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The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.


Romans 5:13 - Sin Not Imputed

Rom 5:13
For until the law sin was in the world - As death reigned from Adam to Moses, so also did sin. Now, as there was no written law from Adam to that given to Moses, the death that prevailed could not be the breach of that law; for sin, so as to be punished with temporal death, is not imputed where there is no law, which shows the penalty of sin to be death. Therefore, men are not subjected to death for their own personal transgressions, but for the sin of Adam; as, through his transgression, all come into the world with the seeds of death and corruption in their own nature, superadded to their moral depravity. All are sinful - all are mortal - and all must die. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (NASB)
 
For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (KJV)
 
Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. (NLT)
 
for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law. (NET)

Sin comes before transgression.  With the nation fixated upon the energy crisis you with think that the delusional ramblings of what now masquerades as journalism would refrain from large atmospheric releases of hot air in order to prevent further global warming.  However, what really transpires is the continuous Neanderthal homological chest pounding focused upon convincing homosapiens (Latin: wise humans) that perversion is merely the natural extension of orderly Darwinian evolution.  The argument used in a recent news magazine is that Jonathan and David were CLOSE friends.  Therefore, it is completely permissible to engage in licentious and lascivious conduct.  If that were truly the case then we should all commit adultery with Bathsheba and have Uriah the Hittite killed to cover up an unwanted pregnancy in order to exercise planned parenthood. When Jesus said, "let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone" He also said, "go and sin no more!"  The reprobate mind thus becomes the swine looking for pearl casters.  Except for Grace we would all be in the pit for our foot would "slip in due time."  The fact that Jesus came into the world to save sinners does not imply anywhere in Scripture that He condones sin for the purpose of inclusion. He came to save us from our sin not to leave us to expire in the midst of it.  I suppose that it would be good here to list a few verses:

Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. (Luke 11:35 NLT)
 
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts. (1 John 1:5-10 NLT)
 
With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. (Ephesians 4:17-19 NLT)
 

Back in Chapter One we mentioned that the wrath of God was being revealed against all ungodliness and all unrighteousness.  We ought not be surprise that our ever descending society wishes to replace the wisdom of the Almighty with that of our own and like Israel become lost in the midst of our own sin.  Sin is the judgment!  We have been "abandoned" in our own sin to do what is right in our own eyes (Romans 1:24, Judges 21:25 paraphrase mine)

"Notice the object of God's wrath. Paul, in two words, has summed up all of human sin, placing it in two great divisions: ungodliness and unrighteousness.  'Ungodliness' is a sin against the being of God.  Man is not only a moral sinner (he is unrighteous), but man is a religious sinner (he is ungodly).  The unrighteous man live as if there were no will of God revealed; the ungodly man lives as if there were no God."  Dr. Alva J. McClain, Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace.
 

Mind Altering

Mind Altering

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

There are things that can make a person's mind be altered in ways not from God.  Examples would be alcohol and drugs.  You hear of people who can't relax or want to have fun so they drink.  Maybe there are those with problems they feel a magic drug or alcohol will help cure.  Deaths have occurred from mixing drugs and alcohol.

The best and most preferred way to 'alter your mind' is not with substances mentioned above but from reading God's word.  The Bible helps transform your thoughts and help you acquire peace and joy instead of fear and unhappiness.  It is also your guidebook through life to keep you on the right path.

When you feel upset, fearful, angry, bitter, forgotten, abused, unloved pick up the Bible, for in it you will find rest for your weary soul.  Give it a try.

PRAYER:  Lord I know that only through you are problems solved not by drinking or taking drugs.  I pray for those caught in that trap, often one of fear and unhappiness.  I need you every hour.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

Becky Juett Miller
God's Lemonade Stand

https://www.facebook.com/GodsLemonadeStand/
https://www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com

Truth, Lies and Horseback Riding

Truth, Lies and Horseback Riding

Truth, Lies and Horseback Riding


SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret)
Chairman, Board of Directors

You are probably thinking that’s a rather silly title for an article.  Maybe, maybe not.  If it stimulated your curiosity to the point you are actually reading this, it accomplished the desired goal of the author!  Therefore, it makes at least a little bit of sense. Agreed?  Now on to the point.

