Saturday, November 23, 2013

Have You Unpacked?

 


Sometimes I think we can get bogged down in our Bible study because trying to study all the Bible has to say about a particular topic can be intimidating so we get discouraged and just read an article in the Good News or download a sermon off the internet instead. Just thinking about trying to learn all the Bible has to say about “hope” for example, can be overwhelming. But we know that if we are to draw nearer to God we need to spend time with Him in His word reading it and studying it; being diligent to present ourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth as it tells us in 2Tim 2:15 and letting the Holy Spirit lead us and teach us as it says in John 14:26.

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So today, I hope to show you how we can take a single verse and dig into it in such a way that it provides us with a meaningful lesson in God’s word.


(1Pet 3:15 KJV)  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

As so many verses in the Bible are, this verse is packed with meaning and wisdom that we might miss if we just read through it without studying some of the elements in order to more fully comprehend it. So today I hope to ‘unpack’ this verse so that we can get a taste of the full flavor of it. I won’t have time to do it completely but hopefully we can get into it enough to understand the process and to get a deeper appreciation for it.



Multiple translations –

(1Pet 3:15 ESV)  but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

(1Pet 3:15 NASB)  but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

One thing we learn from this, for example, is that ‘meekness and fear’ can also be translated ‘gentleness and respect’, or with ‘gentleness and reverence’. Another thing is that ‘sanctify the Lord God in your hearts’ can also mean to ‘sanctify or honor Christ as Lord in your hearts’.

Context –

Context can mean the overall context of who is speaking, to whom it is addressed and what the circumstances were at the time. Those things certainly add to the overall meaning but for the sake of time, we will just look at the simple context today. Let’s read a few verses that come before it and after it.

1Pet 3:8-17 NKJV  Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;  (9)  not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.  (10)  For "HE WHO WOULD LOVE LIFE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, LET HIM REFRAIN HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL, AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.  (11)  LET HIM TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; LET HIM SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT.  (12)  FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE ON THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ARE OPEN TO THEIR PRAYERS; BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL."  (13)  And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?  (14)  But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. "AND DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEIR THREATS, NOR BE TROUBLED."  (15)  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;  (16)  having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.  (17)  For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

So, this speaks of loving one another and having compassion for others, despite how they may treat you. It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

And even if someone were to do us harm don’t be afraid or upset about it, but when asked be ready to calmly and with reverence for God, defend the reason why you are hopeful despite the circumstances, heaping coals of fire on his head, killing him with kindness so to speak. (Prov 25:21-22; Rom 12:20-21)

There’s much more to this than we have time for but we have the general context of verse 15 now.



Reference Lookup - Concordances, Commentaries & Dictionaries

Strong’s Concordance
The word “hope” used here is Strong’s number G1680

Thayer’s Greek Definitions

G1680
ἐλπίς
elpis (el-pece')
Thayer Definition:
1) expectation of evil, fear
2) expectation of good, hope
2a) in the Christian sense
2a1) joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation
3) on hope, in hope, having hope
3a) the author of hope, or he who is its foundation
3b) the thing hoped for
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from a primary elpo (to anticipate, usually with pleasure)
Citing in TDNT: 2:517, 229

Marginal References –

Look over in the margin of your Bible and you probably have a cross-reference verse there that was put there by the publisher or maybe one you wrote in yourself that refers to the part of the verse that says, “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts”. If it’s not there you might go ahead and add it now.

Isa 8:13 KJV  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

To “sanctify”, to consecrate, to set apart as holy or sacred

Isa 8:13 AMP  The Lord of hosts--regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him].

So this part of 1Pet 3:15,  “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts” can mean to set God apart in your heart and to regard Him as holy or sacred and to honor His holy name, to reverence him lest you offend him by fearing what man can do to you and not trusting Him.

Simple word search –

If you have the Bible on your computer, such as e-Sword (e-Sword is a FREE program you can download off the internet and is quite good) you can perform simple word searches to see where else the word is used. For example, a simple word search for “sanctify” would turn up Eze 36:23 and following our context rule we will back up a few verses and start in verse 19 –

Eze 36:19-28 KJV  And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.  (20)  And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.  (21)  But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.  (22)  Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.  (23)  And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.  (24)  For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.  (25)  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  (26)  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  (27)  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.  (28)  And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

So how do we sanctify God in our hearts and honor His holy name? We walk in His statutes and keep His judgments and do them! Otherwise, we can profane His holy name by claiming to be his people but living no differently than the rest of the world does.

