Ephesians Pt 13 Walk in the Light

Ephesians 5:1-14(ESV)5 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, 

“Awake, O sleeper, 

and arise from the dead, 

and Christ will shine on you.” 

Last week I spoke on it is not what you say as much as it is why you are saying it, this also goes with anger, it is why you are angry that determines if it is sin or not. Motive means everything, but crude joking, filthiness, foolish talk there is never a place for that. Harsh language is sometimes necessary but as far vulgar, crude joking there is never a place for that. Paul is writing here to let us know that we should be imitators of God and therefore no sexual immorality, no crude joking, impure or covetous thinking or behaving is allowed. God is very serious about these things. So much so that Paul writes these serious words to the church in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 5:9–13(ESV)I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” 

If you claim the name of Christ, you can and should be judged by those in the Church. If you insist on perpetuating a false teaching, or affirming sin and sinful lifestyles, it is the responsibility of Christians to correct your error graciously and Scripturally, and it is your responsibility to submit to the authority of Scripture, or to deny your faith.

Disagree? Then disagree with Paul.

Ephesians 5:6-7(ESV)Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them;

6. Let no man deceive you. There have always been ungodly dogs, by whom the threatenings of the prophets were made the subject of merriment and ridicule. We find such characters in our own day. In all ages, indeed, Satan raises up sorcerers of this description, who endeavour by unholy scoffs to escape the Divine judgment, and who actually exercise a kind of fascination over consciences not sufficiently established in the fear of God. “This is a trivial fault. Fornication is viewed by God as a light matter. Under the law of grace God is not so cruel. He has not formed us so as to be our own executioners. The frailty of nature excuses us.” These and similar expressions are often used by the scoffers. Paul, on the contrary, exclaims that we must guard against that sophistry by which consciences are ensnared to their ruin.

John Calvin and William Pringle, Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 307–308.

We are to always give defense for the gospel and what we believe. We are not to be in unison with those who deceivers. We need to be on guard and on the offense when it comes to false teaching and also to be careful who or what we give our attention too.

TO WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT, WE MUST BE CHILDREN OF LIGHT Ephesians 5:8(ESV)for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.

Notice it doesn’t say we were in darkness but we were darkness. Being children of light implies that this profound change comes from God’s power in the new birth. It is an act of His creative power. Just as He at the first created light out of the darkness, so now He has changed us from being darkness itself into being light in the Lord.

Paul says that we formerly were darkness. We were spiritually blind. We not only didn’t see God’s glory and truth, we didn’t have the ability or desire to see such things.

Romans 3:10-12(ESV)10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands;no one seeks for God.12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 
Romans 8:5-9(ESV)For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. We didn’t sense our need for the Savior, because we thought we were good enough to go to heaven and we didn’t understand the absolute holiness and justice of God. So we lived entirely for ourselves and our own pleasure, avoiding the thought of death and eternity.

But, when God saved us, He opened the eyes of our understanding so that we saw “the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). We saw our true condition as guilty sinners, but we also saw the all sufficiency of Jesus and His death on the cross to cover all our sins. We had a new understanding of God’s Word and a new desire to know God and His truth more and more. We now hate the sin that we formerly lived in and we long to be like our Savior, holy in all our ways. We now walk in the light, rather than in darkness, because God has made us light in the Lord.

That we now are light in the Lord means that Christ has made us holy, that is, those who hate sin and love what pleases God. Through the cross of Christ we became righteous, that is, not guilty; but by His Spirit we become holy. We are therefore people who love God and who can, by the new life which God gives us, do what is pleasing in His sight.

Now to walk as children of light we must walk as Christ walked. He never committed one sin. Never had He had a sinful thought or desire; and never did He break the smallest part of any of God’s commandments. Since He is the Son of God, He is light; and surely He is a perfect example for us to follow.

It is true that Satan tried to get Him to sin; but Jesus told him to get behind Him and quit his tempting. Satan comes every day trying to get us to be unholy; and we need to pay attention to this call to walk as children of light. Those who walk as Christ did are Christians. They reveal it in what they do. Stand therefore before the mirror of God’s Word to see every step of your earthly life; and then you may know whether you are a Christian, one with the life of Christ in you.

Paul in makes it plain that living apart from the darkness does not mean withdrawing completely from the world and living in a christian bubble. Instead, walking as children of the light means not engaging in the sins of the unbelieving culture even as we love the sinners around us and engage them with the gospel. When it comes to interacting with the world, we are not prohibited from making friends with those who are still enslaved to sin; rather, we are prohibited from acting in ways that displease God like they do. Paul explains that we are not to take merely a defensive stance against dark deeds and stay away from them. Our approach must be offensive — we are to “expose” unfruitful works of darkness. A fighter cannot win a fight from a defensive stance. The exchange in the immediate context between light and darkness helps us understand how this exposure happens. That which is hidden in the darkness can be revealed only when light shines on it, and by walking in Christ we shine the light of holiness on the dark recesses of this world. If we are in a completely dark room and turn a light on all the cockroaches will scatter and the darkness will flee. Our efforts to live sanctified lives stand in obvious contrast to the evil of our fallen culture, thereby exposing sinners for who they truly are and unveiling what they truly deserve — the wrath of God. Our preaching of the gospel goes hand in hand with such living so that those whose deeds are exposed might know that they will escape the darkness if they come to Jesus. Which is why it is important to not sugar coat sin, but rather expose it for what it is.

Only two responses can follow such exposure. Many will hate the light and those whose lives provide the illumination, and they will try to stamp out the light and silence the church. John 3:19–20(ESV)19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
 Acts 14:8–23(ESV)8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well,[a] 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Others will feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and see the darkness of their deeds. They will turn from their sin to Christ and thereby begin to glorify the Lord. To sum it up the non elect when exposed to the truth will try to suppress the truth, they will find fault with the bringer of the truth to try to discredit the truth. The ELECT will feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and repent. The non elect will suppress the truth the elect will embrace the truth.

People don’t like their evil exposed and people don’t like you exposing anyone else so you don’t expose them. These so-called believers today will go against God’s Word and stand up for the devil and fight against God by condoning and supporting wickedness. You are to hate everything that God hates. Every biblical leader stood up against evil and many even lost their lives for speaking against it. There is a reason Jesus says true believers will be hated and persecuted. If you desire to live a godly life you will be persecuted and there is no way around it.

That is why many believers stay quiet whenever they’re on the hot seat they hush up in fear of man. Jesus spoke up, Stephen spoke up, Paul spoke up so why are we quiet? We must not be afraid to rebuke others. If someone is going astray from Christ are you going to be silent so they won’t hate you or are you going to humbly and lovingly say something?

The Holy Spirit will convict the world of its sins. If we stop defending Christianity, exposing evil, rebuking false teachers, and confronting believers we will have more people lost and led astray. More people will believe false teachings I mean look how many people twist “thou shall not judge.”

Titus 1:10-13(ESV)10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,

The sin of being silent.

Ezekiel 3:18-19(ESV)18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Matthew 5:14–16(ESV)14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

The light of God that shines through us both illumines and transforms, exposes and cleanses. Those whom the light redeems become visible, and that which is visible is light. In other words, formerly dark individuals are cleansed and become lights through whom our Savior shines brightly. This is what happened at our conversion, and we continue to become ever brighter lights as we, through confession and repentance, expose our sin to God and flee from it.

Ephesians 5:13-14(ESV) 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, 

“Awake, O sleeper, 

and arise from the dead, 

and Christ will shine on you.”

RT Kendall was the minister at Westminster Chapel, London from 1977-2002. and wrote this about the sleeping church.

There are three characteristic of sleep:

1. You don’t know you were asleep until you wake up. We’ve all done this – to lie down for a moment to relax – only to find out we slept for a while!

2. You do things in your sleep you would not do if you were awake. Our dreams prove this. Whether such dreams are unexpressed fears or wishes, as Sigmund Freud might say, we do things when asleep we would not do if awake.

3. We hate the sound of an alarm. How would you like to be awakened at 2am? We resent being woken up. We want to sleep on.

A sleeping Church

Here are some signs we are asleep at the present time:

•The absence of conviction of sin

•A lack of the fear of God

•Little sense of outrage over the godlessness of society

•Watching pornography and feeling justified

•Avarice, greed and lack of financial integrity

•No sense of outrage over the Church’s lack of credibility in the world

•Little or no concern about people going to hell

•Little concern about the lack of knowledge of God’s word

•Indifference to the biblical view of marriage

•Indifference to holding grudges and unforgiveness

•Indifference to talking to people about Christ

•Tolerating heresies such as open theism and hyper-grace teaching

•Indifference to the teaching that the Bible is infallible

•Indifference to how much time is spent in prayer and quiet time

The greatest evidence that we are asleep is our lack of outrage over what is tolerated in the Church and what is going on in the world. Not only are we indifferent to what is happening before our eyes, we have become so used to it that we are virtually impervious to it. The biblical view of marriage is on the way out. Terrorism is at our doors. Church attendance is declining more than ever. We are losing our young people. If someone calls things like this to our attention we say, “Oh yes. It’s pretty awful.” Then we roll over. Zzzzzzzz. “Let me sleep on.”

