Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Holy Spirit part 5 (Final)

Many times in our minds we tend to put the cart before the horse and get confused when the horse cannot pull the cart. Let me explain. The New Testament, especially the epistles, are written much differently then our modern western mindset. Our thoughts are…cut to the chase and tell me what to do! Take the letter to the Ephesians, it starts our for the first 3 chapters teaching us of all that we have in Christ and who we are as a result of the death and resurrection, then leads the rest of the letter telling us how to live out our “New Creation (2Cor 5:17) Self”. And that is why Paul starts off chapter four in this manner.

Eph 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,

The “therefore” refers back to all that has been said in the previous three chapters. If we don’t understand who we are then doing the rest of what Paul is instructing will either be a heavy burden, and chain us into some will powered religious routine or put us on the guilt treadmill as we don’t do the things our conscience tells are good and right to do. Either way it is not the Christian life. Understanding who we are and living out our internal nature is a free life and one filled with the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Our job is to abide in Christ and walk in the Spirit.

Joh 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Joh 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

The Holy Spirit is given to us to guide us into the Truth (Joh 14:6) and to share or declare Christ living in you. As we rest in Christ and look to Him and the Holy Spirit to guide us a new relationship begins to blossom. Christ is living today, just as He was when He walked the streets of Jerusalem. In fact He lives to intercede (Heb 7:25) on our behalf to His Father…what a wonderful High Priest that continuously watches over us. We can are now participants (because we are in Christ and He is in us) in that miraculous relationship between our triune God. Now our “to do” is to simply live out our nature…as Paul puts it here

Eph 4:22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
Eph 4:23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
Eph 4:24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Now we are to put off our old self and the manner in which we lived not to grow in holiness but because that old nature was crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20) and is reckoned dead (Rom 6:11). It is not a hope that it happened or a possibility that it has taken place…it is a fact, 2000 years ago God put you into Christ and your old self was crucified there (2Cor 5:14). And now because of what has happened you are to put on the new self…and not fall back into the old fleshly patterns that you are so accustomed to. When our eyes are on Jesus and we are abiding in Him we will not fulfill those fleshly desires instead we will produce fruit. It doesn’t get anymore simple then that old hymn…

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus :
O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free:

Turn you eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conqu'rors we are!


His word shall not fail you He promised;
Believe Him and all will be well.
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Q&A - Did Christ walk in faith?

1st... If faith is believin in what we haven't seen then Jesus never lived by faith seeing how he has seen the father and heaven both! He's askin us to do somethin he never did... 2 live by faith. See Jesus was indeed made into a human with every emotion of a human and lived just as we do, sharing every aspect of a human except for 2 things... His diety and his first hand expirience of heaven. If the very foundation of our belief in Christ wasn't faith then this wouldn't bother me but faith is the foundation of our belief. So how could god ask us to do something he didn't do? Either Christ never lived by faith or our definition of faith is wrong

You are diving into some deep waters when you try to understand the hyperstatic union of Christ (He is 100% deity and 100% man). On top of that you are asking a questions pertaning to the understanding and defintion of faith, something that men of God have been plunging since the beginning of time. I say that to say I may not have a sufficient answer for you but I will give it a try.

Faith is a moment by moment trust on and in the character of God. So in that respect although Jesus had an intimate knowledge of God He was still fully human and had to walk by faith. Faith is never blind and there are four "steps" (although I don't like to give anyone a prescribed method apart from the Spirit of God giving them light on the subject) that I see in walking in faith.

1. Believe a promise found in God's Word (the Bible, logos) or God's Word (directly to you, rhema)
2. Take God at His Word - if there is doubt or double mindedness refer to the book of James
3. Reckon the Bible to be true - the word reckon is an accounting term meaning to account, to meditate, to think about (found in Rom 6)
4. Step out in obedience continually

I love what William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army had to say about faith and works...

Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again—until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.

I also think that this video may be helpful

We also know that Christ was tempted just as we in his moment by moment walk it had to be mixed with Faith, just as we see in the garden of gethsamane...not my will be done but yours.

