Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Gospel is Not

The gospel is not repent or perish; this is the message spoken by men who take our Lord’s words out of context, who focus their attention on the sins of other men. The gospel is not repent and believe, if you then sin you prove yourself to be an unbeliever; this is the message spoken by men who focus within, trying to keep the law after having believed. The gospel is that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus; the law is fulfilled in Christ Jesus alone, God’s requirement for eternal life is fulfilled in Him; He lived a righteous life deserving heaven, He willing took our punishment which is death, to give us eternal life; why would you look any where else but Christ? The law of God is fulfilled in the one who does not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, that is through faith in Jesus alone. Well then, should we go on sinning that grace may increase? We died with Christ when we trusted in Him, He bought us with His own blood, therefore everything that we are is His. Sinning or not sinning is not evidence of your salvation; the evidence of your salvation is; what is your motivation to not sin? If your motivation to not sin is condemnation then you prove yourself to be an unbeliever; Jesus death was payment in full for our sins. The Christian is born again, he is a new creature; the Christians motivation to not sin is His love of God, He hungers and thirsts after righteousness.

A Slave of Jesus Christ

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dead to Sin and Alive to God

Dear Brothers and Sisters;

We are free from sin, because we died with Christ, and are raised to walk in newness of life. Through faith in Christ Jesus we are united with Him in the likeness of His death and His resurrection. We are free from sin, because we died with Christ and now He lives in us. It is no longer us who lives, but it is Christ who lives in us. Christ died to sin once for all and is alive to God forevermore. Therefore consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus forevermore. Do not worry about sin or its lusts, because you are not under law you are under grace. Do not give into sin either; because you are not a slave of sin, you are not obligated to obey its lusts. You are a slave of Christ Jesus who bought you with His own blood. When you see, hear, or think something that is a temptation to sin; do not worry over it, or resist it, because you are not under law you are under grace. Do not give into sin either; because you are not a slave of sin, you are not obligated to obey its lusts. Jesus lived the righteous life God requires for eternal life, and then died in your place for your sins. What then are you obligated to do? Believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ the Lord, and love other people!

A slave of Jesus Christ

Friday, June 27, 2014

Are you a (πιστευω) pisteuo?

This Greek word (πιστευω pisteuo) is found throughout the New Testament usually translated: Believe, Believes, Believing, Believers, or Believed; for this reason Christians are called Believers. We as Christians are saved by grace through faith in Jesus alone; Jesus laid down His own life on the cross for His sheep.  His sheep are all the believing (pisteuo) in Him. So if all the believing in Christ Jesus are saved; why does it seem that some bear good fruit while others bear bad fruit? For this reason English translations need explanation. The great English preacher of the 19th century Charles H. Spurgeon said; "Faith has three parts; knowledge, belief, and trust." There are a great number of people who have knowledge of Jesus, there are many people who believe in Jesus, but there are only a few who trust in Jesus. The literal understanding of pisteuo is to entrust.

A slave of Jesus Christ

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Law Cannot Save From Sin

Which one of these statements is true:
As Christians we are on conditional footing; meaning that we are both obligated to do some things and to not do some things in order to enter the kingdom of God.
As Christians we are on unconditional footing; meaning that we are neither obligated to do anything nor keep from doing anything in order to enter the kingdom of God.

I fear that many who call themselves Christian will espouse that eternal life is all of grace, but at the same time think that they are under obligation to keep the law.

For approximately one year now some friends and I have had an ongoing discussion about a particular passage of scripture, Romans 7:13-25. The question is this, is Paul talking about himself as a believer struggling with sin or as an unbeliever? I can see validity in both points of view; as a Christian I struggle with temptation and sin on a daily basis, on the other hand the man in this passage has no victory over sin at all. So is Paul talking about himself pre or post conversion?

Overall this has been a very fruitful discussion, not only has it caused us all to dive deeply into the scriptures, but has given us all much opportunity in sanctification, for growth in Christian love. I’m not going to paint you a picture of brothers sitting around linked in arms agreeing, this debate has been very heated at times, and has caused a great deal of tension among brothers who are not ashamed of the gospel, willing to go anywhere to proclaim it at anytime. The fact that we can so sharply disagree and still love one another is a testament to the fruit of the spirit.

For the past year I have read Romans chapters 6, 7, & 8 or portions of these on a nearly daily basis, as I wanted to know what God is saying to us in this deeply rich section of scripture. I’ve read multiple commentaries, listened to sermons, read books, but the greatest fruit has come from scripture alone.

