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)
Romans Chapter 7 is a chapter in which the struggle between the man under the law has with the sinful nature.
Paul who was a Pharisee under the law is revealing the battle a person under the law has with the carnal nature.
Right at the beginning of the chapter Paul makes it clear that he is speaking to those under the law. In other words those who are battling the carnal nature from a legalistic mindset.
Paul says that when we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord we are no longer bound to the law. Those under the law were and are constantly battling the nature of sin at work in the non saved person and the law of God.
While with the intellect a person can agree that the law is good they are if not saved powerless to perform it.
Paul points out that true Christians have been delivered from the law. Not from the truths set forth in the law but the law as a letter or theological theory abstract from the non redeemed nature.
While the law reveals sin it has no power to deliver from sin. The law is only a road map but cannot actually get us to our destination. What we need is a vehicle to get us there.
The law in and of itself is good Paul says but because the non redeemed have a carnal nature the no redeemed cannot obey the law in its entirety. That is why under the law God set up the sacrificial system of the blood covering of animals.
The person under the law is not quite the same as a full blown sinner. While the law keeper is a sinner the law keeper tries to obey the law of God in the non redeemed state.
Herein lies the problem. It is rather easy to detect a full blown sinner but not so easy to distinguish a person under the law from a true Christian.
A law keeper may even sometimes look to be more holy than the true Christian. This is because the law keeper is working relentlessly to serve the law while a Christian is looking to God’s grace and mercy for salvation.
There is according to scripture an intense struggle going on between the carnal nature of the law keeper and the law.
The law keeper actually hates the bondage that they are in. They want to serve God in their minds but cannot perform the law good enough to get God’s approval. It’s very tormenting to be a law keeper.
Is there deliverance for this struggle between the carnal nature and the law of God? Paul tells us that there is!
He tells us that through Jesus Christ we can have deliverance.
If we continue on to Romans Chapter 8 we find that those in Jesus Christ no longer have to be in torment battling the law of God and the sin nature. Paul says that there is now no condemnation of the law towards those who walk after the Holy Spirit.
In other words those born of God who are baptized into Jesus Christ and are in the Holy Spirit (because he is living in them) are now called to walk in the Holy Spirit.
Here is where some Christians get mixed up. Just because we are born again and have the Holy Spirit living in us does not mean we have achieved victory over sin. There is a part for us to play and it’s called walking after or yielding to the Holy Spirit. That is being obedient to the inner working of the Holy Spirit in us.
The difference between a law keeper and a true born again person is that the law keeper cannot perform the works of the law for justification while the born again person is justified by grace through faith and can be empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey God.
God’s righteous is fulfilled in those who walk after the Holy Spirit Paul says. To walk after is translated in the Greek as; to be occupied with, to live with and to follow after.
Paul goes on to say that those who live after the flesh or earthly minded things will produce death that is a non productive spiritual life but those who live after the Holy Spirit will produce life abundantly.
Paul also says that one is proven to be a true Christian with the indwelling Holy Spirit by their putting to death the deeds of the body through the power of the Holy Spirit that is indwelling them and walking after the Holy Spirit which is indwelling them.
In other words when the body which is still subject to earthly senses is put under subjection or control of the Holy Spirit then life and liberty in Jesus Christ is the fruit produced.
Paul also says that suffering in the flesh or not giving in to its dictates will produce a far better eternal weight of glory for us.
One day the Christian’s body will be redeemed and the earthly part will be gone but at this time rather that keeping the sin nature contained by the law, those born of God have the Holy Spirit to control sin and produce fruits of holiness.
Christians are more than conquerors in this life Paul says because we belong to Jesus Christ. A conqueror is not a defeated in bondage to sinful desires and lifestyles person nor is a conqueror a twisted tormented law keeper trying to keep the law in the sinful nature.
A conqueror lives victorious in the Holy Spirit. Nothing can separate the true Christian from the love of God if we really belong to God.
Sin has no more dominion over those who walk after the Holy Spirit because Jesus defeated the power of sin at the cross. Scripture tell us that “He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteous of God in Christ Jesus the Lord.”
