Rejecting Jesus Christ or embracing Jesus ChristIf you are a Christian your sins have been forgiven through Jesus Christ for His name's sake. John in this particular passage speaks to the mature Christians and commends them for overcoming the wicked one because they truly knew the Father. The Apostle also writes to young Christians. He does mention their strength but really keys on their steadfast practice of abiding in Jesus Christ and overcoming the devil. I suppose if there were one overriding message John is trying to portray is if you love this world the love of the Father is not in you. I will be going over 1 John 2:12-17 and it is true that verse 16 is one of the most popular verses in the Bible but not necessarily the most applicable in this passage. The world and lust will pass away but ... "He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:17.(12) "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. (13) I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. (14) I have written unto you, fathers, from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (15) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:12-17.Christians are in different standings with God. Some are babes in Christ and others are older and more mature in in our Savior and Lord. John goes down in this passage and lists some of the truths they both have in common. One principle he lays out is they both have love for God and contempt for the world. This does not mean hating people (In fact we are to love people) but the fact of the matter is the very core of this world is run by the devil. 2 Cor.4:4. My heart is very taken back by this reality.Let me give you another example of what the babes in Christ have in common with the mature in our Savior. Their sins were forgiven for His name's sake but that means knowing our transgressions were pardoned through Jesus Christ. We are strongly obliged to relinquish this world. Here is the principle --- the more we understand our sins are forgiven through the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) the less we will desire this world. Trust me you are not missing much.Do you find yourself holding on to parts of this world? Don't be so hard on yourself because as a child most of us were trained to be this way. The only reason at this point we are withdrawn from this world is because we have grown in the knowledge of God. The two are not in keeping with each other. Even if I did not know Jesus Christ in a personal way at this point I would not be attracted to this world. If you ask why I say please look around you and your heart will not have to travel to far to figure out this is an evil world. Most of what I see is negative and very sad.The most widely asked question in the world is, "How can a good God allow evil in this world." I was talking to a man just the other day and he was speaking of all the darkness in this world. I replied, "Sometimes God allows these things to happen for His purpose." The man said, "I'm not a believer." Then he started mentioning all the evil in his surroundings. His conclusion seemed to be either there is not a God or I just refuse to become a believer in Jesus Christ. In this particular situation I was not able to get many words in but I can tell you the main reason God allows evil in this world is to refine the righteous. Contrary to popular belief God sees everything from A to Z. He has a purpose and all I can say is if you are an unbeliever in Jesus Christ He does not need to be rejected because of His plan He needs to be embraced because of His love and wisdom.In this passage of Scripture the Apostle goes from babes in Christ to the very top of the school but both will always need further instruction in the word of God. We will never stop learning even in heaven. The moral is wherever we are in life we have to position ourselves before God to be taught by Him.John knew that mature Christians were more able to relinquish the world but he still encouraged them to stay strong in Jesus Christ. Keep in mind John was talking to believers that were achievement oriented in their Christian experience so in a round about way he had to remind them that their true strength was in Jesus Christ. For example in verse fourteen in the second part John does say to the young you are strong but I can not help but read between the lines that he knew the babes in Christ were far more tempted to rely on their own strength. In this case they allowed the word of God to dwell in their hearts and were in a position to defeat the devil in their life.People will attack us in this world in one form or another. The real question is are we going to "Try" and defeat the devil in our own strength or are we going to be victorious over the world system through the power of Jesus Christ. Even as Christians we have the choice.The Apostle considered the word of God abiding in their hearts "Vital" to practically winning this war that the Bible talks about and once again the victory is in Jesus Christ. Remember John wrote the great abiding chapter in John chapter 15 so it is just common sense that he reviewed this with his students. They were taught well and I'm sure in this setting everybody took serious notes because there were no tape recorders.In verse fifteen John makes it very clear that everybody should be crucified to the world. A child of God should have their love reserved for Jesus Christ. The Apostle did not want them wasting their love on the world because it is either one or the other (the love of the Father in our hearts through Jesus Christ or this earth in it's sinful form). At the risk of repeating myself we need to make a choice. Once we do this God will honor our decision and work with us but if we try and startle the fence we can not expect the aid of the Holy Spirit because this is called being lukewarm.One thing I found out about the human heart is it seems to be very narrow. What I just said reminds me of that verse in Matthew chapter seven when the word of God says narrow is the way and few that be that find it." God did not design us to have affection for Him and the world at the same time so it would have to be overwhelmingly obvious that love for this world or any kind of lust is not ordained by God.Verse 16 is in the second paragraph of this article and one of the most popular in the Bible. The things of the world are broken down into three categories but what most people do not understand is this involves the depraved nature of the human heart especially if we go deeper and deeper into one of these three.The first is the lust of the flesh which are the luxuries in this world. I am not like this but have seen people that are and they usually have much apathy to God. They just do not care and at the very least this is gross unbelief for Jesus Christ. Why have faith in the Son of God when living in luxury? God is not looking at our assets as much in that He is searching our heart.The lust of the eyes is covetousness. If we do this it is almost inevitable that we will fall into some sort of sin. When ancient Israel went to war sometimes God would command them not to take even one spoil after the war. That is something that probably applies to the lust of the eyes.The pride of life involves ambition. This usually involves earthy thrusts apart from God. We as Christians are to set our goals and live by faith in God but ambition in our flesh is just walking away from Jesus Christ. This is why if we built our own house as Christians God may get a hammer and smash it to pieces. What I say is, "Thank you God" no matter how painful it is because multitudes of people die in their ambitious dream state and go straight to hell. When I did this and God broke my house the pain was unbearable. If somebody were to ask me on a scale of 1 to 100 how much pain was I in when God applied this principle to my life I would have said 2000. Let me ask you a question --- Isn't that better than the eternal fires of hell? Be grateful when God intervenes in our life even if there is much travail.All these appetites must be mortified and subdued. Earthy things will vanish but the person that does the will of God will live forever. The truth of the matter is the things of this world are already in the process of dying. The object of our love has to be for God because the world will die but our affection to Jesus Christ will last for eternity. This particular love for God will never fail because true Christians are promised to be a heir of immortality to eternal life through Jesus Christ.If you are an unbeliever in Jesus Christ I hope I portrayed the gospel of Jesus Christ in an honest and accurate way. If you would like eternal life accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the living God into your life. Love God and remember that the world/lust will pass away but the person that does the will of God will abide forever in heaven.God Bless you,Bob D.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Saturday, October 07, 2017
