A legal transaction.

I may equate repentance to a criminal who becomes law-abiding and shows his sincerity by returning stolen goods. I perhaps will explain saving faith by differentiating it from an intellectual belief, and likening it to trusting a pilot or a parachute. I speak of the cross by explaining that it’s like a civil judge paying a criminal’s fine, thus satisfying the law and at the same time extending mercy. All these things are aimed at (with the help of God) bringing understanding to the sinner. If he doesn’t understand the gospel, he won’t value it and seek the Savior.

I then explain, “It was a legal transaction. You broke God’s Law (the Ten Commandments), and Jesus paid your fine in His life’s blood. That means that God can legally dismiss your case. You can leave the courtroom on the Day of Judgment because your fine has been paid. Does that make sense?

Jeremiah 40:7 All who found them have devoured them; And their adversaries said, We have not offended, Because they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice, The Lord, the hope of their fathers.

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An overgrown houseboat?

Unlike many whimsical drawings that depict the Ark as some kind of overgrown houseboat (with giraffes sticking out the top, for example), the Ark as described in the Bible was a big vessel. Not until relatively recent times (in the late 1800s) was a ship built—using steel—that far exceeded the capacity of Noah’s Ark.

The dimensions of the Ark are convincing for two reasons: the proportions are like that of a modern cargo ship, and it is about as large as a wooden ship can be built. The cubit gives us a good indication of size. (The cubit was defined as the length of the forearm from elbow to fingertip. Ancient cubits vary anywhere from 17.5 inches to 22 inches, with the longer sizes dominating the major ancient construc- tions. Even a conservative 18-inch cubit describes a sizable vessel.)

We know the Ark must have been at least 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Using a longer cubit, it would have been over 500 feet in length. In the Western world, wooden sailing ships never got much longer than about 330 feet, yet much earlier the ancient Greeks were building vessels at least this size. China built huge wooden ship s in the 1400s that may have been as large as the Ark. The biblical Ark is one of the largest wooden ships of all time, a mid-sized cargo ship even by today’s standards.

The Ark had three decks (Gen. 6:16), so this gives you an idea of its overall size. With a capacity of 1.5 million cubic feet, it would have had sufficient room for all the people, animals, and supplies.

By Ken Ham and Tim Lovett, Answers in Genesis    

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Our true home.

When we rejoice because our names are written in heaven, we can have joy even though the fig tree fails to yield its crop, the car runs out of gas, the bank account runs dry, and the cupboard is bare. Our citizenship is in heaven. That is our true home.

“Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.” Elisabeth Elliot 

Habakkuk 3:17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.19 The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deers feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills. To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.

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Building the house of the Lord.

We are laboring together with God to build the everlasting house of the Lord, made up of the living stones of believers. Do you carry a burden for the lost? We should spare no expense of time, effort, or money, when it comes to reaching even one soul for Christ.

“One single soul saved shall outlive and outweigh all the kingdoms of the world.” J. C. Ryle

1 Kings 5:13 Then King Solomon raised up a labor force out of all Israel; and the labor force was thirty thousand men.14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts: they were one month in Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the labor force.15 Solomon had seventy thousand who carried burdens, and eighty thousand who quarried stone in the mountains

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Is Christianity a crutch?

I have lost count of how many times I have heard that Christianity is a crutch for weak-minded people who cannot make it in life without faith. That may be, but we are not the only ones who need to lean on something. Do you know how many people use alcohol and drugs as a “crutch” to get them through life, or how many cannot walk into a room without clutching onto a cigarette? According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 22 million Americans are addicted to drug abuse and alcohol. Those sorts of crutches tend to snap and leave the patient in a worse state.

Faith in God is not like that. He will never let you down, in this short life or in the life to come. You can lean on Him. I don’t have to be concerned with the troubles of the future, because the future is in His hands. He is already there, so nothing takes Him by surprise. A “crutch” is a poor metaphor for the Savior. It is more accurate to say that faith in Jesus is a like a “parachute,” and that death is a fearful jump into eternity. The Bible tells us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” You may believe that a parachute is a crutch, used by weak-minded people who cannot handle the jump by themselves. If that is the case, then I am weak-minded. I need a Savior.

Judges 16:7 And Samson said to her, If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings, not yet dried, then I shall become weak, and be like any other man.

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Prepared for service.

“Joseph, who was to be only a servant to Pharaoh, was preferred at thirty years old; but Moses, who was to be a god to Pharaoh, was not so dignified till he was eighty years old. It is fit he should long wait for such an honor, and be long in preparing for such a service.” John Wesley 

Exodus 7:7 And Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh.

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Getting what Jesus got.

Here is a biblical philosophy by which we should live: “Jesus was despised and rejected by men” (see Isa. 53:3). That’s the bottom line. If we live for Him, we too will be despised and rejected by men. Anything on top of that is a bonus. When He fed multitudes and healed the sick, they loved Him. But when He spoke of sin, righteousness, and judgment, they hated Him. Jesus said that the world hated Him because He testified that its works were evil. He also said that if the world hated Him, it would hate us. When you and I do what Jesus did, we shouldn’t be surprised to get what Jesus got.

Isaiah 5:24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust; Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

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