RSS

Tag Archives: Blood

Day 27: The Gift of Recreation

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” II Corinthians 5:17 NASB

After God completed His work of creation He looked at His brand new world with its inhabitants and declared it to be very good. (Genesis 1:31). It doesn’t take long to figure out that the world today isn’t very good. It isn’t even a little good. It is filled with every sort of wickedness. As a result of that wickedness we all suffer. What changed the world from being very good to very bad? The heart of man.

The unredeemed man’s heart is full of wickedness. His wicked heart influences every aspect of who he is and what he does. Jesus told us that prior to His return wickedness would increase. Jesus also told us that as a result of the rise of wickedness peoples love would grow cold towards one another. (Matthew 24:12). This is why we live in such a cruel world today. This is also the reason why every Christian should proclaim the gospel that has the power to transform the heart of man.

Mankind doesn’t need a change of philosophical views. Mankind needs a change of heart. A new heart will automatically change mans philosophical views. The very good creation God created has been corrupted by sin. Sin is a deadly viruses that destroys every aspect of man. Sin has corrupted all of God’s creation. Because of this, man has been totally ruined by sin. Since we are totally ruined we don’t need patch work. Jesus Himself said that you don’t put a new patch on an old garment. It will shrink and both will be ruined. He also said that you don’t put new wine in an old wineskin. If you do, the wineskin will burst and all will be lost. (Luke 5:36-37).

If we are in Christ, we aren’t pieced and patched together, we are brand new creatures. Nor, has God poured His new wine, the Holy Spirit, into an old wineskin. He recreated us. We are new creatures with a new heart, a heart to love, serve, and worship God. The old heart has been done away with, therefore our old thoughts, ideas, ways, and goals have been done away with. We are new creatures in Christ.

If we are in Christ we have already been given a new heart. One day, we will also be given a new body. An incorruptible body that cannot be corrupted by sin. A resurrected body. Along with our new resurrected bodies there will also be a new heaven and a new earth. The new heaven will be the eternal home of those who are in Christ and there we shall be with the Lord forever. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 27 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

2-corinthians-5-17

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 23, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 11: The Gift of being a Member of Jesus Body

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ 

“Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.” I Corinthians 12:27

            As we have already seen, we are friends with Jesus, family with Jesus, and one with Jesus. We, however, are not alone in our relationship with Christ, there are millions of Christians in the world today. Each Christian is a unique and individual member of the body of Christ with individual callings and gifting that help enhance the purpose and function of the body.

The body of Christ is the church. It is a spiritual house with spiritual purposes. (I Peter 2:4-10.) Yet, at the same time it is a physical house. Not a physical house built with brick and mortar, but a physical house built with the assembly of men, women, and children who have accepted Christ as their Savior and Lord. A physical house with spiritual purposes grafted together by their faith in Christ.

As there are many members with many purposes and functions there is but one head. The pastor, deacons, elders, nor anyone else is the head of the body of Christ. Christ alone is the head. Colossians 1:18 says, “He is also head of the body, the church.” Since Jesus is the head, we follow His direction and leadership.

Not only is Jesus the head, the body is His as well. For we belong to Him and are united with Him. The church was purchased with the blood of Christ. Acts 20:28 says, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Any church that Jesus is not the head of has no purchased body and is therefore not a true church.

Unfortunately, so few people today take the church seriously. The church was placed on this earth to be a blessing to the whole world. It is the churches responsibility to share the gospel and minister to the hurting. We see both biblically and historically when the church is strong, families are strong, and when the church is strong, society itself is morally upright and therefore strong. You want to change the world? Get plugged into a church and make sure it is functioning properly. If it refuses to function properly, find one that will. After all, this is God’s design.

We often hear the phrase quoted from Hebrews 10:25 to, “not forsake the assembling of one another.” To assemble is to be the church. The command is clear in the Word of God to not forsake the assembling or not forsake church. However, when we hold this verse into its context we see why. The verse prior tells us, “let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” In other words, we are there to strengthen and encourage one another. Then we see that the whole verse says. “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” This verse is telling us as we see the day drawing near, or getting more difficult, we need to assemble, for the purpose of strength and encouragement, all the more. Truly, we have received the greatest gift this world has ever seen.

This is part 11 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

people-are-the-church

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 6: The Gift of Peace

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1 NASB

Those who reside in the domain of darkness have set themselves up to be at enmity against God. 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.” They are enemies of God because they have chosen to live for the world rather than repent of their sins and live for the Lord.

Fortunately for us, God has chosen to provide a way for those in the world to be reconciled with Him. II Corinthians 5:19 says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” To be reconciled is to be restored into a right relationship. God’s means of reconciliation is the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus purchased for the world redemption. The world then receives redemption by faith and are then reconciled unto God.

