Archive for the ‘Salvation’ Category

November 9th, 2015

Salvation Has Come To This House

“And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’” Luke 19:8-10 (ESV)

The essence of salvation is restoration. Jesus came to restore that which had been broken or lost as a result of sin by taking upon Himself the penalty of that sin and overcoming its effect, which is ultimate death or separation from God. We are able to be restored as God’s image bearers within His creation because of the sacrificial work of Jesus.

Once we have been restored, our desire, having experienced the glorious work of His salvation, should be to extend the same grace we have been shown to others. As Jesus made a way for our relationship to be restored, we should make every effort to restore broken, earthly relationships. How can we hold on to grievances or guilt in light of Christ’s restorative work? Zaccheus provides us with a prime example of this. Having been forgiven so much and restored to right relationship with Christ, he declares his intention to restore that which he had broken. He says he will give the money he has earned illegitimately to the poor and restore money to those whom he defrauded fourfold. You see, it wasn’t enough for Zaccheus to simply be forgiven; he wanted to bring about restoration as Jesus did.

What about you? Having been restored by the work of Jesus, do you seek to bring about restoration in the lives of those in your realm of influence? Do you seek out those whom you have offended and ask for forgiveness? Do you try to right wrongs from your past to show forth the transforming work of the gospel in your life? Remember, we are continuing fully the ministry of Jesus, so we must be about restoration as He was.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, November 9th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Luke, Restoration, Salvation.
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March 11th, 2015

Look to the Healer

“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.’ So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.” Numbers 21:8-9 (ESV)

Have you ever seen the medical profession logo that features a snake wrapped around a pole? That image serves as the icon for the medical arena. You can trace the origin of that image to the instruction God gave Moses.

The people of Israel spoke against God and Moses in their frustration generated by their wandering in the wilderness. They longed to return to Egypt where they had served as slaves. God judged them for their grumbling by sending fiery serpents among the people to bite them. Many of the people died. The survivors came to Moses to plead for intercession and intervention. Moses prayed for the people.

God instructed Moses to make a fiery serpent and to set it on a pole. God gave further instructions that anyone bitten could look at the bronze serpent and live. God’s grace was clearly evident by His response to their willful disobedience.

Jesus made reference to this experience during his conversation with Nicodemus. “‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life’” (John 3:14-15 ESV). Just as the people of Israel were healed by looking to the bronze serpent lifted up on the pole, so all believers today can be delivered from the sickness of sin by looking to the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Jesus has been lifted up on the cross to bring forth our ultimate healing!

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Moses, Numbers, Salvation.
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January 10th, 2015

Make the Call

“And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, ‘God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.’ To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.” Genesis 4:25-26 (ESV)

God pursued Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and demonstrated His love for them by providing a sacrifice for their sin. God killed an animal in order to provide garments of skins to cloth them. His redeeming love flowed in the garden to rescue Adam and Eve from their sin.

A pivotal moment takes place in Scripture during the time of Adam and Eve’s son, Seth, and grandson, Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord. God’s pursuit is reciprocated. People began to call on His Name.

The thread of God’s redemptive activity can be traced throughout the Bible. When we move into the New Testament and walk through the Gospels to embrace the obedience of Christ on the cross, we can then rejoice in His bodily resurrection and ascension. God came to our rescue! He has made it possible for us to call on His Name!

  • “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Romans 10:12-13 (ESV)

What are you doing with the precious gift God has given you to call upon His Name? Are you maximizing the gift by pursuing Him daily and by practicing His Presence moment-by-moment? Call upon the Lord. Seek Him diligently and focus your life on His agenda. Remove distractions. Eliminate idols. Run to Jesus.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, January 10th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Salvation, Seeking God.
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January 5th, 2015

Drawing You to Himself

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44 (ESV)

Salvation is an event followed by an ongoing process. What happens before the event of salvation? Our Heavenly Father draws people to Himself. God is always at work pursuing us with His redeeming love. No one can come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ unless the Father draws that individual into the relationship.