Months ago, maybe even years ago in some cases, while studying various aspects of Christianity in light of Scripture (a favorite pastime of mine), I began to see beliefs in Christendom that had little or no Scriptural support, and that some of those questionable beliefs had achieved the status of “doctrine.”  To disagree with them was labeled minimally as growth-hindering misunderstanding of Scripture, and, at the other end of the “error spectrum,” blasphemy deserving of Hell.  I had then, and still have now, a soul-deep conviction that God wrote the Book and therefore what was taught as truth, but didn’t agree with the context of Scripture, was wrong or false in some measure and in some cases, was an outright lie.

The unavoidable question brought to this inquiring mind was, “How did these falsehoods and lies end up so widely believed by professing Christians?”  The answer I arrived at after a considerable amount of Scripture study, researching a range of historical resources, and comparing them both to widely held beliefs of professing believers was and IS, precisely this: The “accepted” lie always rides in on the back of truth.  Without an element of Scriptural truth upon which to hitch a ride, the lie never survives.

A prime example from the early church would be the Pelagian heresy; it denied any adverse effect of Adam’s sin on the rest of mankind that was birthed after the Fall.  That lie didn’t get very far and was condemned as heresy.  The “Semi-Pelagianism” that followed acknowledged that Adam’s sin affected all of us, but said that man is still able in and of himself to cooperate with God in the salvation of his soul.  That was also condemned as heresy (at the Council of Orange), but is in fact alive and well in both major camps of Christianity. No segment of Christianity has ever admitted to being Semi-Pelagian, although a synergistic Gospel is by nature, exactly that.

There you have one man’s explanation of the connection between truth, lies, and horseback riding.  The initial lie, without an element of truth, failed.  The second lie, while admitting “some” truth, made a modified version of the first lie perfectly acceptable, and even pleasing to human sensibilities.

There have been other examples of lies riding in on the back of truth, some with a longer history of acceptance than others.  The two most damaging to both the cause of Christ and the souls of men are 1) that Christ established a single religious organization as the only true church with an “infallible” human as head of that church and 2) that God “accepts” us unconditionally, WITH our sin. (Don’t panic — please read on!)

Both have a segment of truth. Christ did declare he would establish His Church on earth.  God does LOVE unconditionally – it’s His nature and one of His divine attributes.

The Church that Christ established is made up of those persons for whom He died, from every tongue, tribe and nation – those whom He purchased with His own blood. We weren’t put on layaway!

If God could “accept” us into His Kingdom WITH our sin, His Son died in vain. The first point of the Gospel is that Christ DIED for our sin!

Romans 5:12 - Death Entered the World

But whence is it that men are so disingenuous?  The reason seems to be this:  The promise of eternal happiness is so agreeable to the inclinations and wishes of mankind, that all who call themselves Christians, universally and willingly subscribe to the belief of it:  but then there is something so shocking in the consideration of eternal torments, and seemingly such an infinite disproportion between an endless duration of pain, and short life spent in pleasure, that men (some at least of them) can scarcely be brought to confess it as an article of their faith, that an eternity of misery awaits the wicked in a future state.  (George Whitfield, Eternity in Hell)
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- (NASB)
 
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (KJV)
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (NLT)
 
So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned — (NET)
 
The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. (Genesis 6:5 NLT)
 
For the choir director:  A psalm of David.  Only fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!  The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race; He looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.  But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one! (Psalms 14:1-3 NLT)
 
"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.   Who really knows how bad it is? (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)
 
So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another Man.  Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.  (1 Corinthians 15:21-22 NLT)
 
