The Fifth Horseman News

And I saw a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True… (Revelation 19:11)

…And the truth shall make you free

If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (Joh_8:31-32)

As we have seen, the Holy Spirit is promised as our guide into all of the truths of God’s word. “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all the truth” (Joh_16:13). A related promise assures us that this truth will have a liberating impact upon our lives. “The truth shall make you free.” This promise of spiritual liberation through the truths of God’s word is such a vital one for man, because various forms of spiritual bondage threaten us all.

Everyone needs liberation from bondage to sin. Those who first heard this promise of Jesus needed instruction on this. “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free‘? Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin‘ ” (Joh_8:33-34). This “whoever” includes us all, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom_3:23). However, we can all praise God that His liberating truth can set us free from the bondage to sin. All who trust in the Lord Jesus are justified from their sins (declared righteous in God’s sight) through the redemption price of the blood of Christ: “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation (satisfactory payment for sin) by His blood, through faith” (Rom_3:24-25).

The fear of death is another bondage from which people need liberation. Hebrews speaks of those “who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb_2:15). What a tormenting bondage is the fear of death! Yet, Jesus’ liberating truth can deal with this bondage as well. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (Joh_11:25-26). All who believe in the one who is resurrection life will live forever. Even if they should experience physical death, the grave has no grip on them. In fact, though their body may go into a tomb, they would go immediately into the presence of the Lord. “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2Co_5:8).

– Hoekstra

Dear God of truth, I rejoice in the freedom that comes through Your truth! Thank You for setting me free, through Jesus Christ alone, from the bondage of condemnation and judgment that I deserved because of my sin.  In Your Son, I praise You for liberation from the fear of death. May I live victoriously by these truths and pass them on to others who need to be set free. In Jesus holy name I pray.  Amen.

July 20, 2010 Posted by | Watering | Leave a comment

God Promising Eternal Life

And this is the promise that He has promised useternal life. (1Jo_2:25)

We have examined a number of strategic promises from God in the Old Testament. We have also considered how a growing awareness of God’s ability builds our faith in His promises. Now, let’s begin to examine some of the promises that God has made in the New Testament.

The first promise that we will look at could actually be called “the promise of all promises,” as far as that which impacts man the most. This promise is the culmination of all the others. ” And this is the promise that He has promised useternal life. ” As in human life, eternal life has a quantitative aspect (related to duration) and a qualitative aspect (related to substance).

The quantitative aspect of eternal life pertains to the fact that it never ends. Consequently, it is sometimes translated as everlasting. “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (Joh_6:40). As humans, who begin natural life, limited to a brief number of years, the thought of a never-ending life is overwhelming. Yet, as amazing as the quantitative side of eternal life is, the qualitative side is even more stupendous.

Jesus spoke of the qualitative aspect of eternal life. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Joh_10:10). This would be a life in which the fullness of Jesus’ grace was being increasingly manifested. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. . . full of grace and truth . . . And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for (upon) grace” (John 1:14, 16). This would be a life in which the Holy Spirit was being trusted to produce Christlike characteristics in an increasing manner. “But the fruit of gentleness, self-control” (Gal_5:22-23). This would be a life in which we could not be the source of sufficiency, but God would be. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God” (2Co_3:5).

Appropriately, this eternal life is offered to man as a gift. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, in Christ Jesus our Lord . . . And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (Rom_6:23 and Joh_10:28). Necessarily, this gift can only be received by faith: “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (Joh_3:15).

O gracious Lord, what a wondrous gift is ours through faith — eternal life! I seek You that this truth may grow abundant in and through me. In Jesus holy name I pray. Amen.

– Hoekstra

July 11, 2010 Posted by | Watering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace . .

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace . . . Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. (Dan_3:17 and Jud_1:24)

The basic subject matter in this section of our meditations on growing in the grace of God pertains to the promises of God. Living by the promises of God is just another way to consider living by the grace of God. Again, our present verses speak of the ability of God. The more our understanding grows concerning what God is able to do, the more extensively will we trust in His promises.

Three young Israelites (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego) gave powerful testimony of the ability of God. King Nebuchadnezzar had ordered all the people to engage in idolatry, under threat of severe consequences. “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn . . . you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace” (Dan_3:4-6). The three young men had a bold answer, based on the ability of God. “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace.” They did not bow down, so they were thrown into the blazing furnace. Yet, the Lord demonstrated His ability on their behalf. When the king looked into the furnace, he exclaimed, “Look! . . . I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Dan_3:25). Yes, God proved able to deliver them.

Hundreds of years later, Jude addressed God’s ability regarding two other important arenas. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” This aspect of God’s ability offers assurance that God can keep His people from stumbling while on earth and present them faultless when they reach heaven. We all know our own capacity to stumble spiritually into transgression or compromise. We also struggle with the condemnations of the enemy that rob us of expectation to eventually stand before our Lord in glory fully forgiven, cleansed, and transformed. Our God is able to work effectively in both arenas for all who humbly trust in Him.

Lord, how able You are! You are able to deliver us from the threatening situations of life. You are able to keep us from stumbling into sin. You are able to present us faultless before You some day in heaven. Lord, Your great ability encourages me to humbly depend upon Your many promises!

– Hoekstra

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Watering | Leave a comment