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“The Kingdom Of Christ, Of God, Of Heaven” – Displays Of His Ruling Authority Throughout Time

SIH STSTA ICON

 

 

To begin our study we need to understand what the Bible means when it speaks of a “kingdom”.  The word translated Kingdom in the NT is the Greek word “basileia”.  This word has two basic ideas behind it:

  1. The first idea is the AUTHORITY to rule that a King possesses (Luke 1:33, Luke 17:20-21, Matt 12:28 etc)
  2. The second idea is the REALM that is ruled over by a King. WhenBasileia is used in this way it can speak of either:
    1. the land area and physical possessions that a King rules over (Mat 4:8, Mark 6:23,  Heb 11:33 etc)
    2. the group of people over which a king rules. (Rev 1:9, Col 1:13, 2 Pet 1:11, etc)

Based upon the above Scriptures we can see that these three titles are describing the same event and will be used as such in this study.

Although we cannot visibly see His authority, we certainly can see His authority at work in the world around us.  By His grace, He has displayed for us His authority, throughout the Scriptures, in many different ways.

Let’s take a look and see the God’s authority to rule displayed for all to see throughout the Bible…  

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

The Kingdom of Christ:

Eph 5:5,

 

The Kingdom of God:

Matt 6:33, 12:28, 19:24, 21:31, 21:43;

Mark 1:14, 1:15, 4:11, 4:26, 4:30, 9:1, 9:47, 10:14, 10:15, 10:23, 10:24, 10:25, 12:34, 14:25, 15:43;

Luke 4:43, 6:20, 7:28, 8:1, 8:10, 9:2, 9:11, 9:27, 9:60, 9:62, 10:9, 10:11, 10:20, 12:31, 13:18, 13:20, 13:28, 13:29, 14:15, 16:16, 17:20, 17:21, 18:16, 18:17, 18:24, 18:25, 18:29, 19:11, 21:31, 22:16, 22:18, 23:51;

John 3:3, 3:5;

Acts 1:3, 8:12, 14:22, 19:8, 20:25, 28:23, 28:31;

Roms 14:17;

1 Cor 4:20, 6:9, 6:10, 15:50;

Gal 5:21;

Col 4:11;

2 Thess 1:5.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven:

Matt 3:2, 4:17, 5:3, 5:10, 5:19, 5:20, 7:21, 8:11, 10:7, 11:11, 11:12, 13:11, 13:24, 13:31, 13:33, 13:44, 13:45, 13:47, 13:52, 16:19, 18:1, 18:3, 18:4, 18:23, 19:12, 19:14, 19:23, 20:1, 22:2, 23:13, 25:1, 25:14

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, “The Kingdom of Christ”, “the Kingdom Of God”, and “the Kingdom of Heaven”.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

Please note:

The Kingdom of Christ is only used in Ephesians 5:5 and is clearly speaking of the perfect reign of Christ that will take place throughout eternity.  In this text, it is equated with the Kingdom of God because both Christ and the Father will be reigning throughout eternity. (Rev 22:3-5; see also Rev 21:7-8, Rev 21:24-27)

Also “the Kingdom of God” and “the Kingdom of Heaven” are equated as well.  Please note the following references which show that, in many cases, these titles are used synonymously…

Matt 4:17 – Mark 1:15;

Matt 5:3,10- Luke 6:20-22; Matt 8:11-Luke 13:28;

Matt 10:7-Luke 9:60;

Matt 11:11-Luke 7:28;

Matt 11:12-Luke 16:16;

Matt 13:11-Mark 4:11;

Matt 13:31-Mark 4:30-31; Matt 13:33 – Luke 13:20-21; Matt 19:14-Mark 10:14;

Matt 19:23-Mark 10:23;

Matt 25:14-Luke 19:11-13.

 

THE STUDY: 

It is important for us to understand that the Lord displays His authority to rule in different ways that will vary throughout time.

In the Old Testament, some of the major ways He displayed His authority to rule was in:

  1. His sovereign rulership over creation (including mankind)…

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”   (Daniel 4:34-35)

 

  1. His rulership over the fledgling nation of physical Israel during the times of the judges…

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 

And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 

And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.  Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.”  (1 Samuel 8:4-9)

 

  1. His rulership over the unified and divided nation of physical Israel during the times of the Kings…

Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”  (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the Old Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.”  (Psalms 40:8)

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.”   (Haggai 1:12)

 

 

In New Testament times, He displayed His authority to rule in very similar ways….

  1. His sovereign rulership over His creation (including mankind)…

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”  (Acts 17:24-28)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the lives of the New Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 

[Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,  This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 

Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.”   (Hebrews 10:14-18)

 

  1. His rule over His local assemblies…

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.”   (Colossians 1:13-20)

 

Into eternity future, the Lord’s ruling authority will be shown. The following is an incomplete list of His sovereignty on display during the end-time events…

  1. His taking of His saints…

For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”  (1 Corinthians 15:21-28)

 

  1. His punishment of the powers of darkness of this world…

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great.

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”  (Revelation 19:17-21)

 

  1. His millennial reign (the first part of His eternal reign)…

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”  (Revelation 20:4) 

 

  1. The final judgment…

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”  (Revelation 20:12-15)

 

 

  1. His rulership throughout eternity…

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:  And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”   (Revelation 22:2-5)

 

As you can see, throughout history from eternity past and proceeding into eternity present, we find the Lord consistently revealing to mankind…

The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.”  (Exodus 15:18)

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, The Kingdom of Christ, the Kingdom Of God, and the Kingdom of Heaven.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: 

What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to know that our Lord truly reigns over all things.  Without His wondrous displays of sovereignty, we would live in doubt about His control over all, but because of His many displays of rulership we can say as the Psalmist…

“But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”   (Psalms 115:3)

Because of this, there is no reason for worry or fright… no matter what may take place in this life, OUR GOD IS IN CONTROL!  And we have a consistent source of proofs that this is so!

Spiritual Gifts: Gifts And Fruits For Use Today (Part #5)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

In our last few studies, we have been looking at the Spiritual Gifts that the Lord gives us for our usage today.   In our lesson today, we will be looking at Spiritual Fruit that is borne by all genuine believers in Christ.  We have previously summarized the differences between Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Fruits in the following chart:

The following table helps us to understand the difference between the talents, fruits and gifts we are given by God through the Spirit’s intervention…

This chart is given to quickly illustrate there is a distinct difference between the “Spiritual Gifts”, which is the theme of this Bible study, and the “Fruits of the Spirit” and “Physical Talents” all of which are given by God to man.

Please note that some of the differences between Spiritual Gifts and Fruits include:

 

Difference Spiritual Gift Spiritual Fruit
When Is The Fruit/Gift Received ? Spiritual Gifts are given at the Lord’s intervention in the christian’s life to equip them for ministry. Spiritual Fruits are given when the believer is given spiritual life (during their salvation experience with the Holy Spirit’s indwelling)
What Is The Nature Of The Fruit/Gift ? Spiritual Gifts are supernaturally exercised by the Christian during the performance of their ministry Spiritual Fruits are naturally borne by the Christian resulting from the presence of the indwelling Spirit
What Are The Types Of The Fruit/Gift Received ? Various Spiritual Gifts are given to believers at the discretion of the Lord based upon their individual ministries All of the Spiritual Fruits are given to every believer
What Is The Purpose For The Fruit/Gift ? Different Spiritual Gifts are needed for the Christian’s differing ministries All the Spiritual Fruits are necessary for the fulfillment of the Christian’s ministry
Summary:
EVERY believer, based upon the discretion of the Lord, is given SOME (at least one) spiritual gift(s). The exercise of the VARIOUS GIFTS RECEIVED are vital to the successful completion of the ministries to which the believer is called. EVERY believer, based upon the presence of the indwelling Spirit, is capable of bearing EVERY spiritual fruit.  EVERY fruit is vital to the successful completion of the ministry to which the believer is called.

 

Let’s now continue our study of Spiritual Fruits…

 

Lesson:

Biblical Principles Concerning Spiritual Fruits:

 

#1 – The Amount Of Fruit Borne By Believers Varies…

And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,  Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:  And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred…

The sower soweth the word.  And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;  And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.  And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,  And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive [it], and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.  (Mark 4:2-8, 14-20)

 

One of the great results of spreading God’s Word to the lost is seeing those who come to faith then bear fruit for God’s glory.  This is one of the basic principles of the above parable.  Among saved individuals the amount of fruit that is borne varies.  This is shown by some bearing 30, 60 or 100 fold.

 

 

#2 – Bearing Spiritual Fruits Builds The Christian’s Testimony Among Men

 “And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?  The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.  For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.  (Luke 6:39-45)

 

The spiritual fruits that are borne by the Christian are a vital part of their testimony before others.  It is through these fruits that we can have proof of a genuineness act of saving grace in the heart and the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.  This is compared to those who receive the Word and those who did not act on upon.  It is those who do not bear any spiritual fruit at all. (Matthew 7:15-20; 12:33, Luke 3:7-9. 8:4-15; 13:6-9; Romans 6:18-22; 2 Corinthians 9:10-12, 1 Pet 1:5-11)

Also, please note that these are evil fruits that are given off by the unsaved (Eph 5:7-11, James 3:13-18).  Those evil fruits are listed in Galatians 3:19-21…

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

#3 – Cleansing Through The Word Increases Fruit Bearing

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. “  (John 15:1-8)

Here in this text, we can see that the Lord using the act of cleansing in the life of the believer to bring forth more fruit (Heb 12:4-13).  This cleansing always involves the application of the Word to the life of the believer (Col 1:3-6, 7-13).   This cleansing can take many different forms (personal Bible study and prayer, chastening, trials and tribulations etc etc).

No matter how God’s Word is applied to the life we see a basic progression of events:

1.  the Word is applied

2.  the Christian draws closer to God

3.  the Christian life increases in submission to the Lord

4.  then more fruit is borne in the Christian’s life

 

 

#4 – Fruit Bearing Is A Reason We Were Saved

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  These things I command you, that ye love one another.”  (John 15:12-17)

The Lord clearly explains in this passage that one of the great purposes of our salvation was so that we might bear spiritual fruit for His honor and glory.  Think about it… He chose us and appointed us to go forth and bear spiritual fruit for Him.  This would include spreading His Word with our mouths and in our actions by bearing spiritual fruit in our lives. (Romans 7:4-6, Hebs 13:12-15)

 

 

#5 – Fruit Bearing Results From Following The Spirit’s Leadership

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.  [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”   (Galatians 5:13-26)

In this foundational passage, not only do we find a detailed listing of the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit, but we also find some practical instruction concerning the bearing of spiritual fruit.  The key to bearing much spiritual fruit for Christ is submission to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives.  This principle is described by two different phrases…

1.  “led of the Spirit” – helps us to understand our need to allow the Spirit to lead and guide us in all our decision making

2.  “walk in the Spirit” – this helps us to understand that, as we habitually allow the Spirit to lead us, it will become a lifestyle and consistent walk of life.

