Journey From Mere Dust To Divinity

Foresight of The Master Planner

JOURNEY FROM MERE DUST TO DIVINITY 

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto The Gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”. (Romans 1:1-4)

PLAN AThe Glory of GodBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

PLAN A1 (Re-Route)The Gospel of Christ“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”. (Eph.1:7-9)

PLAN A2 (Re-Route)Back on Track“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph.1:10-12)  

THE ORIGINAL PLAN – The Glory of God Eph.1:3-6

Christ In You, The Hope Of Glory – Journey From Mere Dust To Divinity

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Col.1:26-27.

I remember when I was a child and I used to have this fascination about the hidden secret, or cryptic truth that makes a human being function. I used to stare continuously at people to try and ascertain what made them speak, see, hear, breathe. Although these are simple biological processes to someone who has a bit of knowledge of biology; to me as a child it was something that needed to be discovered. So knowing then that God was the creator of every human being I tried to analyse, I would raise up my index finger when my analysis hit the boundaries of the knowledge I was equipped with as a child. I raised the index finger to confirm that, there is only one Almighty GOD, and he is the only supreme being and the creator of the world (Being brought up in a Muslim family and this I believe was a Muslim thing). I have since then asked untold number of questions and had untold mysteries concerning This Almighty God that now as an adult (due to so much curiousity as a child) I have gotten used to not using my right index finger for anything other than what is directly connected to God. (Please if there are any religious folks reading this post; this is not a doctrine – just a personal thing).

There is nothing in this world that man knows everything about; the dictionary describes mystery as anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown: the mysteries of nature. Or, as any affair, thing, or person that presents features or qualities so obscure as to arouse curiosity or speculation. Ray Stedman explains it thus:

God understands us so thoroughly that he has hidden mystery in everything in life. We do not know anything fully. There is always an element we don’t understand. Even terms we commonly use, such as love and joy and life itself, are basically mysterious to us. We know they are absolutely essential to our existence, but we don’t know what they are. We struggle constantly trying to understand what are the great realities they represent.

This is true in every area of our lives. Even physicists tell us that, hidden away in every physical manifestation of the world and universe around us, is mystery. The quantum theory, upon which much of modern physics is based, and which has unleashed the whole realm of nuclear fission, has at its heart, say the physicists, a principle of indeterminism, a hidden principle. It states that we never can discover fully the truth about anything; there is an element of hidden information about every subject we go into.

We are ever confronted with mystery. It is mystery which makes life entrancing, fascinating. And God understands this. It is why the Scriptures say, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the glory of kings is to search it out,” {cf, Prov 25:2 RSV}. God knows that we all want to be kings, that we are made to reign. And the glory of kings is to discover that which has been hidden.

Apostle Paul got some of these hidden information this time concerning our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:32) and made it known to the Church:

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ): Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; Eph.3:3-5

That this mysteries, this many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects, through the church, might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eph.3:9-11

We as Christians have to vigorously seek to know and in turn pass on these mysteries {1 Cor 4:1 RSV}; Ray Stedman continues:

The “mysteries” are the sacred secrets that God knows about life, which men desperately need to know. Think of this! This is what Paul says we Christians are — beginning with apostles, and including everyone who names the name of Christ — we are servants of Christ, and stewards, responsible servants, given the responsibility of dispensing the mysteries of God, of helping people understand these great secrets which explain life and make it possible to solve the difficulties and problems of our human affairs. To us is committed this responsibility. This is how Paul sees himself — as a steward of the mysteries of God.

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles Now as Apostle Paul goes on to tell us in verse 32 of Romans 3 –

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

Sin is supposed to qualify us for the wrath of God; but He has instead of wrath prepared us unto glory. Watchman Nee explains:

“In Romans 3:23 we read: “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God”. God’s purpose for man was glory, but sin thwarted that purpose by causing man to forfeit God’s glory. When we think of sin we instinctively think of the judgment it brings; we invariably associate it with condemnation and hell. Man’s thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins, but God’s thought is always of the glory man will forfeit if he sins. The result of sin is that we forfeit God’s glory: the result of redemption is that we are qualified again for glory. God in His omniscience, have total and absolute control concerning His purposes. From the beginning to the very end

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory. Rom. 9:21-23

Ray Stedman explains:

What Paul is saying in all this is that God may have purposes and objectives that we do not see. And doesn’t he have the right to do it? And what if one of those objectives is not only to display his power and his wrath by allowing and permitting man to oppose him and to resist him, but also to display his amazing patience and longsuffering this way? Did you ever think about that? Did you ever think of how, for centuries and centuries, God has put up with the snarling, nasty, blasphemous, accusing remarks of men, and has done nothing to them? He has listened to all the cheap, shoddy, vulgar things that men say about him, and allowed them to treat him with hostility and anger and never does a thing but patiently endure it and put up with it. Paul says, “What if God does all that. What if it takes that kind of a display of the wrath of God and the patience of God to bring those of us whom he chooses to himself?” Something has to appear to us that makes us understand God. We are not being forced to come to him, we are drawn to him. Therefore we have to respond, and something must make us respond. Is it not the wrath of God and the patience of God that draws us on?

It is relatively easy to teach or listen to these mysteries of God but they don’t easily bear fruit. Apostle Paul prayed that –

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”. Eph.1:18.

Ray Stedman observed in Turned On By Prayer:

It isn’t enough simply to teach truth. It isn’t enough to spread doctrine. It isn’t enough to have a Bible class in which you are getting the students to learn certain facts from the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul, and the other great leaders of the early church, understood man much better than that. You never get the whole man until the heart is moved, until the eyes of the heart are enlightened, until truth is moved from the head down to the heart, and thus it has gripped the emotions. Then the will is properly motivated. Then the person begins to grow tremendously.

So what an encouragement this is to a ministry of prayer! Pray for one another. Pray for the class that you teach. Pray for your children — that the truth they are learning, both at home and at Sunday school, will become vivid to them. How many times have we allowed them merely to learn factual matters, and have never prayed about it, and then wondered why the truth doesn’t seem to affect them very much. Pray for your father and mother — that the truth they are learning may change their hearts so that they will be easier to get along with. Pray for your husband, pray for your wife — that this enlightenment of the heart may come. See how Paul understands this and how he stresses it with us. He says, “For this reason …” there is no use teaching you this truth unless I also pray for you, unless prayer changes your life so that you are ‘turned on,’ so that your hearts come alive with the truth of God.” And, if we do the same, we will understand that God has designed truth to make its appeal to the whole of our humanity, the whole being, the whole man, and we will become whole in Christ.

It is these prayers that we pray for one another concerning the mysteries of God especially that strengthens us internally –

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man Eph.3:16.

It is this prayers that also bring in the comfort that is the fruit of unity –

“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. Col. 2:2-3.

Christ in you, the hope of glory Prayer:

Our Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for this revelation of the way we are made. Thank you for the wisdom of the Apostle Paul, who knew that you can’t simply pour out so many facts, write them down in a letter, and expect to have people grasp them and live by them. There must be the bending of the knee, the opening of the heart, the imploring of the Spirit, the bathing of the truth, the Word, in prayer, so that it becomes vital, living, attractive, compelling. Lord, help us to pray for each other. We need this truth greatly today, and we pray that you will drive it home to us with clarity and with power, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen

MAN’S OBLIGATIONS AS REGARDS THE ETERNAL PURPOSE.

Foresight of The Master Planner

MAN’S OBLIGATIONS AS REGARDS THE ETERNAL PURPOSE.

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto The Gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”. (Romans 1:1-4)

PLAN AThe Glory of GodBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

PLAN A1 (Re-Route)The Gospel of Christ“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”. (Eph.1:7-9)

PLAN A2 (Re-Route)Back on Track“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph.1:10-12)  

MAN’S OBLIGATIONS AS REGARDS THE ETERNAL PURPOSE.

That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. (1Thes. 2:12)

For this eternal purpose of (The glory of God being passed unto His children) to come to pass; there needs to be some obligations that should be fulfilled by all parties – that is God and man just as in any contract; the duties of the parties involved must be clearly understood. The principal task of man is obtaining the obedience of Faith as specified later on in chapter 16 of Romans.

Now to Him Who is able to strengthen you in the faith which is in accordance with my Gospel and the preaching of (concerning) Jesus Christ (the Messiah), according to the revelation (the unveiling) of the mystery of the plan of redemption which was kept in silence and secret for long ages, But is now disclosed and through the prophetic Scriptures is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, [to win them] to obedience to the faith (Rom.16:25-26 amp)

Charles Spurgeon observed-

“Obedience—what a blessing it would be if we were all trained to it by the Holy Spirit! How fully should we be restored if we were perfect in it! If all the world would obey the Lord, what a heaven on earth there would be! Perfect obedience to God would mean love among men, justice to all classes, and peace in every land. Our will brings envy, malice, war; but the Lord’s will would bring us love, joy, rest, bliss. Obedience—let us pray for it for ourselves and others!”

Man, right from the very first one, Adam have struggled with this command ‘obey’; just as Lucifer did from the beginning as his ‘Hercules hill’ pride will always lead to disobedience. Satan knew the root of his own fall and used the same to deceive Eve. What would have been the case if Adam had adequately instructed Eve on the instructions God gave Him about the tree in the Garden of Eden?

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

In other words,

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

“He that is down need fear no fall,

He that is low no pride;

He that is humble ever shall

Have God to be his Guide.”

Eve like any man today in the 21st century; being furnished with this information would have been equipped to align her thought life to obey God as “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Charles Spurgeon further observed that:

“Faith is the fountain, the foundation, and the fosterer of obedience. Men obey not God till they believe him. We preach faith in order that men may be brought to obedience. To disbelieve is to disobey. One of the first signs of practical obedience is found in the obedience of the mind, the understanding, and the heart; and this is expressed in believing the teaching of Christ, trusting to his work, and resting in his salvation. Faith is the morning star of obedience. If we would work the work of God, we must believe on Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.”

Disobedience by man stems from and is always in line with wanting to do it “apart from God”. In describing Eve’s experience in SOUL AND SPIRIT, Jessie Penn-Lewis said:

“The gilded bait held out to Eve in the temptation was ” Ye shall be as God ” (Genesis 3: 5). This was God’s very purpose for the sinless pair before they fell. It seems that the word ” likeness ” in Genesis 1:26 signifies to ” become like “, indicating that the wonderful potentialities breathed into Adam constituting the image of God, were meant to be developed in a process which would ” end in man being like his Creator “* in dominion and rule over all things. How tragic, then, that God Who alone could rightly develop and guide the use of these powers, should be shut outside the wonderful being He had created, and more terrible still that the very potentialities inherent in Him should now lie open to the hand of His enemy.”

She goes on to say:

“We cannot now trace through the centuries all that has followed in this particular aspect of the Fall. We see references in the Scriptures again and again which indicate that the Arch-Enemy of God and man knew how to use the resources he had gained, and how “sorcerers” and “magicians” with abnormal powers were to be found linked with the powers of evil. It was reserved for the ” Time of the End ” in which we live, for Satan’s objective in Eden, to be brought to its full manifestation. His purpose is to obtain the rule of the whole inhabited earth, and we are told that for a brief period he will be allowed to obtain his desire through a super-man he will endow with abnormal powers. Therefore the words are strikingly true of the present hour that “THE ` FORCES ‘ OF PSUCHE ARE MASSING AGAINST THE ‘FORCES’ OF SPIRIT”. For it is through the fallen soul powers of men that the whole world will be prepared, and made ready to accept the rule of the Anti-Christ. It means that for a time God will be ruled out of the universe. The potentialities given to sinless man in Eden, which when developed would have made him `like God’ in power of rule and dominion, will be brought out into activity in such a degree that man in his fallen condition, will believe he is ” like God ” and exercise these powers under the control and instigation of the devil. Spiritists already boldly say that” Man possesses all the attributes hitherto ascribed to Deity . . . “, and Dr. Gratton Guinness wrote years ago that the apostasy would “take the perverted form” of “the fallen life of Adam”, assuming what “belongs only to partakers of the Divine Nature”.

This throws light upon the present time in a remarkable way. How rapid has been the spread of the Apostasy from the faith of the Gospel, among the leaders of the professing Christian Church-the result of the use of the fallen “soul-powers” under the unsuspected instigation of the enemy. In other directions the great theme is” Psychology “, with ” discoveries ” of ” psychic ” forces undreamt of by mortal man, so filling the minds of men that they are indeed like ” children blown round by every shifting current of teaching “, led ” cunningly toward the snares of misleading error ” (Ephesians 4:14, Conybeare), little thinking that they are helping to fulfil a great world-wide scheme of the devil.”

The story of the great plot of Satan the Master Strategist, to capture men of science, men of business and men of religion, must be left to another paper. Suffice it to say that the scheme was to lead men to ” discoveries ” of ” natural phenomena ” under the name of ” Psychic Science “. A list of some of these ” discoveries ” is given by a writer* on Prophecy to which many more recent ones could be added. How they counterfeit in the soul realm the wondrous life of God in the spirit, cannot but strike those who know anything of the latter, and it is in this present development, and increase of the use of the powers of the soul, that peril lies for the children of God who are really ” spiritual “, and ignorant of these latent powers in the human frame.

