Part of our spiritual warfare armor is the gospel boots. Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say concerning this part of our armor.
Ephesians Chapter 6 vs 15
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
The KJV uses the Greek word hetoimasia which means preparation.
To be in a constant state of readiness or make ready for use.
In other words we must always be prepared to minister the gospel at all times.
How do we prepare? Scriptures tell us it is by studying the Bible.
2 Timothy 2 : 15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We need to know the Bible in order to answer people who ask us questions about our faith. Now we don’t have to go to theological school in order to do this. In fact, many times people just end up being indoctrinated with denominational interpretations that omit or add their own take or lean on scriptures anyway.
It is best according to any lawyer, good journalist, writer or historian to research all angles of interpretation in order to get a balanced view. Bias always resides in the mindsets of men.
Even God says that out of two or three witnesses is truth established. (1 Corinthians 13:1)
Our doctrinal lean should always line up with the Bible and not any man made versions of a scriptural doctrine.
We must know the truth in order to share the truth. How can we minister to an unsaved person Bible truth if we don’t know Bible truth?
The Bible tells us to be prepared at all times in order to present the gospel of peace to others. What is this peace? Peace with God through Jesus Christ the Savior.
The Gospel boots not only prepare us to present the gospel message but they are also used to wage war against the devil.
During Roman times the soldier wore a sandal called a Caligae. This sandal actually had nail like studs embedded in the sole. These boots or sandals were deigned to march for long periods of time but they were also used as deadly weapons. A solder could take off his shoe and club the enemy to death with it.
That is what the gospel boots do too. They take us into all the world to preach the gospel of peace and they are also used to clobber the devil with. Every time we minister the word of God to someone we are beating the day lights out of that old devil.
Put on those gospel boots today! Be prepared and ready to preach the good news! At all times, in all places and every where you go!
ROMANS 15: 29
And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
In Genesis Chapter 4 we read that Cain brought his offering to the Lord. He brought the work of his hands, the toil of his labor.
God was not impressed with Cain’s offering. The Lord did not consider Cain’s offering to be acceptable.
Able was a tender of sheep. He also gave an offering to God. He took the first born of his sheep and gave that offering to God.
God accepted Abel’s offering but not his brother Cain’s offering.
It is interesting to note that both brothers gave an offering to the Lord. That is they felt the need to have God’s approval in their lives.
They also gave an offering in accordance to their respective vocations.
Cain who labored as a husbandman or a worker of soil produced the fruit of his labor. He was blessed in his vocation or ministry but when Cain tried to earn the Lord’s favor based on that vocation he was rejected.
Cain’s problem was that he thought his fruit came from his own effort. All that hard work he put in. All those hours of toil.
Cain was totally insulted because the Lord rejected his offering.
Cain obviously had good intentions. He wanted to please the Lord but according to the Lord, Cain’s offering was not acceptable. That is it was not considered to be valid, it was unsuitable.
This rejection of his offering caused Cain to go into a depression. That’s what it means to be downcast of soul. Really depressed. That depression ended up turning into jealousy towards his brother.
Why would Cain turn on his brother? Simply because he did not heed the advice God gave him when his offering was rejected.
God told Cain, that if he wanted to do well or what is right and acceptable, then he would be accepted. In other words Cain needed to do things God’s way not his way.
Cain ignored God’s advise we know because he saw that Abel was accepted by the Lord and he was jealous. What happens when a person is accepted by God? They are blessed.
To be accepted is to have favor. Be lifted up in a position of opportunity. To have a good reputation among others. Having worth or value.
Cain refused to do what was right. He refused to humble himself and get a sheep from his brother to present as an offering to the Lord.
That would require admitting failure. Admitting that he wasn’t such a hot shot. It would be like coming to terms with the fact that maybe his younger brother had more revelation in spiritual matters than he did.
God warned Cain. He said that “if you refuse to do well (yâţab) or what is right, what is acceptable then sin or offense lies or crouches like an animal at your door.
Sin is looking to gain entrance, or place in your life.
If you don’t make it right Cain and do what is acceptable then the devil is going to come a knocking!
Many times we think that God is going to respect us because we are hard workers in his vineyard. So we offer up all our labor hoping for his approval. Just like Cain did.
Then the brother who is a wet behind the ears Christian comes along and lays down his love offering. He just simply relies on grace. Doesn’t do a thing but sit at the cross! Blessings coming out of his ears!
