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Posts Tagged ‘holiness’


Below are some Scriptures which show that the life of a Christian parallels the life of Christ:  His life, His death, His resurrection are all examples of how the True Disciple will live!

CHRIST’S DAILY LIFE AS A SERVANT

If we really want to be like Jesus on this Earth, we should remember that He was humble, He was obedient to God’s will always, and He came to serve man-kind.

Philippians 2, ESV

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

In the same way that Christ served God and man, so Christians must desire to be humble, we must desire to do God’s will, and we must desire to serve others.

Matthew 23, ESV

11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Philippians 2, ESV

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…

CHRIST’S EXAMPLE OF FAITH

The Lord Jesus Christ did not just tell us what to “do” in order to be saved, but He showed us “how” to do it.

Hebrews 12, ESV

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

“Eyes on the prize, Eyes on the prize” is the pep-talk that I give to myself when things are difficult.  By keeping my eyes on the prize … which is the salvation of my soul (1 Peter 1:9) … I can keep myself encouraged to not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9), even as Jesus did in order to get through the shame and agony of the Cross.

CHRIST’S DEATH

The Old Testament Prophets and the New Testament writers tell us of Christ’s death by crucifixion.   How many Believers today know, or understand, that we too must die to our own wills and live only for God and for God’s purpose?

Galatians 2, ESV

20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Luke 9:23, ESV

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Christ speaks of a DAILY dying to our own wants and desires in order to follow Christ and do God’s will,  and if we will follow this pattern of putting our flesh and desires to death daily, we can then expect to be resurrected in the same way that Christ was.

CHRIST’S RESURRECTION

Hosea 6, ESV

1 “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.

Even as the Lord Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, so the Body of Christ will be raised on the “third day”.

According to 2 Peter 3, 1 day is like 1,000 years and so it is thought that the resurrection of the Body of Christ (which is the resurrection of True Believers from the grave, along with the rapture of True Believers who are alive from the Earth … 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17) will occur during the “third day”, or the third millennium, after Christ’s death:

2 Peter 8, ESV

8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

But can any of us expect to be resurrected like Christ was, if we will not follow the other patterns of Christ? The pattern of faith to over-come hard trials, the pattern of obedience to God and denying our own desires?  Can any of us really believe that we will be resurrected like Jesus Christ without living like Jesus Christ?

We can live assured that if we LIVE like Jesus Christ, we will indeed be resurrected like Jesus Christ, because the life of every True Believe is to follow Christ’s pattern and be a living example to the world of Who Jesus Christ really is.

1 John 4, ESV

17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.

1 John 2, ESV

6whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

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May God’s grace and peace be upon all who believe God at His Word and who desire to be just like Jesus!

2015 – Is Christ Soon To Return

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It is the CARNAL Christian who desires signs, wonders, money, and power and the take over of earthly kingdoms.  For these are fleshly items.  Items of this world and things that even unsaved men desire.

It is the SPIRITUAL Christian who desires ears to hear God more clearly, who desires a purified heart to obey their Lord, who desires God’s power to overcome sin, and who desires that men everywhere be set free from Hell’s grip to obey the Lord’s Words.   For these are spiritual desires.  These are the foundational teachings of the Kingdom of God and the desire of God for all men.

Which do you desire?  Which are more important to you?  Which is your mind continually focused on and looking for in your life?

Signs and wonders, healings and the casting out of devils WILL follow those who are Spiritual, for God DOES confirm HIS WORD with signs following.  But to have these from God, and in God’s order, and in God’s timing, you must first eagerly desire the Spiritual.

Matthew 6:18 (NIV):


But seek first His kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well

 

Romans 8 (NIV):

5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful mane is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mindf is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.


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(c) 2012 Is Christ Soon To Return

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The Book of Romans teaches that we are to live holy lives even though this book is one of the most upheld as teaching GRACE alone (see my Misunderstand the Mercy of God HERE).

And so I wanted to take a look at some of the Scriptures from the Book of Romans which shows us that Holiness is actually required by God:

Romans 3:5, ESV

But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

Paul shows us in verse 8 that he is thought to be teaching, “Go ahead and keep sinning!  For God is so merciful that He forgives.  And our continual sinning without receiving judgment and punishment from God, shows just how great God’s mercy is” (verse 8).  But by using the word “slanderously” he is obviously stating that this is NOT what he teaches at all … even as he goes on to state more clearly in his writing:

Romans 3:28, ESV

For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.  

