Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Three "Thirds" in the Plan of Salvation

The plan of salvation has three parts.  Descriptive terms have been used in the scriptures and by ministers to describe the three parts of salvation:  the full gospel, entire sanctification, three loaves, three measures of meal and three thirds light.  These three parts are identified as justification, sanctification and unity.  It is the perfect will of God that every person repent of his sins, be justified, sanctified and unified with the body of Christ which is the church of God. 

Let us study the scriptures to verify and prove that these statements are true.

Matthew 13:33
Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

The kingdom of heaven is populated by the children of God.  To help His disciples understand the operation of the kingdom, Jesus gave this parable.  This parable has a specific meaning and holds an important message which Jesus wanted His disciples to understand.  Meal is what we use to make bread.  Jesus is the Bread of Life.  In this Bread of Life there are three measures of meal.  We need all three loaves of bread to satisfy our need.  It is our duty to study to know what these three measures of meal teach us about the kingdom of God. 

The leaven which is in these three measures of meal is the doctrine which is being represented.  In this lesson, we want to cause you to consider the meaning of leaven, unleavened, and the three measures of meal.  There is good leaven and there is bad leaven.  Leaven is a symbol for doctrine.  There is true doctrine and there is false doctrine.  There are three measures of meal or three loaves of bread in the plan of salvation. 

Luke 11:5-10
5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

We need three loaves of bread to satisfy our spiritual needs.  Jesus Christ is our friend and we need to come to Jesus to obtain these three loaves of bread. 

Matthew 16:11-12
11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

The Bible teaches us the meaning of these symbols.  The leaven which Jesus was speaking of was the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  This is a warning to us to beware of the false doctrine which tries to influence our beliefs

Mark 4:1-8
1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 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.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 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.

This parable has an identical message which we have seen in other text.  The three parts of salvation is presented as the three measures of fruit which are brought forth, some thirty, some sixty and some hundred-fold. Justification (thirty fold); sanctification (sixty fold) and unity (hundred-fold) are each perfect and beautiful.  The will of God is that we have all three measures according to His plan to bring man into a holy relationship with Himself and all the members of the body of Jesus Christ. 

Revelations  8:12-13
12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

God does not give to men the three thirds of light all at one time.  The light of the Gospel comes in parts.  We are commanded to embrace that light and walk in it as we receive it.  We understand that it is the will of God that all men repent of their sins and be born again.  Once a person is born again, he is able to understand both the doctrine and the need of sanctification.  After the child of God is sanctified by the Holy Spirit, then he sees the necessity of being in unity and in fellowship with the rest of the body of Christ. 

This is the whole gospel of Jesus Christ and it is the whole duty of men to walk in the light of this truth as the light comes to us.  Willful failure to walk in the light of truth is disobedience and sinful.  When truth is revealed, a person does not have the option to refuse it and remain justified. 

1 Corinthians 5:1-8
1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Leaven is an agent which causes a fermentation process to occur.  It is the element of force which causes something to move and become active.  Truth will activate you and so will false doctrine.  In this context, the “unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” is that bread which does not have the “leaven of malice and wickedness.”  Unleavened bread is a reference to that bread which does not have any corruptible influence.  If you do not put any leaven in bread, it will not spoil.  Bread with yeast (which is leaven) in it will produce mold and it will spoil. 

Galatians 5:7-9
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

Truth comes a little at a time and if you allow the truth to guide you it will influence and permeate your whole life.  False doctrine also comes a little at a time and if you allow it to work in your soul, it will also influence and permeate your whole life. 


Some people are so affected and influenced by the leaven of false doctrine that they can not accept the leaven of truth.  We must “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump.”  We can see by the scriptures that there is good leaven and there is bad leaven.    Which leaven is working to influence what you believe?  

Let the Holy Spirit give you understanding on the three thirds of the light of truth, justification, sanctification and the unity of God's people.

OVERCOMING FEAR

Overcoming fear is a greater challenge and a greater necessity than most people realize.  People have fears and doubts which they do not realize or acknowledge as being fear.  When you doubt the promises of God, it is because you have some area of fear which your faith does not overcome.  When you fail to submit to a commandment of God, it is because you fear that it will not benefit you.  Sometimes people hear the voice of God and fear that they are not really hearing the voice of God, but rather they are hearing their own thoughts or the voice of Satan.  Fears come in many forms.  It is one of Satan’s greatest tools. 

