Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Joy

When I Look At The Wicked (Psalm 10)

I am surrounded by unbelievers.  At my work, I am the only Christian that I know of.  I hope I am wrong (Romans 11:4).  The men that I work with are greedy, lustful, vile, cursing, blasphemous, and full of hatred.  They can be nice at times and I enjoy working with them but they are not disciples of Jesus at all.  While they would not claim to hate God with their mouths, they hate Him with their lives. They are what Stephen Charnock described as “practical atheists” who live their lives without every thinking about God though they know that they will face Him when they die (Hebrews 9:27).

In our society, it seems the sinful and wicked are living it up.  It is easy to look around and see the blasphemous walking around, living their lives to the fullest, and never considering God.  Their lives are full of sin, of their own desires, of seeking pleasure.  They do everything with an eye on themselves.  Even when disaster strikes and they seek to do just a little good toward other humans, their efforts are tainted by their own pride and self-glorification.  They do want to honor God nor give thought to Him just as Romans 1:21 reads.

And yet the wicked seem to live comfortable lives while the righteous struggle.  In fact, I have personally known people who claimed Christ and have abandoned faith in Him because it seemed their life with Christ was without joy and full of misery.  They saw the wicked prospering and that the wicked were having fun in this life and they wanted that.  They abandoned faith in Christ for the sins of this world.  They know 2 Peter 2:20-22 but they would rather have a little fun, enjoy the sinful pleasures of this life than to focus on eternity.  Like Demas in 2 Timothy 4:10, they love this present world.

Psalm 10 speaks to us who are seeking righteousness.  Psalm 10 is perfect for our day because how often have I also looked at the wicked and it seemed they were living carefree, fun, amazing, joyful lives that was full of sin.  I read 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and the wicked I see are fulfilling this but yet their lives are not marked by any suffering, no judgment, and they seemed to not have a care in this world.  Like Psalm 10:4, they seem to have no thought about God at all.  God is the last thing on their minds (or so it seems).

When the righteous focus in on the wicked, we do just what the psalmist does in Psalm 10:1-11 and we see the carefree lives of the wicked and we are discouraged.  How can the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer?  How can this vile person who curses the name of the Lord live such a joyful life?  The wicked around us live their lives just as Psalm 10:11 states.  They think God will not see nor judge them and if there is a God, He will love them and let them into His eternal bliss simply because they are human and He knows this.

Yet for the righteous, we continue in Psalm 10 down to verses 12-18 and here we finally see the end of the wicked.  The judgment of God will come.  The wicked will perish.  Obviously, I don’t want them to perish in their sins.  I want the wicked to repent as does the Lord (Ezekiel 18:30-32; 2 Peter 3:9).  God has sent His one and only Son to die for our sins and all can repent or perish (Acts 17:30-31).  The wicked needs to see the goodness of God in letting them live in spite of their sins (Romans 2:4).  The will of God is for the wicked to repent and embrace the Lord Jesus as their only hope for salvation from their sins (1 Timothy 2:4-6).  Psalm 10:12-18 shows that the Lord will vindicate His children.  God will show Himself strong in the end.  The wicked are allowed to continue in their sins for now but a time will come when they will either die or the world will end but either way, they will not find joy forever.  The wicked will suffer God’s righteous judgment (Psalm 10:16-18).

I rejoice that I am washed in the blood of Jesus.  The blood alone is my answer for my sins (Ephesians 1:7).  Jesus bore my sins on the cross and He is my Lord and Savior.  I want the wicked to know this.  I want the wicked to repent and turn from their sins (Luke 13:5).  The wicked falsely believe that they have joy.  Acts 3:19-20 promises us true joy when we repent.  The joy for the disciple of Christ comes from the Holy Spirit who lives in us (Galatians 5:22-23) and this joy is not based on circumstances or upon how people treat us.  Our joy, the joy of knowing Christ, the joy of having Him abide in us, the joy of knowing that we will see Him face to face and stand in awe of His glory when we die – this joy is not based on this world.  This joy cannot be taken from us by what happens to us.  Our joy is found in Jesus and we delight in knowing, loving, worshiping, and serving Him.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/21/2013 at 10:10 AM

How To Find Joy in Our Salvation

Salvation is a free gift of God given to those who repent and believe the gospel (Romans 6:23).  Salvation cannot be earned (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Salvation comes through Christ alone (John 14:6) who alone is our mediator before a holy and just God (1 Timothy 2:5-6).  Salvation is not found in our “good” works (Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5-7).  Salvation is not found in being  a part of a religious group (Jehovah’s Witnesses, a church of any kind, religion in general).  Salvation is found through faith in Christ alone through faith alone (Romans 4:5).

