Are You Keeping Your Heart With All Diligence?

I felt the need to reblog, for the hearts of many have grown cold. There is way too much division in the church and in our homes.
Words of Wisdom- Check your heart before your mouth opens.

Biblical Thoughts

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

heartguard1

As I was reading over this verse, a lot of things came to mind about the power the heart has. When it stops beating and pumping blood, out of it flows life as we have lived it. When it is beating and pumping blood, out of it flow the issues of life. That is so fascinating to me…the things that go into and out of the heart. Most of us don’t give the flow much thought or else we would have lived or live our lives per the Proverbs verse above. In essence, we tend to forget that the mouth plays a big role in the flow.

Even though we freely make decisions and act upon what’s in our heart, do we even ponder deeply about the fact that God has total control…

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My Journey through Romans 8

No Condemnation – A Pardoning of the Lord?

Let me begin by sharing a few scriptures that speak about condemnation. I’ll start with the three most important verses (KJV) first to give us the Root that oversees the act of condemnation.

John 3:17- For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:18- He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 12:47-48- And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
  • 1 John 3:20- For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
  • James 5:12- But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
  • Psalm 103:12-As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
  • Isaiah 55:7-Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

In Romans 8:1, we will find three (3) requirements necessary for Believers to receive “no condemnation”: (1) one must be in Christ Jesus, (2) one must not walk after the flesh, (3) one must walk after the Spirit; of which a daily practice of these requirements will be advantageous to us for our walk with God.

With that being duly noted, we can better understand this fact. Not all Believers walk after the Spirit. We all experience unexpected wrestling matches because of the law and sin against the spirit and the flesh.  But, then there is God’s grace and mercy. Per Peter, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)  And, John tells us that “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)  We should look at these two verses as encouragement for the Believer when Satan tries to set us upon the pedestal of condemnation as he tried with Job. Thank you Holy Spirit!

Thank you Jesus! And why should we thank Jesus?  Because what was a mystery to the people in the OT is no longer a mystery to those of us today.

Knowledge Moment – Thomas asked Jesus what was the way and “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:5-6) Paul confirms this in his letter to Timothy concerning the “knowledge of the truth”: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Please read the full chapter to understand the depth of the glory to come. I close here with the knowledge Paul shared with us: “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  (Hence, a good reason for us to follow the three(3) requirements listed above- that’s just my view.I’m working it!😛 )

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:34-39)

The Final Proof of No Condemnation and that there will be A Pardoning of the Lord – (Revelation 22:3-4)-And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. Now that’s very encouraging, ya think? And you say, “I agree with you Shelia in Jesus name. Yeah!”

condemnation

Mission Possible 4 U – 1 Peter

Great blessed morning to you. I’ve been up with God since 4 this morning. Poof, how time flies when you’re having fun. It is now 9:34 am. That’s my testimony. I love spending time with the Lord. 

As I was finishing up my study plan this beautiful and cold Sunday morn with 1 Peter, I noticed there were four questions asked in this letter he wrote “to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:…”

Let me put on my Mission Impossible voice. “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves (fill in the mission- see below) and should any member of your team be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.”

5-sec-timer

The Mission (2 Part)

(A.) Answer each question that Peter put forth? Of course you’ll have to read the corresponding verses on your own.

  1. 1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
  2. 1 Peter 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
  3. 1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
  4. 1 Peter 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

 

(B.) Rejoice! rejoice

Poof!  The end of all things are at hand:be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.(1 Peter 4:7)

 

 

 

 

My Journey through Romans 7

shakesphere

To Live or To Die, that is the question. The question is NOT “To be or not to be.” However, “Shake-us-sphere” aka Shakespeare came close in his soliloquy. 😛

On this journey I made a list of seven notes about being released from the law and sin. It’s important to acknowledge to self that we as Believers do indeed sin and sometimes become so bound up in it that we are unable to release ourselves from it. Peradventure, some are astonished about what sin is and wrestle with it daily.  If we are not cognizant of our sin, what then? (((JESUS)))   And now, allow me to share my words of understanding. Please read the bible verses in Romans 7 to receive your understanding.