 

 

 

#6 – Spiritual Fruits Are Acts Of Righteous Performed By The Righteous

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;  That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;  Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”  (Philippians 1:9-11)

The fruits of the Spirit are also described as the “fruits of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10; Hebrews 12:11; James 3:18).  This title helps us to understand two truths about the fruits of the Spirit:

1.  They are fruits that indicate the presence of Christ’ righteousness in the life of the believer.

2.  The fruits are righteous fruits…. in other words they are aligned with God’s laws and accepted by Him. (Titus 3:12-15)

 

This lesson concludes our look at spiritual fruits borne by all believers.

 

 

Additional Information:

A Description Of Spiritual Fruits For Today:

15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

(Matthew 7:15-20)

 

33) Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by [his] fruit.

(Matthew 12:33)

 

 

7) Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8) Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

9) And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

(Luke 3:7-9)

 

 

39) And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40) The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

42) Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

43) For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

44) For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

(Luke 6:39-45)

 

 

4) And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

5) A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

6) And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

8) And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

9) And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

10) And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

11) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12) Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

13)  They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

14) And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

15) But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.

(Luke 8:4-15)

 

 

6) He spake also this parable; A certain [man] had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

7) Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

8) And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung [it]:

9) And if it bear fruit, [well]: and if not, [then] after that thou shalt cut it down.

(Luke 13:6-9)

 

27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

(John 14:27)

 

151) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5) I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.

7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

(John 15:1-8)

 

 

12) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

17) These things I command you, that ye love one another.

(John 15:12-17)

 

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.

(Romans 6:18-22)

 

 

4) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

5) For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

6) But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter.

(Romans 7:4-6)

 

14) And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

(Romans 15:14)

 

 

10) Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for [your] food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

11) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

12) For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

(2 Corinthians 9:10-12)

 

 

 

13) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

15) But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16) [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18) But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

(Galatians 5:13-26)

 

2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

(Ephesians 4:2-3)

 

 

29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

(Ephesians 4:29-32)

 

 

7) Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9) (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].

(Ephesians 5:7-11)

 

9) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;

10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

(Philippians 1:9-11)

 

3) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

4) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love [which][ ye have] to all the saints,

5) For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

6) Which is come unto you, as [it is] in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as [it doth] also in you, since the day ye heard [of it], and knew the grace of God in truth:

(Colossians 1:3-6)

 

7) As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;

8) Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:

(Colossians 1:7-13)

 

6) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

(1 Thessalonians 1:6)

 

12) When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

13) Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

14) And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

15) All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace [be] with you all. Amen.

(Titus 3:12-15)

 

36) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

(Hebrews 10:36)

 

 

 

4) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

5) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them] reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10) For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness.

11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12) Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

(Hebrews 12:4-13)

 

12) Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

13) Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

14) For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

15) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.

(Hebrews 13:12-15)

 

 

13) Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

14) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.

16) For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.

17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

(James 3:13-18)

 

18) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;

19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21) Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

(1 Peter 1:18-21)

 

11) Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

(1 Peter 2:11)

 

5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

(2 Peter 1:5-11)

 

 

Spiritual Gifts: Gifts And Fruits For Use Today (Part #4)

SIH STSTA ICONIntroduction:

In our last few studies, we have been looking at the Spiritual Gifts that the Lord gives us for our usage today.   In our lesson today, we will be looking at Spiritual Fruit that is borne by all genuine believers in Christ.  We have previously summarized the differences between Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Fruits in the following chart:

The following table helps us to understand the difference between the talents, fruits and gifts we are given by God through the Spirit’s intervention…

This chart is given to quickly illustrate there is a distinct difference between the “Spiritual Gifts”, which is the theme of this Bible study, and the “Fruits of the Spirit” and “Physical Talents” all of which are given by God to man.

Please note that some of the differences between Spiritual Gifts and Fruits include:

 

Difference Spiritual Gift Spiritual Fruit
When Is The Fruit/Gift Received ? Spiritual Gifts are given at the Lord’s intervention in the christian’s life to equip them for ministry. Spiritual Fruits are given when the believer is given spiritual life (during their salvation experience with the Holy Spirit’s indwelling)
What Is The Nature Of The Fruit/Gift ? Spiritual Gifts are supernaturally exercised by the Christian during the performance of their ministry Spiritual Fruits are naturally borne by the Christian resulting from the presence of the indwelling Spirit
What Are The Types Of The Fruit/Gift Received ? Various Spiritual Gifts are given to believers at the discretion of the Lord based upon their individual ministries All of the Spiritual Fruits are given to every believer
What Is The Purpose For The Fruit/Gift ? Different Spiritual Gifts are needed for the Christian’s differing ministries All the Spiritual Fruits are necessary for the fulfillment of the Christian’s ministry
Summary:
EVERY believer, based upon the discretion of the Lord, is given SOME (at least one) spiritual gift(s). The exercise of the VARIOUS GIFTS RECEIVED are vital to the successful completion of the ministries to which the believer is called. EVERY believer, based upon the presence of the indwelling Spirit, is capable of bearing EVERY spiritual fruit.  EVERY fruit is vital to the successful completion of the ministry to which the believer is called.

 

 

Let’s now begin our study of Spiritual Fruits…

 

Lesson:

A Description of Spiritual Fruits For Today:

 

 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 

(Galatians 5:22-23)

 

Fruits Of The Spirit:

  1. Love – an unconditional love shown by a willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the godo of another Galatians 5:22, John 15:12-13
  2. Joy – a deep seated joy not based upon the circumstances of life but an act of God’s grace in the heart Galatians 5:22, 1 Thess 1:6
  3. Peace – tranquility or wholeness that finds it sbasis in a trust of the Lord that transcends all circumstances of life  Galatians 5:22, John 14:27
  4. Longsuffering – to bear long under a burden carries the ideas of patient endurance Galatians 5:22, Hebrews 10:36
  5. Gentleness – being kind to others always working for their benefit  irregardless of their actions Galatians 5:22, Eph 4:29-32
  6. Goodness – morally upright resulting in others benefiting from our person and acts Galatians 5:22, Romans 15:14
  7. Faith – total commitment and reliance upon another Galatians 5:22, 1 Peter 1:18-21
  8. Meekness –humility, power under control Galatians 5:23, Ephesians 4:2-3
  9. Temperance – self regulation, mastery, ability to be self-controlled in all areas of life Galatians 5:23, 1 Peter 2:11

 

Although no Christian is (or will ever be) perfect this side of heaven.  Each of these fruits will be present in the lives of believers.  As the Christian grows and matures in the faith, the bearing of fruits in their life will increase.  This was Paul’s prayer for the members of the church at Colosse…

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”  (Colossians 1:9-11)

 

This spiritual fruit bearing is a part of becoming a “new man” at our salvation…

If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”   (Ephesians 4:21-24)

 

In our next lesson we will look at more teachings concerning spiritual fruits…

 

Additional Information:

A Description Of Spiritual Fruits For Today:

15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

(Matthew 7:15-20)

 

33) Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by [his] fruit.

(Matthew 12:33)

 

 

7) Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8) Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

9) And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

(Luke 3:7-9)

 

 

39) And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40) The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

42) Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

43) For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

44) For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

(Luke 6:39-45)

 

 

4) And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

5) A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

6) And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

8) And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

9) And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

10) And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

11) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12) Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

13)  They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

14) And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

15) But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.

(Luke 8:4-15)

 

 

6) He spake also this parable; A certain [man] had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

7) Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

8) And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung [it]:

9) And if it bear fruit, [well]: and if not, [then] after that thou shalt cut it down.

(Luke 13:6-9)

 

27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

(John 14:27)

 

151) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5) I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.

7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

(John 15:1-8)

 

 

12) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

17) These things I command you, that ye love one another.

(John 15:12-17)

 

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.

(Romans 6:18-22)

 

 

4) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

5) For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

6) But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter.

(Romans 7:4-6)

 

14) And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

(Romans 15:14)

 

 

10) Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for [your] food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

11) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

12) For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

(2 Corinthians 9:10-12)

 

 

 

13) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

15) But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16) [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18) But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

(Galatians 5:13-26)

 

2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

(Ephesians 4:2-3)

 

 

29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

(Ephesians 4:29-32)

 

 

7) Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9) (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].

(Ephesians 5:7-11)

 

9) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;

10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

(Philippians 1:9-11)

 

3) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

4) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love [which][ ye have] to all the saints,

5) For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

6) Which is come unto you, as [it is] in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as [it doth] also in you, since the day ye heard [of it], and knew the grace of God in truth:

(Colossians 1:3-6)

 

7) As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;

8) Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:

(Colossians 1:7-13)

 

6) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

(1 Thessalonians 1:6)

 

12) When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

13) Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

14) And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

15) All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace [be] with you all. Amen.

(Titus 3:12-15)

 

36) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

(Hebrews 10:36)

 

 

 

4) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

5) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them] reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10) For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness.

11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12) Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

(Hebrews 12:4-13)

 

12) Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

13) Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

14) For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

15) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.

(Hebrews 13:12-15)

 

 

13) Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

14) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.

16) For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.

17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

(James 3:13-18)

 

18) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;

19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21) Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

(1 Peter 1:18-21)

 

11) Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

(1 Peter 2:11)

 

5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

(2 Peter 1:5-11)

 

 

Spiritual Gifts: Gifts And Fruits For Use Today (Part #1)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

In our previous studies, we have been looking at the “Accrediting” or “Sign” Gifts that were given to establish the New Testament Scriptures, the ministry of Christ and the Apostles, and the ministry of the local church as the newly created house of worship. We saw that these type of gifts are no longer needed, nor are they given to men, as we now have the historical record of the accrediting gifts found in the New Testament.

 

With this lesson, we begin the second major division of our study as we will take a look at the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit that are given for use in the local assemblies in today’s time.

