Truth For Today

WHOLEHEARTED COMMITMENT

God is my witness, whom I serve with my Spirit. ~ROMANS 1:9

Nowadays, we use the word spirit in the same way the apostle Paul used it in today’s verse. We May watch an athlete go all out in his performance and then comment that he exhibited “spirited” play, which means that his whole being was involved in his effort. When I was in college, the “Esprit de Corps” award was given to the football player who gave the most effort on the field. That is the way in which Paul served the Lord.

Paul never served the Lord without a wholehearted commitment. In so doing, he distinguished himself from the hirelings whose labor was external and insincere (John 10:11–13). So be like Paul—give a wholehearted effort in your service to Christ

Truth For Today

UNDESERVED FAVOR

Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. ~ROMANS 5:2 0

Salvation does not come by confirmation, communion, baptism, church membership, church attendance, trying to keep the Ten Commandments, or living out the Sermon on the Mount. It does not come by giving to charity or even by believing that there is a God. It does not come by simply being moral and respectable. Salvation does not even come by claiming to be a Christian. Salvation comes only when we receive by faith the gift of God’s grace. Hell will be full of people who tried to reach heaven some other way.

The apostle Paul said, “The law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:20–21). The first provision of the gospel is grace, which is neither earned nor deserved.

Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse said, “Love that gives upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace.” God has stooped to give us grace. Will you receive it?

Truth For Today

A MYSTERIOUS UNION Taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
[PHILIPPIANS 2:7]

The humanity and deity of Christ is a mysterious union we can never fully understand. But the Bible emphasizes both.

Luke 23:39–43 provides a good example. At the cross, “. . . one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, ‘If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.’ But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when you come into Your Kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’”

In His humanness, Jesus was a victim, mercilessly hammered to a cross after being spat upon, mocked, and humiliated. But in His deity, He promised the thief on the cross eternal life, as only God can.

Truth For Today


SEPARATION

It is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

1 [PETER 1:1 6]

Do you know you cannot serve God unless you are separated? In the Scripture, that word refers to being set apart for a specific task or purpose.

The Lord said to Moses, “You shall offer up a cake of the first of your ground meal as a heave offering” (Num. 15:20). God wanted the firstfruits of the land to be set apart to honor Him.

The Lord also said, “I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine” (Lev. 20:26). God took the nation of Israel and separated them from all other nations for His glory.

In each of these passages in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament), the word refers to separation in the fullest sense. The apostle Paul knew that once he was called as an apostle, he would be disconnected from his past. When Paul was the most ardent of Pharisee, he was set apart for—or separated to—the traditions of the Jewish people (Phil. 3:5). Now he could claim to be a Pharisee separated to the gospel of God.

Are you separate from your former life?

Truth For Today

NO MORE BAD NEWS

Separated to the gospel of God.

[ROMANS 1:1]

Thousands of babies are born every day into a world filled with bad news. The term bad news has become a colloquialism to describe our era. Why is there so much bad news? It’s simple. The bad news that occurs on a larger scale is only the multiplication of what is occurring on an individual level. The power that makes for bad news is sin.

With so much bad news, can there really be any good news? Yes! The good news is that sin can be dealt with. You don’t have to be selfish. Guilt and anxiety can be alleviated. There is meaning to life and hope of life after death. The apostle Paul says in Romans 1:1 that the good news is the gospel. It is the good news that man’s sin can be forgiven, guilt can be removed, life can have meaning, and a hopeful future can be a reality.

Truth For Today

CHRIST’S PERFECT TIMING

When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son.
[GALATIANS 4:4]

The first Christmas was perfectly timed. Galatians 4:4–5 says, “When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law.” What was “the fullness of the time”? God’s sovereign timing. He ordered world events so everything was ready for Christ’s coming and the subsequent outreach of the apostles.

Looking back at the early church, we are amazed at how quickly the gospel spread in less than a century. The sovereign hand of God is clearly evident. Christ’s advent could not have been timed more propitiously.

Truth For Today

After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. [MATTHEW 1 : 18]

The virgin birth is an underlying assumption in everything the Bible says about Jesus. To throw out the virgin birth is to reject Christ’s deity, the accuracy and authority of Scripture, and a host of other related doctrines that are the heart of the Christian faith. No issue is more important than the virgin birth to our understanding of who Jesus is. If we deny that Jesus is God, we have denied the very essence of Christianity. Everything else the Bible teaches about Christ hinges on the truth we celebrate at Christmas— that Jesus is God in human flesh. If the story of His birth is merely a fabricated or trumped-up legend, then so is the rest of what Scripture tells us about Him. The virgin birth is as crucial as the resurrection in substantiating His deity. It is not an optional truth. Anyone who rejects Christ’s deity rejects Christ absolutely— even if he pretends otherwise (see 1 John 4:1–3).