If we try to gain favour with God by our works then sin is crouching at our door! Waiting to spring on us at a weak moment.
We need to do what is right. That is go to the cross and rely on the lamb of God whose offering makes us acceptable. The Lord’s favor is bestowed on those who trust in his way of doing things not our own way.
God tells us to rule over the sin that is crouching at our door. Don’t let it have any place!
Stick the pride back in our pocket where it belongs and count it all loss for Christ!
Who cares how many hours we have labored in the vineyard. The guy who just gets saved and works for one hour in the vineyard is going to get the same reward anyway! (Matthew 20)
Might as well just join him and sit at the cross because that is what makes us perfectly acceptable in the beloved anyway!
Our labor in the Lord is not in vain. It always produces fruit if we belong to God but our works should never supersede the sacrifice of God’s Son Jesus Christ.
That was the problem with Cain’s offering. Works in the vineyard no matter how noble will not make us acceptable to God.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
James tells us that faith without works is dead being alone. (James 2:14-26)
Now Some people have a hard time with how faith and works operate together.
Some say that since salvation is free then all you have to do is receive it. You can live any way you want and still be saved.
This teaching is called antonianism doctrinally but in today’s world it’s called progressivism.
Not only is that doctrine scripturally unsound but it makes for a lot of false conversions with apostate world views.
On the other hand there are others who say that in order to be saved you must obey the law. You must keep the Sabbath, keep the ten commandments, fast and pray until your flesh has been abased, eat certain foods, don’t eat certain foods and a whole bunch of other do this and that or don’t do this or that.
It’s in fact actually laid out perfectly simple to those with eyes to see how faith and works go together.
Faith in God according to scriptures requires action in order to have the manifestation of the free gift. That action is laid out to us in the Bible.
Scriptures tell us that, Salvation is free. Healing is free and Deliverance is free.
However in order to receive the free gift one must do something.
What must one do? Follow the instructions given in the Bible!
Believe, repent and recieve.
Acts 16:31 Mark 1:5 Acts 3: 19-21 John 1:12
Whoever comes to God MUST BELIEVE that he is. (Hebrews 11:6)
Is what? Is God. Is the great I Am. Is able. Is willing. Is faithful. Is all powerful. IS What he says he is.
AND must believe that he will reward those who seek him. In other words the seeker will get what is sought after.
Believing in God is the first prerequisite to receiving from God.
To believe according to scriptures is not just to know about from an intellectual perspective but to know from a heart that has been converted by God.
Believe (pisteuō in the Greek) means to have faith in, complete trust in.
No one can seek God unless drawn by the Holy Spirit according to the Bible. God is not in the thoughts of those who love their sin. (John 6: 44, Psalms 10:4, 1 John 3:8)
To actually trust in God requires knowing him. Knowing that he will do what he says he will do.
Faith is GIVEN the Bible tells us. (Roman’s 12:3) It is not something one can drum up on their own. (2 Thessalonians 3:2)
So we believe because we have been given faith. Why are we given faith? Because we are drawn by the Holy Spirit.
Then once we believe we need to repent. What does it mean to repent? To turn from sin or a lifestyle against God’s word as set out in the Bible.
Repent (in the Greek metanoeō) means To think differently, have a change of heart, to reconsider, to feel morally convinced of wrong doing.
Repentance is also GIVEN according to scriptures. Some people don’t realize that even repentance is given by God. (2 Timothy 2:25, Revelation 319)
The ability to give up sin comes from a heart devoted to God who loves God so much that they are willing to give up all selfish behaviors in order to please the Lord. (Psalm 51:10, Titus 2:14, 2 Corinthians 7:11)
Then the last part of the equation is to receive. As many as received him to them he gave power to become the sons of God. (John 1:12)
This principle of receiving relates not only to salvation but also to healing, deliverance, provision and every victory over the darkness.
The spiritual principle of believing repenting and receiving must all be adhered to in order to get the rewards of what is being sought after.
Let’s look at this concept from a human perspective using an example.
I am OFFERED a free gift let’s say in a giveaway from an advertising agency for a product.
In order to qualify for the free gift I first of all need to sign up for it. By signing up for the free gift I am believing under contract law “good faith” in the agency otherwise I would not sign up.
If I thought that the agency was a scam I would not sign up. It’s the same in the kingdom of God. If I don’t believe I won’t get the free gift.
Then once I sign up the agency says to me that in order to get the free gift I have to fill out a survey.
