Archive for January, 2017

Daily Devotional: Adopted Children Of God

 

Daily Devotional: Adopted Children Of God

Subject: Once saved, we become “adopted” into the family of God, forevermore.

Written by Wil Pounds

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.

“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.

We were “children of wrath” by nature (Eph. 2:3). However, those upon whom God bestows His saving grace become the “children of God.”

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.

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)

The adopted child lost all rights and privileges in his old family and gained all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family. He got a new father, and he became the heir to his new father’s estate. He became co-heir with the other sons. In the eyes of the law the old life was completely wiped out. All debts were completely cancelled. He was absolutely the son of his new father. It was carried out in the presence of seven witnesses.

What a glorious privilege is ours to be the absolute possession of the Father! We have already as believers in Christ been placed in the family of God and are led by the Holy Spirit as the adult sons of God. The apostle John describes our experience as God’s children who have been born into His family by the new birth (Jn. 1:12; 1 Jn. 3:1-2).

Moreover, Romans 8:23 tells us “we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” At the Second Coming of Christ our resurrected bodies will be glorified and will then possess all our inheritance that the sonship involves.

Galatians 4:4-6 and Ephesians 1:5 make it clear that we cannot lose our adoption. Because Jesus Christ paid the penalty of our sin debt in full, nothing stands in the way of a just God regenerating a believing sinner and placing him as His child in His family. The Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of adoption” also places a saved sinner in a legal standing in God’s family. The adopted son has all the rights and privileges of God’s only begotten Son. God the Father loves the adopted child just as much as He loves His only begotten Son.

“We are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). As a result of God’s adopting us we are just as eternal and secure in our relationship with Him as His only-begotten Son. All the security and loveliness of God’s Son is ours as His adopted sons. The Holy Spirit imparts to us the divine nature and places us in the family of God in accordance to His unchanging laws.

This is our new standing before the LORD God. He accepts us into His family, who by nature do not belong to it, and places those who are not His sons originally into a right relationship with Him with all the privileges of that new family relationship.

Jesus Christ alone is the Son of God by nature. We can never have the same relationship He has as the unique Son of God. The word “adoption” distinguishes those who are made sons of God from the only-begotten Son of God. The Holy Spirit, however, creates in the believing sinner a new nature. We have not only the new status as sons, but also the heart of true sons. Our adoption is the act of God’s pure goodness and grace of His will to the praise of His glory.

Selah!

Daily Devotional On Evangelism

Daily Devotion on Evangelism

A Christian Witness to the Whole World
I am involved in something that will still be worthwhile a million years from now because God has not revoked the great commission.

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).

Today the kingdom of God is realized as we proclaim the crucified, risen, and returning Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

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).

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.”

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 shall be saved” (Acts 16:31). But also be assured, “Reject Jesus Christ, and you will perish forever.”

Every time we share that message we are personally involved in what God is doing in building His eternal kingdom.

What can we expect as we take the gospel out of self-edification and share it with others? We can prepare for and accept hostility from some listeners (Matthew 10:16-18, 21-25). There will be men who “will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues, and you shall even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles (v. 17). The history of Christianity is the history of persecution and martyrdom for the cause of Christ. More people have been persecuted and died for Christ during the last hundred years than in the previous two thousand years.

We can expect God’s power and sustaining grace to meet all of our necessities as we take the good news to a lost world. Jesus said, “When they deliver you up, do not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what you are to speak” (v. 19). Those are instructions for martyrs and Christians under persecution, not preachers getting ready for Sunday morning without doing their homework. The Holy Spirit gives boldness to testify under all circumstances for Christ. “For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (v. 20). Success in personal witnessing is simply sharing Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and then leaving the results up to God.

Our job is to be faithful to Christ under all circumstances (vv. 26-27). The only person we are to fear is the LORD God “who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (v. 28). The worst thing a man can do to us is to kill the body. But “for me to live is Christ and to die is better yet” (Phil. 1:21).

The Lord is sovereign in His kingdom (vv. 30-33). There is nothing that can happen to His faithful servant who is not fully known to Him. Whatever we experience as His servants is fully known to Him and happens ultimately for our good and His eternal glory. The responsibilities are great for all believers (vv. 34-39).

However, the rewards of being faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ are eternal (vv. 40-42). “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. . . . And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward” (vv. 40, 42).

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: Why Pain and Suffering?

Daily Devotional:  Why Pain and Suffering?

By Wil Pounds

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?”

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.

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?”

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.”

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.

Is He wicked because He is able and willing, but will not?

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?

The prophet Habakkuk asked God, “Why do You make me see iniquity? Why do you cause me to look on wickedness?” (Hab. 1:3).

The prophet Jeremiah asked another relevant question, “Why has the way of the wicked prospered?” (12:1).

