What does it mean to depart from the faith? To ‘depart’ in the Greek is aphistēmi which means to revolt against, remove from, desert, depart or draw away from.
You can’t depart or leave something unless you once were in something. Now its debatable whether the one who departs was once really saved or not but they had some understanding. They were enlightened. Scriptures tell us that if one has been enlightened and tasted of heavenly things and falls away it is impossible for them to repent.
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. Hebrews 6:4,6
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. 1 Timothy 4:1
This “departing” is departing from the faith or pistis. That is the conviction of reliance upon Jesus Christ for salvation. Instead those who depart give heed to demonic doctrines which do not rely on Jesus Christ for salvation.
Some departing doctrines are obvious to most Christians but others are very subtle. That devil is a wily one.
The main theme to look for is if the teacher or preacher, prophet or apostle, pastor or evangelist moves away from trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation. Even a teeny weeny bit.
There is no specific day of the week, no ritual or rite, no performance, no other way, no other man made book, no self help principle, no personal preference, no successful endeavor, no jot or tittle, no other name, no addition, no subtraction. NOTHING.
There is nothing that can give you salvation with eternal life but complete trust and reliance on Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
It is written.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9,10
In Mark chapter 6 (after Jesus had fed the 5000) he told his disciples to get into the ship and go to to Bethsaidia, while he sent the people away.
When Jesus sent his disciples to Bethsaidia which in the Hebrew means house of grace he went into a mountain to pray.
In the evening (when the ship was in the middle of the sea) Jesus was watching his disciples from the shore. They were toiling to row the ship, because the wind was coming on really strong.
Around the fourth watch of the night Jesus came towards his disciples walking on the sea. He would have passed them by but the disciples saw him. They thought he was a ghost. They became troubled and cried out in fear.
Immediately Jesus reassures his disciples that it is him.
Then when Jesus gets into the ship with his disciples the wind calms down.
The disciples were amazed and wondered. They had forgotten about the last miracle Jesus did by multiplying the bread and fish.
It is interesting to note that on the 4th watch of the night Jesus looks out to the sea to find that his disciples are in trouble.
He had given them a word, “Go to Bethsaidia” but the enemy (who works in the darkness) tried to hinder their assignment.
Satan who is “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) caused a storm to rise up. It was so fierce that all the toiling the disciples were doing were getting them no where.
In Israel culture (as well as Roman and Greek) the night was divided into 4 watches. Each watch had a specific name and time frame.
The evening watch, was from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The midnight watch, from 9 p.m. to midnight. Cockcrowing from 12 am to 3 a.m., and the morning watch or 4th watch, was from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Exodus 14:24 last watch of the night Psalm 63:6 watches of the night Judges 7:19 middle watch Mark 13:35Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning Luke 12:38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
The fourth watch is the last watch of the night. In scripture breakthrough events many times happen on the night watches.
Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea. Exodus 14:25-46
Jacob wrestled with God. Genesis 32: 22-31 The angels appear to the shepherds in the field to announce the birth of the Savior. Luke 2:8-14
Jesus is resurrected from the dead, Matthew 28:1
The bridegroom woos His bride in the night hours, Song of Solomon, Matthew 25:1-13
On this particular incident on the fourth watch of the night Jesus sees trouble occurring.
The prince of the power of the air is acting up. Trying to attack the Lord’s disciples.
Intercessors know that the fourth watch usually means warfare. It’s a time when the demonic powers are doing their oggie boogie through their human vessels.
Notice that Jesus sees on the forth watch of prayer that his disciples are in trouble.
This is one reason the Lord exhorts us to watch and pray. The enemy is always looking for a place to attack. If we are in prayer the Holy Spirit will show us trouble coming our way or someone else’s way.
When trouble comes and we find we are toiling in our own strength, (getting no where, when the enemy attacks) Jesus is walking on the water right there in front of us!
Water or waters in scripture many times represent people. Jesus is always in front of people. Always available. Always willing to calm the storm. However, many times we are so freaked out over the battle that when the Lord comes walking towards us we don’t recognize him. All we see is what the enemy is doing.
