Repentance

Repentance means to have sincere regret and remorse for sin. It also means to turn from evil and do good. (Jeremiah 26:3, Mark 1:4)

The Bible teaches that salvation is bestowed upon the one who confesses trespassing against God’s law and putting trust in the salvation provided by God. Under the New Covenant that salvation is provided through faith in Jesus Christ. Unless there is repentance there is no salvation. (Luke 13:3-5)

Belief in Jesus as in intellectual assent is not faith. May I repeat this. Belief as in intellectual assent is not faith. At least not Biblical faith. It is not enough to believe something in order for it to apply to you.

I can believe that soap will clean my body but unless I apply that soap it will have no effect on me. The same is true for salvation. One must receive Jesus through both repentance and faith.

The devil believes in Jesus. He knows Jesus is God who came in the flesh to save mankind but that does not save him. Why? Because he has an unrepentant heart. He is still in his sins and can never be saved. (James 2:19)

This is the same for people who believe in Jesus as Savior but are still in their sins. Salvation means to be saved. Saved from what? Sin! If one still lives in sin then that person is not saved. Why? Because there is no repentance. ( Romans 6:2)

Some Christians battle over the faith and works argument because they leave out a major prerequisite for salvation to occur in the first place. Jesus specifically said that if you do not repent you will perish which means to be eternally lost. ( Luke 13:3)

If one is really saved according to the Bible they will produce godly fruit. (Matthew 3:8-10, )

Works in and of themselves don’t save but works revealing godly fruit is the evidence of having been saved. (James 2:18)

When repentance comes to the heart through conviction or convincing of sin by the Holy Spirit then salvation can occur. Sorrow for sin is a prerequisite for faith to come. How can you reach out to the Savior to save you unless you know you need saving? ( 2 Corinthians 7:10)

To mentally assent to Jesus Christ as the Savior is the first step towards salvation BUT does not constitute salvation in and of itself.

The salvation equation is as follows. GOD reaches out by grace which is undeserved mercy to those who believe in Jesus as the Saviour and repent of their sins. Then faith comes to the heart to trust in the Saviour for salvation.

Biblical faith is not a human quality. To have Faith in God cannot come by one’s own ability. You can reason to believe with the mind in Jesus Christ but you cannot fully trust, rely upon with confidence in Jesus Christ the Savior without the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 10:17 John 14:6 )

That is where the confusion doctrinally lies. Mental assent is mistaken for faith. The Greek word PISTIS for faith is based on relationship. It is not acknowledging something to be so.

This is why Jesus said in the Bible that MANY will say to him in that day. “Lord, Lord did we not do all these things in your name? Then Jesus will reply “I don’t know you.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

This is why James said. “I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:14-26)

A truly saved person will desire to live according to Biblical protocol. They will desire to be free from sin. They will not love the world or anything in the world. They will be constantly seeking God’s will for their life. (1 John 2:15-17)

If you are still living in your sins it’s best to be honest with God and ask him to bring you to the end of yourself where you hate your sin and want to give it up.

Perhaps, as Paul says, God will be merciful and grant you repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:25)

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Sin Shall Not Have Dominion!

Romans Chapter 6:14 tells us that sin shall not have any dominion over us.

To have dominion over means to exercise Lordship, ownership, to be ruled by.

If in fact scriptures tell us that sin shall not have dominion over us then why does sin have dominion over some Christians?

Why are some Christians living very much like they are not much different than the unsaved?

Let’s take a look at what scriptures tell us about the matter.

We find out in the next verse that sin has no dominion over Christians because we are not under law but under grace.

In other words Christians now have a new Lord. The Bible tells us that prior to salvation sin was our master. We were under the control of the devil through the sin nature. Sin is the devil’s nature. That is why Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees who were under the law that they had the devil’s nature.

Continuing on in the chapter we can find the remedy for the sin nature. Verse 15 makes it clear that just because we are under grace or favor from God through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ that does not mean we are free to continue to sin.

Verse 16 tells us that whoever we yield ourselves to obey is whose servant we are to whom we obey. If we yield to sin it is because we have sin as our master. If we yield to the Holy Spirit it is evident that God is our master.

Yielding to sin produces death. That means our fruit will be rotten, leading to decay and death. In other words our lives will produce defeat, sickness, poverty, and all kinds of ailments which may lead even to eternal death.

