Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Best Freedom - Beyond Compare!

This 4th of July marks another year of celebration for the United States of America. Again our country and peoples celebrate “Independence Day.” This holiday marks the birth of our nation. This nation's freedom came at no small cost as the founding and framing fathers put their lives on the line, declaring as a colony of England, that they no longer would allow British rule.

The Revolutionary War then followed with much bloodshed and turmoil. Truly, the United States is a blest country, as none other with human freedoms guaranteed in the written documents of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. No where in the world in human history have a group of people enjoyed their freedom (s) as Americans have. To be true, our country is not perfect, but it has a historical foundation which continue to impress those who are intelligent and godly enough to appreciate it and to allow the rule of Constitution and law to triumph.

Note: At present though, the United States is under Constitutional siege because political leaders have allowed a foreign personality to usurp the office of president. He did not meet one of three requirements to be legitimate president. He is not a "natural born citizen." And, he has done our nation dirty by all his unpatriotic actions, agendas and policies. At this point it is this emeritus Christian pastor's opinion that our nation will only continue to survive as it was intended, only through the mercies of Almighty God!

A “freedom” that surpasses human [earthly] freedom

The Christian Scriptures speak of another type of “freedom.” [Gospel of John 8:31-59] This freedom is totally different than human freedom. Human freedom is only, a physical freedom. The freedom that Jesus Christ brings is a spiritual, all encompassing freedom:

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

Freedom from sin is the all encompassing total freedom

Disobedience to the Triune God was never intended by divine design. However, the greatest gift (besides that of the Lord Christ and the Divine revelation- the Scriptures), was, and is, free will. [It is sometimes called “free moral agency”] That gift of God was abused in the very beginning [Genesis 3:1f]. Consequently, the inherited results of sin flowed from generation to generation. [Psalm 56:3 ; Romans 5:12] That is why our world experiences disease, death and disorder. Genesis 3:16-19 ; Romans 5:12-14 ; 1 Cor. 15:21

Freedom from sin can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Since we are all sinners by birth [nature] and practice, we can never meet the perfection standard to be absolved of our imperfections. Hence, we are totally estranged from our Creator God, headed for a just punishment in hell for our sins against holy God and our fellowman. That, in a nutshell, is the sinner’s present condition, dilemma and future destination damnation tragedy fate. The Scriptures teach that we are “dead” in our sins [Ephesians 2:1] and cannot help ourselves. Can a dead man cause himself to rise again?

Our freedom from sin and the corrupted conscience which naturally follows, can only be “found” by way of God’s grace [unmerited favor] through genuine faith in Christ, as Savior. The Triune God provided a rescue for sinners so that we can be forgiven and cleansed from our sinful daily disobedience against God’s commandments and wrongs against our fellowman. Only in the perfect life, and sacrificial death (and resurrection) of the promised Messiah, Christ, can we be free – totally, eternally, sin free. As the Scripture states:" - If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." - John 8:36

Please reference John 3:1-21 - and, see how this freedom is brought about! It is a freedom that cannot be manufactured and earned by ourselves. This freedom / forgiveness of sins - "salvation" is totally an act of God the Holy Spirit.

Please also note the precious and informative words of the great Christian Reformer in his explanation to the words of the Apostle's Creed and especially the explanation to the 3rd Article of the Apostles' Creed:

A Concise Explanation of the Apostle's Creed

CREATION:

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?

I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, [bodily parts] and still preserves them; also clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and home,wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life; that He defends me against all danger, and guards and protects me from all evil; and all this purely out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which it is my duty to thank and praise, to serve and obey Him.

This is most certainly true.
______________________________

REDEMPTION:

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, [Spirit] born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick [living] and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned crature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.
_____________________________

SANCTIFICATION:

I believe in the Holy Ghost; [Spirit] the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ , my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost [Spirit] has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all sins to me and all believers, and will at the Last Day raise up me and all the dead, and give unto me and all believers in Christ eternal life.

This is most certainly true.

[Dr. Martin Luther [b. 1483; d. 1546]

May those of you hearing and / or, reading this message, have the ears to hear. May you by faith, embrace the Savior, Christ. May you place your faith in Him to rescue you from your sin bondage. May you believe the divine revelation that, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." [Gospel of John 3:14-21] Then, when you truly believe in Christ, will you find the most important freedom – a liberating and lasting freedom for your priceless soul.

Amen.