Yes, I know, you are waiting for me to tell you which these I think are true. Is Paul talking about himself as a believer or as an unbeliever? What if I told you it doesn’t matter? I no longer care if Paul is talking about himself as a Christian struggling with sin or as an unbeliever having no victory over sin. I don’t care, because it doesn’t matter; it is not the point of the text. The point of the text is that the law cannot save from sin. And what did Jesus come to do? To save sinners! “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” (1Tim.1.15.NASB)

I no longer see this passage as I once did, about a Christian struggling with sin. I would read through it and say yep, we struggle with sin, and not even notice what is being said in the text. Of course Christians struggle with sin, it is an ongoing and continues battle throughout our lives, and the fact that you do struggle testifies of the new life God has given you in Christ. There are many passages throughout scripture that will attest to this, but that is not the purpose of this text. It is about man’s futile attempt to be righteous through keeping the law in his flesh. If you ever get this, it will BLOW YOUR MIND: “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter….Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans.7.6-7 & Romans.8.1-2.NASB) The intervening text is written with the intent of explaining this, and for no other reason.

“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans.8.3-4.NASB) Friends, no one can fulfill the law in his flesh, you are not able, but if you walk according to the Spirit in Christ, that is by faith, the law is fulfilled in us who are in the Spirit.

It’s like this, through faith in Christ we have died to the law, because God condemned sin in the flesh through Christ, therefore we who are in Christ died with Christ, we are not bound to the law in anyway, the law only has jurisdiction upon a person so long as he lives. For example the law says; “Do not commit adultery” and Jesus said “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The man under the law walking by the flesh sees an attractive woman and says to himself; “Do not commit adultery”; sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produces lusts of every kind, the more this man tells himself “Do not commit adultery”, the more lustful thoughts he has; for apart from the Law sin is dead. Now take the man who walks by the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, he sees an attractive woman, he is trusting in the righteousness of Christ not in his own flesh, he considers himself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Rather than saying “Do not commit adultery”, he neither resists the temptation nor gives in to the temptation; he knows he is not under law but under grace, he ignores the temptation, because he knows there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

The man who walks by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has peace, because he knows there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He now, having been released from the law of sin and death is free to serve in the newness of the Spirit and not the oldness of the letter. Christianity is not a do not religion, it is a do religion; do spend the life God has given you loving one another as Christ loved us.

A slave of Jesus Christ

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

No More Death

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans.6.23.NASB)

Pain, suffering, death, hunger, thirst, sorrow, mourning, poverty; there is a place where all these have passed away. Would you like to go there? Jesus has promised eternal life to all who believe and follow after Him. He has promised to go and prepare a place for us, in His Father’s house, and to come again and receive us to Himself, so that we may be where He is also. Jesus made this promise to all His sheep; not just to those who followed Him during His earthly ministry but those also who believe in Him through their word. Jesus was captured, scourged, and crucified on a Roman cross made of wood. While on that cross He suffered, bleed, and died. He was taken down, buried in a tomb, and then on the third day He arose from the dead appearing first to the women, then to two men on the road to Emmaus, then to Peter, then the other apostles, and then to over 500 hundred brethren at one time. Demonstrating that He has both the power and the authority to do what He promised to do. He ascended into heaven and is now seated in the place of power at the right hand of God, making intercession on behalf of all who come to God through faith in Him.

In heaven the dwelling place of God every tear will be wiped away; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain. There is one catch however; there will be no sin there as well, for sin is the cause of all these miseries. That is why Jesus said; “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John.3.3.NASB). If you love your sin then you will not love heaven, because there is no sin in heaven. But if you hate your sin then you will love heaven, because there is no sin in heaven. In heaven God will wipe away every tear from your eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; for all these are the consequence of sin and that’s really what hell is isn’t it; the eternal consequence of sin.

Repent and come to Jesus today and He will wipe away every tear from your eye and will take you into His Father’s house where He has gone to prepare a place for us; where there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; because there will no longer be any sin.

A slave of Jesus Christ

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Who Are the Witnesses of Christ Jesus?

What is the gospel? The gospel is purely the good news concerning Jesus the Christ the Son of God; His righteous life, His sacrificial death for the sins of men, His burial, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into Heaven, and His promise of eternal life to everyone who believes. So when the Lord said to His disciples; “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) He was telling them, “Go tell the world about Me, go tell them what I have done and said.” Why is this important to understand, because we can easily get caught up in so many different things, but the gospel alone is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). 

I have three questions for you while keeping in mind that the gospel is good news:
1) Were you a witness of these things? 
2) Who did witness these things?
3) Who then are the witnesses of Christ Jesus? 

