The ABCs of Christianity

Admit, Believe, Consider, Do…the ABCD’s of Christianity.

A

There is something to Admit

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23

Christians are people who admit that they are weaker, guiltier, and more sinful than they would have ever dared admit.

By nature and by choice we are not in a relationship with God — even though it is for such a relationship that we were created.

And that at the root our lives are self-centered rather than God-Centered, and that we are helpless to break this pattern without the power of God.

B

There is something to Believe

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

Christians are people who believe that God loves us so much that he sent his only Son to earth to become a man, Jesus Christ, and that Jesus died on the cross as our substitute and was raised from the dead in order to offer us complete forgiveness.

Through Christ, we are more loved, valued and accepted by God than we would have ever dared imagine.

C

There is something to Consider

“Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” – 2 Tim 3:12

Christians are people who are not naïve, but who have counted the cost of following Jesus.

Being a Christian involves acknowledging Jesus’ authority and lordship in every area of life, welcoming his work to change us from the inside out, and rejoicing to spend time with him and with his followers in the life of the church.

D

There is something to Do

“The man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” – Romans 4:5

Christians are people who have received Christ as Savior and Lord by self-consciously turning from sin, self-centeredness, and self-righteousness (the Bible calls this “repentance“) and trusting in Jesus alone for forgiveness and acceptance by God (the Bible calls this “trusting faith”).

– Jules Grisham

Christianity 101: Heirs of God

“And if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:17)

How we become heirs of God

“And if children, then heirs…”

We aren’t heirs because:

1) We are simply God’s creation – Our text doesn’t say “if creatures, then heirs.”

2) Of our heritage -“For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children.” (Rom. 9:6-7)

3) Of our service – “‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matt 7:22-23)

4) Of our ceremonial observances – “He is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised” (Rom. 4:11)

We become heirs of God when we trust Christ for our salvation. Christ sacrifice on the cross brings us forgiveness of sin and adoption into the family of God. – “God sent his Son to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Gal. 4:4)

If we are heirs we have:

1) Believed on Jesus – “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

2) Been born again – “Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.'” (John 3:3)

3) Received the spirit of adoption – “God sent his Son to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. You are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” (Gal. 4:4-5,7)

4) Been renewed in the image of God – “You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Col. 3:9-10)

What We Inherit

“heirs of God…”

Our inheritance qualifies us to be:

1) Heirs of all things – “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Rev. 21:7)

2) Heirs of salvation – “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14)

3) Heirs of eternal life – “Being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:7)

4) Heirs of promise – “When God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath.” (Heb. 6:17)

5) Heirs of the grace of life – “They are heirs with you of the grace of life.” (1 Pet. 3:7)

6) Heirs of righteousness – “By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Heb. 11:7)

7) Heirs of the kingdom – “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” (James 2:5)

Joint Heirs With Christ

“fellow heirs with Christ…”

1) We are only heirs if we are heirs with Christ, through Christ, and in Christ – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

2) This shows the greatness of the inheritance — it is worthy of Jesus.

3) This guarantees it for us. Jesus will not lose it. His title deed and ours are one and indivisible. His taking us into union with himself secures our inheritance – “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:39)

4) This reveals his love for us. That he would become a partner with us in all things is love unbounded. (1 John 3:1)

5) His prayer for us attains it – “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” (John 17:20)

6) His going into heaven before us prepares it – “I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

7) His coming again will bring us the full enjoyment of it – “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3)

8) This joint heirship binds us to Jesus, since we are nothing and have nothing apart from him – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 14:5)

Let us joyfully accept present suffering with Christ, for it is part of the heritage. Let us believe in the glorification which is sure to follow in due time, and let us anticipate it with great rejoicing.

– Charles Spurgeon

An Overview Of The Bible

The Bible is one book. Seven great marks attest this unity.

1) From Genesis the Bible bears witness to one God. Wherever he speaks or acts he is consistent with himself, and with the total revelation concerning him.

2) The Bible forms one continuous story — the story of how humanity relates to God.

