Difference between Praise and Worship

Understanding the difference between praise and worship can bring a new depth to the way we honor the Lord. Throughout the Bible, the commands to “praise the Lord” are too numerous to mention. Angels and the heavenly hosts are commanded to praise the Lord (Psalm 89:5; 103:20; 148:2). All inhabitants of the earth are instructed to praise the Lord (Psalm 138:4; Romans 15:11). We can praise Him with singing (Isaiah 12:5; Psalm 9:11), with shouting (Psalm 33:1; 98:4), with the dance (Psalm 150:4), and with musical instruments (1 Chronicles 13:8; Psalm 108:2; 150:3-5).

We PRAISE the works of God   Psalm 100:1-3(HCSB) Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth.Serve the Lord with gladness;

come before Him with joyful songs. Acknowledge that Yahweh is God. He made us, and we are His—His people, the sheep of His pasture.,

All of 103(The Forgiving God) & 104 (The Creator God) Psalm 111(For all His good Works)
Isaiah 6:1-3(HCSB) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe[a] filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;

His glory fills the whole earth.

We WORSHIP the person of God
Psalm 29:2(HCSB) Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due His name; worship Yahweh in the splendor of His holiness.
Psalm 95:1-3(HCSB) Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord, shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation! Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving;

let us shout triumphantly to Him in song. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:6-7(HCSB) Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care.
Revelation 4:4-11(HCSB) Around that throne were 24 thrones, and on the thrones sat 24 elders dressed in white clothes, with gold crowns on their heads. Flashes of lightning and rumblings of thunder came from the throne. Seven fiery torches were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. Something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal, was also before the throne. Four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back were in the middle and around the throne. The first living creature was like a lion; the second living creature was like a calf; the third living creature had a face like a man; and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying:

Holy, holy, holy,

Lord God, the Almighty,

who was, who is, and who is coming.

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the One seated on the throne, the One who lives forever and ever, 10 the 24 elders fall down before the One seated on the throne, worship the One who lives forever and ever, cast their crowns before the throne, and say:11 

Our Lord and God,

You are worthy to receive

glory and honor and power,

because You have created all things,

and because of Your will

they exist and were created.

Praise is the joyful recounting of all God has done for us. It is closely intertwined with thanksgiving as we offer back to God appreciation for His mighty works on our behalf. Praise is universal and can be applied to other relationships as well. We can praise our family, friends, boss, or waiter/waitress. Praise does not require anything of us. It is merely the truthful acknowledgment of the righteous acts of another. Since God has done many wonderful deeds, He is worthy of praise
Psalms 18:3(NLT) I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.

“Praise” Occurs in Scripture 304 times

  1. Forty-four (44) examples of Ways to praise; Who praises What.
  2. Thirty-two (32) examples of Why we praise.

The practice of praise in the Old Testament:

  1. What is to be praised? Psalm 149
  2. Where are we to praise? Psalm 148
  3. Who is to praise? Psalm 148
  4. How are we to praise? Psalm 150

There is a consequence for no praise and worship it is called a “Barren” Church

2 Samuel 6:16 (NLT)But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him.

 

2 Samuel 6:20-23 (NLT)When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”

21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. 22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!” 23 So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life.

Comparison of the terms “Praise” and “Worship”:

PRAISE                                             WORSHIP

Spirit wing upward                   Spirit bow downward

Lift hands                                         Kiss the hand

Rejoice                                               Reverence

Adore                                                      Awe

Celebrate [foolishly]                   Prostrate, bow, stoop

Boast                                                     Homage

Thanksgiving                                       Devotion
Music in the Spirit                       Voices in the Spirit

Worship appears 200 times in Scripture
Worship, however, comes from a different place within our spirits. Worship should be reserved for God alone (Luke 4:8(NLT) Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him). Worship is the art of losing self in the adoration of another. Praise can be a part of worship, but worship goes beyond praise. Praise is easy; worship is not. Worship gets to the heart of who we are. To truly worship God, we must let go of our self-worship. We must be willing to humble ourselves before God, surrender every part of our lives to His control, and adore Him for who He is, not just what He has done. Worship is a lifestyle, not just an occasional activity.

The Bible makes it clear that it is not a lack of love for oneself that causes problems in society; it is the obsession with self. In fact, this love of self will be one of the earmarks of the last days, leading to a host of other problems 2 Timothy 3:1–5(HCSB) But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!

  • Scripture acknowledges the fact that we already love ourselves. Ephesians 5:29
  • says, “After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it” No,

Jesus did not say that we need to love ourselves (we already do that).
HE also didn’t say “This is your best life now, live YOUR dreams, Unleash YOUR full potential, Buy material things and make yourself happy.
Follow me, whenever you get done with more pressing matters.
Anyone who would be my disciple must love your family first, because that’s what really counts, and please fit your commitments to me around your prior family obligations.

He told us to deny ourselves. Matthew 16:24 (HCSB) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.

To better understand the significance of this, we must first understand what that means.

  • What is the positive outcome of denying yourself? Jesus goes on to say,
”For
  • whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake
  • will save it” (Luke 9:24). The word for “life” in the original Greek was psuche,
  • meaning “soul life”—literally your will, ambition, goals and desires. When you give
  • that up to allow yourself to be conformed into the image of Jesus, you will discover
  • His plan and purpose for you.

Bearing your cross means dying to oneself.
Why did Jesus use this particular illustration? He used a radical symbol to get people’s attention. He was not simply speaking of an individual’s personal problem or obstacle. In that day and age, a person who was bearing a cross was walking to his death. Bearing your cross means dying to self—laying aside your personal goals, desires and ambitions so that God can reveal His desires, ambitions and goals for your life. In essence, it is living life as it was meant to be lived: in the will of God. Moving out of self worship. Which is the biggest idol today.

Worship can be public praise to God in a congregational setting, where we can proclaim through prayer and praise our adoration and thankfulness to Him and what He has done for us. True worship is felt inwardly, and then comes out through our actions. “Going through the motions” out of obligation is displeasing to God and is done completely in vain. He can see through all the hypocrisy, and He hates it.

He demonstrates this in Amos 5:21-24 (NLT)“I hate all your show and pretense—
the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.

Another example is the story of Cain and Abel, the first sons of Adam and Eve. They both brought gift offerings to the Lord, but He was only pleased with Abel’s. Cain brought the gift out of obligation; Abel brought his finest lambs from his flock. He brought out of faith and admiration for God.

Abel was the worshipper and Cain was the religious brother, religion will kill worship. Religion worships out of obligation, true worship is done out of adoration. True worship is not confined to what we do in church or open praise (although these things are both good and we are told in the Bible to do them). It is the acknowledgment of God and all His power and glory in everything we do. The highest form of praise and worship is obedience to Him and His Word.

To do this, we must know God; we cannot be ignorant of Him. Worship is to glorify and exalt God—to show our loyalty and admiration to our Father.

The Bible says, that Father God seeks for only TWO things:

(1)One: To save souls, Luke 19:10 (HCSB) For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.

(2)Two: For those saved souls to worship Him.

