Monday, March 27, 2017

In Christ or Deceived?

God’s Word tells us to examine ourselves to see if we truly have a saving faith.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
2 Corinthians 13:5

When we are truly born again and given a new heart cleansed by the precious blood of Christ our lives will drastically change.

We will have the following characteristics if Christ has residence within our heart:

1. A love for God’s Word.
Before I was saved I had little to no desire to read God’s Word consistently. I was dead spiritually. The spiritually dead in their trespasses do not crave the pure milk of the Word, nor can they understand it. If you’re dead, you don’t have an appetite. After I was born again and had the Holy Spirit residing within me I began to love God’s Word and started reading it faithfully. A healthy newborn baby has a hearty appetite just as a healthy christian will have a heart appetite for God’s Word.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. 1 Peter 2:2

2. A hatred for sin.
If you love and tolerate sin in your life, you cannot be a growing christian. Jesus came to save us FROM our sins, not so we can continue in sin.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Romans 6:1-2
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
Those who love the Lord, hate evil. Psalm 97:10-12

3. An obedient life.
He is the Author of salvation to all who obey Him.
If you love the Lord you will have the desire to obey the Lord?
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him…. Hebrews 5:9
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15

4. A new heart.
A heart that now loves what was once hated and hates what was once loved. If you’re truly saved you will know exactly what this means.

5. Becoming more Christ-like. Holiness is Christ-likeness.
Are we becoming more patient, merciful, long-suffering, joyful, kind, faithful, and self-controlled?
“Self-control is Christ control.” Warren Wiersbe

6. A doer of the Word
But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22
Do we read His Word with the intention of following what it says or do we just read it and not apply it to our lives?

7. A concern for the lost.
If you have absolutely no concern for lost souls on their way to spend eternity in hell than you don’t truly love your brother and the truth is not in you. A soul that has been transferred from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light seeks to share Christ with others.

8. A desire to please and glorify the Lord.
Not to earn favor or salvation, but because we love him for all He has done for us! Serving the Lord will bring us joy, not a sense of drudgery! We will concerned with God’s opinion of us rather than the opinions of man. We will love God and not the spirit of this world.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world”
1 John 2:15-16

9. A tongue under the Spirit’s control.
Before I was saved my mouth used God’s Name in vain. I spoke carelessly and recklessly and could care less about how my words affected other. The words that I speak today are night and day different than what I used to speak. I still have to repent of words spoken in haste out of my flesh and pray that God will continue to do His refining work in me. Our words determine which Kingdom we belong to- the Kingdom of Righteousness or the Kingdom of darkness. What’s in the heart always comes out of the mouth.
No man can tame the tongue.
“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45

10. Boldness-
Do you refuse to talk about Christ because you fear what others will say of you? If you are ashamed of Christ, He will be ashamed of you at His return.
“Everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9).

Whenever I feel timid and sometimes scared to share Christ I often find that I have un-confessed sin in my life. Un-confessed sin makes men into cowards. A clear conscience and clean heart will cause us to be bold for the cause of Christ.

11. We walk in the light.
We will allow His Word to change us and reveal to us the sin in our life. We are convicted by the Holy Spirit when we sin and quick to confess and forsake our sin.
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
1 John 1:4-7

12. We have a love for other Christians and enjoy being in their company.

We cannot say we love God and hate even one person. With God’s help we can forgive others. We can hate the behavior of others, but we must see each person as an eternal soul that will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. We should feel sorry for those who are practicing evil because they are deceived and under the control of satan. God has the power to redeem even the worst of sinner!
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” 1 John 4:20-21.

We will never bear fruit or grow as a christian if we do not abide in Christ. For without Christ, we can do NOTHING.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.“ John 15:5

The secret of being a fruit-bearing Christian is Christ in us- the Hope of glory! It is God who works in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure. It is a daily surrender to His will, being justified by faith.

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.“ Romans 3:24-26

What happens if you read this and find that your life has no evidence of being saved? God’s Word says that if you are thirsty spiritually then He is inviting you to come and take of the water of life freely! He desires for you to know Him personally!
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Revelation 22:17

God will NEVER turn away anyone that comes to Him in faith! Even if you have backslidden you can still come to Him. The promises of God has no expiration date or limit!

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37

If you have the desire to come to Christ, that desire has been put there by the Holy Spirit. Man would never seek God apart from the Holy Spirit. If you have the desire to come to Christ, then He is calling you to Himself. Please don’t quench the Spirit and harden your heart. We are not promised to hear His voice tomorrow.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:44

Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?

I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.
I have spilt His precious blood,
Trampled on the Son of God,
Filled with pangs unspeakable,
I, who yet am not in hell!

I my Master have denied,
I afresh have crucified,
And profaned His hallowed Name,
Put Him to an open shame.
Whence to me this waste of love?
Ask my Advocate above!

Now incline me to repent,
Let me now my sins lament,
Now my foul revolt deplore,
Weep, believe, and sin no more.

Charles Wesley

Repent and believe the Gospel! Our God is mighty to save!

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