Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 18 Number 1 January 2016
Page 4

Our God Is Able

Peter DeGraff

Consider 2 Corinthians 9:8, which reads, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” Herein a divine promise is made that we will always have all sufficiency in all things so that we may abound unto every good work. The promise is certain because it is given by our omnipotent God, who is completely able to make all grace abound toward us.

Contextually, the wonderful blessings of this promise come as a result of our practicing God’s teaching on sowing and reaping. Specifically, we will reap for two reasons: (1) Our sowing has been bountiful. (2) God has promised, through His grace, to bless us.

Let us reflect upon the ability of our God to bless us. In this lesson we will show an example of how our God is able to bless us in what we do when we follow His commandments.

Our God is able to save us. This salvation is exclusively through the Christ. “Wherefore He [Christ] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). The blessing of salvation is bestowed when we obey the Gospel. “And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). Obedience opens the door to man’s greatest gift, that is, the gift of salvation. Seeing that our God is able to save us, He is also able to provide all that we need.

Our God is able to provide all that we need to suffice in this world. Philippians 4:19 informs us, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.” When we trust God, sow bountifully, and are beneficiaries of His multiple blessings, then we can understand and appreciate David’s proclamation, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). The fundamental promise of receiving God’s blessings are clearly affirmed by Jesus, when He said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Do the math: Seek; seek first; seek the kingdom of God; and then all these things are added. Seeing that our God is able to save us, and is also able to provide all that we need, He is also able to keep that which we commit unto Him.

Our God is able to keep (guard) that which we commit unto Him. Paul was both committed and persuaded that God would keep that which he had committed unto Him (2 Timothy 1:12). He committed his body for suffering, yea, his all, and yet he uttered, “I am not ashamed.” His commitment was unfailing, “against that day,” which is the Second coming of Christ.

The Christian need not be concerned about God’s love or His ability to act toward those who love Him. The Hebrew writer says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6). Our God “is able to do exceedingly abundant above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Seeing that our God is able to save us, and is also able to provide all that we need, and He is able to keep that which we commit unto Him, then there is no reason why we cannot believe that God is able to do all.

In conclusion, we have learned two lessons. First, God is able to make all grace abound toward us that we will always have all sufficiency in all things. Second, His grace and His ability are unquestionable.

In order to receive His abounding grace, we must commit to and trust in Him. This commitment and trust begins when we obey the Gospel of Christ. Faith in Christ, activated, is a commitment to follow Christ. Repentance of sins is a commitment to live in Christ. Confession of Christ is a commitment to unashamedly identity Him as the Christ. Baptism into Christ is a commitment to live worthily as one who has been forgiven of sins. Let us obey and trust in the One Who is able to keep that which we have committed unto Him against that day.

Stand Your Ground

Raymond Elliott

Raymond ElliottThis controversial law has been in the news of late, especially since the killing of a teenager in the state of Florida. There are pros for and nays against this law, probably because of the abuse of it in some instances. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, defines the “Stand Your Ground” law as follows: “A stand-your-ground law is a type of self-defense law that gives individuals the right to use deadly force to defend themselves without any requirement to evade or retreat from a dangerous situation. It is law in certain jurisdictions within the United States. The basis may lie in either statutory law or common law precedents or both.”

Forty-six states in the United States have adopted the castle doctrine, that a person has no duty to retreat whatsoever when their home is attacked. Twenty-two states go a step further, removing the duty of retreat from other locations outside the home. Such “stand your ground,” “Line in the Sand” or “No Duty to Retreat” laws thus state that a person has no duty or other requirement to abandon a place in which he has a right to be, or to give up ground to an assailant. Under such laws, there is no duty to retreat from anywhere the defender may legally be.

Would you be surprised to learn that the Lord Jesus Christ requires every Christian to “Stand Your Ground” when threatened by a certain enemy and his devices? In fact, the expression, “stand your ground” is in the Bible. Please read this passage of Scripture found in the writings of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-14:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm

It is without controversy that the battle line in our country is becoming more and more evident between believers in God and His Holy Word regarding what is right and what is wrong – what is pure, holy and sacred and that which is carnal, worldly and sinful. There is a vast difference between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. The Savior Jesus Christ is the Captain of our salvation, who leads His army of defenders of truth and righteousness. Satan, the father of lies and the deceiver of mankind, is the ruler over the opposing army composed of those who would destroy man’s faith in God and His Word.

The forces of evil propagate the doctrine that men can marry men and women can marry women, and that it is fine for unmarried couples to live together in a sexual relationship. Also, evil is responsible for the doctrine that the life of an unborn child can be “legally” aborted. Evil would have us to agree that it is acceptable to believe there are many ways to travel religiously, even believing in a multiplicity of ‘saviors’ and ‘gods.’ Evil would have us assent that there is no proof that God Almighty exists. The devil has influenced society to believe that there is no objective truth and that one cannot be sure of anything except that which pleases self.

Soldiers of Christ must remember that the armor of God provides no protection for one in retreating from the battle with the forces of evil. Therefore, we must stand our ground. The only offensive weapon that we have is “the sword of the Spirit,” which is the “word of God.” Christians remember the words of the apostle Paul as found in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”

May we take courage in the lyrics of an ancient hymn that was written by the Reformer Martin Luther when he bravely fought against the evil and corruption of his day.

A Mighty Fortress

A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; His craft and pow’r are great,
And armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide our striving would be losing;
Were not the right One on our side The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth is His name,
From age to age the same, And He must win the battle.
And tho’ this world with evil filled, Should threaten to undo us
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever.

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