Worship and preaching go hand on hand with one another. We worship God for who He is. We listen to the preaching to get a better understanding of who He is so we can worship Him more intimately.
Matthew 7:21-23(NLT)“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Luke 1:34 (NLT)And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man

That word know, “ginosko” in the Greek, refers in this context to an intimate relationship of union and approval. That is the kind of relationship a believer needs to have with Christ.

 1 Corinthians 8:3 Paul said, “But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.”. Jesus will not say those words of condemnation in Matthew 7:21-23 to someone who truly loves Him and seeks intimacy with Him.

To begin with, worship is only determined by God Himself, and not everything we do is acceptable to God as worship just because we are sincere or it makes us feel good. 

Hebrews 12:28 (ESV)tells us that we must “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” .The Greek word translated “serve” here is a form of the word “worship” and is used 21 times in the New Testament in the contexts of service and worship. Another form of the word “worship” is the Greek word therapeuo—from which we get the English word “therapy”—and this is most often seen translated “heal” in reference to the healing of others. In the New Testament, this word is seen in every case of Jesus’ healings.

When God is truly worshipped He will show up, when he shows up, darkness has to flee, any ailments has to flee, demons flee, people are saved, people enter into a deeper love and intimacy for Him, people are healed and bondages are broken. The majority of healings and salvations happen during a worship service.

True biblical worship is to be first and foremost reverent. This means it is to be done with the understanding of who it is being worshiped. God is holy, just, righteous, perfect, powerful, loving, wrathful etc.

Those who wish to worship biblically must worship God as He is revealed in Scripture. Second, we must worship in truth John 4:23-24 (NLT) But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.. This means that it needs to line up according to the truths in Scripture. Adding our own version of worship and “expressing ourselves” is not true worship if it does not accord with the Word of God. Personal expressions of worship are not indicated anywhere in Scripture and can lead to activities that are not God-honoring.

True worship is worship in Spirit. Because God is Spirit, true worship is a pure, holy, spiritual worship, the offering of the soul and the homage of the heart rather than merely that of the lips. Finally, true worship will always produce a change in the heart of the worshipper, causing a greater desire to love and obey the God we worship. To worship “in spirit” is to walk in obedience to the promptings of these seven spirits who dwell within the born again believer. To worship “in truth” is the other side of our balanced walk with the Lord. Walking “in truth” involves walking according to God’s order and instruction, which is shown to us in His WORD. So you have a constant balance of walking in the Spirit and walking according to His truth found in His word. You cannot have one without the other. If you have all spirit and no word then you will “puff up” in pride. If you have all word and no spirit then you will “dry up” with dead religion.

If worship does not propel us into greater obedience, it isn’t worship. Unless we come out of it with a greater commitment to obedience, it isn’t worship. Jesus said those who love Him will keep His commandments. If we say we love and worship Him, but do not obey Him, our worship is worthless.
True biblical worship of the one true and living God is to be a lifestyle, not a moment in time. Just as they will be in eternity, our lives now are to be lives of total worship of God. When we eat, sleep, work, serve, and live from sunup to sundown, all that we do is to be in a spirit of worship of God. We are not to offer temporary, experience-oriented worship on Sunday, and then lead a secular life the rest of the week. True worship is offered to God from the depths of our inner being in praise and prayer, in song, in giving, and in living, but always based upon His revealed truth.

Worship is a lifestyle, and our manual to this lifestyle is the Bible. God wants an intimate relationship with us. Worship is everything we do, Love people,love our spouse,take care of our family, shine Christ’s light unto the world, help people, etc. It is not just the musical portion of our weekly gatherings. It is supposed to be encapsulated into our whole life. We must lead a life of Worship. Worship is what we will be doing in heaven for eternity. The angels cry Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God almighty. WE will be doing the same.

(excerpt from gotquestions.org)

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Worship vs Idolatry pt2

All of life is ceaseless worship. Practically, this means that while worship does include corporate church meetings, singing songs, etc, it is not limited by these things, defined solely as these things, or expressed only in these things because worship never stops. Rather, we are continually giving ourselves away or pouring ourselves out for a person, cause, experience, achievement, or status.

YOU ARE ALWAYS WORSHIPING

Human beings are unceasing worshipers. We are not created to worship, but rather we are created worshiping. Everyone worships all the time. Atheists, agnostics, Christians, and everyone in between are unceasing worshipers. Everyone, everywhere, all the time, is always worshiping. Everyone Worships, the question is what are you worshipping?

What you glory in you will sacrifice for. What you sacrifice for is what you worship. Example: Drug addicts, porn addicts and alcoholics, they sacrifice family, money, time etc. for what they glory in (drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.) there are many others, football, hunting, video games, sports, etc.

What you glory in you will sacrifice for. If you glory in God you will sacrifice all other aspects of life to make sure you are in His presence.

Worship is a lifestyle. People don’t have sin problems they have worship problems. People continue in their sin because they fail to worship the God of scripture. The highest we take people most of the time is into sin management.

Galatians 2:20 (NLT)My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

 I have seen people glory in football and sacrifice coming to church to worship their idol. Seems harsh? Not to God, God wants all of you not just what you want to give him. If you glory in Hunting you will sacrifice for it, God doesn’t say not to do these things but we are not to esteem them above God.

Galatians 5:24 (NLT)Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

Paul described true worship in

Romans 12:1-2(NLT)12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

This passage contains all the elements of true worship. First, there is the motivation to worship: “for all He has done for you.” That is all that He has given us that we don’t deserve: eternal love, eternal grace, the Holy Spirit, everlasting peace, eternal joy, saving faith, comfort, strength, wisdom, hope, patience, kindness, honor, glory, righteousness, security, eternal life, forgiveness, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, freedom, intercession and much more. The knowledge and understanding of these incredible gifts motivate us to pour forth praise and thanksgiving—in other words, worship!

Also in the passage is a description of the manner of our worship: “give your bodies a living and holy sacrifice.” Giving our bodies means giving to God all of ourselves. The reference to our bodies here means all our human faculties, all of our humanness—our hearts, minds, hands, thoughts, attitudes—are to be presented to God. In other words, we are to give up control of these things and turn them over to Him, just as a literal sacrifice was given totally to God on the altar. But how? Again, the passage is clear: “by changing the way you think.” Renewing the mind – Metanoia in the greek means; change of mind it is where we get the word repentance. We renew our minds daily by cleansing them of the world’s “wisdom” and replacing it with true wisdom that comes from God. We worship Him with our renewed and cleansed minds, not with our emotions. We see this all the time as people don’t come to church, they don’t worship unless they “feel” like it, their favorite song is played, or their favorite worship leader is leading.

We are not to let our worship be dictated by our feelings or our emotions.

Emotions are wonderful things, but unless they are shaped by a mind saturated in truth, they can be destructive, out-of-control forces. Where the mind goes, the will follows and so do the emotions. 1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us we have “the mind of Christ,” not the emotions of Christ. 

