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My positive result

To begin with this story, I feel the need to add some details prior to the explanation of my bout with covid. I have had asthma all of my life although I was not diagnosed until the 1980 time period. I usually keep the illness managed well enough to function somewhat. Also, I have dealings with vertigo, although the extreme is, thankfully, uncommon. I say that because I have had dizziness sensations much of my life. For example, if my dad would drive too fast over a certain bump at Brick Church, Pennsylvania, I would feel dizziness and nausea. Some spinning amusement rides would make me sick. My first vertigo attack was in 2013. That event was a terrifying one for me. I thought I was having a stroke. Today they are very uncommon for I have learned to do an exercise to keep those crystals in my inner ear in place.

Sunday afternoon of July 31, I felt a vertigo experience happening. I expressed either verbally or in my thoughts the words, “OH NO!” Immediately it stopped, but I was concerned. The rest of evening I felt slightly dizzy at times with a subtle headache.

The following day I was having the asthma common two-syllable, cough. No biggie for I could like this every day, so I wasn’t too concerned. However, on Tuesday the coughs were more prevalent. I played guitar at a church on Tuesday evening and noticed the inhaler wasn’t working well.

Tuesday, I mowed my yard and the neighbors and didn’t feel anything too bad.

Tuesday night I started harder coughing and slept very little. On the very early morning of Wednesday the 3rd, I began choking until I vomited up phlegm. I felt better afterwards but was exhausted. I remained in bed all day except bathroom breaks. I didn’t eat anything until I had awakened at 7:45 PM. The coughing began again, but I discovered I had a severe pain at the base of my left ribcage. The coughing had strained a muscle apparently. I tried to suppress the coughs the best I could.

Thursday morning, I was very suspicious as to if I may be dealing with covid and not the asthma. Laurie said she had a test kit sent from our insurance company. As you can see the test was positive. The coughing continued as did the nausea and dizziness. Early Friday morning I was vomiting again and that stopped the coughing for my lungs were, now, clear.

Friday afternoon found me on the computer asking covid questions. Can covid trigger vertigo-like effects and could covid trigger asthma-like coughs? Both responses were the same…YES! So, the covid virus was expressing itself on the 31st, but I failed to recognize it. The same with the asthma coughs.

I am typing this report on August 5 and with the exception of a slight headache and fatigue, I am feeling fair. I hope I do not need to come back here to type in reoccurrences.

Wild Bergamot

This past week held some adventures in hiking and fishing for me. One morning Laurie came with me. We would see nine deer including four bucks, two turkeys and a Bald Eagle. We entered a field’s edge and noticed two fawns bedded down.

One morning I fished the Allegheny River catching several Walleyes and several catfish. I saw an Osprey searching for fish to catch.

One of the walleye catches.

This catfish was close to twenty inches. Nice fight!

Another morning I walked alongside to the Allegheny River and a local rail to trails. I walked about five miles. I watched a Mink along a rocky edge. That is an uncommon sight to see in the wild. I, also, saw a Great Blue heron and a family of Common Mergansers.

Yellow Goat’s Beard in seed. Seed pod is approximately three inches across.

Thursday morning, I had time for a brief walk prior to stopping at my mother’s home. Very early I heard and later spooked a gobbler from a tree. On my way home I would see three longbeards.

With temperatures I the fifties I headed to a state game lands for a nice walk. I saw a number of deer. One doe offered some photos with the sun at a good angle. I would see other deer, as well. I saw several hen turkeys and a few poults. I walked upon a flock of gobblers. Although they were very close, I could not find an opening for a camera shot.

Indian Pipe

Turk’s Cap Lily

The Turk’s Cap Lily is one beautiful lily native to Pennsylvania. Those of us traveling along waterways quickly realize the height of various annual vegetation and wildflowers. Many areas over six feet high. This lily may reach and tower over the six feet species. I have seen some around eight feet high. I have this specie growing in my bottomland behind the house. They like bottomland areas that hold moisture.

Christ said in Matthew 6: 29 about the lily the following. “Yet I say to you that NOT even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.”

