Saturday, March 31, 2012


        “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

We hear much about sin, but do we really grasp what it is, and what it really means? I often think that all 
of us don’t have the understanding of it that we should have. We don’t comprehend how awful it 
really is. If we thought about it as we should, it would utterly horrify us that our Savior had to die for our 
sins. That ought to sober us, and make us ashamed, yet make us thankful. You see, He who never sinned 
had to taste death and hell for us so that we sinners could be saved from God’s judgment and eternal wrath. 

Romans 3:23 is not the only verse in the Bible that states how sinful and depraved we are. I will cover 
some more here in this article. But first let’s look closely at verse 23. It says all have sinned. In other 
words, there is not one man, or woman on the face of the earth who has never sinned. There are seven 
billion people on earth right now in 2012, and not one of them can justly claim to have  never sinned! 
Can you imagine that? Not one out of seven billion! That is truly astounding. Another astounding fact is 
that by the end of 2012 there will be approximately seven billion, one hundred million people, all of whom 
are sinners. If they live long enough, they too will sin. How do I know this? Because the Bible tells me. 
I believe most of you know it also. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God!”

We are told “Sin is the transgression of the law.”  “Christ died for our sins.”  “Let he that is without sin 
cast the first stone.”  “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life thru Jesus Christ 
our lord.” “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed 
upon all men, for that all have sinned” The Bible tells us much more about sin, throughout the book. It is 
clear that sin is a terrible thing in the eyes of God. 

What does sin mean? The Greek word in Romans 3:23 isἁμαρτάνω (hamartano). It means “to miss 
the mark, to err (especially morally), to offend, to trespass.”  Not only that, but the rest of verse 23 
tells us that all have not only sinned, but “come short of the glory of God.” Here the Greek word 
is ὑστερέω (hustereō), which according to Strong’s Concordance is “to be later, that is, 
(by implication) to be inferior; genitively to fall short (be deficient): - come behind (short), be 
destitute, fall, lack, suffer need, (be in) want, be the worse.”
Just looking at these two definitions puts us in a scary position before God. This verse alone is enough to condemn us all, with no hope, never to be in God’s presence. If we are honest, after seeing this truth expressed, we realize we are under God’s wrath, and deserve to be there. Don’t let anybody play with your mind and soul. There is no escape from this judgement for all seven billion of us. We are all condemned to hell. Unless God makes a way, we are all doomed!
We have seen many places in the Bible where God has condemned sin, and numerous times He has judged sin. For example,  we are told in Genesis 6: 1,2And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.”  We are not told all the details, but the chapter indicates mankind had become corrupted, and sin was like a disease in the world. For this sin, the judgement of God was complete. We see in the verses that man’s sin was far worse than it had been. God brought a flood to the world, and spared only Noah and family. Why only Noah? The scripture tells us But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8) So we see that God saved only Noah and his family from this ungodly situation. This emphasizes how bound in sin mankind was at this time in history. Only Noah’s family was spared judgement.
Then there was the time when man confronted God again. When in the ancient time man was trying to build a tower into heaven in order to ignore God’s rule. Not that it would work, but man thought it would, and bypassed God. Then all men on the earth evidently spoke the same language, and they declared in Genesis 11:3, 4 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”  In this case God changed the languages of man so they could not communicate and thwarted their plan to build the tower of Babel. Read for yourself the entire 11th chapter of Genesis. God had been provoked again by sin. He is holy, and will always judge sin.

In Genesis 18 and 19, we see again how God dealt with sin in Sodom and Gomorrah. God knew of the horrible sin in these places, and set them under His judgement. But, praying Abraham intervened. He interceded for the places, largely because he was concerned for his nephew Lot, whom he knew was there. So Abraham started by asking God to spare if there were fifty righteous in Sodom. Then he went to forty five. Then he went to forty. Then thirty. Then twenty. Finally Abraham asked God to spare if there were only ten righteous. In Genesis 18:32 we are told that God agreed. If only ten righteous souls had been found in Sodom and Gomorrah, God would have spared them! Oh, how destructive sin is. In those two large towns, not ten who were righteous! Not ten, out of thousands! Sin had taken its toll again.

