Healing, Restoration and Holiness are you walking in them, or are you already Perfected?

It needs to be said that true restoration of relationships involves more than choices to forgive and be forgiven and a great deal more than fleshly striving to be kind and loving.

Holiness is not achieved merely by working to order our behavior according to the laws of God. Holiness is a matter of giving ourselves so completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ that by the power of His Holy Spirit living in us we are transformed into His likeness. His purposes, motivations, and responses become ours. Our behavior is then the outward manifestation of what He has been allowed to accomplish in our innermost being.

Many in the church have not understood that a deep transformation of the inner man needs to happen for everyone in the process of sanctification. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted: but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:4, 5. holiness-funny

Hidden things in the heart (hardened heart, bitterness) often block us in our Christian walk and keep us from becoming one with each other and with God. When born-again Spirit-filled Christians cannot walk in Christ, often what is involved is one must minister through counseling to the evangelization of unbelieving hearts of believers. Hebrews 3:12.

Many Christians resist the very idea of sanctification as a process. Rather, they see it in terms of a single happening, an experience. They celebrate the fact that their sins are forgiven and they are new creatures in Christ, which indeed they are (2 Cor. 5:17) However, many fail to see that the new creation has yet to put off the practices of the old man (habitual ways of seeing, thinking, feeling, and acting) and to put on the new self who is “being renewed” (Col.3:3-15).

Many do not seem to understand that they must be renewed in the spirit of their minds (Eph. 4:23) so that they may learn, for example, how to “be angry” but “sin not,” Eph. 4:26.

Our renewed mind must be trained to take authority over the emotions of our heart so that choices to act are not directed by emotions but by the mind of Christ in us. We are crucified with Him (Gal.5:24 and 2:20) but Paul also says that we “die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31) as we reckon ourselves dead to sin and present ourselves as alive to Christ as instruments of righteousness (Rom. 6:11-14).

“By one offering He has perfected for all times those who are (being) sanctified” Heb. 10:14; this passage speaks of a process. In Hebrews 12:14 Christians are told to “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord.”

We are commanded to: “see to it that no one come short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” (Heb. 12:15) we are to do as Paul did, “…I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12). We are to “grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2) and “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12).

Christians who do not understand that our positional perfection in Jesus must become experiential in this life have counted their born-again experience as the end accomplishment rather than the beginning of a new life empowered by the risen Lord, supported, and nurtured by life in the family of God. (The Church).

The world bullies Israel, but God is the Redeemer of Israel.

Awake, awake! put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no longer come to you. Shake yourself from the dust, arise, sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!…Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.  Isaiah 52:1,2, 9 NKJV.

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Redeemed, ga’al, Strong’s # 1350. Ransom, redeem, and repurchase; to set free by avenging or repaying. God is the Redeemer of Israel (Isa. 43:1-3), repurchasing them from slavery (Sin).

Ga’al refers to the custom of buying back something a person has lost through helplessness, poverty, or violence. Furthermore, the one who does the redeeming is often a close relative who is in a stronger position and buys back the lost property on behalf of his weaker relative (Ruth 4:1-7).

Psalm 72 is universally understood as speaking of the Messiah; v. 14 states “He will redeem [ga’al] the life of the needy from oppression and violence.” In Isaiah 52:9, God redeems Jerusalem, buying it back from its oppressors on behalf of His people.

The biblical view of redemption is extremely wide, for God has pledged to redeem the whole creation, which currently groans in bondage (Romans 8:20-23).

   

Spirit speaks to spirit, does yours?

 

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24 NKJV.

It is every believer’s responsibility to discover how the Lord wants to be worshiped and to explore and cultivate a relationship with Him out of which sincere, Holy Spirit-enabled worship will flow.

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Jesus gives clear and simple instructions, worship in “spirit” (your personal spirit) that is alive through new birth (John 1:12, 13; 3:6, 7) and aglow with Holy Spirit enablement (1 Cor. 14:15).

This is not mechanical, sing three hymns and sitting down, it is not rote, or merely human activity but dynamically capacitated spiritual action.

“In truth” emphasizes biblical integrity joined to personal honesty, manifest in a heart of sincerity, a humble manner of transparency, and a relational integrity. Meaning and being what we say, as well as being spiritually energized in our worship, opens the way to that worship the Father seeks.

