OBEDIENCE IS A MUST

OBEDIENCE IS A MUST

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"If you don't plan to live the Christian life totally committed to knowing your God and to walking in obedience to Him, then don't begin; for this is what Christianity is all about. It is a change of citizenship, a change of governments, a change of allegience. If you have no intention of letting Christ rule your life, then forget Christianity; it's not for you."
Kay Arthur - Christian Author

Romans 5:18-21 – Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So I see my new masters decided to write about me recently, but don’t tell them that I made my own profile… It will be our little secret 😉

Can I be honest with you, one unruly part of creation to another? I sometimes do not like obedience, do you? C’mon, let’s be real with ourselves! After all, God already knows our hearts and our desires, so nothing is truly being hidden from Him, so we should not try and hide it from Him, especially when He has our best interests at heart.

Ever since it all began in the Garden of Eden, when Satan tempted Eve, who in turn tempted her husband Adam, and both fell, disobedience against God, and act of great defiance by His only two children, who believed the lie of Satan that they would become like God – Genesis 3:4-5. Ever since then, man continues to not only be disobedient to God, but greatly increasing in that disobedience.

Like my obedience to my earthly masters, so should your obedience be to your heavenly Master. Obedience is a MUST! NOT and option! Why? Because God knows what is best for us, just like I trust my earthly masters know what is best for me. Many people love dogs, think we are cute, especially when we do little tricks and all, but they don’t like when we jump on visitors to the house, chase the mailman, be mean to the cat. What a bunch of no fun fuddy-duddies! In the same way, God does not like it when we do not act obediently. One of the greatest ways we can show obedience to God and all that He has done and continues to do for us, is spend time with Him daily in His Word and prayer.

James 2:17-18 says it this way – So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

The Bible clearly states that not only is it not possible for us to have faith apart from works, but if faith does not have works, it is a dead faith. Part of the good works is obedience in that God not only expects of His children, but by grace and power of the Holy Spirit to be obedient, and that obedience comes by knowing the love of God. Many have either not been taught the doctrine of obedience, or possibly an abusive form of obedience.

1 John 4:18-20 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Now think about this from the standpoint of me (Calvin) and my masters (my owners). Sure, when I do something wrong or act in disobedience, they can swat me with a paper (spank) or some other harsher form of punishment or abuse, but I would only be corrected in fear, and not love. In fact, doing so may make me more resentful and aggressive, not only to them, but to others as well, and that is not a good thing. But because they want me to be a good, kind, loving member of their family, they want to not only want all of us to be happy, but more importantly that God is happy.

I am still a very young puppy, full of energy, curiousity, and some mischievousness in me I am sure, and that is how many new Christians are as well, but sadly, there are many older Christians who have not grown Spiritually in Christ because they do not spend time in God’s Word. When we are disconnected from our creator, we many times go into us being the boss and ursuping His authority over our lives. That is why a true Christian submits to the Godhead (Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit) as Lord and Master. That is where our faith resides, in the Godhead, and without faith, we cannot and will not be able to walk in obedience in the flesh.

Well, I better get off the computer now… This is about the time one of my masters gets me outside. 

Don’t forget… If you are not spending time with God, you are not walking in obedience and need to repent. He loves when His children depend on Him in all things, in our faith depends on obedience in Christ, and our obedience to Him increases our faith.

#ToGodBeTheGlory

A Godly life – A life truly worth living

A Godly life – A life truly worth living

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A Godly life – A life truly worth living

2 Timothy 3:12-14 – Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

I do not mean funny as in ha-ha, but in sadness and shame, that so many so-called, self professing and confessing Christians in this nation may be so called impostors. Yes, these may be quite hard words to hear, and a very hard pill to swallow, but do yourself a favor and deeply and truthfully examine yourself (as all Christians are commanded to do) in light of the Holy Scriptures and the sins against God that they speak of.

Do you gossip, slander, back-bite, haughty, prideful, unloving, unkind, and we have not even got to the “so-called” BIG sins yet, like stealing, adultery, coveting. We spend more time chasing the things of this world, arguing and debating about the things of this world, and little if any of Christ! THIS SHOULD NOT BE!

