Category: Basic Christianity

Satan’s most Strategic Weapon against YOU!

Satan’s most strategic weapon against the believer is as the accuser. Why is this so effective? Because in our hearts we know we are unworthy of God’s love. Satan tells us we have sinned, we kept on sinning, he points out the failures in our lives, telling us God wants nothing to do with us. And our temptation is to look within and in our self-defense, try to find within ourselves some ground for believing Satan is wrong. We may be tempted to admit our helplessness and go to the other extreme, yield to depression and despair. Satan uses his accusations against us, charging us before God. If we accept his accusations we fail immediately. Thus, accusation becomes one of Satan’s greatest and most effective tools against the believer.

Why do we accept his accusations? Because we are hoping to have some righteousness of our own. We are hoping to be good enough by our own power. Satan’s accusations have caused us to look in the wrong direction for an answer.

Our need is to recognize the absolute sufficiently of the blood Christ shed on Calvery. It was there that He obtained our eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12). He became our redeemer. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

When we are walking in the light with the Lord, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. It is not just some sin, but every sin. Big sins, small sins, sins that appear to be very black, and sins that are not so black, even sins that we think can not be forgiven. Yes, all sins, conscious or unconscious, remembered or forgotten, are all included in those words: “every sin.” The blood of Christ makes us clean and God the Father is satisfied.

It is the blood that cleanses us from all sin and unrighteousness. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

What an amazing cleansing the blood does in our lives when we walk in the light with our Lord. Everything is exposed in the light. I cannot hide anything in my life, nor does God overlook anything. He has a perfect knowledge of me. He knows every tiny detail about me. He knows every thought I have. He knows my heart. And yet, because of the blood of Christ and His amazing grace, I stand in the presence of God, spotless, without blemish.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isiah 1:18).

We must learn to put no confidence in the flesh, little wonder that we sin, for the very nature of the flesh is to sin. We must learn to rely completely on God for our salvation and not on our own goodness or abilities. As hard as it is to admit, we are helpless and weak, without the power of God in our lives. If we have expectations of ourselves, the result will be that when Satan comes along with his accusations, we will fail miserably.

God is well able to deal with our sins; but He cannot deal with a man under the accusations of Satan, because that man is not trusting in the Blood. The Blood of Christ speaks in his favor, but he is listening instead to Satan. Christ is our Advocate, but we the accused, side with the accuser. We have no recognition that we are not worthy of anything but death. God alone can answer the accused, and that by the precious Blood He has already done so. Never should we try to answer Satan with our good conduct but always with the Blood. We are sinful because of our sinful nature, but the Blood cleanses us from every sin. Praise God! Christ paid the price for our sins in full, and God is satisfied. Satan has no grounds for his accusations.

Our faith in the precious Blood of the Lamb, and its cleansing power; and our absolute refusal to be moved from that position can alone silence Satan’s charges and put him to flight.

“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” (Romans 8:33-34)

The Significance of Christ Shedding His Bood on the Cross

It is God’s holiness and righteousness that demand that a sinless life should be given as redemption for man. There is life in the blood, and that blood has to be poured out for our sins. God is the one that requires it in order to satisfy His righteousness.

We have to believe the blood which is precious to God, is sufficient payment for our sins and God is satisfied. 

“18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

We are told that because of the cleansing power of the blood, we can boldly approach God’s throne of grace with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). We can approach God through His merit alone based on the work of the Lord Jesus in the shedding of His blood.  And never on our own merits or achievements, which fall miserably short of the perfection required to enter the presence of God. Your initial approach to God is made possible by the blood and only by the blood. This will never change regardless of your measure of attainment, whether you have consciously sinned or not. It is only by the precious shed blood of Christ that we can enter into the “holy of holies”, the presence of God. It is not and will never be by our own efforts or goodness. 

