~Jonah 2:9b … Salvation is of the LORD.

Although many religions teach that one must do good deeds in order to be saved, salvation is given by God, not achieved by anything we can do for ourselves. IF we could do anything to gain entrance to Heaven, then we take away from Jesus Christ’s work on the cross.

What more can the devil do than to take away from Christ’s death, burial and resurrection? The devil can sidetrack man and distract him from the truth which God’s Word teaches.

The Bible says that IF Abraham were justified by his works, the works would bring only Abraham glory before mankind, but not before God.

~Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

But it was Abraham’s faith that counted him righteous! He believed that God would do what He said He would do and Abraham rested on this faith.

~Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Quickly, Paul made sure to mention that the Scriptures were clear and the Scriptures are an excellent teacher.

Paul also made certain to point out that salvation is A GIFT from God given to us because of His endless grace and love for mankind. Again, that word faith is mentioned – just as Abraham’s faith counted as righteousness, so does faith in Christ, the Father’s gift to us, count as our righteousness.

~Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Our own works cannot buy righteousness. Anyone who has given a large sum of money to the church can attest to this. You feel “good” for that moment but you’re right back to your sinful ways soon thereafter. None of our actions can earn us entrance into Heaven because then we could boast of our actions! How many “good” people have been in the limelight yet not one of their actions can pave the way to Heaven? If this were possible, then Paul would not have said that Abraham’s works were not justified before God. If anyone should have had his works justified, it would be Abraham – but God does not see it that way.

~Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

It is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we receive at the moment of salvation. It is HIS His shed blood, and ONLY His shed blood, that paid for sin’s debt. NOTHING else can pay for sin’s debt. N-O-T-H-I-N-G! That is the only righteousness that will gain us entrance into Heaven. It is Jesus’ blood that covers our sin and, therefore, we are no longer have that burden. It has all been placed on Jesus!

~Romans 4:6-8 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Our sins are forgiven and covered because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness. Our perfect sacrifice happened 2000 years ago and Christ’s death, burial and resurrection are the only works we can count as righteous before a Holy God.

“If your faith is not fixed in Jesus, your best works will be but splendid sins. All the performance of duties will not affect your salvation.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

DannSeagull

~Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Christ did not want us to be like the rest of the world. His ministry was consistently pointing people to their sin and encouraging them to forsake their worldliness. He did not just make a suggestion but also gave us directions as to how to accomplish this task. Renewing of our minds comes as a result of having a new nature.

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Our old worldly nature can only become new if we are born into a new nature – if we are born again.

~John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

~Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

God’s Word lives and abides forever and is what pierces the heart to lead us to salvation. Once we are born again, the Holy Spirit guides us to live righteously and not like the world!

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

This isn’t to say that we will be “sinless” but after salvation we will desire to grow and “sin less.” Herein lies the difference between those who are born again and those who are not. The new nature we receive at the time of salvation nudges us, through the Holy Spirit’s leading, toward righteous living. That is why we are different from the world … we do not desire the same things we did prior to our salvation. We are now children of the King, and as any parent guides and teaches his child, so does our Heavenly Father!

~2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

James 4:6-8 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

As we read James, we can clearly see that Christians have a choice when it comes to sin. We mothers cannot possibly teach our children about these choices until we have learned it in our own spiritual lives. Our children need to learn that after they are saved, they no longer need to give in to sin.

Look at the progression in these three verses. James 4:6 teaches us that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “proud” to be:

Having inordinate self-esteem; possessing a high or unreasonable conceit of one’s own excellence, either of body or mind.

As we read verse 6 in context then, God will not give grace to resist sin to the one who thinks himself “spiritual” or who thinks highly of himself.  The Pharisees of today have the same prideful spirit as the Pharisees of Christ’s day. These do not need a Saviour because they believe that they can get to Heaven on their own merit. The humble in spirit, however, are those who have acknowledged their sinful ways, repented and believed on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Children are especially open to the Gospel and this is why it is important to teach them early after they get saved.