The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and convinces individuals of their need for a Savior. Sin separates us from God and our only hope is for divine intervention. The bad news is that we deserve to be eternally separated from God. The Good News is that we don’t have to go to hell, we can go to heaven. The Good News is that we don’t have to live as an enemy of God, we can become a friend of God by being reconciled to Him by receiving His gift of eternal life.

Think about the people in your life right now. Is there anyone who has not experienced the event of salvation? Pray that God will continue to draw them to Himself by the convicting and convincing work of the Holy Spirit. Pray that they will be responsive to the redemptive activity of God.

Join God in His redemptive activity by praying for their salvation. Consider inviting them to church. Make deposits in their life through being a godly influence and by sharing the Good News of Jesus with them. Provide them with a Bible if they don’t have one. Give them a devotional book that has blessed your life. Email them or text them Bible verses that have encouraged you in your journey with God. God is drawing them to Himself. Pray for their receptivity to His activity!

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Holy Spirit, Salvation.
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November 5th, 2014

Divine Transaction

“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” James 2:19 (ESV)

Believing in God will not get you to heaven. God has revealed Himself generally through nature and specifically through the incarnate Word, Jesus. To say that you believe in God is not sufficient for salvation. James asserts that even the demons believe there is one God. Their monotheism is not enough. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity embrace monotheism. However, believing in one God does not produce salvation.

  • “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Rom. 1:20 (ESV)
  • “‘And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’” Acts 4:12 (ESV)

God has revealed Himself to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. The question is: What will you do with Jesus? The atoning work of Jesus on the cross is sufficient to save anyone, but effective only for those who trust in Christ alone for salvation. The gift of eternal life doesn’t become a gift to you until you personally receive it.

Do you believe that Jesus is God’s Son? Do you believe that Jesus died to pay your sin debt in full? Do you believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven? Have you received the gift of eternal life?

Trace the spiritual markers in your life. Spend a moment reflecting on the most important spiritual marker that changed your forever. Revisit the moment you experienced the divine transaction of transferring your trust from yourself to Jesus alone for salvation.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Atonement, Faith, Salvation.
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September 20th, 2014

Pray for Your Children

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (ESV)

God has made it possible for everyone to come to repentance. The redemptive work of Christ on the cross is sufficient to save everyone who responds by faith to God’s offer of salvation. Jesus paid our sin debt in full. Jesus has taken the full wrath of God for our sin. The gift of eternal life is available to all and beneficial for everyone who repents of his or her sin and confesses Christ.

My wife and I prayed for our children’s salvation before they were born. Once they were born, we asked God to reveal Himself to them in His perfect timing and to enable us to live out our faith before them. When our daughter was ready to receive the gift of eternal life, we knelt down by our couch together as she prayed to God and invited Jesus to become her Lord and Savior. A few years later, our son made it known to us that he was ready to surrender his life to Christ and become a follower of Jesus. We knelt down together in our family room and he trusted Christ as his Savior and Lord. What a blessing to have both of our children’s names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

We continue to pray for our children specifically for their purity and their spiritual maturity. We want them to continue to be fully devoted followers of Christ and to live lives of moral purity. We have also been praying for their future mate’s salvation, purity, and spiritual maturity.

If you do not have children, consider praying for your niece or nephew. You may want to begin praying for the children of someone you work with or go to church with. Pray for their salvation, their purity, and their spiritual maturity.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Children, Prayer, Salvation.
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August 26th, 2014

No Greater Task

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4 (ESV)

God empowers us for participation in His redemptive activity.

We cannot operate in God’s kingdom economy without God’s kingdom resources. God’s agenda can only be fulfilled by God’s enabling. Without God’s power, we cannot fulfill God’s mission. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit indwelt the believers and enabled them to speak forth the Gospel. Everyone heard the Good News in their own heart language. This miraculous communication of the Gospel was God’s demonstration that the Gospel is for everyone!

