Saturday, September 26, 2015

Freely Give

Romans 8:21
“that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

When Christians walk in freedom they walk in God's glory. Walking in God's glory is walking in God's power. Living in God's glory and power will give us victory over the problems that we face. The earth itself can be changed by faith. John 14:12; various Scriptures of Jesus having power over this world.

Always remember that having power without the willingness to live through the suffering (Romans 8:17) of the gospel negate faith and express selfishness. We can't live in the power of God and live in selfishness at the same time. (Also unforgiveness Mark 11:25; Pride Habakkuk 2:4 John 5:44)

The freedom that comes from Jesus will give us the power to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. When we learn to freely receive from Christ we can freely give. Matthew 10:8

Romans 5:1-5 teaches that God's grace comes by our accepting it by faith. Faith accepts God's grace and also looks to Christ instead of the flesh when trials come. We rejoice in Christ in the trial Romans 5:3 not because of the trial but because of the confidence that we have in Christ. There is victory in life. We don't fear an evil report, because  of our trust in God. Psalm 112:7 Trials just bring us into more glory and victory.

Our hope will not disappoint because the love of God brings us victory. Romans 5:5; Rom 8:39; Love brings the ultimate victory. Jesus overcame the world by His love expressed on the cross. The baton has been passed to us and we overcome the world by living in the spirit and not the flesh. Romans 8:5-13. We live in the Spirit Rom 8:13 and bring this life, John 6:63 taught in the Scriptures and experienced by having a relationship with Christ. And the relationship with Christ is expressed by loving others with faith in practical ways.

Understanding Scripture is not just mental assent. Our minds need to be renewed with the Scriptures so that when we go through trials of life we respond from our hope in Christ and the promises from the Scriptures instead of our minds and natural selfish defense or desires. Trials are a test of faith. How we respond shows if we are passing the test (2 Cor 13:5) or not. If I am not passing the test, I continue to renew my mind in Jesus. Romans 12:1,2.

If I am passing the test, I should continue to renew my mind as I meditate on Scripture. Psalm 1:2,3; Joshua 1:8; John 15:7

Freedom comes from knowing the truth. John 8:31,32. But again knowledge of Scripture is not mental assent but is spiritual knowledge which is expressed by works. If we don't use spiritual knowledge we really don't know what we think we know. James 1:22 We come to know by hearing and doing not just by hearing. Faith without works is dead. James 2:17 The way to learn spiritual knowledge is to hear and believe and apply what we believe with love towards others. Sunday morning church often times does not provide this outlet for learning. After the morning teaching the word they heard is plucked out of their heart Matthew 13:19; Mark 4:15; Luke 8:5  (notice I did not say out of their mind) and becomes just a vague memory or for the diligent a point of arrogance. 1 Cor 8:1.

Let us not be sluggish or arrogant, but instead let us respond to Christ and His teachings in love for others. Freely you have received, freely give.

Hebrews 6:11, 12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mercy and Abiding

 photo IMG_0306_zpsc2ef3403.jpg
Lightening shredded wood fibres.

 So here is the idea of Hebrews 4:16 of coming to God to receive mercy and grace not on the basis of works but on the basis of Christ's blood. We don't come to God on our works but on Christ's blood. So how does that line up with John 15:7 that if we abide in the Word and in Jesus we can get our prayers answered?

There are 2 points here. One is if a person is sowing to the wind, and sowing to the wind, and sowing to the wind and reaping the whirlwind and their life is crazy and confused and turned over, they can go to God for help. But you are not going to go to God after spending years of sowing to the wind and come out of prayer and be an on fire evangelist with miracles following the next day.

We approach God for mercy and grace by the blood of Jesus. But we don't advance the kingdom of God by just being humble. God wants faith. Heb 11:6; Col 2:6; Hab 2:4. As we spend time with God and His word faith is built. We can from this faith get answers to prayer if we still approach God in humility not from our works and of study and prayer and meditation but still on the basis of the blood of Jesus.

So on the one hand we are working, meditating and seeking God. And on the other hand we approach God on the basis of His blood, not our good works. That does not mean our good works are for nothing. Our works of faith with love from obedience advance the kingdom. This only happens as we pray and pave the way with prayer from approaching God from our humble approach trusting God because of the blood of Jesus.

The 2 go hand in hand. Humble prayer trusting in the blood of Jesus. And aggressive works of faith from obedience, coming from being with God and His word. And you don't have these aggressive works of faith without a fight in prayer. There is the humble prayer for guidance with mercy and grace and there is the prayer of fighting to gain the victory. Now if you are like I have been you go out without fighting in prayer to gain the victory and you get beat up by the enemy. I have learned you have to fight in prayer also.

Romans 8:11 IF. If is a big word in this verse. Do we assume we have the Holy Spirit living within if we have our mind in the gutter watching TV. Do we assume we have the Spirit living within if we are lusting after material things instead of meditating on God's word. Do we assume we have the Spirit of God, the creator of the heavens and the earth living within if we are complaining of some puny problem? Or do we have the Spirit of God living within when we are wasting  time instead of utilizing the gift of time God has given us? Can we have the Spirit living within if our mind is on the flesh?

Just as there is a difference between getting the Spirit of God at salvation, Ephesians 1:13 and getting the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4. There is a difference between having the Spirit of God from salvation and having the Spirit of God live within Romans 8:11; John 14:23 John said in Revelation 1:10 that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day. Meaning that it was possible for this apostle to not be in the Spirit at times. This is the question of Romans 8:11 Are we in the Spirit now? The simple prayer of Hebrews 4:16 gets us back in the Spirit. Faith on the other hand, takes some effort and focus and does not flow from a lukewarm heart.

People reason that we have the Spirit Eph. 1:13 and we approach God because of the blood Heb 4:16. Therefore we can pray and get anything we want. That we are OK with God and living the lukewarm life is fine. Now people don't say then are living the lukewarm life. But they are deceived if they think they can watch movies and TV 10 or 20 hours a week and many more hours in amusements and pray 10 minutes and just read a couple of chapters of the Bible a day. NO. To live this way is not living humble before God. James 4:6 says that God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble people will repent from living a lukewarm life. Humble people will change to serve God from fear and then continuing on to serve from love. If we don't repent of our lukewarmness we are continuing in pride. We can't serve God effectively with pride. Pride needs to be done away with and then faith will grow.