Monday, November 23, 2020

Assurance

And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies             washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

 Hebrews 10:21-23

God wants you to be assured. Unfortunately, some of the brethren have not really felt so assured in their salvation. The Hebrew writer instructs us to draw near to God with a true heart. This is a heart that is characterized as one having full assurance of faith. We can have that confidence when we faithfully check our lives according to the Scripture. Paul wrote in 2 Cor 13:5: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? Individuals can convince themselves of many things, but the Christian with a clear heart and authentic faith will look at themselves in the mirror of the perfect law of liberty (Jam. 1:25) to continue in that law and be an effectual doer of it.



Assurance is the state of the believer when they obey the Gospel.  He is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him (cf. Heb. 5:9). He will award those who are faithful even unto death with a crown of life (cf. Rev. 2:10). Paul also expressed assurance in 2 Tim 1:12: For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that Day. May we always keep obeying the Lord and rejoice in the assurance that Christ remains our perfect High Priest.

      Grace and Peace,

            Ryan

Leprosy and Grace


Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.

2 Kings 5:14-15

            There is much back story to this healing, starting in 2 Kings 5:1. Naaman was captain of the host of the King of Syria, and he was also a leper. No matter how many battles he won or how much treasure that he took as spoil, he was still a leper. He suffered the pain and the shame that went with it. In his desperation, he went to the prophet Elisha who instructed him to dip in the Jordan River seven times. It seems rather simple but the diseased man at first would not do so. He reasons that the waters in Syria are better. It is not until his servants point out that this is what the prophet said and he should do it. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash and be clean? (2 Kings 5:13). Let those words sink in. Can you relate to that? The truth is that we all can. While we may not know what it is like to suffer from an infectious physical disease, we all have suffered or are currently suffering from the spiritual disease, which has a 100% fatality rate unless cured. We can be the most successful, we can have great power in this world, and we can be leaders of men, however, if sin is not taken care of, we will die in it and stand condemned. Naaman had a choice in the matter, and this is truly a great sign of the grace of God, even in the Jewish dispensation: God was willing to heal a foreigner and enemy.

            God does the same for us. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom 5:8. Yet, we, like Naaman, must understand that God's grace is offered, but it requires obedience. If Naaman would have refused to dip seven times, he would not have been cured. If a man only believes and does not repent and be baptized, he will not be saved (see Mark 16:16; Acts 2:37-38; Rom 6:3-6; Gal 3:26-27, et al.). The healing is available, but obedience to the Gospel is required before one can be cleansed.

Grace and Peace,

Ryan

 


Monday, November 9, 2020

Captive

 

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6

Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Isaiah 5:13

Hosea’s prophecy against Israel testified of the coming fall to the Assyrians in 722 B.C. Many problems led to this, but Hosea chose to focus on their ignorance. Isaiah spoke of the same problem that besieged Judah before they were led off into Babylon (606-536). One of the main reasons they went into captivity is because they rejected knowledge. It was certainly available, but they rejected it.



I fear that this lack of knowledge is of the utmost risk for the body of Christ. We are all members of one body. We are the bride of Christ and the church of the Living God. May we all use our days seeking to be conformed to the image of the Son (cf. Rom 8:29). What will you do this coming week and this coming year? Will you be the person without knowledge? Will you be captivated by anything and everything under the sun except the most important thing: The Word of God? Or will you make a change? Let us turn to the knowledge that is before us in His Inspired Word daily.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

Grace and Peace,

Ryan

 

 

Legacy


I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 2 Tim 1:3-5

            What do you think about when you think of the term legacy? You may think of historical figures in this nation. You may think about different organizations that have stood the test of time. When you think about yourself? Do you associate this word with your life? This is certainly a struggle for many as they go through life and make decisions. Sometimes this struggle is more often associated with failure than success. This can lead us to question just what kind of legacy we might leave.

            I write to you to call to mind the only legacy that eternally matters. A legacy of faith in Jesus. When Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:3-5, Paul began by speaking on a legacy. Timothy was a young evangelist who was doing the Lord's work, and Paul pointed out that he remembered his unfeigned or genuine faith. He further pointed out that this faith was not accidental but developed as part of the legacy of his family. His grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice, had a genuine faith as their foundation—something real, something that is seen, and lived out. This made a difference for a young preacher as he grew in the Lord.



            Some of you reading this are questioning what kind of legacy you are leaving. For what will you be remembered? In a time such as this, we may question this even more when there seems to be more bad news than good and where the year for which many of us had high hopes made those hopes take a backseat to COVID-19, social unrest, and the complications of such.

            This does not have to stifle the only legacy that matters—a legacy that can have lasting effects long after you are gone. The legacy of faith that you start now changes your destination, and the example you show to your friends and family can change theirs. We put this publication out because we care about your legacy, and we care deeply about your soul as none of us are guaranteed another moment to change our legacy. James wrote, Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. (cf. Jam 4:14)

            While you still have time to make a change, we humbly invite you to join us. We want to walk alongside you and work together to fulfill what God has planned for man. We want to see healing in our families and our communities, and we know this is only possible in a right relationship with Christ.

