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  • Ignorance Versus Wisdom

    For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God....And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1: 18; 30-31 Ignorance Versus Wisdom "Ignorance of Scripture is the most dangerous self-inflicted wound." – Dale Partridge. Ignorance is defined as lacking the correct knowledge or proper understanding of something. Individuals who are ignorant are uninformed or unaware. Sometimes, our ignorance stems from not realizing there is something we need to know. Other times, it may be a deliberate choice to remain ignorant, known as willful ignorance. What does the Bible say about ignorance? The Lord mercifully cautions us against ignorance: "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you" (Hosea 4:6). This goes beyond having a simple lack of information; it is a deliberate refusal of the valuable knowledge God has given to us through His Word. It represents a sinful ignorance driven by choice, which is rooted in pride. While ignorance about worldly matters might be excusable and carry minimal consequences, willful ignorance regarding spiritual matters is a tragedy and carries eternal consequences. By rejecting the knowledge freely offered to us in Scripture and the saving message of the Gospel, we are ultimately rejecting God Himself, leading to our own eternal demise because of our willful ignorance. "Satan’s greatest weapon is man’s ignorance of God’s Word." – A.W. Tozer. Wisdom stands in stark contrast to spiritual ignorance, and our primary pursuit should be seeking wisdom above all things (Prov 3:13-18). By delving into God's Word, we can exchange our ignorance for genuine wisdom and understanding. God offers wisdom to everyone and generously grants it to those who ask for it (James 1:5). The Scriptures freely provide us with all we need for a life of godliness and purpose (2 Peter 1:3). Through faith in Jesus Christ, Scripture equips us with the knowledge and wisdom necessary to lead a meaningful and abundant life that leads to eternal life. The Lord does not withhold anything we need to know for this life or the next. It's all right there for us. All we have to do is open the Scriptures for ourselves and believe what God is telling us. The Lord is Patient & Merciful God's patience on this side of eternity is evident through His long-suffering nature, granting us the valuable gift of time as part of His common grace. This time allows us to turn away from our sins, embrace Jesus as our Savior, and receive salvation, escaping eternal destruction. Despite mankind’s reluctance to seek Him in the Scriptures, the Lord generously provides us all with numerous chances, some more than others. As Paul acknowledges, God extended mercy to him even when he was acting in ignorance and unbelief (1 Tim 1:13). The Lord's patience and mercy endure, even in our deliberate ignorance, as He desires all to repent and turn to Him. He doesn’t want anyone to perish but everyone to come to a saving knowledge of the truth (2 Peter 3:9). Very sadly, many will still die in their sins due to their stubbornness and willful ignorance, and on the Day of Judgment, they won’t be able to blame anyone but themselves. But still, many will repent and turn to Jesus and be saved, all by His grace. Hallelujah! It is comforting and hopeful to know that Jesus is always available to us on this side of eternity, being long-suffering and extending His mercy and grace to us every day. However, we must not take His patience and mercy for granted. The Lord urges us to seek Him without delay, as Scripture states that today is the day of salvation; now is the favorable time. As it is written, He says that now is the day of salvation. For He says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2). Since we are uncertain of how much time we have left on this earth, we should not cling to our sins and put off salvation, as we could unexpectedly die in our sins at any moment. When confronted with the Gospel truth, we must not harden our hearts to it (Heb 3:8) but embrace it wholeheartedly. Ignoring the truth or putting off the truth deliberately (saying we will submit to it later or when we’re “ready”) will only make it harder to accept in the future. We cannot ever assume that we will have another opportunity to embrace the truth and be saved; thus, now is the right time to believe! Calling Everyone, Everywhere When Scripture commands us to listen, it presents another valuable opportunity to exchange our ignorance for wisdom. In Proverbs Chapter One, wisdom is portrayed as a woman calling out in the streets, urging everyone to seek prudence, knowledge, and wisdom. She warns about the dire consequences for those who reject her. Her message is passionate, repetitive, and crystal clear. She earnestly invites all to seek her while there is still time on Earth. She can be found in plain sight and is accessible to all those who genuinely seek her. While sinful temptations are secretive and covert, wisdom is openly available for all to find. In Proverbs 1:20-33, wisdom is personified as someone we can become acquainted with. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul explains that Jesus embodies wisdom from God. "And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption," (1 Cor 1:30). True wisdom is attained through having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, by grace through faith. Jesus is the highest, purest form of wisdom that exists. He encompasses it all: He is our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor 1:30) and the only One who offers us eternal life. Knowing Jesus intimately as our Lord and Savior is possessing genuine wisdom; the highest, purest wisdom there is! ​ The Gospel - True Wisdom The wisdom discovered in the Scriptures surpasses all the wealth in the world (Prov 3:15-17) as it directs us to Jesus Christ, the only way of salvation and our sole source of hope. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6). The Gospel is true wisdom. To those who do not believe or choose to ignore, the Gospel of Jesus Christ may seem foolish, but to believers, it is the wisdom and power of God (1 Cor 1:18-25). The message of Jesus Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection embodies the highest wisdom there is, as the Gospel itself is the power to eternally redeem all who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ alone. (Rom 1:16) This is the Gospel, the Good News: the most important and vital message one could ever hear: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary and took on human form as the God-man, fully man and fully God. Jesus lived a sinless life, perfectly obeying His Father's will, even unto death on a cross (Phil 2:8). He died as the perfect atonement for our sins, fulfilling the judgment and wrath of God, and ultimately conquering death. Jesus' final words before dying were, "It is finished" (John 19:30), signifying the completion of His sacrifice for the sins of all who would ever come to believe in Him. By shedding His blood on the cross for us, Jesus paid our debt in full (Eph 1:7). As believers, He wiped away all our sins (past, present, and future) by nailing them to the cross (Col 2:14). After His death and burial, Jesus rose from the grave on the third day, offering eternal life to all those who look to Him, by grace through faith. Jesus' resurrection serves as the supreme proof of His divinity, as only God could perform such a miraculous act. God's Hidden Wisdom But as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor 2:9). The verse is often mistakenly thought to be about the marvels of heaven, but it actually pertains to the wisdom that God has revealed to those who believe in Jesus. Essentially, God's truth cannot be understood through sight or hearing (objective or empirical proof), nor can it be comprehended through emotions, thoughts, or human intellect (subjective or rational deductions). Divine wisdom is concealed and can only be uncovered and comprehended by those who put their faith in Jesus. This wisdom from God is often foolish and even offensive to unbelievers. That's because without the presence of the Holy Spirit within, God's wisdom cannot be fully comprehended, trusted, or cherished (1 Cor 2:14). True wisdom, given by the Holy Spirit, is exclusively possessed by those who believe in Jesus. Salvation and all its accompanying blessings (including wisdom) are entirely bestowed by grace. It’s all a gift. Neither salvation nor divine wisdom can be earned or sought after by our own human efforts. These are gifts and can only be given to us from the Lord Himself. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Prov 2:6. For those who have received repentance, faith, wisdom, and ultimately salvation in Jesus, it is entirely a gift without any opportunity for self-congratulation. Salvation is not by works but by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. As believers, the only One we can boast in is the Lord. Even our faith is a gift by His grace. It's only because of Him. And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Cor 1:30-31 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,  but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Cor 1:22-23 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, Rom 1:16 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Prov 9:10). Fear in this context means reverence and awe. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Prov 3:15-17 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 3:15

