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Monthly Archives: August 2015

By This We Know

By This We Know

Allow me to introduce my newest book

In today’s culture everyone’s a Christian right? Wrong! In fact, I believe many have a false sense of what Christianity is, leading them to a false faith. Often times, these are the most difficult people to reach with the gospel. For this reason, I wrote this book, By This We Know, examining the seven “By this we know” statements the Apostle John wrote in I John addressing true faith in Christ. This book is 100% evangelistic and is intended to be given to the lost so they will know. It can also be used as a guide for those who desire to share their faith with others.

I completely self published this book to keep the cost as low as possible. In fact, this book cost me almost nothing to make. I also requested Amazon to sell this book at the lowest price possible. I have no desire to make any money off this book. I wanted the price to be low so people can purchase this book in bulk and give it out to as many lost people as they can. My heart is to place a copy of this book in every home within the community I pastor. I would love to see you do the same in your communities. Pray that God will use this for His glory. You can purchase this book through Amazon at the link below.

Order a Copy Here

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2015 in Bible Study, Book

 

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We Know That We Have Eternal Life

We Know That We Have Eternal Life

  And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” I John 5:20 NASB

Whether it’s people, places, or things, I have always been fascinated by things that are old. Whether it’s old guitars or old cars, I love antiques. I love the history behind them. As an American, I become fascinated with architecture that is a couple of centuries old, yet, when I travel the world I am flabbergasted with architecture that dates back to over a millennium. It is then that I realize American antiques aren’t that antique compared to the ancient world.

Over the years I have had the privilege of knowing people who were right at a hundred years old, or just over. They too fascinate me. I love hearing their stories of the way the world was in their youth. I will never forget my grandmother telling me how terrified she was the first time she saw a car. Although I can’t truly comprehend it, I feel as though I was there when I hear these stories of a world long ago.

I love it when they tell the stories as if they were yesterday. In reality, age is relative. The older you get the younger the rest of the world seems. As a child, three months of summer vacation was a lifetime. Now, it’s a flash. I remember when my dad turned forty. I thought to myself, that is an old man. Now that I am on the other side of forty I know he was still a young man. My perspective has greatly changed in my advancement of years. The bible tells us that life is like a vapor. It is here for a little while and then it vanishes away. (James 4:14). In reality, what is one hundred years compared to eternity? It is nothing. Not even a drop in the bucket. The bible tells us, since God is eternal, a thousand years is as a day for Him. (II Peter 3:8).

God created man to be eternal. Those who reject Jesus as their savior will not cease to exist. They will exist for eternity in the eternal lake of fire-hell. It is not God’s will to cast anyone into hell. This is why we see clearly laid out in this last “we know” statement from God the effort God made for the world, the whosoever that will call on His name, to enter into fellowship with Him. John stated in I John 5:20 that God sent His Son. Apart from creating you that was God’s first act of calling you into fellowship with Him. Then John tells us that God gave us understanding of who Jesus is. How did He do that? He did that by giving us His word, the bible, and giving us His Holy Spirit that convicts us and opens our eyes and hearts to His word. Although God made all of this effort to enter into fellowship with the world, many will still reject Him. Those who reject Him will spend an eternity in Hell separated from a holy and loving God. This was not God’s choice; it was their choice for rejecting His offer of love, grace, and forgiveness through His own Son’s sacrifice.

Those who have chosen God’s means of salvation immediately enter into fellowship with God. This fellowship will not end at our final breath. In fact, our final breath will take us away from a very tiny portion of our life. This life on earth is microscopic compared to our life in eternity. In eternity we will be with the one who created us, the one who saved us, and the one who sustains us. In eternity there will be no sorrow, pain, sickness, or death. It will be paradise. A paradise that is currently incomprehensible. There we shall be with the Lord forever.

John began this message introducing Jesus as the Word of Life and the eternal life. (I John 1:1-2). It is fitting that he gives his final “we know” statement addressing the fact that God is eternal life. The only way we will have eternal life is if we have fellowship with God. Again, John’s purpose statement for I John is found in I John 5:13 stating, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” If you are in fellowship with God, you will have many evidences of that fellowship. By this we know. If you do not have those evidences you need to do some serious soul searching and ask yourself whether or not you are in true fellowship with God. If you have fellowship with God, know that you have eternal life in the glories of heaven.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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We Know We Will Win

We Know We Will Win

“We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” I John 5:19 NASB

There is little to no doubt it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian in our secular post Christian society. We look around the world today and see the righteous suffering. We see Christians slaughtered, raped, and enslaved while it seems the wicked are prospering. We see the faithful shunned and silenced, being told they are radical and primitive for holding on to their religion. At the same time, we see the immoral gaining in influence and stature.

