Mark 16:15

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"

Jesus, Prince of Peace

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).
Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, is the only true “Prince of Peace” the world has ever known or will ever know. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the announcement was made to “shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night,” in these marvelous words: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
We are living in troubled times today. Men continue to be engaged in wars and fightings constantly. This pandemic has many living in fear. Protesting, looting and destroying is on the increase. One of the desires of all is for peace. Jesus came into the world to bring peace. But an examination of other reliable translations make it clear that this peace will not come to all men, but only those with whom He is “well pleased.” “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased” (ASV). Only the obedient and faithful shall know the blessedness of that peace which only the Lord can give.
In John chapters 14-16 we have recorded Jesus’ conversation with His apostles showing them the necessity of His going away, but assuring them that they would not be left alone: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7). Among many things He promised these men was peace: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 NKJV). He again reminds them as this conversation closes, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” ( John 16:33).
Later in Paul’s letter to the Romans he tells us, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). Christians are even promised, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7). But just as “all spiritual blessings” are found only in Christ (Eph. 1:3), this “peace which surpasses all understanding” is promised to those who are in Him “through Christ Jesus.”
Sadly, the rebellious majority of mankind shall continue to travel in the broad way that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13). Therefore, the peace which the Lord gives is a glorious inner peace that has no relation whatever to any turbulence or pandemic on earth. It comes from a oneness with God that securely rests in the confidence that no matter what may happen to one's person, his health, his property, his country, his family, or anything else, he can still be at peace with God through this Prince of Peace, and in the words of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest.” Amen!

Paul M. Wilmoth

Jesus, Saviour

One of the titles given Jesus in the scriptures is “Saviour.” Robert Young defines the word that is translated “saviour” as: “A Saviour, preserver” (Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible). On the night of His birth, Luke informs us that the angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds abiding in the field with this announcement, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). This is also in harmony with what the angel said to Joseph, “…fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:20-21). And this was His stated purpose in coming into this world: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). And John stated it this way, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (I John 4:14).
Do these scriptures teach that everyone will be saved? From comments often heard when someone dies, it seems that a great many people believe this to be true. But is it? Paul also wrote, “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (I Tim. 4:10). "This is not universalism. The key is in the words, ‘specially of them that believe’" (Ronald Ward,
Commentary on 1,2 Timothy and Titus, p. 73). It is a fact, of course, that God is able and willing to save all men, and that all who are ever saved will be saved by Him; and it is in this sense that He is the Saviour of all men. And Jesus told us in His sermon on the mount, that most folks are going to be lost, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). Note the contrast: many are on the road to destruction while few are on the road that leads to life. Matthew 23:37 shows us why so many are not saved. Then who will be saved?
Let’s let Paul explain it: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the
saviour of the body” (Eph. 5:23). Paul identifies the body as being the church in Ephesians 1:22-23 and Colossians 1:18. Thus Jesus will save ONLY those who are in His body, the church.
Now it becomes imperative that we know how we get into His body, the church. Again let Paul tell us: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). And in Romans 6:3, Paul also wrote, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”
When we learn that the way into Christ is by being baptized into Him, then we know why EVERY example of conversion in the Book of Acts mentions the final step of getting into Him—baptism. Check these passages: Acts 2:38; 22:16; I Peter 3:21.
Have YOU been baptized into Christ? If not, He is NOT your Saviour. He desires to be; He died in order to be, but you and I must obey His commands, be baptized into His body and become a part of the “saved.” See Acts 2:47.

Paul M. Wilmoth

A New Creature (3)

We continue our study into the “all things” which become new when one obeys the Gospel and becomes a “new creature.” In our last article we noted that the Christian has a new heart, a new family, a new master, and new eyes.
The Christian also has a new mind. It is “the mind of Christ” (Phil. 2:8). This new mind is centered upon one thing, serving God and other people; we accomplish this by living sacrificial lives, by living obedient lives as we “walk in the light” (I John 1:7). Included with this new mind is a new thought process. One is to “set your affection on things above, not on the things on the earth, for ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:2-3.) Note that these words are proceeded by “If ye then be risen with Christ” (Col. 1:1). As noted in an earlier article, when one is baptized into Christ, he is then raised to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4), and in this way one becomes a “new creature” (II Cor. 5:17). This new thought process causes one to think on “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report” (Phil. 4:8). This new thought process is important because it is from the heart that both good and bad originates (Matt. 12:34).
The Christian has a new tongue with which he is to speak the truth and spread the glad tidings of the Gospel (II Tim. 2:2). We are to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). We are to “speak every man truth with his neighbor” (Eph. 4:25). We are to “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth” (Eph. 4:29). Even though the tongue is described as “a fire, a world of iniquity” and is “set on fire of hell” (James 3:6) when used properly it is an instrument of spreading the Gospel, encouraging, exhorting, sounding warnings, etc. Let us use our tongues “to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Eph. 4:29b).
The Christian has new feet. His feet no longer travel the road of sin. He is following the path that is illuminated by the word of God (Psa. 119:105). His feet are now “led in paths of righteousness” (Psa. 23:3). Instead of being “feet that be swift in running to mischief” (Prov. 6:18), they now “run with patience the race that is set before” them (Heb. 12:1), and they “walk in the light as He is in the light” (I John 1:7). Because the new creature abides in Christ, he “walks as He walked” (I John 2:6).
Christians have a new hope. Before becoming new creatures, the sinner was without Christ…having no hope, and without God in the world (Eph. 2:12). But now he has the “one hope” (Eph. 4:4) “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). It is the hope of being “like Him” when he comes, a hope that causes us to “purify” ourselves “even as He is pure” (I John 3:1-3). This hope of glory is what causes us to “wait with patience” for it. Thus Paul declares that “we are saved by hope” (Rom. 8:24-25).
And the Christian has a new home to go to after this life is ended (II Cor. 5:1). We are only “strangers and pilgrims” while here; we are foreigners in a strange land trying to get home (I Pet. 2:11). We have a new home, described by Jesus as a “mansion” (John 14:1-6). Paul, nearing the end of his earthly pilgrimage, uttered these great words: “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” (II Tim. 4:6-8). What a wonderful thought!
Let me urge all who read these words to become a new creature by obeying “from the heart that form of doctrine” at which time you will become “free from sin” (Rom. 6:17-18). Then let each of us as Christians allow “all things to become new,” as we “walk in newness of life” that we might be able to be presented to God “holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight” (Col. 1:22).