If this is the case and we are saved by God’s grace through faith, why do we often lack joy in our salvation.  I believe it comes because we fail to preach the gospel to ourselves.  The very subtle thinking can creep into our minds that we are saving ourselves.  We begin to think that our salvation is dependent upon our merits, our works, our laws.  In my mind I begin to think that I must read the Bible this much or I do not love God nor am saved.  I begin to think that I must witness to so many people or I am not saved.  This thinking is not from the Lord nor from the Word.  It flows from my own prideful flesh and the enemy who attacks the child of God for their faith in Jesus.  Like those in Galatians 3:1-5, it is easy to begin to think that I am now being perfected by the flesh.  I lose my joy in my salvation when I begin to think that my salvation comes from me instead of preaching the truth of God to myself and seeing that I am only saved because of the work of Christ alone (Hebrews 10:10, 14).

We find joy in our salvation when we stop focusing on us and start looking at Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2).  Christ, and not us nor anyone else, should be the object of our faith.  He is our salvation (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).  Jesus and not a plan nor a movement nor a theological position is what saves us (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).  Our focus must be Christ for He is our life (Colossians 3:1-4).  When Christ becomes our focus, the joy of the Lord fills our souls as we realize that our salvation is based on His work and not ours (John 19:30).  Jesus bore our sins on the cross (Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 1 John 1:7; 2:1-2).  All I have before God is not based on my prayer life, my Bible study, my evangelism, my own steadfastness.  All I am before God is based on Christ and His grace (Acts 15:11).  Christ is the one who saves me and keeps me (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).  Christ is the one who alone is the one that I should look to for my salvation (John 3:14-15).

Joy flows from the gospel.  Joy comes from knowing that my salvation is not from me or through me.  Salvation is all of grace through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).  Salvation fills my heart with joy because I know that I have peace with God through Christ alone (Romans 5:1).  I pray because of my standing before God through the gospel (Hebrews 4:14-16).  I read and study my Bible because I long to know this Savior who saved me (John 17:3).  I share my faith because I want to see God glorified among the nations (Psalm 2:10-12).  I seek God earnestly not to find salvation but to know the One who saved me through faith in the Lord Jesus, His one and only Son that He gave for my sins (John 1:12-13).  I want to know Christ because He took hold of me (Philippians 3:8-11).

Charles Spurgeon preached the truth of this when he said,

Every day keep your eye only on Christ; and so long as your eye is single, your whole body must and shall be full of light. But if you once look cross-eyed, first to yourself and then to Christ, your whole body shall be full of darkness. Remember, then, Christian, to hide away to the cross. When that great black dog of hell is after you, away to the cross! Go where the sheep goes when he is molested by the dog; go to the shepherd. The dog is afraid of the shepherd’s crook; you need not be afraid of it, it is one of the things that shall comfort you. “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Away to the cross, my brothers! away to the cross, if thou wouldest get rid of thy doubts. Certain I am, that if we lived more with Jesus, were more like Jesus, and trusted more to Jesus, doubts and fears would be very scarce and rare things, and we should have as little to complain of them as the first emigrants in Australia had to complain of thistles; for they found none there, and none would have been there if they had not been carried there. If we live simply by faith on the cross of Christ, we live in a land where there are no thistles, but if we will live on self, we shall have plenty of thistles and thorns, and briers, and nettles growing there. “They looked unto him, and were lightened.”

Oh saint of God, find joy in your journey toward the celestial city through the gospel that saves you and keeps you!  Christ alone is our salvation and we find our joy in Him!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/24/2013 at 10:32 PM

Posted in Salvation

Tagged with , ,

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