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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Authentic Christian II

Note - This lesson was prompted by a Bible study I'm in by Erilynn Barnum in the Call To Discipleship ministry, "Authentic Christianity", Lesson 2. Power Given. She is a wonderful teacher!

2 Peter 1:1-11 (King James Version - KJV) (1) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: (2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (3) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Let's look at some different translations:

2 Peter 1:1-11 (Amplified Version - AV) 1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Confirming One’s Calling and Election 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:1-11 (Easy To Read Version - ERV) (1) Greetings from Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To all of you who share in the same valuable faith that we have. This faith was given to us because our God and Savior Jesus Christ always does what is good and right. (2) Grace and peace be given to you more and more, because now you know God and Jesus our Lord. (3) Jesus has the power of God. And his power has given us everything we need to live a life devoted to God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus chose us by his glory and goodness, (4) through which he also gave us the very great and rich gifts that he promised us. With these gifts you can share in being like God. And so you will escape the ruin that comes to people in the world because of the evil things they want. (5) Because you have these blessings, do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge; (6) to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God; (7) to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love. (8) If all these things are in you and growing, you will never fail to be useful to God. You will produce the kind of fruit that should come from your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) But those who don't grow in these blessings are blind. They cannot see clearly what they have. They have forgotten that they were cleansed from their past sins. (10) My brothers and sisters, God called you and chose you to be his. Do your best to live in a way that shows you really are God's called and chosen people. If you do all this, you will never fall. (11) And you will be given a very great welcome into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a kingdom that never ends.

In Authentic Christian I, we learned a little about the Apostle Peter and where these letters came from. Peter introduced himself in vs 1 as a "servant and apostle of Jesus Christ". In this letter to the Roman church, he is dealing with internal problems. After he introduces himself, he directs his letter to "them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ". The church has the same faith as the Apostle Peter. It has been passed down from Jesus Christ to His Disciples who became the Apostles and started the early church. It was passed down from the Apostles to the first church and through true believers to each generation. I have the same faith.

Let's look at 2 Peter 1:2 in a little more detail.
"Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Confirming One’s Calling and Election"

This is similar to his first letter to the Roman church:

1 Peter 1:2 (Contemporary English Version - CEV) God the Father decided to choose you as his people, and his Spirit has made you holy. You have obeyed Jesus Christ and are sprinkled with his blood. I pray that God will be kind to you and will keep on giving you peace!

Let's read that verse in some different versions:
1 Peter 1:2 (Easy To Read Version - ERV)
God planned long ago to choose you and to make you his holy people, which is the Spirit's work. God wanted you to obey him and to be made clean by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I pray that you will enjoy more and more of God's grace and peace.

1 Peter 1:2 (Modern King James Version - MKJV) according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

1 Peter 1:2 (Young's Literal Translation - YLT) according to a foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied!

1 Peter 1:2 (International Standard Version - ISV) the people chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father through the sanctifying action of the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus, the Messiah, and to be sprinkled with his blood. May grace and peace be yours in abundance!

God made His Plans before the foundation of the world. He planned long ago for our existence, knowing our fall into sin and how He would save us from our sins through His Son, Jesus Christ. It was the beginning of an epic story (meaning a long and extremely important story). He had every intention of providing for us a way to be saved from our iniquities. He is a God of love, grace and mercy. He manifested it with His Plan of Salvation (what we call the gospel, the good news). It was His Grace and Mercy. Grace means He gave us what we did not deserve. Mercy means He withheld what we did deserve. We did not deserve forgiveness, salvation, sanctification and eternity with Him! But He gave them to us anyway! That is His grace! We deserve punishment and an eternity in hell because of our sins and our hostility towards Him who made us. But He provided a substitution for us in His Son, Jesus Christ! That is His mercy!

Back to 2 Peter 1: 2, (Amplified)
"Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Confirming One’s Calling and Election"

Peter's prayer for them is "grace and peace be yours in abundance". How? "through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord".

He prays "divine favour to them, and the advancement and growth of the work of grace in them, and that peace with God and in their own consciences (which cannot be without grace) may abound in them" - Matthew Henry Commentary

Knowing God's grace, experiencing it, brings us peace. We have peace with God. We were once an enemy of God but He has brought us close through Jesus. We have been reconciled with Him. This peace flows throughout my life. I will get upset, cry, depressed, grieve. But not as one without hope! I know my eternity is assured and that peace with God is priceless!

