7/28/16 - The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification - Part 109

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Arrogance takes good things and perverts them.
Grace
Is it any less grace if a person has to "let go" of the burden of trying to save themselves???
Grace
It's not antagonistic to grace, nor is it work to simply let something go that stands between you and God - how could it be, given Jesus, Himself, said, "count the cost...deny self...repent...carry your cross"?
The Power of Grace Through Faith
God knew from eternity past that Jesus would never fail as the blameless and spotless Lamb. Yet, scripture says He really WAS tempted. By grace through faith, Jesus was delivered, despite the potentiality of failure.
God Ensures Our Faith Never Fails
This is a real, ever-present reality, an activity. He ensures that His children never "lose faith". He not only saves us daily, but He actively ensures our faith never fails, through a variety of ways.
Unfailing Faith
If the potentiality of losing faith always exists, then why doesn't a true believer ever lose it? We know that we can't overcome the throes of spiritual death on our own, right???
God Ensures Our Faith Never Fails
Jesus Christ is active in our eternal security. Our faith never fails because He insures it. Jn 18:9 reveals that He has a personal role in it!
God Ensures Our Faith Never Fails
One of the most magnificent truths of all for believers is knowing that by the integrity and merits of Jesus Christ, we remain saved! How lovely to know that He won't let us go!!!
Lk 13:26-27 [Message]
"You'll protest, 'But we've known you all our lives!' only to be interrupted with his abrupt, 'Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don't know the first thing about me.'
2Co 1:21-22
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
1Co 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
2Ti 2:13
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
God Ensures Our Faith Never Fails
If a person is tested and they walk away from the faith, it means that Jesus never "had" them, for He has never lost one of His own sheep.
Peace is the result of true faith.
Salvation Perspectives
God's Perspective
   • Salvation from sin
Man's Perspective ("tenses")
   • Positional (from penalty of sin)
   • Experiential (from power of sin)
   • Ultimate (from presence of sin)
Sanctification Perspectives
God's Perspective
   • Sanctified (set apart for Him)
Man's Perspective ("phases")
   • Positional (imputed R+ / judicially)
   • Experiential (imparted R+ / daily)
   • Ultimate (completed R+ / eternally)
Understanding Grace & You
Grace changes YOU! This means that it's ok to us the word "I" or "me" when you describe bearing good fruit. Yes, it's God's work in you, but YOU have become the bearer of good fruit. While God takes the credit for changing you - the reality is that YOU are a changed person. YOU produce good works.
 

7/26/16 - The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification - Part 108

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Reader on 7/23/16 Blog
The peace I have found through obedience is overwhelming. Truly, this last sentence has been on my mind for a while. I am happy- not always in my emotions, but even when hurting, I am content- I am discovering His joy and it's truly amazing!!!
Obedience to His ways
If we humble ourselves to accept the ways of God, we can experience these wonderful realities as part of our sanctification, being set apart from the world, and set free from it.
1 Peter 1:1-2 NIV
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God's elect, strangers in the world,... who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Heb 4:16
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Aggressive Humility
A person who persistently knocks is a person who is granted grace...with the caveat that they are "knocking" with the right motivation, of course (ala Jas 4:3).
Aggressive Humility
Our part is to RECEIVE His grace, and humility will receive it aggressively. Our free will, and moreover our heart, is always involved.
"strive"
from agonizesthe - literally, "agonize." The word is taken from the Grecian games. In their races, and wrestlings, and various athletic exercises, they "strove or agonized," or put forth all their powers to gain the victory. - Barnes
"Strive to enter..."
It's a BIG decision, even to be "agonized" over. It's not some casual acknowledgment, or accepting Jesus "just in case", along with all the other things you hold on to in the world.
"Strive to enter..."
The Lord doesn't accept half-heartedness. That's not true faith. By faith, a person makes the big decision to accept Jesus as both their Lord and Savior. And faith means to TRUST in Him, and that doesn't truly happen without denying your other options, like sin and self.
Giving the Gospel
It's letting people know, "the Lord wants your heart. This is a big decision, just so you know. He wants you to turn away from your own options and turn to Him alone as your Savior."
True Salvation
It is between each person and God, and it is a matter of the heart surrendering to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Anything less than that is a rejection of His grace offering.
Mt 16:25
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it [ref. "counting the cost"]; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."
This "counting the cost" is not to say that YOU have to perform any of the good work of salvation in yourself...but you absolutely must understand that to follow Jesus, you must be willing to give up your life.
True Salvation
Jesus was saying, and still is, that "I am the Savior...and I'm a real person...and I'm asking you to follow Me...and you cannot serve two gods!...so you must give up the one for the other...that's the 'cost' here."
Lk 13:24 [Wuest Expanded]
"...be endeavoring with a strenuous zeal to enter through the narrow door..."
J. Vernon McGee
[Jesus] made it abundantly clear that it would cost to follow Him. That we in our sophisticated and soft affluency think otherwise is heresy!...He is saying to this man, "Make sure you are saved."
Mt 16:25
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it [ref. "counting the cost"]; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."
Aggressive Humility
A person who knocks is a person who is granted grace...with the caveat that they are "knocking" with the right motivation, of course (ala Jas 4:3).
Rev 3:20
'Behold, I [Jesus Christ] stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
Trench on Rev 3:20
Every man is lord of the house of his own heart; it is his fortress; he must open the gates of it. He has the mournful prerogative and privilege of refusing to open. But if he refuses, he is blindly at strife with his own blessedness, a miserable conqueror.
Experiential Sanctification
His perspective, His Gospel, is what BECOMES our sanctification!!!
Experiential Sanctification
Only when we LIVE in the gospel, and in the grace the Lord gives, only then do we learn and experience true sanctification, not just an academic version of it.
Practical Sanctification
The very foundation of our spiritual life is progressively grounded in love (ala Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love).

