“Yourselves Unworthy”

This subject is covered in the scriptures, and this judgment of being “undeserving” comes mostly from our own selves, rather than from the Lord or His word. From reading God’s word and praying over this topic, I firmly believe that we deserve God’s grace because the Lord created us for this purpose, and Christ died for this purpose. Our works cannot merit this to us, but God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice does. We were initially created in God’s image and chosen in Christ, and God’s image is a deserving image, not undeserving.

The Lord Jesus died and rose again to take away our sins, and to justify us; that means all of our sins become “just as if they never happened”. So He restores us to right standing with God, and begins repairing our character back into the worthy image of our Creator and Redeemer.

God sees us as new creatures in Christ once we are born again, and He does not refer to us as undeserving. Because He so loved the world, He does not refer to any lost soul, who’s not had an opportunity to experience His grace, as undeserving either.

The only places that I could find where Christ brings up the subject of a person not being worthy (or being undeserving) of Him are in settings like Matthew 10:38, which says “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.” If someone knowingly rejects Christ and His will, then and only then does the Bible say they are not worthy of Christ; the Greek translation for “not worthy” is “not deserving” (blueletterbible.org).

Also, when Paul and Barnabas speak to the Jews who refuse the Gospel in the book of Acts chapter 13, they do not tell these Jews that they are not deserving of God’s grace and love, but rather, Paul and Barnabas reveal to the Jews in this chapter that they (not God) are judging themselves unworthy (or undeserving) of His great grace:

“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46).

God does not put this label of “undeserving” on His redeemed children, or on lost souls who have never had an opportunity to really accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. God also does not put this label of “unmerited” on the grace that Christ died to give us; which grace He also created us for.

So I don’t want to put these labels on people, or on God’s grace. I don’t want to judge myself, or anyone else, as unworthy of everlasting life. I want to focus on sharing salvation through Jesus Christ with those around me, and esteem others better than myself in His love and mercy. May the Lord bless you today!

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“Great Salvation” part 2

John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

My heart is stirred, and I just want to put this out here so the truth of the matter based on God's word can be seen, for anyone who is interested. If we choose to abandon our belief in Christ the Lord & Savior we will perish; "once saved always saved" is a contradiction of God's promise in that it insinuates that we can continue in sin and grace will still abound in our lives, but this is not the case.

Romans 6:1&2 says "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

Only by maintaining our faith in Jesus Christ, staying full of His Word & Spirit, can we keep our salvation and secure our election into His Kingdom:

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12)

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:" (2 Peter 1:10)

As long as our faith is in Christ, and we are actively relying on Him for salvation, doing our best to live for Him, we will make it to heaven, because that is God's promise and that is why He saved us. If I willingly neglect Christ, and what His word asks of me, then this is evidence that I don't love Jesus:

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." (John 14:21)

To be saved by God's Grace is to love Jesus (if we're forgiven much we'll love much – Luke 7:47); if we're truly forgiven of our sins we'll love Him. Even after being saved, a Christian can fall into sin, and that sin will still separate us from Jesus & His plan of salvation if we let it:

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:" (1 John 2:1)

This is why Jesus, in the book of Revelation chapters 2 and 3, is warning the churches to repent and to change their ways that were unpleasing to Christ. Though these are messages specific to certain churches, the Lord wanted them read in all the churches so we can be strengthened & admonished.

In His messages to the churches Jesus says many times for His people to repent. One very interesting scripture is found in Revelation 3:5: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."

Here Jesus specifically states that our names can be blotted out of His Book of Life, and if our names are not found written in the Lamb's Book of Life, then there is only one destination for us according to scripture:

"And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." ( Revelation 20:15)

This is why Matthew 25 speaks of judgment coming to those who did not do God's will when they had the chance; whether letting the fire of their lamps go out, which represents the lack of the Holy Spirit in our lives, a result of neglecting prayer and our relationship with Christ:

"They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:" (Matthew 25:3)
"Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 25:11-13)

Or us not using not using our talents to bless God's Kingdom & reach souls:

Matthew 25:24 – "Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: Matthew 25:25 – And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. Matthew 25:26 – His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Matthew 25:28 – Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. Matthew 25:30 – And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Or if we don't allow the love of Christ to flow through us to those in need because of selfishness:

Matthew 25:41 – "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Matthew 25:42 – For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: Matthew 25:43 – I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Matthew 25:44 – Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Matthew 25:45 – Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Matthew 25:46 – And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

I noted that Jesus isn't judging us, here in this event, based on whether or not we simply believed in Him, but if we believed in Him enough to DO His will. As a Christian there will be a day of consequence if I continually neglect His will, and if I willfully sin against Him and against others.

"But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." (Matthew 5:22)

We, as born again Christians, cannot live according to the sinful desires of the flesh and still inherit the Kingdom of God:

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21)

Jesus will redeem, save and keep us to the utmost, all the way to heaven, if we continually surrender our hearts & will to Him, to do His will in the Earth and be a blessing to those around us, through the love and power of His Spirit. Even if we sin or simply make a mistake, we can find continual forgiveness & restoration if we continually go to Jesus & allow Him to transform our hearts.

