Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2015 Ephesians 2:4

Ephesians 2:4.    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.

Well Friends, it’s Saturday, what’s new with you eh?  What have you got planned for today? Hope it’s something that’s joyous and brings you delight…  And I hear some women quickly complaining in the background; ‘How the dickens could house work, cleaning and cooking be joyous and delightful eh?’ 

Sorry ladies, but that’s all part of life. Somebody has to do it and you were just unlucky enough to draw the short straw. (smile) Don’t feel too badly though, because I’m not planning on doing anything fun-like myself, just planning to spend most of the day in rest. 

Although I don’t know if that is such a wise idea, because I’ve been resting a fair amount lately, more than usual, but I’m still tired, more tired than when I wasn’t resting as much. 

Oh, who knows or understands the contradictions of this earthly life besides Almighty God? Nobody really nuh. We just have to trust Him implicitly and follow His lead and guidance for our lives, because as He promises in Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11)  

Yes my people, our wonderful God has good plans for us, so let’s be wise and place our lives in His faithful and mighty hands nuh. And if you don’t believe me about His good intentions towards us, then just listen to our Bit. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ 

Oh Friends, God’s LOVE is exceedingly great towards us, so great that our simple and finite human minds can’t understand it. That’s why some of us simply can’t wrap our minds around a Deity who LOVES fallen sinners so much. But listen to what Bruh Paul says after our Bit. 

‘Even when we were dead in sins, hath he quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved 😉 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through (in) Christ Jesus.’ (Eph.2:5-7) 

Wow mih breddren! Glory to God! What more can we say to such unmerited and undeserved favour but ‘Thank You Lord! We praise and glorify Your great name and also for giving us Your Son Jesus as our Lord and Saviour! Thank You, thank You, thank You! 

And we promise to try and show our sincere appreciation and gratitude for your wondrous works towards us, by walking obediently in Your Holy Will. This we pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.’ 

Ah Friends, that wasn’t planned nuh. It just automatically rolled out after I read the wonderful scripture displaying God’s marvelous grace and mercy to us, while we were yet sinners. He must really and truly LOVE us yes, to do such extraordinary things on our behalf when we deserved none of it! 

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘2:4-6. But begins to disclose God’s responses to man’s sin of verses 1-3. This divine response is expressed in three main verbs: (1) God…hath quickened us. Because they were morally dead in sins, the Lord gave them spiritual life; (2) and hath raised us together, that is, God has not allowed these Christians to remain in the grave of their old life with its sinful ways and habits, but He brought them into a new life and demonstration of it; and (3) God made us sit together in heavenly places, that is, He has brought us into His presence and into intimate relationship with Himself.’ 

Oh Friends what can be more wonderful than sitting in heavenly places with Jesus in the presence of God the Father eh? Nothing my people, nothing whatsoever! That’s why I don’t understand how we can become so ungodly and evil and so bent on turfing God out of our society, after all that wonderful stuff He has done for us. 

And Bruh Paul continues to enlighten the Ephesians and us. ‘For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:8-10) 

Yes Friends, though we were made to perform good works, those good works don’t have any part in our obtaining salvation. It’s strictly by the grace of God. He was wise enough to know that if good works meant anything that proud and egotistical man would boast about it and make a mockery of it. 

Anyway, here is the scholars take on the Grace of God. ‘2:8. The grace of God is the expression of His goodness toward the underserving. Grace means unmerited favour, and can be expressed by the acrostic “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”  This grace is the basis of our salvation (1:7; 2:8). 

Illustration: In salvation, men who deserve hell obtain heaven. This cannot be explained apart from God’s grace. Every conversion in Scripture is an example of God’s grace. When Paul (Saul) met the Lord on the Damascus Road, Paul was a persecutor of the church. Yet God made him one of the church’s chief preachers. 

Application: We need to remember that we are saved, given the Holy Spirit, and allowed to serve God – by His grace. (First Ref; Gen.6:8; Primary Ref; Eph.2:8; cf. Ps.139:1).’ 

Nuff said my people. Hope it brings home to us the great and true LOVE that the Father has for His children, and the riches He’s bequeathed to us at Jesus’ expense. Much LOVE!

…But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord… (Gen.6:8)

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2015 Ephesians 2:8

Ephesians 2:8.    For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Aye Friends, in some parts of our world night is swiftly falling, while in others, day is slowly dawning, but be it known that the controlling factor in both circumstances is the hand of Almighty God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

So while some on the other side of the world are praying, asking for a restful and refreshing night of sleep, we on this side of the pond are giving thanks for being able to see the Son’s glorious light for another wonderful day.

And we’re also asking for strength, guidance and wisdom to do God’s Will as we go about our day, hopefully doing good like our Lord and Saviour Jesus did while He sojourned here on earth. Later on tonight, the situations will be reversed, but in His absolute wisdom, that’s just the way God planned it.

Now this past week on In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley, I heard a male quartet open the proceedings with a beautiful spiritual song that touched my heart mightily. (smile) Some of you who watch Uncle Charles might have also heard it. I don’t remember the verses of the song, but the chorus was so memorable that it stuck in my mind.

Please sing it with me. ‘Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. My name’s written in the Book of Life. And my sins are washed away. Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. It’s not what I deserve. But I have been saved by grace.’

One more time people, so that the truth of those statements can sink right down deep into our souls. ‘Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. My name’s written in the Book of Life. And my sins are washed away. Saved by grace. I have been saved by grace. It’s not what I deserve. But I have been saved by grace.’

Yes Friends, it’s by God’s free gift of grace that we are saved, not by anything else! And yuh know what too? We absolutely don’t deserve it. But nonetheless, we have been saved by God’s grace.

