FOR HIS GLORY

Scriptures tell us that whatever we do it should be done for the glory (doxa) of God.

Doxa is an ancient Greek word meaning “popular opinion” or “common belief”

Doxa was used by the Greek philosophers in presenting an argument. Their objective was to sway public opinion.

Paul uses the word doxa because in the same way the Greeks used their philosophical arguments to sway the people toward their opinion or view of the world so should Christians by their lifestyle (actions and words) persuade the unsaved that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life.

In other words, the life of a Christian should represent the King of kings to the world.

Whether our testimony is received or not it is a living witness to the world. We represent Jesus Christ and our lives should bring him glory. (doxa)

All that we do is being observed by those who do not know Jesus Christ. As a living sacrifice the Christian is called to give up their own life in order to be a light in the world.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Roman’s 12:1,2

A living sacrifice means giving up our life as an offering to God, representing him before the world.

Paul says that, “it is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me and the life that I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

As members of Christ’s body we are not out our own. “We are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” 1Corinthians 6:20

Won’t you surrender your life to Jesus today? Be a living sacrifice for his glory!

All to Jesus, I surrender
All to Thee I freely give
I will ever love and trust You
In Your presence daily live I surrender all, I surrender all
All to Thee, my blessed Savior
I surrender all All to Jesus, I surrender
Lord, I give myself to Thee
Fill me with Your love and power
Let Your blessing fall on me I surrender all, I surrender all
All to Thee, my blessed Savior
I surrender all All to Jesus I surrender
Now I feel the sacred flame
O the joy of full salvation
Glory, glory, to Your name I surrender all,
Robin Mark

HOPE IN THE LORD!

Scriptures tell us that if we put our hope in the Lord we will not be disappointed. Isaiah 49:23

To hope is to desire. To want something to be true or to want something to happen. To expect with confidence. To put trust in.

But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. Palms 71:14

When our hope is in the Lord our hope will not fail to produce what we are hoping for. This is because God is the source of our hope. He has the answer we are seeking for and he will bring the desired outcome.

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

The Lord is my portion or inheritance therefore will I hope in him. Lam. 3:26

The Lord will be the hope of his people. Joel 3:16

The hope of the righteous shall be gladness. Proverbs 10:28

God is the God of hope. Roman’s 15:13

Thou art my hiding place and my shield:
I hope in thy word.
Psalm 119: 114

Hope (Greek elpis) expects with confidence. Hope seeks. Hope expects an answer. Hope waits patiently. Hope that sees is not hope. Hope waits with expectation. Hope trusts. Hope brings experience and experience with God results in faith being produced.

We are saved by hope but hope which is seen is not hope but if we hope for what we do not see then with patience we wait for it.
Romans 8:24,25

Hope is different than faith. Faith (Greek pistis) is to be completely convinced without doubting. To believe and trust with absolute conviction that something is true or to have absolute confidence in without wavering.

Without faith it is impossible to please God because he that comes to him MUST BELIEVE that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Without saving faith salvation can not occur. It takes the God kind of faith to experience salvation. Seeking God with hope happens when the heart is drawn by the Holy Spirit.

Faith comes when the seeking heart reaches out to God with a sincere contrite heart and finds him.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

The born again experience is a miraculous regeneration process of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is not intellectual assent. Scriptures tell us that the devils believe and tremble. James 2:19

Saving faith, is absolutely positively without a doubt, without wavering ever, trusts in and clings to God regardless of circumstances and regardless of trials, tribulations or persecutions.

Faith is the ASSURANCE of things hoped for. To have assurance is to have confidence without doubt or uncertainty.

Hope comes with experience. Romans 5: 5

In other words by directly observing facts that is gained by knowledge hope will come. Then when hope that does not disappoint comes faith is the result.

Blind faith is not Biblical faith. When we put our hope in the Lord he does not disappoint. After having a need met once or twice experience reveals the outcome is sure. Then we have confidence.

This hope from experience brings confidence which results in faith being produced. You know that you know that you know. Why? Because you have never been disappointed! God always comes through! He never fails!

Hope in the Lord! He never disappoints those who seek him!

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart,
all ye that hope in the Lord.
Psalms 31:24

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

Valuable Sparrows!

In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus is instructing his disciples on how they would minister in his name after he was not with them anymore in physical form .

Jesus told them that they would have power over devils and be able to heal the sick but they would face persecution for it.

Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because God will provide for them.

