“Christ Jesus, came into the world, to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” I Tim. 1:15b.

If ignorance was our problem, a good teacher could help us. If worldliness and moral transgression was our problem, a good dose of religion could change that.  If anxiety was our problem, the council of a therapist or the help of a drug might do the job. No, our problem is sin. It has infected every part of our being. Nothing but a Sovereign, Successful Savior will do. Give me Christ or I die.                                                                         ~GE

How often we jeopardize the hope and joy of our salvation, by looking for the work of God done IN us, or BY us, rather than looking to the work of Christ done FOR us.                             ~GE

“I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." Is. 46:11.

Men speak of “God’s plan”, but in fact the word “plan” is not found in the Bible a single time.  Everything that happens in time, is the fulfillment of what our great God has purposed in eternity.  In the redeeming work of Christ on Calvary’s cross, God purposed the full salvation of his chosen people. In all the details of his providence, our gracious God has purposed only good for his children. Let us rest our immortal souls and our temporal lives in our sovereign and omnipotent God who always brings to pass what He has purposed.                                                     ~GE

“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." Rom. 8:5.

Sometimes, “minding the things of the flesh” can masquerade as something virtuous or even spiritual. Whenever the manifestation of sin is seen as the problem, we will focus our attention on the symptom rather than the cause. We will try to clean up the outside of the cup while the inside remains full of corruption. Let us be careful not to whitewash tombs and call it life. Sin is a problem of the heart. Circumcision of the heart is a work of grace not performed by the hands of man. It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. Create in me a clean heart, O God. A broken and contrite heart He will not despise, because it is He that made it.                                                                                   ~GE

“Whither thou goest, I will go:” Ruth 1:16.

Irresistibly drawn from Moab, every child of God makes this confession of faith. When Abraham (our father in the faith) was called of God to leave his home in Ur, the Lord did not give him a roadmap. His journey would be a daily walk of faith. Dear saints of God, nothing has changed. We walk by faith, not by sight. We rely upon our Lord for our daily bread. Not knowing what the future holds, we know Who holds the future. We trust Him to fulfill His purpose. I hear men speak of wanting to know God’s will for their lives. I fear that the unspoken meaning of their words is that they want a blueprint from God to look over. The Lord has never provided any of His children with such a plan. What He has said is: “follow me.” And, God given faith… does just that.             ~GE

“No man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed.” I Cor. 12:3

The word “accursed” is the word “anathema”. It means to suffer the wrath of God without any hope of redemption. To even suggest that Christ may have in some way suffered the wrath of God for souls who will not be eternally redeemed, is to call Jesus Christ “accursed”. If it is not the Spirit of God that speaketh such, then we know from which spirit this confession is made.                    ~GE

Godliness with contentment is great gain. I Tim. 6:6.

Christ Jesus the Lord is the mystery of godliness. I Tim. 3:16. With Him we are content. In Christ we have everything. Without Him we have nothing. Truly, Christ is all. Men without Christ are not content. Religion, material possessions, relationships, all promise what they cannot deliver. Contentment in these things is always just around the corner. It is the anticipation of this allusive lie that accompanies the false hopes of men. Only those in Christ can enjoy the temporal things the Lord provides. They do not expect from them, what they cannot provide – Contentment.           ~GE

It is unfortunate that we most often use the word hope to express our desire for something that may or may not happen. The believer’s hope is not a wish or desire for the unknown. It is a joyful and confident expectation in a personal God who has made precious promises to His children.  A sure hope is what God given, saving faith produces in the heart. The Lord calls it, a good HOPE, a lively HOPE, a better HOPE, an anchor for our soul. It is Christ in you, THE HOPE of glory.                                                         ~GE

The Lord make His face shine upon thee, AND be gracious unto thee. Num. 6:25.

All spiritual blessings (faith, hope, forgiveness, joy, righteousness, love, peace…) are in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He owns them. He manages them. Only He can distribute them in the measure He sees fit. He does not deposit these assets into our account to be withdrawn at our pleasure. They are part and parcel of His glorious person. Only when His face shines upon us, can we enjoy what is in His hand. “Seek His face continually.” I Chron. 16:11b.                                                                               ~GE

The Perfect Man

“When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” I Cor. 13:10

When the “Perfect Man” comes, only then shall we see Him as He is and be made like Him. In the meantime, our faith is mixed with unbelief. Our love is mixed with selfishness. Our understanding is mixed with ignorance. Our sorrow for sin is shallow. Our worship falls so far short of its mark. Our experience of peace is fraught with fear. Our joy is mixed with sorrow. Truly;  “Now we see through a glass darkly…”

Here is our hope brethren. Faith does not look to our experience in these graces for the hope of our salvation. Oh no! Faith looks to that Perfect Man in whom all these spiritual graces are full and complete. May we rest the hope of our salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ who stands in our stead before Almighty God. “Wherefore, He is able to save them to the uttermost (perfectly) that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Heb. 7:25.                                                                            ~GE

God is My Judge

“Don’t judge me. God is my judge”. I fear that those who make such statements have no idea of the standard by which the Judge of all the earth measures His judgments. “Thou shalt judge the people righteously.” Ps. 67.4. The Lord Jesus Christ is not only the Judge (Acts 10:42), but He Himself is the standard by which all men shall be measured. God’s Holy nature demands all sin to be punished. “He will by no means clear the guilty.” Ex. 34:7. If He finds one infraction to His law, even in the secret recesses of man’s heart, He must condemn that person to eternal separation from Him. “If thou, Lord shouldest make iniquities, Oh Lord, who shall stand”? Ps. 130:3.

