1 Corinthians 6:9-11 lists a lot of sins, but then Paul distinguishes a believer from the unbeliever when he says ” And such were some of you”. Those sins had defined the people before they knew Christ those sins no longer defined them. 1 John 3 tells us that if we know Christ we will not continue practicing sin. A Christian can fall into all kinds of sin (Romans 3:23) but if we continue in these sins by making them a lifestyle we never knew Jesus from the start (7: 21-23).
Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) ” For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”.
This verse describes the spiritual battle that takes place in the life of believers. Paul tells us our battle is spiritual, not physical. Spiritual battles occur at all levels in this world and beyond. The believer must be prepared for all types of attacks by putting on God’s armor. All Christians are called on to use the tools God has given us for surviving the attacks of the devil.
Weak as well as strong can come under attack from demons.
How About 99.9%?
When the Ritz-Carlton Hotels won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the owner of that outstanding organization, Mr. William Johnson, stated that now they would need to work even harder to earn the respect that came with the award. “Quality,” he said, “is a race with no finish line.”
He is correct. Competitive excellence requires 100% all of the time. Ever tracked the consequences of “almost but not quite”? According to some fine research by Natalie Gabal, if 99.9% were considered good enough, then this year alone . . . 2,000,000 documents would be lost by the IRS; 12 babies would be given to the wrong parents each day; 291 pacemaker operations would be performed incorrectly; 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions would be written (to cite just a few examples).
Instead of applying this negatively to the practical side of life, I’d much rather compare it positively to the theological. Remember that forgotten word “justification”? Justification is the sovereign act of God whereby He declares righteous the believing sinner while that person is still in a sinning state. He doesn’t suddenly make us righteous (we still sin). He declares us righteous. How righteous does God declare us? One hundred percent righteous. Stop and think: Upon believing in Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death and bodily resurrection, the once-lost sinner is instantly, unconditionally, and permanently “declared 100% righteous.” Anything less and we are not righteous . . . we’re almost righteous.
If we were declared 99.9% righteous, some verses would have to be rewritten. Like Isaiah 1:18, which might then read: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘though your sins are as scarlet, they will be light pink.’”
Nonsense! The promise of sins forgiven is all or nothing.
Unlike the earthly race for excellence, the race against sin had a finish line. Otherwise, when Jesus breathed His last breath, He would’ve said, “It is almost finished.” And we would have to keep working at it, adding to something Christ didn’t finish at the cross.
Let’s never, ever forget that God is into “white as snow,” not light pink.
If Christ had paid 99.9% of the debt of sin, not one of us would have a chance at heaven (see Romans 4:4-5).
— by Chuck Swindoll
God is not going to bless a goal motivated by greed, envy, guilt, fear, or pride. But he does honor your goal that is motivated by a desire to demonstrate love to him and to others, because life is all about learning how to love.
Why is it important for you to have goals that are based on love? Because if you set loveless goals, you’re going to treat people as projects. You’re going to run all over them to get to your goal. You’re going to run over your marriage, your friends, and other people as you climb up the ladder of success. God says, “No. You’ve got it all wrong. It’s not about accomplishments. It’s about relationships. It’s about learning how to love.”
“Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 NIV). The number one goal in your life should be to learn to really love — your family, neighbors, unlovely people, and those who are hard to love. That makes you more like God, because God is love.
Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
This verse does not mean a simple acknowledgment that He is God and the Lord of the universe, since even demons acknowledge that to be true.
This is the deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is that person’s own master or sovereign. This phrase includes repenting from sin, trusting in Jesus for salvation and submitting to Him as Lord.
This is the volitional element of faith.
Believeth: To trust, rely on, or have faith in. When used of salvation, this word usually occurs in the present tense “is believing” which stresses that faith is not simply a one-time event, but an ongoing condition. True saving faith is supernatural, a gracious gift of God that He produces in the heart and is the only means by which a person can appropriate true righteousness.
Saving faith consists of 3 elements.
- Mental: the mind understands the gospel and the truth about Christ
- Emotional: one embraces the truthfulness of those facts with sorrow over sin and joy over God’s mercy and grace
- Volitional: the sinner submits his will to Christ and trust in Him alone as the only hope of salvation.
Genuine faith always produces authentic obedience.
