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Monthly Archives : June 2019

SHOES… THE GOSPEL OF PEACE …… EPHESIANS 6:14 ….. JUNE 16, 2019

As shoes for the feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15 ESV

Could you begin to imagine a solider in battle with bare feet? Glass, rocks, and sharp sticks would be all that is needed to cripple that solider. The devil does not want you to be ready for the battles you will face by having your feet protected with the gospel of peace. If the gospel of peace is lacking in the Christian’s life, so is the strength to stand. The gospel of Jesus should bring peace into your life and not condemnation because you are in Christ. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 ESV The gospel of peace is Jesus and his… SALVATION…. DELIVERING US FROM THE CONSEQUENCE OF SIN. It is his story of salvation for the world, provided by the loving God of all creation.

PERSONAL SALVATION:
The gospel of peace will be evident in a person’s life when they have experienced it personally. It is God’s story in lives revealing the saving grace he has abundantly poured into us.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV

God did what he did so that we might pass from death unto life when we believe. (John 5:24) Personal salvation does not happen by a formula of scriptures… saying or quoting the right scripture or verses. However, scripture gives insight as to how to securely know that you are saved. Salvation is the repentance of sin and a life change by no longer living only for yourself but choosing to follow God and being his disciple. It is a life dedicated to loving God after coming to know his great love for us, in that he became flesh, lived, died and rose again. A few Bible passages that point us in the direction of committing our life to him are ……. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek: for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved Romans 10:9-13 ESV ……..If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV ……
Many people believe salvation is acquired by working or living well. This will never bring peace, for this person will always be hoping and wondering if they have done enough. If you feel you must work to gain salvation, then let me give you a couple of Bible passages to reflect upon … Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God? Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:28-29 ESV ……… For by grace you have been saved through faith. And it is not of your own doing; IT IS A GIFT OF GOD, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8 ESV Any work done as a Christian is not for salvation, but is the result of salvation. (James 2:18) The gospel of peace is not because of who we are but who we are in Christ. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are is Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 ESV

CONFIDENCE IN SALVATION:
When times become difficult it may seem hard to stand. It is during these difficult times one learns just how well they have dressed in God’s spiritual armor. The shoes in the Roman armor were said to have small pieces of metal on the bottom to help them dig in, thus enabling the soldier
to stand his ground. The shoes in God’s armor would have scripture points reminding us of who we are and enabling us to stand.
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13 ESV
The confidence we have is not in ourselves but in the promised Holy Spirit, who has sealed us with a guaranteed inheritance. This should give us peace of heart and mind. In the Old Testament they did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit in their lives, but they still praised, worshiped, and recognized that God is the God of salvation.
On God rest my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Psalm 62:7 ESV
Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverance from death. Psalm 68:20 ESV
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2 ESV
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stall, yet I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD; I WILL TAKE JOY IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on high places. Habakkuk 3:17-19 ESV

Confidence is not dependent upon circumstance but upon the truth we know, and this is what we can know to be true……. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor power, nor height, nor death, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8; 38-39 ESV……. God who saved us, will keep us, no matter what the devil tells us. Peace and confidence comes from knowing him personally as Savior and Lord.

SHARING THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION:
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:15 ESV The shoes in God’s armor are not a fashion statement; they are a statement of proclamation- proclaiming the good news to all who will hear. A person who is deaf, hears with their eyes so to speak. They will read your lips in order to understand what you are saying. The person who does not know Christ personally is spiritually deaf and will hear what you are saying by how you walk in relationship with Jesus. This brings to light the importance of the saying … don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk. Here are some ways we are to walk…….
Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2 ESV
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him. Colossians 2:6 ESV
Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2:6 ESV

APPLICATION:
Think of someone you know who does not know Jesus as Savior. Pray and intentionally walk the gospel of peace before them this week and in the weeks to come. Think what you might do to share with words and action the story of God’s salvation / gospel. Do not worry about how well you can do this for it is not a performance; it is caring for someone who has not the hope of Christ. And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 1 Corinthians 2:1 ESV It is the power of the gospel to save, not our performance. Live on purpose for God, and God will give your life purpose.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ….. EPHESIANS 6:14 ….. JUNE 2, 2019

Stand therefore, having fastened the belt of truth, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Ephesians 6;14 ESV

There are two types of righteousness; self-righteousness and God’s righteousness. Self-righteousness is based on works, and God’s righteousness is based on grace. Self-righteousness will brag or can be puffed up and is based on all that person perceives they do or how they perform. God-based righteousness will brag on the goodness of God and love Him for the covering of His righteousness on one’s life. The first piece of the armor was truth, and it is imperative that you have truth before you put on the breastplate. Just as all the armor is protective in nature, God’s righteousness has benefits that self-righteousness doesn’t have.