Notice how Jesus was going to walk right on by his disciples. Seriously? That’s what the scriptures tell us! That’s what happens when we are afraid. As long as our eyes are on the battle instead of the Lord Jesus Christ we will miss him, even though he is right there in front of us.
The good news is that if we look to Jesus he will calm the storm in our life. He will get in the boat with us! Jesus will calm our fears! He will rescue us from the attack of the enemy!
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water they mistook him for a spirit. They cried out in fear.
Fear can do strange things to the mind. Sees and hears all kinds of crazy things.
Even then the Lord can’t help but be merciful. When fear gets a hold of us by the throat Jesus will turn in our direction if we call out to him.
Hearing his disciples cry out in fear Jesus walks on the water towards them. When the disciples see that it is Jesus they are not afraid anymore.
Our struggles in life (like the disciples who rowed in their own strength against the wind) can be demonically inspired some times.
Facing great difficulty can be scary when it looks like we are going to drown but remember the Lord is watching us in our struggle. He knows what’s going on.
Jesus is right there in the midst of our trouble. All we have to do is cry out. He will not pass us by! He will get right in the boat with us and comfort us!
Jesus will always lead us to safely because his grace is sufficient. His word to us is always, “Go to Bethsaidia, “the house of grace.”
Our high priest ever lives to make intercession for us.
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
This is the admonition Jesus gave to his disciples concerning his coming again.
Let’s recollect about Lot’s wife.
Before Lot and his family left Sodom the angels gave the Lord’s command.
“Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.”
Lot’s wife however disobeyed the word of the Lord and turned into a pillar of salt.
Now why do you suppose she would do that? Obviously it was more than just curiosity.
To “look back” in this scripture is the Hebrew word nâbaţ which means to look intently at, to regard with pleasure and care, to consider, to have respect for.
This means that Lot’s wife had an affinity to the place she was leaving. A sentiment for her home. An emotional attachment to the people she was leaving behind.
Jesus goes on after giving this admonition to say in Luke chapter 17,
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall preserve it.
“Losing our life” is the key point that the Lord is telling us here.
According to scriptures our lives are not our own. We were bought with a price.
“To lose” in this scripture means to die. Apollumi in the Greek. Which means to put to death or consider non operative.
Paul says that he dies daily. Death to self and the world is an every day thing.
Did you know that if we love the world or the things of the world then God’s love does not reside in us?
A sure way to tell a true Christian from a false one is if they are accepted by the world and if they love the things of the world.
What are the things of the world? Anything that the world esteems highly!
What does the world esteem highly?
John (1John 2) tells us that the things of the world are whatever your flesh or carnal nature lust after. Whatever your eyes lust after and whatever outside of God makes you feel prideful or you boast about.
So let me put this in modern terms. Whatever the world is running after, craving, pursuing, seeking for, desiring, addicted to, loving, and is their heart’s desire.
If you love those things too then you are not one of the Lord’s disciples. Sure you may believe in Jesus Christ but even the devil believes in God.
Remember that Jesus gave this warning.
Another way to tell a true Christian from a false one is how much they brag about themselves. How worthy they are. How blessed they are. How many special qualities they have. How wonderful their position in life is. How awesome their works are. How great life is treating them. Basically whatever is all about them.
Paul said that he boasted only in the Lord. He put no confidence in his own abilities. He boasted in being weak so that God could demonstrate HIS power through him.
Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Jesus told us as recorded by Luke(14) that if we desire to follow Jesus Christ and become one of his disciples then we must take up our cross. That is we must be willing to suffer like he did.
How did Jesus Christ suffer?
He was misunderstood, persecuted, judged, bullied, hated, ridiculed, beaten, and even put to death.
Yea, and all that will live godly inChrist Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12
Remember Lot’s wife? She turned into a pillar of salt for looking back to what God judged as evil. In the Hebrew pillar is netsîyb which means a post or garrison.
God made Lot’s wife into a sign post. For all with eyes to see. A reminder to “don’t look back.”
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep your’s also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
In Matthew 6:28 Jesus tells his disciples to consider the lilies of the field.
