The Doubt and Unbelief Factor In Christianity

JAMES 1:22-25 The MESSAGE Bible (MSG):

22-24  Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other.  Act on what you hear!  Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

25  But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God–the free life!–even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action.  That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.

UNBELIEF –

DoubtFactor

Malcolm Muggeridge was a British journalist, author, media personality, and satirist. Also, during World War II, he worked for the British government as a soldier and spy.

Here is one of his noteworthy quotes I found at BrainyQuote–Malcolm Muggeridge:

“One of the peculiar sins of the 20th Century which we’ve developed to a very high level is the sin of credulity.  It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God they believe in nothing.  The truth is much worse:  they believe in anything.”

I.  UNBELIEF –

Before giving a good working definition for UNBELIEF, let me give you a dictionary definition (any dictionary) of the word BELIEF:

An opinion or judgment in which a person is fully persuaded.

So Biblical Unbelief can be defined as “believing and acting based on my and the world’s lies instead of God’s Truth in His Word.”  [*See Footnote (i) ]

There Are Different Forms of UNBELIEF –

—  NOT believing God.

—  NOT believing God’s Word (the Bible).

—  NOT believing God’s way is the best way.

II.  UNBELIEF IS RELATED TO DOUBT:

DOUBT dwelt on, not confronted and challenged as displayed in 2 Corinthians 10:5,  will lead us into DOUBT:

5 “[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought captive and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ.”

Unanswered questions–doubt which not dealt with… can and will lead to unbelief.  

JAMES 1:8 calls it “double mindedness” which signals emotional and spiritual immaturity:

8 [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].

III.  UNBELIEF Affects Our Stability –

JAMES 1:6 (NIV):  But when he asks, he must BELIEVE and not DOUBT, because he who doubts is like a wave at sea, blown, and tossed by the wind.

Instability in the Christian life results in…

– Miss purpose.

– Don’t take risks and miss adventure.

– Miss seeing God work and grow closer to Him in relationship.

And at a bigger level, eternity and others lose –

Romans 10:13-14 (AMP):

[13] For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord]  will be saved.  [14] But how are people to call upon Him Whom they have not believed [in Whom they have no faith, on Whom they have no reliance]?  And how are they to believe in Him [adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him] of Whom they have never heard  And how are they to hear without a preacher? 

That said, there are QUESTIONS that arise in “double mindedness”–instability:

How can they call on the One they’ve not believed on?

How can they believe in the One Whom they’ve not heard?

And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Ultimately, God loses (Really)!!!

IV.  UNBELIEF hardened God’s work –

“And He [Jesus] did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief  (their lack of faith in the divine mission of Jesus)”  (Matthew 13:58).

Where DOUBT comes from –

ULTIMATELY:  Satan; the devil.  John 8:44 says, Satan is the father of lies.

PRACTICALLY:  The World – 1 John 2:15-17 – My Heart – Jeremiah 1:22.

FUNDAMENTALLY:  Not applying God’s Word in my life – James 1:22

* WEED ANALOGY – Destroying UNBELIEF and not letting it grow back! 

I use the term “weed analogy”, because of my enjoyment of working in the garden and fighting the constant invasion of WEEDS.  An enjoyment?  Yes, because I know if I stay at it, diligent in the doing, there will be a harvest of righteousness.

1.  PERSEVERE THROUGH IT!

Learn to recognize it–Get in the Word (your bible) daily!

Walk by FAITH applying God’s Word!!!  (Remember James 1:22).

Remember in your Christian pilgrimage to build up your FAITH – “…in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you”  (Romans 12:3).

FAITH grows – “Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow…”  (2 Corinthians 10:15).

James 2:22 – FAITH made complete.

Luke 16:10 – Faithful with little–faithful with more.

“MUSTARD SEED FAITH”Matthew 17:20

mustard_seedHe said to them [insert your name in place of “them”–“you”],  Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust].  For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, MOVE from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

2.  PRAY GOD WILL HELP YOU GROW –

In Mark 9:17-27, we see a desperate father of a demon possessed boy who asks Jesus,  “If you can do anything, do have pity on us and help us.”

Jesus replies,  “If You can do anything?”  “All things can be possible to him who believes.”

The father then replies,  “Lord I believe!  Help my weakness of faith!

