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Monthly Archives: July 2012

What Business Are You In?

Luke 2:49 (KJV)  And Jesus  said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

SIH’s Think On These Things: Isaiah 6:5-7

We now continue our devotional series on the two-fold calling (to salvation and to service) of Isaiah.  Remember in this series we will be looking to learn more about the One who is calling Isaiah, along with the nature of the calls and an examination of the submission to these calls by Isaiah…

We have just concluded our look at God’s call to salvation that He issued to Isaiah…  Isa 6:5-7  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.  (6)  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:  (7)  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

In vs 5 – we saw how the Lord prepared the lost man’s heart to receive the gospel message.  This included showing him his sinful condition and recognizing his inability to save himself from his sins.

In vs 6 – we saw the Christian, empowered by the Holy Spirit, taking the message of Christ’s sacrifice (the gospel) to the lost.

In vs 7 – we see the salvation taking place as the gospel is applied with the results of spiritual cleansing and covering of sin through the shed blood of Christ.

Keep in mind the basic order of things….

Isaiah saw God in His holiness…. This led him to recognize his sinful condition…. This led to repentance … this led to his cleansing.

This cycle should take place repeatedly throughout the course of our lives of Christian service:

As we spend time in the Word, we see God’s holiness revealed to us on a daily basis… This should lead us to continually recognize the sin that is in our lives…. This should lead us to the confession of those sins…  This, then, leads to continual cleansing and renewal of our intimate walk with Him.

This is the very principle taught to us in 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Contextually, this is one of several marks John is giving to us that show we have had a genuine salvation experience.   If we do not see (or care about) the sin that is in our lives, we need to seriously question whether we have experienced God’s grace in salvation.

Do we lose our salvation if we do not continually confess our sins to God?  No, when the Lord died on the cross He paid the JUDICIAL penalty of our sins past, present and future.  Why, then, must we continually confess our sins to the Lord?  It is an issue of retaining an intimate walk with Him.  Unconfessed sin in the life of a Christian hinders our walk with Christ, thus hindering our spiritual growth and separation to His service.

Think of it like this…. When I was young, at times, I disobeyed my parents.  When I disobeyed I still was a member of my family, but until I confessed my sin to my parents things were not the same between us.  I felt guilt and recognized I had failed and hurt them.  It was harder for me to talk to them.  It was these feelings that hindered my relationship with them.

In much the same way, our sin hinders our relationship with our heavenly Father.  That is why He will even go to the extreme of chastening to bring me back to Him (Heb 12:5-11) He desires to have a close relationship with His children.  We should desire the same.

May we all see His holiness, be recipients of His grace, and forever enjoy a close walk with Him through the confession of our sins.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Good Works Are Evidence of A Living Faith

James 2:17  (KJV) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Isaiah 6:7

We now continue our devotional series on the two-fold calling (to salvation and to service) of Isaiah.  Remember in this series we will be looking to learn more about the One who is calling Isaiah, along with the nature of the calls and an examination of the submission to these calls by Isaiah…

In this verse we see the salvation experience of Isaiah.  As the seraphim (symbolic of a faithful Christian) uses the tongs (Spirit of God) to bring Isaiah the coal (Word) which results in his salvation…

Isa 6:7  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

How does salvation take place in an individual’s life?

1. As we saw prior, first the Lord must prepare the hearts of the lost individual to see their sin, see their need of salvation and be receptive to the gospel message. (verse 5)

2. Then the Lord must have the gospel taken to the lost.  In this case we saw that the Lord called a Christian, empowered by the Spirit, to take the Word to Isaiah. (verse 6)

3.  Now, (in verse 7) we see that the Word is used through the intervention and power of the Spirit to remove and cover Isaiah’s sin.

The two words that are used to describe the removal of Isaiah’s sin are:

1. “taken away”  this comes from a Hebrew word that means “to be plucked”, “removed” or “withdrawn”.  This speaks of his sin being taken from his account, in a sense, it is as if he had never sinned. In other words, he was justified.

2. “purged” this word is a form of the Hebrew word normally translated “atonement” or “covering”.  This teaches us that his sins were covered, or atoned for, by the blood of Christ.

