children (Matt. 6:24-26, 30-33).<br />
  3909. <br />]]>
  3910.            </description>
  3911.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan21.html</link>
  3912.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D4A698D3-73D7-4178-A294-1D67312CFA9B</guid>
  3913.            <pubDate>Thu, 20 Jan 2011 22:11:21 -0600</pubDate>
  3914.        </item>
  3915.        <item>
  3916.            <title>Finish Your Work, Lord</title>
  3917.            <description>Since we are the very workmanship of God created in Christ Jesus for good works, it is imperative that we yield to His creative hand, and allow Him to finish the work He has begun.
  3918. &lt;br /&gt;
  3919. &lt;br /&gt;
  3920.  
  3921. With the new birth God has commenced the character of His people fashioning us in the likeness of His Son. No human mind could ever conceive or fully comprehend the full design of God’s infinite wisdom and love. We will have to wait until that day when Christ comes, or when we meet Him in death, to know His perfect character. We really are even right now now the children of God, but “it has not appeared as yet what we shall be.&quot; But we know “when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).
  3922. &lt;br /&gt;
  3923. &lt;br /&gt;
  3924.  
  3925. We are loved by God and have been born again; we are now His children. But even now, it has not been revealed clearly to us what we shall be. However, we know absolutely that whenever He comes we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope continually set on Him is constantly purifying himself just as He is pure.  
  3926. &lt;br /&gt;
  3927. &lt;br /&gt;
  3928.  
  3929. The present reality is we are God’s children because of the new birth and adoption into the family of God. He wants us to spend eternity with Him. Only a person who knows God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ knows what it means to be a child of God.
  3930. &lt;br /&gt;
  3931. &lt;br /&gt;
  3932.  
  3933. When Jesus Christ comes a second time all true believers in Him will become like Him (Phil. 3:20-21). They will have new, glorified, resurrected bodies adapted for heaven. Such a hope in His coming leads to a life of personal integrity. We want to live lives that are pleasing to Him. &lt;br /&gt;
  3934. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  3935.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan20.html</link>
  3936.            <guid isPermaLink="false">84EDDC3B-C200-48D3-803B-CB3FDD42BA0B</guid>
  3937.            <pubDate>Wed, 19 Jan 2011 19:48:57 -0600</pubDate>
  3938.        </item>
  3939.        <item>
  3940.            <title>Seated with Christ in Heaven</title>
  3941.            <description>
  3942.                <![CDATA[“We were made alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5).
  3943. <br />
  3944. <br />
  3945.  
  3946. The newness of life we received, as Christians is a spiritual life imparted through our identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. This identification with Him in His death broke the power of indwelling sin. Moreover, our identification with Christ in His resurrection resulted in the impartation of divine life (Romans 6:3, 4).
  3947. <br />
  3948. <br />
  3949.  
  3950. You have been completely saved by grace and the present result is that you are in a saved state of being.
  3951. <br />
  3952. <br />
  3953.  
  3954. The apostle Paul could not have stated in stronger and clearer terms the unending state of the believer in salvation. Our past, present and future state of salvation is dependent upon one thing alone, our appropriation by faith of Jesus Christ as our Savior the day we first believed on Him. We received salvation by that initial act of faith in Christ.
  3955. <br />
  3956. <br />
  3957.  
  3958. When we were born again we were made alive spiritually. The Holy Spirit imparted life to us just like raising the dead. Christ communicates life to us like He did to the dead man Lazarus (cf. Rom. 6:6-8; 8:11; Gal. 2:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:22-23; Col. 2:12; 2 Tim. 2:11ff).
  3959. <br />
  3960. <br />
  3961.  
  3962. Because of our vital union with Christ, His death is our death, His life is our life, and His exaltation is ours. Our physical position may be on earth, but our spiritual position is “in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”<br />
  3963. <br />]]>
  3964.            </description>
  3965.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan19.html</link>
  3966.            <guid isPermaLink="false">E37A8FC7-89FF-4552-B3C4-7A4259288F03</guid>
  3967.            <pubDate>Tue, 18 Jan 2011 22:05:43 -0600</pubDate>
  3968.        </item>
  3969.        <item>
  3970.            <title>Our One Supreme Passion</title>
  3971.            <description>
  3972.                <![CDATA[Authentic Christianity is God-centered because it loves the Lord God with all the heart, mind soul and strength. Evidence of a true knowledge of God is an obsession with the glory of God manifest in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  3973. <br />
  3974. <br />
  3975.  
  3976. The one consuming passion of the believer is the glory of God because he has witnessed the grandeur, majesty and excellence of the Lord God through the eyes of the Lord Jesus and he can never remain the same thereafter.
  3977. <br />
  3978. <br />
  3979.  
  3980. The glory of God is the sum weight of all the attributes of God. It sums up all that He is in the awesome beauty of His divine perfections. He is perfectly and infinitely glorious.
  3981. <br />
  3982. <br />
  3983.  
  3984. The grace of God frees us and enables us to live for His glory. Apart from His enabling grace we can do nothing that will honor and please a righteous and holy God. What we do in our abilities will only dishonor His glorious Name. If I touch it with my hands I ruin it for I am sinful. Only if what I do is covered by His atoning sacrifice will it be acceptable to a holy God.
  3985. <br />
  3986. <br />
  3987.  
  3988. It is our responsibility to ascribe the glory that is due to His wonderful person. We cannot add to His already perfect glory. We glory in His Name when we worship Him and live with the conviction that His perfections are characteristic of His person.
  3989. <br />
  3990. <br />
  3991.  
  3992. We live in a way that can mirror His glory. To sin is to bring dishonor and fall short of His glory. The passion of the Christian is to live a life-style that is to the praise of His glory. If that is our supreme passion it will redefine our daily life, and we will not be able to separate our personal lives from our worship of the living God.
  3993. <br />
  3994. <br />
  3995.  
  3996. It is tragic to see a self-centered, man-centered, humanistic pseudo-christianity in our churches.<br />
  3997. <br />]]>
  3998.            </description>
  3999.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan18.html</link>
  4000.            <guid isPermaLink="false">34EBC449-CCB5-45BD-AF1D-B779ACA46C3F</guid>
  4001.            <pubDate>Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:19:03 -0600</pubDate>
  4002.        </item>
  4003.        <item>
  4004.            <title>What will you do with Jesus Christ?</title>
  4005.            <description>
  4006.                <![CDATA[Our acceptance before God depends entirely on what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross and our response to Him.
  4007. <br />
  4008. <br />
  4009.  
  4010. The Bible makes it emphatically clear if you accept Jesus Christ, God will accept you. If you reject Jesus Christ, God will reject you.
  4011. <br />
  4012. <br />
  4013.  
  4014. “He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
  4015. <br />
  4016. <br />
  4017.  
  4018. It does not matter who we are, what we have been, or what we have done in our past, because our eternal destiny deals with one question alone, what was our personal response to the demands of Jesus Christ?
  4019. <br />
  4020. <br />
  4021.  
  4022. There is only one basis upon which an individual can be declared right with God, and that basis is the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. When any person believes on Christ as his personal Savior, accepting the fact that He bore our sins in His body on the cross, God declares us acquitted. In that moment all of our sins are forgiven and we experience peace with God.
  4023. <br />
  4024. <br />
  4025.  
  4026. “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
  4027. <br />
  4028. <br />
  4029.  
  4030. God provides us with a right relationship with Him, peace with God, and a deep and satisfying joy because of what God has done for us in Christ. The believer experiences “joy unspeakable and full of glory” because of the work of Christ, not only for us, but in us. Deep, satisfying and lasting peace and joy is found in Christ alone.<br />
  4031. <br />]]>
  4032.            </description>
  4033.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan17.html</link>
  4034.            <guid isPermaLink="false">A7C640AB-FBD2-412B-9908-E4577CC2E03B</guid>
  4035.            <pubDate>Sun, 16 Jan 2011 20:59:14 -0600</pubDate>
  4036.        </item>
  4037.        <item>
  4038.            <title>How do You know when You are Spirit-filled?</title>
  4039.            <description>
  4040.                <![CDATA[The supreme mission of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus Christ. He glorifies the Son by unfolding clearly the meaning of His person and atoning work.
  4041. <br />
  4042. <br />
  4043.  
  4044. The work of the Spirit is Christocentric. He will glorify Christ and will never draw attention to Himself. He always declares the work of Christ.
  4045. <br />
  4046. <br />
  4047.  
  4048. The work of the Holy Spirit is always to glorify Christ. Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes, “He shall glorify Me” (John 16:14). When the Spirit came upon the 120 in the upper room at Pentecost they immediately began to proclaim, not the Holy Spirit, but Jesus Christ is Lord. And they never ceased doing that.
  4049. <br />
  4050. <br />
  4051.  
  4052. How do you know when you are filled with the Spirit? You will be glorifying Jesus Christ in your everyday life and work. You are filled and under the control of the Spirit when Christ is Lord of your life. There is no greater joy than honoring Him every moment, every hour of the day.
  4053. <br />
  4054. <br />
  4055.  
  4056. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to exalt Jesus Christ in the life of every born again believer. If your life is not bringing glory to Christ then you need to ask the hard questions: Am I a true Christian? Have I been converted? Is He Lord of my life? When you become a new creation in Christ Jesus the Holy Spirit immediately begins to recreate in your life the image of the glorified Savior. It is impossible to know Christ as your Savior and not to some extent reflect His character in your life.
  4057. <br />
  4058. <br />
  4059.  
  4060. The Holy Spirit communicates and shares with us the presence and power of the exalted Christ so that He is demonstrated in us as the Lord of glory. Jesus said, “He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you” (v. 14). The Holy Spirit is the person who takes the things of Christ and manifests them to us and through us to the Father’s glory.
  4061. <br />
  4062. <br />
  4063.  
  4064. This is evident in the life of every Christian, not just an elite few special people. In every true believer the glory of Christ should be seen because the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son of God in the weakness of the human flesh. The Spirit will make Christ apparent and glorious in us. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus.<br />
  4065. <br />]]>
  4066.            </description>
  4067.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan16.html</link>
  4068.            <guid isPermaLink="false">DCE5CAF1-2E8B-4A2C-B32A-7A581D75BA4C</guid>
  4069.            <pubDate>Sat, 15 Jan 2011 22:10:09 -0600</pubDate>
  4070.        </item>
  4071.        <item>
  4072.            <title>God Knows Me</title>
  4073.            <description>
  4074.                <![CDATA[God knows me, and He still wants to pursue a personal relationship with me. That is truly amazing. He knows everything about me, and still wants to enjoy my fellowship with Him.
  4075. <br />
  4076. <br />
  4077.  
  4078. What does it mean to know God? How do you come to an intimate personal knowledge of Him?
  4079. <br />
  4080. <br />
  4081.  
  4082. I am not thinking of intellectual knowledge or facts about Him, but the importance of knowing a close friend.
  4083. <br />
  4084. <br />
  4085.  
  4086. The apostle Paul prayed that believers would know God the Father who chose us, God the Son who redeemed us, and God the Holy Spirit who applied salvation to us personally through the new birth. Now that He has saved me do I have a growing knowledge of Him? Perhaps in our busy schedule and pressures of modern life we should ask do I even want it? How do I fit a hunger for God into a complex worldview?
  4087. <br />
  4088. <br />
  4089.  
  4090. In Ephesians 1:17-19 the apostle Paul prayed that God would give believers “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation . . . to know Him better.” Paul wanted them to have a “true knowledge of Him.” But you say, they already knew Him as their Savior, and had obtained eternal life. But what I am asking is has God placed within your heart a hunger to know Him better?
  4091. <br />
  4092. <br />
  4093.  
  4094. With every relationship in life we make deliberate choices as to whether we want to pursue the relationship. God has invited us to get to know Him better. Have we responded to that invitation to belongingness? Do we have that “we” feeling with Him? Have we taken the first few faltering steps and halted? Have we reached a plateau, and is it now time to respond to further instruction in His Word?
  4095. <br />
  4096. <br />
  4097.  
  4098. Has the Holy Spirit opened the “enlightened eyes of our hearts” in order that we may know “the hope to which He has called us, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe”?<br />
  4099. <br />]]>
  4100.            </description>
  4101.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan15.html</link>
  4102.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6E7B9313-AFEE-45CF-95E2-FDABADA10F1B</guid>
  4103.            <pubDate>Fri, 14 Jan 2011 20:18:42 -0600</pubDate>
  4104.        </item>
  4105.        <item>
  4106.            <title>Do the Impossible</title>
  4107.            <description>
  4108.                <![CDATA[Jesus saw a thirty-eight year old man lying on his mat at the pool of water at Bethesda and approached him asking, “Do you wish to get well?” (John 5:5-6).
  4109. <br />
  4110. <br />
  4111.  
  4112. Christ told the man to do the impossible. “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
  4113. <br />
  4114. <br />
  4115.  
  4116. The apostle John tells us “And immediately the man became well, and took up his pallet and began to walk” (v. 9).
  4117. <br />
  4118. <br />
  4119.  
  4120. This man could not help himself. Only the divine power of Jesus Christ enabled the man to rise and walk. It was a miracle that Jesus performed at the pool of Bethesda.
  4121. <br />
  4122. <br />
  4123.  
  4124. This miracle is a remarkable illustration of the spiritual condition of every individual. You and I cannot help ourselves spiritually; our salvation depends upon the grace of God alone. Just as this physically lame man could not help himself we are utterly helpless in our sinful condition to influence our salvation in any way.
  4125. <br />
  4126. <br />
  4127.  
  4128. Those disabled individuals lying at the pool were without strength to help themselves. John describes them as blind, lame and paralyzed. The poor man said to Jesus, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me” (v. 7). How sad is the man who knows only man.
  4129. <br />
  4130. <br />
  4131.  
  4132. This is a vivid and valid description of our human depravity without Jesus Christ. Spiritually, we are sick, blind, lame and withered.
  4133. <br />
  4134. <br />
  4135.  
  4136. Like the lame man we are weak, helpless, powerless as described in Romans 5:6. “While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” “Helpless.” The Greek lexicon says, “infirm, feeble, unable to achieve anything great, destitute of power among men, sluggish in doing right.” <br />
  4137. <br />]]>
  4138.            </description>
  4139.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan14.html</link>
  4140.            <guid isPermaLink="false">A3EEB688-F70B-4E74-8BBC-9926DFFBE9B9</guid>
  4141.            <pubDate>Thu, 13 Jan 2011 21:22:13 -0600</pubDate>
  4142.        </item>
  4143.        <item>
  4144.            <title>Do You have Eternal Life?</title>
  4145.            <description>
  4146.                <![CDATA[Jesus Christ said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). How do you obtain eternal life? Have you experienced the real thing? What is this knowledge of eternal life?
  4147. <br />
  4148. <br />
  4149.  
  4150. Life eternal is God's life in us produced by His Holy Spirit. It issues in a personal encounter with a holy God who in His grace forgives us of our sins based on the atoning death of Jesus Christ. No one can have His life and not be changed. God is holy and His Spirit makes us aware of our sinfulness and of our deep personal need of His grace. It is by His grace that we are turned to Christ who is our Savior. This knowledge occurs only where God’s Holy Spirit is at work beforehand to make it possible, and it always changes us, issuing in a heart response and true devotion to Him.
  4151. <br />
  4152. <br />
  4153.  
  4154. When we become aware of the true and living God we are confronted with our sinfulness and depravity as opposed to His holiness and righteousness. We are all together corrupt and He is altogether holy. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Our sin bars our entrance into the presence of a righteous God.
  4155. <br />
  4156. <br />
  4157.  
  4158. Have you ever been really disturbed knowing that you must ultimately deal with One in whom is no sin at all, who cannot tolerate sin in any form and who must judge it?
  4159. <br />
  4160. <br />
  4161.  
  4162. All knowledge of God begins with His holiness and the reality of your sin.
  4163. <br />
  4164. <br />
  4165.  
  4166. It is good to remind ourselves that we cannot fool God. He is always aware of who we are and what we are thinking and doing. Only the fool says, “No God!” “No God!” Nothing catches the LORD God by surprise. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). <br />
  4167. <br />]]>
  4168.            </description>
  4169.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan13.html</link>
  4170.            <guid isPermaLink="false">381F2541-8CE0-4D04-AC65-0DD025D888A9</guid>
  4171.            <pubDate>Wed, 12 Jan 2011 19:28:01 -0600</pubDate>
  4172.        </item>
  4173.        <item>
  4174.            <title>Are You One of the Elect of God?</title>
  4175.            <description>
  4176.                <![CDATA[Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me shall come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37).
  4177. <br />
  4178. <br />
  4179.  
  4180. The answer to the question, are you one of the elect of God, is answered by another question: Have you believed on Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? If you have responded to His free grace, and have believed on Him alone for salvation, you should know that you are one who was given to Jesus before the foundation of the world.
  4181. <br />
  4182. <br />
  4183.  
  4184. When Jesus was praying to the Father the night before His sacrificial death on the cross He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life” (John 17:1-2).
  4185. <br />
  4186. <br />
  4187.  
  4188. Jesus is referring to the covenant between God the Father and God the Son when God gave to Jesus in salvation that great company for whom He would go to the cross and die.
  4189. <br />
  4190. <br />
  4191.  
  4192. His death provided the objective and judicial basis whereby the elect would be saved.
  4193. <br />
  4194. <br />
  4195.  
  4196. The prophet Isaiah spoke of that day in his poem of the Suffering Servant. “But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities” (Isa. 53:10-11). <br />
  4197. <br />]]>
  4198.            </description>
  4199.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan12.html</link>
  4200.            <guid isPermaLink="false">83A512C3-0AA7-4133-9966-095F2BC2599B</guid>
  4201.            <pubDate>Wed, 12 Jan 2011 19:25:54 -0600</pubDate>
  4202.        </item>
  4203.        <item>
  4204.            <title>Have You Seen the Face of God?</title>
  4205.            <description>
  4206.                <![CDATA[The disciples of Jesus saw His glory. They gazed into His character, which is the character of God. “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
  4207. <br />
  4208. <br />
  4209.  
  4210. When we see Jesus we see the Father. He “is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (v. 18).
  4211. <br />
  4212. <br />
  4213.  
  4214. The Old Testament speaks of the glory of God being so bright in radiance like the display of light that no man could approach it. The LORD is clothed with splendor and majesty. The face of Moses glowed with an irradiation or illumination in a strange and wonderful way when he came down from the mountain after speaking with God (Ex. 34:29-35). His whole personal being was mastered, captured, and illuminated by fellowship with God. There was a supreme consciousness of God’s presence.
  4215. <br />
  4216. <br />
  4217.  
  4218. That Shekinah glory cloud of God was seen coming down on the Tent of Meeting in the wilderness (Ex. 40:34). “And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (v. 35). God blessed His meeting place with His holy presence in a cloud by day and a column of fire by night. When Solomon’s Temple was dedicated God manifest His presence by filling it with His cloud of glory (1 Kings 8:10-11). “The glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.”
  4219. <br />
  4220. <br />
  4221.  
  4222. The apostle Peter, James and John were there on the mountainside when God the Father glorified His Son at His transfiguration (2 Pet. 1:16-17; Matt. 17:2). God the Father glorified His Son so that He would glorify the Father.
  4223. <br />
  4224. <br />
  4225.  
  4226. Jesus prays to the Father in John 17:1, 5, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee . . . . And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I ever had with Thee before the world was.” <br />
  4227. <br />]]>
  4228.            </description>
  4229.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan11.html</link>
  4230.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6236CC07-DE12-45DA-B8DD-2D98A7621428</guid>
  4231.            <pubDate>Mon, 10 Jan 2011 20:51:12 -0600</pubDate>
  4232.        </item>
  4233.        <item>
  4234.            <title>The Glory of God in Jesus Christ</title>
  4235.            <description>
  4236.                <![CDATA[What do you think God the Son would say to God the Father during the night before He would lay down His life as atonement for the sin of the world?
  4237. <br />
  4238. <br />
  4239.  
  4240. Imagine for a moment with me what the divine communication between God the Father and God the Son must be like. I wonder what deep conversations must take place between the members of the Trinity. The communiqué between the Godhead must be too profound and unfathomable for us to comprehend. The LORD said to Isaiah, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways . . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (55:8-9).
  4241. <br />
  4242. <br />
  4243.  
  4244. Yet, in the recorded prayer of Jesus in John chapter seventeen we are let in on this deep penetrating talk going on in the Godhead. It is exalted, holy and sublime. It is God speaking to God. This prayer is filled with simple sentences that communicate profound thought for Himself (vv. 1-5), His disciples who are with Him (vv. 6-19) and for you and me (vv. 20-26).
  4245. <br />
  4246. <br />
  4247.  
  4248. Jesus then is the burning bush of the New Testament on the most holy ground in New Testament soil.
  4249. <br />
  4250. <br />
  4251.  
  4252. This is a “warm and hearty prayer” from the depths of Jesus’ heart. It is “so honest, so simple; it is so deep, so rich, so wide, no one can fathom it,” wrote Luther.
  4253. <br />
  4254. <br />
  4255.  
  4256. The petition in verse one is so simple, yet so profound in its simplicity. “Father . . . glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee. . . . And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I ever had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:1, 5). <br />
  4257. <br />]]>
  4258.            </description>
  4259.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan10.html</link>
  4260.            <guid isPermaLink="false">B7778119-7DEF-4E12-BF50-5CD41BD1F25B</guid>
  4261.            <pubDate>Mon, 10 Jan 2011 20:49:14 -0600</pubDate>
  4262.        </item>
  4263.        <item>
  4264.            <title>Saved by Grace!</title>
  4265.            <description>
  4266.                <![CDATA[Saved by grace! There is no greater majestic theme for the Christian. It eliminates all grounds of boasting.
  4267. <br />
  4268. <br />
  4269.  
  4270. Salvation by God’s sovereign grace gives a wonderful assurance. We have security in salvation because our sovereign God elected us in eternity, adopted us into His family, regenerated us, and sealed us with His Spirit.
  4271. <br />
  4272. <br />
  4273.  
  4274. To appreciate so great salvation we must understand our great need.
  4275. <br />
  4276. <br />
  4277.  
  4278. The bottom line of sin is selfishness and the way it affects every area of our lives, but more importantly because it makes it impossible for us to influence our salvation is any way.
  4279. <br />
  4280. <br />
  4281.  
  4282. Any discussion of sin and salvation always leads to the question of our depravity. How badly depraved are we? How far did man fall when he fell in the Garden of Eden? Did man fall upward, or did he fall down?
  4283. <br />
  4284. <br />
  4285.  
  4286. The sad fact is "all the kings men, and all the kings horses and all the kings soldiers cannot put him back together again." Only God can. All of Adam's offspring are corrupted and we cannot merit, earn, win or gain a right relationship with God. Because of spiritual depravity we are dead spiritually.
  4287. <br />
  4288. <br />
  4289.  
  4290. Because of the effects of the Fall, man is no longer capable to making the right choices to get himself right with God. If you have any doubts read Romans 1:18-20.<br />
  4291. <br />]]>
  4292.            </description>
  4293.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan9.html</link>
  4294.            <guid isPermaLink="false">CEC8CF04-C58A-4089-B650-04E29FBAE21C</guid>
  4295.            <pubDate>Sat, 8 Jan 2011 19:49:36 -0600</pubDate>
  4296.        </item>
  4297.        <item>
  4298.            <title>Behold, What Manner of Love</title>
  4299.            <description>
  4300.                <![CDATA[Jesus wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus. The Jewish people who saw Him responded to one another, "Behold, how He loved him" (John 11:35-36).
  4301. <br />
  4302. <br />
  4303.  
  4304. C. H. Spurgeon said to his congregation in London, "Most of us here, I trust, are not mere onlookers, but we have a share in the special love of Jesus. We see evidences of that love, not in the tears, but in the precious blood that He so freely shed for us. . . . Behold how He loves us!"