3.  HOLY SPIRIT POWER –

The HOLY SPIRIT empowers me to radically believe and obey my heavenly Father.  I don’t have to let UNBELIEF kill me–what lies am I believing?

If I will “radically” believe–go out on a limb with trust–anything is possible what God can do!

Victory Over Sin–No More Bondage –

Romans 6:18, 22:

18  And having been set free from sin, you have become servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action).  

22  But now since you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life.

4.  WORD AND PRAYER –

“Those who do not believe do not pray. This is a good functional definition of FAITH:  Faith prays, unbelief doesn’t.”

God is so HUGE!!!

We are TEMPTED when we are in trouble.

Let’s live our lives trusting Him to do HUGE things!  You might have to climb out on a limb of FAITH to see the results of your faithfulness.

Tozer said, “Unbelief is actually perverted faith, for it puts its trust not in the living God but in dying men.”

Acting on our faith –

"Be an active doer"
“Be an active doer”

To act on what we hear, is not simply to try harder not to say, not complain or be anxious.

JAMES isn’t encouraging his readers to simply try harder to live right.

He is encouraging them [US] to do whatever they [WE] need to do in order to feed their [OUR] faith in their heavenly Father.

“But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience)”  ~ James 1:25

So we turn our ANXIETY over to JESUS Himself–our desire to grumble and complain (Boy, do I need to do more weeding in this area).

We hand over each day, our relationships, thoughts, and questions to God, moment by moment, allowing our FAITH in Him to become a living thing.


CREDITS, FOOTNOTES –

Footnote [i]: By Nate Herbst.

Photo Credits: “Mustard Seed” photo Escape to Reality.org and the balance of photos taken from Google Images.

Bible Translations: Amplified Bible except where noted.

 

 

 

 

“This Isn’t Another MESSAGE On ‘GIVING’ Is It?”

1 Chronicles 29:9 (KJV):

“Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD; and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.”

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ONE MOTHER’S TEACHING ON GIVING–

It was officially Mother’s Day on May 10th, 2015 and I thought, what better way of starting the conversation, but from a story regarding a mother’s teaching on GIVING:

A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson.  She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church.

“Put whichever one you want in the offering basket and keep the other yourself,” she told the little girl.

When leaving thee church that morning, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given.

“Well,” said the little girl, “I was going to give the dollar, but just before the offering, the mn in the pulpit said, we should all be cheerful givers.  I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter…so I did.”

The mother may not have agreed with her daughter’s reasoning, but at the heart of the matter is the fact–the daughter gave in the way she believed.

True of all Christians–we give as we believe. 

In 1 Chronicles 29, DAVID led the people to BELIEVE in what they are given to.

David believed God deserved a TEMPLE.  At first, God would not let him build it because as 1 Chronicles 28:2-3 tells us,

DAVID wasn’t the type of man God wanted to have building the Temple.  BUT DAVID still believed the Temple for God needed building.

And so, in 1 Chronicles 29:2, David dedicated his own wealth to the project.

DAVID’S VISION IS INFECTIOUS (verse 6):

The leaders of the assembly dedicated money for the Temple.  And then (vs. 9), “the people rejoiced because these had given willingly, for with a whole and blameless heart they had offered freely to the Lord.  King David also rejoiced greatly.”

“the people REJOICED because”…

The Hebrew word here for “rejoice” or “rejoiced” is ‘samach’ [Strong’s Concordance #8055]: “Samach usually refers to a spontaneous emotion or extreme happiness which is expressed in some visible and/or external manner. It does not normally represent an abiding state of well-being or feeling.”  (See Footnote [i] ).

WOW! Rejoicing after giving.  What a concept and one that I surely need to give more attention to.  Remember, the people giving their offerings in 1 Chronicles 29 are giving willingly with a “whole and blameless heart.”

And they gave and they built because they believed in a VISION.

 The “What’s Happening Now Church?”

Flip Wilson was a popular comedian several years ago and one of his characters was a Preacher.  Flip did a skit once that I watched on television, where he told about this preacher.  He’d shout out:

“IF THIS CHURCH IS GOING TO SERVE GO IT’S GOT TO GET DOWN ON IT’S KNEES AND CRAWL!!!

And the audience yelled back,  “Make it crawl preacher, male it crawl!”

“AND ONCE THIS CHURCH HAS LEARNED TO CRAWL, IT’S GOT TO GET UP ON IT’S FEET AND WALK!!!”