The Hebrew mind reasoned that all suffering is unjust and that God’s silence is inexcusable. In Hebrew, the word “why” is a cry of protest.

How strange that we call God on the carpet every time there is a tragedy, or crisis in our lives. We go to Him and demand that He explain Himself and He had better have a good reason that satisfies us or we will not believe in Him. Our insistence on demands from God in time of disaster borders on arrogance and spiritual infidelity.

The fact is the Lord God does not have to explain Himself to anyone simply because He is the sovereign God.

In the book of Job God is totally silent for 37 chapters. He patiently listens to Job and never says one word. Then He asked one question, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding” (38:4).

To paraphrase God, “You wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t decided to create you.” “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it” (40:2).

The Lord God is a sovereign, good God and His providence extends over all things including both good and evil. He demonstrates His sovereignty by His ability to bring good out of evil, and to use it for His glory and our good.

He is absolutely good and righteous; therefore, He can redeem that which is evil and use it for His eternal purposes.

I may not know the reason why, but the Lord knows, and that is enough.

I may not know why the Lord leads me in paths I dread, but the Lord knows and therefore I will trust and obey Him.

There is good in the world because God is good. We experience His goodness because He is the God of grace.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Online Christian Sermons

Online Christian Sermons from Pastor Phil Stout

This site deals with Christian sermons, from Jackson First Church Of Nazarene. The current series, which can be heard online by clicking on the below link, is “Be Still.”

http://www.jaxnazchurch.com/sermons/

Daily Devotional: The Glorification Of The Christian

Daily Devotional: The Glorification Of The Christian

by Wil Pounds

The Glorification of the Christian

The glorification of the Christian describes his complete and definitive conformity to the image of Jesus Christ.

It is the last link in the great gold chain of salvation and is sure to happen; The apostle Paul refers to it as it has already happened (Romans 8:30).

Another great promise is given to us in Philippians 1: 6. “Being persuaded of this, that he who began a good work in you, will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

God makes us as his Son. Being glorified is another way of saying that the believer will be “conformed” to the character of Christ, which is the ultimate purpose of God for the Christian. Christians will no longer be “deprived of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

The great plan of salvation of God reaches from eternity to come to the future eternity, and He will achieve this perfectly. God’s plan will succeed. There is always the now and the still when it comes 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 is to come.

The apostle Paul was absolutely sure that one day every believer in Jesus Christ would be completely like Christ in character. That great fact must influence the decisions we make and our behavior every day. There is no greater encouragement in daily life in the fact that we already share the glory of God. In addition, there is an eternal weight of glory that accompanies the believer when he goes to heaven. More suffering here, more glory there.

In the great gold chain of salvation, not a single person is lost. The call, justified, glorified. Our glorification is so sure that in the eyes of God it is as good as it is made.

Choice, effective calling and justification have already taken place in the believer’s experience, but it is the glorification that will take place in the future.

However, the apostle Paul speaks of it as having already taken place. Bible scholars have wondered why, then, does Paul use the same past time when he speaks of glorification as he does for the other acts of God? Many scholars suggest that Paul is using the Hebrew idea “prophetic past” by which he predicted that an event is marked as compliance insurance so that it is described as having already taken place. The Christian has not been glorified, as it is in the future, but his glory is so sure in God’s eternal purpose that Paul can say, “He also glorified them.”

J . B . Phillips says, God “raised them up by the splendor of His life as His own children.”

What a wonderful thought that God cares so much for His children that He allows us to participate even now; Since we will be complete when the great consummation comes (1 John 3: 1-2).

We share the glory of God, the blessed hope of Christ’s return. Therefore, nothing separates us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Since God is for us, all things work for our good and His glory. The eternal purpose of God is constantly advancing toward the fulfillment of a goal (Rom 8: 17-23, 30, Col. 3: 4, 1 Peter 4:13, 1 Cor 15:49, 2 Cor. , Philippians 3:21, 1 John 3: 2)

The believer’s conformity to Christ includes the transformation of the body of our humiliation into the likeness of the body of Christ’s glory (Philippians 3:21). Paul has in mind conformity to the image of the incarnate Son as glorified by His exaltation. However, keep in mind that the glorified Christ does not cease to be the eternal Son and is the eternal Son, who is the glorified Son incarnate.

Christ is pre-eminent among many brothers. He is the “firstborn among many brethren: Christ is not ashamed to call us his brethren.” For he who sanctifies, and those who are sanctified, are all one; Therefore he is not ashamed to call them brethren “(Hebrews 2:11, The Bible, King James Version).

The glorification of the Christian has no meaning without the manifestation of the glory of Christ. Our glorification is tied to the coming of Christ in His glory. And then we must be like Him.

