blood of Jesus

Jesus Won the War

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:10-12 I believe that as Christians, you and I are in a war with the enemy. It’s imperative to acknowledge that we have an enemy and that he comes to steal and destroy. However, though it sounds contradictory, I don’t want you to be afraid of him because he’s a defeated foe. Don’t tune out teaching about your adversary, but on the other hand, don’t feel discouraged, oppressed or worried about his influence in your life. As a believer in Jesus Christ, baptized into His

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The Son of Man

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” – Daniel 7:13,14 For the past couple of days, we’ve seen that the system of the world is controlled by Satan, and that while he appears to have unlimited power, the duration of his dominion is actually limited. The Ancient of Days is sovereign over his fate, and it’s only a matter of time before his rule comes to an end. This is because the One who ascended the throne next to the Almighty — in

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Grace is Greater Than Guilt

“The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 1:14 Something I’ve learned as I’ve counseled people through the years is that shame always leads to sin and grace always leads to goodness. Nothing helpful comes from self-condemnation and guilt; rather, righteousness and holiness come from a base of grace, or an understanding that acceptance is not dependent upon behavior. The truth is that being emotionally healthy, grounded, and secure is only possible when we understand that in Christ, we are loved just as we are. God knew we were helpless to help ourselves, so He stooped down to us when we were still sinners and made us righteous by the blood of Jesus. This means that if we’ve said “yes” to our Savior’s redemption, we’ve already attained perfection in His eyes. And while

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Saved From the Serpent

“They spoke against God and against Moses, and said, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!’ Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people.” – Numbers 21:5-7 I’m always fascinated when I read the account of the Israelites and their journey to the Promised Land, because no matter how many times God showed them His glory, they seemed to forget and go back to complaining. Even though they were in the middle of one of the greatest epochs of all time historically speaking, they refused to

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The Devil is Defeated

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:15 I can’t imagine what God felt at the moment Adam and Eve rebelled against His perfect plan. He must have been crushed, and I’m certain that his anger burned against Satan. After all, the lineage of mankind — the glory of His Creation — was now tainted by sin, and He wanted to make sure that such an atrocity never happened again. To seal the deal, He cursed the devil and his forces of darkness forever. Though there would be an ongoing battle, or enmity, between humanity and demonic powers, He promised that one day, the father of lies would be crushed on the head and defeated. This means that now, while our adversary can still inflict surface wounds, he

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Don’t Fear the Devil

“I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” – Acts 26:17,18 Have you ever had one of those dreams where you were back in high school because you never graduated? I don’t know what it is about this proverbial nightmare, but it visits many of us at one time or another. Thankfully, as vivid as our mind might make it seem, when we wake up, we breathe a sigh of relief as we realize that we really did get our diploma. And as strange as the analogy sounds, I believe this scenario parallels a spiritual principle for those of us who’ve said yes to Jesus’ gift of salvation. While we have an enemy,

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Purification

“While we wait for the blessed hope — the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” – Titus 2:13,14 Yesterday, we began a discussion about three properties of salt that made it especially valuable in the ancient world and what they teach us about being the salt of the earth today. While we learned that the first function of this important mineral was preservation, the second was purification. Have you ever gone swimming in the ocean with a cut or an open sore on your skin? If so, I can almost guarantee that you remember the sting of the salt water on your wound. However, you may also recall that when you looked at it a

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Something From Nothing

“As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” – Romans 4:17 When we examine the story of Creation, it comes down to God making something out of nothing. Because He is the Beginning and the End, all power is in His hands, and He has the authority to call things that are not as though they are. While human beings are blessed with the ability to create in His image, we are bound to employ in our designs that which already exists. But this is not the case with our Heavenly Father — He is the originator of all. As people, our minds are finite and our thinking is limited to that which we can see and

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