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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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Day 26: The Gift of His Might

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

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NASB

This is probably one of the most misused verses in all of God’s word. I’ve heard Christian football players quote this verse claiming victory in the football game. I have always thought, what if the opposing team has a Christian claiming the same verse? Obviously, this is not the original intent of this wonderful verse.

When one looks at this verse in its original context, they will see Paul saying in the previous verse, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” In other words, Paul is saying he has faced the best of life and the worst of life. Since he has faced both the best and the worst in life, he knows how to be content, for his strength is not found in his circumstances, his strength is found in Christ, regardless of his circumstances.

As Christians we will face a whole host of circumstances. Some of those circumstances may be wonderful while others may be awful. However, as Christians, we don’t allow our circumstances to lord over our lives, Jesus is Lord over our lives. Since we are in Him and He in us we find our strength in Him and Him alone. Regardless of what we face in life, we will not be dismayed, for our strength is in Christ and we can do all things through Him, Jesus, who strengthens us.

Just as Philippians 4:13 is one of the most misused verses in the bible the great Christmas Carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is one of the most misunderstood. This classic Christmas Carol was written in the 15th century when some words in the English language had a different meaning than they do today. The word merry is one of those words. In the 15th century, the word merry did not mean happy as it does today. Instead, it meant mighty. In the same way, the word rest meant keep. If this song were written today, instead of saying “God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay. Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day,” it would say, “God keep these mighty gentlemen let nothing worry you. Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day.” It’s not as poetic, but you get the point.

As Christians we will have more than a happy Christmas, we will have a mighty Christmas, as the original meaning of merry calls for. It is happy, but also mighty. It is mighty because Jesus Christ was born. Since Jesus Christ was born we have access to God. Since we have access to God we know we are kept in Him and are therefore strengthened through Him to be mighty. For this reason, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. In Christ, we are mighty. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 26 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

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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 25: The Gift of Beautiful Feet

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

“ How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” Romans 10:14-15 NASB

When the angel appeared to the shepherds that first Christmas night they said, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10). His declaration was  that the good news of Christ’s birth was for “all the people.” Later in this same chapter Simeon declared that Jesus came for both the Jews and the Gentiles. Again, He is for all the people.

Jesus didn’t come for a select group of people. Nor did Jesus come only for the faithful who sit in the pews Sunday after Sunday. His heart is that all would come to repentance, receive His free gift of salvation, and be redeemed. For this reason, He told His children to, “Go into all of the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15). Peter tells us in I Peter 2:9 that one of the churches primary roles is, “that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Every Christian is responsible for this task.

Paul said in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power unto salvation unto those who believe.” If the gospel is powerful for transformation, the opposite is true that if the gospel is not proclaimed individuals, families, communities, and societies will be left to ruin apart from the proclamation of it. If you are saved, you are saved because you received the free gift of the gospel. Now that you are saved, God has called you to pay it forward and tell others so they will not be ruined and undone.

We have already seen so many wonderful gifts that God has given to His children. Each gift is received because we received the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are greedy and dishonorable to God if we hoard all of these gifts for ourselves. God’s heart is to save every man woman and child so they too can receive His free gifts. Paul said in Romans 10:13, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How will they know unless we tell them?

The feet that carry the Good News may become callused, bruised, and bloody; they may become dusty, dirty, and grimy; they may become tired, weary, and worn, but they are beautiful to God. For, they are bringing the Good News of Jesus to a lost world, the world of whom He loves and a world He came to save. Although proclaiming the gospel requires sacrifice on our part, it is a gift. A gift to the world in the name of Jesus. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen. Now, let us freely give as we have freely received.

This is part 25 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

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Posted by on December 21, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 24: The Gift of God’s Temple

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

“ Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” I Corinthians 3:16 NASB

In the Old Testament God dealt with people in a physical way. He called Abram out of Ur to go and poses a physical land that God would eventually give to Abram’s decedents. Through Abraham, God created a physical nation that battled and worked in the physical realm. God, through Moses, called this nation to make a physical tabernacle, and later through Solomon build a physical temple where God would dwell and where they would worship. God used this physical nation to bring about the Messiah, the Son of David, God’s only begotten Son into this world. When the eight days of purification passed Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple to fulfill the law. The priest Simeon rejoiced when he saw the baby Jesus. Simeon rejoiced for he was looking for “the consolation of Israel.” (Luke 2:25).

Today, God chooses to use the church, His spiritual house, to fulfill His purposes upon this earth. The church is not a building or a location. The church is God’s assembled believers and each believer is individually a temple of the Holy Spirit of God. Today, the church, the assembled believers, battle and work in the spiritual realm. We bear spiritual fruit. Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

When the Virgin Mary conceived, through the power of God, the Angel of the Lord said of the baby she would deliver, “AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” (Matthew 1:23). After Jesus death burial and resurrection, just prior to ascending to be with the Father, Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20). Wow! What an amazing assurance. Jesus was born into this world as God with us, and left this world saying, I am with you always. We have life through Christ, and through Christ we have His presence through the Holy Spirit within us as temple’s of the Holy Spirit. We are never alone. Wherever we go, whatever task He calls us to, or whatever trial we face, God is with us. Truly, we have the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 24 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

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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 23: The Gift of Bearing Fruit

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

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” John 15:16 NASB

As we saw yesterday, we have the great privilege in abiding in Christ. As we abide in Him, we bear fruit thus giving the Father glory. When we give God glory through bearing fruit our joy is made full, or complete. A part of the joy we find in Christ comes from serving Christ through the fruit we bear. Apart from abiding in Christ, we cannot bear fruit.

