Monday, February 16, 2015
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14 ESV)
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2 ESV)
If our understanding of grace does not lead us to embrace the law of Christ, we have misunderstood what genuine grace is. Grace is freely given by God to his children as a free gift so that we can live the "Jesus way." Grace is empowerment to live life in the Spirit which is always contrary to our sinful nature. True grace leads us to abandon lifestyles that are offensive to God. We are saved by grace and live the life of discipleship by grace.
The law of Christ is fulfilled by loving God, and our neighbor. By doing this, we keep the moral law (1 Timothy 1:8). Seeking to live a moral life by will power alone, leads to discouragement and failure, and is ultimately idolatrous. Will power apart from God's power can be a substitute savior that is actually the result of our own self-centeredness. We must come to the place where we realize, that we are powerless to live a "good life" apart from the indwelling Christ. - Bobby
Friday, February 13, 2015
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
That every Christian can be and should be filled with the Holy Spirit would hardly seem to be a matter for debate among Christians. Yet some will argue that the Holy Spirit is not for plain Christians but for ministers and missionaries only. Others hold that the measure of the Spirit received at regeneration is identical with that received by the disciples at Pentecost and any hope of additional fullness after conversion simply rests upon error. A few will express a languid hope that some day they may be filled, and still others will avoid the subject as one about which they know little and which can only cause embarrassment.
I want here boldly to assert that it is my happy belief that every Christian can have a copious outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a measure far beyond that received at conversion, and I might also say, far beyond that enjoyed by the rank and file of orthodox believers today. It is important that we get this straight, for until doubts are removed faith is impossible. God will not surprise a doubting heart with an effusion of the Holy Spirit, nor will He fill anyone who has doctrinal questions about the possibility of being filled.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.
(1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV)
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5 ESV)
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (Acts 17:24-25 ESV)
The Holy Spirit dwells in every true believer. God no longer dwells in temples made with hands, but instead he dwells in the hearts and manifests himself in the lives of his followers. We (God's church) are made up of living stones built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, and Jesus is the chief cornerstone in this spiritual temple. (Eph. 2:20)
Our goal is not to see a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, but to experience life in the Spirit, as the dwelling place of God, here and now. God has chosen a people for himself through his Son to be heirs of his promises and to experience his divine presence. In Christ we are partakers of the divine nature which allows us to access the mind of Christ.
We are the clay vessels that God has chosen to pour his life into, so that we can share his life with others. All of the fullness of God dwells in Jesus and we (his people) are spiritually located in Christ. As God's workmanship we were created for good works in Christ Jesus, that can only be accomplished through His indwelling Spirit. - Bobby
Monday, January 19, 2015
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
(Philippians 2:5-8 ESV)
When challenged by Satan in the wilderness, Jesus refused to turn a stone into bread. Satan sought to push Jesus into pride by using his power for self-gratification or by showing off by jumping off the Temple and being rescued by angels (Luke 4:1-13). Jesus only used his power to serve others. He never used his gifting for self promotion but lived under the authority of his Father. Jesus was the most humble man and yet the most powerful man who ever lived.
The Son of God is the pattern for how we should live our Christian life. As sinful creatures we can grow in humility by studying and meditating on the life of Jesus while seeking to emulate him. Jesus never sought to force obedience on anyone. And instead of urging his followers to take the lives of others, he taught them to lay down their lives as he himself did.
He left Heaven and made himself of no reputation and humbly became a man. He washed the dirt that he had created of the feet of those he had formed from the dust. He never called for an armed rebellion, as he taught his disciples to arm themselves with love. He walked a narrow road and the call is the same for all that would follow him today. - Bobby
Thursday, January 15, 2015
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,
(Hebrews 5:7-9 ESV)
I think when we examine and meditate on the life of Jesus we often forget about his humanity. All of his true followers, believe in his Divinity (He is God in the flesh) but we sometimes forget that he lived life as a real man. A real man with real human emotions. I have often pondered on the fact that Jesus was a teenager once. He had real struggles growing up, but without rebellion as he lived in perfect obedience to his Father.
He not only overcame the sinful temptations of the flesh but he had to deny himself of a future wife and family, and the normal life that his contemporaries would have experienced. But Jesus only did what God assigned him to do, and was completely focused on his mission. He lived in perfect ongoing communion with the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus felt the pain of the sins of all mankind, but yet He himself remained sinless.
His perfect obedience and reverence to his Father made him the only person who has ever been qualified to represent sinful humanity before God. His life and death were very costly. He who was lacking for nothing came to earth and was perfected at each stage of his life through obedience and suffering. And as He came into full maturity and at the proper time - he died for our disobedience and rebellion. So, why not meditate with me today on the fact that we owe Jesus everything? - Bobby