The three incidents I used were rather major confrontations. All of God’s judging of sin did not involve numerous people. In some instances we see him dealing with one person who had sinned against Him. We see an example in 1 Kings 21:23-24 where He dealt with Ahab and Jezebel. He foretold how they would die under judgement for their sins. God always judges sin in His own choice of time. Remember He is going to deal with yours and mine if we do not repent. He has commanded that we repent and believe the gospel. That is the only way He has made for you and I to escape His wrath. We better have a sober grip on this truth. We have to die and meet God!

He tells us in several scriptures that judgement is coming. In Jude He even reminds us of Sodom and Gomorrah’s judgement. “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:5-7)

Can’t we see that life is futile without God? Unless we repent and turn to Jesus Christ, we will die in our sins. Please don’t delay. Turn to Him today before it is too late for you.
Published by Charles Woodruff- email:

Saturday, March 24, 2012


 (Today I am sharing with you two brief articles by J. C. Ryle, the great Anglican archbishop of Liverpool for most of the nineteenth century. He was a man who stood without apology for the gospel preached in the old time way of the apostles. He was in a church that was largely formal, yet he stood against that. He declared Christ with an astounding clarity. He was beloved of true believers in his time, and ours. Oh, how we need men of like character in our day!)                  
1. Substitute anything for Christ, and the Gospel is totally spoiled!

2. Add anything to Christ, and the Gospel ceases to be a pure Gospel!

3. Put anything between a person and Christ, and that person will neglect Christ for that very thing!

4. Spoil the proportions of Christ’s Gospel, and you spoil its efficacy!

5. Evangelical religion must be the Gospel, the whole Gospel and nothing but the Gospel


1. The Absolute Supremacy of Holy Scripture
Show us anything, plainly written, in that Book, we will receive it, believe it, and submit to it. Show us anything contrary to that Book, and however sophisticated, plausible, beautiful and apparently desirable, we will not have it at any price.

2. The Doctrine of Human Sinfulness and Corruption
Man is radically diseased. I believe that ignorance of the extent of the Fall, and of the whole doctrine of original sin, is one grand reason why many can neither understand, appreciate, nor receive Evangelical Religion.

3. The Work and Office of our Lord Jesus Christ
The eternal Son of God is our Representative and Substitute. We maintain that people ought to be continually warned not to make a Christ of the Church. We hold that nothing whatever is needed between the soul of man the sinner, and Christ the Savior, but simple child-like faith.

4. The Inward Work of the Holy Spirit
We maintain that the things which need most to be pressed on men’s attention are those mighty works of the Holy Spirit–inward repentance, faith, hope, hatred of sin, and love to God’s law. We say that to tell men to take comfort in their baptism or church membership when these all-important graces are unknown, is not merely a mistake, but positive cruelty.

5. The Outward and Visible Work of the Holy Spirit in the Life of Man
We maintain that to tell a man he is “born of God” or regenerated, while living in carelessness or sin, is a dangerous delusion. It is the position we assign to these five points which is one of the grand characteristics of Evangelical theology. We say boldly that they are first, foremost, chief and principal things in Christianity.

(From Practical Religion by J. C. Ryle)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


(Please note: Marianne Lordi is a friend of mine who writes on several blogs. She is unique in that she is able to minister to many hurting people who contact her through her blog, or email. She also has services at the women's prison in Ohio where she lives. She has a solid understanding of God's sovereignty. God is using her to help many people. I have published one of her articles previously on cybermeditations. I wanted to place this one here for you on cyberwordoftruth. I hope it is a blessing to you. There is also a link to her blog on the left under "blogs I like"near the top of this page in case you want to contact her. Her blog is currently near the bottom of that list, and is called God's Promises Are Real. Thanks Marianne!)
                                                         We are in this world but not of it

As the world news reports the crisis situations of wars, famines, floods, tornadoes, and every evil under the sun, there emerges a question that each person must ask and that is, “Who am I following?”
Your whole life comes down to a choice in this world that is perishing right before our eyes.  Whatever occupies the majority of your thoughts and your time is a key indicator of where you are in your relationship with Christ.  We who belong to Christ are called to live as aliens on this earth. Those who seek the kingdom to God are never satisfied with the pleasures of this world.  The temporal riches in life can bring more problems than happiness.  True joy comes from serving God as only those things which you have surrendered to him will last.  As each day brings another set of difficulties, your faith will soon come with a price.  Jesus tells us about this in John 15:18-19:
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