Above Message and Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:

Related Scriptures To the Message Above

Genesis 3:1f-- Free will exercised to plummet mankind into sin
John 8:31-59 -- Freedom in Christ Jesus

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

Please note: Topical Messages, by subject

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan
Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3
2 -- How the saving (believing) process of the Christian Faith takes place
3 -- What are the tell-tale signs that a person has been “Saved” [is a Christian]

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cheap Grace is a Worthless Substitute for a Faith That Saves


The Scripture says:  "For by grace ye are saved
through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is
a gift of God; not of works; lest any man should
boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9
Definition of "Grace:" The Triune God's undeserved [unmerited] mercy and kindness, as in: John 3:16 ; Ephesians 2:1-9 ; Titus 2:11-14 ; Titus 3:5
________

The famous Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther, coined the phrase: “For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation.” I’ve always understood this to mean that without the forgiveness of a sinner’s sins against God, the Ten Commandments and against one’s fellowman, there could be no genuine joy in this life, or even a heaven to come.

Since human beings are imperfect from birth until death and sinful to the core, there is no entrance for them into heaven’s hereafter. Why? Because God cannot and will not allow sinful souls to contaminate His holy heaven. Unless that contamination of sin is cleansed, no one can enjoy eternal pleasures forevermore.

The Triune God had created his creation perfect. But, as the divine revelation discloses [Genesis 3:1f] that human creation disobeyed God and has since been left with the devastating and eternal results of that disobedience to holy Almighty God. Since that time every human being born, carries with him the sin nature [Psalm 51:5] and that sin nature is past on to generation after generation. Romans 5:12

However, God in his love has provided a way to rescue the sinner from the banishment of an eternal life in holy heaven and the punishing torments of an eternal death in hell. That most notable Bible verse proclaims in a nutshell both God’s love to sinners and His demonstrated eternal love to them, by God sacrificing Himself for His creation:

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall have eternal life." John 3:16

The world is full of the fanaticism of those who
 distrust the divine authorship of Holy Scripture.
Their rank unbelief in God and the Savior Christ
 influence them to distrust their Creator as Eve
did, when tempted with the devilish deception,
 "....yea hath God said....?" [Genesis 3:1f] Please
note this website's topical message on guidelines
on interpreting the Bible.
Now that’s just one verse [John 3:16] of the divine revelation. In order to understand the mind of God one must avail himself of all of Scripture; reading and understanding it in its context, comparing Scripture with Scripture.

The Bible consists of both Old and New Testaments. Its totality is God’s Word of both Law and Gospel (the “wide” sense). In its “narrow sense” we refer to God’s Word as “The Gospel.” That John 3:16 verse which I just mentioned, is Gospel – God’s Word in the “narrow sense.” But with the several verses following John 3:16, we are introduced to a combination statement of God’s good news (Gospel) with a pronouncement of God’s Law. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to read Scripture in the context of itself – to achieve the full intent and meaning of the divine revelation:

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." - KJV - John 3:17-21 – NKJV

The Triune God has paved the forgiveness and heavenly way (for Christ's sake) for sinful souls, by Christ's sacrifice for human sin. But, just because there is (for instance) the clear presence of a cookie jar; that, by no means portends the contents of that jar, to be cookies. 

God, through Christ accomplished his sin cleansing work; but sinful souls must apprehend that forgiveness of sins (for Christ's sake) in the person and work of Christ, by faith. That faith can only come by God's precious and eternal means - His divine written revelation. [Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:17 ; 2 Timothy 3:14-17. Note also:

Article IV on "Justification" of the "Apology of the Augsburg Confession" states:

".....forgiveness of sins is the same as justification according to Psalm 32:1, 'Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven.'  We obtain the forgiveness of sins only by faith in Christ, not through love, or because of love or works, though love does follow faith. Therefore we are justified by faith alone, justification being understood as making an unrighteous man righteous or effecting his regeneration......" - Tappert; CPH; 1989 - [AAC Article IV. Justification; 76-78]


German Christian Pastor, Detrich
Bonhoeffer, was executed by WWII
Hitler's military for opposing the
Nazi regime which perpetrated
 one of history's worst massacre
scourges and crimes against
 humanity. 
What is “Cheap Grace?”

The description, “Cheap Grace” has often been attributed to the controversial, Christian, pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German born WWII casualty. He is best known for his book, " The Cost of Discipleship" (1937) and his resistance to Nazi Germany. Hence, he was executed by Hitler shortly before the war ended.

