But now is Christ risen from the dead


Tuesday, May 10, 2022
This Morning’s Meditation from C.H. Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning:
“But now is Christ risen from the dead.”—1 Corinthians 15:20.
HE whole system of Christianity rests upon the fact that “Christ is risen from the dead;” for, “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain: ye are yet in your sins.” The divinity of Christ finds its surest proof in His resurrection, since He was “Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” It would not be unreasonable to doubt His Deity if He had not risen. Moreover, Christ’s sovereignty depends upon His resurrection, “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.” Again, our justification, that choice blessing of the covenant, is linked with Christ’s triumphant victory over death and the grave; for “He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Nay, more, our very regeneration is connected with His resurrection, for we are “Begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” And most certainly our ultimate resurrection rests here, for, “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” If Christ be not risen, then shall we not rise; but if He be risen then they who are asleep in Christ have not perished, but in their flesh shall surely behold their God. Thus, the silver thread of resurrection runs through all the believer’s blessings, from his regeneration onwards to his eternal glory, and binds them together. How important then will this glorious fact be in his estimation, and how will he rejoice that beyond a doubt it is established, that “now is Christ risen from the dead.”

“The promise is fulfill’d,
Redemption’s work is done,
Justice with mercy’s reconciled,
For God has raised His Son.”

Christian Boldness


by Mike Ratliff

1 Why do the nations rage
And the peoples meditate on a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against Yahweh and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord mocks them.
5 Then He speaks to them in His anger
And terrifies them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

7 “I will surely tell of the decree of Yahweh:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like a potter’s vessel.’”

10 So now, O kings, show insight;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Serve Yahweh with fear
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest He become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (Psalm 2:1–12 Legacy Standard Bible)

Christians should not be surprised when they are the minority in the world. They should not become discouraged when worldly philosophies such as Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality become predominate in the social and educational structures where they live. However, we should take a stand when these evil philosophies invade our churches, denominations, seminaries, and Christian schools just as Charles Spurgeon did in the 19th Century when the Baptist Union churches in England began going Liberal. He refused to be part of it and it cost him. He ended up removing the church he pastored from the Baptist Union and was then censured by them. He died just a few years after that, but in our time who do we remember? Who’s books are still studied and who’s sermons are still read? I still read his daily devotionals. On the other hand if you go to the Baptist Union’s website you will find a denomination that stands for nothing.

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Who we really are in Christ


by Mike Ratliff

7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee. Song of Songs 4:7 (KJV) 

I am no different than any of you. I struggle at times to maintain that all-important eternal focus, that is, to abide in Christ no matter what, to continue to take up my cross and follow my Lord in midst of all-consuming distractions, et cetera. I am preparing to retire. The pressures are enormous both at my current job and also on the home front to get our finances in order so we can “do it.” When the Covid stuff first started I stood up to some professing Christians who panicked and caused others to do so as well as I asked them, “Where is your faith?” Then as we struggled this very day with financial issues and insurance issues and Medicare issues and VA issues it was as if my wife and I were being told by the powers that be that we were no longer worth anything and were being tossed on the ash heap. It was at that moment that I remembered what I told you and everyone else during that time of “Pandemic” issues about about keeping our eyes on Christ and our presence at the throne of grace. This is no different. Aren’t we still our Lord’s? Aren’t we still part of His Kingdom and He will provide for all our needs? Notice I did not say all our desires. Just how does our God see those of us who are His? Continue reading

The Goal of Life


by Mike Ratliff

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NASB) 

I was searching for topical references in the NT that dealt with how Christians are to remain properly focused during times of great pressure and confusion. I have always believed that God has given me a role in my ministry to see through the confusion and go the root of the issues and then point His people to the truth. Yes, there are times we get our eyes on issues that are obviously being caused by evil people trying to use lies and deceit to gain power over those they view as mere “serfs” in their economy. We can become overcome with anger or fear or whatever emotion our enemy is trying to use against us if we focus on these things instead of seeking the real goal of life knowing that our omnipotent God is fully in control of all things at all times. Continue reading

Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns


by Mike Ratliff

5 And a voice came from the throne, saying,
“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” 6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Revelation 19:5-6 (NASB)

What a joy it was to meet in our Small Group last night. We ate together. We prayed. We had a Bible Study. We then had prayer requests then prayer time. During our Bible Study we did discuss what we are commanded to do in God’s Word to become mature believers and how those teachings are neglected in many churches. Some came from other churches where there was no emphasis on discipleship. Some of us are more mature than others because we were discipled. At the center of being a branch abiding the vine, who is Christ (John 15), is submitting to Him as Lord not only as we believed and were saved, but also on a daily basis as we walk through this life. We do this as we present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God which is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). Then we walk through our days not being conformed to this world, but being transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). So, what happens when we walk through our days this way as we encounter the obstacles placed in the way by our enemy? What about our trials and tribulations we all must deal with? Continue reading