The Churches ordained task as stated in Romans 16:25-26; is the obtaining of the faith among all the gentiles. This is to be done by faith that is nurtured and harvested not by the patronizing, casual, quick-fading faith that is characterised in our modern day witness. But one that is can be described by the Lord’s job spec for Apostle Paul in (Acts 9:15-16):

“But the Lord said to him, Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the descendants of Israel; For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts 9:14-16)

Andrew Murray describes the core of Apostle Paul’s job spec as follows:

“Faith is regarded as an act of obedience, of commitment to the gospel of Christ. Hence the implications of this expression ‘obedience of faith’ are far-reaching. For the faith which the apostleship was intended to promote was not an evanescent [quickly fading] act of emotion but the commitment of wholehearted devotion to Christ and to the truth of his gospel. It is to such faith that all nations are called.”

So man’s principal obligation to the eternal purpose of God is simply “ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE TO THE TRUTH” as given and presented in the word of God. This advice Apostle Pauls gave to Thessalonians:

That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. (1Thes. 2:12).

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP – Are You Prepared?

HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP

Are You Prepared?

 

It has been a very fulfilling weekend; Although my own Christmas is not just on 25th of December (the pagan date) but everyday; everyday I remember what a favoured person I am to have God come down in my nature just to save me from my debt of sin, as Charles Wesley rightly puts it in “And can it be that I should gain” (first 3 stanzas)

And can it be that I should gain An interest in the Saviour’s blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain—For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! How can it be, That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be, That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

 

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies: Who can explore His strange design?

In vain the firstborn seraph triesTo sound the depths of love divine.

’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,Let angel minds inquire no more.

’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; Let angel minds inquire no more.

 

He left His Father’s throne above So free, so infinite His grace—

Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race:

’Tis mercy all, immense and free, For O my God, it found out me!

’Tis mercy all, immense and free, For O my God, it found out me!

What a Master Planner He is to have seen from the foundation, the very beginning that I (in the first Adam) could make a mess of things and jeopardise the original plan of the Eternal Purpose and made a PLAN A1 . We will come to this later. Now still on the original eternal purpose the plan A which is: PLAN A – The Glory of GodBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Eph. 1:3-6)

I was privileged to listen to a series of messages from a retreat conducted by Pastor W.F. Kumuyi at the weekend and was blessed by them all; but one message that I really think should be played continually in the ears of every man and more importantly Christians is the one titled ‘HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP’. (Click here for video or follow this link)

Here is an outline of the message:

 INTRODUCTION

The ultimate goal: God having Children that will live with Him forever.

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren. (Heb. 2:10-11)

Greatest glory here on earth is not enough.

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Heb. 11:10).

SOME OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THOSE WHO MADE IT INTO THE FAITH HALL OF FAME

They knew God has prepared a city that will only accommodate those who are prepared and that this world is just a temporary home: Even more glorious and everlasting is Heaven

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Heb. 11:13-16).

SECURING THIS HOPE CALLS FOR UNCOMPROMISING PURSUIT OF PURITY

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (1John 3:1-6).

PASSION AND PURSUIT OF THE HEAVENLY CITY

What is my No. 1 desire? What is the flavour of your prayer?

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. (Psalms 27:4).

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1Cor. 15:19).

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:36- 38).

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. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith. (Phil. 1:21-25).

That I may know Him

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:10-14).

Keeping self under control like an athlete

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1Cor. 9:24-27).

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Heb. 13:12-14)

PROMISE AND PREPARATION FOR THE HEAVENLY COUNTRY

Where He is; we will be also

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. (1Pet. 1:3-4).

Heavenly preparation – What are you willing to do to make it?

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1Pet. 1:14-16).

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1Pet. 1:22-25).

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (John17:24).

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last. (Luke 13:23-30).

LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved. (Psalms 15:1-5).

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psalms 24:3-5).

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (Matth 5:3-11).

PURITY AND PERSEVEARANCE OF HEAVENLY CITIZENS

Pursuit of purity borne by hope

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1John 3:1-9).

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1John 5:18).

Give diligence to make your calling and election sure

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. (2 Pet. 1:3-12).

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. (Heb.12:14-16).

 

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE

Foresight of The Master Planner

GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto The Gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”. (Romans 1:1-4)

PLAN AThe Glory of GodBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

PLAN A1 (Re-Route)The Gospel of Christ“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”. (Eph.1:7-9)

PLAN A2 (Re-Route)Back on Track“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph.1:10-12)  

God’s Purpose in Creation

In days like ours, when we are daily bombarded with news of announcement of different and ever new plans by our governments as to how to better run the nations; plans that are never made to see the light of day talk less of being implemented before they are being replaced by yet another plan. There is a Master Planner who is before any government and will outlast any government; whose plan has existed before creation began and whose Son’s government will outlast all governments. He had all eventualities factored in right from the beginning with back up plans for whatever went wrong (The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev.13:8b).

When witnessing, I have often been asked the question – Why do God have to judge us for sins we commit, when He could have in the first instance created us in a way that we cannot commit sin? In a sense – Is he just a tyrant who sits up there and uses us as pawns on His computer game? In reality, what such enquirer wants to know really is: what is God’s purpose in creation and what is His purpose in redemption? The answer to this firstly is, “The glory of God” (Romans 3:23): And Secondly, “The glory of the children of God” (Romans 8: 21). He created Adam (the original man) without sin but the ability to sin was in him. Watchman Nee puts it this way:

 “In Romans 3:23 we read:

“All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God”.

God’s purpose for man was glory, glory, glory,  but sin thwarted that purpose by causing man to forfeit God’s glory. When we think of sin we instinctively think of the judgment it brings; we invariably associate it with condemnation and hell. Man’s thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins, but God’s thought is always of the glory man will forfeit if he sins. The result of sin is that we forfeit God’s glory: the result of redemption is that we are qualified again for glory. God’s purpose in redemption is glory, glory, glory.The Lord Jesus was the only begotten Son, and as the only begotten He had no brothers. But the Father sent the Son in order that the only begotten might also be the first begotten, and the beloved Son have many brethren. There you have the whole story of the Incarnation and the Cross; and there you have at the last the purpose of God fulfilled in His “bringing many sons unto glory” (Heb. 2:10)”.

To understand the purpose of God in creation, we need see what provision he has made for us to do this. H. Grattan Guinness in The Approaching End of the Age captures this well:

 “GOD’S REVELATION OF HIMSELF TO MAN HAS BEEN A PROGRESSIVE ONE.- TRUTH IN GENERAL HAS BEEN REVEALED PROGRESSIVELY. PROPHECY, THE DIVINE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE, CONSISTS OF A SERIES OF PROGRESSIVE REVELATIONS.- PRACTICAL RESULTS OF THE COMPREHENSION AND APPLICATION OF THIS PRINCIPLE. GOD has been pleased to make three great revelations of Himself to man: his Works; his Word; and his Son, and these revelations have been progressive in character. Nature, the Law, the Gospel; a silent material universe, an inspired Book, a living God-man; these are the three great steps that have led from the death and darkness of sin to that knowledge of the true God which is eternal life. A fourth revelation of God, fuller and more perfect than any, is yet to come. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, who is the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, who “declared Him” when He came the first time in grace and humiliation, will declare Him yet more fully when He comes a second time in righteousness and in glory. Then the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Each of these revelations is in itself progressive. The earth and all that is therein, attained perfection by six distinct stages, during the six days of creation. The angels followed with adoring wonder the fresh unfoldings of Divine wisdom, goodness, and power, presented in the gradual formation of this great globe, and in its myriad mysteries of vegetable and animal life, though to human eyes nature was presented perfect and complete. But human eyes could see at first the surface of things alone; every advance in true science, enabling men to penetrate more deeply into the hidden wisdom of the work of God, has been a progressive revelation. And we have only begun, even now, to understand the glory of God, manifested in the universe. To us, more than to our ancestors, “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth showeth his handiwork; and to our children they will do so even more.”

God has done this because as the Psalmist says:

“Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” (Psalm 89:14)

So Apostle Paul buttresses this when He says in this verses of Romans 1:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20)

Romans 1:18-20 contains tree important concepts, which together explain why the wrath of God against men and women is justified:

  1. The first is wrath itself. It is being revealed from heaven against the ungodly:
  2. The second is suppression of the truth about God by human beings:
  3. The third is God’s prior revelation of Himself to those very people who suppress the truth about Him.

These three concepts really need to be seen in reverse order – revelation, suppression, and then wrath. They teach God has given a revelation of Himself in nature sufficient to lead any right thinking man or woman to seek Him out and worship Him, but that, instead of doing this, people suppress this revelation. They deny it so that they can justify their immorality, if they are able to make themselves believe that there is no God who sees all things; then they do not have to follow where the acceptance of His existence will lead them.. It is because of this intentional and immoral suppression of the truth about God by human beings that the wrath of God comes upon them.

Sometime ago it was reported that a cabal of climate scientist who invented the so called “global warming” deception have be doctoring their figures to convince us that ocean temperature was rising at an alarming rate such that an apocalypse is just at the doorstep. This people have been carrying out their research with such impunity that they have refused to disclose the data that justifies their claims. How did we get to this point? How have they been able to string the people along up to this point? This point of the road that leads to Roman 1:25

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:25)

You see, The whole rational behind this is the ploy of the enemies of God to make man “WORSHIP THE CREATURE RATHER THAN THE CREATOR”. They have in the last few decades been working on convincing us the creator does not exist; it’s now time to move to phase 2 – WORSHIPPING THE CREATURE.

“Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north” (Ezekiel 21:4)

The prophet, Ezekiel here views the mere outward aspect of the indiscriminate universality of a national calamity. But really the same pestilence to the “righteous” would prove a blessing as a wholesome discipline, which to the “wicked” would be an unmitigated punishment. The godly are sealed with a mark, not for outward exemption from the common calamity, but as marked for the secret interpositions of providence, overruling even evil to their good. Although the message here is not just the salvation of the godly but the universality of the judgment that is to be brought into place.

“The righteous” – All righteousness will be tested either (as described in the dictionary) righteousness characterized by uprightness or morality – a righteous observance of the law: or morally right or justifiable – righteous indignation: or acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous – a righteous and godly person: As politically incorrect as it might sound, only the righteousness of God which he imparts unto us through His Son Jesus Christ will count as we see in Romans 5:

But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favour) has surpassed it and increased the more and super-abounded, So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favour) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord. Romans 5:20-21 (amplified Bible version)

We will come back to this question of wrath of God later on in our study

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

The incredible greatness of His power

selah stop

The incredible greatness of His power

“I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of His power to us who believe Him.” Ephesians 1:19

 The work of God on the soul, is a work of sovereign and omnipotent power! See what a mighty power was put forth in turning us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; and how it was the outstretched arm of Omnipotence alone, which could deliver us from the power of darkness and bring us into the eternal heavenly kingdom! Consider the difficulties which grace has to overcome, in the “quickening” of a dead soul into spiritual life. View the depths of the fall.

Contemplate—the death of the soul in trespasses and sins—the thorough alienation from the life of God—the darkness, blindness, and ignorance of the understanding—the perverseness of the will—the hardness of the conscience—and the depravity of the affections!

View the soul’s obduracy, stubbornness and obstinacy—its pride, unbelief, infidelity and self-righteousness; its passionate love to, habitual practice of, and long imprisonment to sin. Consider its strong prejudices against everything godly and holy! Contemplate the desperate, implacable enmity of the carnal mind against God Himself—its firm and deep rooted love to the world, in all its varied shapes and forms—and remember also how all its hopes, happiness, and prospects are bound up in the things of time and sense! O what a complicated mass of difficulties, do all these foes form in their firm combination, like a compact, well armed, thoroughly trained army—against any power which would seek to dislodge them from their position!

Add to this—all the power, malice, and deceitful arts of Satan, as the strong armed man—keeping the palace night and day, and yielding to none but the stronger than he! Consider, too, the sacrifices which must often be made by one who is to live godly in Christ Jesus—the tenderest ties, perhaps, to be broken—the lucrative prospects which have to be abandoned— old friends to be renounced—family connections to be given up— position in life to be lost—shame and contempt to be entailed on oneself!

Viewing, then, a soul dead in sin, with all these difficulties and obstacles in their complicated array, must we not pronounce that to be a mighty act of power which, in spite of all these apparently invincible hindrances, lifts it up and out of them all, into a new and spiritual life? So fully and thoroughly is this fruit and effect of omnipotent power, and of omnipotent power alone, that it is spoken of in the word as—a new and heavenly birth—a new creation—a resurrection—all which terms imply a putting forth of a divine power, as distinct from and independent of any creature effort.