Pickerelweed

The Pickerelweed flower is a wetland species. I know of a few sites locally. The roots are deep in muddy areas and often times this flower is growing in water areas.

Cardinal Flower

I wonder how this native flower received the name, Cardinal Flower. I bet because of the brilliant red color!

Lizard’s Tail

This unique flower is white in color and hangs over and reminded someone of the past of a lizard’s tail, hence the name.

Square-stemmed Monkey Flower

This Sqaure-stemmed Monkey Flower grows up to around three feet tall. One will find this species growing along shorelines and wet areas.

Evening Primrose

The Evening Primrose is usually found just about anywhere including along the river.

Purple Loosestrife

The Purple Loosestrife, although a beautiful wildflower, is not native to Pennsylvania. It is considered a noxious weed with the possibility of overtaking native species.

Yellow Jewelweed

This Jewelweed, along with the Spotted Jewelweed, is usually found in moist areas can show up most anywhere. It may be referred to as Johnny Jump ups for the seeds pop open and fly in different directions as if they jump. This happens when ripe or touched.

Bumblebee on a Swamp Milkweed

Garden Loosestrife

This is a non-native species, also. It prefers swampy thickets.

Bald Eagle

I had an errand to run this morning, so I incorporated some waterways walking very early. There was a light fog over the Allegheny River as I began exploring the banks for anything of interest. My plan was to take photos of wildflowers. I will save those photos for a separate entry.

I had, later, moved to another hike along Buffalo Creek. I had an errand at the feed store. As the humidity was climbing with the temperatures, I began my walk along the road back to the jeep when I could hear a vehicle slowing down behind me. The woman stopped. She asked me if I got any photos of it? I was puzzled at first. She thought I was a fellow named Mark. I told her my name and she informed me a friend had spotted a Bald Eagle. (The it.) She thought I was a fellow named, Mark. Her friend had mentioned of another fellow named Mark with a camera. She told me of a Bald eagle sighting just ahead and said jump in.

In a couple of moments, we were at the area where the Bald Eagle had been seen. I quickly spotted the big bird and expressed to her of seeing the eagle. The photos here are a few pics I managed to get before the bird flew off. Thank you, Connie, for stopping and letting me know of this magnificent bird.

Notice the talons below the limb.
Great Blue Heron with Shad

I watched the Great Blue Heron for quite some time below the dam. The bird captured and devoured two fish during that time. Notice from the above photo the size of this fish. The other one was just as big and the bird simply “gulped” them down.

the Allegheny River was in nice shape this morning as I trekked through the underbrush heading to a place, I enjoy fishing. The first cast produced a hard bite, and the hook was set. Unfortunately, the sizable fish broke the eight-pound test leader, even though, I was not forcing the fight. the second cast produced my first catfish, a whopping eighteen-inch powerhouse of a fighter. I would catch more cats during the morning.

This guy insists on following me around trying to scare away the fish. Actually, this is my friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus fishing for muskies.

Prior to eleven o’clock I would catch a Freshwater Drum or a Sheepshead. Between the first catfish and Drum I would lose another big fish due to line breakage. Another catfish in the twenty-inch range came to the surface just prior to throwing the hook. I missed a few strong bites, too.

One of the Cats.

Freshwater Drum

Not a wildflower.

The Teasel is beginning to bloom.

The humidity was up, but the moisture content in the air is supposed to drop later today. I dressed for the early weather-related timeframe. I had my tick-resistant clothing, rubber boots for the dew-laden grass and a light flannel short to help thwart any insect issues.

Chicory

I always find wildflower stages interesting. I believe every two-weeks one will observe the next stage of wildflower blooms. They come and go rather fast. There were a lot of blue-colored species showing off their vibrant color during this morning’s adventure.

I would see three doe this morning, but only managed photos of one in the creek. I saw seven turkeys, including only one poult, at three different areas. The lack of poult visuals is concerning.