  • What is a Christian?

    These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11 What is a Christian? Many people would say being a Christian means reading your Bible every day, praying at least twice a day, and going to church every Sunday. Others might say it includes fasting, tithing, volunteering at church, donating money to a ministry, and sharing the Gospel. These are all good things in the life of a Christian, but these things are not what makes someone a Christian. Being a Christian is not about our performance, practicing morals, doing our due diligence, or checking things off a list. So, what is a Christian? A Christian is someone whose heart has been transformed by the truth in Jesus. A Christian is someone who has been made new in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). A Christian is someone who has been given the Holy Spirit and a new heart with new affections and desires (Ezekiel 36:26). A Christian is someone who has been born again into God’s family (John 3:3-7) and adopted into His eternal Kingdom. A Christian is someone who has peace with God and has been restored to a right relationship with Him, by grace through faith in Jesus (Rom 5:1). A Christian is someone who is eternally secure. A Christian is a son or daughter of God. A Christian is a disciple and friend of Jesus. A Christian is someone who has a genuine and personal relationship with Jesus Christ and abides in His love. A Relationship with Jesus What does it mean to have a personal relationship with Jesus? It means knowing Him, but more importantly, it means being known by Him. It means learning of Him, listening to Him, talking to Him, walking with Him, waiting for Him, trusting Him, loving Him, obeying Him, finding joy in Him, and growing in His grace. And we come to know Jesus through His Word. The chief end of man and the sole purpose for our existence is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. (Isa 43:7, 2 Cor 3:18, John 17:1-5,22, Ps 145). That's what it means to be a Christian. To fulfill our purpose is where we will experience the greatest joy. The end of the matter, all that has been heard: fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the end of the matter for all mankind (Ecc 12:13). Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts (Ps 119:2). Abiding in Jesus “I am the True Vine, and my Father is the Vinedresser…Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in Him, He it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:1-11). Scripture describes Jesus as the True Vine and Christians as the fruitful branches. There is no such thing as a "fruitless Christian." There will be a struggling Christian at times, but certainly not a fruitless one. We will produce fruit only when we abide in the True Vine, proving to be both Jesus' disciples and His friends. A few verses later Jesus tells His disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14). He doesn't say, "You are my friends if you hear what I say but don't do what I command." The word abide means to remain or persevere. 'Remaining" in Jesus and abiding in His love is evidence that salvation has already taken place and not vice versa. We don't abide in Jesus to be saved. We abide in Jesus because He's already saved us. Scripture says that our actions will be the evidence that we have come to know Jesus in our hearts. And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments (1 John 2:3). A Perfect Trio Love, obedience, and joy are three aspects of the Christian life that sing together in unity. They are a perfect trio. You can't have one without the other two and vice versa. They come as a package deal in the Christian life. Naturally, we do what we love. So when we do God’s will from the heart through faith, it shows that we love Jesus. Scripture defines love as an action, not an emotion or an abstraction (1 Cor 13:4-7). In the simplest terms, Scripture defines love for God as obedience to God. Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; (John 14:21). A Christian is someone who loves God's Word, loves His Law, loves His commandments, and loves to do His will (See Ps 119). To sum it up, a Christian is someone who not only knows the Truth but loves the Truth. And consequently, hates all false ways (Ps 119:104). Obedience is the Christian's loving response to who Jesus is and what Jesus has done for him, which is always marked by joy. Free to Obey To understand the significance of joyful, loving obedience, we must look to Jesus, who was our Perfect Example. Even through all the evil opposition that Jesus faced, Jesus found joy in doing the will of His Father. Looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross (Heb 12:2). Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and accomplish His Work” (John 4:34). As Jesus found real joy in obeying the will of His Father, we too as Christians can experience that same joy when we lovingly obey the will of our Father. When we surrender our own will to God’s will, we will experience the fullness of joy that Jesus is talking about (Ps 16:11) Obedience naturally flows from a loving relationship with Jesus. We can’t say we love Jesus and claim to have an intimate relationship with Him and then continue a life of disobedience and rebellion to His Word. That wouldn't make any sense. And if we try to obey Jesus without a love for the Truth, then our efforts are in vain and amount only to legalism. Mere external obedience only shows that we're still under the tyranny of the Law and not under grace. In order to be free to obey God and find joy in our obedience, we must be under grace. God is the One who gives us the grace to obey Him through faith. He's the One who gives us the Holy Spirit and a new heart with new desires. That's what Christian liberty is: it's freedom to obey Jesus because the Christian is no longer under the Law but under grace. The Christian is someone who is no longer a slave to sin but a slave to righteousness (Rom 6:18). The Greatest Joy Being a Christian is not about checking things off a list or performing duties to earn salvation or God’s love. The Christian knows that he is saved by grace through faith alone in Jesus (Eph 2:8-9). The Christian knows salvation is a free gift and that salvation belongs to the Lord (Ps 3:8). Being a Christian means experiencing the most beautiful relationship there is: A personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe, who is none other than Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and our closest Friend. As we come to learn more of Jesus, we will grow in His grace and come to love Him more. As we come to love Him more, we will come to obey Him more. As we come to obey Him more, the more of His joy will fill our hearts and show up in our lives and conversations, pointing everyone to Jesus: Our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Dearest Friend, and Greatest Joy. The greatest joy is to obey Jesus out of love for the Truth and to abide in His love. A Christian is someone who ought to be the happiest person in the world. "As followers of Christ, our greatest delight will always be found in our obedience to His Word." - Voddie Baucham For I delight in the Law of God in my inner being. Romans 7:22 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. 2 John 1:6 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. Romans 6:15-18

