VIDEO Only a Sinner

Nov 6, 2013

“Only a Sinner” sung by Cleveland Baptist Church, Sunday morning, August 13th, 2006. See words below.

Naught have I gotten but what I received
Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed
Boasting excluded pride I abase
I’m only a sinner saved by grace

Chorus:

Only a sinner saved by grace
Only a sinner saved by grace
This is my story to God be the glory
I’m only a sinner saved by grace

Once I was foolish and sin ruled my heart
Causing my footsteps from God to depart
Jesus hath found me happy my case
I now am a sinner saved by grace

Suffer a sinner whose heart overflows
Loving his Saviour to tell what he knows
Once more to tell it would I embrace
I’m only a sinner saved by grace

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The Checkup – The Way to Knowledge

check up
The Checkup

Search me, O God, . . . and see if there is any wicked way in me. —Psalm 139:23-24

It’s that time of year when I go to the doctor for my annual physical. Even though I feel well and I’m not experiencing any health problems, I know that routine checkups are important because they can uncover hidden problems that if left undiscovered can grow to be serious health issues. I know that giving permission to my doctor to find and remedy the hidden problems can lead to long-term health.

Clearly the psalmist felt that way spiritually. Pleading for God to search for hidden sin, he prayed, “Search me, O God, . . . and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24). Pausing to give God the opportunity for a full and unconditional inspection, he then surrendered to the righteous ways of God that would keep him spiritually healthy.

So, even if you are feeling good about yourself, it is time for a checkup! Only God knows the true condition of our heart, and only He can forgive, heal, and lead us to a cleansed life and productive future.

Lord, You know me better than I know myself. Search the deepest parts of my heart for anything that is displeasing to You. Cleanse me of my wandering ways and lead me in Your good and righteous way.

God’s work in us isn’t over when we receive salvation—it has just begun.

By Joe Stowell

The Way to Knowledge

If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine… —John 7:17

The golden rule to follow to obtain spiritual understanding is not one of intellectual pursuit, but one of obedience. If a person wants scientific knowledge, then intellectual curiosity must be his guide. But if he desires knowledge and insight into the teachings of Jesus Christ, he can only obtain it through obedience. If spiritual things seem dark and hidden to me, then I can be sure that there is a point of disobedience somewhere in my life. Intellectual darkness is the result of ignorance, but spiritual darkness is the result of something that I do not intend to obey.

No one ever receives a word from God without instantly being put to the test regarding it. We disobey and then wonder why we are not growing spiritually. Jesus said, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). He is saying, in essence, “Don’t say another word to me; first be obedient by making things right.” The teachings of Jesus hit us where we live. We cannot stand as impostors before Him for even one second. He instructs us down to the very last detail. The Spirit of God uncovers our spirit of self-vindication and makes us sensitive to things that we have never even thought of before.

When Jesus drives something home to you through His Word, don’t try to evade it. If you do, you will become a religious impostor. Examine the things you tend simply to shrug your shoulders about, and where you have refused to be obedient, and you will know why you are not growing spiritually. As Jesus said, “First…go….” Even at the risk of being thought of as fanatical, you must obey what God tells you.

by Oswald Chambers

The Struggle With Guilt

1 John 1:5-9

What believers do about guilty feelings has a lot to do with what they understand about guilt. By definition, the word refers to a sense of wrongdoing—an emotional conflict arising from second thoughts about a particular action or thought. The biblical method for clearing away such feelings is repentance.

However, many believers are plagued by false guilt, which is not actually rooted in sin. It can develop in several ways:

A church caught up in legalism can foster this unhealthy feeling. A member may not do enough of what is “required” (such as praying, Bible reading, and witnessing). Or she may do things that others in the church categorize as wrong, even though there’s no scriptural basis for their opinion.

Painful memories of abuse in childhood often lead an adult to believe he is somehow to blame for the sins committed against him.

Hearing believers’ criticisms of others can lead to low self-esteem. Without clear discernment, a person may get the sense that he can’t measure up to God’s standards or the world’s.

Genuine, biblically based conviction is an anxiety in the spirit over a definite, willful sin. All the various causes of false shame have one thing in common: They are not the result of sinful behavior. Such feelings are Satan’s tool for harassing God’s people.

