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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 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 That we Have Passed Out of Death Into Life

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.” I John 3:14 NASB

As we have already seen love is one of the “by this we know” evidences of genuine salvation. Love is not the means of passing out of life into death but an evidence of going from life to death. The one who does not love abides in death. We clearly see in our world today those who claim to act on behalf of God but act out of hate rather than love. Their domain is death, which is seen clearly in their lack of love and heart of hate. The one who is truly living for God has passed out of death into life and as a result has love.

The bible speaks of three types of death, spiritual death, physical death, and the second death which is eternal death. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:1, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” and again in Colossians 2:13, “you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh.” Paul wasn’t talking to people who were physically dead, they were spiritually dead.

Sin separates us from God. God’s heart is to have a relationship with us. However, sin prevents us from having a relationship with Him. Separation from God is spiritual death. For this reason Jesus died for us so our sins can be forgiven and we would no longer be spiritual dead but alive in Christ and through Christ. Romans 6:23 not only tells us that the wages of sin is death but also says that the free gift of God is eternal life. Accepting the sacrificial atonement of Christ cleanses us from our sins and reconciles us into a right relationship with God.

The bible is clear-all have sinned. Isaiah 53:6, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;” Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God;” I John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us;” I John 1:10, If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him (God) a liar and His word is not in us.”

Since all have sinned, all stand in need of salvation through the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross. Apart from salvation they abide in death. Because of the sacrifice Jesus paid the bible says in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” As we see clearly that all have sinned we see just as clearly that the offer of salvation is for all. Romans 10:13 says, “For “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

The sacrifice Jesus paid through the shedding of His blood made it possible for Christ to be our atoning sacrifice. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no redemption of sins.” I peter 3:18 says, “Christ also died for sins once for all,” and Romans 6:10 says, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all.” The moment we confess our sins and by faith accept Jesus work on the cross God saves us. As a sign and seal of our salvation God gives to us His Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 6:63 “the Spirit gives life.” When we are forgiven of our sin through the sacrifice of Christ we stand in right relationship with God. He then gives us His Spirit which gives us life. We then “have passed out of death into life.”

Romans 8:9-11 says of those who have passed out of death into life, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” The assurance of scripture to those who are truly saved is that they have, past tense, and at the moment of salvation, passed out of death into life.

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

 

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We Know we will be Like Christ

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” I John 3:2 NASB

Through the first coming of Christ many of the mysteries of God were revealed. They have been revealed to those who are now in the light. When the true light came, Jesus, His light drove away the shadows of the Old Testament unveiling Himself for all those who choose to walk in Him. Although He has revealed Himself, allowing us to become Children of God, there are still things we do not know. As Christians, we walk by faith and not by sight allowing the Word of God to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. By faith, we walk in the light knowing God will make straight our paths and lead us down the paths of righteousness.

Referring to the second coming of Christ, “when He appears,” John states, “It has not appeared as yet what we will be.” In the midst of Paul correcting the Church of Corinth over misuses of spiritual gifts he said in I Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” In verse 9-10 he said, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.”

What is the “perfect” that is to come that will make us know just as we are fully known? Some would suggest that the “perfect” is the completion of the New Testament. I agree that through the Word of God we now know everything God wants us to know. But, I have one question. When is Jesus coming back? We don’t know do we. Obviously, we do not yet know just as we are full known. I believe the “perfect” can only be the person of Jesus Christ. When we stand face to face with Christ, we will know just as we are fully known.

John said, “when He appears, we will be like Him.” Wow, what an amazing promise. How is Jesus? He is perfect. He is perfect in every way and so shall we. He isn’t just perfect in spirit and character, He is also perfect in body. When He rose from the grave He rose with a resurrected and glorified body that would never know death, pain, sickness, nor decay. He is the first fruits of the resurrection and just as He is, so shall we be. Remember though, Jesus is Lord and is coming back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Then, will be submissive to His Lordship just as we are today. Nevertheless, we will be like Him. He is perfect, and because of Him, we will be spotless, unblemished, and perfect in every way with a resurrected and glorified body.

John has shared this promise to those who know that they know Jesus to remind them that eternal life is not something to be feared. In fact, we should long for it. Even so Lord come! Please share.

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

 

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The Assuring Promises to the One Who Knows

I John is all about assurance. We have looked at seven statements from John that assures the believer of what true Christianity looks like. In each of these statements John said, “by this we know.” By this we know that we truly walk in the light if the by this we know statements are evident in our lives. They are assuring evidences that we are in Christ and He is in us. Again, these are not the means to salvation, but the evidence of salvation.

As John’s heart was to assure the believer of their salvation that they may know they have eternal life, he was also assuring them of the promises and gifts we have as Children of God who walk in the light; those who know. All seven “by this we know” statements were to assure the hearer of their salvation. Seven other times in I John he simply declared “we know.” Each “we know” statement was to assure the hearer, who knows he has eternal life, of the rewards and promises we have because of our faith in Christ who is the atoning sacrifice of our sin and our advocate before the Father. Some of these promises are immediately received at the moment of salvation while others will be received in the future.