The most probable flower that Jesus was referring to is considered by plant specialists to be an Anemone coronaria, a common field flower which can be red, purple or pink with black centers.
The Anemone coronaria incidentally is Israel’s national flower.They are usually found in meadows and grassy hillsides. In Jerusalem the red ones are more frequently found while in the basalt slopes north of the sea of Galilee blue and white are found growing on the hillsides.
The Hebrew name for this flower is Kalanit from the word kala which means beautiful like a bride.
Consider the lilies of the field. The Kalanit arrayed like a bride which Jesus says are more beautiful than all of Solomon’s glory.
Jesus likened these field lilies to be more beautifully arrayed than Solomon’s kingdom.
Considering that Solomon’s glory was a magnificent kingdom full of pomp and splendor this is a fantastic statement.
Why would the Lord say that field flowers were more beautiful than Solomon’s glory?
The fact that their name means bride may give us a clue.
Was Jesus looking to his future bride? His bride so beautiful that she is more beautiful than all of Solomon’s glory?
These field lilies are not only beautiful but Jesus told us that they do not toil or spin. That is they do not do any work!
To toil in Hebrew is kopiaō which means to work hard or labor until one is fatigued.
To spin is nēthō which means to spin yarn.
Spinning yarn was a laborious work in Jesus’ time. Spinning was twisting fibers together by hand in order to make material for clothing.
In Solomon’s kingdom all the pomp and splendor was achieved by hard work. Also the temple Solomon build was constructed by slaves. These slaves did hard labor. Probably from sunup to sun down.
The lilies of the field do not labor or spin. They just naturally grow and become beautiful without any labor at all. With rain and sunshine provided by their Creator the lilies of the field become beautifully arrayed in their glory.
It seems that Jesus is pointing out that under the law like Solomon’s Kingdom, the slave must work to build a temple or building for God to take up residence.
Those under the law are servants of sin who must labor under a ruler or the law, sacrificing animals to atone for their sin in a temple made by men.
Jesus is using a metaphor to tell us that the splendor of the dispensation of the law is not as glorious as the dispensation of grace where the beauty of the Lord resides in his bride.
The bride has no need to labor for the Savior has purchased her with his own blood. The bride has no need to spin or be clothed with the temporary intermedatories of animals because she is clothed in the righteous of Jesus Christ.
The bride is altogether beautiful. Altogether lovely in her pure white garment! Altogether more splendid than the glory of the former dispensation!
Consider the liles of the field for they neither toil nor spin. They take no thought to toil laboriously to achieve right standing with God.
All the work has been done by Jesus Christ the Messiah ! (Yeshua Mashiach) It is finished!
The scriptures tell us that according to the law of Moses without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness or remission of sins.
The KJV uses the word remission which is more than just forgiveness. It means to be set free from sin and its consequence.
Remission in the Greek, is aphesis, which means forgiveness, deliverance and liberty. To not only be forgiven (letting go as if they had never been committed), but to be released from the bondage or imprisonment of the penalty for sin.
Sin has consequence. Under the law, a life must be given up for a life. The soul that sins shall die. Romans 6:23
Jesus, who was without sin, gave his life up for the sinner who repents and forsakes their sin. Repentance is a big factor in the remission process. Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin. In order to receive this remission of sin, one must repent.
Without repentance, there is no remission of sins. Acts 2:38
Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Acts 3:19
Repentance Metanoeo in the Greek is to have a change of mind for the better. To turn from sin or breaking God’s laws. To be converted to God’s word. That is to receive the gospel’s truth.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. Isaiah 52:9
Sin has consequence. It produces death. Not just eternal death but death as in no life of God. It separates us from God. He does not hear prayer, we lose our joy, and we can become fearful, sick and weak.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction. Galatians 6:8
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelation 3:19
Scriptures tell us that it is FAITH IN THE BLOOD that saves from the penalty of sin. When we repent and turn to the truth of the gospel we must have faith in the blood of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin.
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; Romans 3:25
We cannot save ourselves by good works or good deeds.
