Friday, August 31, 2012

Eternal Security

By Chet Nowlen

Today we are continuing our study of "Once Saved Always Saved" and how we know for sure that we have what is known as "Eternal Security".  The reason I am continuing on this subject is because I have met so many believers that are just not sure whether they are saved or not because of sermons that remind them that they are still sinners therefore they do not feel worthy of salvation.  Our salvation is not based on whether we feel saved or not.  It is by faith in Christ and the price He paid for us.  

The focus scriptures for today are from the 1st Chapter in the Letter to the Ephesians, especially Ephesians 1:13,14.  These two verses tells us that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise who is our guarantee. The believer need not be confused about their salvation because we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and this seal is a guarantee of who we are in Christ Jesus.  Is the believer still a sinner?  At the believer's new birth his spirit man was changed into a new creature a new man.  The old man is dead, but the old sinful nature still resides in the flesh and in constant battle with the new man is Christ Jesus.

The fleshly part of the old nature still has its carnal lusts and this is where the spirit man needs help.  Because of fleshly lusts we find ourselves doing things we don't want to do and saying things we don't want to say. (Romans 7:15:25)  Only the Holy Spirit can help us overcome the flesh because with our spirit and our mind (will and emotions) we serve the law of God, but the flesh still fights to serve the law of sin which is death.  Romans 8:11 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." NKJV  Notice neither God or Jesus raised Jesus from death.  It was the Holy Spirit who had the power to raise Him from the dead.  If we have the Holy Spirit living in us He also has the power to help us overcome the cravings of the carnal nature.

I mentioned Ephesians 1:13,14 and I kind of hate to take scriptures out of context so please read all of Ephesian Chapter 1 as follows:

1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Redemption in Christ
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both[a] which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[b] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom
15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding[c] being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." NKJV

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lost Again

By Chet Nowlen

In continuation on our study of the phrase "Once Saved Always Saved" I have discovered that the pulpit has not done a very good job of educating its flock the truth of their salvation experience.  The pulpit has been a source of confusion for many church members as they are uncertain if they are truly saved or not saved.  They have doubts in their minds because the enemy is constantly whispering words in their hearts ears, i.e., "Look at what you have done, you are a sinner and you are not really saved. 'You are just playing church."

Here's an example of a young person's prayer in which he is asking God to send Jesus back to save him again:

"Dear God, I am a sinner...a Christian sinner. I have strayed from your path. I am no longer going by your word. And because of it, I am LOST again. I am using you to convince myself and others that I belong to you, when I'm not. I am sorry. I repent. And I want to come back to you, and walk with you for the rest of eternity. Help me find the way back to you. Send Jesus to save me. I want him living in my heart and running my life. Whatever I lose from following you is just garbage anyway. Amen."

The above prayer is quite common among believers today because the pulpit has failed the congregation by not teaching the scriptures.  Believers have express to me the same uncertainty as the person in the prayer above.  This person felt lost again - was he lost again or did he just feel lost and separated?  "Once Saved Always Saved" says that if he's lost he never was saved in the first place.  I believe that he is a Christian and like most all of us we have, as he said, "Strayed from the path."  The feelings of lost is a feeling of separation from our Heavenly Father.  The Father didn't leave the person praying did.  What he's feeling is the tugging of the Holy Spirit drawing him back into a relationship with The Father.

He mistakenly thinks he's lost again because of the lies the enemy is whispering in his heart. The enemy is telling him he's lost and unworthy of God love.  There is no need for Jesus to come back to earth to save the man as Jesus paid the price once and forever.  He does not need to die again and again just because we stray or we sin.  When the believer sins, which we all do from time to time, our salvation is not canceled.  Jesus was perfect and never sinned.  When Jesus went to the cross He exchanged His perfect sinless nature for our sinful nature.  He took on our sins past, present, and future once for all.  He took on our sin and gave us His sinless nature.  He changed us from unrighteous in God's eye to righteous in God's eyes. 