This means I actually have to do something. In this case it’s a survey. In God’s kingdom its repentance. I need to stop sinning.
Now that’s a choice but also an action.
The good part is that if I choose to turn from my sin and obey God he will give me the POWER to perform! (John 1:12)
So this is the good part! I don’t have to do this alone because God gives me the Holy Spirit as a helper. To help me perform. ( John 14:26)
That would be like an agent helping me along in filling out the survey because its complicated.
After I fill out the survey then I will get the free gift.
If I don’t fill out the survey then I will not get the free gift.
It’s the same concept in the kingdom of God.
If I don’t repent and give up my sin then I am not going to be forgiven. I do not qualify for any free gift. Salvation, healing or any other of God’s blessings.
In the same way if I believe in “good faith” that the agency will follow through and give me the free gift if I fill out the survey with the help of the agent then I qualify for the free gift and am able to receive it.
As scriptures tell us IF we are willing that is if we believe that God is able to do overly and abundantly above all that we ask or think and IF we are obedient that is follow all his instructions THEN we can be blessed with his abundance. (Isaiah 1:19)
Faith without works or following the Lord’s instructions to believe, repent and receive is dead without works or action.
Scriptures tell us that the devils believe in God and they tremble because they know they cannot be forgiven. They are still in their sins. No repentance has been given to them. (James 2:19)
That means that it is useless to believe like the devils believe because not only do the devils not have relationship with God but because the devils have belief without repentance they can never have a part in the kingdom of God.
It is the same with people. Without action accompanying our faith or belief it is useless. Meaning brings no profit at all.
Faith must always be accompanied by works or action, (Believe, repent and receive)to be genuine faith.
What does the Bible say about women preachers and teachers?
1 Timothy 2:11-15 scripture is used by some Christians to forbid women to have preaching and teaching positions in the church.
On closer examination of scriptures we see another position entirely.
1 Timothy 2:11-15 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
This verse seems to be saying that allowing women to teach men would be giving them “authority over a man,” but on closer examination we can see something else entirely is being presented.
The Greek word authenteo for authority occurs in this verse but no nowhere else in the entire New Testament. While the word authenteo has been translated as “authority” in nearly all English versions of the Bible, it is not the same word as exousia. The word used for “authority” in many other passages of scripture.
Let us look at the difference in these two words.
One who with his own hands kills another or himself. One who acts on his own authority. Autocratic. An absolute master. To govern, exercise dominion over one.
Power of choice. Liberty of doing as one pleases. Leave or permission,physical and mental power. The ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege) The power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed) universally authority over mankind. Specifically the power of judicial decisions of authority to manage domestic affairs. A thing subject to authority or rule. Jurisdiction. One who possesses authority, a ruler, a human magistrate,the leading and more powerful among created beings. Superior to man, spiritual potentates. A sign of the husband’s authority over his wife. The veil with which propriety required a women to cover herself. The sign of regal authority, a crown
Now why do you think the word authenteo is used instead of the more common usages of the word exousia?
According to Gnostic teaching, Eve was not deceived because she was the illuminator and all-wise mother goddess and was created before man. She was superior to him and his teacher.
Timothy corrects this false teaching by saying that only One is all-wise, and that is God Himself. So what Timothy was saying is this .
“I am not allowing (present tense for that situation) a woman to teach or to proclaim herself the originator of man (authenteo). Adam was formed first, then Eve.”
This mother-goddess heresy and emerging gnosticism in First and Second Timothy and Titus, makes it clear that Paul was bringing correction in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 to this heresy.
He was correcting women who were teaching this heresy.
For more info, this article has quotes from the Gnostic texts.
If this scripture was meant universally rather than to a specific situation it would have been stated more in the rest of scriptures, (1 Corinthians 2:13) and it was not. In actuality women did teach men and held significant places as leaders in the church (Acts 18:26;21:9; Rom. 16:1,3,7).
In the Old Testament, we find women teaching men. (2 kings 22:14; Proverbs 1:8;31:26; and Micah 6:4.)
So we can see that women can teach both men and women in the scriptures but they are not to be over men in a superior position as the Gnostic doctrine elevates women.
For more information about the eve goddess of wisdom heresy check out this link.
Now lets take a look at what the Bible has to say about women preaching the word of God in other scriptures. Remember that to discern the truth we must always compare scriptures with scriptures.