  1. God’s law never dies. (Entire Bible)
  2. If you strictly follow the law then the law has dominion over you as long as you live. It’s basically a marriage between you and the law. Paul gives an ensample of a marriage between a man and woman. A living spouse is only released from the marriage if the spouse dies and is free to remarry without being labeled an adulterer/adulteress. If both are still living and one remarries then that one is called an adulterer/adulteress. According to the word a divorce still bounds one to that marriage even if one remarries. Huh? The only thing that is clear to me with this scenario is that the point is this: someone must die for another to be released from the law. (vs.2;3)
  3. You only become dead to the law by the body of Christ which is a good thing. If we are honest with self and with God, we know how impossible it is for us to follow the whole law. Who alive have not broken one or more of the Ten Commandments? Even so, now we are assured that Christ is the ‘someone’ that released Believers from the law. Believers that are alive in Christ “should bring forth fruit unto God.” (vs.4)
  4. Let’s swim for a moment. While swimming in the flesh w/o some lifeguard protection, the motion of deadly waves can cause one to drown. Drowning = Death. Sometimes the flesh thinks its ok to swim in calm waves. Don’t be fooled by the motions. By law, oceans always have waves. (vs.5) Ocean Moment- http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/wavesinocean.html
  5. Deliverance from the law allows you to be more attentive to serve in newness of spirit (the new way) and not serve the flesh which is administered by the letter (the old way). Point– An antique piece can be renewed, yet it is still an antique. (TYHS) In Christ, you still have the same old body but you are no longer bound in that old body when you have freedom in Christ. The chains have been broken; the prison door has been opened. Peter can testify to that. ( vs. 6) Speaking of testify…why is it that some churches no longer allow time for testimonies anymore? Sad!
  6. The law is NOT sinful, but you learn what sin is because of the law. Let’s look at it this way using this statement- “I would not have known it existed had I not seen it there with my own eyes.” (vs.7)
  7. Sin is always ready to seize its moment because of the law. Remember, it is always alive and crouching at your door looking for that opportune moment for breaking the law. (vs.8)

In verses 9 thru 23 we will find the wrestling match between the law and sin, the spirit and the flesh. S-T-R-E-S-S is what it boils down to. The wrestling between the spirit and the flesh cause us to be in a ‘do I do’ or ‘do I not do’ constant Thorn-ful Stress Head Lock.

wrestlingStory Moment– (Read Genesis 32-33) This study reminded me of the wrestling match Jacob had. Let me go into the childhood part of mind here before closing out this blog. Jacob was on his way to meet his brother Esau, who he betrayed while in the flesh.(TYHS) He was afraid to approach Esau first, so he sent his servants ahead of him with a message for Esau. Messengers returned with a report from Esau. Jacob becomes scared, puts the people and things he love most into one group and the people and things he loved less in another group. Guess which group was placed in front to allow a chance for the other group to flee.

He then prays to God, chose gifts to appease Esau and sends his servants ahead of him with the gifts as he slept in the camp. He woke up from his sleep and took his two wives, two maidservants, and his eleven sons and other stuff he had over the crossing of Jabbok’s brook. (Still serving the flesh)  Now he was alone, the wrestling match begins with “a man with him until the breaking of the day.” 

The man could not get a good choke hold on Jacob, so he used his touch move to the hollow socket of Jacob’s thigh to push it out of joint to slow Jacob down. Jacob still had a hold on him as he asked Jacob to “ Let me go, for the day breaketh.”  Jacob said “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” He asked Jacob what was his name. He then told Jacob that his name is “no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power (wrestled) with God and with men, and hast prevailed. Out of that wrestling match comes a new name and something to remind him of why he received it. What something reminds you that you are new in Christ and blessed?  To live or to die, that is the question beloved.

Jacob was blessed by the man and he believed that he had met God face to face and that his life was now preserved. The story ends, Jacob has no fear of meeting Esau, they meet, hug cry (you know what forgiveness releases you of) and introduced family they never met. And so, Jacob arrived at his destination without wrestling with his brother.

There were three points that the Holy Spirit shared with me here. (1) Jacob was no longer serving the old flesh(backstabbing a family member), but was now living and serving God with a newness of spirit and with a new name. I guess flesh shrinkage does wonders. (2)God can work through you to change even the negative attitude of another person that has cause to be against you. Is that not a blessing? Go ahead. Let’s shout for that is an opportunity for a “Praise God” moment. I surely can’t wait for the day that I receive my new name. (3) No where in the bible does it allude to the adage “choose (pick)  your battles wisely” that is preached and taught. The bible does show and tell us that we are to be ready for battles(wrestling matches) as Jacob was. Had he not been ready to fight, the wrestling match would have been over before daylight, don’t you think?

