Friday, August 8, 2014

Life-changing forgiveness

Life-changing forgiveness is spoken by God to a believer in Christ. Man hears and knows forgiveness. God lets one know that every sin is forgiven. A state of holiness is granted and a new life begins. Why? You were "put into" Christ by the Spirit of the living God. Power from above took you out of sin and put you into Christ - because God spoke. This baptism is performed by the Spirit of God just like God delivered Israel through the Red Sea.

Life-changing forgiveness will forsake sin and have a reason to forsake sin to live holy. When forgiveness is found God's pardon overwhelms the soul so much that you don't want to wrong God anymore. A new nature is born. A new character is created. A clean moral conscience allows the believer to make right and holy decisions. Christ centered decisions. Christ centered choices. Christ centered lifestyle.

Forgiveness is to be treasured above all things. Forgiveness is given to allow man to be holy and without blame before God in Christ. A forgiven heart is heart full of peace, joy, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit. Anyone can live and know every sin is forgiven. How? Christ is personally experienced and redemption cleanses the human soul. Many around the globe are taught to live in sin and ask forgiveness daily. What a tragedy! What a bad habit! What a misconception of life-changing forgiveness personally found in the redemptive work of Christ. Forgiveness is not blanket coverage to sin. Forgiveness doesn't entitle you to take for granted wronging God. Forgiveness is life-changing and manifests a life of obedience to Christ. Don't be deceived into thinking you get forgiven once and everything is OK down the road. Forgiveness is a present tense moral state of holiness and right living in the eyes of Christ. Without holiness in this life no man will see the Lord. Without forgiveness when you die no man will see Heaven. Don't kid yourself! You definitely aren't kidding God.

Forgiveness is a state of being. A forgiven life-style is not a life of unholiness or disobedience. Forgiveness is a present tense state of being and doesn't cover your future sin. Sin violates God Almighty like it did in the Fall of Adam. When sin is committed it must be forgiven by Christ. Why not be what God wants you to be. You have power to quit sinning. This tears down the trap of Theological barriers. Christ becomes the central focus on a daily basis. Christ is made your personal forgiveness on a daily basis. The reality of Christ becomes "present tense" in life-changing forgiveness. This kind of forgiveness keeps man from grieving the Spirit of God. Life-changing forgiveness is not given because you asked its given because you trust Christ for personal forgiveness. A forgiven life is a blessed life of holiness and must be maintained daily. A forgiven life is not a license to sin.

Your personal life-changing forgiveness is "present tense proof" a Savior lives.

Repentance

(What is repentance? Why do we need to repent? How do we repent? When do we repent?)

Repentance is a necessary path for all sinful men to receive salvation of the human soul. Repentance comes to a sinner’s thinking through realization of the person of Christ. Repentance is not just asking God for forgiveness as many people think. The Bible teaches that repentance is man’s renunciation of sin prompted by the Holy Spirit’s convicting work. Repentance involves man’s knowledge of sin and his attitude to turn away from sinful conduct. Repentance is the mental process that leads a sinful man to an acceptance of the redemptive work of Christ for salvation. Repentance is man's change of mind; and means to turn from sin and disobedience to God.

A penitent man turns to Christ when he acknowledges his own helplessness to break away from the bondage of sin. The sinner’s path of repentance is a conscious acknowledgement of the truth where he sees himself in light of Christ’s suffering on the cross. Through man’s acknowledgement of what Christ did at Calvary, God leads sinful men to repentance.

· 2 Tim 2:25-26…if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Repentance is more than asking God for forgiveness. Repentance is a Spirit influenced change of mind that causes men to cry out to God. Repentance allows the hardness of fallen mans being to be swayed by the work of the Holy Spirit. Repentance moves the penitent toward being Christ conscious and sin conscious. After true repentance a believer in Christ experiences the power of Divine Grace that enables man to live a holy life.

The penitent’s attitude toward wrongdoing in the sight of God changes from finding satisfaction in sin… to abstaining from every appearance of evil.(1 Thess.5:22) When man truly repents and turns to Christ, holiness of heart is found in the Grace of God; thus condemnation that comes from sin is thoroughly comprehended. True repentance makes men ashamed of a wrongful past. True repentance is brokenness within the heart of man that reaches to Christ for help. Sorrow and shame both being products of contrition can lead man to repentance.

· Ps 34:18… The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

· Isa 57:15-16… For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

· Ps 51:17…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.


