Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

Strong’s definition of fool: a stupid, wicked, foolish and vile person.

  1. Calling someone a fool – Psalm 14:1 – “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” – The Bible here tells us that a fool has denied God in their heart, that they are corrupt to the core, that they do “adominable works” – which means they do utterly detestable works, and that no fools do any good works or good acts. When you call someone a fool or you are inferring in someway that they are a fool, be mindful of what you have done. It is a very degrading and extremely disrespectful thing to call someone a fool when they are not. Jesus could refer to people as fools because He has perfect knowledge of their hearts, we as sinners do not have this perfect knowledge, that is why Jesus Himself warns us against this action, Jesus warns us against calling someone a fool in no uncertain terms. Calling someone a fool, when they are not, is in itself, a very foolish thing to do.
  2. Do not call someone a fool  – Matthew 5:21-22 – “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” – Keep in mind that when God expressed His contempt for someone by calling him a fool, He did it with complete, accurate knowledge that the one to whom He attributed foolishness was, in reality, a fool. Accusations made by God (through the Bible writers) are not born of unrighteous anger, but of intellectual knowledge, divine consideration, and a desire for fools to turn from their foolish ways (II Peter 3:9). We, however, must restrain ourselves when, in frustration or anger, we consider calling someone a fool. The Bible is crystal clear in that warning of restraint. We should keep the teaching of Christ in our minds and take careful consideration of labeling someone a fool who is not. “but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” – this is a pretty strong  and clear warning given by Christ about this subject.
  3. The disrespect that is given – it is an extremely disrespectful thing to call someone a fool, especially to call or insinuate this to another Christian. We should, as Christians, have more respect, or at least more respectful use of language and God’s Word then to use it to refer to other brethren as “fools”. As you can see as found in Proverbs 14:1 a fool has denied God, so a fellow Christian according to Proverbs 14:1 would not fit that definition. It is also a great, appalling and disrespectful thing to do to a fellow laborer in Christ to insinuate in someway that they are a fool. Christ makes the seriousness of that accusation crystal clear in Matthew 5:21-22.
  4. Setting things right – Maintaining godly relationships between brethren is of such extreme significance that it will effect our ability to serve and to worship God.  (Matthew 5:23-24Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.) – If you have been guilty of labeling someone a fool, especially a fellow brethren in Christ, the Bible shows us here it will effect our ability to serve and worship Him. We need to set things right, sincerely apologize for the disrespectful action we have taken, seek forgiveness, repent of that action before God, and move on in your service to Him.
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***This is part 6 of a 6 part blog series on Racism, the World & the Bible***

LOVE AND FORGIVENESS

LOVE AND FORGIVENESSRacism and prejudices can cause a lot of hurt both emotional and physically. All forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination are affronts to the work of Christ on the cross. Racism and racial pride go contrary to God’s word. No one can justify racism from the Bible and no one can say the Bible is racist once an objective examination of the Bible, in its context, is done. The Bible commands us to love our neighbors. We need to work on loving all of mankind as the Bible teaches us regardless of where they come from, how they look or what color they are. Those that have been affected and hurt by prejudices and racism need to seek God’s help and practice forgiveness of those who hurt them. (Luke 6:37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:)

  • God loves us without conditions, He loves us with impartiality. We too need to love others with the same standard, we need to not judge, not look down at people, not feel superior to people, we need to treat them with the same high respect and standard as God does us. Jesus teaches us that whatsoever we do to the least of our fellow brothers on earth we do to Him. Think about that statement. I would not want to intentionally miss treat anyone; knowing that by doing so I am also mistreating Christ. When you are mistreating someone you are mistreating someone made in the image of Christ and who He died for. (Matthew 25:41-46 – Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.)
  • Racism has been plaguing mankind for centuries. Those that are victims of it need to forgive the perpetrators of it. (Ephesians 4:32– And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.) The racist person may not deserve your forgiveness but you need to give it just the same.