 


7/24/16 - The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification - Part 107

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Reader on 7/23/16 Blog
The peace I have found through obedience is overwhelming. Truly, this last sentence has been on my mind for a while. I am happy- not always in my emotions, but even when hurting, I am content- I am discovering His joy and it's truly amazing!!!
"strive"
from agonizesthe - literally, "agonize." The word is taken from the Grecian games. In their races, and wrestlings, and various athletic exercises, they "strove or agonized," or put forth all their powers to gain the victory. - Barnes
Lk 13:24 [Wuest Expanded]
"...be endeavoring with a strenuous zeal to enter through the narrow door..."
J. Vernon McGee
[Jesus] made it abundantly clear that it would cost to follow Him. That we in our sophisticated and soft affluency think otherwise is heresy!...He is saying to this man, "Make sure you are saved."
Mt 16:25
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it [ref. "counting the cost"]; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."
Aggressive Humility
A person who knocks is a person who is granted grace...with the caveat that they are "knocking" with the right motivation, of course (ala Jas 4:3).
Trench on Rev 3:20
Every man is lord of the house of his own heart; it is his fortress; he must open the gates of it. He has the mournful prerogative and privilege of refusing to open. But if he refuses, he is blindly at strife with his own blessedness, a miserable conqueror.
Experiential Sanctification
His perspective, His Gospel, is what BECOMES our sanctification!!!
On Cognition
The only certain method for true spiritual growth starts with absorbing God's eternal truth.
- John MacArthur
On Conviction
Biblical truth is established in your mind through cognition-that same truth guides your life through conviction.
- John MacArthur
On Affection
Your affection and hunger for God's truth will be insatiable, and nothing will keep you from it.
- John MacArthur
Practical Sanctification
The very foundation of our spiritual life is progressively grounded in love (ala Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love).
Your Sanctification
Two flower gardens may have the same count and type of flowers, but they are never the same. No two believers, though equally magnificent in their sanctification, are ever identical, by grace through faith. Embrace YOUR sanctification - love it.
Freedom is the result of love.
Freedom
A person locked up in a prison cell, by themselves, can only serve themselves - selfish love dominates. However, a man set free from prison is free to serve others - selfless love dominates.
God's Perspective On Man
God created each of us with a capacity to love and an innate desire to be loved. For either of these things to be satisfied, at any level, we must engage with others, beginning with the One who created us. "We love, because He first loved us" (1Jn 4:19).
Salvation Perspectives
God's Perspective
   • Salvation from sin
Man's Perspective ("tenses")
   • Positional (from penalty of sin)
   • Experiential (from power of sin)
   • Ultimate (from presence of sin)
Sanctification Perspectives
God's Perspective
   • Sanctified (set apart for Him)
Man's Perspective ("phases")
   • Positional (imputed R+ / judicially)
   • Experiential (imparted R+ / daily)
   • Ultimate (completed R+ / eternally)
God Ensures Our Faith Never Fails
This is a real, ever-present reality, an activity. He ensures that His children never "lose faith". He not only saves us daily, but He actively ensures our faith never fails, through a variety of ways.
God Ensures Our Faith Never Fails
Jesus Christ is active in our eternal security. Our faith never fails because He insures it. Jn 18:9 reveals that He has a personal role in it!
God Ensures Our Faith Never Fails
If a person is tested and they walk away from the faith, it means that Jesus never "had" them, for He has never lost one of His own sheep.