 

The Scriptures:

Texts that list gifts for today EXCLUSIVELY:

Rom 12:4-8 KJV
(4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
(5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
(6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
(7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
(8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

1Co 7:7-9 KJV
(7) For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
(8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
(9) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

 

1Pe 4:8-11 KJV
(8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
(9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
(10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
(11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Texts that list gifts for today along with some of the accrediting gifts:

 

1Co 12:27-31 KJV
(27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
(28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
(29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
(30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
(31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

 

Eph 4:11-15 KJV
(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

Texts that list Spiritual Fruits :

 

Gal 5:22-25 KJV
(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
(24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
(25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

Eph 5:8-10 KJV
(8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
(10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

 

 

Lesson:

A Listing Of Spiritual Gifts For Today:

  1. Gifted Men:
    1. Evangelist – Ephesians 4:11
    2. Pastor/Teacher – Ephesians 4:11
  2. Spiritual Gifts:
    1. Prophecy – Romans 12:6, 1 Peter 4:11
    2. Ministry – Romans 12:7, 1 Peter 4:11
    3. Teaching – Romans 12:7
    4. Exhortation – Romans 12:8
    5. Giving – Romans 12:8
    6. Ruling – Romans 12:8
    7. Mercy – Romans 12:8
    8. Celibacy – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9
    9. Marriage – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9
    10. Helps – 1 Corinthians 12:28
    11. Governments – 1 Corinthians 12:28
    12. Hospitality – 1 Peter 4:9

 

(Please note the following gifts found in these texts are accrediting (sign) gifts that no longer exist and are covered in previous lessons:

  1. Office Of Apostle – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
  2. Office Of Prophet – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
  3. Gifts of Healings – 1 Corinthians 12:28
  4. Diversities of Tongues – 1 Corinthians 12:28)

 

 

A Listing Of Spiritual Fruits:

  1. Fruits Of The Spirit:
    1. Love – Galatians 5:22
    2. Joy – Galatians 5:22
    3. Peace – Galatians 5:22
    4. Longsuffering – Galatians 5:22
    5. Gentleness – Galatians 5:22
    6. Goodness – Galatians 5:22
    7. Faith – Galatians 5:22
    8. Meekness – Galatians 5:23
    9. Temperance – Galatians 5:23

 

 

The Difference Between Talents, Fruits and Gifts Of The Spirit:

The following table helps us to understand the difference between the talents, fruits and gifts we are given by God through the Spirit’s intervention…

 

Type Of Gift Texts Gifted Person Evidenced From Nature Of Gift Types Received
Physical Talent Matthew 4:18-20 Mankind Physical Birth Natural (Physical) Various(Lord’s Discretion)
Fruit Of The Spirit Galatians 5:22-24 Saved Spiritual Birth Natural (Spiritual) All
Spiritual Gift (Charisma) Romans 12:4-81 Corinthians 12:8-11Ephesians 4:11-121 Peter 4:8-9   etc. Saved Lord’s Intervention Supernatural (Spiritual) Various(Lord’s Discretion)

 

Notes on above chart:

1. This chart is given to quickly illustrate there is a distinct difference between the “Spiritual Gifts”, the “Fruits of the Spirit” and “Physical Talents” all of which are given by God to man. Please understand that when we speak of the “Spiritual Gifts” they differ greatly in many areas from “Fruits of The Spirit”. These are not to be confused.

2. (One area of similarity between the three is that all three are given through God’s grace and all three are to be used in our service to Him.)

In our next study, we will be looking at “Spiritual Gifts For Today” in detail. Later in this study we will look at the “Fruits of the Spirit” in greater detail.

 

 

Additional Information (Verses Used In This Study):

The Criteria For TheTesting Of The Spirits:

Rom 12:4-8 KJV
(4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
(5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
(6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
(7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
(8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

1Co 7:7-9 KJV
(7) For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
(8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
(9) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

 

1Co 12:27-31 KJV
(27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
(28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
(29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
(30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
(31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

 

Gal 5:22-25 KJV
(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
(24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
(25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

 

Eph 4:11-15 KJV
(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

Eph 5:8-10 KJV
(8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
(10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

 

 

1Pe 4:8-11 KJV
(8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
(9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
(10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
(11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Spiritual Gifts: Criteria For Trying The Spirits

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)

 

In our previous studies we have seen that there are three basic types of Accrediting Gifts which include several gifts under each type. In the above passage, we find each type of Accrediting Gift is represented by one gift from each type …

 

Type Of Accrediting Gift Gifts Included In This Type Representative Gift Mentioned In1 Cor 13:8
Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth The Word Of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge Word of Knowledge (or Knowledge)
Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth Faith, Gifts Of Healing, Working Of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning Of Spirits Prophecy (or Prophecies)
Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth Divers Kinds Of Tongues, Interpretation Of Tongues Diverse Types Of Tongues (or Tongues)

 

Please note the above verse (1 Cor 13:8), which includes one representative gift from each group, makes it plain that each type of Accrediting Gift will come to an end at some point in time. We now will turn our attention to the question at what point in time will these gifts go out of existence?

 

In this study, we will see that this question is answered by the Word of God using several different lines of teaching which all present the same answer for us. This will be the lines of teaching that we will be studying:
I.        The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”
II.        The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span
III.        The Death Of The Apostles
IV.        The Supernatural Beginning / Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings
V.        The Prophecies of False Miracles In The “Last Days”
VII.   The Criteria For Testing The Spirits

 

Lesson:

The Criteria For TheTesting Of The Spirits:

Please keep in mind, we have already seen that one of the principle tools used by false teachers to mislead others are false accrediting miracles. This can be clearly seen in 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 and Matthew 24:23-24…

But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

 

In 1 John 4:1-8, the Apostle John gives us a listing of criteria that is to be used when we “try the spirits” (ie putting ministers “to the test” to discern whether they are Godly ministers of the truth or false ministers of error.)…

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.   Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 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. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

 

Let’s take a look at the 1 John 4:1-8 passage and find out what five criteria we are to use as we put all teachers of the Word “to the test”…

 

Criteria For Testing The Spirits:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  

Here, John is affirming the existence of false prophets and teachers that seek to mislead others from the truths of Christ. Based upon their existence, John then explains the importance of putting professing ministers of the Word “to the test”. By doing so, we are discerning the motives of their ministry and the spiritual powers that lie behind their ministry.

 

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:

John now gives us a listing of outstanding characteristics of true ministers of Jehovah God:

 

1. Christ as the central theme of their ministry

Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 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.

The first basis of our judgment involves the presentation of Christ as the central theme of their ministry. The central theme of the Word of God is Christ (John 5:39). The testimony of Jesus is the theme of all Scriptural prophecy (Revelation 19:10). Therefore, any Godly ministry will hold Christ as its central, main theme.

Does their ministry center upon Christ above all other men, deities, and persons of the Godhead?

Does their ministry present the Scriptural truths about the person and work of Christ?

Is the central theme of their ministry the presentation of Christ and Him alone?

Does their ministry result in greater sorrow for sins, commitment for service and appreciation for Christ and His works?

 

2. Upholds Godly Living

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

John now points our attention to the victory that Christ gives over worldliness and the kingdom of Satan.   The Word of God clearly explains the “fruit” that is borne by followers of Christ in comparison to those who are in darkness (Galatians 5:19-23). The ministry of one that is genuinely of the Lord, is a ministry that will uphold Godly living in the midst of a sinful world (1 John 2:15-17).

Does their ministry appeal to the spirit of the regenerate man?

Does their ministry refrain from using motives, methods and means that appeal to the inward lusts of fallen man?

Does their ministry motivate others to live lifestyles characterized by Godliness and separation from the sinful aspects of the world?

 

3. Appeals to Saved Individuals and Is Opposed By The Lost

We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us.

The presentation of God’s Word results in two opposite reactions. For those who are saved, the truths of God are welcomed, accepted as truth and applied to the life (John 10:25-28). For those who are unsaved, it is rejected and actively opposed. Why is this? The teaching of Biblical truth involves the presentation of the existence of sin and it’s results upon mankind, mankind’s need of salvation, and man’s inability to gain this salvation of their own merit. All of these are themes that are unappealing and detestable to fallen man (John 3:18-21).

Does their ministry include speaking of man’s sins, need of salvation and inability to save themselves?

Does their ministry present clear teachings that come directly from God’s Word?

Does their ministry appeal to the saved by working revival in the heart through sorrow for, and repentance of, daily sin?

Does their ministry face rejection and opposition from the fallen world?

Does their ministry include warning, correction, exhortation and Scriptural discipline?

Does their ministry refrain from “entertainment” that appeals to the world, but centers on “worship” that only appeals to the saved?

 

4. Presents The Scriptural Truths of God Exclusively

Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

The Spirit of Truth will lead men to the truths of God and the proclamation of the entire counsel of God’s Word (John 16:12-15). The spirit of error will mislead men to pervert the truths of God and present a false message of salvation which appeals to the fleshly nature of man (2 Tim 4:3-4).

Does their ministry encourage personal Bible study and the use of other sound Christian literature?

Does their ministry use open Bibles during services and give Biblical references for all their major points?

Do all aspects of their ministry seek to present the Bible using Biblical methods and motivations?

Does their ministry teach against the false teachings of the world?

Does their ministry refrain from modern psychological theories and motivational methods?

Does their ministry use music that is Scriptural and Christ-centered?

 

5. Does their ministry exhibit and encourage a motivation of love for God and others?

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

A Godly ministry will display a heart of love towards all to whom they minister (Matthew 5:43-48). Their ministry will be characterized by a spirit of self-sacrifice, mercy, forgiveness and patience towards all to whom they minister. (1 Corinthians 13:4-12).   One of their chief goals will be to encourage and cultivate love toward God and others in the hearts of those to whom they minister (1 John 4:9-21).

Does their ministry exhibit a spirit of self-sacrifice for those to whom they minister?

Do they “practice with they preach” motivated by concern for the well being of those to whom they minister?

Does their ministry reach out to those who cannot give back to them?

Does their ministry refrain from favoring those who are powerful, wealthy and physically appealing?

 

 

May the Lord grace each of us as we seek to put all professing teachers of the Word to the test.

 

Additional Information verses mentioned in this study:

The Criteria For TheTesting Of The Spirits:

43) Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46) For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so?

48) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

(Matthew 5:43-48)

 

23) Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not.

24) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

(Matthew 24:23-24)

 

18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

(John 3:18-21)

 

39) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

(John 5:39)

25) Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26) But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.

(John 10:25-28)

 

12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.

15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.

(John 16:12-15)

 

12) But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.

13) For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15) Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

(2 Corinthians 11:12-15)

 

19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

(Galatians 5:19-23)

 

3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4) And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

(2 Timothy 4:3-4)

 

15) Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16) For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

(1 John 2:15-17)

 

1) 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.

4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

5) They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

7) Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

(1 John 4:1-8)

 

9) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.

11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12) No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13) Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

14) And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world.

15) Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16) And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19) We love him, because he first loved us.

20) If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21) And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

(1 John 4:9-21)

 

10) And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

(Revelation 19:10)

 

Spiritual Gifts: What Types Of Gifts Are There? Accrediting Gifts (Part 1)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”  (1 Corinthians 12:4)

 After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.

There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:

1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.
2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.
3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local assemblies.

We will be studying the differing types of spiritual gifts today we will be studying the “Sign Gifts” the Lord has given us.

