Just a few days ago, we concluded our study on the Book of Titus (Leadership Excellence) in our Kingdom Life Bible class. We learned a lot in the ten days we were in the classroom within the ten-week period it was scheduled. Just like Timothy, Titus was one of Apostle Paul's trusted and dependable disciples. Both men were with Paul's journey to proclaim the Gospel of Truth and building the Body of Christ (Church). Titus had been through a lot with Paul yet remained faithful and true to his calling. If you wish to know more about this wonderful man of God, read HERE!
One of the main issues Paul and Titus dealt with in the church in Crete (located in Greece) were the Judaizers. The word Judaizer comes from a Greek verb meaning “to live according to Jewish customs.” The word appears in Galatians 2:14 where Paul describes how he confronted Peter for forcing Gentile Christians to “Judaize.” A Judaizer taught that, in order for a Christian to truly be right with God, he must conform to the Mosaic Law. Circumcision, especially, was promoted as necessary for salvation. Gentiles had to become Jewish proselytes first, and then they could come to Christ. The doctrine of the Judaizers was a mixture of grace (through Christ) and works (through the keeping of the Law). This false doctrine was dealt with in Acts 15 and strongly condemned in the book of Galatians. You can read more HERE.
In today's world, there are still many false teachings like this one that plagues the Church. The devil is working full time (as he knows his judgment is near) to take as many people as he can by robbing them of the Truth that would jeopardize their eternity. Teachings that combines Grace and Law/Good Works takes our focus away from our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ at the Cross which is the only means by which man can be saved. Many religions have used the Law of Moses up to this day to place additional burdens to those who became Born-again (John 3:3). The doctrine of combining "Jesus + (something else)" is a demonic teaching. Without knowledge of God's Word, it can lead those who are weak in faith from the path of Truth. It is not the will of God for people to be burdened by the Law for no man can earn God's righteousness by obeying it. Not before, not ever! Jesus came to fulfill the Law so that by virtue of our "faith" in what He had accomplished, we are no longer bound by the guilt and shame it created. The circumcision required by the Lord is no longer of the flesh but of the heart. Colossians 2:11-14 says, "In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self-ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having been cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross."
GOD'S GRACE...what a precious gift delivered by Jesus Christ to everyone who believes. God's law is not evil but it has the power to condemn those are stiff in relying on their own abilities and accomplishments to reach God. For the proud, there will be no salvation left. Galatians 2:19 described it perfectly, "For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law--I stopped trying to meet all its requirements--so that I might live for God."
In conclusion, anyone who tries to persuade us to obey the Law to gain favor in the eyes of God or to be in right standing with Him are messengers of Satan and the Truth is not with them. Right standing in the eyes of the Lord can only be given by God Himself---free from man's efforts and abilities. He gave it to Abraham simply because he trusted Him. Now, He brought us back to the same principle of faith and trust through His One and Only Son. Ephesians 2:1-10 clearly states, "Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil---the commander of the power of the unseen world. He is spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature, we were subject to God's anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!). For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." So, where is the place for good works? Good works follows those who believe---done by the works of the Holy Spirit in human hearts and delivered by them who entrusted their lives to Christ. We do good works not to earn God's favor but because He already favors us through His Son.
Anyway, I would like to share with you the card I made for our Anything Goes Challenge with Optional twist (Create a Wedding Stationary) at 613 Avenue Create. I used an image and sentiment from Stamping Bella called "Uptown Couple Brett and Brenda Get Married" and colored it using my ProMarker/Prismacolor/Spectrum Noir markers. The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches center step design. I embossed a couple of embossing folders from Cuttlebug for the panels, the lacy oval and swirls are dies from Nestabilities and the lattice border from MS Punch. I layered some flowers from Prima, the brad from Recollections and the glitters from Stickles (Crystal). Lastly, I did some stitching all over this project. I'm pretty happy with the result.
CONGRATULATIONS WEDDING CENTER STEP CARD
CONGRATULATIONS WEDDING CENTER STEP CARD LAYERS
CONGRATULATIONS WEDDING CENTER STEP CARD SIDE VIEW
CONGRATULATIONS WEDDING CENTER STEP CARD INSIDE
CONGRATULATIONS WEDDING CENTER STEP CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX
This Card is entered into the following Challenges:
Addicted to Stamps---Flowers
Come and Get It---Weddings
Dragonfly Dreams---Say It Flowers
Lil' Patch of Crafty Friends---ATG
Penny Black---Flower Power
Crafting from the Heart---ATG
Craft Your Passion---ATG
Our Crafty Corner---ATG
Simon Says---Summer Garden
Paper Girls---The Great Outdoors
Paper Nest Dolls---ATG
Where the Heart Is---ATG
Whoopsi Daisy---Bring on the Summer
This it for now, guys. Make sure to join us at our neighborhood---613 Avenue Create---for an Anything Goes Challenge. If you want to be challenged (like I was), take on the Optional Twist. But there's really no reason for you to miss it. Our sponsor, Bugaboo Digi Stamps is giving away a fabulous prize for our winner. Can't wait to see what you create. Have a blessed week!