Oh, child of God, let us say with the Apostle Paul; “with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you (man)…” I Cor. 4:3. We delight in knowing that God is our Judge. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7.                        ~GE

“Vain is the help of man”. Ps. 60:11b

All men derive “their” truth from one of three sources: conscience, tradition, or scripture. Another way to say the same thing is that every person either looks to themselves, or they look to others, or they look to God for truth. Man, in his pride does not know that his conscience is both fallible and limited in its ability to know the truth. Yet, he continues trusting himself for life, both temporal and eternal. Those who are unsure of themselves lean on the opinions of others. They trust the traditions of men established in social mores or religious confessions and creed for their truth. Many in this group will say “sola scriptura” (only scripture) and then turn around and test the scriptures by their man-made, handed down traditions.

Then, there are those who have no place else to go other than the Word of God. By God’s grace they have been made to believe every word. By God’s grace they have been brought to see Christ, the Living Word, on every page of His written Word. By God’s grace they have come to believe, “vain is the help of man”.    ~GE

Demerited Favor

Grace has been defined as “unmerited favor”. Certainly, grace is by its very nature unmerited. Oh, but it’s so much more.

Suppose you rolled down your car window at an intersection and gave a dollar to a beggar. That would be unmerited favor. Now, suppose that same beggar had murdered your only child. Suppose you opened your door and brought him into your car. Suppose you drove him to your house, gave him his own bed, fed him and put him in new clothes. Suppose you took him to your bank and gave him unfettered access to all your assets. Suppose you drove him to the courthouse and signed all the legal documents to adopt him into your family.

Perhaps instead of “unmerited favor”, we should call grace “demerited favor”. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me… Oh, the praise of the glory of His grace wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved.                           ~GE

Reason for Everything

Men of the world take comfort in explaining this world with theories. They have the theory of evolution to explain their existence. They have the theory of relativity to explain their environment. They have quantum theory to explain the structure of matter. Now the smartest people in the world are looking for what they call, “the theory of everything”. Something that will tie it all together and make sense of everything. Child of God, you need not hang the hope of your understanding on theories, speculations, propositions, and predictions. God tells us with absolute clarity, not the theory of everything but the REASON FOR EVERYTHING. It is the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything from; “In the beginning God…” to; “surely I come quickly”, all points to what the Lord Jesus did at Mount Calvary. Let us go even further, outside of time into eternity. The Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ has always been and will always be the reason for everything. Truly, it is the crux of the matter. Why is this so? Because nowhere is God more glorified than in the sovereign, substitutionary, successful salvation of His people. Yes, it is all to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. Eph. 1:6.                                  ~GE

“For He hath made Him sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Cor 5:21

Oh what a great mystery. The sinless son of God being made sin.  We can only stand in awe of this glorious truth. Some will try to explain this by saying that Christ only suffered the penalty of sin. Is not the guilt that we feel for our sin summed up in shame and separation? However, our dull conscience recovers from shame pretty quick. Sadly, separation from God doesn’t bother us as it ought.

Whatever Christ, “being made sin” means in the fullness of His substitution, we cannot doubt that shame and separation were experienced by him to its fullest.  “My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.” “For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin”. Ps 38:5-6, 17-18. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” Ps. 22:1. If you paid the penalty for someone else’s crime, you could feel proud that you paid such a price, or you could feel resentment that you were made to suffer unjustly. You could never feel shame. “Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, I am not able to look up”, was our Sin-Bearer’s cry. Infinite sorrow and separation was His experience. Only then, when God saw the travail of HIS Soul, was He satisfied.                                                                ~GE

Not Under the Law, But Under Grace

If from election to glorification salvation is all of God, it must be all of grace. If it is of grace then it can no more be of works, otherwise grace is no more grace. If it is true that we can do nothing to merit our salvation, then it is equally true that we can do nothing to lose it. “Wait,” you say, “will that not lead to careless living?” Oh no, pure, free grace is the only restraint we have for our sin. It is the love of Christ that constraineth us. It is the goodness of God that leadeth to repentance. The longsuffering of our Lord is salvation. The strength of sin is the law. But sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.     ~GE

Wilt Thou be Made Whole? Jn. 5:6

To which the invalid said, “I have no man to help me”. His answer was, I do, but I can’t. That is a good answer. Yes Lord, I want to be made whole, but there is nothing I can do to help myself. I need a man. What he did not know was that the only Man that could make him whole was the One speaking to him. Without any further discussion the Lord graciously said, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole.” The flesh does not want to be “made whole”. It may be interested in patching up some holes with a new piece of fabric. To be made whole is much more than a moral reformation. It is not an increase in one’s religious activity. To be made whole is to be made a new creature in Christ Jesus. Like blind Bartimaeus, it is to cast away your filthy garment of self-righteousness, and to come to Christ for that robe washed white by the blood of the Lamb.         ~GE