Blue Vervain
Teasel

Downy Skullcap

Crane Fly

Quiet Time Gospel

The CD cover shown above featured within this blog site entry is called, “Quiet Time Gospel.” This selection of sixteen gospel/ traditional hymn songs came about through an interesting discussion.

Currently, Laurie and I have been attending the Kittanning Free Methodist Church which is actually several miles from Kittanning, Pennsylvania. Their site is: https://www.kittanningfmc.org/ The church has some great people and friends. The covid issue caused some problems with the attendance numbers, but I understand many churches have been struggling with regaining their numbers.

The pastor of this church presently is, Jeremy Andrews. We get along fine. He is a kind, compassionate man. However, I am not so much…haha.

Recently, he discussed the possibility of myself playing a non-amplified acoustic guitar during a time he refers to as Quiet Time. This is the reasoning behind the title of the CD. I tried doing the guitar a couple of times and was not happy with my sound, so I suggested another option of doing some songs on a CD to use in my place. The pastor was receptive, and I hurriedly made a CD of sixteen songs. I purposely arranged the songs to be in an easy listening style. I did four to eight tracks per song with various acoustic and electric guitar work, bass guitar and keyboards. So, in the few minutes prior to a prayer time one of these recorded songs are played softly during the Quiet Time.

As an afterthought, I decided to take these songs and add some light drum work for a more completed sound on a CD which is the result shown above. I had taken some photographs the previous week of Canada Lilies and thought one of those pics would make for an attractive CD label.

I am currently in the arrangement and recording stage of another Quiet Time CD featuring some more “contemporary” gospel songs.

The Canada Lily

Canada Lily

Every now and then, I stumble across a most beautiful wildflower native to my area of Pennsylvania. The wildflower is the Canada Lily. They are uncommon in the area, and I have, yet, to find any growing in a large number. The usual find is a few stalks only.

This was the case yesterday morning while I was walking near my old homestead prior to going to visit the family and have breakfast and mow.

I was walking around remembering a much younger Larry roaming the area. Oh, the times I had. I noticed a hint of red among the greenery thinking the color was, most likely, the Bee Balm for this native wildflower is starting to bloom, too.

However, I took a secondary glance and recognized immediately was the source of the red color was, and it was a few blossoms of the Canada Lily. I investigated and fold three stalks with only four blossoms. Unfortunately, I failed to carry my camera with me this particular morning which is rare for me.

After I returned home, I thought I should get back to the site soon, for those flowers do not have a long bloom time. A week may just fail to find them at this stage. This morning I went back to the site. I trimmed back the encroaching Multiflora Rose and Goldenrod stalks to allow for some photos.

There is a yellow-colored Canada Lily, but they tend to be more northerly like in Maine. I know of none in Pennsylvania.

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Snapping Turtle

The pole didn’t move much at all before the line tightened to the point for me to set the hook. Immediately I recognized something very different about this fish. I was fishing for Catfish and Carp, and I knew this battle was not familiar as the how those two species fight. My very next thought was…turtle!

I was correct as the Snapping Turtle came to the surface the first time. I hung on for this turtle was not appreciative as to me catching it. The pole was deeply bent with the tugs and weight.

Once I brought the turtle to the shoreline, I had few options. I would not be unhooking this feller by hand. Snappers can bite hard and lock their jaws. Naaa… I think I will cut the line.

I did catch some catfish and was enjoying the morning when I felt the very similar battle as with the first Snapping Turtle. Could have I caught another Snapper?

Again, I had hooked a second Snapping Turtle and I, once again, cut the line to reserve my fingers for other things. Both turtle shells were between twelve and fourteen inches in length.

So, I caught two Snapping Turtles within an hour. I, also, watched a doe during her potty time and would see a gobbler as I walked out of the area. It was a good and interesting morning.

The lonely pole.

WHAT IS THIS GOSPEL OF GRACE? (A Twelve Page Study.)

