Testimony is Proof

 

 

 

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In all the opinions about God’s existence, most of what you hear isn’t rational. It’s not rational to claim that something that isn’t known is known. It’s not possible to know anything with proof that it’s true. You can never give anyone proof that anything is true if they aren’t willing to examine the proof. You can’t even prove the sun exists to a person who refuses to look and see that the sun exists. You can’t prove the sun to someone who explains away the evidence with other hypotheses.

Someone may tell you that something’s been observed using scientific method. Do you get to look at the evidence and evaluate it for yourself? Not usually. You’re supposed to take that person’s word for it. Yet, most of what is called evidence isn’t even the observation. It’s an interpretation of observation based on assumptions. Those assumptions are derived from worldviews.

This is particularly interesting among those who call themselves “free thinkers.” You can get into the free thinker club. Just don’t question the group-held worldview of the free thinkers. This worldview includes the big bang, billions of years, no God, no flood, molecules to man stories. It’s OK to question some small detail. You can question something that’s in dispute among the free thinkers. Thinking outside the box of the stories simply proves that you aren’t a free thinker though.

When you speak by the spirit of Christ, it’s different. God tells us that no one can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit. Testify of Jesus Christ and what He’s doing as Lord of your life. When you do, you’re speaking by the Holy Spirit. It’s good if you recognize that this is what’s going on. You ought to acknowledge Him in all your ways.

Testify of Jesus Christ and what He’s doing in your life. Those who hear what you say or read what you write aren’t hearing or reading your words. Rather they’re interacting with the Holy Spirit who is speaking or writing through you. They’re having a direct experience with Christ.

When an free thinker tells you something, you’re just supposed to trust him or her. You’re supposed to trust that the so-called science is true. They don’t tell you what they think “science” is. Most of them haven’t even done the research themselves. You know that it’s a rare thing for you to have a chance to actually make the observations yourself. They don’t even give you the pure observations. The observations wouldn’t prove what they want to prove. They give you the interpretations of the observations. You can’t possibly prove an interpretation, by the way. An interpretation is a concept as opposed to something with substance. Thinking that interpretation is substance is a form of losing touch with reality.

When you testify of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is speaking His words through you. The person to whom you speak is having direct evidence in the form of the words you’re speaking. I doubt that anyone is always in submission to the Holy Spirit. I doubt that anyone always speaks His words. Yet when you are, that other person is directly dealing with Christ Himself. That person isn’t dealing with you. Jesus said that if such a person rejects you, that person is rejecting Him. And if they reject Him, they’re rejecting the Father who sent Him. That’s a sin against the greatest commandment. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.” Jesus also says that they reject Him because they love darkness rather than light and because their deeds are evil. Self-righteousness is an evil deed.

I write this to encourage you to keep testifying. Don’t accept the lie that you  haven’t proved that God exists. You have demonstrated that God exists in the persons of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They testified through you. You manifested the Father to the person who’s rejecting Jesus Christ and the Father. While such a person gladly accepts the claims of the free thinkers without any proof. Yet this person is rejecting absolute proof just as the ruling Jews rejected Jesus. Jesus directly manifested the Father before them. So keep on keeping on. Make progress in obeying the Holy Spirit. There are higher heights and deeper depths. Keep testifying wherever God opens the door for it.

Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. ~ 1 Corinthians 12:2-3

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe. ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:13

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. ~ Proverbs 11:14

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkens unto counsel is wise. ~ Proverbs 12:15

Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that you may be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. ~ Proverbs 19:20-21

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. ~ Proverbs 15:22

Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. ~ Psalms 1:1

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. ~ 1 Peter 4:11

He that hears you hears me; and he that despises you despises me; and he that despises me despises him that sent me. ~ Luke 10:16

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you. ~ Matthew 10:19-20

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

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Revelational Apologetics

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Both presuppositional and Revelational apologetics use physical observation and experience/experiment. Evidential apologetics seems to focus mainly on physical observation and experience/experiment that is interpreted via assumptions. Presuppositional apologetics generally recognized Divine revelation as one of many sources of truth, but it puts puts special emphasis on presuppositions as the basis for thinking, while revelational apologetics puts special emphasis on Divine revelation through the Holy Spirit, our Teacher and Counselor sent through Christ, as the basis for thinking.

“Evidential apologetics or evidentialism is an approach to Christian apologetics emphasizing the use of evidence to demonstrate that God exists. The evidence is supposed to be evidence both the believer and nonbeliever share, that is to say one need not presuppose God’s existence.” Wikipedia

“Presuppositionalism is a school of Christian apologetics that believes the Christian faith is the only basis for rational thought. It presupposes that the Bible is divine revelation and attempts to expose flaws in other worldviews.” Wikipedia

I’m careful about what Wikipedia says, since they have such an anti-God influence, but I’ve included these definitions from that site.

“Evidential Apologetics is that style of Christian defense that stresses the miracles found in the Bible, particularly Christ’s resurrection as an evidence for the existence of God and the validity of Christ and His words. It also uses historical evidences to support the veracity of the Biblical account(s). In this, it is very similar to Classical Apologetics, which stresses reason in its approach to evidences.”  Matt Slick of CARM, https://carm.org/evidential-apologetics

“This form of Christian apologetics deals with presuppositions.1 A Christian presuppositionalist presupposes God’s existence and argues from that perspective to show the validity of Christian theism.2 This position also presupposes the truth of the Christian Scriptures and relies on the validity and power of the gospel to change lives (Rom. 1:16).” Matt Slick of CARM, https://carm.org/presuppositional-apologetics

Comparing evidential apologetics to revelational apologetics, evidential apologetics exposes the mechanics of the lies. Revelational apologetics exposes the structure of the lies. Evidential apologetics is helpful to expose the lies about what has been observed. Revelational apologetics exposes that fact that nothing can be known without Divine revelation. Without Christ, nothing can be known. In Him is hidden all knowledge. In Him is hidden all knowledge.

You may wonder if revelational apologetics is the answer that will cause all bad doctrine to cease. Eventually, God will reveal the fallacies of all the lies that have been told, but don’t expect someone who dearly wants to believe in evolutionism or Atheism to be rational. There are many ways to get out of being rational. They’re called fallacies, tricks, and games.

