God's Plan of Salvation by Trevor Bowen

God's Plan of Salvation 


No greater question could be asked than, "What must I do to be saved?"  However, addressing this question assumes that someone already believes in God and the Bible as His word to us.  Without this foundation, appeals to God as the authority and the Bible for answers will be in vain.  This foundation must be laid first.  If you have questions concerning this foundation, please use the index of topics to the right and jump to the appropriate article.

"Who Knows the Answer?"

This great question generates opinions from everybody.  But who knows the answer for sure?  Does it matter what I think?  What your pastor or preacher thinks?  Does it matter what your parents think?  Well, it depends on who you want to please.  It also depends on who will judge us on the last day, Judgment Day.  Since God will be our judge, we should then only consider His opinion and do our best to disregard human traditions.  However, it is much easier to say that we will block pressure from those around us than it is to actually do it.  Therefore, let us turn our attention to the pages of God's Word to find an answer for our question.

Examples of Conversion

The book of Acts is found in the last half of the Bible, the New Testament, and in this book we find the most examples of people being converted, or saved.  Let's look through these examples of conversion, and see if we can establish a pattern of how people were saved.  If we can establish a pattern, then surely this will answer our question.  Along the way, we might also run across other scriptures that will be helpful.

The Pattern Established

If you read through the book Acts, you will find the following, significant examples of people becoming converted:
  • Beginning of Church: multitudes converted on Pentecost (2:14-47)
  • Samaritan Village (8:4-25)
  • The Ethiopian Eunuch (8:26-40)
  • Saul: later became the apostle Paul (9:1-19)
  • Cornelius: first Gentile convert (10:1-8,24-48)
  • Lydia and her household (16:14-15)
  • A jailer where Paul was imprisoned in Phillipi (16:25-34)
  • Multitudes in Thessalonica and Berea (17:1-13)
  • Crispus and his family (18:5-8)
  • Some at Ephesus previously baptized in John's baptism (19:1-7)
  • Paul retells his conversion (22:1-21; 26:1-32)
Although the above readings may be lengthy, they establish a definitive pattern of requirements for one to receive forgiveness of sins, or to be saved.  These conditions have been summarized in the following table:
Summary Table of Conversion Examples in the book of Acts
Example Hear Believe Repent Confess Baptized
Pentecost X X X X
Samaritans X X X
Eunuch X X X X
Saul (Paul) X X
Cornelius X X X
Lydia X X X
Jailer X X X
Thess. X
Crispus X X X
Ephesians X X


One observation that can be made is that the Bible often summarizes the conversion process with two, or sometimes, only one action.  A single action, such as belief, is used to stand for the process as a whole.  Notice the profound absence of statements regarding repentance and confession in the majority of the examples.  Moreover, in the account of the Thessalonians' conversion, even "belief" is not mentioned, but just that they were "persuaded" and "joined Paul" (Acts 17:4).  Yet, the necessity of these other steps is seen in the first example and the example of the Ethiopian Eunuch (see also Romans 10:9).   Therefore, the composite pattern establishes a definite plan of salvation - God's plan of salvation: hear the gospel, believe, repent, confess our sins and Jesus as the Son of God, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.  There is no other pattern in the New Testament of one being saved any other way.

Related Questions

Some may wonder if baptism is really necessary.  Along this line, some may also wonder about the thief on the cross.  If you are interested in these questions, we invite to you examine more Bible passages to help answer these questions.  Also, this table only addresses the initial steps to being saved.  Living the proper life afterwards is just as important because the Bible teaches that one may fall from grace if he or she becomes apathetic.
Now What? Pressing On... Trevor Bowen
Tue, 28 Sep 1999 10:45:57 CDT
Sat, 4 Aug 2012 20:01:31 CDT

"THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS" The Mind Of Christ (2:5-11) by Mark Copeland

                    "THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS"

                       The Mind Of Christ (2:5-11)


1. In verses 1-4 of this second chapter, Paul wrote about "The Unity
   That Produces Joy", in which he described:
   a. The MOTIVATION for having this unity
   b. The NATURE of this unity
   c. The ATTITUDES necessary to have this unity

2. In describing the latter, he called upon the Philippians to:
   a. Do nothing through selfish ambition or conceit
   b. Have lowliness of mind in which they esteem others better than
   c. Look out for the interests of others, and not only those of their

3. In verse 5, Paul continues to exhort them to have "this mind" (the
   attitudes of verses 3-4), pointing out that this is also the "mind of

4. In the following verses (6-11), Paul elaborates on the "mind of
   Christ" (or the attitude of Christ), which will serve as the focus of
   this particular study...

[First, note that "The Mind Of Christ"...]


      1. Jesus was "in the form of God"
         a. That is, "He existed as essentially one with God" (Vincent's
            Word Studies)
         b. This is in accord with what we read in Jn 1:1-3
      2. He was also "equal with God"
         a. Again notice Jn 1:1
         b. He certainly shared similar glory with the Father (Jn 17:5),
            something the Father refused to share with any created being
            (cf. Isa 42:8)

      1. Literally, "a thing to be grasped"; that is, something to be
         laid hold of, and retained jealously
      2. The "glory" of equality with God which Christ enjoyed from
         eternity was not something He felt like He HAD to cling on to
      3. A true demonstration of a lack of selfish ambition and conceit
         on the part of our Lord!

      1. Do we consider our "standing" before others (whatever that may
         be) something to be held on to?
      2. Do we consider ourselves more important than others, and
         consider that distinction something to be preserved at all

[As we continue to read on in our text, we see also that "The Mind Of 


      1. He "made Himself of no reputation"
         a. Some versions say "emptied Himself"
         b. He divested Himself of the "glory" He had with the Father 
            - cf. Jn 17:5
      2. He took upon Himself "the form of a servant"
         a. He did not come as a "king", "nobleman", etc.
         b. But as the lowly son of a simple carpenter
      3. He came "in the likeness of men"
         a. As such, He could experience their temptations and
            sufferings - He 2:14,17-18; 4:15; 5:7
         b. In other words, though deity, He was truly "man" (not some
            sort of "superman")
      4. He "humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death,
         even the death of the cross"
         a. Consider He 5:8
         b. Though in every way a man like you or me (while still the
            Son of God), He humbled Himself and obediently suffered and
            died on the cross!

