“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  ‘Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”                     Matthew 16:15,16

 There are those who may attempt to discuss sanctification without the necessary preceding and continual repentance.  The truth is that without one, the other cannot exist.  Without repentance, it is impossible to be sanctified.  Without sanctification, it is or is becoming a clear signal that there never was true repentance (Hebrews 6:4-6).  Without the true gospel, then true repentance and sanctification do not mean anything to the sinner.  For prior to sanctification, or the continual work of the holy spirit in one’s life that makes him like Christ until glorification, one must first be brought to their knees in repentance.   

The Christian (and non-Christian) mind needs to be continually reminded of the need to repent of sinful deeds against an infinitely holy God.  Only when this becomes a daily practice, as Paul claimed to die daily to the flesh, its lusts and worldly desires, will one begin to understand the marathon of sanctification.  Daily or continual repentance adds or builds another piece of wood on the house of sanctification, which the ultimate goal is clearly to not sin and to be like Christ.  Since that is impossible on this earth, due to depravity and the reality of indwelling sin, one must trust and believe that only the holy spirit of God can cause any exceedingly sinful and fallen human being to want to be like Jesus Christ.   Only when we are carefully willing to not live by the law but to imitate Christ in thought, deed and in all situations by the spirit, will we then have a glimpse of understanding in our personal sanctification, that we may be made whole in Christ by putting on His mind (Phil. 2:5).

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Wait upon the Lord

March 2, 2010

“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” 

Psalm 27:14

            I believe it is a natural temptation for the saints to not wait on God.  The fallen earth is overwhelmed with constant temptation, sin and persecution of any and all sorts for those who belong to Jesus Christ.  If we do not wait, we think that we will miss out on what God has.  If we wait too long, we think that we must have missed something great that God may have had in store for those who love Him. 

            Consider Jesus in the gospels; He not only had to wait thirty years as the God-Man for the fulfillment of His public ministry to speak the most perfect words of wisdom and truth ever spoken and indeed the words of eternal life;  but also foreseeing and knowing the eternal decree of being nailed to the cross and utterly forsaken by His Father.  The agony of the perfect Savior being merely separated from the father is an unutterable thought.  For all He knew prior to this was perfect glorified love and harmony with the Father in all eternity past.   To be the Lord of Lords and have all things subject to his power and might in infinite humility,  He had decreed from eternity past to subject Himself into the hands of sinners at a particular moment in time in our created sinful world.   He who was never bound by time was now bound by time and sinners in His own providence.  Fathom the perfect patience of the sinless Savior who has fulfilled law to the last letter in His own body, yet still bound by time when it was not yet time for Him to become the dreaded curse that would set us free from sin and death (Gal. 3:13, John 7:6).

David had this in mind.  “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the strength of my life; Of Whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.  Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident (v.1-3).”  So it was with Christ in His perfect consecration with the Father.  As the enemies pursued and persecuted Him with envy and hatred, He was not thwarted in any minimal sense because of His perfect obedience to the will of God the Father who is sovereign over all things.  He came to die for the sins of the world and thus fulfilled prophecy, obedience and perfect knowledge to execute the glorious task of redemption and providing the new covenant with His own blood. 

            While the saints do not have perfect knowledge, we do have the revelation that God chooses to provide out of mere grace in His infallible Word.  In our case, we have the Scriptures themselves to testify that Jesus Christ took our sin, sickness and death upon Himself as He hung in our place at Calvary.  Because of His sacrifice, the wrath of God was completely satisfied and we now have peace with Him.  While the saints do become weary and distrustful that will God not come through for them because of indwelling sin, we have a tendency to overeagerly desire to know things of current that may or may not come to pass.  We seek to know about tomorrow that still may not come.  It is good and right to seek God’s will in all things.  But it is better that we do not worry about our lives and obey His commands.  It is better that once we are healed, we do not fall back into grievous sin that separates us from this harmony as the man with the infirmity at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:12).   

            While He may not reveal to us today what is to be done tomorrow, if you belong to Jesus Christ, no circumstance, event or catastrophe can ever pluck you from His hands.  Whether you live today or die tomorrow, if you belong to Jesus Christ, it does not change your eternal status with God because He imputes to you His life and righteousness.  Whether we seek His wisdom in some specific matter today or tomorrow, if we belong to Jesus Christ, we must know that He delivers us from our ultimate enemy, which is the second death.    No matter what the will of God is tomorrow, it is His will that we worship Him today and put away sin so that we may live.  He will then, by His gracious holy spirit, reveal specific matters to you tomorrow if it indeed comes.