Here is some further reading:

Revelational Apologetics Versus Presuppositional Apologetics

Extrabiblical Revelation, Interpreting Scripture Through Assumptions, and Adding to the Canon of Scripture

A Conversation Using Revelational Apologetics with a Theistic Evolutionist

A Conversation with a Presuppositional Apologist

Equivocation of Assumptions at Berkeley

Assumptions

Worldviews

Divine Revelation

Warnings About Divine Revelation

Skeptical Arguments Against Divine Revelation

What Brings Regeneration?

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Can Evidence Based on Assumption be Taken Seriously?

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In science, theology, politics, and interpersonal communications, it’s difficult to tell the difference between reality and make-believe. We observe things, but not directly. We filter our observations through our own worldviews. Worldviews are powerful filters that don’t allow us to observe what doesn’t already fit into the worldview. Group-held worldviews are even more powerful, since they provide the group-think confirmation bias that creates an even stronger illusion . . . that our worldviews are reality itself rather than an just inner concept of what we think reality is.

Look at the Theory of Evolution as an example. When you actually look at the so-called “evidence,” every evidence is based on assumptions. Assumptions consist of made-up stuff that generally has been formulated to conform to the existing worldviews. The worldview is merely a fake reality masquerading as real reality. If you allow yourself even a single assumption, you can prove anything to yourself.

Let me give an example. Allow me one assumption. I will assume that you don’t exist. That’s now a given. Since you don’t exist, you don’t exist. That didn’t take any heavy lifting, did it? I just proved that you don’t exist based on my assumption.

Of course, that wouldn’t fool anyone. You need many more fallacies to cover up the fact that I’m making the whole thing up. So, how do I do that. Add more stories and complexity to the idea using the hundreds of available fallacies, and I could develop a story about your non-existence that’s as funny as the big bang, billions of years, no Flood, life from non-life, amoeba to human, no need for God story.

Here, we have a situation where every person who follows Christ knows Christ and is led and taught by the Holy Spirit moment by moment. As you know that you exist because of your experience of being you, everyone who follows Christ knows God exists because of his or her experience of being led and taught by the Holy Spirit. That’s not to say that we’re always faithful in listening, acknowledging, submitting, or allowing Him to think His thoughts, speak His Words, or do His acts through us. It just means we’re familiar with Him to some extent. To the extent that we have yielded to Him, we have discernment between that which comes from Him and that which comes from other sources. Many times, we do lean on our own understanding rather than acknowledging Him. Hence, you can witness the many doctrinal and denominational divisions in the Church. Yet, Jesus Christ is real, and He is the reality of the ongoing experience of every single person who follows Him.

For a Secularist (skeptic, Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist, etc.) to claim that a follower of Christ isn’t experiencing what he or she is experiencing is as bizarre as me claiming that you don’t exist. The Secularist has only one tool to develop such a thought: making stuff up and then confusing the issue with smokescreen fallacies.

Yet, when confronted with the fact that you know Jesus Christ personally, Secularists commonly will begin to use the fallacy of faulty comparison. There are several types of faulty comparison fallacies. This one is false equivalence of two opposites. It’s very helpful to the Secularist in this situation, since the Secularist is faced with a stark contrast between Divine revelation and making stuff up. The Secularist isn’t comfortable with the fact that every single thing he or she thinks he or she knows is based on made-up stuff. So, in this case, Secularists intuitively reach for a tu quo que (you too) fallacy. They want to say, “You too have the same problem.” Of course, tu quo que doesn’t solve the Secularist’s problem. It merely is a way to project their problem onto you. In effect, they’re saying, you’re situation is just as bad as mine. There are many problems with this kind of thinking. Most importantly, you don’t have the same problem the Secularist has. Yet, if you don’t stay in the Presence of Jesus, if you try to lean on your own mind rather than His Mind, you will become confused by these tactics.

To use tu quo que, the Secularist must use a faulty comparison fallacy first. Therefore, the Secularist will try to lump Divine revelation in as part of the made-up stuff. He or she must claim that Divine revelation is also made-up stuff. This asserts the following universal negative: “God doesn’t reveal anything to anyone.” This, of course, is based on that bare assertion and universal negative, “There is no God.”

When the lumping fallacy fails, the Secularist may turn to other ways to equate Divine revelation with making stuff up. He or she may claim that you can’t know it’s God speaking to you, and, if Divine revelation depended on human ability, that would be true. However, Divine revelation is, as the term implies, dependent on God. He is able. What would possibly prevent the Almighty God from being able to reveal Himself and His Truth to a willing human heart? Another common Secularist tactic is to claim that the human mind must interpret the revelation, and the revelation is, therefore, subject to human interpretation. That’s a statement contrary to fact. God’s revelation is pure. Human interpretation adds to it or diminishes it. That’s why God commands us not to add to His Utterances or diminish them. Divine revelation plus human interpretation equals human ideas. We must leave the things God hasn’t revealed with God and receive the revelation He has given. Then the Secularist is likely to remind you that your own mind can fool you, and this is true. However, that’s not a problem to God as long as we remain humble. It’s a very good reason for us to hold our theology loosely, but it’s not a good reason to stop seeking God or to follow the Secularist’s delusion. The Holy Spirit is constantly leading us. As we yield. our spiritual senses are exercised, which brings maturity and discernment between good (what God is saying) and evil (what comes from human or demonic minds). The Holy Spirit is given to lead us into all Truth. Just keep following Him, and be ready to abandon your own convictions and many things you’ve been taught in favor of Divine revelation.

The big problem that the Secularist has with all his or her claims is that Secularist’s claims are based on made-up stuff. It’s irrational to make stuff up and call it real. Their claims to deny Divine revelation are based on made-up stuff. Your testimony of Divine revelation is based on Divine revelation. It always comes down to Divine revelation versus made-up stuff.

If the Secularist is successful in convincing himself or herself using these arguments, the Secularist loses the ability to know the difference between reality and make-believe in this regard. It’s no longer a game. It’s insanity. Secularists have lost touch with reality.

The big bang, billions of years, no Flood, life from non-life, amoeba to human, no need for God story is a complex story based on fallacies. The hundreds of fallacies can be classified into two groups, and only one of those groups is functional. The functional fallacy is always some form of making stuff up and calling it true. It could be an outright lie. It could be a hidden assumption. It could be an “axiom of science.” There are many ways to make stuff up.