There is only one way to renew our minds, and that is by the Word of God. It is the truth, the knowledge of the Word of God, which is to say the knowledge of the mercies of God, and we’re back where we began. To know the truth, to believe the truth, to hold convictions about the truth, and to love the truth will naturally result in true spiritual worship. It is conviction followed by affection, affection that is a response to truth, not to any external stimuli. Music as such has nothing to do with worship. Music can’t produce worship, although it certainly can produce emotion. Emotion is part of the “Soul” We are Spirit, Soul, and Body. Soul is mind, will and emotions. Worship must come from our spirit and soul. Not just soul, Concerts are in the soulish realm. They make us feel “good” that’s why concerts sell out but worship nights only have a handful of people.

True worship is God-centered worship. People tend to get caught up in where they should worship, what music they should sing in worship, and how the worship looks to other people. Focusing on these things completely misses the point. Jesus tells us that true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth John 4:24(NLT)For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

This means we worship from the heart and the way God has designed. When we say “That’s not my style of worship or the music is not my style” you are being self centered and focusing the attention on you.

We live in an “Entertain Me” world. Most of us think the musicians on the stage are there to entertain. The musicians/music is a tool to express praise and adoration to God. The worship team is there to help guide you to an intimate place of worship. They are there to lead you into your own worship to God.

It’s also important to know that worship is reserved only for God. Only He is worthy and not any of His servants When the Angel was talking in Revelation 19:10(NLT) Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.
We are not to worship saints, prophets, statues, angels, any false gods, or Mary, the mother of Jesus. We also should not be worshiping for the expectation of something in return, such as a miraculous healing. Worship is done for God—because He deserves it—and for His pleasure alone.

The Bible is absolutely clear that we are to worship God alone. The only instances of anyone other than God receiving worship in the Bible are false gods, which are Satan and his demons. All followers of the Lord God refuse worship. Peter and the apostles refused to be worshipped (Acts 10:25-26(NLT)As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” Acts 14: 11 (NLT)When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their local dialect, “These men are gods in human form!” 12 They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the chief speaker. 13 Now the temple of Zeus was located just outside the town. So the priest of the temple and the crowd brought bulls and wreaths of flowers to the town gates, and they prepared to offer sacrifices to the apostles.

14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting, 15 “Friends,[b] why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.).

The holy angels refuse to be worshipped (Revelation 19:9-10(NLT)And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”

10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus. Revelation 22:8-9(NLT)I, John, am the one who heard and saw all these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. But he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!”

The response is always the same, “Worship God!”

Roman Catholics attempt to “bypass” these clear Scriptural principles by claiming they do not “worship” Mary or saints, but rather that they only “venerate” Mary and the saints. Using a different word does not change the essence of what is being done. A definition of “venerate” is “to regard with respect or reverence.” Nowhere in the Bible are we told to revere anyone but God alone. There is nothing wrong with respecting those faithful Christians who have gone before us (see Hebrews chapter 11). There is nothing wrong with honoring Mary as the earthly mother of Jesus. The Bible describes Mary as “highly favored” by God (Luke 1:28 (NLT) 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!). Luke 11:27-28(NLT) 27 As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!”28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” At the same time, there is no instruction in the Bible to revere those whom have gone to Heaven. We are to follow their example, yes, but worship, revere, or venerate, no!

When forced to admit that they do, in fact, worship Mary, Catholics will claim that they worship God through her, by praising the wonderful creation that God has made. Mary, in their minds, is the most beautiful and wonderful creation of God, and by praising her, they are praising her Creator. For Catholics, this is analogous to directing praise to an artist by praising his sculpture or painting. The problem with this is that God explicitly commands against worshipping Him through created things. We are not to bow down and worship anything in the form of heaven above or earth below (Exodus 20:4-5(NLT)“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.).

Romans 1:25(ESV) could not be more clear, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.” Yes, God has created wonderful and amazing things. Yes, Mary was a godly woman who is worthy of our respect. No, we absolutely are not to worship God “vicariously” by praising things (or people) He has created. Doing so is blatant idolatry.

The terminology is not the issue. Whether the practice is described as “worship” or “veneration,” or any other term, the problem is the same. Any time we ascribe something that belongs to God, to someone else, it is idolatry. The Bible nowhere instructs us to revere, pray to, rely on, or “idolize” anyone other than God. We are to worship God alone.

Example of a prayer to Mary called Hail Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy,

our life, our sweetness and our hope.

To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve:

to thee do we send up our sighs,

mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Turn then, most gracious Advocate,

thine eyes of mercy toward us,

and after this our exile,

show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.

 

Excerpt from ourCatholicprayers.com Some people ask “why say prayers to saints? Shouldn’t all our prayers be to God?” Praying to the saints is praying to God, in a fundamental way. We’re praying to those who can ask God to help us in our various needs in accordance with His will.

When you ask someone to pray for you are you worshiping that person? Of course not! It’s the same when we ask the saints to pray for us! In our prayers to saints we ask them to “put in a good word” for us with God in Heaven. They are not the focus of our worship, God is.

In this regard, it is worth noting that many compilations of prayers to saints also include prayers by them as well, to our Lord. The important thing to remember is that all these prayers have the same Divine destination, for our salvation.

Many prayers to saints take these “patrons” into account. For example, people pray to St. Anthony for lost items; to St. Jude (or perhaps St. Rita) for lost causes; to St. Gerard for motherhood; to St. Peregrine for Cancer victims; and to St. Dymphna for those with mental or nervous disorders, or epilepsy. For many years the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel was included at the end of Mass for his help in defeating Satan.

Would you like to get closer to our Blessed Mother? There are some wonderful Marian Prayers that can help give us the graces we need for our salvation. These include such essentials as the Rosary, the Hail Mary, the Hail Holy Queen the Memorare, the Angelus, the hymn Ave Maris Stella, and the Magnificat (Mary’s canticle of praise for our Lord).

Surrender Yourself to Jesus Through Mary

Not long before becoming pope, Our Holy Father Pope Francis (as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio) urged the world to look towards Mary and the Holy Family with fervor for defense and protection.  He promoted St. John Bosco’s famous dream asserting: “Devotion to Mary, along with the Eucharist, are the immovable anchors that will guide the Church on the path to Heaven.”  As Cardinal, Pope Francis professed “The Eucharist has been given to us so that our life, like that of Mary, can completely become a Magnificat.”

In a recent approved message by the Church to Elizabeth Kindelmann of Hungary, our Blessed Mother professed: “This Flame of Grace coming from my Immaculate Heart must go from heart to heart.  It will be the Great Miracle whose light will blind Satan.”  Our Lord Jesus stated: “I could compare this torrential flood (of grace) to the first Pentecost…This renewing of the earth, tested by suffering, will take place through the power and imploring force of the Blessed Virgin!”  As times grow darker, the protection of the Consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart grows more important and more necessary to every faithful Catholic.  If we love God, how can we deny Him this request? “The most effective way to have devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Mary is therefore found on the path that leads from the Father to humanity as the mother who gives the Saviour Son to all. At the same time, she is on the path that human beings must take in order to go to the Father through Christ in the Spirit

Keep in mind that God also calls on us to be saints. If this seems like too tall an order, remember that, with God’s help we can live our lives reflecting His love and goodness, letting Him work through us, just like the saints!

