The Victorious Christ

 April 2019

As we approach the time of year that we remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I am reminded of the many Scriptures we read surrounding these events and also the hymns

that we sing. I Corinthians 15 is considered the Resurrection Chapter. We read in the first part of the chapter, I Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;   By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”. In these verses we read how Paul is declaring the Gospel.  What is the Gospel? Simply put, it is the “Good News”. What good news?  The Good News of the Gospel is all about the coming of Christ to be the Saviour of the world, because of our sins. In verse three from the passage above, we read “Christ died for our sins”. That phrase is talking about the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, who himself was sinless, on the cross because of our sins. This answers the question ‘why’ did Jesus Christ die. It was because of our sin. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;.” No one is exempt from this but Jesus Christ!  He was the sinless Son of God, and that’s why He was the only one who could die for sin.  

     Christ became a curse for us, the scripture says in Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”.I like the hymn Blessed Redeemer. In the first verse it says “Up Calvary’s Mountain one dreadful morn, walked Christ my Saviour weary and worn; facing for sinners death on the cross, That He might save us from endless loss”. That is why He came! Jesus came to save us!  Are you saved? Have you received Christ as your Saviour?  We read in Ephesians 2: 8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Those verses teach us that salvation is by grace and faith alone, in Christ alone!

     Our text in I Corinthians 15 above also says Jesus was buried after He died, but on the third day He rose again! Jesus said all along that He would rise again.  In the Gospel of Matthew and in chapter 28, we read of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary coming to the place where Jesus had been buried. The Angel of the Lord says in verse six, Matthew 28:6 “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”  I am reminded of the hymn Christ Arose; in verse one it reads ”Low in the grave He lay- Jesus my Saviour!  Waiting the coming day- Jesus, my Lord! (Chorus) Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph over His foes; He arose a Victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign: He Arose! He Arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!” Christ did exactly what He said He would do when He rose from the dead! He did what God sent Him here to do: to die for the sins of the world. I close with this reminder of the victory we have because of Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15: 57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

February 22, 2019

Pastor Jim Dewar


 The Greatest Love

 The greatest love story...! I would imagine that phrase made you think of a movie or a play you have  seen or maybe a book you have read or possibly a song you have heard.  The word love is a huge part of our lives and our culture.  We have recently celebrated one holiday that definitely maximizes the subject of love, Valentine’s Day, where we use it as an opportunity to display our love to people we care about. I have two brothers and a sister. I am 16 ½ years older than my sister and I remember once, when I was in the Navy aboard the USS Inchon and she was in Kindergarten or early Grade School, she made a heart and wrote “I Love You” on a piece of writing paper. Somehow over the years that paper has disappeared from our sight but not from my memory.

 Jesus, in the Gospel of John chapter 15 and verse 13, tells us of the Greatest Love when He says,  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  That verse is often used in description of the American Soldier who dies for his country.  In scriptural context, that verse is describing Jesus laying down His life on the cross of Calvary because of our sin. There was a price to pay for sin and Jesus was God’s spotless Lamb. Only He could  take away sin’s penalty.  Only He could pay the price, and that was with His life.  All through the New Testament we are reminded of Christ’s sacrifice. In John 10:11 He says “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Also in Romans 5:6 we see; “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  

 We also see in the New Testament God declaring His Love. Probably one of the most familiar scripture verses of all time is John 3:16 “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.”  In this verse we see the Provision of God’s Love in that God gave His only begotten son. He gave His only Begotten Son to be the payment and sacrifice for sin. In Romans 3:23 we read, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” No one is exempt from that statement except Jesus, and He came to be our substitute on the Cross of Calvary. We also see in John 3:16 the Promise of God’s Love when He says that ‘whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’. This is not talking about some kind of mental assent, but whole hearted trust and faith in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Another great passage where God declares His love for us is in Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The word commendeth means to demonstrate or display. God did that by Christ dying for us on the cross even though we were sinners. I hope you are trusting in Christ alone as your Saviour Who atoned for your sins. If ever I can be of spiritual help, please do not hesitate to contact me. I close with this reminder in John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (515) 885-2702 • fbcbancroft@gmail.com • www.bancroftbaptist.com

Happy New Year 2019

 January 2019

Today I want to encourage you in your walk with God. How is your walk with God? In the Bible, in the book of Genesis, we read about Enoch and Noah. They were men that walked with God. Genesis 5:22 “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:” Genesis 5:24 “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 6:9 “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”

 Are you meeting with God in prayer and reading His word? What a great opportunity we have, as we enter the new year, to renew or start some really great Christian disciplines of prayer and reading and studying the Bible. Jesus tells us about prayer in the Bible. Luke 18:1says “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;.” Jesus taught us how to pray in the Lord ’s Prayer. Many call this the Disciples’ Prayer because He was teaching and instructing them and us how to pray!

 I would like to encourage you to plan to read the Bible through this year and every year for that matter. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. You can read the Bible straight through from Genesis to Revelation on your own or use a helpful printed schedule. There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible and by reading 3+ chapters per day you can finish reading the Bible in one year. There are printed reading plans that have you read some from the Old Testament and New Testament and other sections each day to help you read and keep on track. There are also Chronological Bible reading plans available. I personally use a Bible that is set up to read 85 verses per day to accomplish reading the Bible through the year. There are 31,101 verses in the Bible, so by reading 85 verses per day you can read through the Bible in a year. Some of these Bible reading plans can be found by searching for them online and download them to your computer. There is also a link to a Bible reading plan on our Church website, BancroftBaptist.Com. I would also encourage you, if you have not done so, to download the free Bible App to your Smart phone and all other mobile devices.

 Notice what we read in the Bible about its value to the heart and life.  We read of the power of the Word of God in our life over sin in Psalm 119:11. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might  not sin against thee.” The palmist declares his dedication to meditate on God’s Word in Psalm 119:148 “Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.” Jesus says our sanctification is through the Word of God, when He prayed in His High Priestly Prayer in John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” In the first of Jesus’ temptations, Jesus declares in Matthew 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The Bible tells us the way of Salvation is through the Word of God. In 1Peter 1:23 it says “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” We also read in Colossians 4:16 “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.” Also we read 2Ti 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. I believe the Bible was intended to be read publically and private, meditated upon, preached, shared and studied. Happy New Year, and as my old Pastor used to say “”Stay in the Word”. If ever I can be of spiritual help and service to you, please feel free to contact me! Happy New Year.