Calling on the Name of the Lord

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Acts 2:21 And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

Acts 22:16 And now, why do you delay? Rise up and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name.

Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

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Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

These verses strongly show us that the believers call on the name of the Lord to be saved. Before the apostle Paul was saved, he persecuted the believers. He actually traveled in search of believers to drag them to prison. One way he was able to identify them is that they called on the name of the Lord, and he could hear them. This persecutor himself eventually became a captive of Christ, a believer and a caller of Christ’s glorious name. He later told of his conversion experience and his baptism. The dear believers whom he had persecuted charged him at the time of his baptism, “Rise up and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name.”.

In your personal time with the Lord, practice calling on His name. You can say, “Jesus!”, “Oh Lord Jesus! Oh-Lord-Jesus!”. Just practice this. Call from deep within and each time, try calling deeper and deeper. The Bible says that the Lord “is rich to all who call upon Him.” (Romans 10:12).

If you have time, read this great excerpt on Calling on the name of the Lord:
https://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/CALLING-ON-THE-NAME-OF-THE-LORD.HTML

Regenerated

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

1 Peter 1:23 Having been regenerated not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, through the living and abiding word of God.

1 John 5:1a Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten of God

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

From these verses, we can see that regeneration is to receive Christ, who is the life-giving Spirit, into us as our life. To receive this life, we need to repent to God and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

To say that Christ is our life now is not a figurative statement. Christ being our life does not merely mean that we are now completely focused on Him. Rather, this means that we have literally another life, a new life, which we didn’t have before. Humans have the human life, dogs have the dog life, cats have the cat life, and believers have God’s life! The following short quotation emphasizes that by regeneration, we obtain God’s life.

Regeneration is having God enter into us as life—having the life of God in addition to our human life. This is the second life, the second birth; hence, it is called regeneration. In man’s first birth he is born of his parents, thereby receiving Adam’s life. In his second birth he is born of the Spirit and of God, thereby obtaining God’s life. Regeneration is to be born of God. (Lessons for New Believers, Lesson 1, published by Living Stream Ministry)

With this in mind, enjoy reading afresh the following passage from the gospel of John.

John 3:1-8 But there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This one came to Him by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. 3 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?

5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born anew. 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from and where it goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

With the human life, if you take away the life from the person, you take away that person. In other words, you cannot separate the life from the person. We also then realize, that just as one cannot be unborn of their human life, a believer cannot be unborn of their new life from God. We cannot be un-regenerated. This is good news! You believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; you have a new life, the life of God, and this life can never be taken away from you. This is what John 3:16 means when it says, “have eternal life”.  

Again, when we believe in Jesus Christ, we receive Him who is the very life of God into us, to be our new life. We are regenerated! The realization of such a fact led the author of hymn 1174 to praise unceasingly.

How mysterious! Yet how real!
Such a man now lives in me.
Into all my heart He’s spreading—
He, my human life, to be.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
I will praise unceasingly.

(see the whole hymn here: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/nt/1174)

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Confessing

1 John 1:8-9 If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Hebrews 10:17 He then says, “And their sins and their lawlessnesses I shall by no means remember anymore.

Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, / But whoever confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

When we go to the Lord Jesus in prayer, opening our being to Him by calling on His glorious name, “Oh Lord Jesus”, and as we tell Him that we love Him, “Lord Jesus, I just love You, I give my heart to You”, something begins to happen; His light shines upon us brightly, exposing everything in our being. By His light, God shows us who we really are. It is like turning the lights on in a room that was once dark. We cannot hide. We see, sometimes for the first time ever, what is inside of us, including the sins, and all the filth.

It is a wonderful promise from the Lord that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us. The New Testament is written in Greek and the meaning of the word for confess in Greek includes to repeat back what we hear. What God exposes in us by His light– in other words, what we see in God’s light, this is what we repeat back to Him. We might say, “Yes Lord, you are right, I did ‘blank’. Lord, I had those thoughts about ‘blank’.” By His shining, we may even see that we are rotten inside. We should tell Him simply all that we see in His light. “Oh Lord, I see now, this is how I am.” This is to confess our sins. When we do this, He is faithful, and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

His forgiving is His wiping out all of our sins. They are gone forever. Psalm 103:12 says: “As far as the east is from the west, / So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” This is what it means that we are forgiven. If we truly see this, and practice confessing our sins, we shall be beside ourselves with joy, appreciation, and love for our Savior Jesus.

The following quotation talks about what we must do with our sins.

