Did you ever read this?
Before, You were dead because of your failures and sins. You drifted along on the stream of this world’s ideas of living, and obeyed its unseen ruler (who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth of God), but you surrenderd to Christ and to you, He gave life!
That is how all of us lived in the past. We followed what our corrupt desires and thoughts wanted us to do. This is why we deserved God’s anger.
But, [read that word again! “BUT“] even though we were dead in our sins [Ooh, we certainly were, weren’t we?], Yahweh, who is rich in mercy, AND because of the great love he had for us, gave us life together with Christ! [See that? Life together with Christ! Without Him, you ain’t got no life!]. (Just remember that it is God’s Grace that saved you. You didn’t do a blame thing to earn or achieve this. It was purely and solely because of His Grace and love for us that He has lifted us right out of our old life to take our place with him in Christ in the Heavens!)
That’s right! Don’t go getting all puffy and prideful about it. You don’t deserve ANY of it! He did it all, and He did this through Christ Yeshua out of His generosity, His love and mercy was His gift to you. Gift? Huh? Hey, if it was the aniversary of the day you were born or Christmas Day, you expect gifts! But why did Yahweh chose to give us this gift?
Well, quite simply, it was to demonstrate His extremely rich and all-encompusing Love for us. Huh? That’s right, Yahweh saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. So don’t go bragging about it!
What I am saying is that He has made us what we are! He has created us in Christ Yeshua, now get this: to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:1-10)
Another way of saying this is:
“We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them!”
Whoa, whoa! Is Paul saying that if we don’t walk in “good works,” “obedience,” we won’t have this life anymore, this gift? Well, yes. But, no.
There is a belief, a heresy, to be frank. That many are teaching. This teaching says that we can choose to accept Christ, but only because we need Him as Savior. But also that we have the right to postpone our obedience to Him as Lord, for as long as we want to! Wrong! That is not what the Scriptures say.
Peter plainly wrote that we are “Long ago, our Father knew and chose us to be made holy [How?] by his Spirit, [But why?] that we might obey [Ooh, that dirty word] Jesus Christ and [now get this] to be cleansed by his blood” (I Peter 1:2).
I challenge you to read Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, again. Obedience isn’t separate from our new birth! The point of the new birth is due to the fact that in our old birth, our carnal life, we were unable to be Holy and Obedient. There wasn’t even a desire to be! As a result, His Son was tortured and died on that Cross so we could receive our new life! Once we have received that new life, we not only have the desire to live Holy and Obedient (which we never had before), we now have the power, the ability to be Holy and Obedient.
There is your proof of Salvation! If you have no desire for obedience, you do not have that New Life! Ooh, ooh! Now, if you have the desire, then you also have the power! It is there inside of you and all you have to do it rely on that power and allow the Spirit of God to release it in your Life! If you have the one (desire), you now possess both! The desire AND the power!
Several years ago I taught this at the church I was Pastoring, I said,
“Hey, after I teach this, if any of you tell me again that you’re just human, I’ll slap you”
I found out later that when I said that, one of the members of our church, a football coach in a local high school, told me I scared him. lol
Here is the scenario: You are attempting to lose weight but sitting on the counter in front of you is a CHOCOLATE CAKE! In your mind, you are thinking, “Ooh, just one slice won’t hurt me.” Oh, you silly one. From all of your past experiences, you can’t eat just one slice! You step closer but choosing to ignore that “still, small voice” of your reborn spirit. You start reaching for that cake . . . Suddenly, the much more pronounced voice of the Holy Spirit proclaims, “You have the POWER!”
Or, maybe you are all alone, no one is home and you realize that you can easily access those Intenet sites without anyone knowing and afterward, you can seclude yourself in a dark and private place to satisfy your desires. Oh, but choosing to ignore that “still, small voice” of your reborn spirit you turn on your computer . . . Suddenly, the much more pronounced voice of the Holy Spirit proclaims, “You have the POWER!”
Do you get my point? You don’t have to surrender to those unwanted temptations. You may have the desires to be Holy and Pure, but no one ever told you before that you now have the POWER! to fulfill those desires to be Holy and Pure!
The Holy Spirit taught this to me back on June 30th, 1983. I was leading a group of college students in our weekly Wednesday Night Meetings. We named ourselves after Elton Trueblood’s book, The Company of the Committed, and met in our Living Room for a night of worship and teaching.
The Holy Spirit led me to show them how to pray. I began, and it was quite moving, I might say, but then, the Spirit of God seemed to take over and, before two-dozen college students, I was renouncing my habit of smoking (and followed it up by throwing my pack of cigarettes in the trash!) Ooh, everyone began to rejoice and shout. It was a great time in the Holy Ghost! Hallelujah! It became a tremendous night of victory! I didn’t have any regrets or fears. I was free!
However, I woke up Thursday morning, July 1, craving a cigarette. Oh, my flesh was crying out to be satisfied! So, I drove down the street to a gas station and purchased a new pack. But in my spirit, I heard a voice say, “You have the power to walk free of these.” So, I threw the pack away.
Later on Thursday evening, I began to crave a cigarette again. So, once again, I drove down the street to the gas station and purchased another pack. Now, you have to remember that this was back in 1983 and the Government had recently discovered that they could make money on people’s habits and addictions and instituted the “sin tax.” What I mean is that each pack cost me $1.00! (No, it wasn’t much compared to the prices charged today. But still, $1.00 was $1.00).
So, I purchased another pack of cigarettes, but this time, I actually opened the pack. Once again, I heard a voice tell me, “You are free!” However, deep in my human spirit, it dawned on me that I was fighting my fleshly desires, and boy oh boy, those fleshly desires can be pretty loud and annoying! But I began to hear a stronger voice reminding me, “I am free!” I realized I no longer had to submit! I threw that pack away.
The same things happened on Friday (where I actually took a cigarette out of the pack) and Saturday (where I took the cigarette out and put it in my mouth and prepared to light it). I experienced four days of fighting against my flesh. Was it easy? Absolutely not! However, I was fortunate to have a wife who understood these things and while I was lying on our bed Saturday afternoon, she sat on my chest and demanded that I repeat after her,
“I am free of the cigarettes. The power of God has broken its control over me and I am not a slave to my flesh!”
I mumbled the words.
“Repeat it! Say I am free and not a slave to my flesh!”
I mumbled and grumbled my confession.
Finally, after three or four rounds of this, I began to repeat, “I am free and NOT a slave to my flesh!” I began to shout the words. “I am free!” My wife finally got off my chest because I knew, as well as I knew I was living, I was free!
But Holy Moly, on Sunday morning, July 4, 1983, I was in my shower and it hit me, “I am free! I will never again smoke another cigarette for the rest of my life or even be tempted to smoke!” I knew in the depths of my spirit that the battle was WON! And began to dance in the shower!
It is now 2018 and I have not had even the thought of having a cigarette!
All that began when I realized that although I may have had the desire to live a Holy and Pure life (which came when I was reborn in the new life I was given), I also possess the POWER! (Which also came with the rebirth. I just didn’t know it!). You just need to be serious enough, mad enough, fed-up enough that you dare to take your Father’s Word seriously! Now, YOU know. Take authority over the fleshly desires of your body that have been messing your walk of faith and begin to walk Holy and Pure!
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