  4305. <br />
  4306. <br />
  4307.  
  4308. Have you ever asked yourself where or when He first loved you? With fullness of heart we can say, "See, how He loves me!" Is the beginning of that great love when we first believed? Could it have begun when He died for us? As we reflect back on our lives and His love for us there is no time when He did not love us.
  4309. <br />
  4310. <br />
  4311.  
  4312. When we ponder the beginning of His love for us, it takes us beyond our creation into past eternity.
  4313. <br />
  4314. <br />
  4315.  
  4316. In eternity past Jesus so identified Himself with us and covenanted to redeem us.
  4317. <br />
  4318. <br />
  4319.  
  4320. From past eternity Jesus looked down the distant future in His divine perspective and saw the disastrous ruin of sin in our lives and chose to do something about it. In past eternity Jesus Christ took up our cause and pledged to be the guarantee of God's eternal covenant. Jesus knew that sinful man could never fulfill the demands of the covenant with the LORD God. Therefore, Jesus pledged to fulfill man's part of the covenant. He did so on our behalf long before we were able to have any part of it.
  4321. <br />
  4322. <br />
  4323.  
  4324. Jesus pledged to die for us by giving His life as a ransom for our sins. It was a unilateral covenant through His own blood for it is sealed "through the blood of the eternal covenant" (Heb. 13:20).<br />
  4325. <br />]]>
  4326.            </description>
  4327.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan8.html</link>
  4328.            <guid isPermaLink="false">67E89C27-504D-4E71-B523-B751FB9477DD</guid>
  4329.            <pubDate>Fri, 7 Jan 2011 20:25:50 -0600</pubDate>
  4330.        </item>
  4331.        <item>
  4332.            <title>Christ our Redeemer</title>
  4333.            <description>
  4334.                <![CDATA[We have been redeemed through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He paid an infinite price for our salvation. The price of redemption is the death of Jesus Christ. That is the inescapable fact in the Old and New Testament.
  4335. <br />
  4336. <br />
  4337.  
  4338. The idea of redemption comes from the ancient Greek marketplace. The word agorazo means "to buy," or "to buy in the marketplace." In the New Testament the word places the emphasis on the price Jesus paid to redeem us.
  4339. <br />
  4340. <br />
  4341.  
  4342. In the Old Testament the Jews used the word gaal, "to redeem." The word goel was the kinsman-redeemer who as the nearest of kin had the power, ability, freedom and willingness to redeem his kinsman from difficulty.
  4343. <br />
  4344. <br />
  4345.  
  4346. The Jews also used the word kofer meaning  "the ransom price," or the price of redemption.
  4347. <br />
  4348. <br />
  4349.  
  4350. These words suggesting redemption by payment may be strange in our day, but were clearly ingrained in the Jewish and Greek culture of the first century Christianity.
  4351. <br />
  4352. <br />
  4353.  
  4354. The great Gospel of Jesus Christ not only redeems us by the payment of His death, but it goes a step further. Jesus purchased us out of the slave market and permanently set us free to never return to its bondage. The redeemed person has come under new ownership and management.
  4355. <br />
  4356. <br />
  4357.  
  4358. The apostle Paul wrote, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:7-8; cf. Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Matthew 20:28).<br />
  4359. <br />]]>
  4360.            </description>
  4361.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan7.html</link>
  4362.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D7A91185-1937-42FE-804B-360FEDDDFAD3</guid>
  4363.            <pubDate>Fri, 7 Jan 2011 20:24:39 -0600</pubDate>
  4364.        </item>
  4365.        <item>
  4366.            <title>Do you have a Sense of God’s Presence?</title>
  4367.            <description>
  4368.                <![CDATA[“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith . . .” (Ephesians 3:17).
  4369. <br />
  4370. <br />
  4371.  
  4372. A good friend asked me, “Do you fell you are adequately experiencing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit?” That is a probing question every Christian should pause and consider.
  4373. <br />
  4374. <br />
  4375.  
  4376. I firmly believe that every born again believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but not every believer is yielded to His control. Our experience of His divine presence depends upon our yielding to Him moment by moment. If the Holy Spirit is to have a larger part of our lives we must make a deliberate choice and allow Him to take control.
  4377. <br />
  4378. <br />
  4379.  
  4380. The Spirit wants to fill our lives so that Christ may settle down and make Himself feel completely at home as a permanent resident in our hearts (Eph. 3:17). Our prayer should be that Christ would settle down, even now, in our hearts and take control as the rightful owner.
  4381. <br />
  4382. <br />
  4383.  
  4384. Imagine what it would be like to experience the “fullness of God” (v. 19). Paul was praying that we may be filled up to or unto all the fullness that is in God Himself. That will not take place until we stand complete and perfect in the likeness of Christ at His coming, but it can be our prayer and vision now. Paul was praying that we would be filled and filled and filled and filled forever, as God out of His infinite resources increasingly pours Himself into His redeemed people.
  4385. <br />
  4386. <br />
  4387.  
  4388. David Brainerd wrote in his diary April 21, 1742, “O My sweet Savior! Who have I but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.” Then he added, “If I had a thousand lives, my soul would gladly have laid them all down at once, to have been with Christ. My soul never enjoyed so much of heaven before; it was the most refined and most spiritual season of communion with God I ever yet felt.”<br />
  4389. <br />]]>
  4390.            </description>
  4391.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan6.html</link>
  4392.            <guid isPermaLink="false">709BBF90-C919-4D11-9211-BDD9921B7462</guid>
  4393.            <pubDate>Wed, 5 Jan 2011 19:27:07 -0600</pubDate>
  4394.        </item>
  4395.        <item>
  4396.            <title>Do you Seek a Deeper Life with God?</title>
  4397.            <description>
  4398.                <![CDATA[The apostle Paul prayed, “That I may know Him . . .” (Philippians 3:10).
  4399.  
  4400. The late missionary to South Africa Andrew Murray was a holy man. At one point in his life he was going through a painful experience. Murray was quiet for sometime before the Lord and then he wrote these words for himself: "First, He brought me here, it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest. Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child. Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last, in His good time He can bring me out again—how and when He knows."
  4401. <br />
  4402. <br />
  4403.  
  4404. The Christian is here:
  4405.  
  4406. ·         By God’s appointment,
  4407.  
  4408. ·         In His keeping,
  4409.  
  4410. ·         Under His training,
  4411.  
  4412. ·         For His time.
  4413. <br />
  4414. <br />
  4415.  
  4416. No natural man can produce that kind of life. It comes as a by-product of a Spirit-filled life. It is the fruit of patient submission to the perfect will of God.
  4417. <br />
  4418. <br />
  4419.  
  4420. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).
  4421. <br />
  4422. <br />
  4423.  
  4424. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “One’s will must always be abandoned to the divine will, that one’s own will must be given up, if the divine will is to be manifested.”
  4425. <br />
  4426. <br />
  4427.  
  4428. Of course, the key to everything in the Christian life is the "in Him." All that we might rightly expect from God, and ask Him for, is to be found in an intimate personal love relationship with Jesus Christ.
  4429. <br />
  4430. <br />
  4431.  
  4432. Such a life is the manifestation of a life lived close to God and in the light of His holy presence. That is the new life in Christ.
  4433. <br />
  4434. <br />
  4435.  
  4436. How do you experience such a holy walk?
  4437. <br />
  4438. <br />
  4439.  
  4440. “No man has a right to be so immersed in active life as to neglect the contemplation of God,” said Augustine of Hippo.<br />
  4441. <br />]]>
  4442.            </description>
  4443.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan5.html</link>
  4444.            <guid isPermaLink="false">A129FDCA-FB91-4B35-A447-2F37DD9F368D</guid>
  4445.            <pubDate>Tue, 4 Jan 2011 23:49:04 -0600</pubDate>
  4446.        </item>
  4447.        <item>
  4448.            <title>Are You a Saint?</title>
  4449.            <description>
  4450.                <![CDATA[In His great priestly prayer Jesus was praying for His disciples, present and future. He said to His Father, “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth” (John 17:19).
  4451. <br />
  4452. <br />
  4453.  
  4454. Did Jesus mean that He wished to become holier? Was He praying for sinless perfection? Of course, not, that would have been impossible for the infinitely holy One to become holier. He was already perfectly holy.
  4455. <br />
  4456. <br />
  4457.  
  4458. Jesus was using the correct definition of the word saint. Jesus was setting Himself apart to the task of making atonement for our sins on the cross so we could become set apart for God. A saint is one who is “set apart” for God’s unique possession and purposes. The setting apart as a saint is something God does apart from human endeavor.
  4459. <br />
  4460. <br />
  4461.  
  4462. The person who believes on Jesus Christ is set apart when God reaches down in His grace and mercy through the person and work of the Holy Spirit, regenerates him spiritually and sets him apart for His own possession.
  4463. <br />
  4464. <br />
  4465.  
  4466. One of the great truths of the reformation is, “Every Christian is a saint, and every saint is a Christian.”<br />
  4467. <br />
  4468. Every born again believer in Christ is set apart from the world system and no longer belongs to its way of life. The believer has a new principle, new nature, new kingdom, new master, new loyalties, new purpose and new agenda in life.<br />
  4469. <br />]]>
  4470.            </description>
  4471.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan4.html</link>
  4472.            <guid isPermaLink="false">29FBFD81-0E92-4DD2-86E7-1175E78BD282</guid>
  4473.            <pubDate>Mon, 3 Jan 2011 21:28:40 -0600</pubDate>
  4474.        </item>
  4475.        <item>
  4476.            <title>Always in Abundant Supply</title>
  4477.            <description>
  4478.                <![CDATA[Jesus Christ is all-sufficient to meet our every need, but if He is going to meet our needs we must be wiling to recognize our needs and call upon Him. There must be a turning to Him for help. He can supply every spiritual need we face in life if we respond to His abiding presence.
  4479. <br />
  4480. <br />
  4481.  
  4482. At the feeding of the five thousand Jesus provided food in abundance, and it is always that way with God (Matt. 14:15-21; Mk. 6:33-44; Lk. 9:12-17; Jn. 6:1-15). The interesting thing is Jesus initiated the feeding of the people. He knew in advance that He was going to meet their need. He was interested in their welfare. He was able to do it.
  4483. <br />
  4484. <br />
  4485.  
  4486. What is your attitude toward being fed by God? Do you feed upon Him?
  4487. <br />
  4488. <br />
  4489.  
  4490. God never ceases granting our petitions until we cease asking. True, He does not always answer the way we would choose, but it is always with our very best in His mind. I thank God that He has not always granted my requests from my selfish, ignorant perspective. He often says no, in order to give me His very best.
  4491. <br />
  4492. <br />
  4493.  
  4494. Jesus is ever coming to bankrupt sinners and placing His hand on the bank draft of heaven and says to us, "Write on it what you need."
  4495. <br />
  4496. <br />
  4497.  
  4498. We have so little faith in things unseen and eternal. We draw so little on the resources of our heavenly Intercessor. "My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory."
  4499. <br />
  4500. <br />
  4501.  
  4502. Have you humbly asked God to supply your needs from His all-sufficiency? He is able. Jesus tells us He is always willing to fill our empty buckets.
  4503. <br />
  4504. <br />
  4505.  
  4506. The wise person recognizes his need and asks God to meet every need as it arises.<br />
  4507. <br />]]>
  4508.            </description>
  4509.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan3.html</link>
  4510.            <guid isPermaLink="false">A88EA3A8-C1F4-4665-B8B1-088F0CCB51ED</guid>
  4511.            <pubDate>Sun, 2 Jan 2011 20:57:21 -0600</pubDate>
  4512.        </item>
  4513.        <item>
  4514.            <title>Who is Jesus Christ?</title>
  4515.            <description>
  4516.                <![CDATA[n a hot debate with a group of hostile religious leaders Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56).
  4517. <br />
  4518. <br />
  4519.  
  4520. In their rush to react in emotional excitement they weren’t paying attention to what Jesus said so they concluded, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” (v. 57).
  4521. <br />
  4522. <br />
  4523.  
  4524. In response to their question Jesus made one of the most profound statements about His deity. “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM” (v. 58).
  4525. <br />
  4526. <br />
  4527.  
  4528. Who is this man? Is He God? Who is this “I AM”? Who is Jesus Christ?
  4529. <br />
  4530. <br />
  4531.  
  4532. Make no mistake Jesus was claiming to have existed before the Jewish patriarch Abraham was born. He was claiming an eternal preexistence—“Before Abraham was born, I am.”
  4533. <br />
  4534. <br />
  4535.  
  4536. When Jesus used the name “I AM” He was actually using the divine name by which the God of Israel had revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:13-14). God revealed Himself to Moses as “I am who I am.” “I AM” is the name for God that Jesus takes to Himself. With this name for deity He claimed to be Yahweh which is the very word for Jehovah or LORD.
  4537. <br />
  4538. <br />
  4539.  
  4540. The Jews listening to Jesus immediately recognized His claim to be God. The Jewish leaders knew what Jesus was saying. They clearly understood His speech. Because they were so inferioritied, they picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy.
  4541. <br />
  4542. <br />
  4543.  
  4544. This was not the only time Jesus directly or indirectly claimed to be God’s equal.<br />
  4545. <br />]]>
  4546.            </description>
  4547.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan2.html</link>
  4548.            <guid isPermaLink="false">404A2FE2-0569-4C3F-A405-1C7442B7E489</guid>
  4549.            <pubDate>Sun, 2 Jan 2011 20:55:23 -0600</pubDate>
  4550.        </item>
  4551.        <item>
  4552.            <title>The Lord Will Provide</title>
  4553.            <description>
  4554.                <![CDATA[Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).
  4555. <br />
  4556. <br />
  4557.  
  4558. Jesus made a startling statement stressing the fact that the ancient Jewish patriarch Abraham placed his ultimate hope in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and he rejoiced in the thought of Christ’s coming.
  4559. <br />
  4560. <br />
  4561.  
  4562. Jesus points to the event as “My day”—the life of Jesus Christ. That is the event that Abraham was reflecting upon and rejoicing about.
  4563. <br />
  4564. <br />
  4565.  
  4566. Something happened to Abraham in his day to cause him to rejoice back then at the thought of the coming of God’s redeemer. I believe Abraham’s vision of the coming of Christ as our substitute is vividly portrayed in the near sacrifice of his son Isaac on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22). There Abraham learned that “the Lord will provide,” and He did at Calvary.
  4567. <br />
  4568. <br />
  4569.  
  4570. Abraham had already experienced the reality that God is true to His Word, no matter how strange it may seem. God told Abraham to kill Isaac, the son of the covenant, who had no children at this time in his life. Abraham knew God would have to perform a miracle in Isaac’s death. God would have to raise Isaac from the dead to accomplish His promise of producing a great nation through Isaac. Since God had done a miracle at Isaac’s birth, He was fully capable of performing a miracle in his sacrificial death. The context of Genesis chapter 22 fully expects God to bring Isaac back down the mountain with his father Abraham and the servants after the sacrifice (Gen. 22:5; Heb. 11:17-19).
  4571. <br />
  4572. <br />
  4573.  
  4574. Abraham trusted God to bring Isaac back from the dead. This was precisely what God the Father did with His own Son Jesus Christ. <br />
  4575. <br />]]>
  4576.            </description>
  4577.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jan1.html</link>
  4578.            <guid isPermaLink="false">00F0B4DF-7BA8-4647-AE6E-98662718B2E4</guid>
  4579.            <pubDate>Fri, 31 Dec 2010 20:01:01 -0600</pubDate>
  4580.        </item>
  4581.        <item>
  4582.            <title>Justified Freely by God’s Grace</title>
  4583.            <description>
  4584.                <![CDATA[Grace, how sweet the sound to our sinful hearts!
  4585. <br />
  4586. <br />
  4587.  
  4588. The Bible teaches that we are saved by the free sovereign grace of God in Jesus Christ. Neither will the grace of God ever be withheld, nor will it be lessened because of anything we have done, or will do.
  4589. <br />
  4590. <br />
  4591.  
  4592. There is no more majestic word than "grace." It means unmerited favor or kindness shown to a person who is utterly undeserving. In fact, it is a free gift given to us who deserve the exact opposite. It is given to us sinners who are without hope and without God in the world.
  4593. <br />
  4594. <br />
  4595.  
  4596. Grace is never set in the context of any supposed merit of our own, but always on the basis of Romans 1:18-3:20 which describes our utter ruin in sin. Grace must always be approached with that reality of personal sin in mind. Without the deep conviction of the Holy Spirit we do not understand our need for God’s saving grace.
  4597. <br />
  4598. <br />
  4599.  
  4600. The Amplified Bible on Romans 3:20 reads, “For no person will be justified—made righteous, acquitted and judged acceptable—in His sight by observing the words prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith and holy character].”
  4601. <br />
  4602. <br />
  4603.  
  4604. We are saved by unmerited grace (Eph. 2:8-9). Saving grace of God is a gift that is received only through faith in Jesus, apart from any human merit. We do not deserve grace, for if we did it would not be grace. The only thing we deserve is the full outpouring of God’s just wrath upon us for eternity. If it is not apart from good works and human merit, it is not saving grace because God does not owe us anything.<br />
  4605. <br />]]>
  4606.            </description>
  4607.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec31.html</link>
  4608.            <guid isPermaLink="false">4B70F5EC-C020-4FA1-A11D-280383353934</guid>
  4609.            <pubDate>Thu, 30 Dec 2010 20:21:56 -0600</pubDate>
  4610.        </item>
  4611.        <item>
  4612.            <title>Why Christians Must be Holy</title>
  4613.            <description>
  4614.                <![CDATA[It is very clear in the teachings of the Scripture that no Christian is sinless (1 John 1:8-10), but it is also clear that God expects the true believer to not sin habitually. “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in Him, and he cannot practice sin because he is born of God” (3:9).
  4615. <br />
  4616. <br />
  4617.  
  4618. To “practice” sin is to sin as a way of life. An unsaved person lives a life of habitual sin. The sin of unbelief is a normal thing for the lost person. A true believer does not live in habitual sin. He may commit occasional sins but he will not make it a habitual practice.
  4619. <br />
  4620. <br />
  4621.  
  4622. The word “holy,” “holiness,” “saint” and “sanctify” comes from a Greek root meaning, “to set apart to God.” The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is set apart for God by the Holy Spirit. The “saint” is a person set apart for God, enjoying a holy standing before God in Christ Jesus, with the obligation of living a holy life (1 Pet. 1:15-16).
  4623. <br />
  4624. <br />
  4625.  
  4626. The evidence of the new birth is righteous behavior in the life of the believer. Sanctification is evident in a changed life. God changes us from the inside out (2 Cor. 5:17).
  4627. <br />
  4628. <br />
  4629.  
  4630. J. C. Ryle in his book on holiness gave eight reasons why holiness is necessary in the Christian’s life (Holiness, pp. 40-44).
  4631. <br />
  4632. <br />
  4633.  
  4634. 1. God commands that the Christian be holy (1 Peter 1:14-16; Lev. 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7). God said, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” Be holy, and not conforming to evil desire. God’s holiness expresses His divine perfection. His innermost nature is holy, and a holy God calls for a holy people (1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1 Cor. 1:2). <br />
  4635. <br />]]>
  4636.            </description>
  4637.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec30.html</link>
  4638.            <guid isPermaLink="false">49B0857B-19C7-4511-83F8-3244D2DAF44A</guid>
  4639.            <pubDate>Wed, 29 Dec 2010 21:19:19 -0600</pubDate>
  4640.        </item>
  4641.        <item>
  4642.            <title>Secure Shelter in the Storms of Life</title>
  4643.            <description>“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).
  4644. &lt;br /&gt;
  4645. &lt;br /&gt;
  4646.  
  4647. The Psalmist invites us to abide in the Father’s shadow where we see only the face of the Almighty. The veil of the temple was torn in two making it possible for every believer to go into the presence of the LORD God anytime he desires. In deed, as the Psalmist said we can abide in His presence all the time.
  4648. &lt;br /&gt;
  4649. &lt;br /&gt;
  4650.  
  4651. The “shelter of the Almighty” implies His holy presence. In the “shadow of the Almighty” we find strength to live a holy life.
  4652. &lt;br /&gt;
  4653. &lt;br /&gt;
  4654.  
  4655. Has the Most High become your dwelling presence? The believer finds refuge and a secure place in the strong fortress of Yahweh. The LORD is “My refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust” (v. 2). Whoever trusts in the Most High finds security and protection in God’s holy presence.
  4656. &lt;br /&gt;
  4657. &lt;br /&gt;
  4658.  
  4659. Two interesting titles of God are found in verses one and two. The infinite power and sovereign rule of God are expressed in “the Most High” and “the Almighty.” We worship “the Most High” God. Elyôn suggests the exaltedness and overwhelming majesty of God, signifying the supremacy of the deity. This divine name reflects the ideas of omnipotence (Ps 18:13; Lam. 3:38), universality (Ps 83:18), and constancy (Ps 21:7). He is the place of protection and shelter for Israel (Ps 9:2; 91:1, 9), and for her king (Ps 21:7). Elyôn seems to have a special concern for Zion (Ps 46:4; 87:5) even though He is Lord of all heaven and earth. Psalm 73:11 tells us it is impossible to hide from the all-knowing God.&lt;br /&gt;
  4660. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  4661.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec29.html</link>
  4662.            <guid isPermaLink="false">433C25A4-BFF3-4518-8F05-BC8CAF266499</guid>
  4663.            <pubDate>Tue, 28 Dec 2010 20:35:18 -0600</pubDate>
  4664.        </item>
  4665.        <item>
  4666.            <title>A New Life with a New Way</title>
  4667.            <description>The apostle Paul revealed the very core of the Christian life when he wrote: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Paul testified that his life passion is to know Christ.
  4668. &lt;br /&gt;
  4669. &lt;br /&gt;
  4670.  
  4671. I count all thing loss that I might value the surpassing value of knowing by personal experience Christ Jesus my Lord. I count all my self-efforts a loss in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him. I want a righteousness that comes on the basis of faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ. The passion of my life is “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, in order that I may attain to the resurrection of the dead” (3:10-11).
  4672. &lt;br /&gt;
  4673. &lt;br /&gt;
  4674.  
  4675. Has Jesus Christ laid hold of you? Like a wrestler, the apostle Paul says, Christ got hold on me, and now I want to get a good grip on Him. Do you have that same passion of the apostle?  I want Jesus Christ, and nothing else in life will satisfy once you get a taste of His life.
  4676. &lt;br /&gt;
  4677. &lt;br /&gt;
  4678.  
  4679. When you come to an intimate love relationship with Christ, you want to celebrate His glory at every opportunity. You long to see His face and hear His voice and feel His touch and walk hand in hand with Him.
  4680. &lt;br /&gt;
  4681. &lt;br /&gt;
  4682.  
  4683. He bides us, “Come and follow” and trust Him for every provision each step of the way. &lt;br /&gt;
  4684. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  4685.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec28.html</link>
  4686.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7594BA74-5D80-4DFF-8DDD-5F23EF944436</guid>
  4687.            <pubDate>Mon, 27 Dec 2010 19:45:08 -0600</pubDate>
  4688.        </item>
  4689.        <item>
  4690.            <title>Attitudes Toward the King</title>
  4691.            <description>
  4692.                <![CDATA[What is your attitude toward the coming of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Savior of the world?
  4693. <br />
  4694. <br />
  4695.  
  4696. Mary the expectant mother of Jesus declared in song, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . .” (Luke 1:46-47).
  4697. <br />
  4698. <br />
  4699.  
  4700. Does your heart “make great the Lord”? Does your spirit rejoice in “God my Savior”?
  4701. <br />
  4702. <br />
  4703.  