To the humble, God gives grace to be able to accomplish James 4:7. One does not have to give in to sin! So many times we hear, “The devil made me do it!” However, James 4:7 says that if we submit to God, we can resist the devil and he will flee from us! With God’s grace (promised in verse 6 to the humble in spirit), we can say no. But how?

James 4:8 is absolutely beautiful! Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. The humble know that they can do nothing without the Lord. (Philippians 4:13) A humble heart, covered by the precious blood of the Jesus Christ, will desire to walk righteously. Purifying our hearts daily means to keep our thoughts and heart fixed on the word of God. (Philippians 4:8) Furthermore, a double minded person doesn’t have a “stand” for good or for bad! (James 1:8) To claim Christianity on Sunday and then live like the world the other six days is a double minded person. Therefore, James 4:8 tells us that when we take a stand for Christ with righteous living and purify our hearts, it is drawing nigh to God! What happens to those who draw nigh to Him? The word says that God will draw nigh to them. What better way to help our children than to have them memorize these verses so they can pull from them! This is how we can avoid sin!

  1. The humble one recognizes his need for God’s grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  2. The humble one resists the devil when temptation rears its ugly head. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  3. The humble one will draw nigh to God through salvation in Jesus Christ. For it is impossible without His salvation. (Hebrews 7:19)
  4. The humble one walks in the paths of righteousness. (Psalm 23:3)
  5. The humble one purifies his heart with God’s word! (Psalm 119:9)

Today’s Christian has become so worldly and the teaching of living a godly life has now been mushed down to “legalism.” The world has entered the church and one is hard pressed to find a godly church who desires to live righteous lives. We must remember that God is still holy and He still requires us to pursue righteous living. After all, Scripture says He never changes. (Hebrews 13:8)

If one believes that he does not need to change after salvation, then that person is ignoring 2 Corinthians 5:17. Our old lifestyle (of living IN the same sins as before, day after day) should be dissipating with each passing day. If this is not happening, then repentance never took place. Godly sorrow for one’s sin causes the Christian to repent! This is where the humbleness comes in. Recognizing sin, repenting (completely turning away) from it and pursuing righteous and godly living is a sure sign that 2 Corinthians 5:17 actually occurred in your life.

Christian, we do not need to struggle with sin. We have been given this wonderful freedom and we have the ability to say no! Praise the Lord!

~Mark 14:72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

Before we get all self righteous and criticize Peter for his three denials, we need to examine ourselves – examine our own lives. Do we unknowingly deny Christ in our actions? I believe we deny Him daily when we refuse to do as He asked in the Scriptures! God tells us in His word to be holy for He is holy. We all know that unless one is born again, (John 3:3) we cannot even begin to attempt this command.

Denying to be born again, to have a newness of life the biblical way, is to deny Christ. Salvation is not through a church, or through an “experience.” God shows us in His word how salvation can be attained. To try to earn/achieve salvation any other way will result in a life filled with trying to be holy, attempting to live a religious life but failing daily. The guilt from this daily failure will be such a heavy weight. I personally know because I was one of these who carried an enormous weight of guilt. No amount of “good works” lessened my weight. One can go to church daily, say rosaries daily, have communion daily, but none of that counts for anything if one doesn’t have the new nature that comes with newness of life in Christ Jesus. (Isaiah 64:6)

Let’s read what Peter had to say:

1 Peter 1:13-25 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Now concentrate on the underlined portions of these verses. Peter clearly outlines the plan of salvation and the results of the new life – the natural progression of the born-again nature. Verse 13 says the revelation of Jesus Christ – this is the Gospel that draws us to God. The Gospel is just this: Christ (God in the flesh) left Heaven to become a man. He was born of a virgin and walked this earth, experiencing everything man experiences. He lived a sinless life and became our sinless offering to the Father. He died on the cross and shed His own blood for the remission of our sins. He paid the debt we owe for our sin so we do not have to! He arose three days later and is now in Heaven awaiting His return. Glory! God knew man could not abide by all the Laws – man could not keep them. But sin cannot be allowed into Heaven. Therefore, a perfect sacrifice – a sinless sacrifice – was provided so God’s creation would have the opportunity.