“And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.” Acts 28:24

The first time the word believe appears in this verse, it is in the passive voice. Those who believed were passive in their faith. They were acted upon by the Spirit of God to believe what Paul was preaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. They were the objects of the active work of God. The second use of the word believe not is in the active voice. Those who believed not were actively opposed to what they were hearing. Unlike the ones who believed passively, these men took an active role in resisting the Holy Ghost and denying the clear revelation of Scripture concerning the Lord Jesus as the Christ. So, it is today. When God according to His sovereign grace gives ears to hear, we rejoice and give Him all the glory. When men refuse Christ and stand against the gospel, they bear the full responsibility for their unbelief.                                                                                                 ~GE

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for Doctrine…” II Tim. 3:16

Doctrine is a good biblical word. It means “teaching”. It is the expression of who and what we believe. Everyone has a doctrine. For most it is the commandments of men, Matt. 15:8, or the doctrines of devils, I Tim. 4:1. Those who are carried about by every wind of doctrine, are offended by the doctrine of Christ. In order to avoid defending their strange doctrine against sound doctrine, they will disparage “Doctrine” as if it were a bad thing. Our teaching is the Scriptures, which is profitable first for doctrine.       ~GE

The world exalts morality over truth. They sacrifice sound doctrine for outward appearances. They look at behavior to judge salvation. If a person is kind and generous, it does not matter what they believe as long as they “love Jesus”. Carried away with “strange doctrine” Heb. 13:9, they “will not endure sound doctrine.” II Tim 4:3. Truth is, nice, principled people go to hell every day. “What think ye of Christ?” Matt. 22:42. That is the question. Whose Son is He? If He is the anointed Son of God, how could He be anything less than completely successful in the salvation of His people. Is behavior important? Of course it is. Let us walk according to our doctrine (teaching) that the gospel be not blasphemed. But let us not compromise the truth, without which no man can be saved.                                                                                        ~GE

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34b

To “come after” Christ is to be where He is. The Holy Spirit has put into the hearts of all God’s people the utmost desire to be where the Lord Jesus Christ is, now and in the life to come. So what does it mean to “deny oneself, take up your cross and follow Him”? When it comes to denying oneself, surely there are some worldly and fleshly pleasures we should deny. But if we were to deny ourselves of all earthly comforts by living a life of poverty and extreme sacrifice, it would not put us where Christ is. The one thing the natural man will not deny himself is credit for his salvation. By God’s grace we deny ourselves any contribution for our salvation. We deny ourselves any and all glory for our hope in Christ. Our salvation is of the Lord, and all to the glory of His grace.

What about taking up one’s cross? Surely, there will be some suffering for righteousness’ sake when we stand for the Cross of Christ. However, considering what believers have suffered in the past, we are embarrassed to think about how light that cross really is for us. Apart from that, are the trials and troubles believers bear in this world any heavier than the ones unbelievers must carry? I Cor. 10:13. No. To take up one’s cross is to believe that when Christ died, I died. I am Crucified with Christ. Gal 2:20. Fellowshipping in His suffering. Phil. 3:10. We are looking in faith to Christ on Calvary’s Cross as the only means of atonement for our sins. If by God’s grace we are able to deny ourselves and take up our cross, following Him will be the result.                  ~GE

All or None

“Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved”. Acts 27:31.

Some of the sailors were attempting to abandon the ship in order to save themselves. Though it be true, this passage is not teaching us to stay with the ship if we want to be saved. Notice, Paul did not say THEY cannot be saved. He said if they abandon ship, YOU cannot be saved. There were 276 souls on this ship. In the end, “They escaped ALL safe to land.” V. 44. What a glorious picture of God’s elect. 2, union; 7, God in Christ; 6, sinful man. If one got off the boat, they would all be lost. If one for whom Christ died ends up in hell, there is no hope for any to be saved.        ~GE

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

I remember being taught in seminary that, “a text without its context was a pretext that becomes a proof text.” This clever axiom was expounded by highly educated theologians interested only in promoting their knowledge of the “context” of scripture. Loving the praise of man, they made broad their phylacteries. What they did not know is how exceeding broad God‘s word is, how peevish their understanding of historical facts was, and how unprofitable those things were to a sinners soul. They did not know Christ, who is Himself the “context” of all scripture. They did not know that in the volume of the book it is written of Him. Like the Pharisees, they searched the Scriptures because they thought in them they had eternal life, not knowing that they testified of Him. These professors of hermeneutics (the science of interpretation) warned us not to “spiritualize” the Scriptures. [It is interesting that hermeneutics gets its name from Hermes a mythological Greek god.] Let these intellectuals look down at the unlearned an ignorant men who preach Christ. We will continue to ask the Spirit of God to open to our hearts the spiritual meaning of all scripture that we might see Christ and be saved, rightly dividing the word of truth.                                                                                           ~GE