  4704. Great is the mercy of the Lord upon us. Mary’s heart filled to overflowing with thanksgiving for the privilege of serving the LORD God as a humble maiden.
  4705. <br />
  4706. <br />
  4707.  
  4708. Because we have been saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ we have the wonderful privilege and opportunity of magnifying the Lord with our lives. We have been saved to serve Him. Our hearts have been made new by the new birth and we rejoice in God our Savior.
  4709. <br />
  4710. <br />
  4711.  
  4712. The LORD God is great and is worthy of our worship. Mary proclaimed the greatness of Yahweh when she declared, “My soul magnifies the Lord.”
  4713. <br />
  4714. <br />
  4715.  
  4716. With a joyful heart she enthusiastically shouted, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
  4717. <br />
  4718. <br />
  4719.  
  4720. Has the Holy Spirit put a profound joy in your heart? Does that deep, deep peace cause you to break forth at times rejoicing in the great salvation God has brought into your life? There is a peace and joy in the Christian’s heart that is deep and profound because God has placed it there. It should cause our hearts to rejoice and keep on rejoicing at the great and mighty things God has done.
  4721. <br />
  4722. <br />
  4723.  
  4724. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). The apostle Paul tells us to share that joy with others.<br />
  4725. <br />]]>
  4726.            </description>
  4727.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec27.html</link>
  4728.            <guid isPermaLink="false">4A2F04A3-BEC7-4E93-B5B4-D81969715BBB</guid>
  4729.            <pubDate>Sun, 26 Dec 2010 21:43:41 -0600</pubDate>
  4730.        </item>
  4731.        <item>
  4732.            <title>Wise Men Worship the King</title>
  4733.            <description>
  4734.                <![CDATA[The longer I live the more I want to be around wise men.
  4735. <br />
  4736. <br />
  4737.  
  4738. “Wise men,” more properly, “Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem” looking for the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:1-2).
  4739. <br />
  4740. <br />
  4741.  
  4742. Since Herod had all of the children less than two years of age murdered in Bethlehem, the Magi probably arrived after Jesus had already become a young child. The Magi didn’t find Mary and Jesus in the stable, but in a house.
  4743. <br />
  4744. <br />
  4745.  
  4746. The “star” that guided the Magi was possibly the appearance of the Shekinah glory that signified the presence of God and guided the Jewish people in their wilderness wanderings. The glory could have appeared and reappeared as needed to guide the wise men to Bethlehem on their long journey. The “star” “stopped over the place where the child was” (v. 9). It kept on going before them and then “came and stood over where the child was.”
  4747. <br />
  4748. <br />
  4749.  
  4750. We are not told how long the journey was, how many Magi were on the trip, or any details about the star. We do not know where they came from except for a general indication “from the east.” Probably the distant Persia was the beginning of their journey. The important thing for the Gospel writer was the fact that non-Jews made the long journey to come and worship the Jewish Messiah. He even concludes his Gospel reminding the church to take the good news of Jesus Christ to “all the nations.”<br />
  4751. <br />
  4752.  
  4753.  
  4754. These wise men made their journey “to worship Him.”<br />
  4755. <br />]]>
  4756.            </description>
  4757.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec26.html</link>
  4758.            <guid isPermaLink="false">046C9200-E011-4524-A1E5-44331D5C5006</guid>
  4759.            <pubDate>Sat, 25 Dec 2010 21:40:28 -0600</pubDate>
  4760.        </item>
  4761.        <item>
  4762.            <title>God’s Christmas Tree</title>
  4763.            <description>
  4764.                <![CDATA[God’s ultimate will is for every believer to be conformed to the likeness of His Son. The most powerful message of Christmas is the transforming grace of God in Jesus Christ.
  4765. <br />
  4766. <br />
  4767.  
  4768. God’s Christmas tree is covered with the undefiled and sinless blood of His Son Jesus Christ. It is not the meek and mild “baby Jesus” that saves a lost humanity. It is His sacrificial, substitutionary, atoning death that deals with our human depravity and sin. Without that death we are eternally lost and judged to spend eternity in hell.
  4769. <br />
  4770. <br />
  4771.  
  4772. There is only one way to be made acceptable with a holy and righteous God. The grace of God in Jesus Christ alone saves the confessing and believing sinner.
  4773. <br />
  4774. <br />
  4775.  
  4776. Good works and religious activity at Christmas time will not save you. All of your human titles and achievements are absolutely of no spiritual value. We will enter into God’s holy presence by depending on the death of Jesus Christ alone to save us. There is no other way (Acts 4:12). Our eternal salvation is by grace alone (Eph. 2:8-9). God transforms us by His grace. That is why even at Christmas time the only thing worth boasting about is the cross of Jesus Christ (Gal. 6:14).  Because of His great love for us, Jesus offered Himself as our substitutionary sacrifice. It was not because He saw anything in us, or anything we would do, but His majestic love. Everything we count as spiritually valuable is worthless in God’s eyes. Only the substitutionary death of His Son on our behalf on His tree can satisfy God and save us.
  4777. <br />
  4778. <br />
  4779.  
  4780. The grace that decorates God’s tree illumines our minds and changes our hearts. “Oh Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee.”
  4781. <br />
  4782. <br />
  4783.  
  4784. God decorates His Christmas tree with the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We give back to Him what He has given to us. He conforms us to Christ’s image. That makes His tree light up the world. <br />
  4785. <br />]]>
  4786.            </description>
  4787.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec25.html</link>
  4788.            <guid isPermaLink="false">3D8098C2-C3F6-486C-80B0-137A57DDFB0B</guid>
  4789.            <pubDate>Fri, 24 Dec 2010 21:52:13 -0600</pubDate>
  4790.        </item>
  4791.        <item>
  4792.            <title>When God Invaded History</title>
  4793.            <description>The accounts of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth are fully historical. They describe the events when the supernatural invaded the normal flow of historical events.
  4794. &lt;br /&gt;
  4795. &lt;br /&gt;
  4796.  
  4797. The physician Luke tells us he thoroughly researched everything about the life of Jesus concerning His conception and birth (Luke 1:1-4). Luke must have gotten his details from Mary.
  4798. &lt;br /&gt;
  4799. &lt;br /&gt;
  4800.  
  4801. Matthew makes it very clear that God invaded history. He quotes Isaiah 7:14, &quot;Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.&quot; Jesus is “God with us.”  The Hebrew word Bethulah means an unblemished young woman of marriageable age. She was a virgin. Matthew used the word “virgin” to tell his readers that Jesus was conceived by God to the Holy Spirit apart from any human father.
  4802. &lt;br /&gt;
  4803. &lt;br /&gt;
  4804.  
  4805. Matthew states clearly and concisely: &quot;Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit&quot; (Matthew 1:18).  A couple of verses later he adds, &quot;But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit&quot; (Matthew 1:20).
  4806. &lt;br /&gt;
  4807. &lt;br /&gt;
  4808.  
  4809. The child who had been conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit was the divine Messiah, the Son of God. He is Immanuel, God incarnate, meaning “God with us.” Jesus is incarnate deity, and He has promised us that He will be with us always, even to the very end of the ages (Matt. 28:20). He will never leave us nor forsake us.&lt;br /&gt;
  4810. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  4811.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec24.html</link>
  4812.            <guid isPermaLink="false">E0D1C2E9-DEA6-4A65-8ADB-ADA13B4DDDA1</guid>
  4813.            <pubDate>Thu, 23 Dec 2010 21:23:01 -0600</pubDate>
  4814.        </item>
  4815.        <item>
  4816.            <title>The Genealogy of Jesus</title>
  4817.            <description>Are you up-to-date on your genealogy? Lots of families have their own historian who wants to delve into their family history and genealogy.
  4818. &lt;br /&gt;
  4819. &lt;br /&gt;
  4820.  
  4821. The Jewish people through out the early years of their history kept up with their genealogy because every male child of King David was a potential Messiah. Down through Jewish history, the people looked forward to the coming of their Messiah. The genealogies would show them who might be a legitimate descendant of David to reign on the throne. Only when Jesus was born in Bethlehem did the long awaited king arrive.
  4822. &lt;br /&gt;
  4823. &lt;br /&gt;
  4824.  
  4825. “Joseph, son of David” (Matthew 1:20) is a quote from the genealogy of Jesus. “Where is he who is born King of the Jews?” (2:2) Jesus was no son of the illegitimate King Herod who ruled Judah (2:12-23). Herod was an Idumaean, and he did not have a drop of David’s blood in him.
  4826. &lt;br /&gt;
  4827. &lt;br /&gt;
  4828.  
  4829. The angel said to Mary, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:31-33).
  4830. &lt;br /&gt;
  4831. &lt;br /&gt;
  4832.  
  4833. Why do we have two genealogies of Jesus in the Gospels? I agree with a number of leading scholars who understand the two lines represent the lines of Joseph and Mary respectively.&lt;br /&gt;
  4834. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  4835.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec23.html</link>
  4836.            <guid isPermaLink="false">CFE46231-1677-4644-A6C1-4A0ACE77921A</guid>
  4837.            <pubDate>Wed, 22 Dec 2010 22:21:15 -0600</pubDate>
  4838.        </item>
  4839.        <item>
  4840.            <title>He Will Save His People from Their Sins</title>
  4841.            <description>
  4842.                <![CDATA[“A kind of moral relativism has taken over. Nothing is really wrong. If I have a good reason to do it, it’s not sin.” That is the modern attitude toward the righteousness of God.
  4843. <br />
  4844. <br />
  4845.  
  4846. I get the impression that the church in our day avoids at all costs the idea of sin and guilt and therefore tries to entertain lost sinners into heaven.
  4847. <br />
  4848. <br />
  4849.  
  4850. However, there is no escaping the fact that when God became flesh so He could be with us He did so in order to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
  4851. <br />
  4852. <br />
  4853.  
  4854. The angel appeared in the presence of Joseph who was engaged to be married to Mary and told him, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (v. 20).
  4855. <br />
  4856. <br />
  4857.  
  4858. Joseph did not ask why, but here is God’s answer to the question. The angel continues, “And she will bear a son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins” (v. 21).
  4859. <br />
  4860. <br />
  4861.  
  4862. The ancient Jewish rabbis had a saying concerning the names of the six persons who were named before they were born: Isaac, Moses, Solomon, Josiah, and the name of the Messiah.
  4863. <br />
  4864. <br />
  4865.  
  4866. “You shall call His name Jesus.” You will name Him after His Father. Not Joseph, mind you, because Joseph would be his stepfather. Jesus was “conceived in her [Mary] of the Holy Spirit” (v.20).<br />
  4867. <br />]]>
  4868.            </description>
  4869.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec22.html</link>
  4870.            <guid isPermaLink="false">9F119FB3-FBF1-4CB2-B163-601E6A6F5FB3</guid>
  4871.            <pubDate>Wed, 22 Dec 2010 22:19:33 -0600</pubDate>
  4872.        </item>
  4873.        <item>
  4874.            <title>A Virgin, Immanuel and the Incarnation</title>
  4875.            <description>
  4876.                <![CDATA[Ahaz was faithless.
  4877. <br />
  4878. <br />
  4879.  
  4880. Neighboring countries of Syria and Israel banned together to fight the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Ahaz, the king of Judah, sent for the king of Assyria to come to his rescue.
  4881. <br />
  4882. <br />
  4883.  
  4884. The LORD God is sovereign in the affairs of the nations and He sent the Hebrew prophet Isaiah to counsel Ahaz. Isaiah said, “Take care, and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because the two stubs of smoldering firebrands . . .” (Isaiah 7:4).  The two threatening countries are just burned up pieces of firewood. God said, “It shall not stand, nor shall it come to pass” (v. 7).
  4885. <br />
  4886. <br />
  4887.  
  4888. What would you have done if you were Ahaz? The pressure on Ahaz was intense, not just the threat of war, but the LORD was breathing down his neck as well. “If you will not believe, you surely shall not last” (v. 19). Ahaz, you are as good as gone yourself if you do not trust Me. If you trust Me I will deliver you from this smoke, but if you don’t you are through as a king. Moreover, trusting in the Assyrian army is not trusting in Yahweh.
  4889. <br />
  4890. <br />
  4891.  
  4892. Ahaz refused to trust in the LORD. So He spoke to the king again, “Ask for a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; make it as deep as Sheol or high as heaven” (v. 11). Go ahead, ask Ahaz! What an opportunity to see God do the impossible!
  4893. <br />
  4894. <br />
  4895.  
  4896. King Ahaz got a little religious. “I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD” (v. 12). That was exactly what he was doing by not trusting Yahweh. God invited Ahaz to ask for the “sign.” He was not testing God; God was testing him. The “sign” was a pledge of divine certainty, a miracle wrought for evidential purposes.
  4897. <br />
  4898. <br />
  4899.  
  4900. What would you have asked for? How would you have responded?<br />
  4901. <br />]]>
  4902.            </description>
  4903.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec21.html</link>
  4904.            <guid isPermaLink="false">0C7FDE33-1007-46B9-A8CA-0FBCF0E7020A</guid>
  4905.            <pubDate>Mon, 20 Dec 2010 21:46:00 -0600</pubDate>
  4906.        </item>
  4907.        <item>
  4908.            <title>Consequences of Unbelief</title>
  4909.            <description>The gospel writer Luke described Zacharias and Elizabeth as an elderly couple, “both advanced in years,” and without children. “Elizabeth was barren.” Zechariah was a priest who married a woman of priestly descent. “They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6).
  4910. &lt;br /&gt;
  4911. &lt;br /&gt;
  4912.  
  4913. Zacharias had the honor “to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense” (v. 9). “And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering” (v. 10).
  4914. &lt;br /&gt;
  4915. &lt;br /&gt;
  4916.  
  4917. It was a very special time for the elderly priest. He and his wife had prayed often and for many years for a son to carry on his family name, and to fill their lives with joy.
  4918. &lt;br /&gt;
  4919. &lt;br /&gt;
  4920.  
  4921. Imagine what it was like that day in the temple when “an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense” in the Holy Place (v. 11). “Fear gripped” Zacharias as he listened to the angel.
  4922. &lt;br /&gt;
  4923. &lt;br /&gt;
  4924.  
  4925. “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear a son, and you will give him the name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth” (vv. 13-14).&lt;br /&gt;
  4926. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  4927.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec20.html</link>
  4928.            <guid isPermaLink="false">02937843-AFD1-4EEE-980B-05E84F2F49A7</guid>
  4929.            <pubDate>Sun, 19 Dec 2010 19:48:26 -0600</pubDate>
  4930.        </item>
  4931.        <item>
  4932.            <title>The Spirit of Free Grace</title>
  4933.            <description>Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us salvation is by the free grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Salvation is by free grace.
  4934. &lt;br /&gt;
  4935. &lt;br /&gt;
  4936.  
  4937. The old way of legalism does not like that kind of salvation. The legalists do not like to hear the good news in Jesus Christ. True salvation is by grace of God through faith in Christ. There is no hope of salvation by the law because no sinner can ever live up to the righteous demands of God’s holy law. Salvation is on the basis of free grace, and grace alone, through faith in the person and saving work of Jesus Christ. It is God’s free gift to the sinner.
  4938. &lt;br /&gt;
  4939. &lt;br /&gt;
  4940.  
  4941. The apostle goes on to write in the next verse the outcome of salvation by free grace. “For you are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (v. 10).
  4942. &lt;br /&gt;
  4943. &lt;br /&gt;
  4944.  
  4945. The emphasis is still on grace. We are “His workmanship.” We are His poem. It is His creative work, not ours. It is so easy to get the wagon in front of the horse. Our good works do not save us. The good works are produced as a result of His work in us. Our works are a result of justification by faith.
  4946. &lt;br /&gt;
  4947. &lt;br /&gt;
  4948.  
  4949. In Philippians 2:12, the apostle Paul wrote, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” This clause is not suggesting work for our salvation. The Philippians were already “saints.” The idea is to go on to Christ-likeness in your spiritual growth. “Work out” has the idea to carry it to its ultimate conclusions, work on to completion, finish, or manifest. Work out what God has already worked in when you put your faith in Christ to save you. Carry on to completion what God has begun. Let the Holy Spirit produce His fruit in your daily life.&lt;br /&gt;
  4950. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  4951.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec19.html</link>
  4952.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D691E0F9-8F80-4111-8BBE-6507667EEFAB</guid>
  4953.            <pubDate>Sat, 18 Dec 2010 18:11:07 -0600</pubDate>
  4954.        </item>
  4955.        <item>
  4956.            <title>A Zeal for the Righteousness of God</title>
  4957.            <description>The apostle Paul prayed to God for the salvation of those who “have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:1-3).
  4958. &lt;br /&gt;
  4959. &lt;br /&gt;
  4960.  
  4961. The apostle Paul was making his plea to his own people who in their religious zeal had rejected God’s provision of His own perfect righteousness for their own self-righteousness. They were intensely religious in their own eyes, but not with the true knowledge of God. They were running well but in the wrong direction. They labored to do good deeds, but for the wrong goal. They were religious, sincere, dedicated, but in their anxiety, they would miss their eternal reward.
  4962. &lt;br /&gt;
  4963. &lt;br /&gt;
  4964.  
  4965. “They have a zeal for God.” I meet people like that every day. In their religious zeal, they knock on your door, too. Like the apostle Paul, I am not against religious zeal or enthusiasm. However, they are zealous in their religious ceremonies, prayers, observances, holy days, fasts, visitation, teaching, etc., “but not in accordance with knowledge.” There is no use being zealous if you are zealous for the wrong reason. It will not help you if you are going in the wrong direction spiritually.
  4966. &lt;br /&gt;
  4967. &lt;br /&gt;
  4968.  
  4969. The apostle Paul was writing from his own personal experience. He had been very zealous for the Law, and in that enthusiasm, he killed men and women who had a different “knowledge” than his. He had a mistaken zeal for God. He believed sincerely, but he was sincerely wrong. He had been zealous, but his zeal was focused on the wrong object.
  4970.  
  4971. &lt;br /&gt;
  4972. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  4973.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec18.html</link>
  4974.            <guid isPermaLink="false">0ABA4F7D-54BC-46A9-A280-BAEFAF8B9009</guid>
  4975.            <pubDate>Fri, 17 Dec 2010 23:38:53 -0600</pubDate>
  4976.        </item>
  4977.        <item>
  4978.            <title>Grace</title>
  4979.            <description>I am convinced the most important message we can ever proclaim is the free grace of God that forgives us of all our sins and gives us a perfect relationship with God. We are justified by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21-28; 4:5). &lt;br /&gt;
  4980. &lt;br /&gt;
  4981. GOD GIVES ETERNAL LIFE to everyone who will receive His salvation as a gift. Eternal life is yours right now if you will believe on Christ. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey (believe) the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
  4982. &lt;br /&gt;
  4983. &lt;br /&gt;
  4984.  
  4985. You can enjoy the abundant life in Christ now and eternal life in heaven with God by believing on Jesus Christ as your savior (John 1:12; Rom. 10:9-10). Moreover, you can have assurance of eternal life today (John 5:24; 1 John 5:12-13; Phil. 1:6; Rom. 8:31-39; John 10:27-30).
  4986. &lt;br /&gt;
  4987. &lt;br /&gt;
  4988.  
  4989. God promises eternal life to everyone who will repent of his or her sins and place their faith in Jesus Christ alone as their savior.
  4990. &lt;br /&gt;
  4991. &lt;br /&gt;
  4992.  
  4993. Salvation is all God’s work from beginning to end that it may be by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Believe on Jesus Christ who died for you and be saved today.&lt;br /&gt;
  4994. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  4995.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec17.html</link>
  4996.            <guid isPermaLink="false">2FA6D6C9-0A49-4ECF-BC52-6A4D10749CE0</guid>
  4997.            <pubDate>Thu, 16 Dec 2010 20:43:50 -0600</pubDate>
  4998.        </item>
  4999.        <item>
  5000.            <title>Trinity</title>
  5001.            <description>The Trinity is the theological term designating one God in three persons.
  5002. &lt;br /&gt;
  5003. &lt;br /&gt;
  5004.  
  5005. Even though the term is not used in the Bible, it is a correct designation for the one God self-revealed in Scripture as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The term simply means that within the one essence of the Godhead, we have to distinguish three persons who are neither three gods, nor three parts or modes of God. The three persons of the Godhead are coequal and coeternally God.
  5006. &lt;br /&gt;
  5007. &lt;br /&gt;
  5008.  
  5009. The biblical teaching on the Trinity is developed through the progressive self-revelation of God in the Scriptures. The Bible declares, “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). The unity of God is emphasized. The Hebrew word echad always denotes “compound unity.” It is one in the sense of unity. It is suggestive of the one Divine Unity of the Trinity. He is the only Yahweh. There is no other. It is to Him alone that the name rightly belongs. God is not Himself a plurality. He is not one among many others. There are no other gods (5:7-11). There is only one essence or substance of God. However, the individuality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is preserved. God is one, yet the self-revelation of God clearly teaches in Himself and from all eternity, He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the triune God—the three in one.
  5010. &lt;br /&gt;
  5011. &lt;br /&gt;
  5012.  
  5013. There are clear intimations of the Trinity in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit is mentioned frequently from the beginning verses (Genesis 1:2), and in verses 26 and 27 the plural form is used. Each member of the Godhead was explicit participants in creation. The &quot;Spirit of God&quot; in the Old Testament is synonymous with the Holy Spirit. In Genesis 18, the appearance of the LORD to Abraham is suggestive of the second person of the Godhead as well as other occurrences in the Old Testament. Isaiah 48:16 is also a strong Trinitarian statement. “Come near Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, from the first time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.” The speaker in this verse is probably the Messiah, the Servant of the LORD.&lt;br /&gt;
  5014. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5015.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec16.html</link>
  5016.            <guid isPermaLink="false">54B3FC29-D279-4E29-86FD-A73B009F04A2</guid>
  5017.            <pubDate>Wed, 15 Dec 2010 22:12:31 -0600</pubDate>
  5018.        </item>
  5019.        <item>
  5020.            <title>Everything for Nothing</title>
  5021.            <description>The Hebrew prophet Isaiah offered a great invitation to everyone to come to the fountain of grace.
  5022. &lt;br /&gt;
  5023. &lt;br /&gt;
  5024.  
  5025. “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost” (Isaiah 55:1).
  5026. &lt;br /&gt;
  5027. &lt;br /&gt;
  5028.  
  5029. The blessings of God are available “without cost.” Salvation is a free gift of God. This invitation is a picture of grace in the Old Testament. These blessings are gifts of divine grace, and they are also obtained by grace. They are received only by a sense of need and readiness to accept them.
  5030. &lt;br /&gt;
  5031. &lt;br /&gt;
  5032.  
  5033. When speaking of the remnant of Israel the apostle Paul wrote, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace” (Romans 11:6). Free grace and works are like water and oil; they do not mix. They are opposites; they are incompatible.
  5034. &lt;br /&gt;
  5035. &lt;br /&gt;
  5036.  
  5037. The only qualification is to be spiritually thirsty and needy. The “water” of refreshing and cleaning that Christ gives is the “water of life.” He gives the “wine” of joy, exhilarating, comforting, and refreshing that “makes glad the heart of man.” He gives “wine” with fullness of holy delight and “milk” that nourishes and satisfies the soul. These are pictures of the satisfying and sustaining qualities of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He brings satisfaction to the soul for time and eternity. The water, wine, and milk are the full supply of life joy and satisfaction in the Christian’s life.&lt;br /&gt;
  5038. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5039.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec15.html</link>
  5040.            <guid isPermaLink="false">5E6BAD5A-CC19-4FF0-A0EB-DEBEF443DED7</guid>
  5041.            <pubDate>Tue, 14 Dec 2010 22:15:40 -0600</pubDate>
  5042.        </item>
  5043.        <item>
  5044.            <title>Sin of Unbelief</title>
  5045.            <description>
  5046.                <![CDATA[We live in a day of tolerance.