3) The Bible makes the most unlikely predictions concerning the future, and, when the centuries have brought round the appointed time, records their fulfillment.

4) The Bible is a progressive unfolding of truth. Nothing is told all at once. The law is, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn.” Without the possibility of collusion, often with centuries between, one writer of Scripture takes up an earlier revelation, adds to it, lays down the pen, and in due time another man moved by the Holy Spirit, and another, and another, add new details till the whole is complete.

5) From beginning to end the Bible testifies to one redemption.

6) From beginning to end the Bible has one great theme — the person and work of the Christ.

7) And, finally, these writers, some forty-four in number, writing through twenty centuries, have produced a perfect harmony of doctrine in progressive unfolding. This is, to every candid mind, the unanswerable proof of the divine inspiration of the Bible.

The Bible is a book of books. Sixty-six books make up the one Book.

Speaking broadly there are five great divisions in the Scriptures, Christ being the one theme (Luke 24:25-27).

1) Preparation For Christ — The Old Testament

2) Appearance Of Christ — The Gospels

3) Preaching Of Christ — Acts

4) Explaining Christ’s Works — The Epistles

5) Christ Judging The World — Revelation

In other words, the Old Testament is the preparation for Christ. In the Gospels he is manifested to the world. In the Acts his preached. In the Epistles his Gospel is explained. And in Revelation all the purposes of God in and through Christ are consummated.

And these groups of books fall into sub-groups. This is especially true of the Old Testament, where there are four well defined groups:

REDEMPTION:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

ORGANIZATION
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1,2 Samuel, 1,2 Kings, 1,2 Chronicles, Ezra,
Nehemiah, Esther

POETRY
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

SERMONS
Lamentations, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zehpaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Genesis is the book of beginnings, and explains the origin of Israel. Exodus tells the story of the deliverance of Israel; Leviticus of the worship of Israel as delivered people; Numbers the wanderings and failures of the delivered people, and Deuteronomy warns and instructs that people in view of their approaching entrance upon their inheritance.

The Poetical books record the spiritual experiences of the redeemed people in the varied scenes and events through which the providence of God led them.

The prophets were inspired preachers, and the prophetical books consist of sermons with brief connecting and explanatory passages. Two prophetical books, Ezekiel and Daniel, have a different character and are apocalyptic, largely.

The Bible tells the Human Story.

Beginning with the creation of the earth and man, the story of the first human pair continues through the first eleven chapters of Genesis.

With the twelfth chapter begins the history of Abraham and of the nation of which Abraham was the ancestor. It is that nation, Israel, with which the Bible narrative is mainly concerned with from the eleventh chapter of Genesis to the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.

The Gentiles are mentioned, but only in connection with Israel. But it is made increasingly clear that Israel fills the scene only because they are entrusted with the accomplishment of great world-wide purposes (Deuteronomy 7:7). The appointed mission of Israel was:

1) To be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of idolatry (Deuteronomy 6:5; Isaiah 43:10)

2) To illustrate to the nations the greater blessedness of serving the one true God (Deuteronomy 33:26-29; 1 Chronicles 17:20,21; Psalms 102:15

3) To receive and preserve the Divine revelation (Romans 3:1,2)

4) To produce the Messiah, earth’s Savior and Lord (Romans 9:4). The prophets foretell a glorious future for Israel under the reign of Christ.

The Central Theme of the Bible is Christ.

It is Jesus Christ — “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16) — his sacrificial death, and his resurrection, which makes up the Gospel. All earlier Scripture points forward to Him leads, while all following Scripture points back to Him.

The Gospel is preached in the Acts and explained in the Epistles. Christ, Son of God, Son of man, Son of Abraham, Son of David, thus binds the many books into one Book.

Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) he is the ultimate destroyer of Satan and his works; Seed of Abraham he is the world’s Blesser; Seed of David he is Israel’s King. “Desire of all Nations.”

Exalted to the right hand of God he is “head over all to the Church, which is his body.”

Meanwhile the Church looks for the fulfillment of his special promise: “I will come again and receive you unto myself” (John 14:1-3).