The Greek gnosis is the common noun for knowlege. The word for "knowledge" here is epignosis in Greek - epí, "on, fitting" which intensifies gnosis, knowledge gained through first-hand relationship; experiential knowing - Strong's Greek Concordance

"The word for 'knowledge' (epignosis) hovers between the meaning of 'complete knowledge' and the recognition which implies love...not an abstract speculative knowledge, but that which implies a fulness of contemplation, loving as well as knowing." - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and College

We cannot learn John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life" by rote and say we know Jesus Christ. We cannot memorize Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" and say we are saved. It is not just knowledge that saves us. It is the knowledge joined with faith and a relationship with Christ that saves us. We must experience His saving grace. I can go to a religious school. I can memorize portions of the Bible. I can pass tests on the history of the Jews and the first church. I can attend archaeological digs that prove the existence of a worldwide flood. But none of that saves me! We must hear the gospel; we must choose faith; and, we must accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. It is not just an assent, but an assent and a new direction. We turn around with a new life and a new direction. It is the beginning of a relationship with Jesus Christ. The word "repentance", metanoéō, not only means regret and remorse for your sins, but turning away from sin and walking in a new direction. It indicates a changed mind; to change one's mind or purpose; "used especially of those who, conscious of their sins and with manifest tokens of sorrow, are intent; on obtaining God's pardon; to repent" - Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.

This doesn't mean that we suddenly begin to walk sinlessly through life. We still have our sinful human nature to contend with until we die. But we think differently; we have a new direction; we have a new standard that we judge all things by. When we come up lacking, realizing we have sinned, we can go before our Savior and be forgiven. If we were unsaved, we wouldn't care.

Not let's go to 2 Peter 1: 3 (KJV)
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Once we choose Christ; once we have repented and been forgiven; once our faith has been activated and we lovingly trust in God, then God bestows upon us His Holy Spirit. God is a godhead, 3 in one. He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All equally God, all equally divine and all with specific ministries. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to lead the unsaved to the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ and, once we have accept Christ, to dwell in us to aid us in our new walk as Christians.

John 16:7-15 (KJV) Nevertheless I [Jesus] tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

John 16:7-15 (YLT) `But I tell you the truth; it is better for you that I go away, for if I may not go away, the Comforter will not come unto you, and if I go on, I will send Him unto you; and having come, He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment; concerning sin indeed, because they do not believe in me; and concerning righteousness, because unto my Father I go away, and no more do ye behold me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world hath been judged. `I have yet many things to say to you, but ye are not able to bear them now; and when He may come--the Spirit of truth--He will guide you to all the truth, for He will not speak from Himself, but as many things as He will hear He will speak, and the coming things He will tell you; He will glorify me, because of mine He will take, and will tell to you. `All things, as many as the Father hath, are mine; because of this I said, That of mine He will take, and will tell to you;

John 16:6-15 (ERV) But you are filled with sadness because I have told you all this. (7) Let me assure you, it is better for you that I go away. I say this because when I go away I will send the Helper to you. But if I did not go, the Helper would not come. (8) "When the Helper comes, he will show the people of the world how wrong they are about sin, about being right with God, and about judgment. (9) He will prove that they are guilty of sin, because they don't believe in me. (10) He will show them how wrong they are about how to be right with God. The Helper will do this, because I am going to the Father. You will not see me then. (11) And he will show them how wrong their judgment is, because their leader has already been condemned. (12) "I have so much more to tell you, but it is too much for you to accept now. (13) But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth. He will not speak his own words. He will speak only what he hears and will tell you what will happen in the future. (14) The Spirit of truth will bring glory to me by telling you what he receives from me. (15) All that the Father has is mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will tell you what he receives from me.

Here we have Jesus' own Words promising us that He would send the Holy Spirit to us. The Holy Spirit has a ministry and Jesus describes it here.