At the beginning of our Christian life, we are concerned with our actions more than we are with who we are. We are more distressed by what we have done than our inner being. We think if we could only change our actions, we would be more pleasing to God and would be better Christian. Therefore, we set out to change our actions and by doing so, set ourselves up for failure. The trouble is not on the outside but on the inside. It is not because we have done wrong, it is much deeper than that. It is because we are wrong and can never be right by our own efforts. Our only hope is in the blood of Christ that washes away our sins, cleanses us, and makes us as pure as new-fallen snow.

When we are walking in the light with the Lord, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. It is not just some sin, but every sin. Big sins, small sins, sins that appear to be very black, and sins that are not so black, even sins that we think can not be forgiven. Yes, all sins, conscious or unconscious, remembered or forgotten, are all included in those words: “every sin.” The blood of Christ makes us clean and God the Father is satisfied.

It is the blood that cleanses us from all sin and unrighteousness. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

What an amazing cleansing the blood does in our lives when we walk in the light with our Lord. Everything is exposed in the light. I cannot hide anything in my life, nor does God overlook anything. He has a perfect knowledge of me. He knows every tiny detail about me. He knows every thought I have. He knows my heart. And yet, because of the blood of Christ and His amazing grace, I stand in the presence of God, spotless, without blemish.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isiah 1:18).

This study is continued in my next post, “Satan’s most Strategic Weapon against YOU!”

What does it mean to be crucified with Christ?

To begin with, we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”  We are sinners because we were born of Adam. It is not a matter of our behavior, but our heredity. I am not a sinner because I sin, but I sin because I am a sinner. It is not because I individually sinned that I am a sinner, but because I was in Adam when he sinned.

  Because by birth I come from Adam, therefore I am a part of him. What is more, there is absolutely nothing to change this. I cannot change myself to improve my behavior to be anything other than a part of Adam, a sinner. We derive our existence from him, and because his life became a sinful life, a sinful nature, therefore, the nature we derive from him is also sinful. Our trouble is our heredity, not our behavior. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners“ (Romans 5:19). We do not become sinners by what we have done but because of what Adam has done. This distinction is important. For instance, if I were to ask you who is a sinner? The most likely reply would be, “the person that sins.” Yes, that is true, but it is equally true that one who does not sin is also a sinner, because he is of Adam’s race. 

There are good sinners and there are bad sinners, there are moral sinners and there are immoral sinners, but they are all sinners alike and in need of redemption. We have probably all heard the question asked; how could God send this person or that person to hell when all they have ever done is good in their life? There again, it is not what they have done, but who they are. We are all from Adam’s race and we cannot change that, no more than we can change our parentage. I am a sinner because I sin, but I sin because I came from the wrong stock. I sin because I am a sinner.

What is the answer? The second half of Romans 5:19 answers this, “so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” 

How then can we cut off our sinful heredity from Adam? There is only one way. Since we were born into sin, the only way out is by death. Death is the secret of our emancipation. Romans 6:2  “We are those who have died to sin.” How can we die? Certainly not by killing ourselves. The apostle’s next statement tells us: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” Romans 6:3

“One died for all therefore all died” (2 Corinthians 5:14). When Christ was crucified, we were all crucified there with Him. The Lord Jesus died on the cross, shedding His blood to atone for our sins. Jesus chose to give His sinless life to satisfy the righteousness and holiness of God. The Scriptures never told us that we shed our blood with Christ. In His atoning work on the cross, Christ acted alone; no other could have a part. But the Lord did not die only to shed His Blood, He died that we might die also. He died as our representative. In His death, He included you and me. “Christ died, and we have been joined with him by dying too. So we will also be joined with him by rising from the dead as he did” (Romans 6:5 ESV).

We died as a race of Adam and rose as a new race. The Cross is then the mighty act of God that converts us from Adam to Christ. 

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (Romans 6:5-8). We are no longer heirs of Adam and his sinful race but are now heirs of Christ. All we need to do to receive our inheritance is to receive Jesus into our lives.