As long as we are in the fleshly body we live in we are still subject to the cravings and desires of the flesh.  We are not perfect, but Jesus is.  We are perfect in Him no matter if we stay.  When we stray and we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin.

Chapter 2 of the Letter to the Ephesians does great job of explaining of what we were before we knew Jesus and what we are now in Christ Jesus:

"And you [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins
In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].
Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.
But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,
Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).
And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us [b]joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved ([c]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [d]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
11 Therefore, remember that at one time you were Gentiles (heathens) in the flesh, called Uncircumcision by those who called themselves Circumcision, [itself a [e]mere mark] in the flesh made by human hands.
12 [Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God’s agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.
13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.
14 For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us,
15 By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man [one new quality of humanity out of the two], so making peace.
16 And [He designed] to reconcile to God both [Jew and Gentile, united] in a single body by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end.
17 And He came and preached the glad tidings of peace to you who were afar off and [peace] to those who were near.
18 For it is through Him that we both [whether far off or near] now have an introduction (access) by one [Holy] Spirit to the Father [so that we are able to approach Him].
19 Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household.
20 You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone.
21 In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord].
22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit." Amplified Version

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You Who Practice Lawlessness

By Chet Nowlen

In our last lesson the topic was "Once Saved Always Saved" and we discovered that there are people that have the appearance of being a saved person.  In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus stated,

"Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons, in Your name, and done many works in Your Name?'  And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" NKJV

Also from Matthew Jesus gave us more understanding of how one can know if one is saved or not saved in Matthew 25:14-46:

The Parable of the Talents
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country,who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] 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, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did itto one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Those that practice lawlessness will be counted with unrighteous goats and will go into everlasting punishment, but the righteous will be counted with the sheep into eternal life.  Ephesians 4:20-32 gives a good account of the personality of the righteous:

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self,created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands,that they may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. NKJV

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Once Saved Always Saved

By Chet Nowlen

The phrased "Once Saved Always Saved" has a second part of the phrase and that is, "Or they weren't saved in the first place."  There are some that teach an opposite position which is a person can do some things to cause one loose their salvation.  I believe in and teach the first position because if one is truly saved they cannot lose their salvation.  The reason I believe this is because Jesus died once and for all for my sins, past, present, and future.  There is no need for Him to keep going to the cross again and again for my sins that I still commit whether willing or unconsciously.  Those are covered too.

So why is there a difference of opinion on this subject?  I think part of the problem is with what is taught in our pulpits.  Not that I'm against pastors or the churches, but I am against the pastors and Sunday school teachers that teach a religion of man's nocturne and not doctrines from the Scriptures.  To me true Christianity is not a religion because religions control people with doomed to failure list of "Do's and Do Not's".  Christianity is a way of life that is free of the burden of religion, however, the pulpit is guilty of mixing the bondage of the Ten Commandments with grace.  The Jews in Israel are the only peoples that are bound by the doctrine of the Ten Commandments.  The Christian church is under grace through Jesus Christ.

The pulpit has the power to manipulate a congregation into their own ideology way of thinking.  And, I feel that this manipulation is what has caused so much division and confusion in the churches today.  Their sermons appeal to the individuals emotions and logical human reasoning that persuade individuals to their way of thinking which is not always based on scripture.  Fortunately not all pastors and priests are like those I just  mentioned.

As you know the theme of this BLOG is "Well Done" which is found in the words of Jesus, "His lord said to him, Well Done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." Matthew 25:21 NKJV  My hearts desire is that when I stand before Jesus He will say to me, and to those that I have come to know Him through me, "Well Done".  The 25th Chapter of Matthew as a whole is a very enlightening scripture because it illustrates those that are saved and those that are not saved and He explained what was the difference between the two.  I think the key to those that are saved are those that gave us their own lives in the service of others.  I think this is what Jesus meant when He told us to take up His cross and follow Him daily.  You see the ministry Jesus described in verses 35-40 is His example of how our ministry is to be.  This is how you know that you are a follower and not just a fan (as mentioned in yesterday's article "Not Just A Fan Movie"). 