How? Well, verse 14 states that in obedience to the word of God (John 3:3), we must shed the old nature (our former lusts) and put on the new nature (II Corinthians 5:17). Do you see the progression? First was the Gospel, then the repentance and acceptance, then the new nature. Verse 15 states that now that we have this new nature, we are exhorted to live holy lives. This can only be done (I Corinthians 10:13) through the power of the Holy Spirit who now resides in the one with the new nature. One doesn’t have new life if one doesn’t repent from the former lusts of the flesh and believe on the Lord Jesus (Mark 1:15). The two go hand-in-hand! On a side note: Too many so-called ‘born-again Christians’ are out there living in sin with no desire to remove themselves from it. They claim to be saved but yet they continue to live with another person outside the bonds of marriage. They claim to be saved but continue in a sodomite life. They claim to be saved but they curse, drink, and party like they did before. Really? Does this sound like what Peter is speaking of in today’s text? There’s something wrong if you are reading this and are guilty of those things I just wrote.

Verse 18 shows us that we were not redeemed by someone who has sinned and who provides a salvation that we can lose (corruptible). No, we have been redeemed by God Himself, Jesus Christ the Messiah, and His work is incorruptible. His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). Because our salvation was not provided by us, there is nothing we can do to earn it or keep it. It was not our work (Ephesians 2:8-9) but Christ’s work on the cross. The Righteous Judge is the only one who can forgive our sins (Luke 5:24, I John 1:19) and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Verses 23 and 25 reveal that our salvation is from God through His word. When we are truly saved, we cannot lose what He has given to us. There is only one way – the word of God reveals this. (John 14:6) Jesus is the only way to Heaven. God’s word endures forever. When we are born again by the word of God, it is incorruptible because it is not man’s (who is corruptible) but God’s (who is incorruptible). The Lord gave us the scriptures so we can find Him, fellowship with Him and look forward to His return! Amen!!

~Mark 9:43-48 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

The Lord meant business when he preached. He was preaching words of life to a lost and dying people: people who were thieves, adulterers, liars … sinners.  Yes, but Kate, I merely took a pen from work and it didn’t hurt anyone. Ah, but sin is sin, whether big or small (James 2:10). Jesus Christ, our Lord, thought it so serious that He painted very poignant pictures of what we should do. If your pet sin (you know, the one that you can’t seem to shake) is stealing then rather than enter Hell with two hands, cut off a hand! There’s no sense cutting off a hand if you’re going to continue in your sinful ways. Unless one is born-again, it’s impossible to enter Heaven.

But to the born-again Christian, we no longer have to worry about our sin debt because Jesus paid it for us! Now that we His child, we must live like His child. Any child born into a family looks like his parents, learns his parents ways, and lives like his parents. It’s no difference now that we are a child of the King! Amen?

~Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Is it any wonder that the world does not recognize Jesus Christ in the church today? The church lives like the world and acts like the world. There is no difference whatsoever. Sadly, the world recognizes its ‘father’ (the devil) in the church! Since we are most definitely in the end times, it may be too late for this earth to repent, but it is never too late for an individual to repent.

Only once in God’s word does He say the words, “I counsel thee”! We should take heed to what the Great Counsellor says. He speaks them to today’s church age, the Laodicean church:

~Revelation 3:18-20 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

God’s word is priceless – everything we need can be found in it! It is tried and proven (Psalm 12:6-7) and is eternal. Through it, we find salvation and are clothed in white raiment (Revelation 3:5). Our sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus Christ and He covers us with beautiful robes of white! Daily we should pray that the Holy Spirit anoint our eyes so that we may behold great and wonderful things from His holy word! The Lord, Jesus Christ, desires to meet us through His word, dine with us, and meet our very need. Revelation 3:20 is used many times as a salvation verse but it is spoken to the church. This church age is busy with many things but not the right thing: fellowship with the Saviour!