Finally, why is the coal (Word) said to touch His mouth?  I believe this was in preparation of his future call to the prophetic ministry.  The touching of his mouth worked salvation throughout his entire being.  It is just a way to emphasize, once saved and ministering for the Lord, His mouth would be cleansed and separated for the Lord’s use in a very unique way.

Let us thank the Lord for the person or ministry that was faithful to the Lord to bring the Word to us.

But most importantly let’s thank the Lord for intervening in our life, preparing our hearts, sending us the Word and then applying the Word to our life.  Many times, we thank Him for His great sacrifice on the cross (which is wonderful)… but we forget to thank Him for the process of salvation that He worked in our lives.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Precious Word Bible Study Series – The Word Reveals The Savior (Lesson #5)

1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”

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INTRODUCTION:

Another theme that runs throughout the Holy Scriptures is mankind’s need of deliverance from sin.  Every man was born in a fallen condition of separation from God.  Their fallen condition brings about acts of disobedience towards Almighty God.  It is these two products of sin (fallen nature and disobedient acts) that generates mankind’s great need of salvation.

Yes all mankind, due to sin, is in desperate need of salvation.  But the Word’s teaching about mankind does not stop there.  It further explains that man cannot merit, nor in any way attain, salvation of his own efforts.  Hence, mankind’s unyielding need for a Savior. Man needs someone who will stand in their place and perform the saving work that they so greatly need.

So, who is this One who can deliver all of us from our helpless, hopeless condition? Who can meet the demands of God and supply the redemption for the heinous sin that affects each of us?  God’s Word graciously reveals His identity to us.  This is another of the reasons why the Scriptures are so very valuable for each one of us.  You see, without the precious Word, we could never come to knowledge of the One that can save us from our sin.

SCRIPTURES:

Isa 12:1-3 

(KJV)   And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.  (2)  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.  (3)  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

(ESV)  You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.  “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORDGOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”  With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

 

Isa 45:20-22 

(KJV)  Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.  (21)  Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.  (22)  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

(ESV) Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save.  (21) ​Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. (22) “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

 

1Ti 1:1 

(KJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

(ESV) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

­

Matt 1:21-23 

(KJV) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  (22)  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  (23)  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

(ESV)  (21) She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (22) All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23) “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

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Joh 1:29-34

(KJV) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  (30)  This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.  (31)  And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.  (32)  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  (33)  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  (34)  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

(ESV) (29) The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (30) This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ (31) I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” (32) And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. (33) I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ (34) And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

THE STUDY:

As we search the Scriptures for the identity of the Savior of man, let’s turn our attention to Isa 12:1-3…

And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.

Isaiah is acknowledging that he, personally, had been disobedient to the Lord and under the Lord’s anger.  However, he was now bringing praise and honor to the Lord because His anger had been lifted from Isaiah. To replace that anger, Isaiah was now receiving comfort (communion, peace, security) from His Lord.

Who had done such a wonderful work for Isaiah? Working comfort and grace to replace the anger and guilt that Isaiah had been experiencing?  Isaiah continues by naming this great Saviour…

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 

His God was the One that had worked deliverance on Isaiah’s behalf.  But which God was it through whom Isaiah had received deliverance?  Was it Baal? Or perhaps, was it Nebo? Absolutely not. Isaiah was not saved through the workings of the man-made Gods of the surrounding nations.  He clearly names JEHOVAH as the Savior of mankind.

Not only does Isaiah give credit to Jehovah for deliverance from his sin, but he also gives Him credit for his new found spiritual vitality and joy.  Both of these were the end result of the salvation that Isaiah had been given.

Now that Isaiah had experienced the wonderful salvation, and its effects, he invites all of mankind to partake of this same salvation that his Lord offers to man….

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

According to the Lord’s clear explanation to Isaiah, the saving work of Jehovah separates Himself from all the false, man-made Gods of this world (Isa 45:20-22)….

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

When we come to an understanding that Jehovah is the only true Savior of all mankind it makes perfect sense that Paul would write in 1 Tim 1:1…

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

Notice here, that God is given the title “our Saviour”, but the Lord Jesus Christ is given the title “our hope”.  How can this be?  If we find salvation in Jehovah why would Christ be said to be the origin of the hope we have?

We have this principle explained in Matt 1:21-23….

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 

Matthew’s account of the birth of Christ includes an account of how our Lord was given His name.  He would be called “Jesus” because He would be the Savior of His people.  The name Jesus means “Jehovah is salvation”.  This is the answer to our question.