  5047. <br />
  5048. <br />
  5049.  
  5050. But our problem is we tolerate the wrong things. The last virtue of the ungodly is tolerance. When the ungodly have abandoned all other moral standards, the cry of the ungodly is for more tolerance of their immorality and ungodliness.
  5051. <br />
  5052. <br />
  5053.  
  5054. One pastor remarked recently, “People do not want anybody to pass judgment while they are engaged in the most vile perversions and immoral ungodliness imaginable.”
  5055. <br />
  5056. <br />
  5057.  
  5058. One recent study in the United States demonstrated that almost all high school graduates are convinced there are no absolutes.
  5059. <br />
  5060. <br />
  5061.  
  5062. The truth still stands; there is one sin for which Christ never made atonement. The person who dies in unbelief can never be saved, no matter how religious he may be. There is no atonement for the person who does not believe on Jesus Christ as his Savior.
  5063. <br />
  5064. <br />
  5065.  
  5066. Yes, there is an atonement made for the unbelief of the Christian, because it is temporary. However, the unbelief with which men die never was atoned for by Christ. There is no atonement for the person who died in unbelief. If he had been guilty of every other sin, if he had but believed, he would have been pardoned. The one exception is to die without Christ. The Bible clearly says, “He that believes not shall be damned.”<br />
  5067. <br />]]>
  5068.            </description>
  5069.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/dec14.html</link>
  5070.            <guid isPermaLink="false">70F1765F-29C2-4C33-AFD8-52DD748702D0</guid>
  5071.            <pubDate>Tue, 14 Dec 2010 22:13:37 -0600</pubDate>
  5072.        </item>
  5073.        <item>
  5074.            <title>A Christian Witness to the Whole World</title>
  5075.            <description>
  5076.                <![CDATA[I am involved in something that will still be worthwhile a million years from now because God has not revoked the great commission.
  5077. <br />
  5078. <br />
  5079.  
  5080. Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come” (Matthew 24:14).
  5081. <br />
  5082. <br />
  5083.  
  5084. Today the kingdom of God is realized as we proclaim the crucified, risen, and returning Lord Jesus Christ.
  5085. <br />
  5086. <br />
  5087.  
  5088. The gospel is the good news of the kingdom of God that has come in the person and work of Jesus Christ. How do we enter into the kingdom of God? There is only one way. “Repent of your sins and believe on Jesus Christ.” That is the message we preach.
  5089. <br />
  5090. <br />
  5091.  
  5092. Our message is the gospel of free grace. It is what God has accomplished for us in the sacrificial substitutionary atoning death of Jesus Christ for our sins. We offer the gospel freely “without money and without cost” (Isa. 55:1).
  5093. <br />
  5094. <br />
  5095.  
  5096. John Ryle once said, “Men are apt to forget that it does not require great open sins to be sinned in order to ruin a soul forever. They have only to give hearing without believing, listening without repenting, going to church without going to Christ, and by and by they will find themselves in hell.”
  5097. <br />
  5098. <br />
  5099.  
  5100. It is imperative that we make the message of salvation crystal clear in our presentations. Salvation is the gift of God and it is “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves.” God has provided everything we need in order to be saved. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you <br />
  5101. <br />
  5102. shall be saved” (Acts 16:31). But also be assured, “Reject Jesus Christ, and you will perish forever.”]]>
  5103.            </description>
  5104.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/oct16.html</link>
  5105.            <guid isPermaLink="false">EC109D1B-1751-4047-9D05-3830EFF6A6B2</guid>
  5106.            <pubDate>Sat, 16 Oct 2010 09:00:58 -0500</pubDate>
  5107.        </item>
  5108.        <item>
  5109.            <title>Fully Equipped with Knowledge,
  5110. Wisdom and Understanding</title>
  5111.            <description>
  5112.                <![CDATA[When an individual is born into God’s family by faith in Jesus Christ, he is born with all that he needs to grow toward spiritual maturity.
  5113. <br />
  5114. <br />
  5115.  
  5116. How many believers fail to realize “you are complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10)? You are complete in Christ for the only experience you need is the new birth. You do not have to look for something else, something new, something different, and something in addition to Christ.
  5117. <br />
  5118. <br />
  5119.  
  5120. What is needed in the Christian life is to continue to grow in what we received when we received Christ at the new birth. We have been fully equipped in Christ.
  5121. <br />
  5122. <br />
  5123.  
  5124. The apostle Paul wrote, “We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to sharer in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:9-12).
  5125. <br />
  5126. <br />
  5127.  
  5128. There were false teachers telling these Christians they had to have some additional experience in the Christian life. They were suggesting that Christ is not enough. The apostle Paul writes this letter to refute that nonsense. Christ is all-sufficient for every believer in everything.
  5129. <br />
  5130. <br />
  5131.  
  5132. Paul prayed that God would fill them “with the knowledge of His will.” He prayed these believers would be filled out to completeness with a full, deep understanding. <br />
  5133. <br />]]>
  5134.            </description>
  5135.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/oct15.html</link>
  5136.            <guid isPermaLink="false">EF2866D5-5C7E-4742-94F1-EDDADC2D7BDB</guid>
  5137.            <pubDate>Thu, 14 Oct 2010 23:23:47 -0500</pubDate>
  5138.        </item>
  5139.        <item>
  5140.            <title>Salvation by Grace through Faith in Christ</title>
  5141.            <description>The work of Jesus Christ as Savior is the prominent theme in the Bible.  He is the promised seed of woman who will conquer Satan (Gen. 3:15).  He is the promised Servant of Yahweh who would bear the sins of the whole world (Isa. 53:4-6; Jn. 1:24). As the Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross and suffered the judgment of the sin of the whole world (I Cor. 15:3-4; II Cor. 5:19-21; I Pet. 1:18-19; I Jn. 2:2; Rev. 1:5).
  5142. &lt;br /&gt;
  5143. &lt;br /&gt;
  5144.  
  5145. The atoning substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross is the absolute guarantee of the believer’s salvation (Rom. 8:34).  The all-sufficient, sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ has been shed, and it is by that blood God has been propitiated (I Jn. 2:2).  The divine penalty has been born by Christ (I Pet. 2:24; 3:18).
  5146. &lt;br /&gt;
  5147. &lt;br /&gt;
  5148.  
  5149. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s seal upon the death of Jesus that guarantees the believer’s resurrection and eternal life (Jn. 3:16; 10:28).  The resurrection of Jesus proves that His substitutionary work on the cross is infinitely perfect in its all sufficiency.
  5150. &lt;br /&gt;
  5151. &lt;br /&gt;
  5152.  
  5153. The offer of salvation is to all who will repent and believe on Jesus Christ. &quot;It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all&quot; (1 Timothy 1:15). It is His desire that all individuals trust in Christ and be saved.  &quot;Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth&quot; (1 Timothy 2:4). Salvation is not universal, and it is not automatic.  All religions do not lead to the same place.  Salvation comes only by trust in Jesus Christ. “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6a).  “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). &lt;br /&gt;
  5154. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5155.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/oct14.html</link>
  5156.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F6F49C90-851B-4EA7-BE0F-AD83E2104C7A</guid>
  5157.            <pubDate>Thu, 14 Oct 2010 23:22:45 -0500</pubDate>
  5158.        </item>
  5159.        <item>
  5160.            <title>Abide in the Holy Spirit</title>
  5161.            <description>When the Day of Pentecost had fully come the disciples realized why Jesus ascended up into heaven. He left them in order that He might be with each one of them in a more intimate relationship.
  5162. &lt;br /&gt;
  5163. &lt;br /&gt;
  5164.  
  5165. The Holy Spirit came to fulfill the ministry of Jesus Christ. “I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly,” Jesus said (John 10:10b). He indwells so that He can reproduce the character and likeness of Jesus Christ within the born again believer. He continues to do and teach all that Jesus began to do and teach when He was here on the earth (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-17).
  5166. &lt;br /&gt;
  5167. &lt;br /&gt;
  5168.  
  5169. He longs for us to respond to His love and make ourselves available to Him to live His life in and through us (1 Cor. 3:16-17).
  5170. &lt;br /&gt;
  5171. &lt;br /&gt;
  5172.  
  5173. What does the Spirit find in the temple of our body? Too often the temple looks like a desecrated shrine, unkempt, unclean, perhaps even defiled.
  5174. &lt;br /&gt;
  5175. &lt;br /&gt;
  5176.  
  5177. We grieve Him, and quench His fiery presence by our attitudes and behaviors. The Holy Spirit is always ready to use us, and longs to make us His instruments of grace and mercy to a lost world. How tragic when we deny Him His rightful place in our hearts? &lt;br /&gt;
  5178. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5179.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/oct6.html</link>
  5180.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D1A4AAF5-1885-457C-B8C5-83EF06202560</guid>
  5181.            <pubDate>Wed, 6 Oct 2010 22:10:28 -0500</pubDate>
  5182.        </item>
  5183.        <item>
  5184.            <title>The Spirit of Holiness</title>
  5185.            <description>The God controlled person longs to see only the will of God  done in and through him on earth. There can be no true holiness without being obedient to the will of God. It is His will that we be renewed in His own image by the His Spirit and become lovers of His holiness.
  5186. &lt;br /&gt;
  5187. &lt;br /&gt;
  5188.  
  5189. The work of the Third Person of the Trinity is to make God&apos;s holiness ours. The Spirit of God is pre-eminently “the Holy Spirit.” God is holy. Our Lord Jesus Christ was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26). The Holy Spirit, being the Spirit of Christ, is the Spirit of holiness. Without holiness, no man shall see God (Heb. 12:14).
  5190. &lt;br /&gt;
  5191. &lt;br /&gt;
  5192. God is holy; His Son is holy; the Holy Spirit is holy. God&apos;s  holiness stands apart, by itself, unique, unapproachable, incomprehensible, and unobtainable to all of His creatures.  That is God’s standard, and “in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
  5193. &lt;br /&gt;
  5194. &lt;br /&gt;
  5195.  
  5196. A. W. Tozer chose his words carefully and accurately when he wrote: “God is holy with an absolute holiness that knows no degrees, and this He cannot impart to His creatures. But there is a relative and contingent holiness which He shares with angels and seraphim in heaven and with redeemed men on earth as their preparation for heaven. This holiness God does impart to His children. He shares it with them by imputation, and by impartation, and because He has made it available to them through the blood of the Lamb, He requires it of them. . . ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy. He did not say, ‘Be ye as holy as I am holy,’ for that would be to demand of us absolute holiness, something that belongs to God alone” (Knowledge of the Holy, p. 113). &lt;br /&gt;
  5197. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5198.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/oct5.html</link>
  5199.            <guid isPermaLink="false">2CB3C1BC-7358-4449-8CFC-AD59A1684943</guid>
  5200.            <pubDate>Wed, 6 Oct 2010 22:09:28 -0500</pubDate>
  5201.        </item>
  5202.        <item>
  5203.            <title>The Spirit of Truth</title>
  5204.            <description>Whenever Jesus Christ is exalted the Third Person of the Trinity is at work. The Bible emphasizes different activities for each of the three members of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and He always points us in the direction of the way, and the truth, and the life.
  5205. &lt;br /&gt;
  5206. &lt;br /&gt;
  5207.  
  5208. Jesus told His disciples, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
  5209. &lt;br /&gt;
  5210. &lt;br /&gt;
  5211.  
  5212. It is through the person and work of Jesus Christ that we know the truth and are set free (John 8:32). Jesus declared, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (14:6). A couple of verses later He said to Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (v. 9).
  5213. &lt;br /&gt;
  5214. &lt;br /&gt;
  5215.  
  5216. Moreover, the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth.” He is the Spirit of Christ who is the truth. He exalts the truth and glorifies Christ.
  5217. &lt;br /&gt;
  5218. &lt;br /&gt;
  5219.  
  5220. The Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, but always of Jesus. Anything that detracts from the person and work of Jesus Christ is not the activity of the Holy Spirit. He will never preempt the place of Christ in our thinking. He will always exalt our Lord. He comes along side us to guide us into the truth about God the Father and the Son. &lt;br /&gt;
  5221. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5222.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/oct4.html</link>
  5223.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F06C75EB-EE9C-4C0F-A063-15B83F2E40A4</guid>
  5224.            <pubDate>Wed, 6 Oct 2010 22:08:30 -0500</pubDate>
  5225.        </item>
  5226.        <item>
  5227.            <title>The Divine Person of the Holy Spirit</title>
  5228.            <description>I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity.
  5229. &lt;br /&gt;
  5230. &lt;br /&gt;
  5231.  
  5232. The Holy Spirit is a person, and should be treated with the respect of a divine person. He is a member of the Trinity, equal to God the Father and God the Son.
  5233. &lt;br /&gt;
  5234. &lt;br /&gt;
  5235.  
  5236. I am not saying there are three gods, but three divine persons who are also one. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deut. 6:4).
  5237. &lt;br /&gt;
  5238. &lt;br /&gt;
  5239.  
  5240. The unbelieving world will not believe this great Biblical truth because it cannot. “It neither sees Him nor knows Him,” Jesus said. “But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:18). Jesus promised His disciples “another Comforter to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth” (v. 16). Another divine person was being sent to continue the work of the Kingdom of God. Jesus was not sending a thing, but another divine person, a member of the Godhead.
  5241. &lt;br /&gt;
  5242. &lt;br /&gt;
  5243.  
  5244. R. A. Torrey observed, “If we once grasp the thought that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person of infinite majesty, glory and holiness and power, who in marvelous condescension has come into our hearts to make His abode there and take possession of our lives and make use of them, it will put us in the dust and keep us in the dust. I can think of no thought more humbling or more overwhelming than the thought that a person of Divine majesty and glory dwells in my heart and is ready to use even me.” &lt;br /&gt;
  5245. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5246.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/oct3.html</link>
  5247.            <guid isPermaLink="false">BE2F1C61-CA9E-4CA3-A3D6-12417E68D3A9</guid>
  5248.            <pubDate>Wed, 6 Oct 2010 22:07:19 -0500</pubDate>
  5249.        </item>
  5250.        <item>
  5251.            <title>Get in the Boat with Jesus</title>
  5252.            <description>
  5253.                <![CDATA[The vital thing in discipleship is to actually follow Jesus Christ wherever He goes.
  5254. <br />
  5255. <br />
  5256.  
  5257. Have I left the lesser loyalties to follow the higher priorities of the Kingdom of God?
  5258. <br />
  5259. <br />
  5260.  
  5261. It is not enough to be impressed with His person, or what we can get from Him. Perhaps some of our evangelism and friendly “seeker services” are like the people on the shore of the Sea of Galilee seeking another amazing miracle. Perhaps like Carnival, we shout, “Throw me something mister!”
  5262. <br />
  5263. <br />
  5264.  
  5265. The crowds along the lakeside wanted more healings than teaching. Jesus got into a boat and headed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.
  5266. <br />
  5267. <br />
  5268.  
  5269. The vital thing Jesus wants is for us to follow Him. Jesus still says to would be disciples, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury the dead” (Matthew 8:22). Jesus got in the boat “and His disciples followed Him” (v. 23).
  5270. <br />
  5271. <br />
  5272.  
  5273. Have we gotten into the boat with Jesus? Weak faith grows strong in the fierce storms of life.
  5274. <br />
  5275. <br />
  5276.  
  5277. One moment Jesus is asleep on a pillow in the rear of the boat in a fierce storm, overcome with exhaustion from a busy day. Then we see Him a few moments later calming the fierce wind and waves, which only God can do.
  5278. <br />
  5279. <br />
  5280.  
  5281. Matthew, Mark and Luke tell the events that day when Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:22). Jesus, exhausted from a day of ministry, fell asleep in the rear of the boat. “A fierce gale of wind descended upon the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger” (v. 23). Matthew who was an eyewitness said, “There arose a great storm,” literally “a shaking.” The “boat was covered with waves” (Matt. 8:24). It was such a severe storm that these professional sailors panicked. <br />
  5282. <br />]]>
  5283.            </description>
  5284.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/oct2.html</link>
  5285.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6581CEC2-A0C3-428F-89E0-785657AF290E</guid>
  5286.            <pubDate>Fri, 1 Oct 2010 21:06:55 -0500</pubDate>
  5287.        </item>
  5288.        <item>
  5289.            <title>Discipleship</title>
  5290.            <description>
  5291.                <![CDATA[The call to discipleship is on Christ’s terms, not ours.
  5292. <br />
  5293. <br />
  5294.  
  5295. The cost of discipleship is determined by the Lord, and not by the servant.
  5296. <br />
  5297. <br />
  5298.  
  5299. In our desperate attempt to play the numbers game in today’s churches we invite people to come and join without any regard to the cost of discipleship.
  5300. <br />
  5301. <br />
  5302.  
  5303. Jesus Christ is Lord; He is the only Lord.
  5304. <br />
  5305. <br />
  5306.  
  5307. Jesus reached out to touch a leper, and the leper was instantly cleansed. He is the Great Physician and Master over all kinds of sicknesses.
  5308. <br />
  5309. <br />
  5310.  
  5311. Jesus lay asleep in the stern of the fishing boat and when the disciples feared for their lives Jesus spoke and the storm departed. When Jesus spoke, God spoke. To defy the Lordship of Jesus Christ is to defy God. He spoke as God’s authority and as God the Creator. He is the Lord of creation.
  5312. <br />
  5313. <br />
  5314.  
  5315. Jesus told the paralyzed man, “Your sins are forgiven.” Only God can forgive sin. Jesus is the sinner’s friend. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.
  5316. <br />
  5317. <br />
  5318.  
  5319. The same Jesus who has authority over demons, sickness, death, nature has the same authority over every Christian. He is Lord. If we are to be His disciples it must be on His terms.<br />
  5320. <br />
  5321.  
  5322.  
  5323. Dr. Luke in his gospel tells of three individuals who were would be followers of Christ (Luke 9:57-62).
  5324. <br />
  5325. <br />
  5326.  
  5327. One of the individuals must have been listening to the teaching of Christ and he approached and said, “I will follow You wherever You go” (v. 57).
  5328. <br />
  5329. <br />
  5330.  
  5331. It is easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm and excitement of the moment and join the crowd. But this man must have failed to think through what following Jesus involves. <br />
  5332. <br />]]>
  5333.            </description>
  5334.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/oct1.html</link>
  5335.            <guid isPermaLink="false">CD903C0E-F69C-4DB0-BAA1-95975CE5091A</guid>
  5336.            <pubDate>Thu, 30 Sep 2010 21:59:19 -0500</pubDate>
  5337.        </item>
  5338.        <item>
  5339.            <title>Healing in the Atonement</title>
  5340.            <description>
  5341.                <![CDATA[I believe in miracles. I believe that God heals.
  5342. <br />
  5343. <br />
  5344.  
  5345. One day all true believers in Christ will be perfectly healed.
  5346. <br />
  5347. <br />
  5348.  
  5349. Is there “healing in the atonement” so that every believer has the “right” to claim it for himself? There are sincere people who claim Matthew 8:17, quoting Isaiah 53:4 and 1 Peter 2:24 teach healing for everyone today.
  5350. <br />
  5351. <br />
  5352.  
  5353. Those who teach the faith-cure theory of atonement claim that the atonement of Christ includes spiritual healing as well as the provision for bodily healing. Faith healer campaigns are built around these passages.
  5354. <br />
  5355. <br />
  5356.  
  5357. God is not obliged to heal all sickness. These passages are not teaching that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy in Isaiah on the cross but that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy in His life. Jesus bore man’s sicknesses and infirmities during His ministry on earth.
  5358. <br />
  5359. <br />
  5360.  
  5361. The apostle Paul applies the same truth to the forgiveness of our sins, which He bore on the cross (1 Peter 2:24).
  5362. <br />
  5363. <br />
  5364.  
  5365. This passage as Matthew employs it has nothing to bear on the doctrine of the atonement. Yes, Jesus is sympathetic with those who suffer (Matthew 9:35-38). He steps under the load of pain and suffering and enables us to carry it.
  5366. <br />
  5367. <br />
  5368.  
  5369. However, the atoning death of Jesus Christ does not include provision for bodily healing in this life. In fact, the apostle Paul says we groan within ourselves as we “wait eagerly” for “the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23). Something far greater is in store than mere physical healing. We will receive resurrected bodies when Christ returns, “and there will be no longer any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4). <br />
  5370. <br />]]>
  5371.            </description>
  5372.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep30.html</link>
  5373.            <guid isPermaLink="false">1403420F-AD70-4773-8716-902934FD97E6</guid>
  5374.            <pubDate>Wed, 29 Sep 2010 22:17:52 -0500</pubDate>
  5375.        </item>
  5376.        <item>
  5377.            <title>Be Imitators of God</title>
  5378.            <description>
  5379.                <![CDATA[“Be imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1).
  5380. <br />
  5381. <br />
  5382.  
  5383. Those words are startling, upsetting, impossible. It is “the ultimate ideal.”
  5384. <br />
  5385. <br />
  5386.  
  5387. “Be imitators of God.” There can be no higher standard than that. The apostle Paul boldly tells us if we are to be like God we must imitate Him.
  5388. <br />
  5389. <br />
  5390.  
  5391. How is it possible for us depraved sinners to possibly imitate the sovereign LORD of the universe?
  5392. <br />
  5393. <br />
  5394.  
  5395. Once we get over the initial shock we realize that as children we are to imitate our parents. We should behave like them assuming they are godly role models.<br />
  5396. <br />
  5397.  
  5398.  
  5399. Since we were born into God's family as His legitimate children when we repented and placed our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we therefore should be an imitation of God (John 1:12-13).
  5400. <br />
  5401. <br />
  5402.  
  5403. Let it be clearly stated that “imitating God” has nothing to do with trying to merit eternal life. It has to do with our sanctification. We are to grow in godliness. The supreme example of this idea of imitating God is in the life of Jesus Christ.
  5404. <br />
  5405. <br />
  5406.  
  5407. The apostle Paul used the word mimetai from which we get our English word to “mimic.” The idea is to copy closely, to repeat another person's speech, actions, behavior and mannerisms. Paul is saying get to know your heavenly Father so you can echo His speech and behave the way He behaves.
  5408. <br />
  5409. <br />
  5410.  
  5411. How do we “imitate” our Father? We know that the apostle is not telling us to try to imitate God's sovereignty. He alone is and ever will be self-existent and self-efficient. That is absolutely beyond our means. He alone is eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, etc. Those are non-communicable attributes of God. He alone is God. <br />
  5412. <br />]]>
  5413.            </description>
  5414.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep29.html</link>
  5415.            <guid isPermaLink="false">FEE76C5C-97E7-4B48-B679-0F756DE4EF64</guid>
  5416.            <pubDate>Tue, 28 Sep 2010 20:59:01 -0500</pubDate>
  5417.        </item>
  5418.        <item>
  5419.            <title>What Does God Do With Our Sins?</title>
  5420.            <description>
  5421.                <![CDATA[There is no greater joy and peace for a sinner than knowing that he or she has been ransomed, healed, restored and forgiven of all his sins.
  5422. <br />
  5423. <br />
  5424.  
  5425. The Holy Spirit “witnesses with our spirit” giving this great assurance that all our sins are under the blood of Jesus Christ.
  5426. <br />
  5427. <br />
  5428.  
  5429. Jesus is our great advocate in heaven pleading our case before the Father. He is not declaring our innocence, but our guilt, and the fact that we have accepted Him as our Substitute who died in our place on the cross.
  5430. <br />
  5431. <br />
  5432.  
  5433. The Holy Spirit is also our advocate working within us, pointing out our sinfulness and depravity, and giving assurance of the infinite benefits of the atoning blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse and forgive. He helps us to trust entirely on Jesus Christ and His finished work. The inner advocate never points to Himself, but always to our Lord and Savior who gave Himself up for us.