Contemplate also, the mighty power of God in “maintaining” divine life in our soul. We have to see and feel—what mountains of difficulty—what seas of temptation—what winds and storms of error—what assaults and snares of Satan—what floods of vileness and ungodliness within and without—strong lusts and passions— what secret slips and falls—what backslidings and departures from the living God—what long seasons of darkness, barrenness, and death—what opposition of the flesh to the strait and narrow way—what crafty hypocrites, pretended friends, false professors—all striving to throw down or entangle our steps! Consider also, what helplessness, inability, and miserable impotency in ourselves to all that is good—and what headlong proneness to all that is evil. We have also to ponder over what we have been and what we still are, since we professed to fear God— and how, when left to ourselves, we have done nothing but sin against and provoke God to His face! And thus as read over article by article, this long dark catalogue, still to have a sweet persuasion that the life of God is in our soul—we realize, believe, an feel, and bless God for His surpassing, super-abounding grace, in maintaining this divine life in our soul. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!”

J.C. Philpot

 

An Introduction To The Book Of Romans

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 8

An Introduction To The Book Of Romans

 While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

We are moving briefly (if I may say so) to align some of our posts from our previous webpage with this topic we are dealing with, Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God. we hope to do this in order to show the links of the book of Romans with the centrality of the Christian faith – The Cross of Jesus at Calvary. We Think that a good understanding or grasp of these resources on the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is an absolute necessity for one to be a able understand what we will be discussing in the book of Romans. These resources can be found on this site and also at SAB21st or FACEBOOK

A. THE BOOK OF ROMANS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

In my own Christian walk, I have found that the Book of Romans is one of the most relevant books of the bible because of it’s relevance to our world today. It is also that part of the New Testament that brings to reality, the life and the finished work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our everyday living. That life and work which brings down the barrier between God and man; and brings the only solution to the innumerable problems caused by man’s pride of thinking  “I can go it all the way” without God”; as it demonstrates the effects of God’s truth upon mankind. The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is that solution.

Paul is the author of Romans but he did not write it himself as seen in Rom.16:22. “I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord”. This is the only mention of Tertius in scripture. He actually wrote the book of Romans from the Apostle Paul’s dictation. This letter was written in commercial bustling city of Corinth, Greece (The London or New York of that time); and sent between A.D. 55 and 58. Paul was at the tail end of his third missionary journey at the time of its writing.

Although Paul had never personally been to Rome before, he wrote this letter to the saints in Rome (1:7) whom he had never met, which informs his longing to visit them (1:11). He was also not the founder of this church, so he definitely had written the letter through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The keywords and phrases to get familiar with in Romans include; Law, sins, Sin, Blood of Jesus, Cross, grace, repentance, faith, justice, flesh, spirit, justification, sanctification, eternal purpose, Glory of God etc.

B. WHEN AND WHY WAS IT WRITTEN

Paul wrote the letter to introduce himself and communicate his love for them and his desire to visit them (1:9-12). He hoped to go eventually to Spain and wanted to first fellowship and minister to them in Rome, with the hope that they will assist him in his ministry in Spain. For the present he must return to Jerusalem for he is taking gifts for the relief of the poor brethren there. Toward this end, he desires their prayers for God’s blessings (15:23-32).

We can see the fearlessness of the writing as guided by the Holy Spirit as he was forthright with issues he picked up with the Romans despite the fact that he already knew that he was going to need their help for his ministry in Spain.

C. NOTABLE THEMES AND TESTIMONIES OF THE BOOK

1. TRUTHFULNESS OF CHRISTIANITY. Augustus, a philosopher and teacher who lived between the fourth and fifth centuries came under conviction concerning the truthfulness of Christianity. He like the scientist or well off bankers of his day (even today as you will see in our cities) as he described in the 8th book of his “confession” similar to “Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile” by Geraint Anderson which describes life within the square mile of the city of London – the bankers’ haven. Despite these bouts of conviction from the Holy Spirit He kept putting off the chance of confessing, renouncing and turning away from his sinful ways. So one day while he was in Milan Italy he heard a child singing in Italian

“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarrelling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires”.

This was the beginning of the ministry of St Augustine as he was later known. After this experience he wrote in 8th book of his “confession”: “No further would I read, nor did I need; for instantly, as the sentence ended—by a light, as it were, of security infused into my heart—all the gloom of doubt vanished away.” “take, Read” “take, Read”. As he had never had a song like that before he taught this could be a message from God (how so religious of him!!): So he rushed to the nearest copy of the bible he could lay his hands on and opened at random. The first words that met his gaze were in Romans13:13-14:

“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:13-14)

2. FUNDAMENTALITY OF “RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH” TO CHRISTIANITY

This letter to the Romans, just as it deals with the morally deficient individual, so does it deal with the morally astute person, it deals very much with those who want to please God by their own works. This was the case with Martin Luther, the father of the protestant reformation; for Luther, instead of growing closer to God – He felt further away. Instead of getting to love God more – He hated Him more for requiring apparently impossible standard of righteousness in him as a believer and all human beings in general. He gradually developed a secret anger against God. In his desperation, by grace he found the book of Romans and in chapter 1 verse 17 Luther read:

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith”.

By reading this Luther realised that it was not his own righteousness that God was looking for, but the righteousness of Christ that is available to anyone who cares to ask for it. He discovered that we do not have any righteousness of our own to bring to God because we are bankrupt sinners. We receive God’s righteousness, not through any works of our own, but by faith alone in the finished work of Christ. When we put our faith in Christ, we take God at His word and believe what He says about us and His saving grace in Christ. Luther said:

I had no love for that holy and just God who punished sinners. I was filled with secret anger against Him. I hated Him. . . . But when I learned how the justification of the sinner proceeds from the free mercy of our Lord through faith, then I felt born again like a new man.

Luther, like Paul, discovered that Christianity is Jesus Christ, that it is not about the philosophy of men, like Paul said in his letter to Timothy:

 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”         (1 Timothy 1:3-5)

Like the first and most important commandment tells us:

LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND

So;

Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ?

Do you love Him with all your heart?

Do you love Him with all your being?

Does He occupy your thoughts?

Is He the centre of your attention?

Do you speak often of Him?

There is nothing like being conquered by His love. It lifts you out of the “shallow and selfish, constantly shifting ebbs and flows of cultural sands” of our day. May our very person, like the “man in Christ,” be filled with more and more of Him

“who loved me and gave Himself for me”

because

“You are not your own; you were bought at a price”

Paul was in love with Christ, and that is the only way you can explain him. He had been conquered and captivated by the living Lord Jesus Christ. I believe with all my heart that when He has conquered our hearts, we will love Him the same way and then and only then will our contemporaries say of us, “There is a man, or there is a woman, or there is a young person in Christ.”

The question now is;

Is this ancient writing now relevant in our 21st century jet set, Internet propelled, Godless, greedy, self righteous society drenched in human blood?

How does this apply to our very existence or survival- can we expect this letter to meet our needs today?

The answer to this is yes and I say again yes

because as JM Boice puts it:

“Christianity has been the most powerful, transforming force in human history – and the book of Romans is the most basic, most comprehensive statement of true Christianity”

Looking at the Political background at the time Paul wrote the letter; the first century church was under Roman rule. God used Roman rule (epitomised by the world political, economic and religious set-up of today) to protect, to consolidate, to extend, and to test His young church. The city itself was prosperous and growing. Working class, slaves (just like the employment laws of today that guarantees maximum profit for the employer often to the detriment of employees and their families) and also aristocracy lived in Rome. Economic subsidies, wealth, poverty, entertainment, government, public buildings, parks, famous people, military, and intrigue filled the city.

Nero was the emperor at this time. He ruled from A.D. 54-68. He became the emperor at age 17 and committed suicide at age 31. Just like today (especially in the western world) There was a reasonable decent standard of living (for some, more that enough for them and generations of their children) which tends to make a man think that he is self sufficient and able to “go it” all the way without God, a gradual move to the situation Paul describes in chapter 1 verses 28-32:

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

D. OVERVIEW OF ROMANS

Book of Romans demonstrates the effects of God’s truth upon mankind. The heart of this letter is the barrier between God and man and the solution to this problem.

The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is the solution.

The gospel message is that God’s righteousness is offered to mankind based on the death and resurrection of Christ; man receives God’s righteousness by faith in Christ alone. So in the course of our study of the book of Romans we will be looking at God’s truth in these categories:

Eternal Purpose: Greeting and introduction:

Christ as the theme, God’s righteousness and man’s unrighteousness, (Romans 1-3).

God gives His righteousness through faith alone, (Romans 4-5).

The gospel:

We Can Live the Normal everyday Christian Life? (Romans 6-8).

Universality / Outworking of Christianity in individual and national life:

God’s Plan for Israel, (Romans 9-11). Day to Day Christian Living, (Romans 12-16).

In our next post we will have a look at

GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE – Foresight of The Master Planner

 Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

My Redeemer lives

John Patitucci “I Shall See God”

 “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?  Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.” (Job 19:25-29)

Repentance In Christian Conversion

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

 Trust and Obey – Part 7a

Repentance In Christian Conversion

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

In this series we have been looking at the first stanza of the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of our mini-series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” In previous posts we have looked at God’s good will, His original plan of His eternal purpose Ultimately being, PLAN A  – The Glory of God  –  We saw that it is safe to say that His good will, His eternal purpose, is a plan to ultimately, bring us to His Glory, with provision made for perceived blunders we will make along the way –The Gospel of Christ Jesus.  We then started on this Journey of Regeneration– God’s Provisions & Man’s Acts. We then looked at Propitiation – It Is Finished; before that, Redemption then   Justification as part of God’s Regeneration  of man.

We then stopped to have a look at the work of the Holy Spirit in this eternal purpose of God especially the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of man. We looked at this from the perspective of the specific activities of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of man – His activities in the eternal Purpose of God and His in bringing life to man’s deadened conscience through quickening of the human spirit.

The Holy Spirit & Regeneration of Man. How God, According To His Will By The Holy Spirit:

Part 1 – Confirms Man As A Sinner                                                                                                    The Components of Man (Body, Soul & Spirit); Heart of Man; SELF & The Heart of Man; Conviction in unregenerate Man; What is the law? (At Salvation); The law & Grace?

 Part 2a – Removes His Sins and Their Consequences                                                                     The purpose conviction of sin is CHANGE OF HEART; CHANGE OF HEART! in unregenerate man as a result of conviction?; Product of conviction in an un-regenerated man; The purpose of conviction of sin is to change the heart; Grace From Cross At Calvary; Regeneration of the spirit (Quickening); A Quickened Heart (At Salvation)

 We are now here;

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Repentance In Christian Conversion

Introduction                                                                                                                                               

Knowing And Approving Does Not Equate To Salvation

The Assurance of Salvation

The Regeneration Before The Conversion Process – QUICKENING

The Conversion Process

Repentance

Heart of Man -A Free & Wholesome Conscience For Repentance

 In our last post we saw that regeneration of the spirit (Quickening) is entirely an act of consistent, instantaneous, unperceived work of the Grace (unmerited favour) of God. MAN HAS NO PART TO PLAY IN IT;

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

We saw that Quickening is made possible through the work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at Calvary:

“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit”. (1 Corinthians 15:45)

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.” (John 5:21)

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

 Knowing And Approving Does Not Equate To Salvation

The fact that one has even been able to read or hear about God’s plan of salvation does not in mean itself that the person is converted.

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 Regeneration (even after the quickening of the Holy Spirit) does not automatically translate into conversion. The quickening is meant to trigger an earnest seeking of the kingdom of God. Earnest Seeking through repentance towards God and faith in Jesus IS A MUST to move ahead:

REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD;  FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST     (Acts 20:21)

How ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. (1 Thessalonians 1:9b)

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Phil. 2:12b-13)

.We can see example of knowledge without conversion in the case of king Agrippa :

King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. (But then) Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. (Acts 26:27-28 emphasis added)

In fact, Familiarity Breeds Contempt!!!

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (But then) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:1-3 emphasis added)

Knowledge & Approval Can Even Breed Hostility

Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. (But then) They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. (John 9:32-34 emhasis added)

 FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD (JESUS) SHALL BE SAVED (Romans 10:13)

 IF YOU believe IN Jesus AND repentant OF YOUR SINS THEN you are saved. Believe in Jesus Christ: To be the son of God; died and rose up again, and that His finished work on the Cross is more than enough to set you free. To Repent means: Being sincerely sorry for your sins and bringing them before God (between you and Him); with the aim of not going back to them.

 The Assurance of Salvation

Have you ever found yourself asking:                                                                                            Am I Now A Christian? Saved?????                                                                                                      Is Jesus really now in my life?????                                                                                                        If I die now, I don’t even know if I will end up in heaven or hell?????

Have you also ever found yourself thinking:                                                                                    “I don’t feel any different” How can I be sure Jesus has come into my life?                                          “I guess God didn’t really forgive me” my life?                                                                                         “I didn’t get that ‘emotional feeling’ my friends said they felt when they got saved.”

You may have just recently received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you are still not sure of what happened: You still have doubts about your salvation and do lack the assurance of your relationship with God – or even worse still, have been saved for years and still struggling with these doubts:

 If you were to die today, are you absolutely sure beyond a shadow of doubt that you would go to heaven?

IF YOU believe IN Jesus AND repentant OF YOUR SINS THEN you are saved. Believe in Jesus Christ: To be the son of God; died and rose up again, and that His finished work on the Cross is more than enough to set you free. To Repent means: Being sincerely sorry for your sins and bringing them before God (between you and Him); with the aim of not going back to them.