To me the most difficult part of this chapter is in verses 44-46.  Jesus describes a group of people that, at first glance, could have perhaps been church goers, but notice they were cast into everlasting punishment.  Just because one goes to church or does outstanding works in the church makes one saved as illustrated in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ NKJV

Notice the people mentioned in Matthew 7 had to be members of a future church because they prophesied in Jesus' name, they cast our demons in His name, and had done many wonders in His name and yet Jesus said that He did not know them.  These people seem like they had a very powerful ministry in this future church (Matthew 23:28) and I'm sure most of the church members would assume that they were saved because of their works.  But, something was wrong with these people.   The answer is found at the end of verse 23  ". . . you who practice lawlessness!"  Here are some other scriptures on lawlessness:

Matthew 13:41
The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,

Matthew 23:28

Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 24:12
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Romans 6:19
I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

2 Thessalonians 2:7
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

Hebrews 1:9
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

1 John 3:4
[ Sin and the Child of God ] Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

So what is lawlessness?  Here's a good definition I found in a Google search:

"A lawless person is one who breaks, violates, disobeys or transgresses the law. This can be done ignorantly or deliberately. For example, a driver may not see a red light and may go right through the intersection without stopping. Another driver may see the red light but then deliberately act as if it were not there. Even though both drivers broke the law, the first driver did it unknowingly, whereas the second driver did it willfully.

In the New Testament the term "lawless" is used to describe those who knowingly, deliberately and willfully rebel against the laws of God and man. These are people who despise and defy the law. They refuse to be under God’s rule and God’s government. They refuse to surrender to God’s Word and God’s will. They want to make their own laws and be their own king and follow their own way. The lawless person cries out in his heart, "not God’s will, but my will be done!"  Lucifer wanted his own will rather than God's will (see the five "I WILLS" of Isaiah 14:12-14).

The Greek word for lawless is anomos (a=without; nomos=law; and thus anomos means without law or lawless). In the New Testament (King James Version) this word is translated in different ways ("lawless," "unlawful," "wicked," "transgressor") but it always conveys the basic meaning of lawless. The noun (anomia) is also translated in various ways ("unrighteousness," "iniquity," "transgression of the law") but each time it carries the basic meaning of lawlessness."

The lawless people of a future church Jesus is referring to are those that were never saved in the first place because they sought to use the power of Jesus name for their own fame and glory and not for the glory of God.  These people are rebellious and disobedient just as Satan is.  Their purpose is attitude of anti-christ and pro-self.  They are full of unrighteousness.

Now the good news is that the true believer is changed from unrighteousness into righteousness through faith in Jesus by The Holy Spirit.  We are righteous in God's eyes because He sees Jesus when He looks at the believer.  In our natural body we are still subject to sin and do sometimes sin, but we do not willfully practice sin.  When we sin we are convicted by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit helps us to change inwardly so that we so not sin.

More on this in the next lesson . . . Lawlessness

Monday, August 27, 2012

Not A Fan Movie

Yesterday I watched the Christian Movie, "Not A Fan" which I had recorded on my DVR. I think I saved this movie once before, but deleted after watching it for a few minutes. This time I decided to let myself watch more of the movie instead of judging it too quickly.  At first I didn't complete agree with what the preacher was saying and was tempted to delete it again.  As I continued to watch I began to question my own commitment to Christ and asked myself, "Am I just a follower, or am I committed to follow Him at all cost.  Have I given up everything, have I died to self and am I living my life as He did." 

My emotions were causing me to feel guilty as I did not feel that I was as much of a follower as I thought I was.  I asked myself, "How does one take up Jesus's cross and follow Him daily?"  I know our salvation is not based on our works or good deeds because we can never be good enough or do enough to earn righteousness.  Our righteousness is based on Jesus's righteousness and we are saved by grace, but there is still the nagging question, "How does one take up Jesus's cross and follow Him daily?"