As I am reading 2 Timothy this morning and writing about this, Paul says in chapter 3 verse 12 – Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Matthew 10:22 – You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

James 4:4 – You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

John 3:19 – This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. (which is only a few verses after the beloved verse of John 3:16 many people love to quote, and often times do so improperly).

1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Matthew 5:10-12 – “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Breaking these few scriptures can be read and thought of as such. I also love the fact how the Holy Spirit caused the Apostle Paul to use a comma in his opening statement. Indeed,. The word indeed means that you are underscoring or introducing a point that is truth or means as a matter of fact. So many people look at the scriptures in a sinful manner of being relevant (or worse irrelevant!) and do not believe that truth can be absolute. The Word of God is the ONLY thing in this life, in His Holy Word, and the eternity to come that is 100% pure absolute truth, so we best be listening what He is trying to tell you and me!

So Indeed, all who desire… Do you daily think on, dwell on, dream about, etc what your desires are? Are you purposefully living for the world and the things therein, or do you desire to live for and to please God in all your conduct and daily business. Do you pray for wisdom from above in the new graces and mercies you have been shown to even have the ability to get out of bed? Most of us take that for granted every day! Do we go out an lavishly spend on ourselves expensive coffees, or fancy foods to show the world how good we take care of our bodies by spending more than we ought to (yup, did this with intention to get us to all think how foolishly we are!)

Look back just a few paragraphs and let the seriousness of James 4:4 pierce our spirits and convict us if need be! There there is 1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

These are signs that help prove, a litmus test if you will, those who are following Jesus Christ in their lives. If we also look back to the previous chapter, chapter 3, we see who the people are who are not following Christ, especially these, our days of difficulty. People will love themselves, love money, proud, arrogant, abusive, ungrateful, slanderous, hate good, reckless, and the like.

If we seek from God, wisdom from above in the power of the Holy Spirit, whose purpose is, to give the Christian the Godly abilities to live a life that is pleasing to God. That is why we daily need to be in the Word of God, praying to God, seeking God, working out HIS will and purpose in our lives, he will give us the ability to see the false sheep, wolves in sheep’s clothing and who to stay away from.

The end of chapter 4 sums all of this up in: All scripture, that is both the Old Testament and the New Testament, is God breathed, or breathed out by God, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, and equipped for every good work.

Does any of these things speak to you as a Godly person, one who daily seeks God, depends on Him strives for Him in all things, for your good and His glory? Or are you the opposite and stand in His way that your will be done? One way is just a life, the other is a full and meaningful life. The standards have been set, but it is for us to seek by His Word, which life we are truly living. May we properly use the grace and mercy given us this day, to seek repentance if need be, and that He would use us in a worthy manner to glory Him however He sees fit.

#ToGodBeTheGlory

A NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT

A NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT

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A New Heart and a New Spirit

Over the years of being a Christian and realizing more and more that we have nothing to do with our salvation, I have read many such scriptures, but by far, my favorite is Ezekiel 36:26-27.

Although it was a scripture for a particular people in a particular time, it also comes with a future promise for when the Holy Spirit is poured out among believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:26-27

Here is the commentary from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:1-11 – The law of Christ was written in their hearts, and the love of Christ shed abroad there. Nor was it written in tables of stone, as the law of God given to Moses, but on the fleshy (not fleshly, as fleshliness denotes sensuality) tables of the heart, Ezekiel 36:26.

Their hearts were humbled and softened to receive this impression, by the new-creating power of the Holy Spirit. He ascribes all the glory to God. And remember, as our whole dependence is upon the Lord, so the whole glory belongs to him alone. The letter killeth: the letter of the law is the ministration of death; and if we rest only in the letter of the gospel, we shall not be the better for so doing: but the Holy Spirit gives life spiritual, and life eternal.