I believe the next thing to happen on God’s calendar is not the second coming of Jesus but the awakening of the Church before the second coming. It is when the word and Spirit ultimately come together as on the Day of Pentecost. The simultaneous combination of the word and Spirit resulted in spontaneous combustion.

What should sadden us at the present moment, however, is that the world does not respect the Church. There is virtually no fear of God in the land.

When Jonathan Edwards preached his sermon ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’ on 8th July 1741, the immediate fallout was that men held on to church pews and trees outside to keep from slipping into hell. God only did this once during the New England Great Awakening. But the power of it was so profound that word of that sermon and its immediate effect spread all over New England in days and all over England in weeks. For some reason God does this sort of thing rarely. But when he steps in like that the world is affected by it.

In 1802, in an area called Cane Ridge in Bourbon County, Kentucky a Methodist lay preacher stood on a fallen tree on a Sunday morning before 15,000 people, taking his text from 2 Corinthians 5:10 – “We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of things done in the body, whether good or bad”. As he spoke hundreds fell to the ground by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was the beginning of the camp meeting phenomena. The Great Awakening lasted for over 20 years. The Cane Ridge Revival lasted only four days.

Both of these phenomena brought about a fear of God that spread all over America for a good while. But who fears God today? Not many, I suspect. An awakened Church will help restore a fear of the Lord in the nations. No election will do it. No act of Parliament will do it. But God can do it. And I believe he will do it. Soon.

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How to Identify False Teachers

Titus 1:10-16(HCSB)10 For there are also many rebellious people, full of empty talk and deception, especially those from Judaism. 11 It is necessary to silence them; they overthrow whole households by teaching what they shouldn’t in order to get money dishonestly. 12 One of their very own prophets said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.13 This testimony is true. So, rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith 14 and may not pay attention to Jewish myths and the commands of men who reject the truth.15 To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work. This passage shows us how to deal with false teachers. But before noting what that passage tells us, it is important to note that in

Titus 1:5-9(HCSB)The reason I left you in Crete was to set right what was left undone and, as I directed you, to appoint elders in every town: one who is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful[a] children not accused of wildness or rebellion. For an overseer, as God’s administrator, must be blameless, not arrogant, not hot-tempered, not addicted to wine, not a bully, not greedy for money, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it. This provides us with qualifications for elders. Within the context of Titus, then, the necessity of biblically qualified elders is in part rooted in the need to deal with false teaching.

Having established that, in Titus 1:10-16 Paul identifies three ways that gospel-centered churches handle false teaching:

1. Gospel-Centered Churches Recognize False Teaching/Teachers
Titus 1:10-13(HCSB)
10 For there are also many rebellious people, full of empty talk and deception, especially those from Judaism. 11 It is necessary to silence them; they overthrow whole households by teaching what they shouldn’t in order to get money dishonestly. 12 One of their very own prophets said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.13 This testimony is true. So, rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith

When doctors are in medical school, part of their training involves diagnosing illnesses by the symptoms that present themselves. In the same way, Paul provides us with some diagnostic tools to recognize false teaching. He instructs us to observe their character (insubordinate, empty talkers, deceivers, etc.), their tactics (upsetting whole families, playing to the culture), and their motivation (shameful gain).

2. Gospel-Centered Churches Rebuke False Teaching/Teachers 

Titus 1:13-14(HCSB)13 This testimony is true. So, rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith 14 and may not pay attention to Jewish myths and the commands of men who reject the truth.

When Paul says “Rebuke them sharply” he uses a play on words with the false teachers’ promotion of circumcision. In effect Paul says something like, “Use the sharp knife of correction with those who wield the dull blade of circumcision.” Paul is not advocating legal action, nor is he promoting a witch hunt. But false teaching is so dangerous that it requires corrective action. The goal of that corrective action is “so that they may be sound in the faith” (1:13). The word translated “sound” can also mean healthy. True spiritual health comes from the gospel, not false teaching.

3. Gospel-Centered Churches Resist False Teaching/Teachers (Titus 1:15-16)

Knowledge of what the gospel teaches about various subjects is the preventative vaccine that enables the believer to resist false teaching. Truly embracing this vaccine produces not merely head knowledge of the gospel, but good works that flow out genuine saving faith.

Regardless of whether you are an elder or not, every believer is responsible for being so familiar with the true gospel that false teaching is immediately obvious. The gospel is the only way that we can be made pure, because it points us to the only one who is truly pure-Jesus Christ.

Jesus warned us that “false Christs and false prophets” will come and will attempt to deceive even God’s elect.
Matthew 24:23-25(HCSB)23 “If anyone tells you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Over here!’ do not believe it! 24 False messiahs[a] and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Take note: I have told you in advance.
2 Peter 3:3(HCSB)First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires,

Jude 17-18(HCSB)17 But you, dear friends, remember what was predicted by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 they told you, “In the end time there will be scoffers walking according to their own ungodly desires.”

The best way to guard yourself against falsehood and false teachers is to know the truth. To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing. 2 Timothy 2:15(HCSB15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. Any believer who “correctly handles the word of truth” and who makes a careful study of the Bible can identify false doctrine. For example, a believer who has read the activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in will immediately question any doctrine that denies the Trinity. Matthew 3:16-17(HCSB)16 After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. 17 And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him! Therefore, step one is to study the Bible and judge all teaching by what the Scripture says.

Jesus said “a tree is recognized by its fruit” Matthew 12:33(HCSB)33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. When looking for “fruit,” here are three specific tests to apply to any teacher to determine the accuracy of his or her teaching:

1) What does this teacher say about Jesus? In Matthew 16:15-16(HCSB)15 “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?”16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”, and for this answer Peter is called “blessed.” In 2 John 9(HCSB)Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teaching but goes beyond it, does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son. In other words, Jesus Christ and His work of redemption is of utmost importance; beware of anyone who denies that Jesus is equal with God, who downplays Jesus’ sacrificial death, or who rejects Jesus’ humanity.
1 John 2:22(HCSB)22 Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son.

2) Does this teacher preach the gospel? The gospel is defined as the good news concerning Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, according to the Scriptures

1 Corinthians 15:1-4(HCSB)Now brothers, I want to clarify[a] for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you—unless you believed for no purpose. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

As nice as they sound, the statements “God loves you,” “God wants us to feed the hungry,” and “God wants you to be wealthy” are not the complete message of the gospel. As Paul warns in Galatians 1:7, not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah. No one, not even a great preacher, has the right to change the message that God gave us. Galatians 1:9(HCSB)As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!

3) Does this teacher exhibit character qualities that glorify the Lord? Speaking of false teachers, Jude 11(HCSB)11 Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of Cain, have abandoned themselves to the error of Balaam for profit, and have perished in Korah’s rebellion. In other words, a false teacher can be known by his pride (Cain’s rejection of God’s plan), greed (Balaam’s prophesying for money), and rebellion (Korah’s promotion of himself over Moses). Jesus said to beware of such people and that we would know them by their fruits.
Matthew 7:15-20(HCSB)15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. 

For further study, review those books of the Bible that were written specifically to combat false teaching within the church: Galatians, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, and Jude. It is often difficult to spot a false teacher/false prophet. Satan masquerades as an angel of light and his ministers masquerade as servants of righteousness
2 Corinthians 11:14-15(HCSB)14 And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.15 So it is no great thing if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their destiny will be according to their works. Only by being thoroughly familiar with the truth will we be able to recognize a counterfeit.

How would you recognize counterfeit/False Christianity?

In 2 Peter 1 we read about genuine believers. And in 2 Peter 2 we read about counterfeit believers. If you put these chapters side by side you will see the difference between authentic and counterfeit believers.

1. Different Source—Where does the message come from?

Peter says,2 Peter 1:16(HCSB) For we did not follow cleverly contrived myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; instead, we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. And then he says the false teachers exploit you “with stories they have made up”

2 Peter 2:3(HCSB)They will exploit you in their greed with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.. So the true teacher sources what he says from the Bible. The false teacher relies on his own creativity. He makes up his own message.

2. Different Message—What is the substance of the message?

For the true teacher, Jesus Christ is central. 2 Peter 1:3(HCSB)His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. For the false teacher, Jesus is at the margins: 2 Peter 2:1(HCSB)But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves.

Notice the word secretly. It’s rare for someone in church to openly deny Jesus. Movement away from the centrality of Christ is subtle. The false teacher will speak about how other people or yourself can help change your life, but if you listen carefully to what he is saying, you will see that Jesus Christ is not essential to his message.