"He [Holy Spirit] will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment"

Jobs of the Holy Spirit, His Office, His Ministry in this world according to this scripture is to
1) Convict the world of sin
  • In the 3 translations above: "He will reprove the world of sin". "He will convict the world concerning sin". "He will show the people of the world how wrong they are about sin."
  • "Of sin, because they believe not on Me". "concerning sin indeed, because they do not believe in Me". "He will prove that they are guilty of sin, because they don't believe in Me."
2) Convict the world of righteousness

  • "He will reprove the world,... of righteousness". "He will convict the world...concerning righteousness". "He will show the people of the world... about being right with God".
  • "Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see Me no more". "concerning righteousness, because unto my Father I go away, and no more do ye behold Me". "He will show them how wrong they are about how to be right with God.The Helper will do this, because I am going to the Father. You will not see Me then".
3) Convict the world of judgment

  • "He will reprove the world of ... of judgment." "He will convict the world... concerning judgment". "He will show the people of the world... about judgment".
  • "Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged". "concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world hath been judged". "And he will show them how wrong their judgment is, because their leader has already been condemned".

The Holy Spirit moves about this world preparing the hearts of those who will accept Jesus as their Savior. For me, it was when I was 8 yrs old. For you, it may have been as a teenager, or a young adult. For some, sadly, it is on their death bed. But the Holy Spirit never ceases to work, to draw all men to Christ. It is only after you've taken your last breath, that His attempts are over. If you resist Him all the way to death's door, you will be lost and will go to hell forever. This is not God's Will. He did not go to all this trouble and give His Son to die a horrible death on the cross in order that His Created Human Beings would spend eternity in hell. He did not send His Holy Spirit to work every second of every day to try to get you to turn to Jesus because He wanted people to go to hell. He wants people to be saved. He planned you, He created you, He provided salvation for you, He sent His Spirit to draw you and He did it all so you would be saved.

Once you are saved, the Holy Spirit moves inside you and works alongside your new spirit. You have been born again. You have a new spirit living inside of you. This baby spirit needs help. God did not leave us alone in this world to struggle to be a Christian and to do good works in our own puny strength! So often, we try to do everything all by ourself. And we will fail. Our flesh in not able to do what God requires. But, thank God, we are not by ourselves. The Holy Spirit now lives within us to teach us, train us and empower us.

John 16:7 (KJV) "Nevertheless I [Jesus] tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."

The word for the "Comforter" in Greek here is paráklētos. Called alongside. It means called to one's aid; an Advocate; Helper; a legal Advocate who makes the right judgment-call because He is close enough to the situation; Intercessor; Consoler; Comforter - Strongs Exhaustive Greek Concordance

According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon, paraclete is properly, summoned, called to one's side, especially called to one's aid; hence,

1. "one who pleads another's cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant; an advocate": Demosthenes, p. 341, 11; (Diogenes Laërtius 4, 50, cf. Dio Cassius, 46, 20.

2. universally, one who pleads another's cause with one, an intercessor: Philo, de mund. opif. § 59; de Josepho § 40; in Flaccum §§ 3 and 4; so of Christ, in his exaltation at God's right hand, pleading with God the Father for the pardon of our sins, 1 John 2:1 (in the same sense, of the divine Logos in Philo, vita Moys. iii. § 14).

3. in the widest sense, a helper, succorer (one who gives encouragement, aid, support), aider, assistant; so of the Holy Spirit destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles (after his ascension to the Father), to lead them to a deeper knowledge of gospel truth, and to give them the divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom: John 14:16, 26; John 15:26; John 16:7, cf. Matthew 10:19; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11f...

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him, all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

I'm so thankful to my Father God who created me, created this world for me. I'm so thankful for my salvation through Jesus Christ and I'm so thankful for the work of the Holy Ghost who got the message of the gospel through to me and now lives in me to help me live a Christ-like life.

Let's go back to our lesson scripture in 2 Peter 1: 3, His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

We are not helpless! We are not alone! In our flesh, we are weak. But where we are weak, He is strong! He enables us, empowers us. We are His vessels and we contain the Holy Spirit. I sort of think of myself like a sock monkey puppet. With no hand inside, the puppet is weak, crumpled, limp. But with someone's hand it becomes animated, able to move, someone's mouth gives it speech.

