More than Conquerors !

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When the Bible tells us that Christians are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, what exactly does that mean? Let us first of all examine what the word conquer means. According to the dictionary, to conquer means to defeat or subdue by force, especially by force of arms, to overcome or surmount by physical, mental, or moral force.

Romans 8 tell us that we are more than conquerors and we are this because Jesus has conquered. He won the battle and we are now situated in his victory over all the powers of darkness.

Romans 8 also tells us that we are more than conquerors because the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. How does he do this?

Through prayer! Now, we can use other weapons in Jesus Christ as well in doing this conquering such as teaching, preaching, and serving but let us examine the conquering from a prayer perspective shall we? Because without prayer we can do none of those other things anyway! You see once we recognize our inability to do anything in our own power that we can then rely on God’s power.

A conqueror is one who overcomes all obstacles. Jesus said that the kingdom of God is taken by force by the violent. In other words the tenacious Christian prays against the devil’s plans and schemes to win victories from the will of God in heaven to the manifestation of his will on earth.

There are those who pray diligently in the Spirit without ceasing. That is as much as possible! In everything! Did you know that just by waking up in the morning your day could be booby trapped by the devil? Oh, yes the evil one also has a plan for your life too! So, every day we need to pray. As we work, in the car, on the bus, everywhere we go and all the time. In your head if you have to, because God hears them too!

Romans 8 says that Jesus is interceding for us to the Father. As you pray the Holy Spirit prays too and then Jesus prays and things get done. Pray with ALL KINDS OF PRAYER, as the Holy Spirit leads you. Remember to listen to him and don’t be presumptuous because that will get you into trouble. The devil loves to work through self proclaimed prophets and if you don’t believe me check out what Peter said to Jesus when he was going to the cross. “Don’t do that!” he cried, which of course was the wrong thing to say because the purpose the Son of God came was to go to the cross.

Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword separate us from God and his will? Never, because we are more than conquerors in Jesus Christ! Even if we die we still win because we get to live in heaven! Christians can never be defeated with God on our side!

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-38

Rejoice because we are more than conquerors much more! We are children of the King of kings and that makes us invincible!

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Conversion Produces Repentance.

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If a person is really converted to Jesus Christ they will then repent of their sins and produce fruits of righteousness.

Conversion means “to cause to return, to bring back to the love and obedience of God” and is the result of repentance which means “to turn away from sin and turn towards God,” which is the result of godly sorrow which means to be remorseful for sin. The end result of conversion is godliness or behavior that is God like.”

When godly sorrow produced by the conviction of the Holy Spirit works repentance in the heart (spirit of man), it is not repented of by God.(undone, change of mind)

According to the bible, the gifts and callings that he bestows on individuals are not repentant of or in other words, God never takes them back. This gift of grace leads to a converted heart(changed spirit) which comes about by the Holy Spirit who reveals the truth about man’s sinful state. (2Ti 2:25) Then FAITH is produced, comes by hearing and the ability to hear by God’s revealed word.(rhema)

Take a look at these scriptures.

“In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure(PERHAPS) will GIVE THEM repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2 Timothy 2:25,26

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10

As we can see through the scriptures; the calling and drawing, godly sorrow, repentance and conversion, are all gifts from God. They are not a work of man. That is they do not originate in man nor are they a product of men’s labor. A gift simply is bestowed and not earned, given freely without price of any kind.

Now, take a close look at this scripture.

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by GRACE ( charis – good will, loving-kindness, favour, mercy) are ye saved through FAITH ( pistis- conviction of the truth relating to God with the predominate idea of trust or confidence in) and that NOT OF YOURSELVES( not of hymōn-you or yours or self) it is the GIFT ( dōron-present, offering) of God: NOT OF WORKS (Not of -ergon- business, employment, enterprise, undertaking, production an act, deed, thing done) lest any man should BOAST. (SO THAT NO ONE CAN kauchaomai-to glory on account of a thing)

For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP( poiēma-the works of God as creation ) CREATED (ktizō- to form, shape, i.e. to completely change or transform) IN Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ORDAINED ( proetoimazō- to prepare before, to make ready beforehand) that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:7-10

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Romans 11:6

True repentance results in conversion of the heart or in other words a born again spirit which is bestowed freely by turning to God (by being drawn through the Holy Spirit)through Christ alone for salvation as scriptures teach.