 

 

Lesson:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) – gifts given to establish the local church and New Testament scriptures

Accrediting gifts, another type of spiritual gift given through God’s grace to mankind, is also commonly called sign gifts.  Lists of these gifts are found in the following verses…

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”   (1 Corinthians 12:28-31)

In 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, we find a sampling (incomplete list) of accrediting gifts given along with samples of other types of spiritual gifts (gifted men and ministering gifts).

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;

to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”   (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

In 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, we find a complete listing of the accrediting gifts.  Because we find the complete list in this passage, we will concentrate our study on this text.

To properly understand this text, we have to take notice of the words “another”.  They are translated by two differing Greek words.  The understanding of these Greek words is of utmost importance to our study.

Please notice these two Greek words:

1. “allos” – this word means “another of the SAME kind”.
For example… “Lassie” is a dog and “Rin Tin Tin” is another.  In this sentence, if “another” was translated from “allos”, it would be tqeaching us that Rin Tin Tin is the same type of animal as Lassie.  Both are dogs.

2. “heteros” – this word means “another of a DIFFERENT kind”.
For example… “Lassie” is a collie and “Rin Tin Tin” is another.  In this sentence, if “another” was translated from “heteros”, it would be teaching us that  Rin Tin Tin is a different breed of dog than Lassie (RTT was not a collie).

Although both our example sentences use the word “another”, we can see that “another” can hold two differing meanings.  This is what happens in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.  If we understand this principle, we can see that our text clearly places the accrediting gifts into  different divisions. Please notice our text…

Vs 8

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

This “another” is translated from the word “allos”This teaches us that the gifts of “word of wisdom” and “word of knowledge” are gifts of the SAME type.

These are the gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH.

 

Vs 9 – 10a  

To another faith by the same Spirit;

This “another” is translated from the word “heteros”.  This teaches us that the gift of faith is a different type of gift than the previous gifts mentioned.   

to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;

These “anothers” are all translated from the word “allos”.  This teaches us that gifts of: gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, and discerning of spirits are all the same type of gift as the gift of faith.

These are all gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH.

 

Vs 10b

to another [divers] kinds of tongues;  

This “another” is translated from the word “heteros”.  This teaches us that another new division of gifts is beginning.  In other words, this teaches us that “diverse kinds of tongues” is a different type of gift than the those we just listed under the supernatural signs of the truth.

to another the interpretation of tongues:

This “another” is translated from the word “allos”.  This teaches us that the interpretation of tongues is the same type of gift as the interpretation of tongues.  Both of these gifts form our third division among the accrediting gifts.

These gifts involve the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.  

 

Vs 11 – “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”   

All of these Accrediting Gifts are given graciously by God through the person of the Spirit.  They are distributed among men based upon the sovereign will of the Lord.

Now let’s take a look at each of these gifts in detail…

 Gifts Involving The Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth

1.  “The Word of Wisdom” –  This involves uttering wisdom (practical truths for living) through the inspiration of the Lord.  It is a first- time revealing of God’s wisdom to mankind which makes up the text of the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 3:15-16)

2.  “The Word of Knowledge” –  This involves uttering knowledge (doctrinal truths) through the inspiration of the Lord.  It is a first-time revealing of the truths about Himself to mankind which makes up the text of the Bible.  (2 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Peter 3:18)

Please note:  Both of these gifts came to an end at the completion of God’s Word.  We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”

Gifts That Are The Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth

1.  “Faith” –  This is a supernatural faith that far exceeds the fruit of faith mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24. This supernatural faith results in many different types of miracles being performed.

Some mentions of this faith include:
a.  Moving mountains – Matthew 17:20, Mark 11:23, 1 Corinthians 13:2
b.  Lack of this gift hindered work of God – Matthew 13:58, Mark 6:5-6
c.  Heavens shut up for 3 ½ years, Lepers healed – Luke 4:25-29
d.  Uprooting sycamore tree – Luke 17:6

Again, it is important that this “gift” is not confused with the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit which bestowed at the point of salvation and then is exercised in every Christian’s life.

2.  “Gifts Of Healing” –  This is not the “gift of healing” but it is the “gift of the gifts of healing”.  The name of this gift is translated from the Greek language.  Literally it is translated “to freely bestow a cure” or “to graciously deliver from an infirmity” or “gracious healings”.  This clearly points out the gracious nature of the healing.  It is not a matter of those being healed are more faithful or more spiritual persons than those who are not healed.  This is the ability to heal a person who is entirely underserving of that healing.

3.  “Working Of Miracles” –  The gift of “the working of miracles” allows acts of power to accomplish desired, yet naturally impossible results.

4.  “Prophecy” –  Literally, this gift is described as the ability “to reveal the mind of God”.  When used in the context of the Accrediting Gifts, this gift involves the forth-telling of a future event.  This was used as a proof that the speaker was speaking the truth.   This is why the Lord has included this gift in the SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH division and not the SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH division. (2 Kings 10:9-11)

5.  “Discerning Of Spirits” – This involves the ability to PERFECTLY make judgment of the aim, content, and deliverer of a message. Put another way, this gift allowed men to discern the authenticity, reliability and intents of a verbal or written message without error. (Acts 5:1-6)

All of the gifts in the Supernatural Indicators of the Truth division came to an end in the same time frame as the completion of God’s Word.  We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”

In our next study, we will look in detail at the gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH: “diverse kinds of tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues”.

Additional Information (Verses referred to in this study):

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) – gifts given to establish the local church and New Testament scriptures  

Gifts Involving The Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.   (2 Timothy 3:15)

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”   (2 Peter 1:3-5)

And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;  As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”   (2 Peter 3:15-16)

But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.”   (2 Peter 3:18)

 

Gifts That Are The Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth

And it will be in the morning, and he will go forth and stand and say to all the people, Ye are just: behold, I conspired against my lord, and I will kill him: and who struck all these?  Know now that nothing shall fall from the word of Jehovah to the earth which Jehovah spake concerning the house of Ahab: for Jehovah did what he spake by the hand of his servant Elijah.  And Jehu will strike all those being left to the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great, and all his acquaintance, and his priests, till he left to him nothing escaping.”   (2 Kings 10:9-11)

And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”   (Matthew 13:58)

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”  (Matthew 17:20)

“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them].  And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”   (Mark 6:5-6)

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”  (Mark 11:23)

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow.  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.   (Luke 4:25-29)

And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”  (Luke 17:6)

And a certain man, Ananias by name, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,  And separated from the price, his wife also knowing; and having brought a certain part, laid at the feet of the sent.  And Peter said, Ananias, wherefore filled Satan thy heart, for thee to belie the Holy Spirit, and separate from the price of the farm.  Remaining, did it not remain to thee? and sold, it was in thy power: for what hast thou put this thing in thy heart? thou hast not lied to men, but to God.  And Ananias hearing these words, having fallen down, he expired: and great fear was upon all them hearing these things.  And the younger having risen up, drew him together, and having carried out, interred.”  (Acts 5:1-6)

And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”   (1 Corinthians 13:2)

 

Crucified – A Good Friday Devotion

SIH STSTA ICONIn many of the nations of the world, we find capital punishment being exercised for many differing offenses.   Some nations practice capital punishment against only the most heinous of crimes, for others, executions take place for many varying offenses like smuggling, unlawful possession of firearms or drugs, armed robbery etc.  For a more complete list of capital offenses in the various countries of the world click on this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_capital_punishment_by_nation

The methods of capital punishment also vary among the nations as well.   These methods include: Lethal injection, electric chair, gas chamber, single person shooting, firing squad, hanging, beheading, guillotine, stoning and use of the garrote.

In Bible times, crucifixion was one of the most common methods of capital punishment used in theRoman Empire.  Crucifixion is no longer used officially by any government for the purpose of capital punishment.  However, symbolic and ritualistic crucifixions continue to take place in many countries throughout the world.

The Biblical teachings on capital punishment and physical crucifixions will have to wait for another time and place, for today’s blog entry I would like us to concentrate on the meaning of “being crucified with Christ”.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Gal 2:20 (KJV)

20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Gal 5:24 (KJV)

24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Gal 6:14 (KJV)

14) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Rom 6:6 (KJV)

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.

THE STUDY:

Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered a horrible crucifixion at the hands of the Roman government and Jewish religious leaders.  In a sense, we are all guilty of placing Christ on the cross; we are guilty of committing the sins for which He was crucified:

1Cor 15:3-4 (KJV)

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:…

It was because of our sins that He would have to die on the cross, taking the punishment of our sins upon Himself so that we might be saved:

Gal 3:13 (KJV)

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:

1Pet 3:18 (KJV)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

But the results of Christ’s crucifixion do not end on the cross.  We are told throughout the New Testament scriptures that we, as Christians, share in the experience of the crucifixion. Let’s begin our study by looking at Gal 2:20 (KJV):

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

The term “crucified” relates to us the idea death and its results.   When Christ was crucified, His physical life was laid aside (death). The results of His death was that His body was left in the tomb, while His spirit entered heaven for three days and three nights; this entailed separation, ie  separation of His spirit from His body, and also the separation of both His body and spirit from this world).

In the above verse, we find that Christians are described as being “crucified with Christ”.  In other words, just as Christ was literally put to death and then experienced separation, so to we, as Christians, are put to death and separated in three ways:

1.  We no longer live to fulfill our sinful, fleshly desires.  Although we still commit sin, but we no longer are enslaved by our fleshly desires.  A separation has been formed between us and our desires  We now strive to obey our Lord in everything that we do fighting against our desires and striving to live lives of holiness.  Gal 5:24 (KJV)  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

2.  We are no longer alive to the affects of the sinful world around us.  Many are the temptations and sins that are placed before us in this sinful world.  Not only do we no longer serve our fleshly desires, we no longer serve the sinful world around us.  We are no longer “alive” to these temptations, but we now are counted as dead, separated from them. Gal 6:14 (KJV) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

3.  Our “old man” is also put to death through the workings of Christ on the cross. Our “old man” is a phrase used to describe our old sin nature and the resulting sinful lifestyle.  Our past habits and practices have been changed.  We were slaves to our sinful lifestyle but now have become the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is also described in God’s Word as becoming a “new creature in Christ”  (2 Cor 5:17).  Rom 6:6 (KJV) 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.

In our Gal 2:20 text, the verse continues on…. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:…”

Here the phrase “nevertheless I live…” is teaching us that just as the death of Christ on the cross resulted in His resurrection and new physical life on earth; so too, our sharing in His crucifixion results in our new life in Him.  Although we are counted as dead to our sinful desires, the sinful world and our “old man” ; we are made spiritually alive. This spiritual life is accompanied by the indwelling of the Savior, in the person of the Holy Spirit.