Our crucifixion can never produce the intended results by our will or by our effort, but only by accepting what the Lord Jesus did on the Cross. Romans 6:7 & 11 does not mean deliverance from sin that no longer exists, but that we are delivered from its power in our lives in increasing measure as day by day we rely on God.

It is God’s holiness and righteousness that demand that a sinless life should be given as redemption for man. There is life in the blood, and that blood has to be poured out for our sins. God is the one that requires it to satisfy His righteousness.

We have to believe the blood which is precious to God, is sufficient payment for our sins and God is satisfied because He said it was (1 Peter 18-19). 

“18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

It is the blood that cleanses us from all sin and unrighteousness. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

This study is continued in my next post, “The significance of Christ Shedding His Bood on the Cross.”

The Thief on the Cross, entered Heaven with Jesus

How does the thief on the cross, fit into your theology?

As Christians, we all have our idea of how we should worship God, what we need to do to secure a place for ourselves in heaven, and what we need to do to be saved. Some of us worship very simply, while others worship very ritualistically. 

But what about the thief on the cross?  He wasn’t baptized. He never took communion. He was never confirmed. There was no speaking in tongues, no special prayers, no volunteering, and no special church clothes. He didn’t say the sinners’ prayer. He couldn’t kneel to pray. Jesus didn’t take his pain or heal his body. He was just a naked dying man on a cross that couldn’t even fold his hands to pray, yet he entered heaven along with Jesus, simply by believing. The only thing he had to offer was his belief in Jesus, that He was who He said He was, as the Scriptures show us:

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

There is nothing that we have to do before coming to Christ! There is absolutely nothing we can do to pre-qualify ourselves for Christianity. The one and only thing required of us is to believe. Many times we try to make Christianity more complicated for ourselves and others than we should. It is really very simple. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He rose again and is alive today; then seek His forgiveness. That is all that is required. Do that and you will be a child of God and you will secure your place in heaven. 

All God wants is for us to love Him as He loves us.

It Only Takes a Little bit of Faith

We will never behold the glory of Christ by sight in the next world if we have not in some measure beheld it by faith here in this world.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

The eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews lists many examples of men that had great faith and the things they accomplished.

Yet, it is not the quantity of faith that saves us. A little faith is just as real faith as the person with the greatest faith. A drop of water is just as real water as the whole ocean. A spark of fire is as real fire as a whole forest fire. A sickly man is just as real of a human being as a healthy man. So it is not the measure of your faith that saves you, but the blood of Christ. We all start out with little faith, but as we grow and see the hand of God in our lives and the lives of others, our faith increases astronomically. So if your faith is small, yet you seek Christ, He will not let you perish. The weakest hands may take the gift as well as the strongest. Christ is that gift, and a little faith is all it takes to begin a journey that will lead to a life of triumphant joy in our Lord.

Jesus: The Great ‘I AM!’

“I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am !”

Because of Jesus, I am………

I am alive with Christ. (Ephesians 2:5)

I am free from the law and death. (Romana 8:2)

I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me. (Isaiah 54;14)

I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me. (1 John 5:18)

I am holy and blameless in love before him. (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16)

(more…)

Being Christ-Like

As Christians, our greatest desire should be to be more like Jesus. How do we do that? By surrendering our lives to Him. By making God’s will more important to us than our own desires. As we strive to do this we will find our own desires being more in line with God’s desire for us. We will experience the love of Christ flowing through us.

When asked what was most important, Jesus replied, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.”

God is love. His nature is love. It is impossible for Him, not to love. He loved us so much that He gave His son, Jesus Christ, to die a horribly painful death to save us. He did this while we were sinners. We certainly didn’t deserve it. Jesus loves all of us. He loves us when we are unlovable. He loves the worst of sinners, people who we think are unlovable and don’t deserve God’s love are still loved by God. He doesn’t love the sin in their lives, in fact, He hates their sin, but He loves them. 

We have all heard love the sinner, hate the sin. This is very hard to do, it seems impossible; it is only possible for us when we allow the love of Christ to flow through us. When we surrender our own will and seek to do God’s will, we will find God’s love flowing through us naturally, without even thinking about it.

