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Monthly Archives : October 2018

Jesus In 3 John …. Our Fellowship In Truth …… October 28, 2018

     For I rejoice greatly when the brother came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:3-4 ESV

     Jesus taught that he is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father except by him. (John 14:6) Jesus is referring to the salvation of a person’s life, and this salvation will change how that person lives. One of the changes that it will cause is how the fellow believer will walk in love and fellowship with one another. Part of the fellowship for Christians is receiving one another in the love of Christ and encouraging each other to walk in this new life as a believer. It is hospitality with fellow believers, thereby showing the world what a life in Christ should be. You can see in Romans 12: 9-21 the evidences that should be a reality in the life of a believer.

Be A Testimony Of Truth:
     John was happy and encouraged when he heard how Gaius (vs1-3) lived well the Christian life by reflecting the truth of Christ. The truth in which a Christian should live is not a set of rules but acknowledging the grace by which we are saved. When you are aware that you are saved by the mercy and grace of Christ alone, your walk will give evidence of that gospel…. good news… by how you live.

Walk In Truth:
     We must all ask this question concerning the life we say we live as Christians: Does my talk match my walk? Yes, there are marks and evidences in your life as a Christian as taught in Romans 12 but that is not what makes you a Christian. These evidences are the results of becoming a Christian; they don’t make you a Christian. When a person lives trying to be good and thinks that is how they will one day go to heaven, they will use phrases like, “Well at least I don’t do this or that as compared to another.” There is only one person with whom we should compare ourselves …. JESUS. To this comparison You would say, “I could never match up to him,” and you would be so right. When you have this understanding, you are on the first page of understanding why it is called the gospel…. good news. What we could never do on our own, he did for us on the cross…. and took the consequence of our sins. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV  That is why when we say we walk in truth, we are saying Jesus lives in us and the life we have is not our own. Jesus becomes the address of where we live in Christ. In him we live and move and have our being. Acts17:28 ESV  Again …… that should be the life address as a Christian. (Read 1 John chapter one verse 5 to chapter two verse 6)

Truth Brings Joy:
     Not everyone who hears the truth will be drawn to it, but those who do will experience joy and fellowship with other Christians, and most importantly, with God. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortals bodies through his SPIRIT WHO DWELLS IN YOU. Romans 8:11 ESV ….. The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY , peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 ESV  My personal thought on this last verse is that true spiritual fruit will affect each other in the order they are listed.

     The life the Christian experiences is ALL because of Jesus. Fellowship as Christians is totally the result of walking well with him. He gave us every example we need to live life well; and then as a heavenly Father, He teaches us to walk. It doesn’t happen any faster for us than it does for a child learning to walk. But as a child learning how to walk who often holds the hand of another, may we never grow to the point that we ever turn loose of the hand of Jesus. As we hold on to Jesus, and more importantly, as he holds on to us, may we move toward Heaven where we will never again have the stumbling blocks of sin causing us to fall. Remember we are weak, but He is strong! Again, never let go of his hand, and know he will forever hold you….. in sweet fellowship.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In 2 John …. God Made Flesh …… October 21, 2018

     And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 2 John 1:6 ESV

     John continues in this second letter addressing false teachings concerning the truth of Jesus coming in the flesh. This false teaching would deny truth as taught in the Gospel of John affirming the coming of God in the flesh via His Son Jesus. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 ESV  Then just a few verses later John teaches, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 ESV  God, in his love for us, sent his only Son into the world to be the perfect Lamb of God. A lamb in the flesh that died and was placed in a grave and then rose again to conquer the curse of sin…. death. The reason Satan so desires to perpetuate this false teaching would be to nullify the truth of Salvation. Understand, for God to be flesh meant, blood flowed through his veins, and that blood was shed on a cross for the forgiveness of our sin. Indeed, under the law almost everything purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22 ESV  It is imperative as Christians that you believe God did just as he said – that he came in the flesh. That he lived, died, and rose again is the whole gospel of good news to the one that recognizes that he is a sinner in need of God’s  forgiveness. So, as Christians, how do we battle this false teaching, as well as, other deceptions Satan introduces?