The blessing of love and the warning of hateThe Apostle John starts out talking about an old commandment which is love. He urges Christians to walk through life with the true light shining through our spirit who is Jesus Christ Himself. He warns people in two out of five verses to watch out for people that have the spirit of hate in them especially those who say they are walking in the light. John does give the good news of believers in Jesus Christ who are walking in love but he also gives the end result of those who are living a life of darkness.(7) "Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. (8) Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. (9) He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. (10) He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (11) But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." 1 John 2: 7-11.John makes it very clear that he is not writing about a new commandment but an old commandment. "Old" means the beginning of time which would be the very first human being ever created by God who was Adam. Even after he sinned Adam still had this law written in his heart (love) but the problem is the conscience gets seared and some other negative emotion takes the place of this pure "Love" and literally replaces something good and now bad or evil wins this fight. Yes I am actually saying we have to be proactive and fight this spiritual warfare so ultimately if we put on the whole armor of God as mentioned in Ephesians chapter six we will be walking in the love of God through His Son Jesus Christ. Did you ever notice that people who are passive in their relationship with Jesus Christ always fall into some emotion that has nothing to do with God?(12) "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:12-13.Remember we are Christians now so the darkness we had in our life should be gone unless we allow it to become part of our lives and surface because of our neglect for our souls which is a lifestyle of repentance, faith and obedience to God. In many cases people that do not know Jesus Christ in a personal way for the most part really don't make any claims that they are not ignorant of the Son of God and His precepts but that should not be true for Christians because the "Light" who is Jesus Christ should be shining through our hearts. If this is not happening we should be doing everything before God to get right so this becomes a reality in our hearts. When John says in verse eight ... "And the true light now shineth" he is saying that we can not truly love unless this reality is taking place in our lives. This is difficult and what I mean by that is our approach has to be proactive because living clean before God is an everyday process.Jesus Christ is full of grace but that should also be true in our own lives. If darkness is distant from us Jesus Christ shines through our spirits and of course it will just come natural to desire and obey God. One thing many Christians do not realize is we are building on a foundation be it good or bad but this process is happening in our life for our eternity.If we allow this particular love from God to govern our souls we will be Christians who are approving the "Light." in life to be good, genuine, earnest and authentic. It will be easier for us to love other people that are not all that appealing. When we do this our heart is the same as Jesus Christ. We probably do not understand how much God loves everybody yet the Bible says "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:13. I suppose if there is one thing I grieve the most in my heart it would be this painful eternal reality that the Bible says is true.When verse ten says ... "There is no occasion of stumbling in him." It is in the context of a child of God allowing the true "Light" who is Jesus Christ to shine through him or her. This individual loves God and other people. It really does not matter what happens to this Christian because this person is so grounded in the Person of Jesus Christ that he or she can not fall because the proper foundation in this house has been built through the Person of Jesus Christ. He or she made the right choices by proceeding with these very principles John has written in 1 John 2:7-11.The Bible is extremely strong on Christian love because we value the soul of our brother in Christ but our heart is vexed at the mere possibility that something injurious could happen in their distress or easy going nature and circumstances thus stealing peace for themselves and even their family.It is interesting to me that in this particular passage John has bookends. In verse ten the Apostle is talking about loving his brother but the top verse (nine) and the bottom verse (eleven) John really desires to make his point that hatred is equated to spiritual darkness. Both love and hate are strong emotions but the thing with hatred is you have to keep feeding it over and over and this sin is never satisfied. I hope it is obvious that any person like this has malignity in their heart in a spiritually contaminated state because of this "Hatred" John is writing about to his readers. They are trapped in their own soul and in serious trouble with God.We need spiritual "Light" from Jesus Christ and this liberating truth has to be coming out of our spirit. We need to shine for God to others because they don't understand the love of Jesus Christ. John goes on to say that darkness is exactly what it says in that ... "He knows not whether he goes, because darkness hath blinded his eyes." If we are literally walking in the dark without light don't you think we will bang our legs on a table? We may even walk into a wall.Jesus Christ is the Lord of love so we should allow the "All Knowing God" to educate us because love will always be at the beginning, middle and end of our lives. Many people accept Jesus Christ into their hearts but disciples have got to have love in their hearts from God. This is a choice but giving that the Apostle John shows us the blueprint for the true "Light" who is Jesus Christ Himself shining in our hearts why would we be perhaps apathetic or strong on living in darkness through hatred in our hearts?If you are one who does not know Jesus Christ you may want to make a decision to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting Him into your life. This passage explains the precept of love rather than hate which just divides and destroys lives and perhaps the eternal destiny of a person or even worse many people.The choice is up to you but this passage of Scripture is very clear that allowing the true "Light" who is Jesus Christ to shine through our souls is the way God wants us to live. It is also what the redeemed saints, angels and other created creatures are doing in heaven and they will be rejoicing in this to the glory of God for all eternity. I hope and pray I have or am convincing you in the present tense that this is the truth and perhaps you will embrace what John says in this passage of the Bible for your life and eternity.God Bless you,Bob D.