When one has by faith been reconciled with God by being redeemed by the blood of Jesus he is then justified before God. To be justified is to be made right. His sins are now forgiven, blotted out, removed as far as the east is from the west, and remembered no more. (I John 1:9, Acts 3:19, Psalm 103:12, Hebrews 8:12). By his faith in Jesus he is now in a right relationship with God.

When one has been justified by God, made right, he now has peace with God. Paul is not talking about an emotion or a feeling of peace, nor is he referring to a sense of security that brings peace. Paul is talking about a practical peace; the type of peace between two warring parties that have called a truce. We were enemies of God yet we are now reconciled. We agreed to the truce God called by placing our faith in His provision of the truce-Jesus.

Being a nice person cannot bring peace between you and God. Being a generous person cannot bring peace between you and God. Being a religious person cannot bring peace between you and God. Being a good person cannot bring peace between you and God. Jesus said, “No one is good but God.” We were the aggressors in our hostility toward God. We are the guilty party. For this reason, we deserve God’s condemnation. Instead, God provided justification through the blood of His Son. By faith in Jesus we are justified. By faith in Jesus we are at peace with God. Peace is not a gift we deserve but a gift we are given by grace. Truly, Jesus is the greatest gift.

This is part 6 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

4.-Gods-Gift-of-Peace

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 2, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Repentance Required

            After the resurrection, Jesus spent forty day’s with His disciples opening their eyes to the scriptures teaching them the reason He came so they could proclaim the gospel to all creation.  Jesus told them that one of the requirements of accepting the gospel message was repentance from sin. Jesus said in Luke 24:46-47, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

What did Jesus mean when He said “repentance for forgiveness of sin?”  When we believe on Jesus we believe on all of who He is, all of what He has done, and all of what He has taught.  Jesus preached repentance of sin and holy living. True faith in Christ requires repentance from sin.

After Peter preached the first gospel message just after he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit the crowd was pierced to the heart and asked Peter, “What shall we do?” They wanted to know how they were to respond to the gospel. Peter said they needed to repent. (Acts 2:38).

Sin hinders our relationship with God. It was our sins that Jesus went to the cross to pay for. When we choose not to repent we are telling God that we are not truly interested in a relationship with Him and that we would rather live our lives our own way through our own strength and wisdom. Make no mistake, people who refuse to repent refuse relationship and fellowship with God. John said in 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.” In other words, if we say we are walking with God yet we are living in open rebellious unrepentant sin, we are liars.  However, I John 1:6 says, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  We walk in the light when we have repented of our sin and received the cleansing power of the blood of Christ that paid for our sin.

Paul went so far as to tell us not to associate with any “so-called” believer who is unrepentant and living in sin.  He said not to even eat with such a one. (I Corinthians 5:11). Associating with an unrepentant individual only gives them a false since of salvation.  If there is no repentance, there is no salvation.

In the next chapter, he gives a non-comprehensive list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God.  In I Corinthians 6:9-10 Paul said, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” Does this mean that anyone who has ever been drunk or stolen anything will not be saved? Of course not.  Paul is declaring their identity. This is who they are and how they live. This is the identifying mark of their lives. They are identified as a drunkard or a thief or whatever the life of sin is that they have not repented of.      Paul went on to say in the next verse, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” Such were some of you, but not anymore, for they had repented and were washed with the blood of Christ. The Christians identity is found in Christ-not sin.

Does this mean that those who slip into sin from time to time are not saved? Galatians 2:11 tells us that Paul opposed Peter to his face because he stood condemned. Peter was being a hypocrite acting one way in front of the gentiles and another way in front of the Jews. Was he condemned to hell for his hypocrisy? Of course not.  Peter was very much a saved man that loved Jesus with his whole heart. He was eventually martyred for his faith. He however, slipped into sin and needed someone like Paul to help set him straight. Those who are indentified with sin due to their lack of repentance are not saved. Christians can and will slip into sin from time to time. However, since they have a relationship with God, they will be convicted of their sin and repent. An unsaved person will live in sin with absolutely no conviction or remorse and be perfectly happy it.

When we share our faith with sinners, we must preach repentance.  A gospel proclaimed without repentance is no gospel at all. We are setting the hearer up for failure if we do not proclaim the need to repent. Not preaching repentance is as foolish as a patient going to see a doctor for a chronic cough. The doctor not wanting to pry into the patient’s personal life by telling him he needs to stop smoking simply gives him cough syrup instead. Smoking is clearly the root of his problem, just as sin is the root of our separation from God.