“Make it walk preacher, make it walk,”  the audience moaned.

“AND ONCE THIS CHURCH HAS LEARNED TO WALK, ITS GOT TO BEGIN TO LEARN TO RUN!!!”

“Make it run, preacher, make it run!”

“AND IN ORDER TO RUN, ITS GOT YO REACH DOWN INTO POCKETS AND LEARN TO GIVE!!!”

(pause)  “Make it crawl preacher, make it crawl.”

A CHURCH CAN’T GROW IF IT DOESN’T GIVE.

And if our churches don’t give…it’ll crawl.

Inspiring People to Give–

Now when DAVID wanted to inspire people in their giving–he set the example.  He said–this is what I’m giving.  Then the leaders in the congregation stood up and set the EXAMPLE, the pattern for GIVING.

“TITHING” versus “FREE WILL OFFERING”:

In setting up the scene in 1 Chronicles 29, overlooking the “free will offering” principles would be detrimental to the whole MESSAGE on stewardship today.

Is there a difference between TITHING and OFFERINGS?

TITHING is giving GOD the first tenth of ALL your increase.  

In the Old Testament, most tithes were given from produce or herd.  But in modern times we tithe with MONEY since most of our increase is financial.

In the O.T. there were different types of tithes and different types of offerings.  TITHES were required giving according to the Mosaic Law, where OFFERINGS were voluntary.

Here in 1 Chronicles 29, the free will offerings given didn’t replace their tithes.  Their giving was above and beyond the Law of “10%”.

God trusted us with what is His in the first place:

He trusts us with an INCREASE–lets us have 90% of it–but places a 10%–the “sacred portion” aside (Deuteronomy 26:13; Numbers 18:28) which we are to tithe back to Him.  

This “sacred portion” is entrusted to us and we return it to Him.

TITHING TEACHES US Redemption–

The TITHE is the first tenth, the FIRST FRUIT of our increase.

Christ was God’s FIRST FRUIT.

When God gave to us His only Son to die on the cross for our sin, He REDEEMED us from the curse of the Law.  And when we give our TITHE, we are worshipping God by recognizing His REDEMPTION.

So then, we should recognize that through JESUS, we are redeemed and in turn God redeems and blesses the 90% that is our portion.

I remember after my wife and I were saved, our preacher gave a sermon on TITHING as many preachers try to fit in once a year, at least.  Afterwords, we both admitted to one another that “tithing” was out of the question.  We were overwhelmed at the time with debt and other obligations of a young family; we could tithe 10%!  But then, the Spiritual Light Bulb came on! God’s Word had penetrated our spirit, and we decided to be faithful and to trust God for the results.  We’ve been BLESSED ever since.

Is today’s Church suppose to adhere to the “giving principles” of the Old Testament?

Many people believe that today’s church should not follow the practice of TITHING–it was in the Old Testament–not mentioned in the New Testament except for reference.

But I say the LAW was given to help us see our need for redemption every time we tithe in honor and recognize our need for God and the amazing way He has blessed us and provided for us.

I think that many use the Gospel of Grace to free themselves from OBEDIENCE instead of discovering the GRACE OF GOD enables us to follow Him more passionately.

SO WHAT IS AN “OFFERING”, or generous giving?

1 Chronicles 29:6-8 (NASB):

[6] Then the rulers of the fathers’ households, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with the overseers over the king’s work, offered willingly;

[7] and for the service for the house of God they gave 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, and 10,000 talents of silver, and 18,000 talents of brass, and 100,000 talents of iron.

[8] And whoever possessed precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, in care of Jehiel the Gershonite.

[9] Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the LORD with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.

OFFERINGS are something that you search your heart for (not your wallet), deciding to give beyond the tithe BUT NOT IN PLACE OF THE TITHE.

TITHES go to the local church but offerings are free for you to decide what to do with.  

Many people give OFFERINGS to their place of fellowship because they’re excited about what God is doing there and they know there’s a need.

Others use their OFFERINGS to support missions, a favorite radio or television preacher, maybe a local Christian para-church ministry.  ALL are great options as an OFFERING or GENEROUS GIVING.

Christian Maturity–

Christians mature (grow spiritually) as their FAITH grows in fiscal responsibility; in giving more and more generously to God’s kingdom through offerings that are over and above the TITHE.