The word “fear” is mentioned 84 times in the New Testament.
The word “fearful” is mentioned 6 times in the New Testament.
To be mentioned 90 times in the New Testament indicates that this is an important subject.  We ought to examine our hearts and be sure that we are overcoming fear in all of its subtil and deceitful influences.

1 John 4:16-19
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.

What is fear?  The dictionary defines fear as:  “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.”  Do you fear trusting God for all your needs?  Are you afraid that you cannot expect God to do for you what He has promised to do for all His children?  Can fear and faith exist in the same heart and mind at the same time?  What relationship does fear have to obedience?  What relationship does faith have to obedience?  Do not fear, unbelief and disobedience have common ground?  Do not faith, trust and obedience have common ground? 

Revelation 2:10
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Are you allowing circumstances in your life to cause you to fear what may happen to you if you put your full trust in the promises of God?  “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35).

Remember, perfect love casteth out fear.  If you are fearful of trusting God, are you made perfect in love?  You can overcome fear by faith and trust in God.   

2 Timothy 1:1-9
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
The gift of God which is possessed by the laying on of hands is the gift of the Holy Spirit, i.e. sanctification.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
The un-sanctified, carnal heart will be strongly influenced to fear and doubt.  The power of God will not be evident in a life which is affected by fear and doubt.  
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

One of the most destructive tools which Satan uses is the fear to trust God for all of our needs.  This is specifically true when it comes to trusting God for divine healing, or some other need for which we have no control.  Satan does not want you to have faith and trust in the mercy of God to forgive.  He does not want you to trust God to sanctify and bless you with all of His precious promises.  Satan wants you think that God’s gifts are for others, but not for you.  You must remember that Satan is a liar, and he has come to steal, kill and destroy. 

Genesis 3:8-11
8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

What was the cause of Adam’s fear?  Was it not his disobedience that caused him to be afraid and fearful of meeting and talking with God?  Because of his sin, Adam was afraid that when God came to visit him, he would come with chastisement and punishment.  Sinners, disobedient people, are afraid of God’s wrath upon their disobedience.   A disobedient person will doubt his right to any of the promises and blessings of God.

Matthew 25:24-30
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The unprofitable servant was afraid because he knew that he had not been a faithful or diligent servant.  How are you doing? 

Matthew 1:18-21
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

If we obey the counsel and instructions of God, we have no need to fear. Joseph could have been fearful of taking a single, pregnant woman to be his wife.  What would the kinfolks say?  Would the Jewish leaders expel him from the temple and prevent him for worshiping God in the temple?  Who would believe that a woman could be pregnant without having been with a man? 
                                                                         
Matthew 10:22-28
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Who should we fear?  Shall we fear what men may do to us?  Shall we fear what affliction or difficulty may come against us?  Will we allow persecution or the reproach of the people to cause us to doubt and fear?  

Romans 8:13-17
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

There is bondage in fear.  There is liberty in love.  Which will you choose?

If you love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, you will be able to obey Him with confidence that He will meet all your needs. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

JUSTIFICATION

Justification is defined in the dictionary as the “act of being justified by God… to release from the guilt of sin and accept as righteous…to make righteous.”

Justification is the gift of salvation which God grants to those who have sincerely and humbly repented of all their sins with a broken and contrite heart.  God’s disposition to forgive, pardon and accept as righteous is plainly described in Ezekiel chapter 18. 

Ezekiel 18:20-28
20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
In the same day in which Adam and Eve disobeyed the commandment of God they died.  God had warned them of this dire consequence to disobedience.  They did not die a physical death, but they died a spiritual death which is being separated from God.  Eternal life is enjoyed by all those who keep the commandments of God and have fellowship with God.  Eternal death is the result of personal disobedience, which is rebellion against the commandments of God.  This spiritual death is instantaneous at the moment a person’s desire yields to Satan’s temptation to personally disobey the known will and law of God. 

