DIG for Wednesday the 18th of May…..forgiveness and reconciliation for all, but you still have to make a choice…..John 3 v 16

We seem to be getting bombarded these days with the doctrine of universalism, i.e. the belief that everyone is already saved through the finished work of Jesus.

I think this is a cunning plan of the enemy; if he cannot get men to stop believing in God then maybe he can get them to believe we have all been saved already.

The Word however is very clear on the matter in that there has to be a choice made by every individual with regards to Jesus.

Yes, because of the finished work of Jesus, everyone has been forgiven (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

Yes, because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, everyone has been reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5 v 18 and 19).

However in order to be saved and made righteous (and receive the benefits of forgiveness and reconciliation) a man must believe these truths and must believe in Jesus and what He has done.

In order to be saved from perishing a man must believe in Jesus (John 3 v 16).

In order to be saved a man must believe in his heart and confess with his mouth that Jesus is the Son of God and was raised from the dead (Romans 10 v 9).

The fact that a choice has to be made is there in black and white in the Word of God.

Universalism does not stand up to scrutiny if you rightly divide the Word.

The Word says that God wants all to be saved (2 Peter 3 v 9), but Jesus Himself stated that many were walking on the path to destruction.

Universalism is as dangerous as atheism, and will keep people from an eternity with the Lord.

Choosing Jesus to be his Lord and Saviour is a choice every man needs to make for himself.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that salvation and righteousness are available as free gifts, and thank You that I have chosen to accept them”.

John 3 v 16…..For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life


DIG for Saturday the 2nd of April…..why do I keep talking about the finished work of Jesus…..Hebrews 10 v 12

Someone asked me recently, “Vic, why do you keep talking about the finished work of Jesus Christ?”

Well, this is because this is the most significant and important event in the history of mankind!

Jesus came to earth with a mission; He came to bring the peace of God to man, bringing reconciliation and forgiveness from God.

He did this on the cross when He shed His blood after living a sinless life.

How can I say this work is finished?

Well, Scripture is clear that ALL sin was dealt with once and for all at the cross, in that sense it is finished (Hebrews 10 v 12).

Jesus paid for ALL sin for all people at the cross (1 John 2 v 2).

ALL mankind were reconciled and forgiven at the cross, which is why I say it is finished.

Another reason for me saying this is that this is exactly what Jesus said Himself; He said, “It is finished” (John 19 v 30).

In Hebrews we see what Jesus did once He achieved this reconciliation and forgiveness, we are told that He sat down (Hebrews 10 v 12).

That to me is the final evidence that His work is finished, He sat down!

There is nothing more to be done with regards to dealing with sin, with regards to reconciliation and forgiveness.

It is finished!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus s now seated at your right hand, His work finished”.

Hebrews 10 v 12…..But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God

DIG for Tuesday the 8th of March…..we have all been chosen, but we need to choose to benefit…..Ephesians 1 v 4

Each of us has our own doctrine, teachings that we believe with regards to the Lord.

I have my doctrines, and one is that pre-destination is not about God planning, controlling and running every event in our lives, with some chosen to be saved and some not chosen.

But Vic, Ephesians 1 v 4 seems to say that this is the case.

My understanding of verse 4 is quite different from what I would call traditional Calvinistic doctrine.

I believe that God wants every single person to come to Him and receive salvation (2 Peter 3 v 9).

In that sense God has chosen everyone to be saved.

He wants everyone to become holy and without blame in His eyes.

He loves us all so much that he wants all to be saved and has chosen that everyone can be saved.

Verse 4 has a very important word, and that is should.

This indicates a choice, a possibility of an event not happening.

This verse says to me that God has chosen all of mankind for salvation, but individual people have to make that choice for themselves.

We should be holy and without blame, and we will be if we trust in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

God has put in place a mechanism for our salvation; this is the finished work of Jesus whereby everyone has been reconciled to God and forgiven, thus putting in place the possibility of salvation.

But every man must make that decision and choice themselves.

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that every man has been chosen and given the possibility of salvation”.

Ephesians 1 v 4…..According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love

DIG for Tuesday the 23rd of February…..enemies and alienated no more…..Colossians 1 v 21

We looked at reconciliation yesterday seeing that all men have already been reconciled to God through the shed blood of Jesus.