Romans Chapter 3 tells us that under the law we all are condemned to die eternally because of sin. Unless we turn to Jesus Christ for the remission of our sin.
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. Romans 3:25
Once we are forgiven by repentance and faith in the blood of Jesus Christthen we are made righteous before God as if we have never sinned.
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. Romans 5:21
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Philippians 3:9
If we confess our sin to God, repent of our sin and have faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ we can be forgiven and made righteous by God as if we have never sinned.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. John 1:9
And the Word or Logos was with God. The word was side by side with God. THEOS in Greek which means diety, supreme dignity. (God the Father)
And the Word or Logos was God. (The Logos was also God)
And the Word Logos was made flesh.
God’s thoughts, reasoning, motives, divine expression, communication, speaking or Logos became flesh. (Sarx, a body with emotions and intellect)
And dwelt or skēnoō (which is to hover like the presence of God hovered in the Old Testament tabernacle.)
Among us. And we beheld his glory, or divine majesty.
The glory or divine majesty of the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that is born of God, proceeding from God the Father directly.
Full of grace or divine influence and full of truth. The truth which proceeds and originates from God, THEOS which is diety, supreme dignity. (God the Father)
Jesus in effect was God’s Word or Logos incarnate.
Scriptures tell us that God spoke under the Old Testament through his prophets but now he has spoken under the New Covenant through his Son the LOGOS who is the exact express image of God. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
Since Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead and is sitting at the right hand of the Father we have now been given the Holy Spirit which reveals to us the Logos.
How does the Holy Spirit do this? Through the divinely inspired scriptures. The Holy Spirit speaks to us by the Logos. (John 13:16 )
When the Holy Spirit reminds us of what God said it is through the Logos. All prophecy if it is Holy Spirit initiated will be found in the LOGOS.
The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. The LOGOS is all truth. (John 17:17)
Even specific prophecies or words of knowledge or any gift of the Holy Spirit will have a scriptural precedent. They must be tested to see if they conform to the Word of God.(1 John 4:1 Galatians 1:6-8)
Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
All scriptures the Bible clearly says in 2 Timothy 3:16 are GOD BREATHED!
That means the scriptures are (theopneustos in the Greek) divinely breathed – given by the very inspiration of God.
The Word and the Spirit are always in agreement.
And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 1 John 5:8
The Word of God the Logos was made flesh and dwelt among us.
When Jesus Christ was here He was the manifestation of the very words of the living God.
In the Old Testament prophets were given God’s very words which they wrote down.
They wrote what God told them to write.
If I write a journal and someone reads it then the person reading would know my very thoughts, my desires, my personality, likes, dislikes and even commands if I so wrote.
God in the Old Testament gave the prophets his very words. They wrote them down ver bateum. Even all the historical records.
It is the same as if God himself is speaking in person.
Under the New Testament Jesus Christ was sent as God manifest in the flesh. He was the embodiment of God himself.
Everything written down by the disciples are God inspired. Jesus Christ was speaking himself through his disciples.
They were only the microphone for God’s Holy word.
When Paul and other Apostles wrote down what the Holy Spirit spoke to them, their words were God breathed.
God himself inspired those words.
ALL SCRIPTURES ARE GOD BREATHED. DIVINELY INSPIRED.
When we read scriptures we are reading God’s own words. Scriptures are not just an historical record. Scriptures are the very words of God himself.
You can not separate Jesus Christ from his word. He is his Word.
To do so is to create your own Jesus. One according to your imagination and opinions. Jesus reveals himself by Holy Spirit revelation through the Logos.
Disregard of Holy cannon as God breathed is a dangerous prescident. It leaves room for all kinds of doctrinal error with opinions, false beliefs and even apostacy.
Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. The very Logos of God himself who dwelt among his creation.
By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. Psalm 33:6
God’s word according to the book of Revelation given to John by the Holy Spirit must be kept in high regard. To add to his word or take away from his word is a serious thing.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
God’s promises in his word are Yes and Amen. Never will they fail you for they are God’s very words.
Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 107:6,7
To walk with God in Hebrew is halak. This is an action word which means to live life in a manner that keeps pace with, follows, goes forth, continues on, moves along, travels, goes to and fro with and turns with in a form of weakness or dependence.
According to Scriptures, God was walking in the garden of Eden in the cool of the day. Adam heard God walking in the garden but he was not walking with him.
In fact scriptures do not say that Adam and Eve walked as in halak with God. What scriptures do say is that Adam was alone and God saw that it was not good so he created Eve to be a helper to him.
What did he need help with? In doing what he was created to do. Which was to be a care taker and watchman of the Garden. (Genesis 2:15)
Adam did hear God’s voice. He heard the instructions given to him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
However he did not listen. Why?
Could it be because Adam was not walking with God? As in halak.
Eve obviously was not walking with God or she would not have been deceived by the devil.
Eve wanted to be wise. She lacked guidance. Hebrew saw-kal’ for wise means to be instructed in prudence, to be skillful, have good success, to understand, to be guided.
Doesn’t sound like some one walking with God. Those are the things God does for us!
Even after Adam and Eve sinned Adam still could hear God’s voice.
And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. Genesis 3:8-10
When Eve was deceived by the serpent it was because she did not listen to her husband. Adam was the one God told not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God gave Adam that instruction before Eve was even created.
Eve did not get the information from God directly. She heard her husband’s commandment which was given to him by the Lord.
Why did Adam then listen to Eve instead of God? Could it be that although Adam could hear God’s voice he was not walking with him in halak ?
Adam knew God and heard his voice but he did not obey God. His relationship with God was not a surrendered one.
Let’s take a look at those who did walk with God.
According to the Bible, Enoch walked with God in perfect step by faith and this pleased God so much that Enoch walked straight into the spiritual realm. (HEBREWS 11:5, Genesis 5:24)
Noah walked with God. Noah heard God’s voice telling him to prepare for judgment that was to come and by faith he obeyed. (Genesis 6:9)
How many times do we hear God’s voice speaking to us from scriptures and yet do not listen? Is it because we are not really walking with God? (James 1:23)
Scriptures tell us that those who walk after the Holy Spirit will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Romans 8:1)
If we are having struggles with sin and our life is not blessed is it because we hear God’s voice and yet do not obey his commands?
Adam heard God directly. Eve heard God’s commands indirectly but still they disobeyed.
Since scriptures give no reference that Adam walked with God like Enoch or Noah did in halak we can only assume that Adam knew God, heard his voice but did not walk in halak with him.
He could have chosen to eat from the tree of life had he wanted halak but for some reason he did not. (Genesis 2:8,9)
After Adam and Eve sinned they still heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. All Creation speaks of God’s existence. Even the unsaved hear God’s voice.
Adam and his wife then hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)
Sin separated God’s creation from himself. When the Lord found Adam he was hiding in guilt and condemnation from God. God then had to sacrifice a sheep and cloth them with a temporary covering to atone for their sin.
After Adam and Eve sinned they were cast out from the presence of the Lord. No more could they live in a perfect sinless life.
This act never did restore Adam to sinless perfection but what it did do was make a covering to appease God’s wrath for disobedience so that he did not destroy Adam and Eve and the whole earth, by his righteous judgment.
In conclusion we can see that it is not enough to just hear God’s voice. We must obey God’s voice. We must walk by his Holy Spirit completely dependent upon him.
This comes by becoming born of God and given new life, being made alive unto God.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
If you do not yet know God then ask Jesus the Savior to save you from wrath as you turn away from your sins.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Roman 5:9
Ask God to make you born of his Holy Spirit and fill you with his Holy Spirit.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Ephesians 5:18-20
Then walk with God as he leads you in halak, relationship.
Obey his word the Bible as the Lord helps you every day!
Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. Deuteronomy 13:4
The Bible tells us to meditate on God’s word continuously. In order to do this we need to know exactly what he means by that and why it is so important. (Psalms 1:2 )
To Mediate in the Hebrew is hâgâh, which means to ponder or consider. To imagine or think about. To study.
Most people realize this but did you know that to meditate or hâgâh also means to mutter, speak and talk about?