 


7/21/16 - The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification - Part 106

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Sanctification
To be made holy, to be set apart for God's purposes, to be consecrated in time unto God's will.
Lk 21:13
"[Trials] will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.
Your Life Has Context
By grace through faith, you've been created and saved. Humbly live in this truth. In gratitude, contently and diligently serve your Master. Love.
Ro 12:9
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Lk 17:5
The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
Experiential Sanctification
His perspective, His Gospel, is what BECOMES our sanctification!!!
Heb 12:1 [Amplified]
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God's absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 [Amplified]
[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].
Humility and the Supernatural Life
"Living" and "being" are synonyms. "For the righteous man shall live by faith" (Ro 1:17). God gives grace (through faith) to the humble (eg: peace, a life of gratitude, contentment, etc.).
The Pilgrim's Progress
by John Bunyan
Humility and the Supernatural Life
It's only that person with a humble attitude of surrender that receives the utmost grace of God, in his experience. It's the humble person that lives by faith (Ro 1:17), making that life righteous in the eyes of God (for every perfect gift is from above - Jas 1:17).
Practical Sanctification
The very foundation of our spiritual life is progressively grounded in love (ala Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love).
On Cognition
The only certain method for true spiritual growth starts with absorbing God's eternal truth.
- John MacArthur
On Conviction
Biblical truth is established in your mind through cognition-that same truth guides your life through conviction.
- John MacArthur
On Affection
Your affection and hunger for God's truth will be insatiable, and nothing will keep you from it.
- John MacArthur
Your Sanctification
Two flower gardens may have the same count and type of flowers, but they are never the same. No two believers, though equally magnificent in their sanctification, are ever identical, by grace through faith. Embrace YOUR sanctification - love it.
Freedom is the result of love.
Freedom
A person locked up in a prison cell, by themselves, can only serve themselves - selfish love dominates. However, a man set free from prison is free to serve others - selfless love dominates.
God's Perspective On Man
God created each of us with a capacity to love and an innate desire to be loved. For either of these things to be satisfied, at any level, we must engage with others, beginning with the One who created us. "We love, because He first loved us" (1Jn 4:19).

7/19/16 - The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification - Part 105

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Being Sanctified
We have been predestined to suffer for His name's sake...and we've been predestined to be sanctified, once saved...and so we know that we suffer to be sanctified!
Sanctification
To be made holy, to be set apart for God's purposes, to be consecrated in time unto God's will.
Sanctification is not possible in time without circumstances that cause us to lean on God.
Sanctification
Sanctification is the result of a faith being put into action. Testing, therefore, is designed by God as an opportunity to reveal your God-given abilities, by grace through faith. This goes for salvation and sanctification. You are a witness (e.g., Ac 10:34-43; 1Ti 6:12; Heb 12:1).
"Being" a witness
Throughout our lives, we can only hope we will be an example to others, an example of undying faith and trust in our Lord, regardless of the testing and suffering.
To God's Glory
Faith is the device that God equips believers with in order to bring glory to Himself. We receive both the faith AND the trials where it is tested, by grace!
To God's Glory
Without the trials, faith remains untested, unconsummated. Without the faith, trials are either self-induced and/or originating from one of our other enemies (1Co 10:13).
Poor Witnessing
Most people characterize testing as ANYTHING that causes them personal discomfort. This is grossly misrepresenting God's grace, for so much of man's suffering is self-induced.
Col 3:23
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
Poor Witnessing
It actually hurts the name of Christ, when someone can point to you and say you're lazy and a Christian at the same time. This is why, if God has given us the capability and the health, we should be a good example for Christ, working hard by faith.
Working Hard for Others
We mustn't THINK of our hard work as merely being able to "pay our own bills from month to month"; rather, we must THINK bigger-picture, understanding that we work for God, who intends to use such fruit to the benefit of others.
Act 20:35
"In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
Jn 15:13
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
Working Hard for Others
Choose whom you will serve, including in your daily work activities. Who will you end up being a witness for? Josh 24:14-24
Proven Character
One of the reasons there's a glut of wimpy men in this world is because they choose not to persevere (e.g., due to lack of faith). Their first response to tribulation is to point the finger at someone else! This contradicts scripture (1Co 16:13).
What Is Perseverance?
"By faith" means "by God", since He is the author/giver of faith. Therefore, ANYONE can persevere if they have true faith.
Ro 15:5a
Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement...
Prayer
Persistence in prayer (Ro 15:5ff) produces the fruit of fellowship in the soul of man. God desires that we persist in going to the throne of grace, in humility. The impetus for prayer fellowship is often a persistent need. Therefore, it's by grace design that He ordains trials for us.
Prayer
Trials PROVIDE an incentive and a need to go to God strong.
Heb 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Grace Precedes Fruit
God will always afford a believer the appropriate grace to accomplish a command. This means that every command in the Bible is placed upon man in the presence and sufficiency of grace (ala 2Co 12:9).
Grace Orientation
Paul understood that "power is perfected in weakness" to the degree that he persistently fulfilled his mission in the face of obscene adversity, even from those in his own flock.
1Th 3:5
For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
We are called to "stand firm" and that means to NOT BE MOVED when temptations come our way. 1Co 15:58, 16:13-14, Eph 6:10-17, 1Pe 5:12, 1 Pe 5:12

 


7/17/16 - The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification - Part 104