Paul hammers this point home in this verse and he makes it personal.

Just in case the reader was thinking that this reconciliation was for other people Paul starts the verse with, “And you”.

You need to tell yourself that this verse is for you also.

Paul wrote this letter to believers and it still has relevance for the believer today, and that includes you.

Far too often we can remove ourselves from the good thing of God, thinking that His mercy, love and compassion are for others and not for ourselves.

This act of reconciliation brought about by Jesus was as much for you as for anyone else.

We have to start believing and personalising the great things we see in Scripture and this is one of the first things that you need to grasp.

You need to realise that through the shed blood of Jesus you have been reconciled and therefore you have been forgiven.

There is nothing that you have done that can hold back this reconciliation and forgiveness from you.

The good news is that reconciliation and forgiveness has nothing to do with your works, but all to do with the work of Jesus.

Through your own efforts you are right in that you do not deserve what God has given you, but Jesus’ work was perfect and very worthy!

Speak this out…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that it is this work that was brought about my reconciliation and forgiveness”.

Colossians 1 v 21…..And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

DIG for Monday the 22nd of February…..reconciliation with God is a done deal…..Colossians 1 v 20

The main mission for Jesus was to bring about the reconciliation of man and God.

There had been a barrier of sin between the two parties and this barrier had to be removed.

Jesus removed that barrier by becoming the propitiation (or payment) for all sin through shedding His blood on the cross (1 John 2 v 2).

As His blood flowed man was reconciled to God and at the same time also forgiven (Colossians 1 v 14 and Ephesians 1 v 7).

Now, not every man is saved, as salvation comes as a gift of grace through faith in this finished work of Jesus.

However everyone has been forgiven and everyone (and everything) has been reconciled.

Scripture is very clear on this.

Jesus came to bring about peace (and therefore reconciliation) between man and God (Luke 2 v 14).

Jesus was successful in His mission, shedding His blood willingly on the cross.

There is now no barrier of sin between man and God, the only barriers left are the barriers that we put up ourselves.

All men have been reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5 v 18) and this is what permits us to move into salvation if we so choose.

Because we have been reconciled and forgiven we can be saved and made righteous, only available because of the shed blood of Jesus.

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord for me reconciliation and forgiveness and thank you that because of that I could be saved”.

Colossians 1 v 20…..And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven

DIG for Saturday the 13th of February…..the best description of Jesus you will find anywhere…..Colossians 1 v 13

We can of course read all about Jesus and what He did in the Gospels, however I think that the best description of Jesus is not in these books; I think this is found in the epistle to the Colossians.

Colossians 1 v 13 talks about being delivered from the power of darkness by his dear Son, and this is of course talking about Jesus.

Paul then goes on (in the next nine verse) to give a marvellous exposition of who Jesus was and what He did.

He bought our forgiveness through His blood.

He is the image of God.

He was the Creator.

He is the Sustainer.

He is the head of the church.

He always was and always will be.

He came with the fullness of the Father.

He has reconciled the whole world to Father God.

As a gift of grace through faith any man can be made holy and blameless because of His finished work.

I just love this portion of Scripture and it is one I come back to time and time again.

And it is one I plan to stay within for a few days in DIG, so that we can explore it deeper together.

I am sure this passage about Jesus will bless you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus and thank you for His amazing finished work”.

Colossians 1 v 13…..Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hat translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son

DIG for Friday the 1st of January…..a picture of our salvation…..Mark 1 v 41

In the DIG yesterday we looked at the account of Jesus, moved with compassion, healing the leper and making him clean (Mark 1 v 41).

As well as being a literal healing, this account is a wonderful picture of what Jesus has done for each and every one of us.

Mankind had made a real mess of things and needed to have sin dealt with in order that relationship could be restored with God.

Jesus came to clear up our mess!

He was born to fulfil the law and deal with sin so that we could be reconciled to God.

He came to ”clean us up” and He came with compassion.

In the same way that He reached out to the leper, He reached out to mankind and offered Himself up for us, achieving reconciliation between man and God.

If we accept His compassion and finished work we benefit from this reconciliation and are made righteous, justified by faith.

