The Bible tells us that if we walk after the Spirit then we will not fulfill the desires of the carnal nature or our physical senses. What does it mean to walk after the Spirit? (Romans chapter 8)
To “walk after” actually means to be joined to or with. Paul differentiates between living in the Spirit and walking after the Spirit. (Gal. 5:25)
A believer can be made alive by the Holy Spirit and “live in” the Spirit or be baptized in the Spirit but not actually walking after the Spirit or walking in the spiritual realm.
Some Christians are still allowing their carnal nature to lead them. They trust in man’s word more than God’s word and they mind the things of the world rather than the things of the Spirit.
Some believers try following the law and discipline of the body to control their carnal nature . This route eventually leads to defeat because while the law many contain sin it cannot conquer it.
God gives us the remedy in his word to crucify the flesh. He says to be filled with the Spirit and then walk after the Spirit. This is not not just a one time thing. We see in Acts chapter 2 that when believers got the Holy Spirit power from on high they waited on the Lord again concerning Peter in Acts chapter 4 and they were all filled with the Spirit again.
This is important to take note of. Believers need to he continually filled with the Spirit in order to overcome the carnal nature and the world. Being filled with the Holy Spirit means to be immersed in or supplied with the Holy Spirit on a continual basis. This comes by seeking God in prayer and spending time in God’s word. When we seek the Lord and call on him to empower us to walk in his Spirit he will always answer!
Just because we got the Holy Spirit one time does not mean that the Holy Spirit is activated in our lives on a continual basis. A good analogy would be that if we are a cell phone and have a battery inside us that does not mean that battery is charged. We have to plug it in to charge it. This takes time. It’s the same with our bodies. The amount of time we spend charging our battery will be the amount of power we get in our lives.
So when we are filled with the Spirit then we can be led by the Spirit. This means that once our spirits are charged up in the Holy Spirit we become more sensitive to the things of the Spirit and can hear his voice and feel his promptings.
As we fill up with the Holy Spirit each day that old person will soon die and be rendered in operative. As we pray in the Spirit and sing in the Spirit which Paul recommends that we do then we will be empowered by the Spirit. That means when we get to the place where our spirit man is more dominant than our carnal nature we will actually be able to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit according to our gifts and callings.
Born again believers live in varing degrees of the Spirit. None of us have managed to be as yielded to the Spirt like Enoch where we walked with God straight into glory but we should be moving closer in that direction all the time.
If we are filled with the Spirit then we can walk in the Spirit. When we acknowledge the Lord in all our ways he will direct our paths and then we are guaranteed to be successful by God’s standards. Then we can live as overcomers in this world.
If through the supply of the Spirit we are controlled by the Spirit then it will be automatic to yield to the Spirit. Our spirits being joined to God’s Spirit will enable us to live holy lives.
Those who are led by the Spirit scriptures tell us are the children of God but those who live according to the carnal nature will be defeated. Paul was talking to believers when he said that.
The unregenerate cannot reign in God’s kingdom. The carnal nature must be overcome and the way that we do it is not through rigorous religious exercise but through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5 tells us that our carnal nature will always fight against the Spirit but there is a remedy and that is being led by the Spirit of God. Being led by the Spirit can only come by being filled with the Spirit. When we fill up on the Holy Spirit every day then the Lord will direct our lives every day.
It is the Spirit that gives us life. It is the Spirit that enables believers to be salt and light in the earth. Without the Spirit we can do nothing for the flesh profits nothing. So as Paul says, let us put off the carnal nature and put on Christ. Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit like Jesus was and let us be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live in victory every day!
When our carnal nature becomes so subdued that Jesus is truly Lord of our lives then as Jesus testified in his word, “Greater works shall you do because I go to the Father. “
A curse is a verbal invocation to bring harm, or evil to another. A curse is a proclamation invoking power to make desired harm.
To bless is to verbally prophecy or speak good things into a person’s life or situation.
Both blessing and cursing while invoked or uttered by people are carried out by either God or the demonic realm.
When God’s people are obedient to him he blesses them by releasing his favor and goodwill but when God’s people are in rebellion they come under a curse. It is not God who does the cursing because God does not commit evil. Disobedience simply puts man outside God’s hedge of protection and that removal of blessing will allow evil things to occur in one’s life. (Isaiah 1:19,20 Deuteronomy 11)
Jesus made it clear that his people were not to curse or in other words not to invoke ill will on another person because cursing is speaking evil on another and that means invoking demonic powers to be released into another person’s life. God’s people are not to use demonic powers to deal with our enemies.