Christianity 101: Baptism of the Holy Spirit

I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Luke 3:16

Baptism of the Holy Spirit involves the Holy Spirit doing at least three things:

1) Applying salvation to the believer
2) Giving the believer gifts that are to be used to serve others
3) Bringing the believer into the family of God

1) Applying salvation to the believer

When we come to Christ for forgiveness the Holy Spirit “credits” His sacrifice to our account. This means that when God looks upon us He sees Christ’s perfection and not our imperfection.

We find the Holy Spirit applying salvation to the believer in 1 Corinthians 6:11:

You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

And again in Ephesians 1:13-14:

You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance.

2) Giving the believer gifts

Baptism of the Holy Spirit also involves giving spiritual gifts to the believer which are to be used to serve one another. We find this in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

3) Bringing the believer into the family of God

Finally Baptism of the Holy Spirit involves being brought into the family of God. We find this in 1 Cor 12:13:

By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

The Gospel of John: Christ is God

In this study we’re going to wrap up our series on how Old Testament messianic themes are presented in the Gospels.

We began with the Gospel of Matthew, which presents Christ as King. Then we looked at the Gospel of Mark, which presents Christ as the Suffering Servant. Next, we looked at the Gospel of Luke, which presents Christ as Perfect Man. In this study we’ll finish up by looking at the Gospel of John, which presents Christ as God.

Christ, the Devine Messiah

The Old Testament makes it very clear that it’s God alone who saves us from the judgment of sin. He is the only Savior. “I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior,” God tells us in Isaiah 43:11. And again in Isaiah 63:16, “You, O LORD, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.”

Likewise, the Messiah is described as an eternal being in Micah 5:2. He comes to His temple in Malachi 3:1, and is sent by the Father and Holy Spirit in Isaiah 48:12,16-17. He is called the Mighty God in Isaiah 9:6.

This is the Divine Messiah presented in the Gospel of John.

John calls Jesus “The Word” and tells us the Word is God in John 1:1. He is the creator of all things in John 1:3.

In John 5 Jesus is almost killed for declaring Himself equal with God in verse 18. He claims to see God and is shown all things by Him in verses 19-20. He claims to be the final judge of all in verse 22.

Jesus commands that all honor the Son just as they honor the Father in verse 23. He claims He’ll one day raise the dead in verse 25 and claims His will is identical to the Father’s in verse 30.

Chapter 10 finds Jesus nearly stoned again claiming to be God. In chapter 19 He is crucified because He claimed to be the Son of God. But in chapter 20 Jesus’ tomb is empty because He is God and death cannot contain Him!

The Gospel of Luke: Christ is Perfect Man

We’re in the middle of a series on how Old Testament messianic themes are presented in the Gospels. If you’re just joining us you can read part one – The Gospel of Matthew: Christ is King here and part two – The Gospel of Mark: Christ Suffers and Serves here.

In this study we’re going to look at the messianic theme of a perfect human Messiah and how that theme is presented in Luke. Then, in our last study in this series, we’ll explore the theme of a divine Messiah, presented in John.

Christ, the Perfect Messiah

In the Old Testament we find that the Messiah is not punished for His transgressions and iniquities but ours in Isaiah 53:2. He is innocent, not committing any violence nor speaking any deceit in Isaiah 53:9.

He is referred to as “The Holy One of Israel” in Isaiah 48:17 and called “The Lord Our Righteousness” in Jeremiah 23:5-6. He is equal with God, and sits at His right hand in Psalm 110:1

This is the Perfect Man presented in the Gospel of Luke.

Luke presents Jesus as Perfect Man — although he’s careful to also present Him as God (Luke 1:32). He traces Jesus’ genealogy back to Adam, tells us the most about His mother, infancy, and childhood. Luke highlights Jesus’ love of people and social outcasts.

Twenty four times Luke refers to Jesus as the Son of man — a title which speaks of His relationship with humanity. Because He is the Son of Man He is able to be mankind’s kinsmen redeemer.