3. Different Position—In what position will the message leave you?

The true Christian message 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. Listen to how Peter describes the False Teacher’s message:
2 Peter 2:19(HCSB)19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them. The true gospel is teaching people how to escape corruption, while the counterfeit is mastered by it.

4. Different Character—What kind of people does the message produce?

The true gospel message pursues goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brother kindness, and love 2 Peter 1:5-8(HCSB) For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The counterfeit gospel is marked by arrogance and slander They also “despise authority”. This is a general characteristic of a counterfeit gospel message.
2 Peter 2:10(HCSB)10 especially those who follow the polluting desires of the flesh and despise authority. Bold, arrogant people! They do not tremble when they blaspheme the glorious ones;
They are “experts in greed” and “their eyes are full of adultery”

2 Peter 2:14(HCSB)14 They have eyes full of adultery and are always looking for sin. They seduce unstable people and have hearts trained in greed. Children under a curse!

5. Different Appeal—Why should you listen to the message?

The true teacher appeals to Scripture. 2 Peter 1:19(HCSB)19 So we have the prophetic word strongly confirmed. You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. God has spoken, and the true teacher appeals to his Word. The false teacher makes a rather different appeal: 2 Peter 2:18(HCSB)18 For by uttering boastful, empty words, they seduce, with fleshly desires and debauchery, people who have barely escaped from those who live in error.  So the true teacher asks, “What has God said in his Word?” The false teacher asks, “What do people want to hear? What will appeal to their flesh?” True teachers are Prophets, they do the will of God, False teachers do the will of the people they are politicians.

6. Different End—Where does the message ultimately lead you?

Here we find the most disturbing contrast of all.
2 Peter 1:10-11(HCSB)10 Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you. The false teacher will experience “swift destruction” 2 Peter 2:1-3(HCSB)But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and the way of truth will be blasphemed because of them. They will exploit you in their greed with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.

Jesus tells us that there will be many who have been involved in ministry in his name, to whom he will say, Matthew 7:21(HCSB) “Depart from me; I never knew you” Don’t Be Naïve  We must not be ignorant, Peter’s plain statement reminds us that the church needs to be protected. Among the many wonderful people who come to through the doors of the church each year, some would do more harm than good. They may seem the nicest of people, but they do not believe in the authority of the Bible or the exclusivity of salvation in Christ. We welcome such people, because they need Christ as much as we do, but we must not allow them to have influence in the church.

Spiritual Warfare Pt4 Breastplate of Righteousness Pt2

Ephesians 6:10-14(HCSB) 10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest,

These passages exhorts believers to “put on the whole armor of God” in order to stand firm against the attacks of our enemy, Satan 2 Corinthians 10:3-5(HCSB)3 For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, 4 since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.

Ephesians 6:14(HCSB)14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest,

We are instructed to “put on” this armor, which implies that we do not automatically wear it all the time. Putting on the armor of God requires a decision on our part. To put on the breastplate of righteousness, we must first have the belt of truth firmly in place. Without truth, our righteousness will be based upon our own attempts to impress God. This leads to legalism or self-condemnation. We choose instead to acknowledge that, apart from Him, we can do nothing John 15:5(HCSB)5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. We see ourselves as “in Christ” and that, regardless of our failures, His righteousness has been credited to our account.

We are being saved from the Power of Sin

Sanctification-is a continual process that conforms us into the image of the Son of God. Sanctification follows justification. In justification our sins are completely forgiven in Christ. Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire. Jesus meets us where we are but His goal is to never leave us where He met us, We are to follow Him and strive for holiness AFTER He meets us where we are. 


True sanctification is impossible apart from the atoning work of Christ on the cross because only after our sins are forgiven can we begin to lead a holy life.

Sanctification is the same Greek word as holiness, “hagios,” meaning a separation. To sanctify means to be set apart for a holy use. God has set us apart for the purpose of sanctification not impurity (1 Thessalonians 4:7(ESV) For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.)

Sanctification, or in its verbal form, sanctify, literally means “to set apart” for special use or purpose, that is, to make holy or sacred. Therefore, sanctification refers to the state or process of being set apart, i.e. made holy.

Romans 13:11-14(HCSB) Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.

Someone who is a Christian for 10 years is no more justified than when the first became a believer. After Justification begins Sanctification which is basically the process of our dying to self, dying to self means that the things of the old life are put to death, most especially the sinful ways and lifestyles we once engaged in. Galatians 5:24 (ESV)“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires”. Where we once pursued selfish pleasures, we now pursue, with equal passion, those things that pleases God.

And being obedient to the word and the Spirit that we are daily changed, in God’s eyes we are considered righteous and accepted because of our faith in Jesus’ work on the cross.

Imparted righteousness is what God does in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit after justification, working in the Christian to enable and empower the process of sanctification. Sanctification – We are being saved from the Power of Sin (Process)Imputed

We “put it on” by seeking God and His righteousness above everything else. We make Him and His ways our dwelling place. We delight in His commands and desire for His ways to become our ways. When God reveals an area of change to us, we obey and allow Him to work in us. At the point where we say “no” to God, we open a little crack in the armor where Satan’s arrows can get through.

Where justification is a legal declaration that is instantaneous, sanctification is a process.  Where justification comes from outside of us, from God, sanctification comes from God within us by the work of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Bible.  In other words, we contribute to sanctification through our efforts.  In contrast, we do not contribute to our justification through our efforts. Sanctification follows justification. In justification our sins are completely forgiven in Christ. Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire. True sanctification is impossible apart from the atoning work of Christ on the cross because only after our sins are forgiven can we begin to lead a holy life.

As we wear Christ’s breastplate of righteousness, we begin to develop a change of mind that produces a purity of heart that translates into a change of actions. Wearing this breastplate creates a lifestyle of putting into practice what we believe in our hearts. As our lives become conformed to the image of Christ our choices become more righteous, and these godly choices also protect us from further temptation and deception.

Then it is up to us; Sanctification is not instantaneous because it is not the work of God alone, it is the God working His character in us. But it takes us to exert the fruits of the spirit.
Matthew 16:24 (ESV)Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Colossians 3:5 (ESV)Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Sanctification is the process of being set apart for God’s work and being conformed to the image of Christ.  This conforming to Christ involves the work of the person, but it is still God working in the believer to produce more of a godly character and life in the person who has already been justified.  Sanctification is not instantaneous because it is not the work of God alone.  The justified person is actively involved in submitting to God’s will, resisting sin, seeking holiness, and working to be more godly.

Sanctification has no bearing on justification.  That is, even if we don’t live a perfect life, we are still justified.  Our salvation is not that fragile, we don’t LOSE it when we sin.

Romans 8:9–11 (ESV)You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you

Romans 8 tells us the Spirit will help us stop sinning and do the things that please God.  Now, the Holy Spirit can’t do all the work for us. We’re still responsible to do our part—especially to consistently read our Bibles and pray, asking the Spirit to show us the truth and teach us how to live. It’s important to remember that the Spirit will not prompt us to do anything that goes against Scripture. People sometimes justify their actions by saying, “My conscience told me … ” We need to make sure we’re listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, not the voice of our own desires. And we know which is which by checking this voice against the truth of God’s Word.

We need our breastplate of righteousness in place in order to gain the victory specified in 2 Corinthians 10:15(ESV)“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” When we quickly reject heretical ideas, idolatry, and the “counsel of the ungodly” (Psalm 1:1) and instead Hebrews 12:2(NASB)2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God., we keep our breastplate securely fastened.

True sanctification begins with renewing your mind. You must know the truth, plain and simple. There’s no premium on ignorance in sanctification. You’re not going to get there through some emotional or mystical experience. Spiritual growth won’t happen by osmosis—it requires the discipline of constantly putting God’s truth in your mind.

Hebrews 13:7(HCSB) Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Don’t be led astray by various kinds of strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established by grace and not by foods, since those involved in them have not benefited.

There are no shortcuts in sanctification—a lack of biblical knowledge will always stun your spiritual growth. Apart from the truth of Scripture, there simply is no mechanism to restrain your sinful flesh. Legalism can’t do it. Good Intentions can’t either. The only certain method for true spiritual growth starts with absorbing God’s eternal truth.

There is a difference between continuing to sin and continuing to live in sin. No one reaches sinless perfection in this life, but the redeemed Christian is being sanctified (made holy) day by day, sinning less and hating it more each time he fails. Yes, we still sin, but unwillingly and less and less frequently as we mature. Our new self hates the sin that still has a hold on us. The difference is that the new creation is no longer a slave to sin, as we formerly were. We are now freed from sin and it no longer has power over us. Now we are empowered by and for righteousness. We now have the choice to “let sin reign” or to count ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus”

Romans 6:11-12(HCSB)11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. Best of all, now we have the power to choose the latter.