Having a belief in the mind in non scriptural doctrine or man made principles is not really conversion, nor is having man made faith (belief in the mind) in one’s faith (ability to drum up belief in the mind) nor is having faith (man originated belief) in ones own ability, works, or merit, to achieve righteousness. Real Faith must be in the truth of God’s word and not in misinterpretation of scriptures, which is adding to, or taking away from God’s word.

True Salvation occurs when faith is given by God to believe Jesus as the way, the TRUTH and the life which is revealed in scripture as well as the ability to trust and rely upon God in every way.

Scriptures declare that the devils believe, yes it is true Satan believes the gospel ! All the devils believe the gospel ! They witnessed Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the dead ! But believing with the mind or knowledge about the gospel is not proof of salvation for as scriptures declare, even the devils believe.

Did you know that some of the cults believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead? Also,some in the world may even believe in Jesus as a historical figure but saving faith must produce fruit unto salvation and what I mean by fruit is this: the faith that one has must be scripturally based and produce results of truth and godliness (living as scriptures declare)

In other words, if one believes in Jesus but does not believe the scriptures on all points then they are not in the Faith. Why? Because if one is a true believer they will also believe in Jesus’s teaching.

Salvation is also not based on our good deeds either. Humanitarians do many good deeds. They give to the needy and help the unfortunate but they are not saved !Salvation is believing(having faith) in God’s word.

Have you ever heard the expression, I believe in you!” ?

This means, I trust in you, have confidence in you as who you are and what you say, not just that I believe you exist.

And if Christ be not risen , then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up , if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised : And if Christ be not raised , your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:14-17

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.1 Corinthians 2:5

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved And hath raised us up together , and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast . For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-11

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:2

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.Romans 10:17

Intellectual belief in the mind is the faith the devil and all his henchmen have BUT they do not have SAVING FAITH. Thou believest, the devils also believe and tremble.James 2:19

SAVING FAITH pisteuō – to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith means to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity, to be intrusted with a thing, used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul.

CAN YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE NOW?

Saving faith is the GIFT of God which results in repentance, conversion unto salvation AND NOT INTELLECTUAL FAITH OR BELIEF (knowledge of)

In conclusion, true conversion is the result of receiving saving faith in Jesus Christ as Savior which is a gift to the saving of the soul and this faith leads to repentance and godly living.

https://thegospelofgraceministries.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/works-are-a-gift-of-grace/

Holiness unto the Lord. What does this really mean?

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Holiness is not a man made construction but a work of the Holy Spirit. Holiness is not something a Christian works toward but something one already is if they belong to Jesus Christ.

When God commands us to be holy it is in the same sense that he commands us to be healed. “Be healed!” or “Be holy” which is not an act of behavior but an act of God. One is holy because he is born again and his life is holy because he is born again and belongs to God.

No one can be holy of their own recognizance. If we could give up our sin by keeping the law then why do we still need a Savior? Good works of any kind cannot measure up to the sacrifice of the body of Jesus and the shed blood of the lamb.

Take a look at this scripture and tell me how a pot or a bowl can make itself holy by an action?

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 14:20-21

The word holy in the Hebrew means to set-apart or separateness. While godly behavior is the result of being made holy unto the Lord, IT IS NOT a requirement to earn salvation.

Holiness does not come from man’s ability but according to the scriptures it is a work of the Holy Spirit. Scripture in no way implies absolute perfect behavior by one’s own ability because no one can be perfect without blemish or flaw but GOD HIMSELF!