I suppose that Bonhoeffer’s phrase “Cheap grace” could be summed up by something that he said when describing Christian discipleship. He stated [paraphrase]: “He who believes, obeys; and he who obeys, believes.” In Bonhoeffer’s view, a Christian couldn't be a genuine Christian by [only] intellectually subscribing to the teachings of Christianity as found in the divine revelation of Scripture. One had to evidence such belief and subscription.

Modern Christianity is rife with a “subscription” which confuses Christ's all encompassing sacrifice for sin with blanket absolution which is (then) capriciously translated into universal forgiveness and justification for all, thus eliminating the Holy Spirit’s work and activity of creating individual personal faith in the individual (soul), which [faith] then justifies. ["Justifies" - God's forgiveness] Remember what was said previous – the Martin Luther description of “salvation?” - “Where there is forgiveness of sins there is life and salvation.”

Those who confuse the grace of God upon the sinner and God the Holy Spirit’s activity of bringing the sinner to saving faith, would, and do eliminate the Holy Spirit, personal faith and belief. They, instead trumpet salvation (the saving of the individual’s soul from sin and eternal damnation) solely to the act of Christ dying on the Cross for human sin. Sometimes they will mention "faith in Christ," but, more or less, as a type of vestigial [after thought] appendage.

Here, [following] is how one Christian put it:

"That is what the UOJ [universal objective justification] preacher is saying. However, the Law condemns and says you are guilty and deserve to die as penalty for your sins. The Gospel says Jesus paid for your sins, The Law demands death, the Gospel says yes, death has been paid for. This is totally different from the UOJ Gospel, for them the Gospel skips the payment aspect and jumps over to forgiveness, skipping past what actually the Law demands - payment. In short, for them the Gospel is - God has already forgiven you.

The Universalists confuse what Christ did on the
Cross with what God the Holy Spirit does within

the sinful heart of the unbelieving soul. After
all, the Scripture does say of those who have
become Christian believers: "For you are all the
sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus."
[Galatians 3:26]  Universalists' false teaching
diminishes and / or ignores the all important 

"aspect" [quality] of "faith" and its initiating and
sustaining "agent," - God, the Holy Spirit.
It is not Jesus died for you, rather it is God has already forgiven you. So in UOJ, [universal objective justification] faith is not trust but mere assent to historical fact which they alleged to have already occurred, the blanket forgiveness of all sins without regard to faith. It is then the faith of the devil.

Just like Calvinism, they collapse the atonement for sins and justification or forgiveness of sins as one single event."

Answering the same person on his website, "LPC" also states:

"It is Jesus who says only those who believe will be saved, hence forgiven. In your case even those who do not believe are already forgiven and thus saved since faith had nothing to do with it (so you think),......Your mistake is that though Christ merited righteousness for all men, you think thereby, that automatically implies that this righteousness has already been transferred to all men without regard to faith......" -
LPC - "Extra Nos" - "It's Outside Us" - extranos.blogspot.com/2012/06/

In short, cheap grace is a cheap (worthless) substitute for a faith that saves. Cheap grace is often proclaimed in Christian churches. It is a worthless substitute for the sinner’s responsibility to believe Christ and to live out that God-given Holy Spirit generated faith. I will give you an example, as I have the privilege as an emeritus Christian pastor to sit and listen in the church pew.

I quote from an online comment I registered on the “Extra Nos” website and also the "Ichabodthegloryhasdeparted" websites. [This emeritus pastor's recent experience listening to a Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod pastor's sermon]:

Quoted posted online comment of mine "Extra Nos"  with the one typo word, "preserving," rather than the correct word of "persevering" - 5th last line of the quote :

I think that I heard an interesting twist of UOJ (universal objective justification) in church on Holy Trinity Sunday. The pastor was preaching from Romans 8:14-17 and doing a wonderful job directing his sermon to the parochial school, high school and other graduates.

As is his mode, he initially launches his sermon with an illustration and carries that illustration theme to the bitter end. This time he launched his sermon with a Shakespearean portion - Romeo's soliloquy about how a name does not define a person. Then spoke how it actually does. He then continued by saying that as a Christian, God's Name is stamped upon a person beginning with Christian Baptism. Hence, what God did and does, indeed defines us. [You get the picture]

Pic of St. Paul iminent execution. He did not believe
or preach "cheap grace." He was not a Universalist who
fomented the false doctrine of "universal objective
justification." For St. Paul, living the Christian life, was a
life of living that God-gifted faith. He expressed that living
and active faith shortly before he died, when he penned the
the [Holy spirit authored] words of Scripture: "I have fought
 a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the
faith......" - 2 Timothy 4:7
This particular Sunday I was listening with rapt attention because for the first time (that I can remember) unless I've been otherwise dozing, [and, I think not] he spoke at some concerted length about the Holy Spirit and His work in the individual. I was very pleased as he seemed to be headed in the right doctrinal direction. But, then, (sadly) to my disappointment, he ended his sermon by encouraging the graduates to remember who they are.