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (Jeremiah 31:3)

 Slide21

 The heart (of a saved person) is: Body (Physical Functions); Soul (Functions of Will, Intellect & Emotions); Spirit (Functions of Regenerated Conscience, Intuition and Communion). The soul (being saved) is now reflecting the purity of the heart; meaning that the effect on the soul of the functions of a liberated conscience, intuition and communion with God is demonstrated; even if and when these are the “substance of things we hope for; and evidence of things we cannot see”

Slide2

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

So, if to receive God’s love and forgiveness ; is to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and:

Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)

The soul being saved should reflect the purity of the heart; meaning that the effect of the functions of a liberated conscience, intuition and communion with God is demonstrated by the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of our righteousness and sanctification and redemption (that we cannot physically see) and the conviction of the reality (perceiving as real what is not revealed to the senses) of this fact being made real to us by our seeing ourselves hidden in Christ Jesus who became for us wisdom from God.

Then, at this point of being saved and having a regenerated heart, the soul [(Functions of Will, Intellect & Emotions) now being controlled by the spirit (Functions of a liberated conscience, intuition and communion with God ) that is in turn now also under the control of the Holy Spirit] SHOULD BE COMMITTED SOLELY TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST AND ENABLED TO COMPREHEND THE SOLID BIBLICAL AND HISTORICAL FACTS THAT CHRISTIANITY IS BUILT ON.

 The Regeneration Before The Conversion Process – QUICKENING

Regeneration means that one has been born again or born from above. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:3-8)

The new birth is the work of God, so that all those who are born again are “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8); and the means God uses to grant such new life is the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3);

Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:18)

Regeneration or being born again is a supernatural birth. Just as we cannot do anything to be born physically—it just happens to us!—so too we cannot do anything to cause our spiritual rebirth. Only the quickening of the Holy Spirit can set in motion, this spiritual rebirth. As we have seen in The Holy Spirit & The Salvation of Man (Part 2a)

This quickening must be followed by earnest seeking through repentance towards God and faith in Jesus which is MUST to move ahead as seen in acts 20:21:

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:36-42)

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. (Acts 16:30-34)

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-46)

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9- 10)

And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. (Acts 14:15-16)

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 Repentance

Greek:                                                                                                                                            Metanoeó– to change one’s mind or purpose. I repent, change my mind, change the inner man (particularly with reference to acceptance of the will of God), repent:

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. (Ephesians 3:16)

Hebrew:                                                                                                                                                    Nahum – to lament, to grieve. This word is describing the emotions that are aroused when motivated to take a different course of action.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Shub – to turn back, return. This word expresses a radical change of mind toward sin and implies a conscious moral separation from sin and a decision to forsake it and agree with God.

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)

Slide38

It is not repentance that leads to God’s Kindness but; it is God’s kindness that triggers repentance.

Slide39

Slide40

Like we touched on earlier while looking at how intuition and communion are made available through the regeneration of the spirit (direct operation of the Holy Spirit upon the human spirit at salvation). The aspects of the regeneration of the spirit being:

(Quickening) The activation of Intuition and Communion in the human spirit (this we have looked at) and:

(The Circumcision of the heart) Release of the conscience from the control of the soul (as it is the only function of the spirit in the unregenerate heart)

The Bible tells us:

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7)

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent. (Acts 17:30)

Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. (Acts 8:22)

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. (Haggai 1:7)

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:5)

I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. (Isaiah 44:22)

Slide48

 Man’s intellect picks up these messages:

Slide3

Informing and Changing of the INTELLECT (Mind) – informing and changing of the way our thoughts, ideas, concepts, reasons, understanding, knowledge etc. are processed so that they are focused on God.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. (Colossians 1:21)

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)

The fact that the intellect of man in its ‘natural’ state cannot comprehend the operations of God, as they are beyond its scope:

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:7)

There needs to be an ‘upgrade’ facilitated by The Holy Spirit. This ‘upgrade’ is what brings the intellect of man from its natural form to become the intuition.

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Slide50

‘life of nature’ exchanged for ‘spiritual’ life

Slide51

Godly Sorrow

As the Emotion is the function of our soul that deals with feelings; one of which is sorrow that comes from both the ‘nature’ (canal) or ‘spirit’ side of man; one important feeling that is necessary for repentance or perhaps the trigger for repentance is sorrow – GODLY SORROW or ‘godly grief’. It is an acute sense of sadness we experience as a result of the sins we have committed:

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:9-10)

Unlike worldly sorrow, which comes from our ‘nature’ (canal being) and is a feeling triggered by knowing that one has been caught, and thus the need or attempts to cover up: which leads to guilt, mental distress, a temporary resolve to do better by dealing with the symptoms and ultimately death and eternal separation from God.

O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. (Hosea 6:4).

Godly sorrow leads to repentance and life eternal

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Will of man actively working in conjunction with the Holy Spirit

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To yield result of eternal value

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NEXT:

We will have a look at: Christian Conversion GOOD CONSCIENCE; USEFUL HEART Then look out for FAITH

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.                                                                                                                We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?                                                                                                                    In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.                                                                                                                                     In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?                                                                             Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.

You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

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Selah!!! (Stop; think about this!!!) – Doorway From Believe To Faith is REPENTANCE

believe and faith Selah

Doorway From Believe To Faith is REPENTANCE

“Repentance means insight into how far and how deeply man’s life up to the present has belied this call, especially in those deeds which albeit on an elevated level man has opposed the love of God’s Spirit. Repentance means insight into how far and how deeply he has fallen prey to the unrighteousness of the Mammon spirit, the duplicity of the lying spirit, the unfaithfulness through lust for variety in the sensual sphere, whether purely sexual or more refined. In all this man has fallen prey to a soul-killing and ultimately murderous spirit, to the covetous will that desires enjoyment or power, though possibly in a very subtle form. In so doing, man has shown in his life an image of the Devil and his demons instead of an image of God.”

Eberhard Arnold

Holy Spirit & Salvation of Man Part 2a

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 6b

Holy Spirit & Salvation of Man Part 2a

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God, According To His Will By The Holy Spirit: Removes His Sins and Their Consequences

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

In this first segment of part 2, we have a look at the work of the Holy Spirit in bring life to a deadened conscience through quickening of the human spirit. It looks at:

Recap of Part 1

The purpose conviction of sin is CHANGE OF HEART
CHANGE OF HEART! in unregenerate man as a result of conviction?
Product of conviction in an un-regenerated man
The purpose of conviction of sin is to change the heart
Grace From Cross At Calvary
Regeneration of the spirit (Quickening)
A Quickened Heart (At Salvation)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

In this first segment of part 2, we have a look at the work of the Holy Spirit in bring life to a deadened conscience through quickening of the human spirit.

God, According To His Will By The Holy Spirit: Removes His Sins and Their Consequences

THE LAW (AT SALVATION)

The Law Law means instruction – dos and donts; the norms of society as enforced by the state. In the context of our topic here; “The Law” refers specifically to the compilation of decrees found in the first five books of the Bible.
This whole body of law was given the name Torah.

While the purpose of treating this topic of the law here is NOT about relying on keeping the law to be saved:
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

But it is sensible for any man to know the reason why God gave these laws to the natural children of Israel:
The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile. Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked. (Psalm 94:11-13)

Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. (Psalm 119:164-166)

The Law

The Law is the great instrument which the Holy Spirit uses in His special work of conviction. It is the only yardstick through which we are to judge the moral evil or good in any action. These are holy and righteous demands that God places upon man.

The distinct duty of the law is to reveal what sin is. („dangerous and „unwanted piece of knowledge at that):
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20)

So if the law causes our desire to sin to increase, is it then safe to say that the law is bad? The answer here by Apostle Paul is No!!, Capital No!!! For if not for the law, we would not have known sin in its deadly nature; its resistance against God; in it‟s habitual enmity against God; and the hidden lustings it produces within us.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ―You shall not covet. (Romans 7:7)

With regards to salvation; the law enters; deeply and widely opens it’s own commission of enquiry in the conscience of unregenerate man; but here the conscience is only working closely with the soul (devoid of intuition and communion). A kind of “fear of God” (unrighteous because it is devoid of intuition and communion with God) is felt.
“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” (Romans 5:20)

This ‘commission of enquiry’ headed by The ‘Lord Chief Justice’ Himself (of heaven, earth and all that exists); God Almighty, before whom nothing, absolutely nothing is hidden: Because He is:

 before an all knowing God

                                                  Before all knowing God

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Heart of Man

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In God’s eternal purpose, the intended main function of man’s heart is to give man the ability to:

Love Him – “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30)

Also, In God’s eternal purpose, the intended main function of man’s spirit is to give man the ability to:

Be in constant contact with Him – “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) b)

Receive Him – “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Corinthians 6:17)

Hold or Contain Him – “ The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.”

Finally, In God’s eternal purpose, the intended main function of man’s soul is to give man the ability to:

Reflect or Express Him – “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Because our heart LOVES Him; our spirit is able to BE IN CONSTANT CONTACT with Him; RECEIVE Him; and HOLD or CONTAIN Him; so that our soul is able to REFLECT or EXPRESS Him in all that we think, like, and decide – in all that we are and all that we do.

That’s why we pray:

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CONVICTION
The Purpose Conviction

The purpose conviction of sin is CHANGE OF HEART

God’s purpose of taking man through this act of conviction, is to change man’s heart to one that LOVES Him; his (man’s) spirit to one that is able to BE IN CONSTANT CONTACT with Him; RECEIVE Him; and HOLD or CONTAIN Him; so that man’s soul is able to REFLECT or EXPRESS Him in all that he thinks, likes, and decides- in all that he is and in all that he does.

It is the process by by which The Holy Spirit releases the function of the conscience from the control of the soul by activating the functions of intuition and communion thereby bringing the spirit of man alive:

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THE TWO RESULTS OF CONVICTION
Conviction In The Unregenerate Man & Conviction In The Regenerate Man

Conviction In The Unregenerate Man

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Product of conviction in an un-regenerated man

Immediate joy that does not last:
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)

No Roots:
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:18-23)

Pre-occupation with the world:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

Pre-occupation with worries of life:
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Matthew 6:24-27)

No fruit of:

Repentance – Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:8); (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth). (Ephesians 5:9)

Good Works – That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10)

Praise and Thanksgiving To God – Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:21-23)

Fruits of the Spirit – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Fruits of Righteousness – Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:11); For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)

Unwillingness to face persecution – For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:6-10)

Conviction In The Regenerate Man

The purpose of conviction of sin is to change the heart

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Why?

Death in Adam, Life in Christ

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:12-19)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

For which Grace Is Provided From Cross At Calvary

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“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28) says,

“Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20)

“For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”. (John 1:12)

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:13-14)

How did He do it???????

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

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Propitiation It Is Finished

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all regen presentation faith & Salvation of Man

Regeneration Of The Spirit
How is Intuition & Communion Made Available?

This is done through the regeneration of the spirit (direct operation of the Holy Spirit upon the human spirit at salvation). The aspects of the regeneration of the spirit are:

(Quickening)
The activation of Intuition and Communion in the human spirit

(The Circumcision of the heart)
Release of the conscience from the control of the soul (as it is the only function of the spirit in the unregenerate heart)

Quickening is the direct and supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit to effect a newness of life in the heart of man, so that he is able to receive the things of God (e.g. Word, directions etc.). Newness of life being the ‘activation’ of the intuition and communion in the spirit of man.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. (Ezekiel 37:5)

Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them,[a] and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 11:19)

Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart. (Jeremiah 24:7)

Quickening is a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit; it is characteristic of the attributes of God as shown through His Spirit. This sovereignty backed up by the omnipotence of God:

God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God. (Psalm 62:11)

Quickening is entirely an act of consistent, instantaneous, unperceived work of the Grace (unmerited favour) of God. MAN HAS NO PART TO PLAY IN IT

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

Quickening is made possible through the work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at Calvary:

Then And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.” (John 5:21)

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

That’s why we pray:

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Eye of The Heart

Which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, (Ephesians 1:8)

Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:22-23)

Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. (Acts 16:14)

The light of the body is the eye, our spirit is like the power source, the energy source, or the light source of our life. There is a need for our spirit to be able to operate outwardly through our soul and communicate with the world – The sensory powers of the soul being crucified and the soul made to keep it’s ‘powers’ ‘dead’

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

There is a need for the spirit to be able to operate inwardly towards God and commune with Him.

“For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:11)

There is also a need to make sure that the eye of the heart is ALWAYS BY FAITH, SURRENDERED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT so that we are by grace able to make optimum use of it. THIS BEING CHECKED against the state of our own conscience – A pure conscience leads to keen intuition; with a defiled conscience, the eye of the heart is handed back to the whims of a deceptive soul.

“Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.” (Timothy 1:5)

“To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.” (Titus 1:15)

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)

Spiritual ‘Jump-start’ from the Holy Spirit

Spiritual ‘Jump-start’ from the Holy Spirit Quickening can be likened to a jump start you give to the battery of an automobile when it is ‘flat’

A jump start, also called a boost, is a method of starting a vehicle that is unable to be self-started due to insufficient power to the starter motor from a discharged starter battery (also known as an SLI battery). (A starter is an electric motor, pneumatic motor, hydraulic motor, or other device for rotating an internal-combustion engine so as to initiate the engine’s operation under its own power.)