(2 cor. 5:21)
Therefore brethren we are under no obligation or compulsion to obey sinful desires for that leads to death but we are under grace and grace leads us through Holy Spirit power to live a life of holiness.
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
In 1 Sam. 15:23 God told Saul that obedience to him is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of lambs.
The Lord made it clear to Saul that he wanted him to hear his voice and obey his commands and that was the way he was to worship.
The Lord made a command to Saul to slay every inhabitant of Amalek including their animals. Saul leaned on his own reasoning in the situation. Rather than do what he was told, Saul spared the king of Amalek and took the best of the spoil for himself.
The Lord took Saul’s disobedience as a rebellious act against his Lordship.
Saul said that he was going to sacrifice the sheep and oxen he had taken to the Lord but the Lord wouldn’t accept it.
Saul it seemed wanted to serve God Saul’s way. He knew better than God on how to serve God.
Saul even justified his action by saying he did everything that he was told to do but he took the best of the animals to make a big sacrifice to God. Plus Saul let the king or head of the Lord’s enemy live.
Amalek was a descendant of Esau. This lineage had no respect to God’s covenant. They were disrespectful of God’s holy ways.
By letting Amalek’s king live Saul was compromising with evil.
God’s view was that Saul by taking matters into his own hand was therefore in rebellion and operating in a witchcraft spirit. He in effect was denying God.
This story is really a parallel to the religious spirit that decides how God should be worshiped. The religious spirit comprises with things that disrespect God’s word.
Religion wants to make all kinds of obligations and ritualistic observations in preference to what God’s word has to say.
The religious spirit wants to perform feats that guise as worshiping God but in reality only exalt man’s ego.
God requires obedience to please him. Romans 6:16 tells us that obedience to the faith moves into righteousness or justification.
Obedience means attentive hearkening, complying with a command or request. Submitting to the authority and moral conviction of the religious truth of reliance on Jesus Christ for salvation. This is obedience to the faith.
God’s way of worship is by faith in Jesus Christ! Not rituals and all kinds of humanistic effort.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to demolish high minded reasoning that oppose knowing God and bringing captive the intellect to obey Jesus Christ.
In other words cast down any form of worship that is against what God’s word defines as worship.
What is obedient worship acceptable to God?
1 Peter 1:2 says that God the Father has chosen those who by his foreknowledge through sanctification (purified and made holy) of the Holy Spirit unto ( toward) obedience (hearkening to command ) and sprinkling of the blood atonement of Jesus Christ.
The only form of worship pleasing to God is through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ and obedience to the gospel.
Those who hearken to this command will be received by God the Father and are well pleasing in his sight.
Anything added to that or taken from that is considered disobedience to God.
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!
It is not with a big stick that the Lord Jesus brings correction . Sometimes we are under the impression that the Lord is going to lambaste us or others who are not walking in his truth. We have a tit for tat understanding of God but this simply is not the case. God does want to bring correction in our lives but with the motive of love not with revenge. (Hebrews 12:6)
The Lord Jesus only allows harsh learning repercussions to come our way when we continue to resist him through willful disobedience but that is only a last resort. (Romans 2:8)
When we pray for others to come to the knowledge of the truth, God answers our prayers according to his ways and methods as set out in scriptures. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
We need to realize that people often behave according to their predisposed beliefs which may be incorrect. These beliefs if they cause hurt to others need to be addressed and the Lord may use us to bring a corrective word into someone’s life. We need to do this in humility because we are not always right about everything either. ( Galatians 6:1)
Our traditional ways of seeing things may not necessarily be truth and this can be difficult for us to swallow. Our pride gets bruised or our sacred idol gets a good thrashing when being challenged in our ideas. (Roman’s 11:20)
When challenging the wrong ideas of others it may not be well received at first. People often make a big fuss when truth is shared with them. From a wrong perspective people often are defending what is sacred and holy to them. They may see truth as an intruder which is walking on their preconceive ideas of what is good or right in their eyes.
The messenger of truth may get attacked. (Proverbs 21:2) God’s truth is perceived by some as a threat to ideas long held.