Once in faith (once we believe upon Jesus and His finished work) our spirit is born again, and it is born clean, perfect, pure and holy (Ephesians 4 v 24).

In the eyes of God we are ”clean” and righteous, no longer polluted and made dirty by sin.

Sin has been dealt with and we are able to come into relationship with God through Jesus.

What a wonderful picture we have of the compassion of Jesus to the leper, a picture of the compassion he has for all of us, for you.

I pray that you are benefiting from that compassion today.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the compassion of Jesus, thank you that this compassion has been showered upon me”.

Mark 1 v 41…..And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean

DIG for Monday the 14th of December….it does not mean peace on earth, that is not what is written…..Luke 2 v 14

I have to write about this one verse again: I do every year and I think I have done so already this year, but this is such a misunderstood verse we need to keep proclaiming the truth.

The heavenly host proclaimed to the shepherds on that night that the Saviour had been born (Luke 2 v 11).

They did say “and on earth peace” but they did not say peace on earth.

They went on to explain what this peace on earth meant; it was good will toward men.

We know that Jesus was God in the flesh and He was Father God’s gift to mankind, so this good will toward men was from God.

Good will towards man from God, or in other words peace between man and God.

There had been an issue you see, this thing called sin, but Jesus had come to deal with the sin of the whole world and came to bring reconciliation.

He reconciled man to God by removing the sin issue.

This is the peace that the heavenly host were singing about and proclaiming.

Jesus brought reconciliation between man and God, His mission was not to bring peace between man and man.

Now, if you listen to the message of Jesus and believe in Him, this should bring love between men and lead to reconciliation, but this was not His primary role.

The primary role, the role that the heavenly host proclaimed, was the work to being man back into relationship with Father God.

And in that mission He was successful.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been reconciled to you through the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

Luke 2 v 14…..Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men

DIG for Tuesday the 24th of November…..the second was so much better than the first…..John 2 v 10

In the DIG yesterday I used the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine as a picture of His wonderful and bountiful provision.

This same miracle is also a picture of something else, of the ushering in of the next covenant.

Jesus came to bring in the new covenant, a replacement for the old covenant, the second coming to replace the first.

The wine that Jesus used was of much better quality than that which had just been finished.

He replaced an inferior product for a better one when talking about wine.

He did the same with covenants, He ushered in a new one to replace the old (Hebrews 8 v 13).

The old covenant could never make a man perfect, it could never bring us into perfect relationship with God (Hebrews 10 v 1).

Jesus could do this, His finished work, ushering in the new covenant, brought forgiveness and reconciliation.

Moses gave the old covenant but the new covenant came in the form of Jesus (John 1 v 17).

The new covenant is “better” in that through the finished work of Jesus we can be saved and made righteous and brought into perfect relationship with God.

The second was so much better than the first, for the wine in Jesus’ first miracle and also in covenants.

We now live under the new covenant of grace and are not under the law or the old covenant; it has waxed away as far as we are concerned.

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you that I now live under the new covenant”.

John 2 v 10…..And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now

DIG for Sunday the 13th of September…..so many good things, no performance required…..2 Corinthians 5 v 17

I’ve often written that it is sometimes very important what is not written in the Bible.

The end of 2 Corinthians chapter 5 tells us what we are simply through our faith in Jesus Christ.

We are told that in Christ old things are gone and we are now new (2 Corinthians 5 v 17).

The rest of this passage goes on to tell us that we have been reconciled, that we are ambassadors, that we are not having our sin imputed against us and that we have been made righteous (2 Corinthians 5 v 18 to 21).

These are great truths and we receive all of this by simply being in Christ.

Verse 17 does not say, “If you do this, do that, stop this and stop that”; it simply says if you are in Christ.

Faith in Jesus means we are in Christ, it means we are in the correct position to receive reconciliation and be made righteous.

Reconciliation has nothing to do with performance, well not our performance; we have been reconciled through the performance of Jesus and are made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in that performance.

What we have in Christ and through Christ is all about His performance and our position.

We are justified (made righteous) as a gift of grace through faith and nothing else (Romans 3 v 28).

The Christian life has nothing to do with performance, but has to do with recognising our position and then enjoying the benefits.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been justified and made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in the perfect performance of Jesus Christ”.

2 Corinthians 5 v 17…..Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new