CONCLUSION: Let’s keep in mind what Galatians 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” We need to recognize the Bible does not teach racism. The Old Testament marriage commandments were not racist they were basically the same as the New Testament commandment of not being unequally yoked. It could be said one of the main purveyors of racist thought and promotion of a superior race and inferior races in the 1800’s and early 1900’s was Charles Darwin with his books, the very title of one is racist in and of itself. The Bible is the exact opposite of racism. The Bible teaches us that all mankind is made in the image of God. The Bible teaches us that all are of equal value to God, equally loved By God and equally died for by Jesus on the Cross.

II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

The first phrase in this verse “If my people, which are called by my name” in the Hebrew literally means if a group of people that God considers to be His are called, by either implication, association with or by honor, by His name. So this verse can very will be applied to Christians today and have application and implication to the Christians of our nation or any nation.

No evil or judgment comes upon individuals or nations without the permission and control of God; and He is able and ready, when they are truly humbled and repentant, to remove it and demonstrate towards them new indications of His favor. If national sins, which lead to national judgment is involved then a national response by God’s people is needed. A national humbleness, a national prayerful spirit, a national seeking out of God and a national repentance by God’s people is required by God; then He says that He will hear from Heaven, He then will forgive their sins and He then will heal their land.

Solomon in this passage is instructed, that the only way, by which God can be reconciled to a sinful people, is, by their own recognition of their particular sins and humbling themselves to actual repentance and changing of their lives. That it is the proper demonstration of true of repentance, to forsake our sins and become better for the future, more devout towards God, more sober and chaste with regard to ourselves, more just and charitable, meek and humble towards all men. Without this, humbling of ourselves and prayerful spirit toward God, our actions otherwise will signify nothing; sorrow and tears will have no avail to save our own souls, or to preserve our nation from destruction. For this promise of healing of the land to occur it requires of God’s people to have a true turning away from our particular sins and a turning to God to bring healing to the land. If a healing of a nation is to occur in other words it needs to start with God’s own people.

WHY BE BAPTIZED? (Acts 8:36-38)

Acts 8:37 – “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

INTRODUCTION: Christ gave the church doctrines and ordinances. Doctrines are beliefs and teachings. Ordinances are the things Christ said to observe. The only two ordinances are Baptism and the Lords Supper. (Acts 2:38, 41 – 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. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.)Baptism is only for believers. You must be saved to get baptized. (Acts 2:41 – Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.)  

So in this lesson, in order to answer the question “Why be baptized”, we are first going to answer several other questions. We are going to answer in this lesson the following questions then we will conclude with “Why be baptized”?

1.) What is baptism?

2.) What does baptism represent?

3.) What does baptism do?

4.) What does baptism not do?

5.) And then we will answer “Why be baptized?

FIRST, WHAT IS BAPTISM?  Baptism is the total immersion in water. Not just sprinkling, not just the pouring of water on someone’s head; but the total immersion in water.  Our great example, of Whom we are instructed in the Bible to emulate His example in all ways possible to us, was Himself fully immersed in water when He was baptized. (Matthew 3:14 – Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.) Jesus set the example for us; He was totally immersed in the Jordan River. The word “baptized” in Matthew 3:14 means to “immerse, submerge, to make fully wet” that does not sound like sprinkling or pouring to me.

Five things the Bible says about baptism with water by immersion:

  • They must go to water. (Acts 8:36 – They came unto a certain water.)
  • Requires much water. (John 3:23 – Because there was much water there.)
  • Must go down into the water. (Acts 8:38 – They went down into the water.)
  • Must baptize in water. (Matthew 3:6 – Were baptized of him in Jordan.)
  • Must come up and out. (Acts 8:39 – When they were come up out of the water.)

Also, the figures of speech used by the Apostle Paul in his writings align only with full immersion in water.  Baptism is referred to as being “buried with him” in Romans 6:4 and in Colossians 2:12. The testimony of early church also followed this teaching of Paul and the example given by our Savior in that they practiced baptism as total immersion in water by the believer.

