How The Word Changes The Heart

bible glow

I hate the double-minded, but I love Your law. You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. Depart from me, you evildoers, for I will keep the commandments of my God! Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope. Hold me up, and I shall be safe, and I shall observe Your statutes continually. You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood. You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love Your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments. (Psalm 119:113-120)

How The Word Changes The Heart

The fifteenth division of this psalm is a continuing theme of the power of God’s word and the failed wisdom of man. There is a fervency of spirit to abide in the teachings of the law, commandments, statutes, testimonies and judgments of the Lord. It is not merely an intellectual discovery the psalmist makes about the word of God but an emotional bonding that will create in him a deep and abiding love for the law of the Lord. Law keeping in many forms is a system of repetitive expressions of obedience only because of necessity. The statutes of God are framed in such a way to create an emotional response to those who will keep the commandments of truth finding hope, security and fear in the will of the Father. There must be a demonstrative expression of the heart when the word of God dwells as a hiding place and shield in the soul of man. It is impossible to spend much time in the word of God without the message of the Lord inspiring and creating in the heart chords of thanksgiving, praise and glory to the author and finisher of hope. Double-minded hearts are not in tune with the true message of God’s word. Love for the heavenly Father bears open the mind to receive the eternal message of salvation ascribed on the pages of holy writ.

Someone said the scriptures are written to comfort the afflicted but they will also afflict the comfortable. True knowledge of the statutes of the Lord will change the heart in ways never imagined. Truth becomes clearer and evil becomes darker. The evildoers will not last long under the microscope of God’s law. Falsehood will be clearly defined in the testimonies of righteousness from the word of the Lord. There is a remarkable change that impacts the stubborn heart to either receive the message of hope or reject the only hope. Change takes place regardless. Trusting in the word of God will bring about the security of a heavenly hiding place. As a shield in the hands of a soldier the word of God will protect and defend the heart from all attacks of the evil one. Keeping the commandments of the Lord will uphold the spirit of grace in the lives of those who trust in His word without being ashamed. The word of God holds up the weakened hands, strengthens the weary legs and keeps the feet on the path of truth. Those who stray from the path of His word do not abide in His word. Their love is not given to know the law of God. Only when the heart seeks to know the statutes of the Lord will hope and peace be found. The longer one spends in meditation of the word the great the love for His word grows.

A final feature of the word of God is the aspect of fear. The psalmist clearly loves the law of God and makes notations of how much it has changed his life. Included in this transition is the full knowledge of the fear of the Lord. Reading the history of man through the pages of God’s word opens up the mind to the judgment of the Lord upon sinful man. The Lord is full of mercy, grace and love but He has also left a testimony of His fierce anger and wrath against all ungodliness. Noah lived in a time when the wrath of God was demonstrated on a global scale. Abraham witnessed the destruction of the cities of the plain as the Lord rained judgment on the immorality of those condemned. The nation of Israel was given divine authority to exterminate the nations of Canaan because of their iniquity. All flesh should tremble for fear of God and to be afraid of the judgments of God. It is real. The purpose of the examples of the wrath of the Lord is to instill in the heart of all men that God is a Lord of punishment upon the evil doers. This judgment is an expression of His divine love. Everything the Lord God has done is right because the nature of God is truth. Reading the laws, judgments, commandments and statutes of the Lord will demonstrate His goodness and His severity. The question that must be asked is how has the word of God changed your life? If there has been no change you are not reading His word.