For you to belong to Christ, you must seek the things of his kingdom.  If you are too comfortable with the ways of this world, you may need to examine your relationship with Christ.  Many people live as if this earth was all that mattered.  They are deceived into thinking that they can conform to the world and still be a follower of Christ.  You can’t serve two masters.  One will always trump the other. It is only the narrow path that leads to eternal life.  The enemy will always try to lead you down the wide road of destruction as he compromises the truth to fit your lifestyle.  It is a life that will never bring you joy and blessings.  You can’t be “almost” saved to get to heaven.  When Christ reveals himself to you, there is a radical transformation as your heart of stone is replaced by a heart of flesh that seeks after the will of God.  And while there is a process of learning to walk in the ways of righteousness; a man born of God will turn from evil as his renewed spirit is led to follow Christ. 

My dear friends, if you truly want victory in your life, there is just one way to have it.  It is only by living the crucified life of Christ that you find peace and joy despite your troubles.  It is at the foot of the cross that your weaknesses have been made strong and your burdens have been lifted.  There is no bondage that can hold a believer who has been set free by the blood of Christ.  All of your struggles are working out an eternal, divine purpose to equip you for his good work.  In every battle, you are surrounded by the army of the living God who has given his angels charge over your welfare.

As I write this message, there are fellow believers living in restricted and hostile nations who do not have the freedom to worship as they please. They have chosen to risk their lives for Christ.  They are not looking for seeker-friendly churches with watered down gospel messages.  They are searching for the pure truth despite the consequences.  Some have watched as family and friends have been tortured or killed for their faith.  Through it all, they do not waver in their resolve to follow the way of the cross.  That is true victory!  That is the power of Christ making strong those who are willing to suffer for him.  That is the kind of faith that defies all understanding. 

I know that there are those who visit this site who are enduring trials and heartaches of every kind.  The increase of evil everywhere has darkened this world, but nothing can quench the fire of a believer who trusts in the promises of Christ.  The fact is that your problems are never able to destroy you.  They are allowed by Christ only to take you from where you are to where he is!   As difficult as it may seem, you must not grow weary and give up.  In your struggle, don’t look at your circumstance, look to your God! You have reason to hope because the One who gave you life holds your future in his hands.

In a time when nothing is certain, you must choose to follow in the ways of truth.  Jesus is coming to take those with him who have shown themselves to be true daughters and sons.  You need only look around you and watch the news to understand that he is coming soon! While there is still time, give your heart to Christ.  Surrender all you have to get all that he has for you.  Your eternity depends on it!

I am praying for all who come to this site who are uncertain of their future.  May you understand that with Jesus there is a way to know for sure.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at:   Let Christ lead you to the truth.  You are never alone.

Friday, March 02, 2012


                                       IS CHRIST OUR LIFE? 

(Please note!! The following is two articles back to back for you. Just above is the original title I used when sending this particular article out in an email in September 2010. I wanted to feature them back to back here for your reading and edification.They do correspond quite a bit. I hope this helps you. God bless you!)

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:21-24).

I have to cover this ground once again. It is so important. Because in verse 21 we have one of the greatest verses in all the Bible. As a model for us to aspire to, it is lofty indeed. That verse was not just meant for Paul, but all of us believers. Practically everybody in this world is living for something; or somebody. Some are living to accumulate wealth. Some for worldly fame. Some for their family. Some for their country. Some just for sin and gross immorality. In other words, there is usually something that is most important in a person’s life. Something, or somebody they will live for, and perhaps die for. That something can be the key to how we live our lives.