“Why”?

Why would they even ask us such a question – “what is the reason for the hope in you?” If we appear to be no different than they are, if they hear nothing from us but groaning and complaining and whining about how bad things are and how much worse they’re likely to get, why on earth anyone would come to us to ask such a question in the first place? It would be silly. It would be ludicrous to ask someone who does not appear to have hope what is the reason for it. This leads to a whole ‘nuther study on what manner of persons we ought to be. (2Pet 3:9-14)

I saved one last Reference lookup to close with –

In 1 Pet 3:15 when it states to be ready to give a “reason” for the hope that is in you. The Greek for used there for “reason”, Strongs G3056, the reason for the hope that is in you is the Greek word, “logos”. Yes, that “logos” the very same word used in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the Word (logos) was with God, and the Word (logos) was God.” The “logos”, Jesus Christ, the Word of God in you is the reason for the hope that lies within. Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col 1:27)

The reason for the hope that lies within each of us is Jesus Christ, the Word of God and as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12) That glory being when we become like Christ. When our bodies are transformed to be like His glorious body. (Php 3:20-21)

So I hope we learned something from this one verse today. And each of us is ready now to open up our Bibles when we get home and do some unpacking!



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e-Sword - http://e-sword.net/
Strong's Concordance - http://www.biblestudytools.com/concordances/strongs-exhaustive-concordance/
Thayer's Greek Definitions - http://biblesuite.com/thayers.htm
Bible Gateway - http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1Pet%203:15&version=KJV;AMP;NASB;ESV;NKJV

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Captive Little Maid

 I think that often kids think they don’t have to be concerned with serving God until they get older. It’s like they get a “free pass” until they reach the age of accountability. They think they don’t need to carry God’s message to others because, well, they’re just kids and who’s going to listen to them anyway. There’s an amazing story in the Bible that tells us that this just isn’t so and I want you to listen to this story and imagine what you would do if it were you.

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Imagine a gang of marauders come ripping through your village; your neighborhood. They’re well organized, well equipped and unstoppable. They’ve taken everyone by surprise and they outnumber you. They‘ve broken into every home in sight and killed anyone who resisted. They’ve wiped out family members, loved ones, even pets. What they didn’t find of value or couldn’t carry they burned and utterly destroyed. Having completed their evil mission they ride off before any emergency first responders or law enforcement can get there.

Now just suppose one of the things they found of value was you, human trafficking. Slavery. You’ve been roughed up and kidnapped and carried back to their camp. Eventually, they carry you off to a foreign land taking their spoils of war and their slaves with them.

That includes you.

How would you feel? Imagine the fear. Imagine the sorrow, the sense of loss and hopelessness of seeing your neighborhood and maybe even your entire family destroyed right before your eyes. Imagine the terror of not knowing what’s going to happen next. And what are they going to do to you?

Now imagine you’re just a ten year old little girl. Does the fear and the lump in your throat grow larger? Does your breathing get more difficult and your heart beat even faster knowing how helpless you are against such an overwhelming force? And now you’re in a foreign country and don’t know where to look for help. What would you do and how would you feel about these men who had done this to you?

Turn to 2 Kings Chapter 5.

King David’s kingdom is gone and Solomon’s kingdom has unraveled and become divided and is fighting with each other. The prophet Elijah is gone and the mantle passed to Elisha who had taken up residence in Samaria. (2Kings 2:13; 6:32) The northern kingdom is being ruled from Samaria by Jehoram I the son of Ahab. The southern kingdom of Judah is being ruled by Jehoshaphat from Jerusalem and they’re continuing to war with each other. If that weren’t enough the Syrians to the northeast ruled by Ben-hadad are beginning to stir and rumors of war are everywhere. Rather than mounting a direct attack by the full host of their army, the Syrians have taken to sending out smaller marauding parties to loot and pillage remote villages just to antagonize them and weaken their resolve; and on such occasions they would bring away grain, cattle, and such of the inhabitants as were proper to make slaves.

2Kings 5:1-16 NKJV
(1)  Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. 

Naaman was the mighty General of the whole Syrian army, well respected, proud and arrogant. However, he had the incurable disease of leprosy, the only disparaging trait to an otherwise honorable and perfect life. In those days doctors were of little help as leprosy was only curable by divine intervention.