So what are our members up to today? Are we going to enter eternity ashamed? Let’s get busy and put our members to work – doing righteously for the Lord, Jesus Christ!

~Psalm 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

My Shepherd guides me and provides for me – not just my physical needs, but also my emotional and spiritual needs. I shall never lack anything as long as I stay close to my Shepherd. James 4:8

~Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

I find rest for my weary body, spirit and soul when I search His word – when I glean from it and apply it.  He provides water from His word which gives me everlasting life.  John 4:10

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

My soul could not be restored unless it was lost to begin with.  I was born a sinner (Romans 3:10) – we all are. However, at the moment of salvation, Christ restored me and placed His righteousness upon me.  Colossians 1:20 and Colossians 2:14

~Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy
staff they comfort me.

God removes the sting of death for me, therefore I have no need to fear evil because Christ conquered sin and death. I Corinthians 15:55  The Lord guides me and directs me.  When I fall into sin, He uses His rod to correct me. When I stray from the path I should be on, He guides me with His staff!

~Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

One day I will eat at His banquet table at the marriage supper of the Lamb and I will be in His presence forever! Luke 22:30  I am so overwhelmed at God’s goodness! Praise be to God in the highest!

~Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Because I am a child of the King, His mercy and His goodness are always with me.  I have a promise that I will dwell with Him forever!

Thank You, Lord!

Psalm 119:137-144

TZADDI
137 Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments.
138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.
139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.
142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.
144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

Journaling:
1. Find all the things the Bible will do for you
2. Find the things you are suppose to do with your Bible
3. Find the things the Bible is likened to

Today’s text reveals a Psalmist with an attitude of gratitude toward God’s word, in my opinion. It’s as if he prepared his heart and he was ready to receive the day’s instruction (Psalm 119:137-38). What a great start to our devotional time. God used these two verses to prepare my heart! I like to pray and sing a hymn just before starting to read or write.  My heart is made ready – no matter what issues of the day are on my mind – I’m now ready to hear from the Lord.

We’re not just reading any book. We have the holy word of God before us. How great is that? We are so blessed to have an opportunity to sit down any time we want to and hear from our Heavenly Father! As if that isn’t enough, His word will never mislead us or take us down a path of sinfulness (Psalm 119:140). The Psalmist recognized this and expressed his love for it! He understood that as along as he stayed in God’s word, he would be receiving righteous truth (Psalm 119:142)!

No matter what the situation is in our lives, we know that God is there ready to help us, to teach us and to guide us! The Psalmist recognized this in his own life and he knew where to go for help. Read Psalm 119:43 – even though trouble and anguish were all around him, he was able to say: “yet thy commandments are my delights”!

Sadly, Christians today do not realize the power they have in their Bible!  Within its pages are direction, comfort, instruction, correction, etc. All breathed by a holy and righteous God (2 Peter 1:21)!  This is no ordinary book, dear friend! Our King James Bible is God’s word for us in our very own language! How merciful is that? How easy is that? We do not have to rely on the Hebrew or Greek – we have our very own English copy and God promises to reveal to us exactly what He wants to teach us (John 14:26)! To top it off, the word of God is living! It’s not archaic at all, but it is new and fresh each time we open it and read it (Lamentations 3:21-23)! What other book can do that?  None!

The Psalmist closes this segment with the cherry on top of the sundae! Psalm 119:144 “The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. God’s words will never expire! They are everlasting! Why would anyone want to take a man’s word when he can have God’s word, which is everlasting?! Furthermore, what promise of man can guarantee you life everlasting? God’s word promises eternal life! On a side note, a quick search for the words ‘eternal life’ (in my King James Bible), revealed that it appears in 30 verses! It must be an important message then! (John 3:14-21) Is it any wonder that Satan works so hard to keep the Christian from reading the Bible?