The Bible tell us that in the last days women will prophecy. What does it mean to prophecy? To speak under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Acts 2:17
Also the name Junia is a Latin female name. Based on this assertion we can see that women were active in the ministry.
Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.Romans 16:7
Scriptures tell us that Jesus not only liberated slaves and made Gentiles equal to Jews but he also made women equal to men. Different but equal.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
Here is another scripture indicating that women were active in ministry.
I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.Philippians 4: 2,3
The Old Testament tells us that women taught.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.Proverbs 31:26
A prophetess speaks the word of the Lord to both men and women. Remember that prophecy is for edification, comfort AND instruction.
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to Godand to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.Luke 2:36-38
Prophetess speak on behalf of God. They speak his words to the people. Men and women.
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,Romans 16:3
A husband and wife team in the ministry
The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host: Psalm 68:11
To announce is to preach and teach. To proclaim.
And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. Judges 4:1-24
To bring “judgment” is to teach and instruct in righteousness.
I Commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.” Romans 16:1-2 (NIV)
It is interesting how the king James version translates the word to servant when the Greek word actually means deaconess.
What is a deaconess?
One who ministers to the sheep.
Lastly let us not forget the Samaritan women who was not only a sinner, rejected by the religious people of Jesus’ day but a woman that Jesus ministered to at a well. She went about proclaiming the gospel to both men and women.
“Come and see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?” (John 4:29).
Many “began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me everything I have done’” (John 4:39).
Historically speaking it was mostly women who went out on the mission field to preach the gospel. They preached to both men and women.
So as you can see the Lord calls both men and women to preach and teach his word to anyone with ears to hear.
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.
Jesus revealed that the words he spoke into the natural realm originated from the spiritual realm. He said that his words quicken or make alive. Jesus was in fact God’s word made flesh. He personified in human form the very life giving words of God to humanity. (John 3:34)
The flesh according to Jesus gives no profit. That means that the natural man cannot bring life. It is only the Holy Spirit that can give life!
Human ability, human resources and human words cannot bring any one life giving benefit. This is because of the sin nature residing in the hearts of the unsaved. Sin can only bring about corruption.
Humans can have a form of knowledge and a form of life but corruption will ultimately in the end be the final outcome of all human endeavors.
Jesus was trying to tell us the way to life. Not only eternal life but abundant life while we are in the earth. HIS words alone have the power ability to create life.
“My words are Spirit and they are life. ” John 3:23
Jesus wants us to have abundant life. This abundant life comes from HIS word. God creates his life in our lives by his word.
When we mediate on God’s word, pray God’s word, declare God’s word and sing God’s word life will be produced. That is why Satan twists God’s word, lies about God’s word and denies the power of God’s word.
Satan knows that if we get a hold of this revelation his deception will be shattered and we will become over comers! (John 10:10)
Jesus said MY WORDS ARE SPIRIT And THEY ARE AND LIFE. Now if the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in us then the same Spirit living in us can quicken our mortal body and make it alive unto God! Alive eternally and alive now! Alive with God’s life and liberty in Christ Jesus.
According to Proverbs 18:21 Our words can bring life or death. Words that are negative, filled with unbelief, and cursing bring non life or corruption but God’s word in our heart and in our mouth will produce life and life abundantly.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight O Lord my strength and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Jesus said in scriptures that, “if my words abide in you then you shall have whatever you ask for. ” John 15:7
God’s word alone can bless us in this life.
How does this life giving process come about? Jesus said FIRST the seed. God’s word is described as a seed. It can even be as small as a mustard seed which is very small. Seeds take time to germinate. They need sufficient water and an appropriate environment.
Then the blade grows. Sprouting occurs! Small miracles start to take place. Then with constant care the word will flower! Every one will see the evidence of God’s word in your life!
Lastly, the fruit appears. Small and green at first but again with proper care it will ripen! When the fruit from God’s word appears in our life then that is when others can partake of the goodness of the Lord through our testimony!
“He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32
God’s word has life giving power to produce abundant fruit and keep us from corruption!
When we put God’s word in our heart, mediate on it, pray it and declare it then it will produce life and that more abundantly.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11
In order to live a victorious life in Jesus Christ we must not only watch what we say but we must be watchman over our hearts.
This means being careful what we look at with our eyes and what we listen to with our ears. Unless we need to know information for the purpose of prayer, scriptures tell us to be innocent concerning evil. In other words we don’t (unless specifically called to) fill our minds with specifics of demonic worldly activity.