You are more valuable than sparrows.” Jesus

This is a significant metaphor because not only are sparrows very tiny but they are the most common bird in the world. Their value on a monetary scale is less than a penny. You can buy two for one.

This metaphor reminds us that even though we may not consider ourselves to be very important in the grand scheme of things, Jesus puts great value on us. He says that if God cares about even a sparrow that falls to the ground, and makes sure that their needs are supplied then why wouldn’t he care for us? Our value to him is so much more!

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

Not only are sparrows common birds but they live in any small area they can find. Sparrows particularly like to live near human populations.

The sparrow metaphor is used by the Lord because the sparrow signifies humanity. There are masses of people on the earth just like the common sparrow.

One has only to look at the parallel of the sparrow to realize that humanity is in a decline situation. The environment for sparrows is being effected by sin in the same way as it is for humans.

As humanity turns away from the living God they decline in every way in the natural realm. This in turn affects the sparrow who lives along side of humans.

The decline in sparrow populations today is significant. It is reflective of the human population turning away from God. This is a prophetic sign that we are indeed in the end times.

Sparrows feed predominantly on seeds. They do eat insects when they can find them but their mainstay is seed. Without seed sparrows perish. This is another reason for the metaphor.

Jesus said that the word of God is like seed that a sower sows. The receptivity of the heart determines the outcome of the seed. Whether the seed goes on to produce a good crop or whether it does not. All is dependent on the soil of one’s heart.

God’s word is like seed. Planted in good soil the seed will grow into the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Planted in not so good soil the seed will die. Matthew 13

Just like sparrows need seed to survive so does humanity need the seed of God’s word to survive. Without God’s word humanity will die both physically and spiritually.

Article on decline of sparrow populations.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/10/05/sparrows-dying/2923241/

God cares about the sparrow and he cares about humanity. Jesus cares about you!

It is only by turning back to Jesus Christ and his word that we can be taken care of in the natural as well as in the spiritual. Both now and for eternity. 

 

THE BREASTPLATE

The Bible tells us to be strong IN THE LORD and stand in his mighty power . We are then told to put on the full armour of God in order to stand against the trickery of the devil.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5

Paul uses the analogy of the Roman armour because in his day the Romans had an advanced system of warfare.

The Romans perfected a light, full torso armour which provided protection for vital areas. With this armour they could advance towards the enemy being protected from any retaliatory weapons.

In the same way soldiers in the Lord’s army need to be dressed in spiritual military armour in order to battle the powers of darkness.

The breast plate of righteousness is one part of the armour of God.

The Roman soldier’s breastplate was called a cuirass. It was molded to fit over the chest with another part for the back.

The breast plate was protection for the vital organs. One being the heart.

The breastplate of righteousness is to be worn to protect the heart.

In Hebrew the Old Testament word for heart heartlêbâb, lêb, lêbâb,
is the intellect, emotions, and understanding.

In Greek the New Testament word for the heart is kardia which also refers to the mind. (thoughts, feelings)

The breastplate or protection for the mind is a breastplate of righteousness. In other words the Christian mind must be protected by the Lord’s righteousness.

What is righteousness?

In the Old Testament righteousness tsedâqâ is moral virtue and justice.

The New Testament defines righteous dikaiosunē as equity or justification.

To be justified dikaioō is to render innocent, to free.

The heart or mind must be covered in righteous, (rendered innocent )to be protected from enemy onslaughts.

This is done by putting on the breast plate of righteousness. Being conscious of our justification provided by Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us to keep or guard nâtsar our heart. lêb

That is to put a watch over our mind like a prison guard or gate keeper. To watch over.

With the breast plate of righteousness our minds are guarded from enemy attacks.

When the devil came to Jesus to tempt him with lies Jesus referred to the word of God as his defense. “It is written.

Out of the heart or mind are the issues or source of our life. Proverbs 4:23

As we put on the breastplate of righteousness we can see ourselves clothed in Jesus Christ’s righteous. Our minds filled with God’s word will keep us from the trickery of the devil.

Negative thinking contrary to the Bible are arrows of the evil one. The purpose of the evil one is to kill, steal, an destroy.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. john 10:10

Scientific Studies confirm the Bible. A mind not guarded can result in negative effects.

Studies on negative thinking.

https://alz-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/alz.12116

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200607195008.htm

Keep your heart with all diligence! Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Be a watchman over your thoughts! Then you will be sure to walk in victory!

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:7

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 5:8

Seek And You Will Find!

