We are NOT Slaves! We are His Sons & Daughters!

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Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior].  For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death.  For what the Law could not do [that is, overcome sin and remove its penalty, its power] being weakened by the flesh [man’s nature without the Holy Spirit], God did: He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful man as an offering for sin. And He condemned sin in the flesh [subdued it and overcame it in the person of His own Son],  so that the [righteous and just] requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not live our lives in the ways of the flesh [guided by worldliness and our sinful nature], but [live our lives] in the ways of the Spirit [guided by His power].

 For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose].  Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever];  the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot,  and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God].  If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.

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So then,  brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but not to our flesh [our human nature, our worldliness, our sinful capacity], to live according to the [impulses of the] flesh [our nature without the Holy Spirit]—  for if you are living according to the [impulses of the] flesh, you are going to die. But if [you are living] by the [power of the Holy] Spirit you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, you will [really] live forever.  For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry,

“Abba! Father!”  

The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God.  And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory.

For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us!  For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons—the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection].  For in this hope we were saved [by faith]. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he already sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure.

Our Victory in Christ

In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will.

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.  For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.  And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified [declared free of the guilt of sin]; and those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity].

What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us?  He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against God’s elect (His chosen ones)? It is God who justifies us [declaring us blameless and putting us in a right relationship with Himself].   Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us.  Who shall ever separate us from the love of  Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  Just as it is written and forever remains written,

For Your sake we are put to death all day long;
We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter.”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us].  For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Are You Saved? Really?

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The pastor at a church I visited yesterday gave a really good message. I will paraphrase because this is a truth we must not ignore.

There are so many who think they are saved, or “Christian,” merely because they said a prayer, or because they attend church. This is a great deception.

I fear because there has been a loss of fear and reverence for the Truth of Gods Word. I cringe because it as though we trample on His blood when we lessen the price He paid for our salvation.

To some, the message of the cross is nothing more than a cheap trinket to be worn on a necklace or a dirty bumper sticker on the back of a car.

First, to the church, I will say… Stop it! Quit raising false converts for the glory of the numbers you receive at alter calls! Preach TRUTH! Quit fearing man and fear God!

To those who think they can say a quick flippant prayer and think “all is well” and you can continue living the life you want without consequence, I say to you…you have no idea what you claim to be saved from!

True repentance leads to a change of heart. You are no longer comfortable living in sin. You will respond to the conviction you feel in your spirit when the Holy Spirit tells you to turn back, stop, don’t do that!

There is a false gospel being preached and it says God loves everyone and He will send no one to hell. This is a half truth. Yes, He loves everyone, if He didn’t He wouldn’t have came down in the flesh and die on our behalf. And yes, He does not send people to hell. But, people are going to hell if they do not repent and receive Jesus as the ONLY way to the Father! Why? Because they choose to.

Jesus said, if you love Me you will keep My commandments.

If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. John 15:15

I wrote a post not too long ago asking, “Does He know you”?

Look, even Satan knows God. He believes in Jesus.

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’ Matthew 7:21-23

Sanctification is a process. But it is a process you must participate in. His grace is sufficient when you struggle, when you are weak, when you fall. His grace helps you back up and puts you back on the path that leads to Him.

This is not a game. Your soul is not worth gambling.

Repent! Get out of the mud and come home! He is calling you!

Quit playing games! If you are not living right, be honest, you know! He created you with a conscience.

There is no greater joy than knowing your name is written in the Book of Life. There is no greater peace than what Jesus gives you. There is NO substitute. No addiction, no relationship, no drink or drug, can compare to what He has for you.

Please, please, please, if this is you, get right while there is still time. Hell is real and Heaven is Glorious!

You were created for so much more than where you are now.

He loves you!

Be Free & Stay Free 

The Kiss of Judas

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Why do we think it so strange when the people we are closest to turn their backs on us? We are living in a time where things are NOT gray, they are black and white, light and dark, the lines are not blurred. We are in a time when people call good evil and evil good. Why do we find this strange when the Bible tells us this is going to happen?

I am writing this post because my heart is heavy and feeling broken. I wont go into details, but suffice it to say, because of the truth of Gods word, I am losing people that were once so close to me. I am no way claiming to be perfect or super spiritual, but I do know Gods word and there are some thing that are non-negotiable. Does this mean I love them less? No! But, listen to me, no matter who it is that is challenging your belief and faith in Christ, you must NOT waiver!

Lately, the persecution is stepping up it’s game. To believe in the word of God you are given a label, and it is not a nice label. You can try to be as loving as possible and explain and defend yourself until you are blue in the face, but the truth is… the time has come to separate the sheep from the goats.

Look, I want to be real with you. This is not always easy, because it is coming from people we love and care for. We may struggle and hem haw around because we do not want to “offend” them or “hurt their feelings,” but I have to tell you, there is something much more at stake here.

We cannot walk around on our tip toes, because if you are a follower of Christ, then you must learn to see as He sees. He did not love people unto their grave and death because He didn’t want to hurt their feelings. He didn’t tip toe around and sugar coat things because He was afraid they would reject Him. He met them where they were (His goodness), ministered to them, and then told them to go and sin no more. He was not afraid to call it out, because He didn’t look at the temporal, He looked at the eternal.

We must look beyond the flesh, beyond the person, and recognize it for what it is. It is an attack from the enemy. Do NOT take it personal! The person through who the attack comes from is being deceived. Have pity on them, have compassion, but do not waiver, stand on the truth!

Think about Judas; he walked with Jesus. He was in the inner circle. He heard the Word through God Himself. He sat at the table with Him. But, he was deceived and betrayed the very One Who held eternal life in His hand. He betrayed the very One Who laid His life down for us.

Why?

Luke 22:2-4 says: The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people [who listened devotedly to His teaching, and who respected His spiritual wisdom]. Then Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve [disciples].  And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him and hand Him over to them.

The devil saw the weak link and took advantage of it.

The enemy will come at us through the people we love. We think because we are Christian things should be easy. We think if we love someone enough they will see the truth.

But…

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I like how the Amplified says it: Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword [of division between belief and unbelief].  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;  and a man’s enemies will be the members of his [own] household [when one believes and another does not].

His Word is offensive to those who do not believe. Because His Word speaks truth and it convicts of sin. Not to torment, but to show a better way, to lead to repentance and salvation. But, for those who are comfortable in their sin, they will reject the truth. The world will tolerate you as a Christian as long as you keep silent. But, we are NOT called to be silent. We are called to be the salt and the light. When someone is in darkness, the light will blind them; they will either adjust their vision to the light, or they will reject the light.

What I am trying to say, is do not be afraid, do not back down. Do NOT beat people up with the Bible, but DO continue to speak the truth. Do NOT back down or sugar coat the truth. Their eternity is far more important than your feelings and what they think about you.

Stay close to Him, my friends. The day is coming to an end. His return is close. Pray for them and give them to God. You are only responsible to speak the truth, not for if they receive it or not. And for pete’s sake, do NOT let the enemy wreak havoc in your mind with accusations of your past, do NOT let him tell you you are disqualified! You are called and chosen. Now GO!

When you are being “labeled,” and when you are being accused, hold fast, even if the accusation is coming from someone as close as Judas.

Be Free & Stay Free