A Foundational Truth

Foundational Truths

Many times, whenever I preach or write on various subjects, someone will invariably say, “why don’t you just preach Jesus? No Old Testament stuff, just preach Jesus.” My answer to them? No one can know Jesus Christ as He really is if you only know Him as the Redeemer of the New Testament. We must preach Jesus as He truly is – all of Him – or we preach another Jesus than the Bible speaks of.

Jesus was Creator before He became Redeemer or Savior. He became our Savior dying on the cross and rising from the grave on the third day because of mankind’s sin. Much, if not all, of that sin is mankind’s rejection of God’s Word, the denial of Him being the Creator. One truly “preaches Christ” when he first of all preaches Him as Creator.

The great message of Christianity is that the just shall live by faith, speaking of them that believe, to the saving of the soul. But what is this saving, living faith? The faith of which Hebrews speaks of is outlined in chapter 11. It is the faith of Abel, offering an acceptable sacrifice. It is Enoch’s faith, pleasing God in obedience. It is Noah’s faith, believing and acting on God’s Word. It is the faith of Abraham, stepping out on God’s promises. But, first of all, it is foundational faith. It is the faith by which “we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear”, Hebrews 11:3.

Any meaningful faith for salvation must be founded on God’s special creation of all things. The saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is founded on creation. The very last reference to the gospel in the Bible is found in Revelation 14: 6-7: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

The angel has the everlasting gospel and its message is for people to worship the One who made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of water. The gospel is much more than the cross and the resurrection, it also includes the coming kingdom and God’s great creation. Without creation, the gospel has no foundation and no logical end. The gospel is the good news that Jesus came to save who? Those who were made in God’s image on the earth and who are now marred by sin. What is the end purpose? So that mankind will live with God and enjoy Him forever in His Kingdom. Death first entered God’s finished creation when Adam sinned. Now that Christ is risen, the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is seeking to assure young Christians at Corinth of the validity of the gospel. He preached to them that which they had believed. In verses 3-11 Paul stresses the witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus. In verses 12-19, Paul says, because Jesus rose from the grave it guarantees a future resurrection to all who have hope in Christ. But then, Paul goes further, In verses 20-28 he says that Jesus’ resurrection restores man’s lost estate, reverses the consequences of Adam’s sin, conquers all enemies of God and destroys death itself. In verses 29-34 Paul says this promise not only gives assurance of eternal life, but strength for godly living and triumph over persecutions and opposition. And then, in verses 35-49, Paul ties it all back to creation.

Everything is tied back to creation. Biological, physical, human – all aspects are discussed. Every individual creation of God has been designed with its own marvelous structure for its own divine purpose, as it pleased God to make it like He did. Since each individual creation is distinct it could not have “evolved” from any other.

I am so amazed at so-called Christians who accept as fact Christ’s resurrection from the dead but not the Genesis record of creation in 6 days. Jesus said, “from the beginning of creation God made them male and female,” speaking of mankind. Not after 18 billion years of cosmic history or 4 ½ billion years of earth’s evolution but on day 6.

Psalm 115:16 tells us the very purpose of earth’s creation was that it should be a home for the children of men. A person cannot believe Christ’s words and reject Moses’. Listen to Jesus in John 5:46-47, “For had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me, because He wrote of Me. But if you believe not his writings, how will you believe My words?” In the book of Revelation, Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”

The Apostle Peter, not too long before his martyrdom, wrote a remarkably prophetic passage about the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Listen to the words of 2 Peter 3:3-6,

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? Since the fathers fell asleep all things glorifying God continue as they are from the beginning of creation.” For this they willingly are ignorant of – that by the Word of God the heavens were of old and the earth standing out and in the water; whereby the world that was then being overflowed by water perished.”

Scoffers arise, those who dismiss the Bible as fairy tales or myths, denying special creation. They replace sudden, special creation by God with uniformity and evolution. They willingly deny a universal flood. Anotherwords, they will deny the Genesis account of creation and the flood and in doing so deny the truth of John 1:3, 1:10 and Hebrews 1:2 which state that God created the world through Jesus Christ.