And now I close.

The bottom line of this wrestling match is as Paul states in verses 24-25: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

 Thank you for reading and may you receive many blessings and understanding from the Holy Spirit.

 

Come, let us worship and sing with joy, “I will never be bound again”.

https://youtu.be/r4vx1YKAU7U

My Journey through Romans 7

 

The Law of The Mind     Romans 7

I became excited about this travel through Romans 7 after reading and rereading all of its verses. It is a very revealing and edifying chapter about the mind. I found in verse 21 something so true for many a Believers, some will admit it and some will not: “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.”  Let’s say it out loud together three times. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  And that my friend is the law of the mind.

mind-free-2From the pulpit to the pews, from the pillar to the post, the law of the mind is what all humans deal with. It doesn’t matter what the sin because SIN is SIN. There is no apples to oranges comparison in the Lord’s eyes, and we can look at the biography of the writer of this book to know that. (TYHS)

Now ask self, how often do I wrestle with that law? Is it safe to say that the Believer wrestles daily or once a year with that law? Even if one is unable to answer these questions, one surely knows that sin will be ever present and crouching at our door until the Lord’s second return. And it is the mind that jumps starts how we handle sin every time its head is reared. If sin were to be put on the calendar like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, we’d be expecting it a certain time every year, right? Then in our minds, we’d know how to prepare for it as we do other holidays or special days like birthdays and anniversaries. However that’s just not the case, sin occurs daily on the calendar in the lives of many Believers and others for the bible tells us so.

Side Thought- I wonder why is it that sin never gets tired of crouching?

Now, let us understand what the mind is. Many know the meaning of a lot of things and words, but rarely think about meanings on a spiritual level until the Holy Spirit brings it to our attention as He did with me in this study.

Mind (n)- 1.(in a human or other conscious being) the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.: the processes of the human mind. 2. Psychology. the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities.

We may even go so far as to describe the mind as being the eyes of our heart. It is through the mind that God communicates with us. In Isaiah 1:18 God says “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  We also know from experience that the mind communicates with the heart. But, not always does the mind and heart agree. There is often a manifestation of conflict between the two, which is why we often lose the battle with the flesh. In reading verses 14-25, we discover the truth of the matter concerning the law of the mind. Yet, in Christ the flesh is defeated. I think I heard this once in a sermon of Adrian Rogers, “Already the power of sin has been broken, but freedom from its presence is not yet come. Wait and stand faithfully in the Lord for the war with sin will be won.” The already and the yet…praise the Lord, the day will come where we shall no longer war with the law of the mind. Yes, Lord!

mind-lostWe as Believers need to be conscientious in remembering with our mind that sin is ALWAYS crouching at our door and the desire to please God is the image of who we really are in Christ Jesus.  Amen. Stating that reminded me of the time my child was battling leukemia. On his good days( a rarity), when scheduled for after chemo check-ups, he would be nice to the certain nurses. There was one nurse in particular that he gave the nick name “least expected”. I asked him one time why did he call her that. He told me that she was never expecting him to be in a good mood after chemo, so he decided he would play tricks on her. Unbeknownst to him, I’m sure she just played along because he had leukemia. I think I said that to say this, the mind does play tricks on us when we least expect it to. This too is sort of a way to understand how the law of the mind works. I pray that made sense to you.

However, the conclusion of the matter is this, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) This is probably why God asks of us to “reason together”, for He is a merciful and mindful God. Yet!

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

My Journey through Romans 6

Rom. 6:4-Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  

Perennial : present at all seasons of the year : persisting for several years usually with new herbaceous growth from a perennating part: persistent, enduring (b: continuing without interruption :  constant, perpetual <the perennial quest for certainty> (c: regularly repeated or renewed :recurrent <death is a perennial literary theme>

hostasNow why did I choose this word for this chapter, you’re probably asking. Well, let’s see. In previous blogs, I shared my understanding of justification by faith and by the blood of Jesus Christ; a clearer understanding of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and how it directly pertains to us as sinners and Believers. Once I got through that understanding, I arrived at verse 23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is ETERNAL life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  This may sound confusing to some, but it is an understanding I received from the Holy Spirit.