Grace and Peace,

R.D. Beavers

*This article will be included in the November issue of House to House Heart to Heart that will be going out to many households here in Grove.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Gospel Plan of Salvation: Remain Faithful

 


And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Mark 13:13

            The final step of salvation is ongoing throughout the rest of our natural lives. We must remain faithful unto death (cf. Rev. 2:10). The Word of God instructs the first century church, as it does all New Testament Christians, that we must be faithful whether or not it is a good, spiritual-high moment or if it is safe. We must remain faithful even when it might cost us our lives. This was a very real circumstance for the church under the Roman Empire and in many nations today. There are brethren today in countries who face certain death for wearing the name Christian. This is clearly in agreement to what is written above when Jesus made it clear there were expectations of His people. We will be hated because of Jesus’ name; we will face opposition from all sorts of people and religions. Family members, friends, neighbors, and strangers will oppose the Lord’s people. To the Christian, the command does not change. Remain faithful, endure, and abide in Him.

            The Bible clearly teaches that a man must live in obedient faith because faith without obedience is not really faith at all. John the Baptizer taught his disciples,

"He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. Jn 3:36 ASV

 Obedient faith is directly opposite of the false doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints, otherwise known as Once Saved Always Saved. Paul informed those who would accept circumcision that they had become severed from Christ.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Gal 5:4

 Moreover, we find that Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8:19-24 was found in the bond of iniquity because he had attempted to buy Apostolic ability.

            This is part of the salvation that is so easy to miss if we lose sight of what God has called us from and what He has called us to. As Christians, we are the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, the church of Christ. We must not forget that we have been bought with a price and given a purpose. If you are a Christian, I pray as your brother that you will arise each day with the same resilience to walk faithfully all of your days. If you have not obeyed the Gospel, why not do it today? I would love to study with you. Let’s go to heaven.

Grace and Peace,

R.D. Beavers

 

The Gospel Plan of Salvation: Be Baptized



He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;

 but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 Mark 16:16

Mark 16:16 is one of many passages that confirm that baptism is one of the five steps in the Gospel Plan of Salvation that is applicable to all men. Some observations in the verse include the fact that both belief and baptism are coequals to be saved. The diagram below shows their correlation as well as the order of both belief and immersion for the purpose of salvation. Belief is an absolute prerequisite of baptism, and this is very well explained in the second section of verse, for it is by disbelief that one is condemned. As it has been noted before, it certainly takes more to be saved than to be condemned.

He____________________________________________________/shall be saved

            That______________________/believeth

                                                                   /and

/is baptized

He____________________________________________________/shall be damned

            That_____________________/believeth not

 

The essentiality of baptism is not limited to just to Mark 16:16. In Acts 2:38, Peter commanded that those who were lost and guilty of the blood of Jesus were to repent and be baptized for the remission of sin. Verse 41 tells us that all of those who received His word were baptized and they were added to the church. This is expressed later in Acts 8:35-36 in which Phillip preached unto the Ethiopian eunuch Jesus and the eunuch said, “What doth hinder me to be baptized?” Acts 22:16. Ananias declared to Paul ,  “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.” Paul later explains that we are to die to our sins and are buried in baptism and resurrected to walk in the newness of life. It is in baptism where we are united with Christ in the likeness of His death, as well as His likeness. Paul also said, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. (cf. Gal 3:27).”  Peter also reminds us that baptism is salvific (cf.1 Peter 3:21.Lastly, 1 Cor 12:13 concludes that we were all baptized into one body (the church). Mark 16:16 is one of many supporting texts that confirm the essentiality of baptism for remission of sin.

With the evidence above can one deny the essentiality of baptism? I suppose without Biblical evidence on could. However, without Biblical evidence one cannot have Biblical salvation.

    Grace and Peace,

    Ryan


The Gospel Plan of Salvation: Confess




That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation
.

Rom 10:9-10

Who are you willing to confess? Did you know that your salvation depends on it? I trust that many of you who are reading this do know this, and others have heard something along those lines but we must not lose sight of what God has required for salvation. Paul reminded the Christians in Rome that this was something that they had done and brought them unto salvation. This was not some cleverly added thing of Paul's own volition but the Inspired Word of God. This was the same thing that Jesus said prior. 

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

 Matt10:32

 

Are you willing to confess Christ? I know it might seem scary to speak out. It might be hard for the introvert. However, the Lord was willing to be stripped and beaten, cursed, and crucified for your soul's sake. Is confession that big of a deal? Yes, it is! When one confesses Jesus is the Son of God, the previous three steps of salvation must accompany that confession. For these are the basis of the confession. Christians have confessed Jesus as the Son of God because we believed what we have heard, and we are willing to change who we are to become who He has called us to be.

If confession is a hold up, I want you to know that it does not have to be on a Sunday morning after I finish preaching. That is just a time that we set apart so that if someone needs to obey the Gospel, we can provide an opportunity to do so.  We would gladly take your confession on any day or time. Please remember that confession comes after hearing, believing, and repenting and points toward baptism which I will cover next week.

 

Grace and Peace, 

Ryan 

 


Assurance

And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled ...