Expounding the More Perfect Way….Jesus Christ and Him Crucified Acts 18:24-28

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Regret Vs. Repentance September 2018

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” –II Corinthians 7:10

SOMETIMES, WHEN A famous person dies, we learn from the family bits of their final conversations. A son says of his father, “He had no regrets,” and the world is a little less sad and somewhat relieved to know that nothing would have been changed in the course of that life.

But to say that you lived with no regret also means that you were never sorry about anything—never mourned a loss, suffered a disappointment, or missed an opportunity. How many in the human race can honestly say that? The answer is none. Experts say all of us have things we regret from our decisions around education and career choices to romance, parenting, and finances—usually in that order.

If we allow it, regret can touch every area of our lives. And, if we allow Satan, he will point his accusatory finger toward something behind us until we find ourselves saying, “I should have.” I should have been there when my parent died. I should have had the courage to speak up when I was being abused. I should have stayed in school and applied myself more. I should have risked rejection and told that person how much I loved him. I should have been braver and unafraid of failure.

Notice all of the I’s in that list? That’s because regret is about blaming self, which affects our emotions. We feel sorry for the ways we hurt people. When it’s clear we’ve made a bad decision, we get sad. When it’s realized that the opportunity we just missed will not come our way again, there is disappointment. The Bible calls these sorrows of the world, and they work death.

The bad thing about regret is that it takes us a while to realize it’s been sown. Years pass between the time the seed of regret—the doing or not doing—and its bitter fruit blooms in the heart of the saved and the unsaved.

Every day that we live in this world, we buy and sell with decisions we make, and, in the process, our hearts are revealed.

Esau made a bad decision when he sold his birthright to Jacob for a meal. The Bible says Esau “did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright” (Gen. 25:34).

Bible commentator Matthew Henry said, “Esau ate and drank, pleased his palate, satisfied his appetite, and then carelessly rose up and went his way, without any serious thought, or any regret, about the bad bargain he had made.”

But years later, when Isaac was old and ready to bless, Esau realized the high cost of his mistake: “And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father” (Gen. 27:34).

Esau did receive a blessing, but it was common. Henry notes, “There is nothing in Esau’s blessing which points at Christ, and without that, the fatness of the earth and the plunder of the field will stand in little stead.”

Out of regret, Esau lifted up his voice and wept, but he did not repent. Let’s look at Judas. In the end, he betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ with 30 pieces of silver and a kiss. But in the beginning of the Lord’s ministry, Judas was there, one of the Twelve. He saw the miracles—all manner of sickness and disease healed, demoniacs delivered, the dead raised, and multitudes miraculously fed. Judas, however, valued none of it, demonstrated so clearly in John 12, when Mary anoints the feet of Jesus. As soon as Judas saw the expensive ointment spent on Jesus, he demanded to know why it hadn’t been sold to benefit the poor. “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (Jn. 12:6).

Likewise, Judas went about caring nothing for the Lord—from the anointing of His feet to the kiss of betrayal on His face.

And then, realization. When Judas saw what the religious leaders had done to Jesus, he confessed—to them—that he had sinned, and he threw down their silver on the temple floor. The Bible says Judas “repented himself,” but the Greek word for this phrase, according to Ellicott’s commentary, is “not that commonly used for ‘repentance,’ as involving a change of mind and heart, but is rather ‘regret,’ a simple change of feeling.”

After leaving the Sanhedrin, theologian John Gill points out that Judas went out of the temple, “not to God, nor to the throne of His grace, nor to his Master to ask pardon of Him, but to some secret solitary place, to cherish his grief and black despair.”

Judas sided with the sorrows of the world, and they worked death in him until he hanged himself—some say he strangled himself—but either way, Judas died violently. Luke tells us,“falling headlong, he burst asunder the midst, and all his bowels gushed out” (Acts 1:18). Out of regret, Judas confessed his sin to sinful men, but he did not repent. So what is the difference between regret and repentance?

If we gave them voice, regret would repeat itself again and again: “If only I had it to do over, I would have done it differently. I would have done it right.”

Regret, energized by guilt, is a replay of what was done, or not done, and the pain associated with that decision. As with Esau and Judas, regret may cause us to shed some bitter tears, and maybe even confess to others what we did, but that’s as far as it goes. Regret stops short of repentance.

Repentance, on the other hand, acknowledges from the heart, “I see what I have done and I am so sorry. I realize that I have no way to help myself. I need God and His forgiveness. Only God can help me.”

Repentance is to understand the root cause of our sadness, fear, or disappointment—sin. It’s a spiritual reaction to Holy Spirit conviction and revelation—a reaction that helps turn the human heart toward God and ask Him for His mercy and forgiveness.

It’s been said that few have sinned as David sinned, but fewer still have repented as he repented. David, the boy shepherd and psalmist. Slayer of the lion, the bear, and Goliath. David, the man after God’s own heart. Yet at the time when kings went to battle, David stayed behind. He sinned with Bathsheba, and when he learned that she was carrying his child, David ordered her husband Uriah to be “in the forefront of the hottest battle” ensuring his death and hiding David’s sin. But God saw, and “the thing that David had done displeased the LORD” (II Sam. 11:27).

The prophet Nathan was sent by God to let David know that what he had attempted to hide, the Lord would openly and fully reveal.

Unlike regret, where only the mind and emotions are affected, repentance involves the heart—the spirit of man—which is susceptible to the conviction and revelation of the Holy Spirit.

“And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD.” My husband notes, “David had a true knowledge of God and, therefore, when charged with his sin, his first thought was not the punishment that would surely follow, but the injury done to God.”

All sins boil down to one. The displeasing thing that King David did was to despise the commandment of the Lord to do evil in His sight. David knew this, which is why he would later write Psalm 51, the truest prayer of repentance ever prayed. It begins:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”

Regret is behind us, but repentance is before us. “Mock penitents confess their sins and straightway forget them,” Pulpit says. “Real genuine ones find it impossible to forget.”

