BY C. W. Wood                May 2004


One of the main problems that the Bride of Jesus Christ is having in these evil days is failure to understand God’s “ELECTIVE LOVE.” Therefore, the purpose for our sermon is to show that God’s decision to love, justify, sanctify, and glorify His Bride will stand throughout all Eternity. There is nothing the enemy can do to change God’s mind concerning this. Not even the sins and failures of the Elect themselves will change His mind, for the whole of Creation stood before Him, and was open to His view before He created, and after seeing it all, He chose those whom He would conform to His Image. Before the first star He decided who He would love.

          His decision is final, as He planned it, so shall it be, as He has chosen us, so shall we be with Him throughout Eternity. Isa. 14:24, “The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, surely as I have thought so shall it come to pass, and as I have purposed (planned) so shall it stand.” Verse 27 “For the Lord of Hosts has purposed, and who shall disannul it, and His hand is outstretched, and who shall turn it back.” He has sworn to love us!

          His love for us did not start here on Earth, but rather in Heaven, in His mind, before there was an earth! We have been taught that God does not change His mind, and the Scriptures, when properly balanced, bear out this truth. Heb. 13:8 “Jesus Christ the SAME yesterday, and today, and forever.” That is to say that our God is of the SAME MIND through all the yesterdays, and even until today, as well as through all the tomorrows. Mal. 3:6, “For I am the Lord, I change not….” It is true friends, the thoughts of God can never be changed, and they need no correcting, for they have always been perfect!

          Now what I wish to do is apply this powerful truth, which is that God does not change His mind, to the subject at hand. If God DECIDED to love His Elect before they ever appeared on Earth, then that decision was final, and is still in effect today. We need to understand that no person, no circumstance, and not even our own failures, can remove us from under the canopy of that Love! How masterfully did the Holy Ghost state this in Rom. 8:35-39, Verse 38 says, “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life (with all its failures) nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers (of the evil one), nor things present, nor things to come…..shall be able to separate us from the Love of God.”

          The love that God has for His Elect cannot be diminished, and the fact of our being Elected is, in very fact, proof of that Love. But we must hurry on to say that this love of which we speak has promised to crucify this flesh body we live in. This promise is just as true as His promise to love us. His love is always corrective, it cannot be otherwise. As long as He sees our need for it, so shall we receive correction.

          Troubles, trials, and tribulations are no sign that His love has departed, rather are they signs that it is being applied. This sinful nature in us that was not destroyed by the New Birth must be crucified. That is to say, “KEPT UNDER” by the power of the Holy Ghost in us. Therefore, His love leads us into tribulation, and holds us up while passing through it. Tribulation worketh patience and patience holds us steady for more tribulation, and tribulation keeps the proud flesh under. This is crucifixion.

          Those who have been called and sealed in have been sealed into this love that can never forsake us. It will not fail, it cannot fail because it is God (God is Love). Oh how the enemy would have us believe that God looks upon us in wrath because of our sins and failures. But we go back to the Word in John 3:18, “He that BELIEVETH on Him IS NOT condemned.” As Believers we are never again to be PUNISHED for our sins. We will be CHASTENED on account of them, as a Father corrects his wayward child, but we will not be smitten for our sins as God smites the unbelieving criminal, who willfully and continually breaks His Laws.

          Chastening is a far different thing from the Judgments of God that falls as a result of his wrath. Chastening is done with the intent of correcting, and it is always a result of God’s Love, not His wrath. Our trials and testing, and our sorrows do not come to Believers as punishment for sins, though we may well have earned such. They come to us in the form of God’s Love. We do understand don’t we, that because of the Cross we are “Holy and WITHOUT BLAME before Him in love.” (Eph. 1:4) We understand that because of the Blood of God that was shed for us, we are “Accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph. 1:6) To be without blame and accepted is to be loved.