Malachi 3:1-6(HCSB)“See, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the covenant you desire—see, He is coming,” says the Lord of Hosts. But who can endure the day of His coming? And who will be able to stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire and like cleansing lye. He will be like a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord as in days of old and years gone by. “I will come to you in judgment, and I will be ready to witness against sorcerers and adulterers; against those who swear falsely; against those who oppress the widow and the fatherless, and cheat the wage earner; and against those who deny justice to the foreigner. They do not fear Me,” says the Lord of Hosts. “Because I, Yahweh, have not changed, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.

It does not say in verse 2 that he is like a forest fire, or like an incinerator’s fire. It says that he is like a refiner’s fire. A forest fire destroys indiscriminately. An incinerator consumes completely. But verse 6 says, “ I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.”

He is a refiner’s fire, and that makes all the difference. A refiner’s fire does not destroy indiscriminately like a forest fire. A refiner’s fire does not consume completely like the fire of an incinerator. A refiner’s fire refines. It purifies. It melts down the bar of silver or gold, separates out the impurities that ruin its value, burns them up, and leaves the silver and gold intact. He is like a refiner’s fire.

It does say FIRE. And therefore purity and holiness will always be a dreadful thing. There will always be a proper “fear and trembling” in the process of becoming pure. We learn it from the time we are little children: never play with fire! And it’s a good lesson! Therefore, Christianity is never a play thing. And the passion for purity is never flippant. He is like fire and fire is serious. You don’t fool around with it.

But it does say, he is like a REFINER’S fire. And therefore this is not merely a word of warning, but a tremendous word of hope. The furnace of affliction in the family of God is always for refinement, never for destruction.

The most important thing to say is that it is a life of confidence in God. And the foundation of our confidence is this promise: The furnace of affliction in the family of God is always for refinement, never for destruction. Which simply means that life in the refiner’s fire is a life of trust in the unchanging, purifying love of God.

1 Peter 4:12(HCSB)12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal[a] comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.

God is more concerned with your character than He is with your comfort.

God is more concerned with your holiness than He is with your happiness.

God is more concerned with you as a person than He is with your possessions.

God is getting you ready to live with Him forever. He is getting you ready to accept His inheritance.

Proverbs 17:3(NLT)Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

How HOT does the fire have to get?? As HOT as we let it.
God doesn’t care about your reputation; He cares about your Character.

For Godly character to be in us HE has to work our fleshly character out of us. God doesn’t change our personality, He changes our character.

Character is what you are behind closed doors, when no one is watching, when your all alone, when you don’t have to wear the “mask” in front of people.

Character in the believer is a consistent manifestation of Jesus in his life. It is the purity of heart that God gives becoming purity in action. God sometimes uses trials to strengthen character:
Romans 5:3-5 (HCSB)And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Who is Jesus? Pt4 Jesus is Lord

Psalm 16:1-2(HCSB)Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You.2 I said to Yahweh, “You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides You.”

I believe the apostles of the Bible had a deeper understanding of the concept of Lordship than we do and yet they addressed Jesus as their Lord, or their Lord and Savior. They were all from a culture that understood that to refer to someone as their Lord meant that the Lord was their master, or owner, or supreme authority and that their only function was to serve their Lord.

In our society today, especially in our Western culture, we do not want anyone to Lord it over us. After all, we are free and independent people. We must prefer Jesus to be our Savior because that appeals to us — to be saved from the consequences of our sins — it is very humanistic. What is really difficult is to say that Jesus is Lord in our lives and really mean it and live it. Not just say it as a Christian slogan.

This question gives us great insight into your own relationship with Jesus. WHO DO YOU SAY THAT JESUS IS?

Do you call Him Lord in your own life? If so, what are the implications of the confession that Jesus is Lord?

Have you bowed your knee to Him and submitted your life to Him as Lord, or Master and Supreme Ruler, of your life?Philippians 2:8-11(HCSB)He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. 9  For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10  so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth— 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Lordship was at the very heart of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross. Paul makes this clear in Romans 14:8-9(HCSB)8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living.

When the lordship of Jesus is a settled issue in the Christian’s life, all other issues are settled.  It is my privilege and responsibility to teach the members of my congregation what the Bible says about serving God; witnessing and soul winning; stewardship of time, talent, and treasure; faithfulness to God’s work; missions; and many other aspects of Christian responsibility. I contend that if the Christian has settled the lordship issue, then all other issues in his life are also settled. When Jesus is Lord of a person’s life, he will fulfill his duties, obligations, and responsibilities with joy.

S.M. Zwemer makes a sobering statement about the lordship of Jesus Christ: “Unless Jesus is Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.”This is a challenge to all Christians to bring every area of our lives under the sovereign rule of Jesus Christ. In our lives there should be no rivalry for His throne.

If someone confesses “Jesus is Lord” but doesn’t actually submit to his “power and authority,” they are contradicting themselves. Their confession is meaningless. It’s like confessing “lego tv phone cartoon” or “round square” or “sav la sav sav la sav”” – or, just remaining silent.

No wonder Jesus asked,Luke 6:46(HCSB)46 “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? He’s pointing out that people who do this are simply saying ” sav la sav sav la sav”

We have seen that Christ is the most-often-used title for Jesus in the New Testament. The second-most-frequent designation for Him is Lord. So important is this title to the biblical understanding of Jesus that it became an integral part of the earliest Christian creed, the simple statement, “Jesus is Lord.” Lord is the most exalted title conferred on Jesus.

Sometimes it is difficult for people in the United States to grasp the full significance of the title Lord. ”

“The concept of lordship invested in one individual is repugnant to the American tradition, yet the New Testament boldly makes this claim for Jesus, asserting that absolute sovereign authority and imperial power are vested in Him.”

“Perhaps the most striking aspect of the title Lord was its relationship to the Old Testament. The Greek translation of the Old Testament used the word kurios to translate the Hebrew word adonai, a title used for God. The sacred name of God, Yahweh, was unspoken, often replaced in the liturgy of Israel with another word. When a substitute was used for the ineffable name of God, the usual selection was adonai, a title that called attention to God’s absolute rule over the earth.”

“The title Lord is so central to the life of the New Testament Christian community that the English word church derives from it. The Greek word for church is ekklesia, which is brought over into English in the word ecclesiastical.

Early Christians were martyred because they refused to confess Caesar as lord. They knew that Jesus alone is divine and would have no one usurp His status. These Christians knew the New Testament is not merely being polite when it calls Jesus “Lord”; rather, it is teaching that Jesus is God Almighty. Idols of sex, money, power, prestige, and so on can become lords if we are not careful; therefore, let us always confess that Jesus Christ alone is Lord.

In the New Testament, Lord is the most frequently used title for Jesus Christ. Although we rarely use this term in our daily lives, we are all quite familiar with another word: boss. That is basically what Lord means—one possessing authority, power, and control. The Word of God describes Jesus as the head of the church, the ruler over all creation, and the Lord of lords and King of kings Colossians 1:15–18(HCSB)15 He is the image of the invisible God,the firstborn over all creation.16 For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything

Revelation 17:14(HCSB)14 These will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.

The realm of Christ’s reign covers everything that happens in heaven and on the earth. No one—not even those who deny His existence—can be free of His rule or outside His sphere of authority. Although Satan tries to convince us that liberty is found in doing what we want, true freedom is acquired only through submission to Christ’s loving lordship.

Even death cannot release anyone from the authority of God’s Son. He is Lord of both the living and the dead. All people must decide to either yield or rebel against Him, but they have the opportunity to make this choice only while they are still living. After death, they will acknowledge Christ’s lordship through accountability to Him. If we have not bowed the knee to Jesus in life, we will be forced to bend it in the judgment.

A popular but terribly misguided notion is that Jesus can be your Savior without being Lord. Perhaps you’ve even thought this way: I’m trusting in Jesus to forgive my sins; later in life I’ll make Him Lord. That thinking is false—nobody makes Jesus Lord. He is Lord. The question is whether you will bow your knee to Him willingly in this life or forcefully  in the next life Philippians 2:10–11so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus—everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. 11 And everyone [L every tongue] will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and bring glory to God the Father. He doesn’t just want to forgive you and escort you to heaven. He wants to live through you and change you on the way.

So what does it mean to experience Jesus Christ as Lord of your life? It means you are yielding to His rule over every area of your life. He is . . .

Lord of your conduct. Jesus wants His desires and His will to rule over your actions, your words and feelings—your very character.

Lord of your relationships. Jesus wants to preside over your dating relationship or how you treat your spouse. He wants to rule over the way you parent. Jesus wants to be Lord over every interaction with business associates. All your relationships should yield to His rule.

Lord of your time. What should you do with your available time? How should you invest your life? If you want to live a life of purpose, you need to be about more than just flipping pages on the calendar. Jesus wants His priorities to be yours.