It makes the Christian feel as though they can never get ahead in life. They often feel like everything in life continually beets them down and no one is there to help them back up. The fact is, this world is a tough place to live a Christian life. Due to this, people will often neglect the power of God and place their faith in money, education, health, or their own ability to help themselves. In reality, it doesn’t matter how rich, educated, healthy, or intelligent you are. Life is difficult for everyone; even those who make it look easy. Money can’t buy happens, education can bring success, and even the healthiest of people will one day fall ill.

When we place our faith in anything other than God we are in rebellion. Not only are we in rebellion, if we’re not walking in fellowship with God we are walk with the losing side. When we look at the future prophesies concerning end time events we see that this world will stand opposed to God with every bit of effort they can muster, but they will ultimately lose. This world opposes God because as John states, “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” The evil one is Satan, and the bible makes his ultimate defeat abundantly clear. In fact, I Corinthians 15 tells us that Jesus will abolish all rule and all power and make all of His enemies a footstool under His feet. This tells us not only of their ultimate doom but also of their utter humiliation. Why then would anyone desire to trust in anything of this world?

The good news is, Christians are not of the world. In fact, John made a bold statement and declared that, “We know that we are of God.” Knowing is faith. When ones faith is in God, they are, as John stated in the previous verse, “Born of God.” If we are of God we are not of the world. If we know that we are of God we also know, when God wins, we win. And, God always wins. We are on the winning team because we have chosen God and rejected the world.

One cannot live for the world and for God. Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with me is against me,” and James 4:4 says, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” You just read what will happen to the enemies of God. Why then would anyone choose the world over God?

Unfortunately, many do choose the world over God. Since they have chosen the world over God they have chosen to be under the power of the enemy and are in hostility towards God. Since this world is in hostility towards God it is also in hostility toward God’s children. This is the very reason so many faithful Christians are suffering all around the world. Paul knew all too well about suffering for Jesus. Knowing that he was about to die for his faith in Christ he wrote, “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” II Timothy 1:12

Indeed, this world will bring sorrow and suffering, especially for the saints. Yet, this world is quickly passing away. Soon enough it’s time will stop while the Christians time of eternity will begin. Though we suffer in this short life, that is nothing but a vapor, we know the victory is soon to come. Not a short lived victory, but an eternal one. Jesus told the church of Pergamum, who was facing horrendous persecution, “To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17). Even so Lord, come.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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We Know We Have Overcome Sin

We Know We Have Overcome Sin

 “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” I John 5:18 NASB

Have you ever heard the expressions, nobody’s perfect, or we’re all just human, or everyone has skeletons in their closet? Many times I have heard these statements spoken by active church members as well as pastors. Unfortunately for them, there is major problem that stands in the way of these types of statements-the Word of God. Statements like these are excuses to stay in sin, while the very abundant and clear teachings of God’s word is to repent from sin-all sin. The attitude every Christian should have is Romans 6:11 that says, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Don’t listen to the lies and excuses.

Some will then argue that their sin is to powerful and they cannot turn away from it. My question to them is, “Will God require us to do something that He has not already provided the means and power to do?” Of course not. That would make Him an unjust God. If God asks us to do something He fully expects us to do it and has provided the means to do it. The problem with people who ask such a question is that they have more faith in the power of their sin than they do in God. I am not demeaning the power of sin by any means. Sin is very powerful. However, God is all powerful.

When one enters into fellowship with God that individual then belongs to God. They are not their own. This verse tells us, “We know that no one who is born of God sins.” How is it that no one born of God sins? Because, “He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil on does not touch him.” In other words, since we belong to God, Satan, the great tempter and destroyer, cannot touch us. Satan will have no influence on the life of the Christian what so ever. For, we are Gods.

When one is born of God he is set free from his sins. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not be master over you,” and Romans 6:18 tells us that we have been set free from sin. What did Jesus die for? He died for sin. He did not die so we would stay in sin. He died to deliver us from our sin. The power of the cross sets us free from the power of sin. Colossians 1:13-14 tells us that God, “Rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” That is the power of the cross.

Now the real question is, “What is the difference between a non-Christian and a Christian?” A non-Christians is trapped in the bondage of sin. Apart from Jesus he cannot escape his sin. He may trade one sin for the other, but he remains trapped nonetheless. In fact, a non-Christian can and will live in their sins with little or no regard for sin. Simply put, they could care less about the sin in their lives. Unless those sins are causing personal problems they will have no desire to have them removed. When they do remove the sin from their life, they will immediately replace it with another. They are trapped and need Jesus to deliver them.

In great contrast, if the Christian were to sin he would immediately be convicted of his sin by the Holy Spirit and be absolutely miserable until he repents. Though a Christian may temporarily slip, or briefly lose focus, the biblical fact is, Christians will not live in sin. Allow me to remind you of I John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” Every reason for the Christian to sin has been removed. Sin no longer has control over the Christian, nor can the evil one touch him.