      1. He became man, humbled himself as a man, was obedient, and then
         died on the cross...because it was in our own best interest!
      2. He did it, to bear OUR reproach - cf. Ro 15:1-3; Isa 53:4-6
      3. Yes, He was looking out for OUR interests!

      1. We do, if we are looking out for the interests of others
      2. We do, if we are willing to humble ourselves, even sacrifice
         ourselves if it be in the best interests of others - cf. 1Jn 3:16

[Such is "The Mind Of Christ", one of humility and service to others; 
but it is also one that is...]


      1. He is a good example of the Scriptural maxim:  "He that humbles
         himself shall be exalted"
      2. For God has highly exalted Jesus in two ways:
         a. In the PRESENT - by giving Him "the name which is above
            every name" (the name by which men must be saved - Ac 4:12)
         b. In the FUTURE - that at His name "every knee should bow...
            that every tongue should confess" He is Lord! - Re 5:11-14

      1. Those who possess "The Mind Of Christ" will participate in that
         great future exaltation of Christ! - Ro 8:16-18; 2Th 1:10-12
      2. Isn't this a wonderful motivator for us to have "The Mind Of


1. We have seen in this passage that "The Mind Of Christ" involves...
   a. Humility
   b. Obedience
   c. Sacrifice
   d. Great Reward

2. Do we possess "The Mind Of Christ"?  We should, for it is the "key"
   a. The unity that produces joy!
   b. One day sharing in "glory" together with Christ!

3. As Christians, let's be diligent to manifest "The Mind Of Christ" in
   our relationship to God and to each other

If you are not a Christian, why not begin possessing "The Mind of
Christ" by following His example of humble obedience to the Will of God?
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

"Contradictions" Regarding the Ark of the Covenant by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


"Contradictions" Regarding the Ark of the Covenant

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

How does the “20 years” reference in 1 Samuel 7:2 harmonize with the fact that the ark was not brought from Kirjath-jearim until 2 Samuel 6:4—more than 40 years later?
Even though God’s Word can be substantially communicated from one language to another, the translation process is sufficiently complex to the extent that many of the subtleties of the parent language are lost in translation. These subtleties rarely, if ever, involve matters that are critical to the central purpose of revelation. However, apparent discrepancies on minor details can surface that require a careful re-examination of the actual linguistic data of the parent language (in this case Hebrew) in order to dissolve the apparent discrepancy.
The individual clauses of 1 Samuel 7:2-3 are linked in Hebrew by “waw consecutives” that bring the statements into close logical and temporal connection. The three verbs of verse two are a continuation of the infinitive, which points to the main sentence being resumed in verse three (“and Samuel spoke”). The gist of these grammatical data is that the writer is informing us that after the ark’s capture, the people endured Philistine oppression for the next twenty years. Though all Israel “lamented after the Lord,” He allowed the Israelites to continue their suffering at the hands of the Philistines for 20 years—at which time Samuel called upon the nation to put away its idols.
First Samuel describes the final years of the period of the judges. The reliance upon the ark as a sort of mystical talisman brought swift military tragedy, precipitating yet another period of foreign oppression by Israel’s enemies due to their own apostasy. This period of Philistine preeminence went on for twenty years before the lamentations of God’s people were finally heard. At the end of the twenty years, Samuel called on them to couple their lamentations with genuine penitence (1 Samuel 7:3). When they put away their idolatry (vs. 4), they once again enjoyed the services of the judge (vs. 6), who assisted them in throwing off Philistine oppression by military defeat (vss. 10ff.).
Thus the twenty years refers—not to the total number of years that the ark remained in Kirjath-jearim—but merely to the number of years the ark was in Kirjath-jearim before the Lord chose to hear the people’s lamentations and provide them with intervention through Samuel.

Who Believes in Hell Anymore? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Who Believes in Hell Anymore?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