Larry A. Smail

What is this Gospel of Grace anyway? Well, I can tell you what it is not. The Gospel of Grace is NOT the gospel of the kingdom! Oh my, that statement may “ruffle some feathers.”  These two gospels of the New Testament are NOT the same. These two gospels are NOT supposed to be the same. These two gospels, however, are to be studied and understood through rightfully dividing scripture. The kingdom gospel was the gospel for Israel to fulfill God’s covenant promises to Abraham. Rightfully dividing scripture will do away with the discrepancies and confusion. However, one will need to do so with an open mind, potentially, throwing aside years of denominational thoughts through study accomplished by rightfully dividing scripture. This is very important, yet this may be the hard part! I started this journey many years ago and thankful I did.

So, let us go back to exactly what GRACE is. Webster’s Dictionary describes grace as: a beauty of form in the way one moves; a pleasing quality or manner; a sense of what is right or wrong; an extra period of time allowed to do something …and the love and favor that God shows towards man. Even Mr. Webster got it!

For our study, we are concerned of GRACE from a Biblical standpoint. GRACE may best be described as an “UNMERITED FAVOR” or as the Apostle Paul wrote, a “FREE GIFT OF GOD.” (Romans 6: 23. For the wages of sin is death, but the FREE GIFT of GOD is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.) With these descriptions in mind, GRACE is an undeserved gift from God to all sinners. However, individuals are required to believe the GOSPEL of GRACE with complete faith. Remember you don’t pay for a free gift, and more importantly, and from scripture, the GIFT of GRACE can’t be received through any works of the flesh. Ephesians 1: 5-8 is clear, “He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his GLORIOUS GRACE which he FREELY bestowed on us in the beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of trespasses, according to the riches of his GRACE which he lavishes upon us.” Paul always writes to believers.

This gift of GRACE is not only a New Testament gift. God granted GRACE with various individuals and people within the pages of the Old Testament. However, this study is most concerned of GRACE from the time after Christ’s death on the cross, resurrection, and especially through the Apostle Paul’s writings of our current time of dispensation. We must remember this dispensation began after

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Israel’s failure to believe Jesus was their Promised One or Messiah. Israel was in a state of implosion with internal decay and a defeat as a nation after the Jewish, believer, Stephen’s murder. Stephen was a man filled with GRACE and power. (See Acts 7- 8.) This constant stage of unbelief had the Lord by-passing his Exodus 19: 5-6 covenant promise with Israel and pulling Paul away from his zealous life of Jewry. (See Acts 9.) The covenant is a promise and will come again to fruition at events during Christ’s Second Advent.

NOTE: The Exodus 19: 5-6 covenant was to make the nation of Israel a holy kingdom of priests to take the word to the Gentiles. However, the nation was required to obey the Lord’s ordinances, statutes, and commandments.

THE GOSPEL OF GRACE

Before this study proceeds the reader must realize exactly what is the GOSPEL OF GRACE that Paul preached. This gospel is detailed in a couple places in scripture. The gospel, however, is often alluded to elsewhere in his writings. We have all heard these gospel verses before in our studies…and often.

1 Corinthians 15: 1-4 states the following: Now I remind you brethren, in what terms I preached to you the GOSPEL, which you received, in which you stand, by which YOU ARE SAVED, if you hold it fast- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures…”

Romans 10: 8-10 states the following: The word is near to you, on your lips and in your heart (that is the word of faith we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, YOU WILL BE SAVED.

Be advised, this gospel as preached by Paul is required for forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation! This GOSPEL is a Faith through Believing Only, NO WORKS! Or Faith Plus Nothing!

Ephesians 2: 4-9 says it bluntly, The words from Ephesians add an important truth to the GRACE GOSPEL. Ephesians 2: 4-9: “ But God who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses (sins) made us alive together with Christ (By GRACE you have been

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SAVED), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places of Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his GRACE in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by GRACE, you have been saved through faith, and this is not of your own doing, it is the GIFT of GOD– not because of works lest any man should boast.”  Works are not required for salvation. Works often pushed, as requirement, for salvation include water baptism, belonging to any one denomination, tithing ten percent, walking the aisle to an altar, reporting to daily church services, listening to gospel music, following any legalistic beliefs forced upon one, what sabbath day to observe, and eating and drinking certain foods… The list of legalisms can become extensively long.

