Understand with the Heart. (spirit)

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The Bible says that unless the spiritual ears are opened by the Holy Spirit one cannot understand the gospel. It is God who gives understanding by revelation of the word [bible-logos (written word) becoming rhema (living active word) ]. Unless the Father grants a person ears to hear they will not hear his word because they cannot hear. Let us examine Mark chapter 1 and compare it with other scripture.

Mark 1: 10-10-12 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them

Jesus taught in parables on purpose and many did not understand what he was talking about because it was not given unto them to understand.

Mark 1: 1

And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

God told Isaiah that he would save some but he would also harden the hearts of others.

Isaiah 6:9-10
And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

When the Lord preaches through his people the word of God it is not always to get them saved. Sometimes it is to bring judgement in their lives. The preaching of God’s word may actually harden the hearts of those who have no ears to hear.

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2

Let’s look at the parable of the Sower and examine the hearts of those who had heard Gods word.

Mark 4 : 3,4 , 15

Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

vrs 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Satan comes to take away the word that was preached, the thief steals it. Why? It was sown in a heart that was living in the WAYSIDE The side or edge of a road, way, path, or highway, fall by the wayside-To fail to continue, to give up, go by the wayside- To be set aside or discarded because of other considerations. So we can see that these hearts did not continue in what they heard because they loved this present world. They were busy, preoccupied with other things. Something like Esau, they preferred world’s affairs to the gospel and so they could not hear.

Timothy 4:10
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica.

1 John 2; 15-17
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Vrs. 6,7 The word was sown on stony ground. There was not much soil, so the seed was sown on the surface, a surface conversion is not a real conversion. When persecution and trials come these fair weather friends take off. They want all the blessings but not the cross. They get offended when you preach about suffering for Jesus and about being persecuted for his sake.

And some fell on stony ground where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Vrs. 16,17 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

Then we have the heart of thorns in vrs 7,18,19

And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.vrs 18,19 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Self explanatory really, these hearts love riches, praises of men, position, power, and  worldly ambition. These hearts hear the word but they do not receive it. They are of the world and belong to the world, and that is why you will see no spiritual fruit in these folks.

Finally we have the good soil. What exactly is good soil? In the natural good soil is filled with nutrients and has a good texture. Bad soil is acidy, filled with rocks and weeds and cannot grow the seed which was planted. So in other words the heart must be without impurities to receive the word of God. How can this be if all hearts are desperately wicked as scriptures teach?

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Mark 7:21-22
For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

Matthew 13:15
For this people’s heart has become calloused;(HARDENED) they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

The heart or spirit of man must be made new by God, transformed, born again. Then the soil is able to hear and receive because the heart is a converted heart. God created man as a spirit which lives in a physical body and has a soul; (psyche, mind, brain function) The soul (personality, mind will intellect are all stored in the brain) was the issue of the breath of God entering into the nostrils of the body of dust. But the spirit is the life of God. When Adam fell and the sin nature came upon all men, all men became corrupt (totally depraved) body, soul, and spirit. He in effect became dead in sin, dead to God, a child of the devil, having the devils heart.

Psalm 53;1-,3
The fool hath said in his heart,There is no God. Corrupt (DEPRAVED) are they, and have done abominable iniquity:there is none that doeth good.The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

John 8:44

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.

Romans 3:10-12
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

The reason God gave the law to man was because of the evil unregenerate heart. Not to eradicate sin but to control sin until Christ should come. When a person becomes born again he/she then gets a new heart and now has ears to hear what the Spirit of God says through the word, he is now reconciled to God!

God breaths into man the breath of life which produces man’s spirit. Heart and spirit in scripture are interchangeable. God must give a new heart because of the Adamic fall.

Genesis 2:7
Jehovah God formed man with the dust of the ground. And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.

Breath comes from from the Hebrew word neshamah which, means “spirit”

Proverbs 20:27
The spirit [neshamah] of man is the lamp of YHWY.

Ezekiel 36;26-27
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Luke 6:45
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

John 7:38 Anyone who believes ( pisteuo- to have faith, to trust in.) with the heart(spirit) will be saved. This is different than simply to believe in something with the mind or accepting something as true. The devils believe and are not given new hearts. For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’

Romans 10:9-10
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart (spirit) that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord (MASTER)that you are saved.

Ephesians 1:18
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

Vrs.8 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred..

If you have been given by God spiritual ears to hear, then you will be given understanding through revelation of the Holy Spirit concerning the scriptures and the more you have the more you will get. You will always grow and keep on growing but those who have hard unregenerate hearts, who are not born again will hear the word of God and misunderstand it, distort it, flee from it, hate it, reject it and in the end be judged by it.

Unless the Lord by his grace grants repentance, faith, conversion which are all endowments of the Holy Spirit, the heart will remain hard to the word of God.

2 Timothy 2:25
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure(PERHAPS) will GIVE THEM repentance to the acknowledging of the truth

Vrs 23-25 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

In conclusion, only the Lord can give understanding of the gospel. Unless the heart has been enlightened to the truth of the word of God a person will remain blind and in darkness. It is important to pray that the Holy Spirit draws and enlightens the understanding when ministering to the lost. Unless the Lord changes the heart from the lost condition to the born again experience no one can enter into the kingdom of God according to the Bible.

Maranatha brethren!

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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!

Salvation is by Faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ :The Gospel of Grace with Kim Balogh

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The Bible is very clear that we are saved by FAITH alone without any works, good deeds, acts of benevolence, rituals, performance, or human ability at all including ones own effort and will.

Justification means that God alone forgives someone’s sins and declares them righteous by GRACE (unmerited, undeserved mercy) through faith (THE FAITH OF GOD, NOT HUMAN BELIEF) IN THE BLOOD OF Jesus Christ.

One may have faith in Jesus as in believe he was crucified, raised from the dead but that is not saving faith. The bible declares that even the devil believes that! What is required for salvation is FAITH in THE BLOOD OF JESUS TO ATONE FOR SIN IN AND OF ITS SELF WITHOUT ANY OTHER ELEMENT ADDED.

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

“For by(past tense) grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:9

The blood shed by Jesus Christ is the only ground for our justification for “without shedding of blood is no remission” of sin Heb 9:22 “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through FAITH IN HIS BLOOD, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26

The book of James concerning faith and works is telling us that if we claim the name of Jesus Christ, yet do not show it by good works, then that faith is not a justifying faith because SAVING FAITH produces works for God. Ephesians 2:8-10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

If one believes in Jesus yet adds works of any kind to their salvation then they are not saved by God but are believers like Satan, Judas, and Simon the sorcerer.

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Roman 10:3.

“I do not set aside the grace of God; for it righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”Galatians 2:21.

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BELIEVE WITH THE HEART

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According to the bible, the unsaved person is dead in trespasses and sins. The unsaved person cannot understand spiritual things because the unsaved person is not spiritual, (born again), but rather is carnal, (in the unregenerate sinful nature), SOLD UNDER SIN.

The bible also says that the unsaved person has the devil’s nature and in fact belongs to the devil or is the devil’s seed. “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. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” John 8:44

The one who believes in Jesus Christ is adopted by God as his child when becoming “born again” Translated being,(To change from one form, function, or state to another, convert or transform) and are set free from the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of his dear Son.

To be saved from sin means to be translated, changed, born again, having a new heart. So when the bible says to believe with the heart and you will be saved, what that verse is saying is; one must believe with the spirit that is now born again. It does not mean to have an intellectual (physical mind/body) assent to the gospel. Scripture tells us that even the devils believe the gospel. They believe that Jesus died for the sins of his elect and that he rose from the dead. That kind of belief does not save!

Satan’s seed many times believe with the head the salvation message but are not really born of the Holy Spirit. Judas believed with the head. He walked with Jesus, saw all the miracles BUT he did not have divine revelation of Jesus in the same way that Peter did. Jesus was amazed that Peter knew who he was? Why? Because he knew that no one could really believe that Jesu was the Son of God unless the Father revealed who Jesus was.

Under the law, the Spirit would come upon a person and reveal himself. That is how God had relationship with the prophets. However, those were temporary incidences. This is the experience Peter had because until Jesus rose from the dead and sprinkled his blood on the mercy seat and sent the Holy Spirit to make people born again, God’s elect were circumcised in the flesh under the law. Under the New Testament to become one of Gods elect one must be circumcised by the Spirit in the heart. (spirit of man)

Another example of a person who believed with the head but not the heart is Simon the sorcerer. Simon believed but Peter told him that his heart (spirit) was not right before God. What was Peter saying? That Simon was not really saved. He was not born again. He “believed” with his intellect but he did not believe with the heart unto salvation.

“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then SIMON HIMSELF BELIEVED ALSO AND WHEN HE WAS BAPTIZED, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: FOR THEY HEART IS NOT RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the LORD for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.” (Acts, 8:9-24).