All other fallacies are smokescreens to give the illusion that the made-up stuff isn’t made-up stuff. Those smokescreens include appeal to ridicule, which has become very popular. There are many ways to ridicule. Appeal to offence is becoming very popular: “I’m offended; therefore, you are wrong and I am right.” Appeal to anger works the same way.

Then, there are the many statistical fallacies: “It’s very unlikely that God exists.” Really? What is the number you can put on that probability, and how do you derive it? How do you know that you have taken every factor into account? What are the steps to your scientific experiment you use to determine that every follower of Christ is not experiencing what he or she is experiencing?

Bill Nye debated Ken Ham. He suddenly realized that he had to defend the use of assumption. He claimed that assumptions come out of experience. Another word for experience is experiment. One of the ways we observe in science is through experience/experiment. These experiences are repeatable, so many people can observe the same thing. Assumptions don’t come out of experiments. They’re used to interpret the observations made when performing an experiment. Interpretation always adds to what has been observed or diminishes it. These assumptions are developed to conform to the existing worldview, in most cased, the group-think of the ruling shared worldview of the scientific community.

Of course, the same thing happens in Christian denominations. It happens in politics. Is there any hope for humanity?

Yes. Jesus Christ came to set us free. In fact, He said that the Truth will set us free. He is the Truth. God knows all things. He reveals some things to us. For instance, He reveals Himself through the things He has created to every person. Those who acknowledge Him and thank Him receive further revelation and faith, that is, certainty of reality, comes to them. Those who refuse to acknowledge Him lose the ability to tell the difference between what human minds are making up and what is coming from God.

When we believe what God is telling us about Jesus Christ and how He died to pay the price of our own sins, how He rose again from the dead having overcome sin, and how He now offers us forgiveness and a path to freedom from our fallen state, we are changed. We are born into the family of God, when we had previously been slaves to Satan. At that point, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher and Leader. If we seek Him and His Will, then, we continue to learn and be changed. One of the first things that He teaches us is that the Bible is His Word without error, and that He speaks to us through the Bible. He teaches us that there are many gifts that come through the Spirit, that the gifts, ministries, offices, and orders that He reveals through Scripture are important to Him and that He will eventually reveal how all of them work for us and are part of our salvation.

As we walk with the Spirit and keep step with the Spirit, we don’t stay in the same place. What we thought we understood yesterday soon becomes quite shallow compared to the new, unfolding, revelation of today. Tomorrow, there will be more as we progress in the Spirit. God has built many safeguards into the Church to keep this unfolding revelation on track. Every human-developed method that isn’t in Scripture creates a danger of going off course. As we yield to the Spirit, our spiritual senses are exercised by reason of use to discern between good (what comes from God) and evil (what comes from other sources).

We don’t need to boast of our spirituality. In fact, such boasting is a sure sign of spiritual immaturity. God has provided no way by which we can truly measure our maturity in Christ. We can tell a bit about our spiritual immaturity every time we exhibit some form of the fruit of the flesh: thoughts, words, or acts of sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. Every time we find ourselves irritated or striving for something, we realize that we need more of Him.

The way forward is glorious for those who don’t get distracted. There are higher heights and deeper depths in Christ. Keep on keeping on.

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Christians Don’t Need Fallacy

0002 AdIgnorantiamChristians never need to use fallacy. Never!

To prove any Atheistic or Evolutionistic position always requires fallacy. Always!

When Christians use ad ignorantiam fallacies, they weaken their testimony. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ask the question: “How do you know?” In fact, that’s a great question. What makes the evolutionist think that the observations support a claim that molecules once formulated themselves into a living cell somehow? What makes the evolutionists think that a first living cell morphed into people over long periods of time?

I’m not talking about possibility. I’m talking about proving that it actually happened. Stay away from the framing fallacy that implies, “If something is possible, then it’s OK to say that it’s true.” Think of yourself on trial for a murder that you didn’t commit. Would you be OK with it if the judge told the jury that the right attitude would be that if you could possibly have committed the crime, then you are guilty as charged?

When a Christian asks this type of question the purpose of the question is to show that the Atheist or Evolutionist is irrational in using his or her belief (or belief in non-belief) to fail to acknowledge God. The question only exposes the fact that something called “evidence” is actually dependent on an assumption. Lack of knowledge of an answer about something doesn’t disprove the thing. To imply that it does disprove a thing is irrational. It only shows that the thing is not proven. It exposes the fact that there is no real evidence for the thing.

Atheists or Evolutionists can’t use unanswered questions to disprove Divine revelation. They can use them to expose Christian speculation, however. And none of us want’s to be guilty of Christian speculation. Speculation adds to God’s Words or diminishes God’s Words–and if we do that, He will expose us as liars. That’s His promise to us. He does that for our own good. He doesn’t want us to love our own lies or the lies of others, since He has to judge those who love lies. He wants to cleanse us of our affection for our favorite lies.

Let me give an example. You say, “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” “In six days God created the Heavens, Earth, seas, and everything in them.” There is no speculation here. This is all Divine revelation. So, a troll says, “How do you know?” You say, “God speaks this to me through Scripture.” Again, no speculation here–just revelation. The troll asks, “How do you know it’s God speaking to you through Scripture?” You answer, “I know because of person interaction with the Holy Spirit. He is the One Who tells me that the Bible is His Word without error. He also speaks to me whenever I read the Bible. He brings Scripture to my memory. While my spiritual senses are not fully developed yet, I’m learning to discern His Voice and to respond in submission. This very process brings spiritual maturity, and spiritual maturity brings discernment. So, while I don’t know all things, the Holy Spirit has plainly revealed these particular things to me.” The troll asks, “Well then, how exactly did God create everything instantly from nothing. Give me the science behind that. Huh? Huh?” You answer, “God hasn’t revealed that to me. However, He does reveal that He is the Almighty and that He is well capable.” At this point, the troll has nothing. For the troll to claim that you must know things that God hasn’t revealed or else God hasn’t revealed anything is irrational. The troll has nowhere to go without showing himself or herself to be irrational.

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Ken Ham-Bill Nye Debate

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When Bill Nye debated Ken Ham about Creation (and, as it worked out, the favored story about no God, big bang, billions of years, no Flood, abiogenesis, amoeba to humans), Bill Nye wasn’t able to make any point to refute God or the Creation or to prove the favored story without relying on fallacy. In fact, every point Bill tried to make was riddled with multiple, nested fallacies.