Romans 11: 5-6 states, “So, too at the present time there is a remnant chosen by GRACE. But if it is by GRACE, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise, GRACE WOULD NO LONGER BE GRACE.”

NOTE: If you wish to tithe ten or even fifty percent or be baptized in water… you may do so, but DO NOT DO SUCH ACTS THINKING SUCH WORKS WILL GRANT YOU SALVATION.

NOTE: The Book of Hebrews was written to Jesus- believing Jews as an encouragement for them to take the next step of faith only. For this reason, I believe Paul wrote Hebrews. Peter gives this credence as well with his words in 2 Peter 3: 15-16 where Peter wrote of Paul writing to believing Jews. Hebrews 11: 1 and 6 talks boldly of faith where the writer states: “Faith is the assurance of  things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Verse six: “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Faith is of the utmost importance to receive GRACE.

Notice the words from Acts 20: 24 where Luke wrote of Paul. “But I (Paul) do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry  which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the GOSPEL of GRACE of GOD.” This gospel’s importance cannot be made much plainer to understand. Paul received his message via the RISEN CHRIST!

Paul wrote in Romans 1: 4-5, and speaking of Christ, the following: “…the GOSPEL concerning his Son and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received GRACE…”                             

WE ALL ARE SINNERS

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Study Romans 3: 22-24, where Paul wrote: “…the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe… For ALL HAVE SINNED and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his GRACE AS A GIFT, through redemption which is in Christ Jesus…” Everybody is a sinner through the eyes of the Lord, however if we believe and trust the GOSPEL OF GRACE with faith, we are considered righteous. That sure is a good deal!

Paul would receive many mysteries or things kept secret by the mind of God.  If  Israel would have believed they would have had these mysteries revealed to them. Paul was commissioned to preach this new mystery or dispensation from the RISEN CHRIST. Included within this new direction the mystery was revealed and that mystery was the GOSPEL OF GRACE. Paul’s commission was to go the Gentiles, and any Jew who would listen, and preach this gospel. Their task was to listen and believe with complete faith his gospel message. The apostles were preaching the gospel of the kingdom to Jews only, after all the kingdom covenant promise was for the Jew. They were preaching exactly what they were supposed to preach. Their message under the kingdom gospel was for the Jews to believe who Jesus was, repent of their unbelief and be baptized, or cleansed, as per Jewish law.

Galatians 1: 11-12: “For I (Paul) would have you know, brethren, that the GOSPEL which was preached by me is NOT man’s gospel. For I did NOT receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through revelation of Jesus Christ.” In other words, he received this GOSPEL from the RISEN CHRIST! Verse fifteen tells us Paul was set apart and he was called to preach this GOSPEL through his GRACE.

The twelve, the elders of the Jerusalem church of Jewish believers, yet law-keepers, and believing Pharisees, were hearing of Paul’s preaching to the Gentiles and sent Barnabas and others to investigate at Antioch (See Acts 11:19- 24.)  Once in Antioch, Barnabas witnessed the Gentiles with the GRACE OF GOD. (ACTS 11: 23) These believers from Paul’s GRACE message were called CHRISTIANS. (See Acts 11: 26.)

NOTE: VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND is the fact the twelve, the elders of Jerusalem’s believing assembly, and the believing Pharisees, did not associate with Gentiles. So, hearing reports of Gentiles being preached to had caused much

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Concern and interest. One example of the believing Jew’s mindset is found in Acts 10, where Peter had seen an image of unclean food three times and was told to rise up and eat. Peter’s response was NO for he was a law-keeping Jew never breaking the law and eating foods deemed unclean. However, after the third time he went to a Gentile group. Peter actually states in Acts 10: 28, it is unlawful that he, a Jew, to   associate or visit a house of a Gentile.  This seems out of context with the kingdom message until we realize the Lord had urged Peter to go Gentiles for a futuristic reason. Peter would stand up and speak of this event thus turning the tide in a favorable manner towards Paul and his GOSPEL of GRACE. The event was the Jerusalem Council meeting between Paul and the disciples and Jewish believers some twenty years after the cross. (See Acts 15 and Galatians 2 for some details of this conference.) More later.