When we become born again by the Holy Spirit Jesus Christ’s righteousness and holiness is IMPUTED to us. (Accredited to our account) We are set apart unto the Lord as vessels for his use in the same way as God set apart pots and vessels under the old testament to be used in his service.

The Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of holiness” because he is the sanctifier of all God’s vessels and makes them meet for God’s use by the washing of the word and regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

When the scriptures say: “Without holiness, no man shall see God” Heb. 12:14. What this means is not obedience to the Law of Moses but being born of the Holy Spirit into new life in Jesus Christ! Without being born again of the Spirit of holiness you cannot be made holy and therefore you have no inheritance in the kingdom of God.

God’s indwelling Spirit empowers his children to live lives that please him BUT all who seek to be justified by the law are not holy but defiled, defiled by the sinful nature whose works are in God’s sight filthy rags.

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness without works” (Romans 4:6)

IMPUTED– attributed on behalf of another.

Jesus places His righteousness upon our record when we trust upon Him for salvation and this is what makes us holy and not behavior whether good or bad.

Holy is the Greek is hagios which means to be in awe, venerate, regenerated. When we are regenerated and set free from sin we become holy vessels unto the Lord. Faith in Jesus Christ is our righteousness and our fruit is then holy.

For HE HATH MADE HIM TO BE SIN FOR US, WHO KNEW NO SIN; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” 2nd Corinthians 5:21

And therefore it was IMPUTED to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was IMPUTED to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be IMPUTED, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead”

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; YE ARE FALLEN FROM GRACE” Galatians 5:1-4

Therefore having been JUSTIFIED BY FAITH we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”, Romans 5:1.

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be JUSTIFIED BY FAITH .” Galatians 3:24

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.” Rom 3:21-26,

HOLINESS means to be set apart by God for a divine purpose. We are not our own but belong to God being bought with the price of the blood of Jesus Christ and therefore we live for him and not for our selves.

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.” Rom 12:1

Holiness is synonymous in the new testament with SAINT or a sanctified one.

For the perfecting of the saints,(hagios) for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Eph. 4:12

That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy (hagios) and without blemish.”

In conclusion, holiness is a work of the Holy Spirit and not a work of the law. Holiness is a position and not a behavior, however, those who are sanctified by the Holy Spirit and made holy unto the Lord will also bring forth fruit that is holy.

Volition and Free Will are Different

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Volition and free will are different. You can make choices within your slavery (WHETHER SLAVES TO SIN OR SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS) that you will be accountable for making; whether in sin as to how you sin and within grace as to how you heed the Lord in specifics but you are not free to determine your own fate!

You are either saved and have eternal life and are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, being a slave to righteousness or you are a slave to sin as an unsaved person, not of your own will but because you have a sin nature. You sin because you are a sinner but you choose the kind of sins you desire to walk in. So then ,where is your free will that allows you to do anything that you want outside of God’s soveriegn will? You have none!

Saving faith is a gift! In Heb 11:1 we read a Biblical definition of faith: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. This verse tells us that faith is a conviction that we have regarding something that allows us to be able to act on it as if it were assured of happening. But where does such assurance come from? the Bible says that faith comes from God. Heb 12:2 says “Jesus, is the author and finnisher of faith”.

Faith originates with God and is completed with God. Biblical faith for salvation does not originated from man but is an attribute of God. Head knowledge or belief is NOT saving faith! Saving faith is a gift of grace to as many as the lord our God shall call.

Rom 12:3 says ” … God has given to each man measure of faith.” These two verses clearly tell us that faith is not something that we do or a presence of mind that we develop, but that faith is a gift from God. Faith is GIVEN !

Rom 10:17 says ” … faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” So faith is a gift from God that we receive from the word of Christ (rhema) which in this dispensation we get from the Bible rather than from a burning bush. So in His time He will alot faith to us as needed from the word of the Bible.