Our text closes by stating… and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

This newly received spiritual life, and the accompanying change in lifestyle, is based upon faith in Christ.  How does a person share in the crucifixion of Christ? Through faith.  How does a Christian live a new life of submission to Christ? Through faith.  This same Christ in whom we trust, is the same Christ that loved us before the world began.  Based upon His love, He came to the earth and died on the cross so that we might be saved.

If you see that your sin has caused the Lord grief and pain;  if you abhor the sin that is in your life and you are willing to turn from that sin; come to Christ in faith, trusting in Him to forgive your every sin, and make your future with Him secure.

Matt 11:28-30 (KJV)

Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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What Must We Do To Be Saved? Part 4 – What About Good Works?

SIH STSTA ICONTHE most important question that anyone can ask is the question posed by the keeper of the prison in Acts 16:30… “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”.

The answer to this question is more valuable than gold, silver and all the wealth this world has to offer.  This answer will reveal to us the path that leads to the forgiveness of our sins, the receipt of the indwelling Holy Spirit, fellowship with the Only True and Living Creator, and eternity in paradise with God Himself.  Our very spiritual life and  eternal destiny rely upon finding the answer to this question.

This question is of such importance we will be taking several blog entries to carefully  answer this question…

Blog Entry #1 Salvation

Blog Entry #2 Repentance

Blog Entry #3 Faith / Belief

Blog Entry #4 What about good works?

Blog Entry #5 What about baptism?

Blog Entry #6 What about the Lord’s Supper?

Blog Entry #7 What about church membership?

We now begin our study with blog entry #4…. What about good works? ….

THE SCRIPTURES:

Rom 3:19-27 (KJV)

19) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

20) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.

21) But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

22) Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25) Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26) To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27) Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

28) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Titus 3:1-8 (KJV)

1) Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

3) For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another.

4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

8) [This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Titus 3:12-14 (KJV)

12) When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

13) Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

14) And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Titus 2:11-14 (KJV)

11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Col 1:9-14 (KJV)

9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14)            In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:

Jas 2:14-26 (KJV)

14) What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15) If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16) And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?

17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22) Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23) And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24) Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25) Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way?

26) For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Gal 5:19-26 (KJV)

19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Rom 5:17-6:11 (KJV)

17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

18) Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.

19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6

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?

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:

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.

THE STUDY:

Salvation cannot be merited through the keeping of God’s laws… the laws were given to show us our sinful condition.

Rom 3:19-27 (KJV) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Salvation is based upon the work of Christ upon the cross… not our good works.  Notice in this text that Paul first acknowleges the universal sinfulness of mankind.  He then speaks of the work of Christ on behalf of His people, doing the work of salvation for them.  Paul then emphasizes that, because Christ has done all the work for our salvation, we cannot in any way boast or glory in it.  He them summarizes by teaching us, in no uncertain terms, that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

If man is either saved by his works, or keeps himself saved by his works, then there is room for he sinner to boast.  After all, not only did Christ do His work on the cross on the sinners behalf, but also the sinner, through his own labors either brought salvation to himself, or kept himself saved.  According to Paul, this cannot be.

A Christian’s good works are done to glorify and honor our Lord in the eyes of others…   

Titus 3:1-8 (KJV) Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.  For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another.  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  [This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Titus 2:11-14 (KJV) – 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 a Christian does not perform good works to gain or keep salvation, why should He strive to live a life pleasing to God?  In Titus 2:11-14, we are told that a Christian’s good works are motivated out of appreciation for what He has done for us.  He has given us the blessed hope of eternity with Him and He has redeemed us from our sin through His death on the cross.

We find another motive for living a Godly life in Titus 3:1-8, here Paul explains to us that the production of good works in the life of a Christian is “good and profitable unto men.”  Good works aid others, they show the wonderful change that takes place in the life of one who has trusted in Christ.  Also, living a godly life of good works reveals Christ to others.

By bearing spiritual fruit…

Titus 3:12-14 (KJV) – When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come

unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.  Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.  And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Col 1:9-14 (KJV) – For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:

Gal 5:19-26 (KJV)  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Bearing spiritual fruit is another way of describing good works in the life of a Christian.  Once again Paul  emphasizes the need for good works in the above verses by stating, “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful”; “ That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God”; and finally, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Why do these things? Well, in the above verses Paul tells us in Titus 3:12-14 because it is “necessary” in the proclaimation of the gospel. In Col 1:9-14, we are told to bear fruit out of a heart of appreciation considering all He has done for us.   In Gals 5:19-26, we are to bear fruit because it is proof of a genuine salvation experience/.  Paul also tells us in Gals 5: that the furit bearing that takes place in a Christian’s life is the result of the enabling and leadership of the indwelling Spirit of God.

And by visibly declaring our faith to others.

Jas 2:14-26 (KJV) – What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way?  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Here James helps us to understand the importance of good works in the life of a Christian.  James argument is this… It is an easy thing to say “I love Jesus”, “ I am a follower of Christ”… etc etc. Many who have never trusted in Christ can make these statements.  It is only when we see good works resulting from their conversion that we can begin to believe their confession of faith is sincere.

James makes these statements:

“And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

It is an issue of sincerity.  If someone wishes peace, warmth and being filled upon one who is in need, can he be sincere if he doesn’t do anything to help the needy individual?  Likewise, works shows to others we have experienced a sincere trusting in Christ as our Savior.

“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

Here, James points out that works are absolutely necessary to declare our faith to others.  Without good works, we can say we have trusted in Christ, but there is no proof in our life that we have experienced conversion.

James immediately follows these verses with a description of the type of belief that demons possess.  Here, he makes it plain that demons do have a sincere belief in God.  It is so sincere they actually tremble at the thought of God.  However, this is not the type of belief that brings salvation…. DEMONS ARE NOT SAVED!   How do we know this?  They lack the good works that prove their belief is a saving faith that produces change in the heart of the believer.

James follows this teaching using the lives of Abraham and Rahab.  In both cases, his teaching is that because their life had changed and they began performing good works, their faith is not in question.  They proved through their lives that their salvation was genuine.

Finally, James closes with “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”  Based upon the previous verses leading to this this statement it is plain to see what James meant.  He is saying that if any type of faith that does not cause a change of lifestyle is a dead faith (ie a faith that is of no benefit, it is only a hollow worthless profession)

What type of “change in lifestyle” does a genuine faith produce?  It is a lifestyle of good works, turning from past sins to a position of submission to the desires of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Although obtaining and keeping salvation is entirely of grace without good works, we can not use this teaching to justify living an ungodly life…

 Rom 5:17-6:11 (KJV)  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  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.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:  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.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul answers a question that has been asked throughout the ages and continues to be asked even to this day… “If salvation is truly by grace, and if I cannot loose my salvation, doesn’t that give the Christian allowance to live a life of rampant sin?

Paul answer is plainly stated in the above passage… “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  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.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:  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”

In other words, Paul is saying, “How can I person who has trusted in Christ, and received a new life, continue to live in sin.  How can someone who has publicly declared his relationship to Christ via the ordinance of baptism, now choose to live a sinful life of dishonor to the very Lord who saved you?   A Christian needs to understand that it was our sins that sent Christ to the cross… if we believe that how could we blatantly commit sin and not be sorrowful and concerned about it’s presence in our life?”

Based upon our study today, the answer to our question, “If salvation is truly by grace, and if I cannot loose my salvation, doesn’t that give the Christian allowance to live a life of rampant sin?”

NO, the teaching of salvation by grace, apart from ANY works of man, does not justify living a sinful life after salvation… A)  A true salvation experience results in a changed life  B) Out of concern for the glory of Christ and the need of those who are lost around us, we are to live sinless lives.  C)  Lives of good works contradict the very salvation we claim to possess.  We say we are sorry for our sins, how can we live in them.  We say we believe that Christ died on the cross for our sins, how can we continue to commit them without concern or sorrow?

1Pet 1:13-16 (KJV)

13) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

15) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

In this blog entry we have seen the clear Scriptural declaration that salvation is by God’s grace without the performance of good works to either obtain or keep our salvation…. In the following blog entries we will continue to study, in detail, the answer to the question “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

If you have any questions about your condition or the salvation that the Lord so graciously offers,  you can look to several sources for further information:  A local Bible-teaching church in your area, or you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com, or you can refer to my blog page entitled “How to have a relationship with God” for more teachings on the subject of salvation.

 May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 ————————————————————————

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Message of Ten Cent Beer Night

SIH STSTA ICON“Ten Cent Beer Night”… June 4, 1974, is a night that will live in infamy.  For all of us who are Cleveland Indians fans, just the mention of this horrendous night still sends chills of shame through our bones.  The food that was thrown onto the field, several fans that entered the field causing game delays and, of course, the ninth inning riot; were just a few of the highlights of this unforgettable evening.  This was the lowest point in the history of the Cleveland Indians and, many believe, the lowest point in all of professional sports.  The worst that Cleveland had to offer was clearly seen that night.

By the way, to finish off the evening, the Indians were forced to forfeit the game to the Texas Rangers.  (If you happened to be born after 1974 or you have never heard of this momentous night please feel free to learn more about it at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Cent_Beer_Night)

News of this game not only rocked the Cleveland area, but hit the national news as well.  Cleveland became the laughing stock of the nation, once again.

So what could the entire nation learn from this horrible night?  What lesson could the Lord have been trying to teach us by allowing this night to take place?    I’m sure many lessons could be learned, but the most obvious is this… the need for self-control.   Just think what a difference would have been made if everyone would have kept themselves under control.   The over-indulgences of beer and the resulting inhibitions of the evening would have never taken place.  And the shame of the public indecencies would have been avoided.   All would have been different if self-restraint had ruled the night.

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  (Gal 5:22-25)

THE STUDY:

Here, in Galatians 5: the word translated “temperance” is a Greek word that means “self-control” or “the strength to overcome within ourselves”.   Temperance is the exercise of the strength necessary to control our passions and the lusts of our flesh.

In his writings, Paul made it plain that there is a war that is constantly at work within the lives of Christians.  (Rom 7:14-25)   On one side is our “old man”, desiring to find satisfaction in many sinful pursuits; on the other side, our “new man” desiring for our lives to be pleasing to God.  (Eph 4:17-32, Col 3:1-14)

It takes a tremendous amount of inward strength for the “new man” to overcome the ways of the “old man”.  By “inward strength” I’m not talking about natural, fleshly self-resolve.  I am talking about a divine strength given from our Lord through the Spirit working in our life.  This is why “temperance” is described as a “fruit of the Spirit”.