When preaching repentance we must do so with the love and compassion of Christ.  While preaching repentance we must have a heart of love desiring the sinner to turn from his sin and trust in Jesus. God will not bless the efforts of the self righteous who simply want to condemn the sinner for his sin. We must get the log out of our eye before we can get the spec out of others. Remember, such were some of us. We once were sinners in need of salvation. Who are we to condemn others for their sins? We repented and received grace. This too should be our heart. It most certainly is Gods.  For this reason out of an act of love and compassion knowing the destructive power of sin, we preach repentance.

true_repentance

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Not Everyone Who Say’s to Me Lord, Lord

Now that we have a better understanding of the gospel we need to be clear on what true biblical Christianity is. There are two extremes in our world today. We first see the one who believes his good works can get him to heaven then we find the unrepentant using Jesus as a ticket to heaven although they truly do not love Him nor have any desire to live for Him.

Let us be clear, not everyone who calls himself a Christian is truly a Christian.  One of the most freighting statements that Jesus ever made is found in Matthew 7:21-23 where He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

First Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.” These are people who are calling Jesus Lord. Then Jesus said that they are doing works in His name. Why would these people not be saved? Jesus gave us a better understanding of why these people are not truly disciples of His when He quoted the prophet Isaiah in Matthew 15:8, “THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.”

Much like the Pharisees who honored God with their lips they don’t truly know God or follow Him with their heart. They are too consumed in the accomplishment of self to serve God. They are more interested in the rules and rituals of religion than they are with seeking a relationship with the Lord. They are more concerned with the pat on the back than they are with the praise of the Lord. They are more in love with the idea of heaven than they are with the King of Glory and are more interested in building their kingdom than His. Their actions point to self rather than the Savior, therefore, they honor Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. Jesus said that they “practice lawlessness.”

Jesus said that He will say to these people on the day of judgment, “I never knew you.”  Not that He once knew them and they slipped away but, He never knew them, therefore, they never truly knew Him. Since their heart was set on serving self rather than the savior they never knew Jesus nor served Him. They never had a genuine relationship with Jesus.

Another frightening statement that Jesus made in this scripture was, “many will say to me Lord, Lord,” Many, He said!  Just before Jesus made this statement He said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Mathew 7:13-14.) According to Jesus, only a few are saved, while many reject Him and are lost.

It is abundantly clear that the people out in the world who live lives in absolute rebellion against God are not saved.  However, Jesus is now telling us that there are many who are serving in ministries that are not saved; teachers, deacons, pastors, and the faithful who sit in the pew week after week; yes, even tithers.  They look Christian, they act Christian, they talk Christian, they do Christian acts, but Jesus said their walk is not genuine. There is no doubt that they think their walk is genuine. However, they fall under the category of people who believed in vain. (I Corinthians 15:1.)

Let me give a strong warning here. It is not our job to sit on the judgment seat and try to figure out who these folks are. Remember, they look and act Christian and because they are trying to be saved by their works and religion rather than a genuine relationship with Jesus they may act more Christian than some of the genuine Christians sitting in the pews. If God would open our eyes to the spiritual realm and allowed us to see who is saved and who isn’t we would more than likely be astounded.

Our job is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember the seed sewer? We are to be like him sewing seed everywhere we go. This is one of the reasons the gospel should regularly be preached in the church. Along with our seed sewing we pray for the power of God to draw people unto salvation. God knows their heart. We don’t. I pray for every service that God would not allow one lost soul to leave without knowing Him. If we do our part, God will be faithful to do His part.

true_repentance

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Walking in the Newness of Life

Prior to being born again our lives were carnally minded. Our hearts, minds, dreams, goals, desires, wants, and what we thought were needs were all fleshly and carnally focused. Ephesians 2.3 says, “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” When one indulges in the desires of the flesh and mind they walk in the flesh and are greatly displeasing to God. Romans 5:8 tells us, “those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

However, when we become born again we die to the flesh and come alive through the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit teaches us the ways of God and rebukes us when we walk in the ways of the flesh. Apart from the Spirit of God teaching and guiding us we cannot live for the Lord. Yet, when we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord the Holy Spirit comes to live in us giving us new life. Christ is in us and we are in Him. We are alive.

The carnal man cannot live for the Lord, nor will he want to. However, the spiritual man who possesses the Holy Spirit can live for the Lord, far the Lord is with him, leading and guiding him. Romans 6:4 says, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” When we became born again we were buried with Christ in the likeness of His death, not physically but spiritually. Just as we were buried with Christ we were, past tense, raised from the dead. Again this is a spiritual act, not a physical one.

The bible clearly teaches that those who are in Christ will one day be given a resurrected body. However, the bible also clearly teaches that the moment you accept Christ as Savior and Lord you die to self and come alive to God. Prior to being born again you were dead in your transgressions and sins. Once you became born again you are alive to Him and dead to sin.