Sunday, October 01, 2017
Obeying God, the love of the Holy Spirit and my personal life
The basic idea of these verses is to obey God so the Apostle John is switching his tone from the subject of sin to obeying the commandments of God as a lifestyle. This means obeying the precepts of the Bible and our call before God as we serve people in one capacity or another.According to this set of verses the more we obey God by faith with courage the greater degree of love we will receive from the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Verse five says if the love of God is in our hearts this is evidence that we are true believers in Jesus Christ. There are only four verses that will be analyzed but I also felt God desired me to really open up about my personal life. This is often hard for me because I am a very private person.I will share with you about the calls I received from God but a behind the scenes look and the background will be given to you. At the end of a movie sometimes the actors will be interviewed and we often times see a more up front look about the biography and the content. Let me just quote 1 John 2:3 - 6 so you can see the original script in the Bible because these four verses are very detailed but not without comfort.(3) "And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. (4) He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (5) But whoso keepeth His word, in him verly is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. (6) He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." John 2:3 - 6.The Holy spirit revealed something very specific about 1 John at this point. In the first part of the book John talks about not sinning or what to do if we do sin which is a form of obedience. Then the Apostle talks about "Knowing" Jesus Christ which means the Holy Spirit is shedding His divine "Light" and knowledge in our minds. This is supposed to prop us to stronger obedience to God.If the Holy Spirit sheds divine "Light" and knowledge in my mind and my choice is to go in the opposite direction of obedience then I am not being responsible or accountable with the wisdom of God. This passage says if we hear and know from God, to not obey His commandments is to be a liar. I would not have used that word (God knows way more than me) but what good is it if we receive divine light and knowledge from the Holy Spirit through the Bible or prayer and not apply this particular biblical precept to our lives? God desires us to progressively move forward in obedience to Him, not stay stagnant and do our own thing in life which is nothing more than ignoring Jesus Christ.At the very least our hearts should desire to obey God. If there are no openings in your life to serve Jesus Christ remember this happens all the time with Christians. God is looking at our hearts. Every time I got released from serving God on a project for His work Jesus Himself opened up a new opportunity for me to do my part for the Kingdom of God.I am not necessary going to open up with my life in chronological order but it is kind of interesting the way God operates in our lives because if I were given the choice my response would be, "No way" but God sees the entire situation, our life and our eternal future. We are not equipped to make these decisions about our call because quite frankly we see virtually nothing.God will show us what to do but in His timing. I was doing something for the Lord and it was going really well and then God decided to cut it off so I was entirely perplexed. I really wanted to serve and obey God. I wrote for this blog on occasion but it became more apparent that I was to do this on a more regular basis. Prior to that point I told the human owner of the blog (God owns this blog) that I would be leaving but Jesus Christ intervened in the middle of 2016 and told me that I would be doing this on more of a fulltime basis. I did not want this job.I remember a Bible teacher about 30 years ago said, "Unless God throws you in a closet and locks the door please do not become a teacher of the Bible." I had no idea what he was talking about but when it happened to me then I realized what this man was talking about regarding this subject.Many people will relate to this but I have a full time secular career over here in the United States. Ron Graham had a secular career over here and he was a writer. Unfortunately this very Godly man passed on to be with the Lord but I have to tell you it is difficult to have a job and still produce articles. As of now I am able to release one article per week and it just gives me so much joy that people are getting saved through Jesus Christ and Christians are being encouraged to keep abiding in Jesus Christ.Not once did anybody charge even one penny to get these messages out to you because freely we have received from God so freely we are going to give. Some ministries charge for sermons but I don't feel this is the proper way to present the gospel. Who determines the price God or people? People, so what figure is correct? One thing I learned is God will provide for us so we need to just put our faith in Him.I see so many cult like ministries out there that are controlling, manipulation, money orientated, intimidation and fear. Many of these churches do not even realize they are engaged in these practices and people do get hurt. I even have a hard time dealing with an individual that always has a hook and never really wants to talk to me as a person. I have been in these types of churches that had all of these qualities when I was young but the worst is when they throw false doctrine to a group of believers that usually take it in and allow non biblical precepts to alter their life in the wrong way. It looks great at the outset but that is the hook and then before you know it your body and spirit can be in all five of these bad sins and damage your soul.Churches are good if they are obeying God in love. In 1 John 2:3 - 6 never once does the Holy Spirit talk about a building or structure. The Apostle just talks about the pure sustenance of obeying God, the love of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and walking in all manner of conversation (how we live) so we need to focus on this as our way of life before God.In hindsight I can see the wisdom of God but if you are in-between calls the Holy Spirit will make your direction in Jesus Christ clear if your heart is right with God. I have been through this at least five different times in my life and it was not because I was bad or disobedient to Jesus Christ. God sees the entire blueprint, the Holy Spirit will give us direction but our heart must be warm toward God.I would not worry about the cosmetics of what and when because it is God who opens up the door for us to walk through in service for Him. I would be far more concerned with your motive and then everything else will fall into place through faith in Jesus Christ. Many Christians equate "Not knowing" with being disobedient to God but as of this very moment I have three to five issues pending and I really don't know what to do but I am fully confident that the Holy Spirit will show me the direction.If we read the Bible for direction the Holy Spirit will prepare our heart for obedience to God. The technical will come but we need to be patient. If it makes you feel any better in the different forks of my calls I never knew what I was doing but God is faithful and He showed me the way.When I was young God called me to be a street evangelist so I went to the big city filled with joy and anticipation but there was just