Paul M. Wilmoth

A New Creature (2)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17). In last week’s article, we examined several things required by our becoming new creatures. What is so new about this new creature? Exactly what does it mean when it says, all things have become new? What are these all things? In this article we want to examine some of these “all things” that have become new.
Christians have a new heart. It has been “purified by faith” (Acts 15:9). With this new heart we are to love God and our brethren (Matt. 22:37-39). It is “purified in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren.” Therefore Peter urges, “see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (I Pet. 1:22). Instead of having “an evil heart of unbelief (Heb. 3:12) we are to have and maintain this “pure heart.”
Christians also have a new family. Christ said when one leaves “house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and fathers and lands with persecutions” (Mark 10:29-30). When one becomes a “new creature” he inherits a new family. Every member of the church becomes his brother or sister in Christ. Think of how many great aged Christian ladies that become “mothers” to us. It is a new family in which when one member suffers or rejoices, all of the members do the same (I Cor. 12:26). It is a new family from which we can receive support, comfort, and encouragement (Romans 12:15; I Thess. 5:11; Gal. 6:2). What a tremendous support group we have! When someone “speaks evil one of another” (James 4:11), he is speaking evil of my brother or sister; and I don’t appreciate that at all. Neither should you.
Christians have a new master to serve. Before becoming a “new creature” we “were servants of sin.” Sin, Satan, and unrighteousness were our master. We were slaves to it. But once we “obey from the heart that form of doctrine” we are “then made free from sin,” and we “become servants of” (Rom. 6:17-18). Paul informs us, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness (Rom. 6:16)? Our new master is “Lord of lords, and King of kings” (Rev. 17:14; I Tim. 6:15). What a change! Quite a difference from the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4).
This “new creature” also has new eyes. With these new eyes he can now see fields “that are white unto harvest” (John 4:35). These eyes are no longer blinded by the god of this world (II Cor. 4:3-4). Nor are they “darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Eph. 4:17). They are eyes that are not “dull of hearing;” nor are they “closed” due to prejudice (Matt. 13:15). We are to maintain these new eyes by “giving diligence to make our calling and election sure” (II Pet. 1:10). We do this by supplying the Christian traits named in II Peter 1:5-7 as we build the Christian life. We are promised, “If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This promise is followed by the warning, “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (II Pet. 1:8-9). Take care of these new eyes. Never take them off of Christ (Heb. 12:2). By all means, never “look back” (Luke 9:62).

Paul M. Wilmoth

A New Creature

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17 KJV). “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (NKJV).
When an individual becomes a Christian, he is a new person; he has been “born again” (John 3:3; I Pet. 1:23). One is “in Christ” as a result of having been baptized “into” Him (Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:3). Our text plainly states that this one is now a “new creature” or indeed a “new creation.” He is no longer to be “conformed to this world,” but he is to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:1-2). Paul described himself following his conversion in these words, “I have been crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20). The “new creature” is to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). He is to “walk as He walked” (I John 2:6). He is to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (I John 1:7). His everyday aim is to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18).
Paul described this “new creation” as “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:24). This “new man” is “put on” after we have “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Eph. 4:22). He even goes on to demonstrate how this works as he gives several examples. For instance he says, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor” (Eph. 4:25). Lying may have been a habit of the “old man,” but the “new creature,” which has been “born of the water and Spirit” (John 3:5), speaks only truth. See Ephesians 4:26-32 for other examples.
This “new creature” who has been stripped clean must prepare himself by putting “on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). This will keep him from being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14). He will be “sober and vigilant,” knowing that his “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8). He will “be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58). He will “let his light so shine before men, that they might see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
There are volumes more that can be said of this new creation who has been “made free from sin” by “obeying from the heart that form of doctrine delivered you” (Rom. 6:17-18). But here is the challenge: do these words from the Scriptures describe YOUR life? Are YOU different from the world, or just trying to “fit in”? Have you been “transformed,” or are you still trying to “be conformed?” Christians have the responsibility of talking differently, dressing differently, acting differently, living differently, etc., than the world does. Let the world see the difference in your life!

—Paul M. Wilmoth