In John Chapter 4 is the story of the Samaritan women who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s well.

Now there are many symbolisms in this story but I am going to zone in on something in particular.

Notice how it was Jesus who approached the Samaritan woman first. It was he who sought her out.

Jesus got the attention of the Samaritan woman by asking her to give to him a drink of water.

The woman was flabbergasted. Why would this man be asking me for anything?

Jesus in effect did more than just approach a woman he did not know (which was not a common occurrence in Israel) but he also offered that woman to partake of his living water.

Notice how Jesus calls this woman going about her daily life. This woman probably had a whole bunch of things on her mind and was not exactly expecting to see the Messiah that day. She was however seeking him out and was just about to get her answer.

According to the gospel of John it was important for Jesus to go to Samaria.

And he must needs go through Samaria.”

Jesus had an appointment.

The very first thing that Jesus does is go to Jacob’s well. There he meets the Samaritan women.

After the Samaritan women asked Jesus why he would ask her for anything Jesus replied, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that I am then you would have asked me for living water.”

Jesus was pointing out to the Samaritan women that he was the gift being sent to her. Coming along at a time in her life when she was not expecting it.

Jesus had a divine appointment with this Samaritan women. An encounter that was about to change her life.

Jesus watching the Samaritan women draw water asks her for a drink and then he offers to the Samaritan women his living water. He tells the Samaritan woman that if she drinks of his living water then she will never thirst again. Jesus also tells the Samaritan women that his living water would spring up for her into everlasting life.

Right away the Samaritan women replied. “Give to me this water so I don’t have to come here and draw water any more.

Women had to walk a long ways sometimes to get water. Then they had to walk back home again carrying the heavy vessel filled with that water. In effect what the Samaritan women was asking is for Jesus to take her burden. She was worn out. Life for her had not been easy.

Knowing this Jesus asked her. “Give me to drink.”

Even in her own struggles this Samaritan women took the time to minister to the need of another.

Jesus then let the Samaritan women know that he understood her problems. He revealed her life story. This then caused the Samaritan woman to realize that Jesus had supernatural ability to help her.

When Jesus revealed to the Samaritan women that he knew her heart issue he also revealed to her the solution.

Jesus pointed out that all the husbands that the Samaritan woman had in her lifetime were a poor substitute for the need she really had which was to be loved and cared for.

One can only imagine the harsh life the Samaritan woman must have had. No body could have had that many husbands without some sort of hardship going on.

Jesus in effect was pointing out that if the Samaritan woman drank his living water then her heart’s need would be met.

The Samaritan women was looking for Messiah. She knew that Messiah was to come. She even acknowledged that Messiah had the answer to her problems.

When Messiah comes he will tell us all these things.

Jesus answered. “I am the one you are looking for.”

Jesus told the Samaritan women the answer to her life’s longing. What she needed was to worship God in the Spirit. She needed to come to him to have living water. Only his living water could satisfy the longing of her heart.

When the Samaritan women recognized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah she could not help but share the good news. She ran to tell everyone about Jesus and his ability to help them with their problems too. He was the Messiah they had been waiting for!

There is something important I would like to point out about this encounter at Jacob’s well.

The Samaritan women was a seeker. She was thirsty for Messiah to come. She wanted to have his living water to ease the burdens in her life.

Jesus was sent to the Samaritan women. He sought her out because she was looking for him. She was thirsty for Messiah to tell her the things she needed to know. The Samaritan woman knew Messiah had all the answers!

Encumbered by her heavy load and searching for answers the Samaritan Women had the right heart condition to be open to the gospel message.

Jesus did this same thing with the people who were seeking him when they were hungry. He saw their need and wanted to meet their need. He asked the disciples. Do you have any bread? Mark 8:16

When a blind man sought out Jesus he asked him, “What is it you want me to do? “ Mark 10:51

Again when a crippled man wanted to be healed Jesus said. “Take up your bed and walk.” John 5:8

Notice the pattern?

Seek. Ask. Do. Miracle.

Are you seeking God for something? Are you thirsty? Heavy burdened? Sick? Hungry? In need of a miracle?

Then Jesus has an appointment with you today! He says I am the one you are seeking for. I am the Messiah. I am the one able to meet your need.

Give to me your heart. I am knocking. I am here to help you. I know your problems, struggles, life issues.

Come to me in faith. Believe that I am and that I am able to help you. Turn to me with all your heart. I will give you living water to drink that will spring forth into eternal life.

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:8

Seek. Ask. Do. Get your miracle.