What more can we ask for? God’s word provides so much to the believer! Is it any wonder that Jesus said it is to be our very food (Luke 4:4)? How precious is God’s word to you?

~Psalm 119:33-40

HE
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.
40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.

Journaling:

1. Find all the things the Bible will do for you
2. Find the things you are suppose to do with your Bible
3. Find the things the Bible is likened to

Today’s text reveals the heart of our Psalmist. For eight verses, he petitions the Lord God:

  1. He asks to be “taught” – who can teach better than the Author of our faith? (Hebrews 12:2)
  2. He asks to be “given understanding” – who better to open our eyes than God Himself? (Jeremiah 33:3)
  3. He asks to be made to “go” – who better to lead us than the Shepherd? (Psalm 23:1-3)
  4. He asks to be “inclined” – who better to bend our hearts to righteousness than the Holy Spirit who quickens the heart? (Psalm 51:10)
  5. He asks to be “turned away” from vanity – who better to guide us and help us to turn away from the world but the Father? (1 John 2:15-16)
  6. He asks to be “stablished” – who better to stablish us than the One who has been since the beginning and whose words and promises are established forever? (2 Samuel 7:25-29)
  7. He asks to be “turned away from his reproach” – who better to keep us from reproach than the One who can keep us from falling? (Jude 1:24)
  8. He asks to be “quickened” – who better than the Holy Spirit of God who does a work in our hearts as we read His word? (Romans 8:11)

Do we love God’s word with the same intensity as the Psalmist? Do we read it with the same hopes and desires as he had? Today’s text is a wonderful prayer to start the day with as I read my Bible and waiting to hear from God! What earthly father would not desire to give his child anything after his child petitions him in this manner? How much more our Heavenly Father?

~Romans 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

When we’re feeling discouraged or hurt, think of what awaits us, Christian!  Nothing can keep us from what God has in store for us!

I’m so thankful that the Father sent His Son to earth to die for my sins!  Oh wretched sinner that I am – thank You, Lord, for being my ransom so I could take on Your righteousness!

One day, I will be sitting in Your courts and will my faith will be made sight!!

Praise His Holy Name!!!

~Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

~Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

~Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

~Acts 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

The average “religious” person today believes that whatever he is doing is probably enough to get him into Heaven. However, I can think of no more poignant question to ask one’s self to turn that “probably” into “assurance.”

Do I truly seek after God?

Answering this question with all honesty will reveal whether you are sure of where you will spend eternity. If your answer is that you seek after the things of God, then you still do not have assurance.

~Luke 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

~Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Christ’s precious Holy Spirit stands knocking at your heart’s door so that He may enter in and save you from the wrath to come, which is life everlasting in the Lake of Fire. Don’t be counted with those who will be cast there:

~Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

~Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Only the righteous can enter Heaven. Our own righteousness is filthy before God. Christ alone can provide us with His own righteousness so that we may be found worthy to enter eternal life with the Father.

~Romans 3:22-23 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

~Acts 16:31a And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.

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Gleaning Gold

~Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Nuggets of Truth

I am so thankful that I received the garment of salvation.  Prior to my salvation, I had the coverings of sin.  But now, according to Isaiah, I wear a robe of righteousness provided by Jesus Christ, Himself!  Why do we need a robe of righteousness, you may ask?  We can only come before God in holiness.  We all know that everyone of us has sinned and is born with a sin nature.  None of us are good enough to come before a Holy God!

It has been this way since Adam and Eve.  Here they were already able to be in God’s presence.  He walked with them in the Garden of Eden!  Instead, they chose to sin and, therefore, gave up the privilege of sweet communion with the Lord.  In fact, they tried to cover their bodies with clothing made by their own hands.  But was the Word teaches us, this was not sufficient – it was not enough.