          Knowing these things then, we can know that God can never again punish us for our sins, seeing that He, Himself, made full payment for us. We must remember this when sore trouble comes. The enemy will say, “You deserve what you are getting, and he may well be correct, but his motive is to cause division between us and our Father by making us believe He is angry with us. If we follow this line of thinking, we will conclude that God cannot be angry and love us at the same time, and the enemy will have succeeded in driving a wedge between us.

          The rod of His chastisement is as much a Gift of His love as is the Blood of the Cross! Chastisement is not a matter of what we have earned and deserve. It comes to us out of His love, on the grounds that we need it. Never, since we have BELIVED, has a law stroke fallen on us. Since we BELIEVED, we are out from under the Law’s jurisdiction. Rom. 7:6, “But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in newness of Spirit, and not in the oldness of the Letter.” The Law of Germany cannot touch an American citizen while he lives under the protection of the American Government. Old Testament cities of refuge were types of being safe in Christ today. We are preaching the Love of God, which must not be confused with His wrath that falls on unbelievers. We have left Mt. Sinai where there was a death penalty for violating God’s Laws, and have come into “The Covenant Land of Grace.” We are not the sons and daughters of Hagar, but of Sarah and Abraham, the Children of Promise.

          A word of warning here, do not fail to strive with all that is within you to keep God’s Holy Laws. His Grace has not gone so far as to free us from our efforts to keep it, but only to forgive us, and not slay us, when we fail in some point of it. Jesus said, “Think not that I come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Matt. 5:17) Jesus came and fulfilled the Law by keeping it in our place. Knowing that, because of our fallen nature, we could never keep His Holy Laws perfectly, He did it in our stead. But, never did He intend for us to ignore those laws, but we can run to Him for forgiveness when we have failed in some point of it. In this way, we are out from under the Law as far as the death penalty is concerned, but never loosed from our efforts to try and keep it. “Shall we continue in sin just because Grace abounds?” (Rom. 6:1) In other words, do not turn Grace into Disgrace by purposely ignoring God’s Laws. Know also, Dear Bride, that man’s laws, that do not contradict God’s Laws, are also to be obeyed. (See Rom. 13:1-5)

          Do we have weakness in our flesh? Do we sin in spite of all our efforts to keep His Laws, and does the enemy attack us daily with his fiery darts of condemnation? The answer to these questions is, “Yes.” But none of these things separate us from God’s Love “For He that BELIEVETH IS NOT CONDEMNED.” (John 3:18) We cannot be loved and condemned at the same time! We can be CONVICTED because of His corrective Love, but never condemned. Friends, these are not my words. Had I written this, there would be men who would tear my words to pieces at once, and perhaps be right in doing so. But John 3:18 is the Word of God. Can any critic find a flaw in God’s Word? Examine it from cover to cover and then report any flaw you find! His Word is Light without one spec of darkness. In His Book, all wisdom is gathered up, in His Book, all the wisdom and knowledge of man is brought to nothing. He is the Judge who has the last say. We cannot charge God with error, and when He says no BELIEVER is ever again condemned, we must take Him at His Word. Let the enemy rant and rave against our stand, but we know that from the Fountain of His Word flows The Water of Life. We are washed in the water of the Word. We well know our sins. They are ever before a Born-Again Believer, but we have been washed whiter that “snow.” (Ps. 51:7)

          Jesus Christ has borne the death penalty on our behalf. Look into His Word and see Him hanging on the Cross. You will never see a greater sight. You will never behold a greater Mystery. The Son of God and Son of Man nailed there, bearing pains unexplainable. The Just dying for the unjust to leave us a legacy of peace, to bridge the uncrossable gulf between us and Holy God. It was the innocent One made Guilty, the Holy One condemned, so that He could report, “He that believeth on Me is not condemned!” The Blessed One made a curse, to bring us out from under the curse of the Law.