As we read in the wonderful prayer of St. Francis “Lord make me an instrument of your peace…grant that I may not so much seek to be loved as to love.” Just ask for God’s help in prayer. Remember, He’s an important part of your prayers to saints as well. Well, isn’t that good to know that God is and important part of your prayers to the saints

1 Timothy 2:5 (ESV)declares, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” There is no one else that can mediate with God for us. If Jesus is the ONLY mediator, that indicates Mary and the saints cannot be mediators. They cannot mediate our prayer requests to God. Further, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ Himself is interceding for us before the Father: Hebrews 7:25(ESV)“Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them”. With Jesus Himself interceding for us, why would we need Mary or the saints to intercede for us? Whom would God listen to more closely than His Son? Romans 8:26-27 describes the Holy Spirit interceding for us. With the 2nd and 3rd members of the Trinity already interceding for us before the Father in heaven, what possible need could there be to have Mary or the saints interceding for us?

Covenant vs Contractual

Covenant in the Bible. the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture. The agreement between God and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to protect them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him. a formal agreement of legal validity, especially one under seal.

Difference between covenant and contract With a contract, if one agreeing party does something in violation of the contract then it is considered broken. The whole contract becomes null and void. Basically the signers of a contract agree to hold up their ends as long as the other signatories hold up theirs too.

With a covenant, both parties agree to hold up their ends regardless of whether the other party keeps their part of the agreement. A violation of a covenant by one party doesn’t matter as far as the other party’s responsibility to continue to do what they agreed to do.

1 Samuel 18:3-4(HCSB) Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as much as himself. Then Jonathan removed the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt.

 The making of a covenant was serious business. It was the strongest bond known to men, and had both business and personal applications that extended even to the descendants of the two parties involved. A covenant was typically solemnized by great ceremony and ritual, some of which is mentioned in the passage above. All in all it went like this.

First, several animals were cut in half and arranged along a path. Their purpose was to symbolize the penalty for breaking the covenant. The two men entering into a covenant relationship walked between and around the animal parts in a figure eight. (An eight on its side is the symbol for infinity.) This was to show that they understood and accepted the penalty and that the agreement committed them forever. (When God entered into His covenant with Abraham, promising him an heir and giving him the Promised Land, He was the only one who walked between the animals. This meant that only He was bound to the terms. There was nothing Abraham had to do. In fact, God put him to sleep so he couldn’t participate. The land was given to Abraham and his descendants unconditionally and in perpetuity (Gen.15:9-21).

Seven Symbolic Steps

Then they performed up to seven ceremonial acts; each also designed to underscore the seriousness and permanence of the relationship they were entering. In the passage above, we see David and Jonathan formalizing their covenant with the first two of these.

  1. Each man handed his outer garment to the other, symbolizing that everything belonging to one also belonged to the other.
  2. Exchanging sword, bow, and other weapons indicated that each was pledging himself to the other’s defense; placing his power, as it were, at the other’s disposal.
  3. They each cut themselves in the wrist to make their blood flow and then joined their right hands and forearms together in a gesture from which we get the modern handshake. The idea here was that the blood from one was now mixed with the blood from the other. The two had become one. In some cultures a bride and groom still cut themselves this way and mingle their blood during their wedding ceremony, and the American Indian notion of becoming “blood brothers” is also derived from this. (The Hebrew word translated covenant comes from a root that means to cut. It could apply to the animals, the men, or both.)

We often hear the phrase, “blood is thicker than water.” It usually refers to the strength of family relationships, but its original intent was different. It meant that the blood of the covenant surpassed the birth waters. As Jonathan’s actions toward David demonstrate, covenant relationships exceeded family ties in strength and durability 1 Samuel 19:1-3 (HCSB)Saul ordered his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. But Saul’s son Jonathan liked David very much, so he told him: “My father Saul intends to kill you. Be on your guard in the morning and hide in a secret place and stay there. I’ll go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are and talk to him about you. When I see what he says, I’ll tell you.”.

  1. They let the cut heal in such a way as to leave a visible scar on their wrist. This was to alert people that they were stronger than they appeared to be, since others stood behind them pledged to their defense.
  2. They shared a ceremonial meal, usually of bread and wine. It was another way of uniting them since to this day middle-Easterners believe that sharing from the same loaf of bread or the same flask of wine binds the participants together. In the first Biblical mention of this, Melchizedek and Abraham shared such a meal (Genesis 14:18).
  3. Still another way was for each to take a portion of the other’s name, similar to the way the bride takes the name of the groom in Western culture. (When God entered into a covenant with Abram He changed his name to Abraham, requiring us to exhale when we speak his name. The exhaled breath symbolizes the Ruach Elohim or Spirit of God.)
  4. And finally they built a monument or memorial to the ceremony. This could be something as simple as a pile of stones or as complex as a forest or a flock of animals, such as when Jacob and Laban formed their covenant (Genesis 30:25-36).

They went through such ceremony because their lives depended on their covenant partners. There could be no doubt in their minds as to each other’s reliability.

Today in our culture, however, we have lost the understanding of covenants. We only think in terms of contracts. In our minds all of our agreements are contingent on both parties holding up their ends.

Perhaps that is why we have so many lawyers. Since everything is now based on contracts in our minds we need gobs of lawyers to tell us what we can and cannot do.

Or maybe it’s the other way around and because we have so many lawyers we have fixated on contracts and lost sight of covenants.

Either way, our lost understanding of covenants has significant repercussions in our society.

Perhaps the biggest challenge that comes out of “contract thinking” is that we misunderstand our relationship with God.

We naturally filter everything we understand about God in terms of a contract. We assume that if we don’t hold up our end then, contractually, God won’t hold up his. As a result we find it impossible to approach a Holy God because we know we can never hold up our end of the bargain. The standard is perfection and we know we’re not perfect.

The new covenant is spoken about first in the book of Jeremiah. The old covenant that God had established with His people required obedience to the Old Testament Mosaic law. Romans 6:23(HCSB) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. the law required that people perform rituals and sacrifices in order to please God and remain in His grace. The prophet Jeremiah predicted that there would be a time when God would make a new covenant with the nation of Israel.

“‘The day will come,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. . . . But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,’ says the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people’” (Jeremiah 31:31, 33). Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law of Moses Matthew 5:17(HCSB) “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. and create a new covenant between God and His people. The old covenant was written in stone, but the new covenant is written on our hearts, made possible only by faith in Christ, who shed His own blood to atone for the sins of the world. Luke 22:20 (ESV) says, “And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’”

Now that we are under the new covenant, we are not under the penalty of the law. We are now given the opportunity to receive salvation as a free gift Ephesians 2:8-9 (HCSB)For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. Through the life-giving Holy Spirit who lives in all believers (Romans 8:9-11You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.), we can now share in the inheritance of Christ and enjoy a permanent, unbroken relationship with God. Hebrews 9:15 declares, “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

 God has a Covenant with us not a contract

Then He told us what His Son did for us. He said that Jesus,

  1. Gave us His robes of righteousness and clothed Himself in our garment of sin.
  2. Pledged His sword (the Word of His mouth) to our defense.
  3. In being nailed to the cross, His wrists were cut and allowed to heal so as to leave scars as evidence of the covenant.
  4. Allowed His blood to flow into and over us, cleansing us of all our impurities.
  5. Shared a covenant meal of bread and wine with us and asked that we do this with each other as a memorial to Him.
  6. Gave us His name, for we are called Christians.
  7. Built a monument, His covenant flock, and said the gates of Hell would not prevail against it.

And as in Abraham’s case, all we have to do is receive it. It’s unconditional and perpetual.

Mardi Gras is Idolatry

Why is Mardi Gras Non-Christian

From the beginning, God’s covenant with Israel was based on exclusive worship of Him alone (Exodus 20:3 Do not have other gods besides Me.; Deuteronomy 5:7 Do not have other gods besides Me.). The Israelites were not even to mention the names of false gods (Exodus 23:13 “Pay strict attention to everything I have said to you. You must not invoke the names of other gods; they must not be heard on your lips.) Because to do so would acknowledge their existence and give credence to their power and influence over the people. Israel was forbidden to intermarry with other cultures who embraced false gods, because God knew this would lead to compromise. The book of Hosea uses the imagery of adultery to describe Israel’s continual chasing after other gods, like an unfaithful wife chases after other men. The history of Israel is a sad chronicle of idol worship, punishment, restoration and forgiveness, followed by a return to idolatry. The books of 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, and 1 & 2 Chronicles reveal this destructive pattern. The Old Testament prophets endlessly prophesied dire consequences for Israel if they continued in their idolatry. Mostly, they were ignored until it was too late and God’s wrath against idol-worship was poured out on the nation. But ours is a merciful God, and He never failed to forgive and restore them when they repented and sought His forgiveness.

There was a festival going on in Ephesus that involved parading idols (specifically Diana and Dionysus) stone figures before the people so that they might worship and appeal to the gods the stone were supposed to represent. Timothy could see the faces of the people who put their hopes in dead stone. They sought healing and help and they received nothing but disappointment. Recalling the day he had seen God heal a crippled boy, his heart burned at the thought of misplaced faith and so he took to the street and stood in front of the parade to preach words of true hope and effective faith. They screamed for him to stop and he continued anyway because he had been trained and taught by Paul that the Gospel was worth suffering for. So, he was beaten savagely and dragged by his clothes and arms through the street before those who had such desperate hope stoned him to death and made him a martyr. Fox’s book of Martyrs.

Why I take such a stand on not going to a Mardi Gras Parade?
Judges 3:The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; they forgot the Lord their God and worshiped the Baals and the Asherahs.

Judges 10:Then the Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They worshiped the Baals and the Ashtoreths, the gods of Aram, Sidon, and Moab, and the gods of the Ammonites and the Philistines. They abandoned Yahweh and did not worship Him.

Exodus 32:When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god[a] who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!”

Then Aaron replied to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from their hands, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it into an image of a calf.

Then they said, “Israel, this is your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”

 

Exodus 32: 35 And the Lord inflicted a plague on the people for what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

When the children of Israel was in Idol Worship not only the ones who did the worship were punished but EVERY ONE OF THEM!!!

Mardi Gras represents a blend of religion and immorality, steeped in ancient pagan fertility rites. Many of the parades celebrate and honor false gods such as Bacchus and Venus; others promote fornication and drunkenness—conduct that ends marriages, breaks up families and destroys lives! Professing Christians should take heed: Drunkenness, fornication and such reveling are among the kinds of conduct that exclude one from inheriting the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9 (HCSB)Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, 10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. 11 And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Common names of local parades

Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek divine hero Heracles, who was the son of Zeus (Roman equivalent Jupiter) and the mortal Alcmene.

Aquarius is the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation Aquarius.

Titans In Greek mythology, the Titans were a primeval race of powerful deities, descendants of Gaia (Earth) and Uranus(Sky), that ruled during the legendary Golden Age. They were immortal giants of incredible strength and were also the first pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses.

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus.

Dionysus or Bacchus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology.

The city of Ephesus itself was filled with the worship, not only of Diana (or Artemis), but also of Dionysus.As with the worship of Diana, that of Dionysus was heavily sexual. This worship, like the religions of the Canaanites, with emphasis on pornographic images and vulgar songs, was supposed to please the god so that he would grant to his devotees the gifts of health and fertility

This may come as a surprise, but Mardi Gras long predates Christianity. The earliest record comes from ancient times, when tribes celebrated a fertility festival that welcomed the arrival of spring, a time of renewal of life. The Romans called this pagan festival Lupercalia in honor of “Lupercus,” the Roman god of fertility. Lupercalia was a drunken orgy of merrymaking held each February in Rome, after which participants fasted for 40 days.

Interestingly, similar to modern celebrations, the Romans donned masks, dressed in costumes and indulged all of their fleshly desires as they gave themselves to the gods “Bacchus” (god of wine) and “Venus” (goddess of love). The masks and costumes were used as disguises to allow sexual liberties not normally permitted as individuals engaged in “bacchanal,” the drunken and riotous occasion in honor of Bacchus. (The word “bacchanal” is still associated with Carnival celebrations to this day.)

As pagans converted to Catholicism, they did not want to give up this popular celebration. Church leaders, seeing that it was impossible to divorce the new converts from their pagan customs, decided to “Christianize” this festival. Thus, Carnival was created as a time of merrymaking immediately preceding their pagan 40-day fast, which the church renamed “Lent.” During Carnival, participants indulged in madness and all aspects of pleasure allowable, including gluttony, drunkenness and fornication.

It is hypocritical for anyone who claims to seek or serve the true God to participate in a festival that originates from paganism and promotes immoral behavior. Not only should Christians not participate in evil, God commands them to avoid even the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22 Stay away from every kind of evil.) This certainly applies to Mardi Gras.

What about Lent? As noted earlier, the Catholic Church incorporated the 40-day fast that the pagans had been observing and renamed it Lent. This, too, is an unscriptural custom, and should be avoided by anyone striving to obey God.

Any festival or religious observance of pagan origin is unacceptable to God, the “Lord” of the Old Testament

Deuteronomy 12:29(HCSB) “When the Lord your God annihilates the nations before you, which you are entering to take possession of, and you drive them out and live in their land, 30 be careful not to be ensnared by their ways after they have been destroyed before you. Do not inquire about their gods, asking, ‘How did these nations worship their gods? I’ll also do the same.’ 31 You must not do the same to the Lord your God, because they practice every detestable thing, which the Lord hates, for their gods. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 You must be careful to do everything I command you; do not add anything to it or take anything away from it.

1 Corinthians 10:14 So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. 

Mardi Gras is idol worship, when you have a parade you honor something, when you lift your hands in expectance of a reward you are worshipping—-plain and simple.

Believers in Jesus Christ are simply in the world—physically present—but not of it, not part of its values John 17:14-15 I have given them Your word.The world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world.15 I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. As believers, we should be set apart from the world. This is the meaning of being holy and living a holy, righteous life—to be set apart. We are not to engage in the sinful activities the world promotes, nor are we to retain the insipid, corrupt mind that the world creates. Rather, we are to conform ourselves, and our minds, to that of Jesus Christ Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. This is a daily activity and commitment.

