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Monthly Archives : June 2018

Jesus In Ephesians …. Our Grace …… June 24, 2018

     But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6 ESV

     This is the message… the gospel… the good news: that the God of mercy has done for us what we could not do for ourselves.  He makes us alive in Christ by his GRACE.  What is grace and how does it work?  Grace is God giving us blessings that we don’t deserve.  The greatest blessing is being made alive in Christ Jesus.  We were dead in our sins and God chose to give us the blessing of a new life in Christ.  Not because we deserved it in any fashion, but God, full of mercy and love, did and does what defines God throughout the Bible.  He acts in ways beyond our comprehension.  So how should we respond to this great blessing, privilege, and honor of being made alive in Christ and seated with him in heavenly places?

Walk In Unity:
     I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to WALK IN a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and though all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6

    Unity among believers is extremely important in how one comes to Christ. In Christ we are one body made up of different responsibilities, with one not being more important than another. The emphasis must be Jesus and the grace of God. This will cause the church to come together not by rules but in the grace by which we were called. The world’s view is divided on how one comes into relationship and salvation as Christian. Those who are in Christ should not be. We are saved by the grace of God – nothing else. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Walk The Christian Life On Purpose:
    Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. Ephesians 5:1 CSB
     
It would pay you to read the rest of Ephesians chapter 5 through chapter 6:9, as well as the last few verses from chapter 4 starting with verse 17. These verses are not talking about rules to keep, but a lifestyle to be lived as a result of the new life you have in Christ. People who are alive live on purpose for God. Dead people are simply that – dead to the things of God and the lifestyle that reflects the evidence of Christ in their life.

Stand Against Satan’s Schemes:
     Finally, be strengthened by the Lord by HIS VAST STRENGTH.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11 CSB

     Have you ever gotten dressed by accident?  For most every occasion, we dress on purpose.  When dressing for work, meetings, recreation, bed, etc. we generally have clothes for those purposes.  When dressing for the Christian life we have an outfit for that as well…. armor that has been designed and fashioned by God. If the Christian’s life was just a life of ease, we would dress for a a cruise ship; but instead, concerning life and living as a Christian, we dress for battle. Battle not against each other but the warfare that takes place in the heavens which we are not able to see. It’s hard enough to fight the battles we can see, but the battles we cannot are even more difficult. That is why we fight in HIS VAST STRENGTH and not our own.  Never forget that Satan is as a roaring lion.  Be sober-minded; be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8 CSB
Note… Satan is our adversary, not each other. He will pit us against each other to weaken us in the body, making it easier to be devoured by him. Lions will normally prey on the weak and hurting, for it is easier to take down this one than one that is healthy. This is why, as I began with, you walk in unity as Paul in this letter discussed. Satan has no power agains those who are united in Christ by God. He will come against them… but He will not devour them.

 

     Let me close with this thought…. sit, walk, and stand in Christ, for this is the identity you should have in Christ.  You are identified as one of his because this describes you as a Christian every day that you live.

Because of HIS Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In 2 Corinthians …. Our True Test …… June 3, 2018

     Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you failed to meet the test.  Corinthians 13:5 ESV

     Paul addressed the church in Corinth with a second letter as challenges continued to arise among those who called themselves Believers. In the first letter he addresses sin and division that had infiltrated the church. In the second letter he tells them to examine or test their salvation to make sure that they truly are the of the household of faith. Paul was not known for his speaking ability nor his stature; and as a result, the church of Corinth began to question his credibility. (11:506… 10:10) As in all of Paul’s ministry, he pointed them to Jesus as being the reason for his faith. He even pointed out that they were a church because he had introduced them to Jesus and planted the church in Corinth. (3:1-4) His credibility was not man-centered, but God-centered in Christ Jesus, and he made this clear to them. There are other issues Paul addressed, but the greater challenge for them was to examine or test them selves concerning their relationship with Jesus. Jesus must be the center of everything in the Christian life….He must be the reason for everything, without exception. Anything less would create an inferior presentation of the gospel. God sent Jesus to redeem sinners to Himself – Sinners must believe, repent, and call upon the name of Jesus, for there is salvation in no other. So how does one go about testing themselves in the faith?

Examine:
    The dictionary definition of examine as a verb is this…. to inspect (someone or something) in detail to determine their nature or condition; investigate thoroughly. The examination Paul is challenging those of Corinth with is this:  to see whether you are in the faith. To be a Christian is more than just going to church or making the claim, “I am a Christian.” Have you ever heard someone make the statement concerning a person, “They are the real deal”? Why would one say that? actions. Actions regarding how a person speaks and lives. Understand when examining yourself, you are not looking for salvation in speech or works, but in the evidence of salvation that has already happened. To have experienced salvation in Jesus is to experience a life change in how you live life every day.  Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works. James 2:18 CSB

Test Yourselves:
     Understand that being a Christian is not comparing yourself to other Christians. Could you imagine a student in school saying to a teacher after failing a test, “Well, at least I didn’t fail as badly as              “? Testing yourselves is testing your daily actions by how you know and believe Jesus would have you live. Colossians 3:1-17 pretty much sums up how we are to live after we have become a Christian. It would do us all well to memorize or be very familiar with this text. To do well in the test of life, you must know well the answers to the questions of life. The Holy Spirit will help you and grow you if He truly is living in you.

Jesus In You:
     Understand, you will never live perfect this side of Heaven, but it should be your desire. (1 John 2:1-6) If Jesus lives in you, your walk through this world will be about loving Him, not making excuses for the way you are. When you recognize sin in your life, repentance should be a natural response. When Jesus forgave or healed a person, He told them to, “sin no more.” (John 5:14 & 8:11) Jesus must become the focus for everything you do. You are called to be holy people. (1 Peter 1:13-15) What makes you holy is the Holy Spirit living in you. Remember, the Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Knowing your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit should cause you to want to use the cleaning supplies of God’s grace, mercy, and the blood of Jesus to stay clean. 
     Remember the statement of Jesus when addressing those who were religious but did know know Him as Lord and Savior. “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.” Matthew 7:21 ESV

What is the will of the Father?

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and BELIEVES in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40 ESV

     Let me close with this thought…..What you believe will determine how you live.

Because of HIS Grace ~Pastor David

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