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The Saddest Words In The Bible

tears man

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

The Saddest Words In The Bible

Jesus is never called the Master Teacher but He was a masterful teacher of the will of His Father. The Sermon on the Mount is an incredible series of exhortations filling the world with the nature of discipleship and cost of serving the Lord. In one way nothing is new in the sermon as all the principles outlined by Jesus have always been the view of God’s relationship to man and the need of man to worship God in spirit and truth. But the measure of the sermon is so refreshing and powerful the people were astonished at the authority of its message and the one delivering the word. Jesus did now waver to speak clearly of the duties of man to the Father, to self and others. His speech was clear and demonstrative of the serious nature of obedience to the will of the Father with no regards to the frivolity of man. It is striking how the Lord plainly tells the reality of salvation is limited to the few while most men will reject Him and the word of His Father. Hard sayings fill the Sermon on the Mount. Some of the saddest words uttered by Jesus are found in this powerful sermon. None will be as clear as the final words given by the Lord in declaring the end of the matter and reality of the frailty of man.

Not everyone who thinks they are saved will be saved. Salvation does not come from the views of men who frame their own totems of faith into their own image. Jesus says that many people will live with His name on their lips and not find eternal life. Saying, “Lord, Lord” is a powerful motive to live and serve for Jesus Christ but uttering these words will not bring about salvation. Words must have a heart that is willing to follow the commands of God and without that diligence to live in accordance with the pattern of God there can be no salvation. Religious people may be religious but they may not be saved. That is a hard saying but a true saying. Remember Jesus is the one saying this and by the word of God’s Son salvation will not come to those who show a religious life and say words that express a belief in God. Belief in Jesus alone cannot save or all the demons would be saved (and they tremble). Salvation comes from those who do the will of the Father in heaven. Many people are very religious or at least profess to have a deep faith in the Lord but refuse to accept the teachings of the Bible as a guide for their lives. They will not find happiness in eternity without doing the will of the Father. So much of the religious world teaches a salvation by faith only or grace alone rejecting the notion of being justified by works. This is nothing more than the poison of deception filling the cup by Satan to deceive men into believing they are saved when in fact they are not. Faith is justified by works through the grace of God. Jesus said being religious will not save but doing the will of the Father. Without doing the will of the Father there will be no salvation.

Sadly, many people (according to Jesus) will stand before the Father on the judgment day and profess they prophesied in the name of Christ, cast out demons in the name of Jesus and did many wonders in the name of the Lord. No doubt those gathered at the grave mourning the loss of this great individual will usher them into the halls of God’s grace in eternal life. What is not known to those left behind is their loved one who did all those things in the name of Jesus Christ will not be saved because they never did the will of the Father. Can a person prophesy in the name of Jesus and be lost? Will a man who says he cast out demons in the name of Jesus be saved? What will become of those who say they did many wonders in the name of the Lord? The question is not whether they are justified by saying they did all these things but whether they did the will of the Father. Jesus pronounces the saddest words in the Bible when He looks in the eyes of these people who died believing they were saved and tells them He never knew them in regards to salvation. Many people will find this to be true and the words will be crushing. They spent all their lives serving the Lord they never obeyed. The final words are the most tragic: depart from Me. Turned away from the grace of God because they did not follow the will of the Father. They were outside the law of God and practiced lawlessness. How sad.

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The Family Of The Apostle Peter

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Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them. (Mark 1:29-31)

The Family Of The Apostle Peter

There are many things that are not explained in scripture and often completely left out. One of the important keys of Bible study is to understand everything contained in scripture is there for the single purpose of God revealing His Son to all men for salvation and many details are left out because they are of little or no importance to the larger picture. Knowing more about the lives of those whose characters grace the pages of holy writ intrigue the reader but are left to wonder without any fuller explanation. Peter was one of the original apostles called along with his brother Andrew and fellow fishermen James and John. He was an impulsive man who often was at odds with the Lord but just as often filled with the clarity of the message. Little is known of his personal life outside him being a fisherman by trade. On one occasion Jesus was in the city of Capernaum (located on the western shores of the Sea of Galilee) and entered the home of Peter. The city of Capernaum was a central place for Jesus and is sometimes called “His city.” Arriving at the home of Andrew and Peter, the Lord was told the mother-in-law of Peter was sick with a high, burning fever. This would be very dangerous in a day with proper medicine and caused great concern. Living close to the sea would have made this a common occurrence with fears those who came down with the fever would die. Jesus comes to the woman and heals her of the fever completely. Showing the power of the healing, Peter’s mother-in-law begins to serve the people who have arrived. Nothing else is known about her and she fades from the story of the Bible.