Out of repentance, David confessed his sin and need for God’s mercy, and he received forgiveness. And then there’s Peter, who denied even knowing the Lord. Before any of us get too judgmental of the great fisherman, we should examine our own hearts and remember that Peter loved the Lord. Peter believed Him. It was Peter who walked on the water to Jesus:

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus” (Matthew 14:28-29).

At the close of the Lord’s earthly ministry, in the hours between the Last Supper and the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told His disciples what was about to happen to Him and how His disciples would be scattered.

“But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all” (Mk. 14:29-31).

The Lord listened, but He knew how Peter would react that night, the same way He knew how Peter, while walking on the water, would suddenly see the wind boisterous, become afraid, and begin to sink.

Just as the Lord had said, when confronted that night, Peter denied Him three times, with oaths and cursings: “I know not the man!” Then, the painful realization: “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly” (Mat. 26:75).

Like Judas and Esau, Peter also went out and wept bitterly. The difference with Peter was the trigger of emotion. Like David, Peter remembered the word of the Lord. He remembered some of the first words he heard Him say, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” There was the revelation he received from God about who Jesus was. Surely Peter heard the echo of his own words, “Thou art the Christ.” He remembered that day on the water, when he cried out, “Lord, save me,” and Jesus immediately stretched forth His hand, caught him, and asked, “Why did you doubt?” And the most painful memory of all, after that third denial, “the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.”

Pulpit says Peter “rushed from that evil company into the night, a brokenhearted man, that no human eye might witness his anguish, that alone with his conscience and God he might wrestle out repentance. Tradition asserts that all his life long Peter hereafter never could hear a cock crow without falling on his knees and weeping.”

Out of repentance, Peter realized that he was helpless without Christ, and he allowed godly sorrow to work repentance to salvation. And this work takes time.

When Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, went to the sepulcher to anoint the body of Jesus, they found the stone rolled away, and an angel who said, “Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you” (Mark 16:6-7).

Henry points out, “Peter is particularly named. Tell Peter—it will be most welcome to him, for he is in sorrow for sin. A sight of Christ will be very welcome to a true penitent, and a true penitent is very welcome to a sight of Christ.”

In the book of John, we read of the reunion:
“Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea” (Jn. 21:5-7).

Upon hearing that it was Jesus, Peter jumped without pride or hesitation. He wanted to be the first one to reach the Lord, who was waiting to restore him. Later, Jesus would ask Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” and, in new humility, he answered, “You know that I love you.” Then, in a show of complete confidence in Peter, the Lord tells him, “Feed my sheep.”

Whether you’ve filled your life with regrets or separated yourself from God through sin, the Lord of Glory has one word for you today: Come. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18).

Come if you’re thirsty or weary. Come if you’re heavy-laden. Look ahead to the shore, like Peter did, and see the risen Lord. He’s waiting for you—the fish are laid on the fire of coals with bread, and He’s saying to you, “Come and dine.”


~F. Swaggart JSM

By: Dave Smith

J. Swaggart Ministry

Esther 4:14 “Who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Esther had just found out that Haman had convinced the king to make a decree that all Jews should be killed because they were enemies of his kingdom. That meant that all Jews and Esther and her family would be killed. Similarly, many people are convinced that Christians are a bigger threat than terrorists, so their freedoms and influence should be taken away. That would mean souls that would have heard the gospel and gotten saved will be eternally lost.

Esther’s first reaction was to say nothing. She could lay low, be politically correct, and not rock the boat hoping this attack would just blow over and go away. She could keep quiet, not expose herself as a Jew, and let someone else try to save God’s people. But Mordecai warned her that doing so would result in her and her family being killed.

The enemy has not and will not stop trying to destroy God’s people. Satan knows that they are the hindering force against his attacks on the work of God and must be destroyed (II Thess. 2:7). Even though there are setbacks for Satan, he will not stop, and, eventually, the rapture will take place and the Antichrist will come on the scene.

In the meantime, the body of Christ must take advantage of every opportunity to win souls. Jesus told His disciples in a parable to occupy—engage in the business of the church, which is preaching the gospel—until I come (Luke 19:13). The only reason God has given His church more time is because He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (II Pet. 3:9).

There is, however, an extreme urgency to get done what needs to be done because the opportunities are available only for a short time, and if they are not taken advantage of, they will be lost. Jesus said not to put off the harvest for four months because the fields are ripe now (Jn. 4:35).

He also said that He had to work while it was day and there was light that was needed to do the work. If He waited, darkness would come and He would not be able to accomplish what was needed (Jn. 9:4).

Jesus also told His disciples to pray for more workers so the great number of souls could be harvested before it was too late (Matt. 9:36-38).

The psalmist prayed that God would teach us to number, or take full advantage, of our days (Ps. 90:12). Paul told the Ephesians and Colossians to redeem the time, or take full advantage of the opportunities to win souls instead of being indifferent or neglectful (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5).

The only hope Esther had of saving her family and her people was to appeal to the king. Since she had not been summoned by the king, she would normally be killed for just going into his court. That meant she had to risk everything to try to save her people. Similarly, a person has to give up everything (Matthew 4:20,22; 16:25; Mark 10:28; Luke 5:11; 14:26) not just to be saved, but also to be used of God to win the lost.

But if a person is willing to give his life, God has promised to give them people (Isa. 3:4), the heathen (Ps. 2:8), and much fruit (Jn. 12:24) for their life.

God says He has given the church an open door to preach the gospel (Rev. 3:8), but time is limited because He also said He is coming quickly (Rev. 3:11).
“Who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 

“And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”(Eph. 6:4).

“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Col. 3:21).

WHY ARE THESE VERSES DIRECTED TO FATHERS?