Here we grow! Eternal, hostas, anyone? I’m not sure about other perennials, but I am absolutely positive that hostas grow in a newness of life every spring. The bulb appears to have an eternal life span. And, every spring, for twelve years I find myself digging them up to separate them and find another place to plant elsewhere in my yard. Perhaps, I should start potting them to sell. They are quite expensive plants at the nursery. Hostas spread every year and need very little care if any at all. Thank you Jesus! The only baptism (water) they got this past year was from rain. Here in Alabama, there has been a drought. Where is Elijah?

During my study, I discovered that there are two differences between the hosta plant and humans. (1) We only need one baptism. (2) Humans need lots of care daily in order for us to grow for us to walk in newness of life for any season. We have to plant ourselves into believing the word of God in order for us to fully grow in Him. Remember we are justified by faith and by the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s not just a spring thing. The one thing hostas and humans do have in common is that we both come in many varieties. Yes! Thank you Holy Spirit.

When we die, we die a physical death which is a certainty, only to be resurrected upon the Lord’s return which could be any season. We will not die a physical death and grow back during the spring like the hosta plant, even though it is still present throughout all seasons. I’m so amazed that every spring it blooms with new leafage and it is always more beautiful and fuller each year as the old leafage yellows and dies. The new leafage grows over the old. Exciting!  That is something we as Believers/ Christians need to experience when we plant ourselves in the Word of God. However, there is another death that the Believer must encounter first which is to be dead in Christ. This is something we all find hard to understand the fullness thereof-to be dead in Christ. Even I don’t fully understand Paul’s message in this chapter, but I am determined to understand in all its fullness.

I just wanted to share two commentaries in this blog instead of going on with more of my thoughts.  I think the ensample of the hosta plant will allow you to think a little deeper about walking in the newness of life. Thank you for reading and I pray that you were blessed by this message.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary (Romans 6:3-10)
Baptism teaches the necessity of dying to sin, and being as it were buried from all ungodly and unholy pursuits, and of rising to walk with God in newness of life. Unholy professors may have had the outward sign of a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, but they never passed from the family of Satan to that of God. The corrupt nature, called the old man, because derived from our first father Adam, is crucified with Christ, in every true believer, by the grace derived from the cross. It is weakened and in a dying state, though it yet struggles for life, and even for victory. But the whole body of sin, whatever is not according to the holy law of God, must be done away, so that the believer may no more be the slave of sin, but live to God, and find happiness in his service.
Geneva Bible Study (Romans 6:3-6)
(3) There are three parts of this sanctification: that is, the death of the old man or sin, his burial, and the resurrection of the new man, descending into us from the virtue of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, of which benefit our baptism is a sign and pledge.
(c) To the end that growing up as one with him, we should receive his strength to extinguish sin in us, and to make us new men.
(d) So that Christ himself, being released of his infirmity and weakness, might live in glory with God forever.
(e) And we who are his members rise for this purpose, that being made partakers of the very same power, we should begin to lead a new life, as though we were already in heaven.
(4) The death of sin and the life of righteousness, or our ingrafting into Christ, and growing up into one with him, cannot be separated by any means, neither in death nor life: by which it follows that no man is sanctified who lives still to sin, and therefore is no man made partaker of Christ by faith, who does not repent and turn from his wickedness: for as he said before, the law is not overturned but established by faith.
(f) And by means of the strength which comes from him to us, so we die to sin, as he is dead.
(g) For every day we become more perfect: for we will never be perfectly sanctified, as long as we live here.
(h) Our entire nature, as we are conceived and born into this world with sin, is called “old”, partly by comparing that old Adam with Christ, and partly also in respect of the deformed state of our corrupt nature, which we change with a new.
(i) Our corrupt nature is regarded as belonging to Christ, not because of what he has done, but by imputation.
(k) That wickedness which remains in us.
(l) The end of sanctification which we aim at, and will at length come to, that is, when God will be all in all.

 

Beloved, let us all look forward to becoming perennial (regularly repeated or renewed) as the foliage on the Branch of Christ. I encourage us all to walk in newness of life.

Let’s Grow!

 

 

My Journey through Romans 5

Justified by the blood of Jesus; not just by faith?