As a Christian grows in the knowledge of His Word, he should see a gradual, outward growth in his life.  This outward growth is characterized by the gradual, consistent, departure of habitual sin from the Christian’s life.   Much like an infant gradually grows to maturity, so too, a Christian “infant” as he feeds on God’s Word should grow into a mature spiritual man. This was Peter’s wish for all of those who were saved by His grace. (1 Pet 2:1-3, 2 Pet 3:18)   As we grow and mature in Christ, we too, should be seeing a greater control over the sinful desires of our flesh and mind.  This is true spiritual growth and this is of what bearing the fruit of “temperance” is speaking.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For the Christian, “temperance” should be a greatly desired commodity.  The more we possess self-control; the more we please our Lord and Savior, and the more we can glorify Him in our lives.   This is what the Christian life is all about.  In Ephesians 1:1-14, we find a listing of the Trinity’s role and motive in our salvation:

Eph 1:1-6 – God the Father’s role…. Please notice why does the Father do all of this for us?  “to the praise of the glory of His grace”…. In other words, He worked in our lives to save us so that we could be shining trophies of His grace to all the world!

Eph 1:7-12 – God the Son’s role …. What was the Son’s motive in saving us? “That we should be to the praise of His glory”…. So that we might praise Him with our lives!

Eph 1:13-14 – God the Spirit’s role… Why do He do this?  “unto the praise of His glory” … so He would be glorified by us!

In each case, all three persons of the Trinity worked to save us so that they might be honored, obeyed and praised by us!

For those who have never experienced the Lord’s saving grace in your life, your first step to living a life of self-control over your sinful desires is to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.  Please remember, true spiritual temperance is a gift of God’s grace, we cannot possess temperance without Him.  By believing in Jesus (His work and His message) you will not only receive forgiveness but also the indwelling Spirit who will enable you to lead a temperate life through God’s Word.  For more information about salvation please read my recent blog entry on “Forgiveness”.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

If I Only Had The Nerve

SIH STSTA ICONWe all remember “The Wizard of OZ” from our childhood.  When I was young, I used to watch it with my family, sitting on my mom’s lap… boy was I scared!    Even though the cowardly lion is the one who said he needed “nerve,”  I needed more nerve than he did, as I watched that movie.

There were so many weird things in it to scare a fella!  For example, it had lions, scarecrows and tin men that could talk; it had munchkins, witches and that crazy wizard; but most importantly, it had those flying monkeys…. I HATED those flying monkeys!   I used to dream about those monkeys… to this day, I don’t like those monkeys!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SESI19h4wDo  I could have said, just like the lion, …“If I only had the nerve”.

Anyhow, back to my original point, In “the Wizard of Oz”, because of the lion’s lack of courage, he was pictured as weak and helpless.  It made him look downright pitiful   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98W7zg2ByKY  That helpless, pitiful condition that accompanies cowardice some people associate with not only cowardice but meekness as well.  Being meek, they say,   means they do not have the strength to stand up for themselves, but to allow others to manipulate or “walk all over” them.   The exact opposite is true.  It takes courage to lead meek life.

To be meek, as used in the Bible, is “the confidence that leads to obedience, through the release of self-pride”.  Being meek is an act of strength and courage, not an act of weakness and cowardice.

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  (Gal 5:22-25)

THE STUDY:

Noah is the perfect example of a meek man.   Noah believed that His God knew what was best for his life.  Therefore, Noah submitted himself to God’s authority by building an ark in spite of his neighbors ridicule. (Gen 6:10-Gen 9:17)   It took a great amount of courage for Noah to build that ark.  It also took a humble spirit as he withstood his neighbor’s jeers.   Noah was a bold, courageous, meek man.

The Bible mentions others who led meek (humble) lives as they served their God…

Nums 12:3 – Moses

2 Chron 34:1, 27 – Josiah

Matt 11:29, 21:5 – Our Lord Jesus Christ

Remember, Christ was God Himself, yet he was willing to humble Himself so that we might have access to salvation from our sins… Phils 2:5-11 gives us a variety of ways that Christ showed His meekness to us:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. “

We have so much to thank Him for!  God becoming man, and then dying unjustly on a cross to pay the price for our sins… this is, truly, the ultimate example of meekness for all of us to follow.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

If you are like me, the pursuit of humility is an extremely difficult one.  As a matter of fact, to bear the fruit of meekness is, perhaps, the most difficult of all the fruits.  Our gracious Lord understands this and promises great benefits for living a meek life for His glory:

Psa 10:17  The Lord will hear the prayers of the meek and bless them with Godly desires for their life.

Psa 25:9 The Lord will guide and teach the humble

Psa 34:2  The Lord will bless the humble with joy as they see others serving Him.

Psa 37:11 The Lord will cause the meek to inherit the earth and live a life of inward peace

Psa 149:4  The Lord will give the meek deliverance

Prov 29:23  The Lord gives those who are humble an honorable reputation.

Isa 11:4  The Lord defends the meek

Isa 29:19  The Lord multiplies the joy of the meek

Zeph 2:3 The Lord hides the humble from His anger

Matt 18:4  The Lord gives the meek a high position in the His kingdom

James 4:6 The Lord blesses the humility with grace

Although extremely difficult, living a meek life is one of the most blessed lives that a person can live.  When we are willing to serve the Lord, by faith, putting Him first above all else, we are placing ourselves in a position of great blessings for now and eternity.  This is what leading a meek life is about.  What better way can we thank Him for all the times He humbled Himself for us!

“But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”  (Luk 17:7-10)

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

A Place that has to be Believed to be Seen

SIH STSTA ICONHow many times have we heard the saying…. “seeing is believing”?  In other words, experience leads to belief.  It is only when we experience something that we can then place our faith in it. This is a generally accepted attitude that has existed throughout the generations, to say otherwise is just being foolish.  Or is it?

In their song  “Walk On” the group U2 sings the following lyrics… “Walk on, walk on;   What you got, they can’t steal it;   No they can’t even feel it;   Walk on, walk on;   Stay safe tonight… You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been;   A place that has to be believed to be seen”  (http://www.macphisto.net/u2lyrics/Walk_On.html)  In the context, they point out that heaven must be believed in BEFORE it can be experienced.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wfjPmDlCB0

The need to have belief before someone can enter into heaven aligns itself with Bible teachings … “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” … “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.” (Heb 11:1, 13-14) The need for faith to precede experience is not a principle limited to our experience of heaven, the Word of God makes it clear that faith is an absolute necessity in many areas of our Christian life…

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-25)

THE STUDY:

Faith is a basic Biblical principle, going far beyond the subject of heaven.  It applies to many different aspects of Christian living… when it comes to spiritual living, belief must precede experience.   Faith is necessary for the forgiveness of sin, for the receipt of the promises of God, as well as the experience of God’s glory after our death. (Roms 5:1, Roms 4:13, Roms 5:2)   Truly the life of a Christian is a life centered on faith, which then leads to experience.

One of the most amazing things about faith is that it is not a natural part of man, it is given to us as a gift from God. (Eph 2:8-9).  This emphasizes our need for Him in all areas of our life.   At our initial salvation experience, we could not trust in Him apart from His intervention in our lives. (John 6:44)  During our Christian life on earth, we are helpless to trust His promises and receive His blessings apart from His gift of faith. (Matt 13:58)  And finally, we would all be without hope for our future without His faith being granted to us. (1 Pet 1:18-21).  Yes, the Word is so true when it says that “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. (Joh 9:33)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In Gals 5:22-25, “faith” is described as a “fruit of the Spirit”.  In other words, like all the other fruits of the Spirit, our life should be a living testament of the faith that has been so graciously given to us.   As we live our life on earth, the choices we make exhibits our faith to others. Pastor Charles Stanley of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta Ga.; says that we should “obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.”  This is a very simple way of stating the role of faith in the life of a Christian.  By choosing to obey the Lord, we are choosing to exercise faith in Him and His promises, instead of relying on our own abilities and devices.  This is the testimony we should be living in the sight of others…ALWAYS putting the Lord first and then, by faith, trusting Him to take care of the consequences of our actions.

For those who have never received the Lord’s faith into your life…. Your most important responsibility is to look to Him for salvation, realizing apart from Christ, you can do nothing for your own salvation.  He must intervene in your life and save you from your sins.  By totally trusting on Christ for your salvation, you are fulfilling your responsibility and can be assured that He has given you spiritual life and a wonderful eternity awaiting you…

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:5-10)

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Goodness’, Gracious’ sakes alive!

SIH STSTA ICONOne of most famous college basketball coaches of all time was John Wooden, coach of the UCLA Bruins. Coach Wooden, a devout, outspoken, Christian, set many NCAA records during his coaching career at UCLA.  He set records for number of undefeated seasons (4), number of conference championships (19) and number of NCAA championships (10).    To read more about the achievements of coach Wooden please go to http://www.sacredhoops.com/john-wooden/

Besides being known for his extraordinary spirituality, coaching skills and achievements, Coach Wooden was also known for NEVER using profanity.  Many times he would use the phrase “Goodness’, Gracious’ sakes alive!” as a replacement for profane language. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxMGcmp5t30

Unknown to many, this phrase carries with it a reference to Jehovah, the triune God who Coach Wooden served.

Both the terms Goodness and Gracious are attributes of Jehovah God of the Bible.  Exodus 34:6 makes this very clear  “… The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”   This is how the phrase “Goodness, Gracious” began, it was used as an alternate name(s) for our God.   Because He is a good God, He is given the title “Goodness”.  Because He is the God of grace, He is given the title “Gracious”.

This being the case, what does it mean when the Bible says God is a God of goodness?  Let’s continue our study centering on “goodness”, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

(more…)

Be Like Charmin not Sandpaper

SIH STSTA ICONMr. Whipple had it right.  Do you remember the old Charmin commercials?  Mr. Whipple had to be guarding the Charmin tissue because he recognized its outstanding softness would cause many shoppers to be attracted to it. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yG-y8poTLU)  And, once attracted, they would want to squeeze it.  Why?  When given a choice, anyone would elect to experience pampering and soothing over irritation and annoyance.

The same principle applies to our life experiences.  How often have we been put into a situation where we had to put up with someone who was just plain mean?  You know the type… it seems like everything they do is done with the intent of stirring up the most problems and hurting the most feelings.  Instead of being patient and kind to others, they choose to be harsh and aggravating.   In other words, they rub their associates like sandpaper instead of Charmin.

When given a choice, I would ALWAYS choose to spend time with the Charmins of this life.  I only spend time with the sandpapers when it is absolutely necessary.  The question we need to ask ourselves is “which type of a person do we want to be, a Charmin or a sandpaper type of person?”  The type of person that we desire to be tells us a lot about ourselves…

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-25)

THE STUDY:

In our above verses, we find that one of the “fruits of the Spirit” is “gentleness”.  The word gentleness is speaking of a life that is kind, encouraging, and helpful; not harsh, nor harmful, nor bitter.   We all know someone with a gentle personality.  They are the ones that give us the much needed “boost” when we are discouraged.  We derive strength from them when we are weak.   It is this type of person that somehow brings out the best in all of us.  This is the type of God that we serve…

The Father showed us this “gentleness”,or “kindness”, when He sent His Son to die for us…  “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”  (Eph 2:7)

God the Son displays His “kindness” to us through the salvation He graciously gives to us… “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; “(Tit 3:4-5)

Remember, the basic principle found in Gals 5:22-25, a “fruit of the Spirit” is something that is displayed in a Christian’s life through the enabling of the indwelling Spirit.   This is a vital key to living a gentle, kind life.