What is your spiritual story? How did you come to know Christ personally? What has your life been like since being filled with the Holy Spirit? What does God’s Word say about how a person can be saved? If you have experienced the Gospel firsthand, then you are now ready to witness to Christ’s saving power. You are now ready to share your faith with others. Read Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10, and 10:13.

God has reconciled you to Himself so that you can join God in reconciling others to Himself. Build bridges to those who don’t know Jesus so that they can have the saving relationship that you enjoy in Christ. There’s no greater task on planet earth!

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Holy Spirit, Salvation, Soulwinning.
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February 6th, 2014

Living the Redeemed Life

“’And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?’” Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (ESV)

What does the redeemed life look like in practical day-by-day living? Once a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, how does that new identity translate into daily living? God reveals His expectations for the redeemed life.

Revere supremely. When you experience God’s redemption, your response to that redemption is a life of reverencing God. To revere God is to esteem Him and to give Him the rightful place He deserves in your life.

Live righteously. The redeemed life results in a righteous lifestyle. Godliness replaces worldliness. Selflessness replaces selfishness. Instead of allowing the world to influence your behavior, you influence the culture with the character of Christ in you.

Love completely. God loves you and demonstrated His love for you by allowing Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty of your sin. Love God completely by giving your heart to Him in full surrender. Express your love to Him in private and corporate worship.

Serve passionately. Now that you have been redeemed, serve God by continuing the ministry of Jesus. Serve God by spreading the fragrance of Christ through random acts of kindness. Find a need and meet it.

Obey instantly. Love what God loves and hate what God hates. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17 ESV). Choose to obey God.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 6th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Obedience, Salvation, Sanctification.
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February 5th, 2014

Transformation and Anticipation

“For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 (ESV)

Before you were saved, you were running to sin and running from God. Now that you are saved, you run to God and run from sin. In Christ, you experience an authentic transformation whereby your sins are removed, you are reconciled to God, and you receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. Your appetite for sin is replaced with an appetite for righteousness. You hunger and thirst for God. There are no substitutes for a vibrant love relationship with the Lord. Nothing else will ever satisfy. The orientation of your life is centered on serving the living and true God.

The witness of the Thessalonian believers was widespread. Their authentic transformation reverberated throughout Macedonia and Achaia. Their contagious faith had become known everywhere. Turning to God from idols, they embodied the servitude of Christ and served the living and true God. They became an irresistible influence for the Lord.

When you experience the transformation Christ provides, you embrace a life of anticipation. You wait expectantly for the return of Christ from heaven. You live in light of His resurrection and His rescue. There is no one else who can rescue you from the coming wrath. God will judge sin. Those who have rejected God’s plan of salvation will spend eternity separated from God. Rejoice! Your transformation in Christ changes your eternal destiny. Hell is not your destination. The transformation you experienced in Christ assures your ultimate destination in heaven.

Jesus will come for His church prior to the Tribulation. Jesus will come with His church after the Tribulation to establish His millennial reign upon the earth. Live in light of His return!

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Repentance, Salvation, Servitude.
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September 4th, 2013

Saving Faith

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?” James 2:14 (NIV)

What does it take for a person to be saved? Is it possible to have saving faith without deeds? Will my faith be demonstrated by my deeds? So many have embraced an “easy believism” theology that can produce a false sense of security. You can spend your entire life on the earth thinking that you are saved and in reality, be lost. You can profess Christ and not possess Christ.

  • “‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.’” Matt. 7:21 (NIV)
  • “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Pet. 1:10-11 (NIV)

Your eternal destiny is determined by how you respond to God’s offer of salvation found in Christ alone. Knowing about Christ is not sufficient for salvation. You must know Christ personally through faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross.

Take inventory of your spiritual condition. Don’t rely on feelings. Trace your steps and identify the moment you had a life-changing experience. Clarify your conversion experience. When did you come to realize your sin and your need for God’s forgiveness? When you did acknowledge that Jesus is God’s Son and the only way to heaven? When did you receive God’s gift of eternal life? Celebrate the gift of eternal life and the saving faith you possess!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Obedience, Salvation.
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