Some may say this teaching brings condemnation to those trapped in sin. I would call it conviction rather than condemnation. It is the devil who brings negativity to this truth. If all you ever hear out of a preachers mouth is joy and blessings and you never hear him preach on sin, don’t walk, run, for he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The only true way to have joy and blessings is to be delivered from sin. Then true joy will come. God didn’t give us this truth as a means of condemnation. Only those who refuse to repent will be condemned. God has given us this truth as a means of encouragement. It is greatly encouraging to know, through Jesus, we have overcome sin and there is no reason to allow sin to remain and destroy within our lives. Now we simply need to, by faith, walk in that deliverance.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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We Know God Hears Us and Will Answer Us

We Know God Hears Us and Will Answer Us

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” I John 5:14-15 NASB

Once again we are reminded of the confidence we have, through Christ, to approach God. This time we are told that we can have confidence to ask God for anything that is according to His will and it will be done. When we enter into fellowship with God, we are in a relationship with Him. As in any relationship there must be clear communication. God has given to us His word, the bible, that clearly expresses His will. God communicates to His children trough the means of His word and we communicate to God through the means of prayer.

What is the will of God? It is clearly God’s will to save sinners from their sins. In fact when we hold this text of scripture into its context we see salvation as being the central focus of John’s words of assurance that God will answer any request that is of His will. He wrote in the verse prior to these, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” Then he basically said, if you ask God for salvation, He will give it to you, since that is the will of God.

Is it God’s will to save you? He sent His Son to die for you. Clearly it is His will. In the context of this scripture we see John saying, I wrote these things to assure you of salvation, now if you ask in faith you can have confidence that God will hear you, and answer you. What an amazing promise.

Once we become a Christian we abide in Christ. We are of Christ and seek His will. Jesus explained in the fourteenth chapter of John that He and the Father are one. Then in the next chapter He declared Himself as the vine and his disciples as the branches. He said if we abide in Him we will bear fruit. If we are abiding in Him we will be one with Him. Just as Jesus exclusively sought the Fathers will, we will exclusively seek Jesus will, if we abide in Him and are one with Him. Jesus said in John 14:13, again in 15:7, and again in 16:23 that whatever we ask of the Father in His name will be given. Since we abide in Christ, we can directly call to the Father in Jesus name.

There are many promises in the Word of God. Salvation is one of those promises. We have the full assurance, and promise of God, that if we ask God for those promises to be fulfilled within our lives, they will. John said, “This is the confidence we have.” Confidence in God is faith. If we have faith in God, and believe His word is true, we can ask Him for anything according to His will. Having a gold plated Rolls Royce is probably not in God’s will. That would be your selfish will that is probably not intended to honor God. Yet when we ask in faith, and according to His will, the promise is, that He hears us, and will grant the request.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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We Know We Have Confidence Before God

We Know We Have Confidence Before God

 “We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.” I John 3:19-21 NASB

Who is the devil? He is the accuser of the brethren. He loves to remind us of our past by bringing up our former failures and shortcomings. He would love nothing more than to place doubt and fear in the heart of the believer. In fact, the whole world is under the control of Satan. For this reason, the world is influenced to bring condemnation upon the believer. Condemnation that will bring doubt to God’s promises. Condemnation that will bring doubt to God’s work. Why else do you think Christians are so prone to being called hypocrites?

The world has rejected the truths of God. When Christians walk in that truth they stand opposed to it and fiercely attack it. Just as they did with Christ, the world tried to condemn Paul, accusing him of wrong doing. Yet, when Paul stood before the Jewish council he said, “Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.” (Acts 23:1). Though the world condemned him, he had a clear conscience before God. When all is said and done a clear conscience before the world means nothing. The world is not our judge-God is. Therefore, a clear conscience before God means everything.

As repentant Christians who have been washed clean by the blood of Christ we walk in the truth. Jesus Himself is truth. (John 14:6). The major theme of I John is fellowship with Jesus, walking in the light as He is in the light. If we are walking in the light, we are abiding in the truth and the truth sets us free. (John 8:32). If we have indeed been set free we no longer stand in condemnation. Romans 8:1-2 says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Since we are not condemned, we have the freedom to have confidence before God.

Hebrews 10:19-20 tells us that we can have confidence to enter the presence of God because of the blood of Jesus and His flesh He gave as a means of an atoning sacrifice. The next verse tells us where our confidence comes from. It comes from our great High Priest, which is Jesus. Jesus as our great High Priest is continually before the Father making intersection for His Children. Since we have the blood of Christ, the flesh of Christ, and the intersection of Christ we are able and invited to, “draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience.” (Hebrews 10:22). We can draw near to God.

If we attempt to put confidence in the flesh or the things of the world we will never have a clear conscience before God. We will live in condemnation and be eternally condemned. However, Christian don’t put confidence in self or the world. By faith, they put their confidence in Christ. This is faith in Christ. Through our faith in Christ and His work our hearts have been made pure, our conscience has been made clean, and we have confidence before God. What an amazing act of assurance the Father gives to His children through His Son.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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