We must also understand that being in the world, but not of it, is necessary if we are to be a light to those who are in spiritual darkness. We are to live in such a way that those outside the faith see our good deeds and our manner and know that there is something “different” about us. Christians who make every effort to live, think and act like those who do not know Christ do Him a great disservice. Even the heathen knows that “Matthew 7:16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles?,” and as Christians, we should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit within us.

Being “in” the world also means we can enjoy the things of the world, such as the beautiful creation God has given us, but we are not to immerse ourselves in what the world values, nor are we to chase after worldly pleasures. Pleasure is no longer our calling in life, as it once was, but rather the worship of God is our calling now.

I recognize that Christians will have different personal convictions in matters of culture and I welcome those differences that are not sinful, because what pleases God is unity, not uniformity. Uniformity undermines mission and often is promoted by erroneous restrictive and permissive theologies. Restrictive Christians go too far and name everything a universal sin, forbidding some cultural activities that the Bible does not, such as listening to certain musical styles, getting tattoos, watching movies, smoking cigarettes, consuming alcohol moderately, and body piercing. Conversely, permissive Christians tend to name everything a particular sin and bless activities that the Bible forbids, such as drug use, fornication, homosexuality, and cohabitation before marriage.

Engaging culture requires discernment by God’s people to filter all of the cultures they encounter, Christian and non-Christian, through a biblical and theological grid in order to cling to that which is good and reject that which is evil.

In light of its sordid origin, should Mardi Gras still be viewed as harmless fun? Does God allow Christians to cast off all restraint and participate in its festivities—drunkenness, lewdness, public nudity, homosexuality, illicit sex, revelry and brawling—which He calls “the works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.?

Eternal Security vs Conditional Salvation

When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their eternal security. Jude 24-25 (HCSB) Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.

God’s power is able to keep the believer from falling. It is up to Him, not us, to present us before His glorious presence. Our eternal security is a result of God keeping us, not us maintaining our own salvation. Because if we had to “MAINTAIN” our Salvation then it would be a works based salvation, not a grace based salvation.

The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, John 10:27-29(HSCB) My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. Both Jesus and the Father have us firmly grasped in their hand. Who could possibly separate us from the grip of both the Father and the Son? Jesus tells us that he gives eternal life to the sheep, the Christians.  He clearly and definitely states that they shall never perish.  There is no qualifier here.  There is no statement such as, “they shall never perish if they remain faithful.”  There is only the clear declaration that they shall never perish.  This inability to perish is a result of the Lord Jesus giving them eternal life.

Furthermore, Jesus says that no one shall snatch them out of his hand, which further emphasizes the idea that those who have eternal life will never perish.  But, can we snatch ourselves out of Jesus’ hand?  No, we can’t because the term “no one” includes the person who is saved.  Therefore, you cannot snatch yourself out of Christ’s hand.

There are opponents to this position that would state elsewhere in Scripture such declarations exist that teach we can lose our salvation.

Ephesians 4:30 (HCSB) And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption. tells us that believers are “sealed for the day of redemption.” If believers did not have eternal security, the sealing could not truly be unto the day of redemption, but only to the day of sinning, apostasy, or disbelief. John 3:15-16 (HCSB) so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. This tells us that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal life.” If a person were to be promised eternal life, but then have it taken away, it was never “eternal” to begin with. If eternal security is not true, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.

What sin is so big that Jesus’ death could not atone for it? There is none that I know of.Every sin that man can commit against God and man, even the most heinous was dealt with at the cross of Calvary. If this is so, then what sin can be so bad that it would cause God to “unforgive” that which He has already paid for?

The most powerful argument for eternal security is Romans 8:38-39 (HCSB)For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers,39 height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Our eternal security is based on God’s love for those whom He has redeemed. Our eternal security is purchased by Christ, promised by the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Please understand that eternal security is not a license to sin.  The Christian is regenerated.  He is changed from within–being made a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17 (HCSB) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.)  Those who were indwelt by the Holy Spirit will war with their sin and not seek to abide in it.  Those who declare that they are eternally secure and then go out and sin on purpose in any manner they so choose are probably not saved to begin with since this is contradictory to what Scripture teaches.  1 John 2:4-5 (HCSB) The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” yet doesn’t keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected. This is how we know we are in Him:

 There are a lot of verses raised by Christians who believe it is possible to lose one’s salvation.  I could analyze each one and provide explanations of how they fit together, but it would not be necessary if we can find Scripture that clearly states that a person cannot lose his salvation.  If found, this would mean that any other Scriptures used to teach we can lose our salvation must be interpreted in a manner consistent with the one(s) that clearly say we can’t.

John 6:37-40 (HSCB) 37 Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

1 John 2:19 (HCSB) They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.

The context is as follows.  In 1:1-4, John speaks about the manifestation of Christ in the world.  In 1:5-10 he speaks about God being light and the forgiveness of our sins.  In 2:1-6 John says he writes so that we will not sin, that Christ is the propitiation for our sins, and that we are to keep his commandments so as to demonstrate that we are walking in him. In 2:7-11 is where John writes about a new commandment–about loving your brother and walking in the light rather than darkness.  In 2:12-14 he tells us that our sins are forgiven and that we have overcome the evil one.  In 2:15-17 John tells us not to love the world and that the world is passing away with its lusts.  In 2:18-24 he writes about the Antichrist and those who deny the Son.  In 2:25ff he speaks of the promise of eternal life and of loving one another, etc.

So, 2:18 is the immediate context of John telling us that many antichrists have arisen, and then in v. 19 he says that they were not from us.  Now, some people say this verse does not prove eternal security because the people who left were antichrists; and they naturally would not have stayed. But, John is not telling us that if the antichrists had been of them, they would have stayed with him.  That would make no sense.  The reason the antichrists left was to show they were not of us, that is, of God.  John declares that if these people had been “of us, they would have remained.”  Antichrists aren’t going to remain; only the true believers will.

To me, this declares clearly that those who really are of God will remain; and those who are not will leave.  It does not say that Christians become antichrists or that Christians lose their salvation.  It differentiates between those who are true and false and states that the false will leave and the true will stay.

Again eternal security (the position that a Christian cannot lose his salvation) is not a license to sin. Such accusations are made by those who believe they can lose their salvation and thus have to maintain it either through obeying the commandments of God or by their deliberate act of remaining faithful to him. I have never heard any believer in eternal security ever make the statement that since he is secure in Christ, it’s okay for him to sin. In fact, I have always heard the opposite, and those I have encountered who believe in their security in Christ have universally sought holiness before the Lord Jesus.

Romans 6:1-2(HCSB) What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Romans 6:6-8(HCSB) For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him,

 Those who truly are born again are also regenerate, and those who are regenerate have the Holy Spirit in them (Romans 8:9-14; Galatians 4:6) who convicts of sin (John 16:8). Also, those who are truly born again are new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17). In other words, real Christians are really changed. Real Christians war against their sin as is exemplified by the apostle Paul in Romans 7:18-25. And, real Christians have recognized they have sinned against God and have trusted in Christ to deliver them from their sins. If there is no war against sin, then there is no evidence of regeneration. Therefore, anyone who would say that once he is saved he can go out and sin all he wants is actually implying he is not regenerated.