On the other hand when we bless our enemies who are doing evil to us we are asking God through benediction or prayer to change them and give them opportunity to repent. If they do not repent then coals of fire will be upon them or in other words they are in danger of eternal damnation. ( Romans 12:20 Mathew 5:44)
When Jesus spoke to the fig tree and commanded that it bear no fruit what he was doing was prophesying not cursing. (Matthew 11:12-25)
Since the fig tree represented Israel, Jesus was prophesying the outcome of the result of Israel rejecting him. While the disciples thought he was pronouncing a curse he actually was prophesying. (Mark 11:12,25)
The prophets in the old testament prophesied judgments that were a result of Israel’s rebellion but the evil which occurred came about by evil people. God himself did not harm his people but because of Israel’s sin he turned them over to their enemies.
A Curse without a cause will always return to the sender the Bible says. David prophesied that the curses of his enemies would fall back on their own heads. He declared that those who set nets for him would fall into it themselves. Simply because this is a spiritual law. Evil returns to its perpetrator. Touching God’s anointed will result in evil befalling the attacker.
Negative words in actuality are curses. That is why God said that life and death are in the power of the tongue. When we speak evil of another person we are pronouncing a curse in their lives and bringing judgment on ourselves.
When someone does us wrong we do good to them and pray for them to repent because if they do not repent their actions or words will return to them. Since God wants all to repent we are called to pray for them to have opportunity to repent.
Now we most certainly can pray for an evil action to be thwarted. God’s people are called to stand up for justice and take authority over evil. We can bind or render powerless evil devices. We can command in Jesus name all evil plans and schemes to be stopped but we are not to invoke evil on the person directly. We pray for them to repent.
(Mathew 18:18, Luke 10:19)
However sometimes people will not repent even if we pray and the evil they do may return to them. If we witness this happen we are to pray that God’s chastisement leads them to repentance. (Hebrews 12:6-11)
In psalm 69 David cries out to God when he is attacked by his enemies. He says that his enemies have no cause to attack him and because he is innocent concerning them he declares that the evil done to him would return to them. This of course is a prophecy as well about the Lord’s suffering and the results which occur to those who reject him.
When Jesus said to the Jewish nation that he would bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel he was talking about a spiritual law. This same law applies to the Christian. Those who bless you will be blessed but those who do evil to you if they do not repent that evil will return to them. ( Genesis 12:3 Galatians 3:14-29)
That is why Jesus asks us to intercede for our enemies like he did to the Father. Unless our enemies repent they will end up being cursed which could result in eternal separation from God. (Luke 13:3-5)
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!
Is God fair? It depends on your definition of fair.
If you mean does God show favoritism or bias to anyone then the answer is no. BUT if you mean does God distribute evenly then again the answer is no.
According to Acts 10:34 God is no respecter of persons.
This means that God does not show partiality or unfair bias based on favoritism BUT God does choose people for different gifts and callings according to his purposes.
God gives some people what seems like an advantage in some area but he makes that up by giving others an advantage in another area. This spiritual principle we can see in the bible verse of God bestowing more grace on a “comely vessel.” 1 Corinthians 23:24
We see by God’s distribution of the talents in Matthew that God does not always distribute his gifts evenly.
According to that parable Jesus gave one person 5 talents, another 2 talents and another 1 talent according to their ability or in other words the gifts and callings of the Lord allotted to them.
Each were equally accountable for what they did with their talents. (Matthew 25: 14-30)
It ended up that because the guy with 5 talents increased what he had, God gave him even more and the guy with 1 talent, he ended up loosing his talent.
Interesting enough but it was the guy with the least amount of talents that did nothing with his. Sometimes we may think that because we don’t have a lot of advantages that we are less accountable. This is not true. No matter how much we have been given by the Lord in our ability, we are still accountable to use that talent for the Lord Jesus glory. Remember the one who uses their talent will get even more talents.
Even though it seems like we may have been given an unfair playing field in actuality what we have are really only differences. Remember scriptures tell us that to one is given…..and to another is given…according as the Lord wills. (1 Cor. 12)
Can we increase our gifts and callings? The answer is YES! For example, I heard a testimony about a man in Africa from a poor village who waited all day to see a famous preacher and track him down to get prayer for a blessing.
Out of thousands of people attending that meeting only one stayed behind to seek out a blessing. It ended up that right after that encounter the young African man went back to his village and prayed for his people. Revival broke out in his village. This young man is a high profile evangelist in Africa today.
So as you can see while God is no respecter of persons he will bless the person who uses the gifts bestowed with more gifts and the person who does nothing or mismanages their gifts will suffer loss. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
This is why God says that those who compare themselves with others are not wise. We are not accountable for the next guy’s life but we sure are for our own!
Wisdom is given to those who seek out how to utilize their gifts and talents. The Bible tells us that all we have to do is ask! (James 1:5)
The word continue according to the Greek definition means to persevere diligently, attend to in exercise, wait on, adhere closely to.