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit,” whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’  But now you boast in your arrogance.  All such boasting is evil.  Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:13-17).”

1.) Jesus Christ actually walked this planet and historically died on the Cross. Meditate on the historical reality of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.

2.) The blood of Jesus’ being shed is the only forgiveness for sins that is possible. Not only that, the power of that blood is enough to forgive all sins forever and thus imparts eternal life of bliss and perfect fellowship from the Creator to the undeserved sinner.

3.) Singles should rejoice in this season to do the work of an evangelist and fulfilling the Great Commission to speak the words of eternal life to the dead and lost.

4.) Married couples should pray to love their spouses in a way that brings the most glory to God according to His Word. Husbands meditate upon the Love of Christ and how He sacrificially loves His church. Wives submit to your husbands in reverence for Christ.

5.) This life on earth is merely a vapor. Meditate on eternity and how losing your life for the sake of Christ makes this world less and less attractive. This world will pass. The Word of God lasts forever.

6.) Meditate on the fact that the Holy Spirit prays for you in your weakness. When you are weakest physically, spiritually and emotionally, then you are strongest in Christ.

7.) We are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, given life and the ability to be obedient to God. Meditate on how He has sanctified you with His Word and Spirit to be more like Him and thus preparing you to be with Him, face to face for eternity.

8.) Meditate on Christian persecution and what it means to be persecuted or killed for preaching salvation in Jesus Christ.

9.) Meditate on becoming a student of God’s Word. The very God who caused the new birth provided the very words that cause sanctification to understand Him more accurately and love Him more rightly until glorification. Know more of the doctrine of God.

10.)Meditate upon Old Testament Scriptures and read commentaries by respected authors to understand them.

Eternal Protection

February 10, 2009

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16

What a dreaded thought to be an enemy of the infinite Almighty God. To love hatred and to have an openly rebellious heart against the law of the Lord is to be under His wrath. The King of Righteousness is promised to return with a robe dipped in blood, due to wrath and establish righteous judgment upon unjustified sinners. The reprobates are gathered with all of their unregenerate thoughts and deeds and will serve their just punishment. Those who are proud in heart and spirit and who have cumulatively compiled all their sins will be judged with as He strikes the nations as the Word of God.

However, if you are one of His remnant that are broken hearted over sin and defilement of the flesh, then who better to defend your unrighteous deeds then the very One who built the everlasting bridge with His blood? Brethren, Jesus Christ, who is faithful and true according to His eternal promises, infinitely secures His chosen vessels of honor. There is nothing that can separate you from Him. Just as His Almighty wrath is an unstoppable and impenetrable decree, so is His Great Mercy on those whose sins He has graciously passed over and given them His Holy Spirit. If you hate sin and love the brethren, then you are in God’s army and are battling even now. His sword does not bring death and destruction to those He has given His very name and Righteousness. Justification is of an infinite kind and only given by an infinite being. Take courage, saved sinners. If you are fighting the tricks and wiles of the Devil in this world with your own sword, the Word of God, then Jesus Christ, the King of Kings has eternally secured your name in the Book of Life. Not even death itself will prevail.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:

‘For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are account as sheep for the slaughter.’

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:35-39

Psalm 145

January 2, 2009

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.”

Psalm 145:8-9

In all eternity, the character of the Lord is immutable. He is therefore by nature, gracious, compassionate and slow to anger. These attributes of His nature cannot and will not change. The reflection of His eternal compassion subdues the hearts and natures of man in an instant. He draws near to the transgressors, bringing them in from a foreign land into the land of the living. He has sought out those who are dead and would otherwise be eternally forsaken and judged according to the strict righteousness of the Law and gives them life. Those who are willing and able to give grace to others are those who are shown great mercy by our Lord. Those who are compassionate upon the poor, naked and blind are those who see the eternal compassion of the Lord. Those who are becoming slow to anger as they are able display the love and mercy of our Creator, being changed from a hateful wretch by nature are those to whom the Lord is slow to anger. Each aspect of the complete character of God is indeed dependant upon those whom He has clothed in the righteousness of His Glorious Son.