Lord of your talents. When you become a Christian, you are given some unique gifts; they are supernatural abilities intended to build God’s kingdom. Jesus wants to be Lord of the talents He gave you—whether those are gifts of music, teaching, mercy, helping, etc. Jesus wants to rule over how you invest those gifts in His kingdom.

Lord of your treasure. According to Christ, Matthew 6:21(HCSB)21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Jesus doesn’t care about the cash that’s burning a hole in your wallet. He cares about your money because He knows that until He has what you have, He doesn’t have you. When you surrender all you have to the lordship of Jesus, He gives it back so you can use it for Him. And He wants you to experience the joy in that.

Have you embraced Jesus as Lord? Nothing in your life will ever make sense until this does. If you ever wonder, What is life really about? How shall I invest my life?—here is your answer. Everything flows from this: Jesus Christ as Lord.

For Jesus to be Lord of your life means that He is the ruler, the boss, the master of your whole life. He cannot be Lord of a part – He must be given control of the entire life – the whole life.

When thinking about the whole life of a person, we must think of various parts that make up a person. Paul wrote,1 Thessalonians 5:23(HCSB)23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul makes it plain that the whole person is made up of spirit, soul, and body. A person has an inner, private, unseen-to-the-natural-eye aspect of life and he has an outer, visible, and public life that is seen and heard by those with whom he comes in contact day by day. Jesus desires to be Lord of the seen and the unseen, the visible and the invisible, the private aspects of our life and the public aspects of our life. He wants to be Lord of our spiritual life and of our physical life.

The inner sanctuary, the spirit and soul, contains the mind, the emotion, and the will. It is in our spirit and soul that we think, feel, choose, decide, dream, and plan. Battles are fought and won or lost on the battleground of our private life. Is Jesus Lord over this area of your life?

In Proverbs 4:23(HCSB)Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.

Don’t underestimate the importance of our private life. Although more attention is often given to the physical body, our true spiritual health is determined by the spirit and soul – not the body.

The outward life expresses the inner life. The outward life involves our eyes, our ears, our lips, our hands, our feet, our entire body. Our public life is expressed by what we see, what we say, what we hear, where we go, and what we do. It is so important that Jesus be Lord over our public life.

We need to see the public life in the context of home life, the workplace, the classroom, and the neighborhood. We need to see it in its relationship with friends, family, work colleagues, neighbors, and classmates. We need to see it in its attitude toward possessions, obligations, and responsibilities, and the use of time and resources.

What must a person do in order for Jesus Christ to be Lord of his life?  The easy answer is, “Surrender your life to Him.” This involves taking your hands off the controls of your life and allowing Him to be in control.

Such an important question requires more than a surface answer. For Jesus to become Lord of a person’s life involves absolute and total surrender. Remember, if He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all. Have you yielded keys to every room in your life? Does He have the key to every room in your private life? Does He have the key to every room in your physical/ public life? Is there a room marked “private – keep out?” If so, you must be willing to surrender that key to the Lord.

There is a second element to yielding our lives to the Lord. In addition to absolute surrender, there must also be an acknowledgment of His ownership. Paul addressed the subject of ownership in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20(HCSB)19 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

We are not our own. We were bought at a price. We belong to Jesus. We are His purchased possession. When a person yields to the lordship of Jesus Christ, he or she acknowledges His ownership and gives up his or her personal rights.

Yielding to the lordship of Jesus Christ also involves total and unreserved obedience. If He is the Lord of your life, you are going to do what He tells you to do.

If asked what was the most important word in the Christian vocabulary, I would say, “Obedience.” We move forward in our spiritual growth in direct proportion to our obedience to the revealed truth of God’s Word.

In the account of Elijah’s response to God in 1 Kings 17 and 18. The Word of the Lord came to Elijah, and he did what God told him to do. Several times God spoke and Elijah obeyed. As a result of his obedience, Elijah was used in a powerful way to exalt God’s name.  His response to God’s Word was always immediate and exact. He did precisely what God told him to do as soon as God told him to do it. Remember that delayed obedience is the same as disobedience. Lordship involves obedience.

2 Corinthians 4:1-5(HCSB)Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. 2 Instead, we have renounced shameful secret things, not walking in deceit or distorting God’s message, but commending ourselves to every person’s conscience in God’s sight by an open display of the truth. 3 But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus.

Jesus is more powerful and has more authority than all the most powerful people on earth. If we declare him to be our Lord, our obvious appropriate response to him is to obey him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. The evidence of having received Jesus as our Lord is our obedience to him. Perhaps that is why the author of Hebrews said, Hebrews 5:9(ESV)9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,. Jesus implied as much when he said, John 14:24(HCSB)24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. Jesus raised an important question:Luke 6:46(HCSB)46 “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? Are you doing what the Lord has instructed you to do? Are you doing it immediately and exactly? Are you obeying God?

Matthew 7:21-23(HCSB)21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!

Time Talents and Treasures

Where are you spending your time, talent and treasures on?

Time –  Are we valuing the things of God with our time? or for selfish pleasure? Ephesians 5:15-16(HCSB)15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil.

There is no doubt that the responsibilities and pressures of this world scream for our attention. The myriad of things pulling us in different directions makes it all too easy for our time to get swallowed up in mundane, lesser matters. Those endeavors which have eternal value, then, often get relegated to the back burner. To avoid losing focus, we need to prioritize and set goals.

We need to place our focus on that which is eternal as opposed to the fleeting pleasures of this passing world. Accordingly, we should move forward with diligence and divine purpose as the courses of our lives progress toward God’s ultimate goal. We are to accomplish as much as we can with the time He has given us. We will be eternally rewarded for investing our time in good works. We should live as if each minute counts – because it really does.

If we want to honor God with our time, we have to realize that our time is not our own, it is God’s time. Unfortunately, we too often think that our time is ours to do whatever we wish with it. If we want to work, we can do that, if we want to watch television, we can do that, if we want to waste it doing nothing, we can do that. If we want to go do things we know are wrong we can do that. If we feel like coming to church, we can do that too. Certainly God has given us this freedom of choice, but God teaches us through the Bible tells us that nothing we have is our own, it is God’s.
Psalm 24:1(HCSB)The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord;

Talents – are we using our talents for advancing the Kingdom or for pleasure and selfish gain? The gifts we have received are not ours alone. God gave them to us for the purpose of serving Him and serving other people. Romans 12:4-8(HCSB)4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts.If prophecy,use it according to the standard of one’s faith;7 if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching; 8  if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity;leading, with diligence;showing mercy, with cheerfulness.

In His Parable of the Talents, Jesus taught that we must use our gifts wisely. A talent was a very large sum of money, about 80 pounds (36 kg) of silver. Before leaving on a journey, a wealthy man entrusted his fortune to his servants for the time he would be away. Two of the servants used the money wisely to earn income for their master. However, the third servant did not put the money to good use, and the master was very displeased. Here is the parable:

Matthew 25:14-(HCSB)14 “For it is just like a man going on a journey. He called his own slaves and turned over his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents;[c] to another, two; and to another, one—to each according to his own ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately 16 the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. 17 In the same way the man with two earned two more. 18 But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. Look, I’ve earned five more talents.’

21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!’

22 “Then the man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. Look, I’ve earned two more talents.’

23 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!’

24 “Then the man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a difficult man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. Look, you have what is yours.’

26 “But his master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy slave! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, 27 then you should have deposited my money with the bankers. And when I returned I would have received my money back with interest.

28 “‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has 10 talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 30 And throw this good-for-nothing slave into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The master represents God in this parable, and the servants represent us. The English word talent, meaning our natural abilities, is derived from this parable. That is fitting because the lesson of the parable is that we must use our talents and abilities, as well as our wealth, in God’s service. If we do not use our gifts wisely, God will consider us to be wicked and lazy like the third man in the parable.

It would seem that the more we give to others, the poorer we become, but just the opposite is true! Service to others brings meaning and fulfillment to our lives in a way that wealth, power, possessions and self-centered pursuits can never match. As Jesus said,Luke 6:38(HCSB)38 Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Treasure – are putting our treasure in advancing the kingdom of God or our own Kingdom?
Matthew 6:21(HCSB)21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 25:31-46(HCSB)31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35
For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 

I was naked and you clothed Me;

I was sick and you took care of Me;

I was in prison and you visited Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’

40 “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ 41 Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!

42 

For I was hungry

and you gave Me nothing to eat;

I was thirsty

and you gave Me nothing to drink;

43 

I was a stranger

and you didn’t take Me in;

I was naked

and you didn’t clothe Me,

sick and in prison

and you didn’t take care of Me.’

44 “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?’

45 “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Proverbs 3:9(HCSB)Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; 10  then your barns will be completely filled,and your vats will overflow with new wine.

God does not condemn anyone for having riches. Riches come to people from many sources, but He gives grave warnings to those who seek after them more than they seek after God and trust in them more than in God. His greatest desire is for us to set our hearts on things above and not on things on this earth.