As by one man - Adam; who is mentioned, and not Eve, as being the representative of mankind.  Sin entered into the world - Actual sin, and its consequence, a sinful nature.  And death - With all its attendants.  It entered into the world when it entered into being; for till then it did not exist. By sin - Therefore it could not enter before sin. Even so - Namely, by one man.  In that - So the word is used also, 2Cor 5:4.  All sinned - In Adam. These words assign the reason why death came upon all men; infants themselves not excepted, in that all sinned. (John Wesley)

We often wrestle with the origin of our present estate.  But here clearly is established that sin entered the world through the disobedience of our paradisiac parents.  We commit sins because we are sinners (not the other way around).  Wesley even reminds us that infants are not excepted.   Did we ever have to teach our children to lie, cheat, steal or demonstrate selfishness?  To the contrary, we had to spend much time in their training in righteousness.  The Scripture is replete with examples of our true nature and death being its consequence.  And because of our nature, death came into this satanically controlled world and continues to reign.  That is why we needed a Savior!

 

 

Having A Second Chance

Having a Second Chance

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--Ephesians 2:8

Have you ever done something really stupid and God gave you a second chance?  Vehicle accident, smoking, getting drunk, got in a lawsuit, did drugs, pornography  or saying something you regret.  Whatever it is, only Satan condemns.  You messed up.  He knows.  You prayed so don't beat yourself up.  God forgives so forgive yourself.

Today start the day by reading God's word.  Focus on friends who may have huge prayer needs.  Love people. Forgive people.  Be thankful. Enjoy life.  Love you spouse if married.  Write a real letter to someone to make their day.  You never know what someone is going through.

Whatever you do don't forget to tell those people special in your life you love them as you may never get another chance.  And read God's word and keep smiling.  Run from evil, pick right friends, and do good.

PRAYER:  I thank you Lord for wonderful people in my life and for saving me from things I did in past that were stupid.  My hope always is in you. In Jesus' name.  Amen.

Becky Juett Miller
God's Lemonade Stand

https://www.facebook.com/GodsLemonadeStand/
https://www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com

Romans 5:11 - A New and Greater Joy!

G2643
καταλλαγη?
katallage??; gen. katallage??s, fem. noun from katallásso? (G2644), to reconcile. Reconciliation, restoration, exchange. A change or reconciliation from a state of enmity between persons to one of friendship. Between God and man it is the result of the apolútro?sis (G629), redemption, the divine act of salvation, the ceasing of God's wrath. In the NT, it means reconciliation, i.e., restoration to divine favor by bringing about a change in man, conversion (Romans 5:11; Romans 11:15), the means or occasion of reconciling the world to God. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary - General Editor: Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.)
Reconciliation
RECONCILIA'TION, n. [L. reconciliatio.]
1. The act of reconciling parties at variance; renewal of friendship after disagreement or enmity.  Reconciliation and friendship with God, really form the basis of all rational and true enjoyment.
2. In Scripture, the means by which sinners are reconciled and brought into a state of favor with God, after natural estrangement or enmity; the atonement; expiation.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sin, and to make reconciliation for iniquity. Dan 9. Heb 2. (Noah Webster)
And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (NASB)
 
And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (KJV)
 
So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (NLT)
 
Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation. (NET)
 
Rom 5:11 And not only so, but we also glory - The whole sentence, Romans 5:3-11, may be taken together thus: We not only "rejoice in hope of the glory of God," but also in the midst of tribulations we glory in God himself through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation. (John Wesley)
 
We also joy in God - In Romans 5:2, he had said that we rejoice in tribulations, and in hope of the glory of God. But he here adds that we rejoice in God himself; in his existence; his attributes; his justice, holiness, mercy, truth, love. The Christian rejoices that God is such a being as he is; and glories that the universe is under his administration. The sinner is opposed to him; he finds no pleasure in him; he fears or hates him; and deems him unqualified for universal empire. But it is one characteristic of true piety, one evidence that we are truly reconciled to God, that we rejoice in him as he is; and find pleasure in the contemplation of his perfections as they are revealed in the Scriptures. (Dr. Albert Barnes)
 