The scripture that came to my mind was, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?" Luke 9:25 NKJV  I think the Holy Spirit is saying to me that to follow Jesus requires that we take our eyes off the cares of the world and our fight to conform to the world's standards.  I think He's saying to follow Him is to live as He did by focusing our eyes on the same things He did.  So, what did He do?

The answer to that question, for me,  is found in Acts 10:38.  I purposefully did not insert the scripture here because I want you to read the verse for yourself.  I want you to find your own answer that that question.  Jesus did many mighty works and He did not do these works to gain salvation because He is the savior and does not need a savior.  He did these mighty works because that is what His Heavenly Father sent Him to do.  His cross, His burden was to do the will of The Father.  What is God's will?  His will is His word and the things that Jesus did are examples He left for us to follow.  Our cross is His cross and His cross for us is to do what He did.  But how?

Paul answered that question for us in 1 Corinthians 13, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV  1 Corinthians 13 is considered the Love Chapter of the New Testament, but chapter is known for more that just the Love Chapter.  It's also known as "The Greatest Gift" chapter.  Our Heavenly Father gave us many gifts through the Holy Spirit just as He gave Jesus. Jesus was a man and He is God, but He did nothing as God. His ministry on earth did not start until He was baptized with the Holy Spirit.  He did nothing until The Father told Him what to do and the works He did was not through His own power.  The works He did was the Holy Spirit that did the works through the man Jesus.  Jesus set Himself as an example for us to follow in that we to can go about doing good and helping those that are oppressed of the devil mentioned in Acts 10:38.

Our cross or burden to follow Jesus is love our fellow man enough to help those that are hurting, beaten down, sick and broken.  How? by following Jesus's example and minister to the needs of others.  Let the Holy Spirit guide you as He is your helper, your comforter, and friend.  Ask Him to show you where He wants you to minister to others and then let Him perform the miracles.  You see it is the Spirit that works in us and not we ourselves, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us," Ephesians 6:20 NKJV

Click here to watch the promo -

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Lord's Supper

On the night before our Lord crucification Jesus taught the disciples the importance of remembering Him through the partaking of the sacraments of bread and wine.  I believe that every time we partake of communion we are blessed with greater blessings.  Some churches only offer communion on limited schedule therefore I believe every believe should have communion at home as a family every day.

First Corinthians 11:28 tells us that a person should examine their hearts before they eat the bread and drink of the cup.  This is a perfect time to confess your sins to Jesus as He is our High Priest.  Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins.  But, you know what is truly amazing?  When God looks at the believer He does not see any sins that we committed in the past, present, or anywhere in the future.  What does He see when He looks at us?  Does He see weakness, failure, and disappointment in us?  No, when He looks at us He sees Jesus, He see that righteousness in Jesus.  Our righteous is not of our own doing because in this world we can never be perfect.  We are perfect in Jesus - we can now relax because Jesus has done all the work that needs to be done for us - He is our righteousness.

Why do we need to confess our sins then?  The enemy comes against us in our minds and He uses any unconfessed sins against us.  He whispers words of discouragement where ever there is sin in our lives.  When we confess our sins to Jesus, even though they are already forgiven, we are releasing our minds from the burden and guilt we feel therefore stopping the enemy from cause us to feel ashamed when we partake of communion.

"5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified."  2 Corinthians 13:5,6 NKJV

Notice that Paul clarifies that we are not disqualified.  You can examine yourself and know whether you are in Christ or not.  Once you've settled that in your heart then you can relax and know that you are not disqualified.  You are not under the burden of the Law, which is known as ministry of death (2 Corinthians 3:7) but under the ministry of Grace through Christ Jesus.

Do this in remembrance of Me

'19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying,“This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you." Luke 22:19-20 NKJV

"23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat;[a] this is My body which is broken[b] for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 
25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes."  1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV

Take communion as often as possible because I believe that healing manifests in our bodies and our minds every time we partake of communion.  When we partake of communion we are honoring and remembering Jesus for what He did for us.