The Bible teaches us that this is true that one day we will be with Jesus Christ and we will be completely like Him. We will not be God as the worship teaches, but we will be like Christ in His attributes of love, joy, peace, patience, mercy , Wisdom, faithfulness, grace, kindness, self-control, etc. Are you becoming like Him today?

“If ye have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3: 1, The Bible, King James Version). That is the best preparation for our glorification to come.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2009 translated by Katia Blandin

Daily Devotional: The Glory Of God In Jesus Christ

Daily Devotional: The Glory of God in Jesus Christ

By Wil Pounds

The Glory of God in Jesus Christ

What do you think God the Son would say to God the Father during the night before He gave His life as an atonement for the sin of the world?

Imagine with me for a moment what the divine communication between God the Father and God the Son should be. I wonder what deep conversation must take place among the members of the Trinity. Communication between the Divine must be too deep and immeasurable to comprehend for us. The LORD said to Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways … 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).

Even in the prayer of Jesus recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John, we are allowed to enter into this deep conversation that is happening in the Godhead. He is exalted, holy and sublime. It is God speaking to God. This prayer is full of simple phrases that convey deep thoughts of Himself (vv.1-5), to His disciples who were with Him (vv. 6-19) and to you and to me (verses 20-26).

Jesus is then the burning bush of the New Testament on the most sacred ground on the New Testament soil.

This is a “sincere and loving prayer” of the depth of the heart of Jesus. It is “so honest, so simple, so deep, so broad, no one can go deep into it,” wrote Luther.

In the verse the petition is so simple, yet so profound in its simplicity. “Father, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee … Now therefore, glorify thou me, beside thy Father, with that glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17 :fifteen).

Jesus speaks of His pre-incarnate glory in eternity past before He became flesh. Jesus possessed and manifested the same glory with God before He became flesh. The very essence of the deity Jesus possessed can not be changed. “He existed in the form of God.” He was equal to God (Phil 2: 6). Jesus was and is essentially and unalterably God. This fact did not change when He also took “the form of a servant, made like men” (v.7).

The apostle Paul in Philippians 2: 7 writes of the divestment of visible outward manifestations of the visible glory of Jesus in His flesh. Paul is careful to emphasize that Jesus did not divest Himself of His divine nature, or of His essential attributes of the deity. It was a self-limiting of His outward visible glory and not of His deity. He limited only the manifestation of His glory, which He demonstrated in heaven. He is God of the true God. The stripping took shape or the essential characteristics of a servant, and humbled “himself, becoming obedient unto death, death on a cross” (verse 8). He resembled any domestic servant of today. He was fully human-fully God.

Jesus Christ preserved all the essential, unchanging, and unchanging attributes essential to the nature of God. The essential nature of Jesus is the same as the essential nature of God. The essential form never changes and never changes. He is God.

Since it is true about Jesus, then what does He mean when He says to the Father: “Now then, Father, glorify me at your side, with that glory which I had with you, before the world was” (John 17: 5 )? Is Jesus praying for the restoration of His essential attributes of divinity? No, of course, no, that’s impossible because His deity never changed. This glory was the glory of God. However, Jesus did not manifest this glory during the days of His incarnation. He hid it behind the veil of His flesh. Jesus is going to glorify the Father in His visible outer glory as He did in eternity past. His glory present in heaven is even greater than in the past because He was obedient to the Father until death. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above every name” (Phil 2: 9). So that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow to those in the heavens, and every tongue “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (verses 10-11). It is evident that this glory is the ultimate in praise, honor and glory of renown that can ever be given. It is of His intrinsic value or character. All that may be appropriately known to Yahweh, Jehovah or the LORD is the expression of His glory.

Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty, the
Lord mighty in battle. . .
Who is this King of glory?
Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory “(Psalm 24: 8, 10).

When we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2009 translated by Katia Blandin

Daily Devotional: The Lord Will Provide

Daily Devotional: The Lord Will Provide

By Wil Pounds

 

The Lord Will Provide

Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).

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.

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.

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.

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).

Abraham trusted God to bring Isaac back from the dead. This was precisely what God the Father did with His own Son Jesus Christ.

Genesis 22:14 tells us Abraham rejoiced and called the place Jehovah Jireh meaning “the Lord will provide.”

Could Abraham have meant earlier, “the Lord will provide a resurrection of Isaac”?

The message in Genesis 22 is Jehovah Jireh who provided a ram in substitution for the death of Isaac would one day provide His own Son as the perfect substitute and sacrifice to cover the sins of all who believe on Him.

At that moment Abraham saw clearly the coming of Jesus including the meaning of His substitutionary death and resurrection, and He rejoiced at the thought. He saw it and was glad.

Do you believe as Abraham did? He believed, and God provided.

Do you believe God in spite of your present circumstances?

Do you believe that Jesus Christ came and died as your substitute on the cross and rose from the dead?

Do you rejoice in His coming?

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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