That is why Jesus said to test the fruit to see if someone really belongs to Jesus. If our lives are producing bad fruit then it is because of one or two things. Either there is no real salvation experience or their is ignorance of God’s word.

Vrs. 17 tells us that if we obeyed the teaching we received about salvation then we are free from the dominion of sin and are now become servants of righteousness.

Righteousness in this verse is translated as justification. Made in right standing with God. Now some Christians will stop there BUT it does in fact not end there.

This verse goes on to say that if we have been made righteous then our fruit will be unto holiness. In other words the fruit of our lives will be producing a sanctified purified life.

Now what is the key here to going from the righteous of God in Christ Jesus to holiness or godly living?

The key is in this word. YIELD. If indeed we have received Jesus Christ and are justified by his blood then we will be servants of that righteousness producing holy living.

Under the sin nature we yielded to sin. It was our master. But now we belong to another, born of his Spirit and are become servants of righteousness. If we are servants then we are not free to live any way the old flesh or earthy senses try to dictate.

We are now called to yield to God. That is to the Holy Spirit given to us at the new birth which makes his will know to us by revelation of the word of God. To yield means to give way to, adhere to. Submit to.

Verse 23 declares that the wages or earnings of obeying the sin nature will produce death but the gift of God which is salvation through Jesus Christ freely given to us produces eternal life.

Those under the dominion of sin are the slaves to sin but those under the dominion of the Holy Spirit are now become servants of righteousness unto holiness.

Yield or give way your vessel to the Holy Spirit and he will empower you to live a life that pleases God!

The Mind of Christ

The scriptures tell us to Love the Lord with all our heart but also with all our mind.

Mind in the Greek is dianoia which means the imagination, deep thought, and the understanding.

Christians that live according to the dictates of the carnal nature do so because they have not submitted their minds to the Lord. As long as the mind does not love God completely then the bodily appetites and earthly concerns will dominate the person rather than the Holy Spirit.

Those of the flesh or those walking after the carnal nature have their mind (entertain opinions and interests and have affections and cares) on the concerns of this life. (Romans 8)

But those Christians that pursue after the Spirit of God set their affections on the things of God’s kingdom or pertaining to and exceeding to the Spirit of God.

The carnal or worldly mind which is basically the human nature is in enmity with or hostile to God the Bible tells us.

The carnal mind is not in subjection to the law or principles of God nor is it possible to be. To be carnal minded according to the Bible produces death. That means produces things that have no spiritual and eternal value.

To be spiritually minded produces life and peace. Gods’s life will live in and through us.

A carnal or human thinking mind cannot please God. (1 Corinthians 2:13)

All God’s ways are foreign to the human mind. God’s ways many times go against human reasoning. Faith is to believe what is not evident. Faith trusts in supernatural provision. Supernatural ability and supernatural intervention.

God says in his word that if you want financial success then you need to give some money away. That does not register to a carnal mind. A carnal mind will beg,borrow,steal, or whatever to get a financial need met when God says, give and then I will give back to you. (2 Corinthians 9:7, Proverbs 3:9, Luke 6:30-38 Mark 12:41-44, )

The Bible says that if you want wisdom then ask God and he will give it to you. The world says to study philosophy and use secular reasoning to be wise. Use your street smarts. Use common sense.

Those in the Spirit setting their mind on things above are led of the Spirit according to Romans 8 and they have put to death or refused to let operate their flesh or earthly understanding.

God is no respecter of persons. The person who obeys God’s word will produce abundant life and the person who lives by the world’s understanding will produce that which has not spiritual value.

Carnal desires come through minding carnal things. That is from thinking from a human perspective. Thinking on things contrary to the Bible will produce, things such as fear, anxiety, unbelief, sensuality. In the end that kind of thinking will be destructive both mentally and physically and may even produce spiritual death .

Romans 12:2 says not to be conformed or patterned after the world but be transformed or changed by renewing the mind.

How can we renew our mind? By thinking according to the Bible!

Human intellect, feelings and will that are submitted to the will of God will produce life. The word of God is the will of God.

Ephesians 4:2,3 says to put off the former conversation or speach of the old person. The person you were before salvation. God tells us to let no corrupt communication or speach come out of our mouth.