When a believer sins, he should not ignore it or cover it up. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:/but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” When a believer sins, he must confess his sin. Do not give sin a nice name. Do not excuse yourself. Lying is a sin. When you lie, you should confess that you have sinned. You should not say, “I have said a little more (or less) than I should have.” You should say, “I have sinned.” You should not explain it away or cover it up. You should confess that you have committed the sin of lying. You must condemn lying as sin. (IF ANYONE SINS, By Watchman Nee)

Let us practice to have a quality private time with the Lord. Go to Him and open yourself to Him, confessing all the things He shines on. By confessing our sins, we will be filled with the life of God and unloaded of so many sinful things

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Forgiven because God is Faithful and Righteous

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 1:7-9 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin. 8 If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

Hallelujah that we are forgiven! Forgiveness, however, does not end with our initial experience of salvation. We should experience God’s forgiveness every day of our lives. We want to have a rich experience of forgiveness. For this, we will see now more of why it is that God forgives us, and how it is that He forgives us. 

God actually has to forgive us – not only because He said that He would and He would surely not go against His own word, but because He is even righteously obligated to forgive us. To see this, we must understand God’s righteousness. God required the shedding of blood for our sins. God is righteous, altogether just. He cannot simply turn a blind eye to injustices. He judges sinners righteously, and, because He cannot tolerate any sin, the Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

In His great mercy and wisdom, God made a plan to save us from the wages of sin. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, this One who is God, Jehovah, the Great I Am (Romans 8:24, 58), to die in our stead and to pay the price for our sins. Isaiah 53:5 says: “But He was wounded because of our transgressions; / He was crushed because of our iniquities; / The chastening for our peace was upon Him, / And by His stripes we have been healed.” and verse 8 of the same chapter says that, “He was cut off out of the land of the living / For the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due”. 

Jesus Christ was the sinless one. He did not have to die for Himself because He had no sin. Yet he paid the price for all the sins of mankind. The debt that we owed was fully paid. By His death on the cross, all of God’s righteousness could be fulfilled. God required the blood, and Jesus’ blood satisfied God’s requirement. Matthew 1:21 says: “And she will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.” Had you realized that Jesus was born to come and die for us? How we praise and thank Him! We were supposed to die for our sins, but God gave us Jesus as the provision to satisfy God’s righteous requirement. 

Psalm 116:12-13 says: “What shall I return to Jehovah For all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of Jehovah.”

We encourage you to go to the Lord and spend personal time with Him. Open up to Him and thank Him for all He has done. He is truly wonderful.

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Forgiven

Acts 10:43 To this One all the prophets testify that through His name everyone who believes into Him will receive forgiveness of sins.

1 John 2:12 I write to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you because of His name.

Colossians 2:13 And you, though dead in your offenses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our offenses;

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

A most wonderful way to become a Christian, to receive the divine life, to be saved, and to be forgiven of our sins is to pray:

Oh Lord Jesus, I open my heart to You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I am a sinner. Forgive me and take away all my sins. I believe into You and I receive You. Come into me and be my life. Lord Jesus, I love You.

The following paragraph on forgiveness from lesson 1 of Lessons for New Believers is really helpful.

Surely a redeemed person’s sins have been forgiven. Acts 10:43, 1 John 2:12, and Colossians 2:13 show that as soon as we believe in the Lord and are redeemed, God forgives us of all our sins, and the record of our sins is completely settled before God. All the sins that we committed before God are forgiven and dealt with once and for all, and we are no longer condemned. Since we have been sprinkled by the blood and have thus been redeemed, our sins, regardless of how great, how numerous, how deep, and how serious, are forgiven by God. (Lessons for New Believers, Lesson 1, published by Living Stream Ministry)

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Believing the Gospel

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name. 

Ephesians 1:13 In whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in Him also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise. 

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

John 3:16 and John 1:12 show us that…
1) to believe in Him is to believe into Him
2) and to believe in Him is to receive Him into us

Ephesians 1:13 tells us that our faith in the Lord is through our hearing the word of the truth of the gospel.

Have you heard the word of the truth… the gospel of your salvation? Well, let’s practice the following declaration together… Lord, I believe into you! Lord, come into me!

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Repenting

Acts 20:21 Solemnly testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance unto God and faith in our Lord Jesus.

Mark 1:15b Repent and believe in the gospel.

Acts 26:20 But declared both to those in Damascus first and in Jerusalem and throughout all the country of Judea and to the Gentiles that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

As used in Mark 1:15, the word “repent” literally means to think differently afterward, that is, to have a change of mind. To repent is to have a change of mind with regret for the past and with a turn for the future.