  5434. <br />
  5435. <br />
  5436.  
  5437. God the Father lays all our sins on His Son. Jesus bore our sins as our divine Substitute. “The LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him” (Isaiah 53:6). God struck His Son, Jesus Christ, with a great force. “It is finished!” Our debt has been paid in full.
  5438. <br />
  5439. <br />
  5440.  
  5441. Jesus Christ lifts up and takes away our sins. “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, 36). John the Baptist used a word that means, “to take up and carry away.” Only the Lamb of God makes the perfect sacrifice for our sins. <br />
  5442. <br />]]>
  5443.            </description>
  5444.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep28.html</link>
  5445.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6024D774-CBC4-4D08-8584-F1E6F433F893</guid>
  5446.            <pubDate>Mon, 27 Sep 2010 19:24:25 -0500</pubDate>
  5447.        </item>
  5448.        <item>
  5449.            <title>Condemned!</title>
  5450.            <description>
  5451.                <![CDATA[Jesus Christ is the best gift God could ever give.
  5452. <br />
  5453. <br />
  5454.  
  5455. God so loved the sinful, lost, depraved world that He gave His very best.
  5456. <br />
  5457. <br />
  5458.  
  5459. Can you imagine what it would be like to reject what God considers to be His greatest gift?
  5460. <br />
  5461. <br />
  5462.  
  5463. The purpose of God giving His gift was to save men, not condemn them.
  5464. <br />
  5465. <br />
  5466.  
  5467. “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).
  5468. <br />
  5469. <br />
  5470.  
  5471. Who will be saved? Only those who believe on Christ will be saved.
  5472. <br />
  5473. <br />
  5474.  
  5475. What about those who will not believe? The Bible tells us Christ died for men.  But that does not automatically bring salvation to anyone. No person is saved unless he or she believes on Christ. To refuse God’s good gift is to be judged already.
  5476. <br />
  5477. <br />
  5478.  
  5479. Who is already judged? “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (v. 18, NIV). Those who do not believe on Jesus Christ are already judged.
  5480. <br />
  5481. <br />
  5482.  
  5483. God’s purpose was not to judge the world, even though it was worthy of judgment and condemnation (Rom. 3:10-11; Isa. 53:6). Every one of us stands condemned before God’s judgment because we are guilty. We have broken His law. We have rejected the light He has given us. <br />
  5484. <br />]]>
  5485.            </description>
  5486.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep27.html</link>
  5487.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6447BFE3-2925-446B-9EE3-369A18FD2181</guid>
  5488.            <pubDate>Mon, 27 Sep 2010 19:23:14 -0500</pubDate>
  5489.        </item>
  5490.        <item>
  5491.            <title>God’s Greatest Gift</title>
  5492.            <description>
  5493.                <![CDATA[God has provided salvation for you in Jesus Christ.
  5494. <br />
  5495. <br />
  5496.  
  5497. In simple, lucid language Jesus sums up the entire Gospel for Nicodemus and us in one beautiful sentence rich in content.
  5498. <br />
  5499. <br />
  5500.  
  5501. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
  5502. <br />
  5503. <br />
  5504.  
  5505. Martin Luther said these “words are able to make the sad happy, the dead alive, if only the heart believes them firmly.”
  5506. <br />
  5507. <br />
  5508.  
  5509. Jesus revealed what is in the heart of the LORD God. “For God so loved the world.” The very one who came down from heaven reveals the greatest revelation man could ever receive from the Creator.
  5510. <br />
  5511. <br />
  5512.  
  5513. In these words a holy God is saying to sinful man, “I love you.”
  5514. <br />
  5515. <br />
  5516.  
  5517. Depraved man could never have conceived how much God loves sinful man. God had to reveal and demonstrate that love to man. The best that man and humanism could come up with was an exaggeration of his own depravity as expressed in world religions.
  5518. <br />
  5519. <br />
  5520.  
  5521. Jesus uses the word agape denoting the highest type and form of love. It is not a love of mere affection, friendship, or ordinary human relationships, but the very highest type of love that is self-sacrificial for the object loved.
  5522. <br />
  5523. <br />
  5524.  
  5525. God cleansed the depraved sinner and took him to His bosom. No human intelligence could ever fathom such love. This revelation of God distinguishes Christianity radically from all the world religions.
  5526. <br />
  5527. <br />
  5528.  
  5529. Such love God has for a sinner is the pinnacle of His glory. It is in fact, the crown of all of His attributes.
  5530. <br />
  5531. <br />
  5532.  
  5533. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son . . .” <br />
  5534. <br />]]>
  5535.            </description>
  5536.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep26.html</link>
  5537.            <guid isPermaLink="false">FA9BA279-06B8-48A0-98E7-2A699A92AEDD</guid>
  5538.            <pubDate>Mon, 27 Sep 2010 19:21:08 -0500</pubDate>
  5539.        </item>
  5540.        <item>
  5541.            <title>Anointed Preaching</title>
  5542.            <description>Preaching is preaching only when the messenger is anointed with the Holy Spirit.
  5543. &lt;br /&gt;
  5544. &lt;br /&gt;
  5545.  
  5546. The apostle Paul tells how he arrived in the city of Corinth not dependent upon self-assurance, self-assertiveness, or a powerful personality, “but in demonstration of the Spirit and power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). In fact, Paul stresses the contrasting difference, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (vv. 2-5).
  5547. &lt;br /&gt;
  5548. &lt;br /&gt;
  5549.  
  5550. Only the anointing of the Holy Spirit can make great preaching. Paul was concerned that nothing distract from the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We live in a day that puts much of the emphasis on the attractiveness of the clever mind and entertainment.
  5551. &lt;br /&gt;
  5552. &lt;br /&gt;
  5553.  
  5554. Lloyd-Jones was a prophet when he wrote in Preaching and Preachers, that we take “so much time in producing atmosphere that there is no time for preaching in the atmosphere!” The church has turned to entertainment “as she has turned her back upon preaching.” The first century preachers “refused to pander to the tastes of their listeners.” They did just the opposite by admonishing, warning, rebuking, and reproving their listeners.
  5555. &lt;br /&gt;
  5556. &lt;br /&gt;
  5557.  
  5558. Over and over again in the book of Acts we are told of the preachers “being filled with the Holy Spirit.” They proclaimed their message as the Holy Spirit enabled them. Their message and deliverance were under the control of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit had baptized them when they first believed, and they had been filled on many occasions since then. One baptism, many fillings is still a Biblical truth for every preacher.&lt;br /&gt;
  5559. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5560.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep25.html</link>
  5561.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F24EA3EC-E15B-4530-92B4-42D31E2332CB</guid>
  5562.            <pubDate>Fri, 24 Sep 2010 19:46:05 -0500</pubDate>
  5563.        </item>
  5564.        <item>
  5565.            <title>Preaching with Power</title>
  5566.            <description>Pentecost changed everything (Acts 2).
  5567. &lt;br /&gt;
  5568. &lt;br /&gt;
  5569.  
  5570. The disciples of Jesus Christ were powerless before Pentecost. And then things changed. Jesus promised, “You will receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). That was His promise to every believer.
  5571. &lt;br /&gt;
  5572. &lt;br /&gt;
  5573.  
  5574. There is no need for the Christian to be powerless today. The baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was a climatic, demonstrative, once-for-all experience in the upper room in Jerusalem. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the baptism of the believer into Christ by which he becomes a member of the body of Christ. The apostle Paul wrote, “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” We “have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The “baptism” is not a special endowment of power from the Holy Spirit for service. It is His work of placing the born again person into the body of Christ. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
  5575. &lt;br /&gt;
  5576. &lt;br /&gt;
  5577.  
  5578. There is therefore no reason for us to spend one day without the power of God. The early church is a demonstration of that power in preaching and daily living. It is the normal Christian life. “One baptism; many fillings.”
  5579. &lt;br /&gt;
  5580. &lt;br /&gt;
  5581.  
  5582. The early Christians stormed the citadels of hell and won. But they could never have done it without the presence of the Holy Spirit within them. They were under His control, guided by the Spirit, taught by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, and illuminated by the Spirit. These early believers were valiant, daring, dauntless, and undismayed in every situation.&lt;br /&gt;
  5583. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5584.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep24.html</link>
  5585.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6908C3BD-6BE5-49FB-8F48-3E9D8921452F</guid>
  5586.            <pubDate>Fri, 24 Sep 2010 19:44:52 -0500</pubDate>
  5587.        </item>
  5588.        <item>
  5589.            <title>Power to Obey</title>
  5590.            <description>
  5591.                <![CDATA[How many times have you herd the excuse, “But I am afraid I can’t live the Christian life”?
  5592. <br />
  5593. <br />
  5594.  
  5595. The badge of the true disciple of Jesus Christ is obedient faith.
  5596. <br />
  5597. <br />
  5598.  
  5599. Jesus told His disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
  5600. <br />
  5601. <br />
  5602.  
  5603. He has commanded us to go and make disciples of every nation. And when we are obedient He gives us the power to obey His command (Acts 1:8).
  5604. <br />
  5605. <br />
  5606.  
  5607. He gives us Himself, and in the giving of Himself He gives us all that we need to obey Him.
  5608. <br />
  5609. <br />
  5610.  
  5611. The power we know we need to accomplish His will can be ours if we obey His Word. As we yield ourselves to Him He will fulfill His will in and through us. He does not ask us to do anything that He does not enable us to do.
  5612. <br />
  5613. <br />
  5614.  
  5615. The indwelling Holy Spirit is in us an all-prevailing source of power to obey His commands. He abides in us and we in Him. Our greatest needs are fully met in Christ and all that He provides for His people. He gives us the vitality, energy, and spiritual power to do everything God asks of us.
  5616. <br />
  5617. <br />
  5618.  
  5619. We are by the divine power of the Spirit of God set free to serve Him, and obey Him. <br />
  5620. <br />]]>
  5621.            </description>
  5622.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep23.html</link>
  5623.            <guid isPermaLink="false">BCCCCEA9-0ABD-429A-A7A2-4CF4FBA08821</guid>
  5624.            <pubDate>Wed, 22 Sep 2010 21:08:23 -0500</pubDate>
  5625.        </item>
  5626.        <item>
  5627.            <title>Fellowship of the Holy Spirit</title>
  5628.            <description>“The fellowship of the Holy Spirit” is a blessing for all believers in Christ (2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1).
  5629. &lt;br /&gt;
  5630. &lt;br /&gt;
  5631.  
  5632. We do not need any new baptism of the Holy Spirit to enjoy this blessing. All things are ours in the Christian life when we believed on Christ and received Him. The apostle Paul tells us we are heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. Every believer has received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit from the moment he believed on Christ. The baptism of the Spirit placed us in the body of Christ. We can now enjoy the communion of the Holy Spirit.
  5633. &lt;br /&gt;
  5634. &lt;br /&gt;
  5635.  
  5636. The only thing that can now mar this fellowship with the Holy Spirit is unconfessed sin. We abide in communion with the Spirit of God as we abide in the finished work of Christ on the cross. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NASB 1995).
  5637. &lt;br /&gt;
  5638. &lt;br /&gt;
  5639.  
  5640. We live in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, which is the fellowship or communion of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  5641. &lt;br /&gt;
  5642. &lt;br /&gt;
  5643.  
  5644. The fellowship of the Holy Spirit is so important that to blaspheme Him is to suffer eternal judgment. Every other sin can be forgiven with the exception of speaking evil of Him (Matt. 12:31-32). To blaspheme the LORD God was punishable by death in the Old Testament (Lev. 24:15, 16). In the New Testament to blaspheme the Spirit results in eternal judgment. To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is to blaspheme against the very essence of the Spirit of God. It is a sin against the constant striving of the Holy Spirit for us to repent and believe on Jesus Christ. It is a defiant attitude until the very end of this life. &lt;br /&gt;
  5645. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5646.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep22.html</link>
  5647.            <guid isPermaLink="false">9B8419F8-81B8-443F-80F0-6529B28F07B7</guid>
  5648.            <pubDate>Tue, 21 Sep 2010 22:35:08 -0500</pubDate>
  5649.        </item>
  5650.        <item>
  5651.            <title>Trinitarian Benediction</title>
  5652.            <description>
  5653.                <![CDATA[The apostle Paul closes Second Corinthians with a beautiful benediction in adoration of the three Persons in the Holy Trinity. This verse has been correctly called “the New Testament Trinitarian benediction.”
  5654. <br />
  5655. <br />
  5656.  
  5657. The apostle Paul writes, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
  5658. <br />
  5659. <br />
  5660.  
  5661. This is the counterpart to the Old Testament benediction found in Numbers 6:24-26. “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace’” (Numbers 6:22-26).
  5662. <br />
  5663. <br />
  5664.  
  5665. God exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Yet God is one. The Westminster Confession declares, “Three persons in the Godhead . . . the same in substance, equal in power and glory.”
  5666. <br />
  5667. <br />
  5668.  
  5669. The work of salvation is the work of the Triune God, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The members of the Godhead deliberately and willingly submit themselves to another in the work of redemption. The Son submits to the Father, even in obedience to death to die as our substitute on the cross. The Holy Spirit submits to the Father and the Son. Second Corinthians 13:14 “presents the persons of the Trinity in full form,” just as Matthew 28:19 does, also. The three Persons of the Godhead are present at the baptism of Jesus as He begins His public ministry (Matt. 3:16-17).
  5670. <br />
  5671. <br />
  5672.  
  5673. Paul’s benediction clearly recognizes and teaches the distinct recognition of the three Persons in the Holy Trinity. Christians have recognized this great doctrine of Biblical Christianity in all ages.<br />
  5674. <br />
  5675.  
  5676.  
  5677. The apostle Paul reminds us that the work of salvation is the operation of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our lives. God the Son is our Mediator and Savior who gave Himself up to death for us. It is all possible because God the Father loves us and has chosen to save us by His grace. God the Holy Spirit has applied this great atoning sacrifice and love to us personally. We can now live in the sphere of this saving grace whose source and origin is the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on our behalf. <br />
  5678. <br />]]>
  5679.            </description>
  5680.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep21.html</link>
  5681.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6EE3659E-7BCD-4C0C-AC7C-8F719E1F1A56</guid>
  5682.            <pubDate>Mon, 20 Sep 2010 22:06:42 -0500</pubDate>
  5683.        </item>
  5684.        <item>
  5685.            <title>Underneath His Everlasting Arms</title>
  5686.            <description>
  5687.                <![CDATA[There are two realms of profound mystery that persistently assault the human soul and produce in it a sense of fear.  They are the fear of the unknown future and the unfathomable present.
  5688. <br />
  5689. <br />
  5690.  
  5691. However, as we learn to depend upon “the eternal God,” we discover that His “everlasting arms” are never exhausted.  His “everlasting arms” are always sufficient for our unknown future and unfathomable present needs.
  5692. <br />
  5693. <br />
  5694.  
  5695. What will happen tomorrow?  How can we cope with the infinite mystery of the moment?  What shall we do?  Where shall we turn?
  5696. <br />
  5697. <br />
  5698.  
  5699. When we contemplate the unknown fear of the future, we discover as Moses did:  “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27).
  5700. <br />
  5701. <br />
  5702.  
  5703. “The eternal God is the dwelling place” for those who fear the future.  And when we are overwhelmed by the unfathomable present, we have underneath us “the everlasting arms.”
  5704. <br />
  5705. <br />
  5706.  
  5707. Where did Moses choose to put his trust as the days of his earthly journey came to their end?  He tells us in “the eternal God.”  He chose in those fearful dark moments of the vast unknown future to trust in Elohim, the eternal God.  He is the mighty God, the sovereign creator.
  5708. <br />
  5709. <br />
  5710.  
  5711. The “eternal God” is the Timeless One.  He is beyond our agendas, calendars, and plans for the future.  “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8).  He is the God of the beginning, the eternal God, and He is our dwelling place.  God has no tomorrows for He is eternally present, and there is no end.  There is therefore no fear of the present or the future because we are in His strong loving arms (John 10:27-30).<br />
  5712. <br />]]>
  5713.            </description>
  5714.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep20.html</link>
  5715.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7DD85863-754E-47F8-9FDC-25174A1D96A1</guid>
  5716.            <pubDate>Sun, 19 Sep 2010 21:43:40 -0500</pubDate>
  5717.        </item>
  5718.        <item>
  5719.            <title>The Shield of Faith</title>
  5720.            <description>
  5721.                <![CDATA[Have you been under a spiritual attack lately? Have you been flamed by the evil one?
  5722. <br />
  5723. <br />
  5724.  
  5725. Have you had your mind filled with evil thoughts, perhaps even blasphemous thoughts? You were not thinking, idly doing nothing, and suddenly they filled your mind?
  5726. <br />
  5727. <br />
  5728.  
  5729. Have you been engaged in prayer and found yourself bombarded by thoughts, notions and ideas from every direction that interfere with your concentration on God, on worship, prayer, thanksgiving or adoration?
  5730. <br />
  5731. <br />
  5732.  
  5733. Be prepared for Satanic attacks and assaults which at times can be unusually fierce, fiery and destructive.
  5734. <br />
  5735. <br />
  5736.  
  5737. The apostle Paul admonishes us to take “up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16, The NET Bible).
  5738. <br />
  5739. <br />
  5740.  
  5741. Have you ever been bombarded in the realm of desires, passions and lusts? Have you experienced “flaming arrows” inciting, rousing with tremendous heat the passions for that which is plainly forbidden in God’s Word?
  5742. <br />
  5743. <br />
  5744.  
  5745. What are these “flaming darts of the evil one”? They are the schemes and stratagems of Satan. These “flaming arrows” come upon us in various forms including evil or filthy thoughts, lustful imaginations, unforgiving attitudes, etc. They flash upon the mind suddenly incongruent with what we are doing or thinking.
  5746. <br />
  5747. <br />
  5748.  
  5749. Have you been reading your Bible and found it impossible to concentrate on it? You don’t have any problem concentrating on the newspaper, or a novel, but when you start reading your Bible suddenly you find it impossible to concentrate. You may be reading your Bible or praying and suddenly there flashes a blasphemous thought or vile image in your imagination. Where did that evil thing come from? What is its source? <br />
  5750. <br />]]>
  5751.            </description>
  5752.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep19.html</link>
  5753.            <guid isPermaLink="false">37311ECC-0300-4901-AD0C-1AB5023C5696</guid>
  5754.            <pubDate>Sat, 18 Sep 2010 22:54:27 -0500</pubDate>
  5755.        </item>
  5756.        <item>
  5757.            <title>You Are The Temple of God</title>
  5758.            <description>In the Old Testament the LORD God had a temple for His people; however, in the New Testament He has His people for a temple.
  5759. &lt;br /&gt;
  5760. &lt;br /&gt;
  5761.  
  5762. The apostle Paul taught, “You are the temple of God” (I Cor. 3:16).  The reason he can say that is because we have been redeemed by the death of Jesus Christ.  Because of redemption, the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in the redeemed.
  5763. &lt;br /&gt;
  5764. &lt;br /&gt;
  5765.  
  5766. In the old dispensation of the law, the tabernacle and later the temple were given over entirely to God for His sacred use.  They were called “holy” because they were separated and used for His purpose and glory alone. It symbolized the house of God on the earth.
  5767. &lt;br /&gt;
  5768. &lt;br /&gt;
  5769.  
  5770. Under the new dispensation of grace, the Christian is now called God’s temple. The believer must yield his or her whole life without any reserve to God.  Our bodies are sacred temples, holy unto the Lord.  God has claimed by means of redemption our bodies, and what He claimed for His holy purpose we must yield to Him.  “I beg you, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1).  We will do what the apostle admonishes as we remind ourselves that we are His holy temple.  If we have learned that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we will keep it undefiled.  “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.”
  5771. &lt;br /&gt;
  5772. &lt;br /&gt;
  5773.  
  5774. Moreover, the temple in the old economy was given over to the LORD God for His unique possession.  When Moses dedicated the tabernacle to God, He filled it with His glory.  When King Solomon completed the temple, “The cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud:  for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord” (I Kings 8:10-11).&lt;br /&gt;
  5775. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5776.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep18.html</link>
  5777.            <guid isPermaLink="false">2E61FC2B-B6C3-475D-A73B-5A0446EF0755</guid>
  5778.            <pubDate>Fri, 17 Sep 2010 16:12:47 -0500</pubDate>
  5779.        </item>
  5780.        <item>
  5781.            <title>Let’s Suppose</title>
  5782.            <description>
  5783.                <![CDATA[Do you often play the game Let’s Suppose?  It goes like this:  we imagine all the negative things that can possibly happen to us around a given set of circumstances in our lives.  “Suppose I lose my job.”  “Suppose I get cancer.”  “Suppose I lose my mind.”  “Suppose…” You get the idea.
  5784. <br />
  5785. <br />
  5786.  
  5787. The Hebrew prophet Habakkuk saw the events in his day as Babylonians came knocking on the front door of Jerusalem.  Let’s suppose, “the fig tree does not bud” (3:17).
  5788. <br />
  5789. <br />
  5790.  
  5791. Suppose, “There are no grapes on the vines.”
  5792. <br />
  5793. <br />
  5794.  
  5795. Suppose, “The olive crop fails.”
  5796. <br />
  5797. <br />
  5798.  
  5799. Suppose, “The fields produce no food.”
  5800. <br />
  5801. <br />
  5802.  
  5803. Suppose, “There are no sheep in the pen.”
  5804. <br />
  5805. <br />
  5806.  
  5807. Suppose, “There are no cattle in the stalls” (v.17).
  5808. <br />
  5809. <br />
  5810.  
  5811. How would you have responded to these “supposings” if they were taking place in your life?
  5812. <br />
  5813. <br />
  5814.  
  5815. Habakkuk did not have the solution, so he confidently handed them over to the Lord.  He was confident of the unchanging attributes of God. “God comes from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor covers the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise. His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, and there is the hiding of His power. Before Him goes pestilence, and plague comes after Him. He stood and surveyed the earth; He looked and startled the nations. Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered, the ancient hills collapsed. His ways are everlasting” (Habakkuk 3:3-6, NASB 1995). <br />
  5816. <br />]]>
  5817.            </description>
  5818.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep17.html</link>
  5819.            <guid isPermaLink="false">58B4CCCC-1669-499D-91D1-8DF163E942FF</guid>
  5820.            <pubDate>Thu, 16 Sep 2010 21:07:43 -0500</pubDate>
  5821.        </item>
  5822.        <item>
  5823.            <title>Prayer</title>
  5824.            <description>How do you pray in the midst of bad times?  How do you approach God when everything seems to you to be going from bad to worse?  What is your attitude when God answers, but not in the manner in which you asked?  What is your response when to your perspective God contradicts His own righteousness?
  5825. &lt;br /&gt;
  5826. &lt;br /&gt;
  5827.  
  5828. Welcome to Habakkuk, the Hebrew prophet in the seventh century B.C.  God taught him how to trust Him when everything is filled with confusion and perplexities. Where is God?  What is He doing?  Why doesn’t He do something now?  Habakkuk sounds like us when life begins to unravel and fall apart.
  5829. &lt;br /&gt;
  5830. &lt;br /&gt;
  5831.  
  5832. Habakkuk teaches us how to pray and trust the LORD God when we don’t have the answers.  Let’s center our thoughts around an acrostic P R A Y E R.
  5833. &lt;br /&gt;
  5834. &lt;br /&gt;
  5835.  
  5836. P – pursue God.  That is what prayer is all about.  Habakkuk asked, “How long, O LORD, will I call for help, and You will not answer?” (1:1).
  5837. &lt;br /&gt;
  5838. &lt;br /&gt;
  5839.  