Unless we admit we have been wrong about certain things we will continue on in our deception and in the end we will suffer the consequences of our error. With lies comes bondage and recompense for wrong thinking which results in doing wrong actions. These wrong actions can cause damage to other people’s lives as well as our own. (Jeremiah 7:8)
When we don’t want to give up our golden calf of ideas the Lord Jesus will allow us to go through rough times. A wilderness experience is a method used by God to bring us to repentance and acknowledging of the truth. Believing lies have consequences. It can result in us being chastised which often can results in nothing in our lives seeming to work out. We are just going around in circles. (Exodus 13)
Satan is the father of lies. He knows how to wrap lies up in deceptive packages that we get duped in to thinking are truth. (John 8:44)
Unbelievers and Christians without revelation in a certain area due to Satan’s deception often think that the one who is bringing correction are actually out to get them. This may not be the case.
We need to examine the word being said to us and humble ourselves enough to see if there just might be any truth to what is being pointed out. People can often see faults in us that we are too blindsided to see. (Hosea 4:6)
At other times we may be in truth but the person opposing us may be in deception. That is why Jesus said, “Forgive them Father because they do not understand what they are doing.” (Like 23:24)
People who attack do so because their preconceived ideas of truth are being challenged. Most people will fight for what they think is true and not for a blatant lie. That is why it is important that we pray for truth to be revealed by the Holy Spirit through scriptures. (Ephesians 1:17)
Belief systems contrary to the Bible need to be rejected once truth is revealed to us. We may have been taught wrong. Scriptures taken out of context and not compared with other scriptures may only be partial truth or subjective truth. God’s word is our measuring stick for it is above every other word. This includes worldly wisemen and theological wisemen. (Psalms 138:2 2 Corinthians 1:20 Roman’s 3:4 )
Jesus through his word exposes Satan’s lies. When that old devil says, “Has God really said?” we should have a red flag go up right away.
Satan is in fact saying “God doesn’t mean really this what he really means is that. Distorting scriptures or disregarding them altogether are Satan’s major strategy of deception. (Genesis 3, Mathew 4:6)
How can we know if we are in the truth?
By examining scriptures in light of the Holy Spirit’s revelation through prayer, research of the original language content, historical context and bearing witness with our spirit. (2 Corinthians 2:23, Acts 17:11, Ephesians 1:17, James 1:5)
If our ideas go against the conscience or inner prompting of the Holy Spirit and also scriptural reference they need to be immediately rejected. (Roman’s 8:16)
Outside knowledge if it is not within biblical context should be rejected for God’s word is above man’s word. Even if taught by a popular denomination or ministry. (Roman’s 3:4 )
With a change of mind will come a change of attitude. Truth sets us free! (Roma8:31, 32)
God calls us in his word to demolish strongholds of the mind contray to his word. (2 Corinthians 10:4)
Through the Bible and through prayer the Lord Jesus will lead us into all truth. Especially if we are seeking for his truth and not just to confirm our preconceived ideas of what truth is. (John 16:13 )
Correction from God comes to us in love. In other words from a motive of wanting us to be set free through truth.
Jesus says that he is the light, the way and the truth. Scriptures tell us that the Lord gently leads us into all truth. When someone is nice about bringing us a word of correction it’s much easier to handle. A word in season even if its corrective is pleasant when it’s brought in kindness. (2 Timothy 2 Colossians 3:13-23)
Once we get revelation by the Holy Spirit of his truth then we are better able to repent of our error. No one wants a wilderness experience and that is what ends up happening if we reject God’s word. (Deuteronomy 28, leviticus 26, Isaiah 1:19)
The only big stick that we ever get when we are wrong is the one we knock ourselves out with when we don’t listen to correction and end up finding out the truth the hard way.
The Lord Jesus wants us to take heed to correction and have all our crooked ways made straight because he loves us. (Isaiah 45:2)
Are you having a wilderness experience in your life right now? Maybe you don’t have truth about a matter. Ask the Lord Jesus to show you for he has promised to give wisdom to those who ask him. (James 1:5)
“A wise man listens to advice but a fool goes on and is punished.” (Proverbs 12:15)
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 ifwe 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)
A phrase being thrown around in Christian circles today is “Hyper grace.”