Whereas the source of bearing fruit comes in abiding in Christ, the ability to bear fruit comes through praying in Jesus name. Jesus said, “whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give it to you.” He also said in the twelfth verse of the previous chapter, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” We are not greater than Jesus, but we, the church, the children of God, will do greater, or more works than Jesus. We are doing more works since we have been doing works in His name for the past 2000 years by spreading the gospel to all the earth. Jesus said we could do these greater works since He has gone to be with the Father. Jesus is there at the right hand of the throne of the Father making intersession for those who are abiding in Him. When we abide in Him and praying in His name, we have direct access to the throne of God enabling us to bear fruit.

Bearing fruit is spiritual works in our lives that bring glory to God. All Christians are called to bear fruit. Not bearing fruit is a sign of being dead, while bearing fruit is a sign of having life. Jesus said, any branch that does not bear fruit is taken away and cast into the fire. If we have life in Jesus, by abiding in Jesus, we will bear fruit.

How then is bearing fruit a gift to us? First, it is a sign of life to us. Second, Acts 20:35 says, “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” When we bear fruit we give to God by ministering to the hurting and the lost. Every Christian is called to share the gospel with the lost and minister to the hurting. When we give this spiritual fruit we are blessed. We give a blessing and in turn, receive a blessing. Jesus came that first Christmas morning as a gift to the world. A gift that continues to give through our faithful service empowered by Him. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen. And, we are blessed to freely give it to the world as it was freely given to us.

This is part 23 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 these devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 19, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 18: The Gift of Strength in Service

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

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” II Timothy 1:7 NASB

Paul imprisoned, knowing he would soon lose his life for his faith and service to Jesus wrote these words of encouragement to Timothy. Paul knew that Timothy, the pastor of Ephesus, would face some of the same trials and persecutions that he faced. Paul wanted Timothy to know that despite what he faced God would be with him and strengthen him to face it.

We can rest assured the more we strive to serve God the more persecution will come our way. Paul also told Timothy, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (II Timothy 3:12). Satan will stop at nothing to prevent God’s children from serving Him. But remember, “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:4). We have no reason to fear Satan or his persecution. Our fear should be of God and God alone.

Paul told Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity.” If God hasn’t given us a spirit of timidity, or fear, then where does it come from? Satan. Satan is a bully trying to scare us away from serving God. Satan knows once we start serving God through the power of the Holy Spirit we are a major threat to his kingdom. We are God’s; therefore, we have no reason to fear Satan, nor anything, or anyone else.

Despite trials, tribulation, or tragedy God has given us through His Spirit the power to serve Him. Let me ask you a silly question. What is more powerful than God? Nothing! If we are working in His power then who do we have to fear. Jesus told the disciples just before He ascended to be with the Father in Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses.” The world has never, nor ever will see a greater power than God’s, and He has given to us a spirit of power, His power.

Not only has God given to us a spirit of power, He has given to us a spirit of love. Love is a defining characteristics of a Christian. I John 4:8 says, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” It was love that motivated the Father to send His Son and love that motivated the Son to surrender. It is love, love of God first and of man second, that motivates our heart to serve. Paul asked Timothy in II Timothy 1:8 to, “join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God” What would motivate someone to serve God knowing that there is a great possibility they would suffer? Love! And, God has given us a spirit of love.

God has also given to us a spirit of discipline. This spirit of discipline is what motivates us to stay focused in our service and seek God for our strength. In essence, God has given to us through His Spirit an internal motivator to keep on keeping on. Through His Spirit we clearly see that God has given us everything we need to faithful serve Him. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 18 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

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Posted by on December 14, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 17: The Gift of Completion

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

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 NASB

Much to my wife’s frustration, I am notorious for not finishing projects. I will get involved in a project, get distracted, and start another leaving the original project unfinished. After a while, I will look around realizing I have a whole host of partially finished projects that need attention.

God is very much different. We are assured in this wonderful verse, once God starts His project, He will finish. Not only will He finish it, He will perfect it. We are God’s projects. When most people turn their lives over to Jesus their lives are a mess. The good news is, the moment we turn our lives over to the Lord, regardless of how much of a mess we made out of our lives, He will perfect us.

The bible is clear, God doesn’t expect us to straighten our lives out and then turn to Him. The fact is, we can’t. For this reason, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Once were saved, God, through the blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit changes us from our mess to His glory. By faith, we turn to God and repent of our sins, and by faith we trust that God will keep us from our sin and keep us in Him.

Salvation is a onetime act of faith. We believe and therefore we are saved. At the same time, the saved trust in God daily to shape them and mold them into His image. Isaiah 68:4 says, “But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” We must submit ourselves as the clay to the potter. When we do, we trust that the Master will make a masterpiece.

What God makes out of your life is to His choosing. Paul said in Romans 9:21, “Does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?” Whether God uses you as a vessel to bring revival to the nations, or a vessel where no one knows your name, you are His vessel, in His hands. Let your life be a vessel that brings glory to God by placing it in the potter’s hands.

Your life today may not look like a masterpiece. To you it may still look like an un-worked lump of clay. Know that you are a work in progress. You are no longer your own; you are God’s. By faith know that God will perfect you. Paul said, “I am confident of this very thing.” Be confident, for God isn’t finished with you yet. Truly, we have the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 17 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

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Posted by on December 13, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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