(2)  And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife.

We aren’t told much about this little maid, this little girl. We don’t really know how old she was or even what her name was. It could have been Kasi, or Giselle, or Sarah, or Jade, or Jillian, or Sabri, or Bailey, or Rhiannon, or Samantha or Erin or Sophie, or Destiny or Cloe. What is interesting though is that she must have been extraordinary and thought of highly as she ended up being the servant girl to Naaman’s wife. Being the General of the whole Syrian army, he could have had his pick of all the girls taken captive to be the maidservant to his wife and he chose her. Notice her attitude toward this man who held the band of marauders who had murdered and burnt her village under his command.

(3)  Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”

Wow! This helpless little girl had seen firsthand such devastation and mayhem as we hope never to witness, was kidnapped and dragged off to be a slave in a foreign country never to see her family again. What would your attitude have been? Would you have been inclined to make a recommendation about how the man responsible for your condition could be healed or would you relish in the thought that he was tortured day and night by a disease that would irritate him and aggravate him until it would likely be the very cause of his death?

It would have been a normal reaction for Naaman and his wife to ignore what seemed to be the outlandish boasting of a mere child especially one from despised Samaria. To claim that a prophet of a foreign religion could do what all the physicians and priests of his own nation could not, must have seemed laughable at first. But there was something about this little girl that caused Naaman’s wife to believe her and she passed it along to her husband and Naaman was convinced also. Surely Naaman and his household believed the girl’s advice because it was consistent with what they had observed in her life, her faith. She must have exemplified great honesty, integrity and sincerity at other times during her captivity or else Naaman's wife and Naaman himself wouldn't have believed her enough to travel all the way to Israel.


(3)  And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.”
(4)  Then the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing.
(5)  Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy. 

So, Naaman rides out with his entourage in search of this prophet residing in Samaria. Not knowing where he is, he first goes to see the king of Israel. The king freaks out thinking he’s trying to start a war with him but Elisha gets wind of it and sends a message to the king to send him on down to his house.


(7)  And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.”
(8)  So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”

When Naaman gets there he is expecting Elisha to come out and call down the healing power of God and cleanse his leprosy instantly. What happens next sends him into a fit of rage.

(9)  Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house.
(10)  And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” 
(11)   But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’
(12)   Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.

In other words, “you want me to do what?! Do you know who you’re talking to? You expect me to go wash in the filthy muddy water in your Jordan river? The rivers in my home country are much cleaner and fresher than that mudhole! And Elisha didn’t even come out himself. He sent a messenger."

Here’s the mighty Naaman, General of the whole Syrian army. He travels all the way to Samaria looking for this so-called prophet that some little girl happened to mention to his wife. He’s got all this gold and silver with him to pay for this miracle and he was told to go wash in a muddy river instead. Not only was he going to have to wash in the muddy Jordan but he would also have to shave off all his hair, even his eyebrows! You know his men had to be snickering when they heard this. If Naaman was to be healed, he was going to have to humble himself before God. But would he do it?

What he didn’t know is that this was the prescribed formula outlined by God Himself in Leviticus chapter 14. Elisha wasn’t being difficult, he was just following God’s instructions.
(Lev 14:8-9) NKJV He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, and shall stay outside his tent seven days. (9)  But on the seventh day he shall shave all the hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows—all his hair he shall shave off. He shall wash his clothes and wash his body in water, and he shall be clean.

But there was one more bit of information that had he known it at the time he might never have left Syria. Turn to Luke chapter 4.

(Luke 4:27) NKJV
(27) And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.

Elisha had never done this before! Naaman would be the first and only!
(2Kings 5:13-16) NKJV
(13)    And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
(14)   So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
(15)    And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
(16)    But he said, “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused.

So by the small act of faith of a captive little maid the great Naaman, General of the whole Syrian Army came to know the God of Israel.

(Psa 8:2)  NKJV Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

(Psa 27:10)  NKJV When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me.

Even though Elisha had not ever cleansed a leper in Israel before, this little maid, by faith, inferred not only that he could cure her Naaman, and but that he would do it, even though he was a Syrian.

Think about the great risk she took in opening her mouth and bearing testimony of the prophet of God. What if no one had listened to her? What if they laughed at her? What if the prophet hadn't been able to heal Naaman or wouldn’t do it? But she did have the faith to speak. She didn't let her fear keep her silent. She didn’t let resentment or feelings of vengeance keep her from doing what was right. Her story teaches us to have faith even in difficult and scary situations. She believed God and had faith in his healing power. Despite her circumstances, she served God where she was though but a child.