Whatever comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart and whatever is in the heart comes through the mind. The mind is the filter for the heart. (Mathew 15:18)

Putting destructive ungodly things into the mind will result in becoming worldly or carnal. God tells us in his word to be renewed in the soul or spirit of the mind which is the intellect, thoughts, emotional feelings, the understanding and the will.

We are called to put on the new born again person which has been created to be righteous and Holy. (Philllipians 4:8)

Scriptures tell us openly what to think on. “Whatever is true, honest, pure , lovely, good, virtuous and praise worthy.” (Philllipians 4:8)

These are values that are God’s way of thinking as set out in scriptures.

The Bible tells us that God’s word is the remedy for the carnal mind. If we think on the word of God we will be renewed in our minds.

Jesus said, “Why do you call me Lord when you don’t do what I say? ” (Luke 6:46)

Jesus is the word incarnate. The Bible is God’s word. When we put our mind on what God says then we start acting like God says to act. We become not only a hearer of the word but a doer of the word. (James 1:22)

According to Proverbs 23:7 Whatever we think in the mind we will become.

If we think God’s word then it will go into the heart. Then we will act according to God’s word. (Proverbs 4:23)

Loving The Lord with all our mind is the key to living a life that pleases God. A life that pleases God is a life that is blessed.

So let us line up our mind to God’s way of thinking by having it renewed by his word!

1 Corinthians 2:16

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

His Mercy Endures Forever!

The greatest remedy for our sins, failures, bad choices, and mistakes is God’s unfailing love in which he demonstrated to us through the gift of the Savior Jesus Christ.

This love undeserved is called grace but did you know that grace and salvation stem from God’s heart of compassion in which he releases to the undeserved his mercy.

Mercy called chânan in the Hebrew means to bend in kindness to an inferior; to bestow favor upon. To have pity. Eleeō in the Greek means mercy is the divine grace of almighty God. Mercy is in effect the Lord’s compassion.

Mercy according to the Bible triumphs or is victorious over judgment. All sin is judged by God whose throne is established in justice and righteousness.

Legally speaking God’s laws when broken must be judged. That judgment always leads to death. Christians many times want to blame the devil for every thing but it is not the devil who activates God’s judgment upon us when we sin. It is in fact our own doing.

What the devil does is take advantage of a legal precedent. Sin is an open invitation for Satan to have access to a person’s life. That is why Paul said. Don’t give Satan any place!

Satan is always looking for some one to devour. He wants to kill, steal and destroy in any way he can. So what can we do against this formidable foe who is a merciless devourer that takes advantage of our weakness?

Scriptures give us the answer! Yes, it is God’s mercy! When we confess our sins and ask for help in our weakness the Lord has a legal precedent that triumphs over the law of judgment.

Symptoms of emotional and physical distress often stem from sin and are projected through Satanic attacks. When we suffer from these symptoms we need to look into our hearts and find out how we let Satan get an advantage of us. Then we need to repent.

Whether personal or generational sin has a penalty. That penalty is death. Not just eternal death but non life or dark consequences both material and spiritual. These consequences are manifest through various kinds of torments, afflictions and lack.

Mercy does not need a price for it to bring the remedy for our sins.
Mercy is bestowed freely to the contrite and broken heart of repentance from a loving God. Mercy is not given to the proud or self righteous but to the humble who recognize their weakness and desire help from an all powerful God.

James 4:6
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Mercy from the Lord comes also when we are persecuted, misunderstood, and attacked by unscrupulous people.

Let me show you from scriptures how the mercy of God can be applied to our lives.

In our distress or trouble we can call on the Lord for his mercy and he will hear us and deliver us.

When we are weak and suffering with affliction we can call on the Lord for his mercy. When we are hated and persecuted we can ask for God to pour out his mercy. When we are poor, depressed and alone we can also appeal to God for his mercy for God’s mercy endures forever.

God’s mercy will bring us forgiveness and deliverance. His mercy sent from the throne of Grace will gives us strength and empowers us to live a life that pleases him.

God’s mercy will protect us and defend us from our enemies. God’s mercy will preserve us from trouble and keep us from the power of the wicked one.

God’s mercy will make us stand and be strong in his mighty power.

God’s mercy will teach us Biblical truth and cause us to walk in his ways.