~Genesis 3:7  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

This is where God first teaches us on this topic.  God has to be the one to provide the “clothing” for us.  The first mention of shedding blood is mentioned in the Word for this very reason.  God made Adam and Eve coats made from animal skins and clothed them.  Blood had to be shed to make these coats.

~Genesis 3:21  Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

God used this account to teach us.  Through the Old Testament, Jewish law pointed towards Christ’s work on the cross.  The New Testament points back to the cross and teaches us today how we, too, may have this covering.  Prior to salvation, we desperately try to dress ourselves our own way.  We think that by doing good deeds, going to church, giving money to the poor, etc., will be enough to balance our lives.  We cannot come to God dressed in our own works of righteousness, my friend.  Isaiah tells us exactly what our righteousness appears as to God.

~Isaiah 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

God is the one who has to be the one to provide our covering!  We cannot do it for ourselves.  Our church cannot be the one to provide the covering.  Our good works cannot provide the covering.  As with Adam and Eve, God has to be the one to provide our covering!

Christ taught us in Matthew about what happened to those who tried to enter the king’s son’s wedding with their own clothing.  The man did not take the wedding garment which was provided for the guests and required to go to the wedding.  Notice what happened to this man who tried to enter in with his own garment.

~Matthew 22:12-13  And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.   Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Refining the Gold

The Book of Revelation tells us that we will be attending a marriage supper like that the one that Christ taught us about in Matthew.  That marriage supper is coming, my friend.  Christ’s bride will be clothed in white raiment – white because we are covered by Christ’s righteousness, not ours.  Christ is our righteousness.

~Revelation 19:7-8  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

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~Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

It is God who covers us in righteousness. It cannot be our own works because the Word says that our own righteousness is like a filthy rag to God.

~Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Our sins blow us around like a leaf in the wind. There is no holding us down – there is no stabilizing us. The only stable thing we can possibly have is salvation. At the moment of being born again, we put on the righteousness of Christ and our sins are no longer being judged by the Father for the Father only sees His Son’s precious blood on that altar of sacrifice.

~1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

There is only One who can forgive our sins, clothe us in righteousness and pay the price for our deserved punishment! That is the Christ, our Saviour! Why do you think He is called the Saviour? What would He save us from if it weren’t from sin and eternal punishment? Praise God that He saved me from myself because I would have only led my soul to destruction.

“Some men are foolishly counting on getting to Heaven simply because they have never been in jail.”

~ B. F. McLendon

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The catholic church teaches that there are seven sacraments, according to their catechism. They go so far as to say that these sacraments are necessary for salvation:

“There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.” Pg. 289, #1113

“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.” Pg. 292, #1129

These are not my words, dear catholic, but those of your catechism.

The Bible gives us a clear outline on what we must do to be saved. All the sacraments reflect man’s works – man’s ability to achieve salvation through doing something rather than solely trusting on the Lord Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross for complete remission of sins. Nothing we do to achieve salvation will ever benefit us or save us. The sacraments, or any works, are man’s attempt to justify himself before God.

~Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Cain tried to justify himself before God by the works of his own hands and God did not accept his offering (~Genesis 4:3-5). Abel offered a firstling of his flock as God commanded of him – of which our Lord Jesus Christ is a symbol (the Lamb of God). But the fruit of Cain’s garden was not pleasing to God – this is a symbol of man’s works – this was Cain’s idea of how he could come to God. Things have not changed in these thousands of years. It did not work with Cain and it will not work for us today either. God will look upon your works with the same disgust as He did on Cain’s.

God views our own works as filthy and putrid, my friend!

~Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Nothing we can do is clean enough of God’s eyes. Can’t you see that? Notice how Isaiah says that all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags? This means that anything good that we try to do for God appears like a filthy rag to God. This means that praying a thousand rosaries, attending mass every day, or even working at a nursing home to help the elderly will be of no benefit to you.
The Hebrew word for filthy is:

H5708

עד

‛êd
ayd
From an unused root meaning to set a period (compare H5710 and H5749); the menstrual flux (as periodical); by implication (in plural) soiling: – filthy.