The Bible says that as a man thinks in his heart so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)
The word for “think” in this scripture is translated as Shawar which means to split open or be a gatekeeper.
Paraphrased: as a man being a gate keeper over his mind so he is in his thinking and being.
The Bible tells us about gate keepers who were watchman that kept a look out for wolves and enemy attacks. Allegorically speaking this verse implies that whatever we let into our heart that is mind, will, emotions or feelings is what will be the out come of our actions and the destiny of our life.
So, if we watch and listen to worldly entertainment then we will act and behave like what we are letting into our mind . We will be worldly. No different than the unsaved. This is not God’s will for our lives. The Holy Spirit in his word has given us all the information that we need to live a holy life well pleasing to God.
The Bible tells Christians to be separate from the world. We are called to think on things that are good, godly and worthy of our Lord. The reason the Lord told us to meditate on his word day and night was so that we would be conformed to the word and not the world. (Philippians 4:8 Romans 12:2,3)
Putting on Christ is putting on the word of God for Jesus is the living word made flesh. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh.” Romans 13:14
If we meditate on God’s word written in the Bible then we will think and act the way God wants us to think and act.
Worldly thoughts or worldly ideas are seeds that will grow into tares and choke out the word of God planted in our heart. We must be careful gatekeepers so that we can cast down all high and lofty thoughts exalting themselves against the knowledge of God.
The Bible tells us to cast down all contrary ideas exalting themselves against the word of God. Misconceptions and distortions in our mind that do not agree with the Bible need to be cast down (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Christians who watch and listen to worldly ideas become indoctrinated with the world system. This is why many Christians live defeated lives. Listening to Satan’s worldly system keeps many bound to the world so that they become filled with unbelief and start to explain away the Bible.
Satan always comes with his lies. Has God really said this? Are you sure he really meant that? Didn’t he really mean this instead? (John 8:44, 2 Timothy 3:13)
If God said it in his word then it’s TRUE. Any voice disagreeing with the Bible is satan’s voice and we need to cast down those demonic thoughts!
If God says that he is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or can even imagine then that’s exactly what is true. If we are not living up to that standard then we need to examine ourselves as scriptures say. Are we really in the faith? Are we trusting and relying on God for everything or are we swaying like a reed in the wind? Tossed to and fro with a double mind. Limiting God so that he cannot do any mighty works in our life?
God’s word says that I am righteous because of Jesus Christ. God’s word says that I am more than a conquer through Christ who loves me. God’s word says I am the head and not the tail. God’s word says he will lead me in his ways and into his paths as I put my trust in him. God’s word says he came to give me an abundant life.
So who are we going to believe? Mr. Devil and his lies or the word of the living God?
Victory is sure to those who have their minds transformed by God’s word for as we think in our hearts so shall we be. As we renew our minds with God’s word so shall we be conformed to the image of Christ.
Be a gatekeeper of your heart! Guard your heart with all diligence for out of your heart or spirit proceeds life. Don’t let the thief steal, kill and destroy !
Put the word in your heart and then you will think like God wants you to think and act like God wants you to act and be what God wants you to be !
Cain was Adam and Eve’s first born son. Cain symbolically represents the law. The law was given by Moses to show men that they are sinners in need of a Savior because no one can keep the law perfectly. Under the Old Testament animal sacrifice was required to cover sin but could not take away sin.
The law was given before Jesus became the sacrifice for sin once and for all. The law was a temporary restrainer of sin but has no power to defeat sin.
CAIN MEANS SPEAR, or a possession. A spear pierces the flesh. It cuts through the heart.
The sting or piercing of sin under the law brings death. The law does not bring life because no one can keep the law in its entirety. All are condemned to eternal separation from God who try to keep the law for justification. (right relationship with God)
ABEL was born after Cain. ABEL means breath of the Spirit. ABEL represents life in the Holy Spirit. Jesus brought life through his atonement for sin and his resurrection.
CAIN was a tiller of the ground. Tiller in Hebrew is abad. It means to work or serve like a bondsman. The ground represents earth or of this natural world.
ABEL was a keeper of sheep. Grace keeps God’s sheep justified from sin through Jesus Christ the Savior. ABEL represents God’s grace. (undeserved mercy)
CAIN brought before the Lord his offering. An offering symbolizes atonement for sin. In other words, Cain brought the works of his hands which he produced from the earth or the rudiments of this world, as an offering for sin.