  • Jesus is With Me

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 Jesus is With Me In one of the most well-known texts in all of Scripture, we find great comfort from our Lord Jesus. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). There's nothing to fear because Jesus is with me. Knowing Jesus is with me helps me walk through all kinds of valleys. Knowing Jesus is with me helps me overcome every danger, trouble, or misfortune along the way. Knowing Jesus is with me helps me understand there is nothing and no one to fear. Truly! And I know Jesus is always with me because Scripture says that Jesus dwells in my heart through faith (Eph 3:17). I carry Jesus in my heart only because Jesus is the One who holds me in the palm of His hand. He's the One who never lets me go (John 10:28). He’s the One who provides for me, protects me, and preserves me. I am His sheep. He is the True Shepherd of my soul. I hear His voice, and I follow Him. No one can snatch me out of His hand (John 10:28). Jesus is with me forever (Mat 28:20). I never have to rely on my own sheep-like strength for anything, but I can always rely on Jesus for everything since He is the True Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, and The Door of the Sheep. He gives me true rest in green pastures and true refreshment from His living waters (John 7:37-38). He provides me with daily bread for my earthly body and living bread from heaven for my eternal soul (John 6:51). He laid down His life for me so that I may live eternally. My Shepherd gives me everything I need, even His own life on the cross. What more could I want? (Psalm 23:1) Only a Shadow Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. This text doesn’t say that I walk through a valley of death by myself, but it says I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, with the Lord as my Shepherd. I don't walk alone, and although a shadow on my path may look scary, a shadow can't hurt me. Even a shadow of the deadliest weapon, poisonous snake, or ferocious wolf is still only a shadow. With every creeping shadow, I can just keep on walking by because I know Jesus is with me. When I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and follow the sound of His voice, every shadow will soon fade away. The light of Jesus overpowers all darkness and every shadow there is (John 1:5). As much as a shadow of death can't hurt me, neither can death itself. That’s because I believe in Jesus. I am eternally secure in Him. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth, and He is also my personal Savior. Jesus died for me. Jesus defeated death for me when He took my place and died on the cross for me, satisfying God's judgment and wrath against my sins. That’s why right before Jesus died, He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Jesus paid my debt in full; a debt so big it would take me longer than eternity to pay for it. It was an impossible debt I owed, but not for my Lord Jesus. He paid it all with His blood (Eph 1:7). Jesus Found Me Not only did Jesus take away all my sins on the cross, but three days later, Jesus rose again from the grave so that by grace through faith in Him, I may live forever. Jesus defeated death and accomplished salvation for me: A free gift by His grace. There’s nothing I did to earn my salvation, and there's nothing I can do to lose it either (John 10:28). Salvation is not by works or by merit. It wasn't like I was wise enough to choose Jesus and eternal life on my own, otherwise I’d really have something to boast about! Jesus even told me that I didn't choose Him, but He chose me and appointed me to bear fruit (John 15:16). And I believe Him. Therefore, the only One I can boast about is my Lord Jesus (1 Cor 1:26-31). I was the one who was lost, not Jesus. As His lost sheep, I didn't go out and find Him, but He went out and found me. And when He did, He gathered me into His arms and carried me close to His heart (Isaiah 40:11). He is the True Shepherd of my soul. In this short life, I may walk through small, medium, and even big valleys of grief, loneliness, sickness, accidents, injuries, uncertainties, failures, loss, and even disasters, but none of these should ever cause me to fear. I know Jesus is in control of everything, and Jesus is with me through them all, big and small. He even walked the deepest and darkest valley there ever was. Jesus walked that valley for me 2,000 years ago when He hung on a cross for me. He walked through the darkest valley of them all, all because He loved me. So truly, there is nothing to fear. Jesus is my Lord, my Savior, and my closest Friend. Jesus is the True Shepherd of my soul. I hear His voice, and I follow Him. Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You for sending Your Son Jesus into the world to save me from my sins and gift me with eternal life. Thank You for my repentance and faith in Jesus, the True Shepherd. What a gift. Jesus is with me forever. I praise You for Your saving grace. All glory belongs to Jesus Christ, my Lord & Savior. I pray these things in Jesus's name. Amen. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:2-4 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:7-9