PROTECTION:
No one is a match for all the attacks the devil will make in life. The breastplate, as all pieces of the armor, is important for its protection of all the vital organs, especially the heart. If protection is not given to the heart, you become an easy target for Satan to destroy. Remember, the heart and the mind as a Christian are linked together. Depending on the translation, concerning the heart, Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard, watch, or keep the heart above all else. Why? For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their THINKING, and their foolish HEARTS were darkened. Romans 1:21 ESV If you would place Jesus’s name with each piece of armor you might be able to visualize better the importance of putting on this armor for protection. (i.e. Jesus’ truth, Jesus’ righteousness, Jesus’ shoes, Jesus’ shield…etc) The armor of God is available to every Believer/ Christian, but there is a personal responsibility to … put it on….. daily.

SECURITY:
Attempting to be righteous in our own strength will create the burden on guilt when failing. This makes a person feel insecure, for this is a works-based righteousness. Jesus’ righteousness will grow you to love Him more, for you did nothing to earn it….. it is a gift given by grace and mercy . Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. Romans 4:4-5 ESV…..
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 ESV….. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing, it is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

CONFIDENCE:
And now little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you many be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 1 John 2:28-29 ESV
To put on the breastplate of reghteousness is to have Christ in your heart/life. If you have the breastplate of reighteousness, you will live on purpose for God because of his imputed righteousness. It is impossible to sin successfully as a Christian. Sin, yes…. successfully, no.

APPLICATION:
This week reflect upon an area in your life that always seems to be where the Devil attacks you. He sees a weakness in you, and you need to protect that area with the breastplate of righteousness. Make much of Jesus and give no place for the Devil…. STAND in the strength and protection Jesus gives. In every situation of life be … more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:327 ESV …. Know and believe you can ….. do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 Find a verse or scripture passage that will help you focus upon God and use it to not sin against Him. I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 ESV Have a blessed week because of Jesus’ love, grace and mercy.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

THE BELT OF TRUTH…….EPHESIANS 6:14……JUNE 2, 2019

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth. Ephesians 6:14a ESV

The belt of truth is the first piece of armor which the Christian is instructed to put on. This truth is knowing that Jesus is God’s only Son, that he died, was then buried and rose from the dead on the third day. This truth is unchanging and will remain so throughout eternity. This truth is established in the mind with unwavering conviction and belief in what Jesus said concerning Himself.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and THE TRUTH, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV
Jesus is best described as absolute truth in which there can be absolutely no compromise. Remember that this is not a physical armor, but the armor of God used to stand against all that the Devil will use against you ….. his schemes, his lies, and his deception. To have the belt of truth is to have a means by which you can attach the Sword of the Lord, which is the word of God. We will discuss the sword later in more detail, but it must be remembered that the sword is the word of God, and the word of God will mean little to you if you don’t have the belt of truth. Jesus would then be just another way, and not The Way. Not knowing the truth gives credence to other writings or ways to hopefully be enlightened, which are the schemes, lies, and deception of the devil. To put on the belt is to put on Jesus and the protection that He will provide. Jesus in your heart will be Jesus on your mind, and the mind is to think on God.
Finally, brothers, whatever is TRUE, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if anything worthy of praise, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS. Philippians 4:8. ESV The only person I know who fulfills all these characteristics is Jesus! So how do we go about putting on truth?

BELIEVE:
For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in TRUTH that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. John 17:8 ESV
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 ESV

Believing will determine how you stand concerning the truth. Satan will warp and distort the truth, attempting to cause doubt concerning Jesus. It will be as it was in the garden when he said to Eve, “Did God actually say, You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?” Genesis 3:1 ESV Jesus is God in the flesh, the perfect lamb of God that came and died and rose again, redeeming all who will believe, repent, and call upon His name for salvation. This is absolute truth and absolutely true. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which WE MUST BE SAVED. Acts 4:12 ESV

LOVE:
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him. 1 John 3:18-19 ESV

Love for truth (Jesus) will cause you not to just talk about the truth but live on purpose with action in the truth in which you stand. You will do so, for you cherish and hang upon every word given to us by God through the evidence of truth in His Son. Again, this will cause you to live on purpose for God. …..Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. James 1:22 ESV

STAND:
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth. Ephesians 6:14 ESV

If you believe and love, you will stand, being girded up with the truth and ready to sing in the battles of life the hymns like “Standing On the Promises”, “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand”, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”….. We stand up because Jesus stood in the gap …… the mighty gulf of sin that separated us from God. We stand protected and covered by the truth of His word that we are redeemed by the blood of the lamb and we are no longer separated from God because of our sin. We stand on and for truth…..JESUS!!

APPLICATION:
This week, take your Bible and look up every reference concerning truth that you can find. Find a verse that will sustain you in the daily battles, and memorize the verse or write it down to remind you that you are standing on the truth of God’s word as a Christian. Remember that Satan is and always has been the father of lies. Satan is no match for the truth, and the truth of Jesus will set you free.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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