Ken Ham, on the other hand, was falsely accused, by Evolutionists, of having the same problem. Some Christians came out against Ken Ham, noting how they would have been much more effective than he was. It’s easy to be critical, envious, or knit-picky. Looking at the transcript and analyzing the video for many hours will reveal that Ken’s fallacies weren’t on his main points. All of his main points hold up as rational, since they are based on his testimony of a personal relationship with Christ in which Christ reveals truth to Him, both through the Bible and through personal experience.

Bill Nye finally realized that he was comparing Divine revelation to assumption. Assumptions consist of made-up stuff. That’s their weakness. Made-up stuff is whatever someone makes up. Divine revelation comes from God Who knows all things and cannot lie.

The human mind has no internal method to tell the difference between made-up stuff and reality. This distinction can only be brought by the Almighty and loving God Who reveals it to us. He actually reveals this to every person, and every person receives partial revelation.

No one receives all that God is willing to give. No one rejects everything that God is willing to give. Some people acknowledge God and are thankful to Him. These have some knowledge of Truth and have a growing discernment between what God has revealed and what comes from other sources. With increasing spiritual maturity comes increasing discernment between good (what comes from God) and evil (what comes from human or demonic minds). Others, like Bill Nye, refuse to acknowledge God. They become increasingly unaware of the difference between reality and make-believe. Eventually, many of them become Atheists or functional Atheists. This is the reason for dogmatically held speculative doctrines in the Church and outside the Church.

Bill Nye ended up defending the use of assumptions as the foundation of all knowledge. Ken Ham ended up defending Divine revelation as the Foundation of all knowledge. Jesus Christ is the Foundation. No other Foundation can be laid that that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. In Him is hidden all knowledge. He is the Truth. He has become our wisdom, that is, righteousness, holiness, and redemption. In Him is hidden all knowledge. Everyone who’s on the side of Truth listens to Him.

The Book, “Reason,” uses this debate as a backdrop to discuss reason. The book isn’t about the debate, but the debate created a sharp distinction between reality and make-believe. “Reason,” hasn’t yet been released.

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Who is Blindly Following What Can’t be Proven?

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Funny how Evolutionists accuse those who follow Christ of blindly believing what can’t be proven when all they are doing is projecting their own problem onto those who don’t have the problem at all. In reality, the stories of Evolutionism can’t be proven while Creation is obvious. The stories of Evolutionism are all based on assumptions. Assumptions are pulled from worldviews. Worldviews are created by previous interpretations of things taught, things experienced, and things observed. Those interpretations are based on assumptions that are based on worldviews.

The fact of Creation isn’t given this way. It’s given by revelation. God reveals it through Scripture. God reveals it through Creation itself. Everyone, at some point, is confronted by God concerning this fact. Those who refuse to acknowledge Him and thank Him, He turns over to their own reprobate minds so that they do things that they know will result in judgment from God. The unrighteousness they do has an effect. It suppresses God’s truth and those unthankful and willingly ignorant people lose the ability to tell the difference between reality (what God reveals) and make-believe (what comes from human minds or demons).

Some say that Divine revelation requires interpretation by the fallen human mind. This isn’t true. In fact, it’s a tu quoque fallacy on the part of those who lean on their own understandings rather than trusting God. They suddenly realize that they know nothing and then want to accuse you of knowing nothing as well.

If the fallen human mind interprets Divine revelation, it always adds to it or diminishes what God is saying. What God says is enough. Humans have no source to self-generate the knowledge that would be required to interpret any experience, observation, Scripture passage, or revelation. That means that human interpretation is also human speculation. Speculation is just making stuff up.

When we stand in the Presence of God, He reveals Scripture. He reveals the meaning and purpose of life. He reveals right and wrong. What He says is enough.

Faith comes as we hear God. The Greek word, “rhema,” is used in Scripture. “Rhema” means utterance. God speaks. We hear. Faith comes. This faith isn’t conceptual. Theories and theologies are concepts only. Concepts are not reality. Faith is reality from God. It’s substance, that is, reality as opposed to concepts and opinions. It’s the substance of things hoped for. And, it’s also the only evidence that gives absolute proof and certainty. It’s the evidence of things not seen. (Romans 10:17, Hebrews 11:1)

As with all important words, Satan tries to blur the difference between reality and make-believe by redefining the word, “faith.” Some people use the word, “faith,” to mean “making themselves believe in something.” That would be make-believe. Rather than the conviction, certainty, and absolute proof, and reality that comes from God, Satan uses the word, “faith,” to label a human-generated ability to believe in things that aren’t true. Even many Christians are confused by this. Faith comes by hearing God’s Utterance. No one can self-generate God’s Utterance. Demons and flesh both try to imitate this absolute authority, but the Holy Spirit gives discernment.

The more we yield to Him and stand in submission in His Presence, the more we’re able to discern between His Mind and human minds and demonic minds. The more we walk in our own wills, the less we can know. The more spiritual we become, the better we can tell the difference between reality and make-believe. The more fleshly we become and the more we lean on our own understandings, the less we can tell the difference between reality and make-believe.

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Set Your Goal

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We would like an easy way. I could set my goal to be something that’s easy to reach. That way, I can be sure that I don’t fail. Is that the way to set a goal?

Know your goal. Some people fail to set a goal. Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Some people fail to set the right goal. They set a random goal. So how do you set a goal?

Get your goal from God. He’s alive, you know. He’s available. He’s ready to lead if you’re willing to follow. You must learn to know His Voice. You must be ready to take the attitude of no compromise. If you read the second and third chapters of Revelation, you’ll find that there are wonderful promises to the overcomers. For those who fail, God doesn’t offer those same promises.

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7) “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (verse 11) “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” (verse 17) “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. (verses 26, 27, and 28) “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:5) “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” (verse 12) “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (verse 21)

All of these promises are linked closely to having ears to hear. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word (utterance) of God. Faith gives access to grace. Grace does the righteousness through us. Righteousness leads to holiness.

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.” Seek God’s will. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” When we seek God and His will, He often says things we don’t like. He tells us to speak when we don’t want to. He tells us not to speak when we want to. He tells us to speak in love when we want to get even. Human flesh and the Holy Spirit are always at odds. They’re mutually exclusive. It’s a battle to the death.