Creation is a non-negotiable doctrine. What a person believes about creation, about the origins of the earth and mankind, will influence what they believe about the meaning and purpose of life. So many of the great founding fathers of science knew this. Kepler, Galileo, Pascal, Newton, Boyle, Breuster, Faraday, Kelvin and others believed that they were glorifying God as they probed and discovered His marvelous works.

Understand this, belief in the Genesis account of creation is necessary for a correct understanding of who Jesus is as the Bible presents Him. To believe in another Jesus, one who did not create the world in 6 days, one who did not create man in His image, one who is not Lord over creation because you believe He was not the Creator, is to send yourself to hell.

Salvation is found in the Jesus of Holy Scripture, not the Jesus of one’s imagination. Salvation is found in believing in Jesus as He is presented in the Bible, not as we wish He was presented. He is either the Creator Lord or He isn’t. You cannot straddle the fence on this issue. The New Testament simply will not allow it. From the Gospels to the letters of Peter, Paul, and John, Jesus is clearly presented as the Creator Lord.

At the beginning, I said that many times I am asked, “Why don’t you just preach Jesus?” I do. I do preach Jesus. I preach Him creating the world in Genesis as part of the Godhead. I preach Him throughout the Old Testament sustaining the world He created. I preach Him in the New Testament redeeming the world He created. I preach Him in Revelation coming back to claim the world He created. What Jesus are you preaching?

 

 

Hymn Devotions Day 25 – O For A Thousands Tongues

 

DAY 25 – O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES

               For this day, I have chosen to include all the verses that Charles Wesley wrote. This song was his celebration of the one year anniversary of his salvation, and what a great tribute to the Lord it is.

I know that not all of us remember the date of our salvation, but why not make it a practice to designate one day a year (if you do remember the date, use it) to write a poem of thanks to the Lord for His great salvation?

If  you cannot write a poem, maybe a prayer or a song or draw a picture of thanks would be possible. Take some time studying Wesley’s poem for inspiration.

Since we don’t have a thousand tongues to sing with, why not use the one we have in a thousand ways? Join with brothers and sisters and together we can raise hundreds of thousands of tongues in harmony to praise the King of Kings.

I particularly love the verse that talks about how Jesus’ blood makes even the foulest sinner clean, even me. When I reflect on my numerous sins, I am amazed that God would want to save me. I am so grateful that His mercy and grace was given to me, the most undeserving person I know. Wesley puts it so well toward the end of his poem – harlots, publicans, thieves – saved is the sinner that believes from crimes as great as mine. Their sins are no worse than mine, their punishment is the same, eternal damnation unless they, just like I, repent and throw ourselves on the mercy of Jesus. How wonderful to know He forgives sins and pardons the sinner.

 

Lord, help me to use the tongue I have to always praise Your name. Help me use it to witness for You, witness of You, and testify of Your great mercy and forgiveness. Help me to proclaim Your salvation to all.

O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES – Charles Wesley

 

O for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King, The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God, Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad The honors of Thy name.

Jesus! the name that charms our fears, That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears, ’Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.

He speaks, and, listening to His voice, New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice, The humble poor believe.

Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb, Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Savior come, And leap, ye lame, for joy.

In Christ your Head, you then shall know, Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below, And own that love is heaven.

Glory to God, and praise and love Be ever, ever given,
By saints below and saints above, The church in earth and heaven.

On this glad day the glorious Sun Of Righteousness arose;
On my benighted soul He shone And filled it with repose.

Sudden expired the legal strife, ’Twas then I ceased to grieve;
My second, real, living life I then began to live.

Then with my heart I first believed, Believed with faith divine,
Power with the Holy Ghost received To call the Savior mine.

I felt my Lord’s atoning blood Close to my soul applied;
Me, me He loved, the Son of God, For me, for me He died!

I found and owned His promise true, Ascertained of my part,
My pardon passed in heaven I knew  When written on my heart.

Look unto Him, ye nations, own Your God, ye fallen race;
Look, and be saved through faith alone, Be justified by grace.

See all your sins on Jesus laid: The Lamb of God was slain,
His soul was once an offering made For every soul of man.

Awake from guilty nature’s sleep, And Christ shall give you light,
Cast all your sins into the deep, And wash the Æthiop white.