Now let’s take a look at those who believed with the heart in the New Testament. Both Cornelius and Lydia were seeking the Lord What did they each have in common? First of all they were seeking the Lord for his direction. Not their own purposes like Simon and the cults do, wanting to have God’s power for selfish motivation (usually power, money, and the praises of men, or to be justified by their own self righteousness) but because the Lord was revealing himself to them, drawing them by his Holy Spirit.

In the book of Romans Paul says that the unsaved do not seek after God. They do not want him and nor is he in their thoughts but those the Father is drawing are true seekers.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3:10, 11

“He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” Heb 11:6

God was drawing Cornelius and Lydia to Himself. He sent someone to bring the Gospel to them and He opened their understanding so that they could believe the Gospel and be saved. In Romans chapter 10, Paul says that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth”. No longer are God’s elect under the law because the new covenant of grace is now here which has been provided for by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Under the new covenant one must be circumcised in the heart in order to put off the flesh rather than the physical act of circumcision under the law. When one is born again he is given a new nature, God’s nature is planted as a seed in him and grows daily to the perfect sature of Christ.

So we see that both Cornelius and Lydia were seeking the Lord and then the Lord send someone to preach the word of faith to them and then when they heard the word, they believed unto salvation and became born again into God’s kingdom. To believe with the heart means to receive the engrafted word into the spirit which was dead because of sin and to be born of God by being translated into a new creature. God must give the spirit life by his Spirit and then being risen from the dead the person can believe.

The preaching of the word is what produces that faith. Not preaching of man’s opinions but preaching scripture. However, remember that the word must be preached to opened hearts as Jesus said in his parable of the sower. The heart must be drawn and prepared by the Holy Spirit whose job is to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Then when the word is sown into a prepared heart faith comes and that person believes unto salvation. Much prayer is needed in the heart preparation but I will save that for another sermon.

Romans 10:6-18 The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELEIVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So FAITH COMES BY HEARING,(the ability to hear) and hearing(the ability to hear) by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
To believe with the heart Kardia in the Greek means to be born again in the spirit. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our spirits and then we are no longer in the flesh (carnal) but are spiritual, (in the spirit because we are joined to Gods Spirit) That is why Jesus said that “you must be born again to enter into Gods kingdom. “

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
1 Peter 1:23, Being born again, not of corruptible seed,but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

There are many who believe with the head the gospel message and the scriptures call these people false brethren or Apostates. They mimic real Christians, but when you examine their fruit closely you will see that they are fakes. The fruit is corrupt, they preach a different gospel trying to bring others into bondage of the law because they are under law, having not the spirit of God in their Spirit, Ephesisan 2 AND Colossians2 tells us that we must be made alive by the operation of God in order to be really saved and not an Apostate. Believe with the heart(spirit) unto salvation.

“And you hath he quickened, ( MADE ALIVE UNTO GOD) who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were BY NATURE THE CHILDREN OF WRATH, even as others. 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 IN 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: 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.

Colossians 2:18-15
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are RISEN WITH HIM THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

This Free Gift of Salvation: : The Gospel of Grace with Kim Balogh

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God has given a gift to the world in the person of Jesus and all who believe in Him are given eternal life. They have passed from death to life.

This free gift of salvation is motivated by the love of God and is an expression of God’s mercy. This free gift of salvation is a manifestation of God’s undeserved grace and is received through faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

Not only are we saved by grace but we are also empowered by grace to live a life that pleases God. It is by
grace that God gives us His power to experience his peace and joy and long suffering in the face of any trial or tribulation.

And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

God’s grace saves us and also empowers us! As we walk in the Spirit we are blessed with God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

Saved by grace is different than saved by faith which some preach in error. The difference is very important. If we are saved by faith we make the salvation experience about our own effort, our own choice, but God has chosen grace because it involves no effort on our part at all.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If you had anything at all to do with your salvation you might have reason to boast but God has made salvation a free gift to those in whom he chooses to bestow this gift of his mercy.

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

The Breast plate of Righteousness

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With the breast plate of righteousness on, we cannot wear our own righteousness. We must always look to the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. If you examine the life of Job you will find that he underwent a great test of his faith for the purpose of exposing his self righteousness. God does allow the devil to attack us and in doing so it usually reveals to us our inner motives and heart conditions.

Scriptures tell us that Job was a “righteous man” in other words he kept the law like Paul did but even though Job did righteous deeds he was in actuality a “self righteous man.” (Self-righteousness (also called sententiousness) is a feeling of smug moral superiority derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person) wiki Dic.