In 2 Cor 10:15 we see that faith can grow, We can have more faith as we have more of God’s word in our heart so as we study the Bible God adds to our faith and we grow in the grace of God by the grace of God and not by our own ability!

Yes, we can make choices in how we respond to God but this, is volition which is the act of making a conscious choice or decision but it is not having a will outside of God’s divine will. Jesus said that we are not able to make one hair black nor one hair white. We are subject to laws of nature, laws of man, and spiritual laws. Therefore, based on the premise of limitation by divine will and circumstancial encumberance as well as the will of others we really have NO FREE WILL !

All that anyone can do is make choices or volition but even choices have limitation and are subject to externals. As scripture says only God can change the heart of man. Only God can change a person from the old man to the new man, from the dead in trespasses and sin person to the born again of the Holy Spirit person!

Do you get the difference? You cannot will to be a teacher if God has not called you nor can you will to be rich if God has not called you, nor can you will to be a saint if God has not called you. The bible says that God makes people willing to come to him! “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” Psalms 110:3

People can only do what God allows and even the unsaved have limits. God allows the cup of iniquity to be full with some and he alone determines that measure. Many people teach that they can control God by prayers and confessions but this is not so! Jesus is Lord and no other.

Jesus himself prayed ” Not mine but thy will be done.”
That being said, even Jesus is in submission to the will of the Father.

The scripture does say that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy and who he wills he hardens. God raised up Pharaoh to show mercy to his elect by allowing Pharoh’s heart to stay hard. In this way he could demonstrate his power to his people. God can soften a heart and he can let one stay hard, according to his sovereign will.

If you are a slave to righteousness by being born again then you will be in submission to God. If Christ is really living in you then you are in the Spirit and abiding in Christ. Many claim to know the Lord when in fact they do not. If one lives like the devil then as the bible says, they belongs to the devil.

“A good tree cannot produce evil fruit and neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.” Matthew 7:18

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. ” 1 John 1:6

God’s will is that you produce fruit if you are a real Christian and that is why he said to check out the fruit. If there are no fruits of righteousness in a person’s life then they are probably not saved! Christians can sin as it says in the book of John but if any one is truly born of God then they will not live a habitual life of sin for God’s seed lives in them and they therefore cannot live a life style of sin.

“Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” 1 John 3:6-10

“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God. ” I Thess. 4:3-5

Saving faith is given as a gift from God. You cannot in anyway earn it or contrive it of your own ability. Man’s “faith” or human belief is limited and he is not able to comprehend the gospel because he is dead in sins and blinded by the god of this world.

The sin nature controled by Satan is the influence on the minds of men and expressed by the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of unregenertated humanity. Satan’s influences also encompass the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce as well as the thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world.

“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19

“The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

It is through the preaching of the word that God’s faith is released by God’s will and not of our works, that is our own ability. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ” Ephesians 2:8,9

Therefore, we cannot boast that it was our faith that saved us when Grace and Faith are both gifts from God.

God also grants repentance to the acknowledging of the truth the Bible tells us. We can of our own self do nothing as Jesus said. Born again Christians are called to preach the word of God and the Holy Spirit’s job is to convert the hearer to the gospel.

“Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4

“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry,but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. ” 2Co 7:9,10

“In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;” 2Ti 2:25

In Matthew Chapter 16 Peter had made his confession of faith in Christ and said, “ Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God .”

The Lord Christ answered him and said, “Simon, son of Jonah, flesh and blood hath not reveal this to you; but my Father in heaven.”

Also in John chapter 1 it plainly says that we receive Jesus Christ not by our will but by God’s will.“To as many as received him to them gave he power to become thwe sons of God, born no tof the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but by the will of God.” 1 John 3:6-10

The Lord builds his church, he alone adds the numbers.

“Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. “Acts 2:47

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:6,7

“And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. “ Acts 13:48

Ordain- To order by virtue of superior authority; decree or enact. To prearrange unalterably, predestine

” For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Romans 8:29,30

Predestinate

To destine or determine in advance, foreordain.