Harlots and publicans and thieves In holy triumph join!
Saved is the sinner that believes From crimes as great as mine.

Murderers and all ye hellish crew In holy triumph join!
Believe the Savior died for you; For me the Savior died.

With me, your chief, ye then shall know, Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below, And own that love is heaven.

 

 

Hymn Devotions Day 10 – I Know That My Redeemer Liveth

DAY 10 – I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVETH 

Taken from the words of Job the Wise, the title of this hymn says it all. Because Jesus lives, we have assurance of eternal life. What sets Jesus apart from all other religious teachers is that He rose from the dead, proving Himself to be God.

One day, he is coming back to judge the living and the dead. He will come back to earth to redeem His own and to destroy both our adversary and death itself.

Jesus has promised us that when we die we will go to be with Him in paradise. This gives great assurance and hope to all believers when they stand at death’s doorway. We face the grave with joy, not terror. For us, death has lost its sting and becomes a transition from one home to another. That is why, although we grieve in sorrow for a loved one who has died, we do not mourn as one without hope. We know that we will see our fellow believers again and fellowship with them forever.

Grace and power are definitely in His hand. Power to conquer death. Power to judge all men. Power to traverse the universe. Grace is His to bestow on His children, those who believe in Him for salvation. What a wonderful Savior is Jesus our Lord.

 

Thank you, Lord, for the testimony of Scripture, of the eyewitness accounts of the Resurrected Christ. By this we know and are assured of the conquering of death by Your hand. What a wonderful truth to cling to – You live and are coming back for us. 

 

I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVETH by Jesse Pounds

 

I know that my Redeemer liveth

And on the earth again shall stand

I know eternal life He giveth

That grace and power are in His hand

 

I know His promise never faileth

The Word He speaks, it cannot die

Though cruel death, my flesh assaileth

Yet I shall see Him by and by

 

I know my mansion, He prepareth

That where He is, there I may be

O wondrous thought, for me He careth

And He at last will come for me

 

REFRAIN:

 

I know, I know, that Jesus liveth

And on the earth, again shall stand

I know, I know, that life He giveth

That grace and power are in His hand

 

Hymn Devotions Day 3 – O Worship The King

DAY 3 O WORSHIP THE KING 

This majestic song lifts you up in praise to the One seated on the Everlasting throne. The use of adjectives such as shield, defender, friend, maker and redeemer tell us of God’s character.

Here is no aloof God, watching from way off in space. Here is a God intimately involved with His creation. This is, make no mistake, a hymn about the Creator and His creation. It was based on Psalm 104. In a day where evolution is held to be absolute truth, this hymn helps us to unashamedly sing out our belief in a personal Creator God.

The third stanza unapologetically states that God formed the world. The writer has in mind both the Genesis account of Moses and the book of Job, where God tells Job that He put boundaries on the waters.

God’s love and providence for His creation is evident throughout the song. It is because He cares and desires so deeply for us to have a relationship with Him, that we are able to sing of His glory and might.

God is our shield, an ever-present help in times of trouble. He defends us against the slanderous attacks of our adversary. He is our friend as well as our Lord, a mind-blowing concept is ever there was one. Most of all, He is our creator and our redeemer. He made us for Himself and redeemed us for Himself. All praise to the King of Kings, who is worthy of all glory and honor.

As you pray today, thank God for the ways He manifests Himself to you – a shield, defender, redeemer. He is not only your maker, but He will be your friend if you would yield your life to Him.

 

Thank you Lord, for creating us and the beautiful world we live in. We worship You, King of the Universe, and give you all glory and honor and praise.

 

O WORSHIP THE KING by Robert Grant

O worship the King, all glorious above

O gratefully sing God’s power and God’s love

Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days

Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise

O tell of His might, O sing of His grace

Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space

Whose chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form

      And dark is His path on the wings of the storm

      The earth with its store of wonders untold

      Almighty Thou power hath founded of old

      Hath established it fast by a changeless decree

      And round it has cast like a mantle, the sea

      Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite

      It breathes in the air, it shines in the light

      It streams from the hills, it descends to the plains

      And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain

      Frail children of dust and feeble as frail

      In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail

      Thy mercies, how tender, how firm to the end

      Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer and Friend