Although these verses are directed at fathers, they certainly do not take away any responsibility from mothers. But fathers often neglect their responsibility in parenting. Sometimes this is done on purpose, but at other times it is done by default. However, as the head of the house (Eph. 5:23), the father is more accountable to God than the mother for the training of the children.

PROVOKE NOT YOUR CHILDREN TO WRATH

This means not to stir up, enrage, exasperate, or cause irritation to the extent that it causes anger, discouragement, being disheartened, broken-hearted, or broken in spirit by sinning against them. This is commanded by God, so it is not optional, nor is it just friendly advice.

If it is not done, it is disobedience and rebellion against God. It is also in the present tense which means that it needs to be obeyed not just in the past or the future, but consistently and daily. This obviously does not mean that a child should never be told no, but it does include the following:

1. Not expecting too much or too little from them.
2. Correcting them with respect, which means without name-calling, demeaning, belittling, or mocking children.
3. Practicing what you preach without double standards or hypocrisy.
4. Valuing them as eternal souls, and not just because of their intellectual, physical, or athletic abilities.
5. Communicating love and appreciation for who they are and not just for what they can do.
6. Loving them even when they fail so they do not think they have to earn love.
7. Giving clear limits, expectations, and consequences.
8. Admitting your own mistakes, asking for forgiveness, and making restitution when necessary.
9. Being available to listen to their problems, difficulties, and concerns.
10. Not being too strict or too lenient.
11. Not neglecting or ignoring them.
12. Not abusing them physically, sexually, or emotionally.
13. Not continually finding fault with, or criticizing them.
14. Not exposing them to continual marital conflict.
15. Not comparing them unfavorably to others.
16. Not changing or being inconsistent with standards.
17. Not disciplining harshly, severely, excessively, or angrily, but fairly, consistently, lovingly, and promptly.
18. Not having anger that is out of control or destructive.
19. Not being unforgiving.

BRING THEM UP

Because children have a sin nature, they cannot bring themselves up. They cannot be left on their own to make their own decisions and choices. They need to be trained (Prov. 22:6) by teaching them they are sinners and leading them to Christ as their Saviour and Lord. This also means not to put them down, but to lift them up.

IN THE NURTURE AND ADMONITION OF THE LORD

Nurture means to discipline, train, correct, instruct, and chasten, while admonition is to warn, reprove, and rebuke. But, since it says “in the Lord,” it is talking about a very specific way of nurturing and admonishing. It is not referring to the wisdom of the world (I Cor. 1-2), what our parents did or did not do, our own thoughts and ideas, or the philosophies and traditions of men (Col. 2:8). It is based on the biblical principles of who Christ is and what He did on the Cross.

That alone can lead to knowing and trusting in Jesus, being His disciple, and being dependent on Him. Then and only then will their attitudes, patterns of living, and decisions reflect Jesus. This is the only way they can know the way they should go and not be able to get away from the truths they were taught as a child even though they may rebel against them later (Prov. 22:6).

This does not mean that children are not responsible for how they react, but it is emphasizing that parents—and especially fathers—are more responsible to God for not sinning against their children.

Even if a father (or any parent) did not have godly parents, he can pray to his heavenly Father who will help him to be what He wants him to be.

Separation: The Strength of Redeemed

That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There has not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man” (Judg. 16:17).

Samson’s remarkable strength came as a direct result of his consecration to the Lord.  The term “Nazarite” comes from the Hebrew word “nazir” meaning “consecrated” or “separated.”  The Nazarite Vow required a man or woman not to cut one’s hair, to abstain from the fruit of the vine (wine), and not to touch a dead body (as death portrayed the Fall of man, while the Nazarite was to epitomize Life).  In such, the Lord made it clear how important separation from the world would be for those He would use in the Works and Callings of His Kingdom.  John the Baptist was also a Nazarite:  “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” (Lk. 1:15).

Samson kept the Nazarite Vow until he found a part of the world upon which he began to set his affections.  His love for Delilah (Delilah being a type of the world) caused Samson to relinquish his Vow of Separation to God.  The cutting of his hair was the outward sign of his heart’s betrayal.  As a result, he lost his strength!  The Philistines overtook him; they even took his sight.  This should be a tremendous lesson to Believers today.  The Lord views affection toward the world as spiritual adultery committed against Him.  “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” (I Jn. 2:15).  Under the New Covenant, however, Believers do not need to take the Nazarite Vow, because we rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit to separate and distinguish us from the world.

SEPARATION

Separation is an inherent part of the very purpose of the Church, her purpose being the proclamation of the Gospel!  It is a vital part of our witness/our testimony to demonstrate that we have been Saved and changed!  One renowned preacher, G. Campbell Morgan, said, “. . . the Church of God needs to remember that fellowship with God necessitates separation from all who fail to fulfill the responsibilities of fellowship in light or in love.”  The Lord requires separateness of Believers over and over again in the Scriptures – in both the Old and New Testaments.  “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Cor. 6:17).  And notice this particular verse is speaking of separation from the apostate church as well.  Just as there is no fellowship with the world, there is no fellowship with a backslidden church.  Regarding what he referred to as “secondary separation,” Charles Spurgeon once said, “I have preached God’s truth, so far as I know it, and I have not been ashamed of its peculiarities.  That I might not stultify my testimony, I have cut myself clear of those who err from the faith and even from those who associate with them.” [1]

SATAN

So, why is it so important to the Lord to have His People remain separate and distinct from the world?  Why does this give the Lord glory?  Because this present world is actually ruled by Satan.  Since the Fall, Satan has been able to influence man in all his actions and endeavors, so the ways of unredeemed man actually reflect the will of the enemy, not the Lord’s.  One pastor recently asked, “Is there any Scriptural directive calling us to renovate the Land of the Lost into a facade of faith so that it will appear to be Christian owned and operated when our Lord returns, even though it is clearly stated four times in Scripture that Satan is the ‘prince of this world’?”[2]  You see, Biblical separation is separation from Satan and from the antichrist system he is presently establishing.  Christians are considered foreigners in an evil kingdom, which is why it is so important for the Child of God to develop discernment as he grows.  “But strong meat belongs to them who are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).  Satan will even disguise his followers as professing Believers to cause confusion.  “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I Jn. 4:1).