PAUL IS SET APART

Some of the brief information above was setting the stage of this man named Paul and his GOSPEL of GRACE message. Paul begins in Romans 1:1 saying that he was, also, an apostle, SET APART FOR THE GOSPEL OF GOD. Did you see it? Paul was set apart from the twelve disciples and their kingdom gospel message.

NOTE: The GOSPEL OF GRACE is referred to with other words in Paul’s writings. He refers to it as his gospel, the gospel, also, as the gospel of God, the gospel of Christ and the truth. These terms all are the one and same, the GOSPEL OF GRACE. Watch for these key words referring to the gospel Paul preached.

The Apostle Paul wrote of this important GOSPEL of GRACE in his words of Ephesians 3: 2-3. “If you have heard of the dispensation (Stewardship in some translations.) of the GRACE of GOD, which is given to me to you, that is, that God by revelation has shown this mystery unto me… “

The Lord chose Paul because he had the qualities to go headfirst to insist of only GRACE and stand up to the disciples. He was that kind of a man as a zealous Jew, and he would be that kind of man to preach the GOSPEL of GRACE.

Paul is excited with his position and obtaining this gospel from the RISEN CHRIST. Romans 1: 16-17 shows how the man feels about being saved through this gospel. “For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL; it is the power of God for SALVATION to everyone who has faith…For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, he who through faith is righteous

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shall live.”

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE GOSPEL OF GRACE FOR SALVATION

Paul had preached to the people of Galatia and became very frustrated once he heard of many of them departing from the GOSPEL he had preached. Others had followed his preaching with another gospel. These people were most likely believing Jews who were demanding these Gentiles obey Mosaic Law to be saved. The people were disheartened and confused with all these words.

Paul wrote to them in Galatians 1: 6-9 said, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the GRACE of CHRIST and turning to a different gospel-not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the GOSPEL of CHRIST. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let them be accursed. If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received let him be accursed. So, this gospel is a serious issue and believing what is required is paramount for salvation.

As stated above, Paul adds very important words beginning with verse eleven. He wrote, “For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it. But it came through revelation of Jesus Christ.” Paul adds more information in Galatians 1: 15- 17. He states, “But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and called me through his GRACE, was pleased to REVEAL his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went to Arabia, and again returned to Damascus.”

We find that Paul wrote of his gospel in Romans 2: 16. He wrote “… on that day when according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.” So, the importance to place 100% faith in this GOSPEL of GRACE is crucial for salvation.

Paul further adding power to faith wrote in Romans 3: 21- 24 where he stated: “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his GRACE as a gift,

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through redemption which is in Jesus Christ…” later in verses 27, Paul wrote: “…On what principle? On the principle of works? No, but on the principle of faith.” Faith in this gospel is a must!

Look again at his words in Romans 5: 1-2. Paul wrote: “Therefore we are justified (Believers in the GOSPEL of GRACE.) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained success to his GRACE in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.” Remember, most of the believing Jews, at this time, were still law keepers.

In Galatians 2, Paul wrote very important words at the Jerusalem Council. The disciples, elders of the Jerusalem Jewish assembly and believing Pharisees were present. Paul wrote beginning in verse 2 the following: “I went up by revelation; and I laid before them (but privately before those of repute) the GOSPEL which I preached before the Gentiles.”  It is obvious here that Paul preached something different than the twelve. He preached the GOSPEL of GRACE! False brethren had slipped into his congregations to spy out the freedoms of GRACE through Jesus Christ hoping to bring these people into the bondage or Mosaic Law. In verse five Paul wrote that he, “did not yield submission even for a moment, that the TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL might be preserved for you.”

This chapter 2 in Galatians goes on stating of two gospels again; Verse seven and eight “…when they saw (Those listed above) that I (Paul)  had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised (Gentiles),  just as they had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (Jews) who had worked through Peter…” Two different gospels! The kingdom gospel and the GRACE gospel!

