Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Will of God

How important is it to do the will of God?
The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 7:21- 24,

"[21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. [24] Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:"

Jesus says that if we don't do the will of God we will not enter the kingdom of heaven, so one could say that it is the most important thing in our life to do the will of God.

Hebrews 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment", so once we die we don't have another chance. This is the only chance we have to find the will of God and to do it, so that we might enter the kingdom of heaven to spend eternity with God, rather than to regret for all eternity that we didn't consider it important enough to do it - that we may have considered entertainment, sports, pursuit of other people's admiration and respect, etc. more important that getting to know God personally, know His will and doing it.

Before it sounds like I'm saying that we can earn salvation let me make it clear that I understand the will of God to be that we believe in the Lord Jesus and accept His sacrifice as the only sufficient payment for our sins and for that faith to be a living faith resulting in actions (James 2:17 - faith without works is dead). "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says, "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

God's will is that everyone should be saved and He paid a price that is sufficient for everyone to be saved but He also gave everyone a free will to be able to accept or reject this offer of eternal life and a choice to act in accordance to what we understand God's will to be or to decide for ourselves that we know better how to live.

His perfect will doesn't come to pass automatically because He is God. Countless millions of people are going to hell and terrible things such as the Holocaust and genocide, child abuse, rape, persecution of Christians involving torture, etc. happen, causing some people to question God's existence and justifying living however they want to.

"If thou shalt confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus (proclaiming Him as your Lord, promising to obey Him with words and actions, otherwise He is not really your Lord) and believing in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" - Romans 10:9.
Ephesians 5:17 says "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." We are commanded to know and understand what the will of God is. To do this we need to study the Word of God (the Bible) diligently, meditate on it and do it. Then we will do the sayings of Jesus (Matthew 7:24) as we've read at the start.

Meditate also on Romans 12:1-2: "[1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
  • Jesus sacrificed His perfect life which we can now have in exchange for our flawed directionless lives. It is only reasonable and essential that we give up our worthless self-directed lives in order to obtain His divine, victorious, eternal life (John 10:10). We cannot have both since the way that seems right to man leads to everlasting death (Proverbs 14:12. Consider John 14:12 in contrast to Proverbs 14:12). Believing on the Lord Jesus allows us to do the same works as Jesus and even greater works. Believing in our own ability to decide what to do, leads to eternal death - the decision is not too difficult.
  • If we want to do the perfect will of God, we need to have our minds renewed to be able to think in a way that is lined up with the Word of God, more than with human wisdom and philosophy or even what we think our senses of sight, smell, feeling, touch and taste may be telling us. We renew our minds by reading and meditating on the Word of God and by doing what He tells us to do through His Word (Joshua 1:8).
Seeing is not believing. Believing in line with God's Word and acting on that belief even if contrary to our natural physical observations and conventional wisdom will cause us to walk in God's perfect will, in His blessings and so much more than we could have thought possible and for so much longer that we could ever fathom with our human intellect.

Please also visit Andrew Wommack's website for wonderful teachings on thisand many more topics of practical interest to believers. The piece above is what I believe God spoke to me today but He has also used and continue to use Andrew Wommack to speak to me on many occasions, also on this topic.
God has also used Dr. Karl Coke, founder and author of the Timothy Program International to help me view the so-called Old Testament in a whole new light and to appreciate the importance of learning Hebrew, which Jesus will also give me the strength/ ability to do (Philippians 4:13), however daunting it may seem at first and still does at times. Hebrew is after all the language God used to creating the heavens and the earth and everything in them.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Living Holy - Is it a Fruit or a Root?

As Christians, we are admonished to "live holy", to follow the example of Christ.  

"Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, 
that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love."  (Ephesians 1:4)

"Be holy, for I am holy."  (1 Peter 1:16)
 
Many confuse this instruction by thinking that we must strive to be perfect out of fear of rejection, or fear of losing our salvation.  Many are misled into believing that you must confess every single sin or lose your salvation.  This erroneous thinking places holiness as the root of salvation and this is contrary to what the Bible teaches us.

Living a holy life is neither the root of our salvation, nor is it possible to accomplish it through good deeds and pure will power.

In fact, the Bible states that "holiness" is the FRUIT of our salvation.

"But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, 
you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life."  (Romans 6:22)

We strive to live a pure life and do good works BECAUSE of the free gift of salvation.  

By constantly renewing our minds to be in sync with God's perfect Spirit within us, our thoughts, words and actions will naturally follow.