THE WAY OUT

God allows His people to remain in Satan’s territory for one purpose — to show others the Way out!  This is the only reason we remain on Earth after we are Saved, so we must remain “in” it without being “of ” it!  “No man who wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him Who has chosen him to be a soldier” (II Tim. 2:4).  Of course, the Devil is not pleased with our inhabitance, and he will try everything in his power to pull us back into fellowship with his fellows!  He even offered Christ the kingdoms of this Earth:  “And the Devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, showed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the Devil said unto Him, All this power will I give You, and the glory of them:  for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.  If You therefore will worship me, all shall be Yours.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan:  for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve” (Lk. 4:5-8).

WEAK?

It is also interesting to note that during the time of Samson, men with long hair were viewed as weak, yet it was one of the requirements of the Nazarite Vow.  Certainly it was a humbling position to be in, but it actually spoke volumes regarding the Source of Samson’s strength.  It gave God the glory.  It is the same today.  Separation may put a Believer in a position of weakness in the eyes of the world.  For instance, a particular Believer may refuse to partner in business with a nonbeliever, possibly lessening his/her potential to make a greater financial income.  But, it is just such a Believer whom the Lord delights in strengthening and supplying by His Power!  It is when a man humbles himself to the guiding of the Spirit that the Lord may use him the most mightily!  “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Cor. 12:10).  Likewise, the Church as a whole is always strengthened when she remains separate.  Again, this is God’s way of demonstrating His Own Strength!  When the Church intermingles with the world and/or takes on the methods and ways of the world, the Lord is not glorified as He should be.  The Work Jesus did at Calvary is distinct and exclusive, and Faith in it always begins to distinguish you from the world.  If you deny this separation, you deny the Cross!

UNITY?

Yet, this is the precise sin of the modern church.  The modern church is preaching unity rather than separation!  Preachers today seem to think there is “strength in numbers,” but this is a false strength that will ultimately break down in the face of adversity.  It is the Lord’s Power Alone that can defeat the enemy’s schemes, which is why Satan constantly tries to get the Church to look for strength in anything other than Christ and Him Crucified!  Believers must understand that the Lord wants His Church to be different!  But, the modern church strives to appeal to, work with, and unify with the world and/or other apostate churches.  Remember what happened when Samson chose to love Delilah in this manner?  She eventually caused him to betray his First Love.  But nonetheless, the modern church has invented a new “Do-Good Gospel.”  In other words, they say in “doing-good” together and “loving” one another despite our differences, people will begin to “experience” God on an individual basis.  While it is true that “good works” can produce a spiritual “experience,” the spirit felt is not necessarily the Lord.  Rather “good works” produce a religious spirit (when done apart from proper Faith).  This is quite disturbing because churches quickly fill up with religious people rather than Saved people.  People who are simply religious cannot tell the difference in true and false doctrine, so their criteria for knowing about the Lord becomes “experience.”  Some Protestants have even converted back to Roman Catholicism simply because of the spiritual “experiences” they have had with mystic Catholic rituals, no matter that these are completely unbiblical and ungodly.  The Emergent Church is one of the greatest promoters of this road back to Rome as they emphasize and promote unbiblical spiritual attractions such as prayer stations, statues, incense, liturgy, candles, icons, and the sacraments including the Eucharist.

UNEQUALLY YOKED?

Another way the Lord admonishes Believers to remain separate is by requiring us not to be unequally yoked.  “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has Righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness? (II Cor. 6:14).  The yoke is quite a powerful symbol in Scripture!  It referred to the cattle yoke which bound animals to a plow so that they can work in unison.  Old Testament law forbade even an ox and donkey to plow together (Deut. 22:10).  The yoke was also used figuratively to refer to bondage and the burden born by slaves (Ex. 6:6-7; I Tim. 6:1).  Jesus would later tell us, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Mat. 11:30).  When a person is Saved, he has a newfound yoke with Jesus which has freed him from all the enslaving yokes of the enemy.  So, while it is perfectly fine for Christians to participate in society, they should not join in common cause with it.  Christ cannot be joined to a fallen world.  Those who walk by Faith can never walk with those who walk by the flesh and self-will. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).  God even forbade Israel from making international alliances for defensive and economic purposes — even though the practice was common among other nations (Ex. 23:32; Josh. 23:12).  The primary reason for this was spiritual, seeing that treaty relationships would involve contact with pagan religions and, thereby, call for toleration of pagan practices.  This is exactly what happened when Solomon got involved in international alliances.  When Jehoshaphat made a trade alliance with Israel’s wicked king, Ahaziah, a prophet came to him and announced, “. . . Because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has broken your works . . .” 
(II Chron. 20:37).[3]

ALLIANCES

Sadly, these are just the types of alliances that are going on in the modern church.  Pastors like Rick Warren are teaming-up with globalist/communist leaders to work toward common goals, but all this is really a guise for the Antichrist to bring about his one-world order.  “Rick Warren was invited by the U.N. and accepted, to come to the U.N. Interfaith Prayer Meeting which was attended by leaders of Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism and every other faith.  Since most of these religions don’t believe in Christ, it is clear this was not a Christian prayer meeting but was a guise to have a globalist political conference.  The U.N. believes that religions must be pacified and brought into its fold in order to have world peace.  The U.N.’s plan is to synthesize all religions into one, and Rick Warren seems to be the point man to facilitate this.  That is why Rick Warren said, ‘The man of peace can even be a Moslem.’” [4]   False preachers try to impose a guilt trip on Christians if they will not sacrifice their personal needs for the needs of the community.  But, remember the word “communism” actually comes from the word “community,” and ultimately the church will lose her freedom to a religious dictatorship if she refuses to remain separate from the governmental affairs of this world.  This country has stood on the principle of the separation of church and state for a reason!