SECOND, WHAT DOES BAPTISM REPRESENT? – It represents Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. As the water crosses our body it represents Christ’s death on the cross, His burial, and as we are coming out of water His resurrection. Sprinkling could not do this. (Romans 6:3-5 – Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:)

  • In Romans 6:3-5 notice the expressions – “baptized into Jesus Christ” and “buried with him by baptism”. Our soul and spirit is brought into His family through our salvation and trust in Him as our Savior. What a great word picture represented here and demonstrated outwardly by our physical baptism.
  • Baptism is our outward testimony of our inward assurance of our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
  • If the meaning of baptism could be boiled down to one word, that word would be identification. Baptism speaks primarily of a personal, public identification with Jesus
  • So what does baptism represent?
  • It represents how we have turned from the old life of sin to a new life in Christ.
  • It represents our public identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
  • It represents our openly joining the ranks of those who believe in Christ and in most cases joining in membership with a local assembly of believers.

THIRD, WHAT DOES BAPTISTM DO? BESIDES GET YOU WET? – When you are baptized, you are in fact visually preaching the gospel. As you stand in the water waiting to be baptized, you symbolize Jesus dying on the cross. As you are lowered into the water, you symbolize Jesus buried in the tomb. As you are raised from the water, you symbolize Jesus rising from the dead. (Romans 6:3-5)

  • And since you personally are being baptized, you are also saying symbolical way, “I died with Jesus Christ, I was buried with Him and now I am raised with Christ in newness of life.”
  • In short, in your baptism you are preaching a sermon without using any words at all. And your sermon in your baptism can be more effective with your friends than any sermon the pastor preaches on Sunday morning— it can be more effective because it comes directly from you.
  • The Greek word translated “baptize” is the verb baptizo. It’s primary meaning is “to immerse, submerge, to make fully wet” The secondary meaning is to “bring under the influence.” By being baptized publically you are, by your personal testimony in identifying in Christ, bringing all those that witness your baptism under the influence, at that moment, of Jesus Christ. Baptism is as important for you to do for yourself as it is for you to do to bring all those that witness it under the convicting influence of Christ.

FOURTH, WHAT DOES BAPTISM NOT DO? – The humbling of oneself that is needed in the act of repentance is not easy. Faith in an unseen God can also not be easy for some people. Submission to the teachings of Christ, the Bible and the working of the Holy Spirit within us goes against mans natural disposition. The transforming and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our life can also be uncomfortable and difficult.

Satan’s great lie he has planted in many hearts is salvation would be so much easier, inviting and enticing to our natural human hearts if it didn’t require humility, repentance and faith. If it could only be attained in some way by us, by some act we do; if salvation could only be the product of a onetime action on our part.

  • For those looking to bypass the difficulty and discomfort of salvation, I Peter 3:21 along with a select few other verses taken out of context and not fully interpreted correctly according to their setting in scripture or not interpreted correctly according to the meaning and verb usage and placement of the original language they were written in, and taken then out of the context of scripture as a whole can lead people who are willing to accept it to think that baptism saves you and not faith alone in Christ. (I Peter 3:20-21 – Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:)
  • What is taking place in these two verses is a comparison of Noah and his family in the ark in the great flood and believers being baptized in water. The water did not save Noah and his family. It was the act of faith Noah had when he built the ark, when he entered the ark and it had not ever even rained, when he trusted God and His plan to save him. That is what saved Noah, not the water. Just as what saves us is our repentance of our sin and faith by grace in Christ. The flood of water proved or demonstrated Noah’s salvation just as our baptism demonstrates and testifies of our salvation.

There are also many that view baptism as a necessary element—in addition to repentance and faith—that completes the work of salvation – these too are misguided and wrong in their belief. As a proof text they point to Acts 2:28 “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.” So what should we make of this verse? — Was Peter the first proponent of baptismal regeneration? And does that mean that no one is truly saved until they’ve been baptized?