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Sanctification
To be made holy, to be set apart for God's purposes, to be consecrated in time unto God's will.
Sanctification
Sanctification is the result of a faith being put into action. Testing, therefore, is designed by God as an opportunity to reveal your God-given abilities, by grace through faith. This goes for salvation and sanctification. You are a witness (e.g., Ac 10:34-43; 1Ti 6:12; Heb 12:1).
To God's Glory
Faith is the device that God equips believers with in order to bring glory to Himself. We receive both the faith AND the trials where it is test, by grace!
To God's Glory
Without the trials, faith remains untested, unconsummated. Without the faith, trials are either self-induced and/or originating from one of our other enemies (1Co 10:13).
Poor Witnessing
Most people characterize testing as ANYTHING that causes them personal discomfort. This is grossly misrepresenting God's grace, for so much of man's suffering is self-induced.
Working Hard for Others
We mustn't think of our hard work as merely being able to "pay our own bills from month to month"; rather, we must think bigger-picture, understanding that we work for God, who intends to use such fruit to the benefit of others.
Jn 15:13
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
Friendly Reminder
Never take a lesson or two out of context. Never react so viscerally to a lesson such that you are completely unnerved or thrown off. Sanctification takes time. Knee-jerk reactions are often the cause for further angst, which isn't the Spirit's intention. Conviction is necessary; however, religious fear isn't.
Proven Character
One of the reasons there's a glut of wimpy men in this world is because they choose not to persevere (e.g., due to lack of faith). Their first response to tribulation is to point the finger at someone else! This contradicts scripture (1Co 16:13).
What Is Perseverance?
"By faith" means "by God", since He is the author/giver of faith. Therefore, ANYONE can persevere if they have true faith.
Ro 15:5a
Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement...
Prayer
Persistence in prayer (Ro 15:5ff) produces the fruit of fellowship in the soul of man. God desires that we persist in going to the throne of grace, in humility. The impetus for prayer fellowship is often a persistent need. Therefore, it's by grace design that He ordains trials for us.
Grace Precedes Fruit
God will always afford a believer the appropriate grace to accomplish a command. This means that every command in the Bible is placed upon man in the presence and sufficiency of grace (ala 2Co 12:9).
Grace-Orientation
Paul understood that "power is perfected in weakness" to the degree that he persistently fulfilled his mission in the face of obscene adversity, even from those in his own flock.
Grace-Orientation
"Courage" is really just another name for faith applied. Faith is a grace gift given to the humble. So while Paul appeared "boastful" to his flock, he was actually exceedingly humble, comparatively. As a result, he pressed on under all circumstances.
Grace-Orientation
If you're grace-oriented, then you walk by faith (2Co 5:7)...in a manner worthy of your calling (Eph 4:1)...and a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ (Php 1:27).
Your Life Has Context.
Mature Reading
The central theme in the Bible is the Gospel. The central Person is Jesus Christ. The more "mature" you are, the more you'll read every passage of scripture in light of these two truths, and every passage will amplify them.
The Great Litmus Test
The hallmark of true love is a base desire to live for others. "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). The Spirit will assure you of your faith by revealing to you His love in you (1Jn 3:19-20; 4:13).
Good Perspective
We shouldn't eject ourselves out of our own "life context" when impressed by another saint's good labor for Christ. We ought to always be encouraged, not discouraged by such things.
Experiencing Theology
Looking back on your own life, considering how much God has done in/through you. Your experience highlights God's basic promise that He will sanctify you (Php 1:6).
Supernatural Walking
Do you have to "try" to "be" grateful? No - you can be reminded of things to be grateful "for", but GOD is the one who GIVES us the ability to "be" grateful - that's true grace. If you "try" to "be" something you're not, you're a hypocrite (Ro 12:9).
BE YOURSELF!!!
Faith Is Received By the Humble
Even though the overarching theology states dogmatically that God will sanctify all of His children, some children grow up quicker than others in faith.
Jas 4:6b [Message]
..."God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble." "Willful" implies "full of human will", which points to the flesh "doing"; whereas, "willing" implies "not already full, but open to being filled", which points to the humble.
Lk 17:5
The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
Experiential Sanctification
His perspective, His Gospel, is what BECOMES our sanctification!!!