It’s not what happens to us in life that matters. That is a matter of faith that we place in God’s hands and trust in Him for our care. Often we’re put in situations in order that we might learn a lesson to develop our character or that we might be tried that God would know what’s in our hearts. (Deut 8:2) What matters is how we react to the events and circumstances in our lives, our response, what we do. That’s why we’re told to be exceedingly joyful in tribulation (2Cor 7:4) trusting in God and His love for us.

Remember, we are here to serve God and to be good ambassadors of His Kingdom (Eph 6:20) wherever we are no matter the circumstance. And to let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven  (Matt 5:16) regardless of our age or condition or even if we were a captive little girl.



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Saturday, June 8, 2013

I Got This!

www.testeverything.net/
It is human nature to want to control as much of our lives as we can, to get our affairs situated such that things are in order. We like it when we have things all figured out, decisions made, and solutions are put into place.

Take selecting automobile insurance for example. We may research several different companies and compare all the plans that potentially fit our needs. We weigh the options and choose the plan that best fits our requirements. Once in place we rarely feel the need to check it unless the payment has increased to an unacceptable level or our situation changes. We already got it all figured out. It’s been decided and done. We don’t have to mess with it again. We got it under control.

After that, if someone were to bring up car insurance in a conversation a common response in today’s vernacular might be, “I got this!” This means that I just went through this and I got it all figured out and I know just what you need to do.

This expression, “I got this!” has become quite popular and is generally applied to situations where the person saying it implies that he fully understands the situation and knows exactly what to do about it.

The UrbanDictionary defines it as –


An expression that's short for:

1. I got this covered.
2. I got this handled.
3. I got this under control.
Songs by that title by both Big K.R.I.T and Jennifer Hudson
 
We like to be the one that’s “got this”; to be the one that’s in the know that has the inside scoop, that’s got it all figured out. Sometimes I wonder if we in the Church haven’t adopted the same attitude when it comes to the Truth of God. It goes something like this -

We came into the Truth at a time when God opened our minds and we suddenly realized that much of what we had thought to be true up to that point had proven to be false and much of what we thought we had figured out about how things work proved to be a lie. Once we have been enlightened and taste the good word of God (Heb 6:4-5) we go about restructuring our lives around this new belief system and God’s way life. When that’s done though and we’ve gotten everything rearranged, we’ve gotten satisfactory answers to our lifelong questions and settled them in our minds, we no longer have to mess with it. Maybe we’ve been in the Church for 20 years or were born into it. But either way, we got it all figured out. It’s done. We got it under control. We got this!

We got the Truth.
We got the Sabbath.
We got the Holy Days.

We got this! What else do we need? (Rev 3:17)

If we’re not careful we can fall into a superficial obedience without substance, a routine of compliance but without depth of conviction. The original zeal we had when we came into the truth has faded. We’ve satisfied all our original questions. We’ve proven to ourselves that God exists and the seventh day is the Sabbath. We got it all figured out. It’s settled. We’re settled. We got this! So now we just need to go to Sabbath services once a week and observe the Holy Days when they come around. All we have to do now is wait for Christ to return. Really? Do we think we're just going to coast into the Kingdom?

Even the very elect

Jesus Christ himself told us that there is a deception coming, a counterfeit that is going to be so believable that if possible even the very elect will be deceived. (Matt 24:24) That phrase has been haunting me for over a year now, “Even the very elect”. Those who have been given the truth will be deceived if they’re not diligent, (2Pet 1:10) if they’re not watching (Mark 13:33-37) if they’re not careful to continually prove all things. (1Thes 5:21)

Every lie carries with it a kernel of truth. Just enough to allow it to slip in under the radar if we’re not paying close enough attention. Don’t think it’s going to identify itself or be easily recognized. It’s not going to be obvious. It’s going to be so subtle (2Cor 11:3) and so near to the truth that if possible even the very elect will believe it!