I'm going to teach you about something you may not have heard before, at least in this way, but it's not new, the reformers referred to it as “Sola Scriptura”. Now while “Sola Scriptura” referrers to all of scripture, both the New and Old Testaments; what I would like to talk about today is with regards to the gospel. We who believe are the redeemed in Christ; what that means is we have been saved from the wrath of God for our sins; by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in the Jesus Christ alone. We are the redeemed in Christ, but make no mistake, brethren; you and I are not His witnesses. Yes, you heard me correctly, we are not His witnesses. The apostles chosen by Jesus Himself are His witnesses: both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. They are the ones who witnessed His righteous life, His sacrificial death for the sins of men, His burial, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into Heaven, and heard Him promise eternal life to all the believing in Him. 

When you and I preach the gospel in this world, we are not giving witness of the things we have seen and heard; we are simply reporting the news given to us by those who did. When you come to understand this, it will revolutionize the way you preach the gospel, and talk to people about Jesus. You will also have understanding with regards to what really should be said, and the reason why. What I have to say today is in no way exhaustive on the subject; it is just a beginning, scratching the surface on a subject that covers the entirety of the gospel accounts and Epistles. Pay close attention to the personal pronouns when you are reading both the gospel accounts and Acts; this will really bring this subject to light. I’ve included in this post four short passages of scripture as examples of this. 

“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-5 NASB)

I used this passage because it is a good quick synopsis of the gospel. As you can see from the passage, Christ appeared to the apostles after His resurrection, they were witnesses of His resurrection. Paul received the news of Christ death for the sins of believers and Christ subsequent resurrection from the dead the third day, the same way all of us have; by the testimony of those who witnessed the events. Paul then passed this news along to others so that they may also believe and be saved. Paul did see the risen Savior and was sent by Him, making Him an apostle, so therefore he himself could give witness to the resurrection. 

He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:7-8) 

As you can see from this passage, all the personal pronouns in reference to being a witness are of those who He was speaking directly to at the time, His apostles, His chosen witnesses, and in the greater passage of Acts 1:1-11 the Lord’s dialog is with the apostles, His chosen witnesses. The very ones He had chosen early on during His earthly ministry to be His witnesses.

"I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17: 20,21 NASB)

In this, the High Priestly Prayer Jesus is praying on behalf of the church, all those who will come to faith in Him. Take note as to how they come to faith in Him, through the word given by His chosen witnesses, His apostles.

"Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:30, 31 NASB)

In this passage the apostle John states the purpose for his writing this account. In this passage the signs Jesus performed where done in the presence of His disciples and they were not all written down. What has been written; has been written so that you, I, and a multitude of others would believe and be saved, to fulfill the commission that the Lord gave them, to be His “witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." 

“So many things have to be done to attract a crowd and to keep that crowd they have attracted why is that? Is it because the Gospel no longer has power? Or is it because we deceive ourselves into thinking that we are preachers of the Gospel? Paul said the Gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone, and that is true because power is demanded.” ~Paul Washer

So then what are we, the redeemed in Christ to do if we are not His witnesses? The commission that Jesus gave in Matthew 28:18-20 to His chosen witnesses, His apostles, applies even now; “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." We still have His chosen method of making disciples. The preaching of the gospel (Mark 16:15, Luke 24:46, 47); but we are not the witnesses of these things, it is His apostles alone who are the witnesses of the good news concerning Jesus the Christ the Son of God; His righteous life, His sacrificial death for the sins of men, His burial, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into Heaven, and the promises they heard Him make. So, therefore, when we proclaim the gospel, we must take out everything that is not their witness. We must first proclaim the scripture as it is written, and then secondly explain the scripture exegetically, which is a critical interpretation of the text. We are not to take individual scripture out of its context, and then apply them to fit our ideas. We are to take what has been written within the context of what proceeds and follows it.

So what am I saying? Stop preaching extemporaneously or using some credo form designed by men! First open the Bible and proclaim what has been written, which is the first hand account, and then secondly explain what has been written by critical interpretation of the text (exegesis).

Preaching is not a game, it is serious stuff, and needs not be taken lightly, but taken with much care and respect for the word of God, and the authority with which God has given men to proclaim His word. Open up the scripture, read the scripture, study what has been written with much care and diligence; then and only then go preach. When you go preach; firstly open up the scripture, don’t just hold the bible in your hand as a symbol, but actually proclaim what is written on the pages, then secondly explain what has been written, within the context of the authors intent. I recently heard a brother in Christ and fellow open-air preacher whom I respect say; “Preaching is teaching with authority” (Tony Miano). Do not take this authority lightly.