Peter will write two epistles that are preserved by the Holy Spirit and in his first epistle refer to himself as a “fellow elder” indicating that he was married and had believing children. Unlike the brothers of Jesus who are named in scripture along with references to sisters of the Lord, none of the family of Peter is mentioned by name. What is learned by these references is that Peter had a normal family as any other man with the extended family of in-laws. Mrs. Peter must have been a remarkable woman to be married to such a charismatic man like her husband. It would be interesting to know the conversations Peter had with his wife about the ministry of Jesus. What did he tell her about the miracles, teachings and amazing things witnessed through the power of God? Did she know about Peter walking on the water? Was her counsel part of the reason Peter mellowed in his spirit to become the devoted man found in his two epistles? He traveled a lot when he began the work of the early church. How did Peter’s mother-in-law take the news her daughter’s husband being arrested by the Jewish leaders? When they were put on trial again and beaten did Mrs. Peter help bandage up the wounds from the beatings? Without being said it would seem apparent these women had a huge part in the life of Peter to be the man he would become.

The scriptures do not say anything about the children of Peter. Did he have a son like himself or a daughter who fully wrapped the old fisherman around her heart? His children were in the kingdom of God and as a family Peter and his wife were key ingredients to the local church and the spread of the kingdom. How much Mrs. Peter and the family traveled with Peter are not known but he did find himself in many places: Jerusalem, Samaria, Lydda, Sharon, and Joppa and all parts of the country. Peter traveled to Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast to talk with a Roman Centurion. What stories did Peter tell his family about the man Saul of Tarsus who obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ and was now a disciple of the Lord? Paul on one occasion had to rebuke Peter publically because of his hypocrisy with the Gentiles. One can only imagine the conversations with the family and how Mrs. Peter probably told Peter, “I told you so.” The lesson that is learned is that Peter was just a regular guy married with a family that loved the Lord and did a lot of work to make possible what all men enjoy today in the revelation of God’s grace. He was a dutiful husband, father, son-in-law and prayerfully a grandfather one day that watched his family endure the hardships of those early days as followers of Christ. Among all things he was a leader in his home guiding the family to the heavenly portal of salvation. As a preacher of the gospel and apostle of Christ, Peter leaves a legacy to follow to care for family and to guide them in the paths of righteousness.

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The Challenge of Coming Out

be seperate

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

The Challenge Of Coming Out

It is not easy to be different. One of the first needs of a child is to be accepted and be part of a peer group whether family or friends. The identity of self is defined by the relationships that are gendered over time and held in trust by the interaction of life. Friendships develop through the avenue of reciprocal interest and likes bonding the souls together as one. It will not be an easy task to separate those relationships that are common to man. The challenge for the child of God is a matter of allegiance. One of the principles of obedience to God is the need to put first all things godly and to separate the spirit of man from those things contrary to the teachings of the Lord. From the beginning of time God has required first place and first priority from His children. This moved Abram to leave his home of seventy-five years traveling to a place he had no knowledge of and trusting in the providence of the Lord. Joseph aligned himself with the true God in a pagan world and would be rewarded years later with authority in Egypt second only to Pharaoh. Daniel and his friends were forced to live in a heathen land as servants of the conquering king but they refused to defile themselves remaining pure from the pollution’s of the world. Jesus was tempted in all points and through the power of God lived a sinless life free from the defilement’s of a darkened world. The city of Corinth was a wicked and decadent place for anyone to live but especially for a Christian. Paul writes to the saints in Corinth and exhorts them to come out from among the influences of the evil world they lived in and be examples of purity in an impure world. That would be quite a challenge to accomplish but with God’s help it could be done.