These seven assuring gifts and promises to the believer are:

  • We know we will be like Christ. I John 3:2
  • We know that we have passed out of death into life. I John 3:14
  • We know we are of the truth. I John 3:19-21
  • We know God hears us and will answer us. I John 5:14-15
  • We know we have overcome sin. I John 5:18
  • We know that we are of God. I John 5:19
  • We know that we have eternal life. I John 5:20

We now will change our focus from looking at the assurance of salvation to looking at the assuring promises of those who know they have salvation. If you know that you truly are a Christian these promises are for you.

weknow1

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

 

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The True Christian Loves the Brethren

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.” I John 5:2

John made it abundantly clear that true Christians will love their brethren. He said in I John 3:14, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.” He said again in I John 4:20, “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” A third time in I John 5:1 he said, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.”

Who is the brethren? It is the church. The church is the ecclesia which is a Greek word meaning assembly. It is the body of assembled believers that make up the church. It isn’t a building, an address, or a piece of property. It is the brethren, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. To say that we love the brethren is to say that we love the church, the assembly of brothers and sisters in Christ. To say that we do not love the church is to say that we don’t love the brethren.

One of the clear tests of whether or not one is a true Christian is whether or not he loves the brethren. When one is saved they are transformed from death to life, from flesh to spirit, from wrath to godliness. The one who is saved receives the Holy Spirit which then transforms them giving them the divine nature of God. God’s nature is one of love. I John 4:8 says, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Does this mean we always have to like what our brothers and sisters do? Of course not. It does mean that we have to love them regardless of what they do. The love of God is able to love the most unlovable. All too often Christians and churches do things that aren’t Christ like. God still loves us; and we too need to love our brethren. They are our family in Christ. There are times my children do things that I am displeased with. I still love them. I displeased my parents on many occasions. They still loved me. Families love despite the failures and the church is our spiritual family. There are times churched people act mean and cruel. This don’t represent the nature of Christ but do we then stop loving them? Of course not. True love isn’t given to those who give love in return. That is fleshly and selfish. Jesus loved us even while on the cross. What worse can anyone do to us than what our sins did to Jesus?

Loving the brethren is directly connected to keeping God’s commandments.  John said in I John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” Remember, Jesus told us what His commands are in Matthew 22:36-38, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If we are truly saved we will love the Lord and love other people without this love being a burdensome tedious task. If it is burdensome it is not true love and the true nature of God is not at work in our lives. The test of love is not about love in and of itself. It is about whether or not the divine nature of God is at work in one’s life being manifest through the act of love. If we are walking in the light as God is in the light the love of God will be manifest within our lives as an evidence of our salvation. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35).

Love-One-Another

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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The True Christian Walks in the Spirit

The True Christian Walks in the Spirit

“By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” I John 4:13 NASB

In this, “by this we know, statement John is teaching, if we are in Christ His Spirit is in us. In John 14:16 Jesus began teaching His disciples about the Holy Spirit. He said in John 14:16-17, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” Jesus closed this verse with a very interesting statement. He said that the Spirit abides with you now but one day will be in you. Prior to Pentecost they disciples, as well as the folks in the Old Testament, knew the Holy Spirit. However, Jesus said a day is coming when the Holy Spirit will be in you.

When Jesus began to conclude His teachings on the Holy Spirit He said in John 16:7, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” Jesus was saying, if I do not ascend, the Holy Spirit would not descend. After Jesus death, burial, and resurrection He spent forty days with His disciples opening their eyes to the scriptures. When the time came for Him to ascend to be with the Father He took them up onto the Mt. of Olives and instructed them what they should do now. It is recorded in all four of the gospels and the beginning of the books of Acts that Jesus instructed His disciples to go into all of the world and proclaim the gospel to all creation. However, Jesus knew that although they had spent three years with Him in ministry, and another forty days having their eyes opened to the scripture they were still incapable of fulfilling this task. They needed the Holy Spirit to empower them. Head knowledge of the things of God are useless on their own. We need the Holy Spirit to empower us to enact this knowledge and live it out. For this reason, Jesus instructed His disciples to go back into Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father, the power from on high, which is the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24:49).

The disciples obediently went back to Jerusalem waiting and praying for ten days for the promise of the Father. Then in a miraculous display of power and glory, the Holy Spirit fell and rested upon each one on the day of Pentecost. Now that the Holy Spirit had come they were able to put the teachings of Jesus into action. Prior to the Holy Spirit’s coming they were incapable.

Today, when one receives salvation by placing their faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ they immediately receive His Spirit. Romans 8:9 says, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” In other words, if you have the Son you have the Spirit and the Spirit has given you life. If you do not have the Son, you do not have the Spirit and therefore you do not have life. The very first act of the Spirit in a believer is to give them life-eternal life.

The Holy Spirit has many functions. He testifies of Jesus, He convicts, He teaches, He leads, He comforts, He empowers, He equips, and He gives gifts to the believer to enhance the work of the kingdom. According to I Corinthians chapter two the Holy Spirit searches even the deep things of God and reveals those truths to those who are in Christ. Even the things that the, “eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (I Corinthians 2:9).

Those who do not truly abide in Christ do not have the Holy Spirit. Since they do not have the Holy Spirit they do not have life and are incapable of truly living for Jesus. They can try to live for Him but will utterly fail for they do not have the power. Not only will they be incapable of living for Jesus the things of God as a whole will not make any sense to them. II Corinthians 2:14, says of the one who is unsaved and therefore void of the Holy Spirit, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” Only those who are truly saved can understand, and therefore apply the truths of God to their lives through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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