Looking at a great verse where the Apostle Paul talks about offerings in his second letter to the church in Corinth:

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (AMP):

[6]  [Remember] this:  he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously  [that blessings may come to someone]  will also reap generously and with blessings.

[7]  Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].

[8]  And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].

“GIVING” FOR A REASON:

Now hopefully, we don’t give to the “building project,” and we don’t give to the Pastor.  And as we see in 1 Chronicles 29, the people gave to God, to GLORIFY HIM, to build up His Kingdom.

If the attitude out there is “Yeah, sure we do”, then reread 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 one more time, or as many times as it takes, to give with a “blameless heart.”

Hopefully, you can give with a VISION; that God is going to do something special with your offerings because of your faithfulness.

It’s about BELIEF…

In 1 Chronicles 29, David says something about our believing (vss. 10-17).

IN DAVID’S PRAYER…HE PRAYED acknowledging that they were giving to the building of the Temple because… the believed God would supply.  The funds all came from God’s hands in the first place.  They were only using His bounty to build a place of worship for Him.

Other passages of the Bible speaks of this kind of BELIEF (1 Corinthians 9:6-11; Malachi 3:10-11).  

This is all in agreement with the powerful message given to us in Hebrews 11:6:  

“But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] BELIEVE that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].”

And so FAITH is important in all aspects of our Christian walk in Christ Jesus.  Especially in our giving.

TITHES & OFFERINGS:

Both our tithes and offerings (generous giving) should be a part of our lives as Believers–Christians. SO…

–GIVE “JOYFULLY” (1 CHRONICLES 29:9),

–GIVE THANKFULLY (1 CHRONICLES 29:10),

–AND EXCEL IN THE GRACE OF GIVING,

BUT NEVER FEEL PRESSURED TO GIVE!

It is NEVER about the amount you give, but about the JOY in your heart to give.

A song that almost every parent with small children have heard a million times and know the words by heart, is from the Disney movie, FROZEN – “LET IT GO”

Let me give you the words in the music lyrics that I thought might fit in perfectly to the message in our giving of tithes and offerings:

It’s time to see what I can do

To test the limits and break through

No right, no wrong, no rules for me

I’m free

[TO GIVE]

set-it-free

 

 


 

Footnotes, Credits, and Commentaries:

Footnote [i]:  Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.

Photos:

Google Search in 1 Chronicles 29 Images.

Bible References:

Amplified Bible except where Noted.

Commentaries:

ABC’s of Giving by Jeff Strite

Tithes vs Offerings by Patrick McCue

 

 

 

 

 

Biblical “MUSCLE POWER” On Display!

“SPORTS DEFINITIONS”:

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In my detective investigation this past week, I ran across what the SPORTS WORLD defines as POWER:

“THE ABILITY to exert a maximal force in as short a time as possible, as in accelerating, jumping and throwing implements”.

STRENGTH, on the other hand, is defined in the athletic environment as…

“THE ABILITY to generate as much force as possible with NO CONCERN for the factor of time”.

THE BIBLE’S EXPLANATIONS:c

Years ago, my young son came up to me after I just walked into the house after work.  “Hey dad, do you want to play some catch outside (throw a baseball back and forth)?”  I said “Sure we can but I will need to do a few things first, like get a cup of coffee and relax for a while.”  He says, “THEN will you play with me?”  And I say, “Yes, of course”.  For him it seems like an eternity to wait, but he trusts in my promise to play with him because I said so.  He believes in me because… I am a person who has the authority to make such a promise and also the POWER to fulfill it.  Multiply this POWER and authority to keep a promise by ten thousand and you would not even be close to the POWER OF GOD has to keep His promises to you.

TEXT:  GENESIS 15:1-6 (NASB):

[1] AFTER THESE things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying  “Do not fear, Abram.  I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.”  [2] And Abram said,  “O Lord God, what will Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”  [3] And Abram said,  “Since Thous has given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.”  [4] The behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying,  “This man will not be your heir; but one who shall come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.”  [5] And He took him outside and said,  “Now look toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”  And He said to him,  “So shall your descendants be.”  [6] Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”

(verse 1, NLT) –  “the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision” (or “the Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision – NASB).

This is the first VISION is mentioned in the Bible.  This was not a DREAM.  Abram was awake, and the vision continued all day and into the night, as the Word of the Lord appeared to him.  Also, it is the first time the WORD OF THE LORD is mentioned.  It says the Lord said, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you” (NLT) or (“I am your shield” – NASB), “and your reward will be great.”