“High Maintenance” relationships are very difficult. In time, we withdraw ourselves from friendships that require us to do all the work. Aren’t you glad that is not the case with our Lord? No relationship is more one sided than the one Christ has with His church. Even when we call on Him in faith, cry out to Him in repentance, rejoice in worship, or serve in gratitude, it is because He put it in our hearts to do so. He said, “I will never leave thee or forsake thee.” Heb. 13:5. “If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Tim. 2:13.                     ~GE

The Way of Life

To find peace and relieve their conscience of guilt, all men will go down one of three paths. Two of those paths give false hope and end in destruction.  Satan has no shortage of false prophets to lead the masses down these ways of death.  Only One Way is the Way of Life. 

1) It’s not your fault. You are a victim of your circumstances. You can salve your conscience by shifting the blame somewhere else. Was this not our first response in our father Adam?  Blaming God is more popular today than ever.

2) It’s your fault, but you can fix it. Just follow these steps. Pray this prayer. Sew together these fig leaves. With the right decisions and commitments, you can fix it. Is not this the way of Cain?

3) It’s all your fault, and God has already fixed it. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. By the sacrifice of Himself He was successful to completely atone for the sins of his people. The Lamb was slain and His works were finished even before the foundation of the world. He bore all the shame, all the guilt, all the penalty of all the sins, of all His children. “Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.” Jer.21:8. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Rom 8:31. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you are free indeed. Jn 8:36.                                                                                        ~GE

A Paradox of Truth

If a man does not believe on Christ, the fault is all on him. If he does believe on Christ, the cause of that is all on God. All men are without excuse, and God gets all the glory for all our salvation. An unresponsive fatalistic view of salvation due to sovereign, electing, effectual, and irresistible grace, is nothing more or less than blaming God for the worst sin of all, unbelief. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31.                    ~GE

When Our Bibles Bleed

“There are three that bear witness in earth, The Spirit and the water, and the blood, and these three agree in one” I Jn. 5:8. When God washes us clean with the water of His word, we have our robes washed in the blood of the Lamb. In the beginning of miracles our Lord turned water into wine. Only the servants knew from whence the wine came. So it is today. Christ and Him crucified is the testimony of Scriptures. When God’s word is opened and His gospel is preached, the river of life becomes a fountain drawn from Emmanuel’s veins. Oh, might our Bibles bleed today as we look upon Him whom we have pierced. “Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” Rev. 1:5.           ~GE

Almost or Fully Persuaded

“…almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian”. Acts 26:28. Most of the sermons preached from this verse connect the word “almost” with Christian. Almost is an adverb. Adverbs modify verbs. The verb in this statement is “persuaded”, not Christian. Agrippa was not saying, he was almost a Christian. He was saying, "I am not fully persuaded”. Herein is the difference for us, oh child of God. Being taught of God we are fully persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that He is able to keep that which we have committed (entrusted the salvation of our souls) unto Him against that day. If we look at our lives, we are likely to think, maybe I’m just almost a Christian.  But when we consider Whom we have believed, we say with confidence, “I am fully persuaded that what He has promised, He is able also to perform.” Rom 4:21.             ~GE

Important Prepositions

Prepositions express the relationship between nouns and verbs. The whole meaning of words is determined by their pre-position.

Believers come to God for His faith, not with their Faith. We are saved through Faith, not by faith. Our faith is from and in Christ’s faith(fulness). Repentance is a work of grace in salvation, not something we do for salvation. We serve our Lord from holiness, not for holiness. “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matt. 12:37. Our position before God may very well be reflected by the place of our prepositions.                                                                             ~GE

“He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.” Job 19:9.

Job is complaining here in Chapter 19. But when all is said and done, Job will confess what a great mercy it is to be stripped of his glory. He will come to see that the crown never belonged on his head. After Elihu preaches the gospel, Job will hear the voice of God. Then he will confess; “Behold, I am vile”. Like all of God’s children, he will end up happy that the Lord stripped him of his glory. Only then could he see the glory of his Redeemer. He will rejoice in casting his crown before the throne of God and add his voice to all the saints saying; “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power…” Rev 4:11a.                            ~GE

Sick of Love

Are there feelings involved in salvation? Most surely. Are faith and repentance, confession, sorrow, commitment, peace, and love, real heartfelt experiences for the child of God? How sweet they are when the Lord is pleased to allow us to taste these things. However, it is sort of like “liberty” when it comes to preaching. Liberty certainly adds to the enjoyment of preaching. Preaching can be a painful process without it. But liberty adds nothing to the power or effects of preaching. Often times the Lord will use a message struggled to be delivered for more eternal benefits than one brought with great freedom of speech. So, it is with feelings. Enjoy the sweet cordials of grace when they come. But sometimes the Lord is strengthening the roots of the tree in the winter when the weather is cold, and the branches are bare. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Our Lord will remove the awareness of His presence to make us “sick of (with) love”. Song 5:6-8. He retreats to His garden (church), to the beds of spices, to feed among the lilies. Let us follow Him there until we know by experience…..

