Are we having fun yet…

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“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

(Pro 1:32-33 NASB)


Journal,

The soul of every sinner is the same. Yes, I’m talking about everyone, including we who have found Jesus Christ as our own Lord and Savior. We were sinners by nature and by birth.

We walked in the ways of the world. We lived in the ways of the world. Our life was flesh driven and self-centered. We sought pleasures to our own making. And we were locked in chains of darkness and did not even realize it.

This is why Paul said,

“Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Eph2:3

The apostle is saying that it doesn’t matter if we were of a Jewish or a Gentile background. We all had the same kind of souls, the soul of sinners.

David understood this issue. He said,

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” Psa51:5

David was speaking of his natural life.

Paul takes it further;

“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” Rom7:25

Both David and Paul knew the answer. David looked ahead and saw the resurrection of Christ. This is why he said,

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; who shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?” Psa27:1

David had seen the beauty of the Lord. He saw Jesus of the cross. He saw Jesus of resurrected glory.


What of the Christian soul?

There is a certain wonder that takes place when a person is born of heaven. It is almost too wondrous for words. Peter said that it is joy, inexpressible, and full of glory.

When a person is born again a number of things happens. First the Christian is given a Christ like nature. The Christian becomes a spiritual being. Where there was darkness, there is now light. Where there was endless searching for fulfillment, the fulfillment has arrived. Jesus completes our life. That missing part is no longer missing. The search is over.

The Psalmist said it this way -

“The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.” Psalm16:5,6


Reshaped for life.

When a new believer first enters the realm of salvation, there is a burst of spiritual life. There is joy! There is peace! There is wonderment! Grace flows like a river. Then somewhere along the way something happens and this feeling of joy begins to wane. Some of the old sinful patterns try to reappear. What is happening!

It could be a number of things. Very often it is self-assertion. We are replacing the Spirit with the flesh.

Then there is the issue of truth. In the Scriptures, the term ‘truth’ does not refer simply to a doctrine. The Greek term  is used in the new covenant for our experiencing the realities of Christ. Sometimes a Christian gets bogged down in legalism and letterism. Paul said the letter kills whereas the Spirit gives life.

What did Paul mean? It would seem that we need all the laws we can get! Not really. Paul understood the new covenant as well as it can be understood. He knew that every person who is truly born again is under the life supervision of the Holy Spirit. If we try to live for the Lord in our own strength we will surely find ourselves weakening.

The apostle said that he had found the secret to living a full life of victory. Listen:

“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil4:12,13)

The lesson is simple – It is the Spirit of God who births us, seals us, tutors us, educates us, places us where we need to be, refreshes us, turns our trials into victories, helps us escape bad teachings, keeps the glory of Jesus before us, and many such things. Our final presentation in heaven is a thing of the Spirit.

In the new covenant this all centers on sonship. Paul said,

“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” Gal4:6

Our relationship with the Father is not that of a servant. We are sons and daughters of the  living God. Angels know the Divine seal upon God’s children. And so our inward life is being reshaped by the Spirit of God.


Living Out Our Life in Christ

Yes, the believer can very well find himself drifting back into old life styles. This does not mean that he isn’t saved. What it means is that ‘the’ lesson is yet to be learned. This lesson will be taught to the believer under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It often comes through necessary trials in the believer’s life. (Trials are not punishments from God. They are designed to give true purpose in our walk with Him.)

The point is that the life that Jesus came to give us is unlike anything the world has ever known. We are heavenly born people in earthly bodies. This is why we often struggle within ourselves. This is also why true believer’s carry in themselves a longing for their final transformation. And this is why we can only be happy when we are living a Spirit-filled life.

Paul speaks to this in saying,

“As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have born the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1Co15:48,49)

The second lesson to learn is that we actually carry in us the life and power of Jesus. We can draw on His life and on His power. We reaffirm our life on a daily basis by remembering our unique role on planet earth. We also affirm our life in Christ when we learn our need to gather as the people of God. It is in our gatherings we share a very unique promise of God’s presence.

And so the question remains, ‘Are we having fun yet?’ You can decide this for yourself. It really depends on whose camp you are in.

Here is a song that will bless you – ‘I Can’t Even Walk,’ by Jessy Dixon, David Phelps, and Guy Penrod.