The principle of fellowship is to whom the heart is bound. Relationships are built on commonalities and the challenge for the Christian is how far they allow their live to be wrapped up in the affairs of the world. Paul challenges the early disciples to examine whether righteousness should fellowship lawlessness. The two are not compatible with one another and serve a different end. This is not suggesting a person remove himself from the world but rather the interaction of spirit, soul, mind and body with those things that are contrary to the purity of God’s word should be muted. A child of God cannot serve two masters. Using a term of agriculture, the apostle asked a rhetorical question of whether a believer can be yoked to an unbeliever. There is a bonding that happens when one enjoins his life with the other. We may live in the same pasture but we do not need to be yoked to them. The stronger will dominates and when a child of God is yoked in fellowship with an unbeliever it will be the unbeliever that normally will have the stronger influence. Light and darkness do not have communion with one another. Belial is a transliteration of the Hebrew word of worthlessness and applied to Satan. Can anyone imagine Jesus and Satan yoked together? Why should the child of God and the child of Satan be yoked together? The believer and the unbeliever have nothing in common to share as one is saved by grace and the other condemned for rebellion. What agreement would the Temple of God have in allowing statutes of Zeus, Baal, Buddha or any other idol to be placed within its holy walls? The contrast Paul draws is clearly evident and challenging for the Christian to realize the importance of separating themselves from the influences of an ungodly world.

Each person that puts on Christ in obedience becomes a temple of the living God. The Lord dwells in the temples of the heart in each child that loves Him and obeys His word following His precepts and laws. Separation is essential to the character of the Christian to not fellowship the unfruitful works of darkness. God dwells in holy temples of the soul that have removed the trappings of the world from its walls. Paul exhorts the Corinthians to come out from among the darkness of the Corinthian world and stand for Jesus Christ as sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. This requires action on the part of the child of God to come out and to remove the influences of the world from their lives. Two things are noted in the exhortation: (1) be separate; (2) do not touch. There must first be a removal and then there must be a commitment not to return to the darkness of sin. Coming out from among the world is where God said He will meet with His children and share with them His glory. He will not give that blessing to those who remain in the world of darkness or refuse to come out from among the world. The challenge of coming out is the courage required to make that change in life.

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I Felt Compelled

crown Saul broken

Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. And they came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth Aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him. And Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:5-14)

I Felt Compelled

The nation of Israel had demanded a king to lead them into battle and Saul would be their first ruler with disastrous results. It was only a few years after being anointed by Samuel that Saul proved to be a man who cared more for his own will than the commandment of the Lord. The Philistines would be a constant source of trouble for the young nation. Thirty thousand chariots of the Philistines along with six thousand horsemen and innumerable warriors stood against King Saul and his rag-tag army of Israelite’s. The men of Israel were terrified at the sight of the huge army of Philistines gathered against them and many of the Israelite’s hid in distress. Saul was no doubt concerned for his young nation and anxiously waited for Samuel to arrive to bless the people and give them courage. The prophet Samuel instructed Saul to wait seven days for him to arrive but Samuel did not come to Gilgal at the allotted time. Concerned he would lose his nation; King Saul took matters into his own hand and offered the burnt offering in the place of Samuel. As king of Israel Saul had the authority to carry out many duties but to serve as a priest and prophet of the people was not given to him. As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering Samuel came. It would seem Saul was excited to see Samuel and tell him he had taken it upon himself to offer the burnt offering for the people since the prophet had delayed his coming. In the mind of Saul it was the right thing to do considering the circumstance and surely Samuel would understand.