This is not to say that you can never spontaneously preach the gospel, of course you can and should; but only after you have previously put in the necessary time, of opening up the scripture, studying the scripture. Then and only then will you be prepared to firstly proclaim, and then secondly explain what has been written by those who are the witnesses of Jesus the Christ the Son of God; His righteous life, His sacrificial death for the sins of men, His burial, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into Heaven, His promise of eternal life to all the believing in Him.

Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Attributes of a Believer

Have you ever grappled with the fact that Jesus said many times and in many ways “all the believing in Him will be saved”; yet, there are those who profess Jesus as Lord, saying that they believe in Him, but at the same time denying what He said by either adding works as a requirement for salvation or in living apathetically to His commands? Are these people saved or are they not saved; if what Jesus said is true, they are saved; yet, they don’t believe what He said so how can they be believing in Him?

The short answer; they are not saved, and the reason that they are not saved is because they do not believe/trust in Jesus the Christ the only begotten Son of God. One thing I know to be true; your actions will always follow your beliefs. Many of you know that I have endeavored to memorize the gospel of John, and because of this I spend a great deal of time everyday meditating on this particular book of the Bible. So, therefore, anything that I say or think is colored by this particular gospel account of our Lord. Throughout this gospel account Jesus has said many times and in many ways (the most well known of which being John 3:16) that “all the believing in Him should not perish (the eternal death/hell being the punishment for sin) but have eternal life (eternal life with God being the reward of the righteous).” So if you believe in Jesus you get what He deserves (eternal life with God) because He took what you deserve (death and hell). In fact, this word believe, occurs 61 times throughout John’s gospel account alone, more than twice that of all the other gospel accounts combined. The Greek word is πιστευων (Pisteuon) which means to believe or entrust.

As I have meditated on this gospel I have come to understand eight characteristics attributed to all the believing in Christ, as spoken by the Lord Himself in John’s gospel account. All of which are done imperfectly and none of which can be done without denying oneself. All the believing in Christ Jesus has every one of these attributes; so, therefore, if one these attributes are missing your faith is not true. They are listed in no particular order. So let’s test ourselves according the words of Jesus to see if we are in the faith.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Look to Him

Jesus said; “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John.6.40.NASB) I cannot say this better than the preacher C. H. Spurgeon did: Look to Christ, Not to Self by C. H. Spurgeon

“It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, ‘Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.’ All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: he tells us that we are nothing, but that ‘Christ is all in all.’

Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking unto Jesus.” Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee.

‘My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.’”

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Hear Him

Jesus said with regards to those who do not hear Him; “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God" (John.8.43-47). This is a frightening truth, the reason they could not nor will not hear Him is because they do not have ears to hear Him, and they only have ears to hear what their father the devil says. They are dead spiritually; when Jesus spoke of light they thought in terms of literal light that you see with your eyes, when Jesus spoke of bread they thought of physical bread that you eat with your mouth, and when Jesus spoke of water they thought of physical water that you could bath in or drink. Jesus said about the sheep with regards to hearing Him; “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” (John10.16.NASB) Jesus makes it known repeatedly in this gospel account that all the believing in Him, not just the Jewish believer, has eternal life. That is what He did in John 3:16 and that is what He does again here in John 10:16, but in this passage He is also showing that they come to Him by hearing with spiritual ears and it is not an option for them; He himself will bring them and they will hear His voice. Further on in chapter 10 of John the Jews had surrounded Jesus in the Temple and demanded of Him to tell them plainly if He was the Christ. He had already told them, but they could not hear they did not believe because they were not of His sheep. He said in John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice”. The ability to hear Jesus as He speaks in His word is a distinguishing attribute of a believer in Christ Jesus.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Follow Him

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John.10.27-28.NASB). Sheep follow the Shepherd. The Shepherd is both their source of food and their protection from wolves. They first begin to follow Him through repentance and faith, and will continue following Him through repentance and faith thereafter. He is their source of life, a follower of Christ Jesus is also called a disciple, a disciple is one sits and learns from the Teacher. The follower of Jesus Christ will come to Him regularly and listen to what He has to say through His word the scriptures. He loves the word of God because it tells Him about His Lord. The follower of Christ Jesus wants to know what His Lord has to say in all things so that he might abide in it. In order to follow Him you must deny yourself. There may be something you want to do or somewhere you want to go, but if that is not the direction that the Lord is heading, you must deny yourself and follow Him. If you are a sheep of Christ Jesus you will follow Him.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Know Him