How can God be said to be our Savior and, yet Christ be said to be the origin of our hope?  It is because Jesus Christ is one with Jehovah God (John 10:30; 1 John 5:7)

Notice this principle is more clearly expressed in the following verses of this text…

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Jesus, truly is Jehovah God who came to the earth and met with mankind as a man.  He is both God and Man who came to be the Savior of His people (1 John 5:20).  He is “Emmanuel”; He is “Jesus”. (Isa 7:14)

John the Baptist reaffirmed the identity of Christ in John 1:29-34…

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 

The text continues by teaching us that, as both God and Savior, Christ far exceeded John the Baptist in person, work and authority.  John the Baptist’s ministry was to clearly show the true identity of Christ to the Jewish people…

This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.  And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 

The text closes by explaining the events that took place at the baptism of Christ.  It was these events that confirmed the true identity of Christ to those who were witnesses of His baptism..

And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  (33)  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  (34)  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

At Christ’s baptism, we are told that:

  1. The Spirit descended upon Christ.
  2. The Spirit then landed (abode) upon Christ
  3. The message from God validating the ministry of Christ

Based upon the above, John the Baptist became a witness for Christ by publically verifying His identity as Savior and Son of God.

THE APPLICATION:

Through His precious Word, with the knowledge of the true identity of our Savior, comes a blessed joy knowing that although we cannot save ourselves, by looking to Him in faith, we will be delivered by Him.

If the Lord has shown us His grace by delivering us from our sin, should we not be greatly motivated to serve Him and glorify Him with our lives?  Once again, we are to look into His Word to find His guidance and instructions for living our lives separated to His service.

Tit 2:11-14  “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;   Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org

He Is Everything

Eph 4:6 (KJV)  One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.

How Long?

Isa 6:9-12 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not…lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.  Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the LORD have removed men far away, and [there be] a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

… It Was Because Of Our Sins

Matt 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The Call To Separation: The Perversion

1Jn 5:1-3  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

This is a very important principle that we do not want to quickly skim over.  As believers, we count it a privilege to submit to our Lord’s commands out of an appreciative, loving, heart realizing all He has done for us.  This is a universal truth that applies to all who are saved.  If we find someone without this attitude of love and desire to obey, we are to question their salvation.

But sad to say, throughout the ages there have been those who have attempted to pervert the grace and righteousness of Christ by using it as a cloak for disobeying their Savior. 1 Pet 2:15-17….

For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:As free, and not using [your] liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.Honour all [men]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

 

We see this same principle addressed in Jude 1:4…

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Let’s take a closer look at the error that teaches we can use God’s grace as the basis for allowing sin to dwell in the life of a believer.

THE SCRIPTURES:

John 14:26              Romans 6:1-23                  1 Peter 1:22-23                  1 Peter 2:15-17

1 John 4:1-3             1 John 5:1-3                      Jude 1:4

THE STUDY:

The longest passage that deals with the subject of sin in the life of one who has been saved by God’s grace is found in Romans 6:1-23….

 1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

We are told that God “forbids” (ie by no means, in no way, absolutely not) a Christian to live a lifestyle of sin motivated by the fact that God’s grace will continue to forgive and cover that sin.  It only makes sense that this should be forbidden… Why? Because when saved we are now “dead” to sin.  How can we then continue to habitually commit sin?

What does it mean to be “dead” to sin?  It doesn’t mean “unable to sin” or else this section of scripture makes no sense.  It is clear from these verses, it is possible for believers to commit sin and this is why we must be warned against allowing sin to dwell in our lives.

As believers, it is possible for us to commit sin, but we should no longer allow sin to rule and commune in our lives.  Why?  We have been freed from the bondage of sin and we have been given a new nature which allows us to now live for God.  This is what it means to be “dead” to sin ( see more details in vs 6-11)

 

3)  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:

Our baptism was an outward, visible evidence of our death to sin and new life in Christ. If we begin to get confused about our relationship to sin and the service of the Lord just remember our baptism.  We are dead to sin (buried in the water) and now alive to Christ (raised from the water).