Job relied upon his own good works rather than the work of grace. Job 40:8 “Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?”

But eventually as the trials continued Job became indignant…. he felt that he was entitled….”I am such a good guy so why are these things happening to me?”

Dwight L. Moody quotes it this way…“You can always tell when a man is a great ways from God — he is always talking about himself, how good he is. But the moment he sees God by the eye of faith, he is down on his knees, and, like Job, he cries, ” Behold I am vile.”

As we can see from the scriptures, Job had a lot to brag about didn’t he?

“When I went out to the gate by the city, when I took my seat in the open square, the young men saw me and hid, and the aged arose and stood; the princes refrained from talking, and put their hand on their mouth; the voice of nobles was hushed, and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth. When the ear heard, then it blessed me, and when the eye saw, then it approved me; because I delivered the poor who cried out, and the fatherless and the one who had no helper. The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, and I was feet to the lame. I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the case that I did not know. I broke the fangs of the wicked, and plucked the victim from his teeth.

Men listened to me and waited, and kept silence for my counsel. After my words they did not speak again, and my speech settled on them as dew. They waited for me as for the rain, and they opened their mouth wide as for the spring rain. If I mocked at them, they did not believe it, and the light of my countenance they did not cast down. I chose the way for them, and sat as chief; so I dwelt as a king in the army, as one who comforts mourners. (Job 29:7-17, 21-25)

But what happens when Job tries to justify himself before God ? He is humbled! God asks Job if he thinks that he is good enough to save himself and of course Job sees his sin and realizes, that no, he is not able to save himself.

Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said: “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”Then Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.”

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, and array yourself with glory and beauty. Disperse the rage of your wrath; look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together, bind their faces in hidden darkness. Then I will also confess to you that your own right hand can save you.” Job 40:1-14

After his chastising, Job sees his arrogance and pride. When God confronts him with his self righteousness then Job repents of it.

“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, “I know that Thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask Thee, and do Thou instruct me.’ “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees Thee; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6

As long as we cling to our own self righteousness instead of wearing Christ’s breast plate of righteousness we are wide open for spiritual attack by Satan. True humility is recognizing your inability to be righteous of your own recognizance no matter how many good deeds you have done or how much of the law you have kept!

“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise. . . . But “he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends. “ II Corinthians 10:12, 17-18

James 4:5-6 “Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously’? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'” James 4:6

In conclusion, it is only the righteousness of Jesus Christ that makes us acceptable to God and NOTHING we do or ever could do, no matter how noble.

Jesus is the Fulfillment of the Law of God

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The New Covenant of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant promises. Jesus fulfills the moral law and its demand which cannot be done by sinful man. Jesus in his sinless life lived Gods laws and by his death he took the wrath of God and the laws demands of justice. The resurrection of Jesus Christ brought a new and better way for Jesus Christ is the end of the law for righteousness the Bible tell us. Jesus Christ is now the way to eternal life and not by trying to keep the law.

The Old Testament contained types and shadows, which reveal and lead to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the fulfillment of all the righteous requirements of the law. Jesus has come not to abolish. kataluô- “destroy,” “demolish,” “dismantle” but to Fulfill and complete the promise of God to send the Messiah that would take away sins.

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Romans 10:3,4

During Jesus Christ’s life the sacrifices in the Temple in Jerusalem were still valid. The law (Torah) was also still valid at that time. But after his death and resurrection the sacrificial system became obsolete and Jesus became the Christians’ righteousness without the deeds of the law. Jesus’ righteousness became our salvation for his righteousness was imputed (accredited on our behalf) to us by faith in Christ and not by any good deeds or moral lifestyles on our part. (Which if we have any are simply not good enough for the law demands absolute perfection) Once for all Jesus became the sacrifice for sins.

And therefore it was imputed to him (Abraham) 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; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Romans 4:22-25

During the Lord’s life time on earth the law was still valid but at the cross Jesus said…”It is finished” …completed…done…fulfilled. From that time on there was a transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant and those who are in Jesus Christ are in his righteousness, and declared holy for he has chosen them out of the world to be his own.

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 it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. Hebrews 7:14-22

Jesus has fulfilled the entire Old Testament. Jesus Christ now supersedes the Old Testament law. All the promises of God are in Christ for he is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. The Old Testament laws remain for one purpose and that is to convict man of sin and lead them to faith in Jesus Christ.

On the cross Jesus saidIt is finished!And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30

After the resurrection:For Christ is the END OF THE LAW for righteousness to everyone who believes.” ROMANS 10:4

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10