It’s the power of Calvary that breaks the hardness of the human soul. Godly sorrow produced by Calvary breaks the soul enough that fallen man can repent and quit doing wrong. Brokenness and contrition reduces man to nothing. The cross shows fallen man he has nothing to approach God with but helplessness and hopelessness. When man realizes he is nothing at the feet of a Savior on the cross…God can perform His saving work. This sorrowful yielding from the heart of man, allows the Spirit of God to perform the greatest of all miracles…Salvation of the human soul.

· 2 Cor 7:10… For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation


Repentance is offered to all men through hearing about Jesus. The truth of the Gospel message stirs the conscience of man enough that repentance can be made. When Christ is preached the Holy Ghost convicts the soul; and reveals to man his depraved state of being. In light of the cross, man sees himself as he really is.

Members of the body of Christ tell the world about the person of Christ...so that unsaved men can come to repentance through the knowledge of truth. The Church knows forgiveness of sins comes through Christ’s death at Calvary. This is the testimony of the child of God! Members of the Church testify to the power of Salvation that comes through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Repentance and forgiveness of sins are both ministered to the hearer of the Gospel message through the power and presence of a living Christ.

· Luke 24:47…And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem

· Acts 13:38…Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:


Through the truth of the Gospel message the presence of the Holy Spirit condemns sinful man’s unholiness. The Church tells the sinner how to get away from this condemnation through Christ. The Holy Spirit reveals sin to the heart of man. The Church tells the sinner how trusting in the person of Christ can deliver man from his sinful condition. When the truth about Christ is ministered the Holy Spirit can sway man from rejection to an acceptance of the person of Christ. Through Gospel preaching…God’s goodness and love both can affect the soul of fallen man enough that it can lead man to repentance.

· Rom 2:4…Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Repentance is man’s turning away from sinful conduct. True repentance takes man away from sin to a place where he don’t want to commit sin anymore. The changed mind of the penitent will no longer try to conceal secret sins. Why? A penitent man stays conscious and obedient to the Holy Spirit’s presence. A penitent man recognizes the truth and power of Calvary. Repentance turns man away from sin and causes him to look to Christ for all of his needs to live a holy life. When true repentance occurs...man believes and receives salvation of the human soul through God’s Divine Grace. The penitent trusts what Christ did at Calvary for forgiveness of sins. The sins of the penitent are blotted out; and all the guilt from past sins is removed by the power of God's Grace.

After repentance when man trusts in Calvary… man knows Christ in his conscience through the Holy Spirit’s presence. A heart full of holiness and repentant works are produced in the life of this believer. Works meet for repentance prove the believer is truly forgiven of his sins; and converted to a life of holiness. True repentance keeps man refreshed in the presence of Christ…every day of his life.

· Acts 26:20… then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

· Acts 3:19… Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;


"Humility comes to the penitent through “recognition” of the person of Christ"...Hubert T. Lindsey"

Repentance

There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1.) The verb _metamelomai_ is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3). (2.) Metanoeo, meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with (3.) the cognate noun _metanoia_, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.
Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin (Ps.119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavor to walk with God in holiness.

The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps. 51:4, 9), of pollution (51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (51:11; 109:21, 22). Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps. 51:1; 130:4).

Eastons 1897 Bible Dictionary

The Holy Spirit’s Witness…Pt. 2

(Outer confession of Christ from the mouth of the believer) In simple terms..."tell the world about Christ".

The work of the Holy Spirit places a witness in the heart of a believer through the Christian experience of the new birth. This witness from the Spirit of God testifies salvation through the forgiveness of sins received within the human soul. A believer in Christ thus experiences a moral change of character and conduct through the Holy Spirit’s witness. How? freedom and deliverance from the bondage of sin produces the holy heart. The Holy Spirit’s union with the spirit of man in Salvation directs the believer in a holy life. Every believer in Christ has this witness in himself.

· 1 John 5:10…He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself
All believers become members of the body of Christ through the miracle of the new birth. The experience of the new birth allows a penitent man to receive a holy nature given from God. Since there is no man righteous without Christ, no not one, the “new nature” is what enables man, a sinner from birth to do right in the sight of God.

· Rom 3:10… As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

The moral transformation from sinner to saint allows this just man to be placed into right standing with God. A right standing with God comes through man’s trust in what Christ did for him personally at the cross; and what Christ is presently doing within his life from the Throneroom. The Holy Spirit’s witness placed within that heart and life directs the believer’s daily life in Christ.