The enemies are the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh. Flesh is the body—and the mind that is under control of the body. The flesh wants to fit it. It wants to get along with all the influences of the world. Flesh runs on emotions and irrational thinking.

The world is the culture.

Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The world consists of the influence of friends who aren’t speaking God’s words or doing God’s will. It consists of people you love. It consists of the media, news, textbooks with half-truths and untruths, opinions on the Internet, movies, movie stars, performers of all sorts, comedians, and many other influences of culture.

The world is also internal. Every experience that each of us has is filtered through our preconceived ideas, our worldviews. Each worldview seems more real than reality to the person who owns that worldview. Everyone has a worldview, a concept of reality. Pardon me for saying something so obvious, but this concept is a concept. It’s not reality.

This is a serious problem with which we all struggle. I struggle with it. Many people don’t even know that they are struggling with it. They fully believe that their own worldviews are reality as it is. They don’t realize that their worldviews are powerful filters.

These filters keep out any parts of reality that conflict with the worldview. They then add the new filtered interpretations of reality to the worldview in the form of confirmation bias. If anyone persists in exposing the errors of the worldview, they perceive such a person as a irrational.

“The devil” refers to principalities and powers.

2 Corinthians 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Set a goal to overcome the devil, the world, and your own sinful flesh. There’s only one way to do this through Jesus Christ—that’s by grace, which is through faith. Faith comes by hearing the utterance of God. God leads. Faith comes and gives access to grace. Grace does God’s works. This process changes you.

When God leads you, you see who you are and how you fit into the Body of Christ—not all at once, but by incremental steps. As the fleshly veil is pulled away from your face, you see the glory of Christ in yourself and in your brother and sister. You see this as if looking into a mirror image. As you see this, you’re changed into the same image from glory to ever-exceeding glory. This change is executed by the Spirit of God.

2 Corinthians 3:18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

James 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

You must hear His Voice. That’s where it all starts. How do you hear His Voice?

James 4:8  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Draw nigh to God. Seek the Lord, your God, with everything you have. Praise Him. He inhabits the praises of His people. Discern His Body, the Body of Christ. No longer look at people after the flesh but after the spirit. Are they born again. Recognize the Christ in them. When God leads you, submit to Him. Spend time in prayer. Read the Bible daily. Have a family time of worship every day. Attend church weekly. As you read Scripture, the Holy Spirit will counsel you about many other things where you are to cooperate with Him as He moves through you in righteousness.

 

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God Leads You Moment by Moment.

GodLeadsYouMomentByMoment

God leads you moment by moment. He puts impressions into your mind. If you acknowledge Him in all your ways, He reveals the interpretations of your experiences and observations of everything. At the same time, your fleshly nature is also trying to influence you and deceive you, so it’s not always easy to know God’s will. However, at every moment, you are certain of at least one thing that God places before you. What you hand finds to do, do it with your might. Do this while yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit to do righteousness. All righteousness begins with God’s leading and continues with God’s power for righteousness. If you want to work the works of God, you must know the works of God are inspired by the Spirit’s leading and executed by the Spirit, so there are two places where humans can add their part and frustrate the grace of God.

God will give wisdom to you for your business. You will know the answer. When you seek God about this, you will know. If something is contrary to Scripture in itself, God will bring that Scripture to your remembrance, and God will lead you in a new direction. If your current pattern of living puts you into a constant temptation, the Holy Spirit will either lead you out of that pattern or will transform your nature so that you overcome the temptation completely. When you’re in God’s will, He imparts a peace and confidence to you. You have a certainty that you’re in His will. If you can’t find peace, don’t make compromises. Seek God until He reveals what’s wrong. God will lead you a step at a time into His will.

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Works Righteousness

SavedToGoodWorks2

 

For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. Ecclesiastes 7:20

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James 2:17

This matter of works, grace, Law, faith, and righteousness can be confusing. Does grace fight the Law or fullfil the Law? Sometimes, theology adds to what God is saying through Scripture or diminishes it. There’s a phrase that you may have heard, “works righteousness.” It’s generally a term that’s used against theologies that claim that one must earn the right to be born again by doing good works. Sometimes, it seems to be used against any notion that Christians are called to good works. Sometimes, it’s a justification for fleshly behavior. I would like to explore this.

Another term, “impute,” means to ascribe (righteousness, guilt, etc.) to someone by virtue of a similar quality in another. The word is used in some translations. It’s only applied to imputing sin, except in the case of Romans 4:22-24, in which case, it is used in regard to imputing righteousness. However, the original language uses an accounting term, a term that means to reckon, count, compute, or calculate. The original language would indicate that we actually take on the attributes of Christ as opposed to having God simply treat us as if we had those attributes.

And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Romans 4:22-24

The original language is to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over, to take into account, to make an account of. It’s not pretending. It’s understanding reality. Christ in us, the hope of glory, is our righteousness. He’s real.

It has been taught that the word, “justification,” means that God treats us “just as if” we were righteous even though we aren’t righteous. The claim is that “God just pretends that we are just.” The problem with this interpretation is that the word, “justification,” doesn’t quite say that.

1344 δικαιοω dikaioo dik-ah-yo’-o
from 1342; TDNT-2:211,168; {See TDNT 192} v
AV-justify 37, be freed 1, be righteous 1, justifier 1; 40
1) to render righteous or such he ought to be
2) to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered
3) to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

Justification means “to render righteous.” Justification is evincing one to be righteous. Evincing is revealing the presence of righteousness. We know that the presence of this righteousness has nothing to do with human flesh. It has to do with the Presence of the King of kings living and moving within the newborn baby in Christ and every person who follows Christ. It’s also a declaration. When God declares something, that’s how it is. When God says, “Let there be light,” there is light. From this, it seems that God isn’t pretending that we’re righteous. He’s actually making us righteous. Christ is in us. He is righteous. We HAVE a sinful fleshly nature. We ARE the Christ nature. We’ll explore this, but first, there’s another word, “justification.”