 

6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7) For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9) Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10) For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Here we can see the meaning of being dead to sin… it is like a crucifixion.  Our old man (our sin nature that was received at our conception) loved sin, served sin and chose sin.  We sinned due to bondage, desire and choice.  This was our condition before the Lord saved us.   When we were saved, the Lord crucified our flesh with the affections and lusts. (Gals 5:24)  The result of this crucifixion of our old man is:

  1. we would “no longer serve sin”.  We now have a new Master whom we serve….  The Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. we are told that we have been “freed from sin”  We no longer under the bonds of sin, we are now the servant of our Lord.
  3. we are told that we now “live with Him” – Our life is now lived to follow His example and by doing so, please Him.
  4. we are told that death no longer has “dominion over him”  We now can look forward      to an eternity where we will possess glorified bodies and be in His  presence eternally.

We are told that because of the above we are to … “reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God”.  Although, it is still possible for a Christian to sin, we are to not allow sin to dwell within us.  We are dead to sin and alive to God!

12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13) Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.

Because the Lord has graciously intervened in our lives, we are to no longer allow sin to control our lives and dwell within our beings.  We are not to submit to our fleshly lusts…. We have been freed from their bondage!   We are to actively choose and submit to the Lord’s desires, laws and commands for our lives and not submit ourselves to sin.

We have been purchased by Christ, we are to glorify Him in our lives. (1 Cor 6:19-20; 1 Pet 1:16-23)

 

14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15) What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Is Paul teaching us that we no longer are to allow sin to have dominion over our being is because the law no longer has a role to play in our lives?

If we take these verses in context, we can clearly see that this is not Paul’s meaning. What then is meant by the phrase “ye are not under the law”.   In verse 14 we read that To not be under the law is clearly linked to the concept of sin no longer having dominion over us (being dead to sin).

For those who are dead to sin, a result of being saved by God’s grace, they are:

  1. no longer under the penalty of the law (Christ has paid that penalty)
  2. they no longer must labor to keep the law as a necessity for salvation (Christ’s work has gain their salvation past, present and future.)

It is in these senses that the believer is no longer “under” (slaves to) the law.

Please remember, sin is defined in God’s Word as “a transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4).  For us to understand sin and to avoid sin, we must be familiar with the law of God and apply it to our lives.  If we ignore His commands and simply live our lives in total disregard to His law, we will be allowing sin in our lives at every turn.  We saw this clearly in part 2 of this study.   So, clearly, based upon context, we are to avoid “transgressing the law” (sin) by living with a full knowledge and application of God’s commands for our lives.

 

16) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17) But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19) I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21) What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things [is] death.

22) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Paul now emphasizes the need to watch our lives and to not allow sin to overtake us.  Why?  If we find ourselves allowing sin to dwell in our lives, habitually submitting to it, there is a good possibility we have never been saved.  Remember, a part of our salvation was becoming “new creatures in Christ” (2 Cor 5:17).  A part of this “newness” in Christ is a departure from the bondage of sin and the law.  Willful submission to His desires is now a part of our new nature.  This is the fruit we are to bear (Phil 1:9-11).

 

23) For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul, now in summary, clearly explains the radical difference between service to sin and salvation through Christ.  The earned result of sin is death (both physical and spiritual).  The unearned gift of salvation results in the receipt of eternal life through Christ and His work.

This is why it is so important for each one of us take sin our our lives very seriously.  If sin is dwelling in our lives it is a sign we have never been saved.  If this is the case, we are headed for spiritual death and separation from the Lord throughout eternity.

For every Christian sin should be abhorred and sickening.  When we see it appear in our lives we should approach the throne with shame, humility and regret knowing that we have failed our Lord and it is for this very sin that He died on the cross.

Allow me to address one more misunderstanding that has recently come into existance. Please keep in mind that the importance of the commands and laws of God found in His Word cannot be minimized from the standpoint of the Holy Spirit’s leadership in the lives of Christians.  In other words, we cannot say that all we need is the Spirit’s leadership apart from the Word of God to lead and guide us…

Joh 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Here we see that the Spirit simply teaches us and calls to our remembrance what Christ has already spoken to us in His Word.  The Spirit does not work indenpendently apart from the Word.  The Spirit always establishes and works within the confines of God’s Word.

1Pe 1:22-23  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

At our salvation, the Spirit is active applying God’s Word to our lives and bringing us into submission to that Word.  It is this same Word that is then active in our lives developing a heart of love and obedience.

