The Salvation of a Sinner is the Work of God


New Life

If we believe what we profess because it is what the Bible teaches we must conclude that the salvation of sinners is by God alone.

The Bible describes the state of a man without God in several ways. One of those is that a man without God is Dead.

Spiritually Dead

(Colossians 2:13, Ephesians 2:1,5) Just as surely as a man’s body is dead without his spirit (James 2:26), a man’s spirit is dead without the infusion of the life of Jesus by the means of the Holy Spirit of God.

Although this death is spiritual, it is no less true than physical death. A dead man’s greatest need is not religion, not reform, not new dedication, not church membership, no, his greatest need is life!

A dead man is powerless to do anything, and furthest from the realm of possibility is that a dead man can give himself life. Only God can give life! Here is the great overlooked and under appreciated fact of the gospel, God makes dead sinners live!

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Spiritual life is beyond the scope of probability for a dead man, only a merciful and loving God can make us alive together with Christ! There is no spiritual life outside of Christ and every person who is not alive in Him is spiritually dead. He is dead to everything about God and unless God acts in mercy and love this dead sinner will only know God’s anger and fury against sin.

Just as certain as God called Lazarus to life from death he too calls spiritually dead sinners to a resurrected life in Jesus! Only God can do that.

…to be continued…

Royce


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Helping the Hurting…


This letter from Don Yelton, Director of WFR Relief lays out an urgent need for funds to help those in far away places who desperately need our help.

Dear Friends: Cyclone Ketsana has killed nearly 700 people and left tens of thousands homeless or living tempo-rarily on their rooftops in the Philippine Islands, where there are some 600 churches of Christ.
At almost the same time a huge Tsunami caused by a massive earthquake hit America Samoa, where there are two churches of Christ. So far, 200 deaths have been reported but none among church members. Help is urgently needed in both countries.

We have been in contact with local gospel preachers who have radio programs sponsored by our sister ministry, World Radio. In the city of Manila alone there are at least 20 congregations where many Christians and their neighbors are suffering. Two long time missionaries in the PhiIippines, Bob Buchannan and Ken Wilkey, are using their own working funds to get emergency aid to some of the most devastated Christians in their communities. Funds are urgently needed to provide food, water, and medical supplies, as well as temporary shelter when possible. Christians there are praying that God will rescue them. It is our hope to be part of the answer to their prayers.

At this writing, two major earthquakes have just struck Indonesia, and hundreds are dead. We are contacting missionaries to determine the needs and will put any information we find on our web site. We will work with them to help as God enables us to do so.

The recent flooding in Georgia has caused much damage and we have received requests for help from churches there. As much as we would like to help, our emergency reserve funds have been expended.

There is also a serious ongoing drought in Kenya, East Africa where funds to purchase food for hungry Christians are critically needed.

Our last letter to you to appeal for funds was over a year ago. We have, however, continued to receive many requests for help. We have been able to answer a few of these. But now our funds have been depleted, along with our emergency reserve fund. Right now we are faced with several urgent needs at the same time, and we are asking for your help.

 Your contribution may be designated for a specific need/area, or to the general fund of “2009 Storms and Disasters.” To send a contribution TODAY, and for current disaster reports, please go to our web site at http://wfrchurch.org/relief.

Checks may be sent to: White’s Ferry Rd. Church of Christ Relief Ministry 3201 N. 7th St., West Monroe, LA 71291, (ph. 318.396.6000)

 For over 30 years we have been blessed and amazed by your generous response to help your broth-ers and sisters around the world when their lives have been forever changed by a disaster. Please pray for them and for this ministry as we, with your help, provide them with the most basic needs of food, water, shelter and medical care. By doing this, we are able to give them the most precious gifts of all – the assurance that they are loved by God through His people and that there is indeed HOPE for the future. May God bless you. 

Don Don Yelton, Director WFR Relief Ministry                                                               
Email: donyelton@wfrchurch.org

“If you spend yourself on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light rises in the darkness and your night shines like the noonday.”
(Isaiah 58:10)

This letter is being mailed to about 10,000 churches of Christ and to many individual contributors. Please pray and consider supporting this worthy act of love.

for Jesus,
Royce

 

 

 

 

The United States of America – Still Blessed


flagIt  has become increasingly faddishto pontificate on the shortcomings of our great country. From the White House on down those who believe they alone hold the moral high ground and are so much smarter than the rest of of us, they have created a cabin industry of blaming America for everything imaginable. I cringe each time President Obama gives yet another “blame America first” talk while skillfully reading from a teleprompter. Fortunately the facts do not support the rants of socialist leaning pointy heads who think government is the answer to every question and America in the genesis of every world problem.

