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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.

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)

Slide34

 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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He alone is God; And He is God alone Part 2

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

He alone is God; And He is God alone. Part 2

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

We are still looking at the very important asset we need to have in these perilous times; in other to be able to keep our eyes set on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ – The Fear of The Lord. In this post we will conclude on why He “Fainteth not, neither is weary”; How  – “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength” because He alone is God; And He is God alone.

As we said in our last post, sometimes when we have ceased to have our whole being totally and absolutely “fixed on the Lord”, all the Lord does is to refer us back to some lessons we have learnt earlier but may have forgotten, often due to the wiles of the enemy being projected at us from all angles or when we allow fear (not a healthy fear of God this time) to have it’s way.

 “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

The way our loving heavenly Father does this is to have the Holy Spirit help us by teaching us more about Him, assure us of His own unconditional love for us (The power of The Father’s Approval), remind us of the extra ordinary things our Father has done in the past and then teach us more about our Father’s Holy attributes: we will now conclude on the rest of His attributes:

The next set of attributes are:

God is Omnipotent –

The whole of creation declare the fact that all, I mean “all” power belong to Him; all power that was, that is and that is to be, belongs to God. Even from the very beginning right through the creation of all that exist, all  as the physicist declares, belongs to Him.  So, as the physicist also declares that energy transfer can be used to do work, so power is also the rate at which this work is performed; time here being from eternity to eternity –

 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters………..Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 1:1-2:3)

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6).

He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills. God’s nature limits His will and as such He cannot do anything that is contrary to His being God, such as sin or ignore sin –

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

There is nothing He cannot do except that which is contrary to His nature. There is no power that can confront Him or His children that is beyond Him: With His power he conquered sin and death. That’s why King David concluded –

“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work” (Psalms 62:11-12).

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

This is the reason why we can have cast iron believe in His promises and when the enemy comes with his trials, we are able like Job to focus our attention on Him and not our own power to overcome and say –

“I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee” (Job 42:2):
God is Omnipresent –

As with His infinity He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at once. No other has the ability to this –

“Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:23,24).

What a relief this is – to know that The One who watches over us can be anywhere our adversaries are at any point in time –

“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).

His presence everywhere means He is there even when man sins and no one is present and there is nowhere we can hide to sin that He is not present. The Psalmist observed –

“If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there” (Psalm 139:8).
God is Omniscient –

Like God’s omnipresence, His Omniscience means that because He knows all things that can be known in the past, present, future, nothing can escape His knowledge. The fact that He is interwoven into everything and anything that exists means that nothing in the heavens, on earth, even underneath the ground escapes His knowledge  –

“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:4-5):

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).

Just as He knows everything that can be known of all creatures great and small, even the number of hair on everyone’s head –

“Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18).

He knows our intensions and motives for all our actions. No surprise man keep trying to build a database that is as big as God’s (man’s struggle to “DO IT WITHOUT GOD”), but then –

“The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men” (Psalm 33:13).
God is Love –

God’s love for us is just as and backed up by His attribute of being immutable – it cannot be wholly comprehended by man except through His Son Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. A.W. Tozer in “I talk back to the devil” tells us of the connection between God’s love and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit when he said:

“Brethren, it is well for us to remember that as human beings we can never know all of the Godhead. If we were capable of knowing all of the Godhead perfectly, we would be equal to the Godhead. For illustration, we know that we cannot pour an entire quart of water into a vessel which has a capacity of less than a quart. So you could never pour all of the Godhead into the experience of any being who is less than God Himself.

A similar kind of illustration was used long ago by ancient fathers in the church as they argued for the trinity of the Godhead. They pointed out that God the eternal Father is an infinite God, and He is love. The very nature of love is to give itself. But, the Father could not give His love fully to anyone not fully equal to Himself. Thus we have the revelation of the Son Who is equal to the Father and of the eternal Father pouring out His love into the son, who could contain it, because the Son is equal with the Father. Further, these ancient wise men reasoned, if the Father were to pour out His love into the Son, a medium of communication equal to both the Father and the Son would be required, and this was the Holy Ghost. So we have their concept of the Trinity –the ancient Father in the fullness of His love pouring Himself through the Holy Ghost who is in being equal to Him, into the Son who is in being equal to the Spirit and the Father”

God is love and that’s why the greatest power that man can possess is love –

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I John 4:16).