I am NOT saying that we are puppets without a will. I AM saying that my flesh is weak and I have chosen my Master. I try to remember to submit to Him because He is able and I am not. I have a free will and a sinful human nature that gets me in trouble. But if I repent and ask forgiveness, He is always there to forgive me. Then, if I submit to Him and give Him my life, my body, my words, my time, my energy, my talent, my relationships, my money, my education, etc, He will take control. Why would I surrender my will to His? Because I will make a mess, an ugly mess of things, of my life. All the resources He gave me, I will misuse or abuse and end up with a mess. But He uses the same resources, with His Power, to make something beautiful of my life!

God gives us energy, talents, an intelligent mind, a physical body. Then He builds on that by giving us free education here in America, at least through high school. We may have jobs that give us money to spend. We have a car to drive, a home to live in. We may have a spouse and children. All these are gifts throughout our lives. But how many people misuse or abuse these gifts? They use their intelligence and energy to figure out ways to rob people. They use their education to become a professor who teaches there is no God in his/her classes. They may use that singing talent God gave them to sing filthy songs full of hate, illicit sex, cursing, etc. They may use their car God provided to pick up people to take them to a wild party or to race or to run from the police. They may use their physical bodies to take drugs, participate in sex outside of marriage or to stay drunk. In fact, I've said this a million times... if you made a list of all the things you could do to mess up your life, a good portion of people seem to go down that list checking them off. Then they wonder why their life is such a mess? All these things complicate our lives, ruining them.
  • Drugs/alcohol
  • Sex outside of marriage (If you are married and having an affair outside your marriage, it's called adultery. If you are single and having an affair, or "hooking up" as they say now, it's called fornication. That's the difference.)
  • Perverted sex (such as pedophilia, homosexuality, sadism/masochism, bestiality, etc)
  • Hate
  • Gluttony
  • Sloth (laziness; reluctance to work or make an effort)
  • Pride
  • Stealing
  • Killing
  • Lying
  • ...etc

How many of us could go through the list of bad behaviors and check them off? We all can check some off and some of us could check most or all of them off. Been there, done that! We make a mess of our lives and make a mess in the lives of others around us. We end up in divorce; as addicts; fat; so full of pride that our lives rotate around ourselves; as thieves; in jail for murder; etc. We take the resources God gave us and misused or abused them and we pay the consequences for our mistakes.

It's not someone else's fault. Even if you were raped as a pre-teen. That was not your fault. But how did you react in that situation? Did you have hate? I could understand it if you did! Did you become a glutton, greedily eating all that you could only to "purge" as a bulimic? Did you talk yourself into shoplifting because you deserve it because of what someone did to you? A traumatic experience that was NOT your fault can lead to destructive behaviors that ARE your fault. You use the horrible experience as an excuse to misuse or abuse the blessings God has given you. Are you punishing the rapist? Yourself? Your parents? God?

John 8: 34, "Truly, truly, I [Jesus] say to you, Whoever practices sin is the slave of sin."

We make a mess of things. Our lives can get out of control and we dive bomb into a pit of despair. We are in bondage to our sinful lusts. Listen, I'm no different. I've sinned. And I've fallen into pits of despair. But I have a secret weapon! Living inside of me is the Holy Spirit. I may be weak, sinful, and a mess but God loves me. He forgives me. And His Spirit lives inside of me. I don't have to continue on in mess. I don't have to continue to live in sin. I don't have to continue to fall and fail over and over again. His divine power is all I need! It's all you need!

Some people think they have done such awful things that they can never be forgiven. That is backwards pride. Do you really think God's power is limited? Do you really think the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross cannot cover any sin a human being can commit? Is Jesus so puny of a God? Is there something so "special" about you that your sins are unforgivable? It's like they think, "Poor little God, I'm too big a project for Him to take on. There is no way puny, pathetic God can overcome my sins."

Mark 3:20-22 (ERV) Then Jesus went home, but again a large crowd gathered there. There were so many people that he and his followers could not eat. (21) His family heard about all these things. They went to get him because people said He was crazy. (22) And the teachers of the law from Jerusalem said, "Satan is living inside him! He uses power from the ruler of demons to force demons out of people."
Mark 3:28-29 (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible - LITV) "Truly I say to you, All the sins will be forgiven to the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they have blasphemed; (29) but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit has no remission unto the age, but is liable to eternal judgment"

Blasphemy - blasphēmía (from blax, "sluggish/slow," and phḗmē, "reputation, fame") – blasphemy – literally, slow (sluggish) to call something good (that really is good) – and slow to identify what is truly bad (that really is evil). - Strong's Exhaustive Greek Concordance

Blasphemy is vilification (especially against God). It is such a state of wilful, determined opposition to God and the Holy Spirit, that no efforts will lead to repentance. Blasphemy is not just a one-time offense; rather, it is an ongoing attitude of rebellion – a stubborn way of life that continually resists, rejects and insults the Holy Spirit. The one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (John 3:18; 3:36). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible. ‘My spirit shall not always strive with man,’ God said (Genesis 6:3).