SEPARATION NOT ISOLATION

The point should also be made that in the Church some have confused the idea of separation with isolation.  For instance, we have seen monks and/or nuns of many religions isolate themselves throughout history, but this is not what God meant by separation.  Jesus ate with sinners without compromising.  “Actually, Jesus contemplated that His people would have such intercourse with the world, and that in it they would do good.  But in none of this is there to be any compromise of principle; in none to be any yielding to the opinions and practices that are contrary to the Word of God.  As we have already stated, if we isolate ourselves, we cannot let our light shine. . . .  As well, separation’ must be that which is guided and directed by the Holy Spirit and not legalism.”  “Nevertheless, having said that, one can be certain that the Holy Spirit is not going to place a seal of approval upon that which is obviously wrong.”5If the Holy Spirit is telling you to separate and be different in any area of your life, do it!  Even if other professing Believers do not, you must obey for yourself, because what you are sensing is actually the beginnings of an eternal separation.  Remember, only the Lord knows who is truly Saved and who is not.  God’s Word tells us that “the wheat and the tares” will reside together, but that the Lord will separate them in the end (Mat., Chpt. 13).  So Believer, rejoice and obey the Lord, because what you are sensing is simply His Spirit beginning this work in the hearts of those who are truly His!  You are wheat, and it is your destiny to be separate from the tares!

By: Frances Swaggart

One of the most important subjects that can be addressed today is the home. The home is of critical importance in the stability of any society. In view of this, we are confronted with an awesome problem in America —the rising statistics of divorce, the increase of non-committal couples living together, and society’s remaking and redefinition of the family unit. This is a serious problem since the strength of the home is the foundation of our nation. As the home goes, so goes the country, and so goes the world.

Today we have a generation of young people who, in many ways, grew up homeless. I don’t mean that they grew up fending for themselves on the streets (although some surely did), but rather those who grew up without parents and grandparents who knew how to create and sustain a godly home life.

As Christians, we need to know how to create such an environment for our children and our grandchildren. That’s why I’ve decided to reprint my husband’s article series, “The Successful Home and Marriage.” Each month I will use this space to share his teachings on topics that will help you to build a strong home, a stable marriage, and children of character who are secure in their relationships with their parents and with the Lord.

SOCIETY’S BASIC INSTITUTION

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18).

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4)

“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mat. 19:4-6).

God created three great institutions: the church, the home, and the state (government). These institutions have survived throughout history. Without them, the world would not have survived. They are not only three great factors in life, but also great restraining forces on the plans Satan has for the world.

If questioned on the subject, many might automatically assume that the church (the body of Christ) is God’s most important institution. Naturally, the state is also extremely important. A nation must have some form of government or there would be anarchy and chaos.

With all deference to the importance of the church and state, the home is the most important of God’s three institutions. It was the home that God created first in the garden of Eden, at the same time He created Adam and Eve. The home is the first institution on which God placed His divine seal of approval. It is the oldest institution in society—and it is also the basic and most important element in society. It has been said, and correctly, “as the home goes, so goes the world.”

IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL

Someone said that the three sweetest words in the English language are mother, home, and heaven. We should point out that mother and heaven are centered about the middle word, which is home. No one thinks about mother without thinking about home, and the home should be the picture and reminder of heaven. The home should be peaceful: it should be so good, so beautiful, that it can be thought of as a little bit of heaven right here on earth. The father should be a representative of God—and the mother representative of God’s grace and love.

Children ought to love their home so much that, every time they think of it, there will be a pleasant memory to comfort them. The home certainly should be a reminder of heaven, because whenever someone thinks of heaven, they tend to think about the loved ones they expect to meet again, “over there.” What a common thread in everyone’s Christian’s life. A mother, an aunt, a sister, a brother, a son or daughter—whoever it may be—when they depart to be with the Lord, they are missed and saddened hearts long after them. What a comfort it is to know that there will be a reunion in heaven’s glory someday. So the home is really rooted deeply in the heart’s tenderest thoughts, and in memories and aspirations of a better land where loved ones must no longer be saddened by suffering through loss and separation.

PEOPLE ARE PLACED IN FAMILIES

Psalm 68:6 tells us, “God setteth the solitary in families.” This may seem like a strange passage of Scripture. It means, really, that one of the greatest blessings God gives the human race is the home and the family. It is one of the most tender, blessed, memorable, and enjoyable arrangements that God offers to His children.

The design God has for the home sounds wonderful and idealistic. Everything God creates is good, and everything is meant to be a blessing. When God ordained the home, He ordained it to be a bit of heaven on earth. When He is truly head of the home, it functions according to His principles. It can thus be, in fact, a bit of heaven on earth.

BAD SITUATIONS EXIST

Even though God ordained the home—and even though His desire is for it to be a preview of heaven—there are many homes in a state of disruption and disarray, torn to pieces by strife. The home can be the best thing this side of heaven—or the worst thing this side of hell. Since it is ordained by God and the basic element in our society, Satan naturally does everything he can to destroy it. Approximately 40 percent of the homes in the United States are broken by divorce—and this is also true of many other countries. The enemy is doing everything possible to destroy the foundation and fiber of society, beginning with the home, and especially the institution of marriage itself.
HOME INVOLVES MARRIAGE

You cannot have a home without marriage. Marriage is, of necessity, involved in the establishing of a home. Satan has done everything he can to get people to ignore marriage and to just live together. Living together without marriage, of course, constitutes adultery. Some state that the marriage vow and the marriage certificate are nothing more than a formality and a piece of paper. That is an absurd and foolish statement. A $20 bill is just a piece of paper; the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and other priceless documents are just pieces of paper. The good and important institutions we have and depend on are, almost without exception, formalized by pieces of paper.