But then real love (God’s agape Love) in the world we live in today would make anyone look naive and stupid; Real love as should be infused of by a bond servant of Christ, seems to be a strange phenomenon in the world we live in, even among the so called ‘men of God’. Real love as described by Apostle Paul –

“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: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned”  (1 Tim. 1:3-7).

THE GOAL OF OUR COMMAND IS LOVE; that comes from a PURE HEART, GOOD CONSCIENCE AND SINCERE FAITH.

Now, If you look at these 3 components of love:

Pure heart – Hold no evil whatsoever against anyone.

Good Conscience – knowledge shows what is right or wrong, but it is the conscience that approves of what is right and disapproves of what is contrary to it.

Sincere Faith – no matter how bad it looks in reality, I have this hope that it shall be well – “substance of things hoped for; evidence of things not seen”.

To have these 3 qualities in the world we live in today qualifies you as being excellently naive. But then it is these three qualities that equip any living being with LOVE that is the greatest power on earth. Jesus warned us when describing the end of the ages –

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12.).

It is also said that –

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1John 4:18).

I have come to see the act of walking in love as one that can be compared to tightrope walking. Walk it through without falling, everyone applauds; but when the reality of learning to walk in love as in training for a tightrope walk show, you will sometimes fall off the rope at different points along the journey, and people will naturally jeer – it is a lowly point to be in, a point where one is vulnerable, a point where the ungodly sees a chance to take advantage, a point where you realise that

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).

You do not just see this from afar off, and judge others, but more importantly come to the realisation of the fact that if not for the GRACE of God; ones own natural heart can be just as deceitful.

But as the saying goes “practice makes perfect” – Until we are able and have perfected the act of walking that tight rope (walking in God’s Agape Love) without falling off along the way; we just have to keep moving on; practising how to walk in this wonderful attribute of our creator putting into consideration the advice of His Son Jesus Christ when He said –

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16).

I Tosin, personally would rather be misunderstood to be naive than lack the power of God and continually have my whole being totally and absolutely “fixed on the Lord”.

SO WHEN WE REALISE THAT:

God is Holy– This is the pure loving nature of God separate from evil.
God is Life – He is the essence of the breathe of life
God is Spirit – It is impossible to see Him with human eyes, but through the eye of the spirit
God is Infinite – He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things.
God is Immutable – God cannot change because He is the beginning and end ‘Alpha & Omega’
God is Omnipotent – He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills.
God is Omniscient – He knows all things that can be known in the past, present, future, so nothing can escape His knowledge
God is Omnipresent – He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at once
God is Love – God’s love for us is just as His attribute of being immutable, it cannot change.

THEN WE CAN SEE WHY:

“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:28-31).

What are you going through at this point in your life? Do you feel God cannot see your troubles? Or even if He sees them, He has decided to turn a blind eye? Or even worse still He is powerless to do anything about them? We all go through this but the solution is to always wait on Him. When we put our focus on who our God really is, the grace to trust Him is bestowed upon us;

“Thou wilt keep him in Perfect Peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

Then we can be rest assured that when we wait upon Him, we can never, I repeat “never” be disappointed.

Ray C. Stedman asks about Isa. 40:28-31 in “WHO IS LIKE OUR GOD?”:

How many thousands through the centuries have taken those promises literally and found that to “wait upon the Lord” does this very thing. It all hinges on that one word, wait. Wait! The hardest word to learn in the language for some, especially young people. Wait. Let God work. The Hebrew word has a note of expectation about it: expect God to work, wait in expectation that God will move. It takes time, you cannot have it overnight, but they that wait upon the Lord shall find their own strength renewed. They shall find their spirit mounting up like the eagle in its flight, their souls able to run the gamut of emotions. They shall never be weary. And they shall walk (in body) and not faint.

What a wonderful God we serve.

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 be strengthened by getting 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.