That means this “other gospel” (2Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6) is going to look and sound so close to the real thing that those who have not the love of the truth, a real zeal, will believe the lie. (2Thes 2:10) Think you can’t be fooled? The Bible says that to those who received not the LOVE of the truth, God will send a strong delusion. We use that word, “love” pretty casually. I love ice cream. That’s not the kind of love it’s talking about. We have to absolutely fervently LOVE the truth to the exclusion of all that is false, such that we cannot tolerate any untruth or even half-truth. To really seek out and love the truth the way we did when we first came into it (Rev 2:4) and reject all that is even remotely false. We need to know what we believe and know that we know with dead certainty.

Will we be able to recognize the counterfeit when it comes? In order to recognize a counterfeit one must become intimately familiar with the genuine. Let me repeat that. In order to recognize a counterfeit one must become intimately familiar with the genuine.

Are we intimately familiar with the genuine? So intimately familiar that we could tell the difference between the truth of God and a cunningly devised fable (2Pet 1:16) that sounds like the truth? Could we do it without our bibles handy? Have we dug into God’s word so deeply that if someone were to present a carefully crafted half-truth that looks and sounds perfectly legitimate we would be able to tell the difference? Do we have enough oil in our lamps that should our bibles be confiscated we would still be able to tell the difference? (Matt 25:4) If not, I would encourage each of us to get the 12-Lesson Bible StudyCourse and fully ingrain the lessons there. 

The times just ahead are going to be filled with destruction, lawlessness, deception and lies as society breaks down and nations fall. It will be so terrible that Jesus questioned when he returns will he find faith on the earth. (Luke 18:8) It will be a time unlike any other (Matt 24:21) when God removes his hedge of protection and pours out delusion on the masses. (2Thes 2:11) Will we be able to stand fast and hold to the truth amidst the devastation and panic all around us? (Psa 91:7) Will we be able to keep the faith? When thousands around us are falling for the counterfeit and running to embrace the one bringing relief and order to the chaos will we be able to resist going along with the crowd? Will we be able to hold fast to the truth then, when we’re the only ones? When we’re persecuted for not submitting will we have the faith to endure?

If the righteous scarcely be saved

Turn to 1 Peter and let’s look at another phrase that has been preying upon my mind this past year.
1Pet 4:17-19  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  (18)  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  (19)  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
It says even the righteous will scarcely be saved! That doesn’t sound like we can coast our way into the Kingdom to me. We must be diligent to make our calling and election sure. (2Pet 2:10) Are we “the righteous”? What makes us think we’re “the righteous” anyway?

Enemies of the cross of Christ
Php 3:8-21  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  (9)  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  (10)  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  (11)  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  (12)  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus

There is no righteousness of ourselves. It is only by the grace of God through faith in the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Do we know Him? Are we intimately familiar with Him? Did Paul, even Paul, claim, “I got this”?
(13)  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  (14)  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  (15)  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.  (16)  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.  (17)  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.  (18)  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  (19)  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)  (20)  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  (21)  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
 Are we minding earthly things above the things of God? Do we seek first the Kingdom or have we placed our bellies and earthly comforts ahead of God’s calling? Are we so focused on our careers and getting our earthly affairs in order during the rest of the week that we don’t have time to study and fully ingrain the truth of God?

Brethren, the glory of God is so great and vast there’s no way we can know it all. (Ecc 3:11; Rom 11:33; 2Pet 1:4) No, we don’t “got this”! We don’t “got this” at all! We need to dig into our bibles every day renewing the inward man day by day (2Cor 4:16) We need to be on our knees every day continually building our relationship with God and Christ (1John 1:3) striving to draw ever nearer in hopes of being accounted worthy in that day and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36)

There are only two outcomes –
  1. “Well done good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”. (Matt 25:21)
  2. “Depart from me…I never knew you”. (Matt 7:23)

Neglect not the gift that is in you, (1Tim 4:14) but stir up the gift of God. (2Tim 1:6) Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain. (Rev 3:2)

No we don’t “got this”. Jesus Christ has “got this” and we better be about making sure we know Him and have a relationship with Him; that we are intimately familiar with the Genuine and He with us.


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12-Lesson Bible Study Course. (Know and know that you know)

119 Ministries - http://www.testeverything.net

Who Am I

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I strive to be as the Bereans spoken of in Acts 17:10-11 receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and searching the scriptures daily, whether those things are so. Check up on me in your own bible. Should you find me in error please let me know immediately. We must prove all things (1Thes 5:21) and rightly divide the word of truth (2Tim 2:15) together lest we be deceived. (Matt 24:24)

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Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

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