The marriage vow and certificate involve a commitment made, and this is the basic element in the development of a home. You can’t really have home without a marriage. Four or five young women living together do not make a home. Several young men sharing an apartment do not make a home. It takes marriage to make a home. Even when one of the mates in a marriage has gone on to be with the Lord, the memory of that home, and what it meant, still binds and cements together those left behind. It definitely takes a marriage to make a home.

The institution of marriage and the home is not something to be taken lightly. It was ordained by God. He made this clear and very obvious in His Word. He said in Genesis 2:18 that it is not good for man to be alone. He went on to say He would make a help meet (suitable) for him.

HOW GOD DID IT

It is recorded in Genesis 2:21-25:

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

God created woman and brought her to Adam. It was God who taught them the meaning of marriage. When they were brought together, it was no doubt the original example of love at first sight. They were the first couple wedded, as God gave the command to “be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it.”

God made man and woman for each other. It can truthfully be said that God Himself performed the first marriage ceremony, right there in the garden. Marriage is a holy and beautiful institution—a condition ordained and approved by God. It is the first and oldest institution in human society. God ordained this for man’s good and happiness, and simultaneously it is done for God’s own glory.

In New Testament times, Jesus Himself added His blessing to marriage by endorsing the Genesis account of the creation of man and woman for each other. He said:

“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mk. 10:6-9) So our Lord personally confirmed and endorsed marriage as a holy and divine institution. It is significant that Jesus was born into this world within the framework of a home and family. God could have sent His Son into this world in some miraculous way, into a situation devoid of association with the normal family structure. But God chose the home as the instrument through which to introduce the blessed Redeemer to the world.

While our Lord was not conceived in the natural way of procreation (and did not have a human father), Jesus was born into a home. Mary and Joseph were engaged, betrothed to be married. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary before she and Joseph became one in marriage—as is clearly stated in the Word of God. But God instructed Joseph, before Jesus was born, to take Mary as his wife, and to care for her. It thus turned out that Jesus not only had a mother, but Joseph was also present to serve as a father figure during Jesus’ early life—although he was, in truth, his foster father.

JESUS HONORED HIS PARENTS

Luke tells us about our Lord Jesus when was just 12 years old, going to Jerusalem with His parents. Jesus honored His home, and made it a holy institution. He chose to be born into humble circumstances and He honored His parents.

I believe Jesus was raised in a humble home so He could relate to the average person living in the average home. Jesus’ home was one in which the relationship of Joseph and Mary honored and glorified God.

Mary and Joseph loved one another tenderly and together cared for the baby Jesus, God’s own Son. So Jesus had a home, and while not much is said about the first 30 years of His life, there is enough revealed to know that He lived as we do, in a home. Jesus’ early life, therefore, glorified home and marriage. Marriage is often referred to as holy matrimony and certainly it is a divine institution. According to the Bible, matrimony is to be holy. This divine institution of matrimony came long before any other social institution, such as human governments.

The church, of course, is extremely important. As people began to multiply and increase, they began to worship. This can be seen in the biblical account of the history of the Jewish nation. As a separated people, they were given forms of worship by God. One can look back to Mount Sinai and see some of the instructions given for their worship.

The church is made up of believers. It is the body of Christ. It is immensely important and has a rich history. But neither the church nor human government—though divinely ordained—are as old or as sacred as the institution of marriage. This was instituted by God in the garden of Eden, and its importance has not diminished over the 6,000 years of history since its institution.

The Bible tells us that man’s purpose is to fear God and keep His Commandments! In fact, Scripture calls this the whole duty of man. Reading from the THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His Commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Having heard all that can be said in favor of trying to secure happiness in this life by the use of material agents, the conclusion is: It is impossible; the only happy life is one in fellowship with God and the Bible; such fellowship produces the ideal man; any other life is madness, because there is a day coming when every action, however hidden, will be brought into the unsparing light of the Throne of God and judged, unless cleansed and covered by the Blood [I Jn 1:7])” (Eccl. 12:13). God, having revealed Himself to man through His Commandments, explains that the Commandments, if kept, produce perfect moral character. “That the man of God may be perfect (refers to maturity), throughly furnished unto all good works (properly understands the Word, which then produces ‘good works,’ i.e., ‘Godly lives’) (II Tim. 3:17).

HOLINESS

You see, it is not an action, duty, or function that the Lord wants from a Believer. It is Holiness! This is the “good work”He desires from man! If we seek this state, which is pleasing to God and brings Him glory, we are automatically fulfilling our purpose as Believers. Holiness testifies of a Holy God! Holiness is Godliness! If we are not living holy lives, we are not fulfilling God’s Purpose no matter how many religious functions we fulfill. You see, servanthood may be performed with or without the Lord. Therefore, servanthood in and of itself is not a definitive witness to the world. Holiness, on the other hand, demonstrates a miraculous change! It shows that a fallen sinner has been made a Saint. It shows that the curse has been reversed! Hallelujah! And this will inevitably point people to Calvary because they will ask themselves how this new and miraculous Life has come into a once sinful man!

RELATIONSHIP

We must grasp this concept as Believers that Scripture encourages us to “seek first the Kingdom of God” and His Righteousness (Lk. 12:31). The Believer is to pursue a relationship with God rather than function. A Believer’s function will occur naturally out of correct relationship with God, but correct relationship must come first! Notice, this immediately discounts any non-believer from fulfilling any true purpose of God since he is not yet in relationship with God. A call from God is revealed to an individual by the Holy Spirit at the Lord’s Will. If a person does not know the Spirit of God, he cannot know the Spirit’s desire for his life. Also no one, whether Saved or unsaved, can cause God to reveal anything through a program, method, or “forty days of purpose”! God does not answer man-made agendas, nor will He answer to man’s clock! God is sovereign over all. He speaks at His Own Will and in His Own Time.