Paul continues on in verses twenty and twenty-one stating, “ I (Paul) have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; (A reference to the indwelt Holy Spirit.) and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the GRACE of GOD; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Paul says without the faith Christ died in vain. WOW!

Let us take that previous paragraph another step forward to further clarify. Ephesians 1: 12-14 states one of my favorite scripture truths. “…we who have hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, have heard the word of TRUTH, the GOSPEL of your

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 SALVATION, and have BELIEVED in him, were SEALED WITH THE PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT, in which is the GUARANTEE of OUR INHERITANCE until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Do not these words give you hope?

MORE GOSPEL OF GRACE VERSES FOR STUDY

Within the writings of Paul are many references to GRACE. I am selecting various verses to aid in our studies of GRACE and the GOSPEL of GRACE. Be blessed!

1 Thessalonians has powerful words from a prophetic manner, but Paul doesn’t hesitate to talk of the gospel he preaches.  Notice verses four and five where Paul wrote the following. “For we know, brethren beloved  by God, that he has chosen you; for OUR GOSPEL came to you not only in word, but also in power and the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.” Paul is referring to the indwelt Holy Spirit power received once we fully understand and believe the GOSPEL of GRACE!

Paul writing to the believers adds 1 Thessalonians 2: 2-4, “…as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the GOSPEL of GOD in the face of great opposition… we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the GOSPEL.” Believers were often immediately hit with persecution in the day of Paul’s messages. Believers in anything pertaining of Christ are not favored in many places of the world and increasingly in America. Verse eight and nine continued “…we (Paul and his disciples) were ready to share with you not only the GOSPEL of GOD… we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you, while we preached to you the GOSPEL of GOD.  Paul seems to be unable to talk of anything else through his excitement in the gospel.

In verse 2 of Chapter 3, Paul wrote of sending Timothy to the people of Thessalonica;“…we sent Timothy. Our beloved brother and God‘s servant in the GOSPEL of CHRIST, to establish you in your faith, and to exhort you…”

Moving to 2 Thessalonians 1: 8-10. Paul wrote to those believers concerning when Christ returns, “inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the GOSPEL of OUR LORD JESUS. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have BELIEVED, because our testimony to you

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was BELIEVED.” Do you remember from page two of what Paul’s gospel message was? The man was referring to those who reject that gospel in his words shown above. Verse twelve mentions GRACE again.

Paul writing in prophetic words concerning the Day of the Lord and the coming lawless one said: “… and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they REFUSED TO LOVE THE TRUTH and so be SAVED, Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not BELIEVE THE TRUTH but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Unrighteousness in scripture is rejection of what the Lord said.

Paul, again, wrote of the people being SAVED, through sanctification by the Spirit and BELIEF IN THE TRUTH in verse thirteen. That truth is the GOSPEL of GRACE.  Paul concludes in 2 Thessalonians sixteen and seventeen these words of comfort. “Now may the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through GRACE, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”

HOW ‘BOUT SOME MORE GRACE RELATED VERSES FOR STUDY

The people of Corinth were a tough bunch. They had issues. Paul wrote two letters in the Bible addressing some of their issues. One problem with them was concerning a man named Apollos. Paul clarified he and Apollos were co-workers for the word. In verse ten of 1 Corinthians 3, Paul stated, “According to the GRACE of GOD given to me… I laid the foundation, and another man is building upon it.”

To add to this statement, Paul in Romans 16: 25, speaking of the mystery kept secret  for long ages, said, “Now to him who is able to strengthen you, according to MY GOSPEL and the preaching of Jesus Christ…”

1 Corinthians 15 is known as the Resurrection Chapter and for many great revelations. Remember  the GOSPEL of GRACE is found in verse one through four but read Paul’s words from verse ten and eleven. Paul was describing his past with  persecution of the assembly of Jesus believing Jews when he added, “But by the GRACE of GOD I am what I am, and his GRACE toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them (Disciples) though it was not I, but GRACE of GOD which is with me.”