A temporary connection is made between the discharged battery’s terminals and those of another running vehicle, or to some other external power source. When the connection is made, the external supply of current effectively bypasses the battery cells, passing directly into the vehicle’s electrical system through the terminal connections and providing the current needed to operate the starter motor. Once the vehicle has been started (and barring any other malfunction in the electrical system), the vehicle’s alternator will naturally recharge the battery over a running period ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Encyclopedia

Just as insufficient power from a dead battery to the starter motor of a vehicle renders it unable to start itself; as no food can in any way provide energy for a dead man; although it is the function food to give energy; Spiritual truth cannot provide Spiritual liveliness to a mind that is dead to righteousness; as such mind is unable to capture the essence of the truth and similarly, Spiritual truth cannot make an unregenerate will to believe.

“So that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.’ And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (Mark 4:12-19)

Regeneration is not due to believe: but believe is an offshoot of regeneration

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God’s Wrath Against Unrighteousness

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evilmindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:18-32)

“For there is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:11-16)

Next

We have so far looked at the work of The holy Spirit as God Removes Man’s Sins and Their Consequences (on the regeneration side of salvation); but we will have a break to look at two other aspects of the salvation of man: Believe/Faith (Mark 16:16) Then Repentance (Isaiah 55:7) which are the building blocks of genuine conversion. We will then go on to look at the purification of our soulish methods of trying to make contact with God which is activated (Already taken place at Calvary). . This we will look at in Part 2B of The Holy Spirit & Salvation God, According To His Will; By The Holy Spirit; Gives Him Grace For Righteousness.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Holy Spirit you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need as The Holy Spirit would have been pointing out to you while you read the post.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this REPENTANTLY (Having taken time to bring your sins before God with a determination to completely turn away from them):

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Holy Spirit & The Salvation of Man Part 1

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 6a

The Gospel of Christ – God By The Holy Spirit:Confirms Man As A Sinner

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

“ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

We will in this post look at some parts of the work of the Holy Spirit in the eternal Purpose of God as we continue with our look at the first stanza of the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of our mini series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” In previous posts we have looked at God’s good will, His original plan of His eternal purpose Ultimately being, PLAN A – The Glory of God – We saw that it is safe to say that His good will, His eternal purpose, is a plan to ultimately, bring us to His Glory, with provision made for perceived blunders we will make along the way.

In our last post we looked at Justification : Before that, Redemption as part of God’s Regeneration of man. We saw justification as the “Act of God” by which (according to His promise) He approves us, based on His own standard of righteousness. This He can legally do without compromising His divine righteousness because of the finished redemptive work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. We saw that justification can only be obtained through the grace of God and not by our works.

Before we move on to Faith & Believe I’ll like to stop briefly to have a look at the work of the Holy Spirit in this eternal purpose of God especially the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of man. We will be looking at this from the perspective of the specific activities of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of man.

Salvation
What Is Salvation?
                                                                             

God, According To His Will By The Holy Spirit:
Confirms Man As A Sinner
Then
Removes His Sins and Their Consequences & Gives Him Grace For Righteousness

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 Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13)

I this first part, The Holy Spirit & Restoration of Man Part 1 we will have a look at

God, According To His Will By The Holy Spirit:                                                                  

Confirms Man As A Sinner

It looks at:
Introduction – The Holy Spirit
Regeneration of Man
The Holy Spirit & Regeneration of Man
Salvation
The Components of Man (Body, Soul & Spirit)
Heart of Man
The Holy Spirit & Salvation
The unregenerate Man
The law

Introduction – The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) is a real person – the third person of the Holy Trinity: Father (God), Son (Jesus Christ) and The Holy Spirit. He is equal in every way as The Father and Jesus Christ, with the same attributes as they have. The Holy Spirit is our helper in all things, as our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ promised to His disciples:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26)

THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

These are of the same components as that of man, these components being, will, intellect and emotions (as we shall see later),

Will
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (I Corinthians 12:11)

Intellect
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11)

Emotions
Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me. (Romans 15:30)

FUNCTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

He teaches us all things.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever ….. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:16,26)

He is our indwelling Spirit of God.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:16)

He exalts Jesus Christ in us, and as all truth is in Jesus, we are impacted with the Truth.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13-14)

He strengthens us in our innermost being.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

SPECIFIC ACTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

He guides us in truth.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (John 16:13)

He gives us victory over flesh (domination over our soul by that part of us which is at odds with God).
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

He speaks to us.
As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ―Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. (Acts 13:2)

Then the Spirit said to Philip, ―Go near and overtake this chariot. (Acts 8:29)

He leads us.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14)

He convicts us sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (John 16:7-8)

Helps us in our weaknesses and prays for us.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)

He sanctifies us
But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. (II Thessalonians 2:13)

ATTRIBUTES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

He exists from Eternity to eternity
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)

He is Omnipotent. (being the Spirit of God, He has all power over all things at all times and in all ways).
And the angel answered and said to her, ―The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)

He is Omnipresent. (being the Spirit of God, He is present everywhere at all times)
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? (Psalm 139:7)

He is omniscient (being the Spirit of God, He has complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding and perceives all things)
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (I Corinthians 2:10-11)

He is The Spirit of holiness.
And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:4)

THE NATURE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

It is possible to blaspheme against The Holy Spirit.
Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. (Matt. 12:31)

It is possible to resist The Holy Spirit (in unbelief).
You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. (Acts 7:51)

It is possible to insult The Holy Spirit.
Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:29)

It is possible to Lie to The Holy Spirit.
But Peter said, ―Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? (Acts 5:3)

It is possible to Grieve The Holy Spirit.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Eph. 4:30)

It is possible to Quench The Holy Spirit.
Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thess. 5:19)

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE REGENERATION OF MAN

Regeneration is broadly made up of three parts; Propitiation (by God); Salvation (by Christ): and Repentance (by man) ALL CARRIED OUT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. At any point in time, a man can either be regenerate or unregenerate: But all men are born unregenerate:

Jesus answered and said to him, ―Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus said to Him, ―How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother‘s womb and be born?‖ Jesus answered, ―Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you,  “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:3-8)

Every man from birth is in spiritual darkness until God through the Holy Spirit, shines light into his heart. This spiritual darkness in man is borne out of a lack of intuition and a communion with God; and until God shines light into a man‟s heart by the work of the Holy Spirit, this darkness remains. It could be outer or but definitely inner:

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Outer Darkness in Man

This is darkness that may exist due to the fact that there is nothing to enlighten man about God and godly spirituality.

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.(Matthew 4:16)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ―How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things! (Rom 10:15)

But then there is no excuse because:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun ……… The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalm 19:1-4, 8)

But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: ―Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world. (Romans 10:18)

Inner Darkness in Man

Inward darkness is one that is borne of natural rot and depravity in man’s mind. This is corruption in things pertaining to normal everyday living such as social, political, economic, moral or even spiritual or heavenly things; it may even come in the form of ‘churchianity’ or ‘religion’. The full blown effect of this rot or depravity is often held back by the common grace of the Holy Spirit.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

No matter how eloquently presented, spiritual things can never be understood by such a mind. We will look at this further on in this presentation:

The fool has said in his heart, ―There is no God.‖ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. (Psalm 14:1)

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them for Jesus‘ sake. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

But then:

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

He has sent us the Holy Spirit. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever ….. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:16,26)

THE COMPONENTS OF MAN (BODY, SOUL AND SPIRIT) 

Body – Physical Functions

God prepares man with a body that he may live for Him; with the expectation that, his (man‘s) body will be offered to Him and used to declare His Glory:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom. 12:1)

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God‘s. (1 Cor. 6:20).

According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)

And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:13)

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one‘s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16).

Soul – Functions of Will, Intellect & Emotions

Will (Volition)

The will is the part of our soul through which we have our rationales and make choices. The process of decision making is (supposed to be) activated by the intellect (mind) though the information before us; our emotions could (if allowed to prevail) determine the outcome; but the will is the function of our soul that makes actual decisions.

So that my soul chooses strangling and death rather than my body. (Job 7:15)

Here we see that the choice made by the soul (of strangling and death rather than living); is coloured by the emotional pain that is a result of the picture Job‟s intellect (mind) paints of the state of his body.

My soul refuses to touch them; They are as loathsome food to me. (Job 6:7)

In this verse we see a choice being made by the soul (of not eating this particular kind of food) based on the fact that information from his intellect (mind) describes the food as being loathsome. It does not show if the emotion played a part in the processing of the information by the intellect (mind).

Intellect (Mind)

The Intellect (Mind) is the part of our soul where thoughts, ideas, concepts, reasons, understanding knowledge etc are processed. It contains our though faculties. The function of the Intellect (Mind) include:

Thinking, considering
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? (Psalm 13:2)

Knowing
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. (Psa. 139:14).

Remembering
My soul still remembers and sinks within me. (Lamentations 3:20)

Emotion             

The emotion is the part of our soul through which we love, hate, like or dislike, are joyful or grieved. The main aspects of the function of our emotions are of :

Sensing and affection:
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Desire
As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. (Psalm 42:1)

With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9)

Feeling and Sensing
Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‗Father, save Me from this hour‘? But for this purpose I came to this hour. (John 12:27)

Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. (Psalm 86:4) Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. (Psalm 116:7)

Spirit – Functions of conscience, Intuition and communion.

Conscience

The conscience is for us to discern right from wrong, to justify or to condemn. Knowledge shows what is right or wrong but our conscience is that part of us that approves of what is right and disapproves of what is contrary to it. The conscience is a part of our spirit:

In the unregenerate man, the conscience as a part of the heart is devoid of guidance from the Spirit of God; but restricted within limits by the grace of God. But at salvation the conscience is restored to perform it’s full functions as part of the spirit of man.

And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deuteronomy 30:6)

Intuition

Intuition is the function of our spirit that enables us to receive knowledge, perception or conviction directly in our spirit, regardless of reason or circumstance. It is a function of “spiritual sensing” . The sharpness of our intuition is very much dependent on the purity of our conscience – thus, it is impossible for someone with a polluted or corrupt conscience to have discernment. It is more like the “USB Connector” between our spirit and the Holy Spirit. The intuition is that in us which enables us (unlike our natural instincts or soulish emotional feelings) to adhere to what the Holy Spirit is saying (God‟s instructions).

For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11)

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? (Mark 2:8)

Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. (John 11:33)

When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. (Acts 18:5)

This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. (Acts 18:25)

And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, (Acts 20:22)

For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men. (1 Corinthians 16:18)

Communion (Fellowship)

Communion is our contact, fellowship and our communication with God. Like any Father, God wants us His children to spend time with Him so that we can get to know Him. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

The woman said to Him, ―I know that Messiah is coming‖ (who is called Christ). ―When He comes, He will tell us all things. (John 4:23-25)

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers. (Romans 1:9)

But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

Fellowship is the most important thing God wants from us. He wants us to come to know him – to be with him – to spend time with him.

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:9-11)

THE HEART OF MAN

Heart of Man is made up of Body – Physical Functions Soul – Functions of Will, Intellect & Emotions Heart Spirit – Functions of conscience ONLY. The heart is a composition of the first part of the spirit – the conscience and all three parts of the soul.

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Heb. 10:22)

Being part of our spirit (the conscience); it can condemn:
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. (1 John 3:20)

As it also includes the mind, the will, and the emotion, which are the three parts of our soul:
But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ―Why do you think evil in your hearts. (Matthew 9:4)

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

It Rejoices:
Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. (John 16:22)

Has Sorrow:
But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. (John 16:6)

It Purposes:
When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. (Acts 11:23)

Has Intents:
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

In God’s eternal purpose, the intended main function of man‟s heart is to give man the ability to:

Love Him – And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.‘ This is the first commandment. (Mark 12:30)

Also, In God‟s eternal purpose, the intended main function of man‟s spirit is to give man the ability to:
a) Be in constant contact with HimGod is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)

b) Receive Him – But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

c) Hold or Contain Him – The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:22)

Finally, In God‟s eternal purpose, the intended main function of man‟s soul is to give man the ability to:

Reflect or Express Him – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Because our heart LOVES Him; our spirit is able to BE IN CONSTANT CONTACT with Him; RECEIVE Him; and HOLD or CONTAIN Him; so that our soul is able to REFLECT or EXPRESS Him in all that we think, like, and decide – in all that we are and all that we do.

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THE UN-REGENERATE MAN

The dictionary defines the unregenerate man as:

un•re•gen•er•ate

1. Not regenerate; not renewed in heart and mind or reborn in spirit; unrepentant: an unregenerate sinner.
2. Refusing to believe in the existence of God. : an unregenerate atheist; an unregenerate skeptic.
3. Unconvinced by or unconverted to a particular religion, sect, or movement; unreconstructed.
4. Persisting in the holding of prior convictions; opposing new ideas, causes, etc.; stubborn; obstinate: an
     unregenerate reactionary.
5. Not reformed; wicked; sinful; profligate; dissolute: an unregenerate way of life.