As fallen, sinful mankind, we all struggle to be kind to others.  It is much easier to be impatient and mean to others than to be patient and kind.   If we are left to ourselves we all would be short tempered to others.  But, if we look to the Spirit’s intervention in our life, He will enable us to be patient and kind when it is so very difficult to do.   Like all others areas of the Christian life, reliance on the Lord’s strength is the key to successful living.

None of us can live a Godly life without His intervention and strength…”I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. “(Joh 15:5)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

After setting the example for us, and then, enabling us to live a gentle life, what more could we ask from Him?  All he asks from us is to live a life that displays Him to others.  By us being kind, we are showing others His kindness; by us showing mercy, we are showing others His mercy; by us forgiving others, we are showing others how He forgives sin.

Showing our Lord to others, through our lifestyle, is the greatest privilege possessed by a Christian…“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Col 3:12-13)

If anyone has not received Christ as their Lord and Savior, go back and review the verses about God’s kindness He has shown to man.   In both cases, the Father’s and the Son’s kindness is extended toward you.  He will not turn anyone away who comes to Him for salvation.    By coming to Him, in faith, trusting His words and His works, you will be saved.   Please read some or all of the following verses from God’s Word, they will help you to understand more about trusting in Christ and what God has done for us:

God the Father’s role in our salvation (Eph 1:1-6); God the Son’s role in our salvation (Eph 1:7-12); God the Spirit’s role in our salvation (Eph 1:13-14)

Our responsibility is to trust Christ’s words and His works for us (John 6:63-64; John 10:24-30; Acts 4:10-12; Acts 16:30-32; Roms 10:8-9)

If you have any questions, or would like more information please feel free to contact me at the email address at the end of this blog.  Or, if you would rather, contact any Bible believing church in your area.  I’m sure they will be glad to answer any questions you may have about the forgiveness of our sins or living a gentle life.

If you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

It’s not just Doctors who need patience!

SIH STSTA ICONWe’ve all heard a joke that goes something like this….  “A pediatrician was finishing up a long, busy day in his office, dealing with obnoxious parents and their unruly children.  As he walked past the front desk, he muttered to his head nurse, “I need patience, more patience.”   His nurse, with a shocked expression on her face, said… “But doctor, our schedule is full through the end of next month, how can we fit them in?”

Every one of us have days similar to this doctor’s day. A day filled with frustration and anxiety is inevitable for us all.  How do we get through such a day?  We use something called “patience.”

Patience seems to be in short supply in today’s society.  Why do I say this?  Just stand in a checkout line at a store, or sit at a railroad crossing waiting for a long train to pass, listening to the comments of others, and you will see the shortage of patience in today’s society.

What is really sad is that even though many of us see the need for more patience, the development of that patience is far easier said than done.  So what are we to do?   God’s Word addresses the need, the source, and the acquisition of patience for our lives….

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

(Gal 5:22-25)

THE STUDY:

The term “longsuffering” in Galatians 5:22 is translated “patience” thirty-three times in the New Testament.  The word comes from a Greek word that means “to bear long under”.

Picture a pack mule carrying his owner’s possessions on his back.  As his master places item after item on his back, his burden becomes increasing heavy to bear.   Instead of kicking off the burden, the mule stands there bearing the load and allowing his master to place more weight on his back.  This is the perfect picture of this Greek word translated “longsuffering” or “patience”.

This mule is “bearing long under” his burdens.  He is patiently holding them up on his back, even when there is no sign of the burden decreasing.  This is exactly what we need today.  It is the ability to bear up under the difficulties in life, without flinching or fighting, simply accepting the difficulties and continuing on.

Where do we find such a gift of patience?  Our verses tell us that longsuffering (patience) comes from the working of the Holy Spirit of God in the lives of followers of Christ.

Think of Christ’s patience that He has exercised for us…

“(Christ) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1Pe 2:22-24)

Think of the patience it took for Christ to go through with His crucifixion.   Please remember, Christ WILLINGLY partook of death for us. (John 10:17-18)  He willingly allowed His body to be bruised and His life to be taken.  And with His last breath a message of love, and patience, was declared… “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.  What an amazing Lord, setting a perfect example of patience for all of us to follow.

But how do we develop patience in our lives?  If you are like me, you won’t like the answer, but here it is…

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (Jas 1:3-4)

For the Christian, the development of patience is brought about through the trying of our faith.

As we face trials in our life, we may ask God the question “Why me, dear Lord?”    Here, we find one answer (of many) to our “Why me?” question.    The Lord allows trials in our life to help us to develop patience in our lives.   The next time we face a trial, we should stop and think… this is an opportunity for me to develop patience and, eventually, be spiritually mature and lack nothing (see James 1:4).

For those who have never trusted in Christ… the first step towards living a patient life is looking in faith to the One who is so very patient with all of us.   Our Lord is so patient, He allows us to live a life of rebellion and sin, and yet does not turn His back on us.   He promises, no matter what we have done in our life, He will not “cast us out” if we come to Him through His Father’s grace.  (John 6:37).

Paul, who was self-described as the “chief of sinners”, was saved when He came to Christ for salvation.  Salvation is available to all who come to Him without any limitation to nationality, gender, or most importantly, past history of sin.  Peter knew this when he wrote…“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”   (2Pe 3:9)   Won’t you trust in Christ to save you before it is too late?

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

All Aboard the Peace Train (Boarding at the Pearly Gates)

SIH STSTA ICONGoogle the phrase “World Peace” and you will be bombarded with website after website declaring the desire for a worldwide peace.  It is the desire of most Miss America’s, seemingly the entire 60’s generation, and probably, over 90% of the world’s population.  In my younger days, one of the more popular songs was a song entitled “Peace Train”, recorded in 1971.  This song voiced the hope for peace and was in the top ten for an extended time.  For those of you who don’t remember it please take a look here: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G52Z84vF4fk&feature=related)

Certainly, world peace has been and continues to be one of the greatest wants of mankind.  It is very easy to understand why there is such a longing for peace.  Just think of the number of human lives lost in all the past wars here on earth.  I’m sure the total is staggering.  Just in my lifetime, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan has cost the lives of more than 63,000 Americans, not to mention over 380,000 Americans wounded.  These numbers do not count the civilian casualties, much less the casualties from the other countries participating in these wars.

It would seem that, with world peace being such a popular idea, and the price of war being so terribly high, we could have a permanent peace.  But we don’t.  As much as we want it, no matter how hard we try to attain it…we have no peace.

However, when it comes to world peace, all hope is not lost.  The Bible teaches us that the existence of wars and the threats of coming wars doesn’t surprise our Lord.  The Lord knew these “perilous” times would come upon the world, and He proved it by giving us advance warning (Lk 21:8-11.) He made it quite plain that in spite of all these horrible wars brought about by man, He remains in complete and absolute control (Dan 4:35).  The Lord guarantees us that, someday, He will restore a perfect peace to this earth (Isa 11:4-10).

Besides this outward, worldly peace, there is another more important inward peace that comes only from our Lord.  This is the peace of Galatians 5:22-25 …

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-25)

THE STUDY:

The peace of Gals 5:22 is one of the “fruits of the Spirit”.  It is given to us through the Spirit of God that indwells us at salvation.  It is the assurance that both our life here on earth, and in the hereafter, are in the hands of our Lord.  It is the peace we receive when we know HE WILL CARE FOR US, PROTECT US, and ACCOMPANY US from here through eternity.  It is a peace that “passes all understanding” (Phil 4:6-7).   It is the peace that only God can give (John 14:27).

Can you imagine a peace that brings us joy in the midst of any trial we face in life?  Can you imagine being able to think about death with an assurance that we have an eternity with God awaiting us?  Have you put down the burden of your sin knowing all of your acts of disobedience have been forgiven by God?   This is what this peace is all about.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

But it doesn’t end there.  God does not give us this peace to hide within ourselves. He gives it to us that we might display it in our lives.  That is why it is called a “fruit” … it is to be given off by us, like an apple tree gives off an apple for another’s benefit.

For a Christian, peace is given to us, contained within us, and then revealed to others by us. As we exhibit this peace in our lives, others see it and are shown what they are missing.   As an act of thankfulness to God, we display our peace, glorifying Him in the eyes of a lost mankind.  This is being a fruit-bearing Christian.

For those who are not saved by God’s grace, please be honest and sense the burden you are living under.  God’s Word makes it clear that we all have sinned.  Because of this sin we are separated from our God.  (Romans 3:23 & 5:12)   Separation from God has two aspects to it: first, it includes no communion with Him and secondly, facing His eternal judgment in the lake of fire.   (Isaiah 59:2 & Rev 20:15)  If we come to the Lord, trusting Him and His work on the cross, we can be saved.  This trust involves our willingness to submit our entire lives to His leadership and rely on His work on the cross to pay the sin debt that we all owe to God.  (2 Peter 1:10-11 & Galatians 3:11-14)

It is only through this faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that salvation from our sins can be received.  It is only through this faith that we can share in the peace that all God’s people possess.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Happiness is Something We Should Be Joyful About!

SIH STSTA ICONWhen I was at home, as a youngster, I wanted to grow up and be out on my own.  You know how it was …. the folks were sticks in the mud, kill-joys, and grinches all combined.   It seemed like anything I really wanted to do they were against… like lighting the cats tail on fire, playing basketball inside the house, and of course, staying up until 3:00 AM watching my favorite horror movie.  These were the important things in life… these are the things that would give a guy real satisfaction… and all they could say was “NO”.   That’s why, at times, I wanted to be away from my folks… then I could do what I want when I want.

Well, my folks thought otherwise, they would tell me, “Rob, appreciate your life at home.  You have very few responsibilities and people who love you and look out for you.”   Believe me, I didn’t see what they meant, but I sure do now!  They were right, my time at home, growing up with a loving family, was one of the best times of my life.  I was blessed and I didn’t’ realize it, I took the blessing of a loving family for granted and only later in life (when I was out on my own) did I really begin to understand how blessed I had been.

This brings to my mind, the songs I would hear my Mom or Dad sing at home…“Count Your Many Blessings”  (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIYl6lK1c50 )    There are many songs we sing that have a practical application to them, but throughout my life, I have found that this song is one of the most needed songs for my life.   One of the most amazing things takes place in my life, when I am discouraged, and then I think of this song, I begin to apply it’s message and joy replaces my discouragement as I think of all my God has done for me.