  • John MacArthur offers the following commentary on this verse Baptismal regeneration] ignores the immediate context of the passage. As already noted, baptism would be a dramatic step for Peter’s hearers. By publicly identifying themselves as followers of Jesus of Nazareth, they risked becoming outcasts in their society (cf. John 9:22). Peter calls upon them to prove the genuineness of their repentance by submitting to public baptism. In much the same way, our Lord called upon the rich young ruler to prove the genuineness of his repentance by parting with his wealth (Luke 18:18-27). Surely, however, no one would argue from the latter passage that giving away one’s possessions is necessary for salvation. Salvation is not a matter of either water or economics. True repentance, however, will inevitably manifest itself in total submission to the Lord’s will.
  • By implying or assuming that baptism is a necessary step to our salvation they are not true to the facts or spirit of Scripture as a whole. All through the book of Acts, forgiveness is linked to repentance, not baptism (Acts 3:19 – 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; & 5:31). The Bible also records that some who were baptized were not saved (Acts 8:13, 21-23 – Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.), while still others were saved with no mention of them ever being baptized (Luke 7:37-50; Matthew 9:2; Luke 18:13-14). (Luke 23:39-43)
  • The account of the conversion of Cornelius and his friends very clearly shows the relationship of baptism to salvation. It was only after they were saved, as shown by their receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-46), that they were baptized (Acts 10:47-48). It was because they had received the Spirit (and hence were saved) that Peter ordered them to be baptized (v. 47). That passage clearly shows that baptism follows salvation; it does not cause it.
  • So why do Peter’s words in Acts 2:38 seem to read as an endorsement of baptism being part of salvation? The confusion comes from understanding with our modern knowledge of the English language the way the Greek preposition eis is translated. While it is often translated “for the purpose of,” it can also mean “because of”—that is the sense it conveys in Matthew 12:41, as Jesus described how the people of Ninevah repented after hearing Jonah’s preaching. That’s the same sense it should be consider as in Acts 2:38—Peter exhorted the people to be baptized because of the forgiveness of their sins not for the forgiveness of their sins. The same Greek word is used in both verses and unless you dig a little deeper you might get a little confused; but even so that is why you interpret Scripture in light of other Scripture and in the immediate context it is found in. If that simple rule is followed no confusion or misunderstanding would result. (Matthew 12:41 – The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. & Acts 2:38 – 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.) – Same Greek word is boxed in each of the two preceding verses for comparison. Reread each verse and say “because of” instead of the boxed word and you will get the proper meaning of each.

So to be clear, baptism does not save you period, full stop. The order is clear. Repentance is for forgiveness. Baptism follows that forgiveness; it does not cause it, nor is it a necessary element to it (cf. Acts 8:12, 34-39;  10:34-48; 16:31-33). Baptism is the public sign or symbol of what has taken place on the inside. Baptism is a public testimony of our salvation and not part of our salvation. It is however an important step of obedience for all believers, and should closely follow our salvation. Salvation has nothing to do with any work or any act, such as baptism, that we could do. (Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.) – Baptism would be considered a work on our part if it was something we needed to do to get saved or considered a necessary element to that salvation.

  • The heresy and confusion over what baptism does or does not do, could be solved if one would use and apply the Golden Rule of Scripture interpretation as given to us by Dr. C.I. Scofield “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one and never use a ‘if’ to contradict a ‘verily’”.

SO IN CONCLUSION, WHY BE BAPTIZED? – It should be one of the first acts of obedience by the new believer as commanded by Christ and taught in the Epistles.  The observance or nonobservance of ordinances has nothing to do with salvation. Once you are saved (trusted in Jesus to save you and take you to Heaven) you are always saved. (Hebrews 7:25 – Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.) “Uttermost” means – completely and permanently. Baptism is obedience to Christ. (Matthew 28:19-20 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.) Baptism is a public proclamation of putting off the old man (or old nature) and putting on Christ (new nature). (Galatians 3:27 – … baptized into Christ have put on Christ.)

Let’s review … why do we get baptized?  Jesus commands us to after we are saved. (Matthew 28:19-20). In order to be baptized we have to be saved first. (Acts 2:41, Acts 8:36-38)

So let’s review how do we get saved?  First you have to realize that God loves you. (John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.) Then you need to know that:

  • All people are sinners. (Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 3:18 – He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. )
  • Sins must be paid for. (Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)
  • Christ paid for our sins. (Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.)
  • We must ask by faith for Christ to save us. (Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.)

There are no shortcuts or religious rituals that can achieve salvation—in fact, it’s not a product of human works at all, including baptism. God provides salvation because a sinner, by faith, accepts Jesus Christ into his heart as his own personal Savior. Salvation does not occur by means of any rite or work, including water baptism, salvation only occurs by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 10:30 “The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.”