When Paul was known as Saul of Taursus, the major thing in his life seems to have been his religion. Saul was a Pharisee. Not only a Pharisee, but a “Pharisee of the Pharisees”. He was among the strictest of a very strict religion indeed. He was trained by Gamaliel, known as one of the greatest rabbis among the Jews. Although he was born in Tarsus in Cilicia, a colony of Rome in what is now Turkey, Saul was born into a Jewish family. No doubt this is why he wound up studying in Jerusalem with Gamaliel. It was the best place for a devout Jew to study. Saul’s exceptional mind, and zeal made him ideally suited to be a warrior for his faith, searching out any corrupting influences and pursuing them with a vengeance. In my study about him, I would say that Saul lived for his religion. It’s not hard to see that. He could likely say “For to me to live is the Jew’s religion”. He was a zealot. That is why he was on the Damascus road with official documents from Jerusalem to capture any who were of “the way”.

Of course, most of you know the story, how that Jesus Christ Himself called out “Saul, Saul why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:4) He stopped Saul in his tracks, brought him low on the ground, temporarily blinded him, and caused him to cry out “Who art thou Lord?” The Lord said in reply “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 9:5). Because he was not a believer, Saul probably did not know he was persecuting Christ. He was after people of this “cult” which taught what he felt was false teaching. But, when you persecute Christ’s own sheep, you persecute Him. Saul believed in his heart that he was right in following his religion. On that road, it only took Christ a few seconds to show Saul how wrong he was, and change his life forever, and later his name. He was no longer known as Saul (a proud name), but Paul, which means a little man. After conversion he was no longer a proud man, but a humble man.

By the time Paul wrote the Philippian letter, he was a seasoned Christian. Now he was the one being persecuted-- for his Christian faith. He was in a Roman prison when he wrote the Philippian letter. The change was so complete. Now Paul knew what was worth living for, and what was even worth dying for. Now he could say “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Christ was the “pearl of great price”. He is the only thing worth living for, and dying for. Our verse shows us a dilemma. Paul was anxious to go and be with his Lord, yet he knew that the Christians in the assemblies yet needed him as a leader. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says in Joy Way (his commentary on Philippians one and two), that if the English Christians in the late1940s really applied verse 21 to themselves, great things would happen. Surely in our day as well! He quotes Count Zinzendorf, the Moravian leader who was such an influence on John Wesley. Zinzendorf stated as his motto “I have one passion, it is He and He alone. To me living is Christ”. Lloyd-Jones said “Oh that we all may have this passion! I believe we could transform our land in a day. I believe a great revival would come if only we had this passion. He and He alone!”

Zinzendorf and some others had this passion, even though they were not converted in exactly the same manner as Paul. Paul never got over his experience with Christ and followed His Lord to the end of his earthly life. That is why he says in verse 23 “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” For Paul, that would be graduation. Death would be the greatest thing that could happen to him. But, I have found in studying the prayers of Paul that he mostly prayed for others. His biggest concern and care was for the church of Jesus Christ. Many of the individual assemblies he helped get started. He loved them as his children. So he did not want to go if it would be better for them if he stayed a while longer. So he could say “Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:24). He wanted to go--but when Christ was ready for him to depart.

We know from the Bible, and secular history that Paul stayed around a bit longer. Evidence indicates that this Roman imprisonment was his first of two. In 2 Timothy, we see his earthly chapter winding up when he said “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

I have pondered these verses a lot lately. I have said that my key verse in life is “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Not a bad verse either. John the Baptist said it. Really something to live up to. But perhaps more lofty is Paul’s verse here. What if we could all say truthfully “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”. Dear friends, how I would desire to live that verse. To see us prove Lloyd-Jones right. Live that verse, and see a sweeping revival in a flash. What if Zinzendorf was right--a nation transformed in a day! It will only happen when we see Christ as Paul did and can forsake all to follow Him.

Published by Charles Woodruff- email:


 (Please note: this first article was placed here once before, in January 2010. I was in the middle of a study on Philippians at that time. I didn't finish the study, but I covered most of the first chapter, both in preaching and writing. I was recently looking over my notes on these verses, and felt moved to do some more study on these chapters. Pray with me on whether I should continue preaching on Philippians. It is a wonderful book. Also I found some more work on Philippians one, which I am placing here today also. I  hope you enjoy these studies. let me hear from you, please. Thanks.)

 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).