From the view of Saul there was a big problem. The Philistines had gathered against him with an incredible army that seemed invincible. There was little hope of winning the battle and with Samuel delaying his arrival the people began to leave in fear of the opposing Philistine army. For the king it was a watershed moment of decision to keep the people together and although he knew he had no authority to offer the burnt offering he forced himself to take the place of Samuel since it seemed a good idea to make the sacrifice. He probably performed the sacrifice in the right manner with the right animal. However Samuel rebuked the king for making an unlawful sacrifice and failing to trust in the will of the Lord. It was foolish for Saul to think God did not know what He was doing. Saul could not wait on the Lord when he offered the burnt offering. The king had failed to keep the commandment of the Lord regardless of the circumstance. Saul knew the law and understood he had no right to offering the burnt offering even if he thought it was a good idea and needful at the time. Being the king did not give him the authority. The thousands of Philistines set in war against them was not a reason to disobey the will of God. Having a good idea and feeling compelled to go beyond the law of God was not reason enough. What Saul did was what so many people have done in religion to go beyond what is written.

Circumstances do not change the law of God. The apostasy of the New Testament church is born from the illicit ideas of men thinking they know more than commandments of the Lord. There are many things that work well in the business world but do not fit in the church of God because there is no authority. Men go beyond the word of God because they feel compelled to help the Lord out with His plan (that in the minds of men is not going to work). Look at the denominational world of religion and see the chaos and confusion in the programs and teachings of man-made churches that like Saul are making unlawful sacrifices to the Lord. The sacrifice of Saul probably looked a lot like what Samuel would have done but Saul had no authority to carry out the sacrifice. It did not matter to God that Saul thought it was a good idea. There was no authority. From the beginning of time authority must be established in worship and without authority worship is vain. When men go beyond the word of God they go beyond the bounds of authority. Like Saul, religion has become foolishness because they refuse to follow the word of God. And like Saul, the religions of men will be cast down as refuse when the Lord appears because there is no authority for their sacrifices.

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Light In A Time Of Darkness

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Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments. I am afflicted very much; revive me, O Lord, according to Your word. Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me Your judgments. My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not strayed from Your precepts. Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, to the very end. (Psalm 119:105-112)

Light In A Time Of Darkness

The technology of man has brought many blessings that generations before could never have appreciated or dreamed possible. What is taken for granted with unmeasured ease is the ability to light the world in almost any environment. Houses are filled with lights, automobiles race across the landscape with ease because of the power of illumination and whether crossing the vast oceans or flying through the air, man has captured the power of light to fill his world with the brightness of day. It is only when the power goes out that lives are disrupted and frustrated because there is no light. What is ironic of this situation is that for eons of generations the ability of man to light his world was limited to a small space of his world using only oil lamps, wax candles or fire to bring some brightness to a very dark world. Darkness prevailed in the world because of the limitations of man’s ability to fill his world with light. The psalmist lived in a time where electricity was thousands of years away and his world was brightened by lamps and crude implements that cast long shadows through the darkness. It was vital to have these lights to see in the dark of night depending on the lamps to guide their footsteps. There is a certain imagery that is lost on modern man that men like the psalmist embraced with great ease. Having a lamp to light the way was a means of great joy and comfort.

Reflecting on the importance of light in the darkness, the psalmist illustrates the power of the word of God. He calls the righteous judgments of the Lord a lamp to his feet and a light to his path. There is a great power of spiritual darkness permeating the world and the only way to go through life with sure footing is to rely on the lamp of God to light the way. Danger awaits those who seek to walk in darkness. Keeping the righteous judgments of the Lord will help the soul be safe from the wiles of the devil. When affliction arises he will trust in the word to revive him and protect him. There will be no voice of complaint but a freewill offering of praise because the judgments of the Lord have taught the heart to walk in the path of light. The law of God is always present to guide the soul in the proper path. There are many dangers as the wicked lay snares to trap the righteous. How can a man know how to walk in darkness if he does not have a light to guide him? The precepts of God will keep the soul on the true path. This light must never go out but kept as a continual heritage forever. Like the physical world, the host of darkness will last until the end of the world. Spiritual darkness will fill the hearts of men until the coming of the Son of God and the need of keeping the word of God as a lamp to guide the soul is more present than ever before. Obedience comes from hearts filled with the light of God to perform the statues of truth, righteousness and godliness.