Justification is that work of grace which God alone can bestow upon the heart and soul of a person who earnestly desires to have fellowship with God and keep His commandments.  By the decree of God, when Adam and Eve disobeyed the commandment of God, the influence of sin passed upon all men.  This influence is called the “carnal nature.”  It is so called because it describes the selfish desire to satisfy the lust of the flesh instead of keeping the commandments of God.  The passing of this carnal nature from Adam to all mankind was part of the penalty of Adam’s “original sin.”  In Adam all men died, but in Jesus Christ all men are given the opportunity to possess eternal life.  Death comes from disobedience and life comes from obedience. 

It is important to understand that all children born after Adam possess Adam’s image, which was tarnished by the act of his sin.  These children are innocent until they come to the age of accountability.  The “age of accountability” is that specific time when the child’s conscience becomes aware that their selfishness is actually disobedience to the will of God.   The knowledge of evil brings condemnation upon the conscience and soul.  At this specific time the child’s innocence dies and rebellion becomes alive.  As the Apostle Paul described, “sin revived, and I died.”  When a person personally chooses to disobey the will of God, sin is imputed and the soul dies by separation from the source of eternal life. 

Adam was created in the image of our Holy God.  Seth and all others were born with Adam’s nature.  Again, by the decree of God, Adam’s original sin had a two-fold evil influence upon the soul of every person born after him.  It resulted in a depravity of the human nature.  And, it brought the penalty of death to every soul who disobeys God’s laws.  The plan of salvation through Jesus Christ brings a two-fold deliverance from this curse and this penalty.  The remedy for this two-fold evil is the “two works of grace” which are found in the plan of salvation, justification and sanctification.  Our principal burden in this lesson is to explain the reality of justification and every man’s need to repent, be forgiven, pardoned and justified by the grace of God.  

Remember you cannot be justified if you have not repented with godly sorrow and a turning away from all your personal sins.

The doctrines of justification and sanctification are clearly set forth in the New Testament.  Why should we repent, be justified and live a holy life?  It is because it is the will of God and if you refuse and rebel against God you will suffer the consequences of sin in this life and in the eternal damnation of hell.  Listen to the words of Jesus Christ as He prayed for all of us: 

John 17:21-23,   “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

Romans 5:6-9
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

At just the right time, according to the perfect will of God, Jesus Christ came into this world and gave Himself a perfect, sinless sacrifice for the sins of the world.  He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, thereby bypassing the curse of the carnal nature which all men inherit from Adam.  He entered this world in perfect holiness and He kept His holiness all the days of His life.  Although He was tempted by Satan, Jesus Christ overcame every temptation and did the will of His Father who sent Him on the mission to be the payment for our sins. 

Romans 3:19-28
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.

Paul makes many important points by which we may know the perfect work of salvation.  We are not justified by the works of the law.  Although obedience to the laws of God are required of all who are justified, that obedience begins after we have repented and are justified.  Our works do not redeem us or justify us.  We are justified by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ; which faith leads us to accept Him as our personal Savior and Master. 

Romans 2:13 tells us:  “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”  The “doers of the law shall be justified” because they have heard the law and believed the law.  Their faith in Jesus Christ and submission to the law is honored by God and He gives the grace of justification so that they may have the power to continually be doers of the law. 

Acts 13:38-39
38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

If you do not keep the commandments of Jesus Christ, then you do not love Him or believe Him.  If you believed His word, you would keep His word.  You may have the knowledge that Jesus is the Son of God; but that knowledge does not mean that you believe His gospel.  You may think that you will be happier and more successful doing things your way instead of the way taught by the word and the Spirit. 

Romans 5:1-2
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

When do you have peace with God?  When you are justified by faith.
When do you have grace to stand in a permanent way?  When you access that second room, the Holiest of Holies, where the Holy Spirit ministers to you continually. 

James 2:14-26
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.

There are many people who call themselves Christians and they believe that their faith alone will save them and gain their entrance to heaven.  They will be sadly disappointed on the Great Judgment day that their continual disobedience is proof and evidence that they did not fully believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They did it their way instead of God’s way. 

