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Christian Destiny Christian Destiny
The Grace Factor

One of the things being noticed by many these days is that we live in a time of tired and discouraged Christians. Many wonder if God is not preoccupied with other things. They wonder also if God is not considering their sins and, therefore, is saying no to our many requests. We are happy to announce that all of these are mistaken ideas. From whence then comes capability?

Perhaps an unexpected answer to that question can be found in a clear statement in the Word of God. The Bible says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16). What promises are found in the Word of God? What good results could come to our lives? When we see what Jesus Christ has promised, we will pay breathless attention. What can we learn from these words from God?

We learn and should never forget that God truly cares for us. He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. Imagine, the God who made the universe is profoundly moved with our weakness, with the feelings of our infirmities. No Christian, therefore, will ever weep in vain. No believer who understands the Word of God will ever abandon himself in a sorrowful corner of a dark room. The one who has said, “Lo, I am with you always” (Matt. 28:20) will prove beyond all doubt His love and care for us.

With a little thought, we all must agree that the certainty of the love of God for us is a great truth and a precious treasure. Within it is a promise from God to us of strength from heaven, personal provision for everything and the certainty of supreme divine capability in every circumstance of life. God publicly announces His love for all of us who have come to be His children. Here is the promise of strength for every hour and tender care in ever circumstance of life—without exception. The Bible teaches that nothing, nothing in heaven or earth, will ever separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Here that astonishing provision is announced again, teaching us that we are never to doubt the love that is always and ever extended to us.

This passage reminds us also that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are tempted. This is, of course, very hard to believe, yet it is true. No Christian, therefore, should ever say about God that, “He doesn’t know what I have been through.” The answer is immediately available to every doubting Christian and is clearly stated to us. He understands each of us because he has faced every one of our temptations.

This marvelous truth becomes immensely important when we remember the day in which we live. In our time, the culture has been inundated by a tidal wave of iniquity. There is no form of sin that is not practiced openly in our time. The Scripture teaches that every nation that forgets God will come under the judgment of the Lord. The Scripture says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17). This fearful judgment is in our time coming close to the immediate future of all who live.

The present condition reminds us of the fearful contradiction between the moral rules of the world and the purity and quality of Jesus Christ and our relationship to Him. There are few who have taken the time to properly appreciate, with a grateful heart, what Jesus Christ did for us. Imagine the meaning of the statement about Jesus Christ which notes that “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

The core of Christianity centers around the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ and how that perfect righteousness becomes ours when we believe the Gospel. It is the willingness of Jesus Christ to bear all of our sins in His own body on the tree that makes this beautiful reality of Christianity possible. By living a perfect life and never sinning, Jesus Christ, by His deity and His sacrificial atonement, purchases forever the path of redemption for each of us. So the hymn writer said, “Stay, let me weep while you whisper, Love paid the ransom for me.” We can also restate with confidence that Jesus never sinned, never failed, never was disobedient to the Law of God. So He became our eternal Savior.

Living, therefore, in a way that will please God is possible. Jesus does not ask us to do anything as the basis for our salvation. This was already done by His substitutionary atonement on the cross. Because He sacrificed His life for the sins of the world, we are set free from sin by believing in Him.

This marvelous fact of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in our place instead is a wonderful provision beyond description. We need, then, to say once more that there is nothing left to do, to change, to fight for, in order to produce salvation. Salvation is the gift of God which is eternal life. How sad that such a high percentage of the Christians of our time do not truly see this. They believe that there is something heroic of giving Jesus one’s life and doing it in exchange for the gift of everlasting life. It needs to be said again and again that our sacrifice is totally meaningless as a purchase price for our salvation. It is, rather, the sacrifice of the life of Jesus Christ that becomes that eversufficient sacrifice of Christ. Through faith in Christ, therefore, the Christian has security for eternity with a life that will never pass away. The Christian is, therefore, always confident with a salvation that will never pass away. Our High Priest was, therefore, perfect in moral understanding. He asks us to believe in Him and promises that we will make no mistake by placing our trust in Him.