  5840. Yes, it is a complaint.  His heart is full of anguish.  But He is pursuing God.  He knows that He has the freedom to go into the presence of the LORD God and open his heart to Him.  Are our times bad?  Are we experiencing a spiritual desert?  Are we in the need of revival?  That is when God invites us to come into His holy presence.  That is when we realize that we need Him.  Those are also the times when He comes in His mighty power to help us.  &quot;I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved&quot; (Habakkuk 2:1, NASB 1995).  The LORD is in His holy temple.  Let all the earth be silent before Him” (v.20).&lt;br /&gt;
  5841. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5842.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/sep16.html</link>
  5843.            <guid isPermaLink="false">0B96C537-FE47-4218-9D75-26A077A05D3D</guid>
  5844.            <pubDate>Thu, 16 Sep 2010 21:06:14 -0500</pubDate>
  5845.        </item>
  5846.        <item>
  5847.            <title>Search Me, O God</title>
  5848.            <description>
  5849.                <![CDATA[What shall be our response to the LORD God who knows everything about us all the time?  How should we respond to His abiding presence that never leaves us?  Because He is all-powerful, how then should we live our lives? Knowing that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent should make us want to please Him in everything we do.
  5850. <br />
  5851. <br />
  5852.  
  5853. The Psalmist David did not want to be influenced by evil persons.  He did not love the sinner’s life-style.  “O that You would slay the wicked, O God; Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies” (Psalm 139:19-22).
  5854. <br />
  5855. <br />
  5856.  
  5857. Those are strong words.   Do I want to be done with sin?  What sins would I ask God to kill in my life?  What spiritual enemies in my life need to go?  Do you have some intimate friends you need to give up for your spiritual good?  Are you willing to give up those relationships that make you and open target for temptation to do evil? That was David’s attitude in verses 19-22.
  5858. <br />
  5859. <br />
  5860.  
  5861. Moreover, David went a step further and prayed that God would enable him to continue to grow in righteousness.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24).
  5862. <br />
  5863. <br />
  5864.  
  5865. David used the word “search” meaning to explore, dig, probe, examine, and investigate.
  5866. <br />
  5867. <br />
  5868.  
  5869. Jeremiah was told, “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds” (Jeremiah 17:10).
  5870. <br />
  5871. <br />
  5872.  
  5873. He searches and He knows the secrets of our hearts (Ps. 44:21).  “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). <br />
  5874. <br />
  5875.  
  5876.  
  5877. David pleads for God to search him out and lead him in “the everlasting way” (v.24).<br />
  5878. <br />]]>
  5879.            </description>
  5880.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug24.html</link>
  5881.            <guid isPermaLink="false">97EA6EC9-CBF5-49EF-806F-196385879F1E</guid>
  5882.            <pubDate>Mon, 23 Aug 2010 22:48:05 -0500</pubDate>
  5883.        </item>
  5884.        <item>
  5885.            <title>Custom Made by God</title>
  5886.            <description>Our great God and Savior knows everything, is everywhere, and is all-powerful.
  5887. &lt;br /&gt;
  5888. &lt;br /&gt;
  5889.  
  5890. The LORD God knows me because He made me, and since He made me, I am responsible to Him for my actions.  That’s probably the biggest reason why people do not want to accept the fact that God created man.  But whether a person acknowledges the facts about creation or not, he or she will still have to answer to Him personally.
  5891. &lt;br /&gt;
  5892. &lt;br /&gt;
  5893. The Psalmist David observed that the LORD God “formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).  Our Creator not only created the first man Adam, but He continues to create.  There is not another person on the face of this earth with the same genes, DNA, and chromosomes.  I am a unique person, custom made by God for a specific purpose in history.  No one else can fulfill that purpose in history; no one else can fulfill my purpose.
  5894. &lt;br /&gt;
  5895. &lt;br /&gt;
  5896.  
  5897. God’s dealings with you and me are not a duplicate of His dealings with anyone else in time and space.  It is unique to me because I am unique.  There is no one else like me.  A person who wants to be something different from God’s purpose for him is like a cancer cell. We become like cancer cells in the body of Christ when we want to be like someone else and not what God wants us to be.  God deals with each child differently.  We do not trust Him when we ask that our experience duplicate someone else’s.  No one is inferior or unspiritual because his or her experience is not just like someone else’s.
  5898. &lt;br /&gt;
  5899. &lt;br /&gt;
  5900.  
  5901. Thank God that you are who you are. His resources have already been revealed in creating you.  &quot;I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well&quot; (Psalm 139:14).  Have you thanked God for making you just the way you are?   &quot;My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them &quot; (Psalm 139:15-16).&lt;br /&gt;
  5902. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  5903.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug23.html</link>
  5904.            <guid isPermaLink="false">FAB6986C-64A3-4C6E-B4BA-FA7E3BAA193C</guid>
  5905.            <pubDate>Sun, 22 Aug 2010 20:16:50 -0500</pubDate>
  5906.        </item>
  5907.        <item>
  5908.            <title>God Is An Eyewitness</title>
  5909.            <description>
  5910.                <![CDATA[The final words of Jesus just before He ascended into heaven are a constant encouragement in my ministry and should be for every Christian.
  5911. <br />
  5912. <br />
  5913.  
  5914. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
  5915. <br />
  5916. <br />
  5917.  
  5918. It is great reassurance to remind ourselves, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (v.20).
  5919. <br />
  5920. <br />
  5921.  
  5922. However, that is not a new promise in the Scriptures.  The Psalmist David reflected on that great truth about the LORD God is Psalm 139 when he wrote, “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” Or where can I flee from The presence?” (v.7).  I don’t think at that stage in his life he wanted to escape from God.  He was thinking through the implications, and applying the omnipresence of God to His own his own life situations.
  5923. <br />
  5924. <br />
  5925.  
  5926. We are not alone in our circumstances. The Lord is with us all the time. The reason He sees and knows everything is because He is everywhere all the time. God will forever be with me.  He is constantly aware of where I am and what I am doing. I am never out of His sight, and because I am never out of His sight, I am never out of His awareness.  I am never “out of sight, out of mind.”  Nothing in my life catches Him by surprise.
  5927. <br />
  5928. <br />
  5929.  
  5930. It is a comfort to know that I can never escape Him.  Even if I were so foolish to want to, I could never flee from His presence or His knowledge of my circumstances.
  5931. <br />
  5932. <br />]]>
  5933.            </description>
  5934.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug22.html</link>
  5935.            <guid isPermaLink="false">CD4AF320-00FD-4DE2-BDF5-79B2E27CC3CA</guid>
  5936.            <pubDate>Sat, 21 Aug 2010 16:18:37 -0500</pubDate>
  5937.        </item>
  5938.        <item>
  5939.            <title>God’s Perfect Knowledge of Us</title>
  5940.            <description>
  5941.                <![CDATA["O LORD, You have searched me and known me.  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You do scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3).
  5942. <br />
  5943. <br />
  5944.  
  5945. Have you ever taught God anything? The truth is God has never learned from anyone. If He did or could he would not be God. He would be another imperfect person.
  5946. <br />
  5947. <br />
  5948.  
  5949. I am grateful that nothing catches the LORD God by surprise.   Adam’s sin did not catch Him by surprise and neither does mine.  His perfect knowledge of me makes me love and appreciate His grace more every day.
  5950. <br />
  5951. <br />
  5952.  
  5953. A. W. Tozer wrote in Knowledge of the Holy, “God knows instantly and effortlessly all matters, all mind and every mind, all spirits, all being and every being, all creaturehood and all creatures, every plurality and all pluralities, all law and every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries, all enigmas, all feeling, all desires, every uttered secret, all thrones and dominions, all personalities, all things visible and invisible in heaven and in earth, motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven, and hell…”
  5954. <br />
  5955. <br />
  5956.  
  5957. The apostle Paul said, “Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!” (Rom 11:33)
  5958. <br />
  5959. <br />
  5960.  
  5961. God knows everything about us muses the Psalmist David.   That is one of the most astonishing facts and great comfort for the Christian.
  5962. <br />
  5963. <br />
  5964.  
  5965. We can never be out of His mind.  It is most reassuring to be always in His conscious presence.  He sees and knows everything all the time.  It is humbling and encouraging.<br />
  5966. <br />
  5967.  
  5968.  
  5969. “You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me” (v.5).<br />
  5970. <br />]]>
  5971.            </description>
  5972.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug21.html</link>
  5973.            <guid isPermaLink="false">05897643-2E4D-46C5-8A58-ABA2CBF2770F</guid>
  5974.            <pubDate>Fri, 20 Aug 2010 22:07:23 -0500</pubDate>
  5975.        </item>
  5976.        <item>
  5977.            <title>Praise To The All-Knowing God</title>
  5978.            <description>
  5979.                <![CDATA[I am often asked what is my favorite passage of Scripture.  I usually reply that it is whatever I am currently studying.  Romans chapter eight and the Gospels are precious to me. My favorite Psalm is 139 because it applies great Bible teaching to my personal life.
  5980. <br />
  5981. <br />
  5982.  
  5983. Alexander Maclaren once said, “Not mere omniscience, but a knowledge which knows him altogether, not mere omnipresence, but a presence where he can nowhere escape, not mere creative power, but a power which shaped him, fill and thrill the Psalmist’s soul.”
  5984. <br />
  5985. <br />
  5986.  
  5987. That is what I love about this Psalm. Three of the most important teachings in the Bible are applied to our daily life, and they give us hope and encouragement in our stressful lives.
  5988. <br />
  5989. <br />
  5990.  
  5991. Do you long for an intimate love relationship with the LORD God?  Here is a good place to begin. The Psalmist calls us to respond personally to an all-knowing, ever present, and all-powerful sovereign God who loves us intimately.
  5992. <br />
  5993. <br />
  5994.  
  5995. You might find it frightening, but I am deeply encouraged that the great God of the universe sees and knows everything exhaustively and perfectly.  He definitely did not wind up the universe and walk away from His design.  He is intimately involved in the details of His creation.
  5996. <br />
  5997. <br />
  5998.  
  5999. “O LORD, Thou has searched me and know me.  Thou hast known when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou dost understand my thoughts from afar.  Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, and art intimately acquainted with all my ways.  Even before there is a word on my tongue, O LORD, Thou dost know it all” (139:1-4).<br />
  6000. <br />]]>
  6001.            </description>
  6002.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug20.html</link>
  6003.            <guid isPermaLink="false">E124D7DD-4D5A-462A-8505-72AB9F1CED32</guid>
  6004.            <pubDate>Thu, 19 Aug 2010 20:30:04 -0500</pubDate>
  6005.        </item>
  6006.        <item>
  6007.            <title>What Is God Like?</title>
  6008.            <description>
  6009.                <![CDATA[What is God like?
  6010. <br />
  6011. <br />
  6012.  
  6013. This is not a child’s question. There is nothing and no one with whom we can compare Him.  He is in a unique category, and we can know Him only as He has chosen to reveal Himself.
  6014. <br />
  6015. <br />
  6016.  
  6017. The psalmists were always calling men to praise the name of Yahweh. “Praise the LORD” is repeated in the Psalms.
  6018. <br />
  6019. <br />
  6020.  
  6021. The LORD God is an infinite person.   We can come to know Him only as He has chosen to reveal Himself in nature and in His own Word.  “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1).  God has chosen to reveal Himself in His creation (Col. 1:16-17; John 1:3; Rev. 4:11; Rom. 2:14-15).  The Creator did not leave Himself without a witness to His grace and mercy.  He reveals Himself to the world by His common grace (Acts 14:17; 17:24-29).
  6022. <br />
  6023. <br />
  6024.  
  6025. God has revealed Himself in His personal name.  In Exodus 3:14 He revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush as “I AM WHO I AM.”  “I AM” is the LORD, “the God of you fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (v.16).
  6026. <br />
  6027. <br />
  6028.  
  6029. This is the “four letter” name of God, called the Tetragrammaton.  It has four consonants commonly spelled YHWH, YHVH or JHVH.  The vowels are supplied and hence the spelling “Yahweh.” Several English translations of the Bible use the word LORD in all capital letters to signify Yahweh. Others use the name “Jehovah.” All of these are attempts to communicate the unpronounceable Name. The meaning can be “I AM,” or “I will be,” from the verb HAYAH, “to be.”  It can also correctly be used with other vowels and translated, “He who causes to be,” or “He who brings into existence.”  The simplest meaning is “I am who I am,” or “I will be who I will be.”
  6030. <br />
  6031. <br />
  6032.  
  6033. As a divine person, He has revealed Himself and communicates His person to His creation made in His image.  He has revealed Himself as three persons in one – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  There are not three Gods.  He is One God in three persons.  He can be known, and He wants us to have fellowship with Him.<br />
  6034. <br />]]>
  6035.            </description>
  6036.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug19.html</link>
  6037.            <guid isPermaLink="false">2847C7DD-8A8A-45F2-8946-16283AD62D6A</guid>
  6038.            <pubDate>Wed, 18 Aug 2010 21:24:26 -0500</pubDate>
  6039.        </item>
  6040.        <item>
  6041.            <title>What Is Your Name?</title>
  6042.            <description>
  6043.                <![CDATA[What is your name?
  6044. <br />
  6045. <br />
  6046.  
  6047. “May I have your identification, please?”
  6048. <br />
  6049. <br />
  6050.  
  6051. Moses asked God His name as he stood before the burning bush.  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14).  He is the eternal “I AM,” the same yesterday, today, and forever who makes His covenant with His people.  He is the God of salvation.  As the God of grace, He becomes whatever is required to meet the needs of His people.   He is “the Becoming One.”
  6052. <br />
  6053. <br />
  6054.  
  6055. Joseph, the adopted father of Jesus, was told that Mary “will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).  His name means, “Yahweh is salvation” or “Jehovah saves.”
  6056. <br />
  6057. <br />
  6058.  
  6059. What is your name?  How does the world identify you as a follower of Jesus Christ?
  6060. <br />
  6061. <br />
  6062.  
  6063. In the New Testament Christians are called “children of God” (Romans 8:16; I John 3:1), “soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3), “heir” (Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:29), “elect” (I Peter 1:1), “people of God”  (Romans 9:25), “sons of God” (Romans 8:19; Galatians 2:26), “children of promise” (Galatians 4:28), “sons of Abraham” (Galatians 3:17), “seed of Abraham” (Galatians 3:29), etc.
  6064. <br />
  6065. <br />
  6066.  
  6067. What is your Christian name?  How are you identified as a follower of Jesus Christ?  By what name do you identify yourself as a member of God’s family? How do the followers of Christ identify you?  How does the lost world identify you? <br />
  6068. <br />]]>
  6069.            </description>
  6070.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug18.html</link>
  6071.            <guid isPermaLink="false">8BC529DB-DAC2-4EB0-9AD4-CB135CB8A3DB</guid>
  6072.            <pubDate>Tue, 17 Aug 2010 22:24:09 -0500</pubDate>
  6073.        </item>
  6074.        <item>
  6075.            <title>The Common Grace of God</title>
  6076.            <description>
  6077.                <![CDATA[God owes us nothing.
  6078. <br />
  6079. <br />
  6080.  
  6081. God owes us nothing, yet He has poured out His blessings on every man and woman.
  6082. <br />
  6083. <br />
  6084.  
  6085. The two aspects of grace are available to all humanity in general and special or saving grace.
  6086. <br />
  6087. <br />
  6088.  
  6089. Common grace is available to all human beings without discrimination. The first mention of grace is found in Genesis 6:8. "Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." God extended His grace 120 years while Noah preached righteousness.
  6090. <br />
  6091. <br />
  6092.  
  6093. Fallen man has a fallen nature and without common grace mankind would be ultimately self-destructive (Rom. 1:18-2:16; 3:9-20). God in His common grace causes the sun to shine on the just and the unjust. This is the kind of grace that keeps radically depraved humanity from self-destruction.
  6094. <br />
  6095. <br />
  6096.  
  6097. Common grace gives order to life in spite of the curse of sin. The earth yields its fruit in abundance in spite of the thorns and briars. Depraved mankind knows the difference between good and evil, has religious aspirations, does good deeds, gives philanthropic gifts to others in need all because of common grace.
  6098. <br />
  6099. <br />
  6100.  
  6101. The effects produced by common grace or the influence of the Spirit common to all men are natural revelation whereby the creation testifies to the Creator through out the universe, presence of truth, good and beauty, fear of future punishment, a natural sense of right and wrong, restraints of governments, fear of God, religious interest not attended by genuine spiritual regeneration by the Holy Spirit, etc. Charles Hodge observes that the influences of common grace "are all capable of being effectually resisted. In all these respects this common grace is distinguished from the efficacious operation of the Spirit to which the Scriptures ascribe the regeneration of the soul."  <br />
  6102. <br />]]>
  6103.            </description>
  6104.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug17.html</link>
  6105.            <guid isPermaLink="false">43091F3E-FD94-4A87-9191-3B6FC7A9474E</guid>
  6106.            <pubDate>Mon, 16 Aug 2010 21:07:05 -0500</pubDate>
  6107.        </item>
  6108.        <item>
  6109.            <title>Either We Die or He Dies</title>
  6110.            <description>
  6111.                <![CDATA[“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
  6112. <br />
  6113. <br />
  6114.  
  6115. The Scriptures are very clear that the wrath of God is visited upon sinners or else that the Son of God dies for them. Either sinners are punished for their sins or else there takes place a substitution. Either the sinner dies or the substitute dies.
  6116. <br />
  6117. <br />
  6118.  
  6119. When Jesus Christ became “a curse for us” according to Galatians 3:13-14, He bore the full consequences of our sin. When God made Him sin that we might become “the righteousness of God,” then in some way He took upon Himself our sin and we bear it no more (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  6120. <br />
  6121. <br />
  6122.  
  6123. God made Jesus die as our substitute that death which is the wages of sin.  
  6124. <br />
  6125. <br />
  6126.  
  6127. Christ died for us; He died that death of ours which is the wages of sin. In the death of Christ, God condemned our sins once and for all. All of God's condemnation fell in one fatal blow upon Christ. It was a divine sentence executed by God upon all sin.
  6128. <br />
  6129. <br />
  6130.  
  6131. The Christian method of justification is one that is substitutionary. It is based on the substitutionary aspect of the atonement. The sinner is acquitted through the substituted blood shedding of Christ. He suffers what God does to sin. Jesus’ death makes visible what happens when man has God against him. Christ bore our condemnation so that we bear it no more. We are justified by a substitutionary process.
  6132. <br />
  6133. <br />
  6134.  
  6135. Our salvation depends completely on what God has done in Christ. Redemption points us to a price paid (1 Peter 1:18-19). Substitution tells us how much was paid and by whom and for whom it was paid. It was purchased at great cost, at the price of His own blood. Christ paid the price that bought our salvation. The Son of God died once for all for the sinner and thus put away his sin. There is therefore no room for human activity.
  6136. <br />
  6137. <br />
  6138.  
  6139. As our substitute Jesus Christ made Himself one with those for whom He suffered. He stands in the closest relationship with those for whom He died. Moreover, since the wages of sin was borne by our Substitute our salvation reaches its consummation only when the sinner has become one with his Substitute, and views his sin and Christ’s righteousness with the same mind as his Substitute.
  6140. <br />
  6141. <br />
  6142.  
  6143. That is why the Scriptures demand a personal response of faith in the finished atoning work of Christ. <br />
  6144. <br />]]>
  6145.            </description>
  6146.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug16.html</link>
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  6148.            <pubDate>Sun, 15 Aug 2010 21:25:26 -0500</pubDate>
  6149.        </item>
  6150.        <item>
  6151.            <title>The Most Important Word in the Bible</title>
  6152.            <description>
  6153.                <![CDATA[The theologian Karl Barth was asked what was the most important word in the Bible. The great thinker replied, “Hyper.”
  6154. <br />
  6155. <br />
  6156.  
  6157. You might have thought he would have said, “love,” or agape, but he didn’t. He chose a Greek preposition used in the New Testament meaning “on behalf of,” or “in place of” another.
  6158. <br />
  6159. <br />
  6160.  
  6161. This is the most important word because it signifies that the death of Jesus was in our place and for us. He died so that we might not have to die spiritually and be eternally separated from God in hell.
  6162. <br />
  6163. <br />
  6164.  
  6165. Why is this word so important, and why should we remind ourselves of it often?
  6166. <br />
  6167. <br />
  6168.  
  6169. Jesus Christ died for me. He died on “behalf of” or “in place of” the believer.
  6170. <br />
  6171. <br />
  6172.  
  6173. The many passages where this preposition is used declares, “You did not have a problem too great for the power of Christ to conquer. . . You did not have a sin too deep for the atoning blood of Christ to cleanse.”
  6174. <br />
  6175. <br />
  6176.  
  6177. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). In verse eight the apostle Paul writes, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”  (Romans 5:8).
  6178. <br />
  6179. <br />
  6180.  
  6181. Clearly Christ’s death was a substitutionary death, a death in place of others as indicated in these verses. Jesus Christ died “on behalf of” or “in the place of” the sinner. He died as our substitute. There is no doubt that that is the significance in these verses. It occurs four times in vv. 6-8. The one who acts on behalf of another takes his place. That is exactly what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. In fact, the apostle Paul often uses the preposition huper to express the truth that Christ’s death was substitutionary (1 Tim. 2:6; 1 Thess. 5:10; Gal. 2:20; 3:13; Titus 2:14; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; 1 Cor. 15:3; Rom. 14:15; 1 Cor. 8:11; 2 Cor. 5:15, 21; Rom. 8:32; Eph. 5:2, 25, and many more). <br />
  6182. <br />]]>
  6183.            </description>
  6184.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug15.html</link>
  6185.            <guid isPermaLink="false">27F444B6-CAD3-4F34-88C8-40B7ACD19783</guid>
  6186.            <pubDate>Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:57:13 -0500</pubDate>
  6187.        </item>
  6188.        <item>
  6189.            <title>Super Conquerors through Christ</title>
  6190.            <description>
  6191.                <![CDATA[Satan is a very dangerous enemy.
  6192. <br />
  6193. <br />
  6194.  
  6195. We are engaged in the spiritual battle of our lives.
  6196. <br />
  6197. <br />
  6198.  
  6199. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
  6200. <br />
  6201. <br />
  6202.  
  6203. The odds in such a spiritual battle are not very good if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
  6204. <br />
  6205. <br />
  6206.  
  6207. There can never be an armistice or truce in our spiritual warfare. From the moment we became believers in Christ Jesus we were made targets of the world, the flesh and the devil. There is never a moment when that is not true.
  6208. <br />
  6209. <br />
  6210.  
  6211. Why does the apostle Paul consider the believers “more than conquerors” in the spiritual battles? “In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
  6212. <br />
  6213. <br />
  6214.  
  6215. Tribulations, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, and the list could go on and on. “In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”
  6216. <br />
  6217. <br />
  6218.  
  6219. There is no other way to conquer. Only Jesus Christ can give us the spiritual victory in life.<br />
  6220. <br />
  6221.  
  6222.  
  6223. The apostle Paul is stressing a “superlative of victory.” Everything may appear to be just the opposite, but it only places the reality of the victory in bolder relief. Martyrdom only appears to be defeat, but when seen through the eyes of God it declares “more than conquerors” in Christ. It is an unqualified victory through the love of Jesus Christ demonstrated at Calvary. The basis of all spiritual victories took place at Calvary (Col. 2:15). <br />
  6224. <br />]]>
  6225.            </description>
  6226.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug14.html</link>
  6227.            <guid isPermaLink="false">39F75151-FA92-44DA-8D91-EC6F5C0073FB</guid>
  6228.            <pubDate>Fri, 13 Aug 2010 19:08:57 -0500</pubDate>
  6229.        </item>
  6230.        <item>
  6231.            <title>Who Shall Separate Us from the Love of Christ?</title>
  6232.            <description>
  6233.                <![CDATA[The greatest lesson a Christian can learn is that nothing nor anyone can ever separate him from the love of Christ.
