RSS Feeds

  • Subscribe to the RSS Feed
  • Subscribe to the ATOM Feed

Need Legal Assistance?

Try these Christian Legal Firms if you need help defending your religious freedoms.

- Thomas Moore Law Center
- Alliance Defense Fund
- Pacific Justice Institute
- Christian Law Association
- American Center For Law & Justice

Commentary: The Divine Rule of Christian Faith and Practice

By: Pastor Roy L. Crane

Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon Audio regarding this commentary Here!

SCRIPTURE means the Old and New Testaments, which make up the Bible, God’s written Word. God gave to the world His living Word, Jesus Christ, and His written Word, the Scriptures. Although the Bible was written by prophets and apostles, the Bible originated not with their wills, but with God’s (2 Pet. 1:20–21). “All Scripture,” Paul wrote, “is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16).

After Jesus, God’s living Word, returned to heaven having accomplished the Great Work of salvation, the Bible, God’s written Word, remained on earth as God’s eternal guide for mankind. The written Word is durable and has remained  unchanged in its message since it was first inspired by God.

Because the Bible is God’s inspired Word, it is able to make us “wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). The Scriptures testify of Christ (John 5:39) and are understood and received as He opens our understanding to the revealed will of His Father (Luke 24:27). Like the Berean Christians, we should search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11) to discover God’s message for our lives.

The realization of what an incomparable Treasure we have in the Lord should make us vow to keep His words. He is the All-sufficient One. To have Him is to be fabulously wealthy. Though He is All-sufficient, we are not. “Our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5). So we must be people of prayer, entreating God’s favor and claiming His promise of mercy.

Guidance is a perennial problem. Which way should we go? Frankly, we don’t have the wisdom in ourselves to know. All right, then. Let us turn our feet to the paths outlined in the Scriptures.  We live in a day of instant foods, instant service and instant this and that. Instant obedience to the revealed will of God is something to ponder—and to produce.

Wicked men may conspire to trip up the innocent believer, but that is all the more reason for him to remember the Word for guidance and protection.

“At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25). They were being unjustly treated by men but they could still sing about God’s righteous judgments.

Those who love God love His people. And those who love the Bible love all Bible-lovers. It is a worldwide fellowship that transcends national, social and racial distinctions.

God’s steadfast love can be found anywhere in the world, but more than that, the earth is full of it. Our grateful hearts respond by saying, “Lord, keep me teachable by Your Holy Spirit.”

Commentary: The Hard Sayings of The Gospel

By: Pastor Roy L. Crane

Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon Audio regarding this commentary Here!

Read the Scripture: Matthew 10:24-39

The disciples of the Lord would often have occasion to wonder why they should have to endure ill treatment. If Jesus was the Messiah, why were His followers suffering instead of reigning? In verses 24 and 25, He anticipates their perplexity and answers it by reminding them of their relationship to Him. They were the disciples; He was their Teacher. They were servants; He was their Master. They were members of the household; He was the Master of the house. Discipleship means following the Teacher, not being superior to Him. The servant should not expect to be treated better than his Master. If men call the worthy Master of the house “Beelzebub” (“lord of flies,” an Ekronite god whose name was used by Jews for Satan), they will hurl even greater insults at the members of His household. Discipleship involves sharing the Master’s rejection.

Three times the Lord told His followers not to fear (vv. 26, 28, 31). First, they should not fear the seeming victory of their foes; His cause would be gloriously vindicated in a coming day. Up to now the gospel had been relatively covered and His teachings had been comparatively hidden. But soon the disciples must boldly proclaim the Christian message which up to this point had been told them in secret, that is privately.

Second, the disciples should not fear the murderous rage of men. The worst that men can do is kill the body. Physical death is not the supreme tragedy for the Christian. To die is to be with Christ and thus far better. It is deliverance from sin, sorrow, sickness, suffering, and death; and it is translation into eternal glory. So the worst men can do is, in a real sense, the best thing that can happen to the child of God.

In the midst of fiery trials, the disciples could be confident of God’s care. The same God who takes a personal interest in the tiny sparrow keeps an accurate count of the hairs of the head of each of His children. A strand of hair is of considerably less value than a sparrow. This shows that His people are of more value to Him than many sparrows, so why should they fear?