When we understand that true conviction is the Holy Spirit’s loving pressure on our spirit to correct a specific wrong, we can reject Satan’s attempts to distract us with lies. Whatever the cause of false guilt, it must be unearthed and removed from the believer’s life.

He Shall Judge the World

“Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” (Psalm 96:13)

Those men and women who reject or ignore the wonderful offer of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ need somehow to realize the eternal consequences of their foolishness. Jesus Christ was not just a religious teacher in Israel two thousand years ago, but is the very God who created them, the Second Person of the triune Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). God the Father “created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9), and therefore “hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22).

And on what basis will He judge us? Our text tells us that “righteousness” and “truth” are the criteria. The problem is that “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). However, the Lord Jesus was incarnate Truth and Righteousness, and God “hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ has made eternal salvation available freely to us. There is no other way. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

But how do we know that all this is not just a peculiar doctrine of one particular religion?

Here is how: God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). By defeating death itself, Christ has vindicated His claim to be the Judge of all! HMM

Good but Not Great

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. —1 Corinthians 4:2

Then there are the men who are good but not great, and we may thank God that there are so many of them, being grateful not that they failed to achieve greatness but that by the grace of God they managed to acquire plain goodness…. Every pastor knows this kind – the plain people who have nothing to recommend them but their deep devotion to their Lord and the fruit of the Spirit which they all unconsciously display. Without these the churches as we know them in city, town and country could not carry on. These are the first to come forward when there is work to be done and the last to go home when there is prayer to be made.

They are not known beyond the borders of their own parish because there is nothing dramatic in faithfulness or newsworthy in goodness, but their presence is a benediction wherever they go. They have no greatness to draw to them the admiring eyes of carnal men but are content to be good men and full of the Holy Ghost, waiting in faith for the day that their true worth shall be known. When they die they leave behind them a fragrance of Christ that lingers long after the cheap celebrities of the day are forgotten.

Thank You, Lord, for the host of good people in our church! May each one be richly blessed of You today. Direct me to some today who I could thank for their faithfulness. Amen.

Absence of Repentance Brings Spiritual Uncertainty

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. 2 Timothy 2:25

The man who is seriously convinced that he deserves to go to hell is not likely to go there, while the man who believes that he is worthy of heaven will certainly never enter that blessed place.

I use the word “seriously” to accent true conviction and to distinguish it from mere nominal belief.

It is possible to go through life believing that we believe, while actually having no conviction more vital than a conventional creed inherited from our ancestors or picked up from the general religious notions current in our social circle. If this creed requires that we admit our own depravity, we do so and feel proud of our fidelity to the Christian faith. But from the way we love, praise and pamper ourselves it is plain enough that we do not consider ourselves worthy of damnation!

The poor quality of Christian faith and the uncertainties that mark the lives of a host of church members grow out of our modern evangelistic scene’s absence of real repentance. So, too, the absence of repentance is the result of an inadequate view of sin and sinfulness held by those who present themselves in the inquiry room.

“No fears, no grace,” said Bunyan. “Though there is not always grace where there is fear of hell, yet, to be sure, there is no grace where there is no fear of God. For the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and they that lack the beginning have neither middle nor end.”

God Needs No Adjectives

I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us. ISAIAH 63:7

We do not need any enlarging adjectives when we speak of God, or of His love or mercy. God Almighty fills the universe and overfills it because it is His character—infinite and unlimited!

We do not need to say God’s “great” love, although we do say it. We do not need to say God’s “abundant” mercy, although we do say it. I expect we say it to cheer and elevate our own thoughts of God, not to infer that there is any degree in the mercy of God.

Our adjectives can be useful only when we talk about earthly things—when we refer to the great love of a man for his family, or of a man’s fabulous wealth.

But when we are speaking of God, there can be no such measuring point. When we speak of the riches of God, we must include all the riches there are! God is not less rich or more rich—He is rich! He holds all things in His being!

So it is with mercy. God is not less merciful or more merciful. Thankfully, He is full of mercy. Whatever God is, He is that in the fullness of unlimited grace!

Heavenly Father, the depth and breadth of Your attributes are beyond human measure and comprehension. God, there is no other godlike You!