A Harris poll found that while 89% of Americans believe in heaven, only 73% believe in hell (Taylor, 1998). However, even this figure is misleading, since people differ in how they define “hell.” When defined as an actual location—a place of actual torment where people will be sent—only three in ten adults (31%) believe in hell (“Beliefs,” 1996). Most Americans believe that Satan is merely a symbol for evil. Only 27% strongly believe that Satan is real (“Religious Beliefs,” 2001).
American culture has sustained a steady assault from humanistic philosophy for several decades now. This constant bombardment of irreligious values has clearly taken its toll. In school, children have been fed a steady diet of atheistic evolution which holds that human beings owe their ultimate origin to rocks, dirt, and the chance forces of nature. Television sets have surely served as a principal medium through which the moral framework has been undermined and seriously eroded. Consequently, many previously unacceptable behaviors are on the increase in society—behaviors that are far more acceptable to the American people than they ever have been in the past.
These behaviors include such things as divorce, homosexuality, premarital sex, and gambling. The use of foul language is prevalent. The average person uses God’s name in vain. Such profanity is very commonplace—especially on television and in the movies. Fundamental values like honesty have given way to dishonesty in the form of lying, cheating, and deception. Americans now pretty much expect their politicians to lie. Pornography has spread across the land through so-called “adult” bookstores, cable channels, magazines, and the Internet. Satanism, astrology, spiritualism, the occult, and New Age religion are on the increase. More and more people are embracing Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and belief in reincarnation. The courts are literally clogged because of skyrocketing crime rates, and due to the fact that more and more people are retaliating and suing one another. America is no longer a country dominated by church-going peoples—as she was for the first 150 years of her national existence. Where once, Americans were characterized as people who strongly sought freedom for Bible religion, America is more nearly seen today as a culture that strives for freedom from religion. Indeed, forces have been working to eradicate God and the Christian religion from the American way of life.
Despite the fact that Americans in general, and Christians in particular, have many things for which to be thankful, and despite the fact that things usually are not as bad as they seem, nevertheless, much evidence exists to draw the conclusion that American society has become increasingly hedonistic, anti-Christian, and out of harmony with Bible principles. In fact, in many circles in this country the Bible is not even considered to be the verbally inspired Word of God—less than half of all adults (41%) believe the Bible is totally accurate in all it teaches (“Religious Beliefs,” 2001). Indeed, American civilization is deteriorating. The moral, spiritual, and religious foundation of American society—this great nation—is disintegrating.
But there is an antidote, and there is only one antidote. The nation is in desperate need of returning to the Bible—the written instructions of the one God—and to the transcendent Creator of the Universe. The nation must go back to the Bible, back to those life-giving guidelines that will make a nation strong. Only the words of God are capable of sustaining a nation, and getting its citizens through this life in such a way that they will be prepared for life beyond the grave. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
God’s words can change a person’s (or a nation’s) life by generating faith, obedience, and contentment in this life. Those words of God teach that sin is violation of God’s law (1 John 3:4). Sin is the only intrinsic evil in the world today. People cannot sin against God, and yet expect to be acceptable to Him. Sin, once committed, must be forgiven. But sin can be forgiven only under certain conditions that God, Himself, has specified in the Bible. If a person sins against God by violating His written revelation, and then leaves this life in an unforgiven condition, that person will be punished. Those are the facts of the matter. The Bible clearly teaches that those who leave this life with their sins unforgiven will spend eternity in hell. You cannot believe in heaven—and not believe in hell. The same Bible that teaches there is a heaven, also teaches there is a hell.
Many verses in the Bible verify this fact. Jesus said, “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5). Jesus Christ believed in hell! He warned about violating God’s will, and leaving this life unforgiven (i.e., spiritually unprepared), so that one is required to spend eternity separated from God in hell. Jesus further said: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and will come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28).
In referring to the end of life on Earth, He declared: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31). Referring to the disobedient, Jesus explained: “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ ” (vs. 41). Earlier in the same chapter He had said concerning the lost, “and cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (vs. 30). He concluded the chapter by saying, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (vs. 46). To be consistent, a person cannot believe in eternal life, and not believe in eternal punishment. The same Greek word is used in the same verse to describe both of those realms. Just as existence with God after this life is over will be forever or eternal, so separation from God due to disobedience in this life will result in eternal punishment.
Consider another profound, even startling, statement made by Jesus: “[I]f your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” (Matthew 18:9). Jesus was not teaching that people should mutilate their bodies. He was simply stressing the fact that whatever it takes for a person to be obedient to God in this life—to be conformed to His will, to resist the forces of temptation that try to lure one into their grasp—whatever it takes to be faithful to God, is worth the sacrifice so that the person might enter into eternity qualified to live with God forever, rather than to spend eternity in the fires of hell.
On one occasion, Jesus addressed Himself to the religious leaders of His day. These were religious men, and yet Jesus said to them, “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33). That was a rhetorical question. Jesus was saying they were so wicked, they were so evil, they were so out of step with God’s will in this life, that He saw no way for them to leave this life without facing condemnation in hell. He also noted: “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:41-42). How can a person possibly listen to those words, spoken by Jesus Christ Himself, and yet say hell does not exist?
The apostle Paul described the fate of those who live out of harmony with God’s will when he spoke of those “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). He then stated, “but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil” (Romans 2:8).
In Revelation 20:15, we find this declaration: “[A]nyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” John further recorded: “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8). There will be a hell. There will be eternal punishment for those who leave this life, having sinned against God, having violated His will, and having failed to receive forgiveness for those sins in the appointed way. Hence, it is imperative to know how to be forgiven.
How is forgiveness attained? The Bible answer to that question is—only through Christ. He is the Savior of all those who truly want to be saved. He is the only one who could atone for human sin and provide the antidote. The New Testament gives definitive teaching on how to be saved initially (in order to become a Christian), and how to maintain that saved status.
Jesus said, “[I]f you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). So the number one prerequisite to being saved and acceptable to God is to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus further said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 17:6). Those are Jesus’ own words. His apostles declared: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). These passages teach that Jesus Christ is the only avenue through Whom a person might be saved. A person must believe in the person of Jesus Christ, and in His Word. The writer of Hebrews wrote: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (11:6). Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). So the New Testament teaches that the first thing a person must do to be acceptable to God, and to avoid hell, is to believe in Jesus Christ by trusting in His Word. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17).
But, second, a person must repent of his or her sin. Jesus said, “but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3,5). The biblical doctrine of repentance means that, having come to a belief in Christ and His Word, the individual must change his mind about his past conduct, and his previous erroneous viewpoints. He must put those things behind him, changing his mind in order to bring his thinking into harmony with the Word of God.
Third, the New Testament teaches that a person must confess the deity of Jesus. Paul wrote that “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
So a person must believe in Jesus Christ and His Word, turn from sin by changing the mind about that sin, and then confess the Lordship and deity of Christ with the mouth. But then the New Testament teaches that a person must be immersed in water in order to contact the blood of Christ and be forgiven of sin. Jesus, Himself, said, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). What does it mean to be “born of water and the Spirit”? It means to be immersed in water according to the instructions given by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 5:26).
Many other passages make this point clear. For instance, Paul told the Galatian Christians: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (3:27). That is, a person is clothed with Christ in the action of water baptism. Peter said, “There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). So water immersion is the point at which a person is saved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. No wonder Ananias said to Saul, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
To summarize, these Scriptures teach that in order to become a Christian, a person must hear the word, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized. When that person rises from the waters of baptism, he stands cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ. That person is now a Christian. After becoming a Christian, however, the individual is not given a guarantee that he automatically will be accepted in eternity. It depends upon whether he continues to live faithfully (Revelation 2:10). To remain saved, a person must live the Christian life faithfully, and take advantage of the means by which he may continue to be forgiven of sin. Living the Christian life faithfully includes frequent study of the Word of God in order to know how to live the Christian life, and to receive motivation to comply. When the Christian sins, he must repent of that sin, confess it, and pray to God for forgiveness (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9; James 5:20). In this fashion, the Christian may continue to be forgiven by the blood of Jesus while living the Christian life.
Make no mistake. A person dares not leave this life unforgiven and unprepared. The only hope is to commit to Jesus, and be obedient to God in this life. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). After all, “our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). And, “the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Is there a hell? Absolutely! The Bible teaches the existence of hell as certainly as it teaches the existence of heaven, God, and Christ. Hell may be summarized as everlasting fire, everlasting punishment, everlasting destruction, outer darkness, damnation, hell fire, and a lake of fire. If a person believes the Bible, or believes in Jesus Christ, or believes in God—he or she must believe in hell.
While perhaps hell may not be the best or the most mature motivation for loving God and for living faithfully to Him, fear of hell certainly is a legitimate reason, and a valid scriptural motive for causing a person to contemplate his conduct in this life, in order to be prepared to leave this life in good graces with God. The reader is urged to bring his or her life into compliance with the God of heaven by believing in His Son, repenting of past sins, confessing the name of Christ, and being immersed in water for the remission of those sins.