The joy and hope only found in the Lord shall never leave the righteous. The righteous have a guaranteed hope in the Lord; we have a guaranteed inheritance. “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” I Peter 1:4

The wicked on the other hand have certain and eternal ruin and destruction coming. II Thessalonians 1:9 “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Make sure you have accepted God’s free gift of salvation today. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

ETERNALLY SECURE? – You can know for Sure!

I Peter 1:4-5 – “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” – We, as the born again children of God, have an inheritance of eternal life that is eternally secured and guaranteed.

It is called an inheritance because it belongs to the children of God. Eternal life cannot be a gift to any but to those who have truly believed by faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Any other assurances of eternal life, by other religions or beliefs are false assurances. We need to understand and defend this doctrine of eternal security. It is foundational to our Christian belief. There are others who believe you can lose your salvation. But to believe this way requires you to take certain scriptures out of context and not fully study or investigate others, as Dr. C.I. Scofield said “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one.” Other false religions around the world claim they can tell you where you will spend eternity if you do certain things or attain certain levels of their belief; but all of these other religions require works of man of some sort. Our Bible tells us it is not by anything man does but eternal life in heaven with Christ is a gift. (Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.)

SO WHAT IS SALVATION? (I John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.) Salvation is being saved. It is being born again. It is accepting the free gift of Christ paying the penalty of our sin so we can go to Heaven. It is calling on the name of the Lord and trusting him with your eternal soul.

Let’s take a look at the steps of salvation:

• First you need to recognize you are a sinner and that you have sinned. (Romans 3:10, 23 – As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;)

• Next you need to realize there is a penalty for sin. (Romans 6:23a – For the wages of sin is death ;)

• Third you need to acknowledge that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sin. (Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. & John 19:30 – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.)

• The fourth step is to know that salvation is a gift of God that He is waiting to give us. (Romans 6:23b – but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)

• Finally and simply the Bible tells us we need to call upon the Lord to be saved and He will save us from our sins and eternity in hell and give us the gift of eternal life with Him in Heaven. (Romans 10:10 &13 – For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.)

LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT VERSES 4 & 5 OF I PETER CHAPTER 1 (I Peter :1:4-5 – To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.) – The verses are speaking about the elements and nature of our salvation in Christ.

Incorruptible” – means it cannot decay, it cannot be infiltrated with untruth, and it cannot be dissolved in any way. Because of this “incorruptibleness” it cannot be earthly in origin. It has to be Divine in origin because of its incorruptibleness.

Undefiled” – “Nothing impure can enter it; it not only has no principles or seeds of dissolution in itself, but it can never admit any; therefore its deterioration is impossible.” – Adam Clarks Commentary.

Fadeth not away” – It cannot fade, it cannot dim, it cannot lose its original strength, It cannot wither, it is eternal in nature and power.

Reserved in heaven” – Our salvation is reserved, set aside, preserved and kept safe and secure in heaven for us.

Who are kept” – Those who have accepted the free gift of salvation, their salvation is kept or defended in a fortress, secured to the utmost. “Who are kept” has the meaning of being kept in custody by watch and under military guard. True Disciples of Christ are under constant and watchful care of God who is guarding and keeping their salvation secure.

By the power of God” – This phrase tells us by what power our salvation is kept secure. It is kept secure by the mighty and miracle-working power of God. Nothing is more powerful than God and knowing our salvation is kept by the most supreme power there is, is pretty reassuring.

Ready to be revealed” – Or in other words prepared to be revealed. Our eternal security is prepared, preserved and protected. It is ready to be revealed to us as we pass through deaths door to life eternal with God.

IF YOU ARE BACKSLIDDEN (FALLEN AWAY FROM THE LORD) CAN YOU LOSE YOUR SALVATION? (Hosea 11:7 – And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.) If you have fallen back into a sinful lifestyle are you still a child of God? Or, if you have lost the joy of your salvation do you still have that salvation? (Psalm 51:12 – Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.) The backslider may think he is not saved and he may act like he is not saved. (I Peter 1:4 – To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,). But thank God, no matter what the backslider may do or think that does not matter because once he is saved he is always saved. (Colossians 3:15a – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,…. & I Peter 1:5 – Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.) It is not in our power or how we think that keeps us or makes us saved. We are “kept by the power of God” and knowing and trusting in that, we need to “let the peace of God rule in” our hearts.

