For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;2 Peter 2:4(NASB)
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know... His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:18-20 NIV)
Resurrection is the paramount miracle. Death is the greatest power against God's work, God's likeness, God's purpose. Death is the greatest power in this universe against man; his labors, his hopes, his wellbeing. Death is the last word in the creation as it is. Outside of God there is no power in this universe as great as death. When it has intervened and done its work there is nothing that can reverse or destroy it. In the realm of evil there is no power that exceeds the power of death. This is why, in referring to the resurrection of Christ from the dead, the words are used: "the exceeding greatness of His power" (Eph. 1:19). When death has exceeded every other evil power - sin, suffering, sorrow, and destruction, then God's unique and exclusive answer is the only hope, and the one answer. More importance and glory is placed upon resurrection in the New Testament than upon any other matter. Indeed, everything else is declared to be in vain and worthless until resurrection is established. Resurrection is stated to give the value to every testimony and every work. Death, spiritual death (not cessation of being) - of which the physical is only one small aspect - is Satan's horizon. Resurrection is God's horizon in Christ.
Resurrection, we repeat, is the answer to death in all its forms and aspects: God's answer in His Son, Jesus Christ. Having said that, let us proceed to note that the next thing revealed in the New Testament is that this supreme truth in Jesus Christ is the birthright of every one born into God's spiritual family; the heritage of every truly born-again child of God. But the point for special realization is that we must not make the mistake that Martha of Bethany made, when she received such a revealing correction. She said, concerning her brother: "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection." It is not something in the future for believers, but for the moment when they believe on the Lord Jesus and receive Him. The order now is first the resurrection of the human spirit and last the resurrection body. This, for any born-anew Christian needs no stating, although the meaning may take years to learn.
You cannot serve God and mammon. § When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. § Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
O Lord our God, masters besides You have had dominion over us; but by You only we make mention of Your name. § I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart.
Manasseh … did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out … He raised up altars for Baal … And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. § Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” § The Lord is … longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish.
Acts 2:21; 2 Kings 21:1–3, 5–6; 2 Chron. 33:12–13; Isa. 1:18; 2 Peter 3:9
My speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man's wisdom" (1 Cor. 2:4).
There is human, soulish power and persuasion that can produce “decisions,” and “commitments”; but only the Holy Spirit has the life and power to bring a lost sinner to healthy re-birth in the Saviour.
“That which is produced by the preaching of the Gospel in man’s strength is unsound. Men may be saved through hearing the Word of God that it contains but, unless they get purer light later, their dependence for life and service will be primarily upon human strength, and not upon the power and demonstration of the Spirit.' Paul (in spite of the Corinthians' demand for it) refused to permit any human wisdom to enter into his ministry for that reason - because he wanted purely spiritual fruit: converts who have seen the power of the Spirit and expect to know it in their lives and service. He rejected the popular reasoning: It is legitimate to use any means that will bring souls to Christ.' He very definitely considered it was not legitimate to do so." -A.H.
"When Joseph of Arimathea put a grave into his garden in which He who went to the Cross was to be buried, he very soon had a resurrection there. When the old man is buried in the grave of our hearts, we will also share the resurrection life and fruitful activity of our risen Lord." -J.E.C.
"You may be fruitful wherever you are. All of us can be fruitful. Do not grieve the Spirit, and the first thing He will do will be to fill your heart with love, joy, and peace; and when the inner condition is right, then the outer condition will be right. Herein is My Father glorified' - that ye are the means of converting souls'? No; but that ye bear much fruit.' Leave the birth of the souls to the Father, and if you are fruitful He will do it through you." -A.M.
"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:5).
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." Galatians 6:14
When a man is first born again, he becomes incoherent, there is an amount of unrelated emotion about him, unrelated phases of external things. In the apostle Paul there was a strong steady coherence underneath, consequently he could let his external life change as it liked and it did not distress him because he was rooted and grounded in God. Most of us are not spiritually coherent because we are more concerned about being coherent externally. Paul lived in the basement; the coherent critics live in the upper storey of the external statement of things, and the two do not begin to touch each other. Paul's consistency was down in the fundamentals. The great basis of his coherence was the agony of God in the Redemption of the world, i.e., the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Re-state to yourself what you believe, then do away with as much of it as possible, and get back to the bedrock of the Cross of Christ. In external history the Cross is an infinitesimal thing; from the Bible's point of view it is of more importance than all the empires of the world. If we get away from brooding on the tragedy of God upon the Cross in our preaching, it produces nothing. It does not convey the energy of God to man; it may be interesting but it has no power. But preach the Cross, and the energy of God is let loose. "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." "We preach Christ crucified."
Christ died for our SINS according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
1 Corinthians 15:3
Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of SIN might be annulled, that we may no longer serve sin as slaves.
There is too little emphasis and understanding on the difference between SINS and SIN. Both are fundamental problems in the life of a believer, but there is a solution to both. It is vital that we come to an understanding of the difference between SINS and SIN. SINS are individual transgressions carried out against God, in thought, word or deed. SIN or the SIN NATURE is an inherited power within that causes us to sin against God We require forgiveness FOR our sins. We require deliverance FROM our sin, but both forgiveness and deliverance are found in the cross of Christ.
In 1 Corinthians we read that Christ died for our SINS – He paid the price for our sins. Every transgression in action or attitude are sins for which Christ died on the cross. Every sin we ever commit falls into the category of SINS – sins that we have committed. Transgression in thought, word or deed are sins against God, and need forgiveness.
Sins are wrong actions we carry out. Sins are ungodly attitudes that mar our witness. When believers sin we should immediately confess that particular sin to the Father – and God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from unrighteousness. In 1 John 1:7 we read that the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. Every sin we carry out is a violation against God – and it needs to be confessed. If we confess the wrong things we have done to God – He promises to forgive us.
But God in His love and justice has provided a solution for the sins we commit.read more
To him that overcometh..
To him who overcomes..
To the one who conquers..
To him who is overcoming..
This is the message of the seven letters from Christ to the Christian church. It resounds like a giant foghorn throughout these vital messages to the believer. In Young’s Literal translation it’s a present continuous: to him who is overcoming. The process of overcoming throughout this life is being addressed in these words. The very metric rhythm and intense repetition fills the heart with expectation. To him that overcometh.. To him who overcomes.. To him who is overcoming..
These were Christ’s last words and final inspired instructions to believers.. and the warning pleading resounded with equal intensity throughout all 7 letters: “he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Here are the final instructions of Christ to the church – given thru the apostle John.. instructions that build on a foundation that first flowed through the pen of Paul. Here are the words of wisdom – pearls of great price that are strewn in our path.
Should we not all with firm resolve and equal intensity pursue these commands? Should we not with unyielding determination seek to apply these vital distinctives? So why are these instructions so easily dismissed and so quickly shelved? I suggest that the few have realised eternal significance of these essential epistles.
It seems that most believers stop their pursuit of salvation when they are saved. Truly salvation is the liberation from sin and the loosing from bondage. Salvation is the free gift for all that believe in Jesus Christ Who died and rose again.. and a wonderful liberation floods the soul of those saved by God’s gift of grace.. and the new-born believer rejoices in his liberty – sins forgiven and sins forgotten – sins forever buried in the vast ocean of God's gracious forgetfulness.
And days come and weeks go and newfound faith is rejoicing shared. And scripture is read; prayers areread more