A final note about this portion of the psalm. Like so much of the psalm, the author emphasizes the many parts of the revelation of God to man. He calls the word of God the righteous judgments, word, law, precepts, testimonies and statues. Obedience does not come only from a heart of faith believing in the power of the Lord and His grace. The need of grace and mercy are key ingredients to find oneself pleasing to God but obedience to the judgments of the Lord is imperative. There are laws that must be kept, precepts obeyed, testimonies followed and statues bound in the heart. Too many of those who want to follow Jesus believe that having a faith in the Son of God is all they need to be found pleasing. The doctrine of salvation by faith alone without works is a dead faith. The psalmist understood this teaching long before it was emphasized by the New Testament writers. Salvation comes from taking the word of God and using it as a light to the path of life. Believing in light will not benefit a man who does not take the light with him into the darkness. The word of God is a lamp to the feet of those who carry the righteous judgments of the Lord in their hearts through study and application. Keeping the righteous judgments of God requires possessing the word in the heart. The prayer of the psalmist was for the Lord to teach him the judgments that will protect him, guide him and help him through the vale of spiritual darkness that encircles the world. There is personal accountability required of those who seek the favor of God. The word can only be a lamp to the feet when the light is in the hand of the one seeking to light his way. Without the word of God (judgments, law, precepts and statues) – how dark is the darkness. Light your world with His word – Jesus Christ.

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One Solitary Life

one man

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19)

One Solitary Life

Dr. James Allan Francis wrote a powerful story about the life of Jesus. He writes, “Let us turn now to the story. A child is born in an obscure village. He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life. While still a young man, the tide of popular feeling turns against him. One denies him; another betrays him. He is turned over to his enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; he is nailed to a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend. Those are the facts of his human life. He rises from the dead. Today we look back across nineteen hundred years and ask, what kind of trail has he left across the centuries? When we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely picayune in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life. (“The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled “Arise Sir Knight!”).

The apostle Paul described what Jesus did as the one person who changed the history of man. In the Garden of Eden the act of one person lead to the separation of the creation from the Creator resulting in condemnation. Because of the obedience of Jesus to fulfill the work of His Father one man’s righteous act resulted in the justification of life for all those who would come to the cross. While the actions of Eve in the garden brought sin and sorrow, the death of Jesus ushered in the victory over sin and joy of eternal life. The singularity of each act shows the power of how one act can bring heartache, misery, death and condemnation; yet in the single act of Jesus suffering for the sins of all men and giving His life a ransom justification is offered to all men. Salvation would not come through the multitude of sacrifices as if the blood of the millions of animals sacrificed could redeem man. God would only accept the greatest death and His love was so unbounded He willingly offered His only begotten Son as the one sacrifice and hope for man. One God offered one Son to redeem the one act of man that resulted in his condemnation. By one man’s disobedience all men have suffered from the foundation of the world and thanks be to God by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. There is glory and power in the one act of grace that was given by the one Father through the death of one Son.

Eternal life is not given to the mass of humanity because they are a part of humanity. Salvation is singular. Through the action of one person sin came into the world and by the sacrifice of one person righteousness was glorified to give man hope. The irony of the judgment day is that all men will be gathered before the throne of God filling the heavenly hall with the billions of people that have ever lived and yet eternity will be measured by the action of one person – me. My parents will be there but I will be judged alone by my actions. All of my family will be gathered and I will stand alone before God to be judged by what I did – not what others have done. Everyone I have known and will know will be with me at judgment and I cannot vouch for them or them for me. One solitary life will stand before the Lord God and that will be me, myself and I. As one solitary life died to save me I will stand as one solitary life before the one solitary Lord God and Father. What will my one solitary life reflect?

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