Are you in need of God’s mercy today? Call upon him in your brokenness for he will bend his ear down to hear your cry. He will come to your rescue and save you out of all your trouble for whoever calls on the name of the Lord in sincerity shall be saved!

Psalm 4:1
When I was in distress have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 6:2
Have mercy on me in my weakness and suffering and heal me.

Have mercy when I suffer from those who hate me. Lift me up out of death. Psalm 9: 13

Through the mercy of the Lord I shall not be moved. Psalm 21:7

For your mercy’s sake don’t remember my sins
Psalm 25:7

Remember mercy because I am desolate. Left alone. Forsaken. And afflicted. Depressed, needy and poor. Psalm 25:16

Have mercy. Be my helper. Psalm 30:10

Have mercy for I am in trouble and sorrowful. Psalm 31:9

Those who trust the Lord will have mercy. Psalm 32:10

Send forth your mercy to me from heaven. Psalm 36:5 psalm 57:3

Gods mercy has been my defense and refuge in trouble. Psalm 59:16

Your mercy and truth preserve me. Psalm 61:7

Show mercy and bring deliverence psalm 85:7

In your mercy give me strength and save me
Psalm 86 :16

Let your mercy keep me and your covenant stand for me
Psalm 89:28

Extend your mercy to my children psalm 103:17

Let your mercy deliver me because you are good. Psalm 109:21

According to your mercy teach me your word. Psalm 119:24

Deliver me from my enemies in your mercy. Psalm 136:26

Hope in his mercy.

The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Psalm 147:11

Don’t Be Ignorant!

Ignorance of Satan’s devices according to the Bible will give him access in our lives to kill, steal and destroy. It is not true that once we get saved then God will automatically keep us safe from demonic attacks.

The Lord Jesus specifically says that MY PEOPLE are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hoses 4:6

2 Cor. 2: 10,11 tells us that in order for Christians to not be taken advantage of by Satan then we need to know how he operates.

To “take advantage of” means to have power over …have a hold…to prey on

If we are ignorant of Satan’s schemes…plots…plans …operations, then he will take advantage of us. Christians who are ignorant of Satan’s devices can become victim to his attacks.

So what are some of Satan’s schemes? The Bible reveals many and you will have to read the Bible for yourself to find out all of them but I will show you a few main ones.

Just prior to Paul mentioning Satan’s ability to deceive us if we are ignorant he reveals something important. He says that forgiveness was needed for some one so Satan would not have an advantage.

Being unforgiving is one way that the door will open to demonic activity operating in our lives. Not only that but holding on to grudges will keep us out of heaven. Jesus said that if we do not forgive others then he will not be able to forgive us. If our sins aren’t forgiven then we cannot go to heaven.

Another device Satan uses is hindrance. Unless we are on guard and watchful unto prayer, Satan will come and try to put a wrench in anything we do. We need to be in the Spirit at all times.

Satan hindered Paul from his ministry assignment the Bible says . Once Paul was on to what Satan was up to then he prayed and the doors opened for him to carry on his assignment but nevertheless Satan gave it a shot to try and stop Paul’s outreach ministry.
1 Thess. 2:18

Another advantage Satan uses is our weakness. Satan knows how to hit below the belt so we need to know what our weakness is and ask God for his help in that area. Otherwise Satan will have a hey day with us. He will move on that weakness to try and bring destruction.

Another tactic the devil uses is enticement to lure us away from what God wants us to do and direct us through our weakness to disobey God to further our own agenda.

This can be seen in 1 Chronicles 21:1 where Satan rose up against David and enticed him to sin.

How do we stay safe against the satanic agenda? By being guarded in our minds. That is keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. Walking in forgiveness towards others at all times. Forgiveness is an act of the will and we operate in forgiveness by not retaliating but rather giving ourselves to prayer.

Keep alert ! Be on the watch for Satan is always seeking to devour. Know who your enemy really is and take authority over him in Jesus name when he tries to have any place!

Give no place to the devil. Ephesians 4:27

Sin will open a door for Satan to prey on us. Giving Satan place is translated in the Greek as giving the devil a home or room of occupancy.

Let us also call on the Lord Jesus to help us in our weak areas. He will always make a way of escape out of our temptations if we ask for one!

The Offense Of The Cross !