“I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine”. Song 6:1-4.                                                                                                  ~GE

God’s Golden Chain

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How shall they call upon Him whom they have not believed?” Rom 10:13-14.

Don’t miss the simplicity of the order here. No one can call without first believing. Calling on the name of the Lord is the result and evidence of salvation, not its cause.

The links in God’s unbroken golden chain of salvation have a definite order. Rom. 10:13-15. Calling is linked to believing. Believing is linked to hearing. Hearing is linked to preaching. Preaching is linked to being sent. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. To have any of these links in any other order will result in a broken chain.                                                               ~GE

Liberty in Christ

The world offers man one of two messages to relieve him of his fear, guilt and shame. The first message says; “it’s not your fault. You are a victim.” This message resonates with the sons of Adam whose father devised this plan from the beginning. Peace, peace, when there is no peace The second message says; “you are to blame, but you can fix it.” This message resonates with the sons of Adam who are always trying to cover their nakedness with the fig leaves they have sewed together. Both of these messages (blame and works) leave men in their sins and separated from God. 

The good news of the gospel of God’s free grace in the glorious person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ leaves men without excuse. It places the full responsibility of sin on the sinner.  With no place to go, they flee to their only Hiding Place. By God’s grace they look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ who bore all their guilt and shame on Calvary’s cross. They know, “there is forgiveness with Thee, that thou mayest be feared.” Ps. 130:4. “What shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” Rom.8:31,33. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. Who walk not after the flesh (blame and works) but after the spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor. 3:17              ~GE

Strife and Vain Glory

“Let him curse, because the Lord has said unto him curse David.” 2 Sam. 16:10.

We are so full of vain glory that even well intended unsolicited advice is received as criticism. We are too quick to defend and justify ourselves, suffering strife rather than trusting God. David expressed two things we should all remember. First, “the Lord hath bidden him.” Second, “it may be that the Lord will look upon mine affliction, and the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.” May the Lord give us all the faith He gave David to respond to our critics with such grace.                                            ~GE

By nature, all men are idol-maker. Like Demetrius the Silversmith, he labors in the idol factory of his own darkened imagination to forge his false gods. Like the little statues of Diana, these gods have eyes, but they do not see, ears have they, but they hear not… They that make them are like unto them. They are always looking for physical evidences of their god.

In the new birth the Lord crushes all our idols. We set our affections on things above, where Christ sittith on the right hand of God. Col 3:1. Minding the things of the spirit, we look to the eternal things which cannot be seen.  They say, “where is your God?” We say; “our God is in the heavens: and He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.” Ps 115:2-3  We look through the eyes of faith into the eternal counsel of God. We find our hope in that it pleased the Lord to bruise the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Our God is in the heavens sat down, for His works were finished from the foundation of the world.           ~GE

The Gospel

The gospel is not a plan to be followed, or a program to be practiced.  It is not a precept or a principle to be understood. The gospel is a person. The second person of the triune Godhead, who bore the sins of God’s elect and by the sacrifice of Himself put them away once and for all. He was raised from the dead, ascended into glory, and is right now seated at the right hand of the majesty on high. He is the sovereign Savior of sinners. He is the Substitute and Surety for His people. His name is Jesus, for He has saved His people from their sins. He is Faithful and True to all His promise. What “good news” (gospel) it is for the soul of a sinner to know they have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One. He himself is the sum and substance of the gospel.               ~GE

True Repentance

If someone offers you an apology for an offense, it is natural to evaluate the sincerity of that apology based on at least three criteria; words, demeanor, and demands.  If the words of that apology begin with “if”, or end with “but”, you know it is not sincere.  If the demeanor of the person apologizing is flippant, or if they imply an obligation for you to forgive them, you will know they are not sincere.  That is why we call it, “begging one’s forgiveness”. 

So it is with God-given repentance. True repentance owns full responsibility for the offense.  No “ifs", "ands", or "buts” about it. True heartfelt repentance cannot be expressed in a rote “sinner’s prayer”. True repentance has no claim on forgiveness. Forgiveness is completely up to the mercy of God. If He forgives, it will be for Christ’ sake.  May the Lord do a work of grace in our hearts giving us a true spirit of repentance.                                           ~GE

The Sword of the Spirit

May the Lord make all His angels (messengers) faithful as those Cherubims He placed at the east of Eden. They wielded flaming swords to “keep the way to the tree of life”. Gen. 3:24. So we have been charged to preach the word, showing and keeping the way to Christ. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God”. Rev. 2:7.                                                                                         ~GE

The Fruit of the Spirit

In Galatians chapter 5 the fruit (singular) of the Spirit is set in contrast to the works (plural) of the flesh. The flesh manifest itself in many ways. The Spirit on the other hand, always has one fruit, LOVE. Love for Christ. Love for His word. Love for His law. Love for His people. Love for one’s enemies. On this, hangs all the law and the prophets. Matt.22:40. You may be thinking, does not Galatians 5 speak of joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance? Yes, and these are the manifestations of love. Someone is wondering, but there are people I don’t like, and there are certainly people I don’t trust. That is having good discernment, not a lack of love.  The love that comes from the Spirit of God harbors no ill will toward anyone. It’s hope and desire for all men is that the Lord would bless them with all true spiritual blessings. Nothing would thrill a believer’s soul more than for their worst enemy to be brought to faith in Christ. The Spirit gives faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. I Cor. 13:13. Finally, be careful not to inspect your fruit too closely. You will find it is not ripe yet. Lord, give us thy Spirit.                                                                                            ~GE

A very sweet promise for the poor and needy

“When the poor and needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” Is. 41:17-18.