THE HEART OF MAN

One does not find that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob emphasized “pursuit of purpose” to these Fathers of Faith, but, if we look closely, we can see that this pursuit is actually a very basic instinct within the natural heart of man. This is why we must never forget the warnings in Scripture regarding the heart. The Bible says the heart of man is evil and deceitfully wicked, so we must be cautious of anything that originates there! “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (God knows the hopeless corruption of the natural heart, and so He said to Nicodemus that no one, however cultured and moral, can either see or enter into the Kingdom of God. There must be a new birth)” (Jer. 17:9). Our own hearts will deceive us! It is their very nature to deceive us! Believer, you must trust the Truth of the Word before you trust yourself! You must use the “Sword of the Spirit” to guard against your own devious heart. We are also told in the Book of Romans the true state of man’s heart, even religious man: “As it is written (Ps.14:1-3), There is none righteous, no, not one (addresses the complaint of the Jews and clinches the argument with the Scriptures, which the Jews could not deny): There is none who understands (proclaims total depravity), there is none who seek after God (man left on his own will not seek God and, in fact, cannot seek God; he is spiritually dead). They are all gone out of the Way (speaks of the lost condition of all men; the ‘Way’ is God’s Way), they are together become unprofitable (refers to the terrible loss in every capacity of wayward man); there is none who does good, no, not one (the Greek Text says, ‘useless!’)” (Rom. 3:10-12). This is one reason why pursuing “purpose” is dangerous! It appeals to a prideful heart, it is self-focused.

RELIGIOUS PRIDE

Also, “purpose” can quickly become an obsession, which automatically becomes an idol, a false god in your life. Purpose can become more important than Christ, and this is precisely what we are seeing in the Church world today! People are bent toward finding purposes for their life rather than finding God’s Will for their life. Some feel that if they are serving a “good” purpose in the world, they are automatically serving God. This is not true. God’s Will and a “good” will are not the same thing! A person’s desire for purpose can even control him, sometimes to the point of forsaking loved ones or even his own health. See, someone searching for purpose inevitably discovers something that drives, hence, the idea of the “purpose-driven life.” It must be noted here that the True God of the Bible never forces anyone to obey Him. God gave man free will! “Purpose,” however, can be turned into a type of religious pride (somewhat like asceticism) where the person believes they are “dying to self” in order to fulfill a higher calling or mission from God. But, any function or purpose that is truly from the Lord will only begin within an individual who loves God enough to want to follow Him. No truly God-given Purpose will make you feel that your “sacrifice” is earning favor with God.

TROJAN HORSE

“Self-actualization,” which is the process of reaching one’s highest potential and purpose, has always been at the heart of paganism. It has actually been part of the very core of New Age theology and occult practices for thousands of years. This spirituality/god is said to unite the world while true “Christianity, doctrine, and theology” is said to divide us. The pagan community strives to develop the idea of “wholeness,” which is, in essence, the teaching that a person, both individually and corporately can be regenerated or “saved” through a more thorough and complete understanding of “self.” Alice Bailey (practicing occultist) says that this is “the process for gods and for men . . . it is the hidden mystery of mind and of its place in evolution.” In other words, this is specifically the false salvation process of the occult! Let’s see how the Apostle Paul addressed the people he met at Mars Hill in Athens: “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ Hill, and said, You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious (in this one sentence, he debunks all of their philosophies; they are guided by superstition, which is no way to live). For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions (has reference to their objects of worship), I found an Altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD (by addressing the situation in this way, he could not be accused of preaching a foreign god to them). Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you (refers to them acknowledging that maybe they did not have the last word on gods! actually, they did not have any word at all). God Who made the world and all things therein (presents God as the Creator), seeing that He is Lord of Heaven and Earth (proclaims Him not only as Creator, but the constant Manager of all that He has created as well), dwells not in Temples made with hands (He is bigger than that!); Neither is worshipped with men’s hands (the Second Commandment forbids the making of any graven image of God, or the worship of any type of statue, etc.), as though He needed anything (God needs nothing!), seeing He gives to all life, and breath, and all things (presents His Creation needing what He provides, which is provided by no other source); And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the Earth (proclaims all having their origin in Adam), and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation (pertains to particular parts of the world, and those who occupy these areas; however, the statement, ‘one blood all nations of men,’ eliminates any type of racial superiority); That they should seek the Lord (presents the chief end of all God’s dealings with men [I Pet. 2:24; II Pet. 3:9; Jn. 3:15-20; Rev. 22:17]), if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him (Paul is appealing to the action of logic and common sense in trying to address these Pagans), though He be not far from every one of us: (speaks of the Creator being very close to His Creation)” (Acts 17:22-27). Indeed, ancient Gnosticism has infiltrated the Church,“purpose” being its “Trojan horse!” It has now permeated the modern church and masquerades as true Christianity.

SIN!

