Many Attack us Proudly

Psalms 56:1-4 ESV

“Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?”

Jesus said that if we follow him that we will be hated and persecuted as he was hated and persecuted. And to follow him is to do the kinds of things he did, and to say the things he said, and to obey him in doing what he says we are to do. And if this is how we live, we will be treated in many of the ways in which he was treated, and even by some of the same types of people, i.e. by religious authorities in the institutional church, and by family members, and by fellow professers of faith in Jesus Christ.

For many of them are not true followers of Christ, for they are following after a diluted half-truth (lie) gospel created in the minds of humans and made to appeal to human flesh and to attract the world to the gatherings of the institutional church (IC). And what many of them are teaching is that all we have to do is “believe” (unexplained) in Jesus and now our sins are all covered by the blood of Christ, and heaven is guaranteed us when we die regardless of how we live our lives on this earth.

But that is not what the Scriptures teach regarding our faith in Jesus Christ and our salvation and eternal life with God. They teach we must deny self, die daily to sin and to self, and follow Jesus in obedience. For those who are of true faith are those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We have been delivered from our slavery to sin and now we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) according no longer to the flesh but according to the Spirit of God.

But what this diluted half-truth (cheap grace) gospel does is it eliminates (halts, puts a stop to) the movement of the Holy Spirit in people’s hearts and lives. And it eliminates being “born again,” for no change is required. They can remain in their sins, doing the things they have always done, as long as they make some profession of faith in Christ. And many are teaching that we don’t have to repent of our sins and we don’t have to obey the Lord, for they call that “works salvation,” and many people are buying into it.

And this “cheap grace” gospel is what is permeating the gatherings of what is called “church” today here in America. And it is very deceptive and dishonest, and many are being led astray by it. For it does not put sin to death in the life of the “believer,” but it allows sin to live and to thrive under the auspice of God’s grace. But God’s grace, which is bringing us salvation, trains us to renounce (say ‘no’ to) ungodliness and fleshly lusts (worldly passions) and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Titus 2:11-14).

But many who are following after this cheap grace (not God’s true grace) are then turning against those of us who are following the truth of the gospel, and they are attacking us verbally, and accusing us falsely of teaching works salvation, and of being legalistic, etc. For Satan is the one behind it all, and he is out to destroy those of us who are the Lord’s true disciples. He is not happy with just deceiving the masses into believing this altered gospel, but he has to convince them that the true gospel is the lie, instead.

But no matter what persecution we may face because we are being ministers of the true gospel of Christ, God is with us, and he will help us through it all, and he will give us the words we need to say to combat the lies and to expound the truth. And if we begin to feel afraid we are to put our complete trust in the Lord, and then the fear will dissipate. For there is nothing that can happen to us but God allows it and he will see us through it. Man has no power over us other than what God allows, so we need to trust the Lord.

Hated and persecuted: [Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]

Near the Cross

Hymn lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby, 1869
Music by William H. Doane, 1869

Jesus, keep me near the cross;
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.

Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me.

Near the cross I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand
Just beyond the river.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

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