The Great Promise – PROTECTION and REWARD:

Every need taken care of is promised and the Lord actually calls Abram by His name.  This is a very personal conversation and Abram was obviously afraid.

When you are afraid and someone says, “DON’T BE AFRAID”, I don’t know about you but I want it to be by someone who has the MUSCLES and AUTHORITY before I am going to feel secure.  And God has the MUSCLES to do it!

When God says,  “Don’t be afraid!”, then I don’t need to be afraid!  Every preacher loves to mention that there are 365 times in the Bible God says, Do not be afraid!”, one for each day of the year:

“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully]”  (1 Peter 5:7 AMP).

“Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice”  (Isaiah 41:10 AMP).

BIBLICAL MUSCLE and STRENGTH
BIBLICAL MUSCLE and STRENGTH

OUR PROTECTION–

THE APOSTLE PAUL speaks of Armour in Ephesians 6; speaks about the SHIELD OF FAITH.  Each piece of the Armour is JESUS Himself protecting us. 

PSALMS 18:1-2 says it this way:

“I LOVE you, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”  (NIV).

Also, look at the word in Proverbs 30:5:

“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him”  (NASB).

How good is that?  To be SHIELDED BY GOD HIMSELF.

ASSURANCE IS GIVEN BUT…

You’d think Abram would be content and say,  “Yes Lord, anything you say.”  BUT instead he says, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son?”  (Gen. 15:2 NLT).

It’s About Relationship!

ABRAHAM must have a great relationship with God to speak to Him like this, but that’s the way it is with God.  He welcomes our questions.  Abram asks God a lot of questions.  I like this.

He also sees God as SOVEREIGN LORD.  God can do anything He wants to do and seeing this, Abram wants to co-operate with His purposes.

As my relationship with my Heavenly Father grows and to know Him as being my Sovereign Lord, then I want to submit myself; be subject to Him more and more:  Lord, I want to co-operate with your sovereign purposes in my life today!”

“REWARDS”–DESCENDANTS ON DISPLAY (Genesis 15:5 AMP):

“And He brought him outside [his tent into the starlight]  and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars–if you are able to number them.  The He said to him, So shall your descendants be.”

One of those descendants was JESUS Himself.

When Abram believed God to give him descendants, he was believing that through him, ALL the nations of the world would be blessed (Genesis 12:3).

Now I found a striking contrast between ADAM and ABRAM in the Bible:

ADAM – The father of ALL MEN — ABRAM – The “father of ALL of them that BELIEVE”  (Romans 4:11).

ADAM had a FIG LEAF — but ABRAM had a SHIELD.

ADAM received a curse — ABRAM a REWARD!

And For the BELIEVER…

Christ is both protection from all harm (“muscle power on display”) and provision for all our needs (“muscle power” continuously on display!).  He is also our “exceedingly great [literally ‘abundant’] reward”  (verse 1).

Genesis 15:6 is an Amazing Verse to study!

“Abram believed the Lord and He credited it to him as righteousness”  (NIV Bible).

“And he [Abram] believed in (trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness (right standing with God)”  (AMPLIFIED Bible).

“And he believed!  Believed in God!  God declared him “Set-Right-with-God”  (The MESSAGE Bible).

“…the Lord counted him as righteous because of his FAITH”  (NLT Bible).

So, there you have four different translations of the same Bible verse, virtually saying the same thing.

There it is again in Scripture…FAITH:

4061219237_426f2578fdAND…the first time the word “BELIEVE” is used in the Bible.

From the beginning there is only one way to get right with God–BELIEVING IN HIM with a wholehearted trust in Him and in His promises (His Word).

When it says it was “COUNTED to Abram as righteousness,” the word “COUNTED” is a banking term.  When Abram deposited his FAITH in the vaults of God by believing in Him with his whole heart (his heart, mind, and soul–his whole being), GOD CREDITED RIGHTEOUSNESS to his account.  God counted him “righteous”.

For me, this transaction took place on August 16th, 1972, for I always remember or record my deposits.  It was when I BELIEVED in Jesus alone for my salvation.  I EXCHANGED MY SIN FOR HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!