one small problem and that was I did not know how to do what God called me to do. To make matters worse I went up to this seemingly nice women to ask her a question and she got her bag and started beating the ever living daylights out of me. Somehow I managed to get away and was very shaken up by the experience so I just walked the city and then settled on a spot. I realize some of you readers out there in internet land are probably laughing but how would you like to be called to do a task and your very first experience is to get beaten up by a tough street smart lady?After a couple of hours staying still God showed me exactly how to do the job. I just said, "Oh." I did this for approximately ten years and I never got beat up even once after that so what does that tell you? Hang in there and keep going. Call the devil's bluff and keep moving forward because God has a plan for your life.About seven years into the ministry God spoke to me on the streets and said, "Get all you can get out now because there is coming a time when you won't be able to do this anymore." He did cut His ministry off in my earthy possession and gave it to someone else because it was time for a new direction. Once again at the risk in repeating myself in hindsight I see the wisdom of God in what He did to execute a new program for so many souls to be saved through Jesus Christ. The real question is are we going to step out in faith and let God be God (the boss) in His timing so He can get His will out through us as His vessels.If you do not know Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Son of God in your life. As you can see much work goes into getting the great commission of getting the gospel out around the world. If you saw some bad examples of Christians I do realize this does happen and I have been just as guilty. It is part of being a human being but as this Scripture text says the pure reality of obeying God with the love of the Holy Spirit flowing out of our hearts and walking in all manner of conversation (the way we live) is a privilege and honor before God. I hope you just made that decision for your life and your eternity.God Bless you,Bob D.
Friday, September 22, 2017
What to do with our present sinsThe Apostle John is strongly focusing on one particular issue called sin but he is not interested in the person that walked down a Billy Graham crusade twenty five years ago in this particular context. He is concerned with the Christian that is battling sin in his or her life. Let me just list the verses that I will be explaining but understand that this problem is not only misunderstood but believers in Jesus Christ do not take this as serious as they should because their lifestyle is evident with a practice of transgressions.(8) "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." 1 John 1: 8-10.(1) "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (2) And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:1-2.I think verse eight is obvious because we all struggle with sin. The person that says he or she is perfect or sinless is just deceiving themselves; however, there are different degrees or levels of transgressions (the lesser sin or the greater sin) but the worst is to live our life in sin as a lifestyle with our consciences seared and no real genuine repentance. This is how our spirit becomes contaminated because a transgression is overtaking our heart and then this stronghold is controlling us instead of Jesus Christ Himself. If this ever happens to me you can be sure I will be dropping to my knees, not eating and praying for everything I'm worth to the Son of God to set me free.Notice in verse nine the Bible says, "If" so the responsibility to repent of our sins to God through His Son Jesus Christ is our accountability. If we don't we are allowing our consciences to be seared which is usually a very settle process. The frog is being boiled one degree higher every day and this creature before God does not even realize it is happening.If we walk around denying our sins then what we are doing is deceiving ourselves. If I noticed one thing about human beings we are easily deceived. It is in our nature to be susceptible to deception. One way we can go in the opposite direction is to sincerely and earnestly repent of our sins and let God through His Son make us clean with a clear conscience. Very few people do this and the more we get a trained eye easy observation will be given to us by God. In laymen's terms we will be able to look at someone and figure out if said individual is practicing this in their life before God.We do not want to deny our sins we want to deal with our transgressions. When we do not repent of our sins we challenge God as opposed to agreeing with God. Remember the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins but He did not just die for unbelievers He died for His children to be able to repent before the divine throne room of God. This is what this passage of Scripture is all about so please take it serious. If we do sin we have an advocate and His name is Jesus Christ.Verse eight and ten are clear because we have all sinned and if we say at present that are lives are perfect without transgressions we are deceiving ourselves. We will sin and we are to be in the practice of confessing our transgressions before God everyday. Even on my best day of being holy before God it would still fall short of allowing me to enter into heaven because in the sight of God it would be categorized as dirty rags. Jesus Christ is our perfect sacrificial atonement; however, according to verse nine we do need continual pardon of our sins. We are not supposed to be lax concerning our transgressions because one sin is a foothold to more transgressions. My question to you is why not go in the other direction in being mindful of your sins everyday (If you are not already presently doing so) and repent and forsake your transgressions?By repenting our sins to Jesus Christ through repentance we are being delivered from our guilt. God is faithful to His Word and He has promised to forgive His children through genuine confession. The repentance should always come with at least trying to forsake our sins. If this does not work then we have to acknowledge this before God every day. Do not even attempt to try and hid anything from God because I have done this and it is impossible. God is gracious to contrite believers in His Son Jesus Christ to cleanse from "All" sins from the guilt of their unrighteousness. If a child of Jesus Christ does not repent he or she will have to carry the sin but God desires to throw all our transgressions in the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again.John starts out in verse one of chapter two urging his brothers and sisters in the Lord not to sin so he is repeating himself but clearly he uses the word "If" you sin not "When" you sin. It is not mandatory that we commit a transgression. "If" we do sin we have an advocate and His name is Jesus Christ but our confession must be honest, genuine and authentic. Repeating the same words through habit does not mean anything to God.In verse two John uses the word "Propitiation" which is another word for substitution. Someone may ask substitution for what? Our sins. We can not atone for our own transgressions before God. I want to make a general observation. In 1 John chapter one up to this point the Apostle is talking about sin much to Christians so you can draw your own conclusions as to why but I believe the reason is because it is a critically important issue that God wants us