Putting it together what God is asking us to do is not only to read the Bible, study the Bible, consider the Bible and think about the Bible but also to talk about the Bible and declare the Bible.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Why is this so important to meditate on God’s word? Let us examine why God wants us to do this.
According to Joshua 1:8, if the word of God is in our hearts and in our mouths then we will be careful to perform that word. In doing so then our lives will be prosperous and successful.
After being a Christian for almost 40 years I can tell you from my experience that regardless of adversity and challenges one faces in life the reason for an unsuccessful life is a life that is not surrendered to God’s word.
Now we can have success in an area in which we believe the word of God and act upon it while lacking in another area in which we are either ignorant or refuse to consider.
Many times this is due to unbelief. (Which is sin by the way. Romans 11: 22-23)
Theological discrepancies concerning doctrinal issues keep people from both seeing the truth which is in the Bible or receiving that truth.
Scriptures plainly tell us that without faith we cannot please God or receive from him. (Hebrews 11:6)
If we do not believe scriptures concerning a topic and explain it away through cleverly man made hypothesis then we will lack in that area. Satan’s age old scheme is to keep us from having victory in our lives. ‘Has God really said?’
For example if one is a cessationist then it is doubtful that they will experience the miraculous in their life. Other Christians may get healed, delivered, and speak in tongues but the cessationist will not. To them this lack in their life justifies their doctrinal stance when in actuality their lack is really due to having no faith in that area. Jesus did say that Holy Spirit signs follow THOSE WHO BELIEVE. (Mark 16:17)
Again if we will not believe for financial success we can remain poor while others are blessed financially. If we don’t give as scriptures tell us to and give cheerfully with a willing heart then we will not recieve. (Luke 6:38, 2 Corinthians 9: 6,7)
This principle of faith to recieve our need comes from our ability to believe the word of God. We believe the word of God as we meditate on it. (Romans 10:17)
Another point to consider is the principle of the tares or worldly values choking the word of God. (Mark 4:19)
Job says that he would not consider or meditate on anything that is wicked. He would not even speak about wicked things either. (Job 27:4)
David who mediated on God’s word day and night said that he would not put any wicked thing before his eyes. That is he would not consider it, think about it or talk about it. (Psalm 101:3,)
Paul said to think on good things. Those good things we need to think about are in the Bible. ( Philippians 4:8)
Being a victorious Christian requires separation from the world not only in deed but in thoughts. (1 John 2: 15,17 2 Corinthians 6:17)
Worldly entertainment or even a steady diet of Christian fluff will keep us from being successful and strong in the Lord.
The remedy for our failures in life is to search the Bible and find out the answers. What are we doing wrong? Yes that’s right what are WE doing wrong.
Many times Christians want to blame their failures on God. It wasn’t his will, he never really said that, we just can’t figure God out.
If the Bible tells us that he has given us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness then why don’t we believe him? (2 Peter 1:3)
It wasn’t until I took a good hard look at my self and owned up to my failures and disobedience to God’s word that I began to have victory in my life.
God spoke to me very clearly when I was seeking him and he said to me by his Holy Spirit, “I am no respecter of persons.” Acts 10:34,35
In other words God shows no partiality.
Then the Lord began to teach me line upon line and precept upon precept where I was at fault, how I failed to both believe and act on particular scriptural principles. Then after correcting me the Lord gave me his grace to understand and faith to apply.
This happened because the word of God said one thing and I was doing another. The results were not good! God had to show me my error in order to correct me.
The point I am making is that prioritizing the word of God in our lives by meditating on it will bring the truth that we need to be set free.
If we think on, study, speak about the Bible then we will start doing what the Bible says. Then we shall be successful or have victory through Jesus Christ in our life.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3
According to scriptures, no one is righteousness. All men ,“are under sin.” (Romans 3:9; 5:12)
What is sin? According to the Bible definition, sin is evil offensive behavior contrary to God’s nature. That is behaviour perverse, crooked, or twisted from God’s original intent.
Sin is also rebellion against God’s authority. That is breaking away from, revolting and arguing against God’s laws which leads to straying away from him and his ways as defined by scripture.