Just reading this description is disgusting to me. When we look at the difference between this disgusting type of blood and the precious blood of Jesus Christ, we can see a vast difference. If you read in Leviticus 15:19-33 and 20:18, you will see what was required when dealing with this type of blood – the cleaning ceremonies were intense. The leper was also linked with this type of uncleanness (Leviticus 13:45) and his rags were considered just as filthy. I once heard a sermon about lepers. The preacher said that before the leper could enter a city, he had to take a rag from the top of a post (that other lepers had used) and rub hard over his leperous sores. He would then return the filthy rag back to the top of the post for the next leper to use. Is this not disgusting to you? Isaiah says that God views our good works in the same manner He views this filthy rag!

God compares our own works to this putrid type of filthy rag! There is nothing that we can do that will even come close to the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Everything you do in order to get closer to God will fall short of what God requires of us. This includes the sacraments required by the catholic church. Here is what the Bible has to say on this subject:

~Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Notice that this verse uses the words just man. This Hebrew word for just is:

H6662

צדּיק
tsaddîyq
tsad-deek’
From H6663; just: – just, lawful, righteous (man).

This includes anyone who thinks he is “just,” “lawful,” or “religious.” That even includes the good religious catholic, Jew or anyone who thinks himself a “good” person. God views every act of a “good” person as unrighteous because of our fallen sinful nature. He sees the pridefulness behind our good works.

We are sinners because we have the fallen nature of Adam. The good person does not have genuine repentance. The catholic’s penance lacks true sincerity and it is reflected in his prayers to God. Furthermore, his prayer life is routine – it is repetitious. He thinks God will hear him because he has prayed a hundred prayers in chapel that morning (~Matthew 6:7).

Because of his pride, he secretly desires that others see his public prayer and his good deeds. He secretly desires to be known for his good works rather than letting God receive the glory for them. A good man’s holiness can only be viewed as putrid sin when compared to that of the holiness of God. In fact, the good person’s religious worship and acts contain enough sin in them all to condemn him to a million hells.

How then can the catholic say that obeying the sacraments assures salvation? The Bible says:

~Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

If the sacraments are to be obeyed, and if the sacraments are of God, then they would be found in the Bible. They are not found there but instead, they are recorded in the traditions of men, the catholic church’s sacred tradition and magisterium – attempting to reach God through religion. But God cannot be reached in this manner. There is nothing we can do in this flesh that will ever please God. We can only reach God through salvation in Jesus Christ and after doing so, we receive the Holy Spirit of God and can now say that we can truly worship God with the same obedience that Abel worshipped God with his sacrifice – because we are covered by the Perfect Sacrifice, Jesus Christ and His blood!

~John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

~John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

~Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Jesus is the only way to God, my dear catholic.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

This does not say that you can reach the Father through the sacraments or even just one of the sacraments, like baptism for example. You can only come to God when you acknowledge that you can do nothing yourself (like Cain) to earn salvation. All God will see is your filthy rags. You must acknowledge that Christ’s shed blood is the only righteousness there is to cover your filthy rags of good works. Once you have repented of your filthy sin and accept Christ’s perfect righteous blood as the only worthy sacrifice, you can be seen by the Father as righteous – not because of your own righteousness but because of Christ’s righteousness! Christ’s blood is the only thing that the Father wishes to see and Jesus’ blood is the only thing that the Father will accept, just as He did with Cain.

No amount of keeping the sacraments, praying a thousand rosaries, going to confession daily, doing daily penance, repeated flaggellations, climbing the stairs of a cathedral on your knees, wearing rough clothing against your skin, working in the soup kitchen, – NOTHING can cause God to view your good works in any other way than as that putrid dirty bloody rag mentioned in Isaiah 64:6. The Father sees only His Son’s righteous blood. Won’t you finally acknowledge that it is only the blood of Jesus that can set you free?

~John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

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