And through this infiltration, Christianity has been reduced to merely curing the world’s social problems. New Age proponents are able to teach believable distortions of the Bible to back up their philosophy as they give Biblical words and names (such as Jesus, spirit, Heaven, creation, Adam and Eve, etc.) radical new meanings. Because key words sound familiar, myths and mysticisms seem normal as well as exciting to Believers. Besides, who doesn’t want to help mankind? Who doesn’t want to cure the world of sickness and disease, to end poverty and war? Who doesn’t want to tackle the giants of this world and see them defeated? But this social gospel of “purpose” purports that man can do it without addressing the real problem, which is sin! So instead of focusing on the real problem, the Church has been deceived and led astray to work on its symptoms. We are actually completely avoiding the root cause! How can we solve any problems when the real reason for the problems is overlooked? Instead of preaching Jesus Christ and Him Crucified as the only Way this world can be healed, we are told to partner and work with all kinds of people. But, if these so-called “people of faith” are not believers in the Biblical Faith, how will there ever be any unity? The Cross is the only foundation that proper unity can be built upon, but our modern leaders are telling the Church, which was established by Jesus Christ, to partner with other religions of this world and their unchristian beliefs. We are told to partner with homosexuals, Allah, Joseph Smith, Buddha, Madeline O’Hara, atheists, Hindus, Roman Catholics, and other non-Christians. We are told to care more about our own teachings, writings, and reading, than about preaching Jesus Christ and Him Crucified! We are taught to care more about man’s temporal needs than his eternal soul which will live either forever in Heaven or forever in Hell! Church, our priorities are being completely scrambled right before our eyes!

MATERIAL HELP?

This modern false gospel is not demonstrating the Love of a shepherd whatsoever! Man will choose where he spends his eternity, and our mandate from God is to go into all the world and preach the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only way mankind will realize they have such a crucial choice to make! Of course, this does not mean that we ignore human suffering. The Word of the Lord does say, “But whoso has this world’s goods (refers to the necessities of life), and sees his brother have need (it is seeing a Christian in need of the necessities of life over a long period), and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him (presents the individual who has the means to truly help, but refuses to do so), how dwells the Love of God in him? (His actions proclaim the fact that despite his profession, there is actually no love of God in him.)” (I Jn. 3:17). Jesus does lead us at times to provide material help to those in need, but this is not to be our focus. Did Jesus enter into Jerusalem or any other place to work with either the Roman government or the Jewish religious establishment to eradicate the city’s poverty, disease, and illiteracy? Did he go to Pilate and say, “Let’s work together to eliminate poverty?” No! Did He say to the Pharisees and Sadducees, “Let’s join hands although we don’t agree on everything to defeat illiteracy?” Again, no! Although Jesus cared deeply for those who were suffering, He did not join hands with unbelievers. He said in Matthew 26:11: “For you have the poor always with you; but Me ye have not always.” What about the Apostles, did they enter into cities to work with pagans and unbelievers to care for the sick and educate the next generation? Of course not! They went, instead, to bring the greatest “help” afforded to any man, “the Gospel of Jesus Christ!”

“After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia (represented an area east of the Ephesus area): but the Spirit suffered them not (proclaims the door being closed to this area as well!).

“And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas (this area would be closed for the time being also).

“And a Vision appeared to Paul in the night (proclaims the Holy Spirit now telling the Apostle exactly where He wanted him to go); there stood a man of Macedonia (the northern part of modern Greece, from the Adriatic to the Hebrus River), and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us (thus, was ushered in the most momentous event in the history of the world, the going forth of Paul to take the Gospel to the nations of the West).

“And after he had seen the Vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia (by the use of the pronoun ‘we,’ we know that Luke, the writer of this Book of Acts, now joins Paul here at Troas), assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them (they knew they now had the Mind of the Lord).

“Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis (this would be the very first presentation of the Gospel on European soil, which would have such a bearing on what is presently referred to as ‘Western Civilization’)” (Acts 16:7-11).

This was their message, and the spreading of their Message was God’s Purpose for their lives! The Message was their Good Work!

By Frances Swaggart

Topic of discussion is a continuation of Crucified With Christ -Conformed Into the Image of Christ. Galatians 2:20-21

Understand that just because one operates in a gift or ability does not mean that one is living a crucified life. Our character must be changed to match that of Christ and the process of denying self must be applied daily. This is a spiritual work which can only be done by the Holy Spirit when our faith is properly placed in the Cross of Christ.

Topic of discussion is Crucified With Christ -Life Comes as a Result of Being Dead. Galatians 2:20-21

To be crucified with Christ is to be dead (the power of the flesh, sin….etc no longer dominates you) to the world system, religion, self, sin and Satan. It means that we no longer strive to live for self, nor our old life as we have known it. The passions and lust which controlled us before Salvation should be nailed (destroyed) to His Cross. This is necessary so that the life of Christ can be manifested through us.

Too many of us give our lives to Christ and then try to live for God based upon our old way of living, thinking, traditions and self efforts. The only way that the life of Christ can be revealed through you and I, as believers, is if we place our focus and faith not on our ministry, not on our gifts and abilities, and not on works but on where we began this Christian life which is by faith in the Cross of Christ and where we shall end this life by exhibiting faith in the Cross of Christ.

Understand that just because one operates in a gift or ability does not mean that one is living a crucified life. Our character must be changed to match that of Christ and the process of denying self must be applied daily. This is a spiritual work which can only be done by the Holy Spirit when our faith is properly placed in the Cross of Christ.

Topic of discussion is “Crucified With Christ” Romans 6, Galatians 2:20-21

To be crucified with Christ is to be dead (the power of the flesh, sin….etc no longer dominates you) to the world system, religion, self, sin and Satan. It means that we no longer strive to live for self, nor our old life as we have known it. The passions and lust which controlled us before Salvation should be nailed (destroyed) to His Cross. This is necessary so that the life of Christ can be manifested through us.

Too many of us give our lives to Christ and then try to live for God based upon our old way of living, thinking, traditions and self efforts. The only way that the life of Christ can be revealed through you and I, as believers, is if we place our focus and faith not on our ministry, not on our gifts and abilities, and not on works but on where we began this Christian life which is by faith in the Cross of Christ and where we shall end this life by exhibiting faith in the Cross of Christ.

Understand that just because one operates in a gift or ability does not mean that one is living a crucified life. Our character must be changed to match that of Christ and the process of denying self must be applied daily. This is a spiritual work which can only be done by the Holy Spirit when our faith is properly placed in the Cross of Christ.