When we gather for public worship we come as poor and needy sinners seeking the Water of Life. Though we all have temporal needs, our true interest lies in the matters of the soul.  Our need is to know and worship God. It is to be forgiven of sin and to have a sure hope in Christ. The broken cisterns of this dry and thirsty land in which we live are unable to quench our thirst. We come to that place where there is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins. What a sweet promise we have from our Lord to meet with us and manifest his grace and glory to us. Let us prepare our hearts in prayer that He might show us a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Rev. 22:1                                                     ~GE

Contrary Not Complicated

The gospel does not remain a mystery to the natural man because it is complicated. The gospel remains a mystery because it is contrary to everything he believes to be true. It is contrary to his view of God. He will honor God with his lips but believe in his heart in a god that is not God. All men by nature set themselves up on the throne of God. They make God dependent upon their will or works to save them. The gospel is contrary to what the natural man believes about himself. He does not believe himself to be dead in his trespasses and sins. He believes that he holds the power of salvation in what he decides.  Until the Lord gives the spirit of repentance (changed mind), the simple, clear gospel of God’s free grace in the glorious person and accomplished work of Christ will remain a mystery.                                                                            ~GE

The Work of God

When was the last time you looked at a beautiful painting and thought anything about the brush the artist used?  Or, when was the last time you read some inspiring words and had any thought of the pen the author used?  That’s absurd. Never. No, all the glory from the enjoyment of these works goes to the Artist and the Author. The instruments they use are insignificant. One brush or pen would be pretty much as good as the next. When Paul and Barnabas came back to Antioch after their first missionary journey; “they rehearsed all that GOD HAD DONE with them and how that HE had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.” Acts 14:27. Yes, God uses His church to plant and water the seeds of the gospel. Might we be found faithful in so doing. But, let us never forget, except The Lord give the increase there will be no fruit. We are but, “unprofitable servants” Lk 17:10. Indistinguishable brushes and pens in the hand of the Master who Himself gets all the glory.                                                                                                           ~GE

Justice

“…Being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Rom. 5:9.

Our founding fathers when drafting the American Constitution wrote in the Bill of Rights the eighth amendment protecting prisoners from cruel and unjust punishment. They knew that for justice to be served the punishment must fit the crime.  So what does God’s holy justice require to satisfy the offense of our sin?  Turning beautiful angels into hideous devils and casting them out of heaven, all of the curses given to men caused by the fall, washing the earth clean by the drowning of all men save eight, fire falling from heaven and consuming the entire population of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all of the misery that is brought on by sin including death and the eternal fires of hell do not fully express God’s hatred for sin and the demands of His Divine Justice.

The Cross of Christ was the only punishment that fit the crime. Everything else was but a slap on the wrist. Only the sinless Son of God could bear the sorrow and shame of our sin. Only He could suffer the full wrath of God. Only He could satisfy Divine justice. To know what sin is before God we must look upon Him whom we have pierced. Our sin is  so repulsive in the sight of God that if He was only to save one of us, the same sacrifice had to be made. If the very first act of disobedience committed in the garden by Adam was the only sin that had to be atoned for, the same sacrifice had to be made. Only at Calvary’s Cross; ‘mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peach have kissed each other’. Ps. 85:10.                                                                               ~GE

“They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced…” Zech 12:10.

When the Lord pours into the sinner’s heart the ‘spirit of grace and supplication’, the precious doctrine of substitution is made personal. No longer do they see the successful work of Christ’s atonement as a lifeless doctrine applying to just the sins of His church. Now it is a precious truth that moves the heart in love for the One who died for me. May the Lord in His mercy cause His doctrine to fall like dew upon the tender herb. Deut. 32:2. May he cause us to mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son.   ~GE

The real evidence of man’s depravity is not seen in the bad things he does, but in the good things he thinks he has that will earn him favor with God.       ~GE

His Glory is Our Salvation

“My glory will I not give to another” Is 42:8. Yes, our Lord is jealous for His glory.  But let us not think that His jealousy is anything like ours. He is not in the least threatened by the vast majority of men who do rob him of his glory.  He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Ps 2:4. It is the Lords mercy that He strips His people of their glory Job 19:9 and makes Himself their ONLY glory. 1 Cor. 1:31  The Lord loves His children too much to allow them to rob themselves of Him, by robbing Him of His glory.  Truly He has set His glory among the heathen Ez. 39:21, by putting Christ in us, our only hope of glory. Col. 1:27.   ~GE

God’s Perfect Will

“…the renewing of your mind, that ye may PROVE what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Rom. 12:2b.