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Thanks for the questions...If anyone else has something to add please do so...With His Great Love - Dave

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Q&A - Memories in heaven and hell

If there's nothin good in hell and nothin bad in heaven then we can really only have half of our memory, the good or the bad depending on where u end up. What do you think about this?

All of scripture from Genesis to Revelation points to one person, Jesus the eternal son of God. In the beginning God made all that can be known by us and for us.

Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him

And in the end the finality to the Bible it points to Jesus as our redeemer and as a picture of the original tree of life

Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
Rev 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."

And Jesus points us to the overall reason for our existence, which is…

Joh 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

As that as the basis heaven is as much a place as it is a relationship with the eternal God. Our mind, where we have memories, is an imperfect fallen vessel for remembering things and as such our memories start to go quick and sometimes all together in the case of Alzheimer.

Many theologians believe that we will have no memories while in heaven because of Jesus wiping them away as in Rev 21:4 or they point to Isa 65:17 and some contend that our memories will be wiped cleansened and restored and not wiped away…to be honest the Bible is somewhat silent on the matter.

As for the dead that reside in hell many people look to the story of the Rich man and Lazarus found in Luk 16:19-31 and point out that the Rich man had memories of his family and possibly even the justice of God on his sin, as he did not asked to be released from hell. Either way hell is an existence, eternally away from the goodness of God and his gifts thus God allowing and giving the volitional choice each human has made for themselves…what more could God do. It would be good for each of us to contrast what is said about heaven and about hell and to look to the goodness, grace and love that God has for each and every soul.

Mat 22:13 Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

1Co 2:9 But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"--

Monday, September 7, 2009

Short Succinct Gospel Message

Joh 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

What tool does Satan use to steal, kill and destroy the life that God has for us?

John 8:44 says that He is the Father of lies and that He uses deceit…remember the Garden of Eden?

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"
Gen 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,
Gen 3:3 but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
Gen 3:4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.
Gen 3:5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Even more deceit)

What was one of the consequences of living independent of God?

Gen 3:22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever--"

Satan lied & deceived man, man sinned (which is the outworking of living independent of God) and thus the relationship of man and God was lost…and death entered the world.

"As a result of Adam and Eve's sin, their descendants today still live by the choice they made. Every society defines right and wrong according to its own standards, and people's lives are judged on the basis of conformity to those standards. Yet God's purpose for mankind has not changed from His design in the Garden of Eden. He still wants us to find our source in His life, not in laws dictating right and wrong." Steve McVey, Grace Walk pg 107

Satan’s battle is always with God and your are a tool or a pawn to him…He wants to deceive you of the life that God has for you.

So the question to each of us is…how do we know if we have been following Satan’s lies? The answer is given in our attitude toward God and what flows from our hearts

Have you ever lied? Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you? Have you ever dishonored your parents? Have you ever hated someone? Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word? These are all sins

These actions show our relationship to God…Our source for living is the world, our selves or in some cases Satan. But here is the good news…God desires to give you grace and mercy…he says

Rom 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He wants us to have real life…an abundant life, walking with Him in relationship…Creator and Creation

1Jn 5:10 .. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Joh 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

Mar 1:15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent (turn from sin and turn to God) and believe in the gospel."

And your response to His amazing grace is to simply repent (turn away from living independent of God thus living for self, sins and following the lies of Satan )and believe the gospel. What is stopping you from doing this today...for most it is pride, they want to do it on their own or they don't want to admit that they have lived following lies for all their life. Don't let that get in the way of what God has for you...He is good, gracious and merciful.

If you don't desire to come to Christ during this time of grace then there comes a day when you will face God and give an account for every thought, every word and every deed. God has a place for people who desire to live apart from Him...and in the end He gives them they justice they desire. That place is called Hell and it is worse then anything you could ever imagine. Just as Heaven is a real place enjoying God for all eternity, Hell is a place apart from Him for all eternity. The most often described state in Hell says that there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mat 8:12, 13:42, 25:30)...So come, come to Him who died and gave it all for you...

2Cor 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How many times does Jesus need to be crucified?

Please watch this video as it explains something that is so lost on the modern day church.