In Romans 5:1-2, Paul gives us three things to look forward to when justification comes by faith: (1) we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, (3) and we will rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Skip to Lou! In Romans 5:6-11, Paul gives us a message from the cross. Not only is our justification through faith in Jesus, but we are also “justified by his blood” and that we “shall be saved from wrath through him.”  Shout out loud, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”  Not the blood of Abraham, Buddha, Mohammad, Wicca witch, Vishnu, or Mary, the mother of Jesus. Only one way!  Now, after reading that I thought it so amazing that we give blood to save lives, but others are not justified through the giving of our blood. That’s how we know Jesus is Lord. Is it possible that we can save others from wrath through the giving of our blood?  No, not at all, because the truth be told we are a weak people. And, I have been told “some men weaken at the site of blood”, per a few nurses. Admit it. Paul speaks of our weakness in verse six (6) “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

I found four truths mentioned in this chapter that verified that only Jesus was capable of following through on. We as sinners could never pay anyone enough money to: (1) die for the ungodly (2) commend our love toward all sinners (Ex. A lot of people hate the sinner and the sin committed by homosexuals, murderers, liars, racists, adulterers, false prophets, etc.) (3)  Reconcile others unto God by our death (4) be the one and only atonement for the sins of others. Jesus did. But God. Now peradventure there are some that will commend their love toward all sinners, because that IS something we are capable of doing when the heart is right with God. Right?

Speaking of blood..let’s go back to “In the beginning” for a moment. Do you know of the first time blood was shed in the bible? Nope, it wasn’t when Cain slew Abel. It was when God provided “garments of skin” for Adam and Eve to cover their known nakedness. Gen.  3:21 and Lev.7:8 lead us to believe that an animal sacrifice took place as the atonement for their sin of disobedience, therefore I believe that the blood of an innocent animal was shed.(TYHS!)  “And then there’s” us (not Maude)  you and I, who God in the form of an innocent man, Jesus Christ died for the ungodly by the giving of His blood. The first powerful lesson I learned in this chapter is how strong of a role disobedience to God played in the shedding of innocent blood. Now, let this soak in. God said “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.“(Lev.17:10)Ouch! (TYHS!)

 

jesus-bloodThe other powerful lesson I learned is to always share with others just how potent God’s love for us is; which was through the blood sacrifice of His “only begotten Son”.  Think deeply about it folks, God has always provided a substitute for sin or a way out for His people. He has always done things for us that we are not capable of doing for ourselves.  We are not capable of punishing ourselves for wrong doings. We can’t outsmart God. We are not capable of escaping God’s justice; therefore a penalty had to be paid according to His laws. Nothing but the powerful blood of Jesus could settle that debt for all mankind. Amen.

All throughout the Old Testament, pick a story, any story, you will find how often the disobedient people of God were covered by His grace that abounded much more than their sins. (vs. 20) And so I can agree with Paul when he stated that “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”(vs. 8-9)  Shout ((((Thank you Jesus))))

 

Do you remember this hymn?  http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Nothing_but_the_Blood/

What can wash away my sin?

 Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

 What can make me whole again?

 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Challenge- Make a list of sinners you would die for by the giving of your blood. Now that’s going to be a challenge for sure.🙂

bloodjesus

 

 

My Journey through Romans 4

Justification Through Faith

In the previous blog I learned about the law of faith and how important it is to be obedient to that law for it is of the Gospel of Christ. In chapter three verse twenty two, the light shined that even “the righteousness of God is by faith of Jesus Christ upon all those that believe”.  In this chapter I am learning more about justification through faith. This is a touchy subject for many Christians and unbelievers alike. I’ve always wrestled with understanding justification for /through anything. Let us swing back a step and review the meaning of justification.

  • Justification, in Christian theology, is God’s act of removing the guilt and penalty of sin while at the same time declaring a sinner righteous through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. In Protestantism, righteousness from God is viewed as being credited to the sinner’s account through faith alone, without works. ( Courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justification_(theology) )
  • an acceptable reason for doing something : something that justifies an action
  • Synonyms: reason, defense, excuse, validation-

 

You may or may not agree, but I found this verse to be the crux of understanding justification through faith (vs. 8- Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute (credit) sin.) Lord knows we are too familiar with sin and its many facets. We also know that sin has a fee attached to it and it is ALWAYS crouching at our door (Gen. 4:7) holding out its collection plate. Amen?