A Message for The Church–

God Bless you Church as you believe and trust the One who has POWER and AUTHORITY to keep the promises He makes for us each day by His Word.

“We’re All Children Of God” IS A LIE!

John 8:38:

“I tell the things which I have seen and learned at My Father’s side, and your actions also reflect what you have heard and learned from your father.”

The Thinking of Almost Everyone Today–Thinks They Are a Child of God.

It doesn’t seem to matter if you are a Hindu, Buddhist, animist, new age or Christian or none of the above.  Almost everyone seems to hold the belief we are all children of God.

Bit is it TRUE?  Have you ever wondered who the REAL CHILDREN of God are?  Does God possibly have anything to say about it?

THE WORDS OF CHRIST JESUS AND THEIR MEANING:

The words spoken in John 8:38 were the words spoken of JESUS to those who surrounded Him with piercing and angry eyes and cruel tongues.

Our Lord and Savior declared that He had been with His Father before He spoke with the religious Jews around about Him.  And, He had been, for He was with the Father before the worlds were formed.  He saw all that the Father did and He helped in doing it–“without Him was not anything made that was made.”  He was the Father’s eternal delight!

Implication Of The Relationship of father and son among men.

JESUS says that one exists before the other but it’s not implied of the relationship between Father and Son.  It is a great mystery in explanation, in the terms FATHER and SON.  The nearest similarity that can be given in our poor understanding of the relationship existing between them.  And yet is the Father eternal and the Son eternal–the Son coequal and co-eternal with the Father.

Though JESUS is…unto us the Child born and the Son given, YET He is equally “the Everlasting Father,” who was and is and ever shall be One with the eternal God!

THE FALSE DOCTRINE OF “UNIVERSAL FATHERHOOD”:

The 2 or 3 things that stand out in the John 8:38 passage that point out “Universal Fatherhood” is A LIE:

“I tell the things which I have seen and learned at My Father’s side…”

Then there are two fathers; there are two sets of children–there is a Father who Jesus calls, “My Father”–and there is another father who He calls in speaking to the Jews who hated Him– “your father.”

The prayers beginning, “Our Father, Who is in heaven,” never meant to be used by every body.  In the mouths of the ungodly, it’s out-of-place.  God is not their Father.  “You must be born again” before coming the children of God.

The Scripture statement is clear: 

[12]  “But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name–“

[13]  “Who owe their birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God.  [They are born of God]”  (John 1:12, 13 AMP).

RECEIVING CHRIST–

An evangelist was trying to help a woman understand John 1:12; what it means to receive Christ:

“Your last name is Wilson, isn’t it?”  he asked.

“Yes,” she said.

“How long has it been that?”

“Ever since my husband and I were married 30 years ago.”

“Tell me,” he said, “how did you become Mrs. Wilson?”

She paused.  “It was at the wedding.  The minister asked me, ‘Will you have this man to be your lawful, wedded husband?’  and I said, “I will‘.  With those words I became his wife.”

“Didn’t you say, ‘I hope so,’ or I’ll try to take him as my husband?”  asked the evangelist.

“No,” replied the woman.  “I said, ‘I will and I did.’  That’s all there was to it.”

The evangelist explained that God wanted her to receive Christ Jesus as her Savior in the same way.  She saw the point made and stated, “HOW SIMPLE!”  Wondering why she hadn’t said “I will” long before.

All of us are ALL Children of God”–

I’ve heard this statement from a minister in religious garb,  in a TV political ad supporting Gay Marriage on the Washington State ballot this November.  I have heard the same view many times before:  “well…ya know…I mean……after all…no matter who we are and where we come from…when its all said and done…we are ALL God’s children.” 

I’m not sure where these statements originate from…but it has no Biblical basis in fact.

The Gospel of John–

One of my favorite verses in the ‘Renewed Covenant’ is found in the 1st Chapter:

“There it was–the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illuminates every person”  (John 1:9 AMP).

THE “TRUE CHILDREN OF GOD” HAVE, THE NATURE OF THEIR FATHER:

We re not full-grown yet, some of us are tiny babies.  It’s not always easy to detect the Father’s likeness in His infants.  That likeness comes out as the child grows up and as the man appears.

The similarities between father and son can be striking at times and it could be hardly traced when the boy was little.  It is the same scenario with us in our relationship with our heavenly Father.

The Spirit of God, in Regeneration.