What matters is not where one worships but the attitude of heart and mind. True worship is not mere form and ceremony, but spiritual reality, which is in harmony with the nature of God, who is Spirit. Worship must also be in truth, that is, transparent, sincere, and according to biblical mandates.

Is your spirit speaking to Him in truth?

 

 

Sorry “U-Fit” Exercise Profits Little.

But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:7. timothy_1_4_7

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

               God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory. 1 Tim 3:16 NKJV.

Many believers incorrectly assume that the more we grow spiritually, the better we will look to others. The truth is the more we grow in Christ, the better God looks to others. Paul speaks of the “mystery of godliness” as a series of truths about the Savior.

In the same spirit, John the Baptist said, “[Christ] must increase, but I must decrease”(John 3:30). Simply stated, the truth of “Who John is” must speak ultimately in the truth about who Jesus is.

Practical, personal godliness might be called truth on display, Jesus being the truth (John 14:6). The Father’s goal for our lives is to grow us up to be like His Son—to conform us to Christ’s image (Romans 8:29).

As our lives tell the truth about God, people who do not know Him will be drawn to faith as they see what He is really is like.

Godliness is conduct consistent with the character of Christ. Growing in our relationship with God is becoming more and more like Christ.

“Whatever He says, do it!”

 

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of a man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetfull hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James 1:23-25 NKJV.

Purity of life is not a quest for perfection as much as it is a quest for liberation from those things that may inhibit effectiveness and reduce power filled living. This text shows the Word of God as a means of reflection — a mirror into which we are to look and see ourselves. The call is not only to heed what we see and accept the Bible’s corrective instruction, but there is an unwritten lesson here. Imagejustdoit

We should avoid the temptation to see (and judge) others in the Word, analyzing what they ought to do, instead of what we need to do. 2 Corinthians 3:18 also likens God’s Word to a mirror, but describes the image seen as no less than the Lord Jesus Himself.

The sum of the two texts:

  1. The Bible shows us Christ’s likeness so that
  2. We may measure our character against His and allow God to shape us into Christ’s likeness (Romans 8:29). Other promises for cleansing through God’s Word: Jeremiah 29:9 speaks of the fire in the Word which can purge as well as ignite; and Psalm 119:9 holds a special promise to the one wants a pure life of holy power. God’s Word is a powerful, cleansing, delivering agent.

What do you think about this post?

 

Do you know Him?

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God Allows “U Turns.”

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven, is at hand!” Matthew 3:1, 2 NKJV.

John the Baptist at this point in his life was definitely not politically correct, nor user-friendly, and had a penchant for calling groups of religious folk a “Brood of vipers!”JohnBap

Having raised himself in the desert,  he was without a doubt a wild child on a mission. His rugged individualism confronted the evils of his day in which the fear of God was spoken to an entire nation who had forsaken God as a way of life. Speaking out to them after 400 hundred years of silence from God, John was heralding the arrival of Jesus.

Repent was his cry for those who were living in the false security of man’s religion.

Repent,metanoeo, Strong’s #3340: From meta, “After” and noeo, “to think.” Repentance is a decision that results in a change of mind, which in turn leads to a change of purpose and action.

The first call of the kingdom is to repentance. The implications of biblical repentance are threefold:

  1. Renunciation and reversal. Making a heartfelt renunciation out loud and declaring one’s sinful way of life apart from the living God; also a determination to reverse one’s current way of life.
  2. Submission and teachability. One must die to self and like John the Baptist one must live in the mindset of “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).One must always be willing to be taught by The Holy Spirit.
  3. Continual shape ability. There is no birth into the kingdom without hearing the call to salvation, renouncing one’s sin, and turning from sin toward Christ the Savior (Acts 3:19).

One will not grow without obedience to Jesus’ commandments and childlike responsiveness as a disciple of Jesus, yielding to the teaching of God’s Word (James 1:21-25).

There is no lifelong increase of fruit (growth, fruit is grown) as a citizen of the kingdom without a willingness to accept the Holy Spirit’s correction (Have you been to the shed lately?) and guidance (Eph. 4:30).   God allows “U Turns.” B-Epiphany

 

 

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