to deal with on a daily basis.So far in this letter John is doing everything he can to discourage Christians from committing sins. John was for the most part always by nature affectionate but not without admonition. We as Christians should be the same way because we are to have love but not without conviction for good and against evil.Some believers see sin as a refuge but the real truth of the matter is Christians need a refuge from sin. Jesus Christ is our "Advocate" in heaven for our sins to His Father. He is not only our advocate but Jesus Christ is our judge. Since we violated the law of God and still do (some Christians way more than others) we must repent by going to the heavenly court of mercy and grace. It is amazing because we are so serious with human laws which can be corrupt but sometimes not very forthright with divine laws which have their origin from God.Jesus Christ always gives "Free" legal work because He is our advocate but most lawyers that I know of always charge a fee for their services. Remember we can still be forgiven of our sins but that does not mean we will not have to face the consequences of our transgressions because there is always a cost attached to them.Verse two describes our Lord as Jesus Christ the righteous. He is perfect, He is our advocate (Lawyer) and every one of His clients are guilty. Our innocence or righteousness can not be pleaded before His Father but His righteousness pleads to His Father for our offences/sins or transgressions --- whatever word you prefer but perhaps all three would be appropeate.If we sin/sins they go straight up to heaven and it is an offence. This is why we need mercy and forgiveness. Do you really think I am going to be at the judgment of Jesus Christ and plead for law to be applied to my verdict? We will be pleading for mercy at the Bema Seat which is an evaluation for Christians and this will be required for every child of God.At present Jesus Christ our advocate pleads for His clients (children) so their sins will not be imputed against them. I don't mean to speak in such legal terms about the grace of God but we can not separate the two. This forgiveness is offered to everyone unless that individual committed the unpardonable sin which means that their consistent sins before God were so bad through defiant rebellion against God without conscience over a long period of time that they actually crossed the line against holiness and righteousness which only God can determine because He sees everything. If you are reading this article with interest this does not even remotely apply to you, your life or your eternity. I am very concerned about the person that does not care or has a completely seared conscience against God.In the first paragraph I used the example that John was not talking about the person accepting the Lord into his or her heart at a Billy Graham crusade because it would be out of context with what the Apostle was talking about; however, if you have not even made that first step remember Jesus said, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." John 3:3.Anyone would have to take that first step into a relationship with Jesus Christ. At this moment you may want to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting Him into your life. If you just made that decision the Son of God has just come into your heart but remember according to this passage that I just went over we all should be continually repenting of our sins and doing our best to be living a clean life before God.When we do this remember we serve a big God and He will expand our horizons into other realms such as peace, love, joy, the profitable servant, loving God and other people. We serve an exciting God and the Christian life is not boring but in this context with these verses God wants our sins dealt with on a daily basis. That is why Jesus Christ died on a cross because He shed His blood for our sins. This is why Christians often times sing verses such as saved by the precious blood of Jesus. We all need to repent of our sins and ask God for the courage to forsake them so we will be living clean before Jesus Christ.God Bless you,Bob D.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
God is light and in Him is no darkness
This is a very interesting article because this Apostle explains what his role should be but the essence of this writing is a description of who God is and how we are to live as Christians. A very interesting detail of how we are not to live is also provided and the contrast is so clear that you will understand what category describes your life. You won't have to travel to far to figure this out; however, we all need to think or ponder this very deeply because our life determines our eternity.(5) "This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. (6) If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. (7) But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." John 1:5-8.It was the honor and privilege of the Apostle John to bring the gospel to the world. Jesus Christ knew exactly what he went through because He was in the flesh giving sermons to crowds so the Savior of the world Himself was able to relate to the Apostles. This goes for us also when we deliver the message that the Son of God desires to come into their hearts.Verse five is not only one of the most revealing passages in the Bible but it is the most popular reason people come to know Jesus Christ. He is "Light" and His perfection can be comprehended to a point but only if the Holy Spirit chooses to reveal this to an individual. We will never know everything God understands because we would be equal with our Savior Jesus Christ. This will never happen because we are His children and the Holy Spirit usually reveals a little at a time to us on a need to know basis.The average Christian that I observe does not walk around 100% of the time understanding the "Light." We are busy with the cares of this world and are surrounded by temptations. If Jesus Christ were to literally and physically come to us in all His "Light" at the very least our optic nerves would be blinded and we would never be able to see again so obviously that is not good.Here is how our relationship with Jesus Christ works because this is the plan of God. We accept Jesus Christ into our hearts and we draw close to Him and then He will draw close to us. (8) "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up." James 4: 8-10.The Bible gets even more specific as to what our role is to God and people. Before I continue we need to understand there is not one imperfection or defect in God. We are so used to dealing with people that have nothing but sins and mistakes in them and sometimes hope deep down we can make some kind of connection. There is an old saying, "You can count your friends on one hand."We look at someone high up in the world and then find a heart breaking imperfection. We get frustrated not only with that but the average person does not seem to radiate the countenance of Jesus Christ. The moral is unless we take the time to get to know the Lamb of God there is no hope in sinful man; therefore, if a person dies without Jesus Christ they will never see and experience this wonderful "Light" but only darkness and the dying process over and over again for all eternity. I hope people reading this article understand that Jesus Christ is the only way.It is very simple --- darkness sees the pure "Light" of Jesus Christ. We are supposed to be witnesses to people that don't know Jesus Christ and we tell and show them the "Light" who is the Son of God.We as Christians have the ability to become dark so it is important that we have devotional time with Him as much as possible. I'm busy in this dark world but we need the "Light" and His name is Jesus Christ.I mentioned at the beginning of this article that drawing close to God is not the only truth we are to be pursuing because the Bible talks much about our lifestyle. Quiet time with God is good but it must be incorporated with the way we live. "If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." 