“Beliefs: Heaven and Hell” (1996), Barna Research Online, [On-line], URL: http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PageCategory.asp?CategoryID=3.
“Religious Beliefs Vary Widely by Denomination” (2001), Barna Research Online, [On-line], URL: http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=92&Reference=A.
Taylor, Humphrey (1998), “Large Majority of People Believe They Will Go to Heaven,” [On-line], URL>: http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=167.

Are Americans Abandoning God? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Are Americans Abandoning God?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

With the appalling erosion of traditional American values having reached crisis proportions, one would fully expect the foundational principles of the Republic gradually to be jettisoned. Sadly, such expectations are being realized nationwide. One of—if not the central—bedrock of American civilization that has been compromised significantly is belief in the God of the Bible. A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 42 percent of U.S. adults are not “absolutely certain” there is a God—a figure that compares to 34 percent who felt that way when asked that same question only three years ago (“Nearly Half...,” 2006). Little wonder. For some fifty years now, the public school and university system of this country has been steadily chipping away at belief in God and the Christian religion, largely through its unilateral indoctrination of youth with the godless theory of evolution. Many American universities are now firmly in the grip and under the control of atheists, agnostics, and skeptics who forthrightly reject belief in God, and who embrace a materialistic view of origins.
What a tragedy! The United States was launched under such drastically different circumstances. Indeed, the foundational premise for severing ties with England, and the central rationale and justification for establishing a new nation, was articulated by the Founders in their declared intention to establish their independence. In the very first sentence of that seminal document, they insisted that “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle[d] them” to achieve “the separate and equal station” of a new nation. The “Nature’s God” to whom they referred was the God of the Bible. In the second sentence they declared that they had been “created” (not evolved) by their “Creator” who invested them with “certain unalienable Rights.” In other words, the American Republic had a right to exist on the basis of the authority of the God of the Bible. Further, they justified their intentions by “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world.” And they staked the entire enterprise on “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” Four times in the brief literary missive that launched the United States of America, the Founders alluded to the God of the Bible; yet now, 230 years later, nearly half of Americans are not “absolutely certain” there is a God!
To grasp the depth of commitment and reliance on the God of the Bible that the Founders and Framers of American civilization possessed, consider several proclamations that ushered forth from the Continental Congress during the tumultuous years of the American Revolution (1776-1783). These expressions, though perhaps tedious to today’s reader, are filled with spiritually uplifting, life-sustaining principles. For example, on November 1, 1777, the Congress issued the following proclamation to the country:
FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:
It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.”
And it is further recommended, that servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 9:854-851).
Attest, Cha. Thompson, Secretary
God save the United-States of America
The political leaders of America made no bones about their total reliance and dependency on the God of the Bible as well as the precepts of Jesus Christ.
One year later, on November 17, 1778, the Continental Congress again issued a proclamation intended for the entire nation:
It having pleased Almighty God, through the course of the present year, to bestow great and manifold mercies on the people of these United States; and it being the indispensable duty of all men gratefully to acknowledge their obligations to Him for benefits received: Resolved, That it be, and hereby is recommended to the legislative or executive authority of each of the said states, to appoint Wednesday, the 30th day of December next, to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and praise, that all the people may, with united hearts, on that day, express a just sense of his unmerited favors; particularly in that it hath pleased him, by his overruling providence, to support us in a just and necessary war, for the defense of our rights and liberties, by affording us seasonable supplies for our armies, by disposing the heart of a powerful monarch to enter into alliance with us, and aid our cause; by defeating the councils and evil designs of our enemies, and giving us victory over their troops; and, by the continuance of that union among these states, which, by his blessing, will be their future strength and glory.
And it is further recommended, that, together with devout thanksgiving, may be joined a penitent confession of our sins, and humble supplication for pardon, through the merits of our Savior; so that, under the smiles of Heaven, our public councils may be directed, our arms by land and sea prospered, our liberty and independence secured, our schools and seminaries of learning flourish, our trade be revived, our husbandry and manufactures increased, and the hearts of all impressed with undissembled piety, with benevolence and zeal for the public good. And it is also recommended, that recreations unsuitable to the purpose of such a solemnity may be omitted on that day.
Done in Congress, this 17th day of November, 1778, and in the third year of the independence of the United States of America (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 12:1138-1139).
Four months later, the Continental Congress issued a Fast Day Proclamation:
Whereas, in just punishment of our manifold transgressions, it hath pleased the Supreme Disposer of all events to visit these United States with a destructive calamitous war, through which His divine Providence hath, hitherto, in a wonderful manner, conducted us, so that we might acknowledge that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong: and whereas, there is but too much Reason to fear that notwithstanding the chastisements received and benefits bestowed, too few have been sufficiently awakened to a sense of their guilt, or warmed our Bosoms with gratitude, or taught to amend their lives and turn from their sins, that so He might turn from His wrath. And whereas, from a consciousness of what we have merited at His hands, and an apprehension that the malevolence of our disappointed enemies, like the incredulity of Pharaoh, may be used as the scourge of Omnipotence to vindicate his slighted Majesty, there is reason to fear that he may permit much of our land to become the prey of the spoiler, and the Blood of the innocent be poured out that our borders to be ravaged, and our habitations destroyed:
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several states to appoint the first Thursday in May next, to be a day of fasting, Thanksgiving humiliation and prayer to Almighty God, that he will be pleased to avert those impending calamities which we have but too well deserved: that he will grant us his grace to repent of our sins, and amend our lives, according to his holy word: that he will continue that wonderful protection which hath led us through the paths of danger and distress: that he will be a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless children, who weep over the barbarities of a savage enemy: that he will grant us patience in suffering, and fortitude in adversity: that he will inspire us with humility and moderation, and gratitude in prosperous circumstances: that he will give wisdom to our councils, firmness to our resolutions, and victory to our arms That he will have Mercy on our Foes, and graciously forgive them, and turn their Hearts from Enmity to Love.
That he will bless the labours of the husbandman, and pour forth abundance, so that we may enjoy the fruits of the earth in due season. That he will cause union, harmony, and mutual confidence to prevail throughout these states: that he will bestow on our great ally all those blessings which may enable him to be gloriously instrumental in protecting the rights of mankind, and promoting the happiness of his subjects and advancing the Peace and Liberty of Nations. That he will give to both Parties to this Alliance, Grace to perform with Honor and Fidelity their National Engagements. That he will bountifully continue his paternal care to the commander in chief, and the officers and soldiers of the United States: that he will grant the blessings of peace to all contending nations, freedom to those who are in bondage, and comfort to the afflicted: that he will diffuse useful knowledge, extend the influence of true religion, and give us that peace of mind, which the world cannot give: that he will be our shield in the day of battle, our comforter in the hour of death, and our kind parent and merciful judge through time and through eternity.