The hope and promise of America still is alive and well. Not only is it burning in the hearts of most Americans but people the world over still dream of being able to come to our shores to experience the opportunity of a better life and to share the freedoms that is our national birth right and history.

We, American citizens, are still the bravest, hardest working people on planet earth. Our common creativity and work ethic has given the world invention after invention and products and services that have made countless lives better.

The harshest critics of U.S. government policies and our American culture still pay the big bucks to send their children here to have them educated. From the whole earth those who can afford it come to the United States for the best health care on earth.

We are still the most generous people in the history of the world. Our giving both as a national government and privately is unrivaled in human history. Just in the last few weeks several people I know have gone abroad to help the less fortunate in amazing ways. And I just read in Christianity Today that charitable giving is still very, very strong in the face of the gloom and doom that is piped into our homes by the hour.

Our men and women have paid with life and limb to liberate millions from the tyranny of evil men and their oppressive regimes. We have done what no country has done that I am aware of and rebuilt the countries of our former enemies to the tune of trillions of dollars and the sacrifice of our people.

And, from our shores the good news about Chrsit has gone out to all the world and continues til this day. I am very aware things are changing, but we American believers have been the light on the hill for the worlds masses. We should never forget our history and the possibilities of our future.

Although our freedoms are eroding, we are still the freest people on earth in the history of man and our hopes and promise we still hold out to the worlds masses who will come here legally and with good intentions.

Do I think we are perfect as a people or deserve better than the downtrodden of other lands, absolutely not. Over the decades many of our citizens have adopted the morals of dogs and the erosion is growing. We, like all people, have made huge mistakes both in U.S. policy and implementation and as citizens. While that is true, I am weary of the constant barrage of nay sayers  whose delight is to innumerate all of the perceived ills and flaws of our people and our government.

Do we deserve God’s blessing for these past 233 years? NO! Are we somehow God’s chosen people? NO! Are we, or should we be a Christian nation? NO! No, we deserve what we have not received, that my friend is called God’s mercy. How long will this national experiment  that was dreamed by our forefathers survive? Only God knows.

With all of our faults, our warts and bumps, mixed with our good, there is no people on earth who are more free, more blessed, and have more to be thankful for. America is truly the home of the brave and the land of the free.

May God bless America.

A proud American,
Royce

Christ followers…what do they look like?


I wrote the following as a comment on a young church planter’s blog today. I think you might be interested to know what I think a disciple might look like.

Christ followers?

A young business man who is convinced that Jesus’ claims are true and is trying to follow, but is still lustful and addicted to porn.

A young unmarried mother of two with a history of a broken family, broken dreams, and bad choices who thinks she has met some people who really care, they act like they love her. She is silently asking “Why would God love me?” She has a glimmer of hope that her life might actually change for the better. “Me, a Jesus freak?”

A homeless guy who lost hope many years ago when he lost his family, his business, and most all of his friends because of a crack addiction. He just can’t understand why every few days this older couple comes with a nice meal that they share with him, and warm NEW clothing, and they don’t want anything from me? “What makes them tick?”

A very successful retired couple from New Jersey who moved to Austin to escape the cold winters, high home prices, and high taxes. Two souls tired of boring church where Sunday and Wednesday are two check marks on the list of Christian stuff. They are inquiring because they heard about a small group of people who are loving the community in tangible ways. They are doing yard work for a Catholic widow, an atheist man who is grouchy and in ill health, and a Methodist preacher’s mom. And they don’t expect anything in return? “We have to check this out closer. These people seem to be real Christians”.

There are these in every city, some who are not yet convinced, waiting to be loved, to be told the good news by someone who is not just wanting to add to a number. Some will follow more closely and some at a distance for a long time. And, there are those who will disappoint over and over again.

Love never fails. Love NEVER fails.

Jesus died for the wicked, unrighteous, broken folks. They are waiting by the thousands to experience that love.

How will you and I join God in what He is up to?

Royce