Confession unto Salvation

Why it important to confess our sins in order to receive forgiveness?

In order to answer that question we must understand exactly what it means to confess.

According to the Greek translation to confess or homologeō means to acknowledge but it also means to profess.

To make a confession is to admit to one’s faults but it also means to admit to one’s belief.

To make a profession is to declare or admit openly. This means to state audibly using words.

Now these words have slightly different meanings in English but in the Greek language it literally means “to say it and to speak the same.”

This scripture translated in English says:
‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1 :9

With the Greek word homologeō it is translated in effect as this:
“If we say or speak the same thing that God says about our sins we can be forgiven from our sin and purified from all unrighteousness. “

This is very significant because there are many today who claim to know Jesus as their Savior but they deny him by rejecting what his word has to say about sin.

If one does not confess their sin by admitting that their lifestyle is not lining up with what God says is sin in the Bible then according to the Bible these people are liars and deceivers.

1John 3:9-18
1 John 2:15
Romans 6
John 8:44
1 Timothy 4:1
Revelation 21 :8
2 John 1:10,12
Mathew 7:13,14

In fact some today even reject the absolute authority of scriptures as the infallible word of the living God. They deny God’s word because they are not born again of his word and of his Spirit.

Again scriptures tell us that “if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord you shall be saved.” Roman’s 10:9

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10

Jesus must be confessed as Lord of our lives in order to be considered by his standards a child of God. Not just Savior.

Today we have many who want Jesus to be their Savior but not their Lord but it does not work that way.

If we do not confess what God calls sin as sin in our lives and if we do not receive Jesus Christ as Lord as well as Savior then no salvation will occur.

It does not matter if we go to church, sing worship songs, raise our hands, jump up and down or shout hallelujah. If we do not confess our sins and confess Jesus as both Savior and Lord we can not be saved.

Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Luke 15:21

I acknowledged my sin to you [God], and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32:5

To make a confession is to declare and profess openly and audibly. Why is it important to speak our confession out loud?

First of all what is in the open is in the light. Second of all speaking with the mouth solidifies a confession like an oral contract. Making admission is declaring allegiance. Both to God and before the angels and so the powers of darkness know where you stand.

We in effect come into contract or have declared our lives as belonging to Jesus Christ the Lord.

If you have not confessed your sin to the Lord Jesus Christ or received him as your Lord today then today is the day!

If you hear his voice speaking to your heart then confess your sin before him out loud and turn from the sin, receiving Jesus Christ as both your Savior and Lord.

The Word of God

The Scriptures tell us that God has magnified his word above all his name. (Psalms 138:2)

Magnified in Hebrew is gâdal which means to lift up in power, high estate, to increase and grow.

God magnifies his commandments, his speech, his word both written and oral above all his name, shêm which means individual position, honor and authority, renown.

The reason for this is that a person’s word proves their name.
If my word does not back up my name then my name has no credibility. It’s discredited if I do not honor my word.

Have you ever had any “friends” like that? I have. Say they will do something and they don’t. Talk a good talk but don’t do what they say? Yeah, not someone you can count on and so they end up on your “not reliable list.”

When one gives their word it is like drawing a contract. It is binding. To break one’s word dishonors one’s character and then their name is not worth very much. One’s name must back up their character.

The legal term in contract law is “good faith” which means fair dealings that are honest and sincere towards the other party in a contract.

In other words God’s name is only as good as his word.

When you enter into contract with another person whether a marriage or business contract for example the contract terms must be binding in order for that contract to have any credibility.

I can tell you what my name is or my company’s name but so what if I can’t back up the terms of the contract.

In the same way the name of Jesus is validated by his word. His contract with the other party.

The name of Jesus is honored and glorified because his word has preeminence.

In other words the word of God as laid down in scriptures (contract in writing) represents who Jesus is. All the word (Bible)had to say is all about who Jesus is and like every contract it must be entered into by two parties for the contract to be binding.

Jesus tells us in scriptures that he is the word. The significance of that is that he is what he says. 1 John tells us that in the beginning was the word. God’s word existed before anything in our natural realm existed.

The word was with God, that scripture goes on to say.

God’s word accompanies him at all times even from the moment of creation.

The word was God. Jesus is God’s word.
God actually became flesh in order to demonstrate his word.

Like they say, talk is cheap or unless backed up by action is worthless but God not only spoke his word in the beginning and created our natural realm but he became his word through taking on flesh.

