Gifts do not require forgiveness?

By Stewart Topping … Ephesians 2:8-9 8. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, More »

Are we righteous before God?

By Stewart Topping … How do we get from being a sinner to being forgiven? We are told to believe in the More »

What is Spiritual Revival?

By Stewart Topping … When reading this Newsletter we are reminded  that all churches from the beginning of Christianity have had the same More »

What is True Salvation?

By Stewart Topping … 1 Cor 15:1-4 (NKJV)1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also More »

What Happened in the Garden?

By Stewart Topping … How do we get from being disobedient with God to being obedient? We are told to believe in the Death, Burial More »

 

A Close Personal Relationship

by Pastor John Fredericksen

Shortly after meeting the woman who became my wife, I knew she was the one for me.  It was hard to explain, but she had captured my heart.  I thought about her as soon as I woke in the morning, continually during the day, and she was one of the last things I thought about before going to sleep.  I consistently pursued a relationship with her allowing all other relationships to become secondary.  I not only confirmed that I loved her, I also expressed to her that she satisfied and completed me like no other woman could.

Many of the same principles that make close human relationships work are the same in our personal relationship with the Lord, after salvation.  Even though the program has changed from the Law of Moses to the principles of grace, walking with the Lord every day is essentially the same now as it was for David.  In Psalm 63, he expresses many of the things that made his daily walk with the Lord such a sweet and joyous experience.

David did not merely have a passive interest in the Lord.  He longed for a vibrant relationship with the God of his salvation.  He told the Lord, “my flesh longeth for Thee [as] in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (v. 1).  Since David wrote these words “when he was in the wilderness of Judah”, where water was extremely scarce, his description of being thirsty for the Lord pictured his surroundings.  Just as only water can satisfy the need of one in the desert, David realized that only God could satisfy the thirst of his soul.

These were not mere empty words on the part of David.  He promised the Lord: “early will I seek Thee” (v. 1).  David, like Abraham before him (Gen. 19:27), was in the habit of beginning the early part of his day in communion with the Lord (Psa. 5:3).  Just as two people in love long to see each other, David longed “to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary” (63:2).  As David went through the day, he continued to think about the Lord and talk about Him.  He wrote, “…my lips shall praise Thee.  Thus will I bless [or praise aloud] Thee while I live” (vv. 3b-4a).  When a man and woman love each other, they talk to others about the one they love, extoling each other’s virtues.  It was the same with David, who happily expressed the virtues of the Almighty.

David’s walk with the Lord was so fulfilling that he couldn’t help but express it.  He told the Lord, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips…in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice” (vv. 5,7b).  When two people are in love and maintain a healthy, growing relationship, they too make a conscious decision to be satisfied and joyful in time together.  David experienced an even richer and more complete joy by being in the satisfying presence of his God.

David not only began his day in fellowship with the Lord and spoke of Him throughout the day, he also ended his day with the Lord.  He wrote, “I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches” (v. 6).  For soldiers and shepherds, the night was divided into three watches: from sunset to 10 p.m., from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and from 2 a.m. until dawn.  In verse six, David is sharing that, throughout the night, sleep sometimes evaded him because even then he was thinking about the Lord and His greatness.

David also explained: “My soul followeth hard after thee” (v. 8).  Just as a young man oftentimes pursues hard after a young woman to win her love, David fervently pursued his relationship with the Lord.  Of course, David did not have to win His love.  The Lord already loved David.  Nonetheless, David was not casual or complacent in the way he nurtured his relationship with the Lord.  His walk with the Lord meant too much to him for his efforts to be anything less than diligent and wholehearted.  In principle, we should exert the same kind of effort in our relationship with the Lord as we read that David did.

Are you following hard after the Lord?  We encourage you to pattern your walk with Christ after the example of David’s wholeheartedness.  Make a strong effort to make each day one of fellowship with the Lord from beginning to end.

Is Water Baptism A Testimony? 

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

Let us suppose that you have been saved, but live a careless life and bear a poor testimony before the world. Would water baptism change this? What would it be worth?