In view of the foregoing considerations, what is more reasonable than that the disciples of Christ should fearlessly confess Him before men? Any shame or reproach they might bear will be abundantly rewarded in heaven when the Lord Jesus confesses them before His Father. Confession of Christ here involves commitment to Him as Lord and Savior and the resulting acknowledgment of Him by life and by lips. In the case of most of the twelve, this led to the ultimate confession of the Lord in martyrdom.
 
Denial of Christ on earth will be repaid with denial before God in heaven. To deny Christ in this sense means to refuse to recognize His claims over one’s life. Those whose lives say, in effect, “I never knew You” will hear Him say at last, “I never knew you.” The Lord is not referring to a temporary denial of Him under pressure, as in Peter’s case, but to that kind of denial that is habitual and final.

He says He did not come to bring peace but a sword. Actually He did come to make peace (Eph. 2:14–17); He came that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:17).  But the point here is that whenever individuals became His followers, their families would turn against them. A converted father would be opposed by his unbelieving son, a Christian mother by her unsaved daughter. A born again mother-in-law would be hated by her unregenerate daughter-in-law. So a choice must often be made between Christ and family. No ties of nature can be allowed to deflect a disciple from utter allegiance to the Lord. The Savior must take precedence over father, mother, son or daughter. One of the costs of discipleship is to experience tension, strife, and alienation from one’s own family. This hostility is often more bitter than is encountered in other areas of life.
 
But there is something even more apt to rob Christ of His rightful place than family—that is, the love of one’s own life. So Jesus added, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” The cross, of course, was a means of execution. To take the cross and follow Christ means to live in such devoted abandonment to Him that even death itself is not too high a price to pay. Not all disciples are required to lay down their lives for the Lord, but all are called on to value Him so highly that they do not count their lives precious to themselves.

Commentary: How Do We Know?

By: Pastor Roy L. Crane

Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon Audio regarding this commentary Here!

Read the Scripture 1 John 5:9-13

“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.” In everyday life, we constantly accept the word of our fellow men. If we did not, business would be at a standstill and social life would be impossible. We accept the testimony of men who may be mistaken and who may be deceivers. Now if we do this in everyday life, how much more should we trust the word of God, who cannot fail and cannot lie. It is most unreasonable not to believe God. His witness is absolutely credible.

When a man does accept His testimony concerning His Son, God seals the truth by giving the man the witness of the Spirit in himself. On the other hand, if a man disbelieves God, he makes Him a liar; because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. People think they can accept or reject God’s testimony concerning Christ, but John would have them know that to reject it is to accuse God of dishonesty.

John now summarizes the Christian message: “This is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” What tremendous truths these are, namely, that God has given eternal life to men, and that the source of this life is in His Son.

From this, the conclusion is inevitable. He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. The teaching is unmistakable. Eternal life is not found in education or philosophy or science or good works or religion or the church. To have life, one must have the Son of God. On the other hand, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life, that is, true life. Eternal life is inseparable from Jesus Christ.

John states in the clearest terms why he has written the preceding passages. The purpose is that those who believe in the name of the Son of God may know that they have eternal life. If you have the marks of those who are children of God, then you can know that you have been born into the family of God. This verse also teaches another precious truth, namely, that assurance of salvation comes through the word of God. John wrote these things so that people may know that they have eternal life. In other words, the Scriptures were written that those who believe on the Lord Jesus may have assurance that they are saved. There is no need of hoping or guessing or feeling or groping in the dark. It is not presumption for one to say that he is saved. John states in the clearest possible manner that those who truly believe in the Lord Jesus may know that they have eternal life.

Commentary: What Are We Saved From?

By: Pastor Roy L. Crane

What Are We Saved From? (Revelation 20:7-15)   Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon on this subject here!

The devil himself is cast into the lake of fire to join the beast and the false prophet.

Next we are introduced to the great white throne judgment. It is great because of the issues involved and white because of the perfection and purity of the decisions handed down. The Lord Jesus is sitting as Judge (John 5:22, 27). All of the dead, small and great, stand before God. Two sets of books are opened. The Book of Life contains the names of all who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. The other books contain a detailed record of the works of the individual.

The sea will yield up the bodies of those who have been buried in it. The graves, here represented by Death, will deliver up the bodies of all those who have been interred. Hades will give up the souls of all who have died. The bodies and souls will be reunited to stand before the Judge.

This then is what we are saved from: the Lake of Fire, the final abode of the Devil, the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and of all who have not accepted Christ. Period.  We are not saved from the effects of bad habits; from the social pain of our relationships, or from the loneliness of poor self-esteem. We are saved from an eternity of fire in the company of the most evil persons ever.