The unforgivable sin is resisting the work of the Holy Spirit. If you continue to deny Jesus Christ as the Messiah, Savior, the Son of God and you continue to resist His offer of salvation, then, yes, you are unforgiven and you will reside in hell for eternity. But that's the only unforgivable sin. I don't care if you are another Jeffery Dahmer, with murders out the wazoo. You can be forgiven. You may still have to face the consequences of your sins but you are forgiven and God no longer sees your sins, He sees Jesus Christ's righteousness. Others may not forgive you, but God does. You may still struggle with feeling guilty but God no longer condemns you. You are under no more condemnation because of what Jesus did for you and for me. And I don't know a human being's last seconds in this world. They may have rejected Christ throughout their lives but the Holy Spirit was able to soften their heart and get the message through in their last minutes. In fact, it's possible that facing imminent death is what it takes to get them to drop their resistance and call out for God. On the other hand, they may resist with their last breath and then they are gone. There is no need to pray for someone who is dead. Their eternity is assured one way or the other. Our prayers should then turn to their loved ones and we can pray for their salvation.

My point is that if we are saved, the Holy Spirit lives within us. We no longer have to live a life of defeat. God has a different way of looking at things. We may be poor as church mice but if our spirit has grown, matured and taken hold of the help of the Holy Spirit, then we are a success in God's eyes. The world may see us as poor, demented, sick, etc but God sees the real us and He knows if our spirit is strong and growing. That is what is important to him. Living in an 18,000 sq foot mansion is not success in God's eyes. Being President of the United States doesn't mean success in God's eyes. Being a rock star does not mean success in God's eyes. As we know, many times these things hide a miserable, lonely, mentally sick individual.

You and I have the privilege of having God's very Spirit living in us to help us! Have you ever stopped and looked at the world in all it's beauty and majesty? Most of us have and we are in awe. God created this universe, this planet, this world with a few words. That is how powerful He is! Have you ever read the Bible and read the stories of God's power manifested in the miracle stories? He parted the Red Sea so that the Jews could cross on dry ground! That's how powerful God is! Have you read about the life of Jesus and His death and resurrection? How much power did it take to rescue us and take on the sins of the world, past, present and future and dump them in hell back on the devil's doorstep? Well, that same power is available to us! If we want to be Christ-like, live a spiritually victorious life, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us do just that!

Psalm 147:1 (ERV) Praise the LORD because he is good. Sing praises to our God. It is good and pleasant to praise him.
Psa 147:4-6 (ERV) He counts the stars and knows each of them by name. Our Lord is great and powerful. There is no limit to what he knows.  The LORD supports the humble, but he shames the wicked.

Our God is a mighty God! And He is willing and able to help us live as He asks us to live. If we have the desire to live His Way, and His Holy Spirit is within us, then there is no stopping us! Hallelujah!

He lays the foundations bare and reveals the truth.
Psalm 18:1b-3 (English Standard Version - ESV) I love you, O LORD, my strength.(2)The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (3) I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
Psalm 18:6-7 (ESV) In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.  (7)  Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.
Psalm 18:15-17 (ESV) Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.  (16)  He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. (17) He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.

Just as God heard Jesus as He was nailed to the cross, He hears us. He hears us when we cry out and He comes running! His power will rattle the foundations and lay bare the foundations. There will be no hiding from Him. We cannot hide from Him and neither can our enemies. They can be so glib and lie to your face, but God sees and knows all and He is working for us not against us because we are His children!

Titus 2:11-14 (KJV) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (12) teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly, righteously and godly, in this present world, (13)  looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (14) who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify to Himself a special people, zealous of good works.