We used to think that if one could achieve a certain spiritual state of mind, they would discover and enjoy God’s perfect will for their lives. It was really no different from the Buddhist belief in Nirvana. It was the imaginary perfection of Utopia. The word “PROVE” in our text means to examine something in order to discover its genuine authenticity. When our minds are renewed in faith to look upon the Lord Jesus Christ, we see that only His life and death fulfilled the perfect will of God. “I come to do thy will, O God”. The Lord also shows us in the revealed will of His word how good, and acceptable, and perfect is the law of liberty. His commandments are not grievous.  We also discover that wherever the Lord has us in His wise and loving providence, is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. We pray with confidence; “…Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”                 ~GE

My Little Children

Saving faith is not a stalwart character trait in which we glory. It is a humble confession of our complete dependence on Christ for everything. When a child is afraid, is it to their glory to hide behind their mother’s skirt? Is it a picture of strength for them to get in the arms of their father and bury their little face in his neck? No. It is to the parent’s glory to care for and comfort the child. Though we completely understand such behavior from a little child, would it not be shameful for an older child or an adult to act this way? It is to our shame that we remain so weak and dependent. It is to our Lord’s glory that He never says, “grow up”. To the contrary, He says, Suffer (do not hinder) the little children to come unto me for such is the Kingdom of Heaven. Truly, His strength is made perfect in our weakness.                                                                         ~GE

“O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

Matt. 14:31.

Peter was fixed on Christ walking on the water when he said, “Lord, bid me to come unto thee.” After leaving the security of the boat, Peter took his eyes off of Christ and became afraid. Sinking in the turbulent sea of his fears, he cried “Lord, save me”. Not hesitant to save him, the Lord lovingly identified Peter’s problem as unbelief. He is too loving to allow us to blame the wind and the waves for our fears. No, He lays the blame right at the feet of ‘little faith’. Oh, child of God, is this not our life, repeated over and over again every day? The sin that doth so easily beset us; the root cause of all our fears is doubting our Lord. Truly, the way of our Lord is, ‘through the seas’. He is compassionate and full of mercy to remind us of our need for His outstretched hand. He never has hesitated to respond to any of His childrens’ cry to be saved. Then in infinite love He says; “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Is. 45:22                                                                                           ~GE

The Lord of Host

This word “Host” is also translated Army, Battle, and War. Our God has reigned Sovereign over every battle of every war, of every age. Men speak of “Sovereign Nations”, but in fact, there is no such thing. All nations, kings and armies are subject to the sovereign will and purpose of our God. Truly, Our God Reigneth. Child of God, fear not. The armies of heaven are His Host. All the inhabitants of the earth are His Host. The Lord of Host is bringing His people to their expected end. He reigned over the battle for our souls and got the victory at Calvary’s Cross. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. “For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”. I Cor. 15:25-26. How and when that comes about is a secret thing known only unto God. WHO will bring it about has been revealed to us and to our children. We are watching and waiting in full assurance of faith that the Lord of Host cannot fail in keeping all of His promises.                                                                        ~GE

“Nobody Is Perfect”

Men often make this statement in a feeble attempt to justify themselves before God. Of course, nobody (among the sons of Adam) is perfect. Truth is, men who say such a thing have no idea how far from perfection they really are. The problem is, perfection is exactly what God demands. He can settle for nothing less. Which is why He sent His only begotten Son into this world. The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s perfect man, and He is man’s perfect God. The God-Man. The sinners substitute. The sovereign, successful, surety of His people. Yes, Someone is perfect. Without Him standing in our stead, God’s holy justice will demand our eternal damnation. “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” Ps 37:37.                ~GE

It is natural for a little boy who loves, admires, and depends on his father, to want to be like him.  He will put his little feet into his father’s shoes, only not to be able to walk in them. He will follow his father in the sand and try to put his feet in the impressions of his father’s much larger feet but cannot make the stride. He will look up to his father and dream of that day when he will be just like him. He will be brokenhearted whenever he disappoints his father and is chastised. So, it is with God’s children. Though the child falls far short of being like his father (and infinitely so with our Heavenly Father), It is enough that the desire is in the heart. One day we shall see Him as He is and be made like Him.          ~GE

The End of Sin

“… and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death”. Jam. 1:15b

The sin of God’s elect finished its course in the death of our Sin-Bearing Substitute on Calvary’s Tree. It “brought forth death” in the Son of God.  For that reason, sin can never bring forth death to those for whom Christ died. As long as we are in this world sin will threaten, accuse, and tempt us. We will be, “drawn away of our own lust and enticed”. But, happy child of God, sin can never finish its course in your life. The Lord Jesus Christ declared that clearly when He cried from Calvary’s cross; “It is finished.”  Sin was once and for all put away by the sacrifice of Himself. Heb. 9:26. He finished the transgression and made an end of sins. Dan. 9:24. “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:56-57. Truly, Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. Rom.10:4. His resurrection is proof of that. Death and hell have been conquered. Sin finished its course in Christ…so that it never could in us.      ~GE