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word, “tsadaq,” is in the original texts. This word means “to be just; to be righteous.” It’s not about treating the unrighteous as if they were righteous.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11

When you receive Christ, God renders you righteous. This is justification. Christ now lives in you. You still have a sinful fleshly nature. Your flesh can’t be reconciled to Christ Who lives in you. Christ cannot sin. Your flesh can’t self-generate righteousness. The flesh isn’t just or justified. God has justified you but not your flesh. Your fleshly nature can’t be reformed. It can be controlled by the Holy Spirit as you ignore the demands of the flesh and pay attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives you Power to overcome your fleshly nature. You can die to the fleshly nature incrementally if you’re willing to obey the Holy Spirit and disobey the fleshly nature. If you read Romans, you can see that Paul identified with the living Christ dwelling within. He didn’t consider that sinful nature or the sinful temptations generated by that sinful part of himself. The flesh must die incrementally as Christ lives within us. If this sounds different from what you’ve always been taught, I hope that you have patience and look at the Scriptures that are provided and that you take time to ask the Holy Spirit about it.

God is clear, through Scripture, regarding works. They are needed. Faith without works is dead. Good works cannot be self-generated by our fleshly nature. God is the only One Who’s good, so He is the only One Who can do the works through us. He does this by grace through faith.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God. Romans 10:17

Note how faith comes. It comes by hearing the rhema of God. Note the definition of “rhema” below. It’s an Utterance of God. God speaks through Scripture. The Holy Spirit also brings Scripture to your remembrance. The Holy Spirit also leads you through your conscience. Many other ways that God speaks are mentioned in Scripture. We don’t want to diminish what God is saying through Scripture by artificially eliminating these other means through which God reveals.

4487 ρημα rhema hray’-mah
from 4483; TDNT-4:69,505; {See TDNT 431} n n
AV-word 56, saying 9, thing 3, no thing + 3756 1, not tr 1; 70
1) that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word
1a) any sound produced by the voice and having definite meaning
1b) speech, discourse
1b1) what one has said
1c) a series of words joined together into a sentence (a declaration of one’s mind made in words)
1c1) an utterance
1c2) a saying of any sort as a message, a narrative
1c2a) concerning some occurrence
2) subject matter of speech, thing spoken of
2a) so far forth as it is a matter of narration
2b) so far as it is a matter of command
2c) a matter of dispute, case at law

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6

When we get close to God and submit to His Spirit, He begins to lead us into righteousness. When He leads, faith comes. Faith is not making believe. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the rhema (Utterance) of God. God leads through Scripture and through every means mentioned in Scripture. We must acknowledge Him or faith doesn’t come. God speaks to Atheists through Scripture. He speaks to them through Christians who speak by the Holy Spirit, through Creation, and through other means. However, Atheists refuse to thank God, to give Him glory, or even to acknowledge Him. Faith doesn’t come to them.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:18-21

God is always the first-mover. Jesus said that no one can come to Christ unless the Father draws that person. God reveals Himself to every person, but some people refuse to acknowledge Him.

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Galatians 5:17

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:14

When any person ceases to acknowledge God’s leading and teaching, that person becomes calloused against God. That person becomes numb to the spiritual realm. However, if we listen to Him, our spiritual senses are exercised by reason of use so that we can discern between good (The Holy Spirit’s desires) and evil (our fleshly desires).

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:10

We aren’t saved from good works to sin. We are saved from sin to good works. We aren’t saved from Hell by good works. We’re saved from sin and the resulting destruction by grace through faith that comes by hearing the rhema of God.

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ Romans 3:22a

the faith isn’t really ours. It’s not something we make believe. It’s certainty. It only comes when God speaks to us. Each time God speaks to us, faith builds and becomes greater, that is, providing we respond in submission to Him.

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10

Paul didn’t do the works. The grace of God did the works through Paul. Faith gave access to that grace each time. Each time Paul did any righteous work, he did it by grace through faith at the urging of the Holy Spirit. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the rhema of God.

…and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Romans 5:17b

God has nothing against righteousness or holiness. God has nothing against you doing good works. You and I have a problem, however, when we try to self-generate good works. When we do that, they are dead works. They are filthy rags. When Christ does the good works through us, we die to the flesh and Christ is more fully formed in us.

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous 1 John 3:7a

When God warns you not to let anyone deceive you, this is because someone is going to try to deceive you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can have righteousness without doing righteousness. Christ in you is righteous, not your fleshly nature. Christ can’t sin. If you are walking in the Spirit, you aren’t going to follow your flesh. Christ will do His righteousness through you. If you do follow your flesh, you can confess it, and He will forgive you.

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? Galatians 5:5-7

We don’t have this righteousness working in us fully. Yet, God has given us the vision of hope for the righteousness we will have in the future through faith. Righteousness is through faith. It’s not pretend righteousness. It’s real. It’s Christ thinking His Thoughts, speaking His Words, and doing His Acts through you. Now, we often fall prey to the desires of the flesh. That won’t be the case forever. There will be total victory. Even now, we have some victory over sin, and Christ is being formed more fully in us. The flesh is dying. Faith has its power in love. Love fulfills all the commands of God.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Galatians 5:5:13-14

Again, God warns us not to use liberty to serve the flesh. If we serve the flesh, we become slaves to the flesh. If we serve the Holy Spirit, we become willing slaves of God.

Likewise reckon [an accounting term–not pretending but counting or calculating reality] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6:11-18

You died to sin through Christ. You became alive to Christ, Who now lives within you. Don’t pay attention to the dead man. Listen to the New Man Who is alive within you. Consider the fact that He is the real you. You have two natures in your person. Don’t try to be double-minded, obeying flesh in some areas of your life and Christ in some other areas of your life. Don’t try to think half by fleshly rationalization and half by the leading and revelation of the Holy Spirit. Commit yourself to one Master, Jesus Christ.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Galatians 5:5:16-18

If you walk in the Spirit. How do you walk in the Spirit? While it is called today, hear His Voice. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My Voice.” He also said, “Whoever is on the side of truth listens to me.” In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. The heathen fail to acknowledge Him. Whoever listens to Him, respects Him, and acknowledges Him, is led by Him. Whoever is led by Him will be given the Power of grace to do His will. This is walking in the Spirit.

 

…having their conscience seared with a hot iron 1 Tim. 4:2

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

You can’t reconcile the flesh to the Spirit. This is a battle to the death. It’s deadly serious. Your flesh is taking it very seriously. You can direct your attention and will wherever you want to. Direct it to Jesus. Spend time with Him. Read Scripture while focusing on what the Holy Spirit is telling you through Scripture. When living your life, listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit moment by moment as He speaks through your conscience. You will then always know right from wrong because He never leaves you nor does He ever forsake you.