Love you in Christ,

Buddy

Do you have Lamb assurance…

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Journal Readers,

Are you fully assured of your salvation in Christ? Listen to David describe the person who lives in the security of the Lord: WLUG000A

“HOW BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE STRENGTH IS IN YOU, IN WHOSE HEART ARE THE HIGHWAYS TO ZION! PASSING THROUGH THE VALLEY OF BACA THEY MAKE IT A SPRING; THE EARLY RAIN ALSO COVERS IT WITH BLESSINGS. THEY GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH, EVERY ONE OF THEM APPEARS BEFORE GOD IN ZION.” (PSAL84:5-7 NASB)
Paul said he was confident that the good work which GOD began in each believer, GOD Himself would perfect until the day of JESUS CHRIST. (Phi1:6) This tells us that the work of salvation is GOD’S work and not our work. It also tells us that the total of our walk in life will remain under the Lordship of JESUS CHRIST. This is what the apostolic writer meant when he said that JESUS CHRIST is author and the finisher (completer/perfecter) of our faith.
This does not mean that we have no choices in life. It means that understanding GOD’S ultimate purposes in our life is all-important to a life of faith. He can turn our down turns into victories. Paul said, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2Co2:14
Most frustrations that believers face in life are due to not keying in on GOD’S life purposes. Our last session was about ‘Biblical Salvation.’ Now let’s talk about affirming our life in JESUS.
I – Our Ancient Spiritual Heritage
1. The place to begin is to realize our uniqueness in the earth. GOD’S people have always shared an apartness in the world. This apartness is our heritage. Knowing we are the people of GOD is a major key to affirming our life in Christ. Cf. 1Pe2:6-11.
2. This heritage reaches back to the original promise that the seed of the woman would ultimately crush Satan’s authority. We see the heritage expressed in the Abrahamic promises that would be fulfilled in JESUS. Cf. Gen12:3; 22:16-18; Gal3:16,26-29.It is our apartness that Satan hates. The world has lived in a death culture ever since fall of Adam. GOD’S people are called to a ‘life’ culture. We are to give testimony to the life we’ve found in JESUS. We are the evidence of GOD’S lovingkindness, of his mercy, and of His grace and forgiveness. Cf. John15:18,19; 17:14,15.
II – The Battle
1. The One thing Satan must do to counter Christianity is to cast doubt on GOD’S Word. This is what can be called ‘bottom-line’ spiritual warfare. You find it in place in the garden of Eden. Cf. GEN3:1-7.
2. Many don’t realize that if you add to or take away from GOD’S Word, this becomes grounds for deception. Satan is called in the Scriptures both a liar and a deceiver. Eve was deceived! When JESUS was confronted by Satan in the wilderness, what was the battle about? Cf. MATT4:1-11.
3. Heresy always begins with a twist on truth. If you see someone down-playing the Word of GOD, that is a sure sign that deception is at work. Compare these warnings: PSA12:6; PRO30:5,6; MATT15:1-9; MATT23:15.
4. God has given us words to live by. Join the book to JESUS and you have the keys to living a godly life. Cf. 2 Tim 3:14-17; 4:1-4, 6; Rev. 22:18,19.
III – Living Our Life in Christ
1. The life that JESUS gives is unlike anything the world has ever known. We are heavenly born people in earthly bodies. This is why we often struggle within ourselves. This is also why true believer’s carry in themselves a longing for their final transformation. Cf. Phil3:20,21; Rom8:15-17,23,28-31.
Paul speaks to this in saying, “As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as in the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have born the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1Co15:48,49)
2. We affirm our life in CHRIST in being who we are. But we also affirm our life in CHRIST when we gather as the people of GOD. In our gatherings is a unique promise of GOD’S presence. Cf. Gen49:10; Exo20:24; Matt18:20.
3. There is a special prophetic Psalm that describes the feelings, emotions, desires, affections, visions, and movements of GOD’S people towards the LORD. Notice the language of Psalm 84. Now compare this to Hebrews 11:8-10,13-16.
IV – Declaring God’s Way
1. This is another reason Satan hates believers. We refuse to be molded or controlled by this world’s dark view of life. The Bible tells us that we are ever moving towards a divine destiny when time as we know it is no more. We believe in a final judgment, in a resurrection. We laugh at every form of godless philosophy the world has to offer.
2. This is why Satan greatly fears the people of CHRIST. He knows that when the people of the world make contact with believers, it stirs their hearts. And Satan has nothing to compete with the child of GOD who is led by the SPIRIT of the LORD. This is what Paul is talking about in 2Co2:14-17; 3:5,6,14-18
3. The most important thing a person can do in life is to take the message of the Bible to heart. There are many voices clamoring for our faith. The voice we must listen to is the same voice that dictated what was to be placed in the written Word.  Paul tells us to learn to never exceed what is written. The prophet said, “If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because they have no dawn.” (No light in them. ISA8:20)
It is important to realize that God prepares us for what He has prepared us for. Believers have been shaped intellectually, emotionally, physically, historically, environmentally, relationally, and above all spiritually to fulfill a certain role in God’s kingdom. There will never be another you. Cf. Psalm 139.