What many of us may miss in this chapter is the discussion of Abraham’s faith and how it was a spiritual matter between him and God. Even so with Rahab the prostitute. Think. Abraham went way out of his natural self to obey and please God. Which one of us would be that obedient to God as to sacrifice one of our children to Him? I’ll be honest and say that is something I could not bring myself to do, even with knowing of Abraham’s outcome.  My outcome could be something different if I were to make such a sacrifice. Lord, let me have that type of faith.  Abraham’s obedience clearly shows us that justification is through faith and not works. It reminds us of this scripture (Hebrews 11:6 – 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)  

just The bottom line concerning justification through faith for me was understanding that we are justified in the same way as Abraham- believing. But for us, it is belief in Jesus Christ, i.e. God’s sacrifice.   Not a one of us would be capable(unless you owned your own animal farm)  nor be obedient to the old law of killing animals to be a sacrifice for our daily sins. We’d just die because we could not meet that working quota. Do you know how many animal killings a day that would be?  Those animal rights groups would have a fit and we’d have to figure out another way to pay for our sins. But, God.

Instead of asking us to make a sacrifice as He did with Abraham, God knew we would not be that obedient. Therefore, God debited our account from the guilt and punishment of our sins by sacrificing His only begotten Son. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7-9) Knowing this I ponder why it is that we still waiver in our faith in Jesus?   Knowing this also, all Believers should thank God daily that we will not be asked to make any children and animal sacrifices for our sins ever again.  Just let that faith point soak in! 😛

Anywho, in this chapter I found out that we cannot “by any means necessary” work our way to God, doing so-called “church work” or any other works. Justification is God’s work because it is He who fulfills the promise through our faith in His Son. Do tell… how is it that we think we can “earn” our way into heaven when we are incapable of sacrificing one of our children as Abraham did?  I sure am learning more about the spiritual role faith plays on this journey. Obeying and pleasing God is a spiritual matter. (TYHS) It even caused me to pause and think long about God’s reasoning through the ages of loving generations of a disobedient people. Maybe he thinks of Barbara Streisand’s song, “The way we were” in the Garden of Eden before the serpent slid in.  I think of the moment too, walking with God up close and personal as Adam and Eve did. What a joyful day that will be.

In conclusion, I am assured that we receive justification through faith in Christ. Key words –Faith In Christ. Thank you for riding along with me on this journey.

***Recent find, please enjoy Brother Noel’s biblical stance: https://gospelmuse.com/2014/01/19/are-you-justified-by-faith-or-by-works/

My Journey through Romans 3

The Law of Faith

When studying this, I made so many notes because in spirit this chapter covers faith in a way that we do not often think about faith. Have we ever given thought that a law of faith existed? Well, it does. However, I’ll share just a tidbit of what the Holy Spirit led me to share with you.

The Law of Faith- What is it?  Hmm, the odd thing about faith is that EVERYONE believes in something or someone that they can see or feel. That type of faith always lets us down and it can be labeled as the seen law of man. And then there are those who do not believe or have faith in God for one main reason. He is an unseen Spirit. Those unbelievers boast about it loudly while thinking they are going to be living on another planet. Paul also mentioned some of these people in Romans 2.  Who gave those boasters the ability to believe period?

Paul asks in Romans 3:27-31 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision of faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Do you see the big role that faith plays in our lives? Through faith the law is established.  So what is the law of faith? Beloved, it is the BELIEF in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By faith, the Lord sent His only begotten Son through faith born of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit of God. He walked in faith until He was crucified and buried; with faith he was resurrected and because of faith He overcame the world and returned to His original position, at the right hand of His father God from whence our faith comes allowing us to believe that He is coming back for his beloved and faithful Believers. Do you believe?

There is no human living that saw these events take place on this earth save for Enoch and Elijah. We surely can’t ask their thoughts on the law of faith because of their location. Google don’t even have the ability to find them. So, we believe those events took place by the hearing and reading of God’s word. We are to be like Sara  and like a song that says “let our faith be more than anthem.” Hebrews 11:11 says Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Obedience to the laws of God does it every time.

NOTE 2 SELF-Deuteronomy 7:9 – Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

 

faithcommandments

So for us, the living and those who have lived/died after Jesus’ time on this earth, our faith can be based on what God said and did.  Jesus said in Luke 10:19-20 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”  The law of faith gives us that power. Now isn’t that something worth rejoicing over? Know this beloved… “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” cannot hold us back any more when we pray, believe and utilize our gift of faith. For without faith it is impossible to please God….(Hebrews 11:6) Perhaps if there were a faith app, more would become attentive to the law of faith.  life2

Let me leave you with something to think about that Paul stated at the beginning of this chapter:

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness?  Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.” (Romans 3:3-4 NIV)

My Eye Opener- The law of faith has a lot to do with God’s faithfulness.