God with us !

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The hardest thing for men to believe is that God would take on a body and give up that body to death in the place of his creation, for their sins, when he was innocent of any sin. Religion is constantly trying to earn kudos with God based on behavior. The religious person is a carnal person. One filled with the ego; person of this earth, earthy, sensual, fleshy.

The whole point of Christianity is that God came and dwelt among men.

“…they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US.” Matthew 1:23

This is why the Jews gave Jesus over to the Romans to do their dirty work. They could not get their head around the fact that God came in the flesh to minister to them his salvation.

“The Jews answered [Jesus], saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” John 10:33

That is why Jesus said that if you do not believe who he was that you would die in your sins. This is an important fact for salvation. If you believe Jesus was any one other than GOD HIMSELF then you will die eternally.

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: WHO IS THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD, the firstborn* of every creature:  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.   For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; ” Colossians 1:13-19

…unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder…and his name shall be called… The mighty God, The everlasting Father… Isaiah 9:6

Salvation comes from God himself who took on flesh and became a man. He came to save the lost, the undeserving, the wayward sinner. Nothing can earn you God’s favor. No matter how noble. The only thing that pleases God is for you to trust in his salvation alone.

Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and his work on the cross. Salvation is a gift. You cannot earn it!

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by GRACE ( God’s undeserved, unmerited, favor and mercy) are ye saved through Faith; (trust in reliance on) and that NOT OF YOURSELVES : (no by your own ability) it is the GIFT ( free bestowal ) of God: Not of works, (no good deeds or good behavior) lest any man should boast. (no bragging about how deserving you are)

“If by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it [the election to salvation by God] be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” Romans 11:6

“Who [God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus BEFORE the world began.” II Timothy 1:9.

This Christmas won’t you receive Gods gift to you? His very own life that he laid down on the cross. He gave it up, he became a sin offering so that you can have eternal life with him!

 

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Renewed in the Spirit of the Mind

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The Bible tells us to be renewed in the spirit of the mind. What exactly does this mean? First of all let’s look at what the mind actually is. The Greek word for mind is pneuma which means the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of any one, the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc, the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides, the vital principal by which the body is animated. 

Science tells us that the mind is situated in the brain. The brain has similarities to a computer, in that it uses chemicals to transmit information, just like the computer uses electricity. These electrical signals travel at very high speeds through the nervous system even faster than electricity travels through the wires in a computer. While a computer uses switches that are either on or off, the brain’s neurons are either on or off by either firing an action potential or not firing an action potential. A neuron in the brain is constantly getting information from other cells through synaptic contact but this information doesn’t always result in a action potential but what it does is alter the chance that an action potential will be produced by raising or lowering the threshold of the neuron.

A Computer’s memory grows by adding computer chips while memories in the brain grow by stronger synaptic connections. The brain as well as a computer is geared to do multi tasking and the brain is always changing and being modified like a computer receives new information. The brain stores memory like the computer saves information. Both the brain and computer can do logic tasks and while the computer interprets information from data input the brain has imagination and outside sensory perception. 

As you can see, the mind is quite capable of changing information and storing new data. Scriptures tell us that Christians need to put off the old man and put on the new man who is created in righteousness and true holiness. In other words the salvation experience automatically gives the Christians the position of righteousness and holiness by grace through faith but that old way of thinking, the old data must be erased, at least a good portion of it and replaced with new data. Now let’s look at the word “Renew.” This word is ananeoō in the Greek which means to be changed into a new kind of life as opposed to the former corrupt state. The dictionary explains it this way, to make new or as if new again; restore. 

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24

I wondered why the scriptures in the KJV used the phrase, “to be renewed in the spirit of your mind”. So, I looked it up and this is what I found: The word can mean spirit or soul depending on its context and I think that soul is the right word for this scripture because we know that our spirit man is automatically made perfect at salvation but the soul or mind needs to be renewed every day. 

The Greek word is nous which means; the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining, the intellectual faculty, the understanding. 

As you can see from this scripture, the mind is not to be conformed to the world’s way of thinking but renewed so that we may know God’s will, his way of doing things. This renewal process comes by putting in God’s data which is the scriptures. No, not man’s religious opinions or imaginary phenomena but THE BIBLE. 

I have found that now a day’s opinions run rampant as “gospel truth” in the church today, but if you examine much of it you will find it is fluff, non scriptural mambo jumbo. How do I know that and how can I judge this? Well, from the time I was a babe in Christ I have both read and studied the Bible and after over 30 years of having my mind conformed to scriptures, I have had my spiritual mind exercised to know truth from error. It also helps to know history which is my academic and that way one knows where these strange doctrines out there come from in origin. The Bible is our source of truth.

Romans 12:2, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

As pertaining to spiritual warfare, both the world and the devil are constantly trying to send data to your mind. DO NOT DOWN LOAD …..VIRUS……BAD FOR YOUR COMPUTER! 

How do we do this? Simply by asking the Holy Spirit to help cast down the wrong data and captivate your thoughts to that which is godly. Here are some good scriptures which tell us what to do in renewing the mind. 

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  1 Peter 5:8-9

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2 

Do not conform to the world’s ideologies or world view. (my paraphrase) 1 Peter 1:13-14

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. Ephesians 4:17-18

[God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

 In order to know God’s will for our life we must be renewed in the spirit of the mind. We must also be renewed in the spirit of the mind in order to discern what is from God and what is not from God, as well as to be sound in the faith and not tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. The word of God must replace the old man’s way of thinking so that the new man who is created in righteousness and true holiness, can be a light in this dark world.