Are these Holy Spirit inspired words of the Apostle Paul, stating his personal relationship with Jesus Christ, my words also? Are they yours? Paul was not stating these words to brag, nor was he confining their effect to only himself. These words should be heartfelt and part of every believer's life. It should be our "life verse". I have always said that my life verse is "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). Even that one is hard to live day by day. Being creatures of flesh, all of us are probably more prone to live as in the following phrase: "To me to live is to be successful, and to die is having to reluctantly leave it all behind.” That’s awful, I know, but that is the lifestyle of so many, even professing Christians.

Of course, to the lost world, living in Christ, walking in Christ, witnessing for Christ are all things that a madman does. Christ is dead, don't you know? He has been for nearly 2000 years, or so these blinded rebels say. What they are not seeing is that, yes, He died, but He is risen!

What made Paul different is that he met the resurrected Christ on the Damascus road, and thereafter he was never the same as before. He was a persecutor of the church, but now is a proclaimer of the gospel of the Christ that he once persecuted. Yes, even today he is still proclaiming the gospel through his inspired writings.

We are not even looking at this time at the second part of this verse. That talks about dying. No one wants to do that. Understandably so, for God so designed us with survival instincts, yet Paul says for him, to die is gain. We will examine that later. For now, focus on the living part. Is Christ so in us and our lives that we can say with Paul "To me to live is Christ"? That is a tall order. We cannot do it. In ourselves, at least, we cannot do it. The Holy Spirit (who is the Spirit of Christ), must be so in control of us that we do not live our own lives, as such, but "Christ liveth in me". (See Galatians 2:20). In reality, we must also meet the resurrected Christ as Paul did on that Damascus road long ago.

Our verse is perhaps the key verse of Philippians, and one of the most important in the Bible. Am I, are you, living it in application? I confess that I am not fully doing it, but I sincerely want to do so. I am striving against sin daily. I am looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. Yet, I still fall short of the glory of God. I am not giving up, and with God as my helper, I am going to reach that place where I can say with Paul "For to me to live is Christ". How about you?

We may say we are living our lives in Christ, and sincerely mean it. But, do those who are nearest to us in everyday life on our jobs; in our homes; in the marketplace; see this in us, that we are living out Christ in our lives? May God help us! Here we all fall short. Yet, I believe Paul was indeed living a life controlled by Christ. A life guided by the living Christ. A life exemplifying Christ. Every desire of his life was to be Christ like. To be used by Christ. To be tortured, if necessary, for Christ; and to even die for Him.

That brings us to the latter part of the verse “to die is gain.” Unregenerate men can’t say this. Ordinary men don‘t say this! Paul was not ordinary in this sense: As Paul said in the latter part of 1 Corinthians 15:31 “I die daily”. The Amplified Bible gives this expanded reading [I face death every day and die to self]”.  Certainly this man did that--fearlessly! When He said “to die is gain”, he was saying “Whatever happens, you cannot destroy  me, for I will be with the Lord”. I am reminded of what the late Haralan Popov said so often, “If a man is not afraid to die, you cannot hurt him, do what you will”. He said that when the communists were  brutally torturing him in his native Bulgaria. I heard him express this many times when I traveled with him.

In the following verses Paul makes it clear that although he would prefer to go ahead and be with Christ, he knew the necessity of abiding here in this life for now. He knew that he had a mission to perform for Christ before God would take him home. As he said “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:  Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you”(Philippians 1:23,24).  When Paul wrote this letter, he was under Roman imprisonment, not certain that he would live to see the Philippian church again.

He knew that “to die is gain”, as it is for all Christians, for after death for us we will awaken in Christ’s presence. “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).

Paul had said in the latter part of verse 20 “With all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20b). The apostle’s ultimate goal was to magnify Christ (Greek megaluno= to declare, or show great; to extol Him), whether by living for Him, or dying for Him. So Paul lived what he preached and wrote. Regarding himself, he was truthful when he said “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20). So if the Father wrought our salvation; the Son bought our salvation; and the Holy Ghost sought us for salvation, we ought to be more able each day we live so say with Paul “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  O great God, help us to live like that, with our eyes always on our strength and our redeemer, Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God. Amen.