“The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water.”  (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

We often hurry past this amazing verse and in doing so miss out on the revelation of the Greatest Gift Ever Given!  What is more amazing than Jesus Himself living in me?  The airwaves are replete with country songs sharing the heartaches of unrequited love or love lost.  I think as believers we settle for the counterfeit deception that is "mere milk and water" of sorts.  If our relationship with the Savior cannot be described as an "ecstasy of love and delight" then we have been deceived already!  Fear not because this union with Christ Jesus is available to "everyone who believes"!

Impossible?

Impossible?

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  Matthew 19:26

God can do anything.  Yes He can.  He does things for His purposes, His glory, and in His time. HIs plans are greater than our plans.

Many of you reading this may face a seemingly impossible situation and get impatient and angry with God.  How is your prayer life and Bible time?  Don't shut Him out.  I myself have waited for an answer to prayer and still wait but I know my ways and plans are not God's.  When you start to doubt you allow the devil to get a foothold and make you angry, worried or fearful.

I urge you to keep the faith.  Keep believing.  Keep praying.  Surround yourself with positive people and other prayer warriors to see you through your journey of waiting.  God hears you.

PRAYER:  Thanks for another day of life.  I thank you for struggles because they help make me stronger.  I choose patience and faith while I wait for what man says is impossible.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

Becky Juett Miller
God's Lemonade Stand

https://www.facebook.com/GodsLemonadeStand/
https://www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com

Romans 5:10 - A Life of Friendship with God

We were reconciled - The enmity existing before rendered the reconciliation necessary. In every human heart there is a measure of enmity to holiness, and, consequently to the author of it.  Men seldom suspect this; for one property of sin is to blind the understanding, so that men do not know their own state.
We shall be saved by his life -
1. For, as he died for our sins, so he rose again for our justification; and his resurrection to life, is the grand proof that he has accomplished whatever he had purposed in reference to the salvation of man.
2. This may be also understood of his life of intercession: for it is written.  He ever Liveth to make Intercession for us, Hebrews 7:25.  Through this life of intercession at the right hand of God we are spared and blessed.
3. And it will not be amiss to consider that, as our salvation implies the renovation of our nature, and our being restored to the image of God, so, σωθησομεθα εν τη ζωνυτου, may be rendered: we shall be saved In his life; for, I suppose, it is pretty generally agreed, that the life of God in the soul of man is essential to its salvation.
4. The example also of the life of Christ is a means of salvation.  He hath left us an example that we should follow his steps: and he that followeth him, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of Life, John 8:12.  (Dr. Adam Clarke)
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. (NASB)
 
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (KJV)
 
For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. (NLT)
 
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? (NET)
 
Since I live, you also will live. (John 14:19b NLT)

Is Christ my friend and portion because I have embraced Him as such?  OR  Am I able to embrace Him because He is my friend and portion?  I oftentimes struggle with whether I am able to see in the flesh what is wrought in the Spirit.  I suppose this is part of the ever present tension we will face as long as blood pulses through our veins.  Jonathan Edwards captured this in his book, The Religious Affections.  He said that we will have a great many affections because of our relationship with Christ.  But the fact that we have affections does not mean that they are holy affections!  We have been brought into this wondrous membership in the Body of Christ by the death of its Head!  How much more will we be nourished by Him who lives and is seated in honor at the right hand of the Father?  In the flesh we remain dead. We must remember this lest we stumble and fall because of self-deception.  Only in the Spirit are we alive with Christ as our head!