ABEL brought a blood offering from an innocent lamb to atone for his sin.
The first offering given was made by God to atone for Adam and Eve’s sin by slaying a lamb and clothing them in its skin. CAIN was aware of this. However, he felt that he could earn forgiveness from sin by the works of his hand but God rejected CAIN’S offering.
God accepted Abel’s offering because it was God’s prerequisite for forgiveness of sin. The law says that the soul that sins shall die. Blood must be shed to atone for sin. An eye for an eye. A life for a life.
CAIN became jealous of his brother. Why? We know from the law that obedience to God’s word brings blessings but disobedience brings God’s curse. God refused to bless the work of Cain’s hands but he blessed Abel because he received the lamb sacrifice for atonement of sin.
The struggle between the flesh and the Spirit begin here. Those in the flesh or of the earth cannot please God but those in Jesus Christ are blessed in him and through him.
Often times this will cause jealousy and persecution from the religious mindset (those trying to keep the law for justification) towards the true Christian. These religious ones will attack the children of the Spirit because they want God’s blessings but they want it on their terms. They want God to accept them based on their deeds which they deem to be righteous in and of themselves.
To be rejected by God caused Cain’s countenance to fall or in modern English Cain felt inferior. This is what caused anger and jealousy to rise up in Cain.
After that the Bible says that Cain went and talked to his brother. That conversation is not recorded but I think that Abel tried to explain to Cain the way of salvation. They were talking in a field. Jesus said the fields are ready for harvest. The field represents bringing the salvation message.
Unfortunately, Cain did not receive the message of salvation because what he did was to rise up against his brother and kill him. This is significant because the flesh ( world minded ) always wants to rise up against the Spirit (God’s ways) all the time. The flesh wars against the Spirit on a continual basis according to scripture. The works of the flesh (human deeds outside Jesus Christ) do not please God and so the flesh resists the Holy Spirit all the time.
God asked Cain, “Where is your brother?” Cain replies, “How should I know ? Am I my brothers keeper? (Or in other words), Should I be guarding and protecting him? “
Cain lied to God when asked where his brother was. Cain rejected his responsibility as the oldest. In effect what Cain did was reject his inheritance just like Esau did. Then Cain became upset and cried about how he could not bear his punishment. Interesting to note, the Bible doesn’t mention his punishment right away, but Cain knew.
The Bible says that the soul that sins will die spiritually. CAIN was to face the worst punishment anyone could get. Separation from God. Notice how there was no repentance on his part. No lamb sacrificed. CAIN still rejected salvation by the blood atonement.
God, however, still offered to Cain his mercy. He tells him that if someone would want to hurt him in the future he would be punished 7 times. 7 is God’s number of perfection. God marked Cain with a reminder to all who would reject God’s plan of salvation for their own. God put a sign on him. CAIN was an example to others. All who saw him knew who he was and what he did. Scriptures tell us that sin will always be found out.
CAIN went out from God’s presence and dwelt in the land of Nod which means vagrancey. The flesh cannot dwell with God. CAIN was homeless.
1 John 3 :2 says that Cain was of the wicked one. The flesh is of the devil. The works of one’s hands or one’s own recognizance for justification is an abomination to God. It is of the devil’s nature; selfish, prideful, jealous and murderous.
Jude 1 : 11 says that apostates or false brethren go the way of Cain. They go after the way of the flesh and run after money. Baalam was a prophet for hire. He went the way of Cain. He prophesied nice things people wanted to hear for money. Korah another apostate was rebellious. He wanted his way instead of going God’s way.
The way of Cain is man’s way; greedy, rebellious and wanting the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
The flesh fights the Spirit and that is why God said the flesh must be put to death or denied. The flesh or world desires cannot inherit the Kingdom of God! A Cain mindset cannot inherit eternal life!
We can not rely on our works, good deeds or any thing else for salvation and acceptance by God except the blood of Jesus.
Trying to attain God’s approval by good deeds or law keeping results in separation from God in this life and also eternally.
Trying to keep the law (deeds of righteousness) for God’s approval is going the way of Cain. What is acceptable for salvation is receiving God’s free gift of eternal life through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. His blood alone can redeem from sin and make you a child of God.
Then when you are born of God all deeds done by the Holy Spirit are acceptable to him. God blesses his works not man’s works. Jesus Christ alone, by faith alone saves and justifies . Jesus said, I AM THE WAY. I AM THE TRUTH. I AM THE LIFE.
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)