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The following verse concerns those who reject this gospel.  2 Corinthians 4: 2-4 state: “We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of TRUTH we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even though OUR GOSPEL is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the LIGHT of the GOSPEL of the glory of Christ…”  We are seeing so much blindness in the world and America today. They are under a veil!

In 2 Corinthians 6: 1 Paul wrote of entreating the Corinthian believers to NOT accept the GRACE of GOD in vain.  He, also, added of helping them on the day of salvation or the day they heard and believed the GOSPEL. One seldom hears much from the pulpit on Paul’s prison letters. Look what Paul wrote to the people of Philippi. Paul was thankful for these believers. He considered them partners in the GOSPEL. He added, “….because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of GRACE, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation  of the GOSPEL.(See Philippians 1: 1-7.) Paul reminded them he was in prison for the defense of the GOSPEL. And remember that gospel is the believe in the death and resurrection of Christ.

Paul encourages Timothy in staying firm in the GOSPEL at several places in this book.

Colossians 1: 3-6: “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the WORD of the TRUTH, the GOSPEL…from the day you heard and understood the GRACE of GOD in TRUTH. Notice how Paul considers the gospel he preaches as TRUTH!

Compare the above message with 2 Timothy 2: 15  where Paul tells Timothy, “…to present yourself to God  as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, righty handling (or dividing) the WORD of TRUTH.” In verse 18, we see some had swerved from the TRUTH stating the resurrection had already happened upsetting the faith of others. They feared they missed it.

I need to write much from 2 Timothy 1: 8-14 for Paul’s words say it all. “Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share the

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suffering for the GOSPEL in the power of God, who SAVED us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the GRACE which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light the GOSPEL. (Paul is referring the GOSPEL of GRACE of 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4 and Romans 10: 8-10.)  Note the words above where Paul mentions, “called us with a holy calling.” Paul is referring to the indwelt Holy Spirit we receive at the time of believing the GOSPEL WITH FAITH ONLY. The man continued stating he was appointed  for this GOSPEL. Verses 11-14 are as follows: For this GOSPEL I was appointed a preacher, apostle, and teacher, and therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of sound words which you heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the TRUTH that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.”  Remember in Romans 1: 1-2, Paul wrote he was called  and set apart for the GOSPEL of GOD.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1: 17 that, “Christ did not send me to baptize (A work.) but to preach the GOSPEL…”

THE IMPORTANCE OF FAITH ONLY

Paul wrote some words in Galatians 5 of interest. Verse 2-7 state the importance of faith only. Paul wrote, “ Now I, Paul, say to you that is you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.” The word circumcision as used here refers to works of the Law, namely Mosaic Law. He adds, “I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law.” James wrote similar words to the believing, yet law-keeping, Jews. (See James 2: 10.) Paul continues to the people of Galatia, “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from GRACE. For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision  is of any avail, but faith working through love. You were running well; who hindered you from OBEYING the TRUTH? These people of Galatia, most likely, had Judaizes following Paul and demanding Mosaic Law to be saved. This was a problem facing Paul’s Gentile believers.

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SUMMARIZING THE GOSEPL OF GRACE

It is my hope, after following along with this study, we all understand the GOSPEL of GRACE. More importantly, my hope for all of us, is one hundred percent faith through our believing of these vital words for salvation.  Believing Christ died, was buried and after three days and nights followed by his glorious resurrection from the dead is a promise allowing for all of us who believe to be SAVED!

The last verse in Revelation 22 simply states, “The GRACE of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

NOTE: This study has proven to be a rather long study and I apologize for the time needed to review these words, however, this truth is vitally important to study and understand. Your salvation is dependent on your faith and belief in this,

GOSPEL of GRACE.

As stated early in this writing one may need to throw aside denominational teachings in order to rightfully divide scripture and place where the words should be, and, also, what is NOT in the Bible, or as I like to remind in the proper dispensation as Paul wrote. The study above may be a lot to absorb in this brief study setting, so I urge you all to take this study and look up the verses included and study the verses before and after to get the context of the events. Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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