1 John 1:6. There are two ways to lie (1) Through word (2) Through our lifestyle.Jesus Christ is the "Light" but if we walk in darkness/sin as a lifestyle living in ignorance will be our way of life. The first thought that comes to my mind with this word is an insult to God and people. Jesus Christ is the "Light" and if no darkness is in Him He is perfect with no defects.God has to look and feel our erroneous lifestyle if it is not holy. If we habitually live this way we have no fellowship with Jesus Christ even if we say we do which according to the Bible is a lie. If that is the case we are lying in word and deed. Now we are adding insult to injury.If we have fellowship with God purity would be an example but it is interesting that John says ... "They lie and do not the truth." If our conscience becomes seared and we live a sinful lifestyle the pretense and the sin becomes the lie.John also talks about the person that lives the opposite way of the verse I just quoted which would be Christians that walk in righteousness which demonstrates that they truly know God. Christians that do not live this way are walking away from God. It is interesting that John adds ... "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." Why because this precious blood promise only applies to true Christians. This promise does not apply to the group in verse six. They just do what they want when they desire to do it, their consciences are seared and they almost never repent to God.It is a good idea not to just live for Jesus Christ but to repent to God our known and unknown sins every night but in the most sincere and earnest way. Transgressions are to be subdued until practically abolished but we will never walk around sinless as long as we are in this flesh walking on earth. In fact John addresses this issue in verse eight. I have never meant the perfect Christian that never sins. Even those that have heavenly fellowship with Jesus Christ sometimes fall but we must be on guard of deceiving ourselves, denying or excusing our sins. We are sinners saved by grace but it is a life of faith and love to our Redeemer with repentance.I think any reasonable person can see the difference between verse six and seven. The people in verse six really don't have any regard for God because their conscience is seared to the point where the snares and cares of this world are far more important than being right with God. In verse seven these people are walking in the "Light" who is Jesus Christ Himself. They are at least trying to talk the talk and walk the walk with God.If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord in "Light" of what the Apostle John says you may want to make a decision to repent of all your sins and invite Jesus Christ into your life. If you just made that decision live like the people in verse seven, not verse six for obvious reasons. You may want to read the verses in the second paragraph of this article to clearly understand how to live in the "Light" who is Jesus Christ Himself.God Bless you,Bob D.
Saturday, September 09, 2017
They saw Jesus Christ and heard the Son of God
The book of 1 John is one of the most detailed books in the entire Bible but it is also one of the most applicable to our lives. I just did a verse by verse analysis on the book of Philippians but John had a different writing style. Internet readers absorbed much truth in the book of Philippians but I needed to know the background as to why Paul said what he was trying to convey. 1 John is a little more simple but the content is filled with so much biblical application that I am still pondering what this great author said because he writes so much in such a short space so ask God for wisdom in this wonderful book.(1) "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life. (2) For the life was manifested, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. (3) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (4) And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." 1 John 1:1-4.I think it is very interesting that the Apostle John establishes that Jesus Christ was from eternity past in the very first sentence but I will delve into that far deeper as this articles progress. In the most general terms John was saying I am a witness because I heard, saw and touched Jesus Christ Himself.If you are a skeptic and do not believe the testimony of John, perhaps an agnostic or an atheist I want to make a point that you may want to consider before you render a verdict that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God. John wrote the book of Revelation at the end of the first century and in this account chapters 13,14 and 20 all talk about a chip that will be required by all people to take if they want to buy or sell things. At this point in the latter part of the year 2017 it has not happened yet but is indeed a prophecy for the future.I have done much research on this subject and know that all the major computers around the world are programmed for what Christians sometimes refer to as the mark of the beast. This will happen after the rapture of the church but it has already been introduced at present.How did John know this when he wrote the last book of the Bible? His world and reality was not even close to having this technology to implement this on any human being. Here we are approximately twenty centuries later ready for these chips to be implanted in human beings. Here are two verses which prove that John not only knew but that he is a credible witness. Why, because no person in this time frame could have even remotely understood this concept because they were not at all advanced in technology. This is a little off this subject but nobody can receive that mark and go to heaven because it is given and received in allegiance to the antichrist.(16) "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. (17) And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 13:16-17.In a courtroom if a witness answers questions regarding a case generally lawyers, judges and the jury want to know if that person is credible with the truth. I hope this helps you in making your decision about John because I personally believe he has credentials of being nothing but a truthful man.This passage refers to Jesus Christ as the Word of Life. The Son of God did not just utter words to be heard but every truth He spoke was of eternal value for us to apply in this world while we are still in our fleshly bodies. Jesus Christ is the everlasting Word of His Father.This passage says that the life was manifested but a little ways down the Bible says and was manifested unto us. Jesus Christ came from eternity past in the flesh because of His incomprehensible love for mankind. Eternal life came to visit mortals so they could have salvation through Him. The life, the Word of life and eternal life could not be seen or felt but since the Son of the Living God came in the flesh He could be seen, heard and felt. God needed eye witnesses and ear witnesses of His Son but the phrase in verse one is quite interesting