We Walk In Truth:
     With no apology the Christian walks in the truth of God’s word. I rejoice greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were  commanded by the Father. John 1: 4 ESV  The only way a person can walk in the truth is for the truth to abide within them. (1 John 1: 2) When as a  Christian you walk in truth, you desire to walk in harmony with the teaching of God’s word- the Bible. You walk in such a way that it gives evidence of the Spirit of God living in you only made possible by God. This truth has set you free from the power of sin and death. (Romans 8: 1-11)

We Walk In Obedience:
     We walk according to his commandments 2 John 1:6 ESV  Yes, we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), but grace will walk in harmony with God’s commands. Salvation is not a ticket to heaven but in salvation we are to live in a way that reveals the truth that lives within us. Salvation is God saving us by grace and mercy, and our walk is showing evidence of that reality. Jesus said this in John 14: 15 ESV, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Which takes us to the next point……

We Walk In Love:
     Love is not an emotion although often times we feel emotion with love. Love is a command given to us by Jesus. Love acts on truth even though that may not alway feel warm and fuzzy with emotion. Love is doing what must be done in order to reflect God. The cross was a gruesome way to die, yet love put Jesus on the cross to show the hideousness of our sins, and the measure by which God was willing to take to redeem us back to Himself. He commands us to love as he loved us. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12 ESV … Theses things I command you, so that you will love one another. John 15:17 ESV  (It would be of value to read John 15: 1-17 to receive the full context of Jesus’s command.) We can truly love if we abide in Christ, and abide means to live there.

     Christians will discern false teachings when walking in true love for their Savior. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life in which we are to live. (John 14:6) Satan’s lies are alway nullified when as a servant you live truth out loud in speech and action. So as Christians, let us nullify the false teachings of Satan by walking in truth, obedience, and love showing that we believe that God really did come in the flesh to redeem the world from sin.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In 1 John …. The Light …… October 14, 2018

     This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1: 5-7 ESV

     I enjoy light; and if Mary would let me, I’d have almost every light in the house on when it is dark outside. Darkness restricts our ability to see the good and bad that surrounds us, and without light we tend to stumble and move slowly. This is true both spiritually and physically. In the spiritual application, God is light, and sin is darkness, of which Satan is the father. Light, in the physical world, dispels darkness and a person can move through a room or area with ease, seeing all the obstacles that could trip them or cause them harm. Darkness, on the other hand, will cause a person to move very slowly and can cause you unnecessary pain if you fall or trip over unseen obstacles. To be spiritually blind is to walk in perpetual darkness, but to walk in light is to have the ability to see that which is only explainable by God. This is why John Newton, in his song Amazing Grace, wrote the lyrics “I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see.” To know God is to understand that He is the light of the world, and when creating the physical world, he separated light from darkness. (Genesis 1:4 16-18) The spiritual light rules over darkness just as the physical light we see with our eyes rules over the darkness described in Genesis. This is the message of 1 John, and is our message to the world today – that…..

God Is The Light:
     Not much has changed in Satan’s schemes in the world or church concerning false teachings. False teachings and lies were part of the concerns and reason for John writing 1, 2, & 3 John. John started where God started in the very beginning of all things…. with light. God was and is the beginning of all things, and is eternal, for in him is no darkness. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the LIGHT of men. The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1: 1-4. ESV …… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the father, full of grace and truth. John 1: 14 ESV  One of the false teachings was that Jesus was not God’s son, and attempts were made to dispel him as the Messiah. As Christians, we know this is false because the light of God dwells and shines in our hearts. (2 Corinthians 4:6) To deny this is to not be of Him, for Jesus, in the Christian, will not deny Himself. Light has revealed this to the Christian and in this light is no darkness.