Conscience of the Unregenerate Man

The dictionary defines the conscience as:

“a knowledge or sense of right and wrong, with a compulsion to do right; moral judgement that opposes the violation of a previously recognized ethical principle and that leads to feelings of guilt.”

The conscience of the unregenerate man as we can see from the dictionary definition is governed by:

‘Compulsion to do right’
‘Moral judgement’

So in our modern day culture where there is a daily attempt to „program‟ our minds to fit into this agenda or the other; “compulsion to do right” and “moral judgement” are ever so subjective and moving further away from what the laws of God says. The world’s thinking overrides and drowns out the inner voice of the true conscience that God put within man.

To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. (Titus 1:15)

There is a conscience in all men by nature. Let this never be forgotten. Fallen, lost, desperately wicked as we are all born into the world, God has taken care to leave Himself a witness in our bosoms. It is a poor blind guide, without the Holy Spirit. It can save no one. It leads no one to Christ. It may be seared and trampled under foot. But there is such a thing as conscience in every man, accusing or excusing him; and Scripture and experience alike declare it (Rom. 2:15).

J.C. Ryle

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THE LAW (AT SALVATION)  

The Law Law means instruction – do‟s and don‟ts; the norms of society as enforced by the state. In the context of our topic here; “The Law” refers specifically to the compilation of decrees found in the first five books of the Bible.
This whole body of law was given the name Torah.

While the purpose of treating this topic of the law here is NOT about relying on keeping the law to be saved:

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

But it is sensible for any man to know the reason why God gave these laws to the natural children of Israel: The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile. Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked. (Psalm 94:11-13)

Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. (Psalm 119:164-166)

The Law

The distinct duty of the law is to reveal what sin is. („dangerous‟ and „unwanted‟ piece of knowledge at that):

Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20)

So if the law causes our desire to sin to increase, is it then safe to say that the law is bad? The answer here by Apostle Paul is No!!, Capital No!!! For if not for the law, we would not have known sin in it‟s deadly nature; it‟s resistance against God; in it‟s habitual enmity against God; and the hidden lustings it produces within us.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ―You shall not covet. (Romans 7:7)

With regards to salvation; the law enters; deeply and widely opens it’s own commission of enquiry in the conscience of unregenerate man; but here the conscience is only working closely with the soul (devoid of intuition and communion). A kind of “fear of God” (unrighteous because it is devoid of intuition and communion with God) is felt.

“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” (Romans 5:20)

This ‘commission of enquiry’ headed by The ‘Lord Chief Justice’ Himself (of heaven, earth and all that exists); God Almighty, before whom nothing, absolutely nothing is hidden: Because He is:

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In our next post please look out for – God, According To His Will By The Holy Spirit:  Removes His Sins and Their Consequences & Gives Him Grace For Righteousness.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Holy Spirit you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need as The Holy Spirit would have been pointing out to you while you read the post.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this REPENTANTLY (Having taken time to bring your sins before God with a determination to completely turn away from them):

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Selah!!! (Stop; think about this!!!)

selah Logo

When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul (Ezekiel 33:8-9)

Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
“Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’

When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
“Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.” (Ezekiel 33:8,9; 11-18)

“They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife, and she goes from him and becomes another man’s, may he return to her again?’ Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return to Me,” says the LORD.

“Lift up your eyes to the desolate heights and see: where have you not lain with men? By the road you have sat for them like an Arabian in the wilderness; and you have polluted the land
With your harlotries and your wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain. You have had a harlot’s forehead; you refuse to be ashamed.
Will you not from this time cry to Me, my Father, You are the guide of my youth? Will He remain angry forever? Will He keep it to the end?’ Behold, you have spoken and done evil things, as you were able.” (Jeremiah 3:1-5)

“Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
“Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,” says the LORD, “that they will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.
“At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts. (Jeremiah 3:14-17)

May His grace abound to us all – Amen

JUSTIFICATION – You’re Not Guilty!! Says God

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 5

The Gospel of Christ – JUSTIFICATION – You’re Not Guilty!! Says God

FRONT PAGE JUSTIFICATION You are Not Guilty says God

Click on Image to play video

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

“ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

We are continuing with our look at the first stanza of the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of our mini series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” In previous posts we have looked at God’s good will, His original plan of His eternal purpose Ultimately being, PLAN A  – The Glory of God –  We saw that it is safe to say that His good will, His eternal purpose, is a plan to ultimately, bring us to His Glory, with provision made for perceived blunders we will make along the way.

In our last post we looked at Redemption: Before that, Propitiation  as part of God’s Regeneration of man. We saw redemption as being the act of buying something back; or an act by which the original or prospective owner of a thing pays a price to return that thing from a present owner (back) to his/her possession.

In this post we will continue with our look at this provision He has made for our blunders, Now in our mortal bodies: as we saw in  PLAN A1- The Gospel of Christ – where we started looking at regeneration as part of  GOD‘S FULL SALVATION. Here we saw regeneration as the act by which God justifies us through propitiation by Christ Jesus and regenerates us in our spirit with His life by His Spirit; that it involves: Redemption, Sanctification (positional 1 Pet. 1:2; 1Cor. 6:11), justification, reconciliation. We will now look at Justification

 Justification

Justification is a doctrine that is a legal matter to the core; as the word infers, It describes a sinner under trial before the tribunal of a God who is:

 Life –               He is the essence of the breathe of life

Spirit –            It is impossible to see Him with human eyes, but through the eye of the spirit

Omnipotence – He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills.

Omnipresence – He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at once

Omniscience – He knows all things that can be known in the past,   present, future, so nothing can escape His knowledge

Infinity –         He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things.

Nature of Love –    God’s love for us is just as His attribute of being immutable, it cannot change

Immutability – God cannot change because He is the beginning and end ‘Alpha & Omega’

“If you, LORD, should mark iniquities, …who could stand?”  (Psalm 130:3).

“There is none righteous, no, not one….” (Romans 3:10).

The dictionary Says of Justification:

A good reason or explanation for something

So in other words, Justification is:

The Act or a good reason or explanation for Making Man Right with God by grace through faith In Jesus Christ.

Justification is the “Act of God” by which (according to His promise) He approves us based on His own standard of righteousness. This He can legally do without compromising His divine righteousness because of the finished redemptive work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. This justification can only be obtained through the grace of God and not by our works.

 Aspects of Justification

PIC  justification of man

There are two distinct aspects of justification:

Forgiveness

This is God‘s act of pardoning and releasing us from our mistakes or wrongdoings and actually ‗wiping them off the slate‘. (Jeremiah 31:34; John 3:18; 5:24; Acts 10:43; 26:18; Hebrews 8:12; 10:17).

Imputation

This is the application of the righteousness of Jesus Christ to us in our sinful state. (Romans 4:4-6; 5:1, 19; 8:1; 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:8-9)

We have:

Imputation for Positional Sanctification

PIC positional sanctification

Thank God

PIC  self hussle justification of man

Imputation for Experiential Sanctification

PIC experiential sanctification

Imputation for Perfection (Christian Liberty)

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1) “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

In our next post please look out for Faith (Hebrews1:1) the 4th component of Regeneration.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this REPENTANTLY (Having taken time to bring your sins before God with a determination to completely turn away from them):

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Redemption: An Act of The Master Planner

Redemption: An Act of The Master Planner

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 5

The Gospel of Christ – Redemption: An Act of The Master Planner

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

 Image                

 “ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezek. 36:26–27)

I want to start this look at Redemption by taking us back to some of what we looked at the beginning of this mini- series Trust and Obey, especially where we asked the questions – What is God’s good will? And What provisions has He made for us to take hold of this good will?The answer for the first question being that God’s good will is the pursuit of His eternal purpose. The answer to the second question The Gospel of Christ is what we are now looking at.

In our look at The Gospel of Christ, we saw that it is the singularly most important communication of God to man. We saw that in Jesus, who is God the Son, we have the revelation of God‘s love and sacrifice that saves us from Gods righteous judgment upon sinners. We then started our look at this GOD‘S FULL SALVATION which comprises of Regeneration, Transformation and Consummation.

 REGENERATION•

God justifies us through propitiation by Christ Jesus and regenerates us in our spirit with His life by His Spirit. It involves: Propitiation, Redemption, Justification, Forgiveness, Imputation, Sanctification (Positional), Sanctification (Experiential), Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Reconciliation to God

TRANSFORMATION•

This is the process of our freedom from the dominion of indwelling sin. It involves: Freedom from Sin, Sanctification (mainly dispositional Roman 6:19, 22), growth in life, transformation, building up and maturing.

CONSUMMATION•

Redemption of our corrupted body (Roman 8:23) and transfiguring into Christ’s glory (Phil. 3:21). This is the inheritance of God’s Kingdom and participation in Jesus’ Kingship.

We are now looking at Regeneration , of which in our last post we touched on Propitiation.

We will now continue with our look at Redemption.

 REDEMPTION

Re·demp·tion

1. Repurchase, buy back (as of something sold).

2. Christianity

    a. Deliverance or rescue from sin through the incarnation, sufferings, and death of Christ

    b. Atonement for guilt

3. An act or process of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.

Redeem – gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.

Compensatory – Providing, effecting, or aiming at compensation, in particular. (Of a payment) Intended to recompense someone who has experienced loss, suffering, or injury.

Retrieve – Get (something) back; regain possession of.

Regain  –   Obtain possession or use of (something, typically something

                 abstract) again after losing it.

Reach –     (a place, position, or thing) again; get back to.

Reclaim –   Retrieve or recover (something previously lost, given, or

                 paid); obtain the return of. The action or process of

                 reclaiming or being reclaimed: “beyond reclaim”.

Repossess –  Retake possession of (something)

Redemption is the act of buying something back; or an act by which the original or prospective owner of a thing pays a price to return that thing from a present owner (back) to his/her possession.  

Three of the Greek words that point to redemption in the Bible are –  ‘agorazo’, ‘exagorazo’ and ‘lutroo’.

Image                                        Click on Image to see presentation on Propitiation

In our next post please look out for Justification  (Romans 5:8-10) the Third component of Regeneration.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like thisREPENTANTLY (Having brought your sins before God with a determination to completely turn away from them):

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Propitiation – It Is Finished

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 5

The Gospel of Christ : Propitiation – It Is Finished

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

 “ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezek. 36:26–27)

 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, by his blood, to shew his righteousness, because of the passing over of the sins one aforetime, in the forbearance of God; for the shewing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season: that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26).

 Image

                                                   Click on Image to see presentation on Propitiation

Propitiation and Atonement

 In our look at this very important core of our Christian witness – propitiation, I will like to first of all clarify the relationship between propitiation and atonement as it seems that the two are sometimes being taken to be the same.  Using atonement in place of propitiation as seen in some modern versions of the bible renders the death of Christ a perpetual sacrifice which it is not. Propitiation was a one time event.

 Propitiate: to conciliate, appease. Propitiation:

 The act of propitiating. Latin propitius, a disposition of favour (one can think pro-pity, a setting forth of pity or mercy). The Greek word translated propitiation in the New Testament is hilasmos, which is a means of appeasing, a conciliation.

 To appease: to bring peace or calm, to satisfy or relieve.

 To atone: to make amends or reparations for an injury or wrongdoing, to expiate.

 In layman’s terms, atonement is the bringing together of two parties that were initially at odds, and propitiation is the idea of making correction for something that may have caused the two to be at odds.

                 Image

 

Let us take for example, at the case of a man whose wife empties out his savings and runs away. After a period of separation they decide to settle their disagreement (propitiation) and get back together as one (atonement). In this scenario, bringing the wife and husband together is atonement (reconciliation) and the provision for taking care (appeasement) of the sinful act of the wife (or husband) – the “money problem” is propitiation. I guess one of the first questions here would be “how much of the money has she got left”? And for that question to be asked, the husband and wife have to come together one way or the other.

Depending on the state of mind of the husband (or how broke he is), the person resolving this conflict will first of all have to be very well sure that the “money problem” is resolved (Holy God: righteousness, truth and justice) who provided (lamb slain from the foundation of the earth). A comprehensive package that addresses the covetousness of the wife (or as the case may be, the stinginess of the husband and/or other factors that might have caused the situation to occur) must be put in place – these (man’s debt from his sinful nature) are what the Gospel of Jesus Christ addresses through His death, burial, and resurrection. The whole idea here is that, Jesus makes atonement for us by bringing us into fellowship (atonement) with His Father through providing propitiation, which was done by Him dying on the cross to pay the ransom price that our sin demands and that caused us to be at odds with Him who is absolutely righteous.

 ATONEMENT

 

Obsolete : reconciliation

The reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

“That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)

To supply satisfaction for:

Expiate – to put an end to; to extinguish the guilt incurred by.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures”. (James 1:17-18)

Atonement is a concept in which obstacles to reconciliation with God are removed; through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

 “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” (Ephesians 2:14-16)

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (Colossians 1:19-22)

 Atonement (Before Jesus Came)

Man is (at default) separated from God due to the sin committed by the first man Adam and he (man) have had to contend with the consequences of Adam’s actions:

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:28-32)

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

In the old testament days, the Ark of the Covenant was the place where the Lord had the sacrificial blood poured out, for the forgiveness of Israel’s sins. The blood was sprinkled on the atonement cover.