1Jn 4:1-3  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  (2)  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  (3)  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Here we are told to be consistently “trying the spirits” to see whether they are testifying God’s truth or not.  How do we do this? By comparing the message of these spirits with the doctrines God has revealed to us in His Word.

Likewise, how are we to “test” whether the Holy Spirit is leading us or if we are misinterpreting the urgings we are experiencing?  Once again, we are to compare these urgings with the Word of God.   The Spirit will NEVER lead us to go against the principles of the Word.  If we are being led to go against God’s laws or desires for us it CANNOT be the Holy Spirit that is leading us.  It is a VERY dangerous thing to follow inner “urgings” without testing them with the Scriptures beforehand.

In the preceding verses, we can see that the Holy Spirit ONLY leads a Christian based upon the content of God’s Word.  The Spirit’s ministry is to hold up, accentuate and apply the Word for our lives.  The Holy Spirit in no way REPLACES the need for the Word  for our lives.  To say that we no longer need His Word… we will just let the Spirit lead us, is truly a contradiction.  The Spirit’s ministry to us is reliant on the laws, commands and desires of God found in His Word.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have been made separate to His service by His wondrous grace….

Let us never fall into Satan’s trap and take sin in our life lightly.  We are to never use the gracious eternal righteousness given to us by God as a covering for allowing sin to be taken lightly and continually be indwelling us.

For those who have yet to be separated from the bondage of sin ….

Keep in mind, to be able to serve the Lord and follow His dictates requires God’s intervention in your life. You are still under the bondage of sin and the law. You cannot make yourself pure and righteous, nor can you go good works to merit the receipt of Christ work on your behalf. As the Lord intervenes in your life, you must come before Christ humbly, understanding that you have sinned and those sins have displeased God and separated yourself from Him and willing to turn from your sins to His service.

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

For a free copy of this series in book  form pdf version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/tcts.pdf

For a free copy of this series in book  form docx version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/tcts-protected1.docx

Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Isaiah 6:6

We now continue our devotional series on the two-fold calling (to salvation and to service) of Isaiah.  Remember in this series we will be looking to learn more about the One who is calling Isaiah, along with the nature of the calls and an examination of the submission to these calls by Isaiah…

In our previous study we saw that the Lord had revealed Himself to Isaiah in this vision, causing Isaiah to recognize his sinfulness and his inability to merit the forgiveness of those sins.  This was the Lord preparing Isaiah’s heart to receive His forgiveness and cleansing…

We now see the Lord raising up one of His disciples to take His purifying Word (the gospel message) to Isaiah…

Isa 6:6  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

We find four symbols being used in this verse:

1. The flying seraphim (symbolic of a Christian actively obeying God’s commands)

2. A live coal (the life giving, purifying gospel message)

3. His brazen altar (Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross)

4. The Tongs (the Holy Spirit that applies the Word to the lost individual)

Here is the basic events taking place in this part of the vision… they all revolve around the Christian taking God’s Word and preparing to share it with the lost individual who sees his need of salvation…

1. The Christian is now following the commands of the Lord, seeking to take the gospel to the lost.

2. He takes the gospel message (the coal) which is based upon the message of Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross (the brazen altar).

3. The Christian takes the gospel message (the coal) through the Holy Spirit’s (the tongs) power and enabling. It is only through the Holy Spirit that the Christian is able to take the gospel handle it, teach it, properly apply it and use it effectively.  It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that there will be any results borne from the sharing of the gospel.

Folks, this is the preparation that should take place as we prepare to take the gospel to the lost…

1. We should go always be asking God to direct us to the individual He would have receive it.  And then, ask Him to open the opportunity for us to speak to them.

2. We should go with the motive of loving the lost wanting to share God’s word with them.

3. We should go remembering the work that Christ has done on the cross and in our hearts.  This should cause us to witness humbly, lovingly and carefully.  We should realize that, apart from God’s grace, we would be in the same shape as the lost individual to whom we are witnessing.

4. We should consider that our witness will have spiritual ramifications in the life of the hearer.  Our witness is a BIG DEAL we should not take it lightly nor irresponsibly.  We need to be sure we are prepared spiritually before going forth to share the wondrous gospel message.

May we all be prepared to be a witness for Him before we leave our “quiet time” with Him today.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

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