Settled In Heaven Blog

Category Archives: John 04:

Finding God’s Will For Our Lives – What Is God’s Will? (Part #2)

SIH STSTA ICON“Not my will, but thine, be done”

Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

One of the my most frequently asked questions is “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

    1. What is God’s will ?
    2. Not my will, but thine be done.
    3. Thus saith the Lord
    4. Oh what a feeling
    5. Open and shut doors
    6. Summary of the study

In part number 2 of our study lets study… “Not my will, but Thine, be done.”

THE SCRIPTURE:

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

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

THE STUDY:

Our search for the Lord’s will starts with a brutally honest look at our own hearts.  Before beginning our search, we must ask ourselves the question, “Am I willing to do whatever the Lord wants me to do?”  By God’s grace we all can answer “yes” to this question.  If we can say “yes”, we are ready to begin our search for His guidance in the many life issues that we face.

Unfortunately, if you are like me, at times, I would have to say “no” in response to this question.

King David is described by the Lord as, “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22).   David illustrates this principle when he wrote: “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.”  (Ps 40:8)

David’s desires were the same as the desires of Christ’s heart ….

“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34)

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)

“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38)

Christ not only talked the talked but He walked the walk…

One of the verses that has been the greatest blessing to my heart over the years is found in Luke 22:42,  “…Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”   To appreciate the depth of Christ’s devotion to the will of His Father, please remember the context of this verse.  The “cup” Christ is speaking of is His coming crucifixion.  Think about it… when faced with a horribly brutal death on the cross, Christ voiced His own desires to the Father before stating, “it really doesn’t matter what I desire…. I am willing to put my desires aside, and do what you would have me to do…. even to the point of a brutal, painful, humiliating, torturous death on the cross.”  (my paraphrase)

After being given such a wonderful example of self-sacrifice, putting our heavenly Father first in our lives, shouldn’t we do the same?   Think of what a sad example we set when we go through the motions of seeking His will as an after-thought.  We basically are saying…. “I’m going to do (fill in the blank), I’ll see if that’s ok with you, Lord.”  What a shame.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

As Christians, we have been purchased by Christ through His death on the cross, paying the price for our sins.  (1 Cor 6:20).  That’s why Paul describes the need to be a living sacrifice for the Lord… after all, it is simply our “reasonable service” to Him. (Rom 12:1).

Would the Lord deny showing us His will, if we sincerely desire to act upon His will, putting

Him above all others desires in our life?   I think not.

Matt 7:7-11

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us….

Prayer Principle #2 –  We must pray for a spirit of self-sacrifice and self-control, putting our Lord first, as we begin our search for His will.

For those who are not saved….

The Lord’s will for the life of those who have never trusted in Christ is clearly declared in 1Tim 2:3-6 …

For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

For more information about salvation and the forgiveness of sins, please refer to my blog page found here: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

———————————————————-

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.”

————————————————————————————–

What Must We Do To Be Saved? Part 1-Salvation Defined

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 #1…. Salvation….

THE SCRIPTURES:

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.

Acts 4:12 (KJV)

12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

John 4:21-24 (KJV)

21) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

22) Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

23) But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24) God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

Acts 28:28 (KJV)

28) Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and [that] they will hear it.

THE STUDY:

The Biblical concept of “salvation” carries with it the ideas of deliverance, wholeness, safety and security.  When we talk about a person’s “salvation” we are talking about that person being delivered from sin, being made whole and safe in Christ, all the while being made eternally secure…

We are all a part of fallen mankind…

Rom 3:23 (KJV)  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

 The Bible is filled with references that declare the fallen, sinful nature that is found in all men… (Gen 8:21, Eccl 7:20, Rom 3:9, Rom 5:12, etc etc etc)

As fallen mankind, we are found guilty by God for the sin in our lives…

Rom 3:19 (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.”

Just as the sinfulness of man is clearly declared within the Scriptures, so too, the guilt and condemnation of man is made plain as well… (Roms 2:1-2, Gal 3:10, Gal 3:22, etc etc etc)

Because of our sin and guilt we are separated from God and facing eternal punishment for our sins…

Isa 59:1-3 (KJV) Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

Our sin has separated us from God in this world, and will separate us from God in the world to come. (Prov 15:29, Isa 1:15, John 3:19-21)  Our sin has placed us under the judgment of our Almighty God.  It is this judgment that we will face throughout eternity. (Jer 5:25, John 3:36, Rom 1:18, Rom 2:3-5, Rev 20:12-15)

This is the most important aspect of our need of salvation… it is deliverance from our sins and their results.

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.”

Here, in our Titus passage, we find the three fold salvation that the Lord freely offers to us…

Firstly, deliverance from the punishment of our sin, by Christ making the payment which satisfied the just demands of His Father…

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity:”  (John 10:15, Gals 1:3-5, Gals 3:13, Eph 5:2, etc etc etc)

Secondly, deliverance from the power of sin in this world…

“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”  &  “purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Rom 6:4-19, 1 Cor 6:9-11, Eph 1:4, 1 Thess 4:7 etc etc etc)

Thirdly, secure an eternity with Him, separated from the presence of sin…

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Rom 8:30-39, John 6:37-40, Hebs 10:14-18, etc)  This principle is clearly seen by the terms “everlasting life” and “eternal life” … it is a type of life that cannot be lost nor come to an end. (1 Tim:1-16, John 3:15-16, John 10:27-29, etc etc etc)

Just as the Bible is clear about the importance and universal need of salvation by all mankind, so too, the Bible declares the only way of salvation. 

The way of salvation is only through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ….