Therefore comfort one another with these words


by Mike Ratliff

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NASB)

Over the past several years especially right after Donald Trump was elected to the U.S. Presidency in November 2016, I became very concerned about the absolute audacity of those who hate the truth in the their attempt to remove all notion that the Christian Worldview was the preferred Sociological way of life in this country. Of course, this falling away began a long time ago it just seemed like those who made the most noise had suddenly come to power and were doing all they could to pass laws to protect the immoral while accusing the law-abiding citizens everywhere of being the real problem. My brethren isn’t it obvious that this country is now under the judgment of God? However, for those of us in Christ things are different. Continue reading

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ


by Mike Ratliff

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2 (NASB) 

My dear brethren in Christ, I have been doing so much research and posting lately about the absolute wickedness that is overtaking the visible church in our time that I came to believe that it was time for a bit of encouragement. Yes, that whole Wokeism, CRT, Intersectionality, Social Justice paradigm that is being propagated by the apostates at the elite level of our denominations and seminaries is connected directly to the CRT that has consumed Big Tech and other major corporations in the U.S. and Europe. And, yes, when CRT interfaces with religion as in the SBC and other denominations it is nothing more than a form of paganism. Those behind it are absolute apostates. They may use the same Biblical language and doctrinal terms we use, but they do not mean the same things. Things may look very bad if we look at things from the perspective that is not eternal. However, those of us who are in Christ must fight this battle with eternal, spiritual weapons, not temporal, fleshly weapons. That also means that our focus must be on our Lord and His will all the while lining up what we do and say with Him. How do we start?

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Believers are Heirs with Christ


by Mike Ratliff

16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:16-17 (NASB)

Even through as Christians we are justified and are under no condemnation (Romans 8:1) it is also clearly taught in God’s Word that Christians are to live lives of repentance from the works of the flesh. There are some, such as those who call themselves “New Calvinists” who take the Doctrines of Grace and separate them from the great teachings of the Puritans such as John Owen, John Bunyan, Thomas Watson, Jonathan Edwards, et cetera that made it clear that in this life Christians are required to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). No, these “New Calvinists are antinomians in that they teach those who follow them that if they are in Christ, what they do in the flesh is merely for their enjoyment and has no eternal consequences. Really? Is that what God’s Word says?  Continue reading

Supply


by Mike Ratliff

19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. Philippians 1:19-20 (KJV)

The NASB translates the passage above as:

19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:19-20 (NASB) 

What is this “provision” or “supply” Paul is talking about and how can we “tap” into it ourselves as we stand firm in these Laodicean days? Let’s see… Continue reading

Who are heirs with Christ?


by Mike Ratliff

16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:16-17 (NASB) 

Even through as Christians we are justified and are under no condemnation (Romans 8:1) it is also clearly taught in God’s Word that Christians are to live lives of repentance from the works of the flesh. However, there are some who take the Doctrines of Grace and separate them from the great teachings of the Puritans such as John Owen, John Bunyan, Thomas Watson, Jonathan Edwards, et cetera that made it clear that in this life Christians are required to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Those who are doing this are antinomians in that they teach those who follow them that if they are in Christ, what they do in the flesh is merely for their enjoyment and has no eternal consequences. Really? Is that what God’s Word says?  Continue reading

The supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ


by Mike Ratliff

19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. Philippians 1:19-20 (KJV) 

The NASB translates the passage above as:

19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:19-20 (NASB) 

What is this “provision” or “supply” Paul is talking about and how can we “tap” into it ourselves as we stand firm in these Laodicean days? Let’s see… Continue reading

Supply of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ


by Mike Ratliff

18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. (Philippians 1:18-20 KJV)

The ESV translates the passage above as:

18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:18-20 ESV)

The NASB translates the passage above as:

18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:18-20 NASB)

What is this “provision” or “help” or “supply” Paul is talking about  how can we “tap” into it ourselves as we stand firm in these Laodicean days? Let’s see… Continue reading

Supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ


by Mike Ratliff

19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. (Philippians 1:19-20 KJV)

The ESV translates the passage above as:

19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:19-20 ESV)

The NASB translates the passage above as:

19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:19-20 NASB)

What is this “help” or “supply” or “provision” Paul is talking about and how can we “tap” into it ourselves as we stand firm in these Laodicean days? Let’s see… Continue reading