“‘For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16

“For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.” Psalm 135:4

“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Acts 9:15,16

“But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.” Isaiah 41:8,9

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. ” 2 Peter 2:9

“And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” Acts 1:24,25

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thess. 2:11-14

” In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.” Haggi 2:23

“Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” John 60-71

Chosen

Selected from or preferred above others: the chosen few. Having been selected by God; elect.

“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other“.Matthew 24:31

“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;”Titus 1:1

“And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.” Isahiah 65:9

“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” 1 Peter 1:2

“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect ” Mark 13:22 ( BUT IT IS NOT POSSIBE TO DECIEVE THE ELECT OF GOD PRAISE THE LORD…THOSE WHO BELIEVE FALSE DOCTRINE WILL EITHER COME TO THE KNOWLEGE OF THE TRUTH WHEN PRESENTED WITH IT IF GOD WILLS OR STAY DECIEVED AND GO INTO PERDITION)

“The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever” 2 John 1:1,2

Elect

To pick out; select: elect an art course. 3. To decide, especially by preference: elected to take the summer off. 4. To select by divine will for salvation. Used of God. Chosen deliberately; singled out. One that is chosen or selected. 5.One selected by divine will for salvation. 6. An exclusive group of people

In conclusion; Volition means the act of making a decision. This act comes from the flesh. When the part of the brain which makes choices is injured in people they are not able anymore to make rational choices.This is a scientific fact. The human brain cannot created faith. FAITH COMES BY HEARING GOD’S WORD AND HEARING GOD’S WORD (ABILITY TO HEAR) COMES FROM GOD. Faith is a gift from God given to God’s elect chosen in him from the foundation of the world.

Free will is nothing more than human philosophy which comes from the philosopher Aristotle in the classical Greek doctrine but is not a biblical doctrine. Free will was never taught by the reformers; not by John Wycliff ,Martin Luther, John Calvin, john Knox, the Puritians,George Whitefeild, John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon,ect.

Free will is a last days false doctrine which undermines the faith of God and the blood of Jesus. It is a heresy opposed by the early church which has its roots in Pelagism and Arminianism which was condemned by the Synod of Dordrecht (Dort) in 1618-1619.

The Bible teaches that God is absolutely sovereign and all-powerful. “…the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will…. and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Dan. 4:32, 35).

The Bible also teaches total depravity, that is, that man, in every part of his nature (intellect, emotions and will) is dead in trespasses and sins and cannot give himself spiritual birth. Regeneration (the spiritual birth) is entirely the working of grace through faith and not from one’s own ability or will.

“And you hath he quickened,(made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” John. 1:13

In conclusion, Free will is not a biblical concept, it is rather a humanist concept. We are Free in the Lord or slaves to sin. Either way there is no middle ground.

If any man have Ears to Hear.

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If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:23 and Revelation 13:9

Jesus said that if one has ears to hear then he will hear. What exactly does this mean? Let me show you.

To hear in the Greek is akouō which means to attend to, consider what is or has been said, to understand, perceive the sense of what is said.

And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand. Matthew 15:10

However, hearing the word and understanding it does not necessarily bring salvation. Consider the parable of the sower. ( Mat 21:33 )These all heard the word and understood it but not all continued in the faith. Why is that?

It all comes down to the condition of the heart. Those who loved the world and their own lives more than the truth fell away. Now I know some will interpret this to mean that a Christian can backslide but let us look further.

The heart which is desperately wicked and filled with sin cannot change its self. Jesus said this. “You who are accustomed to doing evil how can you do well?” and again scriptures say,” Can the Ethiopian change the color of his skin? No, so how can you change your evil ways?

Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. Luke 8:12

The heart must be good ground to hear, receive, and bear fruit unto eternal life. What is good ground?

Good-kalos-beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life, and hence praiseworthy, morally good, noble
Ground-gē-arable land, suitable for growing crops, land that is cultivated.