          In John 14:27, our Lord was about to die, and ascend back to the Father’s throne. But, before He cries out “It is Finished”, He makes a will which He has left to His Believers, and this is what is written in the will: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” Is this last will and testament valid? It is true that a will is not in force while the one who made it yet lives, but this God-Man died and set His will in motion. In our natural world, a will is often contested, and even overthrown in a court of law, while the one who made it lies helpless in a grave. But our Will Maker rose from the grave, and now He lives to see that every Believer in the Will receives of His promise. The blessed legacy that was left is His Peace, and that is ours as we come into the knowledge that He will never again condemn us. He had rather die than condemn us, and that is exactly what He did!

          If God has punished Christ in my stead, he will not punish me again. Our peace has a solid foundation upon which to stand, a foundation of facts, that show that the Blood of the Holy One was shed, and that now there has been “Remission of Sin.” We are now within our rights to claim the most peaceful calm that a mortal can know. Not only is this our right, it is our duty to claim it, or else the death of our Will Maker was in vain.

          But, you may say, we suffer troubles like other people who are not Believers. We come into sicknesses, suffer heart break from loss of loved ones. We have our goods spoiled, and are often in the valley of despair, even as others. Yes, this is true, yet though we are cast down, we are not destroyed, for we know that the Hand of our God has controlled our circumstances. We know that He has not led us thus out of His wrath, but has in love ordered our steps. You ask, has God really ordered our steps, or is the enemy disrupting my life that I supposed had been placed in the Hands of My Father God? I answer with the Words of Jesus, “According to your faith be it unto you.” (Matt. 9:29) Do you believe that the Creator controls all the creatures He has created, or do you suppose that one of these created beings called Lucifer has usurped the Creator’s authority, and toppled Him from His throne?

          Hear the Word of the Lord and believe it Bride of Christ. Dan. 4:35, “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing and He (God) doeth according to His will, in the Army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay His hand or say, what doest Thou.”

          Who then will challenge His decision to love His own children? What Child of His can read the scriptures that tell of His six terrible hours of unutterable pain on the tree, and doubt that He did it to turn aside the penalty from us? If He died to turn it aside, then how dare we to think that it is not turned aside? The wrath of God against sin is a terrible thing. Moses asked, “Who knoweth the power of Thine anger?” Yet, when we hear our Lord Jesus cry, “Why has Thou forsaken me?” and see Him draw His last, short, breath, and His precious Head slump forward on His tortured chest, we can know that this Christ had suffered the full force of this anger.

          As our Prophet said, in so many words, “If God, Himself, died to fulfill His own Law of Sin and Death, what more could be done?” The great wave of His powerful Love swept over our swamp of filthy sins and carried them away into the Sea of Forgetfulness .” For this reason our God now looks with favor on us who were born sinners through no fault of our own. Men are not sent to Hell because they were born sinners and therefore sin, but because they do not believe in what our Christ has done to deliver us from that predicament. The Lord cannot read our pardon, written in His own Blood, then condemn us and smite us! God will spare us because He did not spare Himself.

          If by ONE man, Adam, sin and death passed upon all men (Rom. 5:12) and we had no say in the matter, but were born “Dead in Trespasses and Sins,” (Eph. 2:1), then it is every bit legal in God’s eyes that “By the Righteousness of ONE (Christ Jesus) the Free Gift of Justification unto Life be given.” (Rom. 5:18 ) We can see by the Scriptures that before we ever sinned we were judged as guilty because of our forefather Adam’s sin. But, we also rejoice to know, by the same Scripture, that when another Man came, the Lord Jesus, and represented us by taking our sins upon Himself, we are fully pardoned legally.

          All that we are asked to do is believe it and receive the pardon. If we have been drifting toward the deadly falls because of condemnation, will we not now jump into this Life Boat and be pulled to shore? You may say, but I have nothing at all to offer this Great Savior. Oh but you do, you have all that He requires you to bring, and that is your sins. Men who are escaping from a raging fire will leave everything behind them, even their clothes. Jump for the Life Boat people, just as you are. Bring all your sins and fall into the boat. He will never cast you back into the raging torrent; you will be safe throughout Eternity.