So in other words Christians are being admonished to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty (persevere) carefully with much effort (diligent) show up and engage in physical activity (godly exercise) attending with close attachment ( draw near) in immediate proximity. (up close and personal)
Sounds like a mouthful but you get the point when it’s broken down.
Prayer is not always a quicky petition. When we don’t get an answer right away many of us want to give up. We think that the Lord Jesus doesn’t care about our situation because he doesn’t show up immediately and meet our need.
Well, God just isn’t a fast food God. It doesn’t work that way. There are many variables (and that’s a different message ) as to why we don’t see immediate results to our prayers.
Suffice to say, constant prayer is needed. It’s called seeking and seeking is a prerequisite for answered prayer. We seek until the answer comes and sometimes it takes an extended period of time. (DANIEL 9)
Notice in Jeremiah 29 that the Lord Jesus says that if we seek him in prayer that he will hear us. The Lord says that if with our whole heart we seek him we will find him. Our answer will come! The Lord tells us that he will deliver us from our captivity and restore us. It’s a spiritual principle. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much scriptures tell us. (James 5:16)
Seeking the Lord Jesus requires fervency! Prayers that are passionate and intense. In other words heart felt seeking bordering on desperation is required in prayer.
If there is one thing irresistible to the Lord it is sincerity and persistence prayer. Why do you think that the woman with the issue of blood was commended by Jesus? She was so desperate that she was willing to humble herself and grab on to the hem of his garment. That’s diligent prayer! (Matthew 9:20)
The unjust judge according to Jesus’ story gave the persistent seeker her request and the Lord likened that case scenario to how persistence towards God gets answers to prayer. (Luke 18:1-8)
Do you have a desperate need?
Then continue in prayer till the answer comes. It will come!
Just keep seeking, keep knocking, keep praying and one day the door is going to open wide up for you! Jesus assured us of this in his word.
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!
That phrase is thrown around a lot in some Christian circles today so let’s just examine it from a Biblical perspective.
What does the Bible say about religion? According to Acts 26:5 Religion means (thrēskeia )ceremonial observance or traditional way of doing things.
Paul was a Pharisee who practiced the religion of a particular sect. (Heresy is the Greek word for sect.) A sect is a choice, a party, disunion.
In other words the Pharisees were a formally constituted by choice, and religious group that formed a ruling body over the society.
A Pharisee is a separatist belonging to a sect. One who separates in religious observance from other groups.
Galatians 1:13 scripture tells us that Paul practiced the Pharisee sect which transferred the precepts and traditions of ceremonial ordinances and laws according to their sectarian disunion from other groups.
Now that we know what a religious Pharisee is let us find out why Jesus was in conflict with them.
John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducee vipers. ( Matthew 23:33 ) A viper strikes suddenly and injects poison into the body of its victim. So John was pointing out that these sects injected religion or their ceremonial observances into people which he considered to be poisonous.
In other words what the religious people of his time were doing was indoctrinating their deadly heresy into others rather than the pure word of God.
What was the deadly heresies that the Pharisees were teaching?
Jesus pointed out some of them.
In his parables and encounters with the religious people of his day he pointed out that the Pharisees were separatist elitists in their practice. They had ridged ways of doing things that did not have grace for any one else’s method.
These religious people looked down on any one who did not conform to their way of thinking. The Pharisee or religious spirit is a practicing elitist. One who separates in form from any one different than they are.
The religious spirit hates non conformity. If you are different with a different gift or calling watch out because the religious spirit will strike like a viper! The religious spirit is very territorial.
The religious spirit separates from non conformists and does not like to keep company with them. If you don’t do things their way then you are not welcome.
Jesus many times pointed out to the religious leaders that they were hypocrites. Claiming to belong to God the religious spirit in actuality is serving Satan. Why? Because self will, self exaltation, and self centerness is Satan’s nature, not God’s nature.
True Christian’s are led by the Holy Spirit not by a sectarian rule book. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin in order to bring change in the heart by his love while the religious spirit brow beats and tries to force conformity to their way of doing things.
Another thing scriptures point out about the religious or Pharisee spirit is that it is jealous of those who walk closely with God . The religious spirit will always attack the spiritual person because of jealousy.
Why is the religious spirit jealous? Simply because the true Christian is led by God and not by them. The religious spirit can see that those who walk in the Holy Spirit are led of God and non conformist to the agenda of someone else . This infuriates the religious spirit.
The religious spirit will always cherry pick the Bible for their own agenda. Jesus said that the Pharisees strained at gnats while swallowing camels. They fussed over every dot and crossing of T’s in the Bible but didn’t seem to see the more important things that Jesus tried to point out to them like loving people and helping them out.
The religious spirit prefers ceremonial practices and while this may be in a traditional frame work it can also come from a Corinthian mind set as well. The religious spirit in a Corinthian church setting also has rules and ways of doing things according to their way of thinking.
