Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Personal Thoughts of First Day of the Week and Spiritual Renewal

For Christians, the fear of death is canceled in the hope of bodily resurrection. During Easter, we are to think of what Christ did during His life on earth and what He has and currently been doing over the years. What practical significance does Easter have for us? "Much in every way!" (Romans 3:2). Jesus "through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). Jesus "was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:25). That we are not obligated to live in bondage to days and times and seasons (Colossians 2:16-17; Romans 14:4-10; 2 Corinthians 3:5-18) since Christ arose from the dead on the first day, Christians all over the world have the opportunity to set the first day as the Christian's voluntary Sabbath day.

This happened on the first day, which is Sunday, seven (7) weeks after Jesus resurrection. (See Lev. 23:16, 50 days after the Passover Ceremonies, the day after the 7th Sabbath which is 7 weeks). The primary work of Christ in redemption is to justify, sanctify and glorify. Justify means to declare righteous before God, sanctify means to make holy, and glorify means in effect to remake the entire personality after the image of Christ.

New Covenant is sealed in the blood of Jesus, Who is our Savior and Mediator, brought us together with His Grace and Mercy that we have great spiritual and eternal freedom. The Old Testament priests, sacrifices, and sanctuary are superseded by the mediation of Jesus, the crucified, risen, and reigning God-man (Heb. 1-10), in whom believers now find their identity as the seed of Abraham and the people of God (Gal. 3:29; 1 Pet. 2:4-10). Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Easter reminds me this: During Jesus' ministry, Jesus spoke of His coming death. "Destroy this temple," Jesus said, referring to His body, "and I will raise it again in three days." Jesus also declared that the Father would raise Him up on the third day. In Romans 1 we read that the Spirit of God declared Jesus to be the Son of God with power "by his resurrection from the dead." Hebrews 9:14 tells us that Father, Son and Holy Spirit all had a part. The Father received the offering of the Son through the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ, who is God, the blameless and sinless Son, offered as the Lamb of God, without spot and without blemish. The redemptive price was paid by the Son to the Father through the Spirit. Christ through His death and resurrection, every legal hindrance has been met and satisfied. There is nothing that can keep me from assurance except my own faith. Its not about thinking our way into salvation or to reason our way into salvation. The only way to get in is to believe Him with my heart which is sealed by the Holy Spirit.

The Book of Hebrews explains that Jesus is the mediator, the executor, of The New Covenant (The New Testament). The word mediator comes from the verb "to mediate" which means a mediator is one who stands between two parties or two factions needing to be reconciled eternally.

On the first day of every week.......(First Corinthians 16:2). It was on the first day of the week that Christ arose and so the first day, Sunday, came to be designated as the Lord's Day. On that day the early Christians gathered to worship (Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10) as do we, and in doing so we celebrate Christ's resurrection. Easter (The Resurrection) is celebrated every Sunday. The meaning of the resurrection must be rediscovered by each believing Christians till our Lord returns to earth again.

It is my personal relationship to God that really matters that takes priority over everything else regardless what happens. Christianity is able to make a real affirmation because we affirm that it is possible to be in personal relationship to the personal God who is there and who is the author of our faith. All else but God is dependent, but being in the image of God, we can be in personal relationship to that which is ultimate and full of blessings. We are made in the image of God, has a purpose, to be in relationship to God, who is always there. Sometimes we forget our purpose and we forget who we are and what life means. Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it. The best-informed Christian is not necessarily the wisest.

I am not a perfect Christian but I am a forgiven Christian who is still learning. I know that progressing in my sanctification and my spiritual growth and it only happens as I live in the environment of the truth and respond to that truth, and obey that truth, and avoid anything that diminishes my understanding of that truth or perverts that truth. I often question myself about my own spiritual issues and motives. The more I know about God, the more ready I am to believe Him for everything, because I know Him. I can choose to serve God as I see fit in my heart, mind and soul however God may change my decision as He directs me to another direction. God's providence in my life were my "wake-up calls" as well as making me a better Christian. I realized that when I am trying to understand why He is doing this, my life is more peaceful and more enjoyable. In Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Friday, March 27, 2009

Good News about Suffering....................

God uses suffering to reveal our spiritual condition. God uses suffering to reveal our spiritual character. You really do not know the truth about someone spiritually when everything is going well. It doesn't surface because basically they appear to be at peace and happy and with a measure of joy and satisfaction and fulfillment in life because superficially and on the surface everything is okay. Then when things begin to go wrong, reality begins to surface as to their spiritual condition. And the worse things get, the more their spiritual character is being revealed. When you strip away the blessings, and you strip away the successes and you strip away the prosperity and you strip away the health and you begin to peel it all back, then you're going to find out what somebody is really made of spiritually. In FAITH, adversity often produces an unexpected opportunity that we are to look for, appreciate and utilize it. This is difficult to do if you're feeling sorry for yourself because you're faced with adversity. Pain narrows vision. The most private of sensations, it forces us to think of ourselves and little else. When life breaks loose, you may be doing something right. Just because we don't see a reason for evil and suffering doesn't mean there's not a reason for it.Consider the story of Joseph and the amazing conclusion in Genesis 50:20 - " You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." There are countless other stories, where suffering was not good, but with time and perspective, some see the good that resulted from the pain and tragedy in their lives.

Real faith is refined in the fires and storms of pain. Every truth about suffering can be twisted into a weapon for or against God. Most often suffering speeds us in the direction we are already heading - whether toward or away from God. Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovreignty of God. The evil and suffering in this world are greater than any of us can comprehend. But evil and suffering are not ultimate. God is. Satan, the great lover of evil and suffering, is not sovereign. God is.

One side suffering may be viewed as coming from God to bring out the BEST in us (See: Book of Job, Gen. 22:1-2, 15-18; Hebrews 11:17).

On the other side of the coin, Satan brings us sufferings to bring out the WORST in us (see: Book of Job and James 1:13-14).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The true nature of the Christian life which is unpredictable and expanding called "sanctification".

In sanctification, God has to deal with us:
1. On the death side (spiritual death became spiritual alive as in born again). This is Salvation. By His stripes we are healed.

2. As well as on the life side that our bodies still CARRIES sin even though we are sinless spiritually. The struggle begins. "If any man come to Me and hate not his own life, he cannot be My disciple."

The key to sanctification then, is to know and obey the truth which is the Word of God in our hearts. When we got saved, we were justified which is "declared righteous". Justification cannot be separated from sanctification. We are declared righteous in justification, and then the process of making us righteous begins to function in this sinful world. A person's heart is always found running in the direction of his/her desires. The Bible illumines the dark corners of heart and mind by exposing our personal sins while at the same time, reveals the way of holiness. The Word of God (Bible) rebukes in order that we may see our faults. God's Word (the Bible) sometimes wounds us deeply and it is imperative because through the Bible, God speaks loudly.

Sanctification is a progress towards holiness which is spiritual growth. Some grow slower than others. Some grow faster than others.

Progressing in our sanctification and our spiritual growth can only happens as we live in the environment of the truth and respond to that truth, and obey that truth. We are to avoid anything that diminishes our understanding of that truth or perverts that truth.

God must have all our thoughts it we would experience the sanctification of our minds. A.W. Tozer

One of the heaviest problems in the Christian life is that of sanctification: how to become as pure as we know we ought to be and must be if we are to enjoy intimate communion with a holy God. A.W. Tozer

To give God back to us was the chief work of Christ in redemption. To impart Himself to us in personal experience is the first purpose of God in salvation. To bring acute God-awareness is the best help the Spirit brings in sanctification. All other steps in grace lead up to this. A. W. Tozer