For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. (Romans 8:7 NLT)
 
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, "Come back to God!" For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21 NLT)
 
For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through Him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross. This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. (Colossians 1:19-21 NLT)
 

Romans 5:09 - Liberty Grounded in Hope

Rom 5:9  Much more then being now justified by his blood,.... The apostle here argues from justification by Christ to salvation by him, there being a certain and inseparable connection between these two; whoever is justified shall be saved; and speaks of justification "as being now by his blood". Justification in God's mind from eternity proceeded upon the suretyship engagements of Christ to be performed in time; the Old Testament saints were justified of God with a view to the blood of the Lamb which was to be shed; this blood was "now" shed, and an application of justification by it was "now" made to the persons spoken of; which is the reason of this way of speaking. The blood of Christ intends his death, as appears from the context, and shows it to be a violent death; death by the effusion of blood. There is an emphasis upon it, "his blood"; not the blood of bulls and goats, nor of a mere innocent creature, but of Christ the Son of God; which is therefore efficacious to all the purposes for which it was shed, and particularly justification. This being ascribed to it, shows the concern Christ had in it, his blood is here put for the whole matter of justification; the shedding of that being the finishing part of it; and that our justification before God proceeds upon the foot of a satisfaction made to the law and justice of God: hence such as are interested in it,  (Dr. John Gill) 
shall be saved from wrath through him: not from wrath, as a corruption in their own hearts, which oftentimes breaks forth; nor as appearing among the people of God one towards another, which is sometimes very bitter; or as in their avowed enemies, the effects of which they often feel; nor from the wrath of devils, which is as the roaring of a lion; but from the wrath of God, from a sense and apprehension of it in their own consciences, which the law works; from which justification by the blood of Christ frees them; though under first awakenings they feel it, and sometimes, under afflictive dispensations of Providence, are ready to fear it: and also from the infliction of vindictive wrath or punishment for sin; for though they are as deserving of it as others, yet as they are not appointed to it, so they are entirely delivered from it, through Christ's sustaining it in their room and stead: wherefore they are secure from it both in this life, and in the world to come.  (Dr. John Gill)
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (NASB)
 
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (KJV)
 
And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God's condemnation. (NLT)
 
Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God's wrath. (NET)

The most amazing of words! How often these days do I hear them explained away by well meaning but deceived religious zealots.  WE HAVE BEEN MADE RIGHT!  It was not by accident, but by the deliberate action of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords upon the Calvary Cross where His blood was shed to make it so.  And this precious flood does now deliver me from the wrath that my sin deserves.  To whom is this wonderful gift available? "...everyone who believes…" Romans 1:16  This is liberty.  Liberty is a great word that comes from the French word Liberte which in essence means to be delivered from oppression.  Why is it that we are so quick to add a whole host of things on to this deliverance based upon our cultural biases that serves only to cumber down a new believer with a load they cannot carry.  They have received the "power of God at work." Yet the zealot requires something extra.  Salvation can only come in their mind if there is the requisite check in the block of the recipe they have concocted.  Perhaps it requires baptism in a certain method in a church building with a specific name over the door.  This is deliverance into bondage.  The whole crux of the reformation begun by Luther was by faith alone, in Christ alone.  Liberty assured!

It is much more reasonable to expect it.  There are fewer obstacles in the way.  If, when we were enemies, he overcame all that was in the way of our salvation; much more have we reason to expect that he will afford us protection now that we are his friends.  This is one ground of the hope expressed in Romans 5:5.  (Dr. Albert Barnes) 

Romans 5:08 - God's Love Demonstrated

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (KJV)
 
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (NASB)
 
But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (NLT)
 
But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NET)

It is good to point out here that it is sinners who are reconciled by Christ's death. The sin is ours not God's!  Our sin is apparent and God's answer is Christ!  He has set this act of His mercy in His light so that all whom He draws to Himself will be able to see. The word here translated (commendeth - demonstrates - showed) literally means to "stand with." Figuratively meaning to make known and conspicuous.  Christ was made to be seen by all as the "way, the truth, and the life."

So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:6-8 NLT)

 


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