Following this analysis, we have a most exciting structure given to us. It comes in the form of the response to an invitation, “come boldly unto the throne of grace” (Heb. 4:16). This is a time of your need and, therefore, it is your moment with God. We know that Jesus Christ will never reprimand us for our failure. Rather, He will remind us that the throne is the throne of grace and we are invited to come boldly. Who would ever dream that the eternal God would invite us into His presence with anything but a humble petitional attitude? But He does, Christ does. We are invited to come boldly. Every young person, every adult, every person who believes the Gospel should remember this. We are not called upon to become a part of a weeping church. Rather, we are called to be a major part of a great spiritual expedition. Christ is calling for brave associates in the battle for truth.

Yes, He will furnish the instructions, the associates, the weapons—everything that it takes to be a victorious officer in the army of the Lord. We have real battles to face, one is called Armageddon. It is the great final struggle between good and evil and the issue is the ownership of the universe. To lose at Armageddon would be to lose everything. To win is to escalate Christians to be masters of the universe and worthy of the Captain of our salvation, Jesus Christ. There is no excuse, no reason to run from the field. To run before the Devil’s army would be pitiful, cowardice—it would be betrayal of our great Captain. Let us march boldly to the battle and to the victory rally which is promised us. Tents of ease must now be left behind. The battle and the victory are before us.

From the writings of Dave Breese

Thankfulness to God

As we move towards Thanksgiving...we are reminded that we are not only to live our lives in awe of what God has done for us, but in appreciation of His blessing as well.

The pilgrims in colonial America knew this more than most. When they ordained a day of thanksgiving, they were thankful for their very lives. They knew that the good providence of God had delivered them from starvation and death. Therefore, their thanksgiving was often lifted with tears of joy as well as totally sincere gratefulness within the heart.

Often we are so easily captured by the cares of life that we neglect to take the time to cherish the marvelous gifts of God. Every day is a gift. Each person who positively touches our life does so as a reflection of the love that God has for us.

We are not in this mortal battle alone. We have an Ally, a Protector, a Friend who is greater than all our needs and more powerful than any of our problems. If we look in the dark corners of life, He is there! If we are frightened by the shadows of the night, we can rest assured, because He is there!

As we stand in awe of what God has done on our behalf this Thanksgiving, let us express our thanks to God by living a life of tender commitment and service to Him. Thankfulness to God should surely be one of the first marks of a Christian.

by Dave Breese

Growing in Grace—The first reason we are still here is very, very clear in Scripture. God leaves us in this world for the purpose of what the Bible calls growing in grace. Peter takes the time to give us one last admonition at the end of his second epistle: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). That wonderful process of grace takes place in salvation because we take the time to read, study, and memorize the Word of God. Growth in grace comes as a result of knowledge of the Word of God plus time. Pressures and problems come in order that they may produce in us this marvelous result of spiritual growth. When you have grown spiritually, that brings a concomitant capability, maturity, articulation, ability to do other things that greatly matter for Christ. The greatest need in the Church of our time is the need for mature Christians.

Being the Salt of the Earth—In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ spoke to believers in Him, and He said, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13). What would happen without the salt of the earth? The world will discover one day, and the answer to that will be the Great Tribulation. But in the meantime, we as believers are called upon to bear any burden, to face any challenge, and to solve any problem, in order that the influence of Christ in our lives may work in society.

Being the Light of the World—Christ said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). You are commissioned to carry this marvelous Word to the ends of the earth. You, with your life, and the words that you say, are to be a source of illumination to a lost mankind.

Being a Witness for Christ—“It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power. But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8). Christ has commissioned every individual believer to be, not only a follower of His, but an articulate, personal witness for Christ—a high calling indeed.

Protecting the World from Judgment—To protect the world from divine judgment—do Christians do that? Yes, they do. This is the Church Age, the Day of Grace in which God is calling out of the world a people for His Name, and they become the members of a great organism, called the Body of Christ, the Church. It’s the presence of the Body of Christ in the world that protects the world from judgment. The world is still here because we are here!

In the midst of the recent disasters, we found amazing stories of the Church at work. Valiant soldiers of the cross fought flood and famine to rescue fragile lives. They battled for a greater cause—not only saving lives but also redeeming lost souls—by sharing the Good News of salvation through faith in Christ. The Bible says that, “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).

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