If you are saved you are a child of God. Children can be disobedient, rebel and doubt their parents some times, but that does not mean they are no longer their parents children. Once we are saved God calls us His children. If God declares us His children nothing we could do could change that fact. (Luke 20:36Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.)

Bible examples of backslidden Christians who were still saved despite their sin:

• Lot did many terrible sins. He lived in a terrible wicked city, he offered up his own daughters to wicked, vile sin. Even though he did some terribly wicked things he was still saved. Why? – Because of what we just learned; our salvation is not dependent on us. Amen! (II Peter 2:8 – And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:) That word “just” in this verse means Lot was a saved man.

• Peter went as far as to deny Christ. Peter denied Christ three times, and the last time he denied him with an oath, but again Peter was still saved. Why? – Because our salvation is not based on our good behavior, but is based on our trust in the shed blood of Jesus to save us from our sins. (Luke 22:54-62)

• Moses was a murderer. He killed the Egyptian guard. Moses trusted the Lord for his salvation. Our salvation is not of ourselves, it is of God and God alone. (Hebrews 11:24,26 – By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.)

• David committed the terrible sin of adultery with Bathsheba; he then had Uriah the Hittite killed to cover up this sin but David was still saved. Why? – Because David trusted in the Messiah, the Christ for his salvation. He knew it had nothing to do with how good or bad he was but it had to do with faith in the saving power of Jesus blood. (Psalm 55:22 – Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.)

IS OUR SALVATION ETERNAL?(John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.) If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we have eternal life. Not, we shall have it, indicating a future tense, not if we are good we will get it, but if we trust on Jesus shed blood for our salvation we have (present tense) eternal life. (John 3:36 – He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.)

If we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior He gives us eternal life. He won’t take it back. We shall never perish – we shall never lose our salvation. (John 10:29-30And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.)This verse says our salvation is kept safe in Gods hand and that no man is able to “pluck” us out of God’s hand. We can be totally confident in God’s ability to keep our salvation secure. There is nothing we could do or any other man could do to cause us to lose our salvation.

God gave His only son to pay our sin debt for us. It is paid in full already. We can’t lose our salvation if God’s son has already paid it in full as He said he did on the cross. (John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.) The Bible tells us that we have the “righteousness of God” imputed in us, imparted to us by Christ’s death on the cross. If we have the “righteousness of God” how is that not enough to satisfy God? God would have to declare himself not righteous enough to be in Heaven if that were so. (II Corinthians 5:21 – For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.)There was an atonement made on our behalf. It was made by Christ through his shed blood. Jesus made himself a substitute for me. He has paid my sin debt on my behalf. (Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.)In other words every Born-Again Christian is credited with Christ’s righteousness. Through the blood that He shed on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin for us.If we have trusted in that shed blood and been credited with the atonement made on our behalf there is no way that we could lose our salvation.

IN CONCLUSION: No scripture says you can lose your salvation, if it is not pulled out of its proper context of the Bible. We are supposed to use scripture to help interpret scripture. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. C.I. Scofield he said “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one, and never use and (if) to contradict a (verily)” The Bible tells us that Jesus offered one sacrifice for sin for forever and then He sat down on the right hand of God. The work of the blood sacrifice for the sins of man is done. Jesus paid for all sin of all mankind for all time: past, present and future. To say we could lose our salvation would be to say to Christ “you have to die on the cross again because the first time just was not good enough.” (Hebrews 10:12 – But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God ;)

For us to be able to lose our salvation Jesus would have to be a liar. For on the cross he said “It is finished” which also means paid in full. So if Jesus on the cross said our sin debt was paid in full, and then we lost our salvation. That would mean our sin debt was not paid in full and that Jesus is a liar. Jesus is not a liar. He said in John 14:6 – “….I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” So we can’t lose are salvation. The Bible says our salvation is “sealed with the holy spirit” in Ephesians 1:13. If God seals our salvation how could that seal be broken? The Bible says in Hebrews 5:9 that Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation”. Not salvation till you sin too much. Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation”! Isaiah 45:17 says we have an “everlasting salvation”. Hebrews 7:25 says we are saved “to the uttermost”. That phrase means permanently and completely. We can’t lose something that is already permanent and completed.