I just want the truth of this matter to be out there because only that will set us free; the doctrine of "once saved always saved" is just not the truth. Keeping Jesus Christ in our lives; staying in prayer, Bible study and being full of the Holy Ghost is what will keep salvation in our souls and make our calling and election sure. For how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?

“Great Salvation”

We can actually lose out on our salvation if we neglect it: "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him;" (Hebrews 2:3)

The unfortunate misconception of "once saved always saved" is just not the Gospel message. Salvation is only found in Jesus Christ, and if we part from Him we part from our salvation; this is what it is to backslide. There is restoration for backsliding, but if I live a life contrary to God's will & word I am mistaken if I think I'm going to heaven.

One passage of scripture that illustrates this is Hebrews 6:4-6 which says "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

There is a responsibility for Christians to keep themselves unspotted from the world, to work out our salvation with fear & trembling, to endure unto the end that we might be saved (James1:27, Philippians 2:12, Matthew 24:13).

God will give us power in the Holy Ghost to overcome character flaws, weaknesses, iniquities & temptations; but we must make the effort to live righteously according to His will, and to come out from among the sin & unrighteousness of this fallen world.

As II Corinthians 6:17-18 says "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

The Lord Jesus Christ did not sacrifice His life to take our sins & iniquities to heaven, but rather to free us from sin & iniquity so that He can take us to heaven. I must decide now to live for Jesus, I can't live like hell & go to heaven, I must let the Holy Ghost transform me into the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus the Lord.

(II Corinthians 5:21 ) "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

(II Corinthians 5:9-11) "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences."

So, Keep walking the straight & narrow path, keep pressing forward toward the mark of the high call of God in Jesus Christ! If you're born again & filled with the Holy Ghost the Bible says you're more than a conqueror! You're a new creature designed by God to overcome & win souls to His Kingdom for the Glory of His name! Thank you for your time & may God richly bless & keep you!

“The Royal Law”

From James 2:8, which says:
"If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:"

As a teenager, I actually did not have a good opinion of myself. I was in many ways selfish, and immature, even as an older teenager, but these flaws did not stem from a belief in how good I imagined I was. I remember during this time of my life praying and asking God to help me know how to love others, and to be a blessing to those around me. However I always seemed to have trouble letting God use my life.

One day my Pastor at the time spoke some words that changed my life forever when she quoted the words found in this scripture, "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself", and further stated that if you do not love who God made you to be, then you cannot love your neighbor.

Prior to this I had always focused on loving my neighbor, but disregarded the meaning of the part that says "as thyself". It had never occurred to me that how I saw myself and what I believed about myself would affect how I love others, but God really began to help me through the ministry of my Pastor.

I began to let God show me who He saw me as, and to love what God made in the person that I was, and the person He was making me into. I learned that loving your neighbor as you love yourself does not mean being arrogant, carnal or haughty, but rather is a part of learning about God, learning to love what He loves and see what He sees; both in myself and in those around me.

As I've learned to let God love me, and accept me. I've learned to love who I am in Him, and be happy with who that person is. Jesus Christ the Lord is still transforming me, and shaping me into His image, and as He does I find the freedom to love myself, and with that the power and liberty to love my neighbor just as much and more; just like the scriptures teach.

In another scripture in John 13:34, Jesus says "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." The Lord wants us, not only to love our neighbor as ourselves, but to love others as He loves each of us individually. In order to accomplish this I must take time to understand and know the magnitude of the love that Christ has for me personally, so that I can share this amazing love and compassion with those around me; the way that God desires.

I pray we all know and experience the love of Christ, which will include the ability to love ourselves in Christ, so that we may effectively love those around us. God bless you today!

“My Father’s Business”

The Gospel of Luke, chapter 2 and verse 49 says “And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

This scripture has become my prayer and desire of my heart to always be about the Lord’s business. I looked up the words in this scripture in the Greek language and found that in this phrase to “be about my Father’s business” Jesus was actually saying “I give myself wholly to my Father.” (blueletterbible.org)

God wants to include you and I in His business, and His business is sharing His love and greatness with those around us. The Lord has specific business for each of us to attend to everyday, through prayer and desire God will lead us into accomplishing His business and fulfilling our God given destinies in Jesus Christ our Lord.

I pray you have a blessed day full of the business of our Heavenly Father. May God bless you!

“Sinneth Not”

1 John 3:6 says “Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.”

The word “Abideth” in Greek means “Expectancy”, which means:

1). the act, action, or state of expecting.

2). something expected <i.e. their belief led to an expectancy>.(blueletterbible.com)

Webster’s 1828 Online Dictionary defines “Expect” as a verb transitive [Latin “expecto”; ex and specto, to look, that is, to reach forward, or to fix the eyes.]

Paul’s epistle to the Philippians says this, in chapter 3 verses 13 and 14:

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Reaching forward is all a part of the reality of abiding in the Lord Jesus Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit. If I abide in Him (that encompasses abiding in His presence, His Word & His Body) then according to this promise I will not sin; though I may have sinned, the power of abiding of Christ destroys the hold of any sin or iniquity over my heart.

We are no longer sinners when we are new creatures in Christ, though we may still have the capacity for sin, we are not sinners; rather, we are a holy nation, a chosen generation and a royal priesthood!

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)