 


7/14/16 - Special: Missions Update

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Christ Saves Ministries:  www.christsavesministries.org

Grace Bible Church Pakistan:  www.gbcpakistan.org


7/12/16 - The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification - Part 103

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Sanctification
To be made holy, to be set apart for God's purposes, to be consecrated in time unto God's will.
Celebrating the Wrong Kind of Wealth
As James pointed out in Jas 2:1-9, to some, it doesn't matter HOW a person acquires wealth, but rather THAT they possess it. The focus is completely perverted - self-sanctifiers celebrating "greater" self-sanctifiers.
Heart Disease
It's a pretty sick heart condition when one stands opposed to the Great Commission in favor of gathering unto oneself. A sick heart is a deceived heart. The problem with deception is that, by definition, you don't know when you're in it. (Mt 6:23)
Jas 4:13-14
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
On That Day
Seeing that we will all be meeting our Lord face to face in a few days, what can you say about how you've been living? "For Him", honestly? or "for self"?
Freedom
Drop what you thought you knew about being successful as a person, or mature, or even pious (for most are far from Jas 1:27). Much of your suffering will dissipate once you realize it is self-inflicted as the result of buying a lie.
Jas 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
God is sanctifying us
He's taking us to love, and freedom; and as weak as we are, He can complete this good work in His humble followers.
CONTEXT IS KEY!
Your life has context. Nobody's life is exactly the same (e.g., regarding finances).
Your Gift(s) and the Great Commission
There's no cookie-cutter method, but God in His creativity uses us each uniquely, so long as we are humble. 1Co 12
Your Gift(s) and the Great Commission
Within the scope of spiritual gifts, the Lord will use the willingly humble. But humility is aggressive. If we are truly humble, we will eagerly obey His commands, and so we "go out", knowing He has our back and will guide us.
Balance Statement
God's trying to get us to the "Kingdom of Heaven", which is a reality available to every believer right now! AFTER we are "there", then He can direct our earnings AND our expenditures to accomplish His will. Context is key!
Perspective
Perspective is key. You'll never find it if you don't first have context (e.g., Lk 12:16-21 - Parable of the rich man's barns).
Balance Statement
Please do not make the grave mistake of assuming that everyone who "stores up treasures" is doing so "for himself" and therefore disqualifying themselves as being "rich toward God". A person may be both "rich" by world standards and "rich" by God's. Wealth is a heart issue through and through.
"the truth will make you free"
The Truth is not merely "knowledge" - the Truth is ALL that the Word says, including the commands to obey, to go evangelize, etc. The Truth includes the promises of blessings when we "do", not merely "hear" (Jas 1:22).
The Gospel Perspective
There's no greater "doing" than to win a soul! A 75 year existence on earth, even if every moment is spent suffering, is well worth an exchange for a single soul being granted eternal life.
If you are lacking faith, don't be shy to ask your Dad for more!
Faith is a key to living a life of freedom, and living in the victory as a child of God.
A lack of faith never works!
(e.g., Ac 19:13-16, Mt 17:15-20; Lk 16:31)
MacArthur on Lk 16:31
This speaks powerfully to the singular sufficiency of Scripture to overcome unbelief. The Gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation (Ro 1:16). Since unbelief is at heart a moral, rather than an intellectual, problem, no amount of evidences will ever turn unbelief to faith.
MacArthur on Lk 16:31
...But the revealed Word of God has inherent power to do so (Jn 6:63; Heb 4:12; Jas 1:18; 1Pe 1:23).
"Knowing" is not "living"!
(eg. Jas 2:19)
Arrogant people lack faith in God.
God Demands Our Humility
Arrogance cannot deliver you, only God can, leaving you with a single option - humility. A saved/delivered person is an obedient one. An obedient person enjoys God's peace in time, a disobedient one doesn't.
Sanctification
Living the spiritual life, in Christ, in the new creature, is more like avoiding being dragged off of the victor's stand than trying to climb up.
Your Experiential Sanctification
God looks forward to sanctifying YOU! He's going to put YOU in unique situations where only YOU can bring glory to Him!
Heb 11:7
By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Matt 6:34
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 


7/10/16 - The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification - Part 102