· Gal 5:25… If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit

The Holy Spirit’s “inner witness” becomes the believer’s “outer witness” for the cause of Christ. Children of God become witnesses for Christ and this is how. First the Spirit’s witness is received into the heart of those who trust Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Secondly, the believer concerning the regenerating work of the new birth received within that soul makes confession. A believer’s confession of Christ is a testimony to “the world” about the inner work of Salvation that he personally received.

· Rom 10:10-11…For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed

The testimony of a believer is how Christ manifests Himself through His body, the Church. Members of the body of Christ are those converted by the Grace of God. Witnessing for Christ is how God draws men into His body. Christians tell the world about the person of Christ. The Holy Spirit performs the sanctifying work of Salvation in every soul that receives Christ. A witness for Christ tells the world about who Christ is. The Holy Spirit convicts those hearts of sin and unrighteousness. God puts witnesses for Christ across the paths of unsaved men. The Holy Spirit shows those men a need for a Savior. A witness for Christ tells the world of an Eternal Judgment. The Holy Spirit shows man how to escape it it. The harmony between a witness for Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in the negative side of man is how God through Christ draws sinful men to “repentance” and “acceptance”.

· John 12:32…And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

A believer in Christ becomes a witness for Christ because he is enlightened to the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit personally received in the soul. This child of God has a confession about Christ because of an actual moral change experienced within that heart and life. A child of God thus becomes a physical mouthpiece for Christ to the world. Why? Christ through the members of His body enlightens the unsaved world to the actual experience of becoming a child of God. This is why men of God to those who do not know or understand God offer invitations.

· Isa 55:1-2…Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Witnessing for Christ is part of being a Christian and not to be taken lightly. The believer’s witness for Christ is a love for humanity. The holy heart and life of a believer allows man to be a true and effective witness for Christ without a two-sided life. Confession in word is the believer’s witness for Christ. Confession in lifestyle shows the believers love toward God and his love for humanity. The true heart of a believer allows Christ to manifest in that life…both in deed and truth.

· 1 John 3:18-19…My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

It’s the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost that makes men witnesses for Christ. Christians “are” witnesses and they do “tell” the world about the person of Christ. Why? They personally know the love of God for the forgiveness of sins, in their own experience. They desire to tell the world about this blessed experience. They personally know that Christ gave them a clean heart. They desire to tell the world about that also. They personally know they were bought for a price and they desire to tell the world about that too. Christ is confirmed inwardly in their hearts and lives by the Holy Ghost; and glorified outwardly through the word of their testimony!

· 1 Cor 1:4-8…I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

· 2 Thess 1:10-12… (Because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit’s Witness

(The inner work of the Holy Spirit in the soul of a believer)

The witness of the Holy Spirit affects the inner part of man’s make-up in both sinner and saint alike. It deals with how the Spirit of God reaches the human soul in Salvation. The Holy Spirit affects the human soul when man "hears" the truth of the word of God. As the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit inwardly work together the unholy will and desire of man is affected or swayed. The Spirit’s witness through the Gospel message affects the mind and will of sinful man enough that sinful man can be led to repentance. The Spirit’s conviction pricks the heart by stirring the conscience and revealing to man (Christ) thus showing man his need to turn away from a life of sin.

· Acts 2:37-38…now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent

Repentance is work of the Holy Spirit in the human soul that helps sinful man to change his mind. The Spirit places a new desire in the heart to quit wrongdoing and helps one to recognize a consciousness to Christ. The Holy Spirit testifies Christ to the heart of man.

· John 15:26…But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me

As the Spirit testifies to the heart, man can see himself as he really is. Sin is exposed as the power of the Holy Spirit affects the will of man enough that a change of mind can be made. Mans choice to change is made as the goodness of God leads him to repentance.

