Wretched, oh how wretched I would be if Jesus Christ had not saved me.
Bounded in chains of misery… if Christ had not freed me.
Blind, I was once, but now I see!
Empty and lonely I would be if Christ were not in me.
Ignorant, without knowledge I would be, if God would have not left his basic instructions for me, the Bible.
No other book can compare, no other book is more reliable.
How great Thou Art almighty God for saving someone as wretched as me!
You even left Holy Spirit to comfort and guide me!
You made a wretch like me free from the power of sin…. with Jesus Christ my savior, I always win!
Once I was engaged in the conversation with a friend about the power of Holy Spirit. He begin speaking very proudly of how everything he needs to know Holy Spirit tells him. He even said that he understand everything Holy Spirit tells him. This is a prime example of misguided Reliance on the Holy Spirit. A related danger, and enemy of study, is the notion that because the Holy Spirit influences Our Lives, he will somehow fill us with knowledge of the New Testaments truth without our having to work at mastering it ourselves. Why we should not minimize our dependence on God Spirit to understand scripture aright, it is a mistake to substitute spiritual influence alone for the substantive means of Grace that God has given in the form of SCRIPTURE. Without solid understanding of God’s revelation of himself in scripture, how can we be sure that the spiritual influence we sense is truly from God? The primary standard for making that determination must in the end the scripture!
Encountering the New Testament
Why study the New Testament?
2nd Edition page 31
The Bible Colossians 4: 5- 6 (NIV) Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Christians should not hate unbelievers but they should tolerate them and they should be concerned about their salvation. Furthermore, Christian should not act like unbelievers when we are in their company. As Christians, our main focus should be first the Cross of Christ. That is remembering we were once unbelievers and Jesus gave us the ability to change so, therefore be kind and patient towards unbelievers. Our behavior around unbelievers should make them want what we have. However well sadly to say many Christians cause unbelievers to run away from God. It is imperative to remember that every non-Christian is out of relationship with the Lord. 1 John 3: 10 ESV ( paraphrased) Jesus appeared to take away sin and that Jesus had no sin. Furthermore, the same scripture explained saying no one keeps on sinning who has either seen or known God. The same scripture explains that whoever practices righteousness is righteous, and whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. Knowing this all Christians must walk in wisdom towards unbelievers. God will give us the right words to say if we ask him. God will guide us. We are only spiritual farmers. Some of us plant a seed and some Christians water the seed, however, God is the one who brings the increase. God causes the seed to grow. The Apostle Paul address the Corinthians in First Corinthians chapter 3:5-7 saying “After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servant through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”
Ephesians 4:29 ESV encourages us to “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” In this modern society so many of us are putting far too much time into what we put into our mouths. However, Matthew 15:11 ESV tells us that “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles (or spoils) a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles (or spoils) a person.” Ephesians 5:4 ESV (paraphrased) explains that filthy speech, foolish talk, and crude joking are out of place, and we should be giving thanksgiving instead. There is no way to convince anyone we’re true Christ followers when we habitually use filthy or degrading language. Slander and cursing are so not cool in the site of God. Let us ask God to set a guard over our mouths and watch over the door of our lips. Let us honor and represent God by choosing not to say ugly, slanderous speech towards one another.
People are straight losing it over this next election coming up. Fear is obvious, hate is growing and the crime rate is not getting any lower. However, for those who have not lost their trust in God, this next election should not be a big issues. Even in the days of the exodus, the hardness of the Pharaohs heart help glorify the greatness of God. Remember Proverbs 21:1 says: The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases. So let us not get it twisted, the Great and Lofty One, the Sovereign of all creation, the Master of all universes is watching. His eyes are pierced upon the wickedness going on. It’s just a matter of time before His wrath is unleashed. We should address our concerns about who’s making decisions in our government to God. Let us pray for the best person to be in office according to the will of God. In the name of Jesus, rebuke and pray against wicked men and women entering into office, then let God work His mighty works. Oh and if we do our research, then ask God who should we vote for, He will most definitely make a way for us to understand who to vote for. Why? Because God sees inside of hearts and minds and knows all things!
Hebrews 2:1-4 says: So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose.
Brothers and sisters, these scriptures were warning to the Hebrew people of the dangers of drifting away from the Word of God…from God. Drifting is very dangerous in that often times we don’t even notice that we are actually drifting away. Some of us are in the fast lane moving faster every day and yes I’m sure that some days we all could use a few more hours to accomplish our affairs. However, drifting starts out very subtle… one stops studying the Bible, praying or going to church…actually it can start in various ways. People start to drift when there are rumors going on about someone in the church or someone whom offended him or her. The subtle drifting takes one into extreme trouble waters……When we are way out in in the deep waters it takes great effort to swim back. We need help getting back to shore.
Stop for a minute, then ask yourself, “Am I drifting?” If the answer is yes…then start swimming back now…Come back! Some of you may be asking how? How do I come back? Well, Peter, when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Shout unto the Lord and ask Him to save you from drifting farther away from Him. Say what David said in Psalm 69:1(NLT) …He said, “Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck.”
In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” Then Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” A worldly concept of self-love, is those who choose broad way that leads to destruction. These are those who chose the “it’s all about me” pathway. The dictionary online states that self-love is the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, especially in excessive regard to one’s owns advantage. Defining the word selfish we discover that it means pretty much the same thing. Now let us not get it twisted. It is totally normal to care about your physical, mental, spiritual and financial well-being. God wants us to be healthy and strong to carry out his plans and purposes in this earth. Broke down, depressing, hopeless, worthless people do not tend to make positive impacts on the lives of others. We need to be love magnets in a god-like love. However the self-love I’m speaking of is that “It’s all about me” self-love. We have to be very careful not to become “ate up” with ourselves. “Ate up” meaning you eat, sleep and breathe self. When our minds are in that mode of thinking, we hog all the love to ourselves and others don’t stand a chance of getting even a little bit of love from us. God wants us to share our love. Honestly, it is only through God can we understand what true love is. Loves come from God and is meant to be shared. God is love. Please study 1 Corinthians 13th chapter, then meditate on 1 John 4:7-8.