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John.10.14-15.NASB). The relationship between Jesus and the believer is intimate. It began as the believer met Him and entrusted his soul into His loving care. This knowing that the believer has of Jesus has grown over time as he has spent countless hours listening to Him in His word and talking to Him through prayer; this intimate relationship that the believer has with Jesus will continue to grow forever. Jesus in this passage has compared the relationship that the believer has with Him with the relationship that Jesus the Son of God has with the Father. Jesus and the Father had been together since before creation, He is eternally begotten of the Father, and now imagine that Jesus has said that the believers relationship with Him is as even as His relationship to the Father. For someone to come up to a believer in Christ Jesus and begin to tell Him about a different Jesus than the Jesus of the bible would be utterly repugnant to him.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Trust Him

At the beginning of this article I said that Jesus has said many times and in many ways that all the believing in Him have eternal life. Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John.11.25-26.NASB). It is imperative that a believer Trust what Jesus Has promised.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs.3.5-7.NASB)

It is imperative that the believer in Christ Jesus not only believes in Him but trusts Him absolutely. The intimate relationship between the believer and Jesus is cultivated through prayer and much time in the scriptures. He trusts Jesus in all His promises.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Love Him

“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me’ (John.8.42.NASB). The apostle Paul said; “But now faith, hope, love abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1Cor.13.13.NASB). Love is so powerful and so strong that the bible says that “God is love” (1John.4.8.NASB). The apostle Paul places love even above faith which I find incredible given that we are solely saved by the Grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus. We know about the drawing of the Holy Spirit, but have you ever thought what that might be? “God is Love”, so if a man is born from above (ἄνωθεν,anōthen), receiving the Spirit of God, does it not stand to reason that the draw would be God’s love for the Son that is now indwelling the man born from above? “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you” (1Cor.3.16.NASB)? Jesus said, “If God were your Father, you would love Me”, the believer indwelt by the Holy Spirit loves the Son.

All the Believing in Christ Jesus Obey Him

Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John.14.15.NASB). Love obeys! Jesus has ascended to the Father, He is with us in Spirit and in His word; so how can we express our love for Him? By obeying His commandments we express our love for Him. His commandments are all the instructions that He has given in the gospels as well as the New Testament. The believer, all though imperfectly, seeks diligently to obey all that He has commanded. He does not do this as a means to earn salvation but as an expression of His love for Jesus. In my last article (Born Narcissistic) I talked about the Imperatives and the Indicatives given in scripture. In the question posed at the beginning of this article I stated that people profess to believe in Jesus but deny what He said by either adding works as a requirement for salvation or in living apathetically to His commands. They refuse to look at the entirety of scripture; they either focus solely on the commands determining that they must keep the commands in order to be saved, or they focus solely on the grace of God completely ignoring His commands because they love themselves and their sin more than Him. In scripture there are both Indicatives stating who we are in Christ Jesus and Imperatives stating what we are to do given who we are. The believer has been given the gift of eternal life by the grace of God, redeemed by the blood of Christ Jesus through faith in Jesus. The believer has been bought at a high price, the precious blood of the Son of God, God in human flesh; the believer owes Him everything. Does it not stand to reason that the believer would then deny himself diligently seeking to obey the things the Lord has commanded out of his love for Jesus?

All the believing in Christ Jesus Love One Another

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John.13.34-35.NASB). As I thought about what to say here, and read the word of God, I realized I could do no better than the Apostle John did in his first letter. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” (1John.4.7-21.NASB)

My purpose in writing this was not to cast judgment; saying this person or that person is not saved. The one who believes he is saved through works has no doubts because he has kept whatever system that he believes he is saved by, and the one who claims the grace of God all the while stomping on the blood of Christ as being unworthy as he continues to walk purposefully in his trespasses and sins does not doubt either, because he loves himself so why wouldn’t God love him. I did not write this for them, but to give those who are truly in Christ Jesus reassurance of their salvation; the closer I come to the Lord it seems the more wretched that I think I am, which causes one to question not the Lord but their faith. Am I truly saved, I think such horrible things? How can I be saved when I think and do these things? Praise the Lord that the true believer when he doubts will then look to Jesus, and his vicarious death on the cross as payment in full for his sins. He will open up His word and hear Him following Him were ever He may lead. He knows the Lord and is not led astray by false teachers. He reads the promises that the Lord has made and trust Him. He loves the Lord and is thankful for what He alone did on the cross on his behalf, and therefore diligently seeks to obey him in all his commandments. He loves the other brothers and sisters in Christ coming into fellowship with them.

A slave of Jesus Christ

Nursing and the Law of Christ

The Lord’s teaching recorded in John 13-21 is amazing. It is what the apostle Paul calls "the Law of Christ." (Cf. 1 Cor. 9:2...