Now, that would have been okay to say, but not to immediately stop at that point. I don't remember the Scripture saying:

"....be thou in remembrance of who you are, unto death and I will give you a crown of life."

No, - not at all. The Scripture does (though) read: "......be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." - Revelation 2:10b

Also, I don't recall Scripture's words penned (under inspiration) by the Apostle Paul, saying:

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have remembered who I am."

No, - instead the Scripture reads:

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith......" - 2 Timothy 4:7

The pastor [he is young and about 10 years out of the seminary] got all the way to the end of his sermon and stopped short. He blew it! He didn't go "full circle!" He left the graduates, essentially with cheap grace. No mention of the necessity of them preserving in the faith until the end. No mention of personal belief and faith. No mention of justification by faith alone. [Romans 5:2 - AAC; Article IV. Justification; 81]

Needless to say, I was highly disappointed. And, this is (just) one church and one pastor. Lord only knows how many more, Sunday after Sunday! Martin Luther's body must have no rest, constantly turning over in his grave.........


Scores of "Christian" church bodies have
succumbed to the false teaching and preaching
of "cheap grace universalism." Even church bodies
which once taught "grace through faith," and
Luther's re-discovered Scriptural teaching of
"justification by faith alone," have fallen for the
damning cheap grace, universalistic error. These
mainline "Christian" denominations include, but
are not limited to, the ELCA, LCMS, WELS, ELS
Lutheran church bodies. 
Friend, do you not see and recognize the false teaching of cheap grace at the Biblical expense of a genuine faith which makes one right with God?

The continued teaching and preaching of cheap grace in “Christian” churches, Sunday after Sunday and year after year, dulls the spiritual senses of the hearers. Essentially, this false teaching (often called UOJ – universal objective justification) says that God’s forgiveness was all poured out some 2,000 years ago when Christ was crucified for human sin. This cheap grace false and destructive teaching, further says, because of Christ's all encompassing sacrifice, that all humanity was absolved by Almighty holy God who sent His Son for such this purpose. Cheap grace advocate enthusiasts go on to assert that this blanket absolution is a blanket forgiveness for all! But, such is not what the Scriptures tell us!

Here, [following] is what the divine Scripture revelation tells us. Note that I quote from the KJV translation,- although the highlighted Scripture itself at the end of the verse is the NKJV version:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:8;9;10

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." - Hebrews 11:6

"For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." - Hebrews 4:2

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;...." - Hebrews 12:2

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).... - Hebrews 10:23

"Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." - Hebrews 10:38

"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." - Heb 3:12

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) ...." - Hebrews 10:23

Please also reference for further understanding:
The Filth of Cheap Grace
Pic of an interesting book cover.
It's author (as the book's title
implies) did not believe that
Christian churches were the
guarantee of life eternal. In fact
Montgomery was passed up by
the Universalist LCMS and ELS
Lutheran church bodies in 
favor of a former Lutheran who
no longer suscribed to "grace
through faith" [Ephesians 2:8-9]
and also Scripture's teaching of
 "justification by faith alone."


Cheap grace will discard the supreme importance of God-given and sustained faith. Cheap grace will diminish the act of believing in the individual sinner. Cheap grace will (in effect) ignore and “kick to the curb,” God, the Holy Spirit who makes it all possible for the individual to possess saving faith, belief and putting his personal trust in Christ, for the forgiveness of all of his sins!

Christian Friend and Fellow Sinner

If you find yourself in “Christian” circles in which cheap grace is preached and taught, I cannot recommend for you an easy solution. [I, myself, find myself in this situation] I don’t know your individual situation and circumstance. You might belong to such a church congregation which have your grandchildren enrolled in its Christian school. And, so, you are reluctant to leave for their sake, since the school seems to be a (comparatively) better choice than the godless public school industry [system]. But, I do know that if you remain silent and not hold forth with the truth of God’s written divine revelation as found in the Scriptures, you may very well, eventually be seduced to succumb to this destructive damning doctrine of [Universalism] cheap grace!