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  • Faithful Pastor of Christian Ministry

    < Back Paul Washer Heartcry Ministries heartcrymissionary.com Homepage | HeartCry Missionary Society My Favorite Sermons & Biblical Teaching • The Gospel - 8-minute version • What is the True Gospel? • Shocking Message - His Most Famous Sermon • Examine Yourself • The Beauty of Jesus Christ • God is Love But He is Also Just • The 4 Pillars of the Christian Life • Are You Taking the Word of God Seriously? • You Idolize Your Ministry • The Day of Judgment • The Great White Throne Judgment • A Biblical Husband and Family • Who Do You Say Jesus is? • The Consequences of Sin • Don't Expect a Perfect Repentance • The Way God Loves You • What Does it Mean to Fear God? • How Millions are Deceived • The Will of God - Your Sanctification • How to Abide in Christ • Being What You Are • The Cost of Not Following Christ • Do You Bear Fruit? • Observable Evidences of True Conversion • Joy from Christ, Not Your Performance • Do You Truly Know the Lord?​ • How to Have Joy in the Lord • My Hope is Not in Myself but in Christ

  • Faithful Pastor of Christian Ministry

    < Back Steve Lawson OnePassion Ministries onepassion.org Home New - OnePassion Ministries [...]Read More... from Home New My Favorite Sermons & Biblical Teaching • What is the Gospel? • Great White Throne Judgment • Jonathan Edwards: The Use of Your Time • Total Depravity • The Invisible War • The Attributes of God • The Narrow Way • The Importance of the Word of God • The Glory of God • Suffering for the Gospel • Powerful Sermon "God and God Alone" • For Whom Did Christ Die? • Steven Lawson Explains Reformed Theology • God Works Best Through Broken Vessels • Living with an Eternal Perspective • Has God Really Said? • 7 Truths About Satan • The Sovereignty of God and Prayer • The Parable of the Soils • The Coming Final Persecution • The Fear of God • War on the Word • No Hope Without It: The Life of Christ • Dining with Demons • Is the Bible Just Another Book? • The Danger of Apostasy • The Moment of Truth • Beholding the Glory of God • A Natural Man, A Spiritual Man

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