A kinsmen redeemer was a close relative who would buy back something a relative had sold because of debt. Man, in a sense, sold his salvation to pay the sin debt he owed.

By becoming a Man, and living a perfect life, Christ was qualified to become our kinsmen redeemer and buy us back from sin.

“The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

Next: The Gospel of John: Christ is God

The Gospel of Mark: Christ Suffers & Serves

In our last post we talked about how the Gospel of Matthew presents Christ as King. In this study we’re going to look at the messianic theme of suffering and serving and how this theme is presented in the Gospel of Mark.

As we mentioned last time, we aren’t saying that one Gospel only presents one messianic theme; but just that each emphasizes one theme a bit more than others.

Christ, the Suffering Servant

Though a King, the Old Testament prophets said that the Messiah was going to be rejected. He’s despised, rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief and one who was to be despised in Isaiah 53:1-3. He is a sanctuary for some but a stone of stumbling for others in Isaiah 8:14.

The prophets also said the Messiah would be a sacrifice. He was to be cut off (or killed), but not for Himself, Daniel 9:26 tells us. He’s wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, His soul a sin offering, the Lord lays our sin on Him, and He makes intercession on our behalf in Isaiah 53.

This is the Suffering Servant presented to us in the Gospel of Mark.

The Gospel of Mark can be divided into two sections: The Service of Christ (Chapters 1-13), and the Sacrifice of Christ (Chapters 14-16).

Mark focuses more on what Jesus did rather than what He said. We find more miracles than parables. Three times in the first chapter alone we find Jesus healing people. Overall, Mark records nineteen miracles in only sixteen chapters.

Most of these miracles involve Jesus feeding the poor and healing the sick. “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,” Mark 10:45 tells us.

In chapter 11 we find Jesus willingly entering Jerusalem knowing He would be crucified there. Judas plots to betray Him and the Apostles forsake Him in chapter 14. Jesus is alone as He is tried, beaten and sent to the cross in chapters 15.

In chapter 16, after He’s resurrected, Jesus seeks out those who abandoned Him, restores their faith, and sends them out into the world to tell about the Suffering Servant Messiah who died for those He loved.

Next: The Gospel Of Luke; Christ is Perfect Man

The Gospel of Matthew: Christ is King

Old Testament prophecies presented in the Gospels

In the Old Testament we find many prophecies concerning a Messiah (or Savior) that would come to make peace with God on our behalf. As we explore these prophecies we find a few reoccurring themes.

For example, this Messiah is presented as a King, yet one who is familiar with sacrifice and suffering. He’s presented as a man, but also as divine.

When we get to the New Testament, we find these prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We also find that each Gospel highlights one of these Old Testament messianic themes. Matthew highlights Christ’s royalty, Mark highlights His suffering, Luke highlights His humanity and John highlights His divinity.

This isn’t to say that one Gospel only presents one theme; it just means that each emphasizes one theme a bit more than others.

So, with this in mind, we’re going to take a look at these Old Testament themes and how they’re presented in the Gospels. In this study we’ll start with the Gospel of Matthew.

Christ, the King

In the Old Testament, the Messiah is portrayed as a King, that’s why the ancient rabbis often referred to Him as “King Messiah”.

He’s the Star out of Jacob and the Scepter that rises out of Israel in Numbers 24:17. He is the One who sits on David’s throne in Isaiah 9:7. He comes with the clouds of heaven to reign over a kingdom where all people, nations, and languages, will serve Him in Daniel 7:13-14.

In His kingdom the nations will no longer lift up the sword against one another in Isaiah 2:4, and His reign, we’re promised, will have no end in Isaiah 9:6-7.

This is the King Messiah presented to us in the Gospel of Matthew.

Jesus Christ is the “Son of David, the Son of Abraham” in Matthew 1:1 and the “King of the Jews” who wise men seek to worship in Matthew 2:2. Forty times He speaks of the kingdom of heaven and says that the day would come when He would return in the clouds to establish His kingdom on earth in Matthew 26:64.