Some Christians are under the impression that the suffering “doctrine” or teaching is a legalistic religious mindset but is it?

Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about suffering.

To suffer ( sumpaschō ) according to the Bible means to experience pain and in particular regarding persecution. Suffer also means (pathēma ) hardships and emotional pain.

We know that Jesus suffered for us but did you know that we are called to suffer for him?

According to Romans 8:17 we are children of God and joint heirs with Christ if we suffer with him so that we can also be glorified (exalted to dignity) with him.

In the same way that Jesus carried his cross to complete the mandate given to him so must each of us carry our cross to fulfill our mandate given to us by God.

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. (Philippians 1:29)

The pain of persecution may include bodily and emotional pain. Jesus was never sick from disease and infirmity but bodily pain and mental torment was inflicted upon him. Jesus was persecuted for who he was and for the message he brought.

Scriptures tell us that Christians will suffer persecution because we belong to Jesus. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. (Galatians 5:11)

Scriptures tell us that the sufferings (pathēma hardships, emotional pain)
of this world are insignificant in comparison to the glory that will be revealed in us.

2 Corinthians 1:6 tells us to endure suffering for that reason. For as we partake of suffering for Christ’s sake so shall we partake of the comfort of the Comforter. The Holy Spirit will always comfort us in our sufferings. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

Suffering produces patience in us . After we have patiently suffered for a while then we will produce new life. In the same way as the pain of child birth produces new life, we will have the joy at the end of our suffering!

What Satan means for our hurt God always turns into life for his glory so patiently endure the suffering you are going through! (Roman’s 8:28)

If you are in a place of suffering right now for Christ’s sake then rejoice for scriptures tell us that your reward in heaven will be great ! To suffer for Jesus sake will turn into life for you!

With God’s strength we can endure our suffering and with his love shed abroad in our hearts we can love and pray for those who persecute us; so that they will come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. (Matthew 5:10, Roman’s 5:5, Matthew 5:44)

Is God Fair?

 

Is God fair? It depends on your definition of fair.

If you mean does God show favoritism or bias to anyone then the answer is no. BUT if you mean does God distribute evenly then again the answer is no.

According to Acts 10:34
God is no respecter of persons.

This means that God does not show partiality or unfair bias based on favoritism BUT God does choose people for different gifts and callings according to his purposes.

God gives some people what seems like an advantage in some area but he makes that up by giving others an advantage in another area. This spiritual principle we can see in the bible verse of God bestowing more grace on a “comely vessel.” 1 Corinthians 23:24

We see by God’s distribution of the talents in Matthew that God does not always distribute his gifts evenly.

According to that parable Jesus gave one person 5 talents, another 2 talents and another 1 talent according to their ability or in other words the gifts and callings of the Lord allotted to them.

Each were equally accountable for what they did with their talents. (Matthew 25: 14-30)

It ended up that because the guy with 5 talents increased what he had, God gave him even more and the guy with 1 talent, he ended up loosing his talent.

Interesting enough but it was the guy with the least amount of talents that did nothing with his. Sometimes we may think that because we don’t have a lot of advantages that we are less accountable. This is not true. No matter how much we have been given by the Lord in our ability, we are still accountable to use that talent for the Lord Jesus glory. Remember the one who uses their talent will get even more talents.

Even though it seems like we may have been given an unfair playing field in actuality what we have are really only differences. Remember scriptures tell us that to one is given…..and to another is given…according as the Lord wills. (1 Cor. 12)

Can we increase our gifts and callings? The answer is YES! For example, I heard a testimony about a man in Africa from a poor village who waited all day to see a famous preacher and track him down to get prayer for a blessing.

Out of thousands of people attending that meeting only one stayed behind to seek out a blessing. It ended up that right after that encounter the young African man went back to his village and prayed for his people. Revival broke out in his village. This young man is a high profile evangelist in Africa today.

So as you can see while God is no respecter of persons he will bless the person who uses the gifts bestowed with more gifts and the person who does nothing or mismanages their gifts will suffer loss. (2 Corinthians 10:12)

This is why God says that those who compare themselves with others are not wise. We are not accountable for the next guy’s life but we sure are for our own!

Wisdom is given to those who seek out how to utilize their gifts and talents. The Bible tells us that all we have to do is ask! (James 1:5)

Hang On To Jesus!