We as true born again believers can rest assured in the fact we have an eternally secure salvation that is based in the finished works of the Son of God; which makes it eternally secure. If our salvation was based on anything else it would be a false salvation. Other groups or religions may try to say you can lose your salvation or add works to your salvation but this kind of belief is simply unbiblical and is saying that what Jesus did for us was not good enough and we need to help Him finish the job, God forbid! Rest assured the finished work of securing our eternal salvation was completely done by our Almighty Savior, Jesus Christ the Son of God!

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Are you ready to meet God? We all will meet Him one day. We all have a set appointment already made with death. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:27  – “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”. Are you ready for that appointment with death? Are you ready to meet God? The Bible tells us elsewhere that all men whether they are evil or good, saved or lost will meet God one day and bow the knee to Him; and that everyone will confess that Jesus is the true God and Lord of all. (Philippians 2:10-11 – That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.)

Have you confessed Jesus as the Savior of your soul? Have you accepted Him into your heart and called upon Him to save you from your sins? Many people may say there is more than one way to heaven; but the Bible tells us otherwise. Jesus said in John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There is but one way to heaven and that way goes through Jesus Christ the Son of God. Who humbled Himself and came to this earth and became a man and lived among us for 33 and a half years. He did this so He could sacrifice Himself for us and pay our sin debt for us. We all have a sin debt that needs to be paid before we can go to heaven. (Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;)  We are incapable of paying this debt on our own. This debt requires a perfect sacrificial payment to be paid in full. Jesus was that perfect sacrifice. He came to earth and paid that sin debt, on our behalf, so we could have the opportunity to go to Heaven. Jesus did this for us because of His great and perfect love He has for all mankind. (John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.)

In order to be ready to meet God you want to be sure you are going to Heaven. You do not want any doubt as to where you will spend eternity. You do not want to take a chance on this eventuality. We all will go to one of two places when we die; if we are saved, if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will go to Heaven when we die, if we are not saved, if we have not accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will go to hell when we die. Jesus spoke of hell in Matthew 8:12 – “…shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”, Matthew 13:42 – “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” & Matthew 25:41 – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” and many other verses record Jesus teachings and warnings about hell.

So, are you ready to meet God? – I pray you are. I also pray you seriously consider and ponder if you are ready and take the time to make sure you are on your way to heaven; and that you are ready to meet God. If you are not sure you are ready to meet God; you just need to acknowledge you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Repent or turn away from your sin, ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you from your sins and accept His payment in full, of your sin debt, on the cross. Please take the time to read the Bible passages below, if you are uncertain if you are ready to meet God, and then pray to God to save you from your sins.

John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 10:9,10 & 13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

 

Forgive, forgive, forgive!! God does it~ why can’t we?!
Colossians 3:12-15 “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
So many dear people are struggling with so many things and sometimes I have no idea what to say except to say ill pray; I fell across this and it says it all! I hope this helps!
“If I could, I would take away the troubles weighing heavy on your mind and in your life. If I could, I would wipe away the sorrows that you feel deep down inside and make them mine. But there’s only just so much a friend in need can help you through along the way. But I’m glad to say I know the One who will be there to help you when you pray.
If I could, I would take you by the hand and lead you through this valley wide, stand upon the mountain high. If I could, I would walk you across the burning desert sand; restore your soul with sweet water from a better land. But I’m sure that in my strongest hour I still could not possess the power to bring you through the raging fire you must withstand. But remember, Jesus can!!”
“And sometimes even Gods own children, can’t seem to get along. Feelings hurt and grudges held, over whose right and who’s wrong. Listen to the words of Jesus, he said “the only way to live, is when somebody does you wrong, FORGIVE, FORGIVE, FORGIVE!
And nobody will be mad at anybody over there. No chips on the shoulders of the saints in heaven there. There’ll be no misunderstanding, happy faces everywhere. And nobody will be mad at anybody over there!”
“First, forgive. Second, forget by choosing not to dwell on that which is forgiven and in the past. We have no right to keep in front of us what God has put behind Him.” Dr. David Jeremiah
I believe you always have to be careful what you say~ boy have I learned that! Even the smallest thing said can be twisted into something that didn’t come out of your mouth! It’s good to know God is on our side even when we slip and say things we never meant to say, the Lord always forgives and knows our true heart!