And:

Romans 4:22, ESV

That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Yes, Paul sets the case that we are INDEED FREED FROM THE LAW and from our works as counting us worthy or not, but he goes on to show that this does not mean we can LIVE IN SIN or that we can SIN FREELY without fear or without consequence:

Romans 6:15, ESV

What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,c you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

And:

Romans 6:19, ESV

… so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But
now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
QUESTION:
Just because you now call yourself a Christian, do you think that “the wages of sin” is no longer death for you?  Did that scripture change for the one who calls themselves a Christian yet continues to live in sin willfully?   “But the Christian is NOT UNDER LAW”, many say, and therefore not under the same punishment as un-believers even as Romans 7 state:
Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ
BUT I see Romans 7 as teaching that we are FREE from the POWER of the Law which kept us in condemnation and bondage … free from its power to keep us as slaves to sin, and now we are freed to live in God’s Power for holiness:
Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.  
But, Lee, there is Romans 8 which says:  “Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  This is a statement that I hear repeatedly quoted as I go along in my attempts to show that holiness is a requirement … and sadly, this verse is quoted by those who do not care to even think of holiness, for NO CONDEMNATION means they are “off the hook” of the consequences of living contrary to New Testament teaching.  But is that what this verse is truly meaning?  That there is no condemnation for those who continue to sin willfully, because they are “under the blood of Jesus” and therefore they are forgiven and free from condemnation and wrath?
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.a 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set youb free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,c he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Wow.  Verse 8 is strong and clear! Can you see, my dear brothers and sisters, that “there is therefore now no condemnation” for only those who walk “according to the Spirit“?  And the warnings of death are not for unbelievers but for those who, although they call themselves Christian,  still set their minds on the flesh and the evil desires of the flesh.  Such people, who willfully continue sinning, bring death upon themselves and “cannot please God“.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sonse of God.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Yeah, but doesn’t the book of Romans even say in “Romans 8:38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord“, so that meaning even our sin can’t separate us from God’s love … once we are saved and accept Jesus as our Savior, we are saved! Period.  And nothing will separate us from Him.  And so surely, no Christian will ever be sentenced to hell?We must remember to hold ALL Scripture together and not pick and choose which versus will be our truth, for Romans 11 goes on to teach us that:

That is true. They (Jews/Israel) were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 
Question:
How could one “continue in (God’s) kindness“?Answer:
By obeying His commands:

John 15:10
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  
By thumbing your nose at His Word which instructs us to walk in holiness, and by thumbing your nose at His will for your life which is that you “be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29), we are probably not abiding in His love (John 15:10, shown directly above and 1 John 3:8).
And because God showed this Truth to Paul, Paul did not want this Truth to be left aside as un-important, but wanted to make it his “appeal” (ESV) or “urging” (NIV, NASB) as he continues his writing to the Roman believers:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers,a by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.b 2 Do not be conformed to this world,c but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.d
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. 
But are writings, posts, and viewpoints such as this Article, judgmental and contrary to what Romans teaches about passing “judgment on (my) brother“(Romans 14:10)? …
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions…
4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own mastera that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.  12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. 
Actually Romans 14 is continually talking about the eating of foods, which was very important to the Jews at that time with all their rules and regulations, and such laws and opinions were probably passed on to the Gentile believers even as we see happening Galatians 2:11-14, for Romans 14 goes on to state:
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. 
Can you see that Paul states, “Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God” or in other words, whoever serves Christ in this manner is acceptable to God.  But in what manner?  In the manner of “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” !  And righteousness is mentioned here … and at first mention, I might add.   So to speak of and preach that righteousness or holiness are mandatory in our lives as Christians, I believe such preachers (myself included) are not being judgmental or legalistic as many like to accuse.  Rather, I believe we are upholding the fulness of the Gospel of Christ and God … for again, the “kingdom of God (is) of (or “consists of” – YNT, GWT ) righteousness” along with “peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
Oh, my brothers and sisters, let us all strive to learn what ALL the Words of this glorious Gospel teaches, so that we may show ourselves to God as servants who correctly handle, walk in, and interpret the Word of the Living God.  It is His will that we be holy and sanctified, set apart unto Him for good works and to show the world that He is alive and powerful IN His people.  Powerful enough to free us from the power of sin and sinning.  We should crave Heaven, looking forward to pleasing our God and King now, so that when He appears we will not be ashamed.  Heaven is our home and our goal.  This world and all the sinful, fleshy lusts are passing.  And we do not want to be burned up with the world by God’s Wrath … do we (2 Peter 3:10-15)?
Conclusion
and a Prayer to be what the Word says we should be

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.  11Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,g serve the Lord.  12Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  13Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.h Never be wise in your own sight.  17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave iti to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20To
the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 

And so we could pray something like this:

