Tag: Love#

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)

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.

Are you Passionate or Lukewarm?

By Pastor Neil Kenyon, Salem, IN.

It seems that many are passionate about many things, except for Christ! One can have a passion for movies or actors – but not for Christ. It is okay to have a passion for certain styles of clothing,  but not for Christ.  A visible passion for certain foods or restaurants or hobbies or sports teams or individuals is okay – but not so for Christ, who often is obscured, even hidden, in one’s life.  It is okay to support a cause such as gun rights and the second amendment, or animal rights, that’s fine….. but when it comes to Christ,  passion, for many, seems to have become lukewarm!

In His revelation to John, as recorded in Revelation 3,  Jesus described the church at Laodicea as being lukewarm. They had lost their passion. Their drive and dedication for Him had become stale and dry! They were serving the Lord half-hearted without gusto or dedication. It is clear that they were going through the motions but they had lost their desire – their passion!   Jesus compared their relationship with Him to the temperature of something to be consumed:  A drink, or food,  that is to be served hot is not good if it is not hot, and that which is to be served cold is not good if it is not served cold – therefore, it is spewed out of one’s mouth! It follows, then, that a Christian who has lost his passion for Christ – a lukewarm person, who is only going through the motions of being a Christian, has lost his usefulness to the cause of Christ!

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Rev. 3:14-16)

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire…… (Rev. 3:18)

Christ counseled the church at Laodicea to, “Buy me gold tried in the fire.” (Gold  tried in the fire is a reference to a process in the refining of gold that removes the impurities.)

Behold, He knocketh!  If, for some reason, your relationship with Christ has become stale, or dry – even lukewarm,  may you have ears to hear that the first and the last – the alpha and omega – the one standing at the door, counsels you to invite Christ to enter in and remove the impurities and refine your passion for Him!

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.

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!