Resulting in being defiled, unclean, unjust, wicked, lawless, a wanderer, seduced and having gone astray.
That pretty much sums it up.
The Bible says that if we offend in just one point of the law of God, we have fallen short of his righteous standards and are on the naughty list. This includes all of us. (James 2:10)
Scriptures tell us that all have sinned. All fall short of God’s law and all are declared to be sinners. (Romans 3:19) (Romans 5:12).
Since we are all sinners, astray from God we need a remedy. None of us can save ourselves. We are quiet the lost cause without some one to save us from our predicament!
But “I’m not that bad,” you may say. After all I have not committed anything so horrendous as to be considered wicked. On the contrary, God considers you wicked indeed! (Romans 3:10-18)
Let me explain. If I own an expensive silk shirt and I get a stain on it that cannot be removed by natural means, as it is quiet ground in, my shirt is soiled. Now it many not be dirty and grimy as some silk shirts but nevertheless it is still not fit to dress a King! Would you offer your soiled silk shirt to the King of kings? Of course not! (Isaiah 64:6).
All have broken God’s law according to the Bible. Jesus said that if you have anger in your heart towards any person then you have sinned. Hate in God’s eyes is the same thing as murder. If you look at a person lustfully, just a look mind you, then you have committed adultery in your heart!
I would say that we all have a stain on our silk shirts!
“For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
The standard of God’s law is absolute perfect obedience. Outside of God, no one qualifies as righteous. Now for my point. Since we are all declared sinners and headed to destruction, we really do need a remedy. (Romans 6:23).
What some people do not realized is that God’s mercy trumps over his judgment. (James 2:3) According to scriptures God so wants to save us from the consequences of sin that he sacrificially gave his life for ours!
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ(by grace you have been saved). (Ephesians 2:4-5)
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, being God’s heir, also deity, took on flesh and gave up his life as a sacrifice for our sins. In other words, the Son of God paid the penalty for our sins. He took our place, paid our punishment. (Romans 5:6-21)
This is good news! Only one condition. A condition? Yes, there is a condition. You see this great salvation only applies to those who receive it. Wait a minute, I thought you said God gave his life in exchange for mine? He did.
He paid a price to redeem you to himself. Not so you could continue in your sin. Oh, no that is not the exchange here. He gave his life up for you and in exchange you give your life to him. (Titus 2:14)
When you recognize your need and receive God’s great salvation by receiving the sacrifice for your sin through Jesus Christ the Savior, then God will supernaturally make you his child, having no sin accredited to your account. He will birth you into his kingdom as a brand-new babe by his Spirit.
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)
Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:3, 5-6)
Then you can rejoice in God’s goodness to you! As his child the Lord will now lead you, provide for you, and bless you as you continue to walk with him even to the end of your life.
Search me O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)
O my soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.” (Psalm 16:2)
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30)
Grace or charis in ancient Greek is the divine influence upon the heart. Charis means to be gracious, loving, kind, extend favor, benevolent and life giving.
The word charis was used both in Greek and Roman mythology as the personification of graces. To be appropriated as having charis was to be divine.
Paul being an educated man of his era used the word Charis from the Greek to describe God’s desire to save mankind from sin. This word was understood by the Greeks and Romans in their culture to mean an act of divine kindness. Paul was using this word to convey to the Gentiles of his day how much God cared about them.
Paul went on to tell these Gentiles that the One true God’s charis could be extended to them through pistis or faith in Jesus Christ. In Greek mythology Pistis was representative of having good faith, trust, and reliability. Pistis was a principle used as a classical form of argumentation in Paul’s day. To fully persuade through logical reasoning. In other words, the mind must be fully persuaded in an argument to agree with the evidence presented to be convinced of a particular truth.
Today in law we use the term “good faith” or bona fide to describe the act of putting trust in and confidence with sincerity in something without intent to defraud with malice.