Grace can be “hyper” to Christians who are not in need of hyper grace but from my perspective I need all the grace I can get !
Let’s examine the doctrine of grace in a hyper grace mode shall we?
Hyper means to be really active with energy and grace (charis in the Greek) according to the Bible is the divine influence on the heart which is freely given not by merit but by God’s sovereign power.
In other words grace is the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to help those born of God to be over comers of this world through faith since grace works through faith.
Well, what do you know! Energetic active grace by God’s Holy Spirit enables Christians to be over-comers! What are we supposed to be overcoming? Scriptures tell us it’s the world, the devil AND the flesh or ungodly desires of the soul realm and body.
So if anybody ever needed hyper grace it would be the hyper sinner! True grace is active with God’s energy. Just so you know all life operates by energy and even scientists don’t fully understand it.
As Christians we know that scriptures tell us that all things are held together by God’s power or energy.
Grace is activated by faith so if you need God’s grace to over come in this life then call on him to extend his grace to you. God’s grace will energize your heart to trust him to do what he has promised in his word to do.
If scriptures say that there is no power that can take you out of the Lord’s hand then that’s a fact. If scriptures say that you are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ who strengthens you then that’s a fact. If scriptures tell you that grace abounds to the sinner then that’s a fact!
Next time some one tells you that you belong to the hyper grace camp just smile and nod because God’s grace is the active power of his Holy Spirit that will give you victory over every sin and every demonic attack. All you have to do is believe through faith in that fact and God will work his grace into your life!
God’s word produces faith because the truth sets us free!
According to 1 Thessalonians 2:13 when we receive the word of God, as truth, then the word of God, will effectually works in us who believe it.
To work effectually in the Greek is energeō which means to be ferverently and effectively active.
So in other words if we believe the scriptures as truth in our hearts then the word of God is able to produce an outcome or result with intensity and passion.
The key to this effective ferverent working of God’s word to produce a desired outcome for us is to BELIEVE.
What does it mean to believe? The word believe in this verse is translated pisteuō which means to have faith, trust and confidence in.
How do we get this faith, trust and confidence in?
Roman’s 10:17 says faith comes by HEARING And HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD.
Wait a minute ! You mean in order to believe the word of God I must hear the word of God and believe it? Yes, you see unless the word that you hear is mixed with faith it will not bring you any profit. You can be a hearer but not a doer of the word of God the Bible says.
So you must hear the word of God being proclaimed AND then you must understand what you are hearing. Holy Spirit revelation or rhema is what produces faith.
Faith comes by hearing or inclining your ear to hear and hearing or the ability to hear as receiving truth comes by the rhema or living word of God through the Holy Spirit.
Head knowledge or theological education does not produce faith. Holy Spirit revelation of God’s word is what produces faith.
So how do I get this Holy Spirit revelation of God’s word? By inclining your ear! Reading the Bible with your ear open to heaven. Listening to the Holy Spirit as he opens your understanding to his truth.
This requires frequent visits to the secret place of the most High or as Jesus put it entering into your prayer closet.
As we pray that our understanding may be enlightened and that we can know what is the hope of our calling and the riches of the inheritance of the Saints. Then the Holy Spirit will reveal to us his word and when our understanding is enlightened we will receive manna from heaven or rhema. THEN faith will come ! ( Ephesians 1:18 )
Remember that Jesus was walking with his disciples after his resurrection and they didn’t know him UNTIL he opened their understanding and expounded to them the scriptures. (Luke 24:27)
When Faith comes by receiving rehma then the word revealed to you will begin to work effectually and fervently to produce the desired result.
What are you desiring from the Lord Jesus? Healing? Provision? Sanctification? Deliverence? Whatever it is the answer is in the Bible. Read the scriptures concerning your need and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his truth to you about the matter by enlightening your understanding.
Then when faith comes for your need wait patiently for God to effectually work his word to manifest the desired outcome!