Done in Congress, this 20th day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, and in the third year of our independence.
John Jay, President.
Attest, Charles Thomson, Secretary (Journals of…, 1904-1937, 13:343-344).
Seven months later, on October 20, 1779, Congress issued still another proclamation:
Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise for the wonders which his goodness has wrought in conducting our forefathers to this western world; for his protection to them and to their posterity amid difficulties and dangers; for raising us, their children, from deep distress to be numbered among the nations of the earth; and for arming the hands of just and mighty princes in our deliverance; and especially for that he hath been pleased to grant us the enjoyment of health, and so to order the revolving seasons, that the earth hath produced her increase in abundance, blessing the labors of the husbandmen, and spreading plenty through the land; that he hath prospered our arms and those of our ally; been a shield to our troops in the hour of danger, pointed their swords to victory and led them in triumph over the bulwarks of the foe; that he hath gone with those who went out into the wilderness against the savage tribes; that he hath stayed the hand of the spoiler, and turned back his meditated destruction; that he hath prospered our commerce, and given success to those who sought the enemy on the face of the deep; and above all, that he hath diffused the glorious light of the gospel, whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of his eternal glory: therefore, Resolved, That it be recommended to the several states, to appoint Thursday, the 9th of December next, to be a day of public and solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercies, and of prayer for the continuance of his favor and protection to these United States; to beseech him that he would be graciously pleased to influence our public councils, and bless them with wisdom from on high, with unanimity, firmness, and success; that he would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; that he would grant to his church the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out his holy spirit on all ministers of the gospel; that he would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; that he would smile upon the labors of his people and cause the earth to bring forth her fruits in abundance; that we may with gratitude and gladness enjoy them; that he would take into his holy protection our illustrious ally, give him victory over his enemies, and render him signally great, as the father of his people and the protector of the rights of mankind; that he would graciously be pleased to turn the hearts of our enemies, and to dispense the blessings of peace to contending nations; that he would in mercy look down upon us, pardon our sins and receive us into his favor, and finally, that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue, and support and protect them in the enjoyment of peace, liberty and safety. as long as the sun and moon shall endure, until time shall be no more. Done in Congress, ∥ the 20th day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, and in the 4th year of the independence of the United States of America.
Samuel Huntington, President.
Attest, Charles Thomson, Secretary (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 15:1191-1193).
Again, no hesitation to acknowledge the God of the Universe and His Son Jesus Christ as the keys to national survival and success. A year later, now into the fourth year of war with Britain, Congress issued another proclamation in October 1780:
Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God, the Father of all mercies, amidst the vicissitudes and calamities of war, to bestow blessings on the people of these states, which call for their devout and thankful acknowledgments, more especially in the late remarkable interposition of his watchful providence, in rescuing the person of our Commander in Chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened for execution; in prospering the labors of the husbandmen, and causing the earth to yield its increase in plentiful harvests; and, above all, in continuing to us the enjoyment of the gospel of peace;
It is therefore recommended to the several states to set apart Thursday, the seventh day of December next, to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer; that all the people may assemble on that day to celebrate the praises of our Divine Benefactor; to confess our unworthiness of the least of his favors, and to offer our fervent supplications to the God of all grace; that it may please him to pardon our heinous transgressions and incline our hearts for the future to keep all his laws that it may please him still to afford us the blessing of health; to comfort and relieve our brethren who are any wise afflicted or distressed; to smile upon our husbandry and trade and establish the work of our hands; to direct our public councils, and lead our forces, by land and sea, to victory; to take our illustrious ally under his special protection, and favor our joint councils and exertions for the establishment of speedy and permanent peace; to cherish all schools and seminaries of education, build up his churches in their most holy faith and to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth.
Done in Congress, the last day of October, 1780, and in the fifth year of the independence of the United States of America (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 18:950-951).
The next year, on October 26, 1781, Congress called upon God to bless the Continental army:
Whereas, it hath pleased Almighty God, the supreme Disposer of all Events, father of mercies, remarkably to assist and support the United States of America in their important struggle for liberty, against the long continued efforts of a powerful nation: it is the duty of all ranks to observe and thankfully acknowledge the interpositions of his Providence in their behalf. Through the whole of the contest, from its first rise to this time, the influence of divine Providence may be clearly perceived in many signal instances, of which we mention but a few.
In revealing the councils of our enemies, when the discoveries were seasonable and important, and the means seemingly inadequate or fortuitous; in preserving and even improving the union of the several states, on the breach of which our enemies placed their greatest dependence; in increasing the number, and adding to the zeal and attachment of the friends of Liberty; in granting remarkable deliverances, and blessing us with the most signal success, when affairs seemed to have the most discouraging appearance; in raising up for us a powerful and generous ally, in one of the first of the European powers; in confounding the councils of our enemies, and suffering them to pursue such measures as have most directly contributed to frustrate their own desires and expectations; above all, in making their extreme cruelty of their officers and soldiers to the inhabitants of these states, when in their power, and their savage devastation of property, the very means of cementing our union, and adding vigor to every effort in opposition to them.
And as we cannot help leading the good people of these states to a retrospect on the events which have taken place since the beginning of the war, so we beg recommend in a particular manner that they may observe and acknowledge to their observation, the goodness of God in the year now drawing to a conclusion: in which a mutiny in the American Army was not only happily appeased but became in its issue a pleasing and undeniable proof of the unalterable attachment of the people in general to the cause of liberty since great and real grievances only made them tumultuously seek redress while they abhorred the thoughts of going over to the enemy, in which the Confederation of the United States has been completed by the accession of all without exception in which there have been so many instances of prowess and success in our armies; particularly in the southern states, where, notwithstanding the difficulties with which they had to struggle, they have recovered the whole country which the enemy had overrun, leaving them only a post or two upon on or near the sea: in which we have been so powerfully and effectually assisted by our allies, while in all the conjunct operations the most perfect union and harmony has subsisted in the allied army: in which there has been so plentiful a harvest, and so great abundance of the fruits of the earth of every kind, as not only enables us easily to supply the wants of the army, but gives comfort and happiness to the whole people: and in which, after the success of our allies by sea, a General of the first Rank, with his whole army, has been captured by the allied forces under the direction of our illustrious Commander in Chief.
It is therefore recommended to the several states to set apart the 13th day of December next, to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer; that all the people may assemble on that day, with grateful hearts, to celebrate the praises of our gracious Benefactor; to confess our manifold sins; to offer up our most fervent supplications to the God of all grace, that it may please Him to pardon our offenses, and incline our hearts for the future to keep all his laws; to comfort and relieve all our brethren who are in distress or captivity; to prosper our husbandmen, and give success to all engaged in lawful commerce; to impart wisdom and integrity to our counselors, judgment and fortitude to our officers and soldiers; to protect and prosper our illustrious ally, and favor our united exertions for the speedy establishment of a safe, honorable and lasting peace; to bless all seminaries of learning; and cause the knowledge of God to cover the earth, as the waters cover the seas.