Luke 12:42-48(HCSB)42 The Lord said: “Who then is the faithful and sensible manager his master will put in charge of his household servants to give them their allotted food at the proper time? 43 That slave whose master finds him working when he comes will be rewarded. 44 I tell you the truth: He will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and starts to beat the male and female slaves, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 that slave’s master will come on a day he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 And that slave who knew his master’s will and didn’t prepare himself or do it will be severely beaten. 48 But the one who did not know and did things deserving of blows will be beaten lightly. Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more.

Who is Jesus? Pt1

Who is Jesus Christ? Is Yeshua (Hebrew for “Jesus”) really the promised Messiah of Israel (Hebrew for “Christ”) of the Old Testament?” Is Jesus Christ truly the Son of God … literally God Himself, the Divine living within human flesh? Were Jesus Christ’s claims that of a Liar or Lunatic … or is He really Lord of the universe?

Knowledgeable people will agree that Jesus Christ has made quite an impact on the world.One of the most important questions you will ever ask and answer in your life is: “Who is Jesus?”

Is Jesus just a teacher, a good man, a prophet? Or is he the “divine Christ” inside of all of us? Is he someone who just came to this earth to enact some moral laws and to make the world a better place, or is he the person the Bible claims that he is and who he himself claimed to be?

Do you question whether Jesus is, in fact, God, the second person of the Holy Trinity and the savior of the world? And did his death on the cross actually pay for the sins of all people for all time? Did he really say before everyone, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me”?

Many people have made the observation that Jesus’ teaching was so radical and His life so supernatural that he either was a liar, a lunatic, or exactly the person that he said he was.

So who do you think Jesus is?

Jesus’ distinct claims of being God eliminate the popular ploy of skeptics who regard Him as just a good moral man or a prophet who said a lot of profound things.

Jesus said, John 14:6(HCSB)6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Also, Jesus claimed to be God in flesh. If you compare what God said to Moses in Exodus 3:14(HCSB)14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” with what Jesus said in John 8:58(HCSB)58 Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.”, then you quickly see that Jesus was claiming to be God. In fact, others testified that He was divine as well:

John 20:28(HCSB)28 Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Colossians 2:9, (HCSB)For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ,

What do Jews believe about Jesus?

The short answer: Judaism does not consider Jesus to be a prophet, the messiah, or the son of God.

The belief that Jesus is God, the Son of God, or a person of the Trinity, is incompatible with Jewish theology. Jews believe Jesus did not fulfill messianic prophecies that establish the criteria for the coming of the messiah. Authoritative texts of Judaism reject Jesus as God, Divine Being, intermediary between humans and God, messiah or saint. Belief in the Trinity is also held to be incompatible with Judaism, as are a number of other tenets of Christianity.

Judaism generally views Jesus as one of a number of Jewish Messiah claimants who have appeared throughout history. Jesus is viewed as having been the most influential, and consequently the most damaging, of all false messiahs. However, since the mainstream Jewish belief is that the messiah has not yet come and the Messianic Age is not yet present, the total rejection of Jesus as either messiah or deity has never been a central issue for Judaism.

Judaism has never accepted any of the claimed fulfillments of prophecy that Christianity attributes to Jesus. Judaism also forbids the worship of a person as a form of idolatry, since the central belief of Judaism is the absolute unity and singularity of God. Jewish eschatology holds that the coming of the Messiah will be associated with a specific series of events that have not yet occurred, including the return of Jews to their homeland and the rebuilding of The Temple, a Messianic Age of peace and understanding during which “the knowledge of God” fills the earth, and since Jews believe that none of these events occurred during the lifetime of Jesus (nor have they occurred afterwards), he is not a candidate for messiah.

But the exact way Jews have spoken about Jesus has, throughout history, had a lot to do with the social and political contexts where they were living. Jews have often been subjects of Christian monarchies and governments, and the tenor of that experience often colored the way particular communities responded to the church as a whole and Jesus in particular.

In the Middle Ages, when many Jews in Europe were experiencing rampant persecution, Toledot Yeshu, a series of derogatory and inflammatory legends about Jesus’ life, became popular within some Jewish communities. Today, as Jews and Christians live in relative harmony, the attitude among most Jews towards Jesus is one of respect, but not religious reverence.

This attitude is reflected in Rabbi Irving Greenberg’s book, For The Sake Of Heaven And Earth: The New Encounter Between Judaism And Christianity , where he refers to Jesus as a “failed messiah,” instead of the usual term “false messiah.”

He explains, “A failed messiah is one who has the right values and upholds the covenant, but does not attain the final goal.” According to Rabbi Greenberg, the message Jesus brought was a good one, but he could not be the Jewish messiah because he did not shepherd in the redemption of the world that Judaism expects will occur in the messianic era.

Emily Soloff, the Midwest area director of the American Jewish Committee, for her thoughts about Jesus, she responded: “Jesus was definitely a historical figure…a charismatic community leader who was deeply troubled by what he saw as the failures of his society and spoke eloquently about those failures in the hope of change.”

A lot of interfaith work likes to emphasize what we all have in common, and certainly there are many things that the world’s major faiths do share. But where Jews draw the line is at calling Jesus a prophet or messiah. That’s the point of departure.

What do Oneness Pentecostals believe about Jesus?

From http://www.upci.org

An Appreciation of God’s Identity

The beautiful message of Scripture is that our Creator became our Savior. The God against whom we sinned is the One who forgives us. God loved us so much that He came in flesh to save us. He gave of Himself; He did not send someone else. Moreover, our Creator-Savior is also the indwelling Spirit who is ever-present to help us. God told us how to live and then came to live among us. He showed us how to live in the flesh and laid down His human life to purchase our salvation. Now He abides within us and enables us to live according to His will.

 

Jesus Christ is the one God incarnate, and in Him we have everything we need: healing, deliverance, victory, and salvation. By recognizing the almighty God in Jesus Christ, we restore correct biblical belief and experience apostolic power.

Oneness Pentecostal theology affirms that there exists only one God in all the universe. It affirms the deity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. However, Oneness theology denies the Trinity. The Trinity is the doctrine that there is one God who exists as three distinct, simultaneous persons. The Trinity does not assert that there are three gods but only one. This is important because many groups who oppose orthodoxy will accuse Trinitarians of believing in three gods. But this is not so. The doctrine of the Trinity is that there is one God in three persons.

Oneness theology denies the Trinity and teaches that God is a single person who was “manifested as Father in creation and as the Father of the Son, in the Son for our redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in our regeneration.”1 Another way of looking at it is that God revealed Himself as Father in the Old Testament and as the Son in Jesus during Christ’s ministry on earth and now as the Holy Spirit after Christ’s ascension.

Oneness Pentecostals declare that the Godhead consists of only one Person and deny the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. They maintain that the only real “person” in the Godhead is Jesus. Thus, they are often referred to as the “Jesus Only” Movement. They maintain that God exists in two modes, as the Father in heaven, and as Jesus the Son on earth. Nevertheless, they are the same person, not two separate persons. The Holy Spirit is not regarded as a person at all, merely a manifestation of Jesus’ power or a synonym for Him. Several verses are quoted to establish this view, such as Colossians 2:9 (NKJV), “For in Him (Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Oneness theologians would argue that if the Father and the Son were separate, then the Godhead could not fully dwell in Christ. Matthew 28:19 also affirms their views that Jesus commanded His disciples to baptize in the “name” (singular) of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is said to have two natures: human and divine. Thus, when He died, only His human nature died. Also, when Jesus prayed, it was His human nature praying to His divine nature-not to a separate Father in heaven.

This teaching of the Jesus Only / Oneness Pentecostals has been around for centuries, in one form or another, as modalism. Modalism teaches that God operated in different forms or modes at different times—sometimes as the Father, sometimes as the Son, and sometimes as the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 3:16-17(HCSB)16 After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. 17 And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!, But passages like where all three Persons of the Godhead are present, contradict the modalistic view. Modalism was condemned as heretical as early as the second century A.D. The early church strongly contended against the view that God is strictly a singular person who acted in different forms at different times. They argued from Scripture that the tri-unity of God is evident in that more than one Person of the Godhead is often seen simultaneously, and they often interact with one another.

Genesis 1:26(HCSB)26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.Matthew 28:19(HCSB)19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
John 14:16(HCSB)16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.
Conclusion is that the Oneness Pentecostalism / Jesus Only doctrine is unbiblical because it has a distorted view of who Jesus is..