  • Titus 1:16, “They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.
  • 1 John 1:6, “If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth.
  • 1 John 2:4, “ The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” yet doesn’t keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
  • 1 John 4:20, “ If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen.

We are not kept in the faith by our good works. However, our faith should be manifested by our good works. Likewise, Scripture tells us that if we say we believe in Christ and yet go on walking in darkness, then we are liars (1 John 1:6) and the truth is not in us (1 John 2:4).

Contemporary Christianity has a shallow view of salvation. Many people don’t understand the security of the believer. God, in eternity past, chose us to believe in the truth (2 Thess. 2:13 ). Now we have to show a response. I don’t fully understand how those two come together. Some people think that the people who go to hell go there because God rejected them. But the Bible says that people go to hell because they reject the gospel (John 3:18). That may not make sense to us, but it shouldn’t matter. God is smarter than us. Would you want a God who is our equal? I wouldn’t!

For if you did “lose” your salvation then it is impossible to get it back. Hebrews 6(HCSB)For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away, because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt.

You are no more justified the first day you accepted Christ than the your last day on earth, you may be more sanctified but you are no more justified. A Christian is justified. Romans 5:1 (ESV)“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” To “justify” means to “declare righteous.” All those who receive Jesus as Savior are “declared righteous” by God. For a Christian to lose salvation, God would have to go back on His Word and “un-declare” what He had previously declared.

The other side of the coin is conditional security.

“Conditional security” is a theological term used in reference to the salvation of believers in Jesus Christ. It describes the supposedly tentative quality of the Christian’s salvation. In other words, a Christian’s salvation is “conditionally secure.” This begs the question: upon what condition is the believer’s salvation secure? Proponents of conditional security assert that the salvation is conditional upon remaining faithful until the very end. To use an analogy the Bible uses, the athlete must finish the race in order to receive the prize.

Matthew 24:11-13 (ESV)“And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Romans 8:12-14 (ESV)“So therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-2(ESV)“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

Galatians 6:7-9 (ESV)“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

These passages, and many others that could be cited, point to the conditional quality of the believer’s salvation. In each of these passages, the biblical author (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) uses conditional language (e.g., if you endure, then you will be saved) to highlight the nature of the believer’s security in Christ. In order to ensure the security of our salvation, the believer must:

1) Endure to the end

2) live by the Spirit

3) hold fast to the preached word

4) sow to the Spirit.

It’s not as if the gift of salvation is lacking in any way, but the individual believer must earnestly strive to remain faithful.

We do nothing to obtain or earn salvation (salvation being a free gift of God’s grace), then how can we lose salvation? Conditional security is acceptable only to those who also believe that they somehow contributed to their salvation in the first place (which Arminian theology logically implies).

Ephesians 2:8-9(ESV) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast,” which clearly states that we contribute absolutely nothing to our salvation; even the faith necessary to receive the gift of grace, is itself a gift from God.

On the other hand, conditional security gives man a reason to boast in the end. If by my cooperation with the Spirit of God I remain faithful to the end, I can boast (a little) about how I was able to stay the course and finish the race. However, there will be no boasting in heaven except to boast in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:31). The doctrine of conditional security is not biblical; the Bible is quite clear that we persevere because God preserves us.

Salvation is a gift. And therefore, if it is a gift that God gives, it would have to be a gift that God would have to take back. And what would cause Him to take it back? He saved you when you were a lost sinner. Why would He take away your salvation because you fall or stumble or make a mistake or sin?

He’s not going to take your salvation back. He is a giver and He doesn’t take His gifts back. In fact, the Bible says in Romans 11 that “The gifts of God are without repentance.” They’re irrevocable. God doesn’t take His gifts back. And one of those gifts is salvation. And that Scripture is the proof that He won’t take your salvation away from you, because it is a free gift.

So you’ve got to keep putting your faith in Jesus Christ and keep standing on His Word but it will not keep you saved. The only way to lose your salvation, I guess, would be for you to reject Jesus and say, “I don’t want Him any more, I don’t believe in Jesus any more, I don’t believe He died for my sins and rose from the dead. I don’t even believe in God any more.” If you really felt that way, then I guess you wouldn’t be saved. But I don’t believe you ever really were saved if you could come to that place where you don’t believe Him any more.

Common Union

Luke 22:14-20(HCSB) 14 When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

20 In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.

Jesus had fervent desire to eat with His disciples, FERVENT –  very hot glowing exhibiting or marked by great intensity of feeling, Passionate
DESIRE – a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment:

Communion is common unity, common Union. Communion it literally means intimacy. It is the divine remembrance of the life of a holy God invested into the heart of a people to transform the way the did life in front of a culture of people.

Jesus said to do this before He went to the cross, He could’ve waited till after the resurrection because He ate with men after He was resurrected. So if he just wanted them to remember the cross, He would’ve done it after the ressurection and said now do this in remembrance of me. Why did He do it before? Because Jesus didn’t come just to save us from hell. He came to give us permission to gain back what Adam forfeited in the garden. The Holy Spirit. Jesus restored what Adam failed in. FELLOWSHIP with the father. Now instead of the ritualistic slaughter etc. It is his blood that let’s us into the holy of holies to talk with our father. He didn’t just come as fire insurance He came to show us we can live a life free from the bondage of sin and conquer the flesh by a desire and have a hunger to go after God. He conquered temptation everyday and He said when you eat this remember that. Remember that your not at the mercy of your enemy anymore, remember I defeated him at the cross, I defeated him when I snatched the keys of death, hell and the grave. I defeated him with I sit at the right hand of the father forever making intercession for you. Remember your not at the mercy of your flesh anymore, because for 33 years I lived not subject to the desires of my flesh I conquered the desires of the flesh and did not give into temptation. Do this in remembrance of me. And your going to remember that you are what you eat. You are Christ like!  He came and conquered sin

Paul calls communion “The Lord’s Supper” 1 Corinthians 10:16(HCSB) The cup of blessing that we give thanks for, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?
Koinonia (COY-NO-KNEE-A )communion, joint participation; the share which one has in anything, participation, a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, inter course etc. It identifies the idealized state of fellowship and unity that should exist within the Christian church, the Body of Christ. Any common meal certainly could represent a “sharing”. The koinonia is viewed as much deeper, however, when the meal is associated with a spiritual purpose.
It literally means our courses intertwine. It means mine course is intertwined with your course. It is one of the reasons why it is given as a term to the intimacy that goes on inside of the marriage bed. Because it is not just about two people having a physical experience, it’s about two peoples courses being intertwined. Your people will be my people, your God will be my God, where you go I go. It’s the beautiful words of a covenant that says all our people will come together and share a meal and share whatever we have in common that cancels out whatever we don’t have in common. Our courses get intertwined. We are bound together with cords that cannot be broken. We are eating the exact same thing at the exact same time, we feed on Him.

The idea of community denotes a “common unity” of purpose and interests. By engaging in this united relationship a new level of consciousness and conscience emerges that spurs the group to higher order thinking and action, thus empowering and encouraging its members to exist in a mutually beneficial relationship. Thus community and family become closely intertwined, because aiming at a common unity strives to overcome brokenness, divisiveness, and, ultimately gaining wholeness with each of the members, with their environment, and with God. By giving mutual support, friendship and family merge. Both fellowship and community imply an inner and outer unity.