A Christian is dead to sin. Therefore, he cannot live in it. “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:2.) Living in sin means that sin is your lifestyle; it defines who you are. Living in Christ is also a lifestyle that defines who you are therefore the bible tells us to walk in the newness of life. One cannot live in sin and Christ. It is a spiritual, physical, and philosophical impossibility.

Living for Jesus is a choice. God can but won’t force us to live for Him. Jesus called the rich young ruler to follow Him and the rich young rule said no. If he said no to Jesus, we too can say no. Yet, when we make the choice to live for Jesus we are not alone. We have been empowered by the blood and led by the Spirit. Wow! What a powerful combination. Therefore, we choose to walk in faith.

I have had people over the years tell me that they cannot repent of their sins because their sins have too much power over their lives. That is a lie straight out of Satan’s mouth that directly contradicts the Word of God. I John 4:4 says, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” As a former drug addict trust me when I say that I know the power of sin. As a delivered drug addict I also know the power of God. God’s power is much greater. Again, we have a choice. It is a choice of who to believe. I chose to believe God.

If I chose to believe God I will then walk in the newness of life, repenting from my fleshly life, staying focused on things above rather than the things below, focused on life rather than death, and focused on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of my faith. Will I do this perfectly? No. Neither will you nor anyone else. However, we should do this consistently as it is the identifying mark of being a Christian.

Not if, but, when I lose focus I will repent and ask Jesus to forgive me. I then will ask Him in faith to deliver me from whatever areas I have failed Him in and continue to walk in the newness of life. This process will be repeated many times in a Christian’s life. God isn’t interested in the amount of times you have slipped. He is longing for you to get back up and pursue Him again. Being a Christian doesn’t make you perfect. But, you should be consistent. Jesus death, burial, and resurrection purchased for you a new life. Therefore, we should walk in it.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Born Again

In the third chapter of the book of John we see a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night seeking answers as to who He was. Nicodemus recognized Jesus was from God but wanted to know more. Jesus then startled Nicodemus with a statement he had difficulty understanding. Jesus said in John 3:3 to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus not understanding Jesus statement asked in the next verse, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus then answered in verses five and six, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

At first Jesus said unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Then Jesus said, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. I believe Jesus was basically making the same statement, but rewording it a little for Nicodemus to better understand.

If we are alive today we were delivered from the water from the flesh as flesh. In other words we were conceived and formed into flesh in our mother’s womb and thus we were born. If we are born again we have been born of the Spirit of God. If we are not born of the Spirit of God we cannot see nor enter the kingdom of God.

The question that is now before us is, “How do we become born again?” The simple answer is, we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior by believing in who He is and the works He has done on the cross to purchase redemption. By grace we are saved by faith and not by works. (Ephesians 2:9-10).

Paul said in Romans 5:20, “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” In other words, regardless of how much sin we have had in our lives, God has more grace. Therefore, all our sins, regardless of how much, will be washed away if we place our faith in Jesus.

Paul then asks in Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?” Since God has more grace than we have sin should we just keep on sinning so God’s grace can increase? If we ever see yelling in writing we see it in Romans 6:2 when Paul said, “May it never be!” He then goes on to explain through the remainder of this chapter that those who are in Christ are dead to sin. They have died and have been buried with Christ.

For one to be born again he must first die; not physically but spiritually. One must die to his flesh, his hopes, his dreams, his goals, his ways, his ideas, his thoughts, and basically everything that has made him, him. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Jesus said that the requirement of following Him was denying yourself and taking up your cross. Remember that the cross is an instrument of death.

Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Paul’s hopes, dreams, goals, ways, ideas, thoughts, and everything that made Paul, Paul was no longer about him, for he denied himself, it was about Jesus. He was born again. He died to Paul and came alive to Jesus. How did he do this? He explained how in the second part of Galatians 2:20 where he wrote, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Far too many people have a fire insurance type of faith. They don’t want to go to hell but they don’t want to live for Jesus either. They are unwilling to turn from their sinful, fleshly, self-centered, and self-serving ways to truly live for Jesus. Remember, Jesus said, unless you are born again you cannot see, nor enter, the kingdom of Heaven.

To be born again we must die to the flesh and come alive to Jesus. Paul saw the love that Jesus had for him and the actions of the cross that demonstrated His love. With this in mind Paul said in Colossians 3:8, “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.” Paul realized that he, Paul, was not worthy to live for, but Christ was more than worthy.

Have you been born again? Jesus died for you to give you life. He gave up all so you could have all; all that matters anyway. Have you died to you and come alive to Jesus, or do you simply have a fire insurance policy? Romans 8:12-13 says, “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

Born-Again

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 6, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,