What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus?
Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him).  They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind.  The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Maryam’ (Mary).  The Quran describes the birth of Jesus as follows:

(Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God).  He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be).  God creates what He wills.  If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.”  (Quran, 3:45-47
Jesus was born miraculously by the command of God, the same command that had brought Adam into being with neither a father nor a mother.  God has said:

The case of Jesus with God is like the case of Adam.  He created him from dust, and then He said to him, “Be!” and he came into being.  (Quran, 3:59)
During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles.  God tells us that Jesus said:

“I have come to you with a sign from your Lord.  I make for you the shape of a bird out of clay, I breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s permission.  I heal the blind from birth and the leper.  And I bring the dead to life by God’s permission.  And I tell you what you eat and what you store in your houses….”  (Quran, 3:49)
Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified.  It was the plan of Jesus’ enemies to crucify him, but God saved him and raised him up to Him.  And the likeness of Jesus was put over another man.  Jesus’ enemies took this man and crucified him, thinking that he was Jesus.  God has said:

…They said, “We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but the likeness of him was put on another man (and they killed that man)…  (Quran, 4:157)
Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in one God, brought by earlier prophets, but rather to confirm and renew it.

What do Mormons believe about Jesus?
Mormon leaders have taught that Jesus’ incarnation was the result of a physical relationship between God the Father and Mary (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115; Mormon Doctrine, p. 547). Mormons believe Jesus is a god, but that any human can also become a god (Doctrine and Covenants 132:20; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345–354). Mormonism teaches that salvation can be earned by a combination of faith and good works (LDS Bible Dictionary, p. 697).

Mormon prophets have taught that Jesus was conceived by sexual intercourse (physical union) between God the Father and Mary:

Brigham Young taught: “The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood—was begotten of his Father as we were of our fathers” (Journal of Discourses vol.8, p.115); and “when the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness [flesh and blood]. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost” (Journal of Discourses, vol.1, p.50).

Brigham Young insisted: “I will say that I was naturally begotten; so was my father, and also my Savior Jesus Christ…he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and there was nothing unnatural about it” (Journal of Discourses vol.8, p.211); “Now remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost” (Journal of Discourses, vol.1, p.51).

Orson Pratt (LDS apostle) taught: “the Father and Mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife…as God was the first husband to her, it may be that He only gave her to be the wife of Joseph while in this mortal state, and that He intended after the resurrection to again take her as one of his own wives to raise up immortal spirits in eternity” (The Seer. p.158, 1853).

Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “The birth of the Savior was a natural occurrence unattended by any degree of mysticism, and the Father God was the literal parent of Jesus in the flesh as well as in the spirit” (Religious Truths Defined, p.44)

Mormons believe that Jesus Christ was the first “spirit child” born to God the Heavenly Father with one of his many wives. Instead of acknowledging Jesus as the one true God, they believe He became God, just as they will one day become gods. According to Mormon doctrine, as the first of the “spirit children” of God, Jesus had preeminence over Satan or Lucifer, who was the second “son of God” and the “spirit brother” of Jesus. It is ironic that they will use Colossians 1:15(HCSB)He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. as one of their “proof texts,” because it says that “[Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Yet they ignore
Colossians 1:16(HCSB)For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him., where we see that “By [Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth. Visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. ALL THINGS were created through Him and for Him.” All things—thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers—includes Satan and his demons.

In order to believe that Satan and Jesus are “spiritual brothers,” one must deny the clear teaching of Scripture. Scripture says that it was Jesus Christ who created all things and that, as the second Person of the triune Godhead, Christ is fully and uniquely God. Jesus claimed to be God in many passages of Scripture. In Jesus said, John 10:30(HCSB)“I and the Father are one.” Jesus was not claiming to be another, lesser god. He was declaring that He was fully God. In John 1:1–5(HCSB)In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3  All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. 5  That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. it is clear that Jesus was not a created being and that He Himself created all things. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). How much clearer can it get? “All things” means what it says, and it includes Satan, who as an angel was himself a created being just like the other angels and demons are. Scripture reveals Satan to be a fallen angel who rebelled against God and Jesus to be God. The only relationship that exists between Satan and Jesus is that of creation and Creator; of the sinful created being, Satan, and the righteous Judge, Jesus Christ.

Mormons believe that, not only were Jesus and Lucifer “spirit children of Elohim,” but that humans are spiritual children, as well. In other words, they believe that “God, angels, and men are all of the same species, one race, one great family.” This is why they believe that they themselves will one day become as much of a god as Jesus or even God the Father. Rather than seeing the clear distinction in Scripture between God and His creation, they believe that one day they will be a gods themselves. Of course, this is the same old lie Satan has been telling us since the Garden of Eden. Apparently, the desire to usurp the throne of God is embedded in the hearts of men.

What do Jehovah’s Witnesses think about Jesus?

Taken from http://www.jw.org

We follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and honor him as our Savior and as the Son of God. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 5:31) Thus, we are Christians. (Acts 11:26) However, we have learned from the Bible that Jesus is not Almighty God and that there is no Scriptural basis for the Trinity doctrine.—John 14:28.

Jesus’ Prehuman Existence

The Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus Christ was the first created being of Jehovah God. Jehovah God created Jesus as a divine-like spirit at some point in ancient, pre-creation time. “This means that he was created before all the other spirit sons of God, and that he is the only one who was directly created by God” (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth [Live] [Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1982], p. 58).

In His preexistence, Jesus was known as “the Word” (John 1:3,10,14) because He was God’s spokesman, according to the Watchtower Society. He is also identified by Jehovah’s Witnesses with Michael the archangel. “Reasonably, then, the archangel Michael is Jesus Christ. So the evidence indicates that the Son of God (Jesus) was known as Michael before he came to earth” (Reasoning from the Scriptures [Reasoning] [Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1985], p. 218).

The Watchtower teaches that through the agency of the prehuman Christ, Jehovah created all other things in the universe. “He is also God’s ‘only-begotten’ Son in that he is the only one directly created by Jehovah God; all other things came into existence through him as God’s Chief Agent” (The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life [Truth] [Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract society of New York, 1968], p. 47).

This Agent, however, is not to be confused as being a Co-creator with God. “The Son’s share in the creative works, however, did not make him a Co-creator with the Father. Rather than a Co-creator, then, the Son was the Agent or instrumentality through whom Jehovah, the Creator worked” (Aid to Bible Understanding, [Aid] [Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1971, p. 918).

Jesus’ Divinity

The Watchtower Society denies the deity and eternal preexistence of Jesus Christ. This contrasts sharply with historic Christian beliefs that Jesus was God the Son, the second member of the eternal Trinity.

The Watchtower Society’s position is similar to the fourth century Arian heresy, universally rejected by Christian churches at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. The Watchtower Society has made a number of interpretative errors and translation changes to conform Scripture to their presuppositions. For example, the Watchtower Society’s Bible, The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT), translates John 1:1: “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”

The Watchtower Society asserts that since the Greek language has no indefinite articles (a or an), the article can be used where needed in translating; thus they insert “a” before god to emphasize the Word’s (Christ’s) inferiority to God. This biased rendering cannot be justified grammatically and has been rejected by every reputable Greek scholar.

Jesus’ Birth

The Watchtower Society teaches that Michael the archangel disappeared from heaven and was conceived miraculously by (the Virgin) Mary. “Since actual conception took place, it appears that Jehovah God caused an ovum or egg cell in Mary’s womb to become fertile, accomplishing this by the transferal of the life of his firstborn Son from the spirit realm to the earth” (Aid, p. 920).

“Marvelously, Jehovah transferred the life-force and the personality pattern of his first-born heavenly Son to the womb of Mary. God’s own active force, his holy spirit, safeguarded the development of the child in Mary’s womb so that what was born was a perfect human” (Reasoning, p. 255).

Jesus’ Life and Death
The Watchtower Society teaches that after His birth Jesus became a perfect man who came to earth to bear witness to the truth of Jehovah God and to defeat Satan. Jesus received His messiahship at age 30, on the day of His baptism. “By pouring out his holy spirit on Jesus, Jehovah was anointing him or appointing him to be the King of his coming kingdom. Being thus anointed with the spirit, Jesus became the ‘Messiah,’ or the ‘Christ,’ which words in the Hebrew and Greek languages mean, ‘Anointed.’ Therefore, he became, in fact, Jesus Christ, or Jesus the Anointed” (Live, p. 60).

The Watchtower Society says that, since Adam was also a perfect man who sinned, only a perfect sacrifice of another perfect man could bring salvation. “By his disobedience the perfect man Adam lost perfect life on a paradise earth for himself and all his children. Jesus Christ gave his own perfect life to buy back what Adam lost. Yes, Jesus ‘gave himself a corresponding ransom for all'” (Live, p. 62).

Thus, the Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus’ ransom death at age 33 balanced the scales of justice between Adam’s sin and God’s perfect requirements. “Even now Jesus’ ransom sacrifice can benefit us. How? By exercising faith in it we can enjoy a clean standing before God and come under his loving and tender care. But we can freely seek forgiveness from God on the basis of the ransom, with confidence that he will hear us” (Live, p. 63).

The Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus was crucified on a “torture stake” instead of a cross (Matt. 27:32, NWT). The Watchtower Society specifically dates Jesus’ death: “On Nisan 14 of the year 33 C.E. Jesus’ enemies put him to death on a torture stake” (Truth, p. 51).

Jesus’ Resurrection

Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is another radical departure from historic Christian teaching. The Watchtower Society maintains that the Lord’s resurrection was purely spiritual and only appeared as physical.

“Jehovah God did not leave his Son dead in the grave, but raised him to life on the third day. He was not given human life again, because that would have meant that he was taking back the ransom price. But he was ‘made alive in the spirit’ (1 Pet. 3:18, NWT). During a period of forty days after his resurrection he appeared visibly to his disciples a number of times, in materialized bodies, to prove that he really had been raised from the dead” (Truth, p. 52).

Communion

Communion – the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level or the service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.

So, when we take Communion, it’s about who? Jesus! And you to know this ‘cause at so many churches, they either don’t take Communion, or they take it and don’t tell you what it’s about.

Jesus says, “Do this in remembrance of me,” so we do. And that when we partake, it’s not literally Jesus’ body and blood, but he is present, not so much in the elements, but in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

That’s when God’s people are filled with the Holy Spirit and they gather as God’s family, and Jesus is honored, and remembered, and celebrated, and sin is repented of, and the cross of Jesus Christ is adored, the Holy Spirit is really present with God’s people, and it’s a sacred moment for the family to honor Jesus.

It’s more than just a looking back and a memorial feast, but we’re not gonna recrucify Christ every Sunday, because in Hebrews 10:10(HCSB) 10 By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.

”And that’s where, if you’re not a Christian, you turn from sin, trust in Jesus by faith, and you partake of Communion as an act of faith, as a demonstration of faith. And we get out of our seats and we do it together, remembering Jesus got out of his grave and one day we’ll get out of our graves, and together we’ll be with him forever.And let me say this: as God’s people take Communion, what we’re showing is, “I’m friends with Jesus and his people.” You can’t be a Christian and not connected to the church. I don’t get this. This is like a dad with five kids who adopts a kid, and that kid says, “He’s my dad, but I don’t have any siblings and I’m not part of the family.” It’s all together. God’s a Father, adopts you, you’re now part of a family. You got brothers and sisters. I don’t get this solo, independent, me and Jesus has our own thing,rebelling Christianity. It doesn’t make sense. The Bible knows nothing of it. If you’re connected to God, you’re connected to his people.

And when we partake in Communion in service or in homes together, what we’re doing is we’re doing it together saying, “I’m friends with Jesus, and I’m friends with you, and I’m part of the family.” And this happened in early Christianity. It says in Acts 2:42-47(HCSB)42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.43 Then fear came over everyone, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as anyone had a need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved. When the Christians started gathering, they would meet from the temple courts, big meetings like we do for services, and from house to house.

“And to the,” what? “Breaking of bread, having meals together and praying.” I’ll tell you the easiest way to build a friendship with somebody: have a meal and pray together. Eat together, pray together. Like, let’s say you’re married, you’re not getting along. Eat together, pray together, your friendship will grow because God always blesses those kinds of connecting moments. You’re struggling with your friends, try to resolve it over a meal. Start it, end it, bathe it in prayer. That’s how things get worked out relationally.

Some of people are partaking in an unworthy manner. You’re in open rebellion and sin.

Here’s a scary word of caution: there’s a church in Corinth. It’s not a great church. They’re getting drunk, they’re suing each other, they’re sleeping together, they’re hiring prostitutes. One guy’s sleeping with his mother or mother-in-law. Now days we call it pluralism, diversity, openness, tolerance, we parades in honor of it, a magazine, a website, a whole Facebook group, and, t-shirts. God was very unhappy, and he said, “You’re not repenting. You’re claiming to love me and then you’re disobeying everything I say. You’re a bunch of rebellious, spoiled bratty kids.”

So then, through Paul, God speaks to them, and here’s what he says about Communion: 1 Corinthians 11:27-32(HCSB)27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 So a man should examine himself; in this way he should eat the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep. 31 If we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged, 32 but when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we may not be condemned with the world. “Therefore,whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way.” So, let me say this: there’s a worthy and an unworthy way. In our day of pluralism, tolerance, diversity, it’s, “Oh, no, no, we’re all—” Nope. There’s worthy and unworthy. There’s right and wrong. There’s obedient and disobedient. There’s qualified and disqualified. God’s grace doesn’t just forgive our sin. God’s grace empowers us to put our sin to death because Jesus died for it.

“Will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord. So a man should examine himself; in this way he should eat the bread and drink from the cup” Here’s what he’s saying. Some of you will say this: “You can’t judge me!” Then judge yourself. If you judge yourself, then no one else will have to judge you. You will see your own sin & rebellion. You’ll come clean with God and his people. You’ll say, “You know what? I got a problem. I need help. I need God’s grace and God’s people to help me fix my sin.” That’s humility, it’s integrity, it’s honesty, so that you don’t have to partake in a way that is unworthy.

Before you take Communion, do you examine yourself? Do you examine your life? Do you consider your sin? Do you take a moment and ask, “Holy Spirit, your job is to convict me of sin. Let me know anything that’s amiss, and I want to get this right and I’m sorry. If there’s anybody here I need to reconcile with, let me go apologize. Is there anything that would keep me from partaking in a worthy manner?”

A study of the Lord’s Supper is a soul-stirring experience because of the depth of meaning it contains. It was during the age-old celebration of the Passover on the eve of His death that Jesus instituted a significant new fellowship meal that we observe to this day. It is an integral part of Christian worship. It causes us to remember our Lord’s death and resurrection and to look for His glorious return in the future.

The Passover was the most sacred feast of the Jewish religious year. It commemorated the final plague on Egypt when the firstborn of the Egyptians died and the Israelites were spared because of the blood of a lamb that was sprinkled on their doorposts. The lamb was then roasted and eaten with unleavened bread. God’s command was that throughout the generations to come the feast would be celebrated. The story is recorded in Exodus 12.

During the Last Supper—a Passover celebration—Jesus took a loaf of bread and gave thanks to God. As He broke it and gave it to His disciples, He said, “’This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’” Luke 22:19-21(HCSB)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. 21 But look, the hand of the one betraying Me is at the table with Me!. He concluded the feast by singing some psalms Matthew 26:30(HCSB)30 After singing psalms, they went out to the Mount of Olives. It was there that Jesus was betrayed, as predicted, by Judas. The following day He was crucified.

The church is a family, a community of imperfect people on a spiritual journey together to become more like Christ and less like our old selves. When you get a bunch of people who are imperfect together trying to live a new life, sometimes sparks fly, people get upset, offended, and feelings get hurt.

Colossians 3:12-17(HCSB)12 Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 14 Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. 16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

The bible is a mirror not a microscope, we are to read it and see our faults and change to be like Christ. Not to use to pass judgement on each other.

James 1:22-25(HCSB)22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does.

WHEN WE LOOK INTO THE MIRROR OF GOD’S WORD, WHAT DO WE SEE?

1. We see our flaws. We see that we are sinners.

2. We also see that Jesus Christ died for our sins so we can now be sons and daughters of the Most High God!

3. We see that by believing in Jesus Christ, we can be

changed forever.

2 Corinthians 3:18(HCSB)17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

The first point is that the central requirement of love in the church community is both a gift and a command. Our life together originates in the covenant love of God and so one essential mark of our covenant relationships in church is love. And this love is the work of God.

This means that a church community is a bunch of imperfect people on a spiritual journey together. We have been saved from condemnation and transferred from death to life and from darkness to light but in this new relation to God we are not yet perfected or completed, but are on the way to becoming what we should be.

The first commitment of the our church community is love. In a sense all else is an unfolding of that. And the commitment of love and holiness is not a static one, because none of us has arrived, but a commitment to strive forward,advance,promote and sustain holiness.

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 constantly promoted community among His disciples. He enjoyed being with them.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.

Luke 22:19(HCSB)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.”

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 resurrection 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. Jesus restored what Adam failed in. FELLOWSHIP with the father. Now instead of the ritualistic slaughter of animals that they had to do in the temple. It is his blood that let’s us into the holy of holies to talk with our father. He didn’t 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 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.

Jesus is showing us that we can come together as a company of people who can come together from all different points of life, different stages of our walk, different races and economic backgrounds because we can walk together in common union. Because we are now part of the family. Romans 8:14-16(HCSB)14 All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children,

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? 

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.

The idea of community denotes a “common unity” of purpose and interests. 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.

This church will never become a glorified hand washing station,or a museum for saints, or a country club that doesn’t welcome sinners but let us come together as a people who worship, praise and do life together as Jesus did with His disciples. Let us not point the finger at our brother’s and sister’s and their faults but let us forgive quickly, love plentifully and help joyfully. 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.