Jesus is asked directly, “Are you the King of the Jews?” to which He replies, “I am” in Matthew 27:11. This infuriated the religious leaders who demanded He be crucified. As He hung on the cross a sign was put over His head that read, “This Is Jesus, The King Of The Jews.”

In Matthew 28:6 Jesus proves He is also King over death by rising from the grave. In Matthew 28:19 He commands His followers to tell the world about the King who died for sin, forgives all who call on His name, and will return again.

Next: The Gospel of Mark: Christ Suffers and Serves

Angels and Demons

Their Creation and Nature

Angels have become very popular in recent years. You’ll find them featured in countless books, movies, artwork and television shows. The popularity of angels shows that our culture has a great interest in spiritual things. But the way angels are portrayed also shows us that our culture doesn’t have a good understanding of what the Bible says about them.

When someone has a spiritual curiosity or hunger, but isn’t grounded in Scripture, it can lead to that person being deceived and led away from God instead of towards Him.

Misunderstanding angels is one way people can be deceived. For example, I once came across a website that, for a fee, will send you a personalized email from an angel. For a more significant fee you can talk to an angel via Instant Messenger!

Obviously there are many people willing to take advantage of those who are searching and we must guard against this by knowing what the Bible says. The way to satisfy spiritual cravings is through Christ and His Word. Any other road will lead you down the wrong path.

Angels are spiritual beings created by God to serve Him (Ps 148:1-5; Col 1:16). Calvin described angels as “heavenly spirits, whose obedience and ministry God employs to execute all the purposes which he has decreed,” while the writer of Hebrews described them as “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.” (Heb 1:14)

There are countless numbers of angels (Dan 7:10; Heb 12:22), though they do not reproduce (Matt 22:30). It’s possible that Matthew 18:10 hints that there are at least as many angels as there are humans who have lived throughout history.

Exactly when they were created is unknown, but they were present during the creation of the world, and shouted for joy when they witnessed God’s creative power. (Job 38:6-7)

Like humans, angels are personalities who display intelligence, emotion and freewill. But while humans are both spiritual and material beings (Jam 2:26) angels are only spirit. (Heb 1:14) They sometimes appear in the glory of the Lord (Luke 2:9), sometimes as men (Heb 13:2; Mar 16:5), and sometimes appear as strange forms (Isa 6; Ezk 1).

Angels are limited beings and are not omniscient (2 Pet 2:11). They desire to learn more about the gospel (1 Pet 1:12) and rejoice when a sinner repents. (Lk 15:10)

Also like humans angels have freewill and can choose to either follow God or rebel against Him. And rebel is just what one angel named Lucifer and his followers did.

War In Heaven

Lucifer, whose name means “light bearer” or “morning star”, is not God’s equal. Like all beings, he is merely a creation of God and must submit to His sovereignty. (Ps 148:1-5; Col 1:16)

Lucifer held an exalted position in heaven. He may have been a cherub. (Ezk 28:14) Cherubs are high-ranking angels whose ministry involves, in some way, guarding the Lord’s holiness. This position would have allowed Lucifer to possibly be closer to God than any other creature.

But Lucifer wasn’t satisfied with simply being in the presence of God’s throne. He became filled with pride (1 Tim 3:6) and desired a throne of his own, one exalted above God’s. (Isa 14:13) He wanted to be like the Most High (Isa 14:14).

Lucifer wasn’t alone in his quest to be his own god. He convinced one-third of the heavenly host to join him in his rebellion. (Rev 12:4) But God is omniscient (1 Jn 3:20) and omnipotent (Rev 1:8) no being can oppose Him. Lucifer’s war was lost before it even began. His fate is sealed. (Gen 3:15; Rev 20:10)

We tend to think that people reject God because they don’t know Him like we know Him. That if only they could experience the love and fulfillment we have experienced then they would embrace Him too. But that isn’t always true. Lucifer and his followers lived every moment before God yet they choose to hide their faces from Him.