John 14:23-24
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

Do you love Jesus?  Do you keep all the commandments which He has given to you?  You cannot disobey the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ and still be justified.  If you are not justified, then you are still lost, dead in your sins and trespasses. 

Have you repented with godly sorrow?
Are you justified before Jesus Christ and God the Father?


Monday, June 1, 2015

REPENTANCE

One of the many reasons why people do not stay saved is because they do not wholeheartedly repent of all their sins.  We live in a world full of hypocrisy and deceit.  Many false prophets and preachers have deceived the people into thinking that they are Christians when in reality they are still the servants of Satan doing the deeds of evil works.  I must tell you the truth.  I know that the truth will offend some people.  I hope and pray that it will not offend you.

What is repentance?  You must know what true repentance means. 

Merriam-Webster definition:  Repentance of man: the act of turning from sin with sorrow, regret and contrition

Man’s repentance must consist of both confession and forsaking of sin.  Confession alone is not repentance.  The repentance which is acceptable with God is that repentance which includes turning away from all personal sins.  These are sins for which you are personally responsible.  These are sins which you knew were contrary to the laws of God and you willingly and knowingly chose to disobey the law of God.  All personal sins cause guilt in the conscience.  You know that you are guilty of disobedience.  For these personal sins, you are separated from God.  You are a sinner who needs to repent.  Except you repent, you will be lost and on your way to an eternal hell.   Remember this!!  Confession is not repentance.  It is only part of repentance.  Repentance must include both confession and turning away from that which is evil with the conviction and consecration that you will not do that which is you know is evil. 

Psalms 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

God’s requirement for forgiveness of sins, and justification as the initial work of grace upon the soul, is “a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart.”  Humility and godly sorrow will gain the favor and blessings of God.  The attitude of your heart is of primary importance to God.  He will not honor a self-centered or self-sufficient attitude.  A sinner is in great danger of eternal damnation.  Without God’s forgiveness, an eternal hell with fire and torment await the unforgiven soul. 

Jeremiah 2:26
 As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets,

To be humble and ashamed only after your evil deeds are exposed is not true repentance.  I have witnessed several individuals at the altar who were motivated by the shame of their exposure more than their disobedience to God. 

Jeremiah 7:3-11
3 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.
5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord.

Under the deceitful power of Satan, many people will commit their evil deeds and then go stand in the house of God and profess to be God’s children and worship Him.   You may deceive yourself, but God knows your heart.   He knows about your hypocrisy and your unfaithfulness.

Ezekiel 18:25-31
25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

God’s way is equal, just and righteous.  He will forgive the penitent soul and He will judge the wicked and the hypocrite.  If you have repented and been forgive, it is possible for you to turn back to sin and be eternally lost. 

Joel 2:12-15
12 Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:

It is easy to rend your clothes or make some sacrifice to excuse your sins.  But God requires you to rend your heart with humility and godly sorrow. 

Matthew 3:1-12
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think 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.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

John came as the fore-runner of Jesus Christ to prepare the hearts of the people to seek after God and repent of their sins.  Many of the religious Jews wanted to be included in his ministry so that they could claim a social reward with the people.  The Holy Spirit gave John discernment of the intent of their heart.  He rebuked them and told them to “bring forth fruits meet for repentance.”  What are the fruits of repentance?  The answer is:  A broken and contrite heart, godly sorrow, humility and obedience to God’s righteous laws.  Are you willing to come to Jesus with the fruits of repentance? 

Mark 2:15-17
15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus came to save the lost.  If someone thinks they are saved and justified before God, when in reality they are still in bondage to their sins, they will need to be taught and convinced that they are yet sinners and in need of true repentance. 

Luke 13:1-9
1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
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.

Salvation cannot be obtained without repentance.  The just shall live by faith.  If a person has the guilt of sin upon their conscience, they will not be able to exercise faith.  They will not have the faith to live and have eternal life.

All the promises and gifts of God come by faith and without faith it is impossible to please God.  Faith and salvation come after obedience. 

Are you walking in the light of truth which God has revealed to you? 
If you are still committing sin, I implore you to repent with godly sorrow and humility.  Call upon Jesus Christ while there is still time in your life.  Someday may be too late.  Today is the day of salvation. 

John 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.


Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.