“God hath raised Him from the dead”: Christ’s resurrection was the supreme validation of His ministry. Belief in it is necessary for salvation because it proved that Christ is who He claimed to be and that the Father had accepted His sacrifice in the place of sinners. Without the resurrection, there is no salvation.
This leaves absolutely no doubt at all what we must do to be saved.
Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
“Confession is made unto salvation”: One is not saved by his mouth’s conversation, (meaning many, who by their head knowledge say they are saved, but really are not), but rather, the mouth testifies readily of the grace of God in Christ which has been received by faith (for those who have been truly saved and their words are coming from their heart).
Confession is the Greek word which basically means to say the same thing, or to agree with someone. The person who confesses Jesus as Lord, agrees with the Father’s declaration that Jesus is Savior and Lord.
There were a number of Gentiles among King David’s mighty men. They were Zelek the Ammonite. Uriah the Hittite, Igal of Zobah, Iggai the Gittite, and maybe there were more that we don’t know about. Davids deeds on the battlefield had made his God famous, and David actively sought to convert foreigners to the God of Israel. Missionary work did exist in the OT, and this is where these men came from.
There is a description of David’s mighty men in 1 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11.
Jesus Christ in the last year of his life uses physical force to throw the money changers out of the temple. This was the only time during the the life of his ministry in which he used physical force against anyone.
When Jews came to Jerusalem to pay their Temple tax, they could only pay it with a special coin, the half-shekel. This was a half-ounce of pure silver, about the size of a quarter. It was the only coin at that time which was pure silver and of assured weight, without the image of a pagan Emperor, and therefore to the Jews it was the only coin acceptable to God.
Unfortunately these coins were not plentiful, the money changers had cornered the market on them, and so they raised the price of them to whatever the market could bear. They used their monopoly they had on these coins to make exorbitant profits, forcing the Jews to pay whatever these money changers demanded.
Jesus threw the money changers out as their monopoly on these coins totally violated the sanctity of God’s house.
Even though we might justify our actions through reason or logic, if we are violating God’s clear commands, we are sinning against Him, and He will hold us accountable for those sins. God is not to be worshiped with images, because any image we make will draw more attention to the work of our hands than the God who made all things. Also, there is no way we can ever fully represent the holiness and awesomeness of God through an image. To attempt to do so will always fall short. On top of this, God is a spirit (John 4:24), and we cannot form an image of a spirit. We worship God by believing His Word, obeying it, and declaring His greatness to others.
Awhile back while studying, the Scriptures I came across a couple of passages that on the surface would appear to be a contradiction. I’ve come to find out that by researching the historical and cultural context is necessary for complete understanding of God’s Word. Knowing that Christianity’s opponents will find every reason to charge the Scriptures with contradiction, we as believers in a Sovereign God must be prepared to give a defense for the hope that is in us by understanding contextually, historically and culturally why we believe what we believe. So here you have it. Mark 15:22-25 They brought Him to the place called Golgotha, which means, “Place of a Skull.” They gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. When they had crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them, to decide what each man should take. Now it was the THIRD HOUR, and they crucified Him. Notice in the passage above Mark states that Jesus was crucified on the third hour, which according to the Jewish timetable the beginning of a day started at 6am (sun up), so by doing the math we see that the third hour is 9am in the morning when they crucified Jesus. Sounds simple enough, but let’s take a look at John’s account. John 19:13-15 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement which in Hebrew is Gabbatha. It was the Day of Preparation of the Passover and about the SIXTH HOUR. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” But they shouted, “Away with Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” Now how is it that Jesus according to the Gospel of Mark is being crucified on the THIRD HOUR but according to John’s Gospel He is standing before Pilate being condemned to death on the SIXTH HOUR? Shouldn’t Jesus already be nailed to the cross? The reason I’m writing this is to give us a proper understanding of God’s Word. To understand what the apostle John is saying we must understand who his audience is that he’s writing his gospel account to. We know contextually that John wrote his gospel to Gentile believers. How do we know that? Because when we read John’s account, we see that he had to explain Jewish customs, translate Jewish names, and locate Palestinian sites. These facts suggest that he was writing for Gentile readers who lived primarily outside Palestine. Therefore, the timetable in which they would understand is the Roman timetable which operates equally to ours today. So John’s sixth hour is referring to 6am in the morning, which is identical to the time that Jesus was standing before Pilate in the synoptic Gospel’s (Mark 15:1-2). Three hours later Jesus would be nailed to the cross.