Be it angels or humans, it isn’t enough to simply have knowledge of who God is, we must also be willing to come to Him on His terms and call Him our Lord. (Jam 2:19; Rom 6:16)

And so Lucifer and his followers turned against God. Angels who remained loyal to the Lord were the holy or elect angels (Matt 25:31;1 Tim 5:21) while those who choose to follow Satan became known as demons. (Matt 12:24)

Lucifer, the morning star, had fallen. Satan, the adversary, was born.

The Work Of Christ, Angels And Demons

Satan took his war against God to a new battlefront – the heart of man. He tempted Adam and Eve to sin (Gen 3:1) which led to man being spiritually separated from God. (Rom 6:23)

God responded to this attack by promising to send a Seed who would restore that tarnished relationship and crush Satan (Gen 3:15). Jesus Christ, God the Son, was that Seed. At His death on the cross Christ defeated Satan. (Heb 2:14) Man’s relationship with God was restored and the countdown to Satan’s final judgment began. (John 4:16; Rev 20)

As Satan’s time runs short he and his demons increase their activity. (Rev 12:12) These activities involve opposing the plan of God (Dan 10:13) and leading people away from Christ. (1 Cor 10:20) They appeal to man’s spiritual desires by disguising themselves as “angels of light” (2 Cor 11:14), seducing many with wicked doctrine, (1 Tim 4:1) and drawing them into a form of godliness which has no power to save. (2 Tim 3:5)

Demons can sometimes afflict people with various physical conditions (Matt 9:33; Mark 5:2-16) though it’s important to note that Scripture distinguishes between natural and demonic illness (Matt 4:24; Mrk 1:32). They attempt to delay the answers to godly prayer (Dan 10:13) and draw nations into war (Rev 16:14).

Demons attempt to snare believers in sin (1 Tim 3:7). When they sin Satan acts as their accuser (Rev 12:10).

But where Satan accuses, Christ serves as the believers advocate (1 Jhn 2:1). Where demons reject God, the holy angels worship Him (Psa 148:2; Heb 1:6). Where demons oppose the Lord, the holy angels serve Him (Psa 103:20). Where demons draw men away from Christ the holy angels rejoice when a sinner repents (Lk 15:10).

Holy Angels announce and execute judgment on God’s command (Rev 14:6-7; Rev 16:1). They appear to be involved somehow in bringing answers to prayer requests (Dan 10:12; Acts 12:5-10), though as mere servants of God they are never to be prayed to or worshiped. To do so would be a terrible sin. (Col 2:18)

Holy angels observe our world, taking special interest in Christ’s work on the cross. (1 Pet 1:12) No doubt they were amazed to see the Lord step out of glory and into our fallen world. They must have marveled at the thought of He who knew no sin becoming sin on our behalf. (2 Cor 5:21) Every day they witness His grace in the lives of believers and it cause them to praise His holy name. It should cause us, the recipients of His grace, to do no less.

The Purpose of the Law

The Purpose Of The Law…

The purpose of the Law is to define sin, to reveal its nature; and that is why we are without any excuse at all. The law is in our hearts, but that’s not clear enough, so God made it explicit. He has defined it, He has underlined it, He has shown it plainly in the written Law.

The Law was given to pinpoint sin, to define it, to bring it out of its hiding-place and to show its exceeding sinful character. Nothing shows the exceeding sinfulness of sin as much as the Law itself does; and once a man has seen the real meaning of the Law he sees the sinfulness of his own nature.

What The Law Doesn’t Do…

The Law was never given to save people. The purpose of the Law is to show people that they can never save themselves.

Once a person has understood the Law, and its spiritual meaning and content, he knows that can’t keep it. What’s the summary of the Law? It is: “You shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength; and you shall love you neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

How We Are Saved…

Has anyone done that and kept the Law? No, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That’s what the Law says. It shows us our utter helplessness and hopelessness, and so it becomes “our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ,” (Galatians 3:24) the only One who, by the grace of God, can save us, and deliver us, and reconcile us to God, and make us safe for all eternity.

– Martyn-Lloyd Jones