Free Will

Men will say; “I know I have a free will because I am free to choose whatever I will.”  Exactly, and you have just confessed that your choices are in bondage to your will.  Truth is, you cannot choose against your will.  You can only do that which you will to do.  In every choice one makes, it is impossible to act contrary to the will.  Yes, we are free to do (and in fact can only do) whatever we will.  Everything we do is an expression of what we willed to do.  If you did not will it, you cannot do it. The “Will” is the power behind every choice we make. Therein lies the problem in our salvation.  A man spiritually dead and at enmity with God has no desire, will, or inclination to come to Christ.  He cannot love that which he hates. He CANNOT believe that which he DOES NOT believe.  He must first be “born again” or he CANNOT see the kingdom of God.  He must be made willing in the day of God’s power.  He must be given a new nature, a willing heart.  In the order of salvation, regeneration necessarily precedes faith.  Yes, man’s will is free to do whatever it wills to do, which is exactly why he WILL NOT come to Christ that he might have life.  Of course, for anyone who believes God, it is enough the He said; “it is not of him that willeth or of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” Rom. 9:16                                                           ~GE

Works, Dead or Good

Dead Works are those things men do and look to for the hope of their salvation. Good Works are those things believers do when they are looking to Christ alone for all the hope of their salvation. Dead Works are things men glory in. Good Works are never acknowledged by those who do them. Dead Works are performed out of obligation and for reward. Good Works are willing acts of service done out of love for Christ. Lord, purge our conscience of Dead Works to serve Thee, the true and living God. Heb. 9:14. Make us a peculiar people unto Thyself, zealous of Good Works, Titus 2:14  which Thou hast ordained that we should walk in. Eph. 2:10.                                               ~GE

Why Do We Go to Church?

Many people go to church thinking that by doing so they will somehow atone for their sins, not knowing that there is enough sin in what we do at church to send us all to hell. The only atoning sacrifice for our sin is the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb without blemish and without spot. We come to church to worship God in the Spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus. We come as sinners who can find no confidence in our flesh. We come to lay hold on the Hope set before us; which hope we have as an Anchor of the Soul, sure and steadfast, our Forerunner, even Jesus Christ made our High Priest. Heb. 6:18-19. If we come for any other reason, regardless of how noble it may seem, that need will change and we will eventually have no more reason to come.                 ~GE

The Real Problem

The gospel puts God on the throne and man in the dirt.  It declares Christ as absolutely sovereign and gives to him all the glory in salvation.  When men object to a particular doctrine like total depravity, unconditional election, particular redemption, irresistible grace, or the preservation and perseverance of all Gods elect, the real problem is their unwillingness to bow to a Sovereign Omnipotent God.  When a sinner is brought to believe that Jesus Christ truly is Lord, they glory in all these precious doctrines.  They rejoice that He is on His throne and cannot fail to accomplish the salvation of his people. They rest all the hope of their salvation in the person and power of their reigning King.                                            ~GE

“We will not have this man to reign over us” Lk. 19:14

But He does, whether men want Him to or not. Christ Jesus has been made Lord over the living and the dead. He reigns sovereign over the armies of heaven and ALL the inhabitants of the earth. Most of His subjects are resentful and rebellious servants. In their resistance, they do not know that everything they do is serving His sovereign will and purpose. Unless the Lord changes their hearts, they will know nothing but His wrath and justice for all eternity. Others, by His grace, are willing and loving servants. They bow to Him joyfully. They worship Him humbly. They serve Him gladly. They will be made like Him, sing His praises, and glory in Him for all eternity.  Oh Lord Jesus, make us willing servants, in the day of thy power.                                                                           ~GE

The Real Problem

The gospel puts God on the throne and man in the dirt.  It declares Christ as absolutely sovereign and gives to him all the glory in salvation.  When men object to a particular doctrine like total depravity, unconditional election, particular redemption, irresistible grace, or the preservation and perseverance of all Gods elect, the real problem is their unwillingness to bow to a Sovereign Omnipotent God.  When a sinner is brought to believe that Jesus Christ truly is Lord, they glory in all these precious doctrines.  They rejoice that He is on His throne and cannot fail to accomplish the salvation of his people. They rest all the hope of their salvation in the person and power of their reigning King.                                                                                         ~GE

“We will not have this man to reign over us” Lk. 19:14

But He does, whether men want Him to or not. Christ Jesus has been made Lord over the living and the dead. He reigns sovereign over the armies of heaven and ALL the inhabitants of the earth. Most of His subjects are resentful and rebellious servants. In their resistance, they do not know that everything they do is serving His sovereign will and purpose. Unless the Lord changes their hearts, they will know nothing but His wrath and justice for all eternity. Others, by His grace, are willing and loving servants. They bow to Him joyfully. They worship Him humbly. They serve Him gladly. They will be made like Him, sing His praises, and glory in Him for all eternity.  Oh Lord Jesus, make us willing servants, in the day of thy power.                                                                           ~GE