The Bible tells us to be fully persuaded about something in our mind. What we believe will determine our course of action. (Romans 14:5)
According to scripture, Thomas was not fully persuaded in his mind that Jesus had risen from the dead. Jesus did not condemn him for his lack of faith or pistis. Rather he demonstrated his eternal word by revealing himself to Thomas. Some people think that faith is supposed to be blind. Just trust even though you have not been fully persuaded. This simply is not true!
Faith comes by hearing a word from the Lord! (Romans 10:17) Presumptuous blind faith has caused many a life to go ship wrecked.
Faith or pistis comes by a word from God who has worked upon the heart by his divine nature with benevolent intentions, through Grace or charis.
Pistis is being fully persuaded based on convincing. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit convinces us that something is true. (John 16:8)
Grace or God’s loving kindness convinces the heart through faith (which is relying upon as true) creating the assurance of what is hoped for but not fully materialized.
Faith or pistis persuades and convinces by divine intervention a truth.
Thomas was fully persuaded that Jesus rose from the dead by experiencing the logos manifest in the flesh. It is the word of God which creates the ability to believe with fully persuaded assurance.
Even though a person were raised from the dead, if a heart is not fully persuaded by the Holy Spirit they would not believe. The unbelieving heart would just explain away the miracle. It takes charis through pistis to be fully convinced of truth.
Divinely inspired reasoning through the word of God convincing the heart is what produces faith. Miracles confirm the word of God. Jesus is the logos made flesh. His word through scriptures by divinely inspired utterance or manifestation worked on the heart is what produces faith, pistis.
In Roman’s chapter one we are told that evidence for a Creator is made evident by the things which are made. That does not convince everyone of that fact however.
A mind can be fully persuaded to believe a lie. Satan has built up strongholds of delusion in many people’s mind. They believe something to be true when it is not. Hence the need to have full persuasion of the truth. Scriptures tell us plainly that not all men have faith (2 Thess. 3:2) and that all born again Christians have been given a measure of faith. Notice the word given. Faith is given. An act of divine grace.
Even among Christians this is so. Paul pointed out that one person in persuaded that eating meat is fine while others do not have faith to eat meat.
Paul says that if you do not have faith being fully persuaded about something and you go against your conscience then it is sin. (Romans 14:2-5)
We know from scriptures that God sanctified meats but that some cannot eat meat because of an unpersuaded mind.
To one eating food offered to idols is no big deal because to them the idol is just a man-made construct. A piece of wood or a rock. While to others it is a demon spirit’s offering. Therefore, the thought of eating an offering sacrificed to an idol is abhorrent. (1 Corinthians 8)
Adam and Eve were walking in the garden naked without a problem and then after they sinned their nakedness became sin to them. They felt vulnerable and unprotected. God made a sacrifice of an animal for their atonement and clothed them in the skin. What was the difference? Perception. Their nakedness was seen not from a perspective of innocent children but naked in their beings in front of a Holy God. (Genesis 3)
We see this same principle today in cultural practices. Some have liberty in somethings while others do not have that same liberty due to cultural beliefs.
Unless the heart is fully persuaded (having faith) through divine intervention about a matter they cannot believe. Faith is a supernatural attribute produced by divinely inspired grace.
The conscience if not adhered to can sear. Basically, can have a flamboyant disregard for something. Many non saved people have this. Their sin does not feel like sin to them because it is a natural practice. It takes Holy Spirit convincing to produce an awareness of sin. (Romans 1)
Charis divinely influenced upon the heart convinces that God’s word is true. Grace through faith produces a change of mind or repentance. (Ephesians 2:8,9)
Evidence that is presented by the Holy Spirit through the word; written, oral or even supernatural produces faith. (John 20)
God’s word graciously worked upon the heart produces faith.
Paul reasoned with, persuaded, argued, testified, to the Gentiles through scriptures that Jesus is both Saviour and Lord. The Holy Spirit divinely moved upon the hearts to convince.
Paul also performed miracles confirming the word of God that he preached through demonstrative power of the Holy Spirit. Charis demonstrated evidences of the truth of the gospel message.
Grace or charis is the divine work of the invisible God the Holy Spirit upon the heart. Blessed indeed are those who believe and are fully persuaded that God’s word is true.