No matter how hard the battle is Christians must hold on to the hem of Jesus Christ’s garment until victory comes ! (Matthew 9:20)

Many times when we don’t see immediate results and heaven seems silent our flesh is tempted to panic but Jesus wants us to look to him, the originator and completer of our faith, and not at the storm around us. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

No matter how rough the waves, how deep the waters, or how hard the wind blows, we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. (Mathew 14)

Satan knows his times is short and he is mad as hell. Knowing our weakness, and the weakness of others, the evil one will send forth those fiery darts but our faith in Jesus Christ is what will bring us through to victory every time. If we do not give up. (Ephesians 6:16, Galatians 6:9)

Faithful is he who has promised! So hang on, keep pressing through in prayer and having done all you are required in scriptures to do just keep standing. (Hebrews 10:23, Ephesians 6:13)

God’s power will be released to rescue you from your fiery trial. Jesus will turn your way and see your faith. He will lift you up out of despair and make you whole again. Jesus will turn your sorrow into joy once more! Do not be afraid! Do not doubt his love for you! Hang on with every last thread of your being to his garment!

Your victory is sure! Look up for help is on its way!

Continue to put your trust in Jesus Christ through the storm and you will not be disappointed! Remember that he has promised to come through for you and God never breaks a promise! (Roman’s 10:11 Psalms 25:3)

Continue in Prayer!

Continue in prayer ! Colossians 4:2

The word continue according to the Greek definition means to persevere diligently, attend to in exercise, wait on, adhere closely to.

So in other words Christians are being admonished to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty (persevere) carefully with much effort (diligent) show up and engage in physical activity (godly exercise) attending with close attachment ( draw near) in immediate proximity. (up close and personal)

Sounds like a mouthful but you get the point when it’s broken down.

Prayer is not always a quicky petition. When we don’t get an answer right away many of us want to give up. We think that the Lord Jesus doesn’t care about our situation because he doesn’t show up immediately and meet our need.

Well, God just isn’t a fast food God. It doesn’t work that way. There are many variables (and that’s a different message ) as to why we don’t see immediate results to our prayers.

Suffice to say, constant prayer is needed. It’s called seeking and seeking is a prerequisite for answered prayer. We seek until the answer comes and sometimes it takes an extended period of time. (DANIEL 9)

Notice in Jeremiah 29 that the Lord Jesus says that if we seek him in prayer that he will hear us. The Lord says that if with our whole heart we seek him we will find him. Our answer will come! The Lord tells us that he will deliver us from our captivity and restore us. It’s a spiritual principle. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much scriptures tell us. (James 5:16)

Seeking the Lord Jesus requires fervency! Prayers that are passionate and intense. In other words heart felt seeking bordering on desperation is required in prayer.

If there is one thing irresistible to the Lord it is sincerity and persistence prayer. Why do you think that the woman with the issue of blood was commended by Jesus? She was so desperate that she was willing to humble herself and grab on to the hem of his garment. That’s diligent prayer! (Matthew 9:20)

The unjust judge according to Jesus’ story gave the persistent seeker her request and the Lord likened that case scenario to how persistence towards God gets answers to prayer. (Luke 18:1-8)

Do you have a desperate need?

Then continue in prayer till the answer comes. It will come!

Just keep seeking, keep knocking, keep praying and one day the door is going to open wide up for you! Jesus assured us of this in his word.

What is a Religious Spirit ?

What does it mean to have a religious spirit ?

That phrase is thrown around a lot in some Christian circles today so let’s just examine it from a Biblical perspective.

What does the Bible say about religion? According to Acts 26:5
Religion means (thrēskeia )ceremonial observance or traditional way of doing things.

Paul was a Pharisee who practiced the religion of a particular sect. (Heresy is the Greek word for sect.) A sect is a choice, a party, disunion.

In other words the Pharisees were a formally constituted by choice, and religious group that formed a ruling body over the society.

A Pharisee is a separatist belonging to a sect. One who separates in religious observance from other groups.

Galatians 1:13 scripture tells us that Paul practiced the Pharisee sect which transferred the precepts and traditions of ceremonial ordinances and laws according to their sectarian disunion from other groups.

Now that we know what a religious Pharisee is let us find out why Jesus was in conflict with them.