But suppose you have been saved and live a godly, consistent life before the world. Is a water-confession necessary? How much is it worth? Don’t be afraid to answer this question honestly. How many “baptized converts” there are who cannot even give a word of testimony for their Lord among the lost!

In a sense, however, the baptism of believers by water in this age is a testimony — a badtestimony. When the Galatian believers submitted to circumcision it was a bad testimony (Gal.5:2,3). Circumcision, while a part of Peter’s “gospel of the circumcision” had no place in “the gospel of the uncircumcision” committed to Paul (Gal.2:7). And just as circumcision was connected with “the gospel of the circumcision” so water baptism was con-nected with “the gospel of the kingdom” (See Matthew 3:2,6; 10:5-7; cf. John 1:31; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:36-38; Acts 3:19-21).

We solemnly declare that the present day practice of water baptism is a reflection on the grace of God and a confession of a lack of appreciation of the finished work of Christ, and the believer’s completeness in Him (See Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 2:10). Furthermore, it betrays a poor understanding of the heavenly character and position of the Church of this age (See Ephesians 2:6; 1:3; Colossians 3:1-3).

Be a Berean. Search the Scriptures and see whether these things are so

Fellowship With God

Posted By Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

Man, by nature, is afraid of God. When Adam first sinned, he should have gone immediately to God to beg for mercy and forgiveness. Instead he did just what millions are doing today: he ran and hid from God so that God had to come and look for Him, as it were, calling: “Adam… where art thou?” (Gen. 3:9).

Many people who consider themselves as good, morally, as those about them, or even better, nevertheless feel utterly ill-at-ease in a place of worship, where believers pray and praise God together. This is because in their heart of hearts they know that they have “sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

Such, however, may come to know, love and enjoy God through faith in Christ. He was Himself God manifested in the flesh, come to earth in love to pay for our sins on Calvary’s cross, so that we might have “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

Concerning those who respond in grateful faith and trust in the crucified, risen, glorified Lord for salvation, the Apostle Paul says:

“Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2).

Peace with God, and the fellowship which naturally results from this is the most precious treasure the human heart can contain. Yet our fellowship with Him here on earth is but the beginning. Read carefully Ephesians 5:25-27 and see how He took upon Him human form, and died, that He might have us for Himself forever:

“…Christ… loved the Church, and gave Himself for it… that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

How God Empowers His Witnesses

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

As we know, Paul wrought mighty miracles, as Peter and the Pentecostal believers had done. Indeed, a comparison of Paul’s miracles with those of Peter shows Paul’s to have been the mightier. This was mainly in divine confirmation of his apostleship, since Paul was not one of the twelve (II Cor. 12:11,12).

But it is clear from a study of Paul’s ministry and his epistles that these miraculous demonstrations were to vanish away as the dispensation of grace was fully ushered in (See I Cor. 13:8; Rom. 8:22,23; II Cor. 4:16-5:4; 12:10; Phil. 3:20,21; I Tim. 5:23; II Tim. 4:20). In fact, in the last seven of Paul’s epistles nothing whatever is said about signs, miracles, healings, tongues, visions or the casting out of demons.

How, then, does God now empower His servants in their conflict with Satan and his demons? The answer is: by the Holy Spirit through His Word, as it is preached with conviction. There is a great volume of evidence as to this in Paul’s epistles, including his early epistles. Two examples:

I Cor. 2:4: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing [persuasive] words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”

Mark well, this was power in his preaching, not in performing miracles. Indeed at the very same time when he proclaimed his God-given message with such power, he himself was very weak, for in the preceding verse he says:

“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.”

The other example is I Thes. 1:5:

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance…”

In Thessalonica too, Paul had suffered much opposition and persecution, until the whole city was in an uproar (Acts 17:1-5), and this may well have been the result of his powerful preaching. Out of the “uproar,” however, sprang the beloved Thessalonian church, an example and inspiration to those won to Christ under more benign circumstances.


by Bliss Drive Review