Romans 8:10-15 (KJV) And if Christ is in you, indeed the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (11) But if the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised up Christ from the dead shall also make your mortal bodies alive by His Spirit who dwells in you. (12) Therefore, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. (13) For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die. But if you through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (15) For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!

2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV) And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-9 (Contemporary English Version - CEV) Finally, my dear friends, since you belong to the Lord Jesus, we beg and urge you to live as we taught you. Then you will please God. You are already living that way, but try even harder. (2) Remember the instructions we gave you as followers of the Lord Jesus. (3) God wants you to be holy, so don't be immoral in matters of sex. (4) Respect and honor your wife. (5) Don't be a slave of your desires or live like people who don't know God. (6) You must not cheat any of the Lord's followers in matters of sex. Remember, we warned you that he punishes everyone who does such things. (7) God didn't choose you to be filthy, but to be pure. (8) So if you don't obey these rules, you are not really disobeying us. You are disobeying God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (9) We don't have to write you about the need to love each other. God has taught you to do this,

We cannot live a holy, godly, righteous life just by trying hard enough. Our flesh is weak and we will fail. We may want to, but we can't seem to do it.

Romans 7:15-25 (CEV)In fact, I don't understand why I act the way I do. I don't do what I know is right. I do the things I hate.(16) Although I don't do what I know is right, I agree that the Law is good. (17) So I am not the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them.(18) I know that my selfish desires won't let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot. (19) Instead of doing what I know is right, I do wrong.  (20)  And so, if I don't do what I know is right, I am no longer the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them. (21) The Law has shown me that something in me keeps me from doing what I know is right.  (22)  With my whole heart I agree with the Law of God. (23) But in every part of me I discover something fighting against my mind, and it makes me a prisoner of sin that controls everything I do.  (24)  What a miserable person I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is doomed to die? (25) Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me. So with my mind I serve the Law of God, although my selfish desires make me serve the law of sin.

But if I want to live a godly life and God's Holy Spirit lives within me, then I can be victorious. It's a daily, hourly submission which is why we can get off course pretty fast. We can be reading the Bible and praying on our way to work, only to trip over a piece of trash on our way in the door and utter a curse. We were victorious by choosing to read the Holy Bible before leaving for work. We were victorious when we spent time with God in prayer on the drive. But we sinned when we uttered that curse word. Of course, you will know right away that you did something wrong because the Holy Spirit lives within you. And, hopefully you take the time to utter a prayer asking for forgiveness and ask the Holy Spirit to help you be stronger next time.

This is called the process of sanctification. How can we help ourselves? By spending as much time with God and His Word as we can. The closer we get to God, the more we realize our sinfulness and His grace and mercy. Sometimes I can't get passed praising and worshiping Him as I pray and I never get to my requests. God knows what's in my heart and the needs in my life and those I care about. But I get to thinking about all that He's done for me and I just worship! This is what I call true communion. My love flowing to Him and His love flowing to me in a circle of love. The more He loves me, the more I love Him.

1 John 4:19 (MKJV) We love Him because He first loved us.

This is the true knowledge. I know it with my head, but I experience it in my spirit. That is how I know I'm saved. The Holy Spirit is the seal of that salvation.

Ephesians 1:13 (CEV) Christ also brought you the truth, which is the good news about how you can be saved. You put your faith in Christ and were given the promised Holy Spirit to show that you belong to God.

Revelation 9:1-6 (CEV) When the fifth angel blew his trumpet, I saw a star fall from the sky to earth. It was given the key to the tunnel that leads down to the deep pit.  (2)  As it opened the tunnel, smoke poured out like the smoke of a great furnace. The sun and the air turned dark because of the smoke.  (3)  Locusts came out of the smoke and covered the earth. They were given the same power that scorpions have.  (4)  The locusts were told not to harm the grass on the earth or any plant or any tree. They were to punish only those people who did not have God's mark on their foreheads.  (5)  The locusts were allowed to make them suffer for five months, but not to kill them. The suffering they caused was like the sting of a scorpion.  (6)  In those days people will want to die, but they will not be able to. They will hope for death, but it will escape from them.

That mark is a seal that proves we are true believers, true Christians. That mark reveals the Holy Spirit within us. We are God's people and nothing can separate us from His Love!

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, 1 Peter 1:3

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