Those who resist Him soon find His Voice becoming very faint. They find the voice of the fleshly nature becoming stronger. Eventually, their consciences are seared as with a hot iron. They have an evil conscience. They lose the ability to tell the difference between Divine revelation and human make-believe. That is to say, they can no longer tell the difference between Truth and the made-up rationalizations coming out of their own minds.

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:5:22-23

The Spirit bears fruit when we pay attention to God’s leading. Note that this is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The flesh has no part in this. The two are at odds. They can’t agree. If you listen to your flesh, it will kill you both spiritually and physically. If you listen to the Holy Spirit in respectful submission, you’ll live. We can’t self-generate works, yet works are needed. They’re the works that the Holy Spirit does through you as the love of God is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost.

You have a responsibility in all of this. Your part is to receive (to not reject) the free gift of righteousness. God has left you with the ability to reject Him. He knows what you will do, since He knows all things, but that doesn’t take away your ability to choose. Your part is to cease from resisting the Holy Spirit. Your part is to let go and let God do His Works through you by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1 Corinthians 9:27

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:5:24-25

In baptism, your fleshly nature is buried. You are now committed to living in the Spirit. However, you have a responsibility to walk in the Spirit. It would be a contradiction to say that you could somehow walk in the Holy Spirit by your own power and inner strength separated from the Holy Spirit. When you walk in the Spirit, you’re yielding to the Holy Spirit and to the Christ in you. You’re submitting yourself to the free gift of righteousness. Righteousness is really Christ working through you. He’s your righteousness. Your fleshly nature has no righteousness and nothing that it can add to Christ. It can’t help Christ. It’s not going to willingly submit to Christ. The fleshly nature can’t help Christ do righteousness through you. You must turn your will toward Christ and away from your flesh. You must submit. To submit is simply to stop resisting God.

 

And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Galatians 3:12

When Paul was writing of the law, he wasn’t condoning sin. He was noting the weakness of human ability to fulfill the law of God. Since God’s plan is that salvation would be through Christ, trying to get it any other way is rebellion against God. Self-righteousness is extreme pride and disrespect for what God has done.

With the law of Moses, many of the precepts were symbolic of what is fulfilled in Christ. For instance, circumcision is fulfilled in cutting away the fleshly nature from the heart (innermost mind). The Sabbath is fulfilled as we rest from trying to do our own works and allow Christ to do His Works through us. Yet, in these Old Testament precepts, it’s interesting to note that there’s a health benefit.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

 

Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. That’s because God does His righteous Works by grace. And grace is through faith. Whoever seeks Christ finds Christ. God rewards the person who seeks Him. The reward is that the person finds Him. That’s the best reward that anyone could have for anything. This seeking is ongoing, since God is infinite and we are finite. After we’re born again, we continue to seek to know Him better and to allow Him to transfigure us to be more like Christ.

…whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Romans 14:23b

Here, Paul is addressing meat offered to idols when He makes this statement that has general application. “Whatever isn’t of faith is sin.” Since faith comes by hearing God’s Utterance, we can’t just do as we like. We need to seek His will and yield to Him so that He does His will through us. This is the opposite of trying to obey rules. The Law is good. It’s an expression of God’s will. Yet, humans can’t obey it perfectly with the perfect attitude. We’re incapable. Under grace, God pardons past sins so we can stand in His Presence. He then leads us. When He leads us, a supernatural belief and trust comes that brings certainty. This supernatural belief and trust is called “faith.” Faith is the substance of things hoped for. That means that it’s substance, meaning part of reality as opposed to concept or theory. It’s the concrete substance of those things we hope for. Hope, in this context, isn’t I-hope-so hope. This is the hope that goes on into the eternities and never ends. It’s a vision from God about what He’s going to do. Hope is absolute and faith is absolute. Faith is also the evidence of things not seen. There are things that we can’t see yet. Faith is the absolute certainty of those things.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God. Romans 10:17

God speaks. He leads. The Holy Spirit teaches us and leads us into all truth. He guides in the details of our lives. We’re learning to hear Him and to respond in submission.

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:2

Grace is accessed through faith. Notice the relationship. God speaks. Faith comes by hearing God’s Utterance. Grace is accessed by faith. Righteousness is by grace. All of this happens in a microsecond by the Holy Spirit.

 

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: Philippians 3:9

Grace does the works. (1 Corinthians 15:10 quoted above) It’s a huge problem when we, as Christians, try to think up righteous things to do, try to self-generate love, joy, peace, or any of the fruit of the Spirit. The flesh doesn’t self-generate the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The flesh is well able to counterfeit this and every other gift of God. Consider all the self-righteous people who don’t know Jesus Christ. They’re able to live on the level of law. They even know how to make up their own laws to live by and how to judge others by those made-up laws.

If you want to have the fruit of the Spirit, spend time in the Presence of Christ. Read your Bible. Spend time in prayer. Remain in the Spiritual realm when you wake up, when you’re driving, when you’re at work, when you’re with friends, when you’re with family, and when you go to bed at night. Praise Him at all times. Live in the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Then, you’ll hear His Voice directing you and comforting you. Faith will come and give access to grace. The Holy Spirit will flow through you, and these gifts will be evident in your life.

For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Christ is our righteousness. Christ, living out through us, is righteousness. We, then, are His Hands extended to a dying world.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:16

Notice that we’re justified, that is, made just, by the faith of Jesus Christ. We hear His Voice leading us through the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge Him and submit ourselves to Him. His faith comes, which gives access into His grace. His grace does His righteousness through us. This is the justification with which we are justified.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24

He bore our sins. He died for them. We are pardoned. We have become dead to those sins so that we can live in righteousness. This isn’t our own righteousness, but the free gift of righteousness by grace through faith.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:17

This righteousness is God’s righteousness. Jesus never did His own works. He didn’t say His own words. He only said and did those things that came from the Father. He said plainly, “There’s none good but God.” Of course, Jesus is God, but the Son is in submission to the Father. God is the only One Who can do righteousness. We need to yield to Him.

This faith is incremental. We go from faith to faith. Whatever we are in Christ is by grace through faith. Whatever we do in Christ is by grace through faith. We can’t possibly self-generate righteousness out of the fleshly nature.