So, on the negative side, we repent not only of sins and wrongdoings, but we also repent of the world and its corruption that usurp and corrupt us; we also repent of our God-forsaking life in the past. On the positive side, to repent is to turn to God in every way and in everything for fulfilling His purpose in making mankind. This is a “repentance unto God”; it is to “repent and turn to God”.

Now we’re going to ask you to consider these very personal questions for yourself… What are you living for? Are you living for God?

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Redeemed – An Eternal Redemption

Hebrews 9:12 And not through the blood of goats and calves but through his own blood, entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, obtaining an eternal redemption.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

What is this redemption? The word redeem means to purchase back something which originally was yours but which had become lost. This redemption is exactly what Christ accomplished through His death. We originally belonged to God. We were His possession. However, due to our involvement with sin we all became lost. Nevertheless, God did not give us up. He paid the price to have us back, repossessing us at a great cost. The shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross has obtained eternal redemption for us.

The best news of the day is… That today, when we believe into Christ and confess our sins, we receive a full forgiveness of all our offenses that we may return to God.

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Called

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Romans 8:30 And those whom He predestinated, these He also called; and those whom He called, these He also justified; and those whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 4:1 I beseech you therefore, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

Every believer is a called one. I grew up knowing that certain ones served God because at a certain point in their lives, God would call them. They received “a calling”, I had been taught. Little did I realize that one day, I myself would also be called. What we find in God’s word is that every believer is a called one – “those whom He predestinated, these He also called.” (Romans 8:30) If it weren’t for God Himself calling us, we wouldn’t be saved.

When God called us, we were in the middle of our own pursuits. Why did He call us? It was not just to leave us there. He has a purpose and His calling has a purpose. When God called Saul of Tarsus, he answered, “Who are You, Lord?” (Acts 9:5) He also asked, “What do you want me to do?” (Acts 22:10). As the called ones, we must be like Saul who became the apostle Paul. The Lord has called us. We should likewise ask Him, “Who are You, Lord?” and “What do you want me to do?”.  We can fully trust in the Lord our God, who has called us. We can put our life in His hands. This One who has created all things and predestinated us and called us has a purpose and a plan. Why not open ourselves to Him in faith?

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Gospel Meeting: A World in Crisis

This next hour may change your life. It’s all about Jesus Christ.

He is the fountain that never runs dry. When we believe in Him, He comes to live in us and satisfies our deepest thirst. He really does!

For My people have committed two evils: / They have forsaken Me, / The fountain of living waters, / To hew out for themselves cisterns, / Broken cisterns, / Which hold no water.  – Jeremiah 2:13

We are pleased to share this good-news-video with you! It comes from the church in Irvine, California. Watch, Open your Heart, and See how Jesus Christ is such a fountain, and how He can be yours, too!

The Revelation, Appreciation, & Application of Christ as Our Sin Offering

August 31, 2018 Gospel Meeting

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Many came together for this gospel meeting on campus. We had a Barbecue dinner, sang a hymn, and heard the good news of Christ as our sin offering.

In order to know, see, and even love the wonderful person of Jesus Christ, we must see that we are sinners. Furthermore, we need to see that Christ died for us as the sin offering, as typified in Leviticus chapter 4 and revealed throughout the Bible. By Believing in what Christ has done for us, our sins are forgiven and we receive His life!

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! – John 1:29

Him who did not know sin He made sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – 2 Corinthians 5:21

The gospel message was based on a training outline produced by Living Stream Ministry for the Winter Training of 2017. A link to the outline of the original message is below:

The Revelation, Appreciation, and Application of Christ as Our Sin Offering

I met Jesus

My testimony.

I met Jesus Christ as a freshman. Christians invited me to read the Bible with them. We read on campus during lunch time. When I read the verses in John chapter 3, I was very touched by God’s love and God’s plan.

Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he? Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. – John 3:3-6

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life. – John 3:16

My new Christian friends asked if I wanted to pray to receive Jesus into my life. How could I refuse! Jesus Himself was speaking to me from the Bible, telling me that I needed to receive a new life, His life!
I prayed,

“Lord Jesus, I believe into You. Forgive me of all my sins. Thank you for dying for me. Come into my heart.”

I was instantly filled with joy. All I could think at that moment is that I wanted everyone in my family to also receive Jesus Christ into their heart. The rest of my day, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. That began my Christian life and I thank God that He’s given me companions all these years to help me to continue to pursue this wonderful and loving person, Jesus Christ our Lord.

– Daniel