Change is Possible!

Posted: November 29, 2014 in Changed Life
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Our change made possible because of our Hope. Faith in Jesus has the power to change lives, has the power to answer prayers, the power to meet our needs and the power to save our souls. Faith in Jesus can change the worst most hopeless lost cause of a life for the better. There is no lost cause as long as Jesus is part of the equation. Jesus delights in giving us second chances.
Jesus has a heart for people. When He sees our needs it moves Him with compassion. (Mathew 9:36 – But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.) Jesus has the power to help us through the storms of life. He will make sure, if we trust in Him, that we get through to the other side of our problem. (Luke 8:22-25 – Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.) Jesus has the power to change lives. The woman at the well had been married several times and was currently living in adultery. She thought her situation was hopeless but our God is an all powerful God. He has the power to help anyone out of any situation.
Paul’s changed life because of the Lord is a great example: The stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58-8:3) The words ‘made havock’ in verse 3 of chapter 8 means ‘to ravage like a wild beast’ – That is how much Saul/Paul hated Christians! (Acts 9:1-2) in verse one it says “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” – Saul here is still just hating the Christians and wanting to do everything he can to destroy them.(Acts 9:3-6) Then Jesus came into Saul’s life and he repented of his wicked ways and turned to the Lord.
In verse 5 the Bible says “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” – This is a figure of speech meaning that Saul was already starting to get convicted about what he was doing to Christians. Just imagine with sandals on kicking against sharp pointed needles. That would hurt and cause you pain. That is what persecuting the Christians was doing to Saul it was already starting to hurt him inside causing him pain. Acts 9:4-21 finishes the story of Paul’s salvation and repentance (his turning from sin and turning to the Lord) and his change from a persecutor of Christians to an Apostle.
So Paul’s example of a changed life starts in Acts 7:58 with the stoning of Stephen, then to Acts 8:3 where he ‘made havock’, to Acts 9:1 to where he was ‘breathing out threatenings and slaughter’, then to Acts 9:3-6 where he repented and Jesus came into his life, and finishes in Acts 9:20 when Paul ‘preached Christ’. So we have the example of Paul’s life where he started out persecuting the Christians. Then he started feeling convicted ‘hard for thee to kick against the pricks’. Then Jesus came into his life and changed it forever then it ends with Paul preaching Jesus! Isn’t it amazing how God can change some one’s life?

Dealing with Anger & Bitterness Biblically
James 1:19-20 – “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
We need to learn to control our anger and not let it control us. Don’t hold on to your anger and let it turn into bitterness. A Christian is to be slow to anger and quick to get rid of it (James 1:19-20). Jesus gives us four ways to help us resolve our anger in Luke 6:27 -28 – “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
“Love your enemies” – how many of us could honestly say we love our enemies? The Lord Jesus tells us to in these verses. Following this command of our Lord can be a challenging thing sometimes, but it is the right thing to do and the thing that will help us not to harbor anger and let it turn into bitterness.
“Do good to them which hate you” – again also another commandment from our Lord which could be challenging to implement. Our old sin nature just wants to get even with those we are angry at but Jesus tells us to “do good to them”. (Romans 12:20 – Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.)
“Bless them which curse you” – we are to bless them which curse us. Is that a natural reaction to bless someone who curses you? – No it is not. We have to suppress our old sin nature to do this. We have to exercise self control. The Lord Jesus is an awesome example of this. He was falsely arrested, falsely tried, falsely convicted and falsely sentenced. He could have called down 12 legion of angels and wiped out all them that did this but instead He blessed them by dying on the cross for the very sins they were committing and giving them the opportunity to go Heaven with Him. (Mathew 26:53 – Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?)
“Pray for them which despitefully use you” – Have you ever been used by someone? Or at least felt like you were used? Did you pray for that person afterwards? We are told by Christ we are supposed to.
Forgiveness is how we get rid of the anger. Forgiveness is to occur every time an offense happens. (Luke 17:3-4 – Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.) As a Christian you must forgive because you have been forgiven. (Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.)God will forgive Christians as we forgive others. (Mathew 6:14-15 – For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.)