Fellowship With Darkness:
     The real lie is to say you have fellowship with God, yet walk or continually practice a sinful lifestyle. God did not bring the Christian into the light to embrace sin but to reveal sin that we might confess it and then walk in love for God. It should be frustrating for the Christian to sin, for the practice of sin will without exception separate you from fellowship with God. God does not have fellowship with darkness for He is light, and just as in Genesis- He separated them from each other. ( 1 John chapter 3)

Fellowship Because Of Jesus:
     The light of fellowship is a reality; for when we walk in the light, we have fellowship with others who do the same. Jesus recognizes Himself within fellow believers. God chooses to dispel Spiritual darkness by His collective light in believers perhaps much like the stars of the heavens do in the darkness of night. Take away the stars, and all you have is darkness. The stars in the darkness enabled sailors to navigate through the oceans. Christians should so shine in the darkness that it enables those who are lost to navigate to God. Fellowship with one another in love shows the world that we are different because of Christ living in us, or at least that is the way it is suppose to be. It should be this way because the blood of Jesus cleansed us from all sin, and we are to no longer walk in that sin. Loving your sin will keep you from God, but loving God will keep you from sin.

     Let this be a challenge for you this week. Evaluate your life to see if any sin is causing your fellowship with God to be diminished. If it be so, then confess it. Live as a Christian who is called to walk in the light and fellowship with God. Jesus said these words in Matthew 5: 14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good words and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  The light in us for the world to see is the light of God. May your life truly give evidence of His light.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In 2 Peter …. The Gospel of Salvation …… October 7, 2018

     Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our GOD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1 1-2 ESV 

     There is nothing new under the sun concerning the deception and craftiness of Satan. He deceives and leads astray anyone who will follow him away from the truth/truths of God. Peter was about to be martyred for his faith and teaching. Peter teaches and challenges Christians to live strong in the faith that they have been called to in Christ Jesus. Christians are called to a higher standard of living in order to be a witness of the salvation we have in Christ. (Read 2 Peter 1:3-8) Living well in Christ will also have the benefit of reminding you of who you are in Him. (vs 12-15) There are some things we always remember
as Christians…..

     Servants are just that …. servants. Servants of Jesus Christ will not exult themselves; they simply serve, for that is their calling. Peter was about to be martyred for his faith; and with a servant mentality, as recorded according to tradition, he was crucified upside down, for he said he wasn’t worthy to be crucified as his Lord. I wonder what type of affect this might have had on those who were crucifying him? You are about to die a hideous death, but as a servant of the most high God you did not want to be recognized as equal with the God/Savior you served, but even in death wanted to serve Him as Lord. To learn how to be a servant in this way, study the ultimate servant…. Jesus. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 ESV  Imagine how this might change the world we live in if people followed Jesus’s example.

     Jesus is the Savior of the world, for He was the perfect Lamb of God. Once Jesus died on the cross for our sins no other sacrifice for sin was needed. The perfect lamb of God covered the consequence of all sins. We are not redeemed by our righteousness but by the blood of the Lamb of God. To recognize the righteousness of God is to recognize your need of forgiveness and your lack of Godly righteousness. And being found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith. Philippians 3: 9 ESV

     How are we to grow?…. In truth. Chapters 2 and 3 of 2 Peter debunk false teachings concerning faith. This has and always is Satan’s strategy; to fill one with hopelessness and lies concerning all that God has promised through Christ Jesus. Distorting truth in order to fill one with doubt is one of Satan’s greatest pleasures. If you are not growing spiritually in the word, you are in danger of believing the lies of Satan. We are to fill and saturate ourselves with the word of God standing on His truths. Peter closes his letter with this challenge….But grow in the grace and knowledge of our LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. 2 Peter 3:18 ESV

     Take the challenge of Peter this week. Don’t believe the lies of Satan no matter how they are presented to you. Truth- that is absolute true- is all that will matter when you stand before God one day. Absolute truth is Jesus, God’s only Son, made flesh, and dwelling among us. Jesus died for our sins, then raising from the grave defeated death caused by sin. Grow in the knowledge of His grace and mercy, never believing anything less. Serve Him as God, Lord, and Savior.

Because of His Grace Pastor ~ David