Many times the religious spirit in the Corinthian church will reject the more practical type of Christian who loves to serve and wait on tables but will also oppose others not conforming to their agenda. The Corinthian religious spirit will look down on others as being less spiritual than they are.
The Pharasee according to Jesus will also put burdens on others that they won’t carry themselves. The religious spirit will many times require you to live a certain way or do a certain thing that they themselves don’t do. In other words the religious spirit doesn’t practice what it preaches.
The religious spirit will also brow beat others in their religiosity but fail to apply mercy and grace. Their ways are higher than God’s ways! They have all the answers and if you don’t like their way of doing things well you are just not welcome into their little camp.
We Christian’s throw around the religious spirit doctrine alot when we don’t like to listen to someone else’s view point and have our own heart examined. Sectarianism is a principle attribute of the religious spirit.
Finally, the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus the Bible tells us. Sounds pretty harsh but the religious spirit hates the agenda of the kingdom of God. Notice how the Pharisees conspired to take Jesus and hand him over to Rome because they were afraid of loosing their place! (John 11)
The religious spirit on pretence will attack a true Christian because of their perverted version of truth but in reality it’s because the religious spirit knows when the Holy Spirit comes on the scene it’s got to get out of the way. The religious spirit loses its place!
No more running the show! No more praises of men! No more fleesing the sheep! No more control !
So how do you know if you are really dealing with a religious spirit?
Look for the signs !
You will be disliked, trying to control you and conform you, jealous of your walk with God, nit picking you with scriptures taken out of context to brow beat and condemn you, telling you to do something they don’t do and finally rejecting you if you don’t conform to their way of thinking.
The religious spirit is a crafty one. Residing in churches, institutions and even family and friends but be of good cheer because just like Jesus overcame the religious spirit so can we !
How? Jesus resurrection power put the religious spirit in its place. Oh, the religious spirit may deny Holy Spirit power and come against it but will never be able to counterfeit it. The religious spirit will never be able to stop Holy Spirit power either for greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world !
The best way to deal with the religious spirit is to depend on the Holy Spirit !
Did you know that the Lord tells us in his word that there are some things as Christians that we cannot do?
If we do these things then we cannot inherit eternal life. Now I know some preachers will tell you that it’s okay if you live after the fallen nature and make it to heaven but I’m not one of them.
If the word says it then it’s TRUE no matter who says other wise. Now you can give me all kinds of doctrinal leans that skip over these truths but I for one am not buying it and in my opinion its awfully foolish to reject God’s word in favor of somebody’s opinion.
I am a grace preacher but what separates me from some grace preachers is that I believe scriptures teach that if you are truly born of God then you will live like you are truly born of God.
The Holy Spirit’s job is not just to comfort us when we are going through trials but also to instruct us in righteousness, convict us of sin and remind us of God’s judgment for those who LIVE AFTER the fallen nature. John 16:8
So let’s examine the scriptures concerning what we cannot do as Christians and make it to heaven.
We cannot drink of the Lord’s cup and the cup of devils nor can we sit at the Lord’s table and also at the table of devils. (1 Cor. 10:20)
In other words eating and drinking communally with Satan’s kingdom and also in God’s kingdom, such as watching demonically inspired movies, hanging out in Satan’s den of debauchery, participating in demonic activities of any kind then going to church on Sunday and maybe a prayer meeting or two.
No, it’s either one or the other. Remember that Jesus said if we are luke warm he will spew us out of his mouth. We have to make a choice. God or the devil.
We cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve money, worldly affairs or any thing contrary to God’s word and serve God too. Again it’s a choice we have to make. Following after worldly success and ambitions or God’s agenda. (Matthew 6:24)
We cannot love the world and have God’s love in us too. If we love anything more than God then we cannot have God’s love flowing through us.
If we don’t put God first in our lives then we will not be able to have his full love and devotion to give to others. We reap what we sow in life. It’s as simple as that. (1 John 2:15, 16)
We cannot walk in darkness and in the light too. Sounds only obvious but in actuality when we sin we open our lives up to darkness and give Satan place in our lives. When Satan has place then he wants more place. Pretty soon the light that was in us becomes crowded out with darkness. ( 1 John 1:16,17 Matthew 6:23)
We cannot serve God and mammon too. Now money in and of itself is not evil. If Money is used by God and for God then money is in its proper place BUT if we serve money by letting it be our master then it becomes mammon. An idolatrous idol. We cannot serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24)
In conclusion, scriptures make it clear that we must choose who we will serve. The first commandment tells us to love God first above anything else. To do other wise reveals we do not really belong to God anyway. (Luke 10:27)
Do you have a decision to make today? (Joshua 24: 14,15)
If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1,2)
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