Man/Women has only body and soul when entering this world; until this miracle is worked, but then when born-gain–they become body, soul and spirit–rising into a higher sphere, entering into another world which he could not enter before.

I like this passage of Scripture in 1 Corinthians:

“But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated”  (1 Corinthians 2:14 AMP).

“The first man Adam, was made a living soul” and we are made in his likeness.  “The last Adam was made a quickening Spirit” and when we are born again, we receive His likeness; we participate in the quickening and rise into the Nature and Image of God.

True Children Imitate Their Father–

“THEREFORE BE imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]”  (Ephesians 5:1 AMP).

It curious to see how children will imitate their parents.  I remember when our daughters were little girls and they would go into their moms closet, pull out her high-heeled shoes and model them in front of us.  They seemed to feel so grown-up and be like mom.

I remember having 4- cords of wood stacked in front of our house and then spend hours, days stacking the cut wood along side the property line.  And then to my surprise, my son Kevin came up to me with an arm full of cut fir and asked, Dad…where do you want this wood stacked.  In his own young way, he was helping and imitating his dad in chores.

It’s a habit of children to imitate–they can’t help it.  So, if we are the children of God, if we dwell with God, the instinct of imitation manifest itself.  We try doing those deeds of kindness and love, acts of righteousness which God is doing!

And it will be said of us:  “You do that which you have seen with your father.”

THE DEVIL’S FAMILY SHARES IN THE DEVIL’S NATURE:

The “gloomy” side of the story.

The devil’s family members are sure to speak that which they have seen and heard their father, too.  For instance, there are some people who speak in opposition to most Christian beliefs.  They cannot stand them–never a good word spoken and denounce their motives.

Now, I don’t wonder or speculate why the say and do the things they do and say because their father did the same long time ago.  I loved the line in the 1994 movie, Forrest Gump:  Stupid is as stupid does.  If ones father practiced stupidity, then it only comes to reason their children would copy their stupidity.  One of Satan’s names is “the accuser of the brethren.”

Did the devil ever have a good word for our Father?  NO!  Then he will never have a good word for His children.  Charles Spurgeon once said, “The highest compliment the devil can pay to virtue, is to hate it.”

The Devil’s Children Frequently Speak In Untruths.

UNTRUTH in speaking becomes…“white lies” and becomes tolerable in society.  Do you know who was a liar from the beginning?–the father of lies–and they who cannot or will not speak the Truth of God.  Children of that ancient liar–they will have to go home to their father one day.  They are not the children of God, for God’s children should hate a lie!  When their word is once given, they will stand to it, even if it hurts.

When you are not TRUE, you’ve not been with the great Father of Truth; you must have learned the “half-truths” from the great father of lies.

A “NATURE TO BE CHANGED” IS NEEDED IN TODAY’S WORLD:

It is of little use for you to try to change your outward character or someone else:

–language,

–attitudes,

–rebellion.

–self-will and so forth.

What you need is for your NATURE or theirs, to be changed.  “When the fountain is made sweet, the streams will be sweet” ~ Charles Spurgeon.  In other words, Mr. Spurgeon is saying that what comes out of it will still be impure.

You must be born again!

Believe in Christ and you are born again!

“[1]  NOW THERE was a certain man among the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler ( a leader, an authority) among the Jews,  [2] Who came to Jesus at night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know and are certain that You have come from God [as] a Teacher; for no one can do these signs (these wonderworks, these miracles–and produce the proofs) that You do unless God is with him.  [3]  Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God”  (John 3:1-3 AMP).

JESUS continues the conversation with Nicodemus and we pick up His emphasis in verse 6:

“What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

The ACT OF FAITH indicates that the new birth has taken place; from spiritual death to spiritual life; a new creature in Christ Jesus.  The moment that God gives you the Grace to TRUST yourself with Christ, He also has renewed you nature!

When you believe and trust in the Lord Jesus, you become a new person in Christ; a child of God.  That is THE TRUTH!  Anything else is a LIE!!

If you are then a child of the King, go out and tell all what you have seen and heard while in the presence with your Father.  I’m proud to be a Child of God–how about you?

“I ‘m A Child of the King”

by Bill and Gloria Gaither

CHORUS:

Oh, yes, oh yes, I’m a child of the King

His royal blood now flows in my veins.

And I who was wretched and poor now can sing

Praise God, praise God, I’m a child of the King.