Saturday, August 30, 2008

Works of Faith

This morning I was reminded of a statement by Dr. Edwin Cole. He went on to be with the Lord in 2002 and before passing on said, "tell them the only scripture they believe is the one they obey". What a simple phrase but what profound meaning! I was immediately reminded of James 2:26. Here it is in context:

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith obut does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 pIf a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 qand one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good2 is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith rapart from your works, and I will show you my faith sby my works. 19 tYou believe that God is one; you do well. Even uthe demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 vWas not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that wfaith was active along with his works, and faith was completed xby his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, y “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”— and he was called a zfriend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also aRahab the prostitute justified by works bwhen she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
o [ch. 1:22]
p [Job 31:19, 20]; See Luke 3:11
q 1 John 3:17, 18
2 Or benefit
r [Rom. 3:28; 4:6; Heb. 11:33]
s Matt. 7:16, 17; Gal. 5:6
t Deut. 6:4; [Rom. 2:17-25]
u Matt. 8:29; Mark 1:24; 5:7; Luke 4:33, 34; Acts 16:17; 19:15
v Gen. 22:9, 12, 16-18
w Heb. 11:17
x See 1 Thess. 1:3
y Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; Cited from Gen. 15:6
z 2 Chr. 20:7; Isai. 41:8
a Heb. 11:31
b Josh. 2:1-22; 6:23
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Jas 2:14-26). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

So then we are reminded that Faith comes to enable Obedience to God's word in our life and experience which is the highest form of worship. True faith will empower a life of consecration to the call and purpose of God in our lives. That's why Hebrews 11:6 says, " Without Faith it is impossible to please God, for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that dilligently seek Him".

So then disobedience to the revealed word of God in our life is a symptom of a lack on our part to activate the Faith of the Son of God that is already within us. We must choose each day to activate our faith to move the mountains in our life. "And Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

2Peter1:1-4, "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Let's pray together Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Grace and Peace,

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Day of the LORD Is Near!

Zeph. 1:7
Be silent before the Lord God!
For the day of the Lord is near;
the Lord has prepared a sacrifice (Jesus!)
and consecrated his guests. (Us!)

James 5:7 Be patient, therefore, brothers,1 until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives kthe early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. lEstablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord mis at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, nso that you may not be judged; behold, othe Judge is standing pat the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take qthe prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of rthe steadfastness of Job, and you have seen sthe purpose of the Lord, how tthe Lord is compassionate and merciful.[1]

Rev.22:20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely sI am coming soon.” Amen. tCome, Lord Jesus![3]

1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 10, 12, 19
k See Deut. 11:14
l 1 Thess. 3:13
m 1 Pet. 4:7; [Rom. 13:11, 12; Phil. 4:5; Heb. 10:25, 37]
n Matt. 7:1
o [1 Pet. 4:5; Rev. 22:12]
p Matt. 24:33; Mark 13:29; [1 Cor. 4:5]
q Matt. 5:12; 23:34; Acts 7:52; Heb. 11:32-38
r Job 1:21, 22; 2:10
s Job 42:10, 12
t See Ex. 34:6
[1]The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Jas 5:7-11).
s ver. 7, 12
t [2 Tim. 4:8]
[3]The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Re 22:20).

Grace and Peace,

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Conviction vs Condemnation

Many Christians confuse these two very different experiences. Conviction comes from God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said,

I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for hif I do not go away, ithe Helper will not come to you. But jif kI go, lI will send him to you. 8 mAnd when he comes, he will nconvict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, obecause they do not believe in me; 10 pconcerning righteousness, qbecause I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 rconcerning judgment, because the ruler of this world sis judged.
h ch. 7:39
i ch. 15:26; [ch. 14:16]
j [Acts 2:33]
k ch. 14:2
l See ch. 14:26
m [ch. 8:28]
n [ch. 8:46]
o ch. 8:24; [Acts 2:36, 37; 1 Cor. 12:3]
p [Acts 17:31]
q ver. 16, 17, 19
r See ch. 12:31
s [Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14]
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Jn 16:7-11).

Conviction is a good thing. It exposes the sin in our hearts so that we can deal with it. It inspires and leads us to repentance and Godly change. It draws us to God to receive mercy in the time of need and grace for the ensuing battle with our carnal nature.

Condemnation can come from the Devil (the accuser of the brethren) and sometimes out of our own heart. The apostle Paul wrote,

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.1 2 For the law of hthe Spirit of life ihas set you2 free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For jGod has done what the law, kweakened by the flesh, lcould not do. mBy sending his own Son nin the likeness of sinful flesh and ofor sin,3 he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that pthe righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, qwho walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For rthose who live according to the flesh set their minds on sthe things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on tthe things of the Spirit. 6 To set uthe mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
1 Some manuscripts add who walk not according to the flesh (but according to the Spirit)
h 1 Cor. 15:45; 2Cor. 3:6
i ver. 12; See ch. 6:14, 18; 7:4ff
2 Some manuscripts me
j Heb. 10:1, 2, 10, 14; See Acts 13:39
k Gal. 4:9; Heb. 7:18
l Heb. 10:6, 8
m 2 Cor. 5:21
n Phil. 2:7; See John 1:14
o Lev. 16:5; Heb. 10:6, 8; 13:11
3 Or and as a sin offering
p ch. 1:32; 2:26
q Gal. 5:16, 25
r [Gal. 6:8]
s Gal. 5:19-21
t Gal. 5:22, 23, 25
u ver. 13; [Col. 2:18]; See ch. 6:21
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ro 8:1-6).

And John the apostle wrote,

20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (1 Jn 3:20).

Condemnation will encourage you to give up. To quit. It has a ring of finality to it. Conviction on the other hand inspires us to pray and commune with God. To continue to war with our carnal nature.

31 What then shall we say to these things? pIf God is for us, who can be3 against us? 32 qHe who did not spare his own Son but rgave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? sIt is God who justifies. 34 tWho is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—uwho is at the right hand of God, vwho indeed is interceding for us.4 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, w “ For your sake xwe are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than yconquerors through zhim who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
p Num. 14:9; 2 Kin. 6:16; Ps. 118:6; 1 John 4:4
3 Or who is
q John 3:16
r See ch. 4:25
s Isai. 50:8, 9; [Rev. 12:10, 11]
t ver. 1
u See Mark 16:19
v Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1; [ver. 27]
4 Or Is it Christ Jesus who died … for us?
w Cited from Ps. 44:22
x 1 Cor. 4:9; 15:30, 31; 2 Cor. 4:10, 11; See Acts 20:24ff
y 1 Cor. 15:57; See John 16:33
z Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:2; Rev. 1:5; 3:9
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ro 8:31-39).

Grace and Peace,