If we want to be more Christ-like, we must love those we may not like. We don’t have to like or accept their lifestyle, their behavior, what they stand for, or even their religion. We may not like to be near them or listen to them, but we need to love them as a creation of God. If we do this, we will find that we are becoming more concerned about their salvation and where they will spend eternity. We are becoming more Christ-like.    Love others.

Welcome Home

The point Jesus is making in the parable of the prodigal son is that we are never too far from God. No matter what we have done, God will always welcome us home.

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 “Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

We are all children of God. Sometimes we stray far away from the family of God. We may have strayed so far that we feel so unworthy, to even ask God’s forgiveness. We may think we are too far gone for God to accept us. The truth is that none of us are good enough. We can never be good enough. The good news is that God has made a provision for us. The blood that Jesus shed on the cross will cleanse us of all our unrighteousness. No matter where we are in life, Jesus is there waiting. He will accept us just as we are at this very moment. All we have to do is ask!

Say this simple prayer or something similar: Jesus I believe that you are the son of God. I believe that you died on the cross for our sins and that on the third day you rose again and are alive in heaven right now. Please forgive me of my sins, (we are all sinners) and come into my life.

If you said this prayer and meant it, you are now a child of God, you are a child of the King. You have come home! God will help you and bless you as only a Godly Father can.

God Loves YOU!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

This is the amazing beauty of God’s love towards us, that “while we were still sinners, He died for us”. We didn’t have to earn it. We could never earn his love. But on the other hand, there is nothing we can do to make God not love us. His love for you is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Romans 8:37-39 tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Because our Lord first loved us, we can be confident that our relationship with Him is not based on what we do. It’s based on who He is and what He’s like. His nature is love, and His love for us is unconditional and uninterrupted. As A. W. Tozer said, “Because God is self-existent, His love had no beginning; because He is eternal, His love can have no end; because He is infinite, it has no limit.” 

His love is a holy love, an agape love, Its depth is beyond our understanding. Fortunately, we don’t need to understand it, we just need to accept it. God loves us right now, this very minute; regardless of where we are, how we are, or who we are. God loves us now and forever.

Jeremiah 1:5 says “before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart”. Wow! The God who created the universe knows you and made you special! 

God knows everything about each one of us. There are no secrets from God. And yet, He loves us just the way we are………He loves each of us as if there were only one of us. All He asks is that we love Him back. God Loves You!

The Devil had a Going out of Business sale

Bill Anderson told the story about the day the devil decided to go out of business. He decided to have a sale in which he would sell off the tools of his trade.

On the night of the sale, the devil’s tools were all attractively displayed. Malice, hate, jealousy, greed, sensuality, and deceit were among them. To the side lay a harmless wedge-shaped tool, which had been used much more than any of the rest.

Someone asked the devil”What’s is that? It’s priced so high.” The devil answered, “That’s discouragement.” “But why is it priced so much higher than all the other tools?” the onlooker persisted. “Because, replied the devil, with that tool I can pry open and get inside a person’s consciousness when I couldn’t get near him with any of the others. Once discouragement gets inside, I can let all the other tools do their work.”

How does the devil get us discouraged? By lying to us. Jesus said Satan is a liar and the father of lies. There is no truth in Him (John 8:44). He knows what lies to tell each of us to get us discouraged. To name a few:

You’re not going to make it!  You’re not good enough!  You’re not pretty enough! Nobody likes you! Everybody’s against you! You can’t trust anyone! You’re a failure!

These are just some of the lies Satan will use on us. Don’t believe his lies. Don’t let Satan steal your joy. God created each of us unique and special. God doesn’t make mistakes. He loves each of us more than we can humanly understand. He loved us before we were born, He has always loved us and always will. To God, you’re not a failure. You are more precious than gold. There is nothing we can do to keep Him from loving us. All He wants is for us to love Him back.

Discouragement comes from the devil.

Discouragement never comes from God.