This is why in the Titus passage He is given the title“Our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ”

This principle is emphasized in Acts 4:12 – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (1 Cor 3:11, 1 Tim 2:4-6, Heb 7:25-28, 1 John 5:11, etc)

So who can receive this salvation?  Both Jew and Gentile have access to this grace of God…

John 4:21-24 (KJV) – “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

Acts 28:28 (KJV) – Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and [that] they will hear it.

As demonstrated in the above verses, the salvation that God graciously offers to man is not limited to Jew nor Gentile.  ANYONE can receive salvation from the hands of Almighty God. (John 3:16, 2 Cor 5:19-21, 1 Tim 1:15-16)

In this blog entry we have seen the very basic principles of the importance and mankind’s need of salvation… In the following blog entries we will be studying, 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

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

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.” 

Eureka!, An Ideal City… With A Catch

SIH STSTA ICONEureka is a TV show currently being shown on the SyFy channel.  It’s unique plot line has made it my favorite show currently being aired. http://www.syfy.com/eureka/index.php  I would recommend it for all ages, it is an entertaining, and educational, family oriented show.  The show is about a city that was created by the US government to house all of the greatest thinkers of the day.   You have rocket scientists, brain surgeons, quantum physicists, all the best minds inhabiting one city.  You would think if there was one city that had all its problems handled it would be this one.  Because it is filled with geniuses, they should be able to handle any problem that comes their way.  The interesting thing is this… they actually create their own problems.  Many times, an individual scientist goes “rogue” and botches up an experiment that causes problems for the entire city.

And there is a real life lesson that can be learned from all of this…If a group is not unified in their goal… they are not unified at all.  How true this is in real life… and how true is it amongst many Christian groups today….

There is a clamoring for “unity” claiming the Bible teaches all Christian denominations (Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, Brethren, Presbyterian, etc.)  should be unified in spite of doctrinal differences… this is called the “Ecumenical Movement”.

There is another movement called the “Interfaith Movement” that teaches that there should be unity between the different faiths of the world (Christian, Islam, Buddhist, Jewish, etc) to cooperate in promotion of better relations between each group. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecumenism

I would like to examine the Scriptures to see if that is really what the Bible teaches…. Should all religions unify in promoting spirituality, or, should all Christians unify in worship and service in the midst of doctrinal disagreements?

THE SCRIPTURE:

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (Joh 4:23-24)

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  (Mat 15:7-9)

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 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 fullness of Christ: 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; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.  (Eph 4:11-16)

THE STUDY:

There can be no doubt that one of the main goals of Christ’s work on the cross was to create a unified body of believers; note these quotations…

“he should gather together in one” – Joh 11:51-53;

“that they also may be one in us… that they may be one, even as we are one…” Joh 17:20-23;

“for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross… Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” Eph 2:11-22)

Yes, undoubtedly, the Lord desires for His followers to be unified.  The question isn’t “Should we all be unified?”  The real question is “Can we unify without holding to the same set of beliefs?”

Our set of scripture references addresses this question. Note that our Lord gives the parameters for true, Godly worship to take place….

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (Joh 4:23-24) 

Here, He clearly states that a sincere spirit must be present with the truth of His Word for true worship to take place.  This is a real troublesome passage for those who believe that all denominations or religions should overlook their differences for the sake of unity.  The Lord clearly states that “the truth” must be sincerely held to for true worship to take place.

Let me give you two examples of truth versus error:

1.  Is it true that the Bible states that salvation can be found in Christ alone? (Act 4:10-12)

If so, every religion that exists, apart from Christianity, is teaching error.  Under this truth/error test can all religions gather and share in worship?

2.  Is it true that the Bible teaches salvation is by grace and through faith and not by the works of man? (Eph 2:7-9)

Again, let me ask… if this is the case, what about all the Christian denominations that mix works with salvation?  Can we all unite in the name of Christ and worship together when there is such great error being taught?

People are dying and going to hell by believing there is salvation in another besides Christ, or because they are relying on their good works to save themselves.  How can we be united in the promotion of error?  Folks, this should not be.

These are just two examples of many different MAJOR doctrinal issues that I could be presenting to outline the stark differences between the different religions and the different denominations.  The issue is clear… when an important doctrine (one that salvation hinges) is disagreed upon, there can be no unity in worship.

What would happen if we tried to unite?  Our second passage refers to this by stating….

 “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. “ (Mat 15:7-9) 

 This Scripture speaks for itself.  This is the end of all who choose to unite without a sincere belief in Biblical truth.

So what is the remedy for this?  Everyone must accept the truth first, and then, unite for the cause of Christ.  How do we do this?  Here’s where our third Scripture reference comes in….

 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 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: 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; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”  (Eph 4:11-16)

We are to learn from Godly men who are proclaiming the truths of His Word.  As we learn we will come together in doctrinal unity, unified around the Word and not around the teachings of man.  This is God’s way of unification.  This is the type of unity that pleases our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The next obvious question is this… How can we know who is a teacher of truth and not a teacher of error?

We are to live like the Bereans…

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. (Act 17:10-12)

By searching the Scriptures in our own personal studies, to affirm what is taught to us by men, the Holy Spirit will lead us to teachers of the truth… This is our responsibility.  To compare what our teachers are saying with what the Word says.  This is the only way we can discern truth from error.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Any true Christian, when confronted with the truth of His Word, would choose to worship in “spirit and truth” as compared to worshipping the Lord in vain… this is the simple choice that is at hand for us all.

Will we take a stand for the truth and unite with other Bible believing and proclaiming Christians for the cause of Christ… or will we unite with all “religious people” and get unity for unity’s sake??  I’m afraid today, for the sake of numbers of followers, many are compromising the truth for the sake of acceptance and promotion among other groups.  Shame on us.  May the Lord be merciful to us as sinners.

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.

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.”