This means, no stones, no weeds, no dry land.

So as you can see the heart condition is very important to bear fruit and we know that scriptures tell us that those who belong to God are ordained (chosen) to bear fruit.

You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16

In other words the sinful heart must be changed, transformed, cultivated, and made ready to receive the seed of the word of God! Unless one is born again he CANNOT enter into the kingdom of God. He cannot be saved!

Now that we have established that the heart must be transformed in order to be saved, how does this happen? Again, let me show you from an example in scriptures.

Let us take a look at Luke chapter 24. Jesus was raised from the dead and he met two of his disciples along the way and as they were walking down a road, Jesus joined them and he EXPOUNDED the scriptures to them. That is, he explained to them in detail all about his coming, crucifixion and resurrection.

Next, Jesus tarried with them. Jesus continued to teach them as the disciples stayed a longer time with the Lord. In other words they sought him out. They were seekers. Scripture plainly tell us that those who seek God will find him. If we hunger for him, thirst for him, are drawn to him by the Holy Spirit we will learn more from him.

Then miraculously their eyes were opened. They had revelation, they saw him, and they knew him! It was not just hearing the word expounded to them that saved them BUT knowing Jesus personally, meeting him face to face!

After that Jesus opened the scriptures to those two disciples and they were able to have faith to believe with the heart, that is they were able to have trust in, reliance upon, and cling to Jesus for their salvation. Not just head knowledge, but heart revelation. pistis –faith for is “God’s divine persuasion” according to strong’s concordance.

Heb 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the author of our faith. He is the one who gives us faith to be saved. We call that “saving faith” and he is also the finisher of our faith. He brings it to completion. Not ourselves, not our own deeds, not of our own will, but by God’s grace alone.

And put no difference between us and them, (Gentiles and Jews) purifying their hearts by faith Acts 15 :9

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Acts 26:18

Continuing on with this chapter we can see that after the disciples were saved their natural inclination was to go and share what they had experienced with others. This is a sure sign of evidence that one has been born again of the Holy Spirit. Sharing what the Lord has shown you in his word and by his Holy Spirit.

Remember that if one is fearful of man, persecution, or what anybody thinks, that is a ground which is not good ground. The Bible tells us to examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith. Many are behind pulpits today that have an intellectual understanding of the Bible but they do not have revelation or a heart transformation. The Bible calls these people reprobates, those who do not stand the test, not approved. In other words their hearts are evil. They are still in the flesh nature and love the world, praises of men, money.

Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” Hab 2:4

As the disciples continued to share the word of God many others became saved as well because the Lord used the disciples to preach HIS word and then HE also revealed himself to those ordained (chosen) for salvation (Acts 14:23) but those ordained to eternal destruction, being reprobates, will continue in their deception until judgment day. (Jude 1:4)

Do you have a hunger to know God? Seek him and you will find him. How do you seek? Prayer is good but not good enough. You must read the Bible or go hear someone preach the Bible so that God can reveal himself to you and change your heart to be born of his Holy Spirit. To be transformed by God is to be saved by God for without God we can do nothing, especially change our hearts.

May the Lord bless you with his grace and mercy today!

The Shield of Faith

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Did you ever wonder why the Bible defines Faith as a shield?

“Above all take the shield of faith.” Eph. 6:16

The Bible tells us that God is our shield …..shield is the noun……and faith is the verb (action)

Biblical faith is not human belief. While men may tell you that faith is from yourself and in particular the prosperity gospel, it in fact is not so. Let me show you what the Bible says about the shield of faith.

Gen. 15:1 “I am thy shield.”
Deu. 33:29 “ the Lord the shield of thy help.”
2Sa 22:3 “He is my shield”
2Sa 22:36 Psa 18:35 “the shield of thy salvation..”
Psa 28:7 “The LORD [is] my strength and my shield.”
Psa 33:20” he [is] our help and our shield.”
Psa 84:9 “O God our shield.”
Psa 91:4 “His truth is my shield and buckler.” (protection)

God is the shield and faith in God becomes our shield of protection. When we take up the shield of faith we are in fact taking up God’s protective covering.