Video     Audio

Sanctification
To be made holy, to be set apart for God's purposes, to be consecrated in time unto God's will.
Celebrating the Wrong Kind of Wealth
As James pointed out in Jas 2:1-9, to some, it doesn't matter HOW a person acquires wealth, but rather THAT they possess it. The focus is completely perverted - self-sanctifiers celebrating "greater" self-sanctifiers.
Heart Disease
It's a pretty sick heart condition when one stands opposed to the Great Commission in favor of gathering unto oneself. A sick heart is a deceived heart. The problem with deception is that, by definition, you don't know when you're in it. (Mt 6:23)
Jas 4:13-14
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Freedom
Drop you what thought you knew about being successful as a person, or mature, or even pious (for most are far from Jas 1:27). Much of your suffering will dissipate once you realize it is self-inflicted as the result of buying a lie.
On Faith:
Sometimes God will give faith to the reluctant. In other words, our flesh may not WANT more of Christ's heart on something because it knows that we become responsible to God on that subject (Lk 12:48 - to whom much is given, much is required).
Friendly Reminder
Never take a lesson or two out of context. Never react so viscerally to a lesson such that you are completely unnerved or thrown off. Sanctification takes time. Knee-jerk reactions are often the cause for further angst, which isn't the Spirit's intention. Conviction is necessary; however, religious fear isn't.
Balance Statement
Wealth isn't the issue, it's what we THINK about said wealth. E.G., God may rightly ask one person to store up finances in order to someday support a mission of His, and that is totally righteous, but only for the person who has a godly heart concerning finances.
Balance Statement
Not every believer is called to "sell everything" at once since some things used by God for His glory cost more than others (implies some save to be used later). If everyone's broke, He wouldn't be able to use us the way He desires.
Balance Statement
God's trying to get us to the "Kingdom of Heaven", which is a reality available to every believer right now! AFTER we are "there", then He can direct our earnings AND our expenditures to accomplish His will. Context is key!
Perspective
Perspective is key. You'll never find it if you don't first have context (e.g., Lk 12:16-21 - Parable of the rich man's barns).
Balance Statement
Please do not make the grave mistake of assuming that everyone who "stores up treasures" is doing so "for himself" and therefore disqualifying themselves as being "rich toward God". A person may be both "rich" by world standards and "rich" by God's. Wealth is a heart issue through and through.
Balance Statement
In some cultures, asceticism is highly esteemed, even if the motivation is altogether wrong. This, too, is ungodly. This may be less common in America, for example, but it's no less evil than esteeming the rich for being rich. Esteem ought never be derived from ANY world scale of values!
Jn 8:32
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
The Gospel Perspective
There's no greater "doing" than to win a soul! A 75 year existence on earth, even if every moment is spent suffering, is well worth an exchange for a single soul being granted eternal life.
Unmotivated "Evangelism"
Do you think it's possible that those who remain unmotivated lack faith to "go out" (ala Mt 28:18-20) because the actual content of their message is wrong, or minimally incomplete? God won't motivate a person to spread a false Gospel.
A lack of faith never works!
(e.g., Ac 19:13-16, Mt 17:15-20; Lk 16:31)
MacArthur on Lk 16:31
This speaks powerfully to the singular sufficiency of Scripture to overcome unbelief. The Gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation (Ro 1:16). Since unbelief is at heart a moral, rather than an intellectual, problem, no amount of evidences will ever turn unbelief to faith.
MacArthur on Lk 16:31
...But the revealed Word of God has inherent power to do so (Jn 6:63; Heb 4:12; Jas 1:18; 1Pe 1:23).
"Knowing" is not "living"!
(eg. Jas 2:19)
Arrogant people lack faith in God.
God Demands Our Humility
Arrogance cannot deliver you, only God can, leaving you with a single option - humility. A saved/delivered person is an obedient one. An obedient person enjoys God's peace in time, a disobedient one doesn't.
Sanctification
Living the spiritual life, in Christ, in the new creature, is more like avoiding being dragged off of the victor's stand than trying to climb up.
Your Experiential Sanctification
God looks forward to sanctifying YOU! He's going to put YOU in unique situations where only YOU can bring glory to Him!
Ecc 3:1
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven -
A Time For Everything
Sometimes a teacher must use fleshly arguments in order to contend with opposing, fleshly thinking, since in order to "pluck" a person from ungodliness, the teacher must "reach into the fire". As much as it may be distasteful to the teacher and offensive to the student, he realizes that he must do that thing to deliver (Gal 4:19) his disciple. (e.g., 2Co 11)
A Time For Everything
There comes a time that a person must completely bind themselves to the Lord; and in doing so, in humility, they are binding themselves to the authority in their lives.
Authority-Orientation
To the truly authority-oriented, it doesn't matter which role they are playing, they honor the Lord's delegation of authority and His divinely ordained chain-of-command, regardless of their personal feelings on the subject.
A Time For Everything
You have to make the distinction between your desires and your abilities. You may desire something will all your heart (speaking as a man), but until God gives you appropriate measure of it, it isn't yours. At best it's a shadow, but most likely a counterfeit. (ref. Heb 12:14-17)
Salvation Perspectives
God's Perspective
   • Salvation from sin
Man's Perspective ("tenses")
   • Positional (from penalty of sin)
   • Experiential (from power of sin)
   • Ultimate (from presence of sin)
Sanctification Perspectives
God's Perspective
   • Sanctified (set apart for Him)
Man's Perspective ("phases")
   • Positional (imputed R+ / judicially)
   • Experiential (imparted R+ / daily)
   • Ultimate (completed R+ / eternally)
Sanctification Perspective
There's just some forms of wisdom that cannot be attained without our stepping out into the fray, by faith!