  6234. <br />
  6235. <br />
  6236.  
  6237. I have a missionary friend who had been in prison frequently.   He was flogged severely, exposed to death again and again for the cause of Christ. He had been unmercifully beaten with a whip five times.  Three times he had been beaten with rods, stoned once, shipwrecked three times and spent a night and day in the open sea before getting to shore.  He had been is danger of swollen rivers, bandits along roads, in danger of both Jewish and non-Jewish government leaders, and traveled in dangerous areas in foreign countries.  One day he said, “I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food.  I have been cold and naked” (2 Cor. 11:23-29).
  6238. <br />
  6239. <br />
  6240.  
  6241. That amazing Christian also wrote, “Who shall separated us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecutions, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8: 35) In effect he says, “None of the above or all of them together can separate us from the love of Christ.”
  6242. <br />
  6243. <br />
  6244.  
  6245. The apostle Paul also quotes Psalm 44:22, “Just as it is written, for Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered (Romans 8:36).
  6246. <br />
  6247. <br />
  6248.  
  6249. Will anything or anyone ever make Christ cease to love us?  Not in Paul’s imagination or experiences.
  6250. <br />
  6251. <br />
  6252.  
  6253. The Christian walks through life secured by the strong cable of God’s gracious unchanging love. Nothing or anyone will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  6254. <br />
  6255. <br />
  6256.  
  6257. The term “the love of Christ” may be taken either as our love to Christ, or His love to us, but in this context it is best to take it as Christ’s love for us.
  6258. <br />
  6259. <br />
  6260.  
  6261. “Tribulation” refers to the afflictions, trials, sorrows, troubles, pressures, and hard circumstances pressing down on us in everyday life. The word thilipsis has to do with pressure.<br />
  6262. <br />]]>
  6263.            </description>
  6264.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug13.html</link>
  6265.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F1EB4452-0161-4321-81CA-049A50227786</guid>
  6266.            <pubDate>Thu, 12 Aug 2010 21:42:52 -0500</pubDate>
  6267.        </item>
  6268.        <item>
  6269.            <title>Who Is The One Who Condemns?</title>
  6270.            <description>
  6271.                <![CDATA[“Who is the one who condemns?”  (Romans 8:34)
  6272. <br />
  6273. <br />
  6274.  
  6275. We know that Jesus Christ is pleading the case of the believing sinner in heaven.  “Christ Jesus is He who died, yes rather, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”
  6276. <br />
  6277. <br />
  6278.  
  6279. Who condemns us?  Quite often our own conscience accuses us. Our own thoughts and memories haunt us at times.  People reinforce their own condemnation by trying to dull the conscience by the use of drugs and immoral behavior. But the truth is that one-day we will stand before God as Judge.
  6280. <br />
  6281. <br />
  6282.  
  6283. Satan accuses the Christian before God day and night (Rev. 12:10).  Some of us really keep him busy.  He just loves to rub God in the face with our sins.  Every time we sin, he accuses us before God.
  6284. <br />
  6285. <br />
  6286.  
  6287. If you have never put your faith in the death of Jesus Christ to save you, you stand guilty before God (John 3:18-20).
  6288. <br />
  6289. <br />
  6290.  
  6291. Revelation 20:11-15 points a fearful picture of judgment before The Great White Throne of God.  The paragraph concludes, “And if anyone’s name was not found written the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (v. 15).
  6292. <br />
  6293. <br />
  6294.  
  6295. Is your name written in God’s book?  If it is, the apostle Paul in Romans 8:34 gives us four reasons why we are forever free from condemnation by Jesus Christ.
  6296. <br />
  6297. <br />
  6298.  
  6299. Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross.  Jesus died making atonement for our sins.  In His death He turned away the wrath of God.  He died for us on our behalf!  Jesus Christ died in our place so we would not have to die spiritually.  He died for our sins and bore the punishment in our place.  Jesus took your and my condemnation on the cross, and it is finished forever.  You cannot add anything to it, nor can you take away from it.<br />
  6300. <br />]]>
  6301.            </description>
  6302.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug12.html</link>
  6303.            <guid isPermaLink="false">C709A7B6-3A79-45C9-AF45-B1CE9EB5F8BA</guid>
  6304.            <pubDate>Wed, 11 Aug 2010 20:38:39 -0500</pubDate>
  6305.        </item>
  6306.        <item>
  6307.            <title>Who Will Bring Charge Against God’s Chosen?</title>
  6308.            <description>
  6309.                <![CDATA[“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” (Romans 8:33)
  6310. <br />
  6311. <br />
  6312.  
  6313. This is one of the most important questions a person can ask.  It is important that we get God’s answer to this “unanswerable question.”
  6314. <br />
  6315. <br />
  6316.  
  6317. Since God has justified us, no charge can be brought against those whom God has chosen.  The reason is because the Supreme Judge of the universe has acquitted the believing sinner, and He has also clothed him with the very righteousness of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
  6318. <br />
  6319. <br />
  6320.  
  6321. “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns?  Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, and who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Romans 8:33-34).
  6322. <br />
  6323. <br />
  6324.  
  6325. Our sin was placed on Jesus Christ, and punished in His death on the cross.  But God not only imputes our sin to His Son, but He takes the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ and imputes it to the believer.
  6326. <br />
  6327. <br />
  6328.  
  6329. When God justifies the believing sinner He makes a judicial declaration to effect that He does more than pardon or forgive or sins; He now regards us as just and righteous and holy in His sight.
  6330. <br />
  6331. <br />
  6332.  
  6333. God not only imputes my sin to His Son, He also takes His righteousness and imputes it to me (2 Cor. 5:21).
  6334. <br />
  6335. <br />
  6336.  
  6337. Therefore, God’s answer to the unanswerable question is, “No one can lay any charge against me because I am clothed in this righteousness.” “It is God who justifies.”<br />
  6338. <br />
  6339.  
  6340.  
  6341. The wonderful thing is that God is the Supreme Judge and the Supreme Court of the universe.  He is the highest authority.  No one can override Him.  No one can appeal to a higher judge.  His word is final.<br />
  6342. <br />]]>
  6343.            </description>
  6344.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug11.html</link>
  6345.            <guid isPermaLink="false">595659ED-76A1-4174-AA11-5E0E56CAE16E</guid>
  6346.            <pubDate>Tue, 10 Aug 2010 22:47:38 -0500</pubDate>
  6347.        </item>
  6348.        <item>
  6349.            <title>God Spared Not His Own Son for Us</title>
  6350.            <description>
  6351.                <![CDATA[Because God has done for our good the greatest that is conceivable, will He not therefore provide all the other blessings we need?
  6352. <br />
  6353. <br />
  6354.  
  6355. The apostle Paul enjoys arguing from the greater to the lesser in Romans 8:32. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
  6356. <br />
  6357. <br />
  6358.  
  6359. “He who did not spare His own Son.” God gave His very best for us while we were yet depraved sinners (Romans 5:8).
  6360. <br />
  6361. <br />
  6362.  
  6363. God the Father is the One who gave up His Son for sinners.  “His own Son” means that there is no other person who stands in this same relationship to the Father.  Jesus called “God His own Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18; cf. 14:10).
  6364. <br />
  6365. <br />
  6366.  
  6367. God has many sons by adoption.  But the Scripture allows no confusion to exist between the sonship of the only begotten and the sonship of the adopted. It is the Father’s own genuine Son as opposed to an adopted son such as believers that is in view. There is no other person who stands in such a high relationship to God the Father.
  6368. <br />
  6369. <br />
  6370.  
  6371. God the Father did not spare His own Son the sufferings inflicted. He did not withhold or lighten one bit the suffering, but inflicted the full punishment of judgment upon His well beloved and only begotten Son.
  6372. <br />
  6373. <br />
  6374.  
  6375. God did not prevent His Son from suffering the death as the sinner’s substitute.  He fulfilled His own prophetic word in Isaiah 53.
  6376. <br />
  6377. <br />
  6378.  
  6379. Because God “spared Him not,” He therefore “delivered Him up for us all.” Christ was made sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), and He became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13).  The Father delivered the Savior to the damnation and abandonment demanded by the law. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 8:23). Nothing was spared in the punishment inflicted upon Christ. The wrath of God was exhausted on Him.  God delivered Christ up for us all.<br />
  6380. <br />]]>
  6381.            </description>
  6382.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug10.html</link>
  6383.            <guid isPermaLink="false">4DA501A2-4C1D-43D3-92AC-D8884D712740</guid>
  6384.            <pubDate>Mon, 9 Aug 2010 18:43:34 -0500</pubDate>
  6385.        </item>
  6386.        <item>
  6387.            <title>How Can God Not Freely Give Us All Things?</title>
  6388.            <description>
  6389.                <![CDATA[Since God is for us, who then can possibly stand against us?
  6390. <br />
  6391. <br />
  6392.  
  6393. The Psalmist wrote, “In God I will trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”  (Psalms 56:11)  
  6394. <br />
  6395. <br />
  6396.  
  6397. The prophet Elisha demonstrated to his companion that God is for us and can be depended upon to take care of His people. The enemy sent an army with horses, and chariots circling the city. The servant was filled with panic. “What shall we do?”  Elisha counseled, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha prayed, “‘O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:17-18). God blinded the enemy and provided deliverance (v. 19).
  6398. <br />
  6399. <br />
  6400.  
  6401. The question that haunts many people I meet is not the fact that God is able, but is God really for us?  Does He really care? Would He do the same thing for us? How can we know that the great sovereign God of the universe is actually on our side today?
  6402. <br />
  6403. <br />
  6404.  
  6405. God has already answered that question once and for all.  We never have to ever question God’s love for us again.  “He who did not spare His own son but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)  Since God loves us, He is also for us.
  6406. <br />
  6407. <br />
  6408.  
  6409. The apostle Paul takes us back to John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB 1995).
  6410. <br />
  6411. <br />
  6412.  
  6413. God has demonstrated His vast love for us even while we were His enemies by sending Christ to die for us (Romans 5:8).  That is love.  That is God’s love for the sinner.  And since I am a sinner, this qualifies me.<br />
  6414. <br />]]>
  6415.            </description>
  6416.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug9.html</link>
  6417.            <guid isPermaLink="false">8FA7E198-2D12-4113-90B7-06DE911F1141</guid>
  6418.            <pubDate>Sun, 8 Aug 2010 20:50:53 -0500</pubDate>
  6419.        </item>
  6420.        <item>
  6421.            <title>Unanswerable Questions</title>
  6422.            <description>
  6423.                <![CDATA[“Who can be against us?”
  6424. <br />
  6425. <br />
  6426.  
  6427. This is the first of several unanswerable questions the apostle Paul asked in Romans 8:31-39.
  6428. <br />
  6429. <br />
  6430.  
  6431. To be very honest there are days when I don’t have to look very far over my shoulders to give you the answer.  The Apostle Paul suggests a most violent opposition:  tribulations, distress, persecutions, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, principalities, etc.
  6432. <br />
  6433. <br />
  6434.  
  6435. The devil himself, Satan, is a powerful enemy of every Christian. He is “a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). At times, like in the Garden of Eden, he calls God a liar, and at other times he is like an angel of light with beautiful wisdom. He would even deceive the elect if he were permitted.
  6436. <br />
  6437. <br />
  6438.  
  6439. However, “There is no one on par with God,” writes A. T. Robertson. Satan and his hosts of demons can never ultimately triumph over the believer in Jesus Christ. God has given us spiritual armor and He expects us to use it in our spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-17).
  6440. <br />
  6441. <br />
  6442.  
  6443. John Calvin correctly said, “There is no power under heaven or above it which can resist the armor of God.”
  6444. <br />
  6445. <br />
  6446.  
  6447. “If God is for us” does not suggest doubt. Since it is true "God is for us" we do not have to be concerned about all other opposition. <br />
  6448. <br />]]>
  6449.            </description>
  6450.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug8.html</link>
  6451.            <guid isPermaLink="false">423C5D6B-647F-44C5-A0C8-6B2682C553AB</guid>
  6452.            <pubDate>Sat, 7 Aug 2010 19:45:06 -0500</pubDate>
  6453.        </item>
  6454.        <item>
  6455.            <title>Glorification of the Christian</title>
  6456.            <description>
  6457.                <![CDATA[The Christian's glorification describes their ultimate and complete conformity to the image of Christ Jesus.
  6458. <br />
  6459. <br />
  6460.  
  6461. It is the final link in the great golden chain of salvation and it is so certain that it is going to happen that the apostle Paul refers to it as having already happened (Romans 8:30).
  6462. <br />
  6463. <br />
  6464.  
  6465. Another great promise is given to us in Philippians 1:6. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
  6466. <br />
  6467. <br />
  6468.  
  6469. God makes us like His Son. To be glorified is another way of saying the believer will be "conformed" to the character of Christ which is God’s ultimate purpose for the Christian. No longer will the Christian "fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
  6470. <br />
  6471. <br />
  6472.  
  6473. God’s great plan of salvation reaches from eternity past to eternity future, and He will accomplish it perfectly. God’s plan is going to succeed. There is always the now and the yet to be in regard to our salvation. We are saved and we will be saved. We are justified and one day we will be glorified. The apostle Paul speaks of a reality that has come and the promise that it is to come.
  6474. <br />
  6475. <br />
  6476.  
  6477. The apostle Paul was absolutely certain that one day every believer in Jesus Christ would be completely like Christ in character. That great fact should influence the choices we make and our behavior every day. There is no greater encourage for daily living than the fact that we already share the glory of God. Moreover, there is an eternal weight of glory accompanying the believer when he gets to heaven. The more suffering here, the more glory there.
  6478. <br />
  6479. <br />
  6480.  
  6481. In the great golden chain of salvation, not a single person is lost. Called, justified, glorified. Our glorification is so certain that in God’s eyes it is as good as done. <br />
  6482. <br />]]>
  6483.            </description>
  6484.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug7.html</link>
  6485.            <guid isPermaLink="false">05F40D0D-2993-4E34-A9CF-5335BB48E95E</guid>
  6486.            <pubDate>Fri, 6 Aug 2010 22:20:45 -0500</pubDate>
  6487.        </item>
  6488.        <item>
  6489.            <title>Justification by Faith</title>
  6490.            <description>The salvation of the true believer is so certain that God sees it as already done. The apostle Paul uses five verbs to outline what God has done in fulfilling His saving purpose. It is a golden chain of salvation that stretches from eternity past to eternity future.
  6491. &lt;br /&gt;
  6492. &lt;br /&gt;
  6493.  
  6494. God’s foreknowledge of the saved in Romans 8:29-30 is probably a reference to the election of the saved person. Believers are those God foreknew. Divine foreknowledge is a meaningful relation with a person based on God’s choice (Amos 3:2; Jer. 1:4-5). “He chose us in Him before the creation of the world” (Eph. 1:4).
  6495. &lt;br /&gt;
  6496. &lt;br /&gt;
  6497.  
  6498. This eternal choice and foreknowledge involves the goal or final end of that relationship. The Bible says those whom God foreknew, those He also “predestinated to be conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29). God determined beforehand the destiny of the believer. We will be conformed to the image of Christ (1 John 3:2). When all believers are made like Christ, our ultimate and complete sanctification, Christ will be “the Firstborn among many brothers.” As the ‘Firstborn’ He is in the highest position among others (cf. Col. 1:18).”
  6499. &lt;br /&gt;
  6500. &lt;br /&gt;
  6501.  
  6502. Not only are we saved for all eternity, but God has created a new race of humanity purified from all contact with sin and prepared to spend eternity with Him. The glorified Christ will the be Head of the new humanity (cf. 1 Cor. 15:42-58).
  6503. &lt;br /&gt;
  6504. &lt;br /&gt;
  6505.  
  6506. Those whom God foreknew, He predestinated, He called, He justified, and He glorified. When we heard the gospel of Jesus Christ there was the effectual call of God that worked deep in our hearts to bring about a spiritual birth. Those He called He justified through faith in Jesus Christ. This leads to our glorification. The apostle Paul is so sure of these things he speaks of the believer’s glorification, which is a future event, as if it were already accomplished (v. 30). It is a sure deal because it is God&apos;s eternal plan. &lt;br /&gt;
  6507. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  6508.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug6.html</link>
  6509.            <guid isPermaLink="false">06EC13F6-3172-4F13-B8D0-BBC45D8CFABD</guid>
  6510.            <pubDate>Fri, 6 Aug 2010 22:19:44 -0500</pubDate>
  6511.        </item>
  6512.        <item>
  6513.            <title>The Effectual Call of God</title>
  6514.            <description>
  6515.                <![CDATA[Have you responded to the effectual call of God to salvation?
  6516. <br />
  6517. <br />
  6518.  
  6519. In his effort to encourage suffering Christians, the apostle Paul wrote, “For whom He [God] foreknew, He also predestinated to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren; and whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).
  6520. <br />
  6521. <br />
  6522.  
  6523. This beautiful golden five-link chain of salvation demonstrates the awesome love and grace of God reaching down to poor, lost, depraved sinners and gives the assurance of eternal life.
  6524. <br />
  6525. <br />
  6526.  
  6527. The effectual call of God in salvation brings about regeneration, or spiritual birth in the person who is called. The effectual or specific call to salvation comes through the general call by means of the preaching of the good news in Jesus Christ to a lost world. It is through the preaching of the gospel that God calls sinners. As the Word of God is preached some seed falls on stony, shallow ground, and some on good soil. God prepares the soil and gives life. The seed that sprouts and takes up root in the good soil results in a spiritual harvest and people are saved.
  6528. <br />
  6529. <br />
  6530.  
  6531. God calls the individual to salvation by a specific and effectual call that produces spiritual life in the one who hears the call. The individual who hears the effectual call of God will responds by faith. The effectual call enables the person to respond to the Gospel. The Holy Spirit produces the new spiritual life in the person who is effectually called. The evidence of that new life is repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. When referring to faith and repentance Spurgeon said don't make two old friends fight.<br />
  6532. <br />
  6533.  
  6534.  
  6535. The effectual "calling" in the New Testament is consistently used for the call that ushers men into a state of salvation and is therefore effectual. <br />
  6536. <br />]]>
  6537.            </description>
  6538.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug5.html</link>
  6539.            <guid isPermaLink="false">3F7D70FB-B8FA-45AA-95AA-290C5892EACC</guid>
  6540.            <pubDate>Wed, 4 Aug 2010 21:12:38 -0500</pubDate>
  6541.        </item>
  6542.        <item>
  6543.            <title>Predestined to be Conformed to Christ</title>
  6544.            <description>
  6545.                <![CDATA[The second golden link in the chain of salvation is predestination.
  6546. <br />
  6547. <br />
  6548.  
  6549. Like foreknowledge, predestination is one of those Biblical doctrines that provokes many a discussion, but when accepted becomes a great source of assurance of salvation.
  6550. <br />
  6551. <br />
  6552.  
  6553. It may not seem like all things are working together when we look at our circumstances, but when we get eternity into the picture it all comes together and we see God at work. He is behind the scenes accomplishing His eternal purpose.
  6554. <br />
  6555. <br />
  6556.  
  6557. Charles Hodge said, “Believers are called in accordance with a settled plan and purpose of God, for whom He calls He had previously predestinated.” God is at work causing all things to work together for good to those who love God, for the plan of God cannot fail.
  6558. <br />
  6559. <br />
  6560.  
  6561. The apostle Paul increases our understanding of the “purpose” in Romans 8:28 in the following verses. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).
  6562. <br />
  6563. <br />
  6564.  
  6565. It is a continued confirmation of the truth Paul has been expounding that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God. It accomplishes His eternal purpose in our lives.
  6566. <br />
  6567. <br />
  6568.  
  6569. John Murray says, “the foreknowledge means ‘whom He set His regard upon’ or ‘whom He knew from eternity with distinguishing affection and delight’ is virtually equivalent to ‘whom He foreloved.’”
  6570. <br />
  6571. <br />
  6572.  
  6573. F. F. Bruce notes, “whom He did foreknow” has “the connotation of God’s electing grace.” “When God takes knowledge of people in this special way, He sets His choice upon them.”
  6574. <br />
  6575. <br />
  6576.  
  6577. Those whom God foreknew, He also predestined “carries the believer onward to the final consummation of God’s purpose in respect to Him.” God will conform the believer to the image of His Son. God has decided upon that great event beforehand.   <br />
  6578. <br />]]>
  6579.            </description>
  6580.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug4.html</link>
  6581.            <guid isPermaLink="false">66C3B2B6-064E-4C88-9D47-D9AB96ED58F6</guid>
  6582.            <pubDate>Tue, 3 Aug 2010 21:13:25 -0500</pubDate>
  6583.        </item>
  6584.        <item>
  6585.            <title>Five Golden Links in Salvation</title>
  6586.            <description>
  6587.                <![CDATA[God is at work in all the many detailed circumstances of our lives to accomplish His eternal purpose.
  6588. <br />
  6589. <br />
  6590.  
  6591. How much does God love us? Just let me count the many ways. Here are five to begin our quest. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).
  6592. <br />
  6593. <br />
  6594.  
  6595. That is what God does for us out of His infinite love and grace. God foreknew. God predestined. God called. God justified. God glorified. God saves!
  6596. <br />
  6597. <br />
  6598.  
  6599. How does God cause all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose? The chain of divine action demonstrates how He accomplishes this “good.” What is this good purpose of God? God is saving a body of people who will be made like Jesus Christ.
  6600. <br />
  6601. <br />
  6602.  
  6603. He is not making us like gods as the cults purpose. We will not become divine and go off and populate a planet. That nonsense is strange to the Bible.
  6604. <br />
  6605. <br />
  6606.  
  6607. God’s eternal purpose of redemption is that He will have a people who are loving, full of joy, peace, holiness, wisdom, patience, kindness, goodness, compassion, faithfulness, mercy, grace, etc. <br />
  6608. <br />]]>
  6609.            </description>
  6610.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug3.html</link>
  6611.            <guid isPermaLink="false">E4CD56E9-948C-452E-91E7-FE8FD902EE13</guid>
  6612.            <pubDate>Mon, 2 Aug 2010 21:42:28 -0500</pubDate>
  6613.        </item>
  6614.        <item>
  6615.            <title>The Eternal Purpose of God</title>
  6616.            <description>Where is God at work in your life? Are you going through some deep hurt, pain or suffering? Could God perhaps be doing a special work through your present circumstances?
  6617. &lt;br /&gt;
  6618. &lt;br /&gt;
  6619.  
  6620. One of the greatest promises in the Bible is found in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purposes” (New International Version). The New American Standard Bible reads: &quot;And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.&quot;
  6621. &lt;br /&gt;
  6622. &lt;br /&gt;
  6623.  
  6624. There have been many times in my life when I have paused and stood back in amazement and reflected on how God works in all things of our good and His glory.
  6625. &lt;br /&gt;
  6626. &lt;br /&gt;
  6627.  
  6628. The New Testament scholar, F. F. Bruce observes, “Grammatically ‘all things’ may be either subject or object of the verb ‘works together’; it is more probably the object. The subject will then be ‘he.’” The subject is God. Therefore the translation preferred, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (NASB). Goodspeed translates, “We know that in everything God works with those who love Him . . .” RSV, “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him . . .”
  6629. &lt;br /&gt;
  6630. &lt;br /&gt;
  6631.  
  6632. “We know” by the knowledge of faith in God’s Word.