Faith in this scripture is pistis in the Greek which means ….. belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same conviction of the truth of anything, in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it.(Strong’s concordance)

In other word, faith in God is what protects us from the devil’s flaming arrows. (attacks)

Jer 46:3 says “Order ye the buckler and shield , and draw near to battle.”

When we battle the enemy, we do so not in our own ability, but by trusting in God as our shield. Therefore, we can pray for the victory and trust God to perform his word. !

What is faith? Heb 11:1 tells us “Faith is the “substance,” and
the correct translation for this word is Hypostasis-substance which actually means foundation. So faith is our foundation.

Foundation means -the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing.

So faith is God’s nature and not our human belief. All the man made faith or belief in the world will not move a mountain but the faith of God…..his nature, his person will indeed move a mountain.

So when we take up our position in God’s protective covering then we can quench the fiery darts of the enemy. Human belief will never keep one safe and secure from Satan’s attacks. Sooner or later you will fall if you are relying on your own belief.

The Bible says that Jesus is our foundation.

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor.3:11

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.”2 Timothy 2:19

Faith (confidence in God based on relationship with him) is the foundation (God’s quality and nature) of things hoped for.

In the Greek, hoped is ….. elpizō which means to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence.

So faith (confidence in God based on relationship with him) is the foundation (God’s quality and nature) of things hoped for (waited on for salvation with joy and full confidence.)

Which obviously means having no doubt. If you have doubt and waver you probably do not have real faith but only human belief which wavers and is not fully confident.

So then faith(confidence in God based on relationship with him) is the foundation (God’s quality and nature) of things hoped for (waited on for salvation with joy and full confidence) and the evidence of things…..

Evidence- elegchos (a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested.) not seen… blepō (to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, understand, to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, examine.)

Here it is in a nutshell. Faith (confidence in God based on relationship with him) is the foundation (God’s quality and nature) of things hoped for (to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence) the evidence (proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested) NOT SEEN.( discerned, considered, perceived, examined ,tested)

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Now that we know what faith is let us discover where faith comes from. Romans 10:17 says “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Let’s take a look at the Greek translation for this scripture. Faith is Rhēma uttered speech of God.

When we get a rhema or an uttered speech from God,this comes through hearing (through revelation of the logos (written word)and can be received in different ways via the Holy Spirit such as dreams visions, revelation, inspiration)

This hearing ….comes from God.

So in other words when we get a rhema then faith will come. God’s supernatural faith and not merely our human belief. When you have this kind of faith you will not doubt no matter if the devil comes to you and tells you the opposite. You will know that you know that you know and no one can tell you otherwise. That is having real faith!

The Bible also says that JESUS is the author of our faith! Jesus is the Archēgos ( the chief leader, prince, example, a predecessor in a matter, pioneer,)

And JESUS is the Finisher of our faith ! Jesus is the teleiōtēs (one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith)

Let’s now put it all together. Jesus is the leader and perfecter of our faith (trust and confidence in God without any evidence seen) and comes from having received a rhema word from the Holy Spirit which becomes our shield of protection from God against all the attacks of the enemy.

So when we need faith what do we do? the same thing when we need wisdom, we ask of God. when the disciples asked for an increase in faith what did Jesus tell them? If you have even a grain of faith (God’s faith as I have pointed out)you could move a mountain and command it to fall into the sea.

What was Jesus pointing out? HAVE FAITH IN GOD so that we can have God’s supernatural faith to do great and mighty exploits, not our own human faith or belief. No matter how much of that we have, we are powerless against our adversary.

So seek first God’s kingdom, his faith, his power, his ability, and you will have faith to even move mountains. For faith in God is the key to living in the supernatural. With the faith of God we are well equipped to perform any work, any assignment or any deed that God commands us to do!