because when the text says which we have looked upon, this does not just mean seeing Jesus but a rational interpretation was comprehended for them to make a conclusion that He was indeed the Son of God. We don't really know someone until we spend time with him or her in our life.I believe I made a pretty good case for John being a credible witness in a round about way but think about some of the events he observed in approximately three and a half years. He heard and saw the miracles, healings, sermons, the torture before Jesus went to the cross, the crucifixion, resurrection and heard and saw Him ascend back up to heaven with the promise that He would return at some future date.At the risk of repeating myself the phrase ... "Which we have looked upon" meant all these major events to allow their senses to formulate accurate information because hearing and seeing are registers to the mind. They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt and now John in particular was and still is an authentic witness to the world that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God.In this case their senses traveled to reason and judgment as opposed to the Pharisees whose hearts were hardened and consciences were seared. We need to ask ourselves which category we are in because it is one thing to be receptive to Jesus Christ but it is an entirely different reality to be hardened in our hearts against the Son of God. Believe it or not most people are in the middle and according to Revelation chapter three that is the one place we do not want to be because we will be lukewarm. If you desire read my article that was posted at the beginning of 2017 called, "A message to Laodicea." The reference of being lukewarm is in verse 15. John will extensively get into loving God and other people in 1 John but at this juncture he is testifying of Jesus Christ being the Son of God.In light of this sound conclusion that the Apostle John came to would you like to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life by living for Him. This is not just a decision for your life but for all eternity. I hope you just made that choice if you have not already done so because the Apostle John has much to say for your welfare in Jesus Christ throughout the rest of this book.Not only did John want to get his facts straight but he desired to go deeper and have fellowship with his brothers and sisters in Christ because he was truly saved in Jesus Christ. Not only was he redeemed from his sins but the reason he desired fellowship with his brothers and sisters in Christ was because his fellowship was with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.He was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit but I hear Christians say they get together with other Christians because they want a social event. When this happens I never see Jesus Christ at the center of the conversation because the foundation is not present within their spirit. The point John is trying to make here is we should see evidence of our faith when we get together as believers in Jesus Christ. Some Christians have it backwards. The highest Apostle and the lowest believer can have fellowship with one another through the Person of Jesus Christ. Why because our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. This fellowship brings us above both sin and the world into communion with God.One of the purposes John wrote to this body of believers which was not one particular church but to diverse churches was that their joy may be filled according to verse four. Joy is actually an advanced stage in the Christian life. It is a little bit of a mystery that sinful human beings can even have joy in their spirit. John wants them to rise to the top in their revelation through Jesus Christ.If you are not at that point in your Christian journey do not be to hard on yourself but understand that God does desire you to be in that place of your life. Pray about this issue with a sincere heart and see what the Holy Spirit will do in your life. You may be so upset right now that all you will be able to handle is the peace of God flowing through your heart. God knows exactly where we are in life but we must do our part and seek Him for direction.God Bless you,Bob D.
Saturday, September 02, 2017
A blessed review and a wonderful goodbyeThis is the very last article in this verse by verse analysis in the book of Philippians. I remember I was about to start a verse by verse study on Revelation chapter one and the Lord interrupted me and directed my review to the book of Philippians. I understood that there were people on internet land that needed to understand these four chapters because there is a tremendous need for Christians to apply the principles of this particular biblical content to their lives. I hope I was able to make this precious book more clear and break down the points Paul was trying to convey in a simple way with the motive of serving you (by the way it is always my pleasure) so you can apply these truths to your life in your church and on your job or where ever you are in your path down here on earth.In the first article which was titled, "A wonderful reunion" it was quite obvious that Paul and the Philippian church went through much together and he was just so happy to be reunited with this very special body of believers even if it was just in the form of a letter. I look at some of these "Reunions" in life and some are, "Well let's get together" but there was a lot of heart and soul with true Godly affection in this come together. Did you ever just like someone or a group of people and your heart just melts at seeing them again? This is the kind of love God desires us to have for our brothers and sisters in Christ because He has tender affection for us.The second article I wrote was called, "Godly love and expansion" and the main theme here involves these two verbs. Paul desired them to have love but with knowledge and judgment. He did not want their love to be blind. For example we should be reading the Bible and making Godly conclusions for our life. When Paul was in prison while writing this letter he knew people were proclaiming Jesus Christ with the wrong motive but all the Apostle cared about was the expansion of the gospel. Right reasons, wrong reasons if people were coming to know the Lord that is all that he longed for but let this be a lesion to every one of us that our motives better be right when we endeavor for the Lord Jesus Christ because there will be no reward in heaven if why were doing what were doing is for the wrong reason.The third article I wrote was called, "To the glory of God through Jesus Christ." Paul makes a transition from examining Christian leaders and their motives because it became apparently obvious to him but not necessarily understood by the people listening to these teachers but they were still inviting Jesus Christ into their hearts. He then goes vertical with his personal relationship with God and empathies giving Jesus Christ the praise and glory. Just one word of advise because we need to be listening to Christian leaders on where their "Empathies" is first and foremost because this observation is going to determine if they are biblically sound and heading in the right direction. If they are off on some tangent with their empathies then the listeners like sheep are going to follow because Jesus Christ is not at the center of the congregation and the body of believers listening are not going to be grounded in the word of God.The forth article I wrote is called, "Should I stay