When we down-play what it is we are saved from, we cheapen what Christ has done.  He gave His LIFE to keep you out of the Lake, even though by any standard of measurement you truly DESERVED and had EARNED your place there.  As a sinner, in rebellion against your Creator, in violation of His Word and ways, you were truly destined for the Lake.  However, in love and grace, Jesus gave Himself willingly as the atoning sacrifice for your sin so that you could be SAVED from the Lake.  The only issue that we carry into eternity with us is this; how did we respond to Jesus’ purchased salvation?  Did we accept it with repentance, gladness, and joy; or did we reject it and refuse to grasp the life-line that we have been offered?

Commentary: Are You Walking The Walk?

By: Pastor Roy L. Crane

Are You Walking The Walk? (Galatians 5:13-25)  Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon on this subject here!

Christian liberty does not permit sin. The Christian’s freedom is in Christ Jesus, and this excludes any possible thought that it might ever mean freedom to sin. We must never turn our freedom into a base of operations for the flesh. Just as an invading army will seek to gain a beachhead and use it as a base of operations for further conquest, so the flesh will utilize any opportunity to expand its territory

A. T. Pierson says: “True freedom is found only in obedience to proper restraint. A river finds liberty to flow, only between banks: without these it would only spread out into a slimy, stagnant pool. Planets, uncontrolled by law, would only bring wreck to themselves and to the universe. The same law which fences us in, fences others out; the restraints which regulate our liberty also insure and protect it. It is not control, but the right kind of control, and a cheerful obedience which make the free man.”

The believer should walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. To walk in (or by) the Spirit is to allow Him to have His way. It is to remain in communion with Him. It is to make every decision in the light of His holiness. It is to be occupied with Christ, because the Spirit’s ministry is to engage the believer with the Lord Jesus. When we thus walk in the Spirit, the flesh, or self-life, is treated as dead. We cannot be occupied at the same time with Christ and with sin.

The Spirit and the flesh are in constant conflict. God could have removed the fleshly nature from believers at the time of their conversion, but He did not choose to do so. Why? He wanted to keep them continually reminded of their own weakness; to keep them continually dependent on Christ, their Priest and Advocate; and to cause them to praise unceasingly the One who saved such sinners. Instead of removing the old nature, God gave us His own Holy Spirit to dwell in us. God’s Spirit and our flesh are perpetually at war, and will continue to be at war until we are taken home to heaven. The believer’s part in the conflict is to yield to the Spirit.

We have mentioned before that the law appeals to the flesh. What kind of works does fallen human nature produce? There is no difficulty in identifying the works of the flesh. They are evident to all. Paul warns his readers, as he had told them before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. The passage does not teach that a drunkard cannot be saved, but it does say that those whose lives are characterized by the above catalog of fleshly works are not saved. Why should Paul write in this manner to churches of Christians? The reason is that not all who profess to be saved are true children of God. Thus throughout the New Testament the Holy Spirit often follows the presentation of wonderful spiritual truths with the most solemn warnings to all who profess the name of Christ.

It is significant that the apostle distinguishes between the works of the flesh, and the fruit of the Spirit. Works are produced by human energy. Fruit is grown as a branch abides in the vine (John 15:5). They are as different as a factory and a garden. Note that fruit is singular, not plural. The Holy Spirit produces one kind of fruit, that is, Christlikeness.

Paul closes this list with the comment: “Against such there is no law.” Of course not! These virtues are pleasing to God, beneficial to others, and good for ourselves. But how is this fruit produced? Is it by man’s effort? Not at all. It is produced as Christians live in communion with the Lord. As they gaze upon the Savior in loving devotion, and obey Him in daily life, the Holy Spirit works a wonderful miracle. He transforms them into the likeness of Christ. They become like Him by beholding Him (2 Cor. 3:18). Just as the branch derives all its life and nourishment from the vine, so the believer in Christ derives his strength from the True Vine, and is thus able to live a fruitful life for God.
 
Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh. The verb tense here indicates something that happened decisively in the past. It actually occurred at the time of our conversion. When we repented, there was a sense in which we nailed the old, evil, corrupt nature to the cross with all its affections and lusts. We determined that we would no longer live to cater to our fallen nature, that it would no longer dominate us. Of course, this decision has to be renewed continually in our lives. We must constantly keep the flesh in the place of death.