What’s A Saint To Do?

Paul makes no bones about it. He is a saint. A holy man. And why not? That’s what God called him to be.

“… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love …” Ephesians 1:4

Start talking about holiness at the office, school or around the neighborhood and see what happens. It’s like the plague made you its permanent home! People don’t want to hear about holiness: God’s or yours. They especially don’t want to hear about their lack of it.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 20)

SAMSUNG“… and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:4

The Apostle Paul, in the first sentence of his epistle to Christians in Rome, introduces us to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It’s clear from Paul’s letters to the ancient churches that he believed and taught the Doctrine of the Trinity – God in Three Persons. It’s a doctrine that Paul had already developed and taught extensively by the time he wrote his letter to the Romans.

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Easter – The Power of Together

Easter is a great day for Christians around the world to rejoice at the Power and Victory of our Faith. The grave could not hold our Savior and it cannot hold us. Death had no power over our Lord and Master and it has no power over us.

“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

We are a FREE people. We are FREE from the fear of death. It has no power over us because it has no power over our Lord. Why? Because He died for our sins and rose for our right to live forever with Him in Paradise. We don’t waste away after our physical death. We go to be with Christ in His Glorious Kingdom and reign with Him forever. Our bodies will be raised up one day and become like His Glorious Body.

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Celebrating the Resurrection

The Christian Church has been celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ for centuries. The New Testament does not mention it, but churches were most likely remembering the Resurrection every year from at least the early part of the second century AD, if not earlier.

Some early Church documents describe an observance that began on Saturday evening with a vigil that continued until early Sunday morning when new Christians would be baptized and believers would share in the Lord’s Supper. By the end of the third century, Christians were remembering Christ’s Crucifixion on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

We started publishing GraceLife Thoughts on the Internet 18 years ago (March 1995). One of the great joys we’ve had during that time has been sharing about the Death, Burial and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ during the days leading up to Easter. As the Apostle Paul wrote so beautifully almost 2,000 years ago:

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

As we approach another Easter, we wanted to share with you some of the GraceLife Thoughts from previous years. We pray they will be a blessing to you and your family.

The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – True or False?

Three Weeks Until Easter

The Holy Week: Lessons for Discipleship

The Holy Week: The Lesson of Opposition

The Holy Week: The Lesson of C’s

The Holy Week: Lessons of Pain

The Holy Week: Lessons of Life!

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries

Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 12)

SAMSUNG“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures.” Romans 1:1-2

What did Paul refer to when he wrote about the “Holy Scriptures?” Paul used the word “Scripture” 15 times in his letters, and Luke used the word in reference to Paul’s ministry four times in the Book of Acts. So, what “scriptures” did they mean?

Paul referred to the Scriptures twice in his letters as “holy” – Romans 1:2 and 2 Timothy 3:15. What does that mean when placed before the word “Scriptures?” Let’s see what God has for us today.

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The Secret of Christmas (Part 2)

In the first part of our study about the Secret of Christmas, we looked at both the History and Prophecy of Christmas. Now we come to the “secret” that only God knew when He sent His Son to earth “in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7)

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The Secret of Christmas (Part 1)

It’s almost Christmas. People are running around trying to find just the perfect gift for friends and family. The alcohol flows from one party to another. The stress grows as each person tries vainly to fulfill their desires for the “happiest” time of the year. The goal is ever elusive.

Is this what Christmas is really all about? Why do we do this to ourselves? Is there something more? Something better? Something we’re missing?

The answer is a resounding YES! There is something more; something much better. There’s a secret about the holiday that can make every day the “happiest” time of the year.

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The Blessings of Christmas

Being a Christian has so many wonderful blessings attached to it. In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us that we are blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). These blessings began when God chose us in Christ “before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4-6)

Here are some thoughts about the blessing of Christmas I wrote almost 30 years ago.

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In Everything Give Thanks

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Do you find giving thanks in everything easy or hard? I’ve found it one of the most difficult things to do as a Christian, yet God makes it clear that it’s His will for us in Christ Jesus! What do I need to know about giving thanks that will help me give thanks in everything? Let’s first get some perspective about giving thanks from God’s Word.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 9)

SAMSUNG“… which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures …” Romans 1:2

ho proepangellomai dia ton propheton autou en graphais hagiais – “which he promised beforehand through the prophets of him in writings holy”

The word “which” is a relative pronoun that points back to the words “gospel of God” in verse 1. The “gospel of God” is what “He” promised “before.” Who is He? The context of verses 2 and 3 are clear that it is God the Father Who promised – “which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

This is a powerful and amazing statement. God the Father promised His “gospel” at a prior time (beforehand) “through” His prophets in the Holy Scriptures. The Greek word proepangellomai  is translated “promised beforehand.” It’s in the middle voice and carries the idea of the “subject” of the promising of old through proclamation participating in the results of the action. The subject of the action had a vested interest in the outcome of the action. Think about that for a minute. Who proclaimed the Gospel beforehand? God. Who participated in the Gospel during Paul’s preaching of it? God. Thus, “the gospel of God.” It’s all of God!

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