‘And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Give the Lord much thanks and praise for His great LOVE and concern for us!’

Yuh better believe that too yes Friends, for without God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness we’d all be heading for Hades with Lucifer, with no chance for, or of redemption.  Glory be for such a wonderful Deity!

Now let’s check out our Bit and delve a little more into the ramifications of the whole situation. (smile) ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’ That’s Bruh Paul telling it to the Ephesians plain and clear!

And the scholars offer this explanation re the Grace of God. ‘2:8. The grace of God is the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving. Grace means unmerited favour, and can be expressed by the acrostic “God’s riches At Christ’s Expense.” This grace is the basis of our salvation (1:7; 2:8).

Illustration: In salvation, men who deserve hell obtain heaven. This cannot be explained apart from God’s grace. When Paul (Saul) met the Lord on the Damascus Road, Paul was a persecutor of the church. Yet God made him one of the church’s chief preachers. Application: We need to remember that we are saved, given the Holy Spirit, and allowed to serve God – by His grace. (First Ref. Gen.6:8; Primary Ref. Eph.2:8; cf. Ps.139:1).’

Yes my brethren, the whole shebang has nothing to do with us, but all with God. As Bruh Paul continues after our Bit. ‘Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:9-10)

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of those two verses. ‘2:9. The reason, in part, that salvation is not achieved by good works is to prevent men from bragging of having earned a place in heaven by themselves.’ ‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation.

Workmanship refers not our original or physical birth, but our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) re-created by Christ Jesus for good works”; that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works.

The apostle’s thinking is this: since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’  

And there we have it my people, some basic facts about that most wonderful attribute of God, called grace! Unfortunately though, not a whole lot of us seem to appreciate it, because we don’t hold God in high esteem. Many of us refuse to even believe that there is a God. I’m sorry for that poor lot, but there’s not a whole lot that we can do except tell them about Christ and live the way He wants us to live. Hopefully our Christ-like example will make a bigger difference than our talking. 

And we’ll end with these moving words of John. ‘He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right) to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:10-14)

Oh Friends, that puts it all into a nutshell, so that we can see it at one glance. Please ponder all that we’ve said to day, so that we can improve our faith, our Bible knowledge and our righteousness as befitting true believers. Much LOVE!

…but Noah found grace…in the eyes of the Lord…  (Gen.6:8)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2015 Ephesians 2:10

Ephesians 2:10.     For we are his workmanship (creation) created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared)  that we should walk in them.

Greetings and salutations my people, in the glorious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on this blessed but damp and foggy Sunday morning! All power and glory be to the One who sacrificed His holy and sinless life for us disgusting sinners.
 
And to show our grateful appreciation of that wonderful token of LOVE, let’s gather together in His sanctuary on this Sabbath Day, as He desires, to praise and worship Him, give Him the thanks that He so rightfully deserves, and in return receive His grace, mercy and forgiveness, so that our spirits can be renewed, our faith strengthened, and our actions positive and LOVE-filled!

And all God’s people said a loud and sincere: ‘Yes, let us do that, for it is meet and right so to do! 

And now, from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin, here is ‘Something Beautiful!’  ‘Here I am dear God  Your Child  A member of Your Family  Asking You  To make something beautiful of my life. Yet, even as I ask I am convinced  That the one beautiful thing  About a child of God  Is You, Jesus Christ. So, dear Lord  As You saturate me with Yourself  My life will be beautiful.’

And isn’t that the living truth Friends! There’s nothing as beautiful as a human being saturated with Jesus Christ! That inner beauty and LOVE of a true child of God just shines through the darkness of this world, knives through it like a big, bright spotlight closely focused on a performer on a stage! Oh my brethren, there’s no better state for us to be in, than to be filled with the beauty and joy of Jesus Christ! For we become new creations, old, evil ways are forgotten, and we look to the future with hope and faith. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is our Bit today; fateful words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’ Friends, that’s truth to the nth degree!

And here are some explanations from the scholars to enlighten us. ‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation. (vs.8-9) Workmanship refers not to our original or physical birth, but to our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves.

Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) re-created by Christ Jesus for good works,” that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works. The apostle’s thinking is this; since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’

And I’ll be my usual nice self (smile) and quote the two verses we mentioned above, re good works having no part in salvation. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.28-9)

Yes Friends, part of the reason why salvation is not achieved by good works is so that men can’t boast about obtaining it on their own strength or merit. Remember, it is a free gift of God!

Now let’s look at a couple scriptures that reflect the theme of our Bit. Hear the palmist declare from Psalm 100 – A call to praise the Lord. ‘Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.’ (Ps.100:3-4)

Oh my people, if we’d only follow that wise advice of the psalmist, our lives and our world would be a much better place than it currently is!

Now listen to Isaiah, as he talks about the redemption of Israel. ‘But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify (hallow) my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.’ (Is.29:23)

Without a doubt Friends, we are God’s handiwork, His greatest creation! Glory Hallelujah!

Another psalmist joyfully proclaims: ‘Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.’ (Ps.119:73) Words of awesome truth my brethren! And we’ll end with Bruh David’s version from Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well.’

My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as not there was none of them.’ (Ps.139:13-16)

Yes Friends, Jehovah God was the planner, designer, architect and builder of every human being that was ever made. Therefore He knows all about us. We are definitely His, for He is our Creator, our Provider and our God. Without Him, we would not exist. Please, let’s remember that and give Him the appropriate level of praise, worship and thanks He deserves. That’s the duty of a sincere child of God. Much LOVE!

…without the Most High God Jehovah…nothing that was made…would be made…