“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 25:17-22)

This was blood of animals which had to be sacrificed time after time

Atonement (At Calvary)

Man was reconciled to God at Calvary. This was made possible by God sacrificing His only begotten Son Jesus Christ (once and for all) unlike the continual sacrifices made in the old testament.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (Colossians 1:19-22)

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

When Jesus made Himself a sacrifice at Calvary, He paved the way, cleared out all the impediments – all the blockages that kept man away from God. He then signified the end of this task when He:

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:1-4).

He did not just ‘cover’ our sins, He totally removed them:

“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)

One of the strategies of Satan is to make sure that at least he can rob us of our joy if he is unable to steal our salvation by reminding us of our past sins; we will always do ourselves a lot of good to have it in mind that Jesus did not only forgive our “small sins” but “ALL sins”.

PROPITIATION

Propitiation points to what God has received from the death of Christ, whether or not a sinner trusts Jesus Christ. The Holy, Justice, Righteous nature of God has to be completely satisfied and this was done on the cross.

“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6)

“This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” (1 John 5:6-7)

Propitiate: to conciliate, appease.

Propitiation:The act of propitiating.

Latin propitius, a disposition of favour (one can think pro-pity, a setting forth of pity or mercy). The Greek word translated propitiation in the New Testament is hilasmos, which is a means of appeasing, a conciliation.

To appease: to bring peace or calm, to satisfy or relieve.

To atone: to make amends or reparations for an injury or wrongdoing, to expiate.

“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)

Propitiation is the work Jesus did on the cross to appease and satisfy God’s wrath so He would be able to pardon sinners who trust in Christ. It is God’s way of making amends for our sins. This He does by a process in which the guilt or innocence is transferred from one person (Jesus) to another (man). The guilt or the bad actions of one person is attributed or imputed to another. So that when it comes to punishment, the person who is the substitute bears the brunt, and that the person substituted goes away free. This way God made reparations for our sins by transferring them to Christ’s account as He hung on the cross at Calvary. The absolute sinless life of Jesus Christ makes this transaction possible as His innocence is transferred to those who believe and follow Him.

              Image

 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.” (Hebrews 9:14-17)

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3)

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14)

In our next post please look out for Redemption (Ezekiel 36:25-27) the second component of Regeneration.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

JOURNEY OF REGENERATION – God’s Provisions & Man’s Acts (A)

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 5

The Gospel of Christ –  Journey of Regeneration  God’s Provisions & Man’s Acts (A)

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

 “ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezek. 36:26–27)

 “who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13).

Sorry for the interruption (due to circumstances beyond my control) in our mini-series onMaintaining a Healthy Fear of God.  We are continuing with our look at the first stanza of the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of the mini-series. In our last post we continued with our look at the provisions God has made for our blunders along the way to His eternal purpose, Now in our mortal bodies:  PLAN A1- The Gospel of Christ.

In this post we will have a look at: Journey of Regeneration – God’s Provisions & Man’s Acts  we will have a look at the different components of God’s act of providing for our justification; Jesus’ acts of bringing it to pass on the cross at Calvary and our own little contribution of just believing, repenting and getting baptised.

 “Every Generation Needs Regeneration” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 “The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.” – William Booth

  What is Regeneration

 

 Regeneration means to be renewed, reformed, or reconstituted; to have a spiritual rebirth (be spiritually reborn) “Born Again”; to cause to be completely reformed or improved and to grow anew (a part to replace one hurt or lost).

“But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)

 In the world we live in today, the result of man’s quest to “go on the road of discovery of OTHER WAYS TO GOD” or “have MY OWN VERSION OF GOD or my own DESIGNER GOD” or to just believe in “SOMETHING UP THERE”or to outright “DO IT MY WAY”. You know – “anything, anyway or anyone other than this omniscient  God who I am told is able know all my thoughts even before I think them; who is able to know my acts even before I do them when no one could physically do so”  is so glaring.

 In a world where market forces now decide if a man is reformed or not (for example in prison – a task that has been effectively developed and delivered by the Church through the probation service through the years); a world where the destiny of the human soul, supposedly the main beneficiary of everything that has been made to exist is now at the mercy of corporate profit, a situation that automatically triggers a curse against a nation. The prophet Amos touched on this in his writings:

“Hear this, O you who would swallow up and trample down the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail and come to an end, saying, When will the New Moon festival be past that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath that we may offer wheat for sale, making the ephah [measure] small and the shekel [measure] great and falsifying the scales by deceit, that we may buy [into slavery] the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals; yes, and sell the refuse of the wheat [as if it were good grade]? The Lord has sworn by [Himself Who is] the Glory and Pride of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their [rebellious] deeds.  Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it? Yes, it shall rise like the river [Nile], all of it, and it shall be tossed about and sink back again to normal level, as does the Nile of Egypt. And in that day, says the Lord God, I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the broad daylight. And I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation, and I will cause sackcloth to be put upon all loins and baldness [for mourning] shall come on every head; and I will make that time as the mourning for an only son, and the end of it as a bitter day.” (Amos 8:4-10). Whenever

In a commentary on the book of Amos – John Blanchard puts it this way:

 “A holy, covenant-keeping God was being rejected by an unholy, covenant breaking nation – There will be a price to pay”.

Let me not be tempted to dwell too much on this.

 John Barnett in “The Miracle of Salvation: Uninhabitable to Inhabited by God” wrote:

God has made provision for us to be born again, and regenerated through the new birth – in order to give us His life living within. But why would we – the greatest and highest and most wonderful of all earth’s creatures – why would we need regeneration? Because a disaster that has stricken each of us, has rendered us uninhabitable by God.

You and I are by nature from birth uninhabitable to God. We were born with a heart that was emitting a deadly radiant far worse than the gamma rays of that exploded reactor; we were producers of the element most hated by God in the Universe, which is called sin.

 The presence of sin within each of us made us completely uninhabitable to God. He could never live within us because He is holy, and we are sinful.

 Regeneration is when God comes down to the site of the worst disaster in the universe – us sinners – and completely removes the deadly, toxic elements at the core of our being.

 Regeneration is a “supernatural work of the Holy Spirit” by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5). Regeneration occurs when God sovereignly acknowledges a person’s belief of the gospel. Regeneration is the most dramatic change in a new believer; when we are “born again” we enter the family of God.

The gift of salvation is about Jesus who died to take us who are dead in our sins, bring us to life; and welcome us as family members, full of endless life and brand new – that’s regeneration!

 Regeneration is broadly made up of three parts; Propitiation (by God); Salvation (by Christ): and Repentance (by man).

Propitiation Points to what God has received from the death of Christ, whether or not a sinner trusts Christ. While:

Salvation Focuses primarily on the blessing the one who trusts Christ receives.

Repentance What man has to do (by faith) on his own part.

 Regeneration pic

                          Click on Image to see presentaion on Regeneration                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         God justifies us through propitiation by Christ Jesus and regenerates us in our spirit with His life by His Spirit. It involves: Redemption, Sanctification (positional 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 Cor. 6:11), justification, faith, repentance, forgiveness, baptism these are the processes of our reconciliation to God.

 Propitiation

Propitiation is the work Jesus did on the cross to appease and satisfy God’s wrath so He would be able to pardon sinners who trust in Christ. It is God’s way of making amends for our sins. This He does by a process in which the guilt or innocence is transferred from one person (Jesus) to another (man). The guilt or the bad actions of one person is attributed or imputed to another. So that when it comes to punishment, the person who is the substitute bears the brunt, and that the person substituted goes away free. This way God made reparations for our sins by transferring them to Christ’s account as He hung on the cross at Calvary. The absolute sinless life of Jesus Christ makes this transaction possible as His innocence is transferred to those who believe and follow Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2; Isaiah 53:4-6; 1 John 5:6-7)

 Redemption

Redemption is the English translation of the Greek word ‘agorazo’, meaning “to purchase in the marketplace.” In ancient times, it often referred to the act of buying a slave. It means Jesus Christ, through his sacrificial death, purchased believers from the slavery of sin to set us free from that bondage. (John 3:3; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 1:7-8; Psalm 111:8-10; Romans 8:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13-14; Titus 2:13-14; Zechariah 12:10; 1 John 5:6-8)

Justification

Justification is the “Act of God” by which He approves us based on His own standard of righteousness. This He can legally do without compromising His divine righteousness because of the finished redemptive work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. This justification can only be obtained through the grace of God and not by our works. (Psalms. 49:7-8; Romans 3:10; 21-22; 1:17; 10:3; John 1:12; Philippians 3:9)

There are two distinct aspects of justification:

Forgiveness

This is God’s act of pardoning and releasing us for our mistakes or wrongdoings and actually ‘wiping them off the slate’ (Jeremiah 31:34; John 3:18; 5:24; Acts 10:43; 26:18; Hebrews 8:12; 10:17).

 Imputation

This is the application of the righteousness of Jesus Christ to us in our sinful state. (Romans 4:4-6; 5:1, 19; 8:1; 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:8-9)

 Sanctification (Positional)

Sanctification that is automatically made available to us (through an entirely work of God) as a result of justification; as a believer (at salvation) is justified, declared righteous in conformity to the image of Jesus Christ. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren”  (Romans 6:11-23; 8:8, 29; 10:1-4; Ephesians 2:1-4; Colossians 2:10-15; 3:1-4).

 Sanctification (Experiential)

Experiential sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit works in us (believer) to set us apart from sin; it is a progressive work spiritual maturity, a progressive work of separating us from the world. Quit opposite from what obtains in the world where maturity means independence from anyone; experiential sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit progressively teaches us to be TOTALLY AND ABSOLUTELY DEPENDENT ON GOD.  (Romans 12:1-4; 16:19; 1Corinthians 6:12-13; 19-20; 7:23; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 7:1; Galatians 5:22-25; Philippians 2:15, 4:8; Colossians 2:6; 3:5-15; 1 Thessalonians 2:12, 4:1-7; 5:5, 22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Timothy 6:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-4; James 1:24-27, 4:4; 1 Peter 2:11-12, 24).

 Faith

Now faith is the substance (physical reality that can be touched and felt) of things hoped for (a chance that something desirable will happen or be possible), the evidence (something that gives a sign or proof of the existence or truth of something, or that helps somebody to come to a particular conclusion) of things not seen. We can also say that:

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses] (John 3:16,36; 5:24; 6:40; 8:24; 20:30,31; Acts 16:31; 10:43; 15:9; 13:39; Romans 1:16; 3:22-28; 4:3,16; 5:1,2; Ephesians 2:8)

Repentance

At the point of salvation (just as in times like Philippians 2:12-13) repentance is the intellectual (mental) and spiritual perception; emotional change of feeling and volitional change of purpose that follows a sinful act. It should be accompanied by deep regret because of the sins committed in the past, and by determination with God’s help to avoid sin and live in holiness hereafter.  (Matthew 3:2; 27:3;Luke 15:7, 10; Philippians 2:12-13; Isaiah 55:7; Jeremiah 4:1-2; Ezekiel 18:30-32; Daniel 9:13;)

 Baptism

Baptism is the sacred act of being immersed in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; it is a very special moment on the journey of faith; a moment when God’s presence and blessing meets us, as we make our personal commitment of faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour of our life, being grafted into Him, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace and our engagement to be totally His. (Luke 3:16; Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21, 22; John 1:29-33; Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 1:4, 5; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:35-38; Acts 16:31, 33; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21)

 Reconciliation to God

Reconciliation is the process by which we are brought from enmity with God to friendship with Him. A process through which God (right from creation) had provided for perceived blunders we will make along the way as we fulfil His eternal purpose; a plan to ultimately, bring us to His  Glory. It should be noted that God is not reconciled to us, but we are reconciled to our Father in Heaven. (John 15:15; Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Philippians 4:7; Colossians 1:20-21)

In our next post we will be looking at the 1st component of  Regeneration – Propitiation. Meanwhile –

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Father you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.
We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?
In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

 What must a person do to accept this gift?
Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Gospel of Christ Jesus

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 4

The Gospel of Christ Jesus  – Introduction

 

While we do His good will, He abides with us still,And with all who will trust and obey.

 

“ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

We are continuing with our look at the first stanza of the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of our mini series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” In our last post we started with our look at God’s good will, we stopped at the original plan of His eternal purpose Ultimately, PLAN A  – The Glory of God – We saw that it is safe to say that  His good will, His eternal purpose, is a plan to ultimately, bring us to His  Glory, with provision made for perceived blunders we will make along the way.

In this post we will have a look at this provision He has made for our blunders, Now in our mortal bodies:  PLAN A1- The Gospel of Christ. which we have in fact delved into already in the last post and also in    –Part 1 ALL HAVE SINNED 

Where we addressed the reason for plan A1 in answer to a very valid question asked about the use of the phrases Plan A or Plan A1 – “What Plan B!? Like I said then, it was always plan A from the get go!” (I Used Plan B before making it A1); maybe I had been watching too much of the confusing political debates – oh!! Modern day politics – the more you hear; the less you understand (abracadabra politics). We have also in the same post looked at His plan for us and how we have (through Adam) “temporarily deviated” from the path of this plan and the consequences of Adam’s original sin.