DONE by the United States in Congress assembled, this nineteenth Day of March, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand seven Hundred and eighty two, and in the sixth Year of our Independence.
John Hanson, President
Attest. Charles Thomson, Sec’ry (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 21:1074-1076).
The next year, 1782, the year before the conclusion of the war, Congress issued two proclamations, the first in March:
The goodness of the Supreme Being to all his rational creatures, demands their acknowledgments of gratitude and love; his absolute government of this world dictates, that it is the interest of every nation and people ardently to supplicate his favor and implore his protection.
When the lust of dominion or lawless ambition excites arbitrary power to invade the rights, or endeavor to wrest from a people their sacred and invaluable privileges, and compels them, in defence of the same, to encounter all the horrors and calamities of a bloody and vindictive war; then is that people loudly called upon to fly unto that God for protection, who hears the cries of the distressed, and will not turn a deaf ear to the supplication of the oppressed.
Great Britain, hitherto left to infatuated councils, and to pursue measures repugnant to her own interest, and distressing to this country, still persists in the design of subjugating these United States; which will compel us into another active and perhaps bloody campaign.
The United States in Congress assembled, therefore, taking into consideration our present situation, our multiplied transgressions of the holy laws of our God, and his past acts of kindness and goodness towards us, which we ought to record with the liveliest gratitude, think it their indispensable duty to call upon the several states, to set apart the last Thursday in April next, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, that our joint supplications may then ascend to the throne of the Ruler of the Universe, beseeching Him to diffuse a spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens; and make us a holy, that so we may be an happy people; that it would please Him to impart wisdom, integrity and unanimity to our counsellors; to bless and prosper the reign of our illustrious ally, and give success to his arms employed in the defence of the rights of human nature; that He would smile upon our military arrangements by land and sea; administer comfort and consolation to our prisoners in a cruel captivity; protect the health and life of our Commander in Chief; grant us victory over our enemies; establish peace in all our borders, and give happiness to all our inhabitants; that he would prosper the labor of the husbandman, making the earth yield its increase in abundance, and give a proper season for the in gathering of the fruits thereof; that He would grant success to all engaged in lawful trade and commerce, and take under his guardianship all schools and seminaries of learning, and make them nurseries of virtue and piety; that He would incline the hearts of all men to peace, and fill them with universal charity and benevolence, and that the religion of our Divine Redeemer, with all its benign influences, may cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.
Done by the United States in Congress assembled, &c. &c. (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 22:137-138).
Later that year, with the war reaching its conclusion, another thanksgiving proclamation was issued in October:
It being the indispensable duty of all nations, not only to offer up their supplications to Almighty God, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of public distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his Providence in their behalf; therefore, the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of divine goodness to these states, in the course of the important conflict in which they have been so long engaged; the present happy and promising state of public affairs; and the events of the war in the course of the year now drawing to a close, particularly the harmony of the public councils, which is so necessary to the success of the public cause; the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their allies, notwithstanding the artful and unwearied attempts of the common enemy to divide them; the success of the arms of the United States and those of their allies, and the acknowledgment of their independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and lasting advantage to these states; do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe, and request the several states to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of Thursday, in the 28 day of November next, as a day of solemn thanksgiving to God for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify their gratitude to God for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience to his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness. Given, &c (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 23:647).
Finally, with the Revolutionary War ended, on October 18, 1783, Congress called for a day of public thanksgiving by issuing the following joyous proclamation:
Whereas it hath pleased the Supreme Ruler of all human events, to dispose the hearts of the late belligerent powers to put a period to the effusion of human blood, by proclaiming a cessation of all hostilities by sea and land, and these United States are not only happily rescued from the dangers and calamities to which they have been so long exposed, but their freedom, sovereignty and independence ultimately acknowledged by the king of Great Britain. And whereas in the progress of a contest on which the most essential rights of human nature depended, the interposition of Divine Providence in our favor hath been most abundantly and most graciously manifested, and the citizens of these United States have every reason for praise and gratitude to the God of their salvation. Impressed, therefore, with an exalted sense of the magnitude of the blessings by which we are surrounded, and of our entire dependence on that Almighty Being, from whose goodness and bounty they are derived, the United States in Congress assembled do recommend it to the several States, to set apart the second Thursday in December next, as a day of public thanksgiving, that all the people may then assemble to celebrate with grateful hearts and united voices, the praises of their Supreme and all bountiful Benefactor, for his numberless favors and mercies. That he hath been pleased to conduct us in safety through all the perils and vicissitudes of the war; that he hath given us unanimity and resolution to adhere to our just rights; that he hath raised up a powerful ally to assist us in supporting them, and hath so far crowned our united efforts with success, that in the course of the present year, hostilities have ceased, and we are left in the undisputed possession of our liberties and independence, and of the fruits of our own land, and in the free participation of the treasures of the sea; that he hath prospered the labor of our husbandmen with plentiful harvests; and above all, that he hath been pleased to continue to us the light of the blessed gospel, and secured to us in the fullest extent the rights of conscience in faith and worship. And while our hearts overflow with gratitude, and our lips set forth the praises of our great Creator, that we also offer up fervent supplications, that it may please him to pardon all our offenses, to give wisdom and unanimity to our public councils, to cement all our citizens in the bonds of affection, and to inspire them with an earnest regard for the national honor and interest, to enable them to improve the days of prosperity by every good work, and to be lovers of peace and tranquillity; that he may be pleased to bless us in our husbandry, our commerce and navigation; to smile upon our seminaries and means of education, to cause pure religion and virtue to flourish, to give peace to all nations, and to fill the world with his glory.
Done by the United States in Congress assembled, witness his Excellency Elias Boudinot, our President, this 18th day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, and of the sovereignty and independence of the United States of America the eighth (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 25:699-701).
Such overt expressions of the Founders’ belief in and reliance on God were commonplace. They believed that the future of the Republic was inextricably linked to what they styled their “entire dependence on that Almighty Being.” For a significant number of Americans now to abandon belief in God by expressing uncertainty regarding His existence is nothing short of astonishing, appalling, and shameful. The end result of abandoning belief in God will be the demise of the Republic—the loss of the freedom to worship the one true God and practice the one true religion of Christ.


Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 (1904-1937), ed. Worthington C. Ford, et al. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office) [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwjc.html.
“Nearly Half of Americans Uncertain God Exists: Poll” (2006), Breitbart.com, October 31, [On-line], URL: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/10/31/061031235233.s0l4o4wy.html.

No.1 - A New Beginning by Ed Healy

No.1 - A A New Beginning
When God created, He made something new.
From nothing He created that which He called
“very good”. God provided all that man would ever
need or want. Everything was for man and
nothing was held back from him.
Man was blessed with the ability to choose and en
joy all of Gods’ creation including the “Tree of
Life” which provided the blessing of l
ong life free from sickness and death.
You see, death was not in this
creation of God. It was held b
ack by Gods’ protection and loving
Only one boundary existed, the command to not eat of the “Tree of the
Knowledge of Good and
Evil” for it was that one rule, th
at one boundary which by design made man more than a robot. It
made man by design, with
the ability to choose.
All of mankind has had this ability. It is one part
of our design that sets us apart from all of the
other living things in this creat
ion. As the first man choose to
push the limit of his freedom so
we also today choose to do that
same thing when we see “how
far we can go” before breaking
the rules of society.
When man chose to disobey Gods’s command ev
erything changed. The introduction of the
“Knowledge of Good and Evil” became part
of mankind and the cr
eation was affected.
Because of the sin of man, death entered into
the world. However, even before man’s
disobedience and fall God knew wh
at man needed, “a new beginning”.
Throughout the scriptures we can see the revealing of God’s plan
and the provision for that new
beginning, a new beginning that woul
d provide what man lost when disobedience, sin and death
entered. Time after time God shows man throughout
history how He provi
des if only man would
observe, hear and choose God’s provision.
In Genesis 3:15 we can read the prediction about the seed of
woman regarding a great conflict
that would result in the redemption of man, the pr
ediction that the offspring of the woman would
be victorious yet must receive an injury. Bu
t the serpent, with whom this conflict would
manifest itself would be crushed
with a final blow to the head.
Later in Genesis 6 we read about Noah the faith
ful man who was used by
God to prepare for the
preservation of a remnant, as God planned to de
stroy the whole world with
a great flood of water
because mankind had chosen to become very sinful following the desires of their own minds
rather than the commandments of God.
Once God cleansed the world of evil in the flood there was a new beginning for man and the
creation. God placed the rainbow in the heavens as a sign.
Abram in Genesis 12 was called by God out of his
homeland to travel to a new place where God
would have a new beginning for a new fam
ily tree called the children of Abraham.
As time passes in the lives of Abraham’s children,
God works a plan to preserve and grow this
small family into a great number of people that one day would inherit the new homeland God
had promised Abraham.
But again as God is always working throughout hi
story in the lives of mankind, we read in the
book of Exodus of Moses, a man called by God to l
ead the children of Abra
ham out of slavery in
Egypt to a new land, a new nation, a new law and a new hope.
Time after time these people God was blessing turned their back on God, the God who always
provided all they needed just like He did for Adam and Eve in the
garden. They c
hose to look to
themselves and follow their own desires rather than the commandments of God. So we read in
the Book of Judges seven times, seve
n cycles, that God provides a
deliverer to give them a new
You might think that these peopl
e would learn and remain faithful to God, but not so. The
prophets, preachers, are sent to the people by G
od with a continuing message that sounds like a
broken record - Repent of your evil and rebelli
ous ways and return to me and I will bless you
with a new beginning. No, No, No,
they continue to do just as th
ey desire rather than obey the
commandments of God.
All these examples and more we can read about
in the Bible of how
God’s patience was long-
suffering because He had a plan
that was bigger and beyond the si
ght of man, the ultimate new
beginning, the reunion of mankind to the tree of life.
In the fullness of the time, at the right time, Go
d sent His son to be bor
n in the world as a man
with the mission to redeem or buy back mankind
so that we, mankind, might have the hope of a
new beginning.
Today, as in the past, God is providing redemption and a new beginning
for man. Man needs
this redemption because, as in the past, we by our own choice sin and separate ourselves from
God and His glory. We all choose to disobey
God and follow our own desires and refuse to
follow the commandments of God.
In Hebrews 8:6 we read, “But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the
covenant of which he is mediator
is superior to the old one, and
it is founded on better promises.”
(NIV) We have a new promise
with a new and better covenant than the one given to Abraham
and Moses.
Our new beginning is possible because of ou
r new power found in the person of Jesus
Heb 9:11-22
11 When Christ came as high priest of the good thi
ngs that are already here, he went through the
greater and more perfect tabernac
le that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this
creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood
of goats and calves; but he entered the Most
Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtai
ned eternal redempti
on. 13 The blood of
goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sp
rinkled on those who are
ceremonially unclean
sanctify them so that they are outwardly
clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of
Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our
consciences from acts that lead to death,
so that we may serve the living God!
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of
a new covenant, that those who are called may
receive the promised eternal inheritance — now that
he has died as a ransom to set them free
from the sins committed under the first covenant.
16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove
the death of the one who made it, 17 because a
will is in force only when somebody has died; it ne
ver takes effect while the one who made it is
living. 18 This is why even the first covenant
was not put into effect
without blood. 19 When
Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the
law to all the people, he took the blood of
calves, together with water, scarlet wool and br
anches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all
the people. 20 He said, "This is the blood of
the covenant, which God has commanded you to
keep." 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with
the blood both the tabernacl
e and everything used
in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires th
at nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and
without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (NIV)
Jesus Christ is our mediator of this ne
w covenant, our new beginning, based upon His
priesthood (v11) and Hi
s blood offering (v14).
The blood of Jesus which was poured out on
the cross was the value that purchased the
Acts 20:28
28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the fl
ock of which the Holy Spirit has made you
overseers. Be shepherds of the church of G
od, which he bought with
his own blood. (NIV)
The scriptures reveal the church as the body
of Christ of which Jesus is the head.
Eph 1:22-23
22 And God placed all things under
his feet and appointed him to
be head over everything for the
church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (NIV)
Through His blood Jesus reconciles sin burdened, lost man to the father.
Col 1:15-23
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the fi
rstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things
were created: things in heaven
and on earth, visible a
nd invisible, whether
thrones or powers or
rulers or authorities; all things
were created by him and for him. 17
He is before all things, and in
him all things hold together. 18 And he is the h
ead of the body, the church
; he is the beginning
and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in
everything he might have the supremacy. 19
For God was pleased to have al
l his fullness dwell in him, 20
and through him to
reconcile to
himself all things, whether things on earth or
things in heaven, by making peace through his
blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were
enemies in your minds because of your evil
behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present
you holy in his sight, without blemish and free
from accusation— 23 if you continue in your
faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope
held out in the gospel. This is the gospel
that you heard and that has been proclaimed to
every creature under heaven, and of which I,
Paul, have become a servant. (NIV)
With our new beginning there is a new position
grounded in the person of Jesus Christ who
is our new hope.
Rom 6:3-4
3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptiz
ed into Christ Jesus were baptized into his
death? 4 We were therefore buried with him thr
ough baptism into death in order that, just as
Christ was raised from the dead through the gl
ory of the Father, we
too may live a new life.
With our new beginning we are brou
ght near by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:11-22
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who
are Gentiles by birth and
called "uncircumcised"
by those who call themselves "t
he circumcision" (that done in
the body by the hands of men)—
12 remember that at that time you were separate
from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel
and foreigners to the covenant
s of the promise, without hope
and without God in the world. 13
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far aw
ay have been brought n
ear through the blood
of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the
dividing wall of hostility, 15 by ab
olishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and
regulations. His purpose was to create in himsel
f one new man out of the two, thus making
peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of
them to God through the cross, by which he
put to death their hostility. 17 He came and pr
eached peace to you who were far away and peace
to those who were near. 18 For through him we
both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and
aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people
and members of God's household, 20 built on the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, with
Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21
In him the whole building
is joined together and
rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22
And in him you too are being built together to
become a dwelling in which G
od lives by his Spirit. (NIV)
With our new beginning we are a new creature in Christ.
2 Cor 5:17-21
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gon
e, the new has come! 18
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world
to himself in Christ, not counting men's
sins against them. And he has committed to us
the message of reconcilia
tion. 20 We are therefore
Christ's ambassadors, as though God were ma
king his appeal through us. We implore you on
Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made
him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that
in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)
With our new beginning we h
ave a new walk to begin.
Eph 4:17-24
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do,
in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are da
rkened in their understanding and separated from
the life of God because of
the ignorance that is in them due
to the hardening of their hearts. 19
Having lost all sensitivity, they have given them
selves over to sensuality so as to indulge in
every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that
way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were
taught in him in accordance with th
e truth that is in Jesus. 22 Y
ou were taught, with regard to
your former way of life, to put off your old self,
which is being corrupted
by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like
God in true righteousne
ss and holiness. (NIV)
With our new beginning we have Jesus as our new motivation.
1 Peter 2:1-10
2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of
all malice and all de
ceit, hypocrisy, envy, a
nd slander of every
kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crav
e pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your
salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen
by God and precious to
him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being bu
ilt into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood,
offering spiritual sacrifices accepta
ble to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion, a c
hosen and precious cornerstone, a
nd the one who trusts in him will
never be put to shame."
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.
But to those who do not believe, "The stone the
builders rejected has become the capstone,"
8 and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble
because they disobey the message — which is
also what they were destined for.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthoo
d, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that
you may declare the praises of
him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10
Once you were not a people, but now you are th
e people of God; once you had not received
mercy, but now you have received mercy. (NIV)
In order to have a new beginning that is lastin
g and purposeful, Jesus must take first place.
Jesus must be the foundation on which we
can build a life with eternal security and
blessings. Today, now, is the
time for a new beginning. We must
choose to draw near to the
person and the cross of Jesus Christ. It is th
e only way to start on a new journey with
heaven as our destination.
- EEHealy
July 7, 2007