This preaching and teaching of false grace is essentially a form of “antinomianism,” which is a denial of God’s Law – a great portion of the whole of Scripture, - the Gospel in the "wide" sense as previously explained. It is no small wonder why there are so many “Christians” in Christian churches who possess no passionate luster and conviction of discipleship belief! It is no small wonder that these same professing Christians will allow themselves to be pressured and pushed into the culture’s mold and fall to the secular humanist sword of political correctness. [Romans 12:1-2] It is no small wonder that these same hapless souls will goose step to their union boss dictates and vote at the public ballot box for those politicians who [they think] will only benefit their filthy pocketbooks. The Gospel in its wide sense {Gospel and Law} becomes impervious and inconsequential to them. They thus ignore the curbs and guidelines of that greater Gospel. 

This message has been one of my longest. And, I still feel that I am cutting it short. But, condensing such an important subject does injustice to its vast importance; and, to those whom the Holy Spirit may lead to read and hear it.

May you sinner friend and Christian alike, be only motivated by the divine revelation! May you continually expose yourself to it and to teachers and preachers who faithfully proclaim it. That divine revelation from the Holy Scriptures is the Word of God, which God the Holy Spirit utilizes to create and sustain saving faith. That same Word of God is contained in Christian Baptism and Christ’s Communion of bread, wine, body and blood. God be gracious to you that you come in faith to partake of His [only] best! May you expose yourself to the divine revelation which is the Lord's principle means to create in you the faith to believe!  - Romans 10:17 ; 2 Timothy 3:14-17 ; Acts 2:38 ; Acts 8:26-39 ; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:14

Finally - and, for those of you whose sins haunt you and you don’t have a “spiritual clue,” you need to repent of your sins, believe and be baptized. [Mark 16:16 ; Luke 19:1-10 ; Acts 2:38 ; Acts 8:26-39] May God the Holy Spirit move you to do so!

Amen.


Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins 


Related Scriptures to the Above Message

Psalm 1:1f ;
Psalm 55:1-11 ;
John 3:1-21 ;
Matthew 7:13-21

Luke 15 Cannot be a Favorite Chapter for the Cheap Grace (AKA, "Universal Objective Justification") Crowd:


The artist's excellent pic of Christ's Parable of "The Lost Son and the Loving
Father." [Luke 15:11-32] The Bible relates that the prodigal son repented of
his sin. He "came to himself," acknowledging his sin. He then acted upon
that resolve, confessing:  "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy
sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." [KJV] Please note this
website's topical message:  "God is not your heavenly father unless you are

one of his children." 

This Gospel of Luke 15:1f, is a testament to the error of cheap grace (which I believe) includes the whole "universal objective justification" teaching. The lost (prodigal) son was not forgiven (justified) until he became repentant. His act of coming to his [spiritual] senses was a gracious act of God.

In the Parable of the Lost Coin, [Luke 15:8-10] the coin did not find itself. Neither did the prodigal son, "find himself." UOJ (universal objective justification) teachers and preachers gloss over the Biblical teaching of repentance on the sinner's part [Luke 15:7] and most often slight and / or ignore the Holy Spirit who works His saving process from start to finish in the individual, so that that person can exercise saving faith. - John 3:1-21 ; Titus 3:5 ; Ephesians 2:8-10 ; John 1:12;13 ; 1 Corinthians 2:12 ; 1 Corinthians 6:11 ; 1 John 5:1

See also:

John 1:12-13 ; James 1:18 ; Matthew 16:17 ; Ephesians 2:4-5 ; Ephesians 2:8-10 ; 1 Peter 1:3 ; 1 Peter 1:23 ; Colossians 1:20-21 ; John 3:5-8 ; John 6:65 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 ; Romans 8:29-31 ; Romans 9:15-18 ; Titus 3:3-7 ; Philippians 2:13 ; 1 John 5:4 ; 1 Peter 1:5 ; Hebrews 2:3

_____________________


Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
http://www.thechristianmessage.org/

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3

1 -- What is meant by “Believing” and / or, being, “Saved?”