“How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca [valley of tears] they make it a spring; the early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion.” – Psalm 84:5-7

Do you yet struggle with a fear of losing your salvation? You really shouldn’t. Paul said the good work which God began in each of us, the Lord Himself would perfect until the day of Jesus Christ. (Phi1:6)

This tells us that the work of salvation is God’s work and not our work. It also tells us that the total sum of our walk in this life will remain under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The apostolic writer said that Jesus is both the author and the finisher of  our faith. (Heb12:2) This does not mean that we have no decisions to make in life. What it means is that when we understand God’s ultimate purpose in our life, it is from this that we learn to live a life of faith and trust. Paul said,

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2Co2:14

Most frustrations that believers face in life are due to not keying in on God’s life purposes. God has a blueprint for the new covenant. Here it how it reads:

KPS8000A

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, …

“…so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom 8:28-31)

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Our Ancient Spiritual Heritage

The place to begin is to realize the believer’s unique place in the earth. God’s people have always shared an apartness to the Lord. This apartness is our heritage. Knowing that we are the people of God is a major key to affirming our life in Christ. Peter said,

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1Pe 2:9-10)

Our heritage reaches back to the original promise that was given to Adam and Eve, in that the seed of the woman would ultimately crush Satan’s authority. We see the heritage expressed in the Abrahamic promises that was to be fulfilled in Jesus. Cf. Gen12:3; 22:16-18; Gal3:16,26-29.
x

It is our apartness that Satan hates. The world has lived in a death culture ever since fall of Adam. God’s people are called to a ‘life’ culture. We are to give testimony to the life we’ve found in Jesus. We are the evidence of God’s lovingkindness, of his mercy, and of His grace and forgiveness.

The one thing Satan must do to counter the Christian testimony is to cast doubt on God’s Word. This is ‘bottom-line’ spiritual warfare. You find it in place in the garden of Eden. (Gen3:1-7) Eve was deceived! When Jesus was confronted by Satan in the wilderness, what was the battle about? (Matt4:1-11) However, Satan has a real problem with new covenant believers. True believers are living witnesses that God’s Word is true. Satan’s attempt to discount the Bible is stifled because of the multiplied millions of people on this planet whose lives have been changed because of the gospel message. This is why Jesus said, “You shall be My witnesses.”

m-walker-dominion

Affirm your life in Christ

If you see someone down-playing the Word of God, that is a sure sign that deception is at work. Compare these warnings: Psa12:6; Pro30:5,6; Matt15:1-9; Matt23:15.

God has given us words to live by. When you join the Bible to Jesus, you then have the keys to living a godly life. Cf. 2 Tim 3:14-17; 4:1-4, 6; Rev. 22:18,19.

The life that Jesus gives is unlike anything the world has ever known. We are heavenly born people in earthly bodies. This is why we often struggle within ourselves. This is also why true believers carry in themselves a longing for their final transformation. The life we have is eternal life, which means it is a life that never be lost. Cf. Phil3:20,21; Rom8:15-17,23,28-31.

Paul speaks to this in saying,

“As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as in the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have born the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1Co15:48,49)

We affirm our life in Christ in being who we are.  This is another reason Satan hates believers. We refuse to be molded or controlled by this world’s dark view of life. The Bible tells us that we are ever moving towards a divine destiny when time as we know it is no more.

We believe in a final judgment, in a resurrection. We hold in distain every form of godless philosophy the world has to offer. This is also why Satan greatly fears the people of Christ. He knows that when the people of the world make contact with believers, it stirs their hearts. And Satan has nothing to compete with the child of God who is led by the Spirit of the Lord. This is what Paul is talking about in 2Co2:14-17; 3:5,6,14-18

The most important thing a believer can do in life is to take the message of the Bible to heart. There are many voices clamoring for our faith. Paul tells us to learn to never exceed what is written. The prophet said, “If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because they have no dawn.” (No light in them. Isa8:20)

It is important to realize that God prepares us for what He has prepared us for. Believers have been shaped intellectually, emotionally, physically, historically, environmentally, relationally, and above all spiritually to fulfill a certain role in God’s kingdom. There will never be another you. Cf. Psalm 139.

x

What then is Lamb Assurance

t-chiu-behold-the-lamb

Lamb assurance simply points to what happens when a person is given heavenly life. When a person truly believes on Jesus Christ, and receives Jesus as their Lord and Savior. it is at that moment of faith that the Holy Spirit takes of the blood if the Lamb and sprinkles it on the believer’s heart. In the sprinkled blood is the very life of God.

From that moment on the believer carries in their spirit being both the nature of Christ, the seal of Christ, and the testimony of Christ. This person has moved far beyond religion and into the reality of knowing God personally.  He carries in his heart Lamb assurance.

Let me repeat – Did you know that the blood that is sprinkled on this new believer’s heart is actually God’s blood? Listen to these Scriptures: (Follow the bold)

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Act 20:28)

And again;

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:

“May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1Pe 1:1-5)

So the question remains – Do you have Lamb assurance?

While you are thinking about this, take time to listen to “Thank God I Am Free” by JD Sumner & the Stamps:

There is much love to be found in Jesus,

Buddy