          Repentance is not a thing that God measures by time. It lasts all the while we are here, but it continues into the Eighth Day, where time is no more. We simply repent moment by moment as we have need, and the bitterness of repentance is mixed together with the sweetness of forgiveness, leaving peace.

          We know from the Bible that the Lord God gives this Peace to the most unlikely people. If you have fallen into the deepest of mire, and are still there at this moment, there is still hope. Saul was a murderer of God’s Children, David took a man’s wife and had the man slain, Peter denied Jesus three times, after swearing he would never do it. Two thieves on the Cross cursed the Lord, and then one suddenly repented and ended in Paradise the same day. The nation of Israel spit in the face of their Christ, then killed Him, saying, “Let His Blood be upon us and our children.” Yet, through the marvel of His Grace, God granted them, and many more of us just as bad, Repentance!

          What a privilege to have such a Gospel to preach, and how privileged you are to be hearing it. For those who have gone the deepest into sin, and who may have remained there for many years, have you a desire to be forgiven? Then come to Him and ask and you shall receive. Amen!  

          For over twenty years we have published a weekly sermon in the newspaper here, believing that the Lord holds His Ministers responsible for more than just those in the four walls of our own church. Recently, we felt pressed by the Spirit to address a need seen in our local Churches that is urgent indeed. It has to do with worldly dress, immodesty, and nakedness among the women in the churches. The following sermon was published in the DeWitt Era-Enterprise.

          I would like to say that some of our Message Churches have not altogether escaped this worldly trend, and for this reason I wanted to reproduce the article in this sermon. I pray that it will not be received as condemnation, but rather if the need is there it may convict. It was written to mostly unconverted people in the Churches, and if you think it to be sharp, remember it was intended to shake some awake. May it do the same where needed in our own churches.





My, how times have changed in the last 70 years. Seventy years ago, as a 9 year-old boy, I can remember a generation of people who had not waxed so evil as the one I now see in many teenagers and young adults. When I was 9, and being taken to a local church in DeWitt, I saw a people who believed in morals, and in modest dress styles that are called “prudish” today. Young people were “ladies and gentlemen” and they dressed the part. Even if Christian modesty was not practiced at home, it was most certainly respected in the church.

          Now, 70 years later, one must keep his eyes on the floor in front of his pew or expose himself to a display of feminish flesh that was once only seen in houses of ill repute. Recently, I visited in a certain local church and witnessed such a display, as the women and young girls twisted and wiggled their way to their pews, and some even up to the platform. Their short skirts, and tight pants, and low, low cut tops left little for the imagination.

          We see this sort of thing daily on our streets, but when did immodesty and nakedness creep into the church? How is it that pastors didn’t notice? Was it complacency, or do the pastor’s wife and family dress the same way? How could we, as a Christian nation, have degenerated so far in such a short time? Seventy years ago women would have been arrested for being downtown in such attire, and much mores so had they dared to show up in church that way.

          I challenge you church-going people to look again at what God’s Word says concerning modesty. I know many of you had not had an experience with the Lord, but I appeal to your common decency. Are you so blinded as to not know the sin you are guilty of? It has to be one of two things, either you are unconverted and don’t know the Lord, or you are overriding his convicting Spirit.

How indecent will you dress before you consider it wrong? How tight is too tight, how short is too short, how low is too low? Come, dear people, let us reason together, and see what God’s Word says about it! I Timothy 2:9-10, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest (decent) apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety……..which becometh women professing godliness….” Does this describe your wardrobe, or is your clothing purposely provocative, intended to entice men? Matthew 5:28 , “….whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery ‘with her’….” Do you see what the Lord said? The woman is guilty of adultery also! If this sermon angers you friend, may I suggest that your anger only confirms your guilt.