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Romans 4:3

He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; Romans 4:20

Abraham had faith. He believed God. This faith allowed Abraham to do the will of God and to submit to God’s will. It was counted to Abraham for righteousness. God assessed the situation and determined that it was righteousness. It wasn’t Abraham’s flesh that was righteous. It was the Spirit that was with Abraham that enabled Him to do God’s will.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Paul recognized that it was Christ living in Him that was causing Him to be who he was and to do what he did. He didn’t deny that he had a sinful flesh, but he was living his life by the faith of the Son of God that comes by hearing the Utterance of God.

Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Romans 3:22

This is the righteousness of God. It’s not human righteousness. It’s a righteousness that’s only available by grace through faith.

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jeremiah 23:6

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 1 Corinthians 1:30

Christ is our Righteousness. Note that He is our Wisdom. Other translations are more clear, showing that Righteousness, Sanctification (Holiness), and Redemption (being set free from sin) are attributes of Wisdom. Christ is our Wisdom, so He is our Righteousness. He is also our Holiness. He is also our Redemption.

[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4

All of this is dependent on our submission to Him. When we submit, we come closer to Him. When we rebel, and we do that sometimes, we drift away from Him. If we drift away from Him, we step off the Way. We no longer walk by faith. Whatever is not of faith is sin. Sin is stepping off the Way or missing the target. In the original language, we can step off the Way or slip off the Way. However, if we confess our fault, He’s faithful and just to forgive our sin. He brings us back onto the Way. The Way is Jesus Christ. He’s the Way to eternal Life. He’s also the Life. He’s both the Way to the goal and He’s the goal, Life.

For anyone who has been walking in the Spirit for a while, many fleshly things will have already dropped off. However, there will still be strongholds of the enemy.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

These strongholds in our minds are very deceptive and only the spiritual weapons God has provided are able to pull them down. Because they’re in our own minds, we often are unaware that they are strongholds of the enemy. They seem as if they are part of reality. However, they are things that God never said. They are things that an enemy sowed into our minds. They can even insert presuppositions into Scripture as we read it so that we don’t really read Scripture. We become like the people mentioned in 2 Corinthians 3 who have a veil in front of their faces. Read the definition of stronghold below.

3794 οχυρωμα ochuroma okh-oo’-ro-mah
from a remote derivative of 2192 (meaning to fortify, through the idea of holding safely); TDNT-5:590,752; {See TDNT 576} n n
AV-strong hold 1; 1
1) a castle, stronghold, fortress, fastness
2) anything on which one relies
2a) of the arguments and reasonings by which a disputant endeavours to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent

A castle, a stronghold, a fortress is guarding the way. If something is protected by solid stone walls, it’s difficult to get at it.

A stronghold is fastness–think of a fastener. Think of a big bolt. You can try to get rid of that habit or that thought that you try not to think, but you won’t do it without removing that bolt.

It’s anything on which you rely. It’s all the arguments and reasoning by which you try to fortify your opinion and defend it against anyone who questions you. The problem is that strongholds never seem like opinions to the one with the stronghold. I don’t know what all my strongholds are. Neither do you. These strongholds are opinions that seem just like reality. In fact, they seem more real than real reality.

Yet, God has supplied the Church, the called-out people of God, with weapons. They are powerful. Many of them are not being used. Strongholds are keeping saints of God from exercising the Power of these spiritual weapons. The purpose of this article isn’t to list these weapons. If you’re wondering which weapons you personally aren’t using, think of those parts of the New Testament that “no longer apply” or that “were for just those early Christians.” You have everything you need. However, you must appropriate what God has given. If you do that, you will be counted among the overcomers and you’ll inherit all the promises that are for the overcomers.

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The Fruit of the Spirit

TheFruitOfTheSpirit

Why do humans want to try to self-generate those things that are freely given by God through Christ? God says that it’s because they love darkness rather than light. He says that they refuse to thank Him, glorify Him, or even acknowledge Him. Eventually, they become so calloused against Him that they are past any ability to hear His Voice, see His Face, feel His Touch, taste His Sweetness, or smell His Aroma. They have become separated from Him.

The book, “Reason,” while it uses a debate between Ken Ham (Christian) and Bill Nye (Non-Christian) as a backdrop, is really about choosing to accept God’s good gifts. It’s about submission to the Holy Spirit. It’s about allowing God to lead and guide. It’s about receiving His Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding. It’s about listening to His Voice so that Faith comes, giving certainty of knowledge rather than guesses and made-up stuff.

It has always been popular to believe that humans could self-generate love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, and self-control. In reality, humans can only generate counterfeits of these. The human mind, and demonic entities, are able to counterfeit any of the good things that only come from God. Consider righteousness. Only God is good. He imparts His gift of righteousness to anyone willing to receive it. Yet, so many people try to generate their own righteousness. They end up being self-righteous and proud. Think about knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. All of these come from God. None of them can be received from God without deep, sincere respect from God. Those who are rebellious toward God persist in trying to self-generate knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. They are able to generate some pretty convincing counterfeits and to deceive many people. However, there isn’t any way for human beings to self-generate knowledge. Even Secularists know that they can never have certainty about anything without Divine revelation. However, they then make the insane, dogmatic assertion, based on made-up stuff, that God doesn’t reveal anything to anyone. Since they don’t have any hope of ever having certainty about anything, why are Secularists so dogmatic about this assertion? Because they have decided not to receive God’s goodness. They have submitted themselves to the spirit of Antichrist.

Some Christians also block the mercy and grace of God by trying to self-generate love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, and self-control. They try to self-generate wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. These wonderful things that come to us as we stand in the Presence of the Holy One are not available to those who try to be double-minded. The self-generated counterfeits can never fulfill or bring satisfaction. Yet, every person who seeks Christ finds Christ. Every person who is willing to abide in Christ, seek Him, spend time in His Presence in submission to Him, is given all these wonderful things. They are imparted by God. These are the things that change the person into the Image of Jesus Christ. It’s not enough to want to be like Jesus. We need to lay down our own efforts and allow Him to think His Thoughts, speak His Words, and do His Acts through us with Power for His Righteousness, which leads to Holiness.

In every situation, you and I are faced with the choice of yielding to self-will or God’s will. Why not let yourself go into the wonderful gifts of God and just allow His love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, self-control, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to flow through you?

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