We also in  First Begotten Son is God Part 1  looked at the consequences of Adam’s choice to develop the functions of his will, intellect and emotions “APART FROM GOD” at the expense of developing the functions of his conscience, intuition and communion with God; this (now) being the state of the unregenerate man, who does not know God. (We will examine this further when we have a comprehensive look at Romans 5)

We will now continue with the first stanza of the hymn by looking at this presentation called: Gospel of Christ Jesus

The gospel of Christ Jesus is the singularly most important communication of God to man. In Jesus, who is God the Son, we have the revelation of God‘s love and sacrifice that saves us from Gods righteous judgment upon sinners.

                                          GOD‘S FULL SALVATION

REGENERATION•

God justifies us through propitiation by Christ Jesus and regenerates us in our spirit with His life by His Spirit. It involves: Redemption, Sanctification (positional 1 Pet. 1:2; 1Cor. 6:11), justification, reconciliation and regeneration

TRANSFORMATION•

This is the process of our freedom from the dominion of indwelling sin. It involves: Freedom from Sin, Sanctification (mainly dispositional Roman 6:19, 22), growth in life, transformation, building up and maturing.

CONSUMMATION•

Redemption of our corrupted body (Roman 8:23) and transfiguring into Christ’s glory (Phil. 3:21). This is the inheritance of God’s Kingdom and participation in Jesus’ Kingship.

Christ in you Hope of Glory

 Gospel of Christ Jesus

    (Click here to view presentation)

In the next post we will be examining Regeneration when one believes in Jesus Christ.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this God you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

DONT BLAME GOD!!!

Have you ever been asked by a self confessed “enemy of God” “why God was permitting so much evil to take place here on earth” or:

Have you ever been asked by an unbeliever “why God was permitting so much evil to take place here on earth” or:

Have you yourself ever wondered “why God was permitting so much evil to take place here on earth”

Have a look at this:

BUT THEN!!!!:

 “GOD HAS SPOKEN ONCE, TWICE HAVE I HEARD THIS: THAT (ALL) POWER BELONGS TO GOD. Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work.” (Psalm 62:11-12 emphasis added)

“So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” (Job 1:9-12)

“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)

“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. BUT I HAVE PRAYED FOR YOU THAT YOUR FAITH SHOULD NOT FAIL; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32)

AGAIN I SAY:

“GOD HAS SPOKEN ONCE, TWICE HAVE I HEARD THIS: THAT (ALL) POWER BELONGS TO GOD. Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work.” (Psalm 62:11-12 emphasis added)

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this God you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

 

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

God’s Good Will

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 3

 Slide2

While we do His good will, He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey.

 

 We are continuing with our look at the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of our mini series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” In our last post we looked at the presentation…….

What a glory He sheds on our way!

In this post we shall now continue with the first stanza of the hymn by looking at While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

God’s Good Will

According to thesaurus ‘While’ could also be used as: At the same time as; concurrently; alongside; concomitantly; in tandem; parallel; along with

‘Will’ as: Desire, wish, choice, preference, bidding, command. So:

As we do His good ‘desire, wish, choice, preference, bidding, command’; He (At the same time; Alongside; concomitantly; In tandem; in parallel; Along with) abides with us still.

The immediate questions now are – What is God’s good will? And What provisions has He made for us to take hold of this good will?

 What is God’s good will? 

God’s good will is the pursuit of His eternal purpose.

 PLAN AThe Glory of God – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. PLAN A1The Gospel of Christ – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: PLAN A That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Eph. 1:3-12 emphasis added)

To cut the long story short, God’s good will is: “bringing many sons unto glory” through His Son Jesus Christ. (Heb. 2:10)

God’s eternal purpose being a reflection of who He is; a reflection of those virtues that make Him God as we have seen in earlier postsis the embodiment of His Good Will. Watchman Nee’s observation puts it this way:

“In Romans 3:23 we read: “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God”. God’s purpose for man was glory, glory, glory, but sin thwarted that purpose by causing man to forfeit God’s glory. When we think of sin we instinctively think of the judgement it brings; we invariably associate it with condemnation and hell. Man’s thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins, but God’s thought is always of the glory man will forfeit if he sins. The result of sin is that we forfeit God’s glory: the result of redemption is that we are qualified again for glory. God’s purpose in redemption is glory, glory, glory.

The Lord Jesus was the only begotten Son, and as the only begotten He had no brothers. But the Father sent the Son in order that the only begotten might also be the first begotten, and the beloved Son have many brethren. There you have the whole story of the Incarnation and the Cross; and there you have at the last the purpose of God fulfilled in His “bringing many sons unto glory” (Heb. 2:10)”.

In other words the pursuit of God’s good will is whole hearted pursuit of Holiness; because the pursuit of Holiness will only lead to glory. God’s holiness is the fundamental attribute that defines all His other attributes:

Life – He is the essence of the breathe of life

Spirit – It is impossible to see Him with human eyes, but through the eye of the spirit

Omnipotence – He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills.

Omnipresence – He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at once

Omniscience – He knows all things that can be known in the past, present, future, so nothing can escape His knowledge

Infinity – He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things.

Nature of Love – God’s love for us is just as His attribute of being immutable, it cannot change

Immutability – God cannot change because He is the beginning and end ‘Alpha & Omega’

Holiness is bound to be at the core of His good will. This holiness which is inherent in Him means that in His time transcending existence, God was, is, and will be righteous in all His ways, so that – His plans can never be flawed (Psalm 145:17); He cannot look at wrong (Habakkuk 1:13); and cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13); Thus, the good will of God (bringing many sons unto glory) has holiness at it’s core:

 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.” (Psalm 89:14)

If the foundation of His throne (not so much about the chair that He sits on, but by virtue of His power, rank and privileges as The Almighty King of all that exist) is:

RighteousnessComplete performance of whatever is right which warrants divine approval; a divine arrangement by which God leads men to a state acceptable to him; a revelation of His love for Holiness.

Justice – virtue which gives each one his due; revelation of God’s hatred for sin.

And before Him goes:

Mercy – God’s goodness and love shown towards people who have no way out; judgement which was due but was diverted. 

Truth Honesty or directness of mind (whether refreshing or distasteful) which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood or deceit. Our God is God of Truth; who lives in Truth; whose work is done in truth; who keeps truth forever.

Then we can safely say that His good will, His eternal purpose, is a plan to ultimately, bring us to His  Glory, with provisions made for perceived blunders we will make along the way.

 Ultimately, PLAN A  – The Glory of God

provision made for:

Now in our mortal bodies:  PLAN A1- The Gospel of Christ

The working out of salvation (not WORK FOR our salvation): PLAN A–Back on Track  

Ultimately, PLAN A  – The Glory of God –

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:3-6)

“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  (Revelation 21:3-4)

 “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”  (I John 3:2)

 We shall “be like him” (not Him, because God will always be God above all); Then we will be granted His attributes like: being incorruptible (sinless): And possess wisdom (be shown all truth)

 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

 In a nutshell, WE WILL HAVE ABSOLUTE FREEDOM because:

 COMPLETE TRUTH – SIN = ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

 “Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). If,

JESUS = TRUTH, (WAY & LIFE)= ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

So, when sin came along through Adam (first Adam),

JESUS – SIN = ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

But then,

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. LIKEWISE RECKON YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” (Romans 6:3-11)

Watchman Nee, in describing the fourfold conditions of living the normal Christian life in the book The Normal Christian Life – chapters on “Path To Progress” numbers the four stages as being : (a) Knowing, (b) Reckoning, (c) Presenting ourselves to God, and (d) Walking in the Spirit) : (we will have a comprehensive look at this discourse in Romans 6 when we get to it). Here, he describes this reckoning that comes after knowing as:

What does reckoning mean? ‘Reckoning’ in Greek means doing accounts book-keeping. Accounting is the only thing in the world we human beings can do correctly. An artist paints a landscape. Can he do it with perfect accuracy? Can the historian vouch for the absolute accuracy of any record, or the map-maker for the perfect correctness of any map? They can make, at best, fair approximations. Even in everyday speech, when we try to tell some incident with the best intention to be honest and truthful, we cannot speak with complete accuracy. It is mostly a case of exaggeration or understatement, of one word too much or too little. What then can a man do that is utterly reliable? Arithmetic! There is no scope for error there. One chair plus one chair equals two chairs. That is true in London and it is true in Cape Town. If you travel west to New York or east to Singapore it is still the same. All the world over and for all time, one plus one equals two. One plus one is two in heaven and earth and hell.

Why does God say we are to reckon ourselves dead? Because we are dead. Let us keep to the analogy of accounting. Suppose I have fifteen shillings in my pocket, what do I enter in my account-book? Can I enter fourteen shillings and sixpence or fifteen shillings and sixpence? No, I must enter in my account-book that which is in fact in my pocket. Accounting is the reckoning of facts, not fancies. Even so, it is because I am really dead that God tells me to account it so. God could not ask me to put down in my account-book what was not true. He could not ask me to reckon that I am dead if I am still alive. For such mental gymnastics the word ‘reckoning’ would be inappropriate; we might rather speak of ‘mis-reckoning’!

Reckoning is not a form of make-believe. It does not mean that, having found that I have only twelve shillings in my pocket, I hope that by entering fifteen shillings incorrectly in my account-book such ‘reckoning’ will somehow remedy the deficiency. It won’t. If I have only twelve shillings, yet try to reckon to myself: ‘I have fifteen shillings; I have fifteen shillings; I have fifteen shillings’, do you think that the mental effort involved will in any way affect the sum that is in my pocket? Not a bit of it! Reckoning will not make twelve shillings into fifteen shillings, nor will it make what is untrue true. But if, on the other hand, it is a fact that I have fifteen shillings in my pocket, then with great ease and assurance I can enter fifteen shillings in my account-book. God tells us to reckon ourselves dead, not that by the process of reckoning we may become dead, but because we are dead. He never told us to reckon what was not a fact.

Having said, then, that revelation leads spontaneously to reckoning, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are presented with a command: “Reckon ye…” There is a definite attitude to be taken. God asks us to do the account; to put down ‘I have died’ and then to abide by it. Why? Because it is a fact. When the Lord Jesus was on the cross, I was there in Him. Therefore I reckon it to be true. I reckon and declare that I have died in Him. Paul said, “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God.” How is this possible? “In Christ Jesus.” Never forget that it is always and only true in Christ. If you look at yourself you will think death is not there, but it is a question of faith not in yourself but in Him. You look to the Lord, and know what He has done. ‘Lord, I believe in Thee. I reckon upon the fact in Thee.’ Stand there all the day.

The Reckoning Of Faith

 The first four-and-a-half chapters of Romans speak of faith and faith and faith. We are justified by faith in Him (Rom. 3:28; 5:1). Righteousness, the forgiveness of our sins, and peace with God are all ours by faith, and without faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ none can possess them. But in the second section of Romans we do not find the same repeated mention of faith, and it might at first appear that the emphasis is therefore different. It is not really so, however, for where the words ‘faith’ and ‘believe’ drop out the work ‘reckon’ takes their place. Reckoning and faith are here practically the same thing.

What is faith? Faith is my acceptance of God’s fact. It always has its foundations in the past. What relates to the future is hope rather than faith, although faith often has its object or goal in the future, as in Hebrews 11. Perhaps for this reason the word chosen here is ‘reckon’. It is a word that relates only to the past—to what we look back to as settled, and not forward to as yet to be. This is the kind of faith described in Mark 11:24: “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them.” The statement there is that, if you believe that you already have received your requests (that is, of course, in Christ), then ‘you shall have them’. To believe that you may get something, or that you can get it, or even that you will get it, is not faith in the sense meant here. This is faith—to believe that you have already got it. Only that which relates to the past is faith in this sense. Those who say ‘God can’ or ‘God may’ or ‘God must’ or ‘God will’ do not necessarily believe at all. Faith always says, ‘God has done it’.

 When, therefore, do I have faith in regard to my crucifixion? Not when I say God can, or will, or must crucify me, but when with joy I say, ‘Praise God, in Christ I am crucified!’

 In Romans 3 we see the Lord Jesus bearing our sins and dying as our Substitute that we might be forgiven. In Romans 6 we see ourselves included in the death whereby He secured our deliverance. When the first fact was revealed to us we believed on Him for our justification. God tells us to reckon upon the second fact for our deliverance. So that, for practical purposes, ‘reckoning’ in the second section of Romans takes the place of ‘faith’ in the first section. The emphasis is not different. The normal Christian life is lived progressively, as it is entered initially, by faith in Divine fact: in Christ and His Cross.

So if,

Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin

 Then in JESUS is our ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

 

In our next post will still continue with the first stanza of Trust and Obey (While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey). by looking at  PLAN A1The Gospel of Christ. Which we have in fact delved into already.You might say – “Why do I have to know Him experience this Jesus you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
John 3:16-17. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

The book of Romans is the most basic, comprehensive statement of true Christianity. This page explores the relevance of Romans to our world today. As it deals with the morally deficient individual (as illustrated in Cityboy Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile-Geraint Anderson which describes life within the square mile of the city of London, the bankers haven), so does it deal with the morally astute person; who wants to please God by their own works. Travel with us on this interesting highway.