Father, I thank You that Your Word shows me how You want me to live, to think and to act.  I thank You that Your Word is sanctifying me and changing my attitude and thoughts even now.  Bring Your Word to my remembrance as I live my daily life, so that I can adjust my thoughts and remarks and attitudes accordingly so that I can walk and love others as You want me to.  I choose to keep my eyes and attention on Your Word, for my sanctification and to Your glory, and I choose to keep the ways of the world, the thoughts and the attitudes of the world and the lusts of the world from getting into my thoughts and attitudes, as much as I can, by choosing to be careful of what I meditate on and entertain myself with.  I love You Father and thank You that You are faithful to see my sanctification to completion.  I love You and choose to offer my life to you, to live a life worthy of Your calling and Your name.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your
whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
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The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition:
2007. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by
permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this
publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.
The ESV® Bible
(The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) is adapted from the Revised
Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education
of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All
rights reserved.
(c) 2012 Is Christ Soon To Return

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Are you saved AND rapture ready?

Lets look in the Letters to the THESSALONIANS
to see how Paul taught these Believers to ‘walk’ while waiting for the Lord’s 2nd coming.

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
“just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would WALK IN A MANNER WORTHY of the God Who calls you nto His own kingdom and glory.” {I believe this teaching should be proclaimed a little more loudly for today’s Body of Believers, reminding us that  Paul implored or pleaded with the Thessalonians to walk in holiness and  to walk in a way that was pleasing to the Lord …  a message,  I believe , which is almost forgotten in today’s Christian Living.}

In 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, holiness is so important to Paul  that he continually prays that:
“… He may establish your hearts without blame IN HOLINESS before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” and then Paul goes on to instruct the Believers to walk more in the holiness which he hears they are already walking in!  He reminds the Believers that, “this is the will of God, your SANCTIFICATION…” and goes on to list what the sins are, which we should be free from / abstain from  {1 Thessalonians 4:3-6}.

1 Thessalonians 4:7 -8
“For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in SANCTIFICATION”
{Could I re-write Paul’s admonition in my own words and state:  for God has not called us for the purpose of living however we want, doing whatever we want, thinking that  afterall, God forgives and the blood covers us.}For he who rejects this (teaching) is not rejecting man, but the God Who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”

2 Thessalonians 2:13
“But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for SALVATION THROUGH SANCTIFICATION by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”

So it seems that the   Letters  to the Thessalonians does not teach that HOLINESS is NECESSARY for salvation, but it sure reminds Believers that holiness IS God’s WILL for us, and so I “encourage” the Body  with the same reminder as Paul wrote:

Since we are of the day, let us be SOBER …  For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” {1 Thessalonians 5:8-11}

“… admonish the unruly (undisciplined).” {1 Thessalonians 5:14}

”  abstgain from every form of evil “ {1 Thessalonians 5:22}

“Now may the God of peace Himself  SANCTIFY you ENTIRELY; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” {1 Thessalonians 5:23}

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On Another Topic …
Do the Letters to the Thessalonians also show that one is able to FALL AWAY from salvation, thus showing the “once saved always saved” theology as non-Scriptural?

Consider the following Scriptures:

1 Thessalonians 3:5
“For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor WOULD BE IN VAIN.” {How could Paul’s labor be in vain, except that he preached to a group who ‘got saved’ and then “fell away” after going through trials and persecutions? Even as he goes on to state:}  “for now we really live, IF you STAND FIRM in the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 3:8

1 Thessalonians 4:8
“So, he who rejects this (teaching of holiness, as outlined in verses 4:1-7} is not REJECTING man but the God Who gives His Spirit to you.” {Question:  does the REJECTING of God means one turns their back on their entire salvation?  The Letters to the Thessalonians do not state such, however, I am studying ALL the New Testament Scriptures to see if such is the case.  My findings will be posted as I have time.}

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In Conclusion ….
Something I believe the Body of Christ is lacking today, is the incentive to walk in holiness  which comes when one is focused on the Lord, even thinking that PERHAPS TODAY Christ could return in the sky to take His people, the Church,  home to Heaven.

Could this be why Paul teaches so much about the Rapture and the Return of the Lord to the Thessalonians ALONG with the preaching and exhorting of HOLINESS?

1 Thess 1:9-10
“For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, AND TO WAIT FOR HIS SON from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, Who rescues us from the wrath to come.”

I believe this to be a good way to keep ourselves encouraged to do good works and live in holiness:  by remaining  focused and waiting on the 2nd coming of Jesus.

For  as we live  our lives waiting for Him, expecting Him at any moment, we will  keep our lives “in check”, not giving ourselves over so quickly and easily to the sins of the flesh, but waiting for Him in purity, so that we would “not be ashamed at His appearing” {1 John 2:28}.

Grace and peace … and sanctification 🙂 ….  to all who long for His appearing.

Amen.

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All “Scripture  taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R).  Copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.  Used by permission.  http://www.Lockman.org”, unless otherwise noted

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