Jesus demonstrated who God was.

But it doesn’t stop there. Scriptures tell us that those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord become born again of his word. (1 Peter 1:22)

Now God’s seed can propagate the Kingdom of God in the earth. We are epistles read of all men. Not written in ink on tablets of stone (written law) to bring the message of reconciliation between God and man but in fleshly tablets of the heart. ( 2 Corinthians 3:3)

This is significant in regard to God’s word magnified above his name in that as God’s seed the Holy Spirit bears witness in the world that we are the sons of God. Therefore our representation in the world proclaim God’s word to the world. For we are temples of the Holy Spirit which demonstrates through us the word of God to every one we come in contact with.

In conclusion God’s word which represents who God is through the Holy Spirit is manifest through Jesus Christ and consequently through the born again person to manifest the Kingdom of God and bring reconciliation between God and mankind.

God has magnified his word above all his name. At the name of Jesus who is the word manifest in the flesh every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Work Out Your Salvation !

According to Philippians 2:12,
We are told to work out our own salvation with godly reverence. Then we are told in vs 13 that God works in us his desire and purpose.

On first glance this sounds like an oxymoron but when you look at the fact that the word “work” for vs 12 is a different word than vs 13 then you can see there are two different operations at play here.

In vrs 12 we are called to “work out” which uses the word katergazomai which means to accomplish something. To perform an action. To finish a task.

When we “work out” something we may be striving for a goal, working out kinks or finishing up a project.

The emphasis for that working out is on the self or the person. In other words we have to put in some effort to get the job done.

Paul talks about godly exercise. When we work out at a gym for our physical bodies It has some profit or benefit but when we exercise towards godliness the gains are much more beneficial because there are eternal benefits.

What are we working out? The Bible clearly tells us that we are to work out our salvation or sōtēria which means deliverance, health, preservation.

We are called to perform an action, accomplish a task or finish a project in regards to our health, preservation and deliverance.

There are some Christians who won’t like to hear this because they think because God is sovereign he just drops everything in our plate at his whim but it doesn’t work that way according to the Bible

The good news however is that God has given us a helper. He is called the Holy Spirit. He is our teacher and coach. Like a spotter when we are working out. The one who helps us lift the weight, carry the burden, and trains us to run the race.

Vrs 13 says that it is God who is at work in us to perform all his good pleasure. That word for work is energeō.

Translated it means activating power, effectual energy.

So in other words we are performing an action and the Holy Spirit is giving us his power to perform that action.

God is working in us by his Holy Spirit power releasing his energy in order for us to work out our salvation.

In order to be saved from our old sinful selves (sanctification)it is an on going process. The Bible tells us that we have been saved, are being saved and will be saved.

Jesus died once for our sin. He took our sins and also destroyed the power of sin. By doing that he saved us from eternal death and has given us eternal life.

Automatically when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord we become a child of God born of his Holy Spirit and a joint heir with Jesus Christ but we still have to by the power of the Holy Spirit work out our salvation with reverence while we are living in this world.

Let me put it this way. When we give life to children they become our family. It is a natural birth and heritage. The children have our DNA. However as they grow their responsibility as our children become greater.

Let’s put it this way, just because you are my child does not mean that you don’t clean your room!

You will have to pick up your toys, make your bed and brush your teeth too!

It’s the same way in God’s kingdom. He expects us to pray, exercise our faith, read our bible, fast and clean our house!

He expects us to take the garbage out too. That means get rid of the sin stinking up his house.

As a parent we help our children along. Give encouragement, help rearrange furniture, put new sheets on the bed. It is the same with the Lord. He will give us his energeō to get the job done.

Do you need deliverance or healing today? Then get ready for your work out! Take up that bed and walk!

Believe God’s word. That’s your part. Exercise your faith and rely on Holy Spirit power to perform his part.

Do you need salvation? Need to be saved out of debt or discouragement? Need to be free from a bad habit?

Then work out your salvation with the Holy Spirit. Call on your coach to help you lift that weight, give you a word of wisdom, and lead you in the right direction.

If you try to work in your own power you will fall on your face but if through the power of the Holy Spirit that is in you, you “work out” your salvation then you will achieve your goal! You will get the victory! Accomplish the task and finish the race!

Grace Through Faith !

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.   

Victory in Jesus !

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 !

https://zionlyrics.com/vineyard-you-are-the-potter-i-am-the-clay-master-let-your-will-be-done-lyrics

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kim-balogh-0b675050/