or should I go." Paul goes over this dilemma on whether it would be better if he stayed on Planet Earth or went to heaven. He knew full well that there would be no more temptation of sin in heaven with much joy but he finally settled on the fact that this Apostle needed to stay because the needs of other people were great. We do not determine when we are born nor do we determine when God will take us on home to be with Him for all eternity. This was understood but he was torn between the two and I am one that much appreciated his opening up of his soul being split two different ways because I have faced the same struggle in my path on earth.In the fifth article I wrote, "How to love one another" and I would have to say this may be a good writing to review because there were enough specifics to go over because God places a high empathies on this subject. We can do something without love and as a result all kinds of bad noise comes out of our spirit and hurts other people in a bad way. The domino effect takes place where they encounter other people and this just goes on and on until someone actually makes a conscious decision to express this type of affection to everyone around them because he or she is making the right choice by obeying God and being in His will.Article number six is called, "The essence of Jesus Christ" which has amazing content in it because Paul is reviewing the horizontal (how to love one another) to the very essence of who Jesus Christ is but notice he did not delve into this subject until he explained the horizontal and then Paul goes very deep into the heart of who Jesus Christ is especially in relation to us as Christians. What good is keeping our focus on Jesus Christ without being able to relate it to our lives? Exploring the essence of Jesus Christ is wise so if you have to review this article it is posted and Paul does get very specific in the verses. This should touch our soul when we go on a journey in understanding who Jesus Christ is and His resurrection power especially on how it relates to us in our Christian journey down here on earth.Article number seven is called, "Rejoicing and mourning" and this is so true to our lives but Paul was one of the few people I ever encountered that knew how to blend the two together into one. We will mourn in this world but to just stay there is counterproductive because rejoicing is to be incorporated with our grief. This is when we can just thank, praise and glorify God in pain and hardships. It is an expression to the Triune Godhead that in the middle of our problems we are putting our faith in God, giving praises to Jesus Christ for who He is and what He is going to do in our life because we do love Him and our called according to His purpose.Article number eight is called, "Persecuted or the persecutor." Paul describes the types of Christians that are prone to persecution because of their strong stance for Jesus Christ. They are on the right side of true faith and obedience to Jesus Christ. These individuals would never even dream of persecuting anyone because they are in a position before God to stay the course and endue for Him until the end. The persecutors are very earthy in their thoughts and rely on their own strength which produces pride and often goes to the next step into persecuting true believers in Jesus Christ. This is history and it is also what the Bible teaches will happen in the last days. We are in the general vicinity of the rapture and the seven year tribulation period which the world will soon have to go through but true believers are promised a snatching away before this time period starts so make sure you are right with Jesus Christ or you will be left behind.Article number nine is called, "Living for Jesus Christ and the hope of heaven." I can always tell if a person is living for Jesus Christ. Most decent people do not and it is sad to see them allow the cares of life rob them of their relationship with the Son of God who died for their sins. On the other hand I can always tell if a person is living for Jesus Christ. When I see this there is always the hope of heaven attached to their devotion to the Lord because we are just passing through this old world but our true hope is in heaven because that is our ultimate home. We are not staying down here but are living for Jesus Christ because this is our only true option. He is preparing us for heaven.Article number ten is called, "Reaching and pressing with hope." Paul desired to put his empathies on two words which are reaching and pressing but it was for the high calling in Jesus Christ. How serious do we take the high calling we have in Jesus Christ? It should be our number one priority but we should strive with Godly hope. People reach and press when they run a race and this is what we should be engaging in our Christian life. This high calling involves reaching and pressing to know Jesus Christ and His resurrection power. We are laboring for Him for the right reason of pointing to the Son of the Living God, not ourselves because it is all about Jesus Christ. We are just the vessels in the hands of God.Article number eleven is called, "The peace of God keeping our hearts and minds." We as Christians are granted a very special promise that if we trust in God through His Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The fear and anxiety will not be there because this peace will transcend over our excessive cares in life and work through our spirit by experience. I shared a very touching story of my grandmother who got saved by reading Philippians chapter four every night before she died and finally got saved through Jesus Christ. It just goes to show us we really don't know what God may use in the life of a person to bring him or her to Him.Article number twelve is called, "A special word in observation but content in Jesus Christ." I let loose in the beginning of the article explaining the main problem I was seeing in the average person I observed or talked to which is they never got the sin condition settled before God in most cases because of the cares of this world. Remember demons have about six thousand years of experience in making sure said person has apathy about the truths of God and they probably won't bother you if they know they have you in their possession. Just because everything is fine in your life does not mean you are going to heaven. Unfortunately there is only one other place and that would be hell. This is a horrible existence but if you do nothing then how can you possible expect to go to heaven?I would like to extend an invitation to you to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all sins and inviting the Son of the Living God into your life by living for Him. This is a decision for your life and eternity and it will be the wisest choice you ever made in your life because it will last forever.In article twelve Paul expresses how content he was in Jesus Christ. We can not feel at peace through something worldly or earthy because it is temporary and subject to change.Finally at the end of the book of Philippians Paul says his goodbyes to a wonderful body of believers. In verse twenty, "Now unto God and our Father be glory forever and ever, Amen." He just kept giving glory to God and that is what we should be doing in our life.When Paul said goodbye to this church it is obvious that he had a genuine love for all good Christians. Then of course he ends with, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen." Well I say the same thing to you so ...God Bless you until next time,Bob D.