 


7/7/16 - Heart Disease In America

Video     Audio

Celebrating the Wrong Kind of Wealth
As James pointed out in Jas 2:1-9, to some, it doesn't matter HOW a person acquires wealth, but rather THAT they possess it. The focus is completely perverted - self-sanctifiers celebrating "greater" self-sanctifiers.
Heart Disease
It's a pretty sick heart condition when one stands opposed to the Great Commission in favor of gathering unto oneself. A sick heart is a deceived heart. The problem with deception is that, by definition, you don't know when you're in it. (Mt 6:23)
Freedom
Drop you what thought you knew about being successful as a person, or mature, or even pious (for most are far from Jas 1:27). Much of your suffering will dissipate once you realize it is self-inflicted as the result of buying a lie.
On Faith:
Sometimes God will give faith to the reluctant. In other words, our flesh may not WANT more of Christ's heart on something because it knows that we become responsible to God on that subject (Lk 12:48 - to whom much is given, much is required).
Balance Statement
Wealth isn't the issue, it's what we THINK about said wealth. E.G., God may rightly ask one person to store up finances in order to someday support a mission of His, and that is totally righteous, but only for the person who has a godly heart concerning finances.
Balance Statement
Not every believer is called to "sell everything" at once since some things used by God for His glory cost more than others (implies some save to be used later). If everyone's broke, He wouldn't be able to use us the way He desires.
Balance Statement
God's trying to get us to the "Kingdom of Heaven", which is a reality available to every believer right now! AFTER we are "there", then He can direct our earnings AND our expenditures to accomplish His will. Context is key!
Perspective
Perspective is key. You'll never find it if you don't first have context (e.g., Lk 12:16-21 - Parable of the rich man's barns).
Balance Statement
Please do not make the grave mistake of assuming that everyone who "stores up treasures" is doing so "for himself" and therefore disqualifying themselves as being "rich toward God". A person may be both "rich" by world standards and "rich" by God's. Wealth is a heart issue through and through.
Balance Statement
In some cultures, asceticism is highly esteemed, even if the motivation is altogether wrong. This, too, is ungodly. This may be less common in America, for example, but it's no less evil than esteeming the rich for being rich. Esteem ought never be derived from ANY world scale of values!
Perspective
Who says we're supposed to be "comfortable" in this world? Ambassadors are "working" for as long as they are in the foreign country, right? We are ambassadors for Christ (2Co 5:20).
Perspective
• When's the last time you received a bump in pay and your first reaction was to increase your giving to the church?
• When's the last time you realized that the greatest "bump in pay" is his gracing you out with faith???
The Elephant In the Room
Will we miss out on the blessing of doing His will in time?
Perspective
If the Kingdom of Heaven (God) is freely given to ANYONE on this planet, regardless of worldly citizenship, and America is now touting a perversion of true freedom called, "prosperity freedom", then what say you of the Great Commission?
Institutionalized Arrogance
Just about every aspect of American life represents institutionalized arrogance, which is to say that social, cultural, and economic objectives are ungodly, organized to meet the desires of the flesh.
Wikipedia
The "Leader of the Free World" is a colloquialism, first used during the Cold War, to describe either the United States or, more commonly, the President of the United States of America.
Context of American Life
The true test for most American believers is whether or not they will take their worldly riches (the vast majority are very wealthy compared to the rest of the world) and use those resources to the benefit of spreading the Gospel. Peace evades those who refuse.
Jn 8:32
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

 


7/5/16 - The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification - Part 101

Video     Audio

Most Americans are "drunk" on the world...even those hearing this message.
Institutionalized Arrogance
Just about every aspect of American life represents institutionalized arrogance, which is to say that social, cultural, and economic objectives are ungodly, organized to meet the desires of the flesh.
Luke 12:48
but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
Act Like Ambassadors
While we are commanded by God to subject ourselves to our earthly masters, the government, the local laws (God placed us as ambassadors for Christ), we mustn't exchange our true allegiance to God for something so fleeting as a country.
Act Like Ambassadors
We are just pilgrims passing through, remember. And we belong to the Lord God, as adopted citizens of heaven. This is an attitude we must adopt if we want to be sanctified, set apart from the world, and set apart for His purposes. Heb 11:8-10,13
I Love Americans, But...
America is obsessed with money, with "success", with "being" successful, with compiling, elevating, comparing, and superiority. These are fleshly objectives that are projected both outwardly to the world, and inwardly to its citizens.
The American Believer
Most of you would respond to the embarrassment of others in the church knowing how ridiculously selfish you are with your earnings, maybe even increase your giving to the church. But that will never happen because it's not the church's job to expose you.
The American Believer
Likewise, most of you DO already respond to the embarrassment of others in the world knowing how poorly you compare to them, so you increase your giving to the world (you purchase worldly things, to sanctify self, by self, for self).
John 4:31-32
Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."
The American Mockery
The "Christian American Way" is to assume that God blesses us with wealth and such, for us, as opposed to for others; that His grace is meant to be collected for self; that we have the right to be upset with God when these blessings dry up (possibly because of our own dysfunctional use of them as we fail the test).
Concerned about finances??
Is it because you can't live the lifestyle you have always dreamed about? Well, ask yourself, where did that "dream" come from? Who fed you that expectation?!
Concerned about finances??
The kingdom of darkness has been vigorously at work in America, through TV and movies and internet, and he has convinced us we need and deserve a certain lifestyle! Ha! This has distracted American believers from their amazing, wonderful calling to live for and love others, living in the image of Christ Himself.
Sucker
Satan HAS successfully duped us. Are we going to let it continue in our souls, and lives?
Jas 4:3
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Luke 12:13-14
Notice how the person in the crowd has completely misappropriated Jesus' purpose in his life. This is the way of the average Christian American - they perceive Jesus Christ as just another utility, one that is taken advantage of on an "as-needed" basis, but not wholly or dependently.
There's nothing wrong with having wealth. The question is, what's our heart thinking about it? And is it being used for ourselves, or for God and others?