Don’t let this become a glorified hand washing station, but let us come together as a people who worship, praise and do life together as Jesus did with His disciples. We look at each other’s as brothers and sisters, fathers, mothers, our kids look at the older people as aunts and uncles. It not just something we do on Sunday’s but something we do everyday and our lives start being intertwined. Some of us don’t want that but those that do will ask “how can we get more deeply rooted in Him?” How can we get more passionate about Jesus?” What can we get rid of in our lives to make more room for Him? Jesus lived His life in front of His disciples that caused them to live in such a way that we are still reading and talking about it today. Colossians 3:1-4(HCSB)So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

So we can stay in our home and scream at the darkness or we can go out and shine His light.

2 Peter 1:4 (HCSB)By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.

Galatians 5:16-17 (HCSB)I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.

The question is not rather or not is it right or wrong but does it generate a hunger or thirst for the things of the spirit.

If you don’t want it to live quit feeding it. If you quit eating it long enough you will stop craving it. If you don’t want time with Jesus it’s an indicator that you haven’t spent time with him to perpetuate the cravings in your spirit for more of Him. Hunger is not a gift but a choice. If you see someone with a supernatural hunger for God it’s because they chose to eat those things of the spirit and starve the flesh.

We start looking for liberties, it’s not sin but it’s not healthy for the spirit. Some music out there is not sinful but it will not generate the appetite inside of you to successfully feed your spirit.

It’s not sin to listen to it and it’s not legalism to not listen, it’s liberty to let the appetite of the spirit dictate what you are ingesting.

The question for me is not is this sin or not anymore, I moved on from that , I grew. The question now for me is, will it feed my spirit? Will it bring the spiritual nourishment I need for my spirit or will it feed my flesh? Can I watch that? Sure but will I grow spiritually from it?

Will it make me hungrier for Him? Or will it generate a hunger, a craving for things that I don’t want to be hungry for anymore?

The more we eat Him. The more we will produce his nature naturally. We will start responding to people differently.

Do you know why stray cats and dogs hang around? Because you feed it. Lust hangs around because you feed it. You can’t say you can’t get rid of lust when you keep going to those sites, looking at women, etc.

You must have an appetite for one meal. The meal of the spirit.

Baptism is washing away the old. Death, burial, & resurrection

The bible was talking about water baptism long before Jesus stepped into the river Jordan.

The Israelites walked through the Red Sea being followed by Egypt. But Egypt didn’t come out on the other side. Everything that was chasing them before they stepped into the water wasn’t chasing them when they stepped out on the other side. Egypt is bondage. Same as baptism, what you go into the water with doesn’t come up with you. Addiction can follow you into the water but it can’t follow you out. Lust can follow you into the water but it can’t follow you out.

Pride can follow you in but only one can come out from under the supernatural washing that occurs during baptism.

Heart Checks

The Bible has much to say about the heart. In Scripture, the heart refers not so much to an organ that pumps blood throughout the body as it does to the core of the soul, the deepest seat of human affections. It is out of the heart that the issues of life flow. Jesus saw a close connection between the location of our treasures and the drive of our hearts. Find a man’s treasure map and you have found the highway of his heart.

Its not a matter of sin management but of worship alteration, Matthew 5:13 (HCSB)“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men.

 3 things salt does

Penetrates: 
 silently, completely & naturally.

Irritates: 
 open wound, cleanses, heals.


Preserves: flavor (oil), thirst, saturates stops putrefaction.

The “heart” is a very important word because God is so deeply concerned about the inner man or the condition of the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? 10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.

These passages teach us that the Lord looks at and searches the heart, the inner person. Why is the heart so important? Because the issues of life—our actions, works, pursuits, etc.—all proceed from the heart (Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Matthew 6:21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Matthew 12:34  You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

Matthew 15:18 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

What we do in word and deed is first of all a product of what we are on the inside.

In His Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus spoke strongly against the mere external, performance-oriented hypocrisy of the religious Pharisees. In Matthew 5:17-48, no less than six times He contrasted the mere external approach to the Old Testament Scripture, as it was taught by the Pharisees, with His own teaching which, of course, was accorded with the true design of God’s Word. He did this by the following statements: Matthew 5:21(HCSB) “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. 22 But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire. 23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Reach a settlement quickly with your adversary while you’re on the way with him, or your adversary will hand you over to the judge, the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 I assure you: You will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny!

Adultery in the Heart

27 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery.28 But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell!

Divorce Practices Censured

31 “It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce. 32 But I tell you, everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Tell the Truth

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord. 34 But I tell you, don’t take an oath at all: either by heaven, because it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, because it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither should you swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37 But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.

Go the Second Mile

38 “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

6 times Jesus “corrected” what they have heard…

“You have heard … but I say to you …” (vss. 21-22)
“You have heard … but I say to you …” (vss. 27-28)
“It was said … but I say to you …” (vss. 31-32)
“You have heard … but I say to you …” (vss. 33-34)
“You have heard … but I say to you …” (vss. 38-39)
“You have heard … but I say to you …” (vss. 43-44)

Matthew 5: 27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery. 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

What was the Lord showing the people? He was calling their attention to the moral precepts they had been taught by their religious leaders for years, precepts which had their source in the Old Testament Scriptures. But then, with the words, “but I say to you,” He readdressed those same issues as, first and foremost, matters of the heart. This and only this is authentic Christianity. Biblical Christianity centers in an inward, intimate walk with God by faith. Anything else is nothing more than religious hypocrisy.

For instance, Jesus teaches us that adultery and murder begin in the heart. You may not have literally committed adultery, but if you look at a woman or a man with that in view, you have already committed adultery. Where? In your heart! (Matthew 5:28). Our walk with God is always a matter of the heart.

Since the heart is so important to what we think, say, and do, we each need to regularly do open heart surgery with the scalpel of the Word under the guiding hand of the great physician, the Lord Jesus. We accomplish this through the teaching, guiding, convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. Like a sharp two-edged sword, the Word divides the inner man to reveal the true condition and needs of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12).

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 

The Heart Needs Purifying

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

How do we overcome?

(1) The heart is purified by being renewed. The mind needs renewing in its ideas, values, motives, and beliefs. The thoughts and intents of the heart need to be changed through storing and meditating on the Word. Included here is the idea of exchanging our viewpoint for God’s (Romans 12:2(HCSB)Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Isa. 55:8f; Ps. 51:10; 119:9-11; Pr. 3:3; 7:3; 2 Cor. 4:16; Eph. 2:23).

(2) The heart is purified by being tested

Deuteronomy 8:2 (ESV)And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.;

Jeremiah 17:10 (HCSB) I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve. 

Psalms. 139:23-24 (ESV)Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!). One of the reasons for suffering and trials and the varied irritations that God either brings or allows is to reveal the condition of our hearts, to show its true colors that we might see our sin and deal with it through confession and faith in God’s provision.

(3) The heart is purified by confession or repentance (Acts 8:22(HCSB) Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.). This is vital to the whole process, of course.