  6633. &lt;br /&gt;
  6634. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  6635.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug2.html</link>
  6636.            <guid isPermaLink="false">24782190-F086-45B4-A481-390ECC4913B5</guid>
  6637.            <pubDate>Mon, 2 Aug 2010 21:41:12 -0500</pubDate>
  6638.        </item>
  6639.        <item>
  6640.            <title>How Can I Know God’s Will for My Life?</title>
  6641.            <description>
  6642.                <![CDATA[“I am convinced that nothing in this world happens outside the will of God—literally nothing. There are no failures, and there are no loose ends in the ultimate plan of God.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?
  6643. <br />
  6644. <br />
  6645.  
  6646. Someone correctly said, “God is too kind to do anything cruel . . . Too wise to make a mistake, . . . too deep to explain Himself. When we know the Who we can stop asking, 'Why?’”
  6647. <br />
  6648. <br />
  6649.  
  6650. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:27-28, “He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
  6651. <br />
  6652. <br />
  6653.  
  6654. Those who “love God” are “those who are called according to His purposes.” God causes everything to work for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes. That is Paul’s deep personal conviction. Mere “things” do not work together for good or evil. “And we know” in all our suffering and pain God is working out His great eternal purpose. No matter what the circumstances in our lives that purpose will not be overthrown, and it culminates in final glory to God.
  6655. <br />
  6656. <br />
  6657.  
  6658. Paul’s focus is on our eternal sovereign God at work, not some “evolutionary optimism.”
  6659. <br />
  6660. <br />
  6661.  
  6662. Let’s be quite honest all things from our limited human perspective do not always seem in the moment of crisis to be turning out for our good. At least, we don’t in the pain and emotion feel that way. From our limited knowledge bad things do happen to Christians, and at times it seems that evil is winning. <br />
  6663. <br />]]>
  6664.            </description>
  6665.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/aug1.html</link>
  6666.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6222DCDC-7A39-4DF5-A737-F34E5BE78EF7</guid>
  6667.            <pubDate>Sat, 31 Jul 2010 21:59:20 -0500</pubDate>
  6668.        </item>
  6669.        <item>
  6670.            <title>When the Holy Spirit Groans in Prayer</title>
  6671.            <description>The indwelling Spirit of God works in us in pray to cry out “Abba,” “Father, Daddy.” He helps us to endure sufferings so that we may patiently look forward to the final redemption of our bodies when we will see Jesus “with glory that is burst upon us” at His coming.
  6672. &lt;br /&gt;
  6673. &lt;br /&gt;
  6674.  
  6675. We are commanded in the Scriptures to “pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17). When we pray we are petitioning the sovereign Creator of the universe and speaking to Him personally as we present our adoration, confessions, thanksgivings, and supplications to Him. He patiently listens to us and responds to us consistently out of His infinite wisdom.
  6676. &lt;br /&gt;
  6677. &lt;br /&gt;
  6678.  
  6679. Since that is true why is it so hard to pray? Why is prayer a problem even for mature Christians? The apostle Paul says it is because of “our weakness.” Phillips translates Romans 8:26, “The Spirit of God not only maintains this hope within us, but helps us in our present limitations.” The wonderful thing is His intercessions for the saints are always in harmony with God’s will. He comes to our aid in our infirmities.
  6680. &lt;br /&gt;
  6681. &lt;br /&gt;
  6682.  
  6683. Paul does not say the Holy Spirit removes our “weaknesses,” but that He “helps” us. We live our whole Christian life in conditions of humility and weaknesses. The Holy Spirit comes along side as our Helper and gives us wisdom and strength. He helps those who cannot help themselves.
  6684. &lt;br /&gt;
  6685. &lt;br /&gt;
  6686.  
  6687. What is the problem? We do not know what we should ask God. What is His sovereign will for us, our family, our ministry, etc.? We often do not know what we need, nor do we know what is best for us. &lt;br /&gt;
  6688. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  6689.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul31.html</link>
  6690.            <guid isPermaLink="false">7C15C284-59F2-4B69-ABA3-E0AC2BD35451</guid>
  6691.            <pubDate>Fri, 30 Jul 2010 22:38:56 -0500</pubDate>
  6692.        </item>
  6693.        <item>
  6694.            <title>Redemption of Our Bodies</title>
  6695.            <description>
  6696.                <![CDATA[True Christianity "sets its affection on things which are above, not on things which are on the earth."
  6697. <br />
  6698. <br />
  6699.  
  6700. True Christianity is filled with hope. The second coming is “our blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), and “the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). It is a “sure and certain hope” because of its specific content concerns the return of Jesus Christ.
  6701. <br />
  6702. <br />
  6703.  
  6704. God promises the Christian believer the resurrection of the body, the adoption of God’s children, and gathering of God’s harvest at the end of time. The Christian’s hope is confidence and security grounded on the sure Word of God, the Bible. Since God says this is coming about we can rest secure and confidently on His Word.
  6705. <br />
  6706. <br />
  6707.  
  6708. “We wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:23-25).
  6709. <br />
  6710. <br />
  6711.  
  6712. With eager expectation the apostle Paul awaits “the redemption of our body” (v. 23). Paul has in mind the resurrection of our bodies, when the work of God—begun by the atoning death of Jesus Christ, and continued by the work of the Holy Spirit in joining us to Christ and sanctifying us—will be completed.
  6713. <br />
  6714. <br />
  6715.  
  6716. He has in mind the great day of consummation when Christ returns. It will be the complete deliverance of the believer. The Creator who holds life and death in His hands will dispel all darkness from the tomb and we will be free at last.
  6717. <br />
  6718. <br />
  6719.  
  6720. Robert Haldane wrote, “His light alone can dispel the darkness of the tomb. It is only His hand that can break its seal and its silence.” <br />
  6721. <br />]]>
  6722.            </description>
  6723.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul30.html</link>
  6724.            <guid isPermaLink="false">A7F09CF1-D0F4-429B-B160-AC5BCCF9F8BB</guid>
  6725.            <pubDate>Thu, 29 Jul 2010 21:50:51 -0500</pubDate>
  6726.        </item>
  6727.        <item>
  6728.            <title>Groan, Groans, and Groaning</title>
  6729.            <description>Life is full of pain, suffering and death. Each of us has our share of heartaches and hurts. Sometimes we groan under the load of suffering. In my daily ministry I see hundreds of poor people facing pain, poverty and suffering in Latin America.
  6730. &lt;br /&gt;
  6731. &lt;br /&gt;
  6732.  
  6733. The word for groaning is found only six times in the New Testament. In Romans 8:22, 23, 26 the word stenazo and its variants refer to three different things: creation groans (vv. 18-22), believers groan (vv. 23-25), and the Holy Spirit groans (vv. 25-30).
  6734. &lt;br /&gt;
  6735. &lt;br /&gt;
  6736.  
  6737. The apostle Paul tells us that creation groans (Romans 8:18-22). He is referring to the “non-rational creation, animate and inanimate.” Angels are not included because they were not subjected to the bondage of corruption. Satan and his demons are not included because they will not share in the freedom of glory of the children of God. The children of God are distinguished from the creation in vv. 19-23. The unbelievers are not included because they are not characterized by an earnest expectation of hope in the coming of Christ. Rational creation is excluded in this passage. Paul tells us the “non-rational creation, animate and inanimate” creation “waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God” (v. 19). It “groans and suffers the pains of childbirth until now” (v. 22).
  6738. &lt;br /&gt;
  6739. &lt;br /&gt;
  6740.  
  6741. Why does it groan like a mother dilating at childbirth? Verse 21 tells us it longs to be “set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Creation, the cosmos, is looking beyond itself to the “glorious freedom of the children of God.”
  6742. &lt;br /&gt;
  6743. &lt;br /&gt;
  6744.  
  6745. It longs to be liberated from the curse God placed upon it in the garden when Adam sinned (Gen. 3:17-18). “Cursed is the ground because of you.” Creation will one day be delivered by the Redeemer. When the Christians are fully redeemed, resurrected in glory, the cosmos will likewise be fully redeemed. &lt;br /&gt;
  6746. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  6747.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul29.html</link>
  6748.            <guid isPermaLink="false">F23D9294-AE33-4286-A702-94755AA82014</guid>
  6749.            <pubDate>Wed, 28 Jul 2010 21:25:29 -0500</pubDate>
  6750.        </item>
  6751.        <item>
  6752.            <title>Love is Extravagant!</title>
  6753.            <description>Tongues, prophesy, knowledge, absolute faith, philanthropy, martyrdom without God’s love in Christ results in nothing—absolute zero.
  6754. &lt;br /&gt;
  6755. &lt;br /&gt;
  6756.  
  6757. Go back and read again the greatest essay ever written on love. First Corinthians 13 always reminds me of the highest priority in the Christian’s life. “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (v. 13).
  6758. &lt;br /&gt;
  6759. &lt;br /&gt;
  6760.  
  6761. Why is this chapter so important for the growing Christian? It is an awesome portrait of Jesus Christ. Read through this chapter again substituting the name Jesus Christ in place of the word “love” or “charity.” It is marvelous portrait of Christ who models for us perfect love.
  6762. Love is patient (v. 4a).
  6763. &lt;br /&gt;
  6764. &lt;br /&gt;
  6765.  
  6766. Love is enduring. It extends its grace even in the most heated moments in life. When our nerves are frayed it doesn’t fly off the handle. It is not easily frustrated and short-tempered. God’s love in us sees beyond the circumstances and considers all persons involved. Christ was extremely patient with His disciples and those who were slow spiritual learners (Lk. 24:35). He is still patient and not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). Are we as patient with those who are slow to believe in Him? Mature Christian love is consistently slow to lose patience. It takes a long time before fuming and breaking into flames.&lt;br /&gt;
  6767. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  6768.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul28.html</link>
  6769.            <guid isPermaLink="false">EC677499-91BE-4D31-B3BB-3A8CC20EEBC8</guid>
  6770.            <pubDate>Tue, 27 Jul 2010 22:42:38 -0500</pubDate>
  6771.        </item>
  6772.        <item>
  6773.            <title>Suffering is the Christian’s Path to Glory</title>
  6774.            <description>Our hope as Christians is our future glory. We will have a new body patterned after the glorified body of Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:21). Our “hope of glory” is guaranteed by the present dwelling of Christ within the believer (Col. 1:27).
  6775. &lt;br /&gt;
  6776. &lt;br /&gt;
  6777.  
  6778. At the parousia, the second coming of Christ, those who died in Christ and the living believers will be given the final and full “redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23). That body will be prepared for and suited to the final state of the Christian believer (1 Cor. 15:23, 26, 54). “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4).
  6779. &lt;br /&gt;
  6780. &lt;br /&gt;
  6781.  
  6782. The apostle Paul tells us that we shall be included in the radiance of the coming glory, which will put into perspective the present sufferings we experience. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
  6783. &lt;br /&gt;
  6784. &lt;br /&gt;
  6785.  
  6786. As co-heirs with Christ (vv. 15-17) we are recipients of all spiritual blessings now (Eph. 1:3), and in the future we shall share with Him in all the riches of God’s kingdom (Jn. 17:24; 1 Cor. 3:21-23). In Romans 8:15-18 the apostle is stressing the assurance of the believer’s salvation, and in doing so says if we are true Christians we will also suffer with Christ. We will participate in Christ’s sufferings if we are believers. Being co-heirs with Christ requires that we share in His sufferings (Jn. 15:20; Col. 1:24; 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet. 4:12). After suffering with Christ the believer will share in the glory of Christ (2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Pet. 4:13; 5:10). &lt;br /&gt;
  6787. &lt;br /&gt;</description>
  6788.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul27.html</link>
  6789.            <guid isPermaLink="false">D3736C12-603B-49F9-9F46-8966996563AB</guid>
  6790.            <pubDate>Mon, 26 Jul 2010 21:57:31 -0500</pubDate>
  6791.        </item>
  6792.        <item>
  6793.            <title>The Inheritance of the Christian</title>
  6794.            <description>
  6795.                <![CDATA[The witness of the Holy Spirit gives evidence that if we are God’s “children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:17).
  6796. <br />
  6797. <br />
  6798.  
  6799. The blessings of this great inheritance are reserved for us in heaven. It is being prepared for us now in heaven (John 14:1-3). It is a special place in the presence of God. There we will no longer be in a spiritual warfare with sin and the devil. We will be in the likeness of Jesus (1 John 3:1-3).
  6800. <br />
  6801. <br />
  6802.  
  6803. We belong to the Father as His heirs. He has loved us, redeemed us, adopted us and made us heirs by His grace. It is something He has done entirely for us of His own free sovereign will. But we also have God as our inheritance. The Psalmist said He is “my portion forever.” The LORD God is our inheritance.
  6804. <br />
  6805. <br />
  6806.  
  6807. Moreover, we are “co-heirs with Christ” (v. 17). Whatever He inherits is ours also. Whatever we inherit we inherit right along with Him. It is not something we merit; it is strictly God’s gift to His chosen children.
  6808. <br />
  6809. <br />
  6810.  
  6811. “Christ’s inheritance is the glory of God, which means the vision of participation in, and enjoyment of God Himself.” Jesus said to the Father, “I have brought to you glory on earth by completing the work You gave Me to do. And now Father, glorify Me in your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began” (John 17:4-5). The apostle Paul wrote, “if indeed [absolute certainty, “For sure” in the Greek] we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:17).
  6812. <br />
  6813. <br />
  6814.  
  6815. We have the down payment of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:14), as a pledge of what is actually to come later. He is the pledge of something greater. Since the Holy Spirit is the earnest of God, the full inheritance must be God Himself (Psalm 73:25, 26; Lam. 3:24). <br />
  6816. <br />]]>
  6817.            </description>
  6818.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul26.html</link>
  6819.            <guid isPermaLink="false">90BA063B-9958-4F25-AB39-A5E74D62D73C</guid>
  6820.            <pubDate>Sun, 25 Jul 2010 20:48:54 -0500</pubDate>
  6821.        </item>
  6822.        <item>
  6823.            <title>Pilate before the King of Kings</title>
  6824.            <description>
  6825.                <![CDATA[The King of kings was on a cross.
  6826. <br />
  6827. <br />
  6828.  
  6829. Let that statement sink in. The King of kings was hanging on a cross.
  6830. <br />
  6831. <br />
  6832.  
  6833. The troubling question for the Roman governor Pilate was, “Are You the King of the Jews?” (Matthew 27:11).
  6834. <br />
  6835. <br />
  6836.  
  6837. A harmony of the Gospels shows that Pilate tried four times to set Jesus free. First, he sent Jesus to Herod when he realized Jesus was from Galilee and under his political jurisdiction (Lk. 22.6-12). Second, Pilate offered to punish Jesus without putting Him to death (Lk. 23:16, 22). Third, he desperately asked the people to choose Barabbas, the insurrectionist and revolutionary in the place of Jesus (Matt. 27:20-26; Mk. 15:6-15; Jn. 18:38-40), and finally, he tried to stir the crowd’s pity by reducing Jesus to a bloody pulp by scourging Him (Jn. 19:1-5).
  6838. <br />
  6839. <br />
  6840.  
  6841. “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” (Jn. 18:39-40).
  6842. <br />
  6843. <br />
  6844.  
  6845. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Christ?” asked Pilate.
  6846. <br />
  6847. <br />
  6848.  
  6849. “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” they shouted.
  6850. <br />
  6851. <br />
  6852.  
  6853. The turning point for the coward Pilate came when he realized a riot was starting, and he did not need anymore unfavorable reports sent to Caesar in Rome. The Jewish leaders knew how to manipulate Pilate. “If You let this man go, You are no friend of Caesar” (Jn. 19:12-16). It was political blackmail. <br />
  6854. <br />]]>
  6855.            </description>
  6856.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul25.html</link>
  6857.            <guid isPermaLink="false">2B3BA182-B11F-4896-83F3-1ACD4218607D</guid>
  6858.            <pubDate>Sat, 24 Jul 2010 22:14:26 -0500</pubDate>
  6859.        </item>
  6860.        <item>
  6861.            <title>Evidence of Members of God’s Family</title>
  6862.            <description>
  6863.                <![CDATA[Our possession of the Holy Spirit is the very essence of what it means to be a Christian. “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” (Romans 8:9). Those who belong to Christ have the Holy Spirit living within them. Moreover, if you have Him indwelling you, you will live like Him (vv. 10-13).
  6864. <br />
  6865. <br />
  6866.  
  6867. We know that we are true Christians because of the Holy Spirit’s presence in us, and because our lives have been changed by His indwelling presence.
  6868. <br />
  6869. <br />
  6870.  
  6871. Moreover, we have a new status and relationship with God. “All those who being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (v. 14). We have a new relationship to God; we are members of His family. Paul speaks of our being “sons,” “sonship,” “children,” “heirs,” and “co-heirs with Christ” (vv. 15-23).
  6872. <br />
  6873. <br />
  6874.  
  6875. John Calvin said, “All who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God; all the sons of God are heirs of eternal life; and therefore all who are led by the Spirit of God ought to feel assured of eternal life.”
  6876. <br />
  6877. <br />
  6878.  
  6879. We are His children by the new birth, and the status of “adopted” children.
  6880. <br />
  6881. <br />
  6882.  
  6883. Let me be very clear, not everyone is a member of God’s family. We are all His creatures having been created by God, but only those who are “led by the Spirit of God” are the sons of God. Those who are not led by the Spirit are not Christians, and therefore not His spiritual children.  
  6884. <br />
  6885. <br />
  6886.  
  6887. Jesus made this fact clear in John 8:39-47. Specifically note what Jesus says, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God. . . He sent Me. . . You are from your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your Father. . . . He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God” (vv. 42, 44, 47). <br />
  6888. <br />]]>
  6889.            </description>
  6890.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul24.html</link>
  6891.            <guid isPermaLink="false">6490F400-E3AB-43D3-A644-AB2140EC93E7</guid>
  6892.            <pubDate>Fri, 23 Jul 2010 21:46:16 -0500</pubDate>
  6893.        </item>
  6894.        <item>
  6895.            <title>Who Is a Christian?</title>
  6896.            <description>“Who is a Christian?” I am asked that question often? “What is the gospel?” is another question often asked. Here is the answer the apostle Paul gives to these questions.&lt;br /&gt;
  6897. &lt;br /&gt;
  6898.  
  6899.  
  6900. “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:9-11).
  6901. &lt;br /&gt;
  6902. &lt;br /&gt;
  6903.  
  6904. These verses should cause us to ask am I a Christian? Mere profession of faith is not enough. Am I really a Christian deep down in my soul?  Where is the evidence? Has the Holy Spirit made me alive? Have I come to an intimate love relationship with Christ?
  6905. &lt;br /&gt;
  6906. &lt;br /&gt;
  6907.  
  6908. In the context of these verses the apostle Paul has been stressing the evidence in the lives of those who are under control of the Holy Spirit and in control of the evil actions of the non-Christians. The behavior of the person under the control of the Holy Spirit gives evidence that he is a Christian. Living in accordance to the Holy Spirit is true of all Christians. Living according to the sinful nature is true of all non-Christians.
  6909. &lt;br /&gt;
  6910. &lt;br /&gt;
  6911.  
  6912. Let us be very clear as to what the apostle is saying. If you belong to Jesus Christ you will live like Him. If your lifestyle does not conform to His likeness you do not belong to Him, regardless of what you may profess.&lt;br /&gt;
  6913. &lt;br /&gt;
  6914.  
  6915.  
  6916. 1.      If you do not have the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, you are not a Christian.
  6917.  
  6918. 2.      If you have the Spirit of Christ you are a Christian.
  6919.  
  6920. 3.      If you have the Spirit of Christ in your life you will be under the control of the Holy Spirit and your behavior will give evidence of this great fact.
  6921.  
  6922. 4.      If your life is controlled by the “flesh” or “sinful nature” you are not a Christian and your behavior will demonstrate that fact.</description>
  6923.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul23.html</link>
  6924.            <guid isPermaLink="false">FB54F93C-641B-454B-90AA-E6C827F488AD</guid>
  6925.            <pubDate>Thu, 22 Jul 2010 20:43:13 -0500</pubDate>
  6926.        </item>
  6927.        <item>
  6928.            <title>Walking in the Flesh</title>
  6929.            <description>
  6930.                <![CDATA[“The sinful mind is hostile to God” (Romans 8:7).
  6931. <br />
  6932. <br />
  6933.  
  6934. It is impossible for a person who does not know Jesus Christ as their Savior to please God.
  6935. <br />
  6936. <br />
  6937.  
  6938. Two different mindsets have two entirely different end results. One produces peace with God and the other hostility toward God. Everyone needs to ask a critical question of ourselves: Is my mind dominated by “sinful nature,” or is it under the control of the Holy Spirit?
  6939. <br />
  6940. <br />
  6941.  
  6942. The sinful mind is hostile toward God. That is the result of total radical depravity. There is no way it can possibly please God.
  6943. <br />
  6944. <br />
  6945.  
  6946. The apostle Paul said, “They that are in the flesh cannot please God” (v. 8). “The mind of the flesh is enmity against God” (v. 8). It is hostile toward God. It hates God. It is impossible for anyone who is dominated by the flesh to gain divine approval.
  6947. <br />
  6948. <br />
  6949.  
  6950. It is the total inability of the natural man to be well-pleasing to God or to do what is well-pleasing to God. "Enmity against God" is nothing other than total depravity and "cannot please God."
  6951. <br />
  6952. <br />
  6953.  
  6954. The governing principle of the mind of the flesh is “enmity toward God.” All sin is against God.
  6955. <br />
  6956. <br />
  6957.  
  6958. Underlying all activity of the “mind of the flesh” is opposition and hatred of God.
  6959. <br />
  6960. <br />
  6961.  
  6962. “After the flesh” (vv. 4, 5) and “in the flesh” (vv. 8, 9) have the same effect of the human nature that is corrupt, directed, and under the control of sin. <br />
  6963. <br />]]>
  6964.            </description>
  6965.            <link>http://www.abideinchrist.com/selah/jul22.html</link>
  6966.            <guid isPermaLink="false">C68E3B58-B05F-4813-B75D-CEA34B31CA11</guid>
  6967.            <pubDate>Wed, 21 Jul 2010 21:43:27 -0500</pubDate>
  6968.        </item>
  6969.        <item>
  6970.            <title>Life or Death?</title>
  6971.            <description>
  6972.                <![CDATA[Being a Christian is more than saying you agree with certain Christian teachings about sin and salvation. One is a Christian because he has been “born again.” Those who have received this spiritual birth by the Holy Spirit have their minds set on what God desires. Being a Christian is not having arrived at a certain standard of conduct for Christians. Again, it is to have a change in one’s thinking that affected the way we live.
  6973. <br />
  6974. <br />
  6975.  
  6976. The born again believer in Christ has an internal transformation by the Spirit of God. This dynamic change has affected his way of thinking. The born again Christian has his mind habitually set on the things of God and is pleasing Him. The unbeliever is set on the things of this sinful, selfish flesh.
  6977. <br />
  6978. <br />
  6979.  
  6980. The “law of the Spirit of life” (Romans 8:2) regulates and controls the Christian (v. 4). The Christian lives under a new controlling principle of his life. The Holy Spirit applies the finished work of Christ to our lives. We are not under the law because Paul tells us, “we have been put to death to the law through the body of Christ” and “have been discharged from the law” (7:7, 6).
  6981. <br />
  6982. <br />
  6983.  
  6984. The power of sin and the flesh ruling the believer has been once and for all decisively judged. The authority in the believer is now God the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ has set us free from the enslaving power of sin.
  6985. <br />
  6986. <br />
  6987.  
  6988. The apostle Paul does not say we fulfilled the law's righteous requirement. That is impossible. "The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us." That is the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer.
  6989. <br />
  6990. <br />
  6991.  
  6992. When we came to saving faith in Him we received the indwelling Holy Spirit, and He makes it possible for us to live in a manner we could never attain in our own strength. In the full sense only Christ has fulfilled all the law’s requirements, but when we are in Him we in ou