 


7/3/16 - The Gospel, Salvation, and Sanctification - Part 100

Video     Audio

Godly Encouragement
It may vary greatly, depending on the need of the moment. For example, Tuesday's message was delivered with tears, while Thursday's with great strain. Both were necessary for YOUR sanctification.
Institutionalized Arrogance
Just about every aspect of American life represents institutionalized arrogance, which is to say that social, cultural, and economic objectives are ungodly, organized to meet the desires of the flesh.
Luke 12:48
but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
Wikipedia
The "Leader of the Free World" is a colloquialism, first used during the Cold War, to describe either the United States or, more commonly, the President of the United States of America.
Blog: "Character and Integrity"
If you want to know whom you should trust in this world, those with character and integrity, then look no further than their heart for the Gospel.
Act Like Ambassadors
While we are commanded by God to subject ourselves to our earthly masters, the government, the local laws (God placed us as ambassadors for Christ), we mustn't exchange our true allegiance to God for something so fleeting as a country.
I Love Americans, But...
America is obsessed with money, with "success", with "being" successful, with compiling, elevating, comparing, and superiority. These are fleshly objectives that are projected both outwardly to the world, and inwardly to its citizens.
The American Believer
Most of you would respond to the embarrassment of others in the church knowing how ridiculously selfish you are with your earnings, maybe even increase your giving to the church. But that will never happen because it's not the church's job to expose you.
The American Believer
Likewise, most of you DO already respond to the embarrassment of others in the world knowing how poorly you compare to them, so you increase your giving to the world (you purchase worldly things, to sanctify self, by self, for self).
Gal 6:7
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
The American Mockery
The "Christian American Way" is to assume that God blesses us with wealth and such, for us, as opposed to for others; that His grace is meant to be collected for self; that we have the right to be upset with God when these blessings dry up (possibly because of our own dysfunctional use of them as we fail the test).
Jas 4:3
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Reading Parables In Context
Parables in the Bible always have a "setup" to them that shores up the context, often in the most practical sense. Parables must be read in that context.
Luke 12:13-14
Notice how the person in the crowd has completely misappropriated Jesus' purpose in his life. This is the way of the average Christian American - they perceive Jesus Christ as just another utility, one that is taken advantage of on an "as-needed" basis, but not wholly or dependently.
Context of 1 Timothy
Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, a long-time known godly pastor who Paul had taken "under his wing". Timothy was born in Lystra (Galatia), but Paul sent him to multiple churches to spread the Gospel. Timothy was in Ephesus when Paul wrote this letter.
1Ti 6:2
Paul encouraged Timothy to teach the church authority-orientation (to sow goodness), specifically so that it would bear fruit (reap) to the benefit of the brethren. (ala Gal 6:7)
"those of our Lord Jesus Christ"
Paul, the majority writer of the NT, made this statement around 63AD, a few years before his death, and about 7 years after he wrote the Book of Romans. He still clung to the words of Jesus, regardless of who he was teaching, whether Jew or Gentile.
"who suppose godliness is a means of gain"
Some believed that knowing and/or even acting piously was of some value, but that's never the case unless such "fruit" is motivated by true faith.
"contentment"
from autarkeia - means self-sufficiency, unflappability; in context in 1Ti 6:6, implies this person isn't focused on the "gains" of being faithful, rather that they are actually "being" faithful.
"to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous"
Americans, in general, are taught to pursue wealth for a better life for self. The Bible teaches us to pursue the ability to live and share with others. The vehicle may be the same (making money), but the motivation and the beneficiaries differ completely.
Context of American Life
The true test for most American believers is whether or not they will take their worldly riches (the vast majority are very wealthy compared to the rest of the world) and use those resources to the benefit of spreading the Gospel. Peace evades those who refuse.
"False Knowledge" In America
• God blesses us just for us (as opposed to "for others")
• America is a beacon of light to the world
• Passive evangelism is Biblical (where we wait for others to come to us, sometimes begging, for help)
• We aren't like the Corinthians (when we truly are)
• Idolatry is excusable because it's part of our culture (1Jn 5:21)
Knowing Is Not Living
God teaches us outside of the Bible, through application, through living. The truths in the Word of God become real to us when we live them.
Jn 8:32
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

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