(my observations) Notice the commentator says the law of Christ. This is the very one an same law that was given to the children of Israel through Moses. Note, it was the law of the Jew to obey, not the Gentile, for no man can truly obey nor fulfill the law, that is why God fulfilled His own law in the flesh of man through the God-man, Jesus Christ the Son. Matthew 5:17-18 – Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. However, we are still not off scott free, for we are to obey the law in love, love for God and love for our neighbor, and that is fully dependent on God the Holy Spirit that dwells and gives each true believer to be a Christ following Christian. We also see the response of Christ Himself when He responds to the question meant to trip Him up when the lawyer asks Him (Christ) both “What must I do” to inherit eternal life and who is my neighbor. Luke 10:27 – And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Especially see Paul’s references to love in Romans 8:4, 13:8, 13:10

The commentator does a wonderful job when he says their hearts were humbled and softened to receive this impression, but he also stops short of what that impression is. I can only assume since the prophet Ezekiel was preaching and admonishing a very hard-hearted, sinful, rebellious people (the children of Israel), Ezekiel is pointing out Israels sins against a Holy, Righteous, Judging God, whose wrath against sin has been storing up for many years. When we look in the context of modern day society, cannot the same be said of us who are the gentiles the Bible always speaks of? Imagine if you will if we only had half of a Bible, half a counsel of God, one where Israel had not yet rejected the Gospel of Salvation unto Christ and the law was to be kept. There would be no need of the Apostle Paul to write about the gentiles being grafted in in most of Romans the 11th chapter. Not only that, there would be no hope for you and I for eternity in heaven! Nothing but condemnation of hell for eternity! Romans 8:1-2 says “here is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” You and I would still be held accountable to the holding of the Ten Commandments each and every day. You and I would be held to obeying over 600 laws, animal sacrifices, going to the temple, etc. Christ came to fulfill all of those parts of the law, and we are set free in liberty to love Him for doing so, and to show love to our neighbors as well, by sharing the Gospel on what Christ has done for sinners. To show mercy to us who have been shown mercy, to be graceful to others as we have been shown grace.

These are the things the commentator sums up when he said And, which is conjoining the coming thought to the previous thought. This is a two part deal, one of which you cannot have part A without part B and vice versa. Our WHOLE dependence is upon the Lord. The Lord ALWAYS means a complete single in one person, yet three distinct persons each complementing one another in all things, and in all times. So it is the Holy Spirit, the person of God Himself, who is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (having unlimited power, able to do all things), and omnipresence (meaning God is and can be everywhere at the same time, AND is the only one who can).

This is summation and the culmination of the Gospel of Christ. The Word of God in law only is ineffective against stoney hard hearts, and is the very reason and purpose for the Gospel given, rich in grace and mercy. It is the Gospel that shows us the mirror of God’s law that we are completely and utterly incapable of keeping, and cannot save ourselves. The proud say their is no hell, no judgment, therefore I worry not and can save myself. Unfortunately, the will find out the truth and full counsel of God the hard way. It is only by the preaching of the Word of God in boldness and power that will go forth when we do so to glorify Him and whom He would save, and not anything we say or do. Even when we speak as I am now, it is in full dependence of God’s Word going forth. If it was not for me being saved, I would not care if others were, and sadly many who profess to be a Bible believing, born again, Holy Spirit filled, Christ following Christian, do exactly just that! They do not fully and completely love their neighbors as themselves. Sure, they may watch their house while the other is on vacation, borrow each others tools, stand at the fence-line talking about the recent big game or other worldly event, but they speak nothing of Christ or glorifying Him!

The Old Testament dispensation was the ministration of death, but the New Testament of life. The law made known sin, and the wrath and curse of God; it showed us a God above us, and a God against us; but the gospel makes known grace, and Emmanuel, God with us. Therein the righteousness of God by faith is revealed; and this shows us that the just shall live by his faith; this makes known the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, for obtaining the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The gospel so much exceeds the law in glory, that it eclipses the glory of the legal dispensation. But even the New Testament will be a killing letter, if shown as a mere system or form, and without dependence on God the Holy Spirit, to give it a quickening power.

#ToGodBeTheGlory

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OBEDIENCE IS A MUST

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