John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducee vipers. ( Matthew 23:33 ) A viper strikes suddenly and injects poison into the body of its victim. So John was pointing out that these sects injected religion or their ceremonial observances into people which he considered to be poisonous.

In other words what the religious people of his time were doing was indoctrinating their deadly heresy into others rather than the pure word of God.

What was the deadly heresies that the Pharisees were teaching?

Jesus pointed out some of them.

In his parables and encounters with the religious people of his day he pointed out that the Pharisees were separatist elitists in their practice. They had ridged ways of doing things that did not have grace for any one else’s method.

These religious people looked down on any one who did not conform to their way of thinking. The Pharisee or religious spirit is a practicing elitist. One who separates in form from any one different than they are.

The religious spirit hates non conformity. If you are different with a different gift or calling watch out because the religious spirit will strike like a viper! The religious spirit is very territorial.

The religious spirit separates from non conformists and does not like to keep company with them. If you don’t do things their way then you are not welcome.

Jesus many times pointed out to the religious leaders that they were hypocrites. Claiming to belong to God the religious spirit in actuality is serving Satan. Why? Because self will, self exaltation, and self centerness is Satan’s nature, not God’s nature.

True Christian’s are led by the Holy Spirit not by a sectarian rule book. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin in order to bring change in the heart by his love while the religious spirit brow beats and tries to force conformity to their way of doing things.

Another thing scriptures point out about the religious or Pharisee spirit is that it is jealous of those who walk closely with God . The religious spirit will always attack the spiritual person because of jealousy.

Why is the religious spirit jealous? Simply because the true Christian is led by God and not by them. The religious spirit can see that those who walk in the Holy Spirit are led of God and non conformist to the agenda of someone else . This infuriates the religious spirit.

The religious spirit will always cherry pick the Bible for their own agenda. Jesus said that the Pharisees strained at gnats while swallowing camels. They fussed over every dot and crossing of T’s in the Bible but didn’t seem to see the more important things that Jesus tried to point out to them like loving people and helping them out.

The religious spirit prefers ceremonial practices and while this may be in a traditional frame work it can also come from a Corinthian mind set as well. The religious spirit in a Corinthian church setting also has rules and ways of doing things according to their way of thinking.

Many times the religious spirit in the Corinthian church will reject the more practical type of Christian who loves to serve and wait on tables but will also oppose others not conforming to their agenda. The Corinthian religious spirit will look down on others as being less spiritual than they are.

The Pharasee according to Jesus will also put burdens on others that they won’t carry themselves. The religious spirit will many times require you to live a certain way or do a certain thing that they themselves don’t do. In other words the religious spirit doesn’t practice what it preaches.

The religious spirit will also brow beat others in their religiosity but fail to apply mercy and grace. Their ways are higher than God’s ways! They have all the answers and if you don’t like their way of doing things well you are just not welcome into their little camp.

We Christian’s throw around the religious spirit doctrine alot when we don’t like to listen to someone else’s view point and have our own heart examined. Sectarianism is a principle attribute of the religious spirit.

Finally, the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus the Bible tells us. Sounds pretty harsh but the religious spirit hates the agenda of the kingdom of God. Notice how the Pharisees conspired to take Jesus and hand him over to Rome because they were afraid of loosing their place! (John 11)

The religious spirit on pretence will attack a true Christian because of their perverted version of truth but in reality it’s because the religious spirit knows when the Holy Spirit comes on the scene it’s got to get out of the way. The religious spirit loses its place!

No more running the show! No more praises of men! No more fleesing the sheep! No more control !

So how do you know if you are really dealing with a religious spirit?

Look for the signs !

You will be disliked, trying to control you and conform you, jealous of your walk with God, nit picking you with scriptures taken out of context to brow beat and condemn you, telling you to do something they don’t do and finally rejecting you if you don’t conform to their way of thinking.

The religious spirit is a crafty one. Residing in churches, institutions and even family and friends but be of good cheer because just like Jesus overcame the religious spirit so can we !

How? Jesus resurrection power put the religious spirit in its place. Oh, the religious spirit may deny Holy Spirit power and come against it but will never be able to counterfeit it. The religious spirit will never be able to stop Holy Spirit power either for greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world !

The best way to deal with the religious spirit is to depend on the Holy Spirit !

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