· Rom 2:4…not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance

The Spirit’s witness makes Christ known to the human soul. This work of the Holy Spirit affects mans choices and decision making process. When a sinful man sees himself in the presence of Christ brokenness from the guilt of sin occurs. By the Spirits conviction man becomes sorrowful for sinful acts and wrongdoing. Sorrow then turns to consent of the human will in repentance, belief, and acceptance of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

· 2 Cor 7:10…For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation

Unlike conviction and repentance which affect the will of man, believing and receiving deals with consent of the human will. Consent of human will is given through mans faith toward Christ. It is worked out through a life of obedience to God. Contempt of human will is reflected toward Christ through doubt, rejection, or unbelief. It is worked out through a life of disobedience to God. The Holy Spirit’s invitation through preaching the Gospel can disturb the conscience enough to sway the will of man. Through acceptance of Christ man makes a willful choice to get away from what he is. His choice to willfully exercise faith allows the power of God to produce a life of subjection and obedience to Christ. Note the fact that faith and the Holy Spirit enter into man through hearing… the word of God.

· Gal 3:2…Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
· Rom 10:17…So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


The Holy Spirit cuts through the hardness of man’s negative side and bears witness with the spirit of man. The witness of the Holy Spirit unites with the spirit of man through regeneration of the new birth. The mind, will, and desires of a believer are not only affected …by the power of the Holy Spirit but are now… changed. Repentance and remission of sins allows this believer to be pardoned from all past sins. Justification is a pardon granted from God for all the past sins of a man who now trusts in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. For this reason the Gospel is preached.

· Luke 24:47…And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations
· Acts 13:38-39…through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things


When man believes and gives his heart to Christ he receives the down payment of a new life in the Spirit. He is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

· Eph 1:13…after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise

Sealing is an initial work of the Spirit that places a believer into Christ and into Christ’s spiritual body. When man is sealed into Christ by the Spirit, life is viewed through a different set of eyes. Man becomes aware of the Holy Spirits presence. He knows his sins are forgiven by trusting the death of Christ alone. He is conscious to righteousness rather than wrongdoing. He is given a holy heart with holy desires and reverence to God. He joyfully abides in the Spirit with a realization of holiness without guilt or condemnation from sin. He knows Christ and knows that his changed moral make up is sealed with the Holy Spirit. He’s Gods property and ownership. The seal of the Spirit of truth enables man to be guided morally into all truth.

· John 16:13-14…Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Are you led by the Spirit of God?

Someone might ask,"What does it mean to be led by the Spirit of God?" You mean to tell me that the Spirit of God can direct the way I act? Direct the way I behave and direct the way I conduct myself in this life? Yes. Children of God act godly and holy because the moral make-up is changed by the Grace of God. The Spirit leads a man so God can fulfill His purpose in your life.

Rom 8:14...For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

So, why doesn't the Spirit of God lead everybody? Reason? Everyone is not "born of the Spirit". You mean to tell me that I must be born of the Spirit to be led by the Spirit? Yes. That's what Jesus meant when He said that men must be born of the Spirit or simply born again.

John 3:6-7...That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

To be born again does not imply a natural or physical birth. To be born again does not imply a natural moral change made by man himself. To be born again means to be birthed by the Spirit of God into a new creation by the Spirit of Holiness. The moral character is changed by the Grace of God. The Spirit of God leads a morally changed man "in the life of holiness" not "into the life of holiness". The new birth consists of a place where the heart and soul is cleansed from sin and forgiveness from all past sins is found in the human conscience. The new birth is a regenerating work of the Spirit of God that morally shows man that the past is gone. The slate is wiped clean from a past life of unholiness and filthy living. The sins are blotted out and this new creation desires to live and act like a child of God...not a child of the Devil like you used to be. Holiness is enacted in the human soul when Saving Grace is experienced.

To be led by the Spirit of God is a great privilege that world cannot share. To be led by the Spirit of God will allow you to glorify Christ in your body and and Spirit. The leading of the Spirit makes men witnesses for Christ in both word and deed. The Spirit "leads" and "guides" the child of God into all truth. Jesus told the disciples about the great blessing of the Spirit of God that would flow from the cross at Calvary.

John 16:13...Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth

Being led of the Spirit allows God to fulfill His purpose in your life. Glory! God wants to fulfill His purpose in the life of every child of God. Being led of the Spirit allows God to do this very work. The Holy Spirit is a believers comfort that the unbelieveing world cannot experience, cannot see, or cannot know. When you know, when you believe, and when you obey God...The Spirit of Truth will abide with you forever as Jesus said He would.

John 14:16-17...And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The Spirit of God establishes, touches, and directs the hearts of those who are "led" by the Spirit of God. Those led by the Spirit of God look and wait patiently for the coming of Christ.

2 Thess 3:3-5...But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you, And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