Saturday, June 16, 2012

“A Father of the fatherless” - Psalm 68:5-6

"A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, i

s God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; he brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land." Psalm 68:5;6

Please note:

This following short topical (sermon) message only applies to Christians, as those who are believers, automatically possess the Triune God, as their Heavenly Father. Consequently, those who are "unregenerate" and, unbelieving, are "children of wrath" [Ephesians 2:1-10] As the Scripture says: ".....God is angry with the wicked every day." [Psalm 7:11] See also, Psalm 9:17. Please access the following message for further understanding:

"God is not your heavenly father unless you are one of His children"

This year (again), “Father’s Day” will be celebrated in US Christian churches. Preached from pulpits will be familiar and similar messages about the Scriptural and societal importance of fathers to their families. However, few sermon messages will [ever] focus on how the Triune God is father to those believing souls who never experienced any temporal (earthly) father’s physical presence and love, or to those whose fatherly presence and influence was abruptly cut short by either desertion, divorce or death.

The Old Testament Hebrew Scripture speaks of God as being "a father of the fatherless:"

“A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.” Psalm 68:5

But even when Christian believers who are fatherless are not befriended and loved by Christian believers, the God who uttered this Biblical promise will fulfill it to his believing children. Those fatherless disciples of Christ, who believe God’s promises, will reap His spiritual presence and help – and also, benefit with temporal (earthly) blessings. God does not lie. His promises are “gold” to those who believe! When God says that He will be a “father of the fatherless,” He intends to take the place of one’s earthly father and protect His own dear children.

[Please take note of the Scriptural references following this short topical message].

This Christian emeritus pastor has witnessed (in his lifetime) the fulfilled promise of God when He says:

“God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity…….” Psalm 68:6

Allow me to give you a “for instance.” Many of those who have lost their fathers at an early age (or, before they were even born) are blest to know and experience the love and care of their grandfathers. Those (of those fatherless circumstances) who marry, come into families where they receive many blessings, among whom are, fathers-in-laws.

Certainly, nothing can diminish the ("almost") devestating emotional feelings of loss which a child [son or daughter] experiences, knowing that he (or she) will never know and experience the love and parental care of a deceased father. But, as our Heavenly Father, the Lord will not abandon His believing children. He notes their tears of sorrow [Psalm 56:8] and He continues to be the all (even more) important, heavenly (spiritual)father, of which relationship, is the most cherished relationship that a person can ever experience.

To those of you children of God, who are fatherless, – those of you who have experienced the recent or past loss of their young or elderly fathers – do not curse, but count your blessings! Cherish the precious and priceless experience of being the Heavenly Father’s own dear child. And, practice what the Scripture states:

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Know that for a physical and spiritual reality, your Heavenly Father will not abandon you:

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Romans 8:32

Note also: Romans 4:7-8 ; Romans 5:1 ; Romans 4:7-8 ; Philippians 3:8-9

Amen.

What God ordains is always good.
He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm,
Though many storms may gather.
Now I may know Both joy and woe,
Some day I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.

[The above hymn verse -- from "What God Ordains is Always Best," by Samuel Rodigast, 1649-1708]

Note: For all the verses to this hymn,
click here

Also, note:
"Ethel Waters - Eyes On The Sparrow" - utube.com

Children of the Heavenly Father - "Shortly before writing this hymn, Sandell and her father were on a boat trip, when he fell overboard and drowned before her eyes. It is thought this tragedy gave birth to the lyrics - cyberhymnal.org/

Please note: The musical tune of "Children of the Heavenly Father" - Scroll down andClick on "Play Song - Snippet"

Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:

The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins


Psalm 68:5 - Principle verse - God, the "father" to the fatherless

Psalm 10:14 - God, "the helper of the fatherless"

Psalm 10:17-18 - God judges the fatherless and the oppressed to the extent that they are no more, oppressed.

Also note: Psalm 72:4 ; Psalm 82:3 ; Psalm 94:1-6 ; Psalm. 82:3-4 ; Deut. 10:18

Psalm 146:9 - God's relief to the fatherless

Job 31:16-17 - The godly principle for God's people to befriend the fatherless.

Note also: Job 29:12-13

Luke 11:13 - Christ's teaching on the heavenly father's lavish gifts to those of His children who ask of Him

Psalm 84:11 - God's gifts of grace and glory - good things to them who walk uprightly.

Luke 11:13 - God's gift of the Holy Spirit

2 Corinthians 9:8-15 - God's gift of "making 'all grace' to abound"

Psalm 146:9 - God's relief to the fatherless

Job 31:16-17 - The godly principle for God's people to befriend the fatherless.

Also note: Job 29:12-13 ; James 1:27

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

Please note: Topical Messages, by subject

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
http://www.thechristianmessage.org/

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3

1 -- What is meant by “Believing” and / or, being, “Saved?”

Note: This message (now updated with editing and new material) was previously posted on "The Christian Message" website.