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-25)

THE STUDY:

In our Galatians verses, we find that “joy” is among the list of fruits that the Spirit gives to us when we are saved.  For us to understand the fruit of joy, we need to know it’s relation to happiness in the Bible. “Joy” and “happiness” are associated with one another in God’s Word, but they are not the same.   When we are “happy” … “joy” should follow.

The Greek word for happy is most times translated “blessed”.  In the New Testament, a man who is described as “happy” refers to a man who is blessed.   This is his condition in life.  In the Bible “happy” is a state of being, not an emotion.     In other words, when a man is said to be “happy”…. the New Testament is saying that this man is receiving blessings from the Lord.  This is clearly brought out in several verses, here is just one….”Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. “ Here, in James 5:11, the Bible says that when we see someone who is able to endure all this life throws at them, remaining faithful to their Lord… that is proof that they are being blessed by God.

“Joy” on the other hand, does not refer to a condition, but to an emotion.  “Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; “ (2 Tim 1:4)   Paul was saying that when he could see Timothy face to face, he would be filled with the emotion of cheerfulness or “joy””.  So to summarize, the Bible describes anyone who is “blessed” as being “happy”, whether he realizes that he is blessed or not.    The Bible describes a man as “joyful” because he recognizes he is blessed and then outwardly displays his appreciation through joy.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: (Psa 103:2)

So to put these two ideas together, the idea is this…. we are to desire and recognize the blessings we are given every day.  Then out of appreciation for all He has done for us, have a joyful attitude about us.   We are not to forget what He has done for us, but we are to allow the blessings He’s given to us be an encouragement and strength to us.

In other words, we should be joyful that He has blessed us.

For those of us who are saved, it is an absolute necessity to recognize all His blessings He has given to us.  How sad it is for us to forget what He has done after He has done so very much for us.  He came to the earth, humbled Himself as a man and then died on the cross for our sins (Phil 2:5-11).   It is through this joy that we receive the encouragement and strength to serve Him in the midst of a fallen world.  (Neh 8:10)

For those who have never received Christ as their Savior…. trust in Christ and His work today… it is only through Him that you can have a true, permanent, fullness of joy (Psa 16:11).  This joy is given to us through His death on the cross, as He died to save His people from their sins.  (Matt 1:21)  By trusting in Christ as Lord and Savior, His grace, forgiveness and presence, bring forth joy and gladness in our hearts.  He has saved us from an eternity of punishment for our sins… He has saved us from the rule of sin in our lives. What a reason to be joyful!!!

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Love… Biblical Style

SIH STSTA ICONThe subject of “love” has dominated the attention of mankind throughout the years.   There have been literally thousands of songs, poems, stories, fables, even scientific studies, trying to help define love and explain it more fully.  The entertainment industry uses love as a central theme in most of it’s programming.

Do you remember a TV show called “Love, American Style”? It was a show featuring a different cast of characters every week.  They would show the affects of love on many, varied, fictional relationships.  For a quick walk down memory lane watch this…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrBe09SIENA&feature=related

After all these attempts, it seems as if there still exists much confusion about love and man’s pursuit of it.  For us to look to our society for a definition of love is a futile act.  Today’s definitions can range from an innocent emotion to an immoral act and everything in between.   The more man tries to define it, the more confused man becomes.

So what is love?  We will try to answer this question from God’s Word….

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

(Gal 5:22-25)

THE STUDY:

The Bible has ALOT to say about love… within the pages of the Bible we find at least 311 times when the word “love” is used (300 times in the Old Testament, 11 times in the New Testament).  Love is a central theme of the Bible…. Both God’s love for man and man’s love for God are emphasized.  But throughout the Word, there is also many references to mankind’s love for one another.   Anyone who is willing to take the time to examine every reference to love in the Bible will see a vast storehouse of information that helps us to see the true meaning and role of love in our lives.

At the risk of over-simplifying the Biblical teaching, let me center on just one of many observations about love found in the Bible….   a scriptural, God-pleasing love is one that produces self-sacrifice in our lives.  For one example of this principle please see John 15:3; here we find love for a friend resulting in laying down our life for them.

Our God set the ultimate example of a sacrificial love for us…

God the Father loved us so much He gave His Son to die for us on the cross. (John 3:16, Roms 5:8)

God the Son loved us so much He gave His life as an offering and sacrifice to God for us, paying the price of our sins. (Eph 5:2)

Christ, in the person of God the Spirit, then indwells our hearts through faith… giving us a continual testimony of His great love for us. (Eph 3:17-19)

Finally, we can never be separated from this great love He has bestowed upon us!  What a wonderful promise, once we are placed in His love, no one can take His love off of us… in other words, His love is without limit, He will never cast us aside nor will he ever desert us, we are kept by Him eternally. (Roms 8:35-39)

Now, after setting such great examples of true love for us, He then promises to implant within us this same love when we are forgiven of our sins.   In our scripture verse, love is classified as one of the “fruits of the Spirit”…   this means that love is given off in our lives, when the Holy Spirit inhabits our hearts, at the time our salvation.  Therefore, we can begin to love Him, and others, with the same type of love that He has loved us… an unrestricted, self-surrendering love.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What a wonderful gift we have been given…. a fruit of love that we can give off to others…. much like a tree gives off its fruit to those who need it.   We can love others sacrificially, with no thought of personal gain.  Have you ever heard of an “unconditional” love?  This is the same type of love we can give to others through the working of the Spirit in our lives.

As followers of our Lord, we can place this love upon Him, allowing us to serve Him without hesitation or reservation.   We can willingly give our all to Him, just as He gave His all for us. (1 John 4:19)

Then, we are able to love others as Christ loved us.  What a wonderful way to be a living testimony for Him.   By loving others sacrificially, with no thought of personal gain, we are displaying for all to see how our Lord has loved us and laid down His life for us on the cross. (John 15:12)

For those who have never received the love of God into their hearts…. look to the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  Trusting in Christ for his salvation, is all men’s responsibility.   Have you trusted in Christ?  Have your sins been forgiven?  Has the love of God been placed upon you?  Does His Spirit now enable you to love as He loves?  If you have answered “no” to these questions please read God’s word, it shows us the way of life and true, Godly love.   A great place to start reading is 1 John 3:23-24.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

If you have any questions or subjects you would like discussed on this blog, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I will answer all emails via this blog, by email, or both.

Falling Apples

SIH STSTA ICONWe’ve all seen this time and time again, a child that looks almost identical to one of their parents.  When we see this, we jokingly say “The apple doesn’t fall far from the apple tree”.   In other words, a child will share in their parent’s appearance and/or behavior. For an explanation of the origin of this saying please see http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080525203745AAKrx82.

It only makes sense that a child would mimic their parent.  They share in the parent’s DNA (explaining the physical resemblances to the parent) and, as impressionable children, they live with the parent watching their every action (explaining the child’s behavioral similarities to their parent.)

This same principle applies to the relationship a child of God has with their heavenly Father. We should represent our Father on earth by resembling Him.

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

(Gal 5:22-25 kjv)

THE STUDY:

The above verses give a listing of nine qualities that Christians should display in their daily walk of life.

A quick definition of each fruit follows:

“love” – to have the willingness to sacrifice self with no thought of gain;

“joy”- to possess calm delight displayed through actions;

“peace” – to be quietness, restful , harmonious, to be in unison with others

“longsuffering” – to bear under heavy burdens without giving into them

“gentleness” – to be kindness, merciful to others

“goodness” – to be virtuous, morally upright

“faith” – to rely upon, to place trust, to be assured of

“meekness” – to be humble

“temperance”- ability to control our power

The Lord lists the nine qualities that all men should possess in their lives adding to the quality of life around us.  Who among us would begin to say we do not desire to see these fruits in the lives of others?  Do we enjoy being around people that are hateful, always discouraged or wanting to fight all the time?  What about those that are impatient, unforgiving, or wicked?   Of course, none of us enjoy being with someone like this.  Our Lord has given us a simple listing of fruits that enhance our life of earth, as we live according to them and enjoy our life with others who live by them.

The Lord continues on by reminding us that, for the Christian, these fruits should be desired and naturally borne by those who are truly saved.   Please keep in mind, a part of the salvation experience is not only trusting in Christ and receiving forgiveness from our sins, but also an attitude of turning from our sins to serve Him as our Lord.  This turning from sin to God is called “repentance” in the Bible.  (please see Hebs 6:1, 2 Cor 7:10, 2 Tim 2:24-26)   This is what our Lord meant when He said we are to “crucify (put to death) the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

He goes further by telling us that if we have received the indwelling of His Spirit, then we should be willing to live by the leadership of that same Spirit.   The Spirit’s leadership will result in our fruit bearing as well.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In Galatians 5:22-25, we see a listing of attributes that should accompany the lives of all members of God’s family.   These attributes are given the title “fruits of the Spirit”.  This title presents two different ideas. Firstly, these fruits are given off as a natural result of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in our lives and secondly, by bearing these “fruits” we reveal Godly attributes to the world around us.

To give an example of bearing a fruit naturally, lets look at an animal giving birth to its offspring.  It is only natural that a bear would give birth to bear cubs.   It would be a freak of nature to see that a bear gave birth to a puppy.   As a matter of fact, nature so strictly adheres to this principle that we use it to make many assumptions in nature.  For example, if we see a tree with oranges hanging on it we immediately assume it is an orange tree.   We don’t give it a second thought.  Why? Because like begats like…. that’s the way it is… in the natural world there are no exceptions to this.

And that is the way it is with God’s family members.   It is only natural that we give forth the fruits of the Spirit… why?  Because we have the Holy Spirit of God within us, His fruits should be revealed in our lives.   If a Christian finds that he is not bearing God’s fruits then something is dreadfully wrong with his relationship to His Lord.  Either he isn’t in communion with His God due to unconfessed sin, or he is not actually saved.  There can be no other answer to this dilemma.

Now, let’s look at an example of a fruit revealing attributes about the one that bore it.    Again, let’s use the bear and its cub as an example.  The cub looks like a miniature version of the mother bear.  Both have the same facial features, the same bodily features, hunger for the same types of food, the list goes on and on.    So too, should we as Christians bear the appearance of our Heavenly Father.

We are told throughout God’s Word to be a good testimony to those around us.   The best possible testimony we can have is living a life that reflects God in all we do.  This is the fruit bearing that our Lord expects from all His family.  This is the role of the Christian in the world today